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Even the best of websites suffer problems from time-to-time. Thankfully, if you’ve chosen a decent quality web designer any significant problems will be unearthed during the testing phase. However, when there is a problem with your website it’s important to fix it as soon as possible—no matter how small the issue may seem.

The majority of the time, clients will come to me and simply say “my website isn’t working”. Of course, it’s just as hard to locate the problem with this information as presenting a car to a mechanic and just saying “it needs fixing”. There are 1,001 things it could be.

Of course, if you’re not technically savvy as indeed most website owners aren’t (if you were that good with websites, you’d fix it yourself!), then you may find it difficult to report the website problem to your developer with any decent level of detail. Here I outline a few tips to help you. 

Eliminate a few things first

So as not to send your developer off on a wild goose chase try to check that the problem is with the website itself. It might sound obvious but check things like your Internet connection. Can you access other websites? I often get people asking me for their email passwords even though I didn’t set the email up. Also, try reloading the web page a few times; sometimes you can experience a “one-off” glitch where your connection dropped, the web server was being rebooted or something more esoteric.

In what way is the site is affected?

Is the entire site not working or just a single page or section? Is the site just slow or is it just a blank page loading? Is there a specific error code being reported?


Are you using Windows, a Mac or a smartphone? Give as much detail as you can as it helps diagnose the problem faster.


Your browser is the program that allows you to view web pages (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari). If you are experiencing an aesthetic problem with the site, it is extremely useful to know the browser and the version number.

Screenshot/email web page

If you know how to, take a screenshot. A screenshot simply saves what you are currently seeing on your computer to an image file; take a screenshot and email it to your web developer. Alternatively, you can use your browser to email the contents of a web page. How you do this depends on your computer and browser so please refer to an appropriate Google search for more information.

What were you doing when the problem happened?

It can be extremely useful to a web developer to know the answer to this question. What page were you on? And if you were interacting with the website (e.g. filling out a form, uploading an image), what information were you sending to the site?

If you need a website call me on 07843 483 078 or get a free quote online.

Tim Bennett is a web designer and developer. He has a First Class Honours degree in Computing from Leeds Metropolitan University and currently runs his own one-man web design company, Texelate.