WordPress.org

Making WordPress.org

Opened 6 weeks ago

Last modified 4 weeks ago

#5426 new defect

Improve the plugin repository's Support tab.

Reported by: carike Owned by:
Milestone: Priority: normal
Component: Plugin Directory Keywords: 2nd-opinion
Cc:

Description

The Challenge:

Non-technical users who view a plugin in the WordPress.org repository may reasonably think that if they click on Support, they will go to the plugin's official support channel.
While it may be clear to those of us who are familiar with the UI, people only tend to read as far as they need to to spot a potential answer - doing otherwise seems inefficient.

Plugin developers are allowed to refer users to their ticketing system in their readme.txt, as well as by sticky in their plugin's support forum.
Not allowing them to add the information to the place where it is the most relevant is not the best user experience we can offer.
However, simply linking directly to the Support tab to an external site may not always be in the community's best interests, as WordPress.org can provide a more neutral place for website owners and authors to communicate - and can be accessible to others with similar issues later.

See https://meta.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/5425

A Solution:

Turn support into a new tab (like Details or Development).

<h2> Community Support </h2>

WordPress.org offers a public community support forum for each plugin hosted here.
Some plugin authors choose to provide volunteer support for their own plugins.

Take me there! [link]

<h2> Support from the Plugin Author </h2>

This plugin's author does not answer questions in the community support forums.
However, they do offer help to users of this free plugin on their own site.

Take me there! [link - no-index, no-follow]

Attachments (2)

Dev offers support on dot org example.PNG (53.3 KB) - added by carike 6 weeks ago.
Dev offers free support on their own site.PNG (69.7 KB) - added by carike 6 weeks ago.

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (7)

#1 @carike
6 weeks ago

#5425 was marked as a duplicate.

#2 @tnolte
6 weeks ago

@carike thank you so much for this!

#3 follow-up: @dd32
5 weeks ago

  • Keywords 2nd-opinion close added

This plugin's author does not answer questions in the community support forums.
However, they do offer help to users of this free plugin on their own site.

Take me there! [link - no-index, no-follow]

I personally don't like this phrasing at all, and I think we should improve the wording to force authors to offer support through official WordPress.org channels.

By having your plugin hosted on WordPress.org, you're expected to make use of the provided tooling, it's not designed to be used purely as a distribution channel only.

I would go so far as to support disallowing plugin authors from linking to their own support channels.

I'm marking this as 2nd-opinion because this is above our pay-grades. close because I feel that's the ideal solution putting end-users first.

#4 @tnolte
5 weeks ago

  • Keywords close removed

I don't agree that plugin authors should be restricted from providing their own support tools/platforms. If WordPress provided the best tooling then why are plugin authors, and even Core development, happening on GitHub?

I can provide a better, more up-to-date, and timely support of my free plugin using something like GitHub issues than the .org support forum. I see the current forums as limiting and inflexible. I shouldn't be restricted from providing better support to my users.

I will also say that if my plugin is free I am giving my time for the community and should be allowed to make the best use of my time. Which is also why I don't restrict myself to using the .org SVN repository for all of my development. I want to use the best tool for the job today serves my users.

#5 in reply to: ↑ 3 @carike
4 weeks ago

Replying to dd32:

I personally don't like this phrasing at all, and I think we should improve the wording to force authors to offer support through official WordPress.org channels.
By having your plugin hosted on WordPress.org, you're expected to make use of the provided tooling, it's not designed to be used purely as a distribution channel only.
I would go so far as to support disallowing plugin authors from linking to their own support channels.
close because I feel that's the ideal solution putting end-users first.

Users are not well-served when there is no one to serve them.
There is enough friction that can't be eliminated between the repos and independent developers.
We should try to reduce the friction that we can control. This is one of those cases.
Giving people agency increases satisfaction - and the WordPress ecosystem needs independent developers.
End-users are best served in vibrant, active communities - not by people who feel resentful because they are being forced.

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