"HELP: ____ ISN'T WORKING!"
Whether we built your website, host your website or haven't had the privilege of doing either for you yet, please know that whatever issue you're experiencing, we want to help you solve the problem.
We understand that these things have a way of inducing panic, which leads us to our first and most important step:
Step 1: Don't panic!
If something isn't working, we ask that you please take a moment to provide a few key details which will help us to quickly and accurately troubleshoot the problem.
Failure to provide these details may result in a series of time-consuming, back-and-forth emails, to the extent that we're unable to locate or replicate the observed issue(s) ourselves.
Step 2: Check your email, or our Twitter handle
In the unlikely event that we are experiencing a known outage, we'll provide any details via email and Twitter.
Step 3: Take a moment to rule out your browser, your device and your network
It's entirely possible that your browser, your device or your network are causing or contributing to the problem.
For example, you can:
- Try clearing your browser's cache and cookies.
- Try a different browser.
- Try a different website.
- Try a different device.
- Try a different network.
Taken in combination, if you're able to access other websites and a change in browser, device and network doesn't make a difference, then these facts suggest that the issue is indeed with the website itself.
Conversely, if you're unable to pull up other websites altogether, or if a change in browser, device or network does make a difference, then these facts suggest that the issue is not a fault of the website itself.
Step 4: Be as specific as possible
Please take a moment to include any and all relevant details, including:
- Links to the page or page(s) on which the issue is occurring. Is it happening on each and every page? Or does it seem limited to a subset of them?
- Any steps taken prior to the issue occurring (to help us reproduce it). Is it happening all of the time for all users? Or does it seem to be triggered by a specific series of actions?
- When was the last time it functioned as you would expect it to? Certainly, it's okay if you're not sure, but if you know for a fact that it was working two days ago, then this piece of information can help us to isolate the issue.
Step 5: Include any screenshots or screencasts
You can also use Loom to quickly record a video of your screen which can be shared to us.
Please understand that we do not want to make it difficult for you to obtain the help you require. The continuous health and efficacy of your website is of the utmost importance to us.
On the contrary, we ask you to undertake these steps -- to the extent possible -- prior to reaching out, because they will help us to achieve a rapid and accurate resolution.
Of course, if in doubt, please don't hesitate to just reach out.
In summary, "I did X on Y page and then Z happened" is much more helpful than "my blog is broken".
- Don't panic!
- Check your email or our Twitter handle for details.
- Take a moment to rule out your browser, your device and your network as the source of an issue.
- Please provide as many relevant details as possible; "I did X on Y page and then Z happened" is much more helpful than "my blog is broken".
- Include screenshots or screencasts.