October 26th Support Team Meeting Summary

WordPress 4.9

WordPress 4.9-beta4 is out, if you can please help with testing, the more bugs we can find before launch, the less work for us afterwards.

In similar news, Gutenberg (the new editing experience in WordPress) version 1.5.x is also out, with a first iteration of the meta box support, so if you wish ot help shape the future, that’s what you’ll want to get involved with at the time!

Checking in with international support liaisons

The Italian, German, Russian, Swedish and Brazilian communities had representatives stop by and take part in this weeks discussions. If you’re doing support in a any other local communities we would love to have you join our weekly meetings so please stop by! It doesn’t have to be a WordPress.org forum, as we understand that various locales function differently!

We’ve enabled the user watch plugin on some more locales, if your WordPress.org forum doesn’t have access to the “Flag Author” link on posts (it should be next to the user notes link) and would like this, please let us know!

A flagged user will have their posts held in the Pending queue until a moderator manually approves them, this is intended for use with users who have misbehaved and we want to ensure they can play nice with others before we let them post without supervision again.

Flagging users

A bit of a followup on the previous lines, when a user is flagged it’s important to follow some fixed procedures to keep track of what is going on.

As such, when a user gets flagged, one should always add a user note, explaining why you’ve flagged the user, this is so that other moderators know why a user was flagged.

When a flag is issued, also always make a reply to the user explaining why they are flagged ,and what this means for them. If the user doesn’t know why they were selected, or that they are in that user classification at all, they won’t learn from their mistakes.

But before flagging a user, try educating them, we’re very trigger happy with flagging accounts at the moment (at least on the international forums), and educating them and adding a user note without flagging them may be more appropriate in many situations (basically don’t punish them for not knowing).

Moderator attendance

This is more a reminder that we expect a certain level of involvement from our moderators, at least on the international forums. We ask that they come by our weekly meetings at least somewhat-regularly or interact with the make/support articles that go up at the very least (we understand that meetings are not always timed well for every participant). This is to avoid having any unused privileged accounts hanging around.


@anevins, @bcworkz, @bdbrown, @berksted, @bethannon1, @clorith, @contentiskey, @cristianozanca, @felipeelia, @fevered, @fierevere, @firoz2456, @geoffreyshilling, @howdy_mcgee, @jdembowski, @justingreerbbi, @macmanx, @numeeja, @otto42, @sergeybiryukov, @stephencottontail, @sterndata, @t-p, @tobifjellner, @voldemortensen and @zodiac1978 attended.

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)

New contributor tips
If you are looking for a place to start, or have some free time to kill, why not check the list of topics without any replies?


October 19th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

The plugins team has requested we stop reporting crypto currency miners unless they actually violate the forum guidelines. Things such as not informing site visitors that a miner is running isn’t considered a plugin directory violation as that’s up to site owners and not us to police.

We also had a lengthy discussion regarding the new Gutenberg callout added for WordPress 4.9, where the concerns that were discussed were added to the ticket for consideration and further discussion. (It has since been decided to revert the callout for now).

Open floor

A question regarding screenshot sharing was brought up, and how to point users at where to put them as we don’t have (nor do we want to have, that’s a whole new beast of legal concerns) any upload capabilities on the forums.

Should a new section be added to the help text before you make a post concerning screenshots, what possible issues could arise from this, let’s get some feedback on this one.

Initial concerns are that the blob of text before making a post grows even more, by a substantial amount as screenshot explanations are wordy and vary by platform. We already know that users do not like to read a lot of text like that, they wish to make their post and get on with things.

Checking in with international liaisons

The Portuguese, German, Russian and Swedish community representatives dropped by for this weeks meeting, reporting no issues at this time.


@anevins, @bcworkz, @bethannon1, @clorith, @danhgilmore, @fierevere, @firoz2456, @geoffreyshilling, @hardeepasrani, @ipstenu, @jdembowski, @keesiemeijer, @liamdempsey, @macmanx, @numeeja, @pmfonseca, @sergeybiryukov, @stephencottontail, @sterndata, @t-p, @tobifjellner and @zodiac1978 attended.

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)


New contributor tips
If you find a topic you don’t know much about, but you find it interesting, subscribe to the topic and be notified when someone else answers it!


October 12th Support Team Meeting Summary

WordPress 4.9 Beta

The WordPress 4.9 beta keeps updating weekly-ish, so if you can, please help by testing.

Focuses for this weeks testing from core are as follows:

  1. The updates to the theme/plugin code editors
  2. Scheduling and drafting in the Customizer
  3. Locking in the Customizer (like post locking, but for your site changes)

Predefined replies

We’re seeing a few new faces every week, this is fantastic, and as such we’d like to share our predefined replies. The predefined replies list are answers to common questions that we can copy and paste into the forums, this allows us to be consistent in our replies, and saves us a lot of time in the long run.

