404 Error, 500 Internal Error, that dreaded buffering wheel or gray sad emoji. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
If you’ve got a loading problem on your site or platform, it can mean some big trouble that you might have to contact your webmaster or service provider about. But before you go doing all that, here are a few things to try to sort out the issue yourself.
1. Network, you have a problem
Sometimes, it's just you. Or rather, your network. To confirm this, try to use a network other than the one you’re currently using.
If your office desktop won’t load your site while connected to your office internet, then pull out your smartphone, turn off your Wi-Fi and use your mobile data to see if the website still won’t load.
Corporate networks, because they are shared with other employees/colleagues, can become congested and turn into a bandwidth bottleneck. IT staff are also constantly protecting the office network for intrusion/attacks and other disruptions and may have inadvertently blocked a service or a connection that you use.
2. Have you tried rebooting?
We know, we know, but we have to ask.
It sounds funny but it works 99.99% of the time. Turning your computer or gadget off and turning it back on just magically works most of the time. Computer things need a fresh start once in a while. Just like your life, Karen.
3. Show me the cache, Jerry! (Then clear it)
Your browser keeps a “cache” or commonly used and seldomly changed files inside your computer so the next time you visit a website it grabs it locally rather than requesting it from the website's server.
This is great for reducing load times to frequently visited websites, but can cause problems.
Sometimes this fails, conflicting with your current website's code and this may cause your website to show errors or not completely load. It's a common problem and sometimes it's just a cache. Here's how to clear your local cache and request a new copy from the remote server:
- Select 'Tools' from the menu bar > Click the option 'Clear Recent History' (Ctrl+shift+delete is your keyboard shortcut)
- Press Shift+F5 to reload your website (Windows), Command+Shift+R (Mac)
On Google Chrome:
- Click the top right dropdown menu > select 'More Tools' > 'Clear Browsing Data...' > select the 'Cached images and files' > 'Clear data'
- (Ctrl+shift+delete is your keyboard shortcut)
4. Gewgle.com not loading? Check your URL!
There could be times when you simply made a mistake typing the internet address — or “URL” for the truly tech-savvy.
Check your spelling. If you are positive you've got the correct spelling, check the “protocol” or the combination of letters and characters that come before the “www.” in your address.
Sometimes it can be as simple as changing http:// to https:// or vice-versa.
5. Finally, it might just be a 'you' problem, honey
Here’s a couple of helpful tools that run your website through a checker that will tell you if everyone around the world is experiencing problems loading a specific site, or if the internet is only mad at you. (If it is, we sympathize!)