As someone who like to try an answer the questions in this forum, I find that it can sometimes be quite frustrating reading the titles and detail of a post.
I have created this list of guidelines that will enable me and others too quickly identify the question being asked and whether I can offer any help.
I expect that other experts will correct/enhance some of my points.
1 – The Title
Make the title a summary of the problem. This will allow people to decide if they may be able to help you without reading the detail of the problem.
Here are some examples of not very useful titles that I have seen.
- "I need help."
- "MySQL Tables"
- "Carousel Error"
- "Dreamweaver help"
- "Slide show"
- "need someone to tell me why this isn’t working?"
- "Basic Html Issue"
- "Error: Expected"
- "Help needed with bug."
- "Urgent help needed."
None of those titles are of any use to someone that may be able to help you.
Here are some examples of titles that are far more useful, and allow the reader to get an idea of what you problem is.
- “How can I use CSS to create 4 vertical columns to hold text and images?”
- “I have added JQuery, but cannot get the value from text box.”
- "[How to make] Check box Non Editable/Non Selectable? without using entry disabled"
- "PHP send mail error"
- “How to pop up a modal dialog box?”
To be even more helpful, try and get the type of language you are using in the title. Such as;
Using PHP how do I get the selected value from a list box?
2 - The message
If you are trying to achieve something or have a bug, then give full details in the first few sentences. In these few sentences do not mix in details of how you have tried to achieve or fix the problem.
From a helpers point of view we want a clear description of the problem. Here is an example:
“My web site is programmed using PHP. How do I set up a text field to only accept alpha numeric?”
In the following sentences of your post you might like to describe how you have tried to fix the problem.
3 - Isolate the problem
If you have a problem in code, it is no use saying “My page does not work” and then showing all the code.
Here’s what I mean by isolate the problem. Suppose that you have some code that should pop up a dialog, but it’s not working. To isolate the problem, create a new blank page and just add the code that demonstrates the problem. You can then post that code and you will probably get a far better response.
If your code relies on CSS then you need to post the relevant pieces of that as well.