WordPress Community Insights You May Not Know About

WordPress Community Insights You May Not Know - Plesk

Each year, seasoned WordPress developers, agency owners, WebPro experts and beginner users come together at WordCamps. From around the world, we connect, learn, and celebrate all things WordPress. WordCamps have grown from the one held by Matt Mullenweg in 2006, San Francisco – to hundreds all over the globe. Each with their own flavour, speakers, sessions, and communities. It’s only natural that we want to get more WordPress Community Insights.

As we create many WordPress-related products, we’re proudly involved in the community that makes WordPress and make regular appearances at WordCamps. We support WordCamps both with sponsorship and by showing up with a booth, speakers, games, special offers, raffles, and interviews. In November 2019, we attended WordCamp US and joined the thousands of other WP enthusiasts and experts. Celebrating and evolving the thriving WordPress ecosystem, hosting educational and engaging games and raffles with special prizes.

In exchange for the grand prize (that any techy would love), we took the opportunity to gather answers to a few burning questions for the WP community. We collated the responses from over one hundred respondents in the infographic you see below. Now we’re going to dive into these findings in a bit more detail and discuss a few patterns and trends we noticed.

Community Insights from WordCamp US 2019

WordPress is such a diverse and flexible platform that it’s used daily by a million different people in a million different ways. To be exact, there’s over 75 million people using WordPress in over 50 different languages. Powering over 172 million websites (around a third of the entire web). And those numbers are still growing.

So who are the WordPress Community?

From our survey of WordCamp attendees, we discovered that, as you would expect, most of them are developers — nearly half at 42%. The rest are a diverse bunch of bloggers, graphic designers, agency owners, marketers, SEOs, freelancers, security researchers, software developers. There are also prospective dev students or small business owners who are newbies to the WordPress world.

As you can see, there’s a real mix of people using WordPress for everything. From personal projects and their own career development to running businesses and supporting client projects. This is reflected in the reasons as to why people were attending WordCamp US.

Most of the respondents were at the event for both personal and professional reasons. With overall the biggest attraction being the opportunity to network, make connections, and simply have interesting conversations with like-minded people.

Of course, some people were there because they were running a session or because they simply wanted the free swag. But even so, they may have been meeting up with someone they met online or were otherwise benefiting from the strong WP community. Similarly, when we asked what they hope to take away from the weekend, respondents mostly mentioned making new friends, contacts and connections.

Other top takeaways included new knowledge/learning, feedback, contributing to the community and learning new solutions for current WP challenges. Many also want to improve accessibility of websites, or get a clearer idea of hosting options and new features out there. And, of course, grab some swag while they’re at it.

How The Community Uses WordPress

When you get a bunch of WP aficionados together in the same place, you can’t not ask them about their experiences with WordPress and the tools they’re currently using. Starting at the top with hosting options, over a third of people (39%) preferred Managed WordPress Hosting, with Cloud and Shared Hosting following at 17%.

In line with these results is what they voted as the most important factors when working with WordPress. Speed and performance took the crown with nearly two-thirds of the vote. While 45% were happy enough to have WordPress work well. However, 44% also wanted stability, and 36% were looking for a user-friendly design.

With over 50,000 plugins available, the WordPress plugins marketplace is booming. Many look to WordCamp for insights into plugins to announce development of their latest ground-breaking product. Maybe even to improve the efficiency of their sites, or simply discover what’s out there.

Interestingly, SEO plugins like Yoast are the most-used WordPress tools, with 55% of respondents using them over others. Second were analytics tools with 37%, security tools at 31%, and page builders, CSS and email marketing plugins coming up the rear.

This shows a clear focus of WP users to quantify and boost their site performance in search engine results pages (SERPs) as much as possible.

Doing Our Bit For The WordPress Community

To finish off the survey, we asked the WordCamp US attendees a few more questions, including if they had any WP-related goals, and if so, what they were. The results revealed that WordCamps have a feel of being about socialising and educating people. However, they’re also pivotal for those serious about pushing their business goals forward.

