Free WordPress help can only be obtained by phone call. Otherwise, well worded forum posts will work. Your best strategy is to a) have the right attitude and information when asking for help and b) send your request for help to the right place. Here are 10 ways to achieve both of these goals and to maximize your chances of satisfactorily resolving your WordPress issues. Play your cards right and win the game in step 1, which at the same time shows you how to formulate the problem yourself and increase the chances of an immediate solution.
Describe the entire problem in a short stand-alone title. If this is a blog post or forum, think carefully about how to summarize the problem in one line. For example, suppose you want to change the image used for bullets in an HTML document by using a cascading style sheet. Don't just enter "bullets". Enter "CSS: How to convert image from character to paragraph mark"
Now, take that distilled thought straight to your favorite search engine. If you weigh your title carefully, you may not even need to document the actual problem. A great title can set you off against support by quickly finding someone who has been there and figured it out.
Include the software version and, if applicable, the name of the web hosting provider. Instead of "Delete database", say "WordPress 2.8 on HostGator: How do I delete a WordPress database?"
Don't pretend you have the right to help. A surprising minority of people will do things like ask a question at 8:13 am and then repost an answer at 8:29 and say they were surprised that no one took the opportunity to answer their question. Another group asked really big questions like "Can someone tell me how to start a blog with WordPress?" When you start your post, take a look and make sure this is a question you want to help with if you can.
Don't offend the hand that feeds you. State your problem neutrally, as if your best friend caused it, and talk to the friend's mother. Don't start your message with “I can't believe the folks at WordPress didn't fix the post renaming bug. I told them about this over a year ago. “Do you think this motivates the people at WordPress to help?
Copy and paste any error messages. Don't paraphrase them.
First round: try your web host provider. Please search their forums and knowledge base first. But a good web host provider will help you with your WordPress problems. HostGator offers 24-hour phone and email support. They are responsive and very nice. I highly recommend email because you can come back to it later.
Try the forums that you like the most, even if they are not related to WordPress. The reason is because WordPress is popular and you are likely to have the same problem as your coworkers. For example, if you are interested in internet marketing, WarriorForum and SitePoint have places to ask questions about WordPress.
Try StackOverflow. Although new, it is already the most powerful secret weapon to support the high-tech masses. It was made explicitly to remove paid tech support websites, and grateful crowds flocked to its door in just a few months.
And oh yes, the WordPress Help itself The WordPress.org site has a busy forum and a lot of paperwork. The organization and quality is a bit weak, but you're right at the source.
Bonus tip: create a file called WordPress help guide.txt and place it in the documents folder. If you get an answer, be sure to copy it into Help. It's amazing how often these things happen.