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Welcome to the official blog for the WordPress Support team.

Need help with a WordPress issue? You can find help with your WordPress problem by posting in the support forums or asking on the #wordpress IRC channel.

Want to get involved?

Answering a question in the support forums or on IRC is one of the easiest ways to get started. Everyone knows the answer to something!

We have a detailed handbook to help contributors learn how to work with the forums and IRC.

Weekly Meetings

As well as discussing support issues here on the blog, we use Slack for group communication.

Our weekly team meeting is on Thursdays at 17:00 UTC in #forums on Slack.

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  • Jan Dembowski 8:13 pm on February 26, 2015 Permalink |  

    Support Team meetup summary for February 26th 

    Topics discussed at today’s meetup:

    Please try to avoid closing topics if possible

    When a user posts to the forums for support of a commercial product or a .COM issue please refer them to the correct place. If you can also reply with some help too. But try to avoid closing the topic. That could lead to an unhappy user and someone else may be able to help them. It’s important that user’s looking for help are not frustrated and sometimes someone can or will assist them.

    That doesn’t mean don’t close topics when they go off the rails. If someone is using their topic to attack others then caution them and put their account in the time out room. If they persist then close the topic as no longer being productive.

    Making “no-replies” a more useful view into the forums

    James proposed some modifications for the no-replies view in the forums in this week’s posted agenda.

    The first idea is to limit how far the no replies go back to something that is useful. For example, replying to a topic more than 3 weeks later doesn’t necessarily help anyone. The second part is to mark older no replies so that they are not indexed via search engines or at least index differently.

    Everyone likes the idea though there was a lot of discussion. ;) The no-replies view is just a way to look at data (topics). Modifying that view won’t delete the topics but hopefully will put focus on user problems in a timely manner.

    James (@macmanx) has raised two trac tickets per this discussion.

    #887: Limit No Replies Queue to 3 Weeks
    #888: Prepend [Unresolved] to Title Tag of No Reply Threads

    The reviews have been reset and rebuilt

    Previously when someone left a review and it was deleted the count stayed with the plugin or theme. So if a popular plugin was inundated with 10 spam reviews (it happens) those stars remained after the reviews were deleted.

    That’s no longer the case and the stars now reflect the normal reviews. You can read about it in Otto’s forum post. When a moderator deletes a review it will be reflected in the review rollup (stars). It may not happen immediately (caching is always a thing) but it will happen.

    Support LearnUps

    Tim (@tnash) had a Google Hangout today and it went well. Other topics will be considered and more LearnUps will be scheduled. The “when” is and interesting point and perhaps one can be scheduled for a weekend session.

    Read today’s meetup transcript (Slack account required to view).

     
  • Tim Nash 1:48 pm on February 25, 2015 Permalink |  

    Thursday February 26th LearnUp 

    Our first LearnUp is scheduled for Thursday February 26th at 1600 GMT.

    Just prior to the time a link will be published in the #forum Slack channel to a Google Hangout, so if you intend to join visit the Slack channel first and click the link.

    Our first LearnUp will be about dealing with spam in the forums and that by it’s nature is oriented for moderators. That said, anyone is welcome to come along and future LearnUps will hopefully cover a wide range of subjects surrounding support. It would be great if some of our more “experienced” moderators can attend and it is just prior to the 1700 GMT Meetup in the Slack channel. Future LearnUps are planned to take place at other times, to make them as accessible as possible to those wishing to attend.

    Thursday February 26th – 15.50 hit the #forums Slack channel click the Hangout link with a 1600 start and finishing a little before 1700 in time for everyone to get a drink for the meetup.

     
  • James Huff (MacManX) 5:41 pm on February 24, 2015 Permalink |  

    Agenda for Thursday February 26th meetup 

    Item(s) for discussion this Thursday:

    First Item

    Much Ado About No Replies. We’re never going to get through 400+ pages of threads with no replies, sorry folks! How do we go about improving the situation to better represent what we can do and therefore make the queue more useful to us?

    Proposal:

    Phase 1: Limit No Replies queue to threads under 1 month, and remove no reply threads marked Resolved. This helps us out a ton, we shouldn’t be expected to do it all, we should only focus on what is current and therefore relevant. If folks still need help, they’ll ask again.

    Phase 2: rel=”noindex” all topics with no reply, removing the rel=”noindex” once a reply is received. This will block (and eventually remove) them from search indexes, thus preventing folks from finding empty threads in their quest for answers.

