Keeping up With the WordPress Community When You’re Crazy Busy
Keeping up With the WordPress Community When You’re Crazy Busy
From security updates and feature releases to new themes and best practices, WordPress is constantly changing. And when you work with WordPress every day, staying in the know is essential for keeping your site competitive.
So how do you keep up?
After following dozens of blogs, influencers, and newsletters, I’ve discovered a handful of standout resources that keep me in the loop. I always make it a point to check these resources for updates — even on the days when I’m busy and bootstrapped for time.
If you’re hoping to stay plugged into the WordPress community, here are just a few of the WordPress resources I recommend.
Note: The sites, people and newsletters I recommend below are just a very small sample of people in the WordPress community. If I included every person who has made a contribution to the project, I’d never finish writing this post! So please share anyone you think is important to WordPress in the comments below.
WP Tavern has been the go-to site for WordPress development and community news for quite a few years now. Jeff Chandler started the site back in 2009, before Matt Mullenweg bought it in 2011 (though it wasn’t known until 2013 that Matt had taken over).
Sarah Gooding — who wrote for the WPMU DEV blog for many years — has since become part of the team, along with Marcus Couch from X² Marketing. The site features daily news and commentary about the latest changes to the WordPress core software, plus happenings from across the community.
According to a quick Google search, Post Status is described as “a WordPress news site devoted to covering the WordPress ecosystem for WordPress professionals and enthusiasts.” Post Status has been around since 2013, when Brian Krogsgard began using it to share links to interesting WordPress articles.
It has since evolved into a place for publishing long-form articles, mostly interviews with people who work with WordPress. In 2015, the launch of Post Status Club made it a membership-only site. Members enjoy frequent email newsletters and access to an exclusive Slack channel.
ManageWP.org is my favorite place to find interesting articles about anything and everything WordPress related. Similar to Digg, ManageWP.org is a WordPress news aggregator where users can submit articles and start discussions. Members of the site can vote for their favorite stories, and the most popular items get featured on the front page.
What I like most about this site is that it helps lesser-known, high-quality bloggers get their voice heard above all the noise. Here, you’re more likely to stumble across stories about agencies that have overcome a particular obstacle, or a developer’s tutorial from their personal blog.
The WebDevStudios blog is a great example of corporate transparency. In addition to development tutorials on topics like getting started with Git, the blog also features insider company updates. For example, the blog will post news about which WordCamps the WebDevStudios team is going to, who’s just joined the team as a new staff member, and tips on working remotely.
I only started following the iThemes blog recently, but I’m glad I did. The site is a treasure trove of tutorials and information, especially for freelance WordPress users. One of my recent favorites is the blog’s six-part series based on the book, Busy: How to Thrive in a World of Too Much by Tony Crabbe.
The series is a great reminder that success sometimes requires us to slow down, and it’s posts like this that keep me coming back for more.
WPMU DEV has been running its blog for about nine years–and the team’s industry expertise is evident. The well-rounded team of contributors brings together a variety of articles, covering everything from development and security to performance and marketing. I enjoy scrolling through the WPMU DEV homepage to check out the most recent posts — there’s always something to read and bookmark.
Here’s one for the advanced crowd: the Delicious Brains blog is for developers who find joy digging into the nitty gritty depths of code. While many of the posts go over my head (hopefully not for long!), the blog is a great learning resource and features many videos that make learning even easier.
The WP Crowd’s mission statement is: “The WP Crowd leverages top experts in a variety of specialties to create unique content for the WordPress Community.” And it doesn’t disappoint. This site is a fantastic resource for developers and includes code tutorials, editorials, and opinion pieces. Most members of the site who write articles and do videos are regular speakers at WordCamps and other tech conferences around the world.
New and unique to the WordPress space, World of WordPress aggregates a collection of WP-related content sources from around the world to create a current snapshot of the latest from the community.
If you are new to WordPress, start here. As the name suggests, WPBeginner helps newbies (and veterans, from time to time) to get the most out of their WP experience through informative articles and guides.
Still want more? Dive deeper with these insightful sites.
