For years, I have used forums for support because it was a common method for people to post questions. When you need support, the forum is usually what you see on websites. Of course, there are other tools for giving support to someone, such as ticket systems or simple documentation.
Theme Support is About to Change Here
For theme support, I installed bbPress. This is not the best solution because this forum plugin has minimal features. If you want something that is efficient, you will need to install third-party plugins to make enhancements. Unfortunately, this brings potential security risks to you.
Since using bbPress, we noticed a lot of problems of members posting, but not getting reply notifications. We also discovered that when you post a topic, even we were not getting notified. Why this is so bad is because if you posted a topic in need of help and we don’t get notified, it looks like we are ignoring you.
There are a few other reasons to drop bbPress, or forums in general; privacy is a concern. When you post to a forum, it’s open to public viewing.
So, I have made the decision to get rid of the forum and to begin using a ticket system.
There are a few ticket system plugins available for WordPress, but there will always be pros and cons to each one. Up until now, I was not impressed with what options I had available to me.
However, I believe I have found a possible solution with a plugin that combines a ticket system and a knowledge-base option. I am making this available for theme support right here at Rough Pixels. My plan is to offer it as a beta test run to observe how it performs—with your feedback of course.
I’m looking at a plugin called KB Support and have been testing it for a couple of days now. Overall, it looks like a very good plugin, although there are a few tweaks that I have brought to the developer’s attention that would enhance a user’s experience even more. Hopefully, they will take my recommendations.
The Forum Stays (For the Moment)
While we explore this new ticket system we have installed, I will keep the forum installed for the time being. You will need to be aware though that as crazy as it is, some topics are not alerting me to new posts. If you get no response within 24 hours of posting, use the contact form as a follow-up.
How to Submit a Ticket
Now that you have a support ticket system to try out, you can go to the Support main menu link and click on the submenu Submit a Support Ticket. When you have existing tickets, you can go to the same menu location but instead, click on Your Tickets.
UPDATE – June 20, 2019
So far, the new beta testing of our support ticket system is doing OK and is being used by our customers. I will be running this beta test for the rest of June, and if all goes well, the bbPress forum will be dropped in lieu of the ticket system.