Tis the season to reflect on what we’re thankful for.
For me, this year, I’m feeling especially thankful for open source and this WordPress community. I owe a lot to it, and to all of you.
Seven years ago, things were different for me. I was running a solo business importing and selling wine. It was really lonely, challenging, and (ugh) capital-intensive.
I started making websites on the side, as a fun, creative hobby and a way to help people I knew.
One of the only reasons I was able to learn and transition into this field was that open source tools made it affordable for me to learn. I built my first few sites for only the cost of hosting (and a lot of hours building and breaking things).
Today, I run a digital agency that builds websites for awesome clients. It’s creative, flexible, and impactful. And as of this year, I’ve found out that there is no need to be lonely—There is a great WordPress community supporting one another.
While the websites we build are no longer free, it amazes me that some of my agency’s favorite plugins still are.
I’m so thankful for the many great people in WordPress who are creating and sharing things just to help one another, and I want to find a way to express it.
My Thanksgiving Challenge
So here was my challenge to myself this week:
- Take a few minutes to look through our basic website blueprint (what we use as a base for every site)
- Note which free open source tools we have installed
- Find a way to donate to them
- Send a small donation and a note of thanks
“It’s Better Than a Bug Report”
One of the most valuable free plugins we use is Redirection. It’s how we create all of our 301 redirects when we change site structure or page URLs in a redesign. As you may have heard, this is really super critically important to me.
I couldn’t figure out how to donate to the plugin, so I sent an email to John Godley, the plugin’s developer.
I didn’t really expect to hear this when he wrote back:
Glad to hear that it’s been useful for you, and I appreciate you letting me know (it’s better than a bug report!).
My realization? Just a note of thanks is a lot better than another complaint, bug report, or support ticket.
Even if you aren’t in a position to donate, sending a positive email or tweet to a free plugin developer might make their day brighter.
Edited to add: Scott DeLuzio mentioned on Twitter that a review in on the WordPress.org plugin repository is also a great way to say thanks. Great idea Scott!
Would you join Open Source Thanksgiving?
Can I ask you—What free tools, plugins, and resources are you thankful for using in 2017?
Can you find a way to thank the person behind that tool? Money is great, but even a note of thanks (that isn’t a bug report) would lift up those who help us.
If you choose to join in on spreading the love of Open Source Thanksgiving, I’d love to hear what open source tools you are especially thankful for below. 🙂