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Help Me Help You: The art and science of getting good WordPress support - WordCamp Ottawa 2013

Kathryn Presner
Kathryn Presner
Kathryn PresnerHappiness Engineer at Automattic

Visual Editor stopped working? Plugin update gone awry? Getting useful help when you’re stuck on a WordPress problem is not always as straightforward as it seems. This session will be packed with tips on how to ask for assistance in the WordPress support forums and other arenas – in a way that will let others help you more easily and effectively. We’ll also cover some handy techniques for basic troubleshooting on your own – before contacting tech support.

Help Me Help You: The art and science of getting good WordPress support - WordCamp Ottawa 2013

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HELP
ME
HELP
YOU
The art and science of getting good WordPress support
Wordcamp Ottawa 2013
#wcottawa
KATHRYN PRESNER
Automattic Happiness Engineer
WordPress.org support forum volunteer
Web designer/developer
THE GOOD
THE BAD
and the
THE GOOD
1
2
3
4
5
CLEAR GOAL
CLEAR PROBLEM
RELEVANT CODE
GIVES LINK
POLITE & GRATEFUL
THE BAD
2
3
4
5
NO LINK
DOESN’T LIST STEPS ALREADY TAKEN
“UNABLE TO FOLLOW DIRECTIONS”
DOESN’T MENTION WHICH BROWSER
1 VAGUE PROBLEM
DOs
Some things to keep in mind
when asking for support
Ad

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Help Me Help You: The art and science of getting good WordPress support - WordCamp Ottawa 2013

Editor's Notes

  1. Search is a powerful tool. Take advantage of it before even asking for help.
  2. If you’re having a problem, chances are, someone else has had the same problem – your answer might be right at your fingertips
  3. Know where you are – big difference between WordPress.com & WordPress.org – post in the right place
  4. Don’t know how to do something? Read the docs
  5. Don’t know how to do something? Read the docs
  6. Don’t know how to do something? Read the docs
  7. Don’t know how to do something? Read the docs
  8. Don’t forget the plugin search field
  9. 4 – how long have you been using WP? Are you a blogger, designer, developer? Try to avoid vague expressions like tech-savvy that can mean different things to different people. You might say “I know basic CSS and intermediate HTML, but I’ve never used PHP.”6 – are you still running WP 2.5? running multisite? still using Kubrik? on a Windows server? have 500,000 posts?
  10. 6 – are you still running WP 2.5? running multisite? still using Kubrik? on a Windows server? have 500,000 posts?
  11. If you ask for someone specific, you may be doing yourself a disservice. That person may not be around and you may discourage others who may be able to help from replying
  12. Try to repeat under other conditions to narrow down culprit
  13. 1 & 2 – save older version of plugin or theme so you can revert3 – check master troubleshooting list in forum4 – functions.php can be particularly dangerousNever edit files live on the server
  14. 1 & 2 – save older version of plugin or theme so you can revert3 – check master troubleshooting list in forum4 – functions.php can be particularly dangerousNever edit files live on the server