Responding To WordPress Plugin Support Topics

By: Ryan Kienstra on: May 27, 2018  in: Communication, Plugins

plugin support topics
WordPress.org plugin support topics are a good way to know how real people are using your plugin. They’re also a chance to win back people that have doubts.

Here are some points that have helped me in responding to plugin support topics.

Be Personal

Thanks for letting me know about this.

Using “me” and “I” instead of “we” makes it more personal (example). It’s important to know a real person is helping.

Still, I’m usually responding as part of a team. This doesn’t always work, like when a few of us are responding to a topic.

Empathize

I also saw the problem you mentioned.

If you can reproduce the issue, it helps to mention it (example).

Also, a screenshot of the issue can help (example). It shows empathy, and it can help your team to reproduce it.

plugin support topics

When appropriate, this sometimes helps (example):

…that must be frustrating.

But it has to be sincere.

Solution Or Workaround

The main thing people usually want is the quickest way to fix the issue.

If it’s a valid bug, can you give a workaround (example)?

plugin support topics

The apply_filters() and do_action() calls in the AMP plugin let us us sometimes write workarounds.

Always Positive

“The problem is with your plugin.”

Even if a topic seems negative, stay in a positive frame.

There’s no need to address accusations, like whether your plugin is at fault. In the example above, we said that we couldn’t reproduce the issue, and asked for more details.

Stay focused on solving the problem. If all else fails, you can let them know you’ll ping them on the topic if you find a fix.

Requesting A Review

One thing that would really help is to leave an honest review of this plugin. (source, resulting review)

A few times, we’ve asked for honest reviews from people we’ve helped a lot in plugin support topics.

Though the example above was positive, even a negative-sounding support topic can turn into a positive review.

Technical Details At The Bottom

If you tried to reproduce a problem, it can help to detail the steps you took. But this might be for your team, so it helps to add those to the bottom.

In this example, there two questions for the user at the top, followed by technical details for my team:

plugin support topics

Plugin Support Topics: An Opportunity

Each support topic is an opportunity to learn about your users. You can also turn a challenge into a chance to connect with a real person.


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