There is more than one way to get help with WordPress. Besides the WordPress Forum, there is also a live chat help on the IRC network irc.freenode.net, where you can seek WordPress related help, or just hang out with fellow WordPress users. This page seeks to be a quick rundown of what IRC is, and how to log in to the #wordpress channel. For more answers to questions about how to use the #wordpress channel, see WordPress IRC Live Help.
Internet Relay Chat, or IRC, is the precursor to both instant messaging and contemporary browser-based chatrooms like those found on Yahoo!, MSN, and innumerable other web sites. It is one of the best ways to get help fast, but it's also a swell way to hang out and become part of the WordPress community.
To participate, you need an IRC client. Once configured and installed, point it to irc.freenode.net and connect. You'll need to choose a nickname, and then "join" the #wordpress channel. An alternative to installing your own IRC client is to use the freenode web chat.
The WordPress project is testing out Slack as our main real-time communication platform, replacing IRC and ad hoc Skype chats. While support for WordPress developers and users will still take place in IRC, most IRC channels have been replaced by Slack channels. In those cases, links to each Slack channel can be found under its old IRC channel headings below.
For more information about getting started with Slack, visit https://make.wordpress.org/chat/.
Please see the Channel Guidelines page.
General support channel for all WordPress related questions. Plugin and theme development questions are welcome. This is not the support channel for WordPress.com.
The place to unwind and just chat about the day. You will usually find a fair amount of the channels regular attendees in here getting better acquainted and making friends, the more the merrier as they say!
This channel has been replaced by #core on Slack.
Channel for WordPress core developers to discuss the development of the WordPress core code; it is not designed for support with plugin or theme development.
This channel is where the weekly WordPress dev chats are held Wednesday at 21:00 UTC. When meetings are taking place, please keep the channel on-topic by talking about agenda items only.
Channel for WordPress core plugins to discuss the development of their plugins. This is not a general support channel for plugin or theme development.
Each feature plugin has its own Slack channel and meeting schedule. Search for rooms whose name starts with "feature-" for those actively in development.
Channel for WordPress Google Summer of Code (GSoC) discussions.
Channel for discussion about the WordPress mobile apps. #mobile on Slack.
Channel for WordPress user interface and user experience discussions with weekly meetings on Thursday at 19:00 UTC in #design on Slack.
Channel for WordPress internationalization discussions. #polyglots on Slack.
Support channel for blogs and services hosted by WordPress.com.
There are various Slack channels dedicated to specific areas of making WordPress. If you're looking to contribute to WordPress in general, #outreach is a great place to get started.
Channel for people who want to contribute to the various WordPress.org community websites (WordPress.org, WordCamp.org, Make.WordPress.org, etc). #meta on Slack.
Channel for BackPress support and development.
This is now #bbpress on Slack.
Channel for bbPress core developers to discuss the development of the bbPress core code. This channel is not designed for support with plugin or theme development. This channel is where the bbPress dev chats are held. (Bi-weekly meetings at Wednesday at 21:00 UTC. When meetings are taking place, please keep the channel on-topic by talking about agenda items only.)
#buddypress is the Slack channel for BuddyPress core development.
Channel for BuddyPress core developers to discuss the development of the BuddyPress core code. This channel is not designed for support with plugin or theme development. This channel is where the weekly BuddyPress dev chats are held. (Weekly meetings at Wednesday at 19:00 UTC. When meetings are taking place, please keep the channel on-topic by talking about agenda items only.)
trac-bot is an IRC bot designed for the WordPress related development IRC channels on freenode. Amongst other things, trac-bot displays links to trac when presented with a #ticketnumber.
hlin is the WordPress IRC bot that provides protection against spammers and flooders.
Logs of the various chat channels are available at the WordPress.org IRC Logs site.