Looking for assistance with your WordPress installation but don't know where to turn for help? There is plenty of useful information available to you that can help you resolve WordPress related issues on your website. There are many offerings when it comes to specialized help. Most of them being commercial services. We'll show you which free-to-use WordPress support services you can rely on the most, and how to get the most out of them. So, where and how to ask for help?
- WordPress Support Forums
- Stack Exchange
- Search for available support resources
- How to ask for support
- Support for commercial products
Official WordPress Support Forums
The official WordPress Support Forums are a fantastic resource to all WordPress administrators. They have multiple categories to keep all support threads organized for easier navigation. This includes installation issues, troubleshooting, WordPress Multisite, and localhost installations as well as many other forum categories you can take advantage of.
You can also use the familiar tags system when searching for solutions. This allows you to narrow down search results to specific topics, such as WooCommerce, RSS or others. The WordPress support forums are a hive of activity. Hundreds of supportive, helpful and experienced developers, volunteers and administrators are available to assist and help you around-the-clock.
WordPress Development Stack Exchange
The WordPress Development Stack Exchange is another incredibly useful resource that should be amongst your bookmarks. It is a simple Questions & Answers website aimed specifically at people who develop and administer WordPress websites on a daily basis. It is hugely popular and massively successful with over 70,000 users available to offer their support. The Stack Exchange Network itself has been expanded many times over the years to include a variety of other topics as well.
Search fields do actually work
In general, your very first port of call should be the search field of your chosen support service. Requesting assistance without first using the search function will not only be a waste of your own time, but also other people's. Someone else may have previously requested help with the same problem as you and received a working solution, or even multiple solutions.
You can use this information to help fix the problem you may be experiencing too. This results in a tidier (and easier to navigate) support forum with very few replicated threads about the same issues.
How to ask for help & support properly
There are guidelines that you should adhere to when requesting help, this not only keeps the support areas concise but also aids you in getting the answer you're looking for.
The more information you can provide people, the more likely it is that you will get support users responding to your requests for assistance. If for example you simply post something like:
“I need help! My Dashboard has error messages every time I login!”
You probably won't get many responses, if any at all. Simply because you're not providing any information about the issue you're having. Rephrasing your question to:
“I can't access my admin dashboard, every time I login I get the following error messages…, here is a link to my site too…, all plugins are currently disabled. Can anyone please help?”
You are far more likely to receive assistance because you're providing additional, much-needed, information about the issue you're faced with. Support users can view the error messages you're getting as well as visit your website to inspect further should they need to.
1 – Where are your manners?
Being respectful and grateful also goes a long way when it comes to getting the aid you require. WordPress is released to the public free of all charges. The people attempting to help you out are also doing so without expecting to receive any compensation. Thanking people for their help, even if it didn't resolve the issue you were having, does no harm at all.
2 – The internet never sleeps, people do!
You should also refrain from being impatient after requesting help, typically allowing 24 hours for responses to start coming in. Reposting in the same thread, typically referred to as bumping, isn't allowed and may even get your thread closed to replies. Whether you are posting in your thread that you're providing additional information that may be necessary to receiving support, and not simply trying to get your thread back to the top of the list so more people will see it.
3 – More Eyes = More Replies
A URL to your website is very helpful when asking people for assistance. It allows other users to quickly inspect the source code of your website, view any error messages or inspect any other problematic areas. The more people you can get to view the issue you're having, the more chance you will have of receiving replies with possible solutions. If they can't help, you lose nothing, but it was another pair of eyes seeking a solution for you, which is what you need if you're to get replies.
4 – Pictures speak just as loud as words
Providing screenshots can also help increase your chances of resolving WordPress related issues. If you're struggling to explain the problem you're having, simply take a screenshot of it and upload it to a free image hosting service such as Imgur.
Add the link to your uploaded image(s) within your thread when asking for help. Almost everybody who reads your support request thread will almost certainly view the screenshots you upload as it quickly allows them to identify the problem you're having, or at least attempt to.
Support for commercial products
Some issues are related to WordPress itself, others are related to certain WordPress themes or plugins you're using. If you're having issues with a commercial product like a premium WordPress theme or a WordPress plugin you have purchased for use on your WordPress website, then you should be requesting assistance from the people who developed and therefore best know the product. In general, these are the WordPress theme and plugin developers.
Seeking advice and WordPress support from people who are not familiar with the product in question will usually result in you not getting any replies to your support request at all. Usually, when you've purchased a premium WordPress template or a plugin to add certain features to your website, support is included. Just always make sure, that you are within your regular support period.
Conclusion: Finding WordPress Support & Help
Thanks to the huge community behind WordPress, you're never alone when it comes to developing or administering your WordPress website. There are thousands of keen users, developers, volunteers or administrators at your fingertips who are eager to assist people in need of help. Being able to request help in a concise and courteous manner, will more often than not, result in you receiving a swift resolution to your issue, without it costing you a single penny.