As someone working with photography in the WordPress ecosystem, should you get involved with WordPress events? If so… which ones? What might you get from the experience? Much like the numerous conferences, conventions, and workshops in the photography world, there are a number of events related to WordPress.
And You Are…?
To understand what sort of WordPress events might be of interest, let’s look at your relationship with WordPress (keeping in mind that you might fall into multiple categories).
- If you’re a content creator, you use WordPress to write articles, blog posts, or share your images. You might install some plugins or a theme, but you’re not usually writing any sort of code. Your main use of WordPress is to publish your things for others.
- If you’re a designer, you are spending time working with how WordPress sites look, building or customizing themes. You write a lot of CSS code and probably some PHP.
- If you’re a developer, you’re building WordPress plugins, writing PHP code to integrate with WordPress filters and actions.
- If you’re working with WordPress business you’re building a selling a product directly related to WordPress – you might be selling a plugin, or a theme, or a service aimed at the WordPress market.
Keeping these audiences in mind, what events exist in the WordPress space?
WordCamps are community-focused events held in dozens of cities around the world each year. Organized by local volunteers and operated within guidelines established by the WordPress Foundation, WordCamp events feature a variety of programming, with each city soliciting and selecting volunteer speakers from the WordPress world.
A typical WordCamp event will offer talks of interest to all of the audiences above. Attendees at WordCamp events span the full range of WordPress experience; there will likely be some new users setting up their first site, intermediate-level folks, and WordPress veterans who have contributed code into the core WordPress open source project. Because of the range of the audience, it’s a great environment to get a handle on the many options and uses for WordPress.
WordCamps are priced such that they’re accessible to all; generally the price is around $20 (US) per day.
Happening today and tomorrow in Phoenix, Pressnomics is in its third year. Organized by Pagely, it’s a conference focused on WordPress business. Attendees include WordPress designers, developers, and service providers such as web hosting companies.
If you’re building things for WordPress users, it’s a great chance to meet, network, and learn from experienced leaders in the WordPress business space. Pressnomics has been priced around $300 for the two-day event.
Prestige Conference bills itself as a premium career and business development conference, and its roots lie in the WordPress world. Although you won’t see WordPress mentioned prominently on the event’s website, most (all?) of the speakers are folks who’ve established themselves as successful business owners in the WordPress ecosystem. I heard good things about the first Prestige Conference last year in Minneapolis; the second iteration happens next month in Vegas.
The first version of Loop Conf will be happening in May outside of Las Vegas. Aimed at WordPress developers, it will offer intermediate and advanced level sessions from successful developers in the WordPress ecosystem. Tickets are currently available for $825.
Which is Right for You?
I’d argue that if you’re using WordPress for anything, even a basic website, you ought to try to attend the nearest WordCamp. You’ll meet other WordPress users, attend interesting talks, and be able to network with other local folks.
If you’re using WordPress as a direct part of your business (design, development, or services), consider attending one or more supplemental events as a good way to give an extra boost to your learning and connections in the WordPress community.