Elegant Themes Blog

Stay up to date with our most recent news and updates

Where To Find WordPress Help When You Need A Lifeline

Posted on April 21 by in Resources | 49 comments

Where To Find WordPress Help When You Need A Lifeline

WordPress can be used in a number of weird and wonderful ways. The platform can be used to develop blogs, online magazines, eCommerce stores, portfolios, discussion forums, directories, membership websites, and much more.

Whilst WordPress is fantastic, it is not infallible. Things can, and will, go wrong. As a WordPress user, you will undoubtedly face many problems with the platform.

When you first start learning WordPress, you will have many questions about how WordPress works and how to configure your theme and installed plugins. Problems do not dissipate after you have gotten to grips with how WordPress works.

You will experience conflict errors between WordPress, your theme, and your activated plugins. You will also face the infamous White Screen of Death, internal server errors, database connection errors, PHP errors, 404 page errors, and other common WordPress errors. This is why there are millions of WordPress related questions online.

Unfortunately, a large number of these questions go unanswered. Your hosting company may help you with hosting related issues and your theme developer may help you with using their theme. Beyond that, you may struggle to find the help you and your business needs.

Today, I would like to share with you a list of resources in that will help you with your WordPress related problems when you are completely lost.

The Elegant Themes Support Forum

Of course, if you are an Elegant Themes member, the first place you should go with any theme-related issues is the Elegant Themes support forum! We have over 20 tech support specialists on staff, doing their best to help out our customers around the clock. Support has always been big focus here at Elegant Themes, and it will continue to be at the top of our priority list.

support-forums

If you find yourself in need of help with something that goes beyond the scope of our support forums, however, then there are many other resources available to you online. Let’s go over some of the top places to find WordPress help outside of Elegant Themes.

WordPress Codex

The WordPress codex is a fantastic resource for developers as it explains how to develop themes and plugins for WordPress. It also contains details of every WordPress function and template tag.

In the Getting Started with WordPress area, you will find useful tutorials for beginners and intermediate users, including a useful WordPress installation guide.

Sadly, a lot of the codex is out of date. Many articles recommend plugins that have not been supported for years, and while the codex is a useful reference, the information is not structured well. Therefore, you may find it hard to find a solution to your problem.

WordPress Codex

The WordPress Codex is a useful reference for developers, though it is not a great place to troubleshoot problems.

WordPress.org Support Forums

The official support forums at WordPress.org is the first place where many WordPress users look for support. Four million posts are testament to this.

If you have a WordPress related problem, you can be sure that someone else has opened a discussion about the same issue in the official support forums. Unfortunately, a high percentage of the discussions in the forums go unresolved. Many threads have no replies whatsoever while others only have replies by others that have the same problem.

The situation is a little better in the plugin forum room. WordPress are trying to encourage plugin developers to support plugin users through their support forums. Each WordPress plugin has a dedicated support room on WordPress.org and the plugin listing details how well the plugin is being supported. For example, a plugin listing might state something like “144 of 264 support threads in the last two months have been resolved“. This gives users an indication of how well a plugin is being supported.

I recommend checking the WordPress.org support forums to see if there are any resolved solutions for your problem. However, do not expect any support threads you create to be answered in a timely fashion.

WordPress Support Forums

Due to the sheer volume of support threads being started at the WordPress.org Support Forums, many go unanswered.

WP Curve

WP Curve are a WordPress support company that offers unlimited support with small thirty minute jobs from only $69 per month. Members can email WP Curve any problems they have at any time of the day and get the issue resolved on the same day (they advise that problems are normally resolved within six hours).

Their $99 per month professional plan offers additional features such as a monthly security scan, offsite backups, and proactive WordPress and plugin upgrades.

WP Curve

WP Curve offer 24 hour chat and same day business turnaround.

WP Site Care

WP Site Care is a maintenance service that offers website optimization, automated backups, security monitoring, and WordPress video training. They also offer WordPress Support.

Their specialized plan retails at $99 per month and offers ticket support for any problems you have. Their business plan at $299 per month includes phone support and two hours of design and development.

