Vetting Topic Ideas

The first step to getting new quality content on Learn WordPress is to vet the various content topic ideas shared by the WordPress community. These ideas can stem from personal interest to crowdsourced consensus, but no matter how it comes to the Training Team, it will require vetting before it is greenlit for content creation and publication on the Learn WordPress website. 

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are community members who utilize their expertise to vet submitted content topic ideas. In general, SMEs look to assess these ideas for relevance and priority. SMEs may also be contacted by Content Creators as the content is being developed, requesting additional information and/or assistance to create accurate and informative content.

Outlined below are the guiding processes for vetting content topic ideas for Learn WordPress. You can also watch this Online Workshop that will guide you through the process:

Some of the team’s GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. processes have been updated since the recording of this video. Please follow the steps below, which have been updated to reflect these changes.

How topic ideas are submitted

All new Topic Ideas are created as a GitHub issue on the Learn GitHub repository using the “Content Development (general)” issue template. Once submitted, issues are automatically added to the LearnWP Topic Vetting project board. Issues are first triaged for spam/duplicates etc. by Administrators (Admins) before landing in the “Awaiting Vetting” column for SMEs.

Topic submitters are asked to fill out as much of the information in the GitHub issue as possible. However, as ideas are submitted from a wide audience, details may vary depending on the issue. SMEs are tasked with:

  • Assessing if the topic is something the team should prioritize and add to 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.
  • And if so, then making sure adequate details are filled out in preparation for the Content Creator who will create the content.

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Topic idea details

Below is the list of details on a Topic Idea submission:

  • Topic title: Listed in the GitHub issue title
  • Description: Details of the suggested topic
  • Audience: User, Developer, Contributor, etc.
  • Learning objectives: 2 or 3 learning outcomes to be expected as a result of this material
  • Content type: Either Course, Lesson Plan, Online Workshop, or Tutorial
  • WordPress version (optional): The WordPress version the feature was first introduced in
  • Related Resources: Links to related content on Learn, support/developer docs, etc.

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Topic idea triaging (performed by Admins)

Once submitted, Admins will first triage issues by closing out spam and duplicate ideas. When closing an issue, leave a brief comment as to why.

Duplicate ideas should be searched for in the team’s GitHub repo. Make sure to include both open and closed issues when searching from

The Tutorials section, Lesson Plans section, and Courses section in Learn’s dashboard can also be searched for content that may have been published before the team started tracking content development on GitHub.

Admins will also:

  1. Remove the Awaiting Triage label.
  2. Assign one Topic custom fieldCustom Field Custom Field, also referred to as post meta, is a feature in WordPress. It allows users to add additional information when writing a post, eg contributors’ names, auth. WordPress stores this information as metadata. Users can display this meta data by using template tags in their WordPress themes..
    • If multiple apply, use your best judgement to choose the most applicable topic.
  3. If the issue lacks some of the required information, leave a comment asking the submitter for more information.
    • If no response is provided within two weeks, close the issue with a comment.
  4. If all content has been provided, change the issue status to Awaiting Vetting.

Issues will then show under the corresponding view on the LearnWP Topic Vetting project board and are ready for SMEs to vet.

Screenshot of GitHub project board "LearnWP Topic Vetting" with the list of views at the top highlighted.

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Vetting topic ideas

It can sometimes be difficult to assess topic ideas on an individual level, so don’t hesitate to reach out to Faculty SMEs for a second opinion along the way. You can do so by pinging the @faculty-sme group in the #training Slack channel.

Hi @faculty-sme 👋🏼 I need a second opinion as I vet this topic idea: link_to_GitHub_issue What do you think about XYZ? Thanks!

