Me: Do you regularly use WordPress?
You: Yes, I love it, it’s fantastic!
Me: Have you ever thought about helping contribute to WordPress?
You: No, I am not a developer.
Me: Well, good news, you do not have to be!
You: Ok, tell me more…
Whether you have considered it or not, I am so certain that you CAN contribute to WordPress that I will personally offer to help you find a way to do so. I will outline some options below, but feel free to reach out to me directly and I promise to help!
But first, a little background on me…
I graduated from college in 2001 with a degree in Computer Science, but have not spent any significant time coding since then. I have held roles in project management, product management, and team and customer management. The way I tell it, no one would realistically hire me these days to do development. And yet, there has been a fantastic opportunity for me to help contribute to WordPress as a deputy release lead on WordPress 4.7. While this was a significant time commitment for me, there are ways you can contribute with minimal time commitment.
Now let us focus on how you could contribute…
I am going to give you some options to describe yourself and then help show how different types of people within the WordPress community can contribute. It is like a choose-your-own-adventure!
Are you a project or product manager?
Wonderful! There are WordPress component maintainers (aka developers) that would love help running their regular meetings, taking actionable notes and publishing them, and tracking work against a roadmap. Read through the different components and reach out to the maintainers on Slack for whichever component is of most interest to you, they’ll be able to tell you how best you could help them. Come help ensure WordPress continues to deliver regular updates to the community!
Do you enjoy testing software and trying to find deficiencies?
Fantastic! There are many defect and enhancement tickets that have untested code available that would benefit from being tested appropriately. There are also many platforms that WordPress supports that would benefit from specific, detailed testing and issue logging. Take a look at how you could contribute with testing and then dive in whether it’s with automated testing, beta testing, user testing, or one of many other ways to help with testing. The best team to join is the Flow team, so read through their handbook, and follow along via the #core-flow channel in Slack. And remember, even something as simple as a well-defined bug report is a beautiful thing!
Do you speak a language other than English?
Magnifique! There are many parts of WordPress that have not yet been fully translated into the 162 locales (and growing!) that are supported. Start by reading through the “get involved” portion of the Polyglots’ handbook, then read through how the translation process works with Glotpress, and then start translating. The Polyglots team welcomes you with open arms!
Do you enjoy organizing events?
Awesome! The Community team oversees official events (WordCamps), mentorship programs, diversity initiatives, contributor outreach, and other ways of growing the community. These ALL need help coordinating and would love to have your help! Take a look through the various handbooks for the team, read through the active projects to see which interests you most, and then follow along in the #community-team channel in Slack.
Are you a designer?
Marvelous! There is a constant need for usability testing, wireframing, prototyping, and visual designing to ensure that the user experience of reading and writing on WordPress is as seamless and graceful as possible. 27% (and growing!) of websites on the web need you! If you find interest here, then read through the Design handbook and follow along in the #design channel in Slack.
Are you a developer?
Super! There are defects and enhancements large and small that await your attention. Start off by reading through the Core handbook on how to “contribute with code” and “fixing bugs“, find a “good first bug” ticket to work on, ensure you’re following the “WordPress Coding Standards“, and then get to work writing a patch. If WordPress is going to continually deliver updates to the community and march down the roadmap that is constantly evolving, then we need your help to engineer that future!
Are you interested in mobile application development?
Brilliant! Then check out the Mobile team and the iOS and Android repos on GitHub and read through their guide on contributing to WordPress apps.
Do you believe in making sure everyone is able to access the web?
Fabulous! Then check out the Accessibility team, read how you can get involved with improving accessibility within WordPress, and then follow along in the #accessibility channel in Slack.
Do you enjoy helping others learn how to use WordPress?
Excellent! Then check out the Support team, read their handbook, re-read the “giving good support” section as you will be the face to WordPress users in need, and then follow along in the #forums channel in Slack.
Do you love having beautiful, functional themes in the theme directory?
Outstanding! Then check out the Theme Review team, read how you can get started with theme reviews, request a theme to review and run through the review tests, and then follow along in the #themereview channel in Slack.
Do you love having secure, functional plugins in the plugin directory?
Terrific! Then check out the Plugins team, read through their handbook with specific focus on the “get involved” section, and then follow along in the #pluginreview channel in Slack.
Do you enjoy ensuring documentation is updated and accurate?
Incredible! Then check out the Documentation team, read through the Codex, handbooks, inline docs, DevHub, and Helphub projects to see which interests you most, and then follow along in the #docs channel in Slack.
Do you enjoy teaching others how to use WordPress?
Phenomenal! Then check out the Training team, read through their handbook and then the “getting started” guide, consider whether you want to help with writing, copyediting, testing, auditing, connecting or reviewing, and then follow along in the #training channel in Slack.
Do you just want to build WordPress sites?
Groovy! Then check out the Meta team, read through their handbook, review their list of current and upcoming projects to see which most interest you, and then follow along in the #meta channel in Slack.
Do you enjoy video post-production?
Sensational! Then check out the WordPress.tv team, read through their handbook, decide if you’re most interested in helping with video editing or managing subtitles or captions, and then following along in the #wptv channel in Slack.
Are you none of those things I have mentioned above?
Perfect! You are unique just like all of us in the WordPress community. Please reach out to me via the Comments section or my contact information below. We will work together to find a way for you to help advance the WordPress community!
WordPress Slack: @jeffpaul
Phone: +1 (315) WOR-DPRS // +1 (315) 967-3777
6 thoughts on “How you can contribute to WordPress (yes, <img src="https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/12.0.0-1/72x72/1f449.png" alt="👉" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" /> YOU!)”
Thanks Luke, anything you’d add as a recommendation to others based on your experience?
No not really other than, find an area which you enjoy working in and then try to contribute in that area.
“Phone: +1 (315) WOR-DPRS”
Love that! Nice post, would share it as a ref to anyone who asks me about regular core contribution.
Thank you very much Jeffrey. It’s been a while since i have been wanting to contribute to open source in general, but honestly i’ve felt overwhelmed. I have not bumped into many guides dealing with how you can contribute to wordpress, it has been a little hard to find this type of info.
Funnily though, now that i’ve read the article, i’ve found many areas where i could contribute. Really excited to put my knowledge to use!
Glad to have helped Oscar, let me know if you run into any questions along the way… good luck!