Is your website down? Or does it load slowly? Are you on the first page of Google? Or has your domain name expired?

Because we create and manage hundreds of websites, we hear from lots of clients about their website issues in managing and getting the most value from their websites.

So here are the 25 most common website problems and solutions we come across.

My website is down

So let’s address website problem number 1. Your website being down is probably the worst of the problems listed that you might encounter. The whole essence of your site is to be accessible 24/7, not taking a break every now and then.

Dinghy on land
A website that isn’t online is like a ship that isn’t in water.

Sadly though, there’s probably no website in the world that has a 100% uptime record, not even the giants like Google, Microsoft and Amazon can claim that.

What’s important is for you to find out as quickly as possible why your site is down, and how to fix the website issues or get it back online with the least amount of fuss.

But where do you start your search from? How do you troubleshoot your website being down? The various factors that will take down a site and keep it down include:

We have that covered completely in our article: My Website Is Down or you can click the specific sections above.

My website has been hacked

The saddest reason to have your website offline is due to hacking activity.

If your site has been hacked, you’re probably going to notice something funny or very odd when you visit your domain. It could manifest as a redirect to a different website, or an actual message informing you that you’ve been hacked, or a new tab opening up when you click on certain links, showing unrelated ads, etc.

A hacker infiltrating your website can cause a tremendous amount of havoc on so many levels, it’s something you best want to avoid as much as possible instead of trying to remedy after the damage has been done. As they say, prevention is better than cure.

So before you ever (hopefully never) encounter a hacked website, you should take the needed precautions. Here are 9 important steps to take:

You can read our full article on 9 Website Security Tips To Protect You From Hackers for more information on that.

My website has been suspended

Account suspended

One reason why your website might inaccessible may be the result of a suspension. If you breech the terms and conditions of your hosting provider, your site or entire hosting account can be suspended and your website taken offline.

Some of the reasons why your hosting provider might suspend your website include:

Unpaid bill or invoice

This is the most common. If you haven’t paid your hosting bill in a while, your website will be offline, usually in less than 5 days of missing your payment.

You probably should look into this one quickly because having a suspended site for a sufficient period of time might lead to it being deleted entirely. (Hopefully if you have a website backup, you will at least not lose all your hard work.)

Whilst most hosting providers alert you in advance of a bill payment, this is a courtesy they are doing and won’t make any difference if you forget to pay your bill and miss your payment.

Email alerts can fall in spam boxes, text alerts can be mis-routed by your network, so always know when your hosting bill is due and ideally make sure you pay that well in advance of the due date.

Excessive server resource usage


Many hosting companies may promise you unlimited storage, unlimited domains, unlimited bandwidth, etc. But one thing they’ll never promise you is unlimited server resources or CPU.

Server resource usage is something highly elusive because many hosting providers don’t give you a way to track or measure that if you’re on a shared hosting package.

And without warning, you get an email from your hosting provider that your site has been throttled or suspended for exceeding server resources for too long.

Abusing CPU Resources

If you only experienced a throttling, it means your hosting provider is being nice and they’ve artificially slowed down access to your site in order to limit it’s server usage.

In such a case, this gives you the opportunity to make adjustments to your site to lessen its resource usage. One of the most effective ways of doing that is enabling caching systems. Another is to disable high intensive plugins like live chats, audio and video streaming, etc.

On the other hand, if you aren’t able to make adjustments, this can lead to an outright suspension meaning you’re going to require an upgrade of your package before your website will come online.

Copyright infringement complaint, illegal activity, etc

Another time when your hosting company might suspend your website without even providing you a warning is when you host content on your website that is forbidden by them.

For example, the vast majority of hosting companies do not allow you to have content or information on your website that is prohibited by law. Having content on your site on how to hack into the CIA or FBI is something your host would quickly suspend you for.

On the other hand, seemingly innocent pictures of a product or brand can also get your website suspended. If your site sells replicas (or even originals) of brands like Gucci, Versace, Louis Vuitton or any other registered trademark without needed permission, those companies who own the trademarks can file a complaint with your hosting company and your site will be taken offline.

Website Suspension Due to Trademark Infringement

If you are blessed, your site can come back on by simply removing the infringing content. But if things get really serious, your host may not accept you back and you’ll have to find a new location to host your website.

My domain name expired and I cannot get it back

Losing a domain name is not too big of a deal for some people. This is probably because their website was never a valuable asset to them.

However if your domain name is worth $872 million like is, that’s going to be a really hard loss to recover from.

The reason why a domain name expires is because they are never owned outright. They are actually only ‘rented’ to you exclusively for a year’s duration. You can however ‘rent’ your domain for up to 10 years in advance.

If you forget to make a payment for your domain name, you are likely to come across a message on your website informing you that the domain name has expired. You’ll sometimes even find instructions on what to do to renew it.

Expired Domain names

If that’s the case and you have access to your domain name management console, simply move as fast as you can to log in and renew it. If your domain name is managed by your website designer, then it’ll be a matter of alerting him/her and making a payment for its renewal, if required.

Once your domain is renewed, there may be some DNS resolution time and your site will be back up in just a few hours.

There are instances though when you can’t do any of the above and your domain name isn’t yet recoverable. Let’s take a look at those scenarios.

Domain is in redemption phase

When a domain name expires, it usually enters a short ‘grace period’. Within this period, the original registrar of the domain (that would be you or your website designer) has the exclusive rights to renew the domain name.

This grace period is usually about 28 days long although the length is at the sole discretion of the registry for your domain.

GoDaddy for example provides only an 18 day grace period. (Registrars may have it in their terms and conditions that a grace period is not even guaranteed and they can terminate that grace period at any time they choose to for whatever reason.)

If you still do not renew your domain name after the grace period, it then goes into a new phase called redemption. In redemption, which can last about 3 weeks, you usually still have the exclusive right to renew your domain name, but with an added penalty or fee.

The redemption fees can range from between $80 to over $300, sometimes exclusive of the cost of the domain itself.

Domains in redemption

If your domain name has landed itself in the redemption phase, you now have to consider how much it’s worth to you and whether you’re willing to pay the penalties to get it back.

Two things can happen if you choose not to pay the redemption fee. In the first scenario, nothing bad happens. No one buys your domain, it exits the redemption phase and is put back on the market to be purchased at the normal domain name pricing.

In the second scenario, the domain exits the redemption phase, but is withheld by the registry. And that brings us to the next point.

Domain has been withheld by registry

An $80 penalty to purchase your domain out of redemption might seem steep, but what you’ll have to pay to recover your domain if it is withheld by your registry will dwarf that amount easily.

Registries usually check the amount of traffic to a website before it expires, or the value of the name itself to consider whether to withhold the domain name or not. If they do, they then may classify it as a premium domain.

An example is You’ll notice if you visit the site that it’s been taken over by If you want to purchase, their asking price is $8,195 and not a penny less.


So whilst there’s the possibility your domain name will be released free into the market for you to repurchase without having to pay an $80 penalty, just remember that the reverse can happen and you might end up having to either cough up $8,000 in this case, or you start looking for a new name for your website.

Someone else has purchased your domain

If the domain name you owned has been purchased by someone else, there is more than a 99.9% chance that you will never get that domain name back. It might be time to start thinking of a new domain for your website.

Some people wonder how on earth someone else can buy their name or domain. Well, as mentioned before, it’s because even you cannot technically buy your domain. It’s only rented.

In 2014, it was revealed that Jumia bought up 10 of their rival Konga’s domains to prevent them from expanding their business into other countries.


So you rented your domain for a year, and for whatever reason, you didn’t renew it for another year. The international registrars no longer have a contract with you and can go ahead and rent out your name to anyone else who wants it.

If you want to make sure no one can ‘steal’ your domain, you must make sure you never allow it to expire and ideally renew it for years in advance.

There might be 2 paths you can take to get your domain name back, although both are slim and not without expense.

In the first instance, if you have a registered trademark for your name, you might be able to sue in court to have the domain name turned over to you. If you’re up for a legal battle and have your lawyers at the ready, this is something you can consider.

The second option is to contact the new owner and request to purchase the domain name from them. You should note though that generally speaking, the new owner is under no obligation to sell you the domain and hasn’t broken any laws so the use of threats may rather work against your objectives.

Website designer refuses to renew domain

Whilst this is rare, we do want to mention that he who registers your domain name has tremendous power over that name and can abuse that position of trust.

We have had quite a few clients who were burned by a previous firm or designer in regards to their domain name. The issue at hand is that he who registers the domain has 100% control of the domain management console and can do with it as he pleases.

If the relationship between you and your web designer turns sour with no hope of it being healed and he has control of your domain name, it is not impossible for him to ignore your calls, pleas and threats and have your domain expire just to spite you.

Or maybe he’ll renew it but refuse to allow you to transfer it to a different registrar or provider. The more classic instance is where your domain is ransomed by him until you pay quite a hefty price to have it transferred.

We can only suggest you tread cautiously because there is very, very little you can do to pry your domain from his hands without his consent.

My website is slow

Nobody likes a slow website. Not you, not Google and definitely not your customers. Customers LOVE when a website is fast. How fast? As fast as possible. They will even reward you by staying longer and spending more money on your site.

Walmart saw a 1% increase in revenue for every 100ms they shaved off their page load time.


But the reverse is also true. If your website is slow, your customers will buy less from you and will probably not even come back.

Google knows this fact and that’s why they have been doing everything in their power to push all of us to a faster web, especially on mobile. Google pioneered what is now HTTP/2 which is an upgrade of the old standard which allows browsing to be faster.

79% of online shoppers that experienced trouble with site performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again.


Some people didn’t get the hint, so Google introduced AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) as a way to massively enhance website performance on mobile devices. AMP does this by cutting out almost everything that could slow a website down (unnecessary javascript, CSS and large images, etc). It also helps that Google gives AMP a speed boost by caching and preloading such pages.

And then Google finally brought out the big guns and said that website loading speed is now a ranking factor in their search engine results. What that means is that if your website is slow, your competitor is going to outrank you and get all the customers who should be coming to you.

So let’s dive into the things that cause your website to be slow and what you can do about them. We don’t want you losing money.

Poor network

The first thing you want to confirm if your website is loading slowly is whether it’s actually a problem with your website, or just an issue with your Internet Service Provider.

If your Internet is slow, your website will load slowly. For example if you’re browsing from your phone and you’re on a 2G connection, your site (with all other sites) will surely load slowly.

On the other hand, if every site you browse loads quickly except yours, then it is likely that your website is the one loading slowly.

Web server location

The Internet is basically a really huge interconnection of computers and servers. There are millions of servers all around the world in every continent. And some of these servers are owned by your hosting provider.

