How to Get Better, Faster Support at WordPress.com

red question markBloggers who answer WordPress.com technical support forum questions as I do will tell you that it’s how one asks a question and how much relevant information they provide that determines whether they get a satisfactory answer or not.

Ben Sibley’s  How to Make Your Customers Better at Customer Support contains eight steps for asking a question that I guarantee will get you better support.

The Steps:

  1. Search First
  2. Ask the Right Person
  3. Tell Us What is Wrong
  4. State Your Original Goal
  5. List the Symptoms
  6. What Happened Before the Symptoms?
  7. What Have You Tried Already?
  8. Share Your Environment

Posting to the WordPress.com support forums

If you have a free hosted WordPress.com blog here’s the link to the support documentation entry Forums FAQ – Getting Help in the Forums.

The WordPress.com support forums are peer support forums where Volunteers and Staff work cooperatively to deliver technical WordPress.com support. There is no phone support and we Volunteers do not provide support by email.

Volunteers answer most questions posted into forum threads and Staff monitor. When Volunteers cannot provide the required support we flag threads for Staff attention.

If you search and cannot find an answer to your question we Volunteers will be happy to answer in forum threads. Please simply post exactly what you need help with knowing there’s rarely ever a question posted that has not already been asked and answered.

When a Volunteer or Staff member suspects a browser related issue is causing your problem, there are some questions they may ask you to answer and troubleshooting steps they may ask you to take.

*Share your details

1.  What is the URL of the site you are having issues with?

2.  Are you logging in as Admin under the exact same username account that registered that blog? If not, then are you an official user of the blog and what is your role?

3.  Exactly what kind of device are you using to connect to the internet and to WordPress.com?

4.  Exactly which browser (and version of it) are you using? Check here if you don’t know.  If you are not running one of the browsers and versions WordPress.com supports at http://browsehappy.com please upgrade.

5.   If you are using an IE (Internet Explorer) browser in compatibility mode please disable it.

6.  Try clearing your browser’s cache and cookies.  If applicable see here for instructions on how to clear the cache for Chrome and Safari on the iPad.

7.  Make sure that you have both third-party cookies enabled and JavaScript enabled on your browser.

8.  Try disabling all browser extensions or add-ons temporarily.

9.   Try enabling HTTPS log-in.  Add both *.wordpress.com and *.wp.com to your list of trusted sites under the Security tab. Make sure to uncheck the box for “Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone.”

10. Try using another browser.

Creating a support ticket

After you use the searchbox at the top of the Support  page, on bottom of the page there will be a section that says “Have you found the answer to your question?” You can choose either “Yes I found the answer to my question.” or “No I didn’t find the answer to my question and I would like to contact support for help.”
The no option will reveal the contact form. When contacting Staff in order to avoid a time delay in finding a solution and applying it, please do not forget to Share your details (*see above) in your support ticket.

For more tips for getting timely technical support please read my related post: Basic WordPress.com Tips for New Bloggers

Aside from the English speaking technical support forums note that WordPress.com forums are available in many other languages.

Related articles found in this blog:
OMG! I can’t find my blog on Google
OMG! My images are gone
Recovering a lost blog post or page

39 thoughts on “How to Get Better, Faster Support at WordPress.com

  1. So far I’ve received stellar support on the forums. I assume there are TONS of WP users on there everyday asking questions and I’m amazed at the response from the volunteer monitors. Thank you!

  2. I once asked a question, which you answered. It was a great help. It’s why I followed your blog. Most of the stuff you write is beyond me – I am a technept of the highest order – but just occasionally I read something I understand, and it always helps :)

    1. I’m so glad I was able to help you in the forums because I found your blog. Now I get daily doses of your sunny personality and and sense of humor I’m better for it. I’m delighted to know there are occasions that you find what I blog on to be helpful.

  3. TT,
    When I am perplexed and have tried “everything”, I find Forum quick to respond and helpful.

    I agree with some previous comments that
    1. I may be using the wrong terminology but the help gives me the terminology and I am able to google for past support and answers,
    2. common sense – I really do try to use my common sense but sometimes I come up blank!

    You have responded to my questions on Forum and when I see TT, I know I have one of the best answering my questions!

    P.S. I can’t believe there are that many “idiots” out there in cyberland. It seems to be true that “bullying” and nastiness is becoming quite common. That is so sad. I appreciate all of you!!

    1. Hi Cindi,
      I’m not sure there is a higher density of idiots and bullies online than there is offline. I think some with marginal social skills who lack coping skills to deal with frustration are more inclined to lash out online due to their presumed anonymity. Don’t read me wrong. Despite the fact I am motivated by helpfulness if anyone I’m trying to help crosses the civility line, I disengage and leave them twisting in the wind. Those are rare cases. Most days there are many happy people leaving the support forums with their issues resolved and their thank yous make my day almost every day.

  4. Every time I have asked a question in the forum I have had responses almost instantly and my questions were answered and my problems solved. The last time it was you who helped me out and I really appreciated it. This is one of the reasons I’m so glad I decided to blog with WordPress.

