Looking for support?  Please go here: https://updraftplus.com/support

Can you remember the last time you had to contact customer support? It probably wasn’t the most thrilling experience. It’s bad enough when something goes horribly wrong and when you struggle to get the right kind of help you need, it can be very stressful.

So here are tips to make it all as painless and efficient as possible:

Find the Proper Channel

Make sure you are contacting the right place to get help. Firstly, make sure you read through the FAQ section, which address the most common concerns.

Failing that, double check that you have the correct phone number or e-mail address to save delays in getting help. For example, when seeking help with a WordPress plugin, you should submit a support request from the forum on the plugin page. But if you have the Premium version of the plugin, you should seek the Premium support channel. Posting about a paid plugin on the WordPress forums is against the community guidelines, which means we’re not able to help even if we wanted to.

Communicate Effectively

It’s vital to express your problem as clearly and concisely as possible. This isn’t easy when you’re stressed, but taking a few moments to plan out your message means your problem can be dealt with more efficiently, without the need for endless back-and-forth communications.

  1. Number your Points – If you have multiple issues, or need to explain what’s happening in order, number them in a list.
  2. Anticipate the Answer – Don’t wait for a reply if you can guess what the solution might be. Instead, tell the Support Member what you think might be causing the error and offer as much supporting information as possible.
  3. Be clear and concise – Use as few words as possible. Re-read your message before sending to ensure it’s clear and concise.

Create a Test Scenario

The easiest way to show support what is happening is to demonstrate it, either through a step-by-step description or through a screenshot/ screencast. If the issue is on your website, try creating a test page to isolate the specific issue- and don’t forget to share the link!

If you can’t share your website because it’s still in development, you could create a temporary site and share that with us. Poppy Life is a great resource for this.

Provide Technical Details

Finally, provide as much technical information as possible. Because your issue may be unique, the more we know, the more likely it is we can help you. Provide answers to as many of the relevant questions below:

  1. What operating system are you using? Windows? Linux? Mac?
  2. What browser are you using? Chrome? Firefox? Does it occur in different browsers?
  3. Do you see any errors? Usually you will see errors on screen or in a console window. Learn how to find errors. One place might be in the developer tools.
  4. Can you provide the PHP version, server information (Nginx or Apache?), and any other specifics about your server?

Keeping these tips in mind will hopefully save you time and frustration. Technical problems can be a headache, but submitting a decent support request can make all the difference to how efficiently and effectively they’re resolved.

Below are a couple different examples of support requests to give you an idea of what to aim for- make sure you aim for something like the second one!

Bad Example

Dear Support,

My site stopped working after the latest update. Can you fix it please? https://example.com/

A Better Example

Dear Support,

After the latest update, I notice that when I click on the button to save my settings I am see an error telling me that the settings aren’t saved. This happens after I log in and take the following actions:

  1. Login to the admin area
  2. Navigate to the settings page
  3. Click on “preview”
  4. Change a setting
  5. Save

Do you think this is because of the changes to the preview button? If so, maybe it’s not compatible with my “older” version of WordPress? I’ve attached a screencast of the error.

I’m using Chrome on MacOS and my server is running nginx and php 7.2. Let me know if you need any further details.

Article written by Kevin Batdorf, one of the UpdraftPlus’ developers.