The problem though is that the distance between where you are and where your website is located can have a significant delay on the speed of your website.

For example, have you ever been on a long distance call before? Maybe you called a relative in the United States or China or elsewhere?

What happens is that there’s a delay whenever you speak. You say something, it takes them about 2 or 3 seconds longer to hear what you said, then they respond, and by the time you respond, there’s been a delay at their end also.

That’s what it’s like when your website is located on a server far away from you. It’s the difference between making a local call within your city and a long distance call thousands of miles away.

A lot of the Internet that comes to Ghana comes from Europe via many submarine cables, MainOne, Sat 3, Glo-1, etc.

Africa Undersea Cables

So if your servers are located in Europe (which is closer to Africa), your website will almost always load faster than if your website is hosted in America or India. That’s because the information has to travel 3 or 4 times further to get to you, increasing the latency.

By simply relocating your website to a server that’s located closer to your target audience, you’ll be quite amazed at how much faster your website can load.

And if relocating your website isn’t an option, what you can do is to employ a CDN (Content Distribution Network). A CDN has servers all over the globe and they distribute a majority of your website’s content to these various servers.

How CDNs Work

So no matter the location a visitor to your website comes from, the closest server to them immediately responds and starts sending your website’s information to their browser and that makes your website load so much faster.

Site performance and architecture

Looking at your website itself can help identify bottlenecks that are slowing it down. There are some great testing tools which can help with that including:

  • Pingdom Tools
  • GT Metrix
  • Google Page Speed Insights
  • Webpage Test
  • Google Lighthouse Performance Audits
  • Dareboost
Pingdom Tools Test

When using a website testing tool, you do have to take note of a few things. For example, some tools allow you to select where the test should be run from. If you run your test from Australia for example, unless you’re in Australia, the test results will show your website as being slower than it actually is.

Similarly, some tests allow you to select the type of device or even the Internet connection speed that’ll be used in the test.

Google Page Speed Insights are one of the most widely used testing tools but you should keep in mind that their default settings are on a mobile device at limited 3G Internet speeds. They do however provide great insights.

Just by running your website through these tests, you’ll immediately get some feedback on what is wrong or right with your website.

Pingdom Tools Recommendations For Improvement

Recommendations like:

  • Minify CSS
  • Minify javascript
  • Leverage browser caching
  • Optimize Images
  • Minify HTML
  • Enable compression
  • Avoid landing page redirects
  • Make fewer HTTP requests
  • Eliminate render blocking resources
  • Reduce DNS lookups, etc.

Whilst it’s not always possible or realistic to aim to score 100 in the tests (those that give such a score), we do recommend improving on as many points as you can.

Outside of these, if a plugin or theme is poorly coded, that too could hamper your website loading times. One place to look is in the waterfall charts that show how your website loaded in sequence.

Waterfall of WopeDigital Speed Test

You might be able to identify that a resource was loaded from a website that isn’t needed, or there were a lot of requests or heavy files from a particular theme or plugin, or that some file that was requested timed out.

Studying the load sequence of your site can reveal a lot of what is going on behind the scenes and help you optimize your website to run much faster.

No caching systems

In 2 previous points under your website being down, we discussed the importance of having website caching and even server side caching.

You can revisit those sections on Website Caching and Server Side Caching.

We very strongly recommend you have excellent caching systems in place for your website. Caching can be the difference between your website loading in 12 seconds, versus it loading in less than 1 second.

Most times when a website is slow, the likeliness that improved caching will help solve the issue is very, very high. So do consider implementing:

  • Browser caching
  • Page caching
  • Database caching
  • Object caching
  • CDN caching
  • Reverse proxy caching

Excessive traffic

As mentioned in our first point on your website being offline, a spike in popularity, or excessive traffic can crash your server, taking your website offline completely. If it doesn’t succeed in taking you offline, it can reduce your website to a crawl.

You can click to read the section on a Spike in popularity.

One thing not covered entirely in that point (was probably covered more in our DDoS section) is the fact that not all the traffic you get might be just because you’re popular with people.

So you would have to take a look at your server logs and analytics to identify whether you’re just getting a little too much bot traffic that is putting pressure on your server and causing your website to be slow.

Low quality hosting

The possibility of upgrading your hosting was also mentioned previously.

What would be the definition of low quality hosting? Well technically, any hosting that can’t keep up with your needs would be insufficient or of low quality.

A lot of the times, people get onto the Internet with their first website on shared hosting. But not all shared hosting and hosting companies are alike.

This is because to increase profits, some squeeze too many clients together on a single server. Others cut down on features and security which could have sped up your website’s loading time. Yet still, because of the number of clients, they tend to disable particular things that would much improve your website’s loading speed.

Another critical thing to look at is something called TTFB or Time To First Byte. This is a measure of how quickly your server responds when your website is requested.

Whilst it depends on quite a few factors (including the use of a CDN and the proximity of the server to your location), one of the major influencers of Time To First Byte is the quality of your hosting provider and how busy the server you have been placed on already is.

Google recommends that your server respond in less than 200ms whenever it receives a request.

Server misconfigurations

There might not be anything wrong with your Internet or with your website’s architecture, but there might be an issue somewhere on your server.

It could be something mild like a simple misconfiguration or omission that isn’t too difficult to fix. A few you can consider checking on are:

  • Enabling GZip compression
  • Enabling HSTS (if your website has an SSL)
  • Ensuring Opcache is working
  • Raising needed PHP execution and memory limits

Or it could be something much deeper which would require a developer to take a look at like:

  • MySQL bottlenecks that require tuning
  • Corrupted databases
  • Harddisk or other hardware failure
  • Underpowered server
  • Limited server memory
  • Outdated software components

Huge images and videos added to website

One thing that slows down a website’s loading speed is the size of the website itself. If your website is 1MB in size and your Internet speed can download 1MB/s, your site would load in 1 second (there are other factors, but that’s a general idea.)

So if you’ve placed lots and lots of images and videos on your website to the tune of about 50MB, all other things being equal, your website would load in 50 seconds, and that’s a really long time to wait for a website to load.

The average website loads in 3.21 seconds on desktop.


Uploading images and videos from your smartphone directly to your website is usually one of the culprits. Today’s phones have 10 megapixel cameras, taking pictures that are 4mb in size and more. Placing a single image like that on your site will quickly contribute to your site loading slowly.

The reason is because people viewing a website on a laptop or desktop usually don’t have a screen that is wider than 1366px. Few people have screens that are 1600px wide or higher. And even with that, unless it’s a background or hero image, it may never have to be that wide.

An image straight from a phone or camera is probably going to be 2 or 3 times wider than necessary. And let’s not even mention that for mobile devices, you’re talking about a maximum width of about 360px (or twice that with a Retina display)

Here’s an image of a lady having major website problems! 😀

By resizing the image and also compressing it, we’ve reduced the size by 99.2% (from 8.3MB down to 60.6KB) and yet the difference between the two images is almost imperceptible.

Resize and compress images

Here are a few tips to ensure your images and videos do not slow down your website’s loading time:

  • Resize all images to their appropriate sizes before uploading them to your website. You don’t need an image that is 1200px by 1200px if it’s only for a small square that is 200px by 200x.
  • Appropriately compress all your images to a manageable level. A .jpg image at 100% (meaning no compression) can be compressed to around 82% and that can save you over 50% of the size of the image.
  • Use lighter image formats or even next generation image formats. Instead of uploading heavy .pngs, convert those to .jpgs. Alternatively, you can go further and rather convert all images to webp format which is usually 25% smaller than .jpgs.
  • Consider implementing responsive images using the “srcset” attribute. This will ensure that small devices get a smaller file and large files are only delivered to larger devices that need them.
  • Implement lazy loading of assets. By doing this, your website only loads images that need to be seen when they are called for. If an image is way down the page and hasn’t yet been requested, then the image won’t be called, taking up data and bandwidth.
  • Host videos from a video platform like YouTube or Vimeo. When you host videos on these platforms, not only do they deliver the videos from their own CDNs located around the world, but they’re also able to serve the best size of the video depending on the device, and the video won’t instantly download until the play button is hit.

Outdated technology and software

The technologies that run the Internet are always being improved. One of the major improvements always achieved is speed, so whenever there’s an update to the underlying technology, you should ensure to upgrade.

For example, if your server is still running on PHP 5.6, upgrading it to PHP 7.3 alone will contribute a speed boost because PHP 7.3 is 3 times faster than PHP 5.6.

PHP Benchmarks

Source: Kinsta

And upgrading your database server from MySQL 5.6 to 5.7 (or even 8.0) will also contribute a speed boost because MySQL 5.7 is (also) 3 times faster than MySQL 5.6.

Similarly, upgrading your hosting or server to run HTTP/2 will increase the speed of your site over using HTTP/1.

It’s useful (and safer) to always have your website running on the latest technology where possible because they have usually been improved and optimized to make your website faster.

My website does not appear in Google

Well then, that’s quite a big problem you have on your hands.

Google is the number one search engine in the world with a market share of over 92%.

Google 92 percent market share worldwide

The majority of visits to websites starts from a search, so if your website isn’t anywhere to be found in Google, you are surely missing out on a lot of potential visitors and clients.

But just to make sure your diagnosis is correct, we recommend you try this.

Go to and enter your full domain name, preceded by site: as you’ll see in the picture below:


If something comes up, it means that your website actually is appearing in Google, so that’s good news. It’s just not appearing for the terms and phrases that you want it to.

In that case, check out our article on My website is not on the first page of Google rather.

If nothing came up in Google when you searched, placing site: before your domain name, then it’s confirmed that you have absolutely no pages indexed by Google, and that’s a problem we have to clear up ASAP.

Site not yet crawled by Google

Google has these things called spiders or crawlers. What they do is they run around all over the Internet looking for pages, sites and links. They follow every single link they can in order to bring you the latest and newest information out there.

It’s possible that since your website launched until now, Google hasn’t heard of you yet. They might not have found a single link out there that brought them to your site in order to discover your lovely content.

And so if that’s the case and Google hasn’t yet come to you, it’s probably time for you to go to Google.

With the Google Search Console, you can sign up in order to manage quite a few things about your website and how Google interacts with it.

Google Search Console

Once you have an account with Google Search Console and have added and verified your ownership of your website, you’d then be able to submit a sitemap of your website.

Your sitemap is just as the name sounds, a map of your site. It’s supposed to be a document listing every single page and corner of your website.

It can usually be found by adding /sitemap.xml to your domain name although this isn’t always the case.

WopeDigital's Sitemap

One way to create a sitemap for your website is by listing all your website’s urls in a .xml file. But alternatively you can have a plugin generate your sitemap for you, like we do.

