Once you start your WordPress.com site, it won’t be too long before you seek some extra help in understanding what makes it tick. While every new member of the WordPress.com community receives a “Welcome” letter with a link to the WordPress.com beginner’s tutorial, Learn WordPress.com, many answers can be found on the excellent WordPress.com Support Site, which all community members should get acquainted with.
There will come a time, however, when you may want or need to contact WordPress.com Support directly through the “Contact Support” form in order to solve a problem. After walking you through the most common problems encountered, followed by searching for a possible solution, the Contact form opens allowing you to post your question in more detail. What many people don’t realize is that Support requests posted on the “Contact Support” form may be directed to the Community forums for assistance.
Paid Upgrade vs. Free-Hosted:
What you see on the Contact Support form depends on whether you have a paid upgrade or not. WordPress.com members who have paid upgrades will see the following button at the bottom of their Support request form
and may also see the option to request Staff assistance privately by email or publicly by having their support request posted in the special Staff Answers forum in the Community forums. This special forum is reserved for user questions and Staff replies and can be searched along with the other forums when using the Search box found at the top of the forums.
Those without a paid upgrade will see the following button at the bottom of their Contact Support form along with a warning not to post financial or personal contact information (since it is posted in a public forum that is frequently crawled by search engines and consequently appears in search results).
Community Forums and Peer-to-Peer Support
When clicking the “Ask the Community for Support” button, your Support request is posted directly in the Community forums and is answered by other members, experienced forum volunteers, forum moderators and Staff. When it is clear that Staff assistance is required to solve a problem, your topic is tagged by a forum volunteer or moderator to alert them that Staff intervention is needed.
Since the Community Forums have been around for a long time and are quite active, it is very likely that whatever question you have has been asked and answered. The Search box at the top of the forums, the Forum Tags Page, as well as the Search box on the WordPress.com Support site are all resources that you will want to bookmark and use first before contacting Support or posting a new topic in the forums.
Posting a Support Topic Directly in the Community Forums
When you cannot find an answer to your question by searching, you can post a new support topic from the “Add New Topic” link in the forums. Keep these points in mind:
- Give your topic a helpful subject describing the problem you have. Posting “I need help!” may be an eye-catcher, but it isn’t enough information to actually help you.
- Even though you will be required to select the WordPress.com site you need help with, provide a direct link to the page or post you have a question about. This is essential to getting a quick response. Do keep in mind that sites marked “Private” and drafts of Posts or Pages cannot be seen by other community members.
- Give as much information as possible, including your current web browser and version number.
- Posting a screenshot is very helpful.
- Adding related tags, such as “gallery,” “admin bar,” the name of your theme, all assist in finding answers quickly. (At this time you can only add tags from the “Add New Topic” form.)
Once you’ve posted a new topic, you may return at a later time and discover that you cannot find the thread you started. On very active days, forum topics can move off the front page in 15 minutes!
When posting your support topic, make sure you see replies by subscribing to your topic by checking the box on the New Topic form. Any new reply will be sent to the email address you signed up with.
(According to a Staff reply, members who submit a Contact Support form are automatically subscribed to their topics. Tip: You can also subscribe to any topic in the forum that you’d like to follow by either adding it to your Favorites or by clicking the “Subscribe to Topic” link in the thread’s sidebar.)
Community members can also find their previous threads when visiting the forums by clicking on their username next to the word “Welcome” in the top right corner of any forum page.
Why the *(%# Is No One Replying to My Forum Thread or Support Request?!
There can be a number of reasons why your forum topic or support request isn’t answered, including time zone differences and availability of volunteers and Staff. Regardless, support requests or forum threads which have been marked for Staff assistance are dealt with on an “age basis,” meaning the older the topic, the higher it appears in Staff’s response queue. If you bump your forum thread or email Support asking about your question, your topic is pushed lower in the response queue. In these cases, patience is a virtue!
It is not unusual for people to post to the Forums when frustrated by a problem they’ve encountered. While we do have a stated Code of Conduct, to get the most out of Community Support remember that a little courtesy, focus and humor go a long way in motivating people to help you.