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Steps to vet topic ideas

  1. Open one of the topic views linked below to vet ideas related to that topic.
  2. Open an issue, and check to see if the topic is something already included in the Learning Pathways content outlines. If it is, then comment and close the issue, thanking the author for their suggestion and linking to the relevant GitHub issue.
    • You can find a list of Learning Pathways here: Clicking on each will show the list of planned content.
    • If the issue creator has noted they’d like t create the content, invite them to comment on the Learning Pathways issue, volunteering to create the content there.
  3. If the topic is not something already planned in Learning Pathways, then copy-paste the following text into a comment. This will act as your guide as you vet the topic:
# Vetting Checklist for SMEs
- Priority - either High, Medium or Low: 
- Feedback regarding the topic description: 
- Feedback regarding the learning objectives: 
- Any other feedback: 

# Related Resources
If you know of other related resources that would assist in creating this content, list them below.
  1. Assess the relevance of the issue and assign a priority.
    • If an idea is not relevant, add a brief comment describing your reasoning and press Close issue.
    • If an idea is relevant, write either High, Medium, or Low in your comment.

A relevant topic is timely with the latest releases, up to date with latest practices, and follows the team’s Promotional Guidelines and GPL best practices.

Priority is assessed by whether or not the topic is critical to something in the latest release, hits on a needs analysis trend, or fixes a gap in previously published foundational content.

If a topic already exists, but as a different content type, then the topic could be approved as a lower-priority item so that topics with no content at all can be prioritized.

  1. Assess the submitted details of the topic, and provide feedback.
  2. Add links to any other related resources you think will assist the content creator when creating this content.
  3. Once you’ve submitted your comment, 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.” Faculty Admin in the #training Slack channel, asking them to process the issue for you and move it to the Content Development project board.

Hi @faculty-admin 👋🏼 I have vetted the topic on this GitHub issue: link_to_GitHub_issue Could you process this issue and move it to the Content Development project board please? Thanks!

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Moving vetted topic ideas to the content development project board

Once vetted, the issue is moved to the LearnWP Content - Development project board, after which relevant custom fields are set.

The Learn Content Triage membership on GitHub is required to move issues between project boards and set custom fields. All Faculty members are given this access, and contributors who have shown consistent contribution may also request access. Please contact a Training Team Representative or Faculty Member in the #training Slack channel if you lack the appropriate access to perform this work.

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Steps to move topic ideas and set custom fields

  1. Ensure all details have been filled in, either in the issue itself by the topic submitter, or in the comments by the SME.
  2. Remove the Needs Subject Matter Expert label.
  3. Move the issue from LearnWP Topic Vetting (Status: Vetted Topics) to LearnWP Content - Development (Status: Ready to create).
    • You can do this by clicking the cogwheel next to Projects in the right sidebarSidebar A sidebar in WordPress is referred to a widget-ready area used by WordPress themes to display information that is not a part of the main content. It is not always a vertical column on the side. It can be a horizontal rectangle below or above the content area, footer, header, or any where in the theme. of the issue, deselecting the current project board, and selecting the new project board.
  4. Set each of the custom fields after the issue has been moved. Only one item can be set per field. If multiple would apply, use your best judgement to assign the most relevant field.
    • Example: The topic submitter may have suggested a topic aimed at both Users and Developers. As you can only set one audience, you can choose whether Users or Developers is more relevant.
  5. Copy-paste one of the following as a comment to the issue, listing next-steps.
LessonThis topic is ready to be created. Please follow the handbook page Creating a Lesson for next steps.
TutorialThis topic is ready to be created. Please follow the handbook page Creating a Tutorial for next steps.
CourseThis topic is ready to be created. Please follow the handbook page Courses for next steps.
Online WorkshopThis topic is ready to be created. Please follow the handbook page Online Workshops for next steps.
Lesson PlanThis topic is ready to be created. Please follow the handbook page Lesson Plans for next steps.

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Additional points to keep in mind

If the topic submitter has indicated that they would like to create the Tutorial or Online Workshop:

  1. Check to see if they have been vetted on this spreadsheet.
  2. If they have been vetted, then:
    1. Change the status of the issue to Drafts in progress (within the LearnWP Content - Development project board).
    2. Assign the issue to the topic submitter.
    3. Let them know the topic is ready for them to create.
  3. If they have not been vetted, then send them the link to either the Tutorial presenter application or Online Workshop facilitator application and ask them to apply.

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