Some of the respondents’ top WordPress-related goals were:

  • making their products known to the world
  • growing their WordPress client base
  • becoming web developers
  • blogging more consistently
  • building non-profit websites
  • Building awesome sites in general
  • teaching more
  • Increasing their traffic and scaling
  • Getting all the clients and dominating the world

To help fellow members of the WordPress community to achieve these goals, we’ve built a variety of WordPress tools like the Plesk WordPress Toolkit. The WP Toolkit is a single interface for easily installing, configuring, and managing WordPress, jam-packed with features.

We asked the community if they thought the Plesk Toolkit would benefit their work. Nearly half of respondents chose “yes”, with just under a quarter choosing “I think so.” A few of the things that are holding people back included the price. Some were also not sure if it would integrate well. And a few would not go for it, simply because they don’t like change.

Looking Ahead to The Next WordCamp

Go for the speakers, the opportunities, the insights, the lego prizes, swag – or all of the above. Attending a WordCamp is a great way to meet awesome people and stay in touch with everything WordPress.

There has been over 700 WordCamps in 70 cities around the world to date. We plan to attend more in 2020 to continue supporting the WP community and development of the incredible open source platform. Starting with WordCamp Asia in February. To find a WordCamp near you, or even set up your own, visit WordCamp central.

Will you be attending WordCamp Asia in February 2020? What content would you like to see us cover from the event?

Plesk Helps 1&1 IONOS Launch WordPress Offering at WCEU

Plesk at WCEU 2019

Over 2,700 WordPress lovers attending this year’s WordCamp Europe (WCEU) event in Berlin have broken yet another attendance record. And since WordCamps continue to attract more people year after year, we get a great opportunity to contribute to the WordPress community! Here’s what went down this year, alongside our partners 1&1 IONOS.

Plesk Appeared with 1&1 IONOS for WP Pro Launch

WordCamps are the place to be if you’re after the hottest trends. Or direct feedback from WordPress users of all skill levels and profiles. Well, the voice of WordPress users is super important for us and one of the key drivers to further enhance our famous WordPress Toolkit. So we’re always happy to share our insights and help you build the perfect WordPress offering for your customers.

Plesk and 1&1 IONOS at WCEU launching new WordPress offering

Our partners 1&1 IONOS have already done just this. They introduced their brand-new WP Pro offering, powered by Plesk, to the public at our joint booth at WCEU. This new offer complements the 1&1 IONOS WordPress portfolio with a powerful package. Featuring the latest Cloud Server technology, dedicated resources for high-performance sites, Varnish Based Caching, Smart Updates and various Plesk tools. Thus, suiting the needs of professional WordPress users and agencies.

Launching Your Own WP Offering with Plesk

Now you can follow 1&1 IONOS and do the same! Launch your modern WordPress offering for web pros or agencies and build awareness for it within the community by sponsoring a WordCamp with us. Are you interested? Let us know by dropping an email to [email protected] and we’ll work together in order to make it happen!

Plesk’s Virtual Reality Surprise at WCEU

At this year’s WordCamp Europe, our booth had even more first time experiences. WordPress enthusiasts were able to feel the Plesk world at their very fingertips, through an innovative VR experience. By wearing the VR glasses and maneuvering the joysticks, our guests could step into an alternative universe. One where Elvis Plesky safely guides you down the futuristic pathways of server management.

Connecting with the WordPress Community – My First WP Install

Last but not least, we’re delighted to share with you a glimpse from the very heart of the community. Their first ever WordPress install memories. We’ll first take this opportunity to thank Josepha Haden, Marcel Bootsman, Monique Dubbelman, Dianne Wallace, Caspar Hübinger and Bas Brader. Because they graciously accepted our invite to sit down in front of the camera and let their memories flow.

