I love WordCamp. This weekend, I had the opportunity to go to the second annual WordCamp US, and it was fantastic. What is WordCamp? WordCamp is a conference that’s all about WordPress. They have smaller ones all over the country all the time. I’ve been to them in Las Vegas, Chicago, Columbus, and Boston, as well as the two big ones in Philadelphia. They have sessions about everything from SEO to e-commerce to plugin development and more.
This year was our second year in Philadelphia, and it was first and foremost so much fun to see so many of our online friends in real life. When you work at home, it’s easy to fall into a trap of seclusion. Over the years, I’ve made a number of friends online and getting to meet them or getting to hang out with them again is always a pleasure.
This past year, GoDaddy bought the WordPress Management company ManageWP. I’ve been a longtime, dedicated customer of ManageWP and have had many exchanges with the staff there about various things relating to my account over the years. Many of the ManageWP people came all the way from Serbia to attend WordCamp US, and it was so exciting to meet some of them in person. (There is a picture somewhere of me with them, but it wasn’t taken on my phone so I don’t have it. Oops!)
If you haven’t heard me gush about my most favorite plugin Beaver Builder, then let me tell you, it’s my favorite plugin ever. I was really psyched to finally meet the guys who created this life changer for me, Justin and Robby.
WordCamp US is always the time of year when we get to hear Matt Mullenweg’s ‘State of the Word’ speech, where he details everything that’s happened and is happening with WordPress. One particular highlight for me this year was actually getting to meet Matt.
We sat in some pretty great sessions as well. The standout session to me was presented by Joost de Valk, the founder and CEO of Yoast SEO. Yoast SEO is the #1 SEO plugin. We use it on almost every site we do. It was really good to hear that SEO is not dead and that when done well, it can be hugely effective. SEO doesn’t just stand for Search Engine Optimization, it stands for Seriously Effort Optimization.
If you haven’t had an opportunity to go to a WordCamp, I strongly encourage it. People of all levels attend – designers, developers as well as business owners who use WordPress, bloggers, and anyone who just wants to know more.
The WordPress community is outstanding. It’s welcome to new people, encouraging to those still learning, and provides a great platform for sharing. People in this community WANT to share their knowledge. It’s not about keeping your trade a secret and I think that makes a huge difference. At every WordCamp I remember how grateful I am that we chose WordPress instead of one of the many other CMS options we looked into.
Next year’s WordCamp US is going to be located in Nashville, Tennessee. I’m already looking forward to it!
Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.