Once you give Google your sitemap, they are now guaranteed to pass by and take a look at every single page you’ve listed and that’s what leads to them adding your website and its content to their index, enabling people find you.

Sitemap Submission To Google

Google indexing isn’t instant though, so once you’ve submitted your sitemap and waited a while (from hours to a few days), another search using the site: operator should show you the various pages of your site that Google has now added to their search engine.

Noindex meta tag blocking google

Another reason why your website might not appear at all in Google is that your site has a particular piece of code explicitly warning Google to dare not add any of your pages to their search engine.

That’s the ‘noindex’ meta tag.

When used correctly, the noindex meta tag is terrific. A perfect use case is when you’re working on your website but you haven’t yet launched it. You might still have a lot of information on your website that isn’t ready to go live.

You’re still proof reading, or replacing some demo content and lorem ipsum text, etc. Whilst that’s happening, you can just tell Google via the noindex meta tag to not add anything it may chance upon to their search engine.

This is what the noindex meta tag looks like when Google crawls your website.

Meta tag noindex

As you can see though, misusing the noindex meta tag can be catastrophic to your presence in Google. If your site is built with WordPress, you can go to Settings > Reading and scroll to the bottom to uncheck the box (if checked) that says search engines shouldn’t be allowed to index your site.

Uncheck Search Engine Visibility in WordPress

Alternatively, you might have an SEO plugin like Yoast which also has options to prevent Google from indexing your website. You’d have to check on those settings as well.

Robots.txt file blocking Google

Besides the noindex meta tag which tells Google that whilst they can see your site, they do not have permission to add it  to their search engine, there’s another way that you may inadvertently be blocking Google.

That’s by using a Robots.txt file.

This file is situated at the root (or highest) level of your domain. It’s main function is to tell automated scripts (or robots) what they can and cannot do when they visit your website.

For example, some people’s sites are on very, very limited hosting and having Google and other robots frequently visiting them just ends up spiking their resource usage and getting them in trouble with their hosts, exceeding their bandwidth, etc.

The Robots.txt file can be used to inform these robots (the ones that are respectful) to be gentle on your website and crawl it more slowly or less frequently to limit the amount of pressure they put on your website.

You can even tell a robot to turn back and go home without even taking a peek at any of your pages. You might be doing that to Google.

A robots.txt file that contains something like this:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

would be telling every single robot (characterised by the wild card – *) to crawl absolutely nothing on your site.

And if Google doesn’t get to crawl your website, it won’t be able to index any of your pages.

You can learn more here on Robot.txt files and how to set them up correctly, if they are the cause of your Google woes.

301 redirect

FYI, Google doesn’t index redirects. So if your website or domain simply serves to send people to a different website, your website won’t be indexed by Google.

Hacked website

Another reason to guard the security of your site carefully is the fact that if your website is hacked, Google can drop you out of their index in seconds.

Of course, it depends on when Google detects the hack. If their crawlers pass by and find that your site has been hacked, some malware is running amok, injecting ads everywhere, they will take action against you website and completely de-index it.

If that happens, you’ll be getting a total of zero visits from Google’s search engine. (One reason why you should always try to diversify the sources of your visitors.)

To identify if Google has intentionally penalised you, you need to have a Google Search Console account with your website active and verified.

You can then navigate to the Manual Actions section under Security and Manual Actions to see if you’ve been penalised.

Google Search Console Manual Actions

If you do, there’ll be a more specific message there regarding the type of penalty you’ve received and what you can do to clear that up.

Google Search Console Manual Actions No Issues Detected

Google will only consider re-indexing your website if you completely clean it up of every single trace of whatever the hackers did. (This is where backups start to come in very, very handy).

Once your site is cleaned up and you’ve beefed up your security even more, you can submit a reconsideration request to Google who’ll then check out your site to confirm it’s clean, and get you back in their index.

Sadly, whilst being de-indexed can happen lightening fast, getting re-indexed may not happen as quickly. So as previously mentioned, prevention now is much more desirable than having to find a cure later.

Google penalty

Besides being de-indexed for having a hacked website, Google actually has a list of other infractions that can also get you penalised. These include:

  • Automatically generated content
  • Participating in link schemes
  • Creating pages with little or no original content
  • Cloaking
  • Sneaky redirects
  • Hidden text or links
  • Doorway pages
  • Scraped content
  • Participating in affiliate programs without adding sufficient value
  • Loading pages with irrelevant keywords
  • Creating pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, Trojans, or other badware
  • Abusing rich snippets markup
  • Sending automated queries to Google

You can find a more in depth explanation of each here on the 16 ways to get de-indexed by Google

My website designer doesn’t respond to my calls

Phone call

This is a problem we hear all too often from some of the new clients who come to us.

They might have had a website done for them by a website designer but it reaches a point where they start being avoided like the plague.

They call, it goes unanswered. They send a text, no reply. They send an email, no response. They search for the designer’s website, offline!

That will fast lead to the derailing of any website project that you have, depending on how much access you have to your own website and whether you can transfer to a new designer if necessary.

Of course, if you’re a DIYer (that is you Do-It-Yourself), then you probably won’t have to worry about not being able to contact yourself. 😀

Here are a few things to consider:

Communication channel issues

The first instance requires you trying every channel you can to reconnect to your website designer. Calling, texting, emailing, WhatsApping and even leaving a message through their website or Facebook page.

Who knows, there might be a genuine reason why you haven’t been able to get through to your website guy. He may be completely incapacitated or might have sadly passed on.

Ideally, there should be necessary contingency plans in place on both you and your designer’s part to help you navigate his or her unavailability.

And there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re covered, even in such a worst-case scenario and you have to find a new designer.

Do note that the only way you’ll be able to smoothly move to a new website designer is if you have all the login details for your website. So make sure you have the following details:

  • To your domain management console
  • To your hosting platform if available
  • To your website platform or CMS (like WordPress)
  • To your database

Each of these details will make it easier in the event that you have to transfer the handling of your website to a new person or firm.

Project related dispute

The most likely scenario though is usually along the lines of highly unprofessional conduct where some type of dispute has led to your website guy actively ignoring you.

It could be that:

  • Your project is more complex than he can deliver on and has now decided to avoid you in order not to have to deal with the situation.
  • He’s supposed to have met a particular milestone by now and hasn’t so must start playing hide and seek.
  • You have a bill to pay that you have been putting off for a really long time and so there’s a bit of bitterness in there.
  • He feels like he’s doing much more work than was agreed on or paid for.

We understand project related disputes and know that you require a terrific job done. We’ve got a lot of information that might help ensure that you’re able to avoid such disputes in the case that your website designer decides to behave unprofessionally.

But ideally, one way to avoid this altogether is to go with website design firms that are known for their quality, professionalism, and ability to deliver.

My website is not on the first page of Google

Web searches are the leading source of traffic to websites worldwide. The great thing about getting the majority of your traffic from Google and other search engines is the fact that it’s free.

Just imagine if you could get the equivalent of $5,000/month in free advertising from Facebook or Instagram. Well, you can with Google.

There’s just one tiny problem. Out of the billions and billions of results, Google can only show a few at a time. Basically, they show 10 results for every search, and if you aren’t in those top 10 searches, no free traffic for you.

And that is what is referred to as SEO or Search Engine Optimization.

In our article on How to rank on the first page of Google – 7 key SEO areas you can’t ignore, you will learn exactly what to do with respect to the following key areas:

  • Searching with the wrong keywords
  • Website too new/young
  • Technical SEO problems
  • On-page SEO issues
  • Off-page SEO issues
  • Content problems
  • User intent and user experience

Once you tackle each of these areas, you’ll be in a far better position than your competitors to rank high in Google.

I cannot accept international payments on my website

Visa cards

We’ve all been told that the world is now a global village. One click of a mouse and you can be doing business with someone in Japan. One tap on your phone and you’re speaking with someone in Alaska.

There are millions of stories around the world of how someone decided to open an online shop, started selling something they thought was insignificant, but before you know it, they had orders from all around the world and it grew to become a multi-million dollar venture.

Many people opening a website want the maximum possibility of success, and being able to fulfill orders around the world can be a requirement for that dream.

But before that can be fulfilled, you would need to successfully accept payments from people all around the world.

Locally, there might be a payment method that dominates to a degree, like Mobile Money payments, etc, but when you go global, you need to be able to accept debit and credit cards transactions.

Between 45 and 81% of all online ecommerce transactions worldwide were linked to a debit or credit card.


Debit and credit cards are usually at the foundation of the largest payment systems and ewallets online today, whether you’re talking about PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, Alipay, Venmo, Braintree, WorldPay or any other international payment system.

Payment processors

So if you can’t accept debit or credit cards (at least the two most popular ones being Visa and MasterCard), you probably won’t be able to easily accept payments from abroad.

Payment processor doesn’t process international currencies or cards

Depending on the country you’re in and the payment processor you use, there is a possibility that you won’t be able to accept international payments.

For example, most Ghanaian payment processors are only allowed to process payments in Ghana Cedis. You can get around this slightly, if your website shows a foreign currency like US Dollars but converts at checkout to Ghana Cedis.

But if you skip the first hurdle, you’ll encounter a second. Most Ghanaian payment processors do not even allow payments from non-Ghanaian Visa and MasterCards.

A lot of this comes down to an excessively high level of fraud. Many Ghanaian payment processors who’ve tried to be nice in the past by allowing their customers to accept card payments from anywhere around the world had to backtrack and lock it down because of excessive fraudulent payments through their system.

Some Ghanaian payment processors, trying to find middle ground, require the card owner abroad to jump through a series of verification hoops in order to ensure that the payment is a genuine one. Be that showing proof of card ownership, ID, etc.

Sadly, the more friction there is in a process, the more likely that process will not be completed and so there are very high abandon rates due to such extraneous verification processes.

If your payment processor doesn’t process international payments, you may have to consider a different payment processor. Some banking institutions will provide you with the processing you need, but they will have far more stringent requirements and fees to consider.

You can read more on the best payment gateways in Ghana for accepting online payments including international ones.

Payment processor has restrictions on your country

Your payment processor may certainly process international payments in different currencies and you know this as a fact. But they may have specific restrictions on your country.

Remember I mentioned how there was an exceedingly high prevalence of fraudulent transactions in the previous point? This led PayPal to blacklist Ghana entirely (along with some other sub-Saharan countries).

The blacklist is so “complete” that Ghana isn’t even an option in the drop down menu when you try to make a payment with or sign up for PayPal.

PayPal doesn't even show Ghana in their country selection

It goes further, if you’re visiting Ghana and you log into your PayPal account, you may have your account limited by PayPal for unusual activity.

Nigeria got off the PayPal blacklist in 2014 along with many other countries in Africa. Sadly though, they can only make payments on PayPal but they can’t receive payments.

