WordCamp Singapore 2017 – A Plesk Recap

Plesk at Wordcamp Singapore 2017

Plesk flew thousands of miles to join over 200 people from all across the globe in this year’s WordCamp Singapore. As a proud Bronze Sponsor, we set up our booth in Suntec City Expo Center’s main hall. Then, interacted with our friends from the WordPress community.

 

Conference Day at WordCamp Singapore

The WordCamp event opened up with a traditional quiz, which we loved. Did you know the first WP version was called Miles Davis? Then on that high, we went on to the inspiring talks held by 20 international speakers. They hailed from the likes of Google, Automattic, HumanMade and more local and global WordPress businesses.

The schedule was bursting. But we were simply impressed by the open and sincere sharing of thoughts about regular WordPress pains. We delved into self host vs. host with provider, security concerns, how to fit SEO and marketing analysis into your blog or ecommerce site, and much more. Lots to think about.

Not only that, but a few people also came to check out what we brought to the place and find some common ground or “cool want” as they called it. Good thing WordPress Web Host just opened to provide a beneficial platform for users.

Meanwhile, in the main hall, we networked, ate and visited more sponsor booths!

 

What’s a WordCamp conference without an after party, right? This one was nice and cozy, set at Harry’s, just 5 minutes walk from the convention center. A shout out goes to Jon Ang for buzzing along the tables not letting the fun simmer down. Thanks Jon, you made that night!

Contributor and Workshop Day

This was the first Contributor and Workshop Day in WordCamp Singapore, and boy was it fun. One family-like atmosphere, where all people from any background could sit with their laptops and did what they loved. All while giving back to the WordPress project. No experience is needed. You can find out more about what went on here.

Thanks HumanMade

HumanMade did a nice job organizing the event. They had their work cut out for them being such an enormous gig, yet we came off feeling comfortable, immersed and entertained. In the words of Schwarznegger: “we’ll be back”.

Jesse Friedman Interview at WordCamp Rhode Island

This year’s WordCamp Rhode Island went down on Sept. 22nd and 23rd. Plesk was proud to sponsor the event with around 200 attendees and 22 speakers. A team of 8 organizers led by Joy Adamonis, and 15 volunteers turned WordCamp Rhode Island’s 6th edition into a blast.

Our WordCamp Rhode Island Highlight

jesse-friedman-wordcamp-rhodeislandJesse Friedman was one of WordCamp Rhode Island’s co-organizers. This year, he was in charge of the speaker-wrangling and of, well, being a speaker himself. He was so kind to become my interview partner for a short recap and some personal questions.

Jesse has been building websites for 17 years, and exclusively with WordPress since 2006. Since then, he has written several books, taught 100s of students and organized dozens of local meetups along with a few WordCamps.

He’s spoken at tech conferences worldwide and utilized his consulting expertise for small agencies and billion dollar international companies. Today he’s a proud team member of Jetpack at Automattic.
(Source here)

Plesk Interviews Jesse Friedman

Naturally, we couldn’t help but ask Jesse a few questions to pick at the brain of one of WordCamp’s most influencial.

  1. How did you experience this year’s role as a WordCamp Organizer?

This was a great year for planning. Our organization team came together under the leadership of Joy Adamonis, the events lead organizer. Joy was so organized and on top of everything that had to be done. We spent so much less time scrambling to complete tasks and thinking more about how we can improve the conference. This year we made some major changes to our speaking tracks and our blind speaker submission process.

  1. What’s been the matter closest to your heart as an organizer for WordCamp Rhode Island?

I used to be an Adjunct Professor at a local University. So for me, it’s always been about giving back and helping to teach those who need a little push to succeed. WordCamp Rhode Island has an especially eclectic group of experts and novices. So designing a curriculum that everyone can benefit from is a fun and worthy challenge.

