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Troubleshooting WordPress Problems

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wordpress-logo-200It’s what every blogger fears. Something has gone wrong with their blog. It could be something minor, such as, as with my case, excerpts not working, or it could be something major, such as the site’s home page being nothing more than an error.

This is not the time to panic. Most problems with WordPress are easily corrected but there is a very real risk that, by attempting to fix the problem through the wrong methods, you may do more damage than the issue itself.

So take a deep breath and start troubleshooting the problem. To best do that, you have to first understand exactly what is going on and then take precautions to prevent the problem from getting worse before you take any additional steps. Fortunately, the process is actually fairly easy and most of it can be done by just about anyone.

Step 1: Understand the Problem

The first step is always to try and figure out exactly what is going on. If you get an error message, search for it using Google. Odds are you are not the first to see the error and you’ll likely find some good resources that explain the problem and how to fix it. Pay special attention to any results that come from the WordPress.org forums as they are likely going to be your best resources.

This should help you deal with any of the common mistakes. Issues such as bad database passwords and so forth are common enough that a quick Google search can find both the problem and the solution.

If you don’t have a specific error message, meaning that something is simply going wrong, try to replicate the problem and test different scenarios. If it is a problem in the admin panel, try logging in from different accounts. If it is a problem with posting comments, try logging in as yourself and posting as well as posting as a stranger.

When you think you understand the exact problem, try describing the symptoms in a Google search and see what you find. Even if you aren’t successful, you will still have a better handle on the problem and can better diagnose it down the road.

2. Consider the Changes

Next, think about if you’ve done anything to your site recently that might have triggered the problem. Especially with obscure problems, it may have taken you a few days to notice the issue so be prepared to stretch your memory in those cases. Here’s a list of some of the more common things that can trigger problems in WordPress.

  1. Updating WordPress Itself
  2. Installing/Updating Plugins
  3. Changing a Setting
  4. Moving to a New Host
  5. Switching Themes

In short, anything you did to alter or change your WordPress install any way, including many things that seem innocent, can cause problems. This is why it is important to keep track of what you’re doing in case something goes wrong.

3. Backup

By now you probably have either figured out what likely caused the problem or what the more common solutions via your searching. Either way, you’re probably ready to take some kind of action but, before you do, it is worthwhile to take a moment to backup.

If you don’t have a good, recent backup of your site it is imperative that you make one now. Specifically, you need to make sure you have a copy of your WP-Content directory, specifically your plugins, themes and uploads folders, as well as a copy of your database, which will likely be obtained from your Web host’s control panel.

Even though your site isn’t working perfectly, there is likely still plenty of useful data that may be in danger of being overwritten.

4. Follow Advice from Steps 1 & 2

If you got a tip on how to resolve an issue from one of your searches or can think of something that you did recently and can easily undo, take that step now. This can include following directions on the WordPress forums, deactivating a plugin you recently installed or reverting back to an old theme.

If any of these things fix the issue, you at least know what caused the problem and can move forward without it, at least until the problem is patched.

5. Check Your Plugins

If there was no help available, your recent action couldn’t be easily undone (such as with a WordPress upgrade) or the steps didn’t solve your problem, a good place to start looking is your plugins.

Deactivate all of your plugins and see if that corrects the problem. If you can’t access the admin panel, you can use FTP to rename the plugin directory temporarily. If that fixes the problem, then you can assume it is one of your plugins creating the issue. You can then reactivate one plugin at a time until the problem resurfaces, letting you know which plugin is causing the problem.

These types of issues are especially common after WordPress updates its core files as many plugins have compatibility issues with new versions. Once you have everything working, you can check to see if there are any updates for your plugins that may address the issue.

6. Check Your Database

Using your site’s control panel, open up your database and, if possible, perform a “repair” on it. This will fix any errors in the database and ensure that everything is running as smoothly as possible. This should only take a few moments on a large database and is relatively safe to do. However, once again, it is important to have a backup available in case data is lost.

