The end of this past June, I attended the Reno WordCamp. Wordcamps are held year-round and world-wide to an audience of people just beginning to use WordPress, to the experts that are actually behind it’s creation. I had been wanting to go to one of these WordCamps for a longtime and was excited to go to expand my skills using WordPress.
As a website designer I have moved from designing and building websites with HTML to strictly using WordPress for my content management system. I love the fact that WordPress has it all. It has the flexibility to be designed to the meet the needs of my clients, it has the ease of use for those of my clients who want to learn how to use it, it is search engine friendly and it is improving all the time. It now powers 14.7% of the world’s top one million websites. WordPress is currently the most popular CMS in use on the Internet today.
So, hungery to keep up on all the newest information I zoomed up the hill to Reno to find out what the hot topics on WordPress are.
Most of the topics were centered around UX Design or User Experience Design which is a board term used to explain all aspects of a person’s experience with the system including the interface, graphics, visual design, informational design, physical interaction, etc. when they visit your site. Here is a small overview:
- Responsive Websites ~ The importance of having your website adapt to the layout of the viewing environment is huge. People are on a variety of devices, viewing your website from are variety of screen sizes on, smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc. Some themes have the ability to adapt to the viewing environment, others need code added to the site or plugins can be installed to do that for you such as, WPTouch and WPMobile detector.
- Search Engine Optimization ~ SEO is always a big topic and now made much easier now that WordPress is so incredibly SEO friendly. If you have done your homework and know who your audience is, the task is not overwhelming. Make sure your keywords are used correctly in your title, H1, URL and adding knowledge based content you are good to go. I found this very in-depth article about SEO and WordPress helpful if you have some understanding of the workings of WordPress.
- Content Strategy ~ “Your content is king”, we hear this over and over again but it is so true. Having a strategy can really help the over-whelm for creating good content. Understand your audience and what is valuable to them. Add new and sharable content consistently. Your content should be engaