Last year I wrote a post about getting help with Movable Type. Slightly tongue in cheek, but made a few valid points. Things have moved on now, so here is the updated Tips for getting help with Movable Type.
1. Go to the right place.
- Purchased a license? Go to http://www.movabletype.com and log in under the account you purchased your license under and click on Open a new ticket.
- MTOS or a free version? Go to the community forums http://forums.movabletype.com and see if anyone has had a similar problem. If not post a question. You can also run a comprehensive search across Movable Type resources by using mtsearch.
- Problem with a Plugin? Try contacting the plugin author. If that does not work try the community.
2. Be clear about the issue in your topic title.
Topic titles are your hook, be clear about your problem; Sidebar is being pushed below content is more informative than HELP!!!!!
The more details you can give at the outset the less back and forth later. Try to include
- The version and distribution e.g. MTOS 4.2, Pro 4.01
- A link to the site (if relevant).
- Sample code (if relevant). You will need to encode your code to make sure that it displays correctly. Use a site like http://centricle.com/tools/html-entities/ to do this.
- Steps to reproduce the problem.
4. Be Polite.
The majority of people that help on the community forums are users, just like you. They help in their spare time. If the problem is particularly complex then you may have to wait for someone to set up a similar configuration to test. It is a sad fact that people are less inclined to help people that spend the majority of their post mad mouthing the product or threatening to move to a rival.
5. Give back to the community
If you found the help useful, pay it forward by helping out another user when you can. OK, maybe this isn't a real tip as such but it is valid. If you have another suggestion for tip 5 let me know by adding a comment.