I’ve finally had a chance to put down some thoughts about WordCamp Portland, which was hosted at WebTrends last weekend. First off, what an amazing event. The group dynamic was fantastic; it was a great mix of developers, marketers, bloggers, general WordPress users, designers, and others. Second, hats off to Aaron Hockley (@ahockley), Besty Richter (@betsywhim), Dale Chumbley (@dalechumbley), and all of the other volunteers and people that made it possible. Next, props to the other sponsors for putting their money where their blogs are and enabling a stellar setup. Finally, what’s a conference without great presenters? I took away great nuggets from every presentation I attended (and watched); which I can’t always say after leaving an conference. I can’t possibly cover them all, but I want to point a few takeaways that I found the most beneficial for medium-to-large businesses using WordPress as a blogging solution, or even as their complete CMS.
Speeding Up WordPress
Jason Grigs (@grigs) kicked off the event with Speed Up WordPress, an awesome presentation for WordPress administrators (i.e. users) that outlines several methods for speeding up delivery of your WordPress content. This is excellent for those of us running heavily customized sites with many plugins, or those with high numbers of daily visitors. From database efficiencies, to caching, to image optimization, and more; I guarantee there is something in this presentation you are neglecting on your WordPress installation (unless your Jason, or maybe @turoczy now).
Scaling WordPress to the Next Level
Matt Mullenweg (@photomatt), the founder of WordPress, did a Q+A session on day one that was great. I’d never seen Matt speak, and I was blown away by how engaging he was. With the growth of the WordPress empire, I really believe Matt is one of the most influential internet entrepreneurs ever.
One of the last questions Matt answered was in regards to how WordPress is being used for sites that are far from being blogs, and sites that see massive traffic. I had a similar question queued up, because as we make recommendations to some of our larger clients, regarding content management system decisions, we want to be confident that WordPress is being developed to handle the “non-traditional” things it is being made to do by users and developers. Matt’s reply to this question gave me confidence that WordPress will be able to handle the load as developers customize it more and more, and larger sites push the product.
Many more takeaways from the event, here are a few:
There were many many more awesome presentations and breakout sessions. Check the Twitter feed for #wcpdx, and checkout the official WordCamp Portland site for links to streams, descriptions on presentations, and other good info.