Sometime ago, I read a disturbing post called Is WordPress a Thankless Community?. The point is that we benefit a lot from free software but don’t contribute back in any way. This is unfortunately true.
So, how can we contribute back to WordPress community?
1. Say Thanks to WordPress contributors
Do remember to say THANKS Whenever some one makes a nice WP theme, plugin, tutorial blog post or helps in support forum. You can comment in their blog, respond in the forum, rate their themes and plugins well. Every human will be happy for this.
2. Link to WordPress experts
Link to useful WP resources. This will help spread the word and establish authority for the resources. Being recognised as an expert can help the developers in many ways. For example, some one can hire them for a special WordPress project.
3. Donate to WordPress developers
Making, maintaining and supporting a theme / plugin and providing it for free in GPL needs a lot of effort and is worth hundreds of US dollars. But, sadly many developers get only a pittance as donation. Donate to authors who provide free GPL themes and plugins. Even a 1 US dollar donation is symbolic and good. After reading the eye-opening post above, I donated 5 US dollars each for four of my favourite plugin authors. I even went on to donate for other free knowledge resources like Wikipedia. I plan to donate more as my freelancing career progresses.
4. Participate in WordPress development
* Help beta test WordPress, themes and plugins.
* Localize WordPress in your local language.
* Volunteer in the WP support forums
* Organize WP camps
* Spread WordPress use. Use WordPress as CMS and demonstrate its flexibility and capability. WordPress being identified as CMS is important for further adoption.
* Share the WP tips and tricks you know.
* Help improve the WP documentation.
This approach not only helps WordPress. But also any other free software / free knowledge project. Do you know more ways to contribute? Please let me know in the comments.