7. Reinstall WordPress

If it is not a plugin issue, then you may want to make sure you have a good clean install of WordPress, especially if you just did an upgrade. Sometimes core files can become corrupted and create some odd errors. Download a new copy from WordPress’s site and upload it via FTP.

Generally this is safe to do with a good FTP program, but it is especially important to have your backup ready in the event something goes wrong.

8. Ask for Help

Nearly all WordPress problems are beaten by this point but, in the event you’ve gotten to this point and nothing has worked, it is time to ask for help. I would submit a post to the official WordPress forums and get the help of the gurus there. If your problem seems to be related to a specific theme or plugin, you should probably ask your question on its site.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to do so publicly. Remember, if others were hesitant to ask for help in the public sphere, there would be no results for others to search for.

In short, by asking for help and discussing your problem on a public site, you’re assisting those who follow you to find the answer they seek. They find the answer faster and the same question doesn’t have to be asked hundreds of times.

Bottom Line

If you’ve got a WordPress problem, the most important thing is to not panic. Most of the problems can be easily addressed though, if you go in and start tearing things apart right off the bat, you may damage your site in ways that can’t be repaired.

Taking your time and being methodical will not only help you get your site online faster, but ensure that it’s available for a long time to come.

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Blogging

Stop Complaining and Turn it into a Blog Post

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I spent the prior 10 seconds scrolling through my Instagram comments.

After reading a “This looks good” comment in response to a grainy video – obvious spam, intended for an eye-popping image – I chose to create a video and write this post. 2 pieces of blog content. Versus minutes of silly complaining.

Being human, I may feel slightly annoyed after reading my 5th spam comment in a row, this morning. But after a quick vent, I create helpful content, to teach bloggers what not to do, in order to succeed online.

Check out this eBook:

How to Turn Harsh Blogging Criticism into Sweet Blogging Profits: 11 Tips

I wrote the eBook to address a pressing problem among bloggers. We all have a right to vent for a bit but sustained complaining:

  • wastes your creative energies
  • sullies your brand image
  • damages your online reputation

I wrote the eBook to help you turn your complaints, sometimes in the form of rough blogging criticism, into blogging profits. Converting a complaint into content is 1 easy way to prosper in such fashion.

Benefits

Help yourself. Help your readers.

Watch this short Instagram video:

Be Genuine on Instagram

I gained a few quick views on Instagram. Benefits me. I promoted my eBook at the end of the video, offering myself eBook exposure. I help my readers by showing them what works on Instagram; being genuine, being honest and being authentic. I also explain what not to do, to help folks avoid wasting their time with spammy, low quality, non genuine comments.

I turned a potential complaint into a creation. I converted a low energy situation into a high energy situation. I likely gained blog traffic and maybe boost my blogging profits, too.

I also align with grateful, high energy bloggers like Sue-Ann Bubacz Mapping Megan and Mike Allton by raising my energy. Complaining routinely moves you lower in blogging circles. Being grateful, creative and helpful moves you higher in blogging circles.

Practical Tips

The next time you feel an urge to complain about something, turn the complaint into a creation.

  • write a blog post
  • write a guest post
  • record a podcast
  • record a video
  • broadcast live on Facebook
  • write a bite-sized eBook

Your readers will thank you. Plus, you will thank yourself.

We know complaints can sprout from all corners of the web. Here are common occurrences which tend to trigger complaints:

  • spam comments on your blog
  • spam comments on social media
  • spam emails
  • spam social media messages
  • bloggers pitching you their products and services without building relationships first
  • cheapie bloggers or business owners who want to place sponsored posts on your blog for 5 or 10 USD
  • unhappy, unclear folks who post terrible reviews on your eBooks based on their misery

I recall the last bullet point experience goaded me to write my eBook. A few listeners of my audio books and eBook readers posted sarcastic, biting reviews of both audio books and eBooks I self-published. Rather than complain or whine about the feedback I saw the criticism for what it was; the projection of an unhappy person who spoke 100% about self and 0% about me. All of my creations are clearly me, and what I did to co-create this life of island hopping through smart blogging. If anybody is insane enough to post a negative review on my clear, genuine creations, it is like saying:

“Hey Ryan, I was there every step of the way, watching you in paradise, stalking you behind your laptop, and you did a terrible job sharing your real experience!”

