One of the most appealing and exciting reasons that I enjoy being involved in the WordPress-sphere is the fact that it is an open-source product with a community-based environment.
If it weren’t for the input of thousands of people, WordPress would not be how we know it today.
But we don’t have to leave it other people to provide their skills because the types of contribution can come in many shapes and forms, from just about anyone.
Many people would assume that you have to be technical to be able to contribute at all.
But you’d be surprised that there are so ways you can help do that without the need of having any coding knowledge at all.
So if you are a non-techie, but you are still keen to contribute to WordPress, below will demonstrate how you can do just that.
- Answer Questions & Provide Solutions on Forums
- Provide Reviews & Feedback to Plugin & Theme Developers
- Report Any Bugs That You Came Across
- Speak/Attend Local WordPress Meetup Group
- Or Start Your Own WordPress Meetup Group
- Teach a Family Member, Friend or Colleague about WordPress
- Help Co-Organise or Volunteer WordCamp
- Sponsor a WordCamp
- Speak at WordCamp
- Use Your Language Skills by Helping With Translations
- Help the Support Team to Keep the Documentation Updated
- Volunteer on the Accessibility Team
- Volunteer on the Marketing Team
- Create Content About WordPress and Share Your Knowledge & Expertise
- Donate to Those Who Are Providing Free Services
You can watch the video or scroll down to read more:
1. Answer Questions & Provide Solutions on Forums
With thousands of questions asked about the software, plugins, themes or just general advice about websites, the WordPress forum is filled with people seeking help and sharing solutions.
This could be for the .com version, .org version, the plugins forum, theme forums…literally anywhere.
So if you can help others with their queries, or you have an experience which others might find useful, consider sharing that on the appropriate forums.
And you can comment on a specific theme or plugin via their individual forum too, which is accessible via the WordPress repository:
2. Provide Reviews & Feedback to Plugin & Theme Developers
Similarly to the above on bug reporting, providing reviews and feedback to the plugin/theme developers is another way to help the developers and the wider community who are using it.
And even if the products are in beta stage, you can still provide valuable feedback.
For example, the Gutenberg project (an upcoming new version of the WordPress editor which is under construction) is still in its infancy at the time of writing. But that does not stop everyone else from providing feedback to the team and the community:
And if there are plugins which have made a big difference to you and your website, consider writing a view within the plugin repository.
It costs you nothing, and it can go a long way to helping the person or people behind the plugin to grow and reach more people.
3. Report Any Bugs That You Came Across
If you have come across any bugs, you will provide a great service to the relevant developers if you give them information as to what happened, how it happened, where you saw it, etc.
This could be done by contacting the developers directly on their 3rd party site.
Or by contacting the WordPress.org support team and submit your findings there.
Or by giving your findings in the plugin forums within the repository itself.
However you do it, your bug report can make a big difference in helping the developers improve the products, as well as helping other users when the bug has been fixed.
4. Speak/Attend Local WordPress Meetup Group
One of the easiest ways to meet other like-minded people is by attending a local meetup group in your area.
So head over to meetup.com and search for WordPress in your area. You never know who you might find and the kind of community that is just on your doorstep.
Likewise, if you have a self-hosted WordPress.org site, you can view the upcoming meetups in your area directly within the dashboard.
At times, the meetup group will have speakers attending to provide a talk to the group.
But you will most likely also have the opportunity to talk to the group and share your own experience that is relevant to them too.
5. Or Start Your Own WordPress Meetup Group
And if there are isn’t a group in your local area, consider starting one yourself.
Like anything, do your research and start small to see if there is any interest from the local community.
You never know, you could provide a solution to many people’s problem just because you have taken the initiative to start your own group.
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6. Teach a Family Member, Friend or Colleague about WordPress
There is bound to be someone within your family or circle of friends, or someone at work who wants to start a fun site for their hobby, or to create an online journal or even have an online presence for their business.
This is a perfect opportunity for you to help them to do just that by simply introducing them to WordPress and how they can run their site with it.
And even if they already have experience with WordPress, you can still teach them something new with the help of your unique experience that many people will not be able to replicate.
7. Help Co-Organise or Volunteer WordCamp
If you head over to the WordCamp website and look at the schedules, you can see dozens of upcoming WordCamp events across the globe.
But WordCamps are community-run, and without the people running it behind the scenes, it would simply not exist, nor will it run smoothly.
So consider helping to co-organise an event or even volunteer at one near you.
Either one would go a long way towards making the event a success, so contact the organisers and see how you can contribute to the event.
8. Sponsor a WordCamp
Another crucial aspect of WordCamp are the sponsors who collectively help to cover the cost of the entire event and also keep the ticket cost at a very low price.
