4. Getting Support
Getting support with WPMU DEV is really simple, and we provide you with several ways to contact and communicate with us. Our blog has a helpful post on getting great WordPress support, as well. Check it out!
4.1 The Good Support TicketLink to chapter 1
It’s always really easy to get support at WPMU DEV – if you follow the steps below however, it becomes so easy it’s almost cheating.
1. Search First
For a super comprehensive search of our forums, go to Google and type in site:premium.wpmudev.org/forums whatever-you’re-looking-for
We have internal search, but we’re not Google.
Check out our neat troubleshooting flowchart.
Take it for a spin, and see if you can identify the problem. It helps us to solve issues much faster knowing where the issue lies, or even where it doesn’t.
3. Pick a great title
A good descriptive title helps put the right staff on the case, but more importantly it helps your fellow WPMU DEV members find the forum thread later! How about that, helping out other people while getting help?
4. Include All The Info
This includes information found by troubleshooting, the steps to replicate your issue, screenshots of the problem and any other relevant information you can imagine.
More info means faster solutions, keep it concise though!
5. Let us in!
We can’t enter your site without your permission, so for us to step in and try to fix your site you’ll have to grant us support access through the WPMU DEV Dashboard plugin. Giving us support access straight away can really help resolve issues fast.
6. Don’t bump your thread
We reply on threads from oldest to newest based on last post to ensure our support is spread out evenly. Bumping your ticket will only make the last post newer and push yourself further down the queue. Hijacking or creating multiple tickets will also lead to delays
Remember we’re real living human people
There’s a solid team of people from around the world working together to resolve any and all issues you may have with our products, or even with general WordPress. If we don’t get it right in the first attempt, help us to get it right in the next, and the next one again. Help us to help you!
4.2 Initial TroubleshootingLink to chapter 2
To help you resolve your problem even quicker, there are a lot of fast & easy things you can check on your own. You’ll then be able to provide our support team with more information about your situation when you do need to reach out to them for help.
A. Plugin Documents
The first place to look would be the Documentation section for the plugin(s) or theme that you are wondering about.
This may seem basic, but a lot of people don’t know where to find this information or forget that it even exists when they have a question.
Each plugin has it’s own “Usage” tab where you can find this information. You can find all our plugins right here: https://premium.wpmudev.org/projects/category/plugins/
B. The Blog
Our Blog is also another great resource for so many things. The writing team works hard to provide our readers with quality content such as recommendations of plugins & themes, plus guides for adding certain features to your site. This is a great place to start if you’re unsure whether you are experiencing an issue – or just need help to configure the existing settings.
C. Support Forums
It is highly likely that someone else has already experienced the same issue you are facing, or even asked the same questions you have! :)
Searching our Support Forums is a great way to see how others have resolved similar issues. Of course, not all situations are the same, so if you can’t find a solution that works for you – just move onto the next steps before opening your own support ticket.
D. Updating WordPress, Plugins, & Themes
The next thing you will want to check is whether you are running the latest version not only WordPress, but also the plugins/themes you are using.
A lot of issues can be caused by running outdated versions of WordPress that are no longer compatible with new plugins or vice versa. Sometimes the issues are ones that have already been resolved with an update – and simply updating things will get you back where you need to be. :)
If there are any updates available to you, you can find them on your Dashboard on the wp-admin for your site. Always be sure to backup your site before updating. It’s also advisable to test things on a staging site first before moving the changes to your live site.
Updates for your WPMU DEV plugins & themes can be found easily in your WPMU DEV Dashboard.
E. Plugin Conflict Test
If your problem still persists, then it’s time to move onto the next step – a conflict test.
To begin, deactivate all of the plugins that you are using and leave only the one that is giving you the issue on. Do you still have a problem now?
If not, this means there is a conflict with another plugin that is preventing them both from performing as they should. Slowly turn your plugins on one at a time, testing to see when your issue appears again after each. Eventually you’ll be able to identify the culprit.
If the problem persists even after you’ve turned off all of your extra plugins, then it’s time to move to the next stage.
F. Theme Conflict Test
Much the same as the plugin test, but now you’re testing themes!
Activate one of the super simple default WordPress themes, like Twenty Sixteen or Twenty Fifteen. Does your problem persist?
