The WordPress Support Forums
Are the support forums “categorized” effectively? Do you think there should be more categories? Fewer? How would you organize them?
This is a discussion only. I make no promises that any suggestion gets integrated into this site.
Let’s hear what you have to say.
Thinking about this myself, I think it would be good to add a forum dealing specifically with image handling. Hmm…maybe not, as it would be too confusing to know whether to post to “Images” or “Plugins” when what you are talking about is a problem with an image plugin.
Another idea that popped into my antlered skull is a “Site Check” forum where people would post links to their sites when asking for help with CSS or browser-related issues. “Your WordPress” would then be used to announce the official launch of your site.
More to come later.
1. Sometimes when I see a post that I’m interested in keeping up with, I think it would be good to have a way to add them to a “watchlist” or something. That way it’s easier to find them again to see how the conversation is coming along and for future reference.
2. Have a link to “view new posts”. I know I can find new posts on the front page, but I’m not talking about those, although it is related. What I’m talking about is a link to show every new post since my last visit. Sometimes the threads pour through so quickly on the front page, that we’re left with go to each topic and finding what’s new there. Sure, it’s feasible this way, but takes time when compared to viewing everything in one spot. Even a “next page >” at the bottom of the front page would be helpful.
3. What about an “e-mail me replies to this post” function?
4. I like being able to view the posts I’ve started or replied to. Please keep that. 🙂 However, I could be wrong, but I don’t think they actually show me when someone has posted to those, do they? If not, that would be cool as well.
5. Maybe on the right, in the dark grey sidebar, you could add links to commonly asked for sites (i.e. codex, plugin repository, etc.). Perhaps you could add the latest or hottest plugin? Just a thought.
I was thinking about how to raise awareness of whats in the codex. Maybe a ‘new pages in the wiki’ section – it won’t get many replies, but the codex links would show up when people search.
I also wondered about what would happen if ‘support’ was changed for ‘community’. Perhaps it would lower the expectation of people who come here just when they have difficulties, and encourage.. err.. something else?
I like the categories in general. What would be great is sub-categories – for example, dealing with comment/pingback spam, or integrating Amazon links. I also like the sidebar idea and the “site check” forum.
The biggest problem with support forums is that people have the (false) notion that they can get help fastest by just posting their problem. You can try emphasizing the Codex or trying to get people to do searches, but I don’t think there’s a way to stop most people from just going ahead and asking for help.
A tip for keeping up on a particular thread: drag the thread’s RSS feed into your aggregator of choice. I prefer that to being e-mailed every response, and there’s also the advantage that you can grab a feed for threads you haven’t posted into.
I would like to see the title of Templates and Design changed to Themes and Designs or something that reflected the Themes added in 1.5. There are a LOT of questions about that.
I’ve already put in my 4 cents about being better My Profile section that helps the registered user find and track their stuff better.
I agree with the rest, but I also say “let’s no go overboard.” I like the idea of a community vs support, but I don’t see how that would really change things. It might actually encourage more “get to know yous” than helpful informaton. They can be social on the IRC chat, so let them be social there. We want meat with little potatos here.
Another thing that might be used is a ‘useful tips’ category where people who have found a problem and solved it can post the information for others.
This board is so active that if you don’t check it several times per day you miss things. Given that fact, I would like to see a way for users to be able to increase the number of posts displayed in “Latest Discussions”. An easier solution would be to raise the default number of latest posts displayed now above the current paltry number of 30 posts – for everyone.
i would prefer to see a better forum bbs system in place. i never understood why i get only like 5 or 6 results when searching for something, without any additional Next or More..
but that’s me. i like things organized (keeps my OCD happy). i am a big fan of SMF http://www.simplemachines.org it’s free, can be integratd and used with other PHP apps like COPPERMINE!!! and has SSI ability too.
this forum is great, people are great, but it’s too … uhh what’s the word… “simple” ? sorry! just being my opinion 😉
Gads, I HATE the 5 results per “section” whatever that means. Hate it. So I skip it when possible and use google, which means I often get other crap in there, even when I am clear that it has to be in the wordpress forum. FIX the search capability, please!
This is, last time I checked, a “support” forum, so searching is the number one function people should use FIRST before posting. By limiting the search function, and not making it obvious, it means we get tons of repeated posts. Which is fine, but let’s help the helpers, too.
And bring back the damn editing feature. I’m going nuts with this.
I like many of the ideas put forward by davincim…
I would also like to see a category for people looking for template help (how to format, how to add a feature, etc). The how-to’s often overwhelm acutal problems people are having (bugs, errors, etc)
maybe we ought to create a wordpress site like wpforums.org where people can go and install a real forum script. sorry no offense, only good intentions here. hell i’d pay the $8 a month just to run the site myself.
actually the more i think about this, someone *ahem* should create another wp community, if one doesn’t exist.
a daily blog of updates, a forum, tutorials, hacks, plugins, like the WP codex and all that already exists is great, but nothing wrong with another resource. only helps spread the flag.
hmmm… *wheels start turning*
This has been done at least twice before, feel free to do it yourself as well.
This isn’t regarding categories but something else I’d like to see in the forums is whether a thread is closed with a solution or open and still requesting assistance. This will save people time when searching for a problem because they’ll narrow in on the solution instead of reading several threads that went nowhere. It would also let people who answer questions quickly find where their assistance is needed. This means we could also see what kinds of questions we can answer here and what kinds we generally can’t.
An extension of that is some sort of rating system. ‘Did this thread answer your question?’. That sort of thing. The whole point is that instead of just being a support forum, given time it wil also become a knowledge base.
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