    If all in favor, we’ll file a meta ticket.

    Second Item

    Ratings now reflect only normal reviews. Non-review star-only ratings have been removed from the ratings total, as have deleted reviews. See https://wordpress.org/support/topic/star-rating-of-our-plugin-has-changed-overnight-1-star-and-5-star-look-switched?replies=2#post-6614350 for details.

    For any other items to add please suggest them in the comments. Or in the meetup itself; the group is pretty flexible. ;)

     
  • Jan Dembowski 7:20 pm on February 19, 2015 Permalink |  

    Support Team meetup summary for February 19th 

    Item’s discussed at today’s meetup.

    WordPress 4.1.1 maintenance release

    4.1.1 was released yesterday, please keep an eye out for any weird upgrade topics in the forums. Most users will automatically update and get an email notification without any issue.

    LearnUps

    A LearnUp will be scheduled for Thursday February 26th at 1600 GMT. Just prior to the time a link will be published in the #forum Slack channel. The first LearnUp will be about dealing with spam in the forums and that is oriented for moderators. That said, it’s all transparent and seeing how spam is dealt with could be informative for regular forum members too.

    New User Experience – NUX

    We discussed NUX and @ipstenu shared the link to the make/flow NUX post for the notes from last week’s meetup. Please contribute feedback via the comments there, the NUX work is important and could impact new WordPress users in a great way.

    This segued into a conversation about the Happiness Bar at WordCamps as a way to help people as opposed to in the forums or via IRC. Helping people in person can lead to some instant gratification when you sort out their problem with them.

    Moderator tools update

    @keesiemeijer updated his forum script to version 3.1 and @macmanx shared the link to an updated Recent Forum Activity page. Both are very useful if you are a forum moderator.

    Read today’s meetup transcript (Slack account required to view).

     
  • Jan Dembowski 10:23 pm on February 17, 2015 Permalink |  

    Agenda for Thursday February 19th meetup 

    Item’s for discussion this Thursday:

    • LearnUps – How, when and if they can be scheduled.
    • NUX (new user experience) – Ideas that the support team would like to suggest for that workgroup? This is for new users and todays NUX meetup was really interesting.

    For any other items to add please suggest them in the comments. Or in the meetup itself; the group is pretty flexible. ;)

     
  • Jan Dembowski 10:51 pm on February 12, 2015 Permalink |  

    Support Team meetup summary for February 12th 

    At today’s meetup the following items were discussed.

    Ideas for the NUX working group

    The NUX Working Group was discussed and Drew Jaynes (@drewapicture) joined in. At a later date (not a nag!) Drew will post on the make/flow blog and some of those ideas can be shared there.

    A sub meeting in the #forum channel will also be scheduled next week to gather ideas from the support team. Everyone is encouraged to also participate in the Tuesday 1900 UTC NUX meetup in the Slack #core-flow channel.

    Support LearnUps

    Tim raised the idea of doing support learnups and suggested these topics.

    • A very quick hot to tag
    • How to manage the forum spam queue
    • How to and when to apply the moderation tag and when blocking is the only recourse
    • Sock Puppetry 101

    These are good topics and sometime before the next meetup perhaps a pilot trial will be tried. @tnash was made the point person for this. ;)

    I had already sent some moderators an email explaining how to determine if an account is a sock puppet or not. Everyone agreed that it should go into the moderator section of the handbook. I’ll sanitize the names and IP addresses and get that done.

    Read the transcript of today’s meetup (Slack account required to view).

     
  • Jan Dembowski 11:25 am on February 10, 2015 Permalink |  

    Agenda for Thursday February 12th meetup 

    This week I have only one item for the support meetup: 4.2 Community Initiative: NUX Working Group

    That’s a cool idea the Drew has setup and arranged to work on.

    The group will be tasked with helping to identify common pain points new users might experience using WordPress. The hope is to (re)invigorate the conversation about making NUX a priority in core decision-making. We’ll work together to identify problems and recommend solutions.

    When using WordPress experienced users may adjust their work flow when using or setting up new versions. That’s not a bad thing and I can’t thing of a single instance where making a small adjustment was something I’d even noticed. But for a new user the experience might be different.

    If you’re a new user what modifications would you like to see to make the user experience better? When you see others using WordPress for the first time what, if anything, do they wish was different in the user experience?

    For any other agenda items you’d like discussed please reply in the comments.

