I remember last year, I’ve just arrived Japan and in a week’s time I found myself in a WordCamp.
WordCamp Kansai 2014 was my first tech event in Japan and the first WordCamp I’ve ever been to.

A year later, I found myself again in WordCamp Kansai 2015, and this time I talked about “Why WordPress Contributions Drive us to the Road of Innovation.” This was inspired by my last month’s WordCamp Brisbane talk.

 

There are many ways to contribute to WordPress even you’re not a developer. You can contribute to WordPress through speaking, organizing WordPress-related events and even helping build communities.

Five for the future was mentioned in WCSF14 and this is by allotting at least 5% of your company’s resources to WordPress.

For something to continue to be successful 20+ years from now, there must be a strong community of contributors behind it. And contributing extends the life of WordPress.

WordPress Contributions & their Impact to Innovation 

Core

When you contribute to the core of WordPress, not only that you help speed up the development process, but you also help make WordPress even better.

 

Plugin

If you’re looking for an inspiration to your first or next plugin, you can learn from the best examples:

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When you create plugins, you gain technical trust from the community, current and potential clients.

You learn new techniques and learning is always positive. When you learn, you and your business grow.

 

Themes 

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Another major WordPress contribution is creating themes for WordPress and related to WordPress. Here are some examples where you can contribute:

  • _s – WordPress starter theme
  • IEMOTO – is a WordPress starter theme based on _s that’s integrated with grunt-init, gulp and SaaS. This is helpful for our team since our work is about 99% WordPress, and IEMOTO because it automates theme development process, which helps us with our development speed.

You get experience and skills when you create and/or contribute to themes. It can even inspire you to make a new kind of theme using JSON REST API like Media Assembly Kit, which is a web media development framework.

 

WordCamp & Local Community 

WordCamps always open you to opportunities. An opportunity to grow professionally, an opportunity to connect with other professionals and an opportunity to make new friends.

Besides speaking, other community contributions are volunteering in local activities, sponsoring WordCamps, doing hands-on trainings and mentoring new comers.

You can also help plan WordCamps and local meet-ups like these ones in Japan:

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When you speak, you teach and inspire others. You help increase the number of WordPress users and even help increase your brand awareness.

You give life to new ideas for yourself and for others resulting to innovation and creativity.

 

Books & Tutorials 

                                  

Authoring WordPress-related books and making tutorials are very important contributions to WordPress as well.

This helps build your reputation and helps you grow professionally. You help grow your network and your connections which are both significant to any business.

 

Localization & Globalization 

The WordPress statistics in last year’s WCSF14, showed that 2014 was the first time that the number of non-English downloads were higher than English downloads.

This is another area where you can contribute. By helping translate Codex, documentation, plugins, etc. you help increase the number of WordPress users.

Most importantly, when you translate WordPress into languages, you help the world better understand each other and allows anyone to reach global clients and break the language barrier.

 

Development Environment & Hosting 

Building a creating development environment shows your skills and you help others discover a different side of WordPress development. This helps build your reputation to your profession and to the community.

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This is VCCW, a Vagrant-based WordPress development environment for sites, plugins and themes.

Another contribution is creating a hosting environment for WordPress.

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AMIMOTO is a WordPress hosting that’s a fusion of AWS, Nginx reverse proxy and HHVM. How this helps us in our business is that we’re able to use WordPress on AWS more easily.  It has a big impact to our business since WordPress on AWS is our business model. This also helps other businesses on the same model as ours.

Summary 

  • Contribute. Open the source code and share it to the world. Code that is open to the public benefits everyone. Show your community spirit and contribute.
  • Community. Businesses related to WordPress should not forget to listen and be sensitive to the needs of the community, because our strong community here in Japan is our strong point and our strong community is the foundation of WordPress.
  • Communication. Communication is oxygen. I’m only 1 year old in our community and in such short time I learned that in this business of WordPress and Open Source, it’s not about the money, but it’s about the people and the friends you make.
  • Culture. When you contribute to WordPress locally and internationally, you learn about the culture. And culture is important on how new innovations come to life.

Each of us has his or her own strengths, whether it’s developing plugins, themes, coding, translating, speaking, organizing WordCamps and local meetups.

There are many ways to contribute. Find your strong suit and start from there.
Wear your WordPress badges and be proud of them because when it comes to WordPress, there is no such thing as a small contribution.

Most know me as the writer and evangelist of DigitalCube… but that’s only on my business card. In my heart, I am a WordPress Contributor.