WebDevStudios (WDS) has really amped up our Five for the Future (#5ftf) participation this year. First, we announced the dedication of one full workday per month, company-wide to the WordPress initiative. And now, we are holding ourselves accountable to this commitment with regular blog posts and tweets that report our efforts. However, #5ftf is open to every WordPress user, enthusiast, developer, and company. Think of it as a potluck dinner, and everyone is invited. Aren’t you tempted to participate, too? We asked our team and gathered a few ways that you, too, can contribute to WordPress Five for the Future (even if you’re not a coder).
Whether it’s a free theme or plugin, you can give back to the WordPress community by donating your development acumen to a project. But, Senior Backend Developer, Justin Foell, says that if you don’t code you can still help out: “Taking the time to post a review, especially a five-star one, is valuable. Also, if you’re tech-savvy, documentation with screenshots goes a long way.”
While WDS Director of Client Strategy, Jodie Riccelli, is not a WordPress developer or designer, she vehemently states that she is still a member of the WordPress Community. “Contributing to WordPress as a strategist is essential. It allows me to keep current on core WordPress and it helps me make better recommendations to clients because I am informed.” Jodie suggests contributing to Five for the Future by testing new WordPress features, participating in support forums, and transcribing videos for WordPress.tv. “To me, the greatest part of WordPress is the community. Everyone is in this together. As a group, we are elevating the website experience user by user,” she adds.
Meetups are a great way to learn more about WordPress and find answers to your burning questions. John Hawkins, WDS Client Strategist and Lead Organizer of the Las Vegas WordPress Meetup group, says that just being involved in your local affiliate is a way to give back to #5ftf.
“Give a presentation on something, anything! Tell us about a plugin that saves you time, or about how you solved an issue on your site,” he explains. But if you hate public speaking, John also recommends offering to take notes at each meeting or filming presentations and uploading them to YouTube for those who missed the meetup. Reach out to your local organizer and ask if there’s anything they could use your help with.
As is the case with meetups, WordCamps offer both an education and an opportunity to give back. Russell Aaron, Support Technician at Maintainn (the WordPress support and maintenance arm of our company), is an expert developer who enjoys volunteering at WordCamps, particularly the Happiness Bar. A Happiness Bar (not every camp has one) is staffed with volunteers offering their experience and expertise for WordPress users and website owners who need help.
“The best part about working at the Happiness Bar is showing somebody the answer to a question that has been stumping them for weeks,” Russell elaborates, “There have been many times when someone says to me, ‘Oh! That’s how it works? I didn’t know that.’”
Buy a Developer a Beer
For many folks, monetary donations are easiest. If that’s the case with you, we found a way you can contribute to the WordPress Five for the Future initiative by simply buying a developer a beer. Beerpay allows developers to receive support for their open-source projects on GitHub. You’ll need to create a GitHub account to donate, but once you’re set up, you can select a project to support and even donate anonymously.
So whatever level your knowledge of WordPress is, so long as you are using the software, you are a welcomed part of the community. Join the potluck today! Get involved by giving back. The above ideas offer lots of chances for you to do so.
Learn more about our February contributions in this blog post. Our next company-wide Five for the Future contribution day is tomorrow, March 23. We invite you to follow the hashtag #5ftf on Twitter to see what our team is up to. Re-tweets and shout-outs of support are always appreciated. Be sure to return to our WDS blog to keep up with our WordPress Five for the Future contributions.