You can find the replies in our handbook on under the Giving good support section.

Checking in with international liaisons

We had representatives form the Hindi, Italian, Brazilian, German, Spanish, Swedish and Portuguese communities stop by this week, multiple of which had WordCamps going off the previous week and introduced the wonderful world of support to new volunteers!


@bcworkz, @bdbrown, @bethannon1, @clorith, @cristianozanca, @felipeelia, @firoz2456, @geoffreyshilling, @hardeepasrani, @ishankaru, @josearcos, @keithdriscoll, @lasacco, @macmanx, @numeeja, @pmfonseca, @sagarprajapati, @sterndata, @t-p, @tobifjellner, @voldemortensen, @wido and @zodiac1978 attended.

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)


New contributor tips
Don’t be afraid to walk away from a topic. Support can be very draining at times, it’s OK to not know answers, or to grow tired of topics that never seem to end.


October 5th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

We’ve put some effort into the proposed info.php lately, we’ve now merged this into the Health Check plugin, and may revisit the core inclusion at a later date. Keeping it in the plugin for now means we can more easily iterate and find needs in a more efficient manner. As such, we recommend using the plugin for troubleshooting where getting information about a setup is required, if we all stick to using one tool we’ll get a much clearer picture of its usefulness. The plugin is already starting to get translations from the various languages around our lovely support community, which is amazing!

In other news, WordPress 4.9-beta1 is now available. If you can, please give it a try, our primary concern is still the file editing in core getting revamped,let’s make sure it’s as hard as possible to break things (there are enhancements to this that didn’t make it into beta1 as well, so beta2 should be a really good experience we hope).

Our second workshop was had this week, it went off without a hitch, and we seem to be finding our footing around conducting them, a huge thanks to @tacoverdo for doing this one! The recording from the session is available in the post as well for those interested who weren’t able to make it live. Input on topics of interest are welcome, if there’s a particular topic or presenter that would be of interest, let us know.

Checking in with international liaisons

The Portuguese, Swedish, Italian, Russian, Hindi, Brazilian, Spanish and Greek communities are looking fine and dropped by for the conversations.

Other items

At-mentions in the forums

We’ve noticed a starting trend of directly pinging people in support topics to bring attention to issues faster, in an attempt to “cut the line” so to speak.

Pings should be used to bring a topic to someones attention, for example if you are stuck, but know another volunteer knows a fair bit about a topic, this is a good use. It can also be used to guarantee a notification is sent out, in the case of moderators we might use this to ensure someone gets a notice about doing something that is frowned upon, before we archive our own message. We archive our own messages to avoid friction in these situations, as they often require jumping into some other users topic.

To help give people a place to reference, we’ve updated the international forum guidelines, we don’t want our volunteers to feel forced to answering anything, and if they have an official place to reference about this being frowned upon, it’s easier for them to say no.

Contributor badges

We had some questions about how badges work, so here’s a quick coverage of how the support ones work.

The badges are manually assigned for now, each international community has one or more liaisons that provide the profiles of members who should be given either a contributor or a team badge. If you are the administrator of an international forum and don’t have this ability please reach out and we’ll get you sorted out with this ability.

The criteria for the badges are fairly simple:

  • Support team: You are a moderator or an administrator on your support forums
  • Support contributor: You have 400 or more posts on the forums

The badges will eventually be automated, and we may also revise our criteria, but those are the current ones.


@abletec, @anevins, @bdbrown, @clorith, @contentiskey, @cristianozanca, @felipeelia, @fierevere, @geoffreyshilling, @glorialchemica, @gugaalves, @hardeepasrani, @howdy_mcgee, @jdembowski, @josearcos, @keesiemeijer, @lasacco, @macmanx, @mariovalney, @numeeja, @pmfonseca, @polkadotcreations, @rahmohn, @sergeybiryukov, @sterndata, @t-p, @tobifjellner, @voldemortensen, @wido, @xkon and @zoonini attended.

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)


September 28th Support Team Meeting Summary

WordPress 4.8.2

No major new incidents, a few issues with the numbered arguments early on but they appear to have been sorted out petty quickly as plugins have been updated to fix their code.

General Announcements

A quick reminder that we’ll shortly be promoting the Health Check plugin as a means of getting debug data, as well as automating some system checks for users seeking assistance (once it’s been updated, the plan is to get it up to date within this week).