Now, let’s close this review by reminding everyone that next year’s WordCamp will happen  in Portugal, between June 4-6, 2020. So see you (and hopefully even more Plesk partners) there in Porto. We can’t wait!

Why We Took Plesk to the Nordics #WCNordic

WordCamp Nordic

WordCamp Nordic was two years in the making and we were more than excited to be a part of this very first edition in Helsinki, Finland. There were many reasons why we sponsored and joined the event. Read on to find out.

Top Reasons We Sponsored the First WordCamp Nordic

WordCamp Nordic - Plesk Team
  1. Backing Open Source Projects
    We love open source because we get exposed to new and alternative concepts, techniques and approaches to solving problems. Plus, it helps create innovation opportunities.
  2. Investing in the WordCamp Community
    Being present in a first-time location creates opportunities to meet new people in a different region. If our contribution can help provide more of these events where people can strengthen relationships and create magic – then so be it.
  3. Supporting WordCamp Nordic Values
    We wanted to actively support this very first regional Nordic WordCamp which was a door-opener for more regional medium-sized WordCamps worldwide.
  4. Learning from industry professionals
    We weren’t there just to share our knowledge, contributions and resources. But also to learn from the WordPress experts about small business woes, hosting fears, developer tips, and more. All useful info we can share with our customers for a better WordPress and ultimate online experience.

Julius Haukkasalo on top business mistakes you can avoid

Julius Haukkasalo at WordCamp Nordic

As mentioned before, we were also at WordCamp Nordic to learn. And among the many talented individuals at the event, we discovered Julius. A business owner, who had a lot of wisdom to share on running a company. Especially useful for many of our Plesk customers, who also manage businesses themselves. Here are the top three tips we took from him.

 

  1. Don’t try to do it all alone

 

It’s easy to delegate the stuff you don’t like/care about. We all tend to do the stuff we’re best at. But if somebody can do 80% of what you do – delegate! You also need to prioritize yourself, your workload and how much you can take on while still being motivated and avoiding burnout. You are the most important resource for yourself and your company.

  1. Allow employees/colleagues to fail

Julius compared leading a team with raising a family. When his kids said they “don’t know how…”, or are “not good”, or “too small”, he figures it’s because he tried to protect them too much. Let your colleagues/employees make mistakes and learn.

  1. Don’t delay solving issues

If there is a conflict to solve, go for it without any delays. Sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish when it’s about time to let your colleagues and employees do their own thing and when you are just being coward who tries to avoid conflicts.

Jonathan Sulo on WordPress plugins that hosters fear

Plesk at WordCamp NOrdic, Finland - Jonathan Sulo

One of our priorities at Plesk is speed and performance. So naturally, we had a lot of interest in Jonathan’s session – which was about plugins that drain performance and kill your database. So our hosting partners and customers would do well to stay away from plugins such as these to retain their clients.

He also suggested alternatives to use and some general usage and error-checking tips for WordPress plugins. We feel that the main point Jonathan made is that the most dangerous plugins are the ones you don’t update. Which we of course agree with 100%. Same goes for updating Plesk too.

Moreover, Jonathan believes it’s better to update and break the site than deal with the security risks of outdated software. He then went on to give us a checklist in order to add and run plugins the right way.

Adding plugins the right way

  • Think about whether you really need that plugin. Is it a must-have or nice to have?
  • Avoid plugins that “do it all”
  • Are there server-based or PHP functions or alternatives?

Running plugins the right way

  • Check out the plugin properly first
  • Only install from safe sources
  • Test before and after install
  • Activate for website or network
  • Delete plugins you don’t use
  • Scheduling: use server-based Cron (via control panel) & WP-CLI /usr/bin/php

Finally, he gave valuable advice within and outside WordPress, such as using WP-CLI and checking the error logs via your hosting provider.

Note: You can read our recommendations on WordPress plugins and backup solutions here.

