Support » Fixing WordPress » Lesson: Posting an effective question in the forums

  • Some tips for posting questions that will help you get the answer you need as quickly as possible.

    • Post Title — “Help!” or “Newbie question” or “What the ****?” aren’t going to get you answers quickly. Many people that may be strong in one area skim the forums for posts that they can help with. “CSS problem in header” will bring CSS-capable help to your post. “Error: Cannot connect to database” will get you a better response as well. Think about your post title — it’s worth an extra moment and helps you get your answer sooner. As well, it helps future visitors as they can more quickly identify posts which have a problem similar to the one they may be experiencing.
    • Give information — What version of WordPress 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 visitors can get directly to the source of your problem. Don’t assume that people will “just know” what the answer is to your problem. Give us as much detail as you can.
    • 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.
    • Be patient — We are all volunteers here. Please be patient when waiting for an answer. At times our frustrations can get the better of us…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! 🙂
    • 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.
    • 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 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.
Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • This needed to be said, Moose. But … can we add one more thing to this list? It’s a personal pecadillo of mine.

    If you find a solution to the problem, whether on your own or through these forums, or elsewhere, please post the solution so others can benefit from this collective pool of knowledge. After all, you cared enough to post your problem. It"s a small way to "give back" to the forum by posting the solution there.

    There’s nothing more disheartening than finding that thread where someone has the same problem you’re having. And you read, and read and read, and finally, there’s the last, lonely post: “Nevermind, I found the solution, thanks.”

    Moderator James Huff


    More info on this topic:

    Moderator James Huff


    And, please, post you’re URL. We’re not psychics. You wouldn’t believe the amount of questions we get like, “My sidebar looks bad. Why?”, without a URL to go by. In most cases, you must either provide a URL, or 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.

    This is a valuable resource. What I’ve learned to do is search for stuff very thoroughly first, then post a clear question if I cannot find an answer. I’ll post my solution too, if I’ve worked things out. And then I’ll offer advice based on my experiences. What could be easier than that?

    NM – this is tedious stuff for you but your post can not be repeated to often. Thanks.

    A little note of reassurance to those new to WordPress and the forums:

    Most of us “helpers” care more about understanding your issue than whether you know the lingo. And since a good percentage of volunteers here will not be as well versed as you may think in the technical arcana of WordPress, PHP, CSS and so on, the more plain (and descriptive) your language the better your chances for getting solutions to problems fast.

    This thread was moderated to remove off-topic comments.

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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