Marketing feedback on the new user documentation


The Documentation team recently published a plan for re-categorizing the user documentation to reflect modern user experience. Documentation is maintained manually by contributors and it is being moved from the old Codex. The structure is 17 years old and as WordPress develops and grows, the categories that worked 5 or 10 years ago are not necessarily the same that work now.

Please read the full blog post here: 

Marketing Team Objectives

The Global Marketing Team was looking to support this initiative by reviewing the current plan and documentation and provide feedback in two main areas:

  • We reviewed the “pillars,” or main components of the organization for articles
  • We reviewed the “audience segments” or user avatars for the new organizational scheme

To this end, we met with the Documentation team and had a number of collaboration meetings within the Marketing team. To assist with this effort we also compiled some material relating to current audience interest and search activity for The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization.

Creating a baseline for the user activity

As mentioned in the initial post from the Documentation Team, the organization of the HelpHub has remained largely unchanged since its inception, and this also impacts the Search Engine effectiveness of Essentially, there needs to be some further content organization and naming conventions to reflect what people are searching for. 

We started by looking at the search interest for WordPress and compared that with other web platforms. We compared the keywords that WordPress is currently ranking for, and compared those with the overall search trends to look for gaps or weaknesses in our current coverage. 

Across a number of identified keywords, WordPress ranks much lower than we would expect. Other platforms have been pursuing these keywords and outrank us. Accordingly, one of our objectives was to identify opportunities to be more visible in these areas. 

Recommendation for the Pillars

Discussing the recommendations for the Pillars, we focused on this request from the original post: Categories should be descriptive enough to quickly answer the question: “where does this article go?” 

We built upon this request and approached the suggested organization by seeking to clearly answer those questions, but also do so in a way that matches how our users search for information. This is primarily focused around using the voice of the user when organizing content and matching articles to the search terms users are actually searching for.

Recommendations for where the content should live

We spent significant time discussing our recommendation for where content should live, and we attempted to balance the following objectives:

  • we suggest the content to be easily accessible during a release so that all enhancements, changes, or fixes are visible from a central location. 
    • suggest this could be accomplished by adding a tag to each piece of content to signify its release version. For example, a feature published in 5.3 would have an associated tag
    • recommend creating a page where all of the content for a release can be viewed. In the above example, we would have a page showing all content tagged with 5.3. 
    • the idea is: the “latest version/current release” menu categoryCategory The 'category' taxonomy lets you group posts / content together that share a common bond. Categories are pre-defined and broad ranging./section will contain all content tagged with the most recent release, in this case, 5.5. We would have a filterFilter Filters are one of the two types of Hooks They provide a way for functions to modify data of other functions. They are the counterpart to Actions. Unlike Actions, filters are meant to work in an isolated manner, and should never have side effects such as affecting global variables and output. for every version (for historical purposes), but the most recent one would just be labeled ‘Current’.  The new Question and Answers content would be in a subsection within this category.
  • we recommend that the content primarily be organized under the pillars listed below. For example, content relating to a new feature on Media could be added under the “Add photos to your website” category. 
    • using tags will allow us to avoid duplicate content
    • the “pillar” will be the canonical home for the content

Pillars and organization recommendations

This section includes the outlined list of our recommendations for the Pillars, Dev release content, and Question and Answers type content. 

  • HelpHub
    • Version 5.5 (latest version)
      • Version 5.5 Questions and Answers (Q&A)
      • All versions (when we have them)
        • Version 5.6
        • Version 5.7
    • Q&A (all information from Q&A by topics, for example for 5.5)
      • Auto-updates
      • BlockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. patterns
      • Block directory
      • jQuery in WordPress coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress.
      • Lazy-loading
      • etc.
  • Getting Started with WordPress
    • Add your domain name
    • How to find a web host
    • How to Install WordPress
  • Creating your Website
    • Using the website builder
  • Customizing your Website
    • Find a theme
    • Add your logo
    • Create a form
  • Creating a Shop
    • Add eCommerce products
    • Customer mailing list
  • Adding and Editing Content
    • Create a blog
    • Create a portfolio
    • Add photos to your website
    • Add video to your website
    • Create a website landing page
    • Add a website slider
  • Publishing Content
    • Publish articles in multiple languages
  • Getting Found Online
    • Connecting to Social Media
    • WordPress SEO
  • Maintaining your Website
    • Website updates
    • Website backups
    • Website caching
  • Securing your Website
    • Add an SSLSSL Secure Socket Layer - Encryption from the server to the browser and back. Prevents prying eyes from seeing what you are sending between your browser and the server. to your website
  • Website Troubleshooting

Some important caveats should be kept in mind when reviewing these suggestions. These are not intended to be exhaustive or a detailed mapping of the HelpHub categories and sub-categories. Instead, these suggestions should be viewed as high-level examples of naming conventions for the category pillars. 

Additional conversations in the future to discuss the more granular organization and naming conventions could be fruitful.

Feedback on Audience Segments

The Marketing team was also asked to provide any feedback regarding the audience segments, which are defined below.

  • New users looking for a CMS to build a website
  • Bloggers/website designers that want to customize a site
  • Content creators looking for content to write tutorials/posts
  • WordPress consultants that provide services to their clients

At this time, the Marketing team has no additional feedback regarding these segments. These are logical segments and reflect our current understanding of the HelpHub. There are opportunities to create and map with other existing granular lists in the future.

Next Steps

We will present and discuss our initial thoughts with the Documentation team, and have additional feedback conversations where needed. 

We also have suggestions for DevHub development and will be happy to work on this further.

Marketing Collaborators

Thanks to @mikerbg, @webcommsat, @OGlekler, @lmurillom, @meher, @yvettesonneveld, @nalininonstopnewsuk, @megphillips91 for working on this feedback. Thanks to @estelaris and @milana_cap from the documentation team for sharing information and explanations about this project, and collaborating with the Marketing Team on the question and answers type content.

Thanks also to those who attended one of the meetings on this topic to hear more about it including @yashwardhanrana, @joshuase, @ElizabethAnu, @chaion07, and members from the documentation team.