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Ross Allen

Ross Allen

Founder and CEO

The amazing knowledge bombs from Wellington WordCamp 2018.

WordCamp 2018 Logo

WordCamps are informal, community-organized events held world-wide that are put together by WordPress users. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other.

The Wellington WordCamp was held over two days on 23-24 June 2018 with a a mix of inspirational, entertaining and useful talks from speakers from around Aotearoa and the world.

It was amazing to network and connect with so the vibrant and connected WordPress community from New Zealand and abroad.

Your Customer Is Not Your Enemy

Speaker: Dee Teal @thewebprincess
 

Dee presented some of the lessons she’s learned from an extensive career working with a range of customers.

It is our job as digital creators to bridge the communication gap between what we know as web creators and how our clients are able to engage with the project. 

  • Own your mistakes.
  • Don’t make excuses. Take initiative.
  • Be honest.
  • Communicate often.
  • Be honest (again!).
 

Analytics for Successful Content

Speaker: Lana Gibson @lanalytics00
 
People love dashboards, however, take time to understand their intent – don’t make sucky dashboards.
 
First, think of the people who’ll use your dashboard and what they will find most useful. Don’t try to do all things for all people; hold a workshop and use this to define their goals. Many clients don’t already have goals: we can help.
 
When designing dashboards consider the following.
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • How will you know when you achieved it?
  • What data do you use/have already?
  • And what data will highlight problems?
 

SEO is AWESOME 
Speaker: Peter Warwick-Mahoney @pwmxx 

Successful SEO is not an afterthought. It is baked in through the project right from the start.

Including SEO in your client discussions, project and content planning it becomes natural to think about the client: knowing who you are, who you serve, makes every decision about content and SEO follow naturally.

In a case study, Peter presented that a small windscreen business in Scotland: 2y of SEO campaigning brought 5-10% growth month on month. Adding blogs increased that to 15-20%.

GDPR and You
Speaker: Brendan Woods @Brendan_Woods

We have a major ethical and legal responsibility with other people’s data. We have to think about our position as stewards of others’ information.

GDPR applies no matter where you are: if you process the personal info of someone who is in the EU, you need to care about this. Many of us deal with European residents or ship to the EU. Fines are heeeyuuuuge!!

Distrust radically reduces the amount of data that someone is willing to share with a company. In recent times many companies have not done much to earn our trust and keep our trust. Therefore,  in our own practice, we need to be ethical, transparent.

Average people are becoming more and more aware of the issues around data, personal information, and what companies might/can do with it.

What are those old bloggers up to?

Speaker: Rachel McAlpine @Aybrow 

Rachel presented research exploring the internet subculture of elder blogging.
 
Findings from Rachel’s research: 70% of older bloggers are posting weekly, 18% daily; 27% spend at least 7 hours a week on publishing; over 40% spend 6 hours or more on reading and commenting on others’ blogs!
 
Why do older bloggers do it? Sharing knowledge and passions, inspiring, helping, connecting with others are big reasons. Some do it to improve their writing. And a huge reason? “I just enjoy it.”
 
Wordpress Hosting Survival Guide
Speaker: Ricky Blacker @RickyBlacker69
In his presentation, Ricky demystify the different hosting solutions
  • shared hosting? Think of it like an apartment building. One door in, one door out.
  • Dedicated hosting? Like having your own house.
  • Cloud hosting? Like having places to live all over the world.

What about uptime? – In terms of real-time, 99.9% sounds impressive but it could mean a whole business day’s worth of outage in one year.

 
 Panel Discussion:  Life with Gutenberg
Panelists:  Dee Teal, Mike Eastwood, Luke Carbis, Hannah Malcolm and Ralf Klis
 

 The Panelists discussed the implications of Project Gutenberg. The new editor for Wordpress that is expected to be rolled out to Wordpress core later this year. It is Wordpress’s answer to competitors like Medium or Squarespace.

Gutenberg has three planned stages. The first, aimed for inclusion in WordPress 5.0, focuses on the post editing experience and the implementation of blocks. This initial phase focuses on a content-first approach. The use of blocks, allows you to focus on how your content will look without the distraction of other configuration options. This ultimately will help all users present their content in a way that is engaging, direct, and visual.

Gutenberg will be the first time the WYSIWYG editor has been updated since the rollout of WordPress 2.9 in December 2009 and is a big change, and there will be ways to ensure that existing functionality (like shortcodes and meta-boxes) continue to work while allowing developers the time and paths to transition effectively. Ultimately, it will open new opportunities for plugin and theme developers to better serve users through a more engaging and visual experience that takes advantage of a toolset supported by the core.