  1. What do you love most about WordPress and its community?

In the closing remarks this year I asked every attendee to raise their hand if they received help at a WordCamp, or owe some level of their success to something they learned at a WordCamp. Nearly everyone in the room raised their hands. The WordPress community is amazing because we all came from the same place.  We all needed help from someone else in the community at one point or another. The amazing thing is that no one forgets. So now we have an awesome community comprised of thousands of people eager to give back.

  1. What piece of WordPress related advice would you have given yourself 5 (or 10) years ago?

I would have told myself not to be so sure about what I’d be doing in 5 years. In the last 6 years I have gone from the Head of Development at a production house, to the Director of Innovation at a startup, to doing UX and Marketing at Jetpack. And now I’m working in Partnerships and Business Development. WordPress creates so many opportunities for everyone and their careers, we should all be open to it.

We want to thank Jesse for this interview and the support he gave to Plesk during the event.

Looking for more from this event?

Soak up tons of great talks and ideas from our WordPress community with presentations from the WordCamp Rhode Island sessions or tune in to them here on WordPress TV.

WordCamp Nijmegen Recap

Wordcamp Nijmegen 2017

Jörg and I have recently represented Plesk at WordCamp Nijmegen – the first ever Local event in The Netherlands. We were met by perfect organization, led by Taco Verdonshot. This paired with the high quality of the talks and speakers makes us hope this wasn’t a one-time edition.

Have a look at the cool, new Plesk Swag we entertained our attendees with. Our booth was surely emitting a fun atmosphere during the whole event.

Great WordCamp Community and Program

We were swept away by how welcoming the Dutch WordPress Community was and the varied program they gave us. There were speakers who even spontaneously switched their presentation from Dutch to English to accommodate the foreign attendees.

This WordCamp came with two tracks – and there was going to be something for everybody. From WordPress beginners to advanced developers.

So we kicked off – with Joost de Valk‘s keynote “5% voor de toekomst” (“5% for the future“). Joost took on all the different ways we can contribute to the open-source project that is WordPress.

Emceeing on the Nijmegen Stage

With pleasure, I introduced my husband, Alain Schlesser, who gave the Nijmegen audience valuable basics of OOP plugin development. Yet my more emotional moment on stage came after the last morning lightening talk by Yvette Sonneveld.

Yvette inspired us by sharing her experience and pleasure of volunteering at WordCamps. Then, she ended her contribution by thanking me for my support over the last two weeks. Support that I gave before her very first talk as a WordCamp speaker. Yvette even quoted me in her last slide and took me in for a big hug on stage.

 

The Next WordPress Generation in Nijmegen

Another WordCamp Nijmegen highlight for us was the engagement from our youngest WordPress enthusiasts. CoderDojo Nijmegen took them under his wing and they learned to build their first WordPress site during the event!

Thank you WordCamp Nijmegen

WordCamp Nijmegen and WordPress Contributor Day managed to ride the success of the Local Brighton event in the eyes of Plesk and myself. Check out all the fun we had in the photo recap below. Thanks for an awesome weekend Nijmegen and “Tot ziens!” (goodbye!)

Creative Commons License    Photographer: Carole Olinger for Plesk

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

WordCamp Brighton: A Plesk Recap

WordCamp Brighton 2017

WordCamp Brighton 2017 - Carole MC

This month, I was part of WordCamp Brighton – a two-day conference about WordPress topics voluntarily organised by the community, for the community. Plesk was one of this year’s sponsors, so it was doubly exciting for me to experience this WordCamp for the first time as part of the Plesk team.

After WordCamp Europe in Paris, where I debuted as an on-stage emcee in front of almost 2,000 attendees, the cosy and laid-back atmosphere of WordCamp Brighton was just what I needed.

As this was my second WordCamp in the UK this year, where I was emcee-ing yet again, I was looking forward to reconnecting with fellow WordPress attendees from the previous event. And of course, to meeting new community members.