If not, then it sounds like your plugin is conflicting with your theme.
If so, you’ll need to move on to more advanced stages of troubleshooting or, if you aren’t comfortable doing that on your own, you can always reach out for help.
4.3 Opening a Support TicketLink to chapter 3
A. How to Open a Support ticket
Opening a support ticket on WPMU DEV is easy as pie and only takes a minute or two.
Log into your Premium WMPMU DEV account and navigate to the main support page by clicking on the “Support” menu item at the top of the page. Click on the blue “Open Support Ticket” button on the left side of the page as shown in the screenshot below:
You will also notice an “Ask a Question” link while visiting our Support Forums:
Clicking on either of those links will bring up a form for you to fill out. Be sure to include any relevant details about your issue including screenshots and anything else you feel may help us to assist you.
Below are some helpful tips to ensure you get quality support:
- When filling out the form, summarize the issue you are experiencing in at least 30 characters. If it’s too short, you’ll get a nice little message prompting you to provide a bit more detail.
- Now make a selection from the “Please choose a topic” menu. If you select either “Plugins and Themes”, specify the plugin or theme you need help with. Our smart search feature will match plugin & theme names as you type.
- Now explain the issue in the large text area. Provide as much detail as you can to ensure the support staff can fully comprehend the issue. For more on that, please see
- You can use the buttons above the editor for basic formatting to help clarify things if you need to. If you are posting a snippet of code you need help with, please remember to highlight the entire bit of code, and click the “code” icon (<..>). That will wrap your code in backticks ( ` ) so it doesn’t get stripped out.
- If you need to include screenshots to help illustrate your issue, simply click the “Add screenshot/file” link. You can then browse to the images on your computer and upload them. You can include up to 5 images per ticket. Allowed filetypes are: gif, jpeg, jpg, pdf, png, txt.
There are a few final things to consider before hitting POST:
- Verify that you have read The Good Support Ticket Tutorial.
- Select the “Notify me by Email” option if you wish to receive email notifications of replies to your ticket.
- As noted on the form, please do not share passwords or other sensitive data on this form. As our forums are publicly viewable, if you post sensitive information (i.e. login details), you will end up posting it for all the world to see! Should login details be needed for your site, we’ll specify which ones we need in your thread, and how you can send them in to us securely. We really want to keep your site safe. :)
All done? Splendid! Once you click the “POST” button, your ticket will be instantly submitted and live on our forums.
B. Replying to a Ticket
- Once you’ve opened your ticket, you’ll be able to post further replies by using the comment box at the bottom of the page for your ticket:
If you have additional information to provide us that’s relevant to the issue, or are looking to respond to our replies on your ticket, this is where you’ll want to go to do that. Please be sure that you’re logged in to our site with your active account when posting a reply on your ticket.
Once the issue that was discussed in your ticket has been resolved, make sure to select the “Mark as resolved” option when posting your reply. :)
Should you find that the issue discussed in your ticket has resurfaced, and it’s already been marked as resolved, please un-check the “Mark as Resolved” option when replying. This will signify that it is an open issue again:
4.4 Enabling Support AccessLink to chapter 4
Who do you turn to when things on your WordPress site aren’t working?
WPMU DEV provides incredible 24/7/365 support for all things WordPress. And, the WPMU DEV Dashboard plugin allows you to grant our team of support heroes secure access to the backend of your site without releasing your confidential login information.
You Have Full Control
Activate it when you need us to unlock a super secret access point for our support heroes. It’s like the bat signal but better, and it couldn’t be easier to use.
1. Log in to the WordPress Admin Panel for your site (go to the Network Admin dashboard if on Multisite), and then navigate to the “Support” page from the WPMU DEV menu item (WPMU DEV > Support).
2. Click the “Grant Support Access” button in the Support Access panel.
You’ve now successfully granted support access! For added security, the access token will automatically expire in 5 days.
Use the “Revoke” or “Extend” access buttons to close or extend access through your current security token.
Once support Access has been enabled on your site, let our support staff know and we’ll be able to get things all fixed up. :)
Review our Getting Support Guidelines for important information on how we use access to debug issues. By granting our support team access to your site, you agree to allow us to debug.
