WordPress Support Forum All-stars

August 25th, 2010
Best of WordPress, WordPress

WordPress is a powerful blogging platform with a large community volunteering its time to provide support to users in the WordPress Support Forums.

Last week, the WordPress Support Forums mailing list presented nominations for the top active support forum volunteers. These volunteers were nominated for being active on the support forums within the last month and for helping multiple users almost every day on their own free time. The nominees were then organized by the number of topics they have been involved in since joining the forums to find this year’s top fifteen.

If you stopped by the WordPress Support Forums this year, you were probably helped by one of these fifteen volunteers, or you at least got the chance to see them in action.

Without further delay, here are the top fifteen active WordPress Support Forum volunteers:

Mel “esmi” Pedley: Professional web developer since 2001 with a special interest in CSS, web accessibility and, more recently, all things WordPress. Spent a number of years in a previous life running IT support in the public sector. Old habits die hard. [forum profile]

Samuel “samboll” Bollinger: I am a landscape architect by trade and am an avid golfer and camper. I originally started using WordPress back in the 1.5.x series for a business site. I became active in the forums when version 2.0 came out. Can’t remember exactly when I became a mod, but just came to forums one day and saw I was…thought that was a weird way to do it at the time, but years later and I’m still here. I use and support WordPress because of the community and transparency of all levels of the WordPress hierarchy. [forum profile]

Chris “Chris_K” Kasten (fka HandySolo): I’m Director of Technical Operations by day, an independent consultant by night and experienced in a wide range of technologies. I got involved with WordPress support back in 2005 when I had some questions, found the forum and realized I could answer others’ questions while waiting on my own answers. Volunteered to help clean up mangled forum posts shortly afterward and have been a mod ever since. [forum profile]

James “MacManX” Huff: When I started using WordPress six years ago, I had no clue what a “server” was, I though PHP was pronounced ffp, and I think I killed my blog eight times during the first hour. I would never have made it as far as I did without the WordPress Support Forums. Now, I’m happy to donate my time to help others, just like the forum volunteers from years ago helped me. [forum profile]

Otto: I live in Memphis, TN, and make beer in my spare time. I’ve been doing this sort of thing for about 5 years, and recently got hired by Matt as his “Tech Ninja”. So I’m actually paid to help people out now. [forum profile]

Michael “alchymyth” Stolze: I am a senior scientist, with interests in logic and computing since the early days of “fortran” and “assembler”. I began using WordPress and visiting the support forum while I was remodeling a website for a friend; and now I am part-time building web sites and WordPress themes. My life’s motto: “I am here to help.” [forum profile]

James “Rev. Voodoo” Yeo: I’ve tried to make my own website since 1993 when I got my first email account in university. I’ve hand coded, and I’ve tried just about every package out there. WordPress finally made it fun! [forum profile]

mercime: My first WP site was a WPMU 1.2.1 install in 2007 to consolidate all blogs I set up with Greymatter (CGI) in 2002 and self-hosted Blogger sites set up in 2003 under one admin for a church. I believe in the power of giving and giving back. Even though I am neither a coder or programmer, I go to the WP/BP forums and try to help others out where I can. For it is in giving that we receive … more than we even hope for. [forum profile]

Clayton “ClaytonJames” James: My involvement with WordPress started after a year-long trial of installing, evaluating and then discarding more than a dozen other blogging and content management systems that just didn’t live up to my expectations. After only a month with WordPress I knew I had found the right solution. Being involved with support in the forums has taught me almost as much about myself as it has about WordPress. It’s a pleasure belonging to a support community that’s always so willing to share its collective patience and knowledge with others. [forum profile]

Mark “t31os” Duncan: In my spare time I write hacks, plugins or provide support in the forums for WordPress (it’s great fun – generally) and it’s also nice sharing back what I know about code with the community, there’s also the satisfying feeling you get when you’ve helped someone troubleshoot a problem, create a custom hack or add some special functionality to their site (I think we all know that feeling). [forum profile]

Roy: I used to have an html website, but in April/May 2007 I switched to WordPress. Being unfamiliar with CSS, PHP, XHTML, etc. (and still!) I frequently used the forums to clear things up. After a while I could answer other user’s more basic questions myself and this is still the case. I just check every once in a while if there are questions that I can answer, because I think it would be a shame if a new user with a simple question would get stuck early in his/her WordPress experience on something (relatively) simple. Also I check the forums frequently because it is usually the first place to learn about large or small hacks, hiccups in the software, etc. [forum profile]

Mika A. Epstein: I work for “the man” at a large, multi-national bank, but I help with WordPress because the Communist/Socialist in me thinks that if we make the code better, we help make the world better. WordPress has caused me to master all sorts of bizarre talents I never would have thought possible. It’s even helped me to be better at my “real job” because of the coding ideas I’ve come across in the WP community. No one thinks better sideways than the WordPress Devs! [forum profile]

