5 things I Learned at WordCamp Europe

WordCamp Bulgaria 2014

For anyone in the WordPress Community, be that a developer, business owner or just a user, WordCamps are a great way to meet other people from within the community. Since 2006 there have been 346 WordCamps all over the world, with WordCamp Europe starting up in 2013. We joined them this year in Sophia, Bulgaria.

1. WordPress isn’t your mum’s blog

VIP Global Services Manager at Automattic, Sara Rosso, gave a great talk, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Enterprise WordPress Sites. In her presentation she outlined some big players that use WordPress and some of the things they are doing to stay on top.

This really highlighted that WordPress can run huge multi-million dollar enterprise sites, including the below:

TechCrunch logo TED logo Time logo CNN logo

2. WordPress 4.1 is going to be off the hook

There’s so much on the horizon for WordPress, it’s an exciting time to be a WordPress developer. Developers, owners and users of WordPress sites alike will be enjoying some of the features to come.

Andrew Nacin, lead developer at WordPress, dropped some profound knowledge around what’s on the horizon. His talk got me really excited about some of the new features, one of which will mean that integrating third party tools into WP will be a cinch. This opens the floodgates for some exciting new apps and hybrids.

3. The party isn’t over

Before WordCamp I didn’t know how WordPress was going to stay ahead of the game, but I can now see the huge role it will play into the future.

A whopping 23% of the Internet runs on WordPress, and this number is going to keep growing. It’s an exciting time to be a WP developer and WordPress is a long way from hitting its ceiling. It’s particularly interesting to know that WordPress’s usage as an app framework is on the rise.

WordPress’ founder Matt Mullenweg spoke with such enthusiasm and excitement about upcoming features and enhancements to WordPress that I truly recommend watching his talk, The State of the Word. Although this video isn’t from WordCamp Europe, he’s just as enthusiastic.

4. The WP Community is awesome

One of the driving forces behind WordPress’ success is the huge community that contributes and maintains the core code base and documentation. WordCamps provide a place for this thriving community to meet face to face and swap notes on development and engage with their peers.

The open source ethos that the software so proudly supports is echoed in its community. Many of the developers we spoke with felt strongly about giving back to the software that gave them so much.

twitter

5. Performance is key everything

As a developer, I spend a lot of time optimising code for better performance, but sometimes it just comes down to the hardware running the site. Mark Jaquith did a great presentation on WordPress hosting (Next generation WordPress hosting stack). Speed is so important when it comes to your website, and while it’s easy to think that everyone might have the same speed internet as you, this is not the case.

Optimising your website is one thing, but having a WordPress focused hosting stack can mean visitors will stay on your site longer and better ROI.

If you are serious about speed it may be worth weighing up the benefits of WordPress managed hosting VS cost.

Where's Gavin...? Our Senior WordPress Developer in the crowd at WordCamp.

Can you spot one of our WordPress developers..?

Summary

WordCamps are great! If you are a developer, embrace your inner geek and try get to one. If you are a business owner, send your employees and if you are an enthusiast or use WordPress every now and then it might be a good idea to head to a WordPress MeetUp to talk to like minded people.