How to Ask for WordPress Help

wordpress help
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There are days when  you find asking yourself “What the hell’s on going on?”.  Luckily WordPress is backed up by one of the most helpful communities on the web. Tons of information is already available all over the web. Still there are times when nothing seems to go your way. That’s when you need to ask for some help. WordPress community is very generous. If you are not receiving any help, it’s most probably due to communication gap. In this guide, we have put together all you need to know to find WordPress help, get WordPress support and get your questions answered.

Troubleshooting

You don’t need to ask for help every time. Consider taking the following steps when you encounter WordPress problem.

Search First

If you facing the problem then chances are that someone else faced it too. Sometimes, a simple Google search is all you need to solve the problem. If you are receiving an error message, copy and search using the error message. Maybe someone has already solved the same problem. Google search is the fastest and easiest way to get WordPress help.

Read documentation and FAQ

Most people (including myself) don’t like reading the documentation. But sometimes they prove to be a real time-saver. Documentation can give you insight knowledge of how the theme or plugin works. You may learn about features which you never knew existed.

FAQ (Frequently asked questions) section is more than worth checking out. Popular plugins in the official WordPress plugins repository have all general questions solved in their FAQ section. For example, Contact Form 7 at the time of this writing has more than 25 topics their FAQ section.

Update Themes and Plugins

Make sure you are using the latest version of WordPress. Update all other plugins or themes too. Having latest versions of software installed will eliminate lots of bugs. They will also come with enhanced security.

Conflicting issues

Some plugins don’t get along very well. Taking some time to check plugin conflicts will save you lots of  time later. Quickest way is to disable all plugins at once and enable one at a time.

Your theme may not be compatible with the plugin. Always check to ensure that your theme is compatible with your plugin. For example, not every theme comes with WooCommerce support.

Before you ask for WordPress Help

WordPress is a free open source community project. Most of the plugins and themes that you use from official WordPress repository are also free. If the plugin is free, then the developers are probably not making any money out of it. They are generous people helping you out. They don’t owe you anything. Being polite and thankful are your best bet to get WordPress help.

Asking for WordPress Help

Before you go for help, make sure you have done proper research. Are you certain that there is no solution is available? People are giving you time out of their own life to help you out. Don’t waste their time by asking them to provide something which is already available.

Use descriptive title

The first thing to do when asking for support is to prepare a descriptive title. Poor selection of title can slow down the response time. A title like “What the ****?” does not make any sense. Take some time and find a good title. If possible, it should include the area of expertise needed to solve the problem. Most volunteers search for titles with their area of expertise. For example, “JavaScript error in the mobile menu” will surely grab the attention of volunteers with  JavaScript knowledge.

Provide Information

You thought of a good title – Great! Now provide some clear and concise information. List everything that you tried to resolve the problem. Include your version of WordPress, any theme that you are using, any plugins you recently installed, and customizations you did, your hosting provider and more. Include a link to the site if possible. It will help the volunteers more.

Something like “Hey, your plugin is a broken ****, fix it!” doesn’t offer any sort of information. Don’t use abusive tone. It won’t get you anywhere.

Provide screenshots

If you can’t provide a link to the site, then provide screenshots instead. Unfortunately, volunteers lack psychic powers. If you tell them “My signup form looks odd?” there is no way for them to figure out what looks odd.

Be polite

To provide a plugin or theme for free and provide free support for it as well is easier said than done. It involves hours and hours of work. Politeness matters. The support crew always appreciates a warm “thank you”.

You are using free stuff that means you are saving money. On top of that, you are seeking an expert to help you out for free. The least you can do is be respectful and polite to the developers and designers.

Be patient

Don’t let frustration get the better of you. Wait for at least 24 to 48 hours to get a response. WordPress is a global community. Time zones are different. When you are expecting an answer, your volunteer might be hard at work or fast asleep. You many need to wait a bit while someone far away reaches out to you on the internet to help you out.

Don’t bump

Stop yourself from bumping posts. It won’t make the response faster but may delay it.If you keep bumping your posts, you increase the post count. For a volunteer, it looks like an answered thread.

One Post – One Question

Got your problem resolved, congrats! Now confirm, thank and close the thread. Don’t use it to get help with something else. Your title will be different and you won’t get any help. Create a new one.

Where to get WordPress Help

If you are using one of the free plugins from the official WordPress repository, then visit the plugin page for support. In the plugin page, look for the support tab. First browse through the available threads to see if what you want is already available. If not, create a new support thread. Wait for 24 to 48 hours. If you don’t receive any response, then you can always reach out to them on Twitter and politely ask for help.

Another great site to get WordPress support is WordPress Development Stack Exchange. It is a question and answer site for WordPress developers. You don’t need to register. It’s a free site. If you have something that you consider advanced, then you should ask for help here.

Support for Premium themes and plugins

Use of correct communication channel is vital. Asking for support of a premium plugin anywhere else other than the official support section does not make any sense. Chances are you won’t any help. If you are using a popular premium plugin like Gravity Forms, then they have a dedicated section for support.

Even when you purchased a premium item, you should be polite to the support team. The support team is only there to help you. The support team deserves your appreciation!

Conclusion

Finding WordPress help and support is easy. The WordPress community loves helping each other. Be nice when asking for support. If you found the solution yourself, then share it with the community. If someone helped you, then spread the word. If you really love a free plugin or theme, why not donate a few bucks to help out the developer?

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Tapas Pal

Tapas pal is the founder of layerpoint.com and he is an avid Internet geek enthusiast and writer has deep interest in technology, Digital Marketing and love tools that increase human productivity.