Proposal: establishment of a formal WordPress Sustainability Team

The 20th anniversary of WordPress and its role as a dominant CMS mark the moment to act on sustainability now. We (the undersigned) are convinced that WordPress needs an official Sustainability team with the aim of making WordPress and its community lead on sustainability. 

Making WordPress leading on sustainability asks for:

  • Awareness about the impact of carbon emissions by the web and understanding how to build and work in a more eco-friendly way.
  • Guidance for WordPress event organizers to organize events in a more sustainable way.
  • Creation and promotion of eco-friendly themes and plugins.

This post contains our vision on sustainability with WordPress, actions of our initiative so far, its focus points, and an explanation of how we see the Sustainability Team functioning in the WordPress community.

Why a Sustainability Team?

Since its inception, WordPress has been a project developed with a mission to build a better web for everyone. The community has enabled the WordPress project to meet the challenges that have arisen during the past 20 years in pursuit of its mission. Now a new challenge is coming up, and we can’t afford to miss it.

Runaway climate change is a fact, and scientifically proven (IPCC Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis). Every industry and sector of society has a role to play in mitigating the consequences. We can no longer look away from climate change, due to carbon emissions. At the same time, the importance of the web is undeniable. The WordPress community has an opportunity to show leadership and set an example on this topic.

We believe that the efforts of a Sustainability team will positively impact other WordPress teams, such as accessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (, performance and community, and should work in partnership with them. Digital and event sustainability requires collaboration with the rest of the WordPress teams to achieve effective change.

Establishing and building an official team will significantly raise visibility of the efforts to make the WordPress project more sustainable. It will also show the importance of sustainability inside the project and the support of the leadership. As the team would approach sustainability in a holistic way, this could also appeal to contributors with a non-technical background.

Open SourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. projects, such as Drupal or Wagtail, are starting to show a commitment to sustainability. A W3CW3C The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. working group is producing recommendations to encourage those making websites to follow sustainability guidelines. This would be similar to what has been done with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

By creating a Sustainability team, WordPress shows its leadership and willingness to proactively work on a solution for the sustainability challenge.

Team definition

The main objective is to embed sustainable practices into WordPress processes and its community. The WordPress Sustainability team would aim to promote awareness and actions that lead to carbon footprint reduction throughout the WordPress ecosystem.

What has the sustainability initiative done so far?

  • A first “Now we have a sustainability channel in Making WordPress Slack, what should we do?” blog post has been published on Make WordPress Project Updates. This has built on sustainability efforts and research with WordCamps and Meetups in previous years.
  • The Make WordPress #sustainability channel has grown towards almost 200 members in less than a year.
  • There are weekly #sustainability Slack meetings on Friday, 11:00 UTC. Meetings are announced at Notes are taken from every meeting.
  • Multiple contributors are working on a Google document about Making WordCamp more sustainable, bringing together the previous efforts by contributors in the community for raising awareness and sharing resources through the community and marketing teams. The document focuses on suggestions and tips for how events can be more environmentally sustainable and raise awareness. This is a great example of how a Sustainability team can support and work together with other teams. Once the document is finished, the latest version will be shared with the Community Team to add it to the WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. and meetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on will help you find options in your area. organizers handbook. Materials will also be shared with the Marketing, Community and Training teams, and explore opportunities for further awareness raising and case studies.
  • The WP Sustainable plugin, published by the WordPress Hosting team, has been discussed regularly during the weekly meetings in the Sustainability SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at channel. Contributors have provided suggestions for how the evolving pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the Plugin Directory or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party can improve. The group has had talks with the WordPress Hosting team, the WordPress Hosting team feels it makes more sense to let the plugin be a canonical plugin for the Sustainability team.
  • Some of the channel contributors had led a sustainability table at WordCamp Barcelona 2023 Contributor DayContributor Day Contributor Days are standalone days, frequently held before or after WordCamps but they can also happen at any time. They are events where people get together to work on various areas of There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus. You can check the summary published at the #sustainability Slack channel.
  • There will be a sustainability table during WordCamp Europe 2023 on Contributor Day
  • The group is presenting a sustainability workshop at WordCamp Europe 2023.

