A little #WordPress story today. I was 21, and working on my first big freelance project. Somehow I'd landed a young BIPOC media site looking to grow up. I worked hard, learned a lot, and launched this really amazing site. And the traffic to the site just took off..
It was so intense, that the small plan we were on, on a managed WordPress host, couldn't handle it and the site repeatedly went down. The host didn't have an emergency support line at the time and I could only email to get help on a weekend..
..After the site went down so many times, with me doing whatever I could think of to optimize code and make the site performant, I felt lost, scared, and helpless. So I reached out to the only WordPress community I knew about back then. The @advancedwp Facebook group..
..I asked for help picking a better host and suggestions on what I could do to make the site better, lighter, able to handle traffic more. I asked there because I had done every other beginner/intermediate thing I could think of and it wasn't enough..
..Of course I got lots and lots of comments. Some were marketing their own services. Some were genuinely helpful. But to this day one comment from a very prominent community member is seared into my mind. A white, cis, male (who everyone knows, I promise)..
..commented that I must be extremely incompetent and not worth paying any money to, if this is a problem I couldn't solve on my own, and that this group was not the place for me.

Now. I'm a fierce person. In my own right and although this hurt, coming from..
..someone who's code I admired, it was not enough to drive me away. But I can easily easily think of many people who would have been driven away, especially at the age of 21, especially if they were not a white cis male.
So as we talk about fairly intense topics these days in #WordPress, I want to remind everyone: your wording matters. Be kind. Think about your phrasing. Introduce a little compassion in your rebuttals and replies. We will all be better for it. 😊

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