We survived WordCamp Fayetteville 2018! It was an action-packed weekend of speaker sessions, sharing knowledge, and networking with other professionals in our industry. Every presenter came prepared with a relevant topic and took the time to answer questions at the end of the session. The beauty of a gathering like WordCamp is the concentration of experts in one place all who share a passion for doing their part to make WordPress the best content management system in the world. In 2010, when WordCamp Fayetteville was founded, WordPress powered around 15% of all websites and today it’s 30%!
Since the Sharp Hue team manages around 175 WordPress sites, we divided and conquered the conference to attend over a dozen sessions in total. We learned about the latest in topics like SEO Content Clusters to Facebook Custom Audiences. This was the first WordCamp for a few members of the team, yet we all overwhelmingly agree that we learned very current and relevant knowledge that helps us with our clients’ websites. We each took away some new ideas and learnings that we think we can apply immediately to serve our clients even better. Here’s a summary of the highlights from each team member:
- Facebook Pixel has a lot of similarity to Google Analytics. Even if you aren’t using Facebook Business Manager products today, it is a good idea to go ahead and install the Pixel code. When you’re ready, creating custom audiences is easy to do from the data that’s collected and can be used to run very targeted ad campaigns.
- Content Clusters are a way of organizing information with internal linking that helps signal to search engines a dominant topic in your website. This is useful especially when a website has multiple focus keywords. Speaking of which, setting the focus keyword in Yoast helps organize the strategy around creating a content cluster.
- WP REST API has come a long way and was the missing link for many software application uses. The WordPress platform is now easier to integrate with external projects and gives developers new ways to use WordPress.
- Gutenberg Editor is the new way to create content for WordPress. This new editor will be replacing the existing text editor after it is integrated into WordPress core later this year. The Gutenberg editor will focus on a better user experience and extended tools for content layout.
- When designers think User Experience, great design is usually the first thing that comes to mind. Keeping the end user in mind is essential and the most valued quality in a company’s communication is clarity.
- Accessibility is often overlooked though crucial in the quality of creating a website that’s usable for all people. Whether it is through the use of color contrast in design, image Alt Tags in WordPress, or countless other techniques, we must make sure not to exclude users with disabilities. Rather, we must prioritize an accessible website throughout design and development processes.
- A/B testing allows you to make the most out of your site’s existing traffic by testing variations of the same page, and seeing which variant most increases conversion. Even the smallest changes can increase conversion, proving that A/B testing is worth the effort and should not be overlooked in the web design process.
- The WP REST API will make web development easier and more flexible than ever before. Because the API is JSON-based, it allows WordPress to easily communicate with other sites and services universally, regardless of programming language.
- When it comes to Launching Without Fear, it was great to get insight into how another Web Development company handles their process of launching a website. Seeing many similarities to Sharp Hue’s launch process, we are feel validated that there really is a correct way to launch sites with a good process.
- Maintaining WordPress For A Profit with the automation tools available today (ManageWP, InfiniteWP, etc.) allows for someone who’s knowledgeable with WordPress & PHP to start a company with little capital upfront and focus on the maintenance/hosting of websites instead of the design/development aspect.
The biggest takeaway that we didn’t expect was the reminder of how many talented professionals we have in our community and how blessed we are to have speakers who are willing to travel to our corner of the world to share their knowledge. In fact, we didn’t even realize there was a monthly WordPress Fayetteville that meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 6pm to 8pm on the Fayetteville square. Since we are a relatively large user of WordPress, we are thrilled by the chance to give back to a platform and community that’s made our entire business model possible!
We are excited to sponsor the event again in the future and stay involved with the talented WordPress professionals in our community. There is probably no faster way to get caught up with all the happenings in the WordPress universe and learn from experts than to attend a WordCamp, so we hope to see you there next year!