How to Use the WordPress Community to Improve Your Website
Psst… the WordPress community is AWESOME.
We mean it. It’s truly awesome. As if WordPress didn’t have enough benefits, we’re here to clue you in to the fact that the robust community surrounding WordPress is a powerful contributing force to its ongoing success story.
Open Source: Why the WordPress Community is Thriving
Launched in 2003, WordPress was an early adopter of open source software. Open source means that the source code is publicly available for users to modify and share as they wish. (Note: Other popular examples of open source include: Mozilla, Magento, Drupal, plus a gazillion others).
As people learn, share, and grow, the accessibility of open source lends itself to community-building.
WordPress powers 28.4% of the content management system (CMS) share of the web and, in 2017, it remains the fastest growing. And lucky for you, the community devoted to WordPress also continues to grow by leaps and bounds.
You may wonder why the WordPress community has grown so much.
There are countless reasons involving economic and technological trends. But at its core, the WordPress community is successful because it represents a meaningful way for people to connect, network, and build an audience.
So, if you’re not already on the WordPress train, it’s a good idea for you to hop along for the ride, and learn how you can benefit from this great public resource.
5 Ways to Tap Into the WordPress Community
Let’s explore some of the key ways to not only tap into, but also contribute to, this large group of innovative entrepreneurial-types.
Your goal: get tips, discover hacks, learn trends–ultimately, you want to have a best-in-class website and knowing how to tap into the WordPress community is tops as far as making the most of your WordPress experience.
1. Explore the Vast WordPress Community and Information Resources
You certainly can’t contribute, or even borrow much, if you don’t know what kind of info exists. But there’s no need to feel overwhelmed. Simply start with what you know.
Here’s what we recommend:
- Visit your WordPress theme developer’s blog or forum.
You chose your theme for a reason, hopefully at least in part because you liked it. And if that’s the case, it’s worth taking a gander at WordPress-related information your developer is sharing.
Look for any tips on coding, widgets, or answers to questions you might have. Chances are, other users have had similar challenges that have likely been addressed on your developer’s website.
- Read WordPress for Beginner Articles
The WPBeginner blog is a powerful resource for WordPress tutorials and walkthroughs informed by WordPress community members. Get down with the WordPress lingo by visiting the WPBeginner dictionary which clues its visitors into WordPress-related acronyms and terms — know what a slug is?
- Get Real, Live WordPress Support
Don’t want to spend time doing your own research, or just want to have an in depth WordPress conversation? The team at Mojo Marketplace offers WP Live where you get to have a WordPress expert at your side. These tech nerds will help you build, grow, and maintain your site at any stage of its development.
2. Subscribe to WordPress blogs, RSS feeds & YouTube accounts.
Once you have a sense of the kind of WordPress community material that exists, you can start reading the stuff that applies most to you. For example, if you’re a developer you’ll want more developer-focused content that will keep you up to date on best practices.
But if you’re just starting out, you’ll want useful insights and guides to building, growing, and maintaining your website.
Here are a few ways to curate a feed of content that will keep you on the up and up.
- Find your medium.
Find out what your favorite WordPress community resources are.
There are plenty of daily emails, forums, social media accounts, videos, and podcasts that can give you valuable information. Knowing what you prefer can focus your search and save you time.
And it’s totally okay if it’s a few of these methods combined or if your preference switches. Just get a basic idea of what may work so you can stay up to date on what matters most to you.
- Subscribe, no really, do it!
If you want to stay on the cutting edge, or receive inspiration frequently, it’s a good idea to subscribe to great blogs, podcasts, and email lists.
Don’t be shy! Most WordPress blogs out there are designed to help you, so take advantage of it!
Also consider bookmarking your favorite WordPress resource websites in your browser. Keep your go-to support sites available for quick reference so you know where to go if you’re in a jam or just want to brush up on some WordPress thought-leadership.
Or if you’re browsing, and you find something interesting, bookmark it. It’s always so frustrating when you can’t find that super helpful forum post three weeks later.
3. Contribute to the WordPress Community. (Yes, you!)
Of course, you’re not required to contribute anything to the WordPress community. But if you find it useful, it’s only fair to pay it forward, and it can help you create connections that can be beneficial. If you’re growing a business, it may be useful to think of sharing on WordPress forums as a free marketing plug.
Look at the astronomical number of posts in this WordPress.org support forum. Online communities as engaged as this are not easy to come by.
No matter your reason for participating, there’s no need to make it complicated.
Keep it simple: ask questions, seek advice, and provide answers when you can.
Vote up or “like” forum Q&As that are helpful to you. This verifies strong answers/developers/themes that help give credibility to quality WordPress support sites, blogs, and forums. And leave a comment or even just a “thanks!” when you have a chance.
Because we’re in this together.
4. Share Your Own WordPress knowledge.
Sharing is caring, and it’s a vital part of any successful community. Here are a few ways you can share your WordPress knowledge with and for the WordPress community:
- Consider starting your own WP blog.
Share your personal WordPress insights by creating your own blog. Show others how you have found WordPress success. Pass on what you’ve learned and teach others to make the most out of their WordPress community experience.
In fact, if you’re blogging about WordPress, and some of your readers come to MOJO for themes, support, or services, you can earn a commission, too!
- Tell your story.
Present examples, images, or case studies demonstrating the ways in which the community continues to help you improve your site.
Using content to tell your story can help convert sales, but that’s not the only reason to explore this option.
By adding significant value to others’ workflow, productivity, or business, you’re helping out while getting more eyeballs on your site, product, and service.
- Be a WordPress social media hero.
Use social media networks to share more about your story and to learn from others.
A quick Twitter search for popular #WordPress hashtags like #ChatWP will reveal a host of posts about what’s happening in the world of WordPress today.
There are also a variety of more professional WordPress LinkedIn groups to join and learn from. With upwards of 75,000 members, the big one of course is WordPress. But there are also specific groups for WordPress designers and developers.
In addition, MOJO offers a Facebook group where you’re free to ask any questions and get advice on things like choosing the right WordPress theme.
5. Attend events, network, share your brand.
If you can believe it, the WordPress community even adheres to live, in-person events.
More than people behind a screen, this community knows how to network, build, and innovate.
- Attend a WordPress Meetup group.
Most major cities have WordPress-dedicated Meetup groups. The topics will vary, but if you want a quick way to hang out with a group of like-minded, entrepreneurial types, this is a good bet.
- Go to a WordCamp conference.
WordCamp is kind of a big deal. It’s a conference “dedicated to all things WordPress.”
WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg launched the first WordCamp in San Francisco in 2006. It has since taken on a life of its own with local community-based organizers taking charge.
Check the upcoming global schedule.
As you can tell, the WordPress community is well-established and continues to grow. If you’re using WordPress in any capacity, the benefits of involving yourself with this community can only work to give you tools and ideas to improve your website. We suggest working alongside the WordPress community to get the tips you need (and maybe even share a few back) to learn and grow your own brand.