WordPress powers more than 35% of websites online. You can start building business website, blog or niche website with WordPress.org. However, the popularity comes not because of the easy to use software, it is mainly due to the ecosystem that WordPress offers. WordPress ecosystem allows thousands of people to earn money with web hosting, theme/plugin development, client services, affiliate marketing, display advertisement and training courses. These people promote WordPress since they get huge financial benefit from the software.
Otherwise, for an individual blogger or business owner, WordPress is much more complex than hosted website builders like Weebly or Wix. Many bloggers do not aware of this fact and get lost when facing problems with their WordPress blog. If you are new to WordPress world, here we explain where to get WordPress help online mostly for free.
Warning: Do not confuse with WordPress.org and WordPress.com. These two are completely different services using the same WordPress software. Here we talk about open source self-hosted WordPress.org platform. If you use WordPress.com as a paid customer, check out their support portal for getting help.
Before Asking Help
Instead of getting panic and looking for help, take a break and think of what you have done just before the problem occurs. In most cases, you might have done one of the followings:
- Updated WordPress core to the latest version. This could have happened automatically through your hosting account settings.
- Updated theme or a plugin that broke your site.
- You may be playing with inserting codes in functions.php or any other theme’s PHP files.
- Modifying server configuration files like config.php or .htaccess.
- Facing security problems with malware or hijacking and trying to restore or backup the site.
Except the security topic, the first thing you should do in case of problems is to revert back your previous action. Check out this articles on how to revert back your WordPress version and plugin update. If you do not want to revert back or having known / minor problems then it is a good idea to look for the help.
Note: If you can access WordPress admin panel, we recommend setting up maintenance mode till the time you resolve your problem. This will help users on your site are not impacted and did not have bad experience.
5 Ways to Get WordPress Help Online
- WordPress codex support documentation
- Official WordPress.org support forum
- Contact theme or plugin developer
- Search online
- Get custom service
1. WordPress Codex or Support Documentation
It is unfortunate that many bloggers and site owners do not even know there is an official support documentation portal available. This happened due to popular automatic WordPress installation process offered by all hosting companies. After purchasing a hosting plan, you can install WordPress in few minutes from your hosting account without going to WordPress.org portal. Therefore, many WordPress users do not know the support portal you can search for help.
Next time when you have a problem, make sure to reach out WordPress support portal. It contains step by step instructions on how to manage WordPress websites along with screenshots.
Note: Earlier WordPress was hosting all support documents in codex subdomain. However, now you can find all codex documents in the support portal.
2. WordPress Support Forum
Support portal offers predefined instructions that may not work for specific issues. In this case, you can use the official support forum to post your queries. Remember, the forum is managed by volunteers for free. Therefore, ensure the followings before posting your query:
- Read the guidelines on how to use the forum.
- Post your queries under correct category.
- Use a polite language when posting and responding other’s queries.
- Avoid spamming with links.
- Do not post confidential information like database name or password.
Using aggressive language will result in the moderators banning your account.
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3. Contact Theme or Plugin Developer
If you have updated your theme or plugins before facing a problem, then you need to narrow down the issue to the particular theme or plugin. In this posting your issue on generic WordPress.org forum may not help to resolve the problem. You have two options:
- If it is free plugin/theme, post your issue in the corresponding forum support section.
- In case of issues with premium plugin/theme, follow the instructions from the developer on their website. You may raise a ticket, send an email or use their forum to request for help.
4. Search Online
This is first option many users do in general. However, we recommend you checking the above-mentioned ways before you start searching in Google. As mentioned, many bloggers promote WordPress and write tutorials without having sufficient knowledge. If you are new a user, chances are more that you will screw up your WordPress installation while trying to fix a minor issue.
- Rely on online articles only when you know the basics of WordPress.
- Check the published or last updated date of the article to make sure it is updated for the latest WordPress version. For example, you may be using Gutenberg block editor and the article may be explaining with the old Classic Editor.
- In order to avoid getting irrelevant search results, use specific search query instead of general search. For example, when you get PHP fatal error, search with the complete error message instead of searching “php error in WordPress”.
5. Get Custom Service
Many WordPress site owners hire agency or developer to build a custom website. When you are using a premium plugin/theme customized by the developer, it is highly impossible to get help using the above methods. The only option available for you is to hire the same agency/developer or look for other premium services.
There are many premium WordPress service providers available online. For example, you can contact your theme or plugin developer if they offer custom services. Remember, quality custom service will cost you heavily like $500 for fixing issues in few days. However, you can get premium service and support for your problem. We strongly recommend not to look cheap custom services in marketplaces like Fiverr. The cheap developers may mess up your installation and you will regret for your choice.