WP Site Care

WP Site Care offer an all in one security, performance, and support service.

BobWP

BobWP is a WordPress tutorial website that offers written and video WordPress tutorials. Bob’s tutorials focus on WordPress basics, configuring advanced plugins, the Genesis framework, and WooThemes designs. Check out “The Differences Between Posts and Pages” for an example of the high standard of video tutorial you can expect to see on the website.

A membership to BobWP retails at $29.99 per month, $59 for three months, or $99 for six months. He also offers one on one coaching for $125 per hour.

BobWP

BobWP will give you a better understanding of how the WordPress platform works.

Maintainn

Founded by Shayne Sanderson, Maintainn is a WordPress maintenance and support service that offers security scanning, daily backups, video tutorials, upgrading support, and development support.

Their basic plan at $39 per month per website offers thirty minutes of support per month. Their premium plan at $99 per month per website includes two hours of support per month.

Maintainn

Like WP Site Care, Maintainn’s pricing policy suggests that they are targeting business users.

ClickWP

ClickWP is a WordPress service that offers maintenance and technical support. Their ClickProtect plan retails at $25 per month per website. It offers daily backups, WordPress, plugin and theme updates, and security and monitoring. They will also answer any question you have by email.

The ClickAssist plan retails at $60 per month per website. This plan includes all the features of the ClickProtect plan as well as basic server management, website optimization help, and configuration of your email list. They will also give you hands-on support with up to four incidents per month.

ClickWP

ClickWP have an affordable service that offers maintenance and technical support.

Rise Forums

Rise Forums is an internet marketing forum that I launched at the end of last year. I share my nine years of working with WordPress and provide support to forum members on a wide range of WordPress related issues. We also discuss other topics including blogging, search engine optimization, social media, productivity, and making money online.

A membership retails at $9.99 per month or $97 per year and includes a seven day money back guarantee.

Rise Forums

I provide support to WordPress users and bloggers every day through Rise Forums.

What Service is Right for You?

Having an understanding of what caused a problem will make it easier to decipher exactly what went wrong. It will also help others help you resolve the issue. It is difficult to find help when you are faced with the White Screen of Death if you do not what caused it. However, if you know that the problem occurred directly after you installed a specific WordPress plugin, you may find a solution quickly.

If you have an idea of what is causing the problem on your website, I recommend doing a search about the issue on a search engine. You may find an answer to your problem through a WordPress related blog (such as this one) as they publish articles on common WordPress related issues.

The problem is that your own problem may be unique. While you may find a tutorial that addresses the problem you appear to have, the given solution may not resolve your issue because your website configuration is different.

The benefit of resolving issues issues on your own is that it does not cost you money. It is, however, time consuming. You may spend several hours trying to resolve a situation that someone with experience could resolve in minutes.

While I do think it is in every website owner’s best interest to become competent with WordPress, not everyone needs to become a WordPress expert. If you feel that your time would be better spent developing and promoting your website, you may want to pay for premium support. This ensures that when you need help, you get it.

I recommend choosing a service that matches your budget and your expectations of good WordPress support. Be prepared to switch to a different service if you are not happy with the service you receive.

Where do you go for help when you have a WordPress related problem? Please share with us your support solution in the comment area below.

Article thumbnail image by Jane Kelly / shutterstock.com

49 Comments

  1. Well… There are some issues that isn’t covered from your support forum too.

    Like GD requirement in ElegantThemes that wasn’t wroted.

    • The GD library is something that is required by WordPress in order to re-size and crop your featured images. It is not specific to our themes, nor is it anything unusual.

      If you need help compiling PHP with the GD library to satisfy the WordPress requirements, then I think that contacting your host for assistance would be the best route.

      • Nick, thank you for your answer!

        This was very strange situation that happen approx year ago. I got new Amazon EC2 instance and trying something with different domain. I install minimal packages just for test – Apache, PHP, MySQL; just bare minimum. Moving DBs and files between servers was great.

        The problem is that ET theme look weird with images and i lost almost hour to understand that GD was missing. I even read least 30 mins forum there.