WordPress Influencers on Twitter
The WordPress community is a treasure trove of smart and talented people – and you can find 90% of them on Twitter. Many experts in the WordPress niche share opinions, ideas and articles, and most of them also love to chat. Since Twitter influencers are easy to network with and gain insight from, it’s important to include them in your list of top WordPress resources.
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For the sake of keeping this post readable, I’ve capped my WordPress influencer list at 18.
Matt Mullenweg: Let’s kick off this list with the obvious first pick: Matt Mullenweg. WordPress co-founder. Automattic founder. He’s also leading the development of WordPress 4.8.
Mike Little: Another luminary. Mike co-founded WordPress and now runs zed1.com, a WordPress specialist company providing web development, training, and consultancy services.
Joshua Strebel: CEO of Pagely, the first ever managed WordPress hosting platform.
Matt Cromwell: Matt is the head of support and community outreach at WordImpress, but most WordPress pros know him as one of the admins for the Advanced WordPress Facebook group.
Helen Hou-Sandí: Director of platform experience at 10up and WordPress lead developer.
Brian Krogsgard: Editor and founder of WordPress news site Post Status and the Draft podcast.
BobWP: Bob hosts the WP eCommerce Show, a great podcast that features experts on marketing, social, SEO, and security.
Pippin Williamson: WordPress plugin developer and founder of Easy Digital Downloads, Restrict Content Pro, AffiliateWP, and Easy Digital Downloads.
Rachel McCollin: Rachel writes about WordPress development for tuts+ and WPMU DEV and is the go-to resource for all things Multisite.
Tom McFarlin: A prolific blogger, Tom runs Pressware, a custom WordPress development and services agency, and is also the Tuts+ Code editor.
Lisa Sabin-Wilson: Co-owner of WebDevStudios, and author of WordPress For Dummies and other books about WordPress.
Mika Epstein: Mika is the representative for the WordPress.org Plugin Review team and is a WordPress developer at DreamHost.
Cory Miller: iThemes founder and entrepreneur.
Ryan McCue: Engineering director at Human Made, guest core committer and co-lead developer for the WP REST API.
Carrie Dils: WordPress developer and consultant. Carrie hosts the fantastic OfficeHours.FM podcast, which features interviews with personalities from the WordPress community.
Chris Lema: Public speaker, blogger and WordPress evangelist – known for his love of cigars.
wpMailme is a free weekly email newsletter that features a round-up of WordPress news and articles. The newsletter is split into six sections: news and articles, plugins news, theme releases, theme news, tutorials, and podcasts and videos.
What I like about this newsletter is that it’s easy to scan through because really, who has the time! Most articles include just the title and the website you’ll be taken to when you click a link, but more important posts include the first paragraph from the article.
The WhiP is one of the few newsletters in my inbox that never goes unread. It’s a tri-weekly newsletter (that’s three times a week, not every three weeks!) that features a round-up of the latest WordPress news and resources. The newsletter’s content is split into five sections: news; reviews and opinion; themes, plugins, and resources; tutorials, tips and tricks; and off topic, random links (which are always worth a click!).
The WhiP is curated with unaffiliated links sourced from the WordPress community, so every time you read it you know you’re not reading junk. There’s only one caveat: it’s only available for free on Mondays. If you want the Wednesday and Friday additions, you’ll need a WPMU DEV membership.
First up, a disclaimer: Notes is a daily-ish email newsletter that you can only get as part of the Post Status Club, i.e. you need to be a member. It’s not one of those newsletters that just features headlines and links. Notes is more of a long-read that’s best saved for weekends when you have time to digest all the in-depth, behind-the-scenes information it contains. If you’re a WordPress pro who really wants to be part of the community and get involved as a contributor, it’s worth investing in the $99 membership so you can get access to this newsletter.
The WordPress Community and You
Keeping tabs on the WordPress community is a no-brainer when you work with the software every day. Put simply, your livelihood depends on it. From core software features to new plugins and themes, staying up-to-date with the community will expand your knowledge base and help you become more skilled in your day-to-day job.