WordPress has been continuously growing over the recent years. According to the latest data WordPress dominates the CMS world with a market share of 62% and the entire web with over 35.2% of all websites.
The history of WordPress is so eventful that one could fill a volume of books with it. We have already tried to sum up the most important milestones of this success story in one of our previous guides, the history of WordPress, it’s ecosystem and community. Our aim with that long read was to provide a general idea on the history of WordPress by featuring some turning points and the people and companies who played a key role in making this platform today’s most popular CMS.
However, the work of each WordPress enthusiast, Meetup and WordCamp organizer, and the activity of local communities contributed to the global success of WordPress. They stand for making WordPress a widely known and easy to use platform. That’s why we decided to introduce you a couple of local WordPress communities from different parts of the world.
There are hundreds of WordPress communities all around the globe that are growing day by day. In this guide, you’ll get an insight into different WordPress communities from 5 continents, 18 countries and get to know their achievements and future plans. If you would like to get involved in your local WordPress community this is a great read on how to get started.
We’d like to say thank you to all of the below-mentioned contributors for their help and support in making this guide complete. In case your country is not featured in this guide, feel free to get in touch or leave a comment!
Featured WordPress Countries:
- South Africa
Lester Chan, WordPress Plugin Developer
I am from Singapore and have been coding in PHP for more than a decade. I created the first WordPress plugin back in 2003 when WordPress was forked from b2. The reason I started creating WordPress plugins is because there are a few features like Polls and UsersOnline that could be found in popular forums like vBulletin/IP Board but were not presented in WordPress. I needed those features to engage my readers and hence I decided to create it and share it within the WordPress community as a plugin.
WordPress is getting a lot of traction in Singapore in the recent years. I have noticed that more and more media sites are switching to WordPress, even government related project websites.
Unfortunately, there are a lack of WordPress designers and developers in Singapore to meet the growing demand.
Whenever we organize events, it is always an an individual or companies were looking for developers/designers rather than the other way round.
Singapore WordPress User Group
Singapore WordPress User Group organises monthly meetups. It is not on a regular basis because sometimes the organisers are caught up with their day jobs and busy schedules. The last meetup we had was in October 2014, and as for WordCamp, we had the one and only WordCamp Singapore back in November 2011.
On our monthly meetups, we try to keep a good mixture of topics to cater for both the technical and non-technical crowd. But as mentioned earlier, the non-technical crowd is always a lot bigger.
We wish more WordPress designers and developers could join our group and speak on our meetups because there are always the same few people rotating to speak.
Juanfra Aldasoro, Co-organizer of WordCamp Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires, Argentina hosted the first WordCamp outside the US in 2007, which Matt Mullenweg attended. Since then, a couple more WordCamps took place here, but we were lacking some sort of organization in the community.
When WordPress turned 10, in May of 2013, thanks to a banner in the Codex site we created a celebration meetup. More than 20 people showed up, and the good thing was that we were a bunch of geeks on the same track. We had the people but we were lacking an organization. The ones interested in having an organized community kept in touch, we formed WordPress Argentina (@wpargentina) and during 2014 we started to hold more formal monthly meetups.
It is hard to estimate the number of WordPress users in Argentina, but I’m pretty sure the number is enormous. In a short time we were hosting meetups for more than 50 attendees. They’re mostly designers, developers and curious minds.
As we try to establish the local community, we organize the events for designers and non-WordPress developers in order to bring more people to the table.
We help each other in many ways, but mostly trying to show non-WordPress users that at some point we’re all amateurs and that there’s no such thing as a stupid question.
Our greatest success is the tremendous growth we are experiencing, and the organization we’ve built behind @wpargentina, which is independent from the organizers.
In the first semester of 2015, and after a long wait, we’ll be hosting a new WordCamp in Buenos Aires. We’d love to see new local groups from different provinces and towns of our country.
WordPress Francophone is an end-user and nonprofit association. Our objective is to provide information about WordPress and its community to the French-speaking users.
WordPress is an open-source project, and we want to have the same open-source spirit in our community. WordPress is made by its community, hence the french-speaking WordPress community gathers users and developers in order to develop and facilitate WordPress. Participation is the main building block of WordPress, and we wish to have the same cooperation in our community.
For example, our forum is currently managed by three moderators, but the majority of users answer and help others without the intervention of a moderator. I think our community is very active.
