Posted in WordPress by
Anthony Hortin

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 –
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
Peter Wilson walked us through some great tips for increasing your website’s PageSpeed score. Everyone knows by now that Google loves fast websites and they’ve even created a site that allows you too get insights on your sites performance. Peter talked about some of the tools you can use to measure your sites performance along with tips for loading your JavaScript and CSS.

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.

Giving back

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.

10 responses on “WordCamp Brisbane 2015 #wcbne

  1. Chris Burgess

    Nice summary Anthony, very similar highlights to my own. It was an awesome event, they seem to bigger and better each time. Your presentation was excellent, something I’ll definitely be referring people to in the future 🙂

    1. Anthony Hortin Post author

      Thanks Chris, I appreciate you saying that. Glad you enjoyed it. And yeah, they put on a fantastic event. There was some great speakers over the weekend. Was a great venue too. Gotta love having a power point next to every seat!

  2. Japh

    Great write up, mate! Really enjoyed your talk too, and you were great with the questions at the end.

    Looking forward to the next one already! 🙂

    1. Anthony Hortin Post author

      Thanks Japh. Much appreciated. I really enjoyed your talk as well. Was great catching up with you again on the weekend. And yes, bring on the next one!

  3. Charlie Carter

    Thanks Anthony for doing this write up. Personally I thought the conference was one of the best ones I’ve been to in a long time! Nice to have it over the weekend, when everyone can relax, socialise/network and have awesome discussion. I’m thrilled you mentioned my presentation as one of the highlights. Can’t thank the organisers enough for all the hard work that must have gone into it !

    1. Anthony Hortin Post author

      My pleasure Charlie. Thanks for leaving a comment. You did a great talk and the videos and demos you showed really drive home the message that improving accessibility is something that everyone could stand to learn more about. And totally agree, the organisers did a fantastic job with everything.

  4. Susan

    Great wrap, Anthony.
    This was, by far, the best value conference I’ve ever been to. Great speakers. Great venue. Great community. Although I seem to face come away with reduced adjective-slash-superlative capability 🙂
    Can’t wait to re-connect with people I met and test out some stuff I learned. Hoping to get to a local Meetup soon and definitely looking forward to the next WordCamp.

    1. Anthony Hortin Post author

      Thanks Susan. Yeah, they’re definitely great value conferences, aren’t they. It’s great to get so many speakers over the two days and even though they’re all WordPress related talks, there’s still a lot of different topics. Definitely something for everyone as they say! I highly recommend getting along to a local meetup as well, if you get the chance. They’re great for connecting with other people in the WordPress community. Thanks for leaving a comment.

  5. Dee

    Thanks for including my talk above! Was an awesome weekend and as always I’m looking forward to the next too!

    Nice job of showcasing the power of WooCommerce… you know you’re my ‘go to’ for questions about it! You always seem to get there first and save me a bunch of trouble having to do the research!! THANK YOU!!

    1. Anthony Hortin Post author

      Thanks Dee. My pleasure. Your talk was really interesting, as usual. I think it would’ve helped a lot of us freelancers.
      And no probs re the WooCommerce stuff. Happy to help 🙂