Internet Relay Chat, commonly abbreviated to IRC, is the name given to a chat room. WordPress uses IRC to allow for quick, real-time discussions.


A lot of people may think “old-school” when you mention IRC to them. This way of communicating online first came to popularity in the late eighties, and got pushed under the radar for a little while with the emergence of social networks, Skype etc.

IRC has seen a resurgence in popularity in the last few years, especially among developer and FOSS (Free and Open-Source Software) communities.

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Why IRC?

It allows for real-time, open chat that anyone can participate in or view.

There’s a “free-for-all” approach taken in IRC sessions:

  • There is no pressure for anyone to actually take part in a chat – it’s fine for users to just view the chat or “lurk” if they wish to.
  • Two or more conversations may happen at any one time, often conversations overlap in the chat window.
  • Users may jump in and out of any conversation as they wish.

It’s this open/free approach to discussion that has made IRC popular in FOSS communities – including WordPress.

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Connecting to Libera

WordPress uses Libera, an IRC network dedicated to FOSS communities. To connect with Libera, you will need to either download an IRC client, or use a web chat client-

The choice of which IRC Client to pick heavily relies on which platform you are on (Windows, Mac etc), and there are too many option to list, but the most widespread ones are mIRC for Windows, irssi for linux and Colloquy for Mac OSX. There are many others of course, and it helps to shop around for the client that best suits you.

Alternatively, you can use Libera’s web chat: This requires an ajax-compatible browser.

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Getting support on IRC

#WordPress is the go-to IRC channel for WordPress users looking to give or receive WordPress-related support. It’s relatively fast-paced and you’ll often find a lot of people on hand to help out here.

Go to the #WordPress chat room.

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Social chats

Since the primary channel is intended for help, and in an effort to reduce non-help related chatter confusing other users, the project also maintains the #WordPress-Social channel for any off-topic chatting and banter between community members (of course, still within the same guidelines).

Go to the #WordPress-Social chat room.

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Further Reading:

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