As of today, we focus on three main targets:
Develop local communities: WPFR was the first WP community in the French-speaking world, and therefore became WordPress Francophone — the community of all French-speaking people around the world. This has always been our mission, but we do not want to block the creation of local communities because of our weight and the fact that we are mostly Paris-based. There are now more and more new local communities in France. Several towns have their own local community: Lyon, Nantes, Bordeaux, etc. While WordPress Francophone aims to be the central community for all French communities, groups organize their own meetups, barcamps, and other events to help users meet each other.
Open our association to French users: by now our association is mainly dedicated to the organization of our events in Paris. We are only a handful of people, and we feel the need for more voices, ideas, and fresh blood. Since this spring, we have been working on updating the statutes of the organization to reflect that. This is an opportunity to create a network of French-speaking WP users and/or developers — a real platform to exchange knowledge and experience. It’s a long-term project, so there is still work to do. Since WordCamp Paris, held in January 2015, a group of WordPress fans work with us on the organization of this evolution! Our community is on good tracks to prepare its future.
Organize our key events: we organize one WordCamp a year and several barcamps each year. We also aim to have more smaller events and monthly meetups. We intent to motivate and support local users to organize their own events too, so that WordPress is not just a Parisian thing.
The Croatian WordPress community is relatively young but nevertheless very active and agile. The community organizes 4 Meetups, the largest one is in Zagreb (Croatian capital, from 60-90 people attend every two months + 200-300 viewers via live stream), then we have Meetup Split (organized by local WordPress community, around 20-30 people attend every 3-4 months), and Meetup Pula (organized once so far, around 20 people attended + 100 people via live stream, it will be organized every 6-8 months).
We plan to organize Meetups in Rijeka and Osijek as well this year so we will cover 4 of the largest cities in Croatia. We have around 1300 members in our Facebook group (people who understand Croatian language since it’s the language used), 240 Twitter followers (@wpcroatia, croatian/english account), 370 members in our Meetup.com group and more than 200 newsletter subscribers.
The community is steadily growing, around 15-20% every 2 months.
Most of the people in the community are self–taught individuals or small businesses who use WordPress themselves (for their business, blog) or small agencies that use themes to build other websites. According to a poll we made during the past two months (we got around 100 answers), we also have theme developers (60% answered), plugin developers (30%) and designers (not using WordPress, 50%) – the questions had multiple choices.
Our biggest success is building a community ourselves. We started in small and we didn’t jump to organize a WordCamp prior to organize a steady community. Now, we have around 30 speakers on 8 Meetups (these are 20-30 minutes talks) and we’ve covered topics from content strategy to running an agency and talking with clients. Our main objective is to educate people and spread the word about WordPress and we did so – for example, the website of the President of Croatia is built on WordPress as well as many other prominent websites. Our plan for the upcoming year is to organize national WordCamp and to continue pushing our community further on, not only by connecting with people in Croatia but connecting with the region and rest of the world.
Our WordPress community was started back in January 2013. Alexander Gounder and myself (Aditya Kane) started a forum for local WordPress users. The forum was a failure as we got more bots registering than actual humans.
So next step was organizing some local meetups. Ideally we’d need funds to have meetups and workshops. We did not have any time or money to raise funds. Hence we used Facebook to build a small online community called WordPress India. Then we announced casual meetups at malls and cafes.
By mid-2013 we applied to WordCamp Central to get involved with a WordCamp in Mumbai. Once we were approved as organizers, the meetups really took off and currently we have monthly meetups every last Sunday at a popular cafe.
Current Meetup Scene
There are currently over 270 members on the local meetups. I would guess about 20% of them are small business owners. Another 30% are probably developers or designers.
Almost 50% the regular attendees at meetups are self-employed developers or designers who predominantly use WordPress.
Our biggest success was organising a workshop in October 2014. It was a free workshop and cost us nothing as someone lent their facilities. Most importantly we saw more enthusiasm for workshops than casual meetups.
We started a job board – and use our WordPress India Facebook group to connect freelancers to connect with others. A few small business owners have used our meetups to even hire freelancers after being introduced there.
Finally, in 2014 we set out a couple of regular attendees and organizers/volunteers, they are up from 4 to 10 now.
Our Plans for 2015
Firstly we hope to organize a successful WordCamp Mumbai 2015, on 7th & 8th March. After the WordCamp our plans are to expand the community a lot more in the rest of the year.
We plan to have regular free workshops on WordPress from beginner level to advanced (if needed) so we can promote the use of WordPress and free open source software in general.
We also plan to have more regular newsletters and an active blog dedicated to local Mumbai related WordPress activities in the future.
WordPress community in Serbia is growing day by day. Although Serbia already had a lot of WordPress users and WordPress based agencies, the first WordPress meetup was not organized before 2013. The venue was ManageWP headquarters and we were only able to accommodate 30 people that time, although many more applied.
