Do This to Protect Your Website

I woke up one morning only to find my website layout completely screwed up.  My right website column appeared to have slipped under some sections and over other sections of my left website column.

This resulted in my opt-in box for my free audio e-course and the text for the titles and intros to my blogs to be partially covered.

See below what I saw…


Website Layout Error

In addition, there was a strange link in white letters over my Chef in Demand logo on the upper left which is impossible to see in the above screen shot.

And then, to make matters even more confusing, a few people didn’t see the above layout issues but saw a completely normal website and others saw completely different layout issues.  Go figure!

I was about ready to throw in the towel and give up.  I started mentally preparing myself for building my website over again from scratch.  I couldn’t keep spending time and money to resolve my website issues without any sense of whether a solution would be found or not.   Web designers and developers had already spent a total of 8 hours of time to no avail.

Then just as I was going to give the go ahead for everyone to stop working on my website issue so I could spend my time and money on developing a completely new website instead, the solution was found.  Whew!

Here’s What Was Wrong

A lot of changed and offending codes were found in my CSS file.  A CSS file contains formatting information for the various page elements on an HTML or XHTML Web page, including styles for fonts, headings, lists, tables and paragraphs.

Here’s What You Can Do to Protect Your Website

Back-Up Your Website Regularly

This is a no-brainer and my biggest mistake.  I should have known better.  I know that you have to back up your hard drive and your email on a regular basis, but I never thought about doing the same thing for my website.

Your hosting company may back up your website for you, but they don’t necessarily keep older versions.  Therefore if you don’t notice your issue right away, you may not be able to re-load a problem–free version of your website because the most recent saved version has the errors.

A free software tool that makes it super easy to back up your website onto your hard drive or remote drive is FileZilla at https://filezilla-project.org .

Change Your Password Occasionally

I have no idea how the changed and offending codes got added to my CSS file.  Perhaps someone hacked into my site?  I really have no clue.  I can’t imagine that I inadvertently did something.  Very few people had my password information, and the people I gave it to I trust.  Still, I am now thinking it is a good idea to change your password once in a while.

Check Your Website after Making Any Kind of Changes

Just in case you are the one who inadvertently screws something up with your coding, check your website right away after making any kind of changes.  This way if something goes wrong, you know exactly what you did prior to the problem occurring.  This may make it easier for a web designer or developer to identify exactly where the issue is and why it might have occurred.

I hope by implementing these tips, you are less likely to have a major website issue cause you headaches.  Got something to add or say?  Post your comments below!

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