Without them, it would be impossible to provide the type of event which is worthy enough for the attendees and at a low cost of around 30 pounds/dollars/euros.
Whether you are attending or not, you can sponsor any WordCamp around the world, and there tend to be various packages that should suit your budget.
And that can provide a huge relief to the organisers, as well as helping to make the event the best it can be for the attendees and WordPress.
9. Speak at WordCamp
You can also speak at a WordCamp event and share your experiences with the attendees there.
And just in case you didn’t know, you do not have to be from a technical background to attend or speak at WordCamp. It is open to everyone who has an interest in WordPress.
If you are interested in speaking, visit the respective WordCamp website for more information.
10. Use Your Language Skills by Helping With Translations
WordPress is used around the world and in many different languages, so it’s not a surprise that polyglots are in high demand.
If you speak more than one language fluently, there is a demand for polyglots like yourself who can help provide translations for a wide range of documentation, as well as assisting with creating tools that make translation easier for others.
Anyone who can provide any form of translation should contact the Polyglots team of WordPress.
11. Help the Support Team to Keep the Documentation Updated
With so much information and official documentation available online, the team in the background works very hard to make sure that they are up to date.
But they still need more people to “help keep the content current with each WordPress release and adding new content and screenshots”.
For example, the Handbooks alone consist of many different aspects of WordPress. You could get stuck in and help, as they are openly looking for writers and editors.
12. Volunteer on the Accessibility Team
Also known as the A11y Team, this is a crucial role and a great place for you to help with a wide range of projects.
This includes assisting with documentation, testing the accessibility of products and features, to reviewing the existing themes which are approved as accessibility-ready.
So get in touch with the WordPress Accessibility team if that interests you.
13. Volunteer on the Marketing Team
The WordPress Marketing team is another area which helps people to market WordPress as an open source software, and markets the community too.
You will need to be aware that there are four subgroups you can join (which are collectively known as The Four Horsemen of WordPress.org Marketing:
- marketing WordPress to developers
- marketing WordPress to agencies and clients
- marketing WordPress to end-users
- marketing the WordPress community itself
Seeing as this is a wide-ranging type of contribution, you can bet that you can provide input to at least one of the subgroups.
14. Create Content About WordPress and Share Your Knowledge & Expertise
If you already have experience with WordPress (large or small), you can share that with your own audience.
It can be as simple as writing a blog post, creating video tutorials, or you can talk about it in a podcast format.
On the occasions where you had trouble with your site, there is a good chance that you Googled it and someone has written or recorded the solution for you.
You can provide the same solution to someone else’s problem by creating the relevant content for them.
It doesn’t matter how much experience you have, there will always be someone out there who would appreciate your knowledge.
And you can read more about WordPress on this site to get ideas of what you could write about.
15. Donate to Those Who Are Providing Free Services
Using your time to contribute and volunteer is valuable, and it’s not one that is taken lightly.
But if you feel that your time is really tight, yet you still want to contribute, you can still opt to donate cash instead of your time.
For example, you could consider donating to those who have developed products which have helped your site and business.
Many of the plugins on the repository are free, and you could get away with not paying for anything, yet still have a well-run and well-built WordPress site.
But behind every well-maintained plugin is a developer (or a team of them), who is putting the time and effort into looking after the plugins so that you can continue to reap the benefits of it at no cost to you.
And each donation can help make sure that they continue to do that for you.
How I Currently Contribute to WordPress?
To use my personal experience, below are the following ways I had or currently am contributing to WordPress:
- volunteered at WordCamp Edinburgh 2015
- co-organised WordCamp Edinburgh 2017
- lead organiser of WordCamp Edinburgh 2018
- speak and attend WordCamp events where possible
- attend, speak and co-organise the local WordPress Meetup in Edinburgh
- write content and record podcast about WordPress to help others
- provide advice and assistance to other WordPress users with their own sites
- promote WordPress CMS as a choice of platform
- provide a service in working with small businesses with their own WordPress site to grow their online visibility
Other Ways I Want to Improve My Contribution to WordPress
But I don’t want to rest as I still want to contribute in other ways and below are my current plans:
- create video content to provide more visual formats
- provide feedback and reviews to plugin developers
- speak at more WordCamp events
I am pretty certain that I have missed other ways, but the above should give you plenty of ideas if you ever feel that you want to give back, or you just want to be involved in a thriving community.
But without the contribution of the community, WordPress wouldn’t be where it is today.
And you would not have had the opportunities and benefits that your WordPress site gives you.
So however small your contribution is, it will still go a long way to helping the community and indirectly your own site too.
Have you ever contributed or have other ways you can think of?
Leave a comment below and let me know.
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