WordPress has made a great deal of progress as far as user friendliness goes. But the fact remains that you still might run into some snags in your time using WordPress. And when those situations arise, you’ll need a place to get WordPress support.
So, when an issue pops up with your theme, plugin, or overall WordPress website, where can you turn for help? That’s the focus of today’s post. I’ll dig into all the places you can find WordPress help, covering everything from self-help on the forums to paid maintenance services.
Let’s get going…
How Can I Get WordPress Support For Free?
Free is always good, right? So let’s start with some of the places you can find support without needing to crack open your wallet. We’ve even published an entire article on how to get free WordPress support.
Just remember, you get what you pay for. While the WordPress community is generally happy to dish out help and support for free, some of that help does require a bit of technical savvy. That is, people who are helping you for free might not be willing to go the extra mile to walk you through everything in perfect detail (which is totally fair, if you think about it).
So if you find yourself in a situation where you can’t handle things by yourself, you might want to skip ahead to the next section where I’ll discuss some of the paid WordPress support options that are out there.
If you ever hit a snag with a free plugin or theme, the WordPress.org support forums should typically be your first port of call.
There are two ways you’ll interact with the forum. Method one is to use one of the general forums. If you’re having problems with WordPress in general, this is the spot for you. Topics cover everything from:
- Installing WordPress
- WordPress Multisite
- And lots more.
If, on the other hand, you’re running into an issue with a specific plugin or theme, you should go to that plugin or theme’s listing page and click on the support option there:
Tips for using the WordPress.org support forums:
- Use the search function before posting. There’s a decent chance your question is already answered, so you might be able to save some time you’d otherwise spend waiting for a response (and avoid requiring volunteers to duplicate their efforts).
- Try to be as descriptive as possible when talking about the issue you’re encountering. If there’s a specific error message, make sure to include it.
- Include screenshots if you think they will help.
Plugin or Theme Developer’s Website
If you purchased a premium theme or plugin, you should almost always be able to get support at the developer’s website. Most quality WordPress shops include at least 6 months of human support with your purchase, with the most popular duration of support being a full year.
So…take advantage of what you paid for!
There’s just one caveat, though. Always try to look through the developer’s documentation first. It’s a waste of everyone’s time to ask a question that’s already been clearly answered in the documentation.
So, the process should look like this:
- Check the theme or plugin’s documentation
- Contact the developer’s human support
Third-Party Forums Like Stack Exchange
If neither of the first two options was successful, you can always turn to a third-party forum for a solution. The only potential issue with third-party forums is that they tend to skew a bit toward the advanced.
If you’re trying to hack together some custom code, they’re a great option. But if you’re looking for really basic help, you’ll probably be better off sticking to WordPress.org or your developer.
Stack Exchange’s WordPress Development forum is always a good starting point. And if that doesn’t work, Google might be able to turn up some other options depending on your specific question.
How Can I Get Premium WordPress Support?
If you’re willing to pay, you’ll have a great deal more flexibility in where you get WordPress support. Your paid options generally boil down to three different solutions:
- WordPress maintenance services
- WordPress customization services
- Paid developer support
For each option, I’ll give you a few examples as well as suggest when you should consider paying for it.
WordPress Maintenance Services
WordPress maintenance services generally work like this:
You pay a set monthly fee which gets you access to basic maintenance and support. WordPress maintenance services will typically handle things like:
But beyond that, they also normally offer basic support, as well as some small customizations. Most will give you a set number of “development hours” per month that you can use to make tweaks to your site beyond basic maintenance.
So if you just want a basic general support service that helps out with the small stuff, WordPress maintenance services are a good option.
There are a number of maintenance services out there, but some good ones to get you started are:
- WP Site Care – One of the longest-running WordPress maintenance services.
- WPmatic – Gives you a few “30 minute jobs” per month.
- WP Buffs – Helps with lots of small things.
- WP Maintainer – Very simple pricing – everyone pays $99 per month.
For a solid WordPress maintenance service, you’ll typically be looking at ~$40-$60 per month to start. Prices can range up to ~$150 depending on how much support you need, though.
WordPress Customization Services
WordPress customization services are similar to WordPress maintenance services in that you’re outsourcing support to a qualified third-party. But there is one key difference:
With a WordPress maintenance service, you’re outsourcing general monthly tasks (as well as basic support questions). On the other hand, when you go with a WordPress customization service, you’re typically outsourcing one specific task (or set of tasks). That is, it’s a one-off project.
So if you’re fine with handling backups and updates yourself, but just need a developer to help you with one specific project for your WordPress site, you’re probably better off going with a WordPress customization service.
A couple good options to get you started are:
- Codeable – Has a great reputation, but isn’t always the cheapest option.
- WP Kraken – An up-and-comer that’s a little bit more affordable than Codeable.
With a WordPress customization service, you’ll typically submit a project brief and then receive bids from developers. Codeable usually starts at a minimum of $60 per hour, whereas WP Kraken is a little more in the ~$40 range.
Premium Developer Support
Finally, if there’s a specific theme or plugin that you need help with and you don’t already have support included, you might be able to pay for premium developer support.
This is a fairly common add-on for otherwise free plugins and themes. Developers might offer some basic support at WordPress.org, but after that, you’ll need to pay for more detailed support.
Premium developer support can either be:
- A published offering
- Something where you just email the developer
That is, even if the developer doesn’t specifically list premium support as an offering, there’s a good chance that you can work out a private arrangement (if you’re willing to pay, of course).
This is a good option if you have a specific theme or plugin you need help with. While a WordPress customization service can certainly help you with this as well, sometimes it pays to get support directly from the person who actually wrote the original code.
Wrapping Things Up
Running into issues with WordPress can certainly be frustrating. We’ve all been there, trust me. But you don’t need to feel like you’re banging your head against a wall. Using one (or multiple) of these support methods can get you the help you need.
If you’re tech savvy, you can usually find what you need at the free forums. But if you prefer more hands-on help, you might just be better off paying some money to get the exact support you need without the headache of trying to figure it out yourself.