Over 260 eager WordPressers converged on Queensland University of Technology (QUT) over this past weekend for WordCamp Brisbane (May 30-31, 2015). And what a great WordCamp it was! First and foremost, huge props to the organisers, Sofia Woods, Bronson Quick, Dion Hulse, Lachlan MacPherson & Tracey Kemp. The weekend ran so smooth and based on tweets and conversations, everyone had a fantastic time.
Building the Community
For those who don’t know, WordCamps are volunteer run, non-profit events that help participants to learn and share about all things WordPress.
In the words of WordCamp Central
WordCamp is a conference that focuses on everything WordPress.
WordCamps are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users like you. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other.
All the organisers and speakers volunteer their own time to helping build the WordPress community through these events. The same can be said for the people who volunteer to help out on the day. In the end, not only do you have a great time networking and socialising, but you also get to learn a helluva lot from all the fantastic presentations over the weekend. You can check out the full weekend schedule over on the WordCamp Brisbane website.
Approximately 80% of the attendees for this years WordCamp Brisbane were from Queensland, which was great to see. Having such a huge contingent of locals only serves to strengthen the local community. There was also a great mix of male and female attendees & speakers, with it being an even split across both those groups.
As well as people from all over Australia who travelled to Queensland for the WordCamp, there were fine folk from the United States, Korea, Nepal and a number of other countries.
It was also fantastic to see two Auslan translators who helped translate the presentations in one of the rooms for a fellow who was hearing impaired. This is something that should be happening at more conferences, so kudos to the organisers for making that happen.
With 24 presentations, 1 keynote and 1 panel, over the two days, there was plenty to take in, no matter whether you’re a hard core developer, designer, blogger or just someone who tinkers around with WordPress.
All the speakers did a fantastic job over the two days, covering a wide range of topics from usability, design, and development, through to WordPress business management. Some of my own personal highlights were;
WooCommerce Case Study – coffeebeansdelivered.com.au
Jen Jeavons presented a fascinating case study of her new eCommerce venture, Coffee Beans Delivered. Jen talked about everything from the initial business concept, branding and design through to the eventual WooCommerce setup and tips & tricks they learnt on the way.
How To Get A Page Speed Score In The 90s
Build on Chassis: Introduction to a Solid Development Workflow
Japh Thomson gave us a great overview of his development workflow using Chassis. Japh talked about how you go about setting it up along with other tools that he uses and the benefits of incorporating it your own development workflow.
How to Freelance like a BOSS
Dee Teal gave us a great insight into her own freelancing business and some of the tips she’s learnt over the years, quite often the hard way. Dee talked about managing your environment, your bookkeeping, relationships and tax obligations. Some of the advice seems like common sense, in hindsight, but there was lots of good advice that I’m sure most of us who have similar businesses can benefit from.
Make WordPress Accessible
Charlie Carter showed us some of the struggles that people with disabilities face when using the web. Charlie strives to make the web more inclusive and showed us some of the things that we can do to improve our sites for people with disabilities along with some useful tools we can use in the process.
A great way to give back to the WordPress community is by volunteering to speak at your local WordPress meetup or at a WordCamp. This year, I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the speakers at WordCamp Brisbane. Quite an honour when you look at the calibre of the other speakers over the weekend.
In my presentation, I showed how you can Build a Membership Site with WooCommerce. I outlined the benefits of using WooCommerce over dedicated membership plugins and also discussed which plugins (along with WooCommerce) are required and how to go about setting them up. You can check out my slides below.
All the presentations over the weekend were videoed, and they’ll be available to view on WordPress TV over the coming month or so, once they’ve been processed. If you didn’t get a chance to attend this past weekend, I highly recommend you check out the videos when they appear online.
Did you attend WordCamp Brisbane? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.