You’re invited to join a new community for Questions & Answers on WordPress at WP Answers – hope you can come and join us there.
Questions & Answers on WordPress
WP Answers provides a complimentary alternative to the WordPress Forums with greatly enhanced community engagement.
Ask Questions. Get Answers.
Get help & advice from other WordPress users.
WP Answers helps make getting an answer to questions you have on WordPress just that little bit easier through our enhanced community engagement.
- As a member of this community you have the opportunity to ask for answers to your particular question.
- If your question adheres to expected community guidelines, other trusted community members can then help improve your question by editing it (if necessary).
- At the same time other members can help answer your question while improving their Reputation & Privileges within the community. They can also Like particular answers to indicate answer quality.
- As a result, together, we can all help build a growing collection of authoritative answers to WordPress related questions for others to find via search.
The WP Answers community is building every day a growing collection of authoritative answers to WordPress related questions.
Help Others. Improve your WordPress skills.
Learn from others as you help other community members.
WP Answers makes answering WordPress questions easier through a range of modern community engagement tools.
- As a community member you have the opportunity to help others by answering questions that match your current WordPress skills.
- While you share your WordPress knowledge you also earn Trust, Reputation & Privileges within the community.
- You can then use your trusted status to help community moderators keep WP Answers focused and helpful.
- You can also improve your WordPress skills by learning from others as you follow questions that interest you.
The search for a better way
I’ve been searching for some time for a better way to operate a community Questions & Answers site for WordPress users.
My thought process
- The WordPress.org Forums are not very easy to use. They don’t meet the need of users a lot of times (including WP users both asking & questions).
- The WordPress LinkedIn Group does not support the modern community engagement available on StackExchange sites like Stack Overflow & WordPress development.
There has to be a better way !
WordPress LinkedIn Group
I’ve been volunteering as a Moderator in the WordPress LinkedIn Group for many years. In my time doing this I’ve noticed many problems & limitations with the software behind LinkedIn groups.
It’s possible to ask & answer WordPress questions in the WordPress LinkedIn Group, but the underlying technology behind LinkedIn Groups doesn’t make that easy (it’s clearly not a big focus for LinkedIn).
Also while the WordPress LinkedIn Group works well for some Discussions, the functionality available just doesn’t match the modern community engagement available on other Question & Answer sites like Quora or the various StackExchange sites.
The functionality available in LinkedIn Groups just doesn’t match the modern community engagement available on other Question & Answer sites.
The StackExchange sites like Stack Overflow & WordPress development work well for questions & answers. They use Privileges | Reputation | Like | Share | Bookmarks etc. to significantly improve user engagement.
Trusted contributors can earn additional privileges which allows them to improve both question & answer quality.
However, these sites have very tight restrictions on the questions you can ask there.
Most of the questions asked in the WordPress Forums would get closed very quickly on these StackExchange sites.
They just don’t want these sort of questions (and they have good reasons for doing that).
In recent years I’ve also answered 1000’s of questions in the WordPress Forums – mostly in the Contact Form 7 forum. I did this mainly while I was developing the CF7 Skins suite of plugins that extend Contact Form 7.
Answering questions most days really helped me get a solid understanding of the problems many users face when using this popular WordPress plugin. It was this understanding that guided my initial development of CF7 SKins.
However I have to tell you, I found it’s just not that easy to answer questions there. I always felt the software behind the WordPress Forums made it often quite hard to both get & give WordPress answers.
Some of the problems & restrictions there are:
- No private messages
- No Likes | Upvotes etc.
- Many users don’t receive answers to questions
- Experienced Forum contributors can’t earn additional privileges to help improve discussion
- Same questions asked repeatedly
- Limited options for community feedback or moderation
I understand some of these restrictions are there for good reasons, but they can make answering users’ questions much harder.
The WordPress Meta team is working hard to improve the functionality of the WP Forums and have recently made some significant improvements. However there are still a number of significant restrictions that are unlikely to be changed for various reasons.
WP Answers uses Discourse to provide the functionality I’ve been looking for.
Discourse provides many enhanced community engagement features including:
- Priviledges + Reputation – earn reputation and additional privileges for questions & answers others find helpful.
- Community Moderation – work alongside community moderators to keep WP Answers focused and helpful.
- Gamification tools – designed to encourage & reward community engagement.
WP Answers uses Discourse open-source software to provide a complimentary alternative to the WordPress Forums with greatly enhanced community engagement.
Our Roadmap for the future
Our aim is to become a valuable resource for WordPress users from novices to full-time WordPress professionals.
The plan is provide a site where WordPress users can have their WordPress questions answered by experienced WP professionals, knowledgeable WordPress experts, developers and aficionados.
Over time we hope to build up a large library of common WordPress questions with authoritative answers that have been selected by members of the WP Answers community.
So while meeting the short term needs of an individual WordPress user, with an answer to their particular question today, we are at the same time building a growing collection of authorative answers to WordPress related questions for others to find (via search) tomorrow.
Who is paying for this?
In the short term it’s me, but I have number of options I’m currently developing for monetization of the site, which I plan to announce over time. I believe this is important for the long term sustainability of the site.
These will operate in a complimentary way to the completely free asking and answering of questions by community members. I firmly believe the site needs to remain free for most WordPress users, but we can also try to offer some additional services that some members are both willing & able to pay for.
This freemium approach I believe can benefit all community members. Those that can afford to pay, and are willing to do so, help everyone in the process.
Please come and join us – it’ll be fun!
To be successful in the long term WP Answers needs to attract significant numbers of people who are both asking and answering questions on WordPress each day.
Please come and join us and give WP Answers a try – we hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised and become a part of our growing community.