50 Things to Do with WordPress Before You Die

50 Things to Do with WordPress Before You Die

Whether you work with WordPress full-time or just as a hobby, one thing’s for sure – you’re reading this because WordPress means something to you.

Now, as much as WordPress is mostly work for many of us, I am of the firm belief that it shouldn’t be just about work. No, there’s definitely some elements of fun you can attach to this CMS. So I brainstormed the list below of 50 things to do with WordPress before you die.

Some things are fun, some are work, some are lofty goals to set yourself, and other are just good old fashioned nice things you can do for the WordPress community.

Yes, below you’ll find your WordPress bucket list. And not just your bucket list, mine too – I’ve marked the ones I’ve completed myself, though I still have a ways to go.

So scroll through, count how many you’ve achieved, and share your score out of 50 in the comments below.

Note: I’d love to come up with another 50 things for a full list of 100 things to do with WordPress before you die. So if you have any suggestions, share them too!

Make Money with WordPress

#1. Build a website

OK, so maybe this is very freaking obvious, but hey, we gotta start somewhere do we not? WordPress is the most popular CMS on the planet, powering more than 27% of websites on the internet. If you haven’t joined the club, take the plunge and do it now! (To Do / Done)

#2. Start a Blog

Whatever you do, you probably are (or at least should be) an expert in your area. And what better way than making a better name for yourself that starting a blog where you share your knowledge? Not only will you be sharing your expertise, you are likely to be able to better market yourself and your services. (To Do / Done)

#3. Post Every Day for One Year to Your Blog

So yeah, starting a blog is a great first step. Yet thousands of blogs fall flat because people simply don’t post enough content. If you want your blog to grow, you need to post regular, informative content. Commit yourself to posting once a day for a whole year and you will set yourself up to constantly focus on producing content. Not ready for such a commitment? Start easy – post once a week. But do commit yourself and keep a regular schedule- come rain or shine. No excuses. Share your expertise and eventually it will become something you’ll look forward to doing. (To Do / Done)

#4. Start an Online Shop

There are many reasons why you would want to start a website, but surely one of the most popular reasons is to do business online. Heck, ecommerce is the new economy, so why not jump on the bandwagon and set up your own online shop powered by WordPress? You’ve got plenty of tools to help you get started, with one of the most popular being WooCommerce. Go on, sell something! Myself… I’m trying to merge all my passions into one: drones, WordPress, blogging, SEO, security… (To Do / Done / Work in Progress)

#5. Make Your First $1000 Online

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
– Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher

If you’re looking to start an online business, this is your first and easiest milestone – your first step. Set $100 as your target and once you’ve achieved that, multiply it by 10 it. Aim for $10,000. Then multiply it again… and again… you get the drift. (To Do / Done)

#6. Build a Website That Gets a 1000 Visitors a Month/Week/Day

 Just like making your first $1000 online, aim to create a website that grows in both revenue and traffic. So set yourself a SMART target for this year and work towards it. (To Do / Done)

Website with 1000 visits a day.
Website with 1000 visits a day.

#7. Setup a Portfolio Site

Hey, we’re in the digital age, so just like everything in your life, your CV should be online. Set up your own site, using your name or the brand that best represents you and get your portfolio site up and running. Make sure you make it an excellent showcase of your skillset. Use one of our great themes here at WPMU DEV, such as Luke + Sara, an excellent theme for setting up a portfolio site. (To Do / Done)

#8. Create a Membership Site

Once you’ve created enough of a following and traffic, it’s time to make some serious passive income. The absolute greatest way to do that today is to create a paid membership site that provides value in the form of sharing / teaching your own expertise. The premium content should only be accessed via a membership site. Setting this up is, of course, no easy task, yet once you’re done, the return you get on it should yield a good passive income for quite a long time. (To Do / Done)

#9. Build an Online Course

A very particular kind of membership site, and one that has become popular in recent years. Using videos you can create an online course, charging on a per user basis. I’ve attended online courses myself where I’ve paid more than a $1000, so if you’ve got great value to offer your visitors, this could be your ticket to an awesome income stream. (To Do / Done)

#10. Build a Community Website

You want to know the easiest way to build a regular stream of great traffic to your website? Build a passionate and engaged online community. Whilst it may not be the next Facebook, a community can easily be built off of a WordPress site using bbPress, and then it’s up to you to reap the benefits from that community. (To Do / Done)