The WordPress Sustainability team’s goals

To make the WordPress ecosystem lead on sustainability, we have formulated three goals to work on: 

  1. Creating and spreading awareness about digital sustainability.
    As the most used CMS in the world, WordPress has a significant influence on the impact websites can have on the environment. Often we don’t know how this impact is generated, and what we can do as individuals to reduce the impact. Creating awareness about the impact on the environment is essential to make WordPress a more sustainable ecosystem.
  2. Increasing sustainability during WordPress events.
    WordPress events are increasingly thinking about sustainability and need encouragement, support and further development. By producing and maintaining a section on sustainability for the Community handbook, the team will help organizers with a growing reference guide on how they can be as sustainable as possible.
  3. Building an ecosystem that leads on sustainability.
    WordPress is a leader in terms of its user base, in influencing website trends, and the size of its community. It’s also a project that stands out in its values. We believe WordPress, as an ecosystem, can lead on sustainability by acknowledging the necessity to act.

If you are interested, you can read more about the vision shared in the first post in 2022 on the Make WordPress Project blog.

The WordPress Sustainability team would acknowledge that a more sustainable world cannot be achieved individually. The team would need to partner with WordPress users, WordPress teams and the WordPress Community and wider in order to move WordPress towards a more sustainable environmental model.

We invite you!

Together, we can achieve more. We invite you to leave your thoughts and feedback as a comment on the proposal below. Please leave a message of support to identify your support for our proposal and to join #sustainability Slack channel and the weekly Slack meetings on Fridays, 11:00 UTC.

Proposal from: @littlebigthing, @nahuai, @noradriana, @yellowlime.

Reviewed and supported by (in no particular order): @javiercasares, @estelaris, @hanopcan, @webcommsat


WordPress Contributor Mentorship Program: Pilot Program Proposal

In February 2023, I proposed a project-wide WordPress mentorship program for WordPress. Positive feedback and support from our community led to the revitalization of the WordPress contributor working group in March 2023, which has since been working on building a mentorship program for our project. Based on feedback from our chats thus far, our group decided to test this idea of project-wide mentorship by running a pilot program. 

I’m excited to announce that the contributor working group has now prepared a first draft for a project-wide mentorship program! Read on to find out more.

What is the Contributor Mentorship Program?

The Contributor Mentorship Program aims to provide cohort-based and 1:1 mentorship to new and aspiring contributors. The program is intended as a pathway to help new contributors find their way into WordPress contributions.

It aims to set new contributors up for success by providing them the necessary guidance, skills, and knowledge around the project and helping them make their first contributions.

In its ideal form, the program will:

  • Help and inspire its participants to make ongoing contributions to the WordPress project
  • Explain the different areas of contribution in the WordPress project to participants
  • Help participants to successfully select their area of participation in the WordPress project
  • Provide necessary guidance and community connections that will help participants be successful with their contributions
  • Help participants find success in their career through successful open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. contributions

A Brief Overview of the Program Plan

The flowchart below offers a high-level pictorial representation of the program flow, which I have tried to explain in brief through this post. A detailed description of the program can also be found in its white paper prepared jointly by the working group.

A flowchart depicting the contribution flow of the proposed mentorship program
  • A call for mentees (participants) goes out and from the pool of applicants, 10 mentees are selected (primarily new contributors). Mentors are handpicked from a pool of experienced contributors and working group members. Selected mentees and mentors answer a pre-event survey to gauge their knowledge, interest in contribution areas, and confidence-levels. Mentors will receive specific guidance on guiding mentees through the program. 
  • We invite all Make/Teams to take active part in this initiative to bring contributors to their respective teams. Interested teams can propose their team members as mentors to the program.
  • A short cohort of new contributors (not more than 10 mentees) and experienced contributors (not less than five mentors) are to be brought together in a dedicated space (potentially a SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at channel in Make/WordPress) to work together for a certain period (about four weeks or one month)
  • During this time, mentees will learn pre-prepared training material (existing contributor courses in Learn WordPress).
  • Each mentee will be assigned a mentor depending on multiple factors such as their locale, time zones, contribution interest, etc. Mentors and mentees will have at least two 1:1 mentoring sessions (over text chat and/or video) throughout the course of the mentorship. 
  • Additionally, the group will have at least three group mentoring sessions on broad contribution topics (over text or video). Each week, mentees will also report their progress in the Slack channel and will have the space to interact with each other too. 
  • Once mentees are done with the broad contributor training courses in Learn WordPress (ideally in the first two weeks of the mentorship program), they work with mentors to identify contributor teams of their choice (if not clear already before joining the program) and go on to make a certain number of contributions (depending on the team they select). They will have completed these contributions by the end of the mentorship program. Optionally, should they wish to, mentees will create a three-month contribution and learning plan with their chosen mentor. 
  • Once all the courses and training sessions are complete, and once mentees have made their initial contributions, they graduate from the program, and the mentorship program wraps up. Mentees will be recognized for their contributions in public on an official WordPress space. 
  • Once the program concludes, Mentees will continue working with the Make/Team(s) of their choice, and will be connected to multiple team members from their chosen team for ongoing guidance as they continue their contributor journey. 
  • Post-wrap-up, mentees can continue to reach out to their cohort and mentors for ongoing guidance and support.

