This is the discussion page for handling the articles and submissions for the WordPress Lessons in the Codex. To see a list of wanted articles, check out the Codex Task List.
The goal of the WordPress Lessons section of the WordPress Codex is to take the technical information and put it into a more easy-to-read-and-understand format that brings in step-by-step instructions mixed with "real life" implementation. Since these are referenced from the WordPress Forum as legitimate instructions on how to "do something", the need for these documents to be as accurate as possible is fairly high.
A list of wanted articles for the WordPress Lessons is found on the Codex Task List. If you have a step-by-step instruction article that meets the criteria below, please consider submitting it. The following process for submission is still under development and subject to change:
- Register and Create a User Page
- It isn't essential, but it helps everyone if you would create a User Page by clicking on your name and following the instructions in the Editing Help page to create your own User Page. You can say whatever, nicely, you want about yourself and your expertise, or just leave a link to your website(s), and some way of contacting you. Just put something down that will help us understand that you know how this process works and that you are willing to help.
- Sign Up
- You can sign up to write a lesson in several ways. The simplest is by editing the User:Lorelle/Articles_for_WordPress_Lessons page and putting four tildes (~) after the title you are interested in writing about, either already listed or added by you. Or you can contact the Lessons assistant editor and leave a message in their discussion page or email them directly. Or you can post a note about your intentions on the wp-docs mailing list. This helps avoid duplicate efforts.
- Tell Us About It
- Either on your own User Page or via the wp-docs mailing list, let us know what your intentions are, what you want to write about, and the goal of the article. Others can often help you keep the topic on track, and avoid duplication of effort. If you need help or expertise to complete the article, let us know and we will do our best to make sure you get the assistance you need to complete the article.
- Submit the Article
- When you are ready to submit the article to the Codex, please let us know via the aforementioned methods. We are still working on the review process for WordPress Lessons submissions and they may include one or more of the following: email the article to the Lessons assistant editor for review; post the article on the wp-docs mailing list; post the article on your User Page in a subpage; or another method.
- The Submission Must Meet Criteria
- As with any magazine, book, or technical documentation, WordPress lessons have some criteria that needs to be met before permitting the release of the information. These are fairly simple guidelines, and they are subject to change, but they still must be met. Read more below on what the criteria is.
As a guide to those who may contribute to the WordPress Lessons, the following criteria should be considered when submitting a Lesson to the WordPress Codex.
- Article must relate to a WordPress feature
- The topic and subject of the submitted article must apply and relate to a WordPress feature or function. While the topics that can be covered by WordPress Lessons often pushes the limits of a direct connection to WordPress, off-topic subjects like "how to chat online", "learning CSS", "learning PHP", "combating email spam", and similar subjects better covered by other sites are beyond the scope of the WordPress Codex. Lessons on CSS and HTML only apply if they relate to changing a specific template tag or file in a way that is helpful to the majority of users and not just a change or addition of a style to make it look "pretty". Related but off-topic subjects may be accepted if the content applies directly to the WordPress user and WordPress features such as pingbacks, trackbacks, RSS feeds, and site validation.
- Article should benefit a large majority (not minority) of WordPress users
- It's critical that the majority of users get some kind of helpful information and resources from the Lesson and that it not apply to only a few potential users. Sometimes this is subjective, so if in doubt, ask.
- Article should not include plugins or hacks
- Unless mentioned as a minor detail, such as on the article Post Meta Data Section as an example of "what is possible", hacks and plugins should not be the focal point of the Lesson. If the hack or plugin is of benefit to the majority of users, and it meets with approval by the Codex documentation team, then a Lesson may be written about it.
- Lessons must include step-by-step procedures
- The best way to show someone how to do something is by using small step-by-step procedures that take the user through the entire process. When tackling a subject in general rather than a procedure, the Lesson should grow in complexity from simple and easy to more complicated. When possible, graphic examples are welcome.
- Write about "You" not "I"
- The "voice" of the WordPress Lessons is about the "you" in the story. "You can do this", "you change that", and not "This is how I did it". The WordPress Lessons are not brags, but educational material about how to use WordPress. If in doubt, see Article Must Benefit a Large Majority of Users.
- External links should be kept to a minimum
- When possible, links to information within the WordPress Codex or WordPress sites are highly encouraged. Do not rely on an external site to convey essential information; remember that people's permalink structures, etc., are subject to change without notice. Summarize important information in the Lesson itself, and give credit to the original author in a footnote/bibliography. Also, while it can be useful to provide external links to supplemental or background information, avoid the temptation to turn your Lesson into a mini web directory.
- Finding and Crediting Sources
- Sources of information and articles may come from within the Codex, Forums, Forum Topics, and elsewhere for inclusion. If they involve copyrighted or "quoted" material, the author's name and site will be listed at the end of the article as a form of "bibliography" with a some text2 footnote associated with the text. Articles are to be about a process, not about a person or their contribution, in keeping with Wiki form.
Additionally, Lessons should follow the style conventions listed in the Codex Guidelines. Like all articles in the Wordpress Codex, Lessons are subject to revision. If you don't want your material edited mercilessly, then don't submit it.
Writers are needed, but editors to clean up and verify the Lesson material are also needed. To be among those counted on to edit submitted material to the WordPress Lessons, please contact the Lessons assistant editor or post a note below. To edit already published material, feel free to slash and burn, though please post comments in the article's discussion area if in doubt about a slash.
We are also seeking experts to check in with regarding small technical elements within an article. If you would not like to actively edit but wouldn't mind helping us verify questionable technical specs, please let us know. All help is welcome.
Discussion About WordPress Lessons
If you would like to signup, have a question, submission idea, or just a thank you for providing these cool topics to help WordPress users, you can post it below or add it to the Codex Task List.
We are desperately seeking experts to write about some of the more technical aspects of using WordPress. These include, but are not limited to:
- Various Loop effects with the WordPress Loop
- Technical Features
- Managing Links
- RSS and Other Feeds
If you are interested, please sign up on the Codex Task List.