The only person on earth who could post a somewhat honest review is my wife Kelli; even she was not in my head or watching every one of my steps as I co-created this life with my readers. She was too busy building her own thriving business. No human was there to record everything, save me, and since I share it all in a genuine, clear way, any negative reviewer is deluded, and somewhat insane.

Few bloggers have this clarity or authenticity in what they do because they either are filled with fear and doubt, or hold back what they know. I have no such problems.

These are a few potential triggers, guys. I share to alert you to potential rants or sustained complaints before the negative energy seems to run away with your attention for a few minutes, hours or days.

Vent wholly, quickly and completely. Then convert the complaint into blog content. Everybody wins. Even the spammer.

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What Is the Mushroom Service Effect and How Does it Increases Profits?

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Service leads to sales.

Every eBook I sell is the effect of a service cause. Many of my eBook customers received my direct help. Maybe I commented genuinely on their blog. Perhaps I mentioned them on my blog or on Blogging Tips. Maybe I retweeted their post. Or maybe I helped these people for weeks or months without asking for anything in return.

Some of these bloggers purchase my eBooks. I see increased blogging profits. Some promote my eBooks to their readers, leading to increased blogging profits. Some of those readers promote the eBook to their readers; can you see the mushroom service effect in action? I keep helping people in various ways, expect nothing, and my generous service reverberates, mushrooming into increased sales.

What happens as I help more folks by creating content and by promoting fellow bloggers? More bloggers promote me, link to me, boost my backlink juice, and Blogging From Paradise becomes more prominent on Google. Search engine traffic increases my blogging profits. More mushrooming.

You never go wrong helping people generously because every creative act prospers you and others, now, next week or 3 years down the road.

My friend Alonzo Pichardo helps people generously and gives little thought to content once he publishes posts, videos and podcasts. He lets the content do what it does. His profits keep increasing but even more than that, he keeps moving higher and higher in networking circles as his generosity increases his influence. More mushrooming.

Visualize This

Imagine a still pond. Now imagine dropping a tiny pebble into a still pond. Waves reverberate as far as the water reaches. 10 inches, or 10,000 miles, literally, nothing can stop the waves from traveling outward, even if the waves are faint, or are barely detectable, after traveling for a while.

Now imagine dropping 100 tiny pebbles over a few weeks. Wow. You really see waves kicking at that point. Subtle, slow and controlled, but super noticeable.

The pond is your blogging niche. The stillness of the pond is your calm, peaceful, generous, detached intent, your energy, your relaxed mindset. The pebbles are pieces of content, aka, service. Plus, one pebble can represent:

  • every time you promote another blogger through a blog post on your blog
  • every time you promote another blogger through a guest post
  • every time you retweet another blogger
  • every time you share another blogger’s post on Facebook

The waves are your influence, your service, and, this is the mushrooming effect leading to greater blogging profits.

Guys; expect nothing. I promote valued blogging resources like the talented, generous and heart-centered Tanyi at Blog Tools Corner to give, not to get. The less I expect anything to happen, the more good things and awesome people flow to me.

Give freely, persistently, receive easily.

Enstine Muki provides you with generous tips to make money online, via his blog. He helps bloggers freely. Of course his blogging profits mushroom through his generous service, increasing through his friend network, through Google and through mentions on my blog, on Blogging Tips and in thousands of other spots.

Keep helping people freely. Expect nothing. Eventually, over time, if you are patient, your traffic and profits begin to mushroom exponentially.

