The people who choose WordPress today are different from those who chose WordPress five, ten, or fifteen years ago.
WordPress started as a publishing platform, catering to bloggers and competing against the likes of Movable Type and Blogger. Then it matured into a full-on CMS, catering to web developers while taking on Drupal, Joomla, and proprietary platforms.
Now, with the evolution of the new block-based editor (Gutenberg), WordPress is competing against website builders.
That’s not to say that WordPress is better than website builders. We have our own GoDaddy Website Builder, after all. But WordPress is an alternative, and depending on the circumstances, it may be a better fit for building a website.
With that shift, we’re also seeing more people who build websites as a service, even if they don’t dig into the code running under the hood. Which brings me to my main point.
You don’t need to write code to give back to WordPress.
If you’re building websites with WordPress, you can contribute to WordPress.
What you do need is a willingness to take time and give back to WordPress.
If you have that, you can contribute to WordPress without writing a single line of code.
So, how do you do it?
Share your experiences & spread the word. You don’t need to know everything about WordPress, or web development, to be helpful. You have more knowledge and experience than someone else, and the people you’ve learned from have learned from others.
Keep that person-to-person knowledge transfer going. Write a blog post, record a video, speak at a meetup — whatever works for you. Take what you know and pass it along.
Contribute to documentation. The Make WordPress Docs team are the wordsmiths of official WordPress documentation. Everything from developer guides to inline help text is within their purview. (Bonus points if you’re multilingual and able to localize documentation for other regions.)
Volunteer at a WordCamp. WordCamps are informal, volunteer-run community conferences dedicated to all things WordPress. Volunteering to help, speak, or organize a WordCamp is a great way to give back to the WordPress community. It’s also a great way to meet other WordPress users in your area.
Host an in-person WordPress meetup. WordCamps tend to be annual events, while local WordPress meetups happen much more frequently. The format and frequency of a meetup depends on the community. Some are like mini-WordCamps with presentations, while others are run as workshops or social gatherings.
Join conversations in Facebook Groups. Facebook Groups have become a go-to resource for people learning and using WordPress. There are groups dedicated to specific WordPress themes, plugins, experience levels, types of sites, and more.
Yes, you can be a WordPress contributor without writing any code.
Participate in the WordPress community and you’ll make valuable connections with other WordPress users and businesses. Help others by sharing your knowledge and you’ll find more people referring to you as an expert.
It’s a smart move for your business. You’re building your credibility, building your network, and building your brand. All while giving back and helping others. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Have a great month,
Content & Community @ GoDaddy Pro
What’s new? Headlines from June & July 2019
We skipped our community update last month, instead sharing our recap of WordCamp Europe 2019. Here are the big web industry headlines from the last couple of months:
A thoughtful essay about how we’ve transformed a simple, open technology platform (the World Wide Web) into an inaccessible mess of tangled JS dependencies, bloated pages, and steep learning curves. This essay pairs well with HTML is the web.
“We need to keep consistent with a couple of principles that will remind us of how to design great products. We should be told at least once a month about these small principles until we live and breathe good design.”
“When it comes to mobile loading speeds, your website can always be faster. And if you’ve implemented all of the caching, minification and other optimizations you possibly can, it’s time for the web designer to step in and get creative.”
“The sectioning elements in HTML5 are <nav>, <aside>, <article>, and <section>. <body> is also kind of a sectioning element since all content lying inside of it is part of the default document section. Here is a brief explanation of each sectioning element and how they are used.”
“It may seem new-ish to web design, being a fairly young media but design using mainly type as been around for ages. Ancient Rome and Greece were using type for signage and communication everywhere, it is only natural as web design matures that it tends to shift towards these established paradigms.”
“Google Fonts are easy to implement, but they can have a big impact on your page load times. Let’s explore how we can load them in the most optimal way.”
“In the interest of maintaining a healthy ecosystem and preparing for potential future open source releases, we’re retiring all code that handles unsupported and unpublished rules (such as noindex) on September 1, 2019.”
A deep dive on how small businesses are building & using websites. “This analysis is specifically focused on speed, google rank, and market share for the big website providers.” Check out Part 1 of the series.
“We surveyed 1,200 business owners to better understand the current state of the SEO services industry.” This report makes a compelling case for offering SEO services to your clients.
“Page speed isn’t only about total page load time; it’s also about what users experience in those 3 (or 15) seconds. It’s essential to consider how efficiently pages are rendering.”
“Margins in CSS seem simple enough at first glance. Applied to an element it forms a space around the element, pushing other elements away. However, there is more to a margin than you might think.”
“Carl Mungazi shares how he got over his fear and began using source code to improve his knowledge and skills. He also uses Redux to demonstrate how he approaches breaking down a library.”
From the GoDaddy Blog
“Productization is taking “delivery” and making it repeatable, scalable and standardized. It also means that you personally don’t deliver the whole process from start to finish.”
