On a daily basis, we assist dozens of people by providing free WordPress assistance via our Twitter account or our contact form. As a volunteer who provides free support, it’s difficult not to get upset with new users who ask accusatory questions without taking the time to read or search through previous information. At the same time, we know how it feels to be absolutely overwhelmed by so much information because we were once beginners ourselves. In this article, we’ll show you how to properly request and receive WordPress assistance.
Before You Ask, Understand this:
You must first understand that WordPress is an open source community effort before requesting WordPress support or assistance with a specific plugin or theme. Anyone can make a plugin, a theme, provide patches to the core, suggest/fix bugs, and so on. Most of the themes and plugins that you use with WordPress are also free.
Individual plugin or theme developers are not always members of the WordPress core team. Plugins that they distribute for free are frequently ones that they produced for themselves or for a client in their spare time. So, unless the plugin or theme is for sale, you may presume they aren’t making any money from it.
The majority of these programmers earn money by working on freelancing client projects. Even if most engineers are happy to assist with a few little tasks, there will come a time when they will want to be compensated for their additional assistance. The more respectful and grateful you are, the more likely they are to assist you for little or no cost.
Remember that you are not paying anything to use the plugin, so the least you can do is show some respect to the developer.
What Is the Best Way to Ask the Right Question?
The support forums are the greatest location to ask for help with free plugins. The support forum may be found by going to the plugin’s page on the repository and clicking the support tab (this ensures that your support question is tagged for the plugin author)
Make sure you’ve read through the FAQ page before starting a help thread. It’s also a good idea to Google the problem to see if anyone else has already addressed it.
You should be respectful, straightforward, and succinct in your help thread. The following is an example of a bad example:
There’s an issue with your @#$1 plugin, guy. If it doesn’t work, don’t make *& percent. I squandered X hours on this nonsense. Do you want to lend a hand?
If you write in an accusatory tone, you’ll come across as a jerk. There’s a good chance you won’t get any aid either.
You should keep in mind that you’re asking an expert to give up their time to answer your issue for free. One of the best ways to demonstrate respect is to make a list of all you’ve done to solve the situation up to that moment. This demonstrates that you are not a troll who expects people to perform their work for free. The proper way to phrase the question is:
Thank you for your fantastic XYZ plugin. I’m having trouble getting it to operate properly for some reason, and I’d be grateful if you could assist me.
I’m using the following WordPress version:
Version of the plugin:
This is what I did:
This is what I intended the plugin to do:
Instead, it did the following: (Include any error messages here)
My website is hosted on the following server:
I’ve experimented with the following options:
I attempted to reproduce the problem in the following browsers:
Thank you for volunteering your time. It means a lot to me:)
You’re addressing all the conceivable things a developer would need to answer your query in a support letter like the one above. They may occasionally request to view your site’s URL and/or a list of plugins you’ve installed.
After you’ve started a support post, you can always reach out to the developer on Twitter, which can increase your chances of receiving a quicker response. Here’s an example of a tweet:
Hello there, @twitterhandle. I’m having a problem with the name of the plugin. I’d appreciate it if you could assist: This is the link to the support topic.
Allow at least 24 hours to receive a response. You have no idea what timezone the author is in or what their current schedule is.
Please do not contact them, even if their phone number is given on their website. You also don’t want to SPAM all of their lines of communication. A support thread plus a tweet, for example, is sufficient.
ANNOYING SUPPORT THREADS + TWITTER + FACEBOOK MESSAGE + EMAIL + BUSINESS PHONE CALL
Themes + Commercial Plugin
It is always encouraged to use the right support channels when utilizing a paid plugin or theme.
WPForms, Elegant Themes, MonsterInsights, All in One SEO, and other commercial solutions have dedicated help pages. You won’t get much help if you ask questions outside of their specified support sections.
When a user asks for commercial theme assistance, for example, we simply direct them to the right channels.
We do this not to be impolite, but because it is the appropriate thing to do. Support is included when you buy a commercial plugin or theme.
You don’t deserve our help if you obtained a commercial plugin/theme from a pirate site without paying for it.
Finally, just because you paid for something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be courteous. Always be courteous to the customer service representatives.
Most of those folks enjoy assisting others, yet using harsh comments can completely spoil their day. So, please, be courteous.
When seeking WordPress assistance, you should always be courteous. We strongly advise you to spread the good word about that developer once you’ve received a satisfying settlement. You can even donate a few dollars to buy them a beer or coffee.
Finally, if you have any WordPress-related questions, feel free to contact us via Twitter.