How To Contribute

How To Contribute


It is important to have a basic understanding of Git workflow before you make contributions. If you are not familiar with terms like forking, branching, and making pull requests, you can learn more about these on GitHub’s documentation site.

The majority of the content on is formatted using Markdown, an easy-to-use markup language. Before contributing, it is good to have at least a basic understanding of the Markdown syntax. If you are unfamiliar with Markdown visit the Markdown guide.

The site uses the U.S. Web Design System (USWDS). The system provides components that can be used in the layout of your content (for example, accordion blocks or callout boxes). The components, which can be found on the USWDS website, are written in HTML and CSS. A basic understanding of these languages is useful to efficiently contribute to the site. If you are unfamiliar with these, you can learn more about HTML and CSS.

Things to know

Before you start contributing there are some useful things to know about the files and the file structure.

  • Documents are folders. Document folders contain an
  • Documents are hierarchical. Document folders can have other folders.
  • Document folders can contain images and files for download.
  • Document’s starts with “front matter.”
title: Your Title
description: The description of your document.

layout: page
sidenav: guides
breadcrumb: true
last-updated: Apr 6, 2021

Get started

To get started with contributing to you need a Github account. You can sign up for an account on

Once you have a Github account there are three ways to contribute:

  1. File an issue. At the bottom of each page on is a link that takes you to our issues page. Here you can leave a comment about issues for the core team to review.
  2. For small changes, like fixing a typo, you can use Github’s web interface.
  3. If you want to make a substantial contribution, like adding multiple pages and files, you can fork the repo and work on it on your local computer.

Small contribution

Let’s say that you are fixing a typo. The easiest way to do this is through the GitHub web interface. Log into your GitHub account and navigate to the repo.

Pro tip: use the contribute link at the bottom of the page that you want to fix. This takes you directly to the corresponding page on GitHub.

When you’re done making your change, the GitHub interface will take you through the steps for making a branch and filing a pull request. This pull request will get reviewed by someone on the core team and, when deemed appropriate, made part of the main branch and thereby added to the live website.

Substantial contribution

What if you want to add a multiple-page guide and a couple of PDFs for download? Since the GitHub web interface is not well set up to make these type of contributions, the best way to do this is by forking the repository and working on it in your local environment. Once you’re done, make a pull request so the core team can review your contribution.

To get your version of the site running locally, follow the instructions in our How To Install guide.