WP Forums

I know this blog seems to be turning more into some sort of WP commentary, so this will hopefully be the last one for a while.

Forums should have a Readme Sticky, and if I was to write one, this would be my starting point. It’s actually been in draft for quite a while, and has been extensively edited to remove the anger and frustration that I have felt at various stages – due both to WP newbies and WP regulars. Problem with such stickies is that they don’t always get read, but I do think they cut down on some issues.

Maybe I should send the end result to Matt ? Or put it on my ISP space…….but what’s missing ?

  1. Search. There are over 60,000 posts in the database, so maybe it’s already been solved, or maybe the solution’s in another thread don’t work – so say so.
  2. Search better. Use Google and put ‘site:wordpress.org’ at the end (without the quotes).
  3. Be polite.
  4. No, we will not email you your answer. If you are too lazy to come back to the forum, it can’t be a serious problem for you can it ? Also, the answer will be useful for future problems only if it is on the forum, not in your inbox.
  5. If you have mentioned on your blog that you had a problem, and the forums gave you the answer, then state that fact in a posting. I have been to a few blogs where I’ll see “I figured out my problem and fixed it” – that gives no credit to the people who took time out to help you.
  6. If someone has really helped you, think about linking to their page, or link to them in a post. It’s a nice way to say “Thank you”.
  7. If you post asking for urgent help, and yet you next post to that thread some 6 hours later, it wasn’t really that urgent was it ?
  8. Do not bump your post for at least 24 hours. Minimum.
  9. Have a good post title, and put as much information in your post as possible. What version of WP are you using ? What browser / OS / server type ? The only information we don’t want to see is 100 lines of an error message – the first 5 lines at most are good enough.
  10. Give us a link to your blog / testblog / testpage / wherever. We are damn good, but sometimes a link will make things so much better for YOU because it speeds up the answer you will get.
  11. If a solution posted to the forum works, then say so. This not only gives you the chance to thank those that helped you, but also means that when someone searches for that problem at a later date, they can see that what was proposed does work. It helps others. That helps WordPress.
  12. If this were a forum FAQ type thing, it is already too long.
  13. Remember that this is a WordPress forum, and that people such as myself who spend time here will answer questions on WordPress first – and probably best. Yes, we will help with CSS and plugins, but if you want to install other wierd stuff on your page, maybe this forum is not the ideal place ?
  14. Personal note: Leave a visible link to WordPress on your page at all times. You’d like credit for something you did wouldn’t you ?
  15. Don’t diss those of us who take the time to help others out by posting something unhelpful anonymously. It annoys us.
  16. Only ask questions if you are prepared for the answer. For example: “Is my site great ?”

12 thoughts on “WP Forums

  1. This is great. I might even be a bit tougher. Something like *the guys here are not the people who run WordPress. They are just users like you. As background reading here is some stuff to get you started… (6/8 links) *

  2. Fully agree, pretty well put.

    There should be a line in there saying run your css and xhtml through a validator before posting about a problem.

    Maybe there should also be one that says to check the W3C tutorials on css and xhtml. There are too many questions asking how to do basic html or css.

  3. I have thought for a long time that some of this is to do with information architecture. I know the guys need the cash but if the ads were replaced with rotating internal messages eg *Have you validated* ? and other stuff from Mark list it would educate the user community.

  4. For those that are bothered, they will check regularly that their pages do in fact validate. I do after playing around with code, or after en entry that has used tags I’ve not used for a while, but what I don’t do is check my comments for validation. That said, I do not get coents that will break it (so far).
    For those that are not bothered, they’ll just ignore it.
    That may come about for two reasons:
    1 – They know it’s not valid and are content in that knowledge
    2 – They feel validation is way over their heads. After all, the validator can seem intimidating and it takes a bit of study to realise just what it is saying.

    There is also the (possible) view that the product is being delivered compliant and working, but that the product staying working is the only goal of the devs. I guess if I was in their position and had finite resources I would take the same position.

    A way to encourage it would be to have a forum purely for validation issues (xhtml and css) with a good sticky and consistent support.

    If, by Friday afternoon, there has been nothing hammered in this list, I plan on publishing it to the forums. I am aware that it will get picked over and that ‘anon’ will stick his/her/it’s oar in, but as WP expands, I really do think that some extra direction is needed.

    WP may have attracted the ‘geeks’ but it is also now attracting the wider audience who NEED HELP FAST PLEASE (and who coincidentally completely forget the words’ thank’ and ‘you’ exist). I have found before that some big flashig arrow type directions help.And wow doesn’t that sound patronising !

  5. Lets think info architecture again. By all means post it in the forum to get started. But if it was posted up on a static site as you intend then forum goers could just link to it with a *you might find this useful*. :)
    You could do that with the forum permalink of course but a bit of styling will make it much more accessible. This is a really good project Mark. Good luck.

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