Tips on asking for support

I have been on the support team for MyBB since December 2008 and have dealt with thousands of users, threads and issues. Over that time, I've come up with some handy tips on how to ensure your issue is resolved as quickly as possible.

Use vague thread titles

Titles such "help me", "problem", "not working" or "how do I do this" will guarantee that your thread gets looked at sooner by as many people as possible.

Give no information

The less information you give, the quicker it is to help you, because we don't have to waste time reading. We don't need to know the URL of your site, version you're running, information about what's broken or not working, or what you've already done to try and solve the issue.

Don't answer questions or listen to suggestions

If someone responding to your thread asks you a question or suggests something to try and fix the issue, ignore the question and refuse to accept that what's being suggested is correct. After all, you know better than the person helping you, right?

Ignore sticky threads

Support staff will often create sticky threads for common issues, with information about how to solve the issue without you having to ask, however reading these will take you more time than creating your own thread, so do that instead.

Don't search

Searching for other threads about the same issue only wastes your time - it's much easier to just post your own thread!

Cross / duplicate post

Why create just one thread when you can create three? Even better, post links to your threads in other people's threads to maximise exposure - it's even more effective if the thread you post in is nothing to do with your issue.

Bump your thread frequently

If you're not trying to bump your thread at least three times every hour, are you even asking for support?

Necropost

Old threads are often super relevant to the issue you're having today - in fact, the older the thread, the better.

Private message staff members

It's always a good idea to PM a link to your thread to staff members as you'll get an answer quicker - it's even better if you send it to multiple staff members, or even non-staff members too.

Report your thread

Even better than PMing staff members with a link to your thread, is using the post report feature to alert them even quicker.

Edit original post / don't post solution

If someone helps you solve your issue or you manage to fix it yourself, make sure never to post the solution, and always remember to edit the contents of your original post to "nevermind, fixed", with bonus points for changing the thread title too, to ensure nobody else can refer to the thread in future.

If you do as much of this as possible, you'll be sure to have the best experience possible with your support request :)

How did you get into MyBB and do you think it is the greatest forum software to ever hit the face of the planet in our great existance???

I used a forum that ran MyBB, became a moderator on it, then wanted to start my own. I used CreateMyBB first and then had a proper installation, and after a while I got to know it quite well. I then started to help out on the support forums and posted like mad for a while before being put on the support team, eventually being made support team lead. Obviously I think MyBB is brilliant forum software but I still appreciate others such as IPB.

How should one start off with PHP? and after that how to get into MyBB plugins

Get a book and read tutorials on the net; there's loads of decent sites to teach you the basics of PHP and once you've got that covered, you'll be able to expand and apply it to anything you want to do. Looking over code to see how it works and writing small scripts to test things and try things out will also help a lot. Once you're confident enough with PHP and want to start writing plugins for things, look over existing plugins to see how they're written and start with something really small, and for each plugin you then make, try and set yourself some sort of target or try something you've not done before.

Why did you make Goodbye Spammer for MyBB?

I got tired of spam on my site and on the MyBB Community Forums where I'd have to delete posts, threads, clear out the profile (avatar, signature, profile fields) which all took time, plus some spammers sent people PMs, added calendar events and even reported posts, all of which took time to deal with and would annoy users, and after all that you had to then manually ban them. Goodbye Spammer does all of this for you in one go, taking seconds instead of minutes to completely get rid of a spammer. There are already several plugins to try and stop spam from happening in the first place but there weren't any to help clear up after spam that got through; now there is :)

MyBB Support Team Lead

Damn, didn't I post this here??

At the end of March I was promoted to Support Team lead, replacing Dennis Tsang who had been doing it for years. This was totally awesome, something I'd been hoping would happen at some point but wasn't expecting to happen yet. I still remember when I first started using MyBB and knew nothing, but picked it up and worked my way to where I am now. I'll now be in charge of hiring new support staff, as well as overseeing support for the new 1.6 release when it's out. Rather looking forward to that.

Should be great.

Why don't MyBB set release dates??

MyBB don't set release dates for major feature releases, like 1.4 (when it was in development), 1.6, and 2.0. There are numerous questions asked on when releases will be, and why we don't give release dates. This isn't an 'official' response, just my general musings, but is probably pretty accurate.

Why don't we set release dates??

There are two main reasons why I think we don't set release dates.

First off, if we set a release date, there's a chance we'll overrun. We may decide that we need to spend more time on it to get it to an acceptable level to be released, which may mean we'll overshoot the release date, or have to reschedule it. All this would do is annoy people, because we'd overrun, even if it was just to make the product better. General result: people complain.

Secondly, if we set a release date, to make sure we meet the deadline to avoid the above situation, we might end up rushing the release to get it out on time, so people are happy. Inevitably, this would mean mistakes would be made, which could be bugs in the software, or missing something leading to a security issue. This then causes problems for the users. General result: people complain.

So, we don't set release dates. That way, we don't need to make sure we're finished by a certain time, we don't need to rush to meet a deadline, meaning there's less chance of making mistakes due to being rushed. Then again, people still moan that they don't know when the release is coming but hey, at least we know that when it does come, it'll be stable, so the end result will be good. Of course, we may set internal time targets or guestimates of when we aim to get the next release done by, but this wouldn't be set in stone and would just be when we 'hope' it'll be released; it wouldn't be the end of the world if this wasn't met.

So, when will the next version be released??

It'll be ready when it's ready.

When it's ready, it'll be released.

It'll be released when it's ready.

You get the idea.

MyBB Board Status Setting

This is something that really annoys me and I need to vent.

This is what the setting looks like when you start with, when the board is open. It's set to 'no'.

MyBB Board Status 1

Then, when you close it, it looks like this. It's set to 'yes'.

MyBB Board Status 2

Simple, yes?? Just a yes/no setting?? Somehow, no.

A lot of people get confused by this setting.

"Where can I turn my board online again??"

Seriously??

When it's open to begin with, it's set to no. When you close it, you set it to yes. Is it not common sense that to open it, you set it to no again??

People seem to think that the actual yes/no setting is for the 'Administratirs will still be able to view the forums' message, but that makes no sense. It's just extra information about turning the forums offline, admins will still be able to see it, and it always shows in the description of that setting. The name of the setting is at the top of the box, 'Board Closed', then it's either yes/no. Yes is closed, no is open. Why would the setting name be half way down the box?? Not only that, why would there be a setting to say whether or not admins could see the board at all?? What could that possibly be used for?? "Oh yes, I know, I'm the admin but I'll make it so I can't see my own forum". Ugh.

Please, people, try and think about what this setting does, use some common sense.