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Improving the WordPress.org support forums (84 posts)

  1. Jen Mylo
    Key Master
    Posted 4 years ago #

    I think we all know that as helpful as the support forums are in some ways, in other ways there's much to be desired. As we will be doing some work on improving wordpress.org this summer, let's hear your suggestions for how we can improve the support experience here on wordpress.org. Thanks!

  2. Andrei
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Well, since the forums are very active and a lot of new threads are created, maybe an email notification system is the best idea. Even if my topic is far far away, an email will let me know if it has new replies.

  3. Casey
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    E-mail subscriptions would be lovely. Subscribing to a thread via RSS is helpful, but e-mail is definitely my preferred method.

  4. Felipe Navarro V.
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    adding a "Remember Me" on login could be a great feature too...

  5. Frumph
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    a FAQ system that someone can peruse to find answers without flooding the forums with the same questions over and over.

  6. Frumph
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    a 'resolved' button for the post author to acknowledge that it was resolved instead of waiting for a moderator to figure out if it was or not.

  7. Jen Mylo
    Key Master
    Posted 4 years ago #

    How about segmenting by user type: end user, admin, developer?

  8. Chip Bennett
    Theme Review Admin
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Some thoughts off of the top of my head:

    1) More moderation (more moderators?), plus better ability to flag posts (and posters) as SPAM.

    2) Here's a crazy idea: some way of auto(-magic?) linking of WP functions and template tags to their related Codex entries? Almost every answer/response I've given in the support forums has involved linking to the Codex.

    3) Some form of standardization/convention for tagging, to facilitate search and cross-reference.

    4) Perhaps some means of separating posts by WP version point-release? (What was a relevant problem/question in 2.7 might not be in 2.9, etc.)

    Looking forward to seeing what others have to say. I'm sure other responses will get me thinking in other areas, too.

  9. Chip Bennett
    Theme Review Admin
    Posted 4 years ago #

    And someone already gave me an idea:

    a FAQ system that someone can peruse to find answers without flooding the forums with the same questions over and over.

    How about a mechanism for marking one post as a duplicate of another post, which would be used for a moderator to close the duplicate, and direct all responses to the original (or, even, to merge the duplicate post and responses into the original)?

  10. mattonomics
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    why not just charge a small fee for support and hire a competent and well trained support staff? Isn't that similar to the model WP suggests for theme developers? It seems that such a plan would be massively beneficial to the entire community. Perhaps allow access to very basic issues for free, and attach the fee to more advanced issues. If WP has 10 million users and only 10% sign up for $30/year advanced support, that would provide WP epic flexibility in the support arena.

  11. Frumph
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    ^^ based on their profile yeah. re: segmenting user type: end user = all users who haven't specified they are sys admin or developer in their profile.

    if ! give ability for end user to resolve a post create

    Moderator tool: "Create FAQ from resolved post." when setting a post to resolved, will bring up a form that the moderator can create a faq from the post to automate the process a little for the faqs (if decide to do a faq system).

  12. demetris
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    STEP 1. Move to software appropriate for a forum like this.

    DONE!

    Did you expect more steps? Sorry to disappoint you! :-D

  13. Chip Bennett
    Theme Review Admin
    Posted 4 years ago #

    STEP 1. Move to software appropriate for a forum like this.

    I think bbPress is more than capable of handling Support Forum needs and functionality.

  14. wmrom
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    I like the idea of having segmented user types, but I don't think that addresses the problem I hear (and experience) most often: questions often go unanswered.

    I think the best way of fixing that problem is to incentivize answering questions. Maybe make it more game-like. Stack Overflow does this with 'badges' and 'reputation points.' I know SO isn't what you guys want, but they've done a great job incentivizing answering questions, and because of that, people actually answer the questions.

  15. MichaelH
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    @Frumph - there's already a resolved button (off to the right) except for posts in the Miscellaneous and Feedback forums.

  16. a 'resolved' button for the post author to acknowledge that it was resolved instead of waiting for a moderator to figure out if it was or not.

    There is that ... It's a dropdown, mind, but it's there.

  17. Frumph
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    @thanks, never see the button since i'm just answering questions rarely posting them. Seems in my history most of them never mark themself as resolved.

  18. Chip Bennett
    Theme Review Admin
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Moderator tool: "Create FAQ from resolved post." when setting a post to resolved, will bring up a form that the moderator can create a faq from the post to automate the process a little for the faqs (if decide to do a faq system).

    I definitely agree that a lot of questions/issues are repeated, and that finding better ways of resolving those issues will help pare down the number of repetitive support requests/posts.

    Is a FAQ the best way to go? Or perhaps better integration with the Codex?

    I think that, if the tagging system could be improved, a support team could apply Pareto to resolved issues, and use that information to improve existing Codex entries or to write new ones. Also, "popular" (i.e. repetitive) support topics could be made "sticky" posts, to help draw attention to already-answered questions/already-resolved issues.

