The Trouble With No Grandparents in the WordPress Community

Grandparents love us because they see an opportunity to correct their parenting mistakes. Unfortunately for you, you’re a WordPress child and when parents fight, there’s no one to run to. WordPress lacks grandparents, entities that have your best interests in mind and regardless of your behaviors. Guidelines and Policies

There are pros and cons to the way and WordCamp (extension of are run. I’m here to argue for neither. has the right to do whatever it feels as a website and organization. I deserve the same freedom on

What’s troubling for me personally is how a massive site like continues to make decisions against the interests of the community without consequence. Every couple of years, something new gets established at We’d argue about it at the expense of someone’s blog for about 100 to 200 comments and then learn to live with it without compromise.

Surprisingly, we have no influence on the hub we contribute to. It’s like an immune system trying to a keep a person alive, but he/she can’t stop getting sick. Even if it’s for a good cause like running for a healthier body, you shouldn’t run 20 miles on the first day. Maybe , you ( should learn to listen to your body (community).

Compromise and Take Care of Your Kids

That’s what parents do for the good of the family. Some suggests Automattic should create a 100% GPL compliant market to replace ThemeForest. That’s a no-no. When parents fight based on personal interests, they need to compromise, not win. When one side wins, you get even less freedom.

Create Grandparents

The WordPress community needs a new WordPress centric place to simply exist without strict guidelines.

  • a place to act as a hub for communication
  • an unbiased source where we can read the news, learn, and exist without the filters that are and
  • a place to meet up for online events
  • and maybe a free market will grow from it without affecting the .org side of your WordPress life

Why do we, one of the biggest communities online, spread ourselves too thin across Twitter, Facebook,, Google Plus, etc.?

About Tung Do

Watermelon and fried-food loving theme designer from Dalat, Vietnam. I love designing themes. I heard the key to happiness with what you do for a living is to find the one thing you'd do for free. Designing themes is my thing. I know this because I've done it for free.

11 Responses

  1. Patty

    Interesting. I’ve worked with WordPress for about 4 years now, and I still find the expression “WordPress community” to be puzzling, just in and of itself. Where exactly is this community? Sure, there’s lots of communication via social media, but it in no way constitutes a “community” by any basic definition of the word.

    I’ve experienced real online communities, and they can be awesome. I see nothing like that around WordPress. :-(


  2. Personally, the WordPress ecosystem (rather than “community”) is great as that—a system of entities, processes, etc—that mutually depend on each other with good social interaction.

    Local groups—meetups and often related WordCamps—are good (or at least could be) within the nexus of electronic and physical community.

    For me, though, I’ve found an “online community” in the midst of developers of a particular theme framework. There aren’t “giants” (a la and TF) to have conflict that would cause community members headache. There is the framework company, sure, but they don’t set guidelines on “community” issues. I don’t exist solely within that one community, no, but it’s where I feel most “home” within the WP world.

    In short, I think there simply isn’t one WordPress community. It’s too large, too vast, too many different type of “community” members. Within the ecosystem, there are plenty of places where community could (and does) exist.

      1. That’s a fair point. There are a lot of interesting projects and ideas that I lose track of since they’re too distant from my day-to-day place.

        It’s a big challenge. Within the Austin, TX Meetup group, we’ve now up to five different meetups each month focused on different segments (content producers, business folks using WP, new folks who want to move along the design/development track, full-time (or wanna-be) developers, etc). Even with the benefit of physical space, there’s a high potential for little interaction between these groups.

        Thanks for bringing this topic up. Hopefully with enough folks thinking about it, something will develop.

  3. Where is the +1 button when you need one?

    I have seen a good number of developers with really popular work on get frustrated with the excessive policing, enough to stop contributing. “DigitalNature”, who had featured themes like “Mystique” and “Arclite” got into a fight about what can and cannot go into a theme ( and for all intents and purposes stopped contributing to

    As you state, “ has the right to do whatever it feels as a website and organization”. So if developers want to get their work out there, they need to kowtow to policies.

  4. Tung, your post got me thinking about the state of the WordPress community and prompted me to write a post in response: (apologies for the shameless self-promo.

    I was wondering whether you’d given any more thought about your idea of a new community space and what form it might take. Why not come up with a rough sketch for a model? I’d certainly be interested in collaborating.

    Thanks for bringing this up.


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