Mark “songdogtech” Ratledge: I got involved helping out in the forums after I found lots of help there myself. I’ve been developing WordPress sites for individuals and non-profits for a few years now. As well as working in IT and being a technology journalist, I’ve been a carpenter, mechanic and have taught university-level English and literature. [forum profile]

mrmist: I got into WordPress a few years ago after switching when MoveableType were having something of an identity crisis. Since then I have been getting more involved with the community, picking up bits of knowledge here and there. These days I am mostly active around the forums and Codex, and I try my best to submit simple patches to the code base. [forum profile]

Andrea “andrea_r” Rennick: I became a user of WordPress MU a good three years ago – when it was in pre-beta stage. I was just your typical mom at home, teaching my kids, and I wanted to create a community for other homeschoolers to have blogs all in one location, so we could find & support each other. It took me a month just to get everything running. I was spending so much time in the MU support forum finding answers, eventually I was helping others. [forum profile] (Note: Andrea was highly active in the WordPress MU Support Forums before they were closed a month ago.)

No support forum would be complete without moderators. The following moderators are currently active in the forums and deserve an extra round of applause. Not only are they tasked with keeping the forums organized and free of spam, but most of them are volunteers as well.

Michael “mdawaffe” Adams, Les “LesBessant” Bessant, Sheri “designsimply” Bigelow, Michael “miklb” Bishop, Samuel “samboll” Bollinger, Brian “briancolinger” Colinger, Mark “t31os” Duncan, James “MacManX” Huff, Chris “Chris_K” Kasten, mrmist, Andrew “nacin” Nacin, Otto, Mel “esmi” Pedley, Andrea “andrea_r” Rennick, and Peter “westi” Westwood.

Obviously, this is just a small sampling of the volunteers providing help on the support forums. If you ever helped someone on the WordPress Support Forums, give yourself a pat on the back, and keep up the amazing work. You’re a part of something that makes WordPress one of the greatest open source blogging platforms.

If you have ever been helped by one of the volunteers on the WordPress Support Forums, let them know how much you appreciated their help.




  1. Richard says:

    You know, it would be nice once in a while if a thanks went out to the volunteers over at the forums.

    Just sayin’…

    • James Huff (62 comments.) says:

      That’s a great idea! I don’t have the connections around there that I do with the WordPress support forums, but I’ll ask a few friends and see what I can come up with.

      • Richard says:

        James, thanks. It just seems like the volunteers over there get little real recognition for the job they do. For me, a thank you isn’t necessary as I don’t do it for that reason, but the volunteers at the .COM forum have made it one of the best forums around giving quick and accurate responses and finding workarounds for the limitations there.

        I’m sure staff is grateful for their contributions, but it certainly seems they are sort of forgotten.

  2. Mr Mist (2 comments.) says:

    Thanks for the nod, Mr Huff.

  3. London Ontario Web Design (7 comments.) says:

    I am always amazed at the amount of time people will put in helping others on the forums and posts. Half of what I know regarding all web technologies comes from people like this. Now that I am at least a novice I enjoy helping some of the newbs in the forums but I still have no where near the dedication that these volunteers do. Congrats to all, your why the open source community is so friggen awesome!

  4. mercime says:

    James, thank you for taking the time to compile all this. It’s really cool to be a part of the WordPress community :-)

  5. Ashfame (12 comments.) says:

    Yeah these guys help a lot on WP forums. How about a similar post for bbPress forums? Volunteering there without any hope or scope is gutsy. lolz. And this way my name should crop up too :)

  6. Rev. Voodoo (4 comments.) says:

    Thanks very much for the nod! I learned pretty much everything I know about the web out of necessity. I’ve been running my WP site since the early 2.x version, and I broke my site so many times. I’m one of those guys that hates asking for help…. so the codex, and google were my best friends. I did handcoded sites, Drupal, Joomla, SMF, etc, etc…. WP was what I was able to really learn with…. it just somehow made sense to me

    • James Huff (62 comments.) says:

      You’re welcome! WordPress wouldn’t be nearly as easy to use without people like you volunteering their time in the support forums.

  7. Agus Suhanto (1 comments.) says:

    Wow, fantastic? How to achieve that? I’m just start contributing in the forum, I think it’s still a long way to go :(

    • James Huff (62 comments.) says:

      Basically, you have to be nominated by the mailing list, active within a month of the nomination period, and then rank in the top 15 of the other nominees when counting the total number of topics you participated in since joining the forums. As long as you keep volunteering like you are now, I have no doubt that you’ll be in next year’s all-star highlight. :)

  8. Matt (27 comments.) says:

    Awesome list. :) These people make WordPress go.

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