The WordPress community is constantly growing. This means that there are more newbies needing help. Aside from the newbies, there are seasoned users, designers, and developers that all look for help. Aside from the official WordPress Support forum, there are groups all over the place just brimming with people either needing help, or people wanting to give help.
However, sometimes help seems to take on new meanings and people get hurt. WordPress help isn’t suppose to be a big drama. It’s suppose to hopefully allow people to learn from one another, and then let everyone’s happy… or somewhat pleased. 😉
So, here are some pieces of WordPress support etiquette I’ve picked up along the way. I’ve made a list for both the person asking, and for the person answering.
WordPress Support Tips for the Person Asking
- Be as specific as possible. If you need to give a link to your site, do so. Not everyone is a mind reader.
- If the plugin or theme you’re using looks to have a developer that is actively giving support, try them first. They know their theme or plugin best.
- Posting your issue in EVERY group and forum all at once in hopes to get an immediate response seems convenient for you, but annoying for those who are members of most of those groups… we end up seeing them more than 3 times, and sometimes up to 10. It’s not the end of the world… stay calm and be patient for a response. If the group isn’t active, remove your question and take it to a more active one.
- Don’t expect everything to be done for you.
- While it’s not about the money, don’t expect people to take time to troubleshoot a problem for free that takes from their own work and family.
- “Google is your friend.” As funny as that sounds, it’s the honest truth. Try it! You might be amazed at what you learn.
- Be aware that not everything is WordPress. Sometimes it’s a plugin. Sometimes it’s a theme… and sometimes it could be your web host.
WordPress Support Tips for the Person Answering
- If you’re not going to explain out your answer or give a good resource, don’t bother answering.
- If another person answered the question, repeating it is not necessary. However, if the previous person’s answer needs to be clarified, you should do so.
- Don’t give up so soon an insist on getting a login. Let the question lay for a bit. Someone may come along and answer it. Sometimes the answer can be simple, but you just aren’t good at explaining out the solution.
- If you’re answer is wrong, don’t get flustered. Also, don’t get stupid or arrogant. Just admit you were wrong and open the floor for someone else to answer. If you come up with the correct solution, you can always come back to answer. We’re all human beings, so don’t worry about not being perfect or correct all the time. Even seasoned WordPress users, designers, and developers have been wrong from time to time.
- Don’t slave away all day on a support question unless you’re getting paid. While someone else may need help, you’re not obligated to spend your time on them. However, if you like providing help for free all day, every day and it doesn’t effect your livelihood… then so be it.
- Don’t be afraid to delegate support where it needs to be. If the plugin or theme being asked about has active support, try getting the developer involved or refer the asker to go directly to the developer.
The WordPress community is pretty friendly, so above all, never be afraid to jump in and ask or answer questions any time.
Do you have any other WordPress support etiquette you’d like to share? Have any horrifying experiences helping others, or asking for supporting?