That’s a severe restriction that immediately renders PayPal useless to people in those countries. You simply won’t be able to use PayPal as your payment provider because of this.

Other payment platforms have varying restrictions depending on your country including many which won’t even allow you to sign up, like 2CheckOut, Stripe, Braintree, Venmo, Square and most others.

Two ways to get around these restrictions are to either have someone in a non-restricted country run your payment account for you (not just setting up the account but running it as well), or you look into any payment providers who meet your requirements without the restrictions.

For example, there are payment processors that allow you to accept PayPal payments in Ghana without having a PayPal account. Recently, Flutterwave became one of those companies. So if you’re looking to accept international payments via PayPal, you should definitely check them out.

If you’re just looking to accept international debit and credit cards, Flutterwave, DPO and Paystack are payment providers open to Ghanaians with various degrees of success that you could consider.

Payments Processors Africa1

Fraud detection issues

A final point regarding accepting payments from abroad that you should consider has to do with fraud detection.

When you’re dealing with companies that accept payments for a living, moving billions of dollars per day, you can bet the shirt off your back that they are going to be aggressive with policing their platform and detecting fraudulent payments as quickly as possible.

You might have successfully set up your website with a payment processor that accepts payments from abroad, but yet international payments are still not going through.

They may be detecting that the payments being attempted on your website are fraudulent. Whether the name on the card and the name on the order don’t match, or the shipping address doesn’t match the one on the card, or the IP address of the order is a totally different country from where the card was issued, those payment processors are going to be all over that data.

If you do think the transaction is being flagged wrongly, then you’ll have to contact your payment processor and see what can be done about that.

People are not visiting my website

A website without visitors is like a party without people. The whole reason why almost anyone creates a website is to have people visit that website, whether it’s just to gain information, to contribute information, to be entertained, to make a purchase, or whatever else the site was created to do.

If you’ve got some visitors to your website, that’s great to hear, but like Oliver Twist, you probably want more.

  • Why is Netflix the number one movie streaming service in the world?
  • Why is Amazon the number one online shopping destination in the world?
  • Why is Google the number one search engine in the world?

We outline some fundamentals you have to get right in order to increase website traffic and also the various types of traffic available.

You can click the sections below or read the entire article here: How to increase website traffic and visitors.

I’m not making enough money from my website

The amount of money your website generates for you or your business can sometimes be the determining factor in whether it’s worth keeping or shutting down.

Of course, if you’re in a non-profit industry, like a charity or a governmental agency, money generated from the website probably won’t be the most important metric to go by.

And there are many instances where not having a website will cause other expenses to rather escalate. But for now, let’s talk about money generated as a metric.

Wrong monetization strategy

The first factor to consider regarding increasing the amount of money you make from your website has to do with the actual monetization strategy you’re using.

There are many different ways to generate an income online but if you’re using a strategy that isn’t suited to your strengths, or external factors hamper its viability, you’re going to have to reconsider it.

Here are some of the most common methods of monetizing a website:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Pay Per Click Advertising (Google Adsense)
  • Accept Donations from visitors
  • Accept sponsored posts & articles (…but use a nofollow tag)
  • Generate leads for other companies
  • Set up an e-commerce site
  • Flip your websites
  • Membership

Many people who want to earn an income from their site only think about advertising, Google Adsense to be precise. And whilst Google Adsense is a great program, there are other platforms that might provide a better pay out than Google Adsense would, depending on your situation. You might want to consider that.

On the other hand, it’s possible that instead of selling advertising space exclusively, you should rather sign up for a few affiliate programs or actually sell a product through your website.

Nothing actually stops you from using multiple monetization strategies on your website. Just make sure that you’ve researched them well and are implementing them properly.

Lack of traffic

Generally speaking, almost every website that wants to be profitable can benefit from an increase in traffic. But in this case though, I’m focusing more on those monetizing via advertising.

Besides the volume of traffic though is also the quality of traffic. You can easily earn 10 to 20 times what you earn from Google Adsense if the visitors to your site are from developed countries, compared to developing ones.

This is because the majority of visitors and readers of websites in developed countries have a whole lot more disposable income, are willing to click on ads and buy solutions to their problems.

The case in developing countries is much less so.

That aside, advertising is usually a numbers game and the more people who visit your website, the more money you’ll stand to earn. If you’re earning approximately $1 for every 1000 page views, getting your page views to 10,000 would have your income also increase 10 fold.

We’ve seen people try to pay for advertising to drive traffic to their websites in order to earn money from advertising. But that almost never works.

The reason is because you can hardly ever buy traffic (via advertising) at a lower price than what you’ll be earning from those visitors. Rather, you have to find a way to get lots and lots of visitors to your website at as little cost as possible.

So start thinking of ways to promote your website, whether via PR, or publicity stunts, or sponsorships you can set up that won’t cost you much.

You can also focus on spreading your content in all directions, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc in order to increase your online visibility and get people coming back to your website for the great content you’ve got to share.

Build an email list of your readers. Let them sign up to your newsletter or to notifications so that even if they’ve forgotten about you, you can always send them a gentle reminder of some new and amazing content that just landed.


But ultimately, the best place to get free traffic from is from Google via SEO. So take the time to improve your site’s Search Engine Optimization and get your website to rank on the first page. That will surely send you a whole lot of traffic that can be monetized at a tidy profit.

Lack of original content

If you’re trying everything you can, even as we mentioned in the previous point and you aren’t getting the visitors and traffic you desire, it might be time to look at the content you’re putting out.

Everybody is after the latest and greatest content that can be found online. Gossip sites are popular because they’ve got the latest and freshest information out there.

News websites are visited 24/7 every single day because they’ve got the latest news on so many different topics.

The quality of content is what makes billion dollar companies. Just ask Netflix.

Netflix to spend $15 billion on original content in 2019.


We’ve noticed a lot of bloggers who start a blog only to curate content from every other news website out there. The problem is that you aren’t saying anything new. And unlike the Huffington Post, you may not be adding value to that content in any way, just copying and pasting it.

Why would people visit your website for the stale version, when they know the way to the original source?

And generally speaking, what people don’t like, Google doesn’t like either. Google doesn’t like duplicate content. If you’re copying and pasting some other website’s content, Google is going to actively make sure you don’t rank in their search engine for that.

And if you aren’t ranking well, there goes your opportunity to have people come to your site and monetize them.

So it might be time for you to consider churning out amazingly fresh and original content which your audience will love and be willing to subscribe to your newsletter or blog for even more of your content.

Greater focus

Sometimes, people don’t make as much money as they can in life because they chose to be generalists instead of specialists. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as that’s what you want.

But if what you want is to earn more, being a specialist might be the path for you.

Consider this. You’ve started a blog and you hope to monetize it via advertising, affiliate marketing, selling some products and even a bit of consulting services on the side, great!

And boy do you blog. You write and write and write about everything, from cake recipes to the latest political upheavals in Iraq to advances in nanotechnology to potty training toddlers.

Whilst your content on those particular pieces could be the best anywhere on the Internet, you most likely won’t make a tenth as much as someone who has a great focus.

Here’s why.

Firstly, you won’t have a lock down on an audience because people reading your blog never know what they’re going to get the next time they pass by. If someone loved your cake recipe article, how long are they going to have to wait to get another? And how many nanotechnology articles are they going to have to wade through to get to it?

You have to pick a niche! You have to be known for something! Especially when you’re starting out and nobody knows you. When you are well established, you can write about anything you please, but until then, you need to focus.


By focusing, people know why they are coming back and they know exactly who else is going to enjoy every single article on your blog. Have you ever had the satisfaction of visiting someone’s site and you ended up opening like 15 tabs of articles just from that one site? Why?

Because they had the answers or information you were looking for.

And that’s what your site may need if it’s not yet earning you enough money. Instead of going wide, you rather need to go deep. Find an industry or area of expertise you can focus on, and churn out the greatest content you can.

Secondly, Google is not going to look at you with favour.

Google pays a lot of attention to the quality of websites they allow to rank in their search engine results. This is because the moment the answers they start giving are bad, people are going to switch away from Google to some other search engine.

To ensure they have the highest quality information they can, Google pays attention to E-A-T- Expertise, Authority and Trust. They will rank a nanotechnology article from a scientist and they’ll rank a cake recipe from a baker.

If you’re a baker giving advice on nanotechnology, your article will probably be on page 100.

You need to give Google very good reasons why they should send you lots of traffic and show their best ads on your site, and that happens by convincing them that you are the go to person or website when it comes to a particular industry or topic.

If you can do that, get ready for a lot of lovely free traffic that you can monetize as you please.

Improve conversion rates

This point mainly applies to those who sell a product or service through their website. It’s very possible that you don’t need any more traffic than you’re already getting.

Let’s assume you have 1,000 visitors to your website each month, but only 10 become customers. That’s a conversion rate of 1%. If you were to increase your conversion rate to 3%, you would triple your income!!

So just before you go scouring the ends of the world for new leads and website visitors, there’s a possibility that the ones you already have might be sufficient.

But how can you improve your conversion rates? Lots and lots of ways!

  • Reduce the number of fields clients have to fill to check out
  • Increase trust factors with guarantees and social proof
  • Increase your website’s load speed
  • Reduce the distractions and unneeded flashy things on your site
  • Include multiple CTAs (Call To Action)
  • Improve your copy writing and product descriptions
  • Make sure your products have multiple clear and high quality images from various angles
  • Offer multiple payment options at checkout
  • Ensure you have contact details easily accessible and available
  • Make sure your site has an SSL and is secure
  • Ensure that everything on your site is 100% accurate
  • Make sure advertising and promotional links go straight to what was advertised or promoted
  • Have live chat to alleviate fears and doubts
  • Enable guest checkout instead of mandatory registration

Walmart found that every 1 second improvement in page speed increased conversion rates by 2 percent. For every 100 ms of improvement, they grew incremental revenue by up to 1%.

website optimization

You can find a lot more information here to help you increase your conversion rates on your site, and effectively increase the income you earn.

People are not buying from my website

WhatsApp on phone

Every business owner in the world wants to grow and expand their business. Maybe you are that business owner. So you have an idea.

You have a really awesome and amazing ecommerce website built for your business. It’s got your colours and branding, your products, contact information and you’ve even got online payments setup.

You launch your site, and let all your existing customers know where they can purchase their favourite items. But then a funny thing happens.

Customers are still contacting you and purchasing through WhatsApp, FB Messenger, IG comments or DMs and phone calls. For every single sale, they’re still talking to you instead of simply placing their orders.

We’ve come across so many instances of how business owners are under major stress, are falling sick, are overwhelmed and are just extremely tired from trying to run their business via the various platforms, typing on WhatsApp one minute, then in FB Messenger the other, then picking a call the next minute, then responding to a DM the next, and it never ends.

