The best support topics are the ones where I have to stretch

I spend time browsing the WordPress support forums to help out. The majority of requests are from new users who have a problem with a setting, they changed something they shouldn’t have, or an update broke their site.

It’s a very popular software platform and while mundane requests aren’t exciting, when you provide good answers you’re helping someone out. That’s a very cool thing. The answers provided there give someone an assist so that they can get out of a hole they put themselves in.

But the most satisfying topic is when someone is asking how to do something and I have to figure it out to support them. Especially when it involves something that I’m not too good at.

I’m a huge fan of child themes and I use them here on this blog. So when someone asked about modifying the Coraline theme, I was curious enough to ask for clarification. When the person explained by example and I saw that it was related to CSS, I got to work.

Using my test installation, I created a child theme for Coraline. I already had a copy of that theme and I started with what I already knew of CSS. I was close to getting it working but ended up searching via Google for the rest.

Armed with some new CSS information, I was able to get the my test install working satisfactorily and posted the solution. Total time spent was a little over 45 minutes.

Does that seem like a lot of time helping a stranger? It’s not.

I knew that what they were asking for was doable, but I’m horrible at CSS. It’s a creative thing for me and I’m just not good at it. But by helping that person out I was able to learn something new and stretch my own skills a little.

That’s how I learn, doing things that are outside of my experience. My little contribution is not earth shattering but it might help someone out and being able to pickup additional CSS is a bonus.

There are many really talented web designers that fully comprehend CSS and my own level of expertise will not match that. But by my accepting that forum topic as a challenge, I understand a little bit more than I did the night before.

Here’s the reply to my small effort.

You’re a genius, seriously. Thank you!

Concise, I like it. That’s not a bad result at all.

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