Warm WordCamp Welcome and Preparations

I touched down in Brighton on Thursday evening and headed straight to the volunteer’s dinner at Ohso Social Beach Bar. I got the golden invite as I was emcee-ing again at this event. It was great to meet my WordPress friends in such a relaxing beach atmosphere. Excellent food by the way – it was vegetarian and vegan during all the way. And after some nice drinks, it was time for my travel recover – bedtime.

Friday 8.30 AM, I was at The Old Market, the WordCamp venue, waiting for the doors to open at 9.00 AM. I was there setting up the swag table with all the best Plesk merchandise I had brought for the attendees. The sponsor area was at Tom’s Bar, a really nice spot to meet and chat, referred to as “The Hallway Track” at conferences. Check out this lovely spread:

WordCamp Brighton - Plesk promo

The WordCamp organizers had decided not to produce branded WordCamp t-shirts as special swag this year, but branded reusable water bottles and coffee cups instead! What an exemplary and easy way to contribute to an eco-friendly environment – producing less waste. I really loved the idea.

The WordCamp Community Impresses Again

After the opening remarks at 9:45 AM , the first speaker Gabor Javorszky started with a very valuable talk: “Things you didn’t know you need to know about databases and WordPress.” He went into great detail and covered a lot of the more obscure database performance issues. Check him out in full-focus mode!

WordCamp Brighton 2017 - Gabor Javorszky

Then it was back to Tom’s Bar for me, meeting and chatting with the beloved WordPress community. It’s always so much fun at these WordCamps, no matter the country or city – I always experience an extraordinary and welcoming atmosphere. And I love the community for being 100% open-minded, inclusive and helpful.

WordCamp Brighton Talks for 2017 

It was then time for me to get back on stage as an emcee or MC – Master of Ceremonies for the talks at WordCamp Brighton 2017. I covered 4 Lightning Talks (short talks of about 10 minutes each) and two workshops. My role was to introduce the speakers, to moderate the Q&As and to give additional information about the event to the audience.

What was special about the schedule of WordCamp Brighton was the fact, that there had been only one track. It seemed to contribute to the relaxed atmosphere – attendees didn’t have to change rooms or make difficult choices about which session to pick. No FOMO (“fear of missing out”). Regardless, the program was diverse. And there was high-quality and easy access ensured all round when it came to the talks.

On Friday afternoon, Franz Vitulli was the first speaker and during his talk “Product as a Mindset”, he was helping the audience to find out if they are or could be product persons too.

WordCamp Brighton - Franz Vitulli

Next, Phil Ward held a very entertaining talk about “Coding Your Career.” The former professional wrestler turned Senior WordPress Developer has found a good work-life balance and gave advice to get what you want out of your career.

Tammie Lister led an interactive workshop with the theme “Design for Humans”. John Blackbourn then led the second workshop on “The A to Z of WordPress Multisite” for beginners in the afternoon.

Lightning talks continued shortly thereafter with an inspiring talk about “Dealing with Anxiety at the Workplace” by Laura Nelson. I can hardly imagine the courage it took for her to get on stage and talk about dealing with the struggles of anxiety that she faces every day. Laura was amazing and I truly hope that speaking publicly about this mental health issue will also help diminish the stigma around it.

Maja Benke followed Laura onstage to give valuable insight on “Accessible Web Design”. I must admit, I personally hadn’t delved that deeply into accessibility, so I really appreciated Maja’s crisp yet comprehensible way of presenting this important topic. There will be some work for me ahead regarding this.

WordCamp Brighton 2017 - David Lockie

The last workshop – and the last session for the first day – was held by David Lockie, founder of Pragmatic, the UK’s leading WordPress agency. He presented the “WordPress Business Toolkit”. David wants to help people avoid painful mistakes from growing a business. Sharing their business learnings and processes is one of Pragmatic’s core ways of giving back to the WordPress community.

WordCamp Brighton 2017 - David Lockie and the community

Networking at WordCamp Brighton 

I closed the first conference day on stage and later celebrated with the WordCamp community in one of Brighton’s English pubs, readying myself for the next day of networking. My second conference day was mostly spent at Tom’s Bar, full of interesting discussions with the network, photographs and interviews. Unfortunately I was so busy collecting WordCamp Brighton impressions that I only got to listen to one talk in the end.

