Forum Welcome

This resource is intended to be a “Quick-Start Manual” rather than full documentation. This introduction is designed to help people find their way around the forums and get started as quickly as possible.

Before posting, make sure it’s about a self hosted WordPress.org site and not a WordPress.com site (See WordPress.com vs WordPress.org to be sure).

These forums are meant for the core application, themes, and plugins that are distributed on wordpress.org. We do not support commercial themes or products.

Please read the guidelines and be respectful of everyone.

Search Before Posting Search Before Posting

Many of the questions that are posted in the forums have been posted many times before, and get the same answers each time. Before starting a new thread, search the forums for an answer. All of WordPress.org has been indexed by Google, so if a forum search doesn’t result in answers, check in Google too (e.g. Google for site:wordpress.org/support widget).

If the only topics are similar, but not exact, do not post in that topic to ask for help.

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Post In the Best Place Post In the Best Place

The forum is split into sections, with each forum having its own one-line description on the front page.

Choose the most suitable section for a new topic and post in only one section. Duplicate posts will be removed.

Unless users have the exact same version of WordPress on the same physical server hosted by the same hosts with the same plugins, theme, and configurations, then the odds are the solution for one user will not be the same for another. For this reason, we recommend people start their own topics.

Choose the most appropriate section from the forum front page. Start a new topic by clicking the “Add New »” button to the right of the section’s title.

To post support questions for specific themes or plugins, visit the WordPress.org directory page for the theme/plugin first and click on the support link to create a post. This will make it more visible to the author and making it more clear what the post is about.

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Choose A Good Topic Title Choose A Good Topic Title

Use an appropriate title when making a new topic.

“Database error creating a new post with Plugin Foobar Active” is a good title. “URGENT HELP PLS!!!” is not a good title. A good title can be the difference between getting help and not.

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Tag Topics Wisely Tag Topics Wisely

Tags are a great way to help others find related support requests, and to help developers keep track of specific features.

Be considerate of this when tagging topics. The tag “REST API” would be a great for a topic about the REST API, while “rest” is common and largely unrelated English word and therefore not a great tag choice. Avoid very general tags, like “WordPress” and “problem.” Searching first is a great way to see what tags are being used by others with similar problems.

Tags should be separated by commas.

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Include as Much Information as Possible Include as Much Information as Possible

Include details about the hosting environment, WordPress install (plugins, themes, etc.), and the problem being faced when posting a topic.

If there are errors, copy them word for word into the post. It’s best to include the full error than to summarize – sometimes wording is important. If a plugin was activated or a setting changed immediately before the error occurred, mention that and, if possible, exactly what steps were taken.

While screenshots cannot be uploaded, they can be linked to from places like CloudUp.

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If a question relates to a specific site or page, and the site is publicly viewable, provide a link. This will allow people to see the issue and often leads to faster resolutions.

The forum is not designed to be a link portal; excessive linkage will be moderated, as will signatures or links with no associated question.

Links will not get removed any time later, unless in extreme circumstances. Google will capture links, so if that is a concern, please don’t link.

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Avoid Signatures Avoid Signatures

As everyone’s username and gravatar is listed alongside their post, it is unnecessary to provide a signature in the WordPress forums. Signatures will be removed by moderators.

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Do Not Advertise or Promote Products Do Not Advertise or Promote Products

The forums are here for providing users with a venue to get help with problems. Intentionally we do not have any sections for promoting plugins, themes, services and similar.

Do not create topics with the intent of promoting any of the above. They will be deleted and accounts will be moderated.

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Warn About Adult Content Warn About Adult Content

Some sites contain content that is not suitable for a general audience or for viewing while at work. To avoid creating problems for anyone who is trying to help, please add NSFW to the topic title of the post, as well as tag the post NSFW, as a warning if a site falls into this category. Err on the side of caution. Some volunteers here work for banks.

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Do Not Bump Posts Do Not Bump Posts

Do not bump posts. Bumping a post to “the top” does not help a topic get noticed. The volunteers who try to answer questions look for those without replies first. If someone bumps a post, then it disappears from the ‘No Replies’ view.

We have a list of threads without replies. When a post is bumped, it becomes harder for it to be discovered and reduces the chances of getting appropriate help. Some forum helpers use that list to prioritise over other answered threads.

