Few open source projects have had the same impact on the Internet that WordPress has. For those with a story to tell, WordPress has made it trivially easy to share it with the world. Developers love it for the ease in which it can be customized and expanded with plugins. Web hosts love it because WordPress scales, and is free of charge.
But what about absolute blogging beginners? Regardless of whether you’re approaching WordPress from the perspective of a novice developer looking to make a bit of extra cash, or someone getting into web publishing for the first time, WordPress is the platform for you.
Perhaps most compelling reason is the WordPress community. Put quite simply, this is huge. They’re notoriously helpful and supportive, and ridiculously active. The stuff that gets produced by this band of WordPress aficionados is staggering.
There are a huge number of WordPress communities online. Some of these are based around a geographic locale, but others are aimed at a global audience. One of these is Advanced WordPress, which boasts 4074 Facebook fans and a vibrant Meetup community.
It’s a great place for people to ask questions. Although, it should go without saying that there are rules you must obey after joining.
Rule 1 of AWP Club: You don’t talk about AWP Club lol. No just kidding we want you to talk all you want about it and tell all your Advanced friends to join.
They’re a light-hearted bunch, but they seem ready to help, and some pretty interesting conversations seem to be happening on their homepage.
I’ve written about my fondness for Reddit in the past. There are a huge number of individual communities on Reddit (called subreddits) covering a huge amount of topics, from weight loss to video games.
So, it makes sense that WordPress has a large, active Subreddit. Over 15,000 WordPress aficionados have subscribed to /r/wordpress, and regularly share tips on hosting, maintenance, development and theme design. If you’ve got a problem that’s been bugging you, here’s a great place to ask for help. And if you’ve done something cool and want to show it off, here’s the place to do that.
There’s also a smaller subreddit (/r/wordpressplugins) that’s dedicated exclusively to the development of WordPress plugins. Although, this is nowhere near as active as the main /r/wordpress subreddit.
The WordPress Codex
Okay, I’m cheating here. The WordPress Codex isn’t a community. It is, however, a community driven project.
But what is it? Great question. The WordPress Codex is the most authoritative tome on the open-source blogging platform, and is developed by contributors around the world. It’s kept up to date, and is thorough and accurate. It’s an amazing example of community-generated documentation.
Python has PyCon. Ruby has RubyConf. And WordPress has WordCamp. These reasonably priced conferences are brilliant opportunities for you to meet other WordPress aficionados, to Network and to develop your understanding of this powerful blogging platform. And there’s probably one going in your city.
Can’t make it? No worries. Wordcamp videos can be found on Youtube and Vimeo.
There might also be some community events going on in your city too. I regularly go to SWIG (the Scouse WordPress Interest Group). This monthly meetup has some pretty amazing talks and is ran by Interconnect/IT; a local WordPress consultancy firm.
Even though I’m not a WordPress developer by trade, I’ve gotten a lot out of attending them, and have made some rather valuable connections in the process.
The WordPress community almost seems designed to be welcoming for beginners. And whilst some communities have achieved a degree of notoriety for drama and infighting, the WordPress community seems to be a rather placid bunch of people, cooperating for a common good.
But what do you think? Do drop me a comment below and let me know.