Over the past few months the WordPress Support Team has been brainstorming ways to improve support across various aspects of the community. One new idea they are pursuing is hosting workshops where WordPress.org theme and plugin authors can present how they approach supporting their free, open source products that have been released to the community.
Some users approach WordPress.org plugins and themes with realistic expectations regarding the support they might receive on tickets. Others approach these free products as if they were all built with large teams of professional support behind them, which is rarely the case. This often results in frustration, one-star reviews, and ultimately a bad reputation for products hosted in the official directories. It is also one of the primary reasons developers forgo putting products on WordPress.org and simply opt to host them on GitHub.
The new workshops will offer concrete strategies for bridging the chasm of expectation regarding support that exists between developers and users. WordPress.org theme and plugin authors will share the tools and ideas they have implemented to offer support while creating a positive experience for everyone involved.
Kathryn Presner, who supports hundreds of themes at Automattic, will be leading the first workshop titled “The Developers Guide to Supporting Your Themes:”
Providing support for your themes offers tremendous opportunities to educate WordPress users, from explaining how to make a child theme to offering simple CSS customisations. It also presents challenges, like figuring out how to help people who aren’t tech-savvy or need support beyond the scope of what you can provide. While many developers dread doing support, with some concrete strategies and techniques in hand, helping users doesn’t have to be a chore – and can even be fun! This session looks at how to make your themes’ users happy while feeling a sense of satisfaction from your own support efforts – a winning combination in the world of theme development.
WordPress.org theme authors will want to mark their calendars for Wednesday, August 23 at 11 AM CDT. The workshop will be broadcast live as a Zoom teleconference and will last for an hour, including time for a Q&A at the end. Zoom can run on desktop and also offers apps for mobile devices. The session will be recorded and available on WordPress.tv at a later date.