Moderators will delete bumps they find. This is in order to help posts get back into the No Replies listing, where they are more likely to get an answer.

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Post Code Safely Post Code Safely

Posting code in the forums can be tricky. In order for it to be formatted properly, the code must be enclosed in backticks (`). To do this, highlight the code in the editor and click on the “code” button. This feature behaves like blockquotes, and there is no need to mark each individual line.

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Posting Large Excerpt of Code Posting Large Excerpt of Code

When a large amount of code needs to be posted, it can make a thread difficult to read. If, for example, an entire php, css, or JS file needs to be posted, it should be posted on a service such as Pastebin or Gist and linked in the post.

As for what constitutes a large excerpt, it’s difficult to say. It is generally easier to read a pastebin/gist than a styled block of 150 lines of multi-indented code. Scrolling back and forth, as well as up and down, trying to unpick code via a cramped code box is a time-consuming activity that distracts from answering the actual questions.

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Do Not Offer to Pay for Help Do Not Offer to Pay for Help

Any thread that offers any service for money can be closed at any time. We are not against paid services but these forums are not the right place for them.

People may seek professional WordPress support from WP Jobs.

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Do Not Offer to Work For Hire Do Not Offer to Work For Hire

Don’t offer to work for hire in replies on these forums. Help on the forums should be given freely, as in beer.

The WP Jobs board is available for those seeking to find jobs.

We believe that people should be able to make a living based on WordPress, but the support forums are not the appropriate place for that.

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Do Not Post About Commercial Products Do Not Post About Commercial Products

For support of commercial themes or plugins, go to the official support channel.

In order to be good stewards of the WordPress community, and encourage innovation and progress, we feel it’s important to direct people to those official locations. Doing this will provide the developer with the income they need to make WordPress awesome.

Forum volunteers are also not given access to commercial products, so they would not know why a commercial theme or plugin is not working properly.

Ultimately, the vendors are responsible for supporting their commercial product.

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Finding Posts Finding Posts

A list of all posts and replies made by a user can be found on their profile:

https://wordpress.org/support/users/YOURID/

All logged in users can click on the “Howdy, Your Name” link found on the sidebar for immediate access.

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Helping Out Helping Out

To assist people who wish to help others, a list of unanswered topics can be found in the “No Replies” link at the bottom of the front page. That page is often used by folks to find questions to answer next. This is also a good reason why nobody should bump their topics. Bumping is discouraged and bumps may be deleted by the moderators.

We do not expect everyone to know everything. Questions should be answered as fully as possible, with as much respect for humanity as possible. It is not a place for self promotion, solicitations, or to have a private conversation.

The point of helping out on the WordPress.org forums is to help out on the forums for everyone. Remember, we don’t want this to happen. Leave something for the next person who has the same problem.

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Reporting Threads (Modlook) Reporting Threads (Modlook)

To report a bad (spam etc.) post, add a tag called ‘modlook’ to the thread. That feed is checked very regularly by the moderating team.

The modlook tag is only for reporting issues with the forum itself. Using this tag in the hopes of attracting the attention of a moderator to a support question to get it answered faster is considered abuse.

Use the modlook tag on things like spam, people using signatures in their posts, or duplicate threads. Things that a forum moderator should see and correct.

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Forum Chat Forum Chat

The #forums channel on slack is available for anyone to come and post questions about handling questions on the forums, or about moderator.

The channel is for discussing issues with the support forum itself, not posting about specific problems with WordPress. It’s primarily used by forum moderators and other regular volunteers for discussion of code and behavioral issues on the forums.

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Closing Posts Closing Posts

Posts are automatically closed after 12 months, if there are no new replies. We also reserve the right to close posts that are deemed non-productive to the community.

While many times non-productive posts are deleted, sometimes they have some relevance and instead are closed so the information remains, but discussion can no longer be furthered. This includes, but is not restricted to, posts on the following topics: Hosting recommendations (for or against), off topic conversations (i.e. non-WordPress), old/outdated topics, clearly resolved topics, excessive rudeness or antagonism, and requests for paid support.

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Being ‘Mod Watched’ or Banned Being ‘Mod Watched’ or Banned

The following message will appear if posts are caught as potential spam, or if an account has been flagged to require moderation:

This post has been held for moderation by our automated system. It will be reviewed within 72 hours.

