It has happened to everyone, at least once. You are experiencing a problem on your WordPress website. A new plugin that conflicts with your installation, a custom code that you incorrectly added to the functions.php file (if you run a theme). Whatever might go wrong, can do and sometimes does. In that moment, we find ourselves sweating bullets because we think we have broken our website. Newcomers to WordPress and development in general may even freak out a little bit. But when you have come to the end of your options, inevitably everyone looks around for help.
Unfortunately, WordPress does not have a phone number to call for help, nor a plugin to install and fix everything instantly. As with many activities, there is always a bad (poor) and a good (effective) way to do things. And seeking help with WordPress is no exception. If you find yourself stuck with your WordPress get in touch and lets see how we can help.
Otherwise, lets explore other options first.
Most likely due to something you have directly done, things went wrong, and you are experiencing some problems. Before seeking help right away, you should try to understand what caused the problem and try to think back to what you did right before it happened. Most common problems can fall under one of these categories: WordPress fails to update a Plugin which conflicts with other plugins. Or themes (sometimes free ones) don't update properly or are way out of date and break with incorrect syntax or missing secitions of code. Trying to understand what your last action was prior to WordPress breaking can set you in the right direction to a) deactive/delete/reverse your last action or b) share your current situation more accurately with other WordPress users. Knowledge is power, and it is more important than ever when things go wrong.
If you recently installed or updated a plugin or theme and noticed some unexpected behavior, turn off all your plugins and activate the latest default WordPress theme (such as Twenty nineteen) to "reset" your website. If the issue goes away, you now know either your theme or one of your plugins is causing it.
One by one, start re-activating plugins until you find which one breaks your site. make a note of the version number and what functions it provides for your site. Deactivate it again then quickly browse your site and see what functionality is missing. Delete the plugin and either try re-installing it or find another plugin with similar functionality and go through the installation and integration process.
If your plugins are not the cause then move on to your theme. Are you running a child theme? If so, activate the parent theme. Does this fix it? If yes, create a new child theme and slowly copy the attributes from the old child theme to the new one. If no, activate a solid reliable theme from WordPress. At time of writing twenty nineteen is most current. If this works then you have a theme problem and should either contact the theme support or consider now a good time to install a new theme and revamp your site. If you are at this stage then give us a call first. We don't use themes in WordPress anymore but would be delighted to talk to you about how we can help you re-build your website into something modern, attractive and functional.
When things don't go as we expect, and there is some business urgency to it then we need to fix our broken WordPress site as quickly as possible. Its often the case that a broken website will have immediate effect on your business income or affect the perception of your business as a reliable entity. WordPress forums are the very first place you should start looking for tips on how to deal with your current issue. By using the "site: wordpress.org / support" operator+ your keyword, you can quickly browse through them even through Google. Or just search on any error messages you see. We often find that any results with Stack Overflow often can be very promising. But sometimes highly technical.
There is an old saying that goes something like "There is no such thing as a stupid question"... Well, be careful asking stupid questions on Stack Overflow! You'll likely get a fast negative rating and some verbal abuse along with it. That said, if you can get by without asking a question, which is often the case, there is a very good chance you'll find what you need to progress or resolve your issue.
The abundance of plugins is one of the greatest things about WordPress, but sometimes they are not compatible with the latest WordPress setup. So if you know something has happened because of a plugin, you should head over its official page in the repository of WordPress.org and look for the "FAQ" tab to see if your issue is listed. If there is nothing there and your need is not urgent, click on the "Support" tab and follow the prompts to raise an email/ticket with the plugin support team. If its a free plugin be prepared for little or no help. Although that's not always the case and we can recall plenty of instances where free plugin developers have been very helpful.
Look locally. WordPress is so popular you are bound to find people in your area that can help. Here in Hobart we have a WordPress Hobart User Group that can be found on Facebook and also via Meetup.com. These options can often be free. And they can also be a great way to meet other people in the WordPress community, share ideas, drink coffee and chat about all things web related. If you need an expert and are willing to pay then say this on the Facebook page and clearly state your problem. People will still try and help you for free, but you will also attract the attention of local professionals who make a living from this sort of thing.
You can also try one of these groups. First try searching to see if your question has already been answered. If not, give it a go and remember to clearly describe what your issue is along with what error messages (if any) are being reported.
If time is of the essence and you need someone quickly then try the facebook page for WordPress Hobart User Group and if you have no luck here, either give us a call or perform a keyword search in Google for WordPress support in Hobart. You will discover there is plenty of local talent to help you out.