Guest Post: Supporting phpBB by JimA

Posted by wGEric in Support with the tags , , on April 6th, 2009

Because phpBB is a very large product, it needs to be supported. People who have a problem/question and they come here to find an answer or solution. Have you ever looked at the support forums? If so, you might have seen that there are many many topics a day and just a few people answering the topics, which is great of course.

Why do I like supporting phpBB?

When you are supporting, it justs means that you help other people with their phpBB problems for nothing. You don’t win anything with it. But in my opinion it’s just nice to see the people thanking you and seeing that your advice helped them to come further, and that they now can enjoy phpBB more than they did before. Also, for the more difficult issues, it’s a challenge to test out solutions and finally find and answer that works correctly, and make the question asker happy.

Things you need to think of while supporting.

Of course it’s great if you want to help us in the support forums by giving support. However, you need to make sure that you give support correctly, because wrong support could break a board, and that’s not what we want of course. You also need to remember that for the more newer users, you should just be explaining very detailed, and this sometimes needs much patience, but don’t worry. It’s also just a human which want to learn and usually thanks you after helping him out. For the more experienced people you can just be a bit less precise and link to their solution, but make sure that you say stay clear to the people, so they understand what you try to mention. One extra thing you always need to remember, saying: “Search for it.” is not giving support, since everyone can do that. If you’ve found the answer, just post it to the user, because he likely has already searched but couldn’t find the answer himself.


It’s nice to be able to give support to the people who have problems, but there are some thing you need to think of. I know you can do it, and I hope to see you in the support forums!

This blog post was written by JimA (website). Thanks Jim!

If you would like to have one of your own blog posts that relates to phpBB on this blog, please send me, wGEric, a private message containing the blog post.

13 Responses to “Guest Post: Supporting phpBB by JimA”

Posted by Pascal on April 6th, 2009 at 5:59 pm:

Hahaha Jim! Good blogpost!

Posted by A_O_C on April 6th, 2009 at 8:01 pm:

It’s good to see the community opening up to the blogging. Great blog, JimA. I’ve seen you in the support forums, and you are always willing to give a helping hand.

Posted by leviatan21 on April 7th, 2009 at 12:37 am:

I’m also like to give support, not only in my own mods, also on every other mod or aspect I know about.

That’s because I open a my own support forum “phpBB Help Desktop” in my board.

And also is what I submit my request to be a Junior MOD Validator.

Great work JimA
PS: I Know You know me …

Posted by Jwxie on April 8th, 2009 at 1:17 pm:

Very well written and well spoken out the heart core of the phpBB community
the biggest supporter is the users, and this engages the developers continue the project

we learn things while giving out support, that’s what we gain
maybe some for job interview, proof and knwoledege, but learning is more than what i actually see

Posted by Pit$Bull on April 8th, 2009 at 3:15 pm:

Two ‘thumbs up’ Jim. Keep up the good work.

Posted by damsprivate on April 8th, 2009 at 3:46 pm:

yes i remembered when i first look at php :p

Posted by M A R C O on April 10th, 2009 at 12:44 pm:

Great Work JimA,
I know you are always willing to give a helping hand, thank you!

Posted by Pony99CA on April 11th, 2009 at 8:53 pm:

It was a nice article, but how about a little editing? I assume Jim isn’t a native English speaker (after visiting his board), so a little editing would have helped. My head almost exploded when I read “more newer”. 😀

Regarding Search, what I usually do is link to a thread already discussing a topic and tell them the search criteria I used to find that. Contrary to what Jim thinks, I’ve found that not everybody tries searching before they ask questions.

On a huge board like this, almost any given phrase will return many hits, and it can be frustrating for users to click on each one hoping they find the answer, so I can understand why they might not search.

Giving them the search criteria I used can help them understand how to form better queries. Linking to a thread already discussing the issue can prevent redundant explanations and provide more information that the questioner may be interested in (possibly preventing further questions).

Posted by JimA on April 12th, 2009 at 8:59 am:


Yes indeed. My native language isn’t English, as you maybe can see somewhere in the text as well.

Regarding the search. The point was not to tell people who ask support on your board “Search for it!”. True that there are some who haven’t done that before asking a question. However, linking to the topic where the information is in and telling your users how you found it would be a good idea. Then they might be able to solve their own problems in the future.

Posted by MzVette on April 14th, 2009 at 6:59 pm:

Great post, JimA! I, too, have seen you around the boards willing to help. As a novice user, I appreciate your knowledge and willingness to help.

Posted by Jerry on April 19th, 2009 at 2:43 pm:

Well, can’t let that one go by. As an (old) international businessman and native English speaker, I’ve struggled to make myself understood in several languages over the years, most recently, Swedish…and I struggle yet.

I have performed tech support for complicated software in as many as eight operating systems simultaneously and I’ve seen some Jim’s support posts during the four years that I’ve run a couple of phpBB forums

I must say, I could never equal Jim’s second language, English abilities in Swedish, French and we won’t even mention the others I mutilate.

I’ve never met Jim or even “talked” to him, though I’ve benefited from his help, occasionally. If I spoke “Dutch” as well as Jim writes English, I would be compelled to say: “my hat’s off to your English, Jim,” and your support for this board’s users. Thanks!

Posted by themanatphpbb on April 22nd, 2009 at 2:57 pm:

Supporting can come in many different ways. Maybe we could have something like canned responses to reply to a FAQ.. i dont like it when community’s bash users for asking a question and then say GO READ the FAQ or wiki or what ever.. its important to be polite and civil when helping new members.

Posted by Ervin Blaylock on June 10th, 2009 at 3:28 am:

Like in any good business Support is key i like to
contact the owner to see how long it take him to get back to me if it takes longer than 24hour with out a comment or something i move on to the next name on my list that offer the same product or offer

In the internet marketing business time is really Money


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