Accounts are set to be moderated when the poster has a pattern of behavior that is questionable. For example, someone may be moderated for posting with their signature in a post multiple times, after being asked to stop. Or as another example, an account may be moderated if vulgarities are used.

Flagging an account to be moderated is a cool-down tactic used to allow the account to be monitored while still permitting the poster to participate on the forums. It just means the poster’s behavior caught our attention in a slightly negative way, and we want to keep an eye on them.

If this happens, please be patient. We review and approve all posts quickly, or edit them and reply, pointing out what’s wrong.

If actions escalate, users will be banned. There’s no one specific behavior to point at for this, but essentially if the poster starts lashing out, calling people names, making accusations, emailing people nasty messages, or challenging the authority of the moderators, they will be banned.

Don’t act like a bad person. We expect all posters to behave like adults. If this is impossible then they will not be permitted to post on the forums. Attempting to circumvent a ban will result in a perma-ban.

Harassing anyone via WordPress.org is not permitted, and violates will be banned from all aspects of WordPress.org, including plugins, themes, make blogs, and trac.

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Deleting / Editing Posts Deleting / Editing Posts

We reserve the right to delete topics or posts that are off-topic or detrimental to the community, however it is not the general policy to edit or delete forum posts unless they are spam, harassing, illegal, or outright abuse. We will not delete a post or remove a link just because an Internet search for a term brings up the forums first.

Users can edit a post for up to 60 minutes from the time of submission. After that, the post can only be edited by a moderator.

When a post is made and people contribute answers to an issue, that then becomes part of the community resource for others to benefit from and deleting posts removes this added value.

Forum topics will only be edited or deleted at the discretion of the moderators if they represent a valid legal, security, or safety concern.

Don’t post things that aren’t 100% okay to be public. We’ll delete them if we agree it’s a big enough deal, but ‘My SEO!’ is never an acceptable reason.

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Deleting / Editing Reviews Deleting / Editing Reviews

Plugin and theme reviews are rarely deleted unless the posts are determined to be made by sockpuppets or harassers.

In general, reviews will not be deleted because they are negative. A review is someone’s experience with a product, be it good or bad. It is the responsibility of the developer to reply and handle complaints as an adult.

Reputation is impacted more by how a person handles complaints versus how they are treated by users.

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Deleting Accounts Deleting Accounts

Accounts cannot be deleted, not even for obvious spammers, due to technical limitations of the system.

Usernames cannot be changed either. To use different username, create the new username and stop using the old one.

There are many systems that your forum account hooks into: support forums, make blogs, core SVN, plugins SVN, theme SVN, meta SVN, and so on and so forth. It’s a technical mess and we know it’s annoying when someone wants to walk away, or regrets the unprofessional username cocopuff77, but it’s just what we’ve got right now.

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Contacting the Moderators Contacting the Moderators

If a post needs moderator attention, use the tag modlook

If moderator help is needed in a different manner, the #forums channel is available in slack.

Following moderators ‘home’ and sending them unsolicited email is harassment. Moderators are people to. Calling them names because they won’t delete a post (or did delete one), is not welcome.

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The Bad Stuff… The Bad Stuff…

We need to keep the forums friendly, so, occasionally, topic content will be moderated. In severe cases, users may be blocked. This might mean anything from the light editing of some posts to complete removal of topics and deactivation of accounts. It should really go without saying, but the following are likely candidates for moderation or intervention

  • Do not post email addresses, ask others to post their email or solicit contacting people off of the forums.
  • Do not post login information, even test IDs and test passwords.
  • Do not post simply to request feedback on their site.
  • Do not post another person’s private information (job, gender, living situation, location, etc).
  • Do not ask for admin or FTP access to a server, MySQL, or WordPress installation. Not even for plugin or theme support.
  • Do not harass or abuse people. Do not go to their websites, do not pick out their home addresses, phone numbers, Twitter ID, Skype ID, Facebook, any social media accounts or ways to contact them and use it to ask for support. Only use contact methods explicitly given.
  • Do not post spam and affiliate links, offensive posts, posts without content, or flames.
  • Do not post in all caps.
  • Do not ask for help regarding premium themes/plugins.

Please note that this list is not exhaustive. Every post is judged on its own merits.

And that’s all. Enjoy your stay at the forums! Oh.. And, when you’re done, please mark your topic as “Resolved”. Thanks.