In late August I was able to attend WordCamp 2016. WordCamp Vancouver is a yearly, one-day workshop with multiple tracks to learn more about WordPress and web development in general. What I also found is that it is the best deal $20 can buy – even if you don’t want to learn anything about WordPress. Firstly, you have food available all day – from muffins and coffee/tea to a hearty lunch of salad and sandwiches, to an after-party of appies and beverages. Then, there’s the swag – t-shirts, bags, pins, stickers, sunglasses from sponsors of this non-profit event. On top of all this, there’s some world-renown speakers with pertinent information on WordPress and industry best practices, business strategy and web developer coding tips.
I attended 7 sessions of the available 21. Highlights of the sessions I attended were as follows:
Design Less like a Developer
There’s going to be a variety of audiences visiting your website. Therefore, offer multiple audience tracks for them to follow. However, it is up to you as a designer to provide clear focus for them rather than overwhelming them with too much information – all on the Home Page! Provide a gentle flow for them to follow rather than a bombardment of signs to look at. Speaker: Tracey Apps
It’s Always the Embeds
When adding Vimeo and YouTube videos, Google Maps and sometimes ads in iframes to your site, take care to test on a mobile device. Many major websites do not resize well for mobile and thus display a large video player on a small device. Handy code snippets were provided to resize the container to fit smaller devices. Speaker: Robert Dall
SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) is a graphic file format that is becoming more useful on the web. Although it was developed and browser-safe many years ago, they haven’t been widely used just yet. They are great because they are scalable and keep smooth edges (no pixels!) when used at any size. Also, you can pull out layers of an Illustrator file and use a single layer as a graphic element. While they are quite amazing, the steps to implement them have me a little hesitant still. I’ll need to practice with a few before I start using them all over. Speaker: Morten Rand-Hendriksen
Tools for Managing Multiple WordPress Sites
Stressing the importance of keeping WordPress websites updated, I was introduced to several tools to help do this. While it used to be standard to only need to update quarterly or at the most monthly, now weekly updates are recommended by those in the industry. Remember – NetClimber provides a great package to handle all these for you with our Pro-Active Maintenance, Monitoring & Response Package. It was good to see that we at NetClimber are right on track with seeing the need for this and providing it for our clients. Speaker: Christina Varro
I’ve been Hacked
What to do in the event of being hacked and the importance of back ups. Also stressed again were WordPress Updates – WordPress core, themes, and Plugins. It was stated that according to a website security company that handles a lot of compromised websites, 25% of all WordPress website hacks are done through plugins that are not updated. Preventative maintenance is far more effective and saves your reputation. It was also recommended that whenever possible, an SSL certificate should be used. Speaker Aftaab Gulam
Troubleshooting for Beginning Developers
Speaker: Jonathan Kay
On Creativity: A Freelancer’s Journey…
This was an entertaining session and by then I needed it to be. The speaker, a copywriter and artist noted his experiences in learning to deliver excellent content that entices readers to remember you and come back for more. Speaker: Kelvin Cech
He left us with some key takeaways:
- What does the audience crave?
- How can you take them there?
- Can we have a good time while getting there?
Ways to be creative:
- Immerse yourself in a strange environment
- Listen to other people talk
- Bet on yourself – your own brand of creativity has been earned.