We all know free plugins and themes can be great but their support isn’t as good as premium ones. This is because, even though they are willing to create plugins and themes for WordPress and not getting paid out of it, they don’t have the time to offer support for their work. They have to do something for a living instead.
Still, you can get some support but it is done in a completely different way than premium themes or plugins. Here you are some tips that won’t guarantee you anything but will greatly increase your chances to get what you want.
First thing you have to understand there is a great community around WordPress. It is a free and open source project and this gathers a lot of good people around it, but they are not obliged to help you in any way. They are not there to do what you want and they may help you just if they want to. So, first thing you should do is to go to the FAQs section of the plugin and read it or make a search. Many times, the answer is there and you won’t have to go to the forums. Bear in mind many developers don’t like people making questions when they are already in the FAQs so, if your answer was there you are not likely to get any reply.
If there is nothing in the FAQs you can proceed to the forums. Make a search on all the threads, because most of the questions have already been asked and replied. Making a quick search on the topic you want to ask is way faster than having to wait for a reply to yourself so, give it a try before you start any thread. If your question was already asked in a thread, it was replied and it is useful for you, don’t just leave. Leave them a comment to let them know it also helped you. This will also help future users when they see the reply helped more than one user.
If finally you have to create a thread, don’t start harassing or complaining. A wrong start would be:
“Your plugin isn’t working.” Or even worse “This @#$% plugin made me waste my time! Fix this !@#$ ASAP!” are not the ways to ask for help to somebody who doesn’t have to provide. The perfect thread should be like:
“Hey there, thanks for the plugin. It really helped me but there is something I can’t figure out. Hope I can get help here!
Plugin name and version
Host you are using
Explain with details what you were doing.
Explain what you wanted the plugin to do.
Explain what happened instead.
Thanks for your time, I really appreciate your help in advance.
Being so polite greatly increases the chances and also, explaining the versions and host will make it easier for you to get the help you need.