Sending Useful Problem Reports

Got a bug to report? We know that our VIP clients` time is valuable, and we want to make sure we help you get the most efficient results out of our support communications as we work together.

As a starting point for creating a useful problem report ticket, we recommend starting with this template:

URL(s) where the issue is occurring:

What I expected to happen:

What actually happened:

Steps to reproduce the issue:

When it started and how long it's been going on:

Environment Info (browser and version, OS and version, device type):

Troubleshooting we've already tried:

Other details or notes that might be helpful:

As we work to troubleshoot your issue there are a variety of things we might ask you about, listed below. If you’re able to provide any of this information up front, that will help us get to the bottom of the issue faster!

  • Is it already an issue we know about, as posted on our status page or in the VIP Lobby?
  • Has your company already opened a ticket open about the same issue that you can add to, instead of opening a new ticket? Having a single ticket to coordinate on helps us stay focused on your issue.
  • Is the issue specific to a certain user, browser, or device? Or does it happen for all users, across multiple browsers, or on multiple devices? Does it happen all the time regardless of being logged in or logged out?
  • Is the issue reproducible? Can you make the same behavior happen over and over again consistently, or does it only happen once in a while?
  • Does the same thing happen in your development environment as in production on WordPress.com or VIP Go? If so, is your development team able to change the behavior or view error log messages that help explain the issue?
  • When did the issue start? Is it related to a particular change in your site’s theme, a configuration change you made, or any announced updates to the WordPress.com or VIP Go platform? Having specific dates and times of when the issue occurred is very helpful!
  • Do you have specific examples of the issue you can send us a link to? The more the better.
  • Are there any specific error or warning messages related to the issue that you can include in your report?
  • Screenshots or recordings are appreciated – It can be difficult or time consuming to type out all of the things you’re seeing on the screen with your issue, so if the problem can be captured in a screenshot or in a recording of your screen activity, please send it along!
  • What’s the impact and urgency of the issue for you? While this may not directly affect our ability to find a solution, it can be helpful to know for our own planning and communication purposes.
  • If there’s a third party involved (e.g. your site is pulling information from or sending information to a third party service), have you checked with them to see if they’re having any issues that could be related?

We know that each problem will be different and that not all of the above will apply in every case. But, the more information you can send us in your ticket, the faster we can help!

Here’s an idealized example of a problem report that provides much of the information above:

As of 3 PM Eastern today the user “username” seems to have lost access to the dashboard screen for managing the AcmeWidgets plugin that we’re using on our site. When they try to visit https://example.com/wp-admin/admin.php?page=acmewidgets_manage they get a permissions error message, “You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.” I’m attaching a screenshot of the error.

The user is using Google Chrome 36.0.1985.125 on Mac OS X 10.9.4, and it looks like she gets the same error when trying this on multiple computers in our office. It happens every time. Other users in our office are able to get to that management page without a problem, for example user “username2” was able to get in fine just now.

We tried to replicate this issue in our local development environment, but the test user we created could get to that page just fine. We checked your status page and lobby blog and it doesn’t look like you’re having any general issues right now.

We need to get this figured out by the end of the week, as the user needs to perform a bunch of related tasks in that plugin for a series we’re doing next week.

 

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