BBQ Post (Also known as the Master List)

The WordPress 4.9 beta is fast approaching, that means it’s time to start working on the BBQ Post. For those unfamiliar, this is where we preemptively create a support resource for what we suspect will be pain points for users in the next major release of WordPress. We then fill it up with the issues that arise throughout the release cycle until the next major version is released, as a reference you can view the 4.8 Master List.

Support workshops

If you have suggestions for upcoming workshops, please do leave a comment, or drop by the #forums slack channel, we welcome input here as we’re certain we’ll miss out on great input if it’s just the same people cherry picking each time.

Our next support workshop is rapidly approaching as well, just as a reminder this time it will be from a plugin representative and not a theme one.

Why solving the problem isn’t enough – A Support Workshop

Checking in with international liaisons

Things are looking good in the Swedish, Hindi, Russian, Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese and Greek communities.

The Spanish team are keeping a tight ship, maintaining a consistent response rate so far, kudos to them!


@bcworkz, @bethannon1, @clorith, @cristianozanca, @fierevere, @hardeepasrani, @jcastaneda, @jdembowski, @josearcos, @lasacco, @macmanx, @numeeja, @sergeybiryukov, @stephencottontail, @sterndata, @t-p, @tacoverdo, @tobifjellner, @voldemortensen, @xkon and @zoonini attended.

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)


September 21st Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

Global translation day

Global translation day is coming up on September 30th

Debug data in core

The work on a new info.php for core to help with support and debugging has had great traction. For the time being we’ve moved development off to GitHub, it will be incorporated as part of the Health Check Plugin, and we will re-visit the concept of incorporating it in core at a later date. The idea here is to promote it as the official approach for checking the status and getting debug information for your own system by the support teams for now.

@clorith has been granted access to both the GitHub and WordPress.org plugin and will help maintain the momentum we’ve had going in so far.

Tag clouds on the forums

The tag cloud on the forums (found at the very bottom of the forum front page only) has been removed. It was not performing well, and really serves no purpose on the forums as our tag use is so spread out and rather incoherent that it didn’t help anyone.

Tags are still a thing, and that feature won’t go away, this is just us removing the tag cloud on the front page.

Support workshop #2

Our second support workshop is coming up, this time hosted by Taco. Taco does support for a somewhat well known plugin, and we’re really looking forward to hearing from him!

Why solving the problem isn’t enough – A Support Workshop

WordPress 4.8.2

WordPress 4.8.2 is out, and so far we’ve only discovered one potential issues. A function used to make sure database queries are safe has been misused a bit in the past, it’s now been locked down and unsupported features no longer work. Some plugins or themes may have used these features and thus may no longer function as expected.

Checking in with international liaisons

The Portuguese, Russian, Italian, Hindi, Swedish and Greek communities are trotting along and stopped by for the weekly chat to see how things were going around the world.


@abletec, @anevins, @bcworkz, @bethannon1, @clorith, @cristianozanca, @fierevere, @geoffreyshilling, @hardeepasrani, @jcastaneda, @jdembowski, @keesiemeijer, @macmanx, @mjjojo, @otto42, @pmfonseca, @sergeybiryukov, @stephencottontail, @sterndata, @t-p, @tacoverdo, @tobifjellner, @xkon and @zoonini attended.

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)


September 14th Support Team Meeting Summary

“Slightly” delayed summary this week, apologies, as I’ve not been in.

A special thank you to @hardeepasrani and @mjjojo for taking up the mantle for the weekly meeting!

General announcements

We’re working on the next support workshop, this time with a focus on the plugin side of things.

WordPress 4.9

Preparations for the 4.9 BBQ post are about to begin, likely with a heavy focus on the new editors and how to break-fix your site.

Support representatives for plugins

A much requested feature has landed in the plugin directory, and plugin authors can now appoint others as representatives of their plugin.

Representatives will have a label, much like moderators and plugin authors already had, which declare them as official representatives of the currently viewed plugin forums.

Checkin with international liaisons

The Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Greek and Hindi communities stopped by to let us know that things are going according to plan. I love it when a plan comes together!


@anevins, @bcworkz, @bdbrown, @bethannon1, @cristianozanca, @fierevere, @geoffreyshilling, @hardeepasrani, @keesiemeijer, @mjjojo, @numeeja, @pmfonseca, @rohittm, @stephencottontail, @sterndata, @t-p, @tobifjellner and @xkon attended.

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)


September 7th Support Team Meeting Summary

Checking with international liaisons

Things are trotting along nicely in the Swedish, Spanish, Italian and German communities, the Spanish team also hit a milestone of not having a single topic without an answer!

If you’re part of the support community but not using the WordPress forums, feel free to join as well, we know that it’s not for everyone to be on WordPress.org, that shouldn’t limit you from joining and sharing experiences.