The more God blesses you, the more your stress increases.

To avoid that and really grow your business, you can actually automate your business more with systems, like your website, and have your customers make purchases through it.

Here are 9 ways to get your customers to buy from your website:

Simply click the links above to view the relevant sections or you can read our article on that here: How to get customers to buy from your website.

I cannot get Google Adsense on my website

Google adsense

Google Adsense is a program from Google launched in June 2003, that allows you to earn money from your website simply by allowing Google to show ads on your site.

It’s introduction has made many people millionaires and allowed others to quit their day jobs and become full time bloggers and writers. When you read about people planning on making money from their websites, a lot of them have Google Adsense in mind.

As much as it is the most popular advertising program out there, paying out billions of dollars to date, it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. From being very restrictive to aggressively enforcing their terms and conditions, it can be a little tricky to navigate.

So whether you’re struggling to be approved or you’ve been banned (hopefully temporarily) from Google Adsense, we hope you’ll find a solution below.

Wrongly integrated code

Google Adsense provides you with a bit of code that is to be inserted in the <head> tag of your website on every page. This is actually a bit technical.

The code will not work by simply copying it at the top of your pages or articles in WordPress, for example. The <head> tag is generated in a different location, far away from the normal writing and content on your website.

You’ll know the code was integrated wrongly if you can see it anywhere on your website. The Google Adsense code would actually be invisible to your users so if you can see the actual code showing, you can be certain it’s been implemented wrongly.

Google Adsense Code Wrongly Integrated

Your theme developer may have put a nice and convenient section in the theme’s settings that allows you to simply copy and paste your Adsense code and once saved, it’ll automatically have that code inserted into the <head> tag of all your pages.

Theme section allowing code in header

If your theme doesn’t have that option, but you are quite tech savvy, you can dive into your server via your server’s hosting panel, cPanel or FTP and edit your theme’s header page. You can also access this via Theme Editor under Appearances if this has not already been disabled.

WordPress Theme Editor Menu

Whilst this may vary from theme to theme, the header template for your theme is likely to be called header.php or something similar. If you can find this and find the appropriate section to embed the Google Adsense tracking code, then you are one-step away from getting approved.

Header File in theme

Make sure you always have a recent backup before you edit your website’s files. You never know when something will go wrong and you have to undo your change.

A safer method though is to install a plugin that would help you with your Google Adsense code.

Once your code is successfully inserted, you can inform Google to take a quick look at that.

Complying with their policy

When you apply to have Google Adsense display ads on your website, you get an email either confirming or rejecting your application. Similarly if you have already gotten Google Ads displayed on your website and you violate a policy of theirs, you’ll get an email telling you why.

It’s this email that you have to pay close attention to because whilst sometimes vague, they’ll give you a general idea of what you’ve done wrong and what you can do to remedy the situation.

Adsense rejected insufficient content

Here is Google Adsense’s Program Policies and we strongly recommend you study the whole thing over and over to make sure you’re in their good books. There are horror stories of people who lost lots of money by running afoul of those rules.

Idris Sami, a 24-year-old French-Moroccan entrepreneur lost $46,000 in revenue he had generated via Google Adsense when he ran foul of their rules.

business insider

Some of the most common reasons why Google Adsense rejects or suspends accounts include:

  • Your website being too new. You should ideally apply to Google Adsense after 6 months of existence
  • Not publishing a sufficient amount of content for Google to run ads against
  • Publishing content of a sexual nature or containing nudity
  • Publishing content that is shocking, violent, promotes weapons, tobacco, drugs, alcohol, gambling and others
  • Your website doesn’t have a privacy policy page containing information on the Google Adsense program you run
  • Clicking on your own ads or encouraging people to click on your ads to increase your income
  • Modifying the Google Adsense code to behave unexpectedly, including hiding ads,
  • Having your site provide a poor user experience including redirecting users to unwanted websites, initiating downloads, including malware or contain pop-ups or pop-unders that interfere with site navigation, etc.
  • Website going down or site being inaccessible for long periods of time
  • Selling counterfeit goods on your site
  • Already being banned by Google Adsense. They can detect even if you open a new account and will ban you again.

If you’re able to identify the problem causing Google to reject you and rectify it, you’re then able to reapply and hopefully get accepted this time round.

Consider a different program

If you’re unable to solve whatever issue it is that is tripping you up, you might want to consider one of the other available advertising programs out there for a publisher like yourself.

Many of them have more flexible terms and even better payout rates than Google Adsense. Some of them include:

  • Infolinks
  • Propeller Ads
  • Amazon Native Shopping Ads
  • Adversal
  • Rev Content
  • Ad Recover
  • BuySellAds

and many more. You can read about multiple Google Adsense alternatives here.

We recommend you consider multiple methods of monetizing your website to ensure that your financial world doesn’t come crashing down if you are banned by Google for whatever reason.

There are many such experiences on the web and we wouldn’t want that to happen to you so do consider other options we’ve listed to ensure you can earn a stable amount of income with no surprises.

I cannot tell whether my website is doing well or not

Everybody who invests time or money in anything at all has to be able to identify whether their investment has been worth it or not.

The same applies to your website. What was the purpose of your website?

  • Was it to promote a single event?
  • Or to help seal a deal or contract?
  • Or to be a marketing tool and attract new customers?
  • Or as a content publishing outlet to gain a following and a readership?
  • Or as a business tool to streamline processes and help you run more efficiently?
  • Or as a branding play to cement your identity?

Generally speaking, the reason why you set up your website will determine whether it’s actually doing well or not based on those metrics.

So if your website was set up to streamline your business’ processes, you might not want to measure its usefulness by how much money it generated from advertising.

A website can be measured by:

  • the number of visitors or traffic
  • the number of leads generated
  • the number of subscribers
  • the number of customers or users
  • the total amount of income generated
  • the total amount of time spent on the site
  • the total amount of advertising revenue generated, etc.

What gets measured, gets managed.

Peter drucker

The easiest and barest minimum you should be measuring are the number of visitors to your site and where they’re coming from. And from there, you can be as advanced as you desire.

To identify the total number of visitors coming to your website, you need a bit of tracking software. If you have access to your hosting account or cPanel, you might have various programs that help with that, like AWstats or Webalizer under the Metrics section.

Awstats and Webalizer

These programs measure the amount of traffic coming to your website at the server level. They can tell you how many visitors came, where they were from, what the most popular pages they visited were, how much bandwidth was used, and a bit more.

Awstats Visitor Data

Such logs can also be useful in identifying bot and malicious traffic that might need to be blocked outright.

Other service providers have more polished analytics packages that will do far more than just measure the amount of traffic to your website.

Google Analytics is the leading provider of free website analytics software in the world. They track a humunguous amount of data and can even provide you AI (artificial intelligence) powered insights into what’s going on on your website, changes in how visitors are interacting with it and a whole lot more.

Google Analytics Data

As mentioned earlier, Google Analytics has a lot of advanced options that can even help you with tracking important goals on your website, like the number of new leads you’ve received, or how much money you’re earning from visitors who come from a particular channel vs a different channel.

If you’re interested in learning more on all that you can use Google Analytics for, they provide some excellent training in their Analytics Academy Courses.

You might choose to go with a different analytics software or an additional one, depending on what you want to achieve. You’ll find below a few other options (both free and paid) that might serve you well.

  • Slimstat Analytics
  • Jetpack Analytics
  • Adobe Analytics
  • Open Analytics
  • Kissmetrics
  • Woopra
  • Matomo

Once you’re able to track the metric by which you define the success of your website, it’s easier now commit resources to improving that and achieving all the goals you desire.

We’ve seen people become weary of their websites simply because they didn’t actively track what was going on in order to improve it.

We’ve also seen people who thought all their customers were coming from Instagram have an eye-opening experience to learn that Facebook was rather their number one source of customers.

Don’t let that be you. Learn as much as you can about your customers and where they are from so you can serve them better.

My website says “Not Secure”

The Internet has undergone a fundamental shift in the past few years. It had become much too easy for governments, hackers, friends, enemies and all sorts of service providers to access a lot of your information online.

This was because the vast majority of information on the Internet was passed on unsecure or unencrypted channels. The default website protocol: HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) is an unsecure channel.

To solve this, many websites, governments, institutions, organizations and companies that care about privacy have moved the world in the direction of using secure and encrypted channels or HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure).

The majority of website browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, now give a warning like, “Not Secure” whenever you browse a website that is not encrypted.

Site not secure

Whilst this comes as just a basic annoyance to some, the consequences of non-encrypted website browsing can be quite severe, and real. They include:

  • Stealing username and passwords
  • Stealing credit card and financial data
  • Capturing any and all information of yours sent on the Internet
  • Infecting your devices with malware and viruses
  • Hijacking your visitors
  • Hacking your website

and all of that can lead to serious data and financial loss.

A study of ecommerce businesses in Ghana showed that 21.8% of sites displayed a “Not Secure” alert in the browser.

Pie chart showing 21.8% of ecommerce websites show a Not Secure warning in the browser

So let’s take a look at what you can do if your browser says your site is not secure.

Check for an HTTPS version

When you visit your website and your browser says “Not Secure”, try adding an ‘s’ right after the http, making it https and try again.

If your site loads up with a nice https, good for you. It means that you actually have an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate which enables the needed encryption for your website to show https.

The only thing you need to do is to ensure that anytime someone tries visiting your http version, they get automatically redirected to the https version.

Whilst that’s easy to say, depending on your level of expertise, it might be hard to implement as this has to be done usually at the server level. You can learn a bit more on redirecting your HTTP website to HTTPS.

You can go one step further though by also implementing HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security) which lets browsers know to always only serve your website over HTTPS and never over unencrypted HTTP.

Acquire or renew an SSL

If you tried the point above and got a warning page about the page not being secure, then it means you do not have an SSL for your website or it may have expired.

Google Chrome Not Secure Warning On Mobile

No worries, all you have to do is to have one installed for your website or renewed, depending on the case.

SSLs come in various types and varying pricing from free all the way to hundreds of dollars. You can read a bit more on that in the SSL section of our website pricing and cost article.

Two of the most popular ways to obtain an SSL are Let’s Encrypt and Sectigo (formerly Comodo) which is integrated into many cPanels.

Let's Encrypt and Sectigo (formerly Comodo)

A 3rd way if the first two aren’t available to you is to sign up with Cloudflare. They’re a CDN (Content Distribution Network) company but actually provide many more services.

One of those services is to encrypt your entire website to the outside world for free. They do this because by being a CDN, they are between you (your website actually) and your visitors. And so they take your website information and encrypt it with an SSL before sending it to your visitors.