Nowadays, Serbian WordPress community activities, ran by Milan Ivanovic, are supported by ManageWP and Belgrade Youth Center. Meetups are frequent and happen every 5 to 6 weeks with almost 100 people attending each meetup on average.
Every meetup consists of three 20 minute lectures and an hour of networking after that. People who attend these meetups are mostly WordPress developers, Theme designers, Internet marketers and content writers as well as small business owners. We were able to have a lot of different types of lectures ranging from how to start your own WordPress based business to technical stuff such as SEO for WordPress, server optimizations and caching and web developer tips.
As a result of this success, Belgrade will host its first WordCamp in April. Getting a WordCamp to Belgrade was a challenge and a big responsibility. We are sure that people who decide to attend WordCamp Belgrade won’t be disappointed.
These meetups also inspired WP Academy, a local WordPress course (with Milan among others as a lecturer) intended for future WordPress developers.
We expect to see a raise in number of WordPress business in Serbia as a part of this initiative, although there are already some respectable ones such as ManageWP and ThemesKingdom.
The WordPress community in Malta is small but vibrant. We have a WordPress Malta Facebook group that is the main hub of our activity. Practically all web agencies are using WordPress to develop sites for their clients, gone are the days of the cumbersome custom CMSs.
Apart from the WP Mayor and WP RSS Aggregator teams we also have the guys behind WP Security Audit Log (plugin) and WP Lighthouse (service) in our community.
Malta is also a main gaming company hub and many of these online gaming companies use WordPress for their projects.
The Maltese WordPress community has also been present in the first two WordCamp Europe conferences held in Leiden and Sofia.
Malta is a very welcoming place for digital nomads and the nomad community in Malta has been growing steadily during the past few years. Many of these said nomads are building new businesses and a good number of them use WordPress, thus furthering the growth of the WordPress community in Malta.
The WordPress community in Norway continues to grow and it’s amazing to see the things that are coming out of it. For a relatively small country, a population of around 5 million people, I’d say we are doing pretty well with 3 active WordPress Meetups in Oslo, Stavangerand Bergen and about to have our 4th WordCamp this February.
The Oslo Meetup is quite active and has over 500 members. They meet on a monthly basis and have about 30-40 people show up.
The Stavanger meetup is quite new although we attract about 15-20 people on a monthly basis and look forward to that growing as well!
Meetups and WordCamp are primarily in English as there are quite a variety of nationalities in the mix.
In terms of the type of people I’d also say it’s a good mix of beginners, designers, developers, business owners, etc.
We are trying our best to showcase WordPress as the best solution for business / enterprise websites in Norway.
While there are huge companies / sites using WordPress all over the world it will take a number or larger Norwegian companies to take the step and it’s starting to happen with a well established community spreading the word.
The WordPress community in Cape Town is a thriving community of developers, designers, entrepreneurs and bloggers from a host of different industries. Over the past few years, the community has grown in leaps and bounds with the annual WordCamp Cape Town now attracting 400 attendees.
The members of the community are always happy to help each other out. We also have semi-regular meetups that allow us to connect and talk about all things WordPress. In 2015 we will be hosting even more meetups and, due to the recent success of our first Contributor Day, more events that show our community members how they can contribute back to WordPress.
One of our most successful events (and one we are particularly proud of) was our first annual do_action( ‘wordpress-charity-hackathon’ );.
The hackathon was one day in which almost 50 volunteers from the community came together to build brand new websites for 9 different local charities.
The community and the charities all loved it and it was a hugely successful and rewarding day. We will be repeating this event again in 2015 and expect an even bigger response. We’re also very happy that the WordPress communities in France and Thailand are going to be replicating the do_action idea in their areas this year and we’re looking forward to seeing the concept evolve into a global event.
All-in-all the WordPress community in Cape Town is a growing community of like-minded people who are passionate about WordPress and helping grow the platform and the community.
Our meetup group has around 1500 members. The group is branched into 3 subgroups: General, User, Developer. This targets the different needs of our diverse community.
It started in 2011. Our group is growing, and there’s currently a bigger influx of Users, and students who are developers.
We have a full spectrum of WordPress types: designers, developers, users, freelancers, business owners, agency workers, etc.
We have a large and growing WordCamp.
We’re working on developing local speakers, holding different kinds of workshops (such as Women Talking WordPress — developing more people who identify as women to start giving presentations), and we’re looking at creating closer ties with other WordPress communities in our region.
