Supporting Plugins

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Supporting WordPress plugins (without losing your mind)

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  • Supporting Plugins

    1. 1. How to Support TheMasses
    2. 2. Without losing your mindTips and tricks to keeping itall in perspective, while still giving people the bestexperience possible when it comes to support.
    3. 3. Who Am I? Mika A. Epstein (a.k.a. Ipstenu) Over a decade of supporting technologists, programmers ... and grandmothers
    4. 4. I have theBEST IDEA!It starts with you and your dream (or desire).
    5. 5. I assemble my code
    6. 6. And it’s awesome!
    7. 7. YAY! Version 1.0.0!!!!!
    8. 8. Wow! People areusing my plugin!!!
    9. 9. Not everyone likes it...
    10. 10. http://wordpress.org/support/view/plugin-committer/YOURHANDLE
    11. 11. Do I want tohelp them?Do I want to spend my time doing support? You don’t have to! But....
    12. 12. What’s in your README? • Are there alternate support methods? • Email, other forums, UserVoice? • Is there no support? • Is there only paid support?
    13. 13. Unless you clearly stateotherwise on your plugin page, users have a reasonable expectationthat you will provide free support in the WordPress.org Forums.
    14. 14. Is it reallymy problem? Valid complaints? Reasonable requests? Not RTFMing?
    15. 15. Okay, I’m going to help! • Can I reproduce it? • Have they tried turning off other plugins? • Have they tried using the default theme?
    16. 16. Oh! It’s a conflict!
    17. 17. Should I fix it?• Is it a security hole?• Is it in the scope of your plugin?• Is the other plugin/ theme behaving badly?
    18. 18. If you can’t fix it...•Be honest•Be direct•Consider patches from users•Ask for help
    19. 19. What about requests?My users want special features. Well ... Okay.
    20. 20. It totally needs a unicorn! Yeah, I know it’s anRSS plugin, man, but think about it! UNICORNS!
    21. 21. JUSTSAYNO!
    22. 22. Keep sight of your scope • What problem did I want to solve with this plugin? • What logical extensions can be added? • What can be easily added? • What can I add and still support?
    23. 23. But I want the unicorn!
    24. 24. You can still say no.
    25. 25. It’s okay to ...• walk away• say no• get mad• give up• ask for help
    26. 26. It’s not okay to... • blame them (even if it’s their fault) • be mean • accept abuse • ignore them*
    27. 27. TipsSo what should I do?
    28. 28. Document It What it does What it doesn’t How it works Support optionsKnown/common errors
    29. 29. REMEMBER!If you make aBIG change ...DOCUMENT IT!!
    30. 30. Take TimeThink before you answer Study the error reports Test possibilities Take time for yourself
    31. 31. Be this guy!Walk away from thecomputer once in a while
    32. 32. I have a life! It’s ...
    33. 33. Don’t Attack!They’re not attacking you Don’t bite the usersPassion makes people seem aggressive Strong opinions can be misread easily in text!
    34. 34. Don’t be this guyWhat do you want meto do? LEAVE? Thentheyll keep beingwrong! http://xkcd.com/386/
    35. 35. EOLWhat if I’m just done with this plugin?
    36. 36. Warn them! “This is no longer supported.” Push a final version to notify users.Alerts in the admin screen
    37. 37. Hand off?Give it to someone else.Ask someone to take it over. Email wp-hackers. Post in the forums.
    38. 38. The End

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