Key Takeaways from our latest WordCamp Experience

Plesk at WordCamp Nordic - booth - support engineers, Francisco and Robert

Having our sales engineers, Francisco and Robert, on site was useful to gather info about the needs of the WordPress community. Plus get valuable feedback about the WordPress Toolkit and its features. A number of potential customers had technical queries about the software and its suitability for their projects – and we could easily answer.

We also seized the opportunity to connect with a few small to medium-sized partners and enhance our relationship with them. We’re looking forward to being present and doing more of this at more regional WordCamps like Latin America and SE Asia. And of course, hope for a 2020 edition of WordCamp Nordic!

What’s Your WordPress Story? | Finding work you love

Plesk WordPress Stories

Let’s tell you a story, or four. There’s always one to tell when you conquer your roadblocks. And finally make sense of what you want, and what makes you happy. What amazed us were the similar motivation drivers for these diverse people that we met at WC Soltau. The wish to help others and need for personal growth.

Somehow we all face challenges and stumbling blocks. How did these fantastic four use their stumbling blocks as stepping stones towards a more successful, happier work life? Have a look at who they are and the questions we asked them in the videos below.

The Speakers

Robert Windisch

WordPress Wapuu Robert Windisch - Plesk interviewee

This WordPress old-timers has been in the scene since 2005. With many years of continuous commitment to the CMS garden and WordPress community. Robert was working with an agency when a friend recommended WordPress as a blogging tool for his private hosting server. He’s been deeply involved ever since, on top of running and acting as CIO for his business – Inpsyde.

In our four-part video interview, he uncovers what it means to him to be part of a community where his work impacts millions. And how grateful he is to be able to make a living out of it.

Raffaella Isidori

US-born Raffaella, ping-ponged between Italy and The States in her young life as she searched for her passion. Starting from photography and graphic design, leading to brand design and communications. She talked about her pride in making it as a freelancer all her life. And becoming a touring speaker with WordPress. But this was not without its difficulties.

A failed relationship, a damaging work experience and difficulties in the job market punched through her self-esteem. She’s now working on the 2.0 version of herself and shares just how she’s doing it. In our four-part interview, Raffaella talks about the path that led her here, her yay-moments, and her insecurities as a 52-year-old woman in the young tech industry.

Birgit Olzem

Life coach, mother of five, and overall power-woman, Birgit began her journey when she discovered site-building with WordPress. She took the risk to become self-employed, full-time and has never looked back. Now she’s incorporated her training into the WordPress community and also has her own personal clients. Recently, Savvii, Dutch WordPress hosting company, snapped her up for the role of Community Manager (D/A/CH region).

She talks about her struggles starting her business as a single mum, her relationships with her clients and what drove her to succeed. She stands for female empowerment in the business world and in the community. And how she does her part in her daily work-life.

Sergey Biryukov

After being inspired by Andrew Nacin, lead WordPress developer, Sergey wanted to follow the same path. But was not swimming in opportunity. However, his drive and contribution to the WordPress core 8 years ago landed him a WordPress role, sponsored by Yoast. Now he gets to make a living doing what he loves. In a community where “nobody cares who you are and where you’re from.”

Sergey shares his ambitions for the project, the goals he smashed and a few other special moments. He hopes his story can, in turn, inspire someone else to do the same.

Note: We’ll be publishing the questions separately so stay tuned for more!

Q1 – What defining moment led you to where you are now?

Q2 – Which win made you confident you’re doing it right?

Q3 – What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken in your work life?

Q4 – What project are you looking forward to the most?

We want to thank these four valued community members for sharing their experiences with us. We hope these inspiring tales will get you thinking. “Actually, that happened to me once”, or “I faced exactly the same dilemma” and motivate you to keep chasing your personal and business goals.

WordCamp Cologne 2017: A Special Plesk Recap

Plesk recap blog post about WordCamp Cologne 2017

WordCamp Cologne was one of the biggest WordCamps in Germany for the year with 250 attendees. I was one of this year’s co-organizers, putting heart and effort into it for weeks. Colleagues Patricia, Jan and Jörg couldn’t wait to be in the beautiful city, that welcomed us with wonderful weather.