Cloudflare Flexible SSL Free

My website emails keep going into spam folders

Spam mail

It’s a bit ironic that emails sent from your free account are delivered nicely, but those sent from your paid account rather end up in spam folders.

Whilst this is sad and can be catastrophic to a business, it actually happens quite a bit.

The reason is because email is hard business!!

281 billion emails were sent each day in 2018, Of which 52.42% was spam.


That is simply an insane amount of unwanted, unnecessary and in some cases highly dangerous email flying around the Internet. The companies that are able to combat trillions of spam emails are usually billion dollar companies.

Leading the pack is Google with Gmail, and then there’s Microsoft with Hotmail, Outlook and Live email services. There are also many other players including Yahoo, Rackspace and others.

Free Email logos

Your hosting company on the other hand just can’t spend as much money on perfecting their email delivery as the bigger players out there.

Combine that with the fact that malicious people sign up for hosting accounts or hack websites and servers simply to send out billions of spam emails and soon, your business emails are landing in some spam folders.

But you can combat this:

Use a 3rd party email service

The first and best solution is to actually leverage the power of the “Big boys”. For example, you can sign up for Google’s Gsuite and your business emails will be sent with the power of Google, landing effortlessly in people’s inboxes (as long as you aren’t violating their terms of service.)

You will be able to send emails as and not just as That’s Google’s premium service.

Not only that, you would have access to every other Gsuite feature they provide, including online storage, calendars, video chats with your team and a whole lot more.

The downside (possibly) to using a 3rd party email service like Google’s paid email package – G Suite or Rackspace is that there is a cost involved. You are likely to pay about GHc15 to GHc45/month for each email account that you need. But impeccable email delivery is worth it.

Paid emails

Set SPF and DKIM records

A second option is to ensure that your email accounts and server are set up correctly.

There are certain options like SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) that can be set to help increase the deliverability of your emails whilst decreasing the likeliness anyone can impersonate your account or send emails in your name when it isn’t you.

SPF tells the world that “Only server X and server Y are allowed to send emails in my business name. Any email that claims to be from my business but was sent from server Z, kindly reject that email immediately, because I didn’t send it.”

SPF on GoDaddy

So with your Sender Policy Framework defined, it makes it easier for recipients of your email to identify whether your server truly sent the email or not, and thus they can identify fake or spam emails much more quickly.

DKIM on the other hand gives your recipient a way to confirm and guarantee that the email that was sent from your server hasn’t been intercepted or altered in any way.

DKIM on Godaddy

When someone receives an email from you but there’s no way to verify that nothing fishy happened to the email in transit, it can be rejected as spam. But once you have DomainKeys Identified Mail values set, it gets easier to confirm that your emails are genuine.

Here’s a bit more information on how you can implement SPF, DKIM and also DMARC to enhance your email security and deliverability.

Request a change of IP

If you do have SPF and DKIM values set for your domain but your emails are still landing in spam folders, another issue could be with your mail server’s IP address.

Every mail server has a unique IP address. This is what helps emails find their way around the Internet to the right inbox.

And usually, hundreds of different users are assigned to a single mail server. If one of your “neighbours” who you don’t even know exists, starts sending out thousands of emails which are spammy, other email servers around the world will say,

“Hey, this mail server over here is spamming us. Let’s blacklist him.”

When a mail server’s IP address is blacklisted and that list is propagated, your beautifully crafted, business deal-sealing email might never see the light of day because your emails end up landing in spam boxes or blocked outright.

So whilst it’s not always possible, a service provider might be able and willing to move your accounts over to an IP address that has not been blacklisted.

And once that’s done, just like magic, your emails will start going out nicely again.

Ensure your email accounts and domain aren’t sending out spam

No matter which solution you go by, kindly note that no hosting company or 3rd party email service is going to allow you to be sending out tens of thousands of emails per day, spam or not. You will be labelled as the very type of person they are trying to block.

Just to clarify, spam emails are emails that are:

  • sent to people that never requested the information you are sending them or
  • sent to people that may have requested them but contain completely irrelevant or even malicious content

If you do need to send hundreds or thousands of emails with great content to your subscribers who have asked for this content, like an announcement or a newsletter, you will need a different type of email sending service – a newsletter service.

These are set up specifically to do just that and they will gladly send your emails to tens of thousands of your legitimate subscribers or customers, with extremely high delivery rates (as long as you also abide by their terms of service.)

A few of these you may want to consider are: MailChimp, Aweber, GetResponse, Constant Contact, SendGrid, SendPulse, DripCampaign, etc.

Mail services

I cannot update my website

Unlike most websites 2 decades ago which were static and hardly changed, websites of today are expected to change and be updated on a regular basis.

If you sell products online, you need to update your inventory levels, your prices, your products, discounts, etc.

If you’re a travel agency, you need to show new destinations, promotions, discount fares, travel warnings and more.

If you have a blog or news site, well that might be updated even several times a day with new posts and articles and trending topics.

A website that is not updated with new content and information will suffer in multiple ways.

Firstly, it will start to drop in Google’s search rankings, leading to lower and lower traffic to your site, and in turn, less and less money. This is because Google wants to give its users the most accurate information possible, and in the time you didn’t update your website, someone else did and might now have the most accurate information that a user may need.

Secondly, visitors and customers will stop using your site which will lead to you holding a worthless investment. What good is a compass which doesn’t point north? Or a discount offer that has expired? Or an amazing deal when the product is out of stock? Or the perfect service you need when the company is literally out of business?

That’s what happens to users. They find your website, find the thing they want, place their order or enquiry only to be told,

“Please, the prices on our website are old so kindly disregard them. Here are our current super brand new prices that are 70% higher than what you saw on our website.”

Don’t let that be you. Make your customers happy by keeping your website information fresh, updated and accurate.

So let’s dig deeper into the reasons you might not be able to update your website.

Website designer hasn’t provided the site login details

If your website was designed by someone or a firm, simply ask nicely for your website login details so you can update your website and you should have those in no time.

It will depend though. It is possible that the website package you signed up for does not include the provision of login details. Or maybe your site was coded directly and doesn’t use a content management system for easy updating.

It might be your designer’s choice to rather charge you a fee for every update you want done to the website than to let you do them yourself.

This definitely is something that you should consider before you select a website designer for your project. We do however recommend that your website be built with a content management system (preferably WordPress) and that you have login details to easily update content on your site.

Cannot understand CMS backend

Let’s say you do have the login details to your website, but you haven’t a clue what to do with them. You log into your site’s backend and you can’t see how to build just a simple page.

Well, it’s time to get learning. Your website designer can point you in the right direction here too. You will most likely need an overview of 3 sets of tutorials:

  • Tutorials about your CMS: if your site is built with WordPress, you would need a little bit of information on how WordPress works.
  • Tutorials about your site’s theme: if your site was built with a theme or template, there’s sometimes a bit of a learning curve there as different themes control site features in different ways, putting those features in many various corners.
  • Tutorials about your site’s builder: A builder is a tool that makes the creation and management of your website much simpler. Some of the most popular WordPress builders in the world are Elementor, WP Bakery Page Builder (formerly Visual Composer), SiteOrigin Page Builder, Divi, Beaver Builder and a whole lot more.
Site Builders

We would have to mention that though your website might be built with a builder or theme does not automatically mean it’s going to be easy to work on or update.

So do make sure you go through any tutorials you’re provided carefully to ensure you’ll understand what you’re doing before you make any changes. (And always have backups before making such changes).

Other technical issues

If you do have the login details to your website and you do know how to update your website but for some reason, your updates are not showing on your site, you might want to contact your website designer.

There might be a technical problem somewhere, or there might be a caching issue that is persisting, showing you an old version of your site instead of the latest version that you just updated.

I want to change the design of my website

Your website is an important part of your brand and has an impact on how customers and clients perceive you. If your website looks great, people will trust you more. If it doesn’t, they’ll go elsewhere.

That’s why it’s quite common to actually redesign your website every few years.

Technology is changing rapidly and what might be a beautifully designed website today will honestly be outdated and barely functional in just a few short years.

If you don’t believe me, take a look at what Facebook looked like when they launched in 2004 (it was actually even called Thefacebook).

And if you want to go even earlier in time, this is what looked like when they launched.

Amazon's First Website

To see an amazing evolution of various websites over the past few decades, visit Version Museum. You might end up with a smile on your face.

Bringing it back home though, you don’t want a website that looks like it was designed a decade ago, so you’ve got to upgrade and redesign your website every few years.

The method via which your website was created can determine whether this will be easy and straight forward, or difficult and complex.

Custom coded website

A website that is designed directly in HTML, CSS and/or PHP would basically need a complete redesign, probably from scratch. That’s because custom coding your website that way basically renders it a single use project.

CMS-based website

If your website was created with a CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress, there is a higher likelihood that redesigning your website will be a bit easier to achieve.

The whole essence of a CMS is to separate the content of your website from its design. This means that even if you decide to go with a new design, your content will all be intact.

This is great however most themes and builders aren’t necessarily compatible. If you built your site with Visual Composer and decide to switch to a design based on Elementor, you’re still literally going to have to redesign your website from the beginning.

These builders each use their own system in laying out and designing the website. So when you choose to just switch your website’s design, a lot of incompatibilities arise, breaking your site entirely. Some builders even leave behind an incomprehensible array of shortcodes.

Changing themes may leave shortcodes behind

But this isn’t limited to these builders though. The same happens outside of WordPress, like with Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, etc. If you decide to change your design, a lot of work has to go into implementing all your content in the new design.

So if you decide on changing or redesigning your website, do understand that it’s most likely going to be a large undertaking, almost as large as creating a brand new website from scratch.

And if your site has already been optimized (for speed, conversions, leads, SEO, etc), all those optimizations will have to be considered and even redone to ensure your new website performs at least as well as your old site.

This might seem like a lot of information and work so if this doesn’t sound like something you’d like to dive into, you’ll probably have to find or contact your website designer so you can get a good roadmap for a redesign.

I want to receive website notifications via WhatsApp or SMS

Whilst you’re most likely not always behind your laptop, we’re quite confident that your phone is with you almost everywhere you go.

It’s understandable that you receive a notification on your phone as soon as you get a new order or payment, so that you can follow up on that.

Most ecommerce websites by default only send out email notifications though. The reason being that emails are free to send but SMS and text messages cost money.

And with the establishment of WhatsApp almost as a universal standard, notifications straight to WhatsApp would be even nicer.

The first thing you can consider which has zero cost implications is to actually synchronize your email account with your phone. By doing this, the moment a new order or payment is made on your website, you’ll receive a notification on your phone for that order.

