I recently attended WordCamp NYC 2014 at the Brooklyn Marriott in Brooklyn, NY. Beyond the usual presentations around dev, design, seo and blogging, the larger message during the event was around answering the question: How does one contribute to WordPress?
WordPress is an open-source project. Hundreds of developers, user experience professionals, customer support experts and documentarians are contributing to WordPress every day. Each of us has a stake in the future of WordPress and each of us can actually contribute our talents and energies to the project.
Right now, WordPress is aggressively asking for people to get involved and contribute. The keynote at #wcnyc was given by Boone Gorges, lead developer of the BuddyPress project. It was focused on how to get involved, how to contribute and why it is so important. Jane Wells also manned a table in the vendor area to answer questions, teach people how to get started and urge folks to sign up.
This month, we'll discuss where to get started, which is make.wordpress.org and the avenues that you can pursue to contribute your knowledge and energy into the WordPress core project. We'll cover the options and the reasons why you should contribute - there are many and we'll go over them.
Web security is a huge issue in light of the revelation that a Russian hacking group recently made off with information on over 1 Billion web users. Google believes it's up to all of us to secure our site's properly. To that end, Google issued a recent announcement on how it will use SSL encryption or what is you might know as "https" as a ranking signal. Blogs and sites that adopt SSL will get more love from Google than those without. As they should, because as website owners, it's up to you to invest in the security of your site. Managing a website doesn't stop with cheap hosting and relying on someone else. We'll discuss how this applies to your site, what your options are, how much it might cost and how you can obtain an SSL certificate and install it on your server.
I will also go over some things I've been doing with CloudFlare and Sucuri to protect sites I manage in my network.
As usual, the Meetup is FREE, but if you would like to donate a few dollars to help defray the quarterly cost of Meetup.com and our expenses for hosting the meetup, we would certainly appreciate it.
On another note, while I was considering giving up the Meetup, I have decided to see it through to the end of the year and then reassess. My contribution to WordPress has been as organizer; first with WordPress Westcheser (who I met the latest organizers of in NYC) and of the WordPress Chapel Hill Meetup, which I began in the newsroom at UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2010. I am starting to get more involved by attending WordPress core documentation meetings to see how I can contribute to the docs, which are going to change from a Wiki into 6 separate books/guides. Keeping engaged at this level is certainly an honor and important in other ways, which we'll talk about at the Meetup on August 25th.
Looking forward to seeing you all there. :)