About Five for the Future

What is Five for the Future?

Five for the Future is a stewardship program inviting companies to dedicate resources to advancing WordPress. The program empowers organizations to invest in their future success by making sustained contributions to WordPress. 

Open source is an essential digital public good that is used by millions around the world to create exponential value and opportunity. WordPress today has a wide range of users, from the largest companies and institutions to small businesses, to hobbyists. This is because WordPress has an incredible reputation and strong community. It is powerful software that can be endlessly extendable to suit different needs; it’s reliable and secure. Whatever the need, WordPress creates opportunities and helps people further their goals – in fact, WordPress in 2022 was estimated to generate a combined annual revenue of billions of US Dollars.

By actively participating and investing in Five for the Future, you can help ensure WordPress thrives as a powerful tool that continues to drive opportunity and business growth. This program leverages the power of open source, enabling you to play a key role in shaping the future of WordPress. 

The 5% in Five for the Future is an aspirational target, not a strict requirement. It represents a goal to contribute 5% of your time or resources to the WordPress project, recognizing that any contribution, no matter the amount, is valuable.

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How did Five for the Future come into being?

The program was introduced by Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress, in 2014. Recognizing the importance of collective effort in maintaining and advancing WordPress, Matt called on companies benefiting from WordPress to contribute back to the community. Five for the Future was born from this vision, emphasizing the role of shared responsibility in the open-source world.

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What are the intentions and goals of Five for the Future?

The primary goal of Five for the Future is to foster a thriving, sustainable WordPress ecosystem. By encouraging contributions, the initiative aims to:

  • Strengthen the WordPress project through continuous development and innovation.
  • Ensure long-term stability and security.
  • Cultivate a vibrant and collaborative community.
  • Support the diverse needs of WordPress users worldwide.

Five for the Future celebrates and promotes a culture of generosity. It emphasizes the importance of collaborative efforts and generous contributions to ensure the long-term health and stability of the WordPress project.

By participating in Five for the Future, organizations not only invest in the platform’s future but also demonstrate their commitment to the principles of open-source software.

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What is a Five for the Future Contribution?

Direct contributions that support a Make/WordPress Team are Five for the Future contributions.

Consistent contributions that count towards Five for the Future are those that directly support the various Make WordPress teams. These teams are dedicated to different aspects of the WordPress project, including:

  • WordPress core development
  • Design for core and various Make/Team needs
  • Documentation
  • Official community events
  • Theme and plugin review
  • Training and support
  • Testing
  • And more…

Of these contributions, contributing to the WordPress Project’s Big Picture Goals have the highest impact.

Pledging to Five for the Future indicates your intention to contribute to impactful areas in the WordPress project. Any contribution to Make/WordPress Teams or impactful projects is appreciated. Contributors have the flexibility to choose their areas and amount of contribution, acknowledging that capacities vary.

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What is NOT a Five for the Future Contribution?

If a contribution does not directly support the WordPress open source project or a Make/WordPress team, it is not a Five for the Future contribution.

There are several ways to contribute to WordPress. This includes everything from writing about your WordPress in your blog to helping your friend with their WordPress website. While they definitely help further the cause of WordPress, they may not have the highest impact towards the WordPress open source project, and do not constitute Five for the Future contributions.

Developing WordPress derivatives such as Plugins, Themes, and Blocks for the WordPress repository are typically not Five for the Future contributions.

While developing plugins, themes, and other products for the WordPress ecosystem (even when they are officially available in the WordPress plugin or theme directory) is valuable, these activities do not count as Five for the Future contributions, either. That does not make these actions less valuable – developing WordPress derivatives surely have an impact on the WordPress ecosystem and they do further the WordPress project. However, their support of WordPress is indirect.
NOTE: An exception to this guideline are contributions to official or community-supported WordPress Themes (such as Default WordPress Themes like Twenty Twenty Four), Plugins (such as Two Factor), and Blocks. In these cases, contributions directly support Make/WordPress Teams and can be considered as a Five for the Future contribution.

The focus of Five for the Future is on efforts that directly enhance and maintain the WordPress project itself through the organized Make WordPress teams. This ensures that contributions are aligned with the core needs and priorities of the WordPress platform, benefiting the entire community.

While all WordPress contributions are valuable, we ask Five for the Future pledgees to find contribution areas with the greatest impact. This enables us to sustain and grow the WordPress project.

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How are pledged contributions different from casual contributions?

Pledged contributions (consistent, ongoing contributions to WordPress backed by Five for the Future pledges) offer consistent, accountable support and skill development, aiding project sustainability but requiring more time commitment. Casual contributions are flexible with low entry barriers but can be inconsistent and less reliable. The main difference is the regularity and reliability of support. The table below attempts to differentiate between both:

Casual ContributionPledged Contribution
Low barrier to entry
Less pressure
Skill development
Stronger relationship
Project sustainability
Not as reliable
Less familiar with guidelines/objectives
More time commitment
Potential burnout