You’re new to WordPress and your site doesn’t seem to be working the way it should. The first thing that crosses your mind is: How do I fix this? You start searching different variations of your query on Google and posting questions on support forums but still aren’t able to find a fix.
Thankfully, there are a number of high-authority sites and forums where you can get support for your theme, plugin, or general WordPress query. Since WordPress is an open-source platform, most of the people behind the scenes helping you out aren’t part of an official WordPress support team.
With this in mind, in this post, we will cover a few things that you need to do to get better (and faster) WordPress support. We’ll also list a few resources where you can get WordPress support from and discuss when it’s best to go for a particular support channel by covering use case scenarios. But before we begin, let’s take a look at some things you need to do before you start asking around for WordPress support.
Let’s get started!
What Do I Need to Do Before Asking for WordPress Support?
WordPress is an open-source platform and one of the unwritten rules of open-source is that there’s no complaining in open-source. Most of the contributions you end up using were developed by people who simply wanted to create a theme, plugin, or patch for the WordPress platform. That’s why there are thousands of free themes and plugin in the official repositories for you to use.
Before you start firing up the ticket counter asking for help on different WordPress support channels, there are a few things that you need to know and do:
- Understand that WordPress is free. WordPress is an open-source platform and the developers contributing free themes and plugins to it aren’t (for the most part) members of the official WordPress team. This means that they aren’t making money off of their contributions and therefore aren’t obligated to answer your queries. Most developers – especially those that put their themes/plugins in the official repositories – don’t mind helping users out with minor problems. For this reason, it’s important that you be courteous and concise when asking for support.
- Make sure your theme/plugin is updated. As part of your preliminary troubleshooting efforts, you can make sure that your theme, plugin, and core WordPress installation is up to date. Chances are that the theme/plugin that you’re using has already received an update and updating your theme/plugin will fix the problem you’re having.
- Search Google, forums, and documentation. Instead of heading straight for the support page, try looking for a solution on your own first. For starters, you might want to type your query into Google and see what comes up. If you’ve run into an issue with a theme or plugin then chances are that someone else has, too. Alternatively, you can also go to relevant forums or read through the resource’s documentation (or FAQ section) if it’s available.
- Check for incompatibility issues. Checking for compatibility issues can be an effective way to pinpoint the problem. For example, one of the easiest ways to identify an incompatible plugin is to disable all of your plugins except for the one you’re testing for and then re-activate them one by one. When your site breaks again (displays an error message) you’ll know which plugin wasn’t compatible.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at how you can ask for WordPress support – the right way!
How Do I Ask for WordPress Support?
You want to be as clear as possible about the issue that you are facing right off the bat. Asking irrelevant and unclear questions will make you look annoying and unprofessional. Think of it this way, if someone submitted a support ticket to you that said It doesn’t work! I’ve already been waiting here FOR 30 MINS! FIX IT ALREADY!, would you want to offer free, professional help to them?
In this section, we’ll offer a few tips that can get your support tickets answered a little faster and more accurately. As a bonus, we’ve written a template that’s in line with the best practices for getting WordPress support.
3 Tips to Get Better and Faster WordPress Support
1. Be Specific With Your Query
The more specific you are with your question, the better help you’ll get. Basically, if you said I need help identifying the CSS selector for the divider in the Testimonials section on the homepage of theme XYZ as opposed to Color won’t change! you’d have a much easier time receiving support.
An added benefit of this is that it makes it easy for other community members to understand your problem and offer their own input. For instance, in the example we outlined above, any HTML/CSS expert would be able to help you identify a CSS selector and you wouldn’t have to wait for the theme’s developer to get around to answering your ticket.
Here are some other bits of information you can include in your query to make your question more specific:
- How did the problem occur in the first place? What triggered the error?
- What steps did you already take to fix the problem on your own and what the outcome was?
- Version number of the theme/plugin/core installation.
- Any errors that showed up on your screen.
It’s also a good idea to only ask one question (or related questions) in a single support ticket. This helps keep things organized on your end and allows you to rest assured the developer won’t accidentally overlook any of your questions.
