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Open source promotion cheat sheet

This cheat sheet summarizes important steps you should follow to promote your open source project in the best conditions. You can click items to expand and get more information from a topic.

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A language is missing? Want to improve this cheat sheet? Contributions are welcome!

A PDF version of this cheat sheet is available here.

1. 🎢 Preparation step

👌 Make sure that your project is mature enough

Your project must be stable enough with the minimum viable features in order to hook users.

😎 Choose a cool name for your cool project

Choose a name that users can easily remember.

💅 Make your README pretty

The README is the first thing your visitors will see. Make it simple, pretty and easy to read. Here is a list of beautiful READMEs.

💪 Highlight the strong points of your project

Identify your project's strengths and make sure visitors see them first.

✨ Provide a demo of your project

Visitors will want to quickly understand the purpose of your project, how it works, and how to use it. Providing a demo is the best way to satisfy users. It could be:

  • An animated GIF demonstrating how your project works
  • A link to a live demo

👌 Install/Usage must be super easy

You'll probably lose visitors if your project is not user-friendly.

📘 Create a clean and well structured documentation

Creating a good documentation is probably the most important step. If you have a small documentation, you can include it within your README. Otherwise, you should probably host it in a separate website. Some open source projects like vuepress can help you with creating a clean documentation in a simple way.

2. 📢 Spread the word about your hard works

⭐ Make your project trustable before publishing it on social networks

Most visitors will check how many stars the project has before considering using it. A minimum amount of stars makes your project more trustable than a project with zero star. This is why you should ask people you know to support your project before doing a public announcement on social media.

↗️ Share your project on social media and specialized platforms

Tell the World about your awesome work! Publish it on social media and other specialized platforms:

📃 Write articles that mention your project

Write articles about your project. Purpose can be the technical stack you used, how your project works, problems you encountered, etc. Post it to publishing platforms:

🎤 Present your project at conferences/meetups

Presenting your project at conferences or meetups is a good way to improve its visibility.

🎥 Record and publish videos presenting your project, how it works, etc

Recording a video is not an easy exercise. However, it's probably the most efficient way to make your project famous.

🕐 Choose the best time to publish on social media

Don't publish during holiday periods or weekends. The best time to publish on social networks is usually mid-week.

🗑 Don't spam platforms with your promotion

Don't publish twice on the same platform. It will be considered as spam and it might cause bad publicity for your project.

3. 🤝 Keep your users

🆕 Try to regularly release new versions of your project

Maintain and improve your project with new releases and generate changelogs.

❗ Maintain your project, process opened issues

Do not let issues stay open without a single response. Be nice with people that took the time to open issues. 😉

🙏 Invite users to contribute

A healthy project is a project with a community and contributors. Let your users know that you need help by tagging some issues with contribution welcome or good first issue labels. See github labels.

🏆 Reward contributors

Be nice with people that helped you! Some open source projects like gatsby reward contributors with goodies. If you can't afford that, do a public post (on twitter or other platforms) about the contribution and mention the author (here is an example of public thanks). Open a Contributors section in your README to publicly thank them or showcase them on your project documentation or website. Here are some examples:

💬 Open a community chat platform

Github issues are not always the best way to communicate with your users. If necessary, you can use chat platforms to discuss with them:

🔙 Ask for feedback

User feedback is the best way to improve your project. They probably have features and ideas that could make your project better.

❤️ Open a use case gallery to show what users built with your project

Visitors will trust your project if they see concrete use cases and success stories, e.g., the vuepress gallery.

🙏 Show your support

⭐️ this repository if this cheat sheet helped you!

❤️ Contributors

Thanks go to these wonderful people:

Franck Abgrall


Thomas Betous


Eric Briand


Faustine Godbillot


Benjamin Plouzennec


Johan Bonneau


Benjamin Petetot




Claire Martinez


André Gama


Mathias Bernardeau


Antoine Oili


Oswld TC


Zhiyue Yi


Ali khalili


Niusha Pakseresht


David Da Silva


Umut Işık


Alex Castells




pasindu p konghawaththa




Ikko Ashimine


Nicolas Lepage


Sergey Scat


Mohammed Taha




Tarek Touati


Simone Corsi


Anicet Togue


Krzysztof Juszcze




Rafli Surya P






This project follows the all-contributors specification. Contributions of any kind welcome!

with love by zenika