One of my favorite benefits of working at WebDevStudios is the company-sponsored opportunity to contribute to Five for the Future (#5FTF). Once a month, usually the last Friday, the whole company spends the day working on various projects and efforts that give back to the WordPress initiative.
Because WordPress is open-source software, it relies on community members like you and me to maintain and improve it. There are lots of different roles that need to be filled, and everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate if they can, regardless of their skill set or experience level.
In a previous article, we shared 5 Ways to Contribute to WordPress Five for the Future. There are one or two that are no longer available, but most are still relevant. We felt compelled to update the options available for you to contribute to Five for the Future; so, here are five more ways you can give back to WordPress, even if you aren’t a developer (but also if you are!).
Do you speak another language, other than American English? WordPress is used all over the world, and users can set the language for their admin side to be one of hundreds of languages available.
With every new core release, there are new strings that need translations. Themes and plugins also need translations. Which means, WordPress needs translators.
You’ll notice, earlier, I specified American English. That’s because there are several versions of English that have their own translations for WordPress including Canadian, Australian, and Pirate! So whether you are fluent in an actual other language, or just speak a different dialect like me (I’m Canadian, eh), there’s a need for your multilingualism. Being a translator is a great way to contribute to Five for the Future.
WordPress now powers over 40% of the web. That’s a lot of people using this software, in lots of different ways.
Some are new users, some are learning new ways to use it. Either way, many of them are going to have questions and they’ll be looking for information about how to do different things with WordPress.
Good documentation is critical, for both developers who need to know how the code works and end-users who need to know how to build, design, and populate their sites. This is a great way to contribute if you like to write. Every part of WordPress, including the other areas I mention in this post, needs documentation.
WordPress usage has seen rapid growth in recent years, particularly this last year, as many businesses have had to move online. Those of us who work with WordPress every day think it’s very simple to work with, but we forget the initial learning curve that everyone has to go through. And depending on just how deep you want to get into things, there can be a lot to know.
Enter the Training team. Training puts together various lessons and courses to help users on their WordPress journey. Recently they launched Learn WordPress, a repository of community-submitted workshops and lesson plans. They are actively seeking contributors to create workshops and lesson plans, facilitate discussion groups, and join the Learn WordPress Working Group.
Most of the time, when we think about accessibility on the web, we consider how people interact with websites they are visiting. But it’s equally important to ensure the tools we use online are accessible, and that includes WordPress.
The Accessibility team works towards improving the accessibility of the core code and resources, including tagging themes that are accessibility-ready. If you know how to use assistive technology, you might consider testing new or updated code. If you are looking for a different way to flex your developer skills, check out the open accessibility tickets. Other ways to contribute to the Accessibility team include reviewing themes and helping write documentation.
You know those feature summaries you see when you update to the latest version of WordPress? Guess who writes them. Marketing! The Marketing team provides content and marketing strategy to the other teams and helps with the promotion and perception of WordPress in a variety of other ways.
They have lots of great first tasks for beginners, ranging from collecting data in a spreadsheet to creating screen recordings to coordinating with other teams on various projects. Last year, the team created videos explaining how to get set up with WordPress.org and Slack accounts, and they are working on getting people to record them in as many languages a possible. The list of ways to contribute to Marketing is long and varied, but you’ll be glad you did.
As you can see, there is no shortage of ways to contribute to WordPress, and there are opportunities for everyone. If you’ve been struggling to find your perfect place, I hope I’ve given you some new ideas. And if you can always see what we’re up to at WebDevStudios by following #5FTF on Twitter. We always appreciate re-tweets and shout-outs of support, and share with us how you’re contributing too! Don’t forget to check back on our blog for updates on our contributions.