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WordPress is not Free

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A new version of WordPress is being released

With the release of WordPress 3.5 we’ll see two things: people falling in love with the media tools, and a fresh group of new WordPress users who catch the excitement and want to finally give it a try.

If you visit WordPress.org, you’ll see you can download the software for free. If you go on Twitter, Facebook, or search YouTube you’ll find people saying the same thing.

WordPress is free!

They’re all wrong.

With great power comes great responsibility

You remember Peter Parker’s uncle, right? Do you remember his caution to his nephew, Spider-Man? It was a challenge that reminded him nothing in life is ever truly free.

So you download software that took years to develop and the official price tag is zero. Maybe you’re thinking you got a deal. You did. None of us could afford all the hours that went into the software.

But you’ve also joined a community. The WordPress community is like the movie Pay it Forward. You’ll likely never consider yourself an expert because there will always be people further down the road than you, who know more than you. But invest some time and soon enough, you’ll be able to turn around and see other new folks who know less than you.

That’s where your opportunity to pay it forward exists.

How you can contribute, beyond writing code

There are tons of resources that can help you contribute code to WordPress. Instead, let me share three ways you can contribute (even if you’re not a developer):

  1. Attend a local meetup. As you participate in your local community, you’ll discover local developers, designers, and more. Get to know them and refer them.

  2. Be a patron. I’ve written about it recently but I’ll say it again. Get some recommendations and then spend a little cash, buying some plugins & themes.

  3. Share your knowledge. Writing a blog post with some tips or a review is free. But it will take a little time. Pay it forward by educating others.

See? Told you it wasn’t completely free. But in the end, it’s worth it!

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