If you are using WordPress, WordPress.com, and/or are a fan of WordPress, consider giving the gift of love to WordPress this year. It’s never to late to help support the development of WordPress, one of the most popular and fastest growing blogging tools around.
You can help in four ways. All except one are very simple and take little or no time away from your busy life. It’s up to you to choose.
1. Donate Money
If you use WordPress, consider paying to keep WordPress going. Visit the WordPress Donation page for more information on how you can contribute financially to the ongoing success of WordPress.
Where does your money go? Good question. Money contributed to WordPress, either though gifts, donations, or partnerships, keeps the many WordPress project servers and hosts up and running, and supports WordPress-related projects where and when possible, as well as the occassional blogging conference and program. Plans are underway to create a WordPress-related foundation to fund the many developers and volunteer projects that helps bloggers inside and outside of WordPress, which may lead to some very exciting developments in the future. Most of the WordPress development efforts are done for free by hundreds of very active volunteers, but when possible, Matt Mullenweg and WordPress wants to help them keep going with funding.
The saying is that it takes a village, and the WordPress Community is a strong and viable group of determined volunteers working hard to change the face of blogging and the Internet, but someone still has to pay for the lights and servers. So your donations help keep the lights on.
2. Brag About WordPress
This is probably the easiest of the four ways you can help WordPress. Spread your love of WordPress around by bragging about it. If you are a fan of WordPress and use WordPress products, then tell others about it. Tell them how you use it, how it works, why you love it, and why you are a fan. The more people who know about this awesome free blogging tool, the more you help WordPress attract the fan base it needs to survive.
There are also banners and buttons you can post on your site to brag that you are a WordPress user. Wear a WordPress Button on your blog to show you care and support WordPress. Spread the love.
3. Install WordPress for a Friend
The WordPress famous 5 minute installation works. It is simple and easy to install WordPress, as you have probably already found out. If you are a fan of WordPress, you’ve already installed it one or more times, so you know that for the most part, installing WordPress is trouble free. So give the gift of WordPress love to others by installing WordPress for a friend.
If you know someone with a website, then talk to them about trying WordPress out. They don’t have to change their current website, just set up WordPress and play with it, and maybe incorporate a WordPress blog into their current site. It’s free and easy to use, so why not? They don’t have anything to lose but a little time.
If you know someone who is a writer and you want to introduce them to the fun of writing online and blogging, then help them get a website set up and install WordPress for them. Or register them for the WordPress.com free blog invitation so they can try it free without any strings to see if they like it.
The best gift of love is sharing what you love. This is a great way to introduce someone to WordPress and share the love.
4. Donate Time
WordPress doesn’t work in the vaccuum of the Internet. It takes a lot of people giving a lot of their time, energy, expertise, and passion to make WordPress work. If you have some familiarity and expertise with WordPress, consider sharing your love with others.
- Become a Support Forum Volunteer: To volunteer to answer questions and help users of all levels, you can join the WordPress Support Forum Volunteer Team. Begin by learning how to use the WordPress Support Forums, how to answer questions and help users on the forums, how to review and critique WordPress blogs, and sign up for the WordPress Support Forum Volunteer Team mailing list to begin your communication with other support volunteers. Introduce yourself and let them know what your WordPress skills are and then dive into the WordPress Support Forum to help answer user’s questions. It’s a nice way to give back and help those who may have helped you when you first began.
- Become a WordPress Codex Documentation Volunteer: WordPress is evolving fast and it takes a lot of work to keep up with the documentation and online manual for WordPress. If you are a writer, editor, or familiar with words and WordPress, then your help is needed on the WordPress Codex. Begin by reading about the WordPress Codex, how to contribute to WordPress and the Codex, and the WordPress Codex Guidelines for Submissions to understand how it all works. You will need to register to contribute to the Codex, and set up a User Page to help people communicate with you and help you with your efforts. And sign up for the WordPress Codex Documentation Mailing List to keep informed on what is going on and talk to other volunteers. Your written contributions and editing help WordPress users better use WordPress.
- Become a WordPress Beta Tester: This is for those with nerves of steel. If you are familiar with beta testing software, understand how it all works and are willing to help put WordPress to the test to become better through the different versions, then volunteer to become a WordPress Beta Tester. You can find more information on how to Contribute to WordPress as a beta tester and you will need to read about Submitting Bug Reports, learn how to use Bug Tracker – Reporting and Fixing WordPress Bugs and How to Use SVN – Subversion, and join the WordPress Testers Mailing List to report problems you find and talk to other beta testers.
- Help with WordPress Development: If you are serious about blogging software, plugins, PHP, MySQL, Apache, and know how to swing an axe through programming code, your help may be needed by the WordPress Development and Hackers volunteers. I seriously recommend that you do not plunge right into this group but hang around and observe for a while to learn about how it works, who does what, and what you can contribute. This is a group that has a long history of working together and they are the experts. Help is needed by hacking and thrashing code, but also in writing Developer Documentation for the WordPress Codex, and answering advanced questions on the WordPress Support Forum, so you may be asked to help in any of those areas as well as the one you are interested in. To get involved, sign up with the WordPress Hackers Mailing List and understand about Submitting WordPress Bug Reports, using Bug Tracker – Reporting and Fixing WordPress Bugs and How to Use SVN – Subversion. Your help is needed to help WordPress continue and improve.
However you want to help WordPress, your help is needed for its continued existence. All help is appreciated and welcome to the WordPress Community.