Building WordPress is About Building Community

This is a blog post from one of our sponsors. Be sure to visit all of our sponsors at the event and thank them for their support! This post was written by Mendel Kurland, a speaker at our event and Community Evangelist at GoDaddy.

I’m an analytical sort of fellow. I like research. Give me stacks of data from various sources and I’ll connect the dots. I’ll sit in a downtown coffee shop somewhere and create a formula that explains where the most influential small-business communities are in America. Or where you can find the best artisan coffee in Louisiana. 

And I’ll back it up with data.

So a couple of years ago, when I was thinking of where I wanted to live next, I did the same thing. I poured over data to try to find the best community to live in. Where can I find an awesome community? Where can I find a real community?

That’s a loaded term, isn’t it? Community? Real community is even more heavy. What is that? A pretty downtown with big oak trees and a busy diner and an Elk’s lodge? A group of collective street artists taking over abandoned buildings and making them beautiful? A bunch of families getting together on a Sunday afternoon to build a local playground for their kids? 

It’s more than just hanging out. It’s more than having something in common. It’s more than defining yourself by what you’re not.

What makes WordPress a community?

Real communities are diverse and inclusive. Real communities grow because they welcome newcomers and support the regulars. Real communities have a vision that’s beyond the day to day. It’s bigger than a location or a playground or a product.

Building a community? That’s not an easy thing.

But it’s exactly what we’ve seen with WordPress and the open-source community surrounding it. These are collaborative and welcoming cultures that have built something bigger than themselves — something that contributes to the common good of the Internet and the world. 

The software? That’s only of a piece of it. The real power is in the community.

When Matt and Mike first created WordPress, I’m guessing they didn’t imagine it would power the Internet, apps and enterprise sites. I’m not sure they could have seen that it would unify designers, developers and artists toward a common cause. WordPress has become another shining example of a real community. Every single contributor (big and small) is an agent of that success.


At GoDaddy, we’re committed to building the WordPress community.

With this in mind, GoDaddy’s been a part of the WordPress community since inception — at least from a consumer and website-builder perspective. We’re nerds. We love to make websites and share them with friends. It’s digital validation that we know what we’re doing. 

But it hasn’t been until recently that we doubled-down and became an active member of the community and a WordPress champion. Our goal shifted from using and loving WordPress to building and nurturing the broader community. 

We wanted to spread the love, so to speak.

So at the beginning of 2016, GoDaddy made a financial commitment to the WordPress community in the amount of $130,000. Money that the WordPress Foundation used to launch smaller WordPress communities around the world. And money to make meetups and WordCamps a reality for existing communities. Communities like the one coming together during WordCamp Minneapolis. Where WordPress t-shirt-wearing folks of all ages and backgrounds will join together over client war stories. Where web creators will take a moment out of their hustle to learn as much as possible vacuuming every ounce of coffee from the carafes. 

Beyond money, we’re listening closely to the WordPress community and building a WordPress platform based on their feedback and their needs. The GoDaddy WordPress team continues to focus on creating an elegant and powerful platform for developers, web designers (GoDaddy Pro), and the 14 million small and micro-businesses that we serve.

And we’ve met a lot of amazing and thoughtful people along the way. People who are teaching others how to start and run their own freelance businesses. People who are showing WordPress beginners how to get started. They’re teaching them everything from themes and plugins to JavaScript. We love what they’re doing so much, we’ve hired them. Many of them have contributed to our online blog, the GoDaddy Garage. And we’ve funded local workshops for others (BobWP and the DoTheWoo podcast). Even more recently, we’ve seeded Zac Gordon’s efforts to build comprehensive training for WordPress-related JavaScript, JavaScript for WP.

And we’re not slowing down. You’ll see us at WordCamp Minneapolis in a big way. GoDaddy-ers and friends of ours are attending, covering, and contributing. We’re participating in WordCamps and contribution days in Minneapolis and around the world.

Yep, we love this community. We’re stoked to be a part of it. And like any real community, we’re excited to continue to participate, grow, and contribute to a vision that’s bigger than the sum of its parts.

Let’s connect.

Give me a shout on Twitter or Facebook (or GoDaddy), and keep up-to-date with what we’re up to next! What should we be working on? How can we help?

Oh, and if you haven’t tried our new Managed WordPress hosting, hit me up at WordCamp Minneapolis. I have something for you. 😉