Contributing to WordPress is an exciting and rewarding task – no matter how you go about it, it’s incredibly satisfying knowing that you’re giving back to a platform and community that dominates nearly 25% of the internet. That being said, it can be very tricky to know where to start with contributions. There are so many different avenues that you can go down when contributing that it would be incredibly helpful if you had a guide to show you the way.
Well, you’re in luck – here are a few tools that are designed to help new (and old) contributors find their way in the world of WordPress.
The absolute best way to find guidance in the world of contributions is by talking directly to other contributors and the absolute best place for this is the WordPress Slack. Slack is a communication platform that the WordPress project uses to enable constant communication between contributors. You can sign up for the WordPress Slack here (free) and dive right into conversations with other like-minded contributors.
The bonus of Slack is that all conversations are split up into their relevant channels, which are easily accessible once you have signed in. Want to know more about what channels are available and what would be best for you? Then read on…
If Slack is the central hub for real-time communication between contributors, then the Make WordPress site is the central hub for all information, updates and news regarding contributions. On this site you will find all the different areas for contributing and each area has it’s own blog so you can keep up to date with news and information regarding contributing in your chosen space. Here you will also find out what Slack channels are setup for each area, so you can easily jump into real conversations with real people.
While Slack and Make WordPress are resources for communication, there are also plenty of static resources available that will assist you with contributions on different levels. Once such resource is the WordPress DevHub – this is a source of handbooks for plugin development, theme development and complete code reference (that will be replacing the existing Codex once it is complete).
If you would like to get involved in improving the DevHub resources then jump into the #meta-devhub channel on Slack and someone will help you out there.
Core Contributor Handbook
Just like themes and plugins have their own handbooks for developers that are available on the DevHub, there is also a handbook for core contributors. This handbook outlines and details everything you need to know about contributing to core, but bear in mind that it is not entirely complete as it is always seen as a work in progress.
If you dive into the world of WordCamp organisation (and I highly recommend that you do), then you the first place to start is the WordCamp Planning site. It is the central resource for all WordCamp organisers all over the world and the information it provides you with is invaluable.
The final resource that I’m going to list here is one designed specifically for meetup and WordCamp organisers – the mentorship programme. While this isn’t a documented avenue of assistance, it is hugely beneficial. Once you start organising your local meetup and/or WordCamp you will be put in touch with a mentor who has been organising things in their community for a while (if you’re in the EU or Africa then it may even be me). These mentors are a huge help and they will be someone that you can bounce ideas off and find ways to improve your local meetups and WordCamps. I encourage you to take full advantage of your mentor and really dig deep for all the knowledge and experience they have to offer.
With all of these resources available to help you, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t jump into contributions today. So what are you waiting for?