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VIP Support

VIP uses the Zendesk ticketing system to support technical issues, launch planning, and other questions.

Zendesk is FedRAMP Authorized, and FedRAMP customers are responsible for the data they place in a Zendesk support ticket (see FedRAMP Marketplace for more information).


Tickets marked as Urgent will immediately alert and interrupt the Support team. The Urgent priority should be used sparingly for true emergencies such as production outages, time-sensitive security concerns, and workflow-blocking situations where a production site is not functioning at all.

Contacting VIP Support

Support tickets can be opened by:

  • Logging in to the Zendesk portal (access provided after kickoff call).
  • Using the Help Center button in the upper-right corner of the VIP Dashboard.
  • Submitting tickets from the “VIP” portal accessible from the sidebar of a site’s WordPress admin dashboard.

Submitting a ticket

  • Open up a new ticket for each individual request. This allows the Support team to route questions effectively and helps avoid confusion when multiple issues and resolutions are discussed in one ticket.
  • When creating a ticket, select the appropriate priority level: low, normal, high, or urgent.
    Urgent tickets alert the support team, so use them sparingly only for true emergencies like outages, time-sensitive security concerns, and workflow-blocking situations where the site is not functioning at all.
  • Existing Support tickets can be accessed in the Zendesk portal.
  • Other users can be added to a ticket by including their email address in the cc field of the original Support request or to any subsequent responses.
  • Customers who are members of more than one organization should select an organization in the Zendesk portal dropdown to associate a new Support request with the correct account. 
  • If a ticket is created for an issue with a sense of urgency, remain available after the ticket is submitted. Be able to quickly respond if the Support team has questions or if clarifications are needed. If the ticket submitter is not available to respond for any period of time, they should cc one or more colleagues who will be able to respond instead.

Information to include in a ticket

Provide as much of the below information as possible so the Support team can fully understand the scope, nature, and context of the request. Providing these details enables the Support team to troubleshoot and investigate an issue quickly and efficiently. If a submitted ticket has insufficient information, the feedback cycle time for resolving the issue increases.

Essential information

  • The domain name(s) that correspond to the VIP Platform environment affected.
  • Exact URLs affected: These could be front-end URLs, WordPress admin URLs, or both.
  • Steps to replicate the issue – this is very important so that Support can start analyzing the problem right away.
  • Description of issue + supporting screenshots, error messages, and support details if applicable.
  • What is the expected behavior?
  • How does the actual behavior differ from the expectation?
  • Timings of issue occurrence.
  • Impact/number of users affected?

Helpful information for debugging reported issues

Take time to investigate the issue and collect the following information:

  • What steps have been taken to investigate this issue so far?
  • What has been determined from looking at New Relic?
  • What has been determined from looking at Query Monitor?
  • What can be seen by using a browser’s development tools? Are there browser errors? What about the response headers?
  • Is the site down for everyone, or just one person?
  • Have advertisements or other third-party content been identified as possible sources of the problem?
  • Have developers on the team replicated this issue on non-production environments?

Additional information

  • On which network are the affected users? (e.g. office, home, mobile)
  • On which browser(s) is the issue appearing?
  • If one user is affected, what is the user’s source IP
  • If only a few users (less than 5) are affected, what are the WordPress usernames of the affected users?
  • Have there been recent deployments?
  • Have there been network changes on the customer side? (e.g. DNS if applicable or internal network changes)
  • Provide a traceroute and HTTP headers.
  • Provide a HAR file for failing or problematic requests.
  • Provide a screen share or videos demonstrating the issue.
  • If a site has a reverse proxy such as Akamai, can the issue be reproduced when requests bypass the reverse proxy and are sent directly to the Automattic Anycast IP address by editing the local hosts file
  • If a decoupled architecture is used, has it been determined that the front-end application is not causing the issue?
  • Have there been any caching changes? (e.g., modifications to cache-control headers)

The VIP Zendesk ticket system can be used for any and all questions, not just when problems occur. Tickets can be submitted to the Support team even for basic questions.

Assume that the Support team might ask questions such as, “Why?” or “What problem are you trying to solve?” to understand a request better. The more context and detail that can be provided in the initial request (or reference to a previous ticket), the easier it will be for the Support team to start with answers, solutions, and support.

Last updated: May 20, 2023

Relevant to

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