How to get help

How do I get help?

In Perch Support we really want to be able to help you, however many support tickets and forum questions don’t give us enough information to be able to do so quickly.

This solution explains why we ask the questions we do and gives some suggestions that will help you to get your questions answered and issues resolved as quickly as possible.

Can you help yourself?

The quickest way to solve most problems is if you can find an answer in the documentation or related materials. The Perch documentation is designed to be easy to search – you should find documentation, videos and worked examples in some cases.

We have started to add troubleshooting sections to some of the docs. This is where we will add issues that we know people sometimes run into.

Another place to search is the forum, as someone else may have already had and solved the issue.

Still stuck? Where should you post?

If you don’t find your answer in the docs, then post to the forum. If you have an install/upgrade issue or something is broken on your live site then raise a support ticket.

If you have a question about how to do something, then the forum is the place to post.

There is no greater priority given to tickets over the forum. If your forum post requires that you give us confidential information we’ll turn it into a private ticket at that point.

How to write a ticket or forum post that will get help quickly

Many tickets or forum posts start with a long-winded thread where we ask questions to identify what the customer is trying to do and the information about their system – before we can even get to helping. To avoid this, provide as much information up front as you can.

For tickets

If your problem is to do with installation or upgrade then please confirm that you have run the Compatibility Test ran on your server and got a pass – this will be the first thing we ask you otherwise.

If Perch is installed then you will be able to retrieve your Diagnostics Report from the Settings Page in Perch. Post this even if it doesn’t seem relevant.

Make sure that you have upgraded to the latest available version (either the latest Perch 1 or the latest Perch 2 depending on your license) and have checked to see if the problem is still evident after the upgrade.

It can be helpful if we know the hosting company you are using as we get reports from other customers about hosts and so know that certain hosts have certain issues or setup quirks.

If you are getting a “blank screen” or “500 Error”. Both of these things mean that there is a PHP error being thrown. We cannot help you until we know what the actual error message is. Your host may be able to help you locate the actual PHP Error log or this article, written by Rachel Andrew for Smashing magazine can help you get some useful error output.

If you have tried some steps to solve your problem, or have already references a forum post or part of the docs and it did not help – let us know. Explain:

This helps us to understand whether your expectations are different to how things work – that might indicate our documentation is unclear for instance.

For implementation, “how do I…?” posts in the forum

The clearer your question then the more likely it is that someone can help you.

Please start a new thread if you have a problem, rather than jumping onto a thread that looks like a similar issue.

Be sure to explain whether you are using an official app or if this is Perch content, and also which version of Perch you are running as the advice may be different if you are using version 1 rather than version 2.

As with tickets, if you have tried to get something to work and it doesn’t work explaining:

Will help us to understand what you are trying to achieve.

Show us your code!

If your problem is that you need to know how to get Perch to generate certain markup, then post the markup you need to generate.

If you have a template that does not seem to be working as you expect, post the entire template so we can see it.

If you are setting certain options in a page function, post the entire section of PHP so we can see it.

Again, if you are doing something that causes a blank screen or 500 error we need to know the actual error to help. If there is an obvious mistake in your PHP then we are likely to be able to spot it but, in general, if you can provide a PHP error message that will get your problem solved very quickly.