One of our many successes is through our workshop and other outreach efforts, we had 50/50 women and men speakers at WordCamp Vancouver 2014: Developer edition.
Our goal for 2015 is to build out our online presence with a local, community website.
When I started the first Swiss blog solely about WordPress back in 2008, the local community was almost non-existent. The CMS of choice for many web agencies was Joomla or Typo3 and I was mainly exchanging views on WordPress with the German community. It took some help from them to organize a smallish WordCamp in 2011 with around 40 attendees.
Things began to come together in 2012 when people started organizing WordPress meetups in Zurich and Geneva. I’ve been a co-organizer of the Zurich meetup for almost 3 years now. Both meetups have hundreds of members and plenty of attendees every time. Based on my experience, most of them are working professionally with WordPress, i.e. as developers or freelancers. One of my personal meetup highlights was celebrating WordPress’ 10th anniversary with around 40 other WordPress enthusiasts.
These meetups laid the foundation for WordCamp Switzerland in 2014. It was a collaboration between the two meetup groups that resulted in over 200 attendees from Switzerland and all over the world.
The WordCamp helped us see where the local community was standing.
Today, the Swiss WordPress community is bigger than ever. Thousands of Swiss websites run on WordPress and we’re already planning the next WordCamp.
There’s even a new meetup group in Bern which is growing rapidly. Sadly we’re still missing an official meetup in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland.
As you can see, WordPress has finally arrived in Switzerland. I’m very excited to see the continued growth of both the community and the usage of WordPress for popular websites.
Dublin WordPress currently has 377 members but is growing at a very constant and steady pace since it was set up in 2011. We host monthly meetups in Dublin city centre alternating between PubPress (informal pub based “chat and a pint” meetups) and TalkPress, more formal meetups where we have speakers, panel discussions and Q&A’s.
In 2015 we plan to host a WordPress Charity Hackathon, as well as many more WordPress Meetups to deal with the topics of plugin development, WordPress best practice, being a better WP Agency, SEO for WordPress, eCommerce for WordPress, WordPress as an App engine, and much much more.
Currently there are no WordCamp events being run in Ireland.
Estonian WordPress community is quite international. Our meetupsare held in english and we have had people joining in from all around Europe or even from all around the world.
I created a meetup group after returning from the first WordCamp Europe. I decided to bring all the WordPress fans in Estonia together, no matter if they were new or already experienced users. There was also one other group but it was only in estonian language. I am now the host of both meetups and hopefully one day we’ll start with WordCamp Tallinn and also host WordCamp Europe here.
We have almost 100 members, but on the meetups usually around 15 to 20 people attend. We have our meetups in english because lots of us come from other countries. There are people from France, Germany, Turkey, India, Slovenia, Russia, Latvia, UK and many other places. That’s funny actually how all these people from so many different places get united by the same cause. So when you happen to come to Tallinn, Estonia and we have our meetup then, feel free to come and join us.
People come to our meetups from very different fields. Some are just looking to get started or learn more about WordPress, some are heavy users and developers and some wish to get business advice or marketing tips. So we cover it all. I personally think that this is the best part.
You never know who you meet or what you will learn or maybe you can really change the future of the people who show up.
I have learned a lot by making lots of mistakes in life and business and because of that I can help others avoid mistakes and save money. That’s what I help my clients and that’s also how I can help people in the community.
I own a marketing-video-content company, VideoPartner, which also is giving back to the WP community by making WCEU videos:
Cairo Egypt is a mega-city with a population of over 20 million. There is no reliable way to estimate the number of WordPress users but every major international corporation is represented here and most are relying on WordPress for their business sites. A rough estimate is 50,000 users of all levels throughout Egypt, predominantly located in the capital Cairo. Our experience shows us that there is a diversity of users from beginner to developer and that some of the developers are in fact, beginners.
This is because Joomla held a large share of the webspace, but more and more developers are becoming interested in WordPress.
We can expect the WordPress Community in Cairo to continue to grow quickly. What the WP community in Cairo lacks is a network to connect the users.
The Meetup group, WordPress Cairo launched in 2014, but it was a tumultuous year in Egypt- attendance was light and only a couple of meetings were held in the co-working space Maqarr. However, founding organizer Mohamed Elbialy nurtured his vision and fulfilled his intention of restarting in 2015. The first meeting this year in Maqarr was on February 28. The group maintains a growing Facebook group and a Meetup group. As the group grows, we hope to divide the meetings into beginner, power user, and developer tracks and start a weekly WordPress Help Desk.
