I'm no developer by profession and this site has helped me immensely. Recently, an answer to my question, created to me a new (more basic?) question.

Specifically, the answer to this question Hidde certain category from post meta opens to me a new question about how to use the apply_filters() function.

Since there is no way to reply and ask further questions to an answer, although the problem I want to solve remains the same, I guess it is better to ask a new question, right?

Yes.

One question should always be precise and about a specific problem, so the question-answer-pair is more "valuable", in terms of people searching for the same problem finding an answer, instead of answers to completely different questions.

It is perfectly normal that when coding after you get an answer, you will get more questions. And you are usually welcome to ask them.

However, on your specific question, I would guide you to your favourite search engine first. apply_filters() is quite a common topic - as most WP developers have to work with it sooner or later - so you will already find lots of (good) answers, some even on WPSE already like this, that or this one.

In my experience, Google does a better search than StackExchange itself, so I usually find myself using searches like site:wordpress.stackexchange.com apply_filter or site:developer.wordpress.org apply_filter rather than using the search engines of the respective pages.

  • Thanks for the reply. Actually it seems I need to use a hook (whatever that means), most probably add_filter. This is the problem with newbies (non pro programmers that customize their WP code) like me. And this is why answers with "code snippets" are most helpful. – IXN Oct 19 '17 at 14:53
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    The Plugin Handbook has a complete chapter on hooks, actions, filters, etc, which includes code snippets as well – kero Oct 19 '17 at 15:26

There's a seemingly obvious solution, one that escaped myself for years:

Ask a new question!

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You can always ask a question as long as everything needed to answer it is in there, making it self contained. That doesn't stop you adding links to older questions to provide context though.

Benefits of this:

  • Solutions unrelated to your original problem can be provided, giving you new insights and approaches, as well as being more useful to other people
  • If it's more useful to other people they're more likely to upvote
  • A new question means a new chance to mark an answer as accepted and earn rep!
  • More opportunities to upvote
  • More avenues for interesting things
  • It's a lot clearer what the issue is as it's a new question, and answers can be left as answers
  • Your new question shows up on the frontpage etc, it doesn't get lost in answer comments

If you can turn a follow up question into a full question and make it well written and interesting then that's a win win situation for all

A Final Note On Preventing These Situations

Sometimes you realise you're trying to beat the level 5 boss but you've not seen level 4's boss yet, that's okay, we all had to learn somewhere and answers are a great learning opportunity, by answering a question while providing context and leads to other things.

Sometimes though, the real problem is an XY problem, and needing to answer further clarifying questions can reveal that the question isn't about the original problem. Keep that in mind when asking questions, and make sure you provide enough context that somebody can figure it out if needed

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