#11. Build a 1000 Subscriber Email List

You might have read somewhere online that email is dead. Or you might belong to the school of thought that email is still one of the most successful ways to convert visitors to paying customers. I belong to the latter and believe you should too. Start building your email list today. Again, set a target, start with 10. Then a 100, then a 1000 and keep building. (Done)

#12. Integrate Your Physical Store with Your WordPress Store

Your online presence should be an extension of your physical presence. And there are plenty of ways to integrate, besides setting up a shop. Anything from taking appointments online via your site, to showing a Google Map of your presence, make sure your site is an extension of your brick and mortar shop. (To Do / Done)

#13. Become a WordPress Expert

Using and designing WordPress websites is a nice way to make a living. Becoming a WordPress expert, particularly if you niche into something specific such as security, SEO, plugins, themes, the REST API or whatever gets your juices flowing, there’s plenty of WordPress niches you can (and should) become an expert in. You can make a name for yourself much faster by becoming an authority in a specific niche. (To Do / Done / Work in Progress)

#14. Provide WordPress-Based Services

Riding on the success of WordPress is a great way of setting up or building a business. Whether you do that via coding, design, SEO, security, digital marketing, content copywriting, or whatever else niche you want to focus on, you can and should use your WordPress expertise as a way to boost confidence and increase business coming your way. (To Do / Done)

#15. Rank a Non-Branded Keyword #1 on Google

One of the ultimate aims of your website should be to drive traffic (and business) to your site. And surely the best way to drive traffic to your site is by getting Google to love your site and rank it in the top positions for keywords related to your business. Whilst this is by no means an easy task, especially for high volume, high competition keywords, you should really focus on doing this, especially for your money keywords. (To Do / Done)

Woohoo!
Woohoo!

Contribute to the WordPress Community

Whilst there are plenty of ways to make money with WordPress, it is in its essence an open-source community, which is supported by hundreds of individuals with no direct remuneration related to WordPress. The community is only able to move forward if people actually give back to the WordPress project and the community around it.

Have you contributed yet? What are you waiting for!

#16. Test a BETA Version of WordPress and Report a Bug

A lot of work goes into each and every release of WordPress, whether it’s a major or minor version. That means that whilst much of the work is meant to introduce new features and fix bugs, inevitably new bugs will creep in. Yet, when you install a new version of WordPress, it’s mostly bug-free. This is thanks to the hundreds (if not thousands of people) who install BETA versions and make sure everything is working fine. As people install BETA versions, bugs are discovered, reported, fixed and the released version will be better overall. Installing a BETA version is dead easy, yet it is a very important way of contributing to the community. You don’t need to be a developer or a hard-core programmer. If you know how to install WordPress, you’re good to go. (To Do / Done)

#17. Answer a Question on the WordPress Support Forums

There are literally hundreds of questions posted to the WordPress support forums each and every day. Keeping up with this volume of posts requires hundreds of hours of work by volunteers who generously give up their time. If you’ve got some experience with WordPress, helping others out who have less experience than you is a valid way of contributing to the WordPress community. (To Do / Done)

#18. Review a WordPress Theme

If you’ve been around the WordPress community, you’ll know that WordPress themes are a dime a dozen. With so many WordPress themes to go around, you’re going to have a tough time going through each and every one of them yourself. People in the same position as you have the same problem. So whilst checking out a theme, why not write a review about it? You’ll be giving back to the community and saving some time for the next person looking at this specific them. (To Do / Done)

#19. Develop a WordPress Theme

Let’s go back on my very last sentence. Yes, WordPress themes are a dime a dozen but they’re in such high demand that they keep getting churned out non-stop. So why not jump on the bandwagon and develop one yourself? Three reasons: one, you’ll be giving back to the community; two, you’ll be able to get some traffic from it; and three, build a great one and it will easily become a nice money earner. (To Do / Done / Work in Progress)

#20. Create a WordPress Plugin

If there’s anything more prolific than WordPress themes, it must be WordPress plugins. At the time of writing this post, the WordPress plugin directory contained about 45,000 of them. Yes, you read that right. Whilst creating a theme requires a designer and a coder, a WordPress plugin requires a much lower barrier to entry – the ability to (barely) code in PHP (though, obviously, being a reasonably good coder is a plus!). Yet sometimes we still feel there is a lack of choice for specific functions. When you come across a plugin that you think could work better (full screen menu anyone?), roll up your sleeves and fix it yourself by writing your own plugin. Remember, plugins in the official WordPress directory are open source, so you’ve got a great starting point! (To Do / Done)