The live demo Luke presented Gutenberg as a smooth and easy to use editor that in my opinion seemed intuitive to use.

Gutenberg had a number of cool tricks up its sleeve, with big images, like overlaid quotes, or full-screen snaps – even parallax. And embedded multimedia! No not just videos, but embedded Tweets, music playlists, Flickr galleries… so much!

I am looking forward to installing and exploring,

There may be some teething issues as it is rolled out in conflicts with existing themes and plugins but there will be the ability to turn off Gutenberg,

The panelists identified that there was an opportunity/scope for a block marketplace moving forwards.

The Gutenberg plugin can be downloaded from the WordPress repository – Gutenberg

WordPress-ception! 
Speaker Hannah Malcolm @KawaiiHannahArt

Hannah a super talented and uber front-end developer discussed her journey from theme development building a custom theme in 7.5 hours, through to developing a Wordpress platform themebot.io that will produce a custom WordPress site with a custom theme inside of 15 minutes.

Themebot was built in WordPress – yep, WordPress building more WordPress. Gravity, WooCommerce, cron jobs all working together.

Diversity in the Wordpress Community
Speaker Talia Carbis  @TaliaCarbis

Talia discussed the importance of diversity in the Wordpress community drawing our attention to the gender mix of speakers and the not so diverse mix of core contributors to Wordpress. Showing that although There’s a ton of people who contribute to WordPress, it’s quite obvious that there’s a big imbalance – of the 45 noteworthy contributors from the credits it’s dominated by white contributors, male contributors, mostly English speakers.

She also presented research that identified and the benefits to organisational performance that diversity can bring.

We are all responsible for encouraging diversity and we can leverage our roles within organisations and businesses to encourage and support developing a range of colleagues.

Running a Freelance WordPress Business
Speaker: Caelan Huntress @caelanhuntress

In a presentation that was very relevant to our business, Caelan outlined his journey from working in a fortune 500 to a successful freelance career built on WordPress and the learning experiences he had along the way.

Outlining the customer journey Caelan presented the importance of knowing your ideal customer persona and mapping the journey the people we serve go through a process of going from a stranger to customer

  • Getting to Know You,
  • Liking you and
  • Finally Trusting you.

At each stage of their journey if we know what they’re feeling you can structure your whole strategy around it.

To find customers, look for people having the same problem as your ideal customer. There are communities full of the kinds of people you want to serve. Join their communities; show value.

5 steps to Avoiding Burnout and Creating Work/Life Balance

Speaker: Haley Brown @brandshack_au

Again a very relevant presentation Haley discussed how she is 24 weeks pregnant and is taking the steps to make sure that her business won’t have to shut down when the baby comes and questioned what we can do to make our business sustainable like this.

  • Processes – Make the time to document and create systems.
  • Spend time on business development.
  • Recurring revenue streams
  • Outsource if you need to
  • Don’t do cheap mates rates – it is a disservice to your customers, yourself and our industry
  • Set boundaries and hours of work
Cocktails and Beaches: Freedoms and Truths of Remote Working
Speaker Tareia King @tareiking
 
Tarei works for Human made – a team that lives all over the world and is the only employee of his company in New Zealand.
 
Remote working means lots of virtual communication – slack, P2 blogs, and it’s often asynchronous. It also means that you can spend time visiting new places, far away or local. 
 

Tarie bravely spoke about his burnout and how he described it as, the death by a thousand cuts – it’s something Tarei is looking at right now. Burnout looks like anxiety, insomnia, illness, fatigue, lack of concentration – all the things that make it hard to work.

To deal with it the first thing you should do, says Tarei, is be accepting and honest with yourself. Talk to friends and whānau. Take the time to look after yourself and your health.

 
How Wordpress Changed My life
Speaker Ricky Blaker @RickyBlacker69

Ricky has lots on: works at @wpengine, has a company, a band, and a full family life. But back in 2013, Ricky was far away from the tech world – he made cardboard in a factory. 

Following the closure of the Factory, Ricky entered the web design industry and discovered Wordpress.

Now Wordpress is his career, he is the Wordpress Evangelist for WP- Engine and has travelled internationally and presented at his first international WordCamp. 

Ricky believes that Wordpress has given him Confidence, health, goals and a  business. – It was all possible thanks to WordPress. It really has changed his life.

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