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Business owners depend on their website to work round the clock. This is their cash register, where business transactions happen. So, what happens when your website theme goes wonky and stops updating?

First, don’t panic! OK, try to not panic! Your theme is a set of programming instructions with images, templates, forms, and coding. It works when WordPress and all the programming surrounding it works, and as long as your domain name is current.

Why won’t my theme update?

There are quite a few reasons why it may not be updating correctly or at all, including:

  • WordPress software is out of date;
  • a plugin (also a snippet of programming) could be interfering with either another plugin or the theme’s programming;
  • your firewall and/or security software may be set too high to allow the update;
  • the theme’s software may not be connecting properly to other programming files (i.e., PHP, jQuery);
  • the theme may have been abandoned by the author.

Next steps.

If you hired someone to help you keep your website updated, contact them right away. Include screenshots of the problem(s) if possible, and track any programming error messages you see on screen.

If you’re DIY:

  • Make sure your internet connection is being interrupted.
  • Check your firewall settings.
  • Make sure your WordPress software is up-to-date.
  • Deactivate all plugins, then add them back one at a time to help check for a conflict.
  • Check with your website hosting provider and make sure they haven’t updated the software on their servers.
  • If you bought your theme from ThemeForest or another provider, you can find out how to best contact the theme’s author for help, especially if you paid for extra support.

Another Theme??

When you’ve exhausted other possibilities, this may be the only solution left. It stinks to pay for another theme, especially if you weren’t in your current theme very long. It would be much, much worse to discover a “back door” had been created because the theme wouldn’t update, allowing a hacker easy access.

We recommend purchasing and downloading either Avada or Divi. Both come with quite a few demos, or packages, making a design update easier and without an additional purchase. Both utilize “blocks” or “containers” to control columns, fun features such as flip boxes, and text and image placements. Both themes have been around a long time, so the likelihood of the creator(s) abandoning either theme seems remote. There is a bit of a learning curve, though, but well worth the time.

URL who?

While you’re checking your website’s appearance and plugins, it couldn’t hurt to make sure your domain name isn’t in need of renewal. If you’ve hired a company to do this, they should tell you at least 60 days out that your domain name needs renewing. If it does need to be renewed, consider a 2-year renewal. This helps establish authority with Google in the sense that your business isn’t going to disappear anytime soon.

Final Thoughts.

Do the best you can. I know that sounds like a cop-out, but it’s not. You can do all the research and read all the reviews possible and this situation could still happen. Be aware, be consistent, and be vigilant. Ask your employees to check out your website from time to time to help you discover issues before visitors and prospects would. Work with your webmaster as you would a partner; both have the best interests of your website at heart, and a collaborative effort can help your website flourish to its fullest capabilities.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

Hashtags: #contentmarketing #websitetips #smallbusiness #visiblymedia

Written by Lisa Raymond

Lisa Raymond

Lisa Raymond is the owner of Visibly Media LLC, a marketing company specializing in social media and inbound marketing strategies. She has 20+ years background in print and website graphic design. Lisa is a member of the Social Media Marketing Society, AmSpirit Business Connections, and Toastmasters International. Lisa is a fanatic about sharing new ideas & tips about social media to business owners and has given presentations at both The Hive @ Central in Phoenix and THINKspot! in Mesa, as well as presented about social media to Toastmasters District 3. Lisa has been married to the love of her life, Michael, for over 25 years; she is a mom of 4 (two still at home, one a proud Marine!), and is a proud grandma of a beautiful granddaughter and grandson! Lisa is THE QUEEN in her realm of organized chaos!