I was lucky enough to attend my second WordCamp last weekend in London.
I was lucky enough to attend my second WordCamp last weekend in London. Over the two days that I was there I was able to attend 12 brilliant talks. There were 3 different tracks to choose from, one thing that was different about WordCamp this year is that the tracks were not dedicated to a specific topic. There was no specific development or business track to follow which encouraged attendees to move around the building, talk to new people and generally create a great atmosphere. During my two days at WordCamp I went to a range of talks including business, design, lightning and hot topics, so that I could make the most of my experience.
Saturday started out with Francesca Marano and a great talk on business plans, she spoke about her experience and the importance of business plans. Although this isn’t something that would currently affect me, it was really interesting to see and understand the need of a business plan and all the work that goes into them.
Following this talk I stayed in track A and attended a talk on ‘Accessible Design’ by Maja Benke. This was really interesting for me, as we have previously worked for Clients such as Guide Dogs for the blind. It is crucial that from a design point of view we understand why certain things are asked for and required to improve accessibility on websites. Maja talked about common mistakes that are made and that can easily be fixed, for example keeping links underlined. She also told us about a site called contrastchecker.com, this is really useful as it gives you a rating on the colour contrasts between background colour and text colour. She also spoke of the importance of breaking up content with mixed formats such as tables, images etc.
The next talk I attended was by Sabrina Zeidan on ‘WordPress Multi Site’s. Did you know that there are currently over 117,880,739 sites running on one WP instance. Sabrina spoke about how even though all the sites are under one instance they are all independent. Multi Sites has many positives, such as adding Plugins which can be added to all sites instantly as well as having the ability to add to just one. She spoke about the super admin role meaning that the admin can access all sites with one password. It’s the idea of creating a network of sites as well as a network of networks.
Jim Bowes & Jon Bird about secondary CMSs and the benefits. After this I attended a talk labeled ‘UI that ROCKS’ by Piccia Neri. I found this one very interesting as I could visualise how these principles could be implemented to the design work that we do at mso. Piccia talked alot about Gestalts theories and how it effected design, this has made me look at design work differently, incorporating all the principles that she had spoken about.
Next up was Raffaella Isidori and her talk about branding over the years and the history of branding. Personally I love history so this talk was a real highlight for me as she explained the journey that branding has taken over the last 50,000 years and how we got to where we are now. She spoke about how a brand is completely different from its logo or its design, the brand is a feeling or an emotion that the company creates and is much more important than the visual image. One key point that Raffaella said that’s really stuck with me is that ‘“we are all brands,” and as such, we all need to be aware of how to best manage a brand.’
The final talk of the day was from Andi Wilkinson ‘So You Have a Website. Now What?’It was really interesting to see how others approach this topic and the services that they offer. There was a lot of talk about SEO, Google Business and what the next steps are to promote a new site, as well as what to do next once your site is live and how to make the most of it.
Day two brought on 5 more talks, I started the day with a Lightning Session consisting of 3 quick talks covering a range of different topics. I then moved to my second talk of the day by Stef Mattana, she spoke about her personal journey and how she overcame her work struggles to find happiness in her job. Following this there was a talk from Matt Brunt and David Lockie, both were very interesting but slightly too technical for my current knowledge but I still enjoyed them as it means that I know where to improve upon technical know how.
My overall experience of WordCamp London 2018 was a great one and I took a lot away from the weekend! Thank you to WordCamp for organising such a great event that ran so smoothly!