Front Page of the WordPress Codex.

WordPress Codex: An Online Manual for the WordPress Community

The purpose of this article is to feature the insights the author obtained from Lorelle VanFossen during an interview conducted on December 3, 2013.

WordPress Codex is an on-line manual for the WordPress Community. WordPress Codex is a living document which changes and evolves as WordPress itself changes and evolves.

WordPress Codex is written using the MediaWiki platform. This is a robust platform that is used by many organizations including Wikipedia. It also supports multiple languages which is a compelling feature for WordPress Codex.

Front Page of the WordPress Codex.

The WordPress Codex platform evolved from the original online WordPress Wiki. A few years ago, the Codex was incorporated seamlessly into the WordPress.org interface, which also integrates with the WordPress Support Forums run on the forum platform also part of the WordPress and Automattic, bbPress, so they are all accessed from a single log in. Everything is now under one hood. This is something that the WordPress community now takes as a given but which represented a significant leap forward for Codex at the time to move from standalone site to integrated with all of the rest of WordPress access.

WordPress Codex is designed to serve users at every level. It serves the beginning blogger as wells as the advanced developer and programmer especially with regards to on-line documentation. The contributors are volunteers who are driven by a sense of community.

WordPress itself had its origin in other products and morphed into the WordPress as it exists today.

Lorelle VanFossen of Lorelle on WordPress, and our teacher in all things WordPress at Clark College, brings a unique insight into Codex because she became involved with WordPress Codex early and observed the constant evolution of WordPress Codex firsthand.

Lorelle was drawn into the move to the MediaWiki platform including the migration of old articles from the legacy platform. Lorelle and the other contributors coordinated their efforts via IRC chat and online documents.

Lorelle encourages prospective contributors to carefully follow the guidelines which are readily available through the community portal of WordPress Codex. Adherence to the guidelines is the beginning threshold for aspiring Codex contributors. Once an aspiring contributor has familiarized themselves with the guidelines and the tone of WordPress Codex, they should progress to volunteering to do edits. This will give the volunteer a feel for the voice of Codex.

The new volunteer is best served sticking to what they know when they start out, branching out later, after they get a feel for how this all works. A novice would stick to blogging, very simple design and basic. A volunteer with web design, development and programming might focus on theme design or API interfaces.

The WordPress Codex contributors are true believers. They recognize that WordPress represents a combined investment of hundreds of years of labor by skilled and dedicated professionals. This represents an investment that would be hard to duplicate without millions of dollars of budgeted resources and yet WordPress is free!

The contributors to WordPress Codex are motivated in part by a desire to give back to the cause by contributing their own efforts to the cause. A by product of this approach is that WordPress Codex contributors are bonded by a shared passion for the product.

If you would like more information on how you can get involved in contributing to the WordPress Codex and other WordPress documentation, check out the WordPress documentation support team.

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