I wouldn't call myself a coder, but I've created my own plugin, which you can download from WordPress.org
I wouldn’t call myself a coder, but I’ve created my own plugin, which you can download from WordPress.org

#21. Contribute a Line of Code to WordPress Core

So quite a few of you out there are hardcore WordPress developers. While most of you focus on your own job or business, it’s developers just like you with similar skillsets who are that are writing new code, fixing bugs, closing security holes and otherwise contributing to the WordPress core. If you’ve got the WordPress expertise, why not contribute to the core WordPress code. (To Do / Done)

#22. Contribute to WordPress Codex or Documentation

Whilst there are plenty of coders out there, not all of us are quite as talented. Yet, there are still plenty of ways to contribute to WordPress. One of the easier ways to contribute to the community – something that can make a real difference – is contributing to the WordPress codex. Whilst there might be plenty of people lining up to code, documentation is not viewed quite as prestigiously, yet it’s necessary nonetheless. (To Do / Done)

#23. Get Published on a Major Blog

Once you’ve established experience and knowledge doing most of the above, it’s time to share your knowledge. And what better way to get yourself published than on an influential WordPress blog. At WPMU DEV we’re always looking for talented, knowledgeable (and fun writers), so Managing Editor Raelene Morey would be happy to hear from you (Ed – Get in touch if you’ve got the chops to match the likes of David Attard, Rachel McCollin, Jenni McKinnon, Jon Penland and Daniel Pataki). If not on WPMU DEV, there are plenty of influential and great blogs out there: WPTavern, CodeinWP, WPLift, WPNewsify and many more. (To Do / Done)

#24. Visit a WordCamp

Whilst spending most of your hours working with WordPress is a good thing and an excellent way to become a WordPress expert, interacting with people who do the same thing is going to really help you accelerate the process. WordCamps are conferences that focus on everything WordPress. While some of these get pretty large (WordCamp US and WordCamp Europe, in particular) because they’ve built a reputation over several years, many of these events are local, informal, community-organized events where you get to share your successes and difficulties with like-minded people (who have probably done a bunch of things on this list, too!). (To Do / Done)

WPMU DEV CTO Aaron Edwards at WordCamp Austin in 2014, obviously having the time of his life!
WPMU DEV CTO Aaron Edwards at WordCamp Austin in 2014, obviously having the time of his life!

#25. Speak at a WordCamp

Once you’re on your way to becoming a WordPress expert, what better way to seal your reputation as an expert than to actually speak at a WordCamp? Start at smaller WordPress Meetup or WordCamp event and work your way to presenting at larger events. (To Do / Done)

#26. Attend a Local WordPress Meetup in Your Area

While WordCamps are typically large-scale events, WordPress meetups are a much more informal (and regular, typically once a month) way of getting involved with your local WordPress community. (To Do / Done)

#27. Join an Online WordPress Community

With WordPress being so prolific, there are plenty of WordPress-based groups, sites, communities, forums, and what have you. There’s the WPMU DEV community for starters, where your SuperHero status climbs as you interact with other members. There’s the Advanced WordPress Facebook group, one of the largest (and most busy, though a bit technical) groups, the Google+ community, the r/WordPress community on Reddit, and the WordPress support forums. Take your pick and join in the fun! And don’t forget to get friendly and helpful. (To Do / Done)

#28. Contribute to an Online WordPress Community

Being helpful is surely the best way to get your name out there, increase your influence, your traffic and, of course, as a side-effect, your business. Make sure that rather than just posting in the community when you have a question or problem, you also help others out, too. (To Do / Done)

#29. Write a(n) (E)Book On / About WordPress

Whether it’s a book about WordPress or a book on WordPress is completely your call, of course. Ebooks are the new books and are another great way to get your name out there. Pour as much value into the book and market it right and you’ll see a fantastic return on your investment. (To Do / Done)

#30. Achieve GOD Mode at WPMU DEV (aka Code Norris)

