Open source projects greatly depend on the contributions of those in the community. Contributors catch bugs, suggest improvements, and overall make the experience better. WordPress now powers over 42 percent of the web, which wouldn’t be possible without all of the mostly-volunteer work from its thriving community,.
In 2020, the world was rocked by a global pandemic. WordPress was no different. We couldn’t have in person events and get together with our online friends. Many people had less time outside of work to volunteer. For all those reasons, contributions to WordPress core were significantly low in 2020 and have yet to bounce back in 2021.
But the year is not yet over, and we have time to get that number up. This is a guide that will help you jump into contributing to WordPress, either as a first-timer or just to get reacquainted.
Why Should You Contribute
The benefits to the platform are obvious, but contributing to WordPress or any other open source project is also great for the people doing it. First and foremost, it helps you learn more about the platform you’re using. If you’re looking to expand your product line, the best way to get to really know WordPress is to contribute. You can challenge yourself to work on a bunch of different projects to get a well rounded look at what makes WordPress tick.
Contributing also helps you work on your problem-solving skills and creativity. Maybe in your day job, you don’t feel like you have the opportunity to think critically. Contributing to WordPress is a huge problem solving practice. You will be faced with various issues to tackle throughout the process.
That said, something unique to WordPress is the passionate community. If you find yourself stuck on something, you can reach out to someone for help. Meeting people is another benefit of contributing to WordPress. Reach out to people who are working on the same project as you. It will make the work go faster and you might end up with some new friends.
How to Contribute
Now that you are no doubt convinced you must start contributing to WordPress, you are probably wondering how to get involved. In the past, you could attend a Contributor Day after a WordCamp and join a table of people who would help you get started. Things have gotten a little more tricky, but not impossible.
If You Are a Developer
There are many aspects of WordPress core that need some love. For a comprehensive look at what is needed and how to get started, check out this article on Make WordPress. You don’t have to dive in with committing to the new release—there are projects for people of all skill levels and a variety of ways you can help out:
- Commit to Core- Jump right in and help with the newest update!
- Translations- The more people who can use WordPress, the better.
- Support Forum- This is a great job for people looking to help others
- Test WordPress- How can we know if things are working if we don’t have people to test it?
- Bug Hunting- You can either help identify them or work to fix them as well
These are just some of the projects you can help out with but great places to get started. Check out this article from WebDevStudios for a step by step guide on how to get started.
If You Are a Non-Developer
If you want to help out but don’t know how to code or don’t have a ton of coding experience, not to worry you can still participate.
- Documentation- If you are a writer who has an understanding of WordPress helping with documentation can be huge.
- Review- Just because you don’t know how a theme or plugin was made doesn’t mean you can’t give it a walkthrough and report issues.
- Design- Calling all designers! Your help is always needed.
- Video Editing- Many people are looking for video editors from WordCamp talks to marketing materials.
- Organize a WordCamp- Whether online or in person, WordCamps are a huge part of WordPress. If you love working with people and planning, this is for you!
Get to Contributing!
Regardless of your skill level, you can make a huge difference in the WordPress project. Grab some popcorn, turn on your favorite lo-fi jams playlist and dig in. If you’re looking for a fun way to get involved, join our Contribute 2 WP event.