The list of web resources for WordPress designers and developers is practically endless. Countless blogs, video tutorials and other tools are right there at your fingertips, whether you are just starting to dive into this space or you are a seasoned pro. There are also online communities where you can glean a wealth of knowledge.
While the former examples are all great ways to expand your knowledge, they are mostly one-way communication, devoid of personal interactions and the learning that happens when we listen to the experiences of others. This is precisely the gap filled by online communities, places where everyone can share their insights and expand their knowledge base by asking and answering questions.
Where do designers and developers find online communities for WordPress? To be honest, they are everywhere — and each one has its own flavor. If you take a little time to explore your options and ask others for suggestions, you will likely find that sweet spot, the space that’s the best fit for your needs and interests.
This is one of the more popular online communities where you will find discussions on just about any aspect of WordPress development or design. But it can also be a rabbit hole, so pick and choose wisely. And be careful. Some “communities” tend to be nothing more than a place to promote services and content, with very little helpful interaction.
With more than 30,000 members and a focus on the more expanded features and functionality of WordPress, it’s a great place for developers to share ideas and knowledge. On the other end of the spectrum, there are also several groups for beginners.
When it comes to design, you will find niche sites around specific WordPress plugins, such as the WooCommerce Helpers or the Beaver Builders group, that focus on development and design topics specifically around those two plugins.
You may have heard of Slack, a cloud-based set of tools and services for collaboration. There are tons of online communities there to answer questions and problem solve.
For example, a Slack group may have a separate channel for tech questions, updates, marketing, biz tools, and other fields of interest.
To give you a sense of what you might find there, I belong to a Genesis Slack group that focuses on the Genesis framework. It has more than two dozen channels broken into more focused subject areas. This helps you find the right audience of colleagues and users. Another example is the Post Status Slack channel. As a membership site for WordPress professionals, Post Status has a very active Slack group.
In any case, you will need to join the online communities, and sometimes even request an invitation. I have found Slack groups to have some of the most active conversations around all aspects of WordPress.
WordPress itself has several ways for web developers and designers to get involved with their huge community. You will learn a lot while being part of some important discussions. Make WordPress touches on many different parts of WordPress. You can join core, design, mobile documentation and many other sub-communities.
There is no better way to get into the guts of WordPress than becoming part of Make WordPress and adding your voice.
You can also take advantage of the forums, which are online communities that pose diverse questions and solutions. Being part of both sides of a forum will help you grow your skills in WordPress no matter what level you are at.
Like Facebook, LinkedIn has several groups for you, depending on your needs. An added benefit: if you are seeking employment, as you become more known in the groups, you will stand out more as the expert and someone worth looking at to hire.
A couple of groups to dive into are the WordPress Developers and WordPress Web Designers. Each gives a description of what they are looking for in members. For example, the designer group is focused on designers who do WordPress sites, not just blogs, and who are proficient at the intermediate-to-advanced skill level.
Reddit — a social news aggregator, web content rating and discussion site — has two online communities for you to explore: WordPress and ProWordPress. The latter is more focused on advanced users and gives developers a platform to share their news and ideas. Unlike the regular WordPress group, it is more centered around talking code.
As I mentioned earlier, there are a ton of blogs out there. Often we think of them more as a resource than a community, but they can be great places to hang out. For instance, designers and developers will find lots of useful stuff on the WPTavern blog.
This blog keeps up on all the WordPress news and frequently the comments become a huge part of the post, with in-depth discussions and insights. Developers and designers who want to keep their finger on the pulse of WordPress would be wise to bookmark this site.
Explore online communities for WordPress
I could have given you a long list of dozens of online communities that are out there and available to you. But then you would have to sort through them to find the ones that are right. Although we have just touched the tip of the iceberg, these examples will get you started by giving you an idea of some of the platforms and what they offer.
One final thing to keep in mind: As a developer or a designer, you may join communities where there are some beginners. Don’t discount them. It’s always good to hear what new users say so try to stay involved in those conversations.
If you are a seasoned developer or designer, a beginner can give you great insights into the needs and challenges out there. Besides, being generous with your advice can pay off in unexpected ways.
Now go out there and have fun.