Contribute to WordPress: Becoming a WP Contributor in 3 Steps

Leefke Krönke Last updated on 17.07.2020
7 Min.
Contributing to WordPress
Last updated on 17.07.2020

Contributing to WordPress is, as with many open source projects, an existential component for the further development and success of the popular content management system. Last but not least it says on WordPress.org: "Contributing is the heartbeat of every community”. Today, I will show you how you can make a big contribution to the WP community with little effort.

Many WordPress users are not even aware of the fact that WordPress.org as an open source project is maintained and developed by thousands of volunteers worldwide. These voluntary supporters, who are involved in various ways in WordPress and thus make an important contribution to the overall project, are called WordPress contributors.

If you think that only selected people with certain skills are allowed to participate to WordPress, I can only say: far from it! The possible fields of activity are so broad that really everyone can find something to do his or her small individual part, even without any programming knowledge. But more on that in a moment.

Why WordPress participate at all?

There are many reasons why contributing to WordPress a great cause is a great thing: Through your efforts you can gain and share new knowledge, become an expert in a particular field, strengthen the cohesion of the community and of course get to know new business partners and friends from the WP community. 

WordPress is now used by over 30 percent of the top websites worldwide. So your contribution, no matter how small it may feel, can have an impact on 30 percent of the Internet – If that's not an incentive! 😉

But no matter what your personal motivation WordPress is for participating, what counts in the end is that you do something for the benefit of the community. Ultimately, the hard (and unpaid) work of the many contributors will help ensure that you can continue to contributeWordPress .

That's why we want to encourage you to help WordPress shape the future of and contribute to the open source project with this article.

RAIDBOXES  Contributor Day
Through activities such as regular RAIDBOXES Contributor Days, WordCamp sessions, volunteering and co-organizing local WordCamps, we want to make our contribution to the WP community.

In his blog post "Five for the Future"WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg appeals to WP companies to allocate about five percent of their resources to work onWordPress :

"I think a good rule of thumb that will scale with the community as it continues to grow is that organizations that want to grow the WordPress pie (and not just their piece of it) should dedicate 5% of their people to working on something to do with core - be it development, documentation, security, support forums, theme reviews, training, testing, translation or whatever it might be that helps move WordPress mission forward.

Matt Mullenweg

#1 Contributing to WordPress: Find your niche

If you go to WordPress.org you will see the item "Get Involved" in the menu bar at the top. There you will find all areas and teams in which you can get involved. These currently include Core, Themes, Plugins, Design, Mobile, Support, Documentation, Community, TV, Accessibility, Polyglots, Meta, Training, Test, Marketing, CLI, Hosting and Tide.

To write something about each of the 18 teams would unfortunately go beyond the scope of this article. For this reason I will focus on those areas where you can make a valuable contribution even without programming knowledge.

Support

If you have been working with WordPress WP for some time, you have probably already acquired valuable knowledge that you can pass on to other WP users. For this purpose the WordPress Support Forums especially good, because the questions posted there are answered by voluntary supporters. Even if you only answer simple questions, you are already making an important contribution to the community!

Before you start answering questions, it is best to read the Manual for WordPress -Supporter .

Documentation

WordPress is constantly evolving and new features or innovations are added again and again that need to be documented. As a member of the documentation team, you can help to improve the WordPress manuals, the codex, etc. and create new documentation.

Contribute to WordPress: Becoming a WP Contributor in 3 Steps

Community

WordPress has a strong community that hosts regular events all over the world. These range from small local meetings (so-called WordPress Meetups) to 2-day international conferences, such as WordCamp Europe. You can not only visit WordCamps as a participant, but also support them as a sponsor, volunteer, speaker or as part of the organizing team.

The WordCamp Europe 2019 finds otherns from 20 to 22 June in Berlin - a perfect opportunity to get to know the European WP community better and to make international contacts at the same time. Our field report from WordCamp Retreat Soltau gives you a little insight into how a word camp can work. The retreat format "WordCamp im Grünen" had a (very successful!) premiere in Soltau and will hopefully be repeated next year. But before I start raving about WordCamps, let's get back to contributing. 😉

TV

Most of the WordCamp lectures are recorded to make them later available to anyone interested. Until publication on WordPress TV however, there are still some work steps to be done, for which volunteers are needed. After all, the film material not only has to be recorded, but also moderated, cut and, if necessary, post-processed. Once a video is released on WordPress TV, you can also help transcribe or translate the session.

By supporting the TV team, you are helping to make current WordPress knowledge available to as many people as possible.

How to transcribe or translate videos for WordPress TV is explained in the following video:

Click on the button below to download the content from videopress.com.