Awesome! But is it really secure?
When you click the “Grant Access” button a random 64 character access token is generated that is only good for 96 hours (5 days) and saved in your Database. This token is sent to the WPMU DEV API over an SSL encrypted connection to prevent eavesdropping and stored on our secure servers. This access token is in no way related to your password, and can only be used from our closed WPMU DEV API system for temporary access to this site.
Only current WPMU DEV support staff can use this token to login as your user account by submitting a special form that only they have access to. This will give them 1 hour of admin access to this site before their login cookie expires. Every support staff login during the 5 day period is logged locally and you can view the details on this page.
You may revoke this access at any time, which invalidates the token and makes it unusable.
If you have special security concerns and you would like to disable the support access tab and functionality completely and permanently for whatever reason, you may do so by adding this line to your wp-config.php file (just above the “That’s all, stop editing!” line):
4.5 Using the Contact FormLink to chapter 5
To make it easy for you to get in touch with us, you’ll find a Contact link at the bottom of every page on our site!
Simply make a selection from the drop-down menu to get the type of help that suits your needs.
A. I have a pre-sales question
Each of our plugins and themes has its own project page with fantastic information about its features and functionality. Perhaps you have read through this information and still have questions. Selecting this option will direct you straight to our contact form where our Pre-Sales team will be happy to fill you in on what you’d like to know.
B. I have a support question
You were happily humming along working with your WordPress site when everything suddenly burst in figurative flames… or maybe you just have a technical question you’d like some help sorting through. Don’t worry! Either way our team of support heroes is ready to save the day!
Selecting this option will take you to our support forum where you can search the threads for a solutions to issues you may be experiencing. For our Premium WPMU Members, a special form will open where you can ask our experts any questions about using our products, services, or anything related to WordPress. A support thread will be created in our forums where the team will respond directly with super helpful information.
C. I have a billing question
Here are some quick tips when it comes to payments:
Charges made by our WPMU DEV will appear on your statement as our parent company- INCSUB, LLC. More information at http://incsub.com/charge/
Update your payment method or billing information or download an invoice at any time! Simply log in and visit your account page. https://premium.wpmudev.org/hub/account/
D. I have a different question
If you find that the other contact options just aren’t a match for a situation, this option will lead to our contact form where you can freely fire away!
E. I need custom WordPress development
We’ve got you covered with a Jobs Board available to our Premium Members. You can post any Custom Development jobs you need completed along with your budget and any specifications you wish to include. Get connected with the right developer for your project!
4.6 Using Live ChatLink to chapter 6
A. Guidelines & Rules
We look forward to helping all of our members in live chat! Because we can only help so many people at a time it’s important that all participants adhere to the following house rules:
- Participants should be polite and friendly. Abusive and/or insulting behavior will be seen as bullying and will not be tolerated.
- Participants should be clear and concise with their questions. This will enable us to offer the best support possible.
- Participants should not engage in ‘annoying’ behavior. Please avoid asking random or irrelevant questions or the same question repeatedly.
- Participants should not attempt to solicit work from Incsub or from other participants in any chat. Instead, we have our Jobs board available where you post your project needs: https://premium.wpmudev.org/jobs/
- Participants should select the appropriate chat session. For example, if you have a theme/design question, please use one of the Themes and Design sessions. If it’s a more general question, then enter one the General WordPress and BuddyPress sessions.
- Questions should be answerable within in a reasonable time and manner. For more complex issues, please open a support ticket and grant us support access: https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/forum/support#question
B. Good Questions VS. Bad Questions
Good: ‘Which WPMU DEV plugins could I use to monetize this blog http://myblog.tld”
Bad: “How do I set up a profitable web business”
Good: “How do I configure the membership plugin to drip feed content over a period of weeks?”
Bad: “How do I configure the membership plugin to be exactly the same as the NY Times website?”
Good: “What CSS will right align the log on my site http://myblog.tld?”
Bad: “How can I code up my whole theme to look like the BBC News website?”
Some questions are much better suited to our Support Forums, especially the more complex ones.
Failure to comply with these rules will result first in a warning. Continued infractions will result in being permanently banned from live chats. WPMU DEV reserves the right to ban without warning should we determine that the actions of the participant warrant this.