        If WP or ET theme told me – “hey man, GD library is missing” this could save me lot of time. Funny is that i found this on your forum near page 5+ when there was discussion about thumbnails and some GD library version errors. Then i realized that GD is missing. One minute later – everything run perfect.

  2. Nice iniciative with Riseforums, I think it’s better for some people learn what’s happening while getting help, while some people don’t want to participate in process of solution, just want the issue to get fixed. I’d add one more resource : codeable.io, you hire a dev for a task, I used and it really works, very professional, just a tip there- start estimating low, the dev should go bigger and then a job closes with average price :)

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Looks like a great resource Cesar; particularly if you need a particular task completed. :)

  3. These are all great suggestions. I for one am extremely thankful for the support provided by Elegant Themes. You guys have gotten me through some tough situations and I have also learned quite a bit in the process. Best of luck with rise forums, Kevin. It looks like a great solution at an inviting price point.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Thanks Adam. :)

      Glad you like the support provided by Elegant Themes. Be sure to post any questions you have about themes in the Elegant Themes support forum.

  4. Hi Kevin
    Over the years I’ve got to know various WordPress devs who I turn to when I have problems.

    Most of my sites use Genesis child themes and there are some fabulous Genesis devs out there.

    I don’t ask for free help I ask for an estimate and if the estimate is OK I send them login and FTP info and they sort it out.

    So my resource would be:
    Find a dev you can trust and rely on.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Agreed. It is worthwhile having a developer that you can ask for help with technical issues.

    • Hi Keith,

      I’m looking for someone to help me with some specific tasks. Can please recommend some devs you have previous used?

      Thank you!

  5. If you need help with WordPress, all of those “services” and “sites” are good, but not great. For great support, hit the two WordPress groups on LinkedIn. “WordPress” and “WordPress Experts”. Some of the most knowledgable WordPress people who are very willing to chip in and help out.

  6. I have used Fiverr US$5 gigs with great success.

  7. With my near to advance skills on WP, I may consider Rise Forum. Thanks for the post Kevin.

  8. Don’t forget the WordPress IRC support channel (#wordpress on the freenode network). Many people there can help you with issues ranging from general use of WordPress to advanced theme and plugin development.

  9. In the early 90’s I had one of the first Web sites on the Internet. I even predate that to having REALLY basic X and O drawings on old 110 baud bulletin board systems I helped pioneer all the way back to Altairs, Commodore VIC-20s and home brew before that! . With HTML circa 1993? I worked part-time when it would require HOURS (DAYS?) to do a single page (thus a multi-page site was REALLY rare and VERY expensive! I could charge “big bucks” as no HTML coding books had even been written yet. THEN MS launched Front Page and my “money machine” died over night. Every 14 year-old became a (good) but overnight Web site designer charging “lunch money” prices.

    I then just did free sites for friends but finally stopped. Fast forward 15 years I retire and want to begin doing sites again. No go! I KNOW HTML bare bones coding like few others in the world and hands down with FrontPage software but the industry considered both “cave man stuff”.

    With much help I’ve learned WordPress.org and joined Elegant!

    I just want to say the quality and the friendship of people willing to jump at the chance to help me (and I see others being helped just as much!) is beyond amazing. If I had ever lost ANY hope in mankind all of the help I receive has restored it. It’s like a GIANT happy friendly family! And Fiverr! Wow! Where would I be without VERY competent people talking jobs for far below U.S.minimum wage pay?

    You are ALL just GREAT! Thank You! Thank You! I only hope to become a WP guru someday to return the many favors!

    Best regards,
    Gary in Kansas (yes, the Wizard is my neighbor, dog is Toto and wife is Dorothy (I’m 5th cousin to the actor who played the Scare Crow in the movie (Ray Bolger – the one who didn’t have a brain – my wife heard that and said “that explains a LOT about you!”). Unfortunately, true.

    Just started on my 1st post-retirement WordPress Web site. It WILL look much better VERY soon. Just have so little time! I am ten times busier in retirement! Advice: NEVER retire!