Load content

PGlmcmFtZSBzcmM9Imh0dHBzOi8vdmlkZW9wcmVzcy5jb20vZW1iZWQvQWhSb280UjgiIGFsbG93ZnVsbHNjcmVlbj0iYWxsb3dmdWxsc2NyZWVuIiB3aWR0aD0iNTYwIiBoZWlnaHQ9IjMxNSIgZnJhbWVib3JkZXI9IjAiPjwvaWZyYW1lPg==

Polyglots

The Polyglots team is working on making it available WordPress not only in English but in as many languages as possible. If you know another language besides German and English, you are in good hands with the Polyglots. But even if you can "only" translate into European , there is still enough to do - countless Plugins and Themes are not yet available in German and therefore not usable for everyone.

At Polyglots Manual you will learn step by step how to start translating intoWordPress .

Accessibility

The Accessibility Team takes care that the content and the content WordPress itself is based on WordPress .org are equally accessible to all people. This refers, for example, to WordPress -users who are physically restricted. The Accessibility Team is currently working on the Accessibility of the new Gutenberg-Editor.

In the Accessibility section, you can test new features or versions for accessibility, write documentation or check themes with the accessibility tag, even without programming knowledge. Furthermore, it is already helpful if you create awareness for this important topic through blog posts or sessions.

"Contrary to what some people think we're not all techies, and we feel that everyone who is connected with accessibility has something useful to contribute. – WordPress Accessibility Manual

WordPress -education

Of course you can WordPress also participate in the WP team without being a member of an official WP team: For example, by writing about general WordPress topics in your blog, by sharing your WordPress knowledge in workshops, by talking at events or simply by telling your friends about WordPress them. In this way, you help even more people get to know, understand and love our favorite CMS.

#2 Contributing to WordPress: The technical framework

Now that I have introduced you to a few areas, it's time for the basic "technical requirements". But don't worry, this is only about the tools you need to communicate with other contributors.

Step 1: Create an WordPress.org account

If you want to be a WordPress part of this, the first thing you need to do account on WordPress.org set up. Think about a good username, because you can't change it later.

For your contributions in the respective areas you will receive Profile badgewhich are awarded by the respective teams. The example of Morten Rand-Hendriksen shows you how the profile of an active WordPress -Contributor can look like (no pressure! ;))

WordPress.org sample profile
This is what the WordPress.org profile of an active WP contributor looks like 

Step 2: Join the international WPSlack group

The most important communication channel in the entire WordPress community is Slack . The messaging tool is used to coordinate the various teams, hold meetings, plan word camps and make joint decisions. Slack makes it possible for everyone around the world with Internet access to WordPress participate and have a say in the decision-making process.

After you have registered with WordPress .org go to make.wordpress.org/chat. There you can enter your e-mail address under "joining the WordPress team on Slack ".

Tip

Use Slack the same username that you use for your WordPress .org-account so that you could be more easily identified.

After you have registered for the international WordPress -Slack community, your - Slack mail is [your username on WP.org]@chat.WordPress.org. This is important in case you forget your password.

Now you can browse through the different areas and topics Slack under "Channels" and participate in meetings and discussions. The name of the Slack channel for a specific workspace and the time of the meetings can be found on the corresponding team-site on WordPress .org.

Contribute to WordPress: Becoming a WP Contributor in 3 Steps
All the information you need for contributing can be found on the WordPress .org-site of the respective core team.

Step 3: Register in the German WordPress -Slack Group

If you want to get involved in the German-speaking WordPress community, you should also register in the German slack group "DE - WordPress ". You can find European step-by-step instructions for this here.

For example, if you register as a volunteer at a WordCamp in Germany, a separate channel will be opened so that all helpers can exchange information and discuss the course of events even before the event.

Of course, the european Slack community is also an ideal place to meet people with the same interests and to make new contacts. If you search for #meetup in the channel list, you will find WordPress -interested people in your area.

WP Slack Community

#3 Contributing to WordPress: Learning by doing

Now you know the different areas in which you can work even without programming skills and you know how to get in contact with the different teams. If you are still a bit shy and don't want to jump right into the action, feel free to read the Slack channels of some of the teams you are interested in. That way you can find out what is currently being worked on and where your help might be needed.

Once you have decided on an area, I recommend that you take part in the regular Slack meetings and simply ask if there are any uncertainties. Nobody will expect you to know the contributing processes already, especially since they differ from team to team.

Now only one step is missing: Get going! Because, as with many things, "learning by doing" is also the motto for contributing.

Contribute to WordPress: Becoming a WP Contributor in 3 Steps

Final thoughts

I hope I was able to show you that there are an WordPress awful lot of areas in which you can get involved. It may take you a while to find your passion and "your" WordPress team, but that's not too bad. After all, you can still learn a lot and find out your strengths by getting into several areas.

And who knows, you might even soon be holding your own WordCamp sessions – like Birgit Olzem , Carole Olinger – about the ways in which you have become an active member of the WordPress community. In this spirit: Happy contributing! 🙂

As Head of Content Marketing, Leefke always has the RAIDBOXES magazine "wp unboxed", the newsletter & the social media channels in her sights. That's why she always knows the latest developments in the WP community. Unfortunately she is rarely to be found in Münster nowadays. But Hamburg is said to be rather nice too.

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