There is no doubt that WordPress is a wonderful piece of software. It came a long way from its humble origins as a simple blogging platform. Nowadays, it powers 38% of all websites built with a Content Management System. It is used not only for personal blogs but for business websites—both big and small—ecommerce websites, news websites, and much more.
And thanks to the vast collection of themes and plugins, it allows anyone to create a beautiful and functional website without having to delve deep into the code.
Of course, the fact that WordPress is free and open source is yet another thing that makes WordPress so great. Anyone can download and use WordPress without having to pay for a license fee. And because it’s open source, anyone can contribute to WordPress in many ways to make it even greater. From translators to developers to everyday users who proudly promote WordPress make it possible for WordPress to continually grow.
But the best thing about WordPress is its community. In many ways, without the huge and very generous community behind it, WordPress wouldn’t be what it is today.
5 best things about being part of the WordPress community
WordCamps are held every year and they are based on local meetups and events sponsored by local WordPress communities. They usually include multiple talks and session on how to use WordPress more effectively, beginning plugin and theme development, advanced techniques, security, and much more. There is no special requirement to attend any WordCamp, just a strong love for WordPress and a desire to learn more.
They are attended by people ranging from blogging newbies to professional WordPress developers and consultants, who want to spread their knowledge about WordPress and participate in various programming activities, live demos, Q&A, workshops, and more. As much as it is an educational and learning experience, it’s also about making connections, creating collaborations, launching new projects using WordPress, and most importantly, giving back to the community.
2. Theme and plugin marketplaces
We all know creating a custom WordPress website is the best way to go when you want a professional design representing your business. But for a lot of small business bloggers and personal bloggers, a custom-made website is not always feasible. This is where marketplaces like ThemeForest step in.
ThemeForest is one of the largest marketplaces for premium WordPress themes that bridge the gap between having a professional website without completely draining your bank account. You can buy a beautifully designed theme for as little as $50 which includes updates and support from the theme author.
The best part about them is that they are easy to install and include plenty of documentation that makes it possible to setup your website even if you are a complete novice. And when you’re a small business owner in the beginning stages of your business, saving money counts.
The same goes for plugins. There are many plugin authors who offer premium plugins for WordPress which add even more functionality to a WordPress based website. From social sharing plugins like Shareaholic and Social Warfare to e-commerce solutions like WooCommerce and CodeCanyon where you can find a variety of WordPress plugins to fulfill almost every need.
3. Online communities
When something becomes popular, almost inevitably a community forms around it. The same goes for WordPress. Aside from the marketplaces mentioned above, there are plenty of online communities involving Facebook and Google+ groups, which make the WordPress community a vibrant one.
You can join these groups to discuss the latest in WordPress development and get help with optimizing your website for search engines, making your website load faster, and get help with specific themes.
And let’s not forget the official WordPress forums where you can find answers to almost every question and problem related to WordPress.
4. WordPress developers
Considering WordPress is open source, there are many developers and volunteers who actively contribute to it on a daily basis.
Not only do they contribute to WordPress core, improving the code, fixing bugs, and developing new features, many of them own their own businesses centered around WordPress.
Some of them provide custom WordPress development services which range from creating one-of-a-kind WordPress websites to coding custom plugins which add very specific functionality to websites.
Some, like The WP Butler, specialize in the more technical aspects of maintaining websites, offering website management services such as backups, updates, and troubleshooting.
Some have created apps and plugins that help you keep your website secure and make it easy to manage multiple sites by allowing people to use a single unified dashboard or host WordPress only websites. And many participate in the support forums, offering answers to most common problems and fixes for, not only for their free plugins, but for other issues as well.
5. WordPress blogs & publications
Chances are, if you’re using WordPress you have, at some point, turned to the Internet for help. Whether it’s learning how to modify a particular file or how to customize a part of your theme, you were probably overwhelmed with the number of links that showed up as the result.
The fact is there are numerous blogs about WordPress which cover every topic imaginable.
You can even find blogs that deliver useful plugin reviews and theme roundups, which make it easier to find the perfect theme for your website and help you decide whether or not you should use a specific plugin.
And if you have no idea where to start, there’s a newsletter that curates the best content about WordPress from various blogs and delivers it to you once a week.
You can be a part of WordPress community, too
The WordPress community is indeed a lively one. The best part about it? You can easily get involved if you want to mingle with like-minded folks who share your love of all things WordPress and if you want to give back to the community yourself.
Whether it’s by starting your own blog about WordPress, contributing to the development of WordPress, donating, organizing a WordCamp, or translating WordPress into your own language, there are plenty of ways you can get involved and become a part of the WordPress family.
We’re a welcoming lot, we promise.