2. Add Helpful Attachments
In some cases, adding helpful attachments to your support ticket (such as screenshots or links to the page) that show the problem are a great way to communicate the problem you’re facing. If the support forum doesn’t allow attachments, you can use a file sharing site and post a link to the screenshot.
Depending upon the issue you’re facing, some developers might even ask you to export the WP Debug Log to get a better idea of what went wrong. And in some cases, the person helping you out might be able to find the root cause of the problem just by reviewing the debug log.
3. Stay Involved
One thing that you need to do is actively participate in the whole problem-solving process. Make sure you are following up on the questions you’ve asked. Often times the person trying to help you will need some more information. And the only way you’ll be able to help them understand the problem fully is by staying in the loop.
Additionally, if you implement the advice they offer or come across a solution on your own, then post its outcome in the support thread. This will save the developer (and other people helping out) some time and help other people who encounter similar problems in the future.
Where Do I Get WordPress Support From?
Now that you have a better understanding of how to ask for support, all that’s left to do is find the appropriate support platform.
Luckily, there are a lot of sites that offer WordPress support for themes and plugins. In this section, we’ll cover some high-authority forums and sites that you can go to when you need support for either your free or premium theme or plugin.
For Free Themes and Plugins
Every theme and plugin in WordPress’ official Theme and Plugin Directories has its own Support tab where users submit support tickets. The benefit of using the official support channel is that your question gets tagged to ensure that the developer receives the query.
For Premium Themes and Plugins
Support Channel: The Theme or Plugin’s Developers
When you buy a premium theme or plugin it almost always comes with dedicated support from the developers. For instance, WP Rocket has their own Support page where customers can open up a ticket. Similarly, at Nimbus Themes, we have our own support channel that only our members can access.
Most developers or marketplaces offering premium WordPress themes and plugins have dedicated customer support representatives to help you out with your queries. That said, it’s still a good idea to follow the best practices we covered in the previous section before submitting a support ticket.
Additional Places to Get WordPress Support From
If you are using a free theme or your theme doesn’t come with support, you can check out these additional platforms that offer free WordPress support.
If you are new to WordPress, then this support forum is a great place for you to ask for help – especially if you’re not sure about how to form your query. It lets you navigate through categorized sections each addressing different problems. Best of all, there is a huge team of volunteers available to entertain your queries.
There are, of course, more WordPress users than support forum moderators so you shouldn’t expect speedy answers. If you are having trouble with free themes and plugins, then this is the go-to place to find solutions.
WordPress Development Stack Exchange is a question and answer forum. WordPress users post technical issues, and developers and administrators offer helpful solutions. On this platform, you are able to search for your issue using tags. In addition to this, you can also browse through different questions people ask and view their answers.
The best (and most helpful) answer, determined by the number of up-votes it receives, makes it to the top. If you have a technical or an advanced question related to anything WordPress, then this community of developers can help get you your answer.
To ensure that WordPress keeps operating smoothly without hitting any bumps, the core team is always hard at work thinking about adding more functionality to the WordPress core. The WordPress Codex provides guidelines and references for users who are thinking about extending the software’s core functionality using actions, hooks, and functions.
It’s got everything you could possibly need to know about WordPress from theme development and plugin APIs to WordPress semantics and information on troubleshooting. The WordPress Codex is incredibly useful for users who are programming literate and don’t have trouble understanding technical jargon.
As we briefly mentioned before, Google is the first place to look for help. It’s especially useful if you’re looking for answers to general questions (i.e. not specific to a particular theme or plugin), or if you are trying to see if someone else has posted a similar error on a support forum.
One of the best things about WordPress is that there’s a lot of places you can go to if you run into a problem. And if you follow the best practices for asking for WordPress support, then you’ll likely get an accurate and quick reply from a developer or active community member.
Let’s quickly recap the main points you need to keep in mind to get better (and faster) WordPress support:
- Be specific with your query. Offer as much information as you can right off the bat to save yourself (and the person helping you) some time.
- Add attachments (such as screenshots and links) to your support query to help the developer understand your question better.
- Stay involved in the conversation and offer updates whenever you can.
Where do you get WordPress support for your theme or plugin from? Let us know by commenting below!