Are orders not coming through? Angry customers filing for complaints? Every website owner must have experience dealing with these kinds of problems at some point in their life, and it’s useful if you know how you would handle these types of situations and resolve them as soon as possible. This is where knowing how to “debug” is a useful skill to have. Here are the steps that you should take to debug a general problem by yourself.
Step 1 – Put your website into maintenance mode.
This would depend on what kind of issue you are having, but ideally, you do not want your customers to see your site while you are working on a topic. You can use a third-party maintenance plugin like this. Maintenance by WP Maintenance (for free) or any plugin that has the same feature.
Most of these plugins would have a simple interface in their plugin settings where a simple button can set your site into maintenance mode. If you use the plugin recommended above, you should enable maintenance mode with a click of a button from the maintenance settings.
Maintenance mode is off (your website is accessible by your visitors)
Maintenance mode is ON (your website restricts access from visitors)
Your site will look something like this when your visitors access it:
What’s great about this maintenance plugin is that you can change how your maintenance page looks like. You can see these options from its dashboard.
Step 2 – Create a backup of your site.
I can’t count how many times a backup has saved the day, and it’s better to have backups of your site regularly so that in case something went wrong, you can pull the switch and restore your website to its former glory.
There are two options that you can take to back up your site.
You can use a third-party plugin to backup.
Updraft is one of the most popular backup plugins that you could try out. It has a free and a pro version with added features.
If you like to take it for a spin, here’s their plugin page, and here is their FAQ in case you need to know how to use
You can ask your hosting provider to back up.
Hosting providers do have the feature to back up a site as regularly as possible. Drop them an email, and they’ll be more than happy to do it for you. Once you are done putting your site into maintenance mode and backing up your site, it’s time to dive in and investigate!
Step 3 – Identify the problem.
Before starting our quest to find the cause of the issue, it’s essential to know what kind of problem are we dealing with. Is the problem consistently reproducible? Does the issue happen on other browsers?
The more you understand the issue and how it works, the easier it is to resolve it.
Step 4 – Check our troubleshooting guide.
Let’s say, for example, the issue is that once a customer had tried to purchase the order, it does not allow him to continue, and an error would appear. You can then refer to our documentation and check the troubleshooting guide to the plugin that you had trouble with, respectively.
Most of the time, the issue is caused by steps that had been done incorrectly. It’s recommended that you make sure to follow the setup guide from our documentation strictly. Once you have made sure to follow the setup guide, test the issue and see if it persists. If it does, move on to the next step.
Step 5 – Check for plugin and theme conflicts.
There’s a plethora of WordPress plugins and themes out in the market made by different teams of developers and built differently. It’s no surprise that there may be a conflict between these products from time to time. If you have encountered an issue with our products, the next thing to do is to disable all non-related We are AG plugins on your site. Make sure to leave the WooCommerce plugin activated.
You can deactivate your plugins from your WordPress Admin dashboard > Plugins > Installed Plugins > click deactivate.
If none of the plugins were the cause of the issue, it might be the theme,
You would need to change your theme to the default WordPress theme – Storefront (free plugin), which ensures 100% compatibility between our products and WooCommerce.
Once you have the StoreFront theme installed, navigate from your WordPress Admin dashboard > Appearance > Themes > Hover on the StoreFront theme and click activate.
If you have found out that a particular plugin or theme is causing the issue, the next step would be reaching out to the respective plugin or theme developer to sort out the incompatibility.
What if I still wasn’t able to find out the main cause of the issue?
The problem may indeed be much complex than expected, but you can always contact our support team, and one of our friendly support team members will sort out these issues for you, but before you do that, please do bring back everything to what it was before, start with activating the previously deactivated plugins or change your theme to your original theme.
When getting in touch with our support team, it would be great if you could provide us.
(1) a detailed description of the issue.
(2) steps on how to replicate it (with screenshots or a screen recording).
(3) what are the steps that you have attempted
(4) provide the WooCommerce Status report as seen here.
(5) if possible, login credentials for your site and the payment gateway. You can provide them securely, as seen here.
If you have provided the above, our support team would better handle the issue for you much easier and even faster to reduce the number of back and forths between our team and yours.
I hope that helps you learn how to debug.