To find out about the proposed mentorship program in detail, please check out its white paper by clicking the button below:

How do we measure the success of this program?

The program will be considered extremely successful if:

  • At least 80% of the participants of the initial cohort graduate from the program (they complete the course, required lessons, make their initial contributions, and create their three-month plan)
  • At least 50% of the participants make ongoing contributions to WordPress as per their contribution plan, three months after completing the mentorship program

Other areas to measure impact:

  • Improved confidence after the mentorship program (measured through surveys)
  • Improved knowledge after the mentorship program (measured through surveys)
  • Feeling of belonging and commitment to WordPress (measured through surveys)

Action Items and Request for Feedback

Request to Make/Teams: The contributor working group invites Make/WordPress Teams to join our pilot program as mentors. If you contribute to a Make/Team and wish to be involved in building this program, please express your interest in the comments.

  • First of all, what do you think about this program in its current form? Please share your feedback in the comments of this post. 
  • You will notice that this post only explains the program in brief. The working group has prepared a white paper that explains the program in detail. Please review it and share your feedback – either as comments in the document or as comments on this blog post.
  • Does this program excite you? Would you like to be a part of building a mentorship program for WordPress? We could use your help – Join the WordPress Contributor Working Group –  participate in one of our mentorship chats, comment on this post expressing your interest, or pingPing The act of sending a very small amount of data to an end point. Ping is used in computer science to illicit a response from a target server to test it’s connection. Ping is also a term used by Slack users to @ someone or send them a direct message (DM). Users might say something along the lines of “Ping me when the meeting starts.” me in Make/WordPress Slack (I‘m @harishanker over there).

Big thanks to all members of the contributor working group in helping draft this proposal!

This post was jointly-written by members of the contributor working group: @adityakane @nao @oglekler @yoga1103 @mikeschroder @st810amaze @onealtr @carl-alberto @tobifjellner @javiercasares @sz786 @meher @courane01 @jeffpaul @sereedmedia @cbringmann @angelasjin @juliarosia @askdesign @nomadskateboarding @harishanker @javiercasares @gounder @unintended8 @webtechpooja @thewebprincess @unintended8 @desrosj @askdesign @webtechpooja @webcommsat @kcristiano @leonnugraha and @evarlese

#5ftf, #five-for-the-future, #proposal #contributor-working-group #wpcontributors #mentorship-program

Proposal: Creating a WordPress Contributor Mentorship Program

In January 2023, I published a blog post requesting feedback from the community on the contributor journey for the WordPress open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. project. There was extensive feedback from contributors around the world who identified gaps in the WordPress contribution flow. Upon analyzing the comments, two major action items stood out as potential solutions to fix these gaps: 

  • To improve the overall onboarding process in the WordPress project
  • To offer more mentorship opportunities in WordPress

WordPress is an open source project that relies heavily on its community of volunteer contributors for its existence. Better onboarding and more mentorship opportunities will go a long way in fostering a vibrant community of committed volunteer contributors. By offering direct support for such contributors, we provide them with a unique learning opportunity that will help them grow as both leaders in the project and professionals in their fields while helping WordPress succeed. 

