There is full support on the WordPress forums. WordPress has pushed all plugin developers to use THEIR forums to support plugins. It makes no sense to have a separate site for support when WordPress requires a support forum be maintained here.
If you have an issue with registration and logging in then you need to direct your complaints to WordPress.
Just because a WPORG plugin has a dedicated forum here, that’s still no reason why a separate forum cannot be maintained elsewhere. WPORG didn’t “push” any plugin developers into anything.
@esmi – that is true, but having had maintained private forums in the past it is a HUGE nightmare. It creates a significantly INFERIOR customer service experience by fragmenting the support for all plugins.
You end up with half the people posting here and half on the private forums. Not only is it twice as much work for the developer, which is a big problem for a “solo act” like myself, but it means the plugin users only see HALF the questions & answers.
I found the same questions asked in both places. Too often my response was “this was already answered over here” with links to the other forums. Most times the user would say “never even knew that existed”.
When I brought up the dual-forums issues with a WPORG member they suggested directing people to WPORG forums and using the forums as a primary support vehicle.
Made sense, though I think it would have been better for the customers if WPORG gave plugin authors the OPTION of adding a “support forum URL” that would over-ride the link on the support tab. I have one plugin with over TWO YEARS of questions, answers, and support information on my private forums but having info in two places was confusing customers. Way too many people that surf the support HERE never saw that forum.
Keeping two links in the plugin itself “WordPress Support Forum / CSA Support Forum” made matters far worse. When you start getting emails ever-other day saying “which support forum do I post THIS question to” you know there is a customer experience issue.
It creates a significantly INFERIOR customer service experience by fragmenting the support for all plugins.
Sorry but I disagree. The eShop plugin has a support forum here and at quirm.net. I also run a themes forum for my own themes – including those hosted by WPORG – as well as 4 dedicated theme forums here. Running the lot doesn’t take that much effort. And I’m far from the only plugin/theme dev doing this.
it means the plugin users only see HALF the questions & answers.
Many devs respond by pointing people to their non-WPORG forum. There’s nothing stopping you from doing that yourself.
@esmi – I thought WPORG wanted theme & plugin developers to use the WPORG site MORE, not less. The dev threads and general “feel” of the update posts was that WPORG wanted to provide a consistent user experience. The general idea was that adding support forums and reviews to the WPORG site would provide the means to create a consistent, and thus improved, user experience.
Maybe I got a different “vibe” than what was intended, but my casual conversations back in April with other WPORG members certainly left the impression that WPORG was wanting developers to utilize the services provided here as much as possible.
All that aside, to @onredevil‘s point – any private forum I’d create would absolutely require a user login & registration to post there as well. Private forum or WPORG forum aside, registering to post a support question would not go away. There is a reason 99.9% of forums require user registration. Spam-bots anyone?
I don’t think “more” or “less” has anything directly to do with it. What WPORG are trying to do is to encourage devs to support their plugins generally. Plus, the new “dedicated forum” idea here was, I think, intended to try and keep all of the a given plugin’s topics in the one place to make them easier for you to find. Also to, hopefully, push users back to the plugin’s page (to post a topic) where they may actually time the time out to read the documentation and post a review.
adding support forums and reviews to the WPORG site would provide the means to create a consistent, and thus improved, user experience.
Consistency across WPORG, yes, but I don’t think anyone is trying to limit developers to just providing support here. You’re still your own boss. 🙂
Reviews are very new and are a slightly different kettle of fish. The idea was to push users into giving details when they rated a plugin as the feedback could be useful for the plugin dev. However, as the rating system is part of WPORG, that means these “formal” reviews have to be posted here too. It’s also a way of trying to limit the potential for gaming the review/rating system.
any private forum I’d create would absolutely require a user login & registration to post there as well
Ditto. Any forum who didn’t would drown in spam within days – if not hours. Plus, if you’re going to rate a plugin poorly, you should at least put your name to that review. It seems only polite to me. 🙂
Finally, I think what many users fail to understand is that no plugin developer is required to support his her plugin or theme for free. The fact that so many do so is testament to their commitment to WordPress and their ongoing contribution to the overall community. sadly, this is so often overlooked.
Maybe we should have a “Hug a Plugin Dev” day? 😉
@esmi – What WPORG is doing here is GREAT, IMO. Making WPORG a touchstone is a great thing. More support & a consistent place to get it is key to improving the “WordPress experience”.
I especially love the reviews idea. Genius. Way too often I’ve had bad (and good) reviews that I have no clue WHO left the rating or WHY. I am ESPECIALLY interested in those people that have had issues that were bad enough to drop a “1” on a plugin of mine. I want my plugins to work everywhere possible but not having a vehicle to find out who or why something went wrong was an issue. The new system has made one HUGE leap toward resolving that problem. So a HUGE thank-you to the WPORG team for that one.
As for your other points, it always amazes me how many trolls & generally “not nice” people out there rip you all over the place because your FREE CONTRIBUTION to their site, often one they are making money on in one form or another, is not what they want. Luckily a few people out there are exceptionally grateful and those people are the one’s that keep me doing what I do here.
“Hug A Plugin Dev” day… AWESOME. 🙂
Thanks for sharing your time with me and giving me your insight on the support/forums situation!
Replying publicly vs in an email.
We didn’t push anyone anywhere.
We offer free forum hosting here, if you want to use it. All we push is that you document, in the readme, where support can be found if not here. This is true for themes and plugins, by the way.
That’s it. I don’t really get why you’re confused.. Some people love it here, some want to have more control over handling people (like banning, bug reports etc etc). I don’t think users get ‘confused’ about where to do, so long as it’s clearly documented in the readme 🙂 There are a lot of plugins and themes that have their own support forums, mostly because they charge for support (which is totally okay).
Do whatever (a) you like and (b) makes you feel comfortable.
Finally, I think what many users fail to understand is that no plugin developer is required to support his her plugin or theme for free.
I’ll one up this. You’re not obligated to support you theme or plugin at all. But? You darn well better make that clear 🙂
@ipstenu – thanks for your input.
It is not a matter of confusion for me as much as the users. When Cyber Sprocket had the private forums up we directed EVERYONE there. However people still continue to post at the support tab HERE. Didn’t matter how many places we put the links and how clear we made it, SOME people would inevitably post on the WPORG forums for the plugin. What was even more concerning was those people that were absolutely IRATE when we did not respond here.
Why? Because we didn’t monitor these forums because we made it clear we would not respond here. Didn’t matter the reasoning or the fact we could easily point to our website, the readme, the description of the product that said “if you want free support use our forums, we don’t read/respond to the WPORG forums”.
So I pinged the plugins@ address and after some discussion it became clear we either had to FULLY support both WPORG forums and our own or drop one of them. Not because WPORG mandated it, but because some users would not be served and would be very vocal about the “bad support”. Since we can’t “drop” the WPORG support link as we have zero control over where it links and cannot turn it off. Add in the fact that the dev threads were talking about things like “consistent user experience” and it was easy to make the decision that it was best to drop our private forums.
What is clearn now is that WPORG is simply providing another great service that I can choose to use or not. For me, I think it is a PERFECT place to support users and I’m a huge fan of consistency. So I’ll keep supporting users via the WPORG forums, be grateful they provide the service, and not worry that NOT having a private forum is frowned upon.
- The topic ‘Register for no support?’ is closed to new replies.