While getting in touch with more WordCamp sponsors, I found out that 34SP have been satisfied Plesk partners for over 14 years now! What a great time I had with Daniel, Keith, Siobhan, Kayleigh, and their amazing crew. Later, I even got video-interviewed by Siobhan for 34SP and am already looking forward to the finished result.

This wasn’t my only interview that day – the youngest attendee of WordCamp Brighton also had a few questions for me! And as a reward, I got a unicorn Wapuu-sticker from WordCamp Edinburgh. I couldn’t be happier to see children involved in WordCamp.

At the Pragmatic booth, I picked up free limited edition “Brighton Rocks” screen prints by Simon Cooke. I even discovered that Pragmatic is launching the International WordPress Awards (IWP), a non-profit organization for the WordPress community, providing a way to recognize and celebrate the highest achievements in the industry. The IWP Innovation prize is endowed with 30,000 USD. So I’m very much looking forward to seeing this project grow. Elliot Taylor and Tom Chute even helped me contribute to a new podcast for the WordPress Community, as you can see. So stay tuned for more information about this project!

WordCamp Brighton 2017 - Pragmatic.Agency

WordCamp Brighton 2017 - Ryan Rietyeld

The day passed very quickly and I joined Rian Rietveld’s session about web accessibility at the very end. As usual, the audience was captivated by Rian’s presentation and the Q&A session I saw was so interesting too. This talk was the last for WordCamp Brighton. Elliot closed the conference at 5.40PM and during the closing remarks, all the organizers, speakers, volunteers and emcees joined Elliot and Alice Still, the lead organizer, on stage for a final goodbye. It was an immense pleasure being part of this great event and special thanks to the organizers for entrusting the WordCamp emcee responsibility onto me!

WordCamp Brighton 2017 - Speakers

The venue was then ready for the afterparty – one final chance to chat with the attendees, organizers, speakers and generous sponsors. Of course, I was also one of the people rocking the dance floor – because that’s what I do. Plesk lightening yo-yos also made a feature, allowing people’s inner child to come out and play.

WordCamp Brighton 2017 - Afterparty #1  WordCamp Brighton 2017 - Afterparty #2

Capping WordCamp Brighton: Contributor Day

On Sunday 10.30AM, 35 WordPress users came together at Eagle Labs to contribute to the open-source project of this WordCamp Brighton’s Contributor Day. Here, you could join different teams and work on WordPress together. After Tammie Lister’s intro, we split into teams: Design, Accessibility, Marketing, Core and Community. This was followed by an afternoon presentation on Gutenberg, the new WordPress editor, plus a Q&A session on Accessibility with Rian Rietveld.

I’d already heard about the Gutenberg Editor but hadn’t installed it or seen any presentations about it. As a non-technical person, I really liked what they did. In my eyes, the editor is more beginner-friendly and I look forward to having contact with it, even if I continue to use my actual Page Builder.

WordCamp Brighton was a Blast

I had to leave Brighton bright and early on Monday morning with a heavy heart, because I really loved everything I was part of at this WordCamp. My only regret is not having enough time to explore this beautiful place. So far, I’ve enjoyed every WordCamp I’ve attended, but this one will definitely go down as one of my all-time favourites. Sign me up for the next edition in 2018! So long Brighton, you’ve been wonderful!

WordCamp 2017 - Brighton

WordCamp Bright 2017 Highlights

  • The relaxed atmosphere present throughout the whole event
  • Eco-friendly water bottles and cups
  • The emphasis on the WordCamp Code of Conduct
  • The great vegetarian food at the venues and at Brighton’s restaurants
  • The Gutenberg presentation by Tammie Lister on Contributor Day
  • The amazing WordPress community <3

Want to see more photos from the event? Check out our gallery here.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Photographer: Carole Olinger for Plesk