Contributing to WordPress

Before the actual WordCamp event, we held a WordPress Contributor Day in the stylish Microsoft premises where 80 people contributed to the open-source project. We had WordPress Core, Meta, Accessibility, WP-CLI, Hosting, Polyglots, WordPress TV, Design, and Community.

Jan and Jörg joined the Hosting team and connected the community with hosting companies to improve WordPress hosting. Amidst organizer duties, I also took part in discussions and Q&A at the Community table.

A Heartwarming WordCamp Start

Saturday early morning, we set up our brand-new Plesk booth and arranged numerous giveaways.

And we just had to spoil our WordPress friends with delicious sweets to power their day:

I was honored to co-host with Marc Nilius, this year’s lead-organizer. The most special and emotional moment was when the community surprised me with a personalized community Wapuu. I almost burst into tears.

BarCamp, Talks and Speakers

This year’s WordCamp Cologne was a BarCamp – no session or speaker in advance, but attendees interested in giving a talk presented their topic in under a minute. If the audience was interested, the session got scheduled. Plesk CTO Jan Löffler pitched two sessions and both got a slot. See the slides (German) for WordPress auf Speedand Web Trends in Zahlen und wie sich Hosting verändert.

Altogether, 39 sessions were scheduled on website performance, design, accessibility, web security, Gutenberg, web development, mental health, digital law and digital nomad lifestyle.

WordPress Toolkit and Plesk Courses

The attendees were super interested in WordPress Toolkit demos. They asked how they can use Plesk for their private or business purpose. If you missed this part, don’t worry, find out more by clicking below or get in touch with our experts.

Discover the WordPress Toolkit

Feedback from the community was more than valuable for us – a company always trying to improve. They also loved that we offer free courses on how to use Plesk in Plesk University. Take some time to check them out.

See Course Catalog

WordCamp Goodies and Atmosphere

It wouldn’t be a WordCamp without swag. WordCamp Cologne gave attendees a t-shirt and branded scarf in soccer-fan-style.

We couldn’t keep a straight face – it was just so much fun.

Of course, we also joined the social events with the community while discovering the lovely German and “Kölsch” culture.

Plesk gets its own official Wapuu!

An international delegation of WP community members official released Plesk’s Wapuu:

We’re still looking for a cool name that will fit this little guy. Help us out by leaving your suggestions in the comments below.

Wrapping up WordCamp Cologne with captured memories

While overwhelmed by the positive feedback, I need to mention the 9 organizers, 16 volunteers, 42 sponsors & community-sponsors who made this event possible. It was hard to leave.

But we went home with lots of inspiration and positive energy. Here are some special moments captured below. Can you spot yourself?

WordCamp Seattle 2017: A Journey Across Continents – Recap

Wordcamp Seattle 2017

We’re just back from WordCamp Seattle where 6 team members from Europe and Canada represented Plesk in the US. We were proud to be one of this WordCamp’s Gold Sponsors and even better for me – it was my first ever trip to the US!

Everyone was so friendly and helpful in the days leading up to the event that I couldn’t help but amp up the excitement. After exploring some of the city in the first snowflakes of the winter, we were ready for the big weekend.

WordCamp Challenge: Unlocked!

One day before the start of WordCamp Seattle 2017 and the unthinkable happens. After many weeks of prep work on our sponsor appearance, we find that our booth and swag is stuck in customs in Memphis. And there was no chance to get it to the event in time. Well, for no small fee anyway.

But we kept our cool and immediately started looking for alternatives. Furthermore, we decided to spread nothing but good vibes and I assured the team that the WordPress community would be more than empathetic about us being booth and swag-less. And this is exactly what happened.

But we’re Plesky, so we couldn’t help but get cheeky and fun about the whole thing. We presented our “invisible booth” to the first arriving WordCamp attendees. It was “a new Plesk concept and probably the most awesome booth they’ve ever seen – if they use their imagination! Just be like Walt Disney, be magical!”

