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User:MichaelH/How to make the forums a better and more useful place

This article is on the Forum as http://wordpress.org/support/topic/39501

The Forums: Please read before posting

  1. Every single answer provided here is written by a volunteer. No one is paid to answer you. So, please, do not demand an answer, ask for one. Also, good manners - words like "please" and "thank you" go further than you might think.
  2. Please don't bump your question! Bumping is actually counter-productive as volunteers look for threads that only have one (1) post, but if you bump your thread, you immediately increase the post count to two (2) and that makes it harder to find an unanswered thread. Bumping is also rude! If you bump your post, the bump might be removed without further explanation.
  3. Use the search tools. Many times questions have already been asked and answered on the Forum. Be sure to read Search First. If you just paste http://search.wordpress.org/stuck+at+step+2 into your browser, you'll see previous Forum solutions to the question What to do, I'm stuck in Step 2 of installation? Or to search the WordPress Codex for articles about User Levels http://www.google.com/custom?q=User+Levels&sa=+Google+Codex+&sitesearch=codex.wordpress.org. Make use of the Forum search or Google to confirm your question hasn't already been asked. Even if you don't find the exact problem you are experiencing, finding a similar problem may highlight the solution for you. The same question asked over and over is tiresome for volunteers to repeatedly answer. So please, do your homework before asking a question.
  4. Make sure you are posting an effective question in the forums. Please read Getting Your Questions Answered on the Forums.
  5. Please use plain language and be descriptive. Talking 'geek', using jargon, or using chat, SMS. or l33t speech (i.e. plz, u, coz) reduces the number of people who will answer.
  6. Make extensive use of the WordPress Codex. There hundreds of articles and frequently asked questions (FAQ) are presented for your use. Here are some very helpful Codex articles--Finding WordPress Help and Frequently Asked Questions
  7. Feel free to add questions to the Codex FAQ pages and, if you have an answer, add that also.
  8. If you have received a reply and you do not understand the reply, or you are confused, just post back and explain carefully where you got lost.
  9. Patience is a virtue. The possibilities of WordPress are almost unlimited, and with that, there may be an increased complexity to the questions asked and answered on the Forum. So, at times, it may take longer for your question to be resolved. Exercise patience and continue to research your problem--volunteers will eventually get to your question.
  10. If you are having a problem with a Plugin, please provide a link to where you got the Plugin. Also, make sure you've read the information provided by the Plugin author. Many times Plugin authors answer questions on their own blogs.
  11. When asking for assistance (and this is more important than you can imagine really!), please post what Theme you are using!
  12. Please go back to the original thread and post the solution, even if you found the answer elsewhere. This is the really what the Forum is about, question & answer. Providing feedback about your success (or failure) is sustenance to the Forum and to the volunteers. It's a great way to give back to the community and it may help some other lost soul in the same predicament. It's disappointing when people post a problem and then reply back with, "never mind, got it working now!" instead of posting what they did to fix the problem! Please, follow-up and post the proper information on how you solved a problem so everyone can learn.
  13. Please don't hijack threads with a new problem that is completely unrelated to what the thread is about.
  14. Please don't simply rephrase the question and repost it several times. This is practically the same as bumping, and is equally rude and will tend to annoy the very people who might be of assistance with your problem.
  15. Don't cross post either. Pick a forum that best suits your problem and post it there. Cross posting only confuses people. Which one is newer? Which one is active? Which one has the answer? Besides, when you do that, you needlessly bump some one else's post off of the Forums front page, then they feel like they have to bump their thread to get it back on the front page.