Troubleshooting Handbook – Progress Update

TL;DR The Troubleshooting Handbook is off to a great start and trucking along, but is also in need of your help. Contributors welcome!

Why do we need a troubleshooting handbook?

Whether energized by a local WordCamp or driven by their own desire to help others, many volunteers come to the WordPress.org Support Forums to show their WordPress love by giving back in the form of solving other’s issues.

However, giving support is not something that we are all born with; If anything it is a learned skill. A desire to help goes a long way, but what about the other things that go into giving good support, such as:

  • Helpful tools and strategies for troubleshooting WordPress sites
  • Exercises on how to break a site (and then fix it) to gain a firsthand understanding common issues seen in support
  • Advice on effective communication styles and approaches to use when helping others
  • Tips and trick for working with the forum software (as a volunteer rather than a moderator) to make life easier.

Currently, there is no go-to guide that collects all that information in one place for anyone starting out to benefit from; the Troubleshooting Handbook aims to fill this gap.

Where we are now

Work has finished on building the initial Handbook structure, as well as an import of content from Break/Fix (the inspiration for this project) which completes the first phase of this project.

Many sections of the handbook (See spreadsheet) have pages that are in various stages of completion, and could use help to get the rest of the way. Here is a breakdown of were we could use your help.

Section 1 – Getting started

Ideally, this section should read like a “quick start” guide to volunteering in the forums, but it’s too disjointed to function that way currently. You can help by expanding content on the following pages:

Section 2 – Break/fix lessons

This section is meant to be a hands-on set of exercises on how break a site, with info on how to troubleshoot and fix it. This relates to common issues seen in WordPress support.

Content in this section is fairly complete, owing to having been largely imported from breakfix.elftest.net but if you have an idea for an exercise you would like to contribute to expand this section or ideas on how to make the existing exercises better, let us know!

Section 3 – Giving good support

Most of the topics in Section 3 are without content, having only placeholder pages or article stubs. Feel free to check out any of the pages in this section to see if any interest you. They are all open to your contributions.

Also, props to MacManX for kicking off the pre-defined replies page: https://make.wordpress.org/support/trouble/section-3-giving-good-support/pre-defined-replies/

Giving Credit

We have also added a credits page, which will expand over time, but for now reflects the hard work that has gotten us here so far. We’ve also including a shout-out to the original rockstar contributors to the Break/fix site this project derives it’s inspiration from. Check it out, and if you’d like to contribute, let us know in the comments.

#troubleshooting