This may be done at any time, by any staff member, at our discretion, on a permanent basis and will not be reviewed.
This is for the good of both our members and our dedicated staff.
4.7 Finding a ProLink to chapter 7
If you’re in need of custom work (where more than 5 to 10 minutes is needed for a customization), we will direct you to our Jobs Board and advise that you need to hire a developer. You’ll find a link to it at the top of every page on our site.
Only active, premium members of WPMU DEV can post their professional profile there, or post a job offer. So you can be assured that the available professionals are well-versed in WPMU DEV products. Please note, that WPMU DEV itself does not offer any custom development services, custom development is only available via the Jobs Board.
A. Pit Stop
This section gives you an overview of some of the most recent job posts and highlights a few of our professionals.
B. Post a Job
This is where to advertise for a project you wish to outsource. Be sure to fill out the form completely and include a realistic budget and deadline. The more information you can provide about your project here, the easier it will be for a professional to determine if this is something they could accomplish for you.
And of course, be sure to include a contact email that you will check regularly so you don’t miss any important communications from interested professionals. :)
C. Find a Pro
If you have a particular professional that you’d like to work with in mind, you can browse for them in this section. This is really handy if you are looking for someone that was recommended to you or that you worked with in the past.
D. Browse Jobs
If you are a professional looking for a job, this section is for you. :) Take a look at all the current opportunities available, and contact potential clients. You can also filter your results to certain budgets or product categories – and even pull up all the jobs posted by a specific user.
E. Become a Pro
Interested in taking on some freelance development or design work of your own? This is where you can create your own profile. You’ll include details about your skills & experience, where you are located, who you work for, the best way to contact you – and anything else that you think your potential clients may want to know about. We require our Pros to have a valid Gravatar associated with the email they use for the jobs board.
4.8 Additional Support & Community TipsLink to chapter 8
A. How to receive better support:
- Be sure that you’re using the most recent versions of WordPress, all themes, and all plugins.
- You should always test anything new including upgrades on a sandbox install first. If you do this on a production site, it is at your own risk and WPMU DEV will not be held responsible.
- Detail how to recreate the issue and where/how it happens.
- Clearly Show the problem through illustrative screenshots where applicable.
- Detail any known conflicts with another plugin or theme; including the plugin name and download link.
- By granting support staff access, you give us express permission to troubleshoot your issue. This may involve temporarily deactivating plugins and themes or updating and editing code. Grant access on sandbox installs when possible and do a backup first. Anything you don’t want us to do? Tell us when granting access. Be clear and concise. Include any steps you’ve already taken, version numbers, whether you’re using multisite or single site. If you have errors, include them so we can see what they are.
B. Forum etiquette and guidelines:
- Always follow up, your involvement in this process is crucial!
- Avoid lumping several unrelated questions into a single ticket. Keep things focused and on-topic by creating separate tickets for each issue or question.
- Don’t open multiple tickets for the same issue, this causes confusion and problems when different paths are taken to investigate the same issue. It also causes delays in our support queue.
- Don’t bump your threads. We respond to tickets in order of oldest to newest, and bumping will only send your thread to the back of the queue.
- Be polite! No need to be rude or abusive. It won’t be tolerated.
- Don’t hijack someone else’s ticket unless you’re able to help with the issue at hand. Remember they will receive post notifications too. Even if you have the same or similar issue it’s often best to open your own ticket to avoid any confusion or frustration for all members involved. Feel free to link to the original thread if you feel this would help in any way.
Quite often an issue can be caused by a conflict with another plugin or theme. Testing for conflicts can save a ton of time and helps to locate the issue much more quickly. You can do this by:
- Disabling all other plugins.
- Reverting to the default theme.
- Update to the latest versions of your themes and plugins.
Test again. If the issue has magically gone away then it seems there is a conflict. Next, activate one plugin at a time, and the theme too. When the issue returns this will indicate where the conflict exists. Be sure to include that information with your support request.
Where the other plugin or theme is a commercial one we may need access to be able to test further.
Using this process will enable us to provide the best support we can, and fast! :)
WordPress also has an option to debug and grab any errors produced, you can read more on that from our blog post here: Debugging WordPress: How to Use WP_DEBUG.