Community

Engaging in Your Local WordPress Community

One of the best things about working with WordPress is the large community that you can participate in. If you’re new to WordPress, experiencing this community in a tangible way can seem daunting. The goal of this post is to help you find ways to participate in both your local portion of the WordPress community, as well as the global community.

There are numerous ways to engage with other people who are working, or who want to work, with WordPress. Here are a few that we will cover:

  • WordPress Meetups
  • WordCamps
  • Online groups

WordPress Meetups

Probably the easiest way to start getting involved is to attend a WordPress Meetup. It’s a great place to get your feet wet in the greater WordPress community. Meetups can be found by searching on meetup.com for “WordPress”. Depending on your location, you may be able to find one or more groups in your area.

Meetups are typically coordinated by one or more people who already have some familiarity with WordPress and they are attended by people with a wide range of skills and experience. While each group is unique, you will usually find the following types of people:

  • Developers — These are the people who are comfortable jumping into the code that makes WordPress work. They are passionate about solving problems and building cool things.
  • Designers — These are the people who are inspired to create beautiful websites. They look for unique and interesting ways to present content.
  • Users — These are the people who may (or may not) be comfortable with aspects of the developer or designer, but wouldn’t consider themselves to be either one.

Meetups usually have one or more presentations, and time for socializing and networking. A good Meetup will be especially welcoming to newcomers of all skill levels.

If you’re new to WordPress, it may be intimidating to attend a meetup, but there’s no better way to learn than to interact with people directly. The majority of people that you meet will be eager to help you as much as they can, and they won’t expect you to know everything before coming for the first time.

WordCamps

WordCamps are a unique type of conference. Like other kinds of tech conferences, these events will take place one weekend each year. Unlike most other kinds of tech conferences, WordCamps are specifically designed to be low-cost and therefore accessible to the greatest number of people. In short, attending a WordCamp shouldn’t break the bank.

WordCamps are more formal than meetups. They will have at least one full day of presentations scheduled, and many will also have a Contributor Day scheduled as well. The presentations will give you an opportunity to pick and choose topics that fit both your interests and skill level. You’ll also be able to interact with a larger group of people, which means that you’ll be able to find a lot more people who are in a similar position as yourself.

When a WordCamp includes a Contributor Day, it’s especially important to note that this is not a developer-only event. It is an opportunity to learn about all of the ways to give back to the WordPress community as a whole, in whatever capacity you are able. The Contributor Day is a more laid-back event where everyone can work in small groups on things that interest them. Incorporating everything from writing code to testing out new elements of the WordPress interface, there truly is something for everyone, regardless of your skill set. If you attend a WordCamp, you should try to attend the Contributor Day, even if you’re not a developer.

Online Groups

Whether you’re seeking answers to your own questions about WordPress, or looking to help other people, the first place that you should stop is the WordPress Forums. This is one of the best places to ask questions and get answers about all things WordPress. If you are going to ask a question, make sure to review the Forum Welcome page. It has many great tips to ensure that you aren’t wasting your time, or anyone else’s.

If you’re interested in keeping track of what’s happening in the community as a whole, a great resource is the Make WordPress Community page. This is where you can see information about upcoming WordCamps and, in some cases, Meetups.

If you’re a developer looking for help with code, another good resource is the WordPress Stack Exchange site. This is a place where you can delve into more complex technical issues about working with the WordPress codebase. It also has plenty of good information for developing plugins and themes.

Finally, there are a number of groups on Facebook dedicated to all things WordPress. In some cases, that includes groups for various localities where you can interact with people in your area. Check out the Facebook search page to see if there are any groups that may interest you.

Do you have any other recommendations for getting involved with the WordPress community? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments!

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