You won’t have to wait and check up on your computer or laptop before you know a new order is in.

If that isn’t an option, or you want to receive order notifications via SMS, it will require two things.

An SMS sending account: Sending text messages comes at a cost and you’ll need an account from a bulk SMS sending service that has what’s called an API (Application Programming Interface) allowing you to connect your website to their platform.

There are a lot of both local and international bulk SMS sending platforms to consider, Twilio, Clickatell, Infobip, to name a few.

SMS Gateways

The majority of SMS sending services can be customized in multiple ways and you should even be able to send messages with a Sender ID. For example, all text messages we send out show our name WopeDigital as the Sender ID.

SMSes with WopeDigital Sender ID

A plugin or some code from a developer: The second thing you’ll need is a plugin or a developer to do some coding work to ensure that your website can communicate with the bulk SMS sending service’s API.

Depending on your website platform and your SMS sending platform, there might be a plugin already created that will work with both, so you can do a bit of research on that before you consider having to pay for one developed from scratch.

By default, our clients on our Business packages and higher have SMS notifications sent to them and their customers on all orders placed through their websites.

With regards to WhatsApp though, they introduced their own system somewhere last year that also allows messages like order notifications to be sent to a WhatsApp number.

The program is only open to much larger organizations though and can require quite a bit in setup fees. If you are interested in exploring that as an option, you might want to contact companies like Twilio or InfoBip who should be able to help you with that.

I don’t want to pay every year for my website

One of the slightly sad things that happen to some businesses and individuals has to do with a bit of sticker-shock about a year after they get their website online.

Let’s say you paid a lot of money for your lovely website, it’s been up and online and it’s been fantastic.

Your website design guy calls you after 11 months to let you know that you’ll have to renew the website within the next 30 days to ensure the site doesn’t go off.

“And what does that entail?” you ask, only to find out it means you’re going to have to pay more money!

Whilst we strongly recommend you find out well in advance how much it will cost to renew your website every year, we’ve discovered that some clients are very desirous to pay a one-time fee for their websites and never have to pay again.

This can become quite a problem so we’d like to cover all your available options in this scenario.

Misunderstanding how websites work

Generally speaking, you cannot pay a one-time fee for your website. That’s because a website is made up of different parts and many of them are recurring costs.

The 3 main parts of a website usually enumerated are:

  • Domain name
  • Hosting
  • Website design

Out of those 3, only the website design aspect can be paid one-time. The other two components have to be paid year in and year out if you want to keep your website online.

If you purchased both your domain name and your hosting package yourself, then you can most certainly pay your website designer a one-time fee for the design of your website and you won’t have to pay him anything ever again, all other things being equal.

But to keep your website online, you’ll still have to pay the registry for your domain and your hosting company for your hosting account.

So let’s talk about domain names and hosting for a second.

The thing about domain names and hosting is that you never buy these things. Whilst you pay money for them, you only get to rent them for a period of time.

It’s just like if you live in an apartment or building that you rent. You have to always pay up when the rent is due. If you refuse to pay up, you get kicked out.

Exactly the same thing with your domain name and hosting.

You might say, “But it’s MY name!”

Well, yes. Whilst it may be your name, a unique name that no one else in the world thought up, it’s still rented property.

If it’s any consolation, there is no company in the world that basically owns their domain outright. They always have to renew their domains as well.

You can renew your domain name for up to 10 years in advance if you desire. And you can also set your domain name to auto-renew. This means that once your registration period is up, a deduction from your account is made and an extra year is added to your domain name’s duration.

Note that all other things being equal, as long as you choose to renew your domain, nobody else will be able to take that domain name from you.

With hosting, it’s a similar situation. Your hosting company may even specifically say that you can ‘buy’ your own dedicated server, but truly speaking, it’s only yours as long as you continue to pay them. Stop paying them, and no server access for you.

We will say though that it is possible to host your website from your own server or personal computer, but that’s probably not going to be worth your while and is very technical.

If you are interested though, you’re going to have to:

  • have a dedicated IP address to ensure visitors can actually reach your website.
  • make sure that your computer never sleeps, hibernates, restarts or shuts down. If your computer goes off, your website would also go off.
  • make sure that you have a very high speed and capacity Internet connection to your computer to serve your visitors
  • have very high level technical skills to maintain your server, protect against security threats, etc.

Just make sure you don’t go crazy.

Servers with plenty of cables

If none of that sounds fun but you still want to get as close as possible to never having to pay recurring costs for your website, you might want to consider the next point.

Opt for a free website platform

You can have your website be only a one-time cost by having your designer develop it on a free website platform.

If you’ve read our article on “How much does a website cost?”, we mention that the creation method and platform can affect the total cost of your site.

In this case, apart from the cost you would pay your website designer (unless you’ll be designing that yourself), you would have a website that you won’t have to pay anything for ever again.

This is possible because firstly, they won’t provide you with the domain name of your choice. You will have a “sub-domain name” which means that their name will be included in your website name.

Very long and unattractive domain name

Secondly, in order to provide all the features including free hosting for your website, the platform would have to benefit something in exchange. Usually that is with them placing some advertising on your website.

If you can live with these two factors, you won’t have a problem. If you do decide to upgrade or get a proper domain name, you’ll have to sign up for one of their paid tiers and you’ll be paying either monthly or yearly till the day you no longer want your website online.

Want to give a free website platform a shot? Here are a few you might want to consider:

  • Wix
  • Weebly
  • WordPress (their .com service)
  • Blogger
  • Google My Business (

Barter trade with your designer

One final option that exists if you want to pay only a one-time fee for your website (or no fee at all) is to find a website firm or designer who is willing to do a barter trade with you.

Whatever business or service you provide, there might be a website designer who needs those exact services and is willing to negotiate with you.

Let’s say you’re a radio station. You want an amazing website designed for you. You might be able to strike up a deal with a website designer and offer them free advertising on air if they create your website for you. It could be a win-win deal.

Or you have a print shop. A website in exchange for free flyers. Someone might be willing to consider that option.

If you’re a person of your word, you can even get your website for free as long as you’re willing to refer a few other people to your website design guy for a fully paid up website.

Many large business deals and alliances in the world were based on a mutually beneficial situation which either caused no money or very little money to exchange hands, yet both parties are better off than before.

So it’s possible for you too to seek out a symbiotic relationship with your website design provider.

I want a mobile app for my business

The world has gone mobile, that’s a fact. Since Steve Jobs launched the iPhone, we’ve had a smartphone and mobile revolution which is still growing today.

People are doing everything with their phones today, from entertainment to shopping to learning to communicating, everything.

Most people can’t live without their mobiles, never leave home without them and, if given a choice, would rather lose their wallet.


With the iPhone and smartphone revolution also came mobile apps. With the two largest appstores being the Apple Appstore and the Google Play Store, whatever you have in mind, there’s an app for that.

Many business, big and small have also decided to have apps for themselves, and there are many good reasons for your business to also have an app. Especially if your app would provide a special function or would update constantly with latest news, etc.

But one huge problem that currently exists is app fatigue. People no longer want to install apps.

Half of all U.S. smartphone users download zero apps per month.


Currently, most people just have a fixed set of go-to apps. Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Uber, etc. Once they’ve downloaded those, they’re done. In fact, when people stray outside their main go-to apps, the new app installed is used less than once.

77 percent of apps are uninstalled in less than 3 days of being installed.


Why aren’t people interested in installing new apps?

  • Consumers don’t have enough storage on their devices
  • People spend their time in the same handful of apps
  • App advertisements hinder the user experience
  • People forget about them

Despite all this, there are 2 ways for you to have a mobile app for your business.

Get a native app

The first is to have a native mobile app developed for your business. By native, we mean that the mobile app will be developed specifically for a particular platform and will be installed from the respective app store.

If your target audience use iPhones, then you’ll need a native app built to run on iOS and submitted to the Apple Appstore.

Alternatively if most of your customers use phones that run Google’s Android Operating system, then that’s the platform you’ll need to have your app developed for and submitted to the Google Play Store.

Google Play Apple App Store

Some of the main advantages of native apps are the fact that they:

  • are able to use most of the phone’s hardware and features to provide unique and emersive experiences
  • increase your brand awareness and loyalty
  • can provide functionality you wouldn’t be able to provide otherwise

But the disadvantages of native mobile apps also have to be considered. Including the fact that:

  • your app can be rejected from the app store
  • it can be difficult to have your app discovered or found
  • developing a mobile app can come with quite a considerable expense
  • there is a significant amount of fragmentation to deal with for Android phones due to many users running different versions of the operating system
  • you have to spend double if you want a native app for both iPhones and Android phones
  • both Apple and Google take a cut out of sales that happen in your app and finally
  • the fact that updating your apps when needed can be a very painful and expensive process

One thing to note though is that the vast majority of apps that are installed are used only once before they are uninstalled. We did a study on mobile apps of ecommerce sites in Ghana and it was very insightful.

One statistic from Quettra stated that in just 3 months, the average mobile app loses over 95% of its active users. If 10,000 people install an app, very soon only 500 would still have it installed.

Graph showing Android Apps losing over 95% of their active users within 3 months

Whilst a mobile app is most likely not the best option for a vast majority of organizations and businesses, there is an alternative that you’d probably want to hear about.

Get a Progressive Web App

A PWA (Progressive Web App) is a relatively new innovation that is seeing a very serious uptick in adoption. All the big players are now turning their mobile sites into Progressive Web Apps, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Uber, Google, the New York Times and a whole lot more.

Basically, a Progressive Web App is a website or web application that has almost all the features and functionality of a native app but without most of the disadvantages. They can look and feel just like native apps and are:

  • Responsive
  • Secure
  • Work offline
  • Looks and feels just like a native app
  • Installable
  • Linkable
  • Easy updates
  • Lightweight
  • Searchable
  • Cross-platform
Progressive Web Apps Benefits

The results of adopting a PWA instead of a native app have been so mind boggling that PWAs are being touted as the future of mobile app development.

Consider this:

  • BookMyShow has observed 80%+ increase in their conversion rates since adopting a PWA.
  • Pinterest increased their ad click-throughs by 50%
  • OLX recorded 250% more re-engagement when they switched to a PWA

Whilst we’d love to dive much deeper into PWAs, we’ll have to hold off on that for a little while leaving you with just a few more statistics to consider:

  • +68% increase in mobile traffic
  • 15x faster to load and install
  • 25x less device storage required
  • 52% average increase in conversions
  • Sessions are on average increased by 78.25%
  • Engagement is often increased by 137%
  • The average load time for a page is 2.75 seconds
  • Compared to mobile website’s, bounce rate is reduced by a phenomenal 42.86%
  • On average, page views increased by a staggering 133.67%!

