I do not live in the United States where there is a strong presence of WordPress. I am in Nigeria and presently in Nigeria there is no active WordPress community and there is no WordPress Meetups at all. I want to change that.
I have taken it upon myself to have a WordPress Meetup started and have a WordCamp in Nigeria this year (the last time a WordCamp was held in Nigeria was in 2010) and this is my story how I found WordPress and how I fell in love with it.
Getting started as a designer/developer is something that entails a lot of challenges, from choosing which language to learn, is it going the PHP way, Python way or the Rails way.
Definitely being a designer/developer offers a lot of opportunities and benefits from being part of an active community of guys that shares the same passion in what you do, giving back to the community, getting help from the community, meeting guys in the community and finally making “some” bucks out of your skills.
Six years ago I mistakenly came across designing web sites and one of the ways then was to go with freeservers or yahoo geocities to have a free website published. I remember the joy I had when i visited the first site i designed then. I was kind of happy and amazed.
This was my story six years ago.
That was how I left WordPress.
I learnt Joomla template design and used it to design two sites back in 2010. One for a student organization I was a member of in School and the other for a client that was introduced by a friend.
But all this while I have been following the happenings in the WordPress community by subscribing to a lot of WordPress related blogs via Google Reader and having a latest version of WordPress installed locally and playing with it once a while.
In 2012 a lot of WordPress powered blogs, magazines sites sprung up in Nigeria and I was kinda surprised that there must be something special about WordPress that makes it to be so popular right here in Nigeria. That was when I decided it is time for me to go back to learning WordPress theme design.
My first point of call was the Codex, downloading themes off WordPress.org to look at how things are done and reading articles off a lot WordPress related blog.There and there I fall in love with WordPress and finally decided to go fully into strictly WordPress development.
After doing all this In 2012 I designed three custom WordPress themes for some clients and currently working on three presently. My journey into WordPress development wasn’t easy and still consider myself a WordPress n00b. Don’t mind me for saying that.
But seriously “I Love WordPress”.
Others may have different reason why they love WordPress but my reasons for loving WordPress are listed below.
1. The Community
WordPress has an active community of users behind it. If you are someone that uses WordPress, a designer that design themes and a developer that develop plugins, be rest assured that there is an active following of users in that aspect of WordPress you are into.
And these are people who are always ready to help out.
According to WordCamp Central
WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress, the free and open source personal publishing software that powers over 25 million sites on the web.
WordCamps come in all different flavors, based on the local communities that produce them, but in general, WordCamps include sessions on how to use WordPress more effectively, beginning plugin and theme development, advanced techniques, security, etc.
To get an idea of the types of sessions typically seen at WordCamps, check out the WordCamp channel at WordPress.tv
Every month there at least two WordCamps events. All WordCamp Videos are uploaded to WordCamp TV. I haven’t been to any WordCamp but I have over 50 different WordCamps Videos on my laptop. All thanks to WordPress TV. This gives me the opportunity to have a WordCamp experience without going to one.
But know that there is no nothing good like being there physically.
3. WordPress Meetup
WordPress Meetups are meetings of people who love and share an interest in WordPress. They come together regularly to share tips on using WordPress, networking, hanging out with other WordPress users, delivering presentations on how they are using WordPress and networking.
WordPress Meetup is one of the main reason that made me to love WordPress. It gives one the opportunity to connect, share ideas, network, ask questions on WordPress related stuffs. There are thousands of WordPress Meetups around the globe and if there isn’t one closer to you, you can start one.
4. The Resources
Are you stuck trying to solve a problem using WordPress or need help choosing a theme or getting a plugin for that functionality. Just know that there is a article somewhere out there about what you are trying to solve, there is a theme that fit perfectly for that design you have been thinking of and come to think of it there is a plugin for that functions you want to implement in your site.
There a tons and tons of WordPress related articles, thousands of themes and plugins. So if you using WordPress you can never be stuck.
Below are some of my go to for WordPress related stuff:
- WordPress Codex
- Smashing WordPress
- WordPress Reader
- WP Beginner
- ManageWP Blog
If you stuck and you need help you can always ask on
5. And finally it’s Open Source
WordPress is “free as in beer”. That means you can download and use it without paying a nickel.
So why do you love WordPress?
Presently in Nigeria there is no active WordPress community and there is no WordPress Meetup at all.
But I have taken it upon myself to have a WordPress Meetup started and have a WordCamp in Nigeria this year (the last time a WordCamp was held in Nigeria was in 2010).
So I will be grateful if you guys can chip in some advice towards starting a WordPress community.