Expert WordPress Solutions

So you can focus on running your business

Expert WordPress Solutions

Most Common WordPress Problems

Problem – Poor Performance

A slow website is the number one issue that will cause visitors to leave a website. Studies have shown that if users need to wait longer than three to five seconds for the website content to load, they’ll become frustrated and leave. Once they leave, most will never return. There are numerous things that cause slow loading, ranging from too many plugins, slow theme, wrong image sizes, poor web hosting package, and poorly written custom code.

Page loading time one of the page ranking factors used by Google. A faster website tends to rank higher in with search engines. Google says that a poor user experience is directly related to a slow performing website.

Poorly Performing Website

Figure 1 – Results from a poorly performing website.

Solution – Website Optimization

We do a deep dive into discovering what is causing a website to load slowly. We examine the number of plugins installed (some plugins are known performance hogs), which temes is activated (we typically use an optimized Divi them but there are others that are fast loading), any custom coding (not all custom code is written with perforamce in mind, web hosting (most shared web hosting packages are not optimized for WordPress – looking at you GoDaddy).

Once we finish our discovery process, we implement an optimization plan to improve the page loading speed of your website. A fast website helps improve the visitor experience.

Website Performance Report

Figure 2 – Performance report after website optimization.

Problem – Hacked Site/Poor Security Issues

Website security is something that often gets overlooked, until a hacker gains access to your website. We receive numerous phone calls and emails from panicked business owners saying they have been hacked. Sometimes, the hack is merely cosmetic (changed the content of the website) and other times, the website is not functioning at all, is redirecting to a different website, is sending out spam email and the domain has been blacklisted, or they are locked out of the website. Hackers are known to attack vulnerabilities of WordPress, most often they get in through old or abandoned plugins, older WordPress versions, and outdated themes.

 

Solution – Website Hardening

The first step is gain access to the backend (we have different ways of getting into a WordPress website through FTP, cPanel, File Manager, etc). Next, we take a copy of the website and download it to our isolated local web server. Then we dig into what the hack actually is, most times it is just malware installed in a WordPress directory or actual code changes to WordPress files. We remove the hacked content, fix how the hacker gained access in the first place, then we harden the website with Wordfence (the world’s best security platform). We regularily monitor the website looking for further hacking attempts and locking out potential hackers.

Problem – Plugin Update Breaks Website

WordPress does not have a built in updating system. As WordPress is a self-hosted solution, website owners are expected to handle updates on their own.  Sometimes, WordPress will force a core update to run (most times due to a known security issue and they will push a fix). Other times, themes and plugins will release updates that are not throughly tested. When a compatibility issue is introduced into a WordPress website, the effects can range from a plugin not functioning properly to the whole website refusing to work and visitors are presented a blank screen.

Website owners want to update WordPress, the theme, and all plugins. But they are afraid the update will break something break that they’re incapable of fixing. Because updates have a likelihood of breaking a website, owners tend to leave their website as is, which leads to potential security issues.

 

Solution – Planned Regular Update Program

We use a multi step process to update our client’s WordPress websites. The process starts with making a full backup of the website (sometimes we break websites when updating so we always make a backup). For websites that have not been updated in a while, we will install a copy of the website on our local testing server. We then run the update process following a set routing (plugins, themes, WordPress core). We look for plugins that have been abandoned and find suitable replacements. Finally, we do several tests on different PHP versions to see if we can gain a performance improvement from a newer version of PHP.

When we have the local version of the website fully updated and tested, we run the updates on the live website (most often the updates are run after hours to limit the amount of downtime experienced while updating). We recommend setting up a regular schedule for updating WordPress.

Problem – No Backup

WordPress does not have a built in backup system. Most shared hosting platforms also do not provide regular backups. Some hosting platforms will provide a system backup but they store the backup on the same server. The problem we see most is a website goes down and we ask where the latest backup is stored so we can do a recovery. Most times, the answer is we don’t have a backup system.

If the backup is stored on the same server, if the server goes down and the live site and the backup can be gone. This happened to the OVH data centre in France that caught fire and their backups were in the same data centre. Some websites were down for months, and some had to be rebuilt from scratch.

 

Solution – Regular Backup Schedule

This solution is fairly simple, make regular backups and store the backup on a third-party location like Dropbox of Amazon Web Services file system. We set up a regular backup schedule (based on how often the website changes – static websites can be monthly while e-commerce websites can be full weekly backups with hourly database backups). Our backups are then encrypted and safely stored offline.

Once we have a successful backup system started, we will regularly do a test recovery on our local testing server. Not being able to recover a website from a backup is almost as bad as having no backup at all. We will test backup recovery as part of our regular website backup service.

Need help with WordPress?

Our Most Common Solution Packages

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Security Package

Are you worried about hackers trying to break in to your website? We conduct a website security audit, lock-down WordPress, monitor hacking attempts, lock out hackers, add extra security with Multi-factor Authentication and install WooCommerce Anti-fraud protection.

$49.99 CAD/month

Backup Package

Want the peace of mind knowing that your website is fully backed up? We will create regular backups of your website and store them in our secure offsite storage location. We use off-site location because you should not store your WordPress backups on the same server you are hosting your website on.

$49.99 CAD/month

Update Package

Want to stay on top of all the plugin, theme, and core updates? We’ve got you covered with our WordPress Update Package. We put your website updates on a regular schedule, remove any unnecessary themes and plugins, and replace abandonned themes plugins.

$49.99 CAD/month

Statistics Package

Do you want to know how your WordPress website is performing? We will install and set up Google Analytics on your WordPress website and provide regular monthly reporting (along with recommendations for improvement).

$49.99 CAD/month

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Optimization Package

Are you worried about a slow website? We will speed up page loading for improved visitor experience, optimize images to proper sizing, implement effecting caching option, and confirm optimization through GTMetrix reporting.

$49.99 CAD/month

Bundle and Save Even More

Any 3 packages for $99.99 CAD/month

All 5 packages for $149.99 CAD/month

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What Our Clients Say

I am very happy to have your expertise available so quickly. Was fantastic to have you available for all the updates & changes over the 2022 season.

– Darryl

Thank you so much for being there for me and for providing such a great support.”

– Nina

“Thank you for being such a great guy! I absolutely love working with you!

– Troy

“Barry’s knowledge of website development helps to drive new clients to our website. He’s always prompt and efficient whenever we need changes.”

– Grant

“So professional and explains everything (tech is not my thing).”

– Debbie

“Been dealing with Barry for a few years now and I totally recommend his services.”

– Dominic

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