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User:MichaelH/Posting an effective question in the forums

Moved into Using_the_Support_Forums and STICKIED to the Forums Lorelle 16:10, 18 Jul 2005 (UTC)

Originally taken from: http://wordpress.org/support/topic/25473

Posting an effective question in the Forums

Tips for posting questions that will gets answers as quickly as possible.

  • Search first -- Always use the Forum search and or Google to try and find the answer to your qeustion. The same question that has been asked and answered on the Forums may not get answered so search first.
  • Be courteous -- Politeness counts. Simply asking "please" and saying "thank you" are easy things to do, and are always appreciated by those taking the time out of their day to help you.
  • Create a descriptive Topic Title -- A Topic Title such as "Help!" or "Newbie question" or "What the ****?" are not descriptions! A poor choice of Topic Title can slow responses to your questions. Many Volunteers look for Topic Titles matching their area of expertise, and if your Topic Title isn't descriptive enough, the volunteer may move on to the next question. For example, "CSS problem in header" will bring CSS-capable help to your post. "Error: Cannot connect to database" will more likely get a response from a volunteer knowledgeable in database problems. Think about your Topic Title (post title)-- it's worth an extra moment to be clear and concise and will help you get your answer sooner. Framing the correct question will also help subsequent visitors to the Forums who are encountering the same problem.
  • Give information -- What version of WordPress are you using? What Theme are you using? Have you recently installed any plugins? Have you customized something recently? If possible, provide a direct link to your site so that Forum volunteers can see the source of your problem. Don't assume that people will "just know" the answer to your problem so provide as much detail as you can.
  • Post you're URL -- Volunteers are not psychics. Questions like, "My sidebar looks bad. Why?", without a URL is impossible to answer. In most cases, you must either provide a URL or a detailed 3-5 page essay describing your problem. If you choose to write the essay, either paste it into the Forum Topic, or submit it as a .txt file. No .doc files! Submitting a .doc file will automatically result in the deduction of one letter grade from your final score. Extra credit opportunities are available for those who wish to contribute to WordPress' development.
  • Use plain and descriptive language -- If you are new to WordPress and the Forums, please know volunteers care about understanding your issue. Some volunteers will not be as well versed as you would like in the technical arcana of WordPress, PHP, and CSS so the more plain and descriptive your language, the better your chances for getting solutions.
  • Use the correct Forum -- If your question relates to Installation, then post that Topic in the Installation Forum. Questions placed in the wrong Forum may get overlooked.
  • Be patient -- Everyone that answers questions on the Forum is a volunteer. Volunteers don't get paid to answer questions. Please be patient when waiting for an answer. At times frustrations can get the better of people...it happens to everyone, but sometimes you may just have to wait a bit before a question gets answered. Remember that WordPress has a world-wide user base, so you may have to wait for someone in a faraway place to come online to help you out!
  • Don't bump -- Bumping is poor etiquette! It's like jumping into the front of the line--that just upsets people. Bumping will not get your question answered faster--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.
  • One post - one question -- If your original question gets answered, don't use the same post to ask a different question. It may not get answered, since your post title won't match what you are currently needing help with.
  • Follow-up with your solutions -- If you find a solution to the problem, whether elsewhere or through these Forums, please post the solution so others can benefit from this collective pool of knowledge. You cared enough to post your problem, so, consider it a small way to "give back" to the Forums by posting the final solution. There's nothing more disheartening than finding that thread where someone has the same problem you're having but seeing the "Nevermind, I found the solution, thanks."
  • Posting code -- Long bits of code should not be posted on the forum. Please use your own site to do this, or use a pastebin like http://paste.uni.cc and copy your code there. Then return to here and post the link the pastebin gives you to your code. You can also copy your *.php file, rename it to *.phps, and then post a direct link to that file. There are many options available, but long bits of code will be deleted from the forum.