     
    • Tim Nash 9:27 am on February 11, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      While mentioned in previous meetings, would be good if we could organise a couple of “learnups” for those interested. Not sure which areas might be good for new (and old) mods might be a good starting point but was thinking might be worth doing:

      • a very quick how to tag
      • a how to manage the spam queue
      • how and when to use the b-tag and when blocking is the only option
      • Sock puppetry 101

      Not suggesting we do these on Thursday itself, but maybe organise some time and dates and volunteers to run them. Then anyone who wants to come along can do.

  • Jan Dembowski 7:54 pm on February 5, 2015 Permalink |  

    Support summary for Thursday February 5th 

    Today’s meetup was brief since there was no posted agenda. Here are the items that were discussed.

    Be aware of which sub-forum you are in

    When replying to topics it’s easy to suggest a solution that works in most cases. Sometimes that’s not good if you’re replying to a topic is in the Multisite sub-forum; some of the regular solutions won’t work. Please read and keep in mind which sub-forum you are in and reply appropriately.

    Sock puppets

    This is a repeat from last week: I will produce an email to share with other moderators for identifying forum posts and reviews made by sock puppets. It’s not really a problem (sock puppetry) but seeing how some accounts are identified may be useful.

    Keep an eye out for 4.2 alpha/beta activity

    The next release development cycle has begun. Please keep an eye out for any alpha/beta topics as they begin to trickle in and move them to that sub-forum when needed. Also keep that sub-forum clean, if a topic ends up there and it’s a troubleshooting topic then please move it.

    Read the transcript of today’s meetup (Slack account required).

     
    • RobertHarm 7:43 am on February 7, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jan,
      not sure if this is the right place so point again to a improvement I suggested a year ago which whould be easy to implement I guess and really help improve the support workflow & reducing the same support questions for plugins being asked again and again.
      The ticket can be found at https://meta.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/315
      let me know what you think!
      best,
      Robert

      • Jan Dembowski 10:40 pm on February 8, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        This really is not the place to post this but that’s alright in this instance.

        tl;dr Search on the forums is not good and complicated.

        Longer version: The forums are a collection of bbPress installations and while the concept is easy, I believe the implementation is really not something that can be done without blood, sweat and tears.

        That’s a massive understatement there. If it were easily fixed then it would have been. Better search has been on the list for years. ;)

  • Jan Dembowski 8:49 pm on January 29, 2015 Permalink |  

    Support Team Summary for January 29th 

    Items discussed at today’s meetup:

    Support team t-shirts

    We still haven’t figured out how to get t-shirts in a way that is fair to the community.

    We all like the idea of getting them but doing it the right way is tricky. If there were support t-shirts in the swag store then that may be different because everyone could buy one if they wanted to. That’s not an option at this time and for now the topic was shelved.

    Introductory videos for new support joiners

    Many people learn visually and having video presentations could provide a real benefit. Perhaps existing WordPress.tv recordings of WordCamp presentations or Google Hangouts? For example a learnup can be scheduled via hangouts, recorded and shared showing how support handles and replies to topics.

    There was some interest about how to perform a specific task as a moderator and that discussion will continue via email.

    The “no replies” are below 500 pages!

    One metric for seeing how the support forums are doing is to look at the number of topics that have no replies. With a lot of work that has been reduced from 523 pages (or more) down to 498 as of a little while ago.

    It’s good to reduce that number and a lot of forum members are getting support. Those pages go back 12 months but after a 60 days a reply may not be needed any more or the original poster has moved on. One way to reduce that number may be to start at a number of pages into the no-replies and work your way back to page one.

    Adding the IRC link to the Support drop down menu

    A meta trac ticket was raised to add a link to the #wordpress IRC channel for support in November and that was discussed at this meetup.

    IRC remains a slightly tricky support venue. Many of us are savvy enough to use IRC and have a reasonable expectation of how that support works. IRC is not a live helpdesk but many new users may mistake what it is for. It may not be helpful to have new users potentially end up in IRC without them understanding how it works.

    That’s not to say IRC support is not valuable; it is very valuable and many have been helped there. But it may be too advanced for new WordPress users who make their way there. The menu at this time will not change but I do want to understand the reservations and this will continue to be discussed.

    Read today’s Slack #forums meetup transcript (Slack account required).

     
  • Jan Dembowski 11:42 am on January 28, 2015 Permalink |  

    Agenda for Thursday January 29th meetup 

    I don’t have a specific agenda for this week’s meetup so it will be office hours. If you do have an item to discuss please post it in the comments here or raise the topic in tomorrow’s #forums chat.

     
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