    • Kevin Muldoon

      I hated FrontPage. I used to always design websites using Notepad in the beginning. :)

      Good to have you on board at Elegant Themes. With your previous experience of building websites, I am sure you will pick up WordPress quickly.

  10. A friend and I recently launched GuessPress.com and we are happy to create video tutorials for anyone that needs to learn how to use WordPress, common WP themes (including ET themes), common WP plugins, etc.

    • Whoever’s voice is on the tutorials – excellent. Pleasing tone, clear, and direct. Took a look/listen to two of your tutes and they’re great. Enough information to get the job done, no so much to make it drone on or confuse a novice. Very nicely done. It will be my send-to spot for customers and rookies looking for help. Hopefully you can monetize the site and be around for a while :).

  11. Hello Kevin,

    Done fantastic job, appreciated information for help of WordPress. I like the wpcurve. clickwp and riseforum information. Thanks for share, really need it.

  12. Thanks Kavin for giving such a wonderfull information. This will clear much more our problems.

  13. Thanks, Kevin – a great collection of resources.

    I also want to chime in with a big thanks for the Elegant Themes forum. My life has been saved many times over and knowing that support have my back gives me the confidence to push my boundaries.

    I really like the sound of Rise Forums. Any chance of a deal for Elegant Themes members?

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Yes I’d love to work out a deal for Elegant Themes members. I will speak to Nick about this and see if we can work something out :)

  14. I think there’s a real gap in support here. Most of these “solutions” ask for a monthly fee in which you get a range of support (90% of whcih I don’t need). The problem is that the vast majority of problems my clients have is with something not working as they try to use the WordPress dashboard. Usually it’s a simple fix (due to the clients lack of knowledge of WordPress). But once in a while there’s a problem with no easy fix. The client wants the site working (and quick). The WordPress Codex means you post and have to take pot luck with the quality/expertise of the response. If it’s a plug in problem they tend to blame the theme developer and vice versa. And ticketing systems are notoriously slow. I don’t really need the complexity of a “packaged” support with a monthly fee but what I do need is a coder that knows what they are looking at and can solve the problem with some HTML5/php/CSS wizardry.

    The problem is you have no idea of the ability of any of these people unless you a) hire a full time coder yourself (to expensive) or b) take pot luck and hope to find someone on one of these many forums that you can then stick with.

    There is a great deal of value in finding a quality WordPress engineer which I would happily pay top dollar for a good and fast solution. Some sort of recommendation and ability scoring system would be good. So I could hire someone from Elegant support (via the private customisation system) but how do I now they’re any good.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      I understand your frustrations.

      The WordPress support forums are not a good solution if you need an answer fast.

      With regards to theme developers blaming plugin developers, and vice versa. I have encountered this many times myself. Though this is usually an easy fix.

      * First thing you do is disable all plugins. If the problem exists, then you can be 100% sure that the problem exists with either the theme or WordPress.

      * To be sure that it is the theme, activate one of the default themes (Twenty Twelve etc). If the problem still exists, it’s probably a WordPress issue (or something wrong with your database). If the problem goes away, the problem was with your theme.

      * If you suspect it is because of a plugin, you should activate one of the default themes and disable all plugins. Then re-activate the plugins one by one until the problem appears again. That will help you see that it is a problem with a plugin.

      Be aware that something could also be wrong because of a setting on your server or because a script has not been installed by your host.

      You can find many top coders available for hire through freelance marketplaces such as Freelancer.com and eLance.com. Though be prepared to pay up to $100 an hour (or more) for a good one who can resolve any issue. It is worth noting that freelance marketplaces do have scoring systems in place where previous clients can leave feedback and rate a freelancer.

      Are you the one developing websites for your clients? If you configure your website correctly, you should rarely have any problems with the dashboard etc. Also, remember that you can use a plugin to remove permissions for clients. I suspect that most problems that clients report are caused by them changing settings for things that they do not understand.

      • Good reply. I am the one developing the websites but sometimes handing over a website to a client is like giving a child a Ferrari. Your last sentence is spot on.

        • Kevin Muldoon

          I have only designed websites for friends, however I have seen the problems that arise when you allow them to tinker with things.

