My Faves from WordCamp Atlanta 2016

Beautiful mural that says "Atlanta Made" in Atlanta, Georgia

We love learning more about WordPress at WordCamp, and we really appreciate when companies and speakers use a little creativity and take their marketing and presentations to the next level. Here’s what caught our attention at WordCamp Atlanta 2016.

As a WordPress developer, I get excited about WordCamp as an opportunity to meet other developers, share great ideas and learn about new solutions that can make the websites we build run better. Once you’ve attended a few conventions and WordCamps, you start to really appreciate when companies and speakers use a little creativity and take their marketing and presentations to the next level. Here’s what caught my attention at WordCamp Atlanta 2016:

 

socks1
Favorite Booth Swag

Several of the sponsors showed up with a lot of great swag to give away. Amidst the coasters with the built-in bottle openers, t-shirts o’plenty and various USB sundries, one sponsor gave me something I hadn’t yet received in all my other WordCamps (or other conventions for that matter): Socks! Thanks, Siteground.

Favorite Metaphor Used in a Presentation

Automattic acquisition WooThemes sent out one of their top-notch developers to speak on how to develop future-proofed plugins and themes for WooCommerce, the predominant ecommerce platform of choice for WordPress. Let’s face it — developing third-party solutions for a third-party solution with any staying power is no easy feat. Presenting a workshop on the idea must be even tougher. But speaker Daniel Espinoza smoothed the concepts over by relating the building blocks of development to the tools and blocks of the popular game Minecraft. Watch out for project scope-creepers and client zombies!

Favorite New Plugin to Try: Transients Manager

This is a tool for WordPress developers that helps speed up the development of websites. The purpose of transients is to speed up your website by storing certain data for a set period of time. If parts of your website don’t change that often, rather than dynamically building them from a complex query of your database, a transient will store the results of that complex query in a single cell in your database for as long as you need. Returning a single cell is much simpler than returning a whole host of cells that match a database query. What’s an example of a part of a website that doesn’t change often?

  • The menu navigation
  • A list of recent posts
  • Contact information in the footer (such as address, phone and email address)

 

Why does any of this matter? Site speed is a critical part of user experience and a growing factor of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) with search engines like Google. Back in 2012, Amazon calculated that if their pages took just one second longer to load, it would cost them $1.6 billion in sales.

Thanks to everyone who made WordCamp Atlanta a success — we loved our trip, and we learned a lot. And thanks in particular to Siteground, Daniel Espinoza and Transients Manager!

Birmingham native and twice alumni of Full Sail University, Josh is a left-handed, creative thinking, leader. He loves his iPhone and quantifying his daily life on the device, tracking his runs on Strava and listening habits on Spotify. Josh loves a blank canvas and the “idea” phase of a project, and can always see the forest for the trees—a trait that can quickly be surmised by his hobbies of Minecraft and LEGOs. He feels most satisfied in his career when the product of his work is in front of lots of users, making their lives easier. When offline, Josh likes playing the guitar, going to concerts, cooking and the outdoors.
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