If you do want to read a bit more on the advantages of PWAs, this article might be useful: What are Progressive Web Apps?

Progressive Web Apps Benefits

Currently our Enterprise and Ultimate website design packages come with PWAs.

My website doesn’t load well on Opera Mini

Opera Mini is a type of browser known as a proxy browser. Another proxy browser is UC Browser.

Proxy browsers work quite differently from regularly browsers. Instead of connecting directly to the website you visit, a proxy browser stands in between you and the website you’re accessing.

It pulls the information on that page, then it squeezes it, compresses it and strips out any information it believes isn’t necessary and then sends you a really small package of information representing the website you went to.

What’s incredible about this is that Opera Mini can actually save you up to 9x the amount of data you would have spent on a normal browsing session.

In the top 20 African countries people saved an estimate of $100 million USD in mobile data by using Opera products in 2018.


So, the great thing about browsing with Opera Mini is that they strip out content and make the webpage you’re viewing light.

But the bad thing about browsing with Opera Mini is that they strip out content and make the webpage you’re viewing light. 😀

They strip out as much animation and fancy stuff and javascript and other interactive features as possible. If your website depends heavily on these things, the experience is not going to be a good one on Opera Mini.

Walmart Website on Chrome vs Opera Mini

Considering that Opera Mini has over 42% of the entire mobile browser market in Ghana, you might think making your website highly compatible with Opera Mini is the way to go.

But you might not need to read too much into that. After all, majority of Ghanaians are connecting to the Internet at 2G speeds. Hopefully the subset of people who are your target clients have far faster speeds.

As at 2017 the majority of connections are still slower speed 2G (53%).


Whilst it is something to consider, it comes down to whether your website can work as well as needed if the functionality that doesn’t work with a proxy browser is omitted. If omitting that severely impacts the function of your site, you might have to forgo Opera Mini.

But it might not be as bad as you think. Opera Mini’s market share in Africa is declining as it has been challenged significantly by Google Chrome. Also, a lot of people actually have multiple browsers on their device. So you might not lose out as much as you might think.

If on the other hand the vast majority of your visitors and clients are Opera Mini users, you’ll have to make some tweaks to your website. These would include:

  • Inlining as much css and javascript as possible
  • Using SVG rather than icon fonts
  • Eliminating certain CSS properties like border-radius, gradeint and CSS animations
  • Test your website with javascript disabled

You can read further on this from the creators themselves on how to make websites that work well with Opera Mini.

I’m getting a lot of spam in my email account

Spam! Spam!! Spam!!! I bet even spammers don’t love being spammed.

Did you know that back in 2009, 94% of all emails were spam?


If you’re receiving a lot of spam to your email address (most specifically one attached to your domain name), there might be a few things to look out for in order to solve that.

Website contact form without spam protection

The most likely culprit would be a contact form on your website that doesn’t have any type of spam protection. Spammers will try anything to get into your inbox and they know that your website’s contact form sends an email straight to you.

Contact form without captcha

There are a few different ways to prevent being spammed through your contact form including honeypots, simple captchas, some type of form validation or by using a service.

Two of the leading services that help protect and prevent your website from being inundated with spam are Akismet and Google Recaptcha. By signing up and implementing any of those services, you would be able to drastically reduce the amount of spam being generated by your website contact forms.

Contact form with Google Recaptcha

Email shown on website

On the other hand, there are robots whose job is to simply visit websites and scrape/copy every single email address they can find. The more email addresses they gather, the better their odds of getting someone to click on an email they send.

If your website has your email address in plain view, it means your email address can be picked up and added to thousands of email lists to be targeted for spamming.

Displaying your email address in a format that isn’t too obvious, (eg. email us on hello[at] or not displaying your email address at all are possible ways to get around this, although you’d have to weigh the pros and cons.

Email shown in your domain name registration

Some bots go beyond just your website and rather scrape your email address from publicly available domain registration records.

Every single domain name out there is registered to someone at a valid name, email address, phone number and physical address. By visiting these public registries, your name and email address can be vaccumed up for a spamming session.

To protect against this, you can purchase domain privacy for a few dollars a year. With domain privacy, all your personal details will be replaced with generic ones by your registry.

WHOIS Data Redacted For Privacy

You can still be reached, but only via a legitimate claim that goes through your registry.

Signing up on questionable websites

Whilst this might be slightly obvious, it’s worth mentioning. If you do sign up to a lot of things on the Internet, you run the risk of being spammed.

Ideally, make sure you only give your email address (one that you value) to websites and companies you believe will respect your privacy and not spam you or sell your details to third parties who will spam you.

Enabling spam settings in email system

It could also be that you are receiving a lot of spam because a spam filtering setting is currently disabled in your email system.

Some email systems have spam filtering off by default. This may be because with a business email account, them being liable for accidentally filtering out an important email could be a problem.

Spam Filtering Off By Default

Or maybe you might choose to use your own email program or client to do spam filtering for you.

Either way, take a look at your email settings and find out if there’s a spam filtering feature that you need to switch on manually and that could cut down on the spam you receive.

In your hosting account, you might find an option called Apache SpamAssassin that can be configured to help filter and reduce the amount of spam you receive.

Enabling SpamAssassin

Upgrading email provider

If nothing else helps, you might want to consider upgrading your email to a 3rd party service.

Google’s Gmail has probably the world’s best spam filtering system. It’s even part of how they gained their reputation as one of the best email services on the planet.

By upgrading your email to G Suite (that’s the name for Google’s set of business apps), you’re most likely to cut down the spam that gets through to you by about 99.9% so keep that in mind.

I don’t see my website’s pictures when I share links on social media

Featured image not showing

Whenever you share a link on a website like Facebook or WhatsApp, there’s usually an image of the page or article and a brief description that are shown.

WopeDigital Links Shared on WhatsApp

This is obviously very useful in conveying a summary of what the link is about and it can help ensure that the link shared gets a lot more clicks, visits and engagements.

If you do not get any image or summary of your link popping up when you share it on various networks or you want to control the particular information that is shared, you need to add some extra information to your website called Open Graph Meta Tags.

This was introduced in April, 2010 by Facebook and is a way to bring information about things on the Internet into the social networking world. Currently, the Open Graph Protocol or markup is used by many different websites and networks including Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Twitter and many more.

Open Graph Meta Tags (if implemented) can be found by viewing the source code for your pages. You will find them in the <head> tag starting with og:title. Many different tags specify different things to be worked with by a social network. A few examples include:

<meta property=”og:title” content=”The Rock” />
<meta property=”og:type” content=”” />
<meta property=”og:url” content=”” />
<meta property=”og:image” content=”” />

The 4 lines above tell a social network the title of the link shared, what the link is about, the exact link being shared and an image to represent that link.

You can find more information on the official website for the Open Graph Protocol.

Once you’ve implemented the needed meta tags, you can use Facebook’s Share Debugger tool to cross-check your implementation.

Facebook Sharing Debugger

I see irrelevant information instead of a description for my website in Google

When someone searches for something in Google, on its SERP (Search Engine Result Page), they basically show you the title of the page, the path or URL of the page and a brief description.

But sometimes, instead of seeing a meaningful description of your website, you might find a lot of disconnected and incoherent words. Sometimes, you might actually see math formulas or something that looks like Greek or Latin.

This is Google’s way of telling you that whilst they tried their best, they just could not find an appropriate portion of information on that page to display to your potential visitor.

Google Caching Errors and Shortcodes

It’s not a favourable position to be in and it’s one that you should rectify because Google takes CTR (Click Through Rate) into consideration to identify whether you should rank higher or lower in their results and an incoherent description won’t help that.

For example, let’s say you and your competitor are both grappling for the top spot for your preferred keyword. Google shows your page 100 times and 5 people click through. They then show your competitor’s page and get 9 people clicking on it.

With just that information, Google will say,

“I think that other page is better than this one.”

and so they’ll continue to show your competitors page in a higher position than yours.

Make sure your pages have sufficient readable content

The first step to solving this problem is to ensure your pages actually do have some content.

If your page doesn’t have any content, then it won’t be a surprise when Google can hardly find anything to serve as a description for your page.

You might have content on the page but it may not be readable. It might be just an embedded video or some images or an infographic, etc. If those pages can support you adding relevant text/readable content in areas, go for it.

Check to see if the page has a manually entered excerpt

It’s not all pages that might require text content so another option (if you use WordPress for your website) is to check on the excerpt for that page.

The concept of an excerpt, whilst hardly used in most situations, fits perfectly here. You get to craft your own short summary of what that particular page is about.

The excerpt might be displayed or not, depending on your site or theme’s settings, but it can be picked up by Google and displayed as the description for that page.

If you’ve looked around and can’t find exactly what Google is showing to the world to describe your page, have a look in the excerpt. There might be something there already.

Google Caching Lorem Ipsum

Check to see if your page is throwing up errors and exceptions

It’s quite interesting what Google sometimes decides is important to show when it comes to your website.

We’ve seen website errors and warning messages pop up instead of all the other content that was displayed on a page.

Google Caching Errors

Checking and resolving any errors being shown on your pages will ensure that Google doesn’t show that to your audience.

Add a meta description to all your pages

Better than the excerpt though is a tag called the Meta Description. A Meta Description is a line of code placed in your website that helps other entities (including search engines like Google and social networks) know what your page is about.

Whilst they don’t impact your search engine rankings directly, as mentioned, they do impact how many people choose to click through to your page, and that is something Google takes careful notice of.

To add a meta description to your page requires adding a line of code to the <head> section of your page that would look something like this:

<meta name=”description” content=”Here’s where you place your nicely crafted and unique page description.”/>

But you don’t need to be a coding person to add meta descriptions to your page. You can rather use an SEO plugin (like Yoast or All-in-One SEO) which allows you to add and even automatically generate meta descriptions for your pages.

WopeDigital Meta Description via SEO Plugin

A good resource on meta descriptions and how to write great ones can be found on the Yoast website. They recommend these 7 points:

  • Up to 155 characters – and sometimes more
  • Actionable and written in an active voicep
  • Including a call-to-action
  • Containing the focus keyword
  • Possibly showing specifications
  • Matching the content
  • Unique


We know this has been a long read but we’re glad you made it to the end and armed yourself with knowledge on 25 common website problems and solutions.

Knowing the problem and how to solve it is great. But preventing the problem from even occurring is even better. Learn more in our article on the 25 Steps to Complete Website Maintenance.

If you need any help resolving any of the website issues we’ve mentioned or you have a different problem, do let us know by contacting us or leaving a comment below.

We hope you get the very best out of your website whilst avoiding all the common and uncommon errors that may come your way.

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  1. I don’t get visitors on my website and i not earning any money from it since i created it. please solve them problem for me.

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