Ultimately, WordPress Cairo hopes to be the engine behind the organization of a WordCamp Cairo.
If it comes to WordPress community in Poland, I dare to say that there is some magic happening: Quite a big number of people meet at random places (cafe’s, pubs, offices…) and talk about their work after their work-hours. Isn’t it crazy? And they do not only talk to each other, they spend their free time to prepare slides and then to teach and share their experiences to other members of community. Each is motivated and passionate about their hobby and networking.
Yep, being a geek doesn’t mean to spend hours just at front of your computer screen. Or at least being a wp-geek (if I can call us this way) in Poland.
Who are we? Mostly WP enthusiasts: developers, designers, bloggers, managers. But everyone somehow connected to WordPress (and crazy about net) is welcome! You don’t need to be an expert to join us, being friendly and open-minded is enough.
In 2010 the first Polish WordCamp took place in Łódź, this fall the 6th edition is being organised in Cracow. Polish WordPress community keeps growing and this is what we consider our greatest success, because not only we have nationwide WordCamp, few times a year we meet locally at WordUps in 8 cities: Gdynia, Wrocław, Warszawa, Katowice, Kraków, Łódź, Toruń, Lublin and we are pretty sure there will be more!
Our goal is not only to meet more often and talk but to cooperate more, share our contacts, ideas and even commercial projects inside the community, still motivate each other and develop our soft skills. So keep your fingers crossed and wish us luck! And you are welcome to visit us during WordCamp!
Once upon a WordCamp Netherlands, Zé Fontainhas sighed Belgium was a blind spot on the WordPress community map. He was right: with a couple of WordPress colleagues we often tripped to our neighbours for some community love: for the Dutch speaking Belgians, The Netherlands. They organised WordCamps, meetups and even hosted the first WordCamp Europe. But in Belgium there was not a community in an organised way.
Sure, a lot of developers knew WordPress, but nobody came forward as such. Don’t forget: Belgium is Drupal Country (which is a very good thing for the open source spirit down here). It was a Scotsman, Gilbert West, from New York who started the Brussels meetup group because he couldn’t find one in his new home country. Two years later, the community is getting more visible, though one step at a time.
For now, the most steady and regularly organized meetup groups are in Brussels (since 2013, 316 members) and Antwerp (one year old, 146 members), a lot more than we could have imagined and still growing. One day, there might be a WordCamp Belgium. Plans are being made. We are a small country, but we can serve a big audience with at least 4 common spoken languages: Dutch, English, French & German.
Greece has been in the spotlight of the whole world, due to the economic crisis lately, but its technological communities are becoming more and more active and productive every year. The WordPress Greek Community has had some interesting history dating back to 2009, but has been more or less inactive since then. Motivated by the 10th WordPress anniversary in 2013, we began gathering everybody up online and offline to form one unified and active community.
Right now our Facebook page, which is our most vibrant online meeting spot, has some 1300+ members and it is still growing every day. All this in 2 years time. We are very proud of it. The main reason for this is that WordPress has become tremendously popular within freelancers and companies of the web, especially new ones, and they all find this a great place to search for help, find solutions to problems and interact.
In our community one finds frontend developers (40%), web designers (20%), backend developers (10%), server administrators (10%), webmasters (10%) and bloggers (10%).
We have managed to organize several meetups during these years, the biggest ones reaching up to 200 people. We were able to find sponsors, venues, expand out efforts to other, smaller cities around Greece and spread the word of WordPress. It is amazing how many cells of creativity one might find not just in a big city, but even in the most distant places. Our struggle is to rest everyone assured that WordPress is a mature CMS, that is here to stay, with its beautiful simplicity, ease of use and extensibility.
In the future, we want to grow the community even stronger, make our meetups more regular and organize a WordCamp.
Also you can find us online in these places:
Slovakia is a small country in the heart of Europe.
Slovak WordPress community is young but fast growing. WordPress became the most popular CMS in Slovakia just 2 years ago, but now there are at least a thousand new slovak WordPress domains each month. Our community consists mostly of regular users, freelancers, business owners, designers and we also have a few skilled developers.
Our largest meetup group is based in Bratislava and has almost 200 members on Facebook. We translate WordPress and all the most popular plugins into Slovak, help each other with neverending WordPress related questions and share our knowledge on the community’s website, WP.sk and on our WordPress meetups. On our last meetup there were almost 90 people. Everyone can prepare a presentation about a topic that can be useful for others and after the presentations we network in one of the local pubs.
WordCamp Slovakia 2015 will be our 4th WordCamp with around 250 attendees and with our first contributor day.