WordPress Meetup Day Düsseldorf
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Thank you Sponsor
Fortunately, I'm living in the very best city on the planet. Düsseldorf is well known for it's advertising scene and one of those agencies is sponsoring our meetups: content marketing agency Newcast.
And guess what: their office is in 15 minutes walking distance from where I work. So attending these meetups is nothing more than a little after work stroll to me. I know! I've always been this lucky 😀
Thank you Organizer
Newcast as the sponsor provides location and catering, but that alone does not make a great meetup. You need manpower (womanpower too), and a lot, to get anything this big up and running. And those are the lovely people spending there time, effort and brainpower to make it all happen.
Structure and Schedule
The day had been organised into two strands which are expected to take place from 9:30am to 5:30pm. I'll be attending the advanced group.
WordPress - General understanding, structure and basic concepts of WordPress, selection of a host, installation and initial settings.
THEMES - Setting up and selecting themes (appearance).
PLUGINS - Selected plugins (add-on modules) on topics like additional functionality, security, SEO (search engine optimization), backup ...
CONTENT - Import, edit and design content such as texts and photos.
REACT / NEW BACKEND / REST API - The new WordPress, the necessary stack, a look behind the scenes - new possibilities? Decoupled or headless WordPress as a future.
SCRIPTURE AND TYPOGRAPHY IN THE WEB - Basics on fonts in the Internet: fast-fiction font classification, evaluation of fonts, fonts for multilingual projects, font sources, licenses, costs, stumbling blocks, integration, tips and tricks ...
WORDPRESS AS A BUSINESS MODEL - How WordPress works as a foundation for your own career path. What are the implications, for example, of self-employment? How to publish a commercial plugin? And much more.
COMMUNITY & NETWORKING - What does "open source" actually mean and how can everyone participate in the further development of WordPress? How does the WordPress community work and how is it built?
REACT / NEW BACKEND / REST API
As it had just been decided to ditch React library over Facebook patent clause risk we ditched the topic as well and talked about Gutenberg, the soon to be WordPress-Core-Editor.
Sven and Felix did a fantastic job explaining the pros and cons of Gutenberg and why there is this controversy towards it in the WordPress-Community. Their presentation made me aware that we have a fundamental flaw in WordPress: you'd have a hard time restricting editors to just editing text without compromising layout. Unlike TYPO3, with its very specific rights-management, we can not just revoke individual capabilities to users/groups. With WordPress, we need to educate editors to not break the layout and hope for the best. Gutenberg will make this worse.
That whole talk about Gutenberg snatching the_content to have its way with it strengthened my resolve to face the Divi-builder-shortcode-lockin I had going here. In case you are wondering what I am talking about: some visual builders store their design by writing tons of shortcodes into the_content. What will happen if Gutenberg significantly alters the_content? Scary, right?! Adam from WPCrafter thinks that as well.
So this particular workshop concerning the upcoming changes with Gutenberg convinced to take action better sooner than later, meaning now. Win!
SCRIPTURE AND TYPOGRAPHY IN THE WEB
The next presentation was all about fonts and characters on the web and everywhere else. Speaker Stefan shared some serious insights into the world of serifs and sans serifs, the differences between languages and character-sets and the whys and hows of visual appearance of text transporting messag.
I'm not that much of a designer so I really appreciate lectures from the other end of the spectrum. Apparently, Stefan was experienced in presenting his knowledge and time flew by fast. And who would have thought that nowadays we're supposed to store language in databasefields using utf8mb4 instead of utf8 because of emojis? Certainly not me.
Three pasta and three pizza dishes, respectively with vegan alternatives generously sponsored by our sponsor ~ lunch donations voluntarily. Pizzaria Minerva got everything hot and plenty onto the table.
As the whole event, including lunch, had been complimentary, I fully expected to be approached by some shady figure demanding me to sign somewhere with my blood. That never came.
After roughly an hour of munching and mingling we again picked up the schedule.
WORDPRESS AS A BUSINESS MODEL
He talked about what it means depending on sales through the repository and what can happen if we build businesses upon that. I loved it.
He advised us on how to find clients you can actually execute effective projects with and how to calculate budgets efficiently with a three-point-estimation. Loved that as well.
COMMUNITY & NETWORKING
As I had to leave 5:30pm when this talk was about to start, I unfortunately could not attend it 🙁 So I missed the whole community & networking part, literally. If I had known how much fun this day would be, I certainly would have kept my evening clear of appointments.
And here is my advice based on this experience: overcome inertia and connect with your local community! It is so valuable to exchange views face to face with real people, especially from different perspectives. And don't be like me and expect to have some beers with those lovely people afterwards. It's an essential part of that whole thing.