How to troubleshoot a website

by Oluwatosin Alabi

Having trouble accessing and or navigating some websites? You’re not alone, it happens to the best of us. So, the next time it happens, here are some general-purpose troubleshooting steps that might help. They might not address every problem, but they’re some good “First steps” to take and they might as well just fix the problem straight away.

Refresh the page

Sometimes when you load a webpage for the first time, it doesn’t load properly. When this happens, the first thing to try should be reloading the page. Performing a complete refresh tells your web browser to try downloading and displaying the webpage’s assets again. Sometimes, this solves the problem.

Make sure Cookies are enabled

If that doesn’t work, the next step would be to check whether or not cookies are enabled. There are two types of cookies; the first party cookie and the third-party cookie.

You should only ever need “First-party cookies” enabled. (Firstparty cookies are directly stored by the website (or domain) you visit. These cookies allow website owners to collect analytics data, remember language settings, and perform other useful functions that provide a good user experience.) If these cookies aren’t enabled in your browser, you can try enabling them to see if it helps.

Third-party cookies” are usually used by advertisers and social network trackers, so you don’t have to enable them. But if you need to, you can check if Third-Party cookies are enabled as well.

Clear your cache and cookies

When your web browser loads a page, it uses cookies to store copies of the files from the page on your device (computer/phone). This helps speed up your browser’s loading time when visiting the site again because a copy of the page’s assets has been saved already and your browser doesn’t have to take the time to download them over again.

Normally, this is great because it saves your browser from having to keep re-downloading common elements of the site. However, if the collection of cached temporary files gets out of sync with the live website, it can cause problems. You can fix this by clearing your cache and cookies.

Make sure your web browser is up to date

If you’re using a very old web browser then you might have some trouble effectively accessing and navigating modern websites. Ensuring your web browser is updated is another way to troubleshoot improper page load.

Restart your web browser

It might sound strange that simply restarting your web browser might solve the problem you’re having with a website, but web browsers do occasionally get things twisted. We’ve found that restarting them is a simple and effective way of going back to clean the slate, so you should also give that a go.

Try a different web browser

Web browsers are not created equally. Some browsers have more features which makes them compatible with more websites than others. So, if certain web pages aren’t working properly in your browser, and you’ve tried all the steps we’ve listed above, your last bet would be trying another browser. Oftentimes, the problem is with the browser so switching will be an effective fix.

Give these guides a go and let us know if they solve the problems you’re facing. We look forward to hearing that they did. Thanks for sticking around.

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