To achieve this goal, I propose a project-wide WordPress contributor mentorship program that aims to empower new and aspiring contributors by helping them succeed in (and with) the project through mentorship.

This initial concept was born out of past discussions with contributors and feedback from the contributor journey blog post. Mentorship in WordPress is not a radically new idea –  it has been discussed several times in past community summits and was formally proposed a few years back (in the form of an onboarding team). While the idea did not get a lot of traction in the past, feedback from contributors makes me feel that the time is right to launch such a program. I strongly feel that it will help us build the next generation of WordPress leaders we need to take our project forward through the future. This also ties to one of the big-picture goals for WordPress in 2023, which is to “Establish contributor and mentor programs.” 

There are so many moving parts to any mentorship program and several factors that should be considered in order to make it happen. For starters, what will mentorship look like in WordPress? What kind of support do new contributors need? What type of mentorship works best? How can such an idea create a long-term impact? So many questions! Clearly, the idea behind a contributor mentorship program is complex. It should be a cross-team effort and needs the broader support of our global community to make it happen. 

A dedicated working group will be needed for a project-wide WordPress contributor mentorship program. To that end, if this proposal moves forward, I’d love to revive the Contributor Working Group under the Make/Community Team. 

The working group was founded in September 2020 and led by the amazing @amethystanswers. The group, with an original focus on improving the onboarding process, enhancing new contributor experience, and coordinating with Make/Teams, did a lot of good work such as suggesting improved onboarding flows, and organizing online contributor day events, even as the world struggled from the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope to build on the excellent contributions of the group and its members to kick off work on creating a contributor mentorship program for WordPress and finding ways to improve our onboarding flow. 

Request for Feedback

  • What are your thoughts on a Mentorship program for WordPress? 
  • Assuming this proposal gets support from the community, what would we need to make such a mentorship program successful?
  • What are your thoughts on restarting the contributor working group?
  • And finally – would you like to be a part of this working group to help build a mentorship program for WordPress? 

Please share your feedback in the comments by F̶e̶b̶r̶u̶a̶r̶y̶ ̶2̶0̶,̶ ̶2̶0̶2̶3̶ February 27, 2023.

The following folks contributed to or reviewed this post: @angelasjin @cbringmann @tacoverdo @unintended8 @peiraisotta

#5ftf, #five-for-the-future, #proposal

Now we have a sustainability channel in Making WordPress Slack, what should we do?

At WCEU 2022, Nora Ferreirós from the Spanish WordPress community, asked Matt and Josepha about their thoughts on supporting sustainability concerns within the community. Matt suggested setting up a new sustainability channel in the Making WordPress SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at group, and there are now over 100 people in that channel! Josepha is open to discuss suggestions of specific issues that can be addressed.

This is fantastic progress! It demonstrates a growing interest in the WordPress community to come together and discuss sustainability concerns, both at leadership and community level. 

There are many questions worth addressing around this, especially as sustainability and maintaining the WordPress project are complex topics.

But before we dive into the specifics, perhaps it is best to take a moment to visualise what a sustainable WordPress community might actually be?

What are the tools, behaviours and systems we could co-create? What does being a member of a sustainable WordPress community feel like? What do other communities looking into ours observe? What are the things we want to move away from that hamper our progress to becoming more sustainable?

We wish to ignite a conversation about the art of the possible.

In the words of William Arthur Ward “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it”

We invite contributors from the whole WordPress community to share their visions for what we could do together: what does a truly sustainable WordPress community look like to you?

Let’s allow ourselves to dream big!

What can I do?

Start by being part of a WordPress community who openly discusses and actively works on sustainability issues. 

Leave a comment on this post to share or link to your thoughts on what a truly sustainable WordPress community looks like to YOU,

If you want to do more, join the sustainability Slack channel to take the conversation within the community further:

  • build on and discuss the visions shared by others;
  • contribute ideas on what we should do next;
  • share other sustainability work in the WordPress space that you find interesting.

 Here’s how to sign up to WordPress Slack.

You could also contribute to the on-going work of the performance team.