    1. I clearly recall meeting you on the forums. Although most questions have been asked and answered many times before, not every question is easily answered and not every issue can be addressed and resolved quickly. I’m so glad your issues proved to be ones in the easy to resolve category.

  5. The forum posts about sharing posts via the integrated third-party ‘Headliner’ service has highlighted some tensions between volunteers and staff. How do you as volunteers orchestrate the way you push forward on important issues like this one?

    1. Update from Headliner Staff here http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/how-to-take-back-writings/page/3?replies=62

      There is no orchestration. We are all independent Volunteers with our own opinions and you saw mine in that thread.

      Quoting Suzy:
      WordPress should investigate why this link is being shown to users on posting.
      SECONDED! It ought not to be appearing at all. Get rid of it. http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/how-to-take-back-writings/page/2?replies=62#post-1464159

      Quoting kardotim: There’s no need to use their service if you don’t agree with their terms of service.

      I do not accept this glib statement from you because though it is true, you and I both know that the advertising is appearing in the get instant feedback nanny, which as justjennifer pointed out is used by new bloggers, who in the main, tend to be clueless about the fine print in ToS and copyright implications.

      I am not impressed that WordPress.com would partner with any company that has the ToS clause referred to above by landscapelover at http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/how-to-take-back-writings/page/2?replies=55#post-1466501

        1. You’re welcome, David. It’s very disturbing and IMHO the amendments made simply aren’t good enough. New bloggers are not savvy about and don’t understand clauses in binding Terms of Service contracts. The fact that these outfits that purport to “amplify” one’s content become owners of your content once you agree to their ToS slips by unless bloggers like Susan bring it to light.

  6. I don’t have any question right now, but I just want to say, I’m always amazed at how knowledgeable and helpful you are. It really is astonishing and very cheering. If what comes around, goes around, you are in line for a seriously large slice of good luck

  7. Thanks for this. Asking for help for me initially was hard because I found it hard to describe what my problem was. I have been kicking goals since I found your blog. :)

    1. That’s an excellent point. Often people who are new to blogging don’t know the terminology so using search utilities doesn’t work for them. In other cases they may not be adept at describing exactly what they experience. The bottom line is that experienced Volunteers and Staff know which questions to ask to get the required information to address the issue and resolve it.

  8. As you know, I have a question running in Forum – you tagged for Staff help so thank you. When we encounter problems on our blog site, should we post first in Forum or go straight to Support? The other question I have is once a volunteer tags for Staff help, on average, how long should you wait for a reply? Thanks again, and great post.

    1. I’m sorry but I can’t answer that question out right without knowing the nature of the issue. Many issues are quickly and easily resolved by bloggers themselves. Simply making sure everything is is working order at their end of things see *Share your details in my post clears up lots of problems. Volunteers also have answers to common problems that can be shared at once. That said, we Volunteers have no idea how long it may Staff to reply at any point in time. They address forum threads and support tickets in order from those with the the earliest dates stamps and time stamps to the most recent ones. I hope your issue is resolved soon.

  9. I think the help over there is very good and fast. Your advice is nothing short of plain, old common sense. A doctor can’t begin to diagnose your illness unless you supply him with the most information as possible – no matter how trivial it may sound. Keep up the good work guys!

    1. Thanks Joseph. You’re right about common sense but sometimes people are so frustrated they don’t function as well as they should.

      They forget that we cannot help anyone who does not provide basic information. Most who posts do have common sense and do keep their cool. They are appreciative of the answers they receive but most is not all.

      Some completely lose their cool and start SHOUTING!
      Worse still are those who posture as victims while launching passive aggressive attacks on those who are trying to help them.
      There are also growing numbers of those who say idiotic things like “I want to talk to a real person”.

      I have answered 2,612 pages of support forum threads (30 to a page) over the course of 7 3/4 years. During that time I have never discovered either a zombie or robot answering support questions. I know for sure everyone answering questions is a real human being.

      I also know that only a cell phone addict who is probably a nomophobiac as well would say “I want to talk to a real person” without realizing how sick they appear to be when doing so. Bloggers write and what comes with that territory is good reading comprehension skills. Anyone who will not or who cannot follow written instructions needs a digital detox and reality check.
      http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2012/11/05/nomophobia-disconnect-and-detox/

      My friends’ daughter is a psychologist, who is currently learning much about human nature, different personality types and response to frustration and stress by simply lurking on technical support forums. I can’t wait to read her thesis.

      1. I agree with Joseph, you and your colleagues do a brilliant job of support, for which, huge thank you. But I have to tell you I am genuinely laughing out loud at that last paragraph about the psychologist in training lurking in the forums as a basis for a thesis. Do let us know when she publishes, or ask her to share her findings here one day… Thanks Timethief!

        1. Oh Cynthia, I could write own thesis but let’s not go there lol :D I’ll let you know when she publishes. Thanks for the kind words. Some days we Volunteers feel like we ought to be wearing hard hats.

  10. This is such important information, timethief. I remember early on in my blogging needing to post a question but not including much of this material. I wish I had known this then. Great post!

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

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