Getting Started at a Contributor Day

This guide is intended to help you get started contributing to the support team at a 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. Below is an outline of what the Support team does, and how to quickly get started contributing to WordPress support. If you need any help, talk to your contributor day organizer, or ask your question in #forums on SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at

Regular Meeting Time: Thursdays, 17:00 UTC
Chat Room: #forums channel on Slack

Support responsibilities

The responsibilities of the support team are:

  • Helping in the WordPress Support Forums by answering questions
  • Helping in the #wordpress IRC channel
  • Providing guidance in general – the majority of the users in the WP forums are in over their heads and they need a little guidance
  • Working with the Documentation team to improve the support topics in the Codex

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Common Tasks

As a member of the Support team, some common tasks that you’ll carry out are:

  • Answer questions in the WordPress support forums
    • Look for topics that you can contribute to, based on your experience level
    • Keep the conversation positive
    • Keep replies on topic
  • Monitor IRC and answer questions as they appear
    • Usually the questions will be more complex, but some will be easy
    • Because IRC is live chat, be ready to reply back immediately
  • Note Codex articles that need to be improved, and update them with relevant information
    • Many of these Codex articles will be used in both the forums and IRC

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Prior Knowledge

Helping in support doesn’t require a lot of PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. experience, but knowledge that you’ll find helpful for working in support is:

  • Knowing something about how WordPress works from a user’s perspective
  • Knowing a few basic concepts such as actions and filters
  • An understanding of the basics of CSSCSS CSS is an acronym for cascading style sheets. This is what controls the design or look and feel of a site.
  • An understanding of testing and debugging
  • A patient attitude: Remember that it’s not easy for people to ask for help

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  • A basic text editor
  • A local development environment or a self-hosted site you’re willing to test things on, would be handy.
  • IRC client – or the easiest way is to access in your browser:
  • Familiarize yourself with IRC tools – i.e. type in a code and it will produce a link to 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 or codex article

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Essential Reading

  • Know your way around the WordPress Codex so you can quickly look things up when necessary

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First Steps

To help out on the support forums:

  • Sign up for a The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. account
  • Browse through the support forums to see what you can help out with, especially the No Replies section of the forums

To help out in IRC:

  • Select an IRC client
  • log in to, channel #wordpress
  • help someone out with an answer to their question

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Some easy tasks for a first time contributor to get started at a contributor day are:

  • Join the #WordPress IRC channel and help answer questions
  • Head to the No Replies link in the forums and start answer threads that haven’t received any attention

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