Note: This is a guest post written by Tracy Vides
It’s a real pain when you have trouble with your website. Whether you are a business owner, developer, or designer (and especially if you are an entrepreneur), any problem related to your website means downtime and loss of business.
Sometimes, you have to fix your website even before it’s broken.
One of the greatest gifts Internet gave us is the power of the community – anonymous users helping others with information, solutions, and sometimes even motivation and inspiration. Not everyone is tech savvy and that also helped hundreds of communities evolve and develop into full-time powerhouses with experts weighing in with their experience and knack for solving problems.
Let’s explore some community powerhouses you should bookmark for help regarding web and application management, tech related help, and site trouble shooting:
Open Source Web Development
Chances are that your website runs on one of the open source platforms such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal. Further, if you have an ecommerce store, other open source systems such as Magento, OpenCart, and other popular ecommerce engines might just be at the core of your business.
Open source CMS and ecommerce solutions, especially those built on PHP technology, have a great advantage when it comes to support and help: thriving communities that created each of these systems and then standing by for user support. Note the following links for each of the popular open source systems. If you need help or if you need to ask questions about the open source system you are using, the community for that particular open source system should be your first point of contact.
Content Management Systems:
Stack Overflow is filled with experts and professionals. So much that beginners are sometimes intimidated to ask questions in the fear that it might already been answered and asking the same question could draw flak from the community. It’s a completely free site for professional advice on all things to do with technology, the web, and programming. The community boasts of a great interface, a voting system for popular answers, the ability to tag questions, and with a system that earns reputation for experts (making sure that you get professional answers and no distractions).
Stackoverflow is actually part of a network of sites. Together, they cover all aspects of technology and also spill into other areas such as mathematics and almost everything else under the tech sun.
If you are a Webmaster looking for specific solutions, Pro Webmasters is another awesome resource you can specifically bookmark.
SitePoint, for a long time now, has been an authority website for all things web covering web technologies, websites, responsive design, ecommerce, design, and many other facets of technology.
Who Is Hosting This
One of the most overlooked and under-prepared for aspects of site maintenance is web hosting, despite the overreaching prevalence of service providers offering everything from private servers to Platform-as-a-Service cloud hosting. If you’re not the kind who picks a “cheap hosting provider” the morning you launch your site, you can do your due diligence at Who Is Hosting This by:
- Looking at which hosts your competitors (or other major sites in your business domain) are using and figure out whether they’re apt for you too. This service is right there on the home page.
- Compare the features and offerings of various providers side by side and match them against your requirements.
- Dig into reviews. There are literally thousands of recommendations, criticisms, complaints and praises for all the major hosts, with pages dedicated to each of them.
Tech Support Guy
Tech Support Guy is a well-respected, heavily trafficked forum with the good old charm. While it spreads out into technical help for all things to do with a computer, you do have subsections in the forum for specific help on Internet, web technology, and website troubleshooting. The forums delve deep into specific operating systems, business applications, software development, email, websites, and General technology troubleshooting.
The forum is moderated and does not appreciate stalking, trolling, and self-promotion.
Allexperts.com is a reputed community in good stead with the Webmaster community (among others). Experts pitch in their solutions to your questions while you can browse through already existing questions.
You might want to do a search for your specific problem before asking a question though. Since the community addresses many other topics, you might want to specifically bookmark categories that are of interest to you or categories where your specific problems lie. For web, email, and general website help, you might to pick categories like and Computing/Internet and Internet/Technology.
Experts-exchange is similar to All Experts except that it’s completely focused on technology and related areas.
The community has specific focus on topics such as storage, web development, security, software, hardware, and many more that might be relevant to the solutions you are seeking. It’s a community with paid access with more than 50,000+ members and 3 million pieces of technology content. The community also features hundreds of blogs, step-by-step solutions, and is completely advertisement free.
Adobe Business Catalyst
If you are a business catalyst user or a partner, the official Adobe Business Catalyst forum is the best community to help you with any questions, problems, or technical requests for your business catalyst sites. Alternatively, you could also reach out to specific communities created for Adobe Business Catalyst such as the Adobe Business Catalyst LinkedIn Group.
If you’d like to immerse yourself in the world of Adobe Business Catalyst and learn more about troubleshooting, the core of the product, and interact with the community, you might also want to check BCGurus.com and BC Guru Forums. Other alternatives include Kiyuco. For continuous learning and more resources, also bookmark the BC Sandpile.
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list and you’d find many other communities, Q&A sites, and specific product-based communities where you can always find solutions.
The Internet is a treasure trove of information and there’s really no reason why you won’t be able to solve a problem as it rears its ugly head.
What are some of your favorite communities for tech-related help, website technology support, and troubleshooting? Have I missed out any popular communities? I’d love to hear from you!
Note: This guest post was written by Tracy Vides. Tracy is a content strategist and serial blogger who writes about everything under the sun, including finance, tech, fashion, and chocolates! Hit her up on Google+ for a chat. She’s @TracyVides on Twitter.