A few prompts to help you think about your vision

If you’re new to considering what a sustainable future might be like for WordPress, that’s ok. You’re not alone. We’re all exploring new possibilities here, and that’s the point. As a person new to this realm you are the perfect person to bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the table! Everyone is welcome to share their vision for what the future could be.

Here are a few prompts to get you going.

How can we help people understand what sustainability truly is?

  • Decarbonisation is often described interchangeably with sustainability. But decarbonisation is only one aspect of what needs to happen to create a truly sustainable future. This confusion leads many people to believe the only way you can make digital technologies more sustainable is by focusing on performance gains that reduce electricity consumption. The reality is this is just one aspect of what is possible. What else is possible?
  • There are many approaches to improving sustainability, some of which can be done in a way that respects the rights of people to thrive, and some of which abuse those. How can we communicate these ideas?
  • Many people still do not see sustainability as a positive move and may feel it would compromise their ability to grow a business effectively or innovate and push WordPress forward. How can we change perceptions of how a greener future for WordPress will benefit all of us?

How can we embrace the diversity of the WordPress community?

A sustainable future is one that embraces everyone’s differences and similarities.

  • The people that make up the WordPress community are multi-national, multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary. Sustainability will mean different things in different contexts. For example sustainability in the Global South might feel very different for someone in the Global North. How can we embrace a diversity of viewpoints and celebrate that?
  • The WordPress community manifests both physically, through WordCamps and meetups, as well as digitally through the software and documentation we produce. What are the tools we might build, the resources we could create and the conversations we could start that would benefit all our different manifestations?


The WordPress community isn’t new to working on sustainability issues. In fact Josepha mentioned that back in 2019 a group of people came to talk to her about the topic. 

We’d like to acknowledge the work done by Abha Thakor, for leading an informal sustainability group, and the recently created performance team for working hard at optimizing the software. These are great pillars to build on.

We look forward to seeing what a truly sustainable WordPress community looks like to YOU. Share your thoughts below.


Post written collaboratively by @hanopcan, @littlebigthing, @noradriana, @nahuai and @Thijs Buijs


Proposal to remove spam/dormant Five for the Future pledges

Last fall Andrea wrote about several challenges with the Five for the Future website that are preventing it from fulfilling its intended purpose. I’d like to start working on the first challenge of addressing spam or dormant pledges.

The Challenge

Many of the pledges have no recent activity on their profiles, or none at all; many only have personal activity (maintaining a pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the Plugin Directory or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party in the directory, asking for help in the support forums, etc); and many don’t participate in the Making WP SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at, where contributors primarily coordinate.

That inaccuracy weakens the value of sincere and active pledges. It also makes it difficult and impractical for team representatives to use the pledge lists to recruit contributors for projects. The lists for Core and Community have over 1,300 and 1,400 people respectively, many of whom seemingly have not contributed, are unlikely to contribute, and/or are inconvenient to contact.


To help surface active pledges, I’m proposing that we email all pledged 5ftF companies to request that they review, update, and confirm pledged contributors, teams, and hours. If they do not confirm within a reasonable period of time, their pledge would be removed.

Longer term, 5ftF could better identify and credit both code and non-code contributions. That would also help to keep pledges up to date.

To do this, we could automatically detect contribution based on Profile activity, and automatically remove pledges from folks who haven’t contributed in the past 6 months. In order to do that accurately, though, we’ll have to start crediting more non-code contributions, which often aren’t reflected on Profiles.

To track those, each team could request an activity that’s important to them, such as writing documentation; making changes to a Figma mockup; moderating a WPTV video; etc. We could also add a few things that cover all teams, like attending a Slack meeting, and giving/receiving props in the #props channel on Slack.

Once those are added to Profiles, then we could add an automated task to the 5ftF site which would examine all pledges every day. For those who haven’t contributed in 6 months, we’d un-publish their pledge, and send them a polite email to let them know. If removing them was a mistake, or they’d like to start contributing again, they can contact their team repTeam Rep A Team Rep is a person who represents the Make WordPress team to the rest of the project, make sure issues are raised and addressed as needed, and coordinates cross-team efforts.. Teams reps will be able to re-publish their pledge.


What do you think of this proposed next step? Are there problems that aren’t addressed, ways to improve it, or is there a better idea altogether? Please reply before March 31st.