Resources for Building Website Features and Troubleshooting Issues

Resources for Building Website Features and Troubleshooting Issues

For WordPress users and website build clients, most of the popular requested features that a client may want for their website can be achieved simply by adding another plugin, purchasing a new premium theme, or studying the documentation already available for your current themes and plugins. However, if you have clients with legacy code written in pure HTML, CSS, and JavaScript — with many coming from WYSIWYG editors like Muse or Dreamweaver — it can be difficult to build out new features or even style new SEO content. However, the web has great open source communities that freely share information, and tapping into these resources can be the difference between a happy client and a difficult conversation. Today we will review some of the resources available to solve web design challenges you may be facing on a website for a client or your own website for your own business.

Stack Overflow Network

Before Stack Overflow, the closest thing to a forum with freely available information was a website called expertsexchange.com which had struggled in the aftermath of the Dot-Com bubble bursting in the early 2000s, trying to convert a free information site into a paid model. While Experts Exchange still exists (now in hyphenated form), its traffic has been massively eclipsed by the Stack Exchange Network, with its flagship website Stack Overflow serving programming questions of all shapes and sizes. You will find there many of your questions for common features already asked and answered, and response times for new questions are relatively low, although be aware that duplicate questions and poorly conveyed questions may be removed due to strict policies in place moderated by community members.

Web Hosting Support Pages

In order to reduce customer support ticket volume, many hosting companies like InMotion, Digital Ocean, Linode, Dreamhost, and Vultr have put together strong sets of support pages for webmasters and administrators. System administration tends to be the focus for most of these pages, but you can often find answers to questions like why a contact form may be having issues sending email or basic web design resources as well.

Documentation and Example Websites

Documentation heavy websites like Mozilla’s developer resources website and Google’s support pages often can have answers to how some of the complex functionality may work behind the scenes for your websites, and you can visit websites like codepen.io and other example websites to see how others have implemented features under the hood with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Technology Publishers and Online Courses

For a bit more in depth information, technology publishers like Manning, O’Reilly, and Packt Publishing often have good books that cover advanced topics in-depth and give a fuller picture on how technology is to be used directly by a commissioned technology expert. There are also free and paid resources that cover topics as well by providers like freecodecamp, Udacity, Coursera, Udemy, Lynda, and many others.

 

Of course, if you have the means, you always have the option to hire someone to accomplish technology goals for you. Whether that is a quick freelance developer hired from Upwork or Mechanical Turk, or a more in-depth consulting arrangement with a company like Boston Web Marketing, this can be another strategy to address your web design issues.

 

Elliott Wu
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