          If I created websites for clients, I would have some sort of contract that stipulated that if they wanted full control over the website, then they would need to take full responsibility of anything breaking or going wrong in future.

  15. I think you should have mentioned WordPress Development Stack Exchange name:)

  16. There is enough themes in Elegant themes for all taste. We stick to Elegant Themes and all our problems are solved.

    You guys rock….

    Gilles

  17. Thanks Kevin. I glanced at the Rise Forums and I like that it gives more then just technical advise. Got a couple of questions:
    1. Does the membership include access to all the forums? Let’s say if one day I need an advise on gaining traffic and the other day advise on issues with wordpress – will it all be included in one monthly price?
    2. Is there any ‘average response time’ that I can expect?

    Thanks.
    Elijah.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Hi Elijah,

      Yes a membership gives you access to all forums. I try and help people on a number of issues. Essentially, I give advice on any area I have experience with and try and point people in the right direction on issues I do not.

      Average response time depends on when you post. If you post in the middle of the night, I would respond in the morning as I check the forums then. If you to it during the day or at night, I’d probably respond within a few hours. However, there are other members in the forum who help out too.

      I’ll give you all an exclusive – I am looking into offering people a basic account for free. Not introduced it yet, but looking at maybe doing this within the next two weeks. Stay tuned :)

      Kevin

      • Hi Kevin. Is this exclusive something that is still in works? Otherwise – can I use it?

        Elijah.

  18. Thanks for the mention! We appreciate the kind words :) So happy to see so many awesome resources for folks!

  19. Hi, Kevin,

    Thanks for this much-needed post! I’m getting ready to launch a WP blog, am new to WP, and so this info will come in very handy when I need to get help. I’ve been looking through different themes to pick one for my blog, and came across Elegant Themes just yesterday. I think your themes are awesome (with nice variety and tremendous creativity), and the price is right! I’ve made up my mind – I’ll be getting the Personal Plan!

    Re your Rise Forum and your comment above that you might start a basic free acct soon – Please let us know. I, for one, am definitely interested in having an expert, friendly source to go to for WP or even blog marketing questions.

    Again, thanks for this helpful info (I’ve been wondering where best to get WP help).
    Kevin

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Thanks Kevin. I will do an announcement to my newsletter subscribers about Rise Forums too.

      I have some technical issues to work out before I can implement these changes. For example, I need to integrate the affiliate program into the forum, which is a little problematic as the forum uses HTML templates and I need to pass PHP variables. I think I have found a workaround, though I need to test everything to see if it is working.

      Also, from a payment point of view, I need to review whether PayPal is the best solution as subscriptions can never be transferred. This could be a big issue if I ever need to sell the website in five or ten years time; as it would mean that everyone would need to cancel their subscription and subscribe again. So I am going to look at alternative payment solutions to see what my options are :)

      Kevin

  20. Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for letting people know how they can get help when something goes wrong with WordPress or they just want to improve or change something.

    Some of comments suggested that free support sources are better than paid services. It’s not that one is better than the other. I

    People who have a business and cannot afford to wait for answers on free WordPress support resources do prefer dedicated WordPress support services. They may not even be able to implement the solution until someone fixes it for them.

    On the other hand people who don’t have the budget or run personal blogs are more likely to wait for a solution on the forums or get free help form some nice WordPress nerds on forums.

    • Kevin Muldoon

      Hi Muhammad,

      I agree with you. There will be paid solutions that offer poor support and free solutions that offer great support.

      I recently started offering free invites on my support forum to help the forum grow and attract more members. I think it will prove to be a good move long term.

      Do you pay for support yourself?

      Kevin

  21. Unlike some of these other solutions, I provide after hours one on one training specific to your needs. You ask the question, I walk you through the solution. If your in need of answers not just generic answers, please check out http://thewptrainer.com for more information about scheduling a virtual WordPress session!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current ye@r *

Join 261,586 Happy Customers And Get Access To Our Entire Collection Of 87 Beautiful Themes For The Price Of One

We offer a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee, so joining is risk-free!

Sign Up Today

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This