In an unprecedented effort, the whole world is fighting the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. What can WordPress professionals with their diverse skills bring to the table in these times of crisis? Let’s explore some options – and let’s collect more in the comment sections below!
Openly sourcing solutions
A rapidly growing volunteer effort (that even bears some resemblance to the WordPress project itself) seems to be the initiative HelpfulEngineering.org. From its FAQ: “Helpful Engineering was created to provide an open source platform for volunteers to design, source and execute projects that can help mitigate people’s suffering from the COVID-19 crisis. Most of the projects are focused on finding solutions to fix the lack of products used by healthcare professionals, including hardware and software, but also non technical products like surgical masks.” At the time of writing, 3,400 volunteers were already working in 35 projects – see more in this blog post.
Judging from a quick view through its already ongoing projects the focus of this initiative lies on producing hardware products – but volunteers with backgrounds in “Software” or “Graphics, Public Outreach” are asked to join as well. And, well, the website HelpfulEngineering.org itself is a WordPress website, so they might need a hand with that.
Another open source effort is IBM’s 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge which expanded their focus from climate change to also target COVID-19. Learn more about the new focus in this blogpost.
Restaurants and other small businesses suffer deeply from lockdowns and shop closures. Here is a project idea that utilizes the power of WordPress: creating a directory of local stores and services that are switching their offerings to delivery, call/click & collect, online shop or similar. One example is Hagenliefert.de where the 190,000 inhabitants from the German city of Hagen can connect with local small business for their needs.
Marius Sonnentag (@mrsonnentag) detailed how he set up the platform in his blog article “How to help the local Stores in your Area — in times of Corona Crisis with WordPress”. Marius describes how he used popular WordPress tools such as Gravity Forms, ACF and Elementor in quickly building the site.
I read from some WordPress devs that they are lowering their rates to support local businesses setting up their online stores.
Another offer comes from David Baumwald (@DreamEncode), WordPress core contributor and developer from Florida:
WordPress businesses chipping in
Post Status has a growing list of companies that have free or discounted offers with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some big names such as GoDaddy and Yoast are already on there – but it could be more!
Apart from general discounts – it might be worth contacting theme vendors or plugin developers directly, as this inquiry from the Helpful Engineering team towards WPML demonstrates.
This is just a glimpse in what WordPress professionals can do to support the fight against COVID-19. Do you know more initiatives? How are you engaging yourself with your WordPress skills? Please let everybody know in the comments!
P.S.: Here is a hand-washing Wapuu!
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