Where to find help on WordPress.com

Once you set up your WordPress.com site at some point you’ll probably need extra help in finding information or solving an issue.

While every new member of the WordPress.com community receives a welcome letter with a link to Learn WordPress, the always free tutorial for beginners, and other helpful resources, many answers can be found quickly by first searching the WordPress.com Support Site. WordPress.com makes it easy to also search the Support Site directly from your own dashboard’s Home page and, like the search function on the Support Site itself, suggested results will appear below the search box.

home dashboard search function

However, there will come a time when you need to contact WordPress.com Support directly for help in solving a problem. Clicking on the “Contact support” link in your site dashboard’s Home page will bring you to the contact form where you can post your question in more detail. What many people do not realize is that support requests submitted via this form may be directed to the WordPress.com community forums for assistance.

Why is that?

Paid vs. Free Support

What you see on the contact form depends on whether your WordPress.com website has a paid upgrade or is a free website. If your site has a paid upgrade, after you submit the form you’ll have direct access to WordPress.com’s Happiness Engineers either by email or by Live Chat. This service is part of your paid upgrade plan.

Support requests for free websites are routed to our community forums where they may be answered by other WordPress.com members, experienced forum volunteers or forum Support staff.

Read on to find my recommendations to help you get the quickest reply to your support request.

Important! Our community forms are public and frequently crawled by search engines. Consequently all forum topics appear in search results shortly after they appear.

To safeguard your privacy and security, you should never include sensitive financial or personal information, like transaction IDs, credit card details or phone numbers, neither should you post user names and passwords, when submitting the contact form.

Never.

Five Tips for Getting Help Quickly

  1. Give your support submission a short, descriptive subject title that details the problem you have. Posting “I need help!” doesn’t give enough relevant information. Be concise, but be descriptive.
  2. Provide a direct link to the page or post where the problem occurs if it’s not the main page of your website. This is essential to getting a quick response.
  3. Give as much information as possible, including your current web browser and version number if you feel it’s relevant to your problem. If you don’t know these details, you can get them from a website like Support Details
  4. Providing a screenshot can also be very helpful as not everyone might see what you’re seeing.
  5. Adding relevant tags to your forum support topic, such as gallery, admin bar, your theme’s name, etc., all assist in getting you help more quickly.

At this time you can only add screenshots and tags to forum topics after submitting your contact form by navigating to your topic in the forum. See below section on Follow-up on how to do that.

Forum topics such as renewing an expired domain or upgrade plan, recovering a lost website, help with a Private or not-yet-launched website or drafts of posts or pages, changing one currency to another, can only be resolved with forum Support staff assistance and such topics may be tagged by a forum volunteer to alert them that their intervention is needed. However, you can tag your own forum topic with the modlook tag by visiting your topic in the forum and adding that tag to the Tags section in the sidebar.

Follow-Up

Any new reply to your contact support form submission or follow-up email from WordPress.com’s Happiness Engineers will be sent to the email address on your account. It’s a good idea to check that email address from time-to-time to make sure it is current and that you have access to it.

For submissions routed to the community forums, you later might want to add relevant tags or include additional information that you overlooked originally, but not know how to find it. Don’t despair! As long as you are logged in to your WordPress.com account, all your previous topics and replies are listed on your forum profile page.

Head to the community forums and click on your display or username next to the word “Welcome” at the top right of any forum page. That will bring you to your user profile with links to the topics you started and to topics where you replied. If you want to add relevant tags to the Tags section in the topic sidebar, add them in the box and click the “Add” button. If you want to include a screenshot or additional information, add it to the forum reply box and click the “Submit” button.

PRO TIP: Tags are clickable and lead to other forum topics that are similarly tagged. You might be able to find a solution even before someone steps in to help, but keep in mind that answers older than about 6-8 months may no longer be relevant.

Why the *(%# Is No One Replying to My Forum Topic or Support Request?!

There can be a few reasons why your forum topic or support request isn’t answered right away, 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 their response queue. If you bump your forum thread, submit another support request on the exact same topic or reply to Support via email asking about your just submitted question, your topic is pushed lower in their response queue. In other words,

Patience is a virtue!

However, make it easy for people to help you by giving as much clear information as you can when posting your initial request (See my 5 tips above.)

This doesn’t mean you should post your entire support topic in the subject line, but the clearer you are describing what went wrong and what help you need, the more likely you’ll get a reply faster.

Community Guidelines:

We’ve all been there. You’ve worked hard on making your new post perfect, but something’s gone wrong and you’re rightly upset. Before you submit the contact support form, remember that a little courtesy, focus and humor go a long way in motivating people to help you. On the flip side, forum posts can’t be edited once submitted (for the most part, and only by staff) and don’t expire, so anything you write will be there for the ages, in search engine results, associated with your username, forever. Here’s a hint: When looking to help other community members, experienced forum volunteers usually check out the user’s profile first, so avoid giving yourself a bad reputation.

Not all roads lead to the support forums!

Certain issues with your WordPress.com website cannot be resolved in the community forums or by forum Support staff. If your site has been suspended for a possible Terms of Service or User Guidelines violation or you’re unable to upgrade your site and see a Payments Disabled message, follow the instructions in the notice found in your site’s dashboard or on the front page of your site to get assistance from the correct Support team. If you have an unknown charge on your credit card that looks like it’s from WordPress.com, fill out the charge details in the secure form on this page to be in contact with the Billing team.

Is it WordPress.com or WordPress.org or WordPress?

Thanks to the Jetpack plugin for WordPress, which requires an account here on WordPress.com, there’s some confusion between the two. Here’s an explanation on why you need a WordPress.com account for Jetpack.

Lastly, any questions or issues you have on a website where you’ve installed the WordPress.org open-source software are supported on the WordPress.org website or with your web hosting provider or with the theme or plugin author directly. We can’t help with those sites at all because they are not hosted here on WordPress.com’s servers.

As always, the information in this post is correct as of today’s date. Changes are inevitable.


This post was published originally in 2013 and updated in August 2021

Published by JenT

After 4 years hand coding HTML and CSS websites, 2 years setting up and running WordPress sites, I launched my first website on WordPress.com back in 2006 and never looked back. Since then, I’ve helped other WordPress.com site owners navigate through the ever-changing WordPress.com ecosystem. Find me at wpcommaven.com

Kvetch or kvell, it's all good, but be a mensch.

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