What I learnt from WordCamp Edinburgh

WordCamp-Edinburgh
Photo credit: Romy Viflic on Twitter

Last weekend, I packed my bags and travelled up to Scotland for WordCamp Edinburgh. Having really enjoyed WordCamp Manchester the previous month, I was looking forward to the conference.

I learnt many useful tips during the event and enjoyed seeing a few familiar faces from Manchester. Here, I have summarised what I’d say are the top tips I took away from WordCamp.

Mark Wilkinson’s code talk ‘Beyond FTP – my WordPress development workflow

Mark is a Freelance WordPress Developer and Plugin Author with over ten years’ experience. It was very interesting to learn about Mark’s journey from using FTP to a more solid development and deployment system. His talk was clear and useful, and it was interesting hearing about his hurdles along the way, including how he learnt to manage huge media libraries and his use of .gitignore. His talk was also a good recap of things I already know about, including the use of version control, and it was refreshing to hear it taught from another perspective.

Valerie Adler’s content talk ‘Your website? It’s not for you!

Valerie talked about how your website is essentially for your audience, not yourself, and how we need to remind ourselves of this. She talked about needing to have a crystal clear mission, including often having to tap into a niche. She got us to think about the words users would actually type to find a page (and a reminder that it is pages that rank with Google, not sites)! She also told us to recognise how to string words together and always remember to use alt tags in images. Overall, Valerie really got me thinking about SEO and the importance of wording correctly.

Hugo Finley’s lightning talk on running a WordCamp

I found Hugo’s quick lightning talk on his experience of putting on a WordCamp for the first time (Manchester) very interesting. Pragmatic will be involved in the organisation of the upcoming Brighton WordCamp next year, so I found his advice useful. His tips and advice included:

  • Getting sponsorship is fairly easy!
  • The need for a decent team (especially for finance organisation), of around 5 people to start with plus volunteers on the day (local user group).
  • Do a budget first
  • Keep organised (they used Basecamp)
  • Use a Slack channel
  • Communicate with WordCamp local group!

Overall, I had a super time at WordCamp and learnt a great deal. I would strongly encourage anyone interested in learning more about WordPress to attend a WordCamp!

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