Clarification on User Notes usage

User notes come with an edit feature, this is intended for fixing typos, or fixing incorrect information in a user note, it does not change who created the note for this reason. If you have information on a user, you should add your own new note, to maintain the history in the right chronological order.

Non-org themes or plugins

We sometimes get support requests for themes (or plugins) that are open and free for everyone, but not on WordPress.org, there’s nothing wrong with this, they may not have a proper support outlet for example.

As an example here, we’ll use themes you can get from Jetpack after their recently introduced theme feature, these are free themes not (yet) available on WordPress.org that users may need help with, in such cases adding the wpcom-theme tag will bring it to the attention of the Automattic theme team. So far they’re the only ones that watch tags on the forums like this that we’re aware of, but we would happily encourage other theme shops with free themes or plugins to do the same. Please note that these alerts aren’t global across all forums though, so from our example they only work on the international forums.

I put emphasis on free, as our guidelines are still in effect with regards to supporting premiums content on our forums.


@anevins, @bcworkz, @bethannon1, @clorith, @cristianozanca, @danhgilmore, @fernandot, @geoffreyshilling, @glorialchemica, @ipstenu, @jcastaneda, @jdembowski, @lasacco, @luisrull, @macmanx, @mjjojo, @numeeja, @stephencottontail, @sterndata, @t-p, @thomas-vitale, @tobifjellner, @zodiac1978 and @zoonini attended.

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)


August 31st Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

Core is looking for help in testing the new code editors, if you are able, please test the beta plugin if you can.

Part of the drive here is to improve user education that this is a place they shouldn’t touch unless they are confident in what they are doing, and also adding more failsafes to make it harder for them to break their site.

That being said though, we know that there is no such thing as a fool proof solution, so the more potential issues we can weed out before release, the less issues we will experience in the forums after release. We are the first line of support alongside hosts own support and hand-holding a broken site from code edits is never easy, many times so when they’re not familiar with editing code outside of wp-admin.

Debug page in core

A new info.php page for core is ticketed and in the works, providing information about a users setup (think WooCommerce’s system status page) with easy copy-paste fields for putting the information straight into forum posts.

Input on what fields are of interest when providing support, as well as what information is valuable to the site owner, but not necessary something you’d want to post on the internet is also of interest in this case, if you have input on the matter please leave comments on the ticket (it’s gained a bit of traction after our meeting, which pleases me greatly).

Checking in with international support liaisons

The Italian, German, Swedish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish communities are doing well, and more locales are getting upgraded to bbPress 2.x!

Other business

There is a need for a page template on the new forum theme for providing a table of contents/easily link section for pages such as the forum guidelines, along the lines of what the handbooks have currently.

The guidelines in them selves (both on the international forum and the rosetta sites) are ever living documents and are revised as the need arise.


@anevins, @bdbrown, @bethannon1, @clorith, @cristianozanca, @diddledan, @fierevere, @glorialchemica, @hideokamoto, @jcastaneda, @jdembowski, @josearcos, @keesiemeijer, @kenshino, @macmanx, @mjjojo, @numeeja, @pmfonseca, @polkadotcreations, @stephencottontail, @sterndata, @t-p, @tobifjellner, @zodiac1978 and @zoonini attended.

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)


August 24th Support Team Meeting Summary

Support workshop

Our first run at a support workshop was held this week, and gave some good insights into how to approach future ones where we wish to invite various support providers within the WordPress community to share how they approach the task in an effort to improve as a group.

The format of allowing questions leading up to the session, and having a Q&A at the end seems to have gone over well and we’d recommend keeping to a similar format as we’re certain users will always have questions (it also helps when people can type out questions, as they may not be comfortable with speaking, be it language barriers or otherwise).

We’re hoping to get some feedback from attendees moving forward on how they felt it all play out as well.

Checking with international support liaisons

The Russian, Swedish, Hindi, Italian and Japanese communities dropped by and let us know that things are still progressing well for them and they have no major hiccups.

Open floor

Improvements to the forum guidelines were proposed, as the derailing of a topic can occur and we didn’t have any scenario that covers when this occurs as a result of the topic owner them selves changing tracks. Some of the rosetta sites have already implemented their own variations of this and we will also introduce this to the international forums as it’s a good resource for our volunteers to refer to.


@abletec, @anevins, @bdbrown, @bethannon1, @clorith, @cristianozanca, @fierevere, @glorialchemica, @hardeepasrani, @hideokamoto, @jcastaneda, @keesiemeijer, @lasacco, @macmanx, @numeeja, @sergeybiryukov, @stephencottontail, @sterndata, @t-p, @tobifjellner, @zodiac1978 and @zoonini attended.

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)