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Forum Welcome

Contents

Welcome to the WordPress Support Forum

This page is a welcome message for the Support Forums. We hope that you will find this a useful resource, as it is intended to be a "Quick-Start Manual" rather than full documentation. Please play nice. This introduction is designed to help you find your way around the forums and to hopefully get you started as quickly as possible. There is more information available at an expanded Codex article, Using the Support Forums.

Before you post, make sure you're posting about a self hosted WordPress.org site and NOT a WordPress.com site. If you're not sure, read WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.

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.

Search First

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, please try searching the forums for an answer. Both the forums and the Codex have been indexed by Google, so if you can't find your answer with a forum search, it is worth typing it into Google too (e.g. Google for SITE:wordpress.org/support widget). If you do find a topic that describes a problem similar to yours, read it by all means but do not post in that topic to ask for help.

Where To Post

The forum is split into sections, with each forum having its own one-line description on the front page. Please try to choose the most suitable section for your new topic, and please post your topic in only one section. Multi posting is frowned upon. Duplicate postings will be closed or might be deleted. Posting your own topic is smiled upon. Unless you are using the same version of WordPress on the same physical server hosted by the same hosts with the same plugins, theme & configurations as the original poster, do not post in someone else's thread. Start your own topic.

If you have a question about a specific theme or plugin, then we suggest visiting that theme or plugin in the repository first, and then using the "Write a New Topic" link from there to make a post about that theme or plugin. This has the effect of tagging the post with that item's name, making it more visible to the author and making it more clear what your post is about. You're more likely to get a response this way.

Choose A Good Topic Title

When you start a new topic, try to use an appropriate title. "Database error creating a new post" is a good title. "URGENT HELP PLS!!!" is not a good title. A good title can be the difference between getting help and not.

Include as much information as possible

Put down all the detail you can about your hosting environment, your WordPress install (plugins, themes, etc.) and the problem you are having. If you are seeing errors, copy them word for word into your post. It's best to include the full error than to summarise - sometimes wording is important. If you did something before you came across a problem, write down exactly what you did.

You can post links to screenshots to illustrate your issues, but don't use screenshots in place of a website link. Forum volunteers need a link to the webpage with the issue, to see a working (or broken) example of it.

Link to Your Site

If you are asking for help and your question relates to a specific site or page, please provide a link to it. It may help others when they are trying to help you.

Remember, though, the forum is not designed to be a link portal, so excessive linkage will be moderated, as might signatures or links with no associated question.

Be also aware, that links will not get removed any time later, unless in extreme circumstances.

Signatures

Signatures in threads will be removed as they cause clutter and distract from the information and help provided.

Warn About Adult Content

Some sites contain content that is not suitable for a general audience or for viewing whilst at work. To avoid creating problems for anyone who is trying to help you, please add NSFW to either the topic title or the content of your post, as well as tag your post NSFW, as a warning if you think your site falls into this category. (Otherwise your post / links may be removed.)

NSFW stands for Not Safe For Work.

No Bumping

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

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

Posting Code

When you need help with code, it helps us if you can post that in the forums.

That said, we really, really, really need you to remember to keep your code enclosed in backticks (`) to stop it being parsed by the forum's software (which may also make it unreadable). Select your code in the editor and click on the "code" button to enclose your code in backticks. You don't have to mark each line, just the section (like you would for blockquotes).

If you don't do this, the odds are high that your post will be caught as spam by the automated tool, and we'll have to fix your post for you.

Posting Large Excerpt of Code

When you post a large excerpt of code, it often makes the thread difficult to read. Instead, we ask you please paste your code in a pastebin or Gist and submit it as a link in your post.

As for what constitutes a large excerpt, it's difficult to say. Certainly if you're quoting an entire php/css/js file, put it on pastebin. For anything under 100 lines, we ask you use your best judgement. Do consider that you're asking people for free support, and it's a darn sight easier to read 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 fiddly little code box is a time-consuming activity that distracts from answering the actual questions.

Note: Anything you put in a forum topic or a pastebin is public. Anybody can see it. Don't post any passwords or private info there.

Offering to Pay

WordPress is free software and this is a free forum, so requesting paid help is discouraged. We also do not need bidding wars in the forums. If you post asking for paid help and you have posted some contact information, your thread will not be deleted but it will be closed. If you have not posted contact information, we may ask you to add it. The thread will then be closed.

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. Please use WP Jobs instead.

Forum volunteers may advise you to seek professional support from WP Jobs. Please don't take this as a rude gesture. The main reason for this is that you may require more support than this forum can provide.

Commercial Products

If you use a commercial theme or plugin and need support, please go to their 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 your commercial theme or plugin is not working properly. This is one other reason why volunteers forward you to the commercial product's vendors. The vendors are responsible for supporting their commercial product.

Where Did My Post Go?

If you leave the forums and can't find your thread when you get back, you can see a list of all the threads you have contributed to, and started, on your profile page. To view your profile click on "View your profile" link in the upper right of the header at the top of every forum page.

Note: The "View your profile" link is only available after you log in. You might want to login now, if you haven't already.

If you know you posted but you can't find it, it may have gotten caught by our over ambitious spam filter. If that happens, don't panic. One of the volunteers will get around to finding it and clearing it, usually within an hour. You can get caught as spam if you post too many times in succession, or if your posts are all the same (yep, it can check that). It happens to pretty much everyone at least once. Don't worry about it too much.

