Simplifying WordPress Installation with Domain Propagation Check

Current Issue: Users often purchase a hosting service and domain, then immediately try to install WordPress with HTTPS (the pre selected option). Due to zone updates typically taking up to an hour, this results in a failed installation and an error message from Let’s Encrypt. This technical error message confuses users, leading them to repeat the process and eventually become rate-limited by Let’s Encrypt, creating a negative user experience.

Suggestion for Improvement: Introduce a domain propagation status check as part of the WordPress installation process to enhance the user experience:

  1. User-Friendly Notification: When a user attempts to install WordPress, implement a system check for domain propagation. If the domain is not fully propagated (dig not responding with nameservers or a record), display a clear, understandable message advising them to wait, such as “Your new domain isn’t ready yet, it can take a little while. Please wait about 1-2 hours before installing WordPress with HTTPS.”
  2. HTTP Installation Option: Offer to proceed with the WordPress installation using HTTP as a temporary solution, with a straightforward option to upgrade to HTTPS later. This can be communicated as “You can start with a basic setup now and easily switch to a secure setup later.”
  3. Disabled SSL Option: If the domain has not propagated, disable the ‘Enable SSL’ option to prevent the user from choosing a setup that will fail. The option can be grayed out with a tooltip or message explaining why it’s temporarily unavailable.

These changes will guide users through the installation process more smoothly, reduce frustration, and prevent unnecessary support requests due to installation errors.

I must reiterate that this isn’t a one-time thing but something that has occurred 50+ times often resulting in tickets and the need for me to tell them to wait via email before reattempting to install wordpress again.