Look at Tim Ferriss’ latest blog post. He is a multi millionaire and one of the most famous entrepreneurs on earth because he serves people generously. Note how many backlinks he gives to other bloggers and entrepreneurs through his latest post; that’s generosity! That’s an abundance mindset in action. Most bloggers feel terrified to give out a single backlink to another blogger for fear of losing profits, wrongly believing people will click on the other blogger’s link and not click on their business links. Tim links out to 20, 30 or 40 people or resources for every blog post.

Any wonder why the dude is so incredibly successful and prospering?

He employs the mushroom service effect like few entrepreneurs on earth.

Help people!

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4 Ways to Become More Detached from Blogging Outcomes

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See that throwback featured image of me in Phuket, Thailand?

I became a globe trotting pro blogger in part through the power of detachment.

Blogging outcomes weigh you down and slow your blogging growth, if you are not careful.

Many bloggers mean well but are so obsessed with every view, Like, comment, share and dollar that they either struggle horribly or hold back stunning blogging success. How could I write over 100 eBooks if I obsessed with sales from my first eBook? How could I write 600 posts on Blogging Tips alone if I obsessed over metrics?

Eye-popping success finds largely detached, generous bloggers.

Follow these tips to become more detached from blogging outcomes.

1: Help More Ask Less

If you want blog comments, comment on other blogs.

Want blog traffic? Promote other bloggers.

Help bloggers to detach from your needs and to see greater success. Ask less and less for shares, comments and views, to detach from outcomes. Success finds generous bloggers.

2: Mention 2-5 Successful Bloggers Via All Posts

I recall focusing heavily on blogging profits early during my career. I linked to an ad or affiliate product once per post and linked to nothing else, obsessing over sales, attaching to outcomes. I gradually promoted other bloggers over years. Now I promote 2 to 5 bloggers virtually every post. I think more of helping them and less of helping me.

Corey Hinde promoted me tirelessly over years. He mentions me regularly. Jan Verhoeff does too. Each blogger detaches from their own needs to help other bloggers, accelerating their online success.

3: Manage Your Energy

Attachment is fear. Managing your energy helps you:

  • face fear
  • feel fear
  • release fear
  • dissolve attachments

I do 80 minutes of deep yin yoga daily. Plus I jog or walk for 45-60 minutes daily. Meditating helps too.

Managing your energy rocks because so many bloggers cling deeply to fear-attachments, to stats and money and to clients and blogging buddies, and need a daily ritual to unearth and release these attachments. I strongly suggest deep yin yoga because it helps you become comfortable. Big time quality developed by all generous, pretty darn detached, bloggers.

Don Smith shares personal growth and energy shifting gems on his blog. My wife Kelli Cooper does too at Life Made to Order.

4: BE with Your Fear

I vividly recall sitting and BEING with my fear each time I checked my blogging inbox. I felt a general not enough energy pervade my being. Panic then ran through my body. Anger. Pain. Grief, at time lost. All fears reflected heavy attachments to:

  • money
  • list subscribers
  • traffic
  • fame

I totally believed I should have been further along at these points during my blogging career. Turns out, I was at the perfect place and time to feel deep fears, to dissolve attachments and to proceed from a generous, genuine, pretty detached, patient and persistent space.

Fighting fear only makes attachments grow. Not checking email for weeks because you feel terrified to check email makes the fear and attachment grow. But checking email hourly because you feel terrified that you:

  • will miss out on clients
  • are not making enough money, and need to check and see if you are making any aka enough money, yet

reflects your attachment to you. Ya know; “How am I doing-itis.” Check stats, check email, all the time, because you fear to see how you are doing.

Feel fear behind any strategy driven by fear. Let the fear go. Dissolve the attachment.

I check email here and there, never being attached to it. Email is not the source of my blogging success.

Treat blogging outcomes like mile markers on a highway, when you whiz by at 80 MPH. Note the stat for a few seconds and either move in a different direction or charge forward, based on how you feel about the stat, and what the feeling suggests to you.

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