We had fun with it but also learned and passed on to fellow sponsors that shipments can get stuck at customs if you don’t provide enough info regarding the degree of toxicity of the ink in our swag pens. Yes. So, live and learn, folks!

We then thought on our feet and assembled a TV, posters and roll-up banner. In the end, our improv-booth looked pretty good. Special thanks to Eric Amundsen, WordCamp Seattle sponsor wrangler, who helped us set it all up.

Our Flying Wonders

Unexpectedly – one of our parcels managed to find its way to Seattle, and 12 little Plesk toy drones popped out of the box! Knowing that these drones were the only swag we could give away, we started a “Drone-Winning Competition” – first by photo contest and later by raffle.

Admittedly, we had our own fun flying the drones all over the place with old and new WordPress friends. But the gliding sensations also brought lots of interested people to our booth. And here are the lucky winners of the toy drones looking rather pleased:

Volunteering at WCSEA

I went for my usual volunteer shift as room manager and emcee and assisted Ben Byrne and Saied Abbesi during their informative talks. Ben’s session was about accelerating custom development with dynamic scaffolding and WP-CLI. This is a developed approach that leverages WP-CLI to dynamically inject configurable, pre-written code into a specific in-house starter theme. Saied’s talk was about truly responsive website design and he explored browser-compatible innovations in CSS instead of using media queries. The end result will save time and create more adaptive web experiences.

I shared my shift and duties with the lovely Marina Snyder, a first-time WordCamp attendee who immediately started as a volunteer – Kudos to you, Marina!

WordPress Toolkit Demonstrations

Back at the Plesk booth, I noticed many people interested in a demonstration of Plesk’s WordPress Toolkit. This tool simplifies the life of WordPress web professionals in many ways and it was a pleasure to see how enthusiastically the community reacted when recognising its potential.

WordCamp Seattle 2017 Sessions

Here are some more sessions we attended during the two days of WordCamp Seattle 2017.

  • WordPress is a Banquet – Keynote by Andrea Middleton

Andrea talked about the multiple ways there are to contribute to the open source project, WordPress. He showed inspiring examples of WordPress contributors like Petya Raykovska and Bridget Williard, who it was a pleasure to finally meet in person in Seattle. Anybody can find something to contribute. So if you’re passionate, let’s do it. Here are some words of wisdom from the one and only.

  • Women in WordPress Panel – by Bridget Williard, Francesca Marano, Tessa Kriesel and Rachel Cherry, moderated by Miriam Goldman

This was one of the most inspiring sessions I have ever seen at a WordCamp. Four amazing women sharing their experiences in the tech world in a more than honest way – which certainly took some courage. Follow these women on Twitter. We learnt a lot about behaviours that should be questioned, from either gender. There was an important message to spread to women in tech: Stop apologizing for being awesome!

  • Gutenberg and the Future of WordPress by Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Morten gave the audience true insight into what Gutenberg is and how it’s going to change WordPress. With no fear for live demo risks, he showed the audience fascinating details about WordPress’ upcoming new editor. An amazing tool, but it’s not ready yet. Every WordPress user should use and test it and provide valuable and needed feedback.“Gutenberg is our tool, Gutenberg is our responsibility!”

Great Time in the US

After the sessions, the Pleskians and I had a smashing time at the socials, with a delicious team dinner and a hilarious WordCamp Karaoke event! Let’s just say I know what’s on my schedule for WordCamp US in Nashville, starting December 1st! I’m proud of the Pleskians for overcoming all obstacles in a way that stayed true to Plesk. Meanwhile I thank the wonderful WordPress community for the support through WordCamp Seattle.

More WordCamp Seattle Moments

Are you in our gallery below?

I’m so passionate about the WP community and love helping with organising WordCamps. What are you passionate about in the WordPress world? Tell us in the comments below!

See More Plesky WordCamps