I’ve written at length about the dilemma of supporting WordPress plugins and looking at various support systems both of which generated some good discussion on offering WordPress plugin support.

Over the past few months, I’ve been [slowly] mapping out exactly where I want to take the direction of the work that I do on plugins (as well as other projects), and how I want to offer support.

Last week, I took the first step and began directing all of the support requests for my current plugins into my inbox.

WordPress Plugin Support

In short, I took all of the plugins that exist in the WordPress plugin repository, made a note that I do not monitor the support forums in the plugin repository, and then directed them to contact me via email (with a linked form) on my site.

WordPress Plugin Support

My README sticky in each of the plugin support forums.

Ultimately, the decision to do this came down to two factors:

  • It is a chore to load up each plugin’s support forum each week to look for potential problems. I’d rather have a push system (that is, email) in place, than a pull system (that is, me checking for something). It saves time on all fronts.
  • The RSS feeds and the emails are inconsistent. Don’t get me wrong: I really dig the fact that the repository offers a set of free tools for plugin developers, but it easily becomes overwhelming when you have even just a handful of plugins.

I want to make sure that I’m able to offer as much support as possible – even for free plugins – but having to juggle multiple support forums each week then there may not be any new tickets becomes a bit of a hassle especially when there’s other contract work to be done.

Just The First Step

But that’s not all: As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m still looking to eventually move to a more professional system, but many of you who read this blog are developers or designers, right?

As such, you’re used to versions of your work, so I’m trying to take a pragmatic approach to this: Simply put, this is the first version of revamping support :).

No, it’s not perfect but it’s a single step that will make things better and easier for all parties involved (permitting they read the sticky post, of course), but it’s not my end game. Ultimately, I am looking to move to a more professional system as well as increase what I offer, but why should I wait until the stars align to do that?

Just like in software, it’s easier to iterate and improve rather than “build the world,” as they say. So I figure why not apply this perspective in something other than code.

So far, it’s working. Now I just need to get to the next version.