If you take a look at my reputation here at WPMU DEV, you’ll see that I’m at Level 3, Design Lord, Child of Thor, which feels quite fancy! Little did I know before I wrote this article that reputation levels keep going up to Level 30 aka Code Norris. So if you hang around here often, you might want to make it your mission to reach the Code Norris level, just like our Head of Support Timothy Bowers, the only level 30 person I regularly speak to online and one of my newly formed WordPress online friends (see the next fun thing to do with WordPress). Fun Fact: Timothy was a WPMU DEV member before he joined the support team! Yes, true story. You can read his story here. (To Do / Done)

Connect with the Humans Behind WordPress

#31. Make a New Online Friend

One of the great things about working with WordPress is how many new people I’ve met. I’m pretty sure that I won’t actually get to meet most of these people in person, yet I really enjoy getting in touch with them every so often. (To Do / Done)

A typical conversation with Tim on Slack.

#32. Make a New Friend in Real-Life

While it’s going to be hard to meet in person all of the people I’ve met online through WordPress, I do make sure that whenever I can, I actually meet a few of my WordPress friends in real-life. These days, I should be meeting with Jean from WPMayor – we’re both from Malta (yet we have never come across each other) and I’m sure we’ve got plenty of stuff to share! Find the opportunity to meet somebody new. Teach them something they don’t know and learn from them, too. (To Do / Done)

#33. Take a Selfie with WordPress Co-Founder Matt Mullenweg

He is surely one of the major influencers in the world today. Whilst getting to hear him speak is already a great learning experience and an honor, you might want to top it off by getting a selfie taken with him, too. (To Do / Done)

Not me, it’s Timothy Bowers from WPMU DEV with Matt Mullenweg.

#34. Get a WordPress Tattoo

Or in my case just get a tattoo! It’s something I’d like to do but have never had done because I haven’t yet decided what I should get. On such things I’m somewhat undecided. Whilst I’m at it maybe I should get a WordPress logo tattoo? (To Do Maybe / Done)

#35. Attend a WordCamp in Every Major City

So this one is a bit of twist on my wish to travel to as many places in the world as humanly possible. Whilst it’s unlikely that a WordCamp will be held at Machu Pichu, Chicen Itza, Uluru or the Azure Window, you’ll get to visit Paris, London, New York, Mumbai, Sydney … (To Do / Done)

Some of the WPMU DEV team at WordCamp Europe in Seville in 2015.
Some of the WPMU DEV team at WordCamp Europe in Seville in 2015.

#36. Smoke a Cigar with WordPress Influencer Chris Lema

Whilst I’m in no way encouraging your unhealthy habits, if you haven’t smoked a nice cigar, your life is not truly complete. Chris Lema, WordPress evangelist / influencer can help you make the right choices both when it comes to WordPress and cigars, so go on and have a smoke with Chris. (To Do / Done)

#37. Give WPMU DEV CEO James Farmer a hug (Or a Beer, or Both!)

So yes, James might have been quite the controversial guy in the past, but all that’s pretty much behind. Seriously, he’s a nice guy and fun to chat to in person. So why not just enjoy a nice cold beer with James? WPMU DEV is for sure a huge company, which has significantly benefitted the WordPress community, whether you like it or not. (To Do / Done)

#38. Wear a WordPress T-Shirt Every Day for a Year

First of all, make sure you have enough t-shirts to do this one – I don’t want you to smell funky! But if you’ve built up enough attendances at WordCamps and conferences and pick up a lot of swag, chances are you’re all set to check this one off your list. The real challenge is actually sticking it out for all 365 days. If you can document your progress (or the disgust of your colleagues!) so much the better! (To Do / Done)

#39. Decorate Your Office / Workspace with a WordPress Theme

If you work for both a web design and a creative agency, you can get really fancy with this. Get creative with the WordPress logo, functions, popular WordPress themes, plugins and companies and go all-out with your WordPress theme. It’s a great opportunity for a publicity stunt and one way you could even go viral. (To Do / Done)

#40. Go Viral with a WordPress-based Post

Speaking of going viral, there’s an awesome, awesome feeling when something you post about WordPress (or on WordPress, for that matter) goes viral. The sensation of awesomeness and rush of dopamine as you watch the real-time hits on Google Analytics climb up and up is something you surely need to experience at least once in your lifetime. (To Do / Done)

Have a post go Viral - 16,161 hits in one day

Get geeky with WordPress

#41. Setup a Website That Loads in Less Than 1 Second

OK, so if you’ve been around the web development industry for a while you should know by now that a website needs to load fast in order to give your visitor a great user experience. Anybody can create a website, but fewer people can set up a website that loads in less than 3 seconds. If you really want to be in the elite class, challenge yourself to create a website which loads in less than 1 second. And if you need hand getting your site peaking at super speed, try running it through WPMU DEV’s free WP Checkup tool and then install the Hummingbird performance and optimization plugin to get your site really seedy. (To Do / Done)

Just enter your URL and WP Checkup will check on the health of your website.
Just enter your URL and WP Checkup will check on the health of your website.