Helping Out

If you are here to help others, you can view a quick list of unanswered topics by using the "No Replies" link at the bottom of the front page. The "No Replies" filter is often used by folk to find questions to answer next. This is also a good reason why you shouldn't bump your topics. Bumping is discouraged and bumps may be deleted by the moderators.

If you're helping out, do your best to fully assist the person having the issues, and do not use your support as an excuse to promote your own site/themes/plugins. That behavior is frowned upon.

Similarly, we ask that you not demand payment, solicit work, or take the conversation to a private location. The point of helping out on the WordPress.org forums is to help out on the forums. Remember, we don't want to be this guy. Leave something for the next person who searches to have an answer too.

Reporting Threads

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 - abusing this tag in the hopes of attracting the attention of a moderator to your support question will not be viewed kindly. Don't put the modlook tag on your support question, put it on things like spam, or people using signatures in their posts, or duplicate threads. Things that a forum moderator should see and correct.

Note that it is not always necessary to point out the actual problem, either with a post or with additional tags. Our moderators are smart. They'll scan the thread and find the problems themselves, and deal with it accordingly. Adding your own comments just gives them more to clean up, so please don't do it unless you feel the nature of the problem is very unclear like a double (or quadruple) post.

Forum Mailing List

If you would like to discuss an aspect of the forum, or report a problem with the forum itself, there is a mailing list you can join at http://lists.automattic.com/mailman/listinfo/wp-forums

Note that the mailing list is for discussing issues with the support forum itself, rather than for posting your problems with WordPress. It's primarily used by forum moderators and other regular volunteers for discussion of code and behavioral issues on the forums. While the list is public for anyone to join or read, it's intended use is for the people who volunteer to make the forum better to communicate more easily.

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 had 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 antagonistic, and requests for paid support.

Sometimes you might notice that your posts are closed as soon as you post them. This means that they have been caught in the spam queue, which is an automated process and sometimes catches posts by mistake. If this happens, a moderator then has to (manually) unspam your posts, so it may take a little while to be rectified. Your patience is appreciated!

Being 'Mod Watched' or Banned

Sometimes, when someone's having a bad day, their posts will be flagged so all posts must be approved by a moderator. This is considered a cool-down tactic, and isn't intended to be a bad thing. It just means your behavior caught our attention in a slightly negative way, and we want to keep an eye on you. If this happens, just be patient. We will review and approve your posts probably pretty quickly, or edit them and reply, pointing out what's wrong.

If, however, your actions escalate, you'll get banned. There's no one behavior to point at for this, but basically if you start lashing out, calling people names, making accusations, emailing people nasty messages, or challenging the authority of the moderators, you may end up banned. The basic rule of thumb is don't act like a bad person. You're an adult, you know how to behave. We expect you to do it, and if you don't, or can't, you will be banned.

Harassing anyone is not permitted, and you will be banned if you do this.

tl;dr: If your posts are being moderated or caught as spam, don't panic, just relax and maybe take a break. We'll still be here.

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 your post or remove your link just because an Internet search for a term brings up the forums before your actual URLs.

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. In extreme circumstances, members of the moderation team might be persuaded to remove sensitive information that has been included in posts accidentally - but your best course of action is not to publish anything that you wouldn't want to be public. (Remember too that other sites take archive copies of the forums, and we can do nothing to control that.)

Attention Plugin/Theme Authors: If users complain about your plugins, even if they are incorrect, we will not delete their posts. Its your responsibility to represent yourself well and educate them. Even if you are not running a business via your plugins, your reputation is impacted more by how you handle people's complaints versus how they treat you.

Deleting Accounts

Accounts are not deleted, not even for obvious spammers, due to technical limitations of the system. If you don't want to use the forums anymore, log off and don't return. We'll miss you!

Usernames cannot be changed either. If you want to use a different username, then create the new username and stop using the old one.

There are myriad 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 you want to walk away, or regret the username cocopuff as not professional, but it's just what we've got right now.

Contacting the Moderators

As most of the moderators are volunteers, we ask that if you need moderator help for any reason, you post your request in the forum and tag it with the term "modlook" - someone will come take a look. Do not abuse that tag, or your account will be disabled.

Following moderators 'home' and sending them email can be harassment, so please, before you hit send or fill in their contact form, remember that these are real human beings, and calling them names because they won't delete your post (or did delete one), is not cool.

The Bad Stuff

AKA what not to do...

We need to keep the forums friendly, so, occasionally, topic content will be moderated. 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 -

  • Forum members should not post their email addresses, ask others to post their email or solicit contacting people off of the forums.
  • Plugin and theme authors may post their contact URL or even their email address in their own support sub-forum, but that should be a last resort thing.
  • Forum members, including plugin and theme authors, should never ask for admin or FTP access to a server, MySQL, or WordPress installation.
  • Harassment. This should be simple, but please don't harass or abuse people. Don't send them emails calling them names. Don't twitter stalk them.
  • Spam and affiliate links, duplicate posts, offensive posts, posts without content, flames, and references to adult content that have not been highlighted as NSFW.
  • Posting in all caps. This is considered shouting and is rude. Please note that this list is not exhaustive. Every post is judged on its own merits.
  • Ask for help regarding premium themes/plugins. We do NOT support premium themes as you paid for their support when you bought it and it is not our place to keep vendors in business. If someone wants to help, that is fine.

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

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