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.
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.