#42. Make a Website So Secure It’s Fully Hacker Proof

As a security geek, I’m of the opinion that given sufficient time and resources, any website can be hacked. Yet, that’s no reason why you should just sit back and wait for the bad guys to knock on your door, aka your login page. In fact, I enjoy making their life miserable. Anybody who stumbles onto one of my website is going to have a pretty hard time getting into it! You should do likewise, first with one, then with ALL of your websites. (To Do / Done – hopefully!)

#43. Clean a Hacked WordPress Website

A few weeks back a friend of mine got a message via his Google Search console that his website “Might be hacked.” I had never cleaned a hacked website before and it was quite a devious hack to get rid of. Yet, the harder it was, the more of a challenge it was for me – and one that I quite enjoyed being a security geek and all. I took it upon myself to make sure I really cleaned it up. It took quite some time, research and effort, yet the feeling of satisfaction at the end was a really good feeling. (To Do / Done)

#44. Impress Your Client by Using WP-CLI to Administer Their Site (While They Look On!)

We do take the WordPress Admin for granted, yet there is another way you can administer your website – WP-CLI. If you’re a fan of the old black / white terminal, or just want to really impress your (potential) client and look like a real WordPress pro, take the time to learn about WP-CLI in our guide 10 Ways WP-CLI Can Speed Up WordPress Development. (To Do / Done)

#45. Use WordPress to Run Organize Your Life

There are enough WordPress plugins and functions to allow to organize and run most of your life, both online and offline. But if you’re a real WordPress nerd, you might want to do this to track your schedule, fitness, finances, everything. There’s plenty of ways to do this, and if not, get creative! Check out our guides Tracking Bills and Receipts with WordPress and How to Create Your Own Workout Diary With WordPress. (To Do / Done)

Contribute to the WordPress Community at Large

#46. Build a Website for a Non-Profit

Quite a few of you reading this blog are probably already making a bunch of money designing sites for a living. Yet, some voluntary organizations out there that don’t have the funding to engage web developers could really use your help to get their voice heard. Give something back to the wider community by helping a voluntary organization set up a website on the web. (To Do / Done)

#47. Build a Site for Somebody for Free

Whilst working with a non-profit is great (and I’m hoping you gave them a special rate!), an even better way of helping is for you to build their site without charging anything for it. It’s a great way to use your expertise for the common good and build up your portfolio. (To Do / Done)

#48. Organize a Fundraiser

Giving somebody a voice is great but what’s even better is if you can help them raise funds for their particular cause. While this won’t cost you much to set up, you’ll be doing a world of good for the organization you are supporting. (To Do / Done)

#49. Create a WordPress Website That Creates a Positive Impact

I’ve been inspired by MadeWithCode for this one. You might notice that many of the great entrepreneurs out there, once they’ve made enough money to last them several lifetimes many of them turn to philanthropy and creating a positive impact in the world. While you might not be a billionaire like Bill Gates, why not start making your impact on the world now? Create a WordPress site that is there specifically to help create a positive impact on the community around you or at large. (To Do / Done)

#50. Be Nice to Each Other

Plenty of times in this world, it just feels like we’re competing in pretty much everything. Politics, race, countries, business, Facebook likes and shares… It really is a rat race. While competition can be a healthy thing, much strife also comes out of it. Whether you do it with WordPress or not, in the WordPress community or not, via your WordPress website or not, online or not, let’s just be nice to each other. OK? (To Do / Done / Work in Progress)

David Attard
That's it! These are 50 of the fun things I'd love to do with WordPress before I kick the bucket. How many of these have you done already? Now let me challenge you: I want to get at least another 50 things to do which are different from mine. If we can get to 100, so much the better. The more, the merrier! Let me know in the comments below.