Team of 10 set roadmap for the future of WordPress documentation


A team of 10 WordPress folks just spent three days at the Open Help Conference and Sprints in Cincinnati in order to analyze a variety of issues with current WordPress documentation practices, and to create a roadmap moving forward.

The team was led by Siobhan McKeown, and a total of 10 people attended the conference. WooThemes, Automattic, and 10up each contributed time and money for some of their team members to take part in the conference. All attendees were:

  • Siobhan McKeown
  • Kim Parsell
  • Hanni Ross
  • Ryan Markell
  • Jerry Bates
  • Drew Jaynes
  • Eric Amundson
  • Michael Kraft
  • Maria Scarpello
  • Ryan Ray

When I asked her how she felt everything went, Siobhan had this to say:

It's been great to see the docs team grow and develop over the past year, and I was really excited to get so many people together in one place. We were able to talk about the issues around documentation and try to get to grips with how we can make our docs better for both users and developers. We want to provide the resources for developers to easily extend WordPress with a better reference and better learning materials, and we all agree that the user experience around documentation should be as seamless as it is for WordPress itself – over the coming two years we plan to make that happen.

The wrap-up post on the Make WordPress Doc blog highlights a number of areas where WordPress documentation needs improving. Some key areas are providing more examples, updating out-of-date content, organizing documentation better, and paring down many pages to key points. The post also highlights key areas where better documentation is needed for both users and developers, a list of tools that would help achieve these goals, and a variety of other helpful features for documentation that are needed.

The roadmap Siobhan posted offers milestones for the second half of 2013, two milestone dates for 2014, and even into 2015. Her position at Audrey will be highly beneficial for her to be able to commit time to the project to lead, but undoubtedly there is plenty of room for a plethora of others to help out and contribute.

Whether you code or not, Docs is a great way for you to help out. A diverse set of eyes will be helpful to make sure documentation is useful for users and developers, beginners and experienced community members. There is a bunch to do, and so many people can take part. So, if you are interested, keep your eye on the Make Docs blog, and just jump in!

I'd like to also express my personal thanks to each company that contributed to this event, and the attendees for their hard work. It seems like it was highly productive and valuable for the entire community.