Get Excited, WordCamp Europe 2018 Is About To Begin

Get Excited, WordCamp Europe 2018 Is About To Begin

WordCamp is an especially great event wherever it’s held. But, there are some big things happening in WordPress right now, and with WordCamp Europe about to kick off in Serbia, Thursday June 14th, we’re excited to take a look at some of the discussions lined up.

WordCamp Europe 2018 is in Belgrade, Serbia
WordCamp Europe 2018 Starts Thursday, 6/14

If you take a look through the schedule, there are a couple great talks to look forward to from some great speakers regarding:

  • Design
  • Freelancing
  • Gutenberg
  • Search

It all looks pretty standard. The thing to keep in mind is that WordPress is changing—always—and it’s events like WordCamp Europe, WordCamp U.S., and all the others that allow us to come together as a community to figure out how we can help drive it forward as one of the fundamental pillars of the Internet.

So, what events are we looking out for? Well, pretty much all of them, but a couple things got my attention looking at the schedule.

Evolving Design Trends in WordPress

Design is always the most fundamental part of building anything. Poor design usually leads to poor execution usually leads to poor adoption. But design is fundamentally changing, and a few talks are indicating that it’s changing in a BIG way.

1. The Ethics of Web Design

With GDPR in full effect, the attention is now on WordPress users at every level to understand how their work affects users’s data security. Does that include designers? This talk by Morten Rand-Hendriksen might not necessarily address that, but given the importance of GDPR and the fact that this is WordCamp Europe, it’d be difficult to imagine the talk not hitting on a few of the critical issues facing designers now that data privacy is front and center.

2. WordPress and Inclusive Design

This talk seems to argue that design is what propelled WordPress forward, but that the definition of design changed. It alludes to “inclusive” design as being the next step, and coming from John Maeda, Global Head of Computational Design + Inclusion at Automattic, and a Ted speaker, the discussion should make it on your list.

Something tells me this might tie into WordPress’s overall growth strategy for the future. Unfortunately I’ll be watching from Austin, TX, so feel free to send out tweets of the event to give me a synopsis, or write your own blog recap on it!

3. Origins of Design Inspiration

Design is something that always changes, and I’m not particularly good at it. Being a writer, visual design has always been a bit of a mystery to me. On the other hand, I’m always looking for tips on how to develop ideas, and how I can approach design in WordPress consistently like some of the best. This talk looks to cover just that.

Led by Simon Cooke, the Marketing Director of Pragmatic, this should be a great talk for anyone hoping to get inspired. Never hurts to learn how others do it, right?

Talks on Freelancing with WordPress

There’s definitely more than enough talks targeting freelancers at WordCamp Europe, but the two below caught my eye when I was taking a gander at the schedule.

4. Follow These Ten Steps to Become a Freelancer with WordPress

Have you cultivated skills in WordPress but you haven’t yet ventured into the world of freelancing? You’re probably not alone. Who wouldn’t like the flexibility a little extra income can provide?

The problem is that going off on your own takes a lot of guts, and it comes with a lot of responsibilities. I’ve tried a few times, but ultimately their success was very short lived. This talk, by Mauricio Gelves, should ring true to anyone who’s hit a few hiccups while starting their own WordPress business, and it thankfully doesn’t pass itself off as a magic formula, like so many courses out there.

If you’re going to this one, share notes with me? Please?

5. Going from Freelancing to Building a Team

What do you do once you start to get a steady influx of business as a freelancer? Ideally, unless you’re able to grow your business with other products or services that take virtually no time to deliver, you’ll want to build a team to support your growth.

Even if you have done it before, growing your business can bring a gauntlet of challenges.

This talk, from Karim Marucchi over at Crowd Favorite, and Sherry Walling from the Zenfounder podcast wants to offer you a crash course in bringing on other freelancers, or full-time partners. Both have spent a good deal of time in the startup world, and with WordPress, so this talk should be a great fit for anyone who’s ever felt that entrepreneurial spark when closing a new deal.

The Future of WordPress

The future of WordPress is always just around the corner. In fact, we’re seeing some pretty drastic changes these days with regard to the editor, as well as with the possibilities introduced with voice. These two topics you can’t afford to ignore.

6. Beyond Gutenberg & 7. Roundtable with the Gutenberg Team

Gutenberg is a hot topic, and one that’s not going away. As WordPress tries to continue on its meteoric path of growth, Gutenberg is a step toward enabling adoption by a wider audience, and if you read around the web, that has come with its share of both positive and negative feedback.

The thing is: it will not be going away.

For that reason, check out this talk by, Matías Ventura, the lead for Gutenberg, to understand what they’ve been trying to accomplish, and also the Roundtable discussion with the Gutenberg Team to ask your questions directly of the talented people working on the project.

8. Making Websites Talk: The Rise of Voice Search and Conversational Interfaces

Voice and WordPress are fundamentally connected. With tools like Amazon Polly, and the proliferation of voice-enabled devices, you could very easily forfeit search results to your competitors who are already looking at how to take advantage of voice queries.

If you’ve been scrambling to keep up with that, be sure to check out this talk by Andrea Volpini who’s at the forefront of where search meets natural language processing and semantic technologies.

Oh, and if you’re looking to boost your page-rank now before you dig into voice, SmartCrawl can help you drive more traffic to your site!

Bonus Points for Content Creation Topics

Plenty of companies have claimed the mantra “content is king” as their philosophy, and there are plenty of reasons to live by this rule. That’s why it’s always great to check out any kind of content creation topics you can. WordCamp Europe definitely has a few, but two that caught my eye include:

9. Learn why and how to create video for your WordPress blog/website

Content creation can’t ignore video. Think about the amount of downtime you have sitting in a waiting room, commuting to work, cooking dinner, or lounging on your couch waiting to move to the next thing.

In those moments, have you ever stopped scrolling through your feed to check out a video tutorial? I know I have. Maybe even made a buying decision while sitting around doing nothing.

This talk by Florian Gottschall should cover the importance of video and walk you through how you can get started in creating it. Since you’re already blogging in WordPress, this should be a great way to make your blog even more valuable.

10. How to create user generated content for your WordPress website and business

If you could steward a community of people who posted for you, would you want to? I absolutely would. Being the ultimate resource on a topic is great, but knowing that you’re attracting a crowd who’s doing a good deal of the work for you is even better.

And user generated content can be highly influential for potential buyers. So how do you leverage that?

This talk, coming from Sven Lehnert, aims to educate you on the different forms of user generated content and how you can make use of it in your WordPress site to drive more business.

This is definitely one you’ll want to check out.

Are you going to WordCamp Europe?

The above talks are going to be great, as are the rest. If you’re going to be at WordCamp in Belgrade, be sure to check out the schedule and try to get to as many talks as possible.

And beyond that, take the time to network with everyone you can speak to along the way. WordCamps are such a tremendous opportunity not just to hear talks from people changing WordPress today, but to meet people who who will change it tomorrow.

Have fun! Say hi!


What are you looking forward to at WordCamp? There's a ton of great topics and speakers, so leave your insight for other WordCamp goers in the comments below!

Will Ruff

Will Ruff Will is a former writer and Blog Editor for WPMU DEV. Before that, he worked in managed WordPress hosting and with a literary agency developing sites in WordPress. He recently self-published a novel and is an advocate for a secure and open web. He currently lives in Austin, TX.