    Perhaps an interstitial layer could be added upon submission of a new support thread (much like many support-ticket systems), in which the support requester is presented with a list of resources (other support threads, Codex entries, FAQ, whatever) based on the text and tags of the support request. If those resources enable the support requester to resolve his issue (or answer his question), the new support post isn't submitted.

  19. MichaelH
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Seems in my history most of them never mark themself as resolved.

    That could be seen as an education issue, or the fact people don't take the time to respond, even if it means just clicking on that pull-down.

  20. ravisarma
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    1. User settable password with better/longer cookie
    2. Email notification
    3. Resolve or equivalent status when OP does not respond, so we can scan the summary (of watched list) or search results to figure out status
  21. jmbis
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Extended search functions

  22. Bill Dennen
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    I am not sure if the WordPressMU forums will stick around. But if they do, could you change the search results? When you search now, you get a list of topics - but each one starts with "WordPress MU › WordPress MU Forums › " -- then some of the topic is shown, but truncated.

    There's no need for "WordPress MU › WordPress MU Forums › "

    See it in action here:

    http://mu.wordpress.org/search/shortcode?forums=1

    Also, please allow us to sort by date when we search.

  23. Frumph
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Opt in Email notifications would make my day.

  24. Michael Torbert
    WordPress Virtuoso
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Opt-in email notifications would be great, also having the plugin author notified whenever there's a new topic started on their plugin.

  25. Chip Bennett
    Theme Review Admin
    Posted 4 years ago #

    @ Michael:

    Opt-in email notifications would be great, also having the plugin author notified whenever there's a new topic started on their plugin.

    Email notification of new plugin support forum topics would be great. In the meantime, you know that plugin support forums have RSS feeds, right?

    (I know; it's a pain to subscribe to each one, especially if one has a lot of hosted plugins.)

    So, related idea:

    Meta-RSS feed for all of a plugin developer's plugin support forums.

  26. TobiasBg
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Hi,

    as I regularly provide support for my plugins here, I'd like to weigh in with those feature requests that really would make my (and probably others) work much easier:

    • Allow someone to edit and/or remove tags that other people added to a post (especially bugging: typos and irrelevant tags).
    • Let people other than the original thread started close a thread as resolved (or even duplicate or ...).

    Thanks!
    Tobias

  27. aaron_guitar
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Email subscriptions for threads and the ability for a plugin author to mark a thread about his plugin as resolved.

  28. Josh Leuze
    Member
    Posted 4 years ago #

    One small detail that would help is if posts that were marked as "sticky", "closed", or "resolved" didn't show up in the No Replies view. It'd be handy to not see those when I'm looking for questions to answer.

    I'm looking forward to the email notification that I assume is coming when the forums are upgraded to bbPress 1.0.3?

    It would be sweet if I could set it up to automatically subscribe me to any thread I post on. Right now i am adding every post to my favorites manually and subscribing to that in my RSS reader. What I'd really like is an RSS feed that just automatically included every thread I posted to.

    I think the modlook tag is too obscure, making an actual button that added this tag would be great. Even better would be a few tags/buttons for spam, double-post, OMG BBQ, etc...

    We definitely need to encourage more people to get involved. I try to answer at least one question every day, but it pains me to see so many questions go unanswered.

    Anything that could be done to silo the different forums more. I mostly stick to answering questions about themes, and wading through plugin dev and end user questions can get to be a headache. But getting people to actually post in the right forum can be tough. Maybe some icons or pictograms? :)

    While we're throwing out wild ideas, it would be neat if we could embed WordPress.tv videos. Sometimes I have a hard time getting people to go and read documentation or a blog post. If there was a video clip right under their nose with the info they needed maybe it would be more effective.

  29. Samuel Wood (Otto)
    Tech Ninja
    Posted 4 years ago #

    adding a "Remember Me" on login could be a great feature too...

    It's there. You just have to know about it.

    http://wordpress.org/support/bb-login.php

    Yes, it would be nice to have the box everywhere.

  30. Michael Fields
    Themer
    Posted 4 years ago #

    Opt-in email notifications would be great, also having the plugin author notified whenever there's a new topic started on their plugin.

    +1 for both of these ideas especially the plugin part.

    It would be nice to have a page where I can view a list of all threads tagged with a plugin name that I have uploaded to the directory. I hacked together a solution that works pretty well for the time being, but it would be great if wordpress.org provided this functionality for all plugin developers.

    Also, I would like to see better ordering of threads that I have replied to on my forum profile page. I would assume that I should see a list of threads sorted in descending order by "last active thread". This only kinda works... I still find threads with newer replies on page 2 than on page one... there is|must be|could be|seems to be a ghost in the machine.

    Thanks for everything!
    -Mike

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