Website trouble? Shoot. Two Steps for a faster fix.

June 21, 2018 - 2:30pm
By: 
Art Williams
Website trouble? Shoot. Two Steps for a faster fix.

If you’ve owned a site long enough, you have probably had the experience where one day you visit the site and something is out of place or isn’t working exactly as it worked before.  Besides wondering how this happened, you probably want the issue fixed as quickly as possible.  This article will give you a couple of basic steps that will increase the likelihood of a quick resolution. This, in turn, should minimize any potential disruptions to your business operations and save you on support costs.

As for why your site is broken, there are a few common reasons:

  • Web browser, like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and others are continually updating which usually means new, improved features, but sometimes means broken sites, especially the older the site becomes.
  • Websites are built on layers of dependent software.  Changes within that stack can have an impact on your site when updates (security or otherwise) are applied.  However, Texas Creative’s testing procedures will catch most of this type of issue before it ever makes it to the live site.
  • Viewing the site in a browser version, device, and operating system combination that is not common or out-of-date can also impact how the site appears.
  • Your browser is caching a previous version of the site.  This is more likely during active development on the site.
  • Human error anywhere along to way from content editor to developer to system administrator.
  • Among others…

In order to resolve the issue, no matter the cause, there are some basic steps to complete.

Step 1 - Make sure your browser is loading the latest version of the site.  

Sometimes, when your site has had recent updates, your browser can still be holding onto an older version of the site in its local storage (cache). You can resolve this type of issue on your own by clearing your browser’s cache.

For a Desktop Browser

Hold down the <shift> key on the keyboard and click the browser’s reload/refresh button.
(Depending on your browser and operating system there are also various keyboard-only shortcuts.)

For a Mobile Device

You can press the reload key a few times or pull down on the browser window and hold it until it starts to reload, then let go. On some devices, you may need to quit the application completely to force it to reload the page properly.

Step 2 - Notify Texas Creative of the Issue.

Being able to recreate the issue ourselves is a prerequisite to finding a solution to the problem.  So there are a few pieces of information we will need from you to help us recreate the issue on our own computer systems. The time you spend getting this information will greatly reduce the time and cost of finding and fixing the issue.

Part 1 - The Technical Situation

We need to know as much as possible about the technical environment in which the problem occurred. This involves the operating system, browser, version, etc. Luckily there is an easy tool that you can use to provide us with everything we need to know about your device environment in one place.

  1. Go to http://www.whatsmybrowser.org/ 
  2. Copy the address that is displayed in the box beside the green button.
    Example: http://whatsmybrowser.org/b/FBW05JG
  3. Send that address to us when you report the issue.

Part 2 - Describe The Problem

Additionally, we need to know the specific steps required in the above environment to get the issue to occur. Provide as much of the following as possible:

  • Specific steps that can be taken to produce the issue. For example: On what page URL did it occur? What was clicked on and in what order?
  • Error messages received (if any).
  • Can the issue be reproduced or was it a one-time thing?
  • Were you logged in? If so, under which username?
  • (optional, but preferred in some situations) screenshot of what happened.

Problem Solved

Don’t be afraid to give us too much information. Too much is better than not enough.  

We need to be able to recreate the issue or at least pinpoint the situation that caused it in order to fix it. The more quickly we can reproduce the issue, the less time it will take to resolve the issue.


Check out these other posts from our web dev team:
3 Drupal Modules to Get SVGs into Your Content Types
Frosted Glass - HTML CSS TWEAKS
The Joys and Trials of Website Adoptions

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