“In this article, we’re going to talk about why you should consider using page builders for client websites, with examples from Beaver Builder. Then we’ll list five ways that WordPress page builders can make your work much easier. Finally, we’ll discuss how the Beaver Builder plugin and GoDaddy can help.”
“We are going to take a peek into issues that arise when your client base begins to grow. We’ll look at how to streamline your client communication and website management, so you can improve your client relationships, and have more time to focus on your business.”
“It takes time to build a successful business, so manage your own expectations, and make a commitment to see it through to the end. Use these guidelines to stay on track as you get rolling.”
“In order to help you understand what goes into being a professional WordPress designer or developer, we did the research and found out if they are self employed or work for a company, how much time they spend on building sites and how much they make.”
“67% of web professionals say clients have asked about website security. GoDaddy Pro members can get free website security guidance and advice from Sucuri.”
“Our latest integration between GoDaddy Pro Sites and Amazon Lightsail gives Lightsail users free access to GoDaddy’s WordPress website management capabilities. This integration is a result of GoDaddy and Amazon working together, providing customers with an array of tools and products for building and managing a powerful online presence.”
“Here are five niche but highly sought-after skills that all web designers should add to their resume. All these skills are timeless, sought after by clients, and can make you more valuable to current and new clients.”
“We’ve put together 10 unusual and underused sources of web design leads for freelancers and agencies. Pick a few ideas, try them out, and soon you’ll have a thriving pipeline of potential prospects knocking at your door.”
“Every web development shop is unique and no two designers follow exactly the same process. However, identifying a standard procedure that you can step through over and over again has lots of benefits. The following checklist is a solid starting point.”
“Finding the right balance—where your clients are eager to pay what you ask, your business turns a healthy and sustainable profit, and you still have the kind of flexibility that freelancing affords—isn’t easy.”
“Between running your business, networking, managing projects and the million other things on your to-do list, marketing can fall down the list of priorities. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Marketing automation is here to help you do everything from keeping your social accounts updated to converting leads into sales for yourself or your clients.”
“Are you wondering what the top brands and companies are doing on their websites to make a statement? Perhaps you’re looking for new web design trends that will make your next project stand out. Or, maybe you’ve been using the same general design styles a bit too much lately and you need some fresh inspiration to help you break out of your slump and get the creative juices going.”
From our colleagues at ManageWP
“In this post, we’ll explore why these tools are so useful, talk about how they compare to the new Block Editor, and walk through how to choose a WordPress page builder plugin. Let’s get to it!”
“Blocklisting is a practice that flags websites with malicious content to prevent users from accidentally downloading malware. However, search engines and antivirus vendors could blocklist your site as a result of a cyber attack. This can have a negative impact on your site’s reputation and visibility.”
“Not only do you have to optimize your website’s content, but you also need to pay attention to what happens outside of it. If you don’t prioritize ‘off-page SEO’, your site’s rankings may suffer as a result.”
“When it comes to your website’s performance, there are many factors that work together to increase or decrease your site’s load times. Measuring and monitoring your performance metrics is fairly simple, but implementing improvements can be trickier.”
“Google Analytics is often cited as a useful tool for tracking and managing website data. However, if you don’t know how to put the information this platform provides to use, it may seem like a waste of time and effort.”
From our colleagues at Sucuri
“DDoS attacks are a growing threat for websites. But do you know how to mitigate them in their tracks? We’ll cover some essential fundamentals on stopping a DDoS attack and preventing them from happening in the future.”
“Most hacks and cyber attacks happen because of poor security practices. The first step you can take to improve your online security is knowing exactly what’s installed on your website. Having a checklist can help you stay on top of website security.”
“If you are a business that has dealt with any type of website attack, your participation in this six-minute survey will help us improve our services and support website owners like yourself.”
“WordPress activity logs can be helpful when troubleshooting or trying to identify a hack. In this article, you’ll learn about the seven things you should monitor in your WordPress logs.”
“Nowadays, DDoS is a pretty recognizable term. Though many webmasters don’t know exactly what a DDoS attack is—its method is very subtle to identify—they’re pretty sure it’s a bad thing. And that’s a correct assumption. In this article, we will focus on how to know if your website is under attack and how to protect it from it.”
P.S. Check these out…
Connect with other business owners, ask for help, share your expertise, jump into conversations, and find potential clients or business referrals. Alignable is a social network catering to local small businesses at a city level.
Charity hackathons powered by WordPress. Get together with other WordPress users and developers in your area to build websites for nonprofit organizations.
Improve your design chops through practice. Briefbox offers free creative briefs, curated series, mentorship, and other educational resources.
A massive library of inspirational Google Font and color palette combinations with ready-to-go CSS. Pairs nicely with Really Good Emails, a curated gallery of email design inspiration.
Free templates for a variety of use cases (design, strategy, planning) and platforms (Evernote, Trello, Airtable).
That’s it for this update! Have a great month. – Andy