ClassicPress is a community-led fork of WordPress that enables all stakeholders to shape the direction that the project takes. This page aims to explain how we handle this process to ensure that every voice can be heard.

Our Structure, Rights & Responsibilities

No single person within ClassicPress has the power to force through a valid change which affects ClassicPress. Instead, we make all decisions based on community feedback and needs. This ensures that we stay true to our goal of being a community-led fork.

Making Your Voice Heard

Anybody can make a suggestion for ClassicPress via our Petitions category on the forums. Once you’ve made your suggestion it will be open to comment and initial voting by the community. Once a general direction is agreed by the community and the contributors to the core code, volunteers are also needed to move the suggestion forward in the form of an example plugin implementation or a GitHub pull request.

Petitions don’t have to be limited to changes to the ClassicPress code itself, either. This way, any person who senses a problem or opportunity can step up and initiate a process by which a topic can be discussed and the organization’s collective intelligence can be leveraged to assist in coming to a decision on the best path forward.

Code of Conduct

Our code of conduct is simple: Be good to one another, take criticism well and follow the decision-making process established here.

Background: Forming, storming, norming, performing. These are the generally accepted stages a team will go through. Open source is unusual in that people are joining and leaving teams on a daily basis, which means the team stages are in a constant state of flux.

The most disruptive stage is storming, but it is probably the most important. Relationships are formed, lessons are learned and understanding is gained during this stage. Therefore, we should both expect and encourage healthy debate. The key word here is healthy.

People will hold strong beliefs based on their life experiences. Often those beliefs will be polar opposites and sometimes both beliefs can be correct as they might be a matter of opinion (e.g. “what is the most readable code style”).

When disagreement happens we must fall back to our established decision-making process. Occasionally you might be on the receiving end of a decision you disagree with. It’s OK to agree to disagree and for the good of the community and the project, you need to be graceful in defeat.

On the topic of inclusion: Every person on the planet is welcome to get involved with ClassicPress, as long as they act in good faith and follow our Code of Conduct. Teamwork, respect and quality are the words we must focus on – not age, race, gender or sexual orientation. Instead, by focusing on the merits of a person’s contribution we can truly be a discrimination-free project.

On the ClassicPress Forums: Please see our Forum Guidelines. This is a supplement to this Code of Conduct and a good resource for conducting online discussions in a positive, productive manner.

Please note: We have a “three strikes” policy — after three official warnings from the Community team lead regarding failure to adhere to our Code of Conduct on any of our communication channels, an account ban may be considered.


As you can imagine, if every decision required a Petition, the community would be bogged down with an unmanageable bureaucratic process that would stifle progress. As a result, there are a number of processes and tasks that don’t need to go through the Petition process. These include:

  • Decisions and actions required to address security issues.
  • Decisions and actions required to fix issues on existing functionality or processes.
  • Minor modifications to existing functionality or processes.

In addition, certain elements of ClassicPress need a degree of autonomy to function. Day-to-day decisions in the following areas won’t be created as Petitions items. However, it’s important to note that the community still has full input into all of the areas mentioned in the following list via Petitions to address any issues with the decisions being made.

  • Infrastructure and system administration (e.g. servers and databases)
  • Accounts / finance
  • Purchasing
  • Marketing
  • Human Resources
  • Support
  • Sales & Fundraising

Lastly there are three further exceptions:

  • The legal structure of The ClassicPress Initiative cannot be altered, which includes company Directors.
  • Any petitions that are promoting Topics that are illegal in the United States will not be approved.
  • The Code of Conduct, as written above, may not be modified.

Our Structure, Rights & Responsibilities

Below you can see the groups within the ClassicPress governance structure and their functions, rights and responsibilities.

General Public


People not affiliated with ClassicPress or registered with ClassicPress on any official systems.

ClassicPress Rights

  • To make suggestions and/or comment on existing suggestions on the petitions site.
  • To vote for and comment on  suggestions on the above site.
  • To contribute to any projects within the ClassicPress ecosystem and become a ClassicPress Contributor.

ClassicPress Responsibilities

  • To act in good faith
  • To follow the ClassicPress Code of Conduct

ClassicPress Contributors


People who contribute to ClassicPress code, documentation or other projects or resources, whether through GitHub or via account access to one or more official ClassicPress systems.

ClassicPress Rights

  • To receive the information necessary in order to contribute effectively.
  • To be treated with respect.
  • To receive an explanation if proposed contributions require changes or revisions before they can be accepted.

ClassicPress Responsibilities

  • Read the forums, official sites, documentation, and other information related to your chosen contribution(s).
  • Ask questions about anything that isn’t clear to you.
  • Keep others up to date on your progress.
  • Remember that your personal ideas about how to do a project need to be aligned with the needs of the ClassicPress organization and the community. Propose changes and improvements but do so with an open mind: sometimes what you are seeing is just something we haven’t gotten around to improving yet, but sometimes things need to be done a certain way for a reason.
  • Follow the ClassicPress Code of Conduct.

ClassicPress Directors


The ClassicPress Initiative is a nonprofit organization registered under section 501(c)(3) of the United States IRS code.

James Nylen (President), Michelle Coe (Vice President/Secretary) and Wade Striebel (Treasurer) maintain oversight of the ClassicPress Initiative nonprofit organization as Directors.

ClassicPress Rights

  • To have full administration access to all ClassicPress systems.
  • To make decisions as allowed in relation to the project.
  • To be involved in the day-to-day running of the ClassicPress organization and projects.

General Rights

  • The Directors retain all the rights reserved to a Director of a nonprofit organization registered under section 501(c)(3) of the United States IRS code.

ClassicPress Responsibilities

  • To ensure that ClassicPress has the resources required to function to the best of its ability.
  • To support and lead ClassicPress based on the needs of the community.

For more information about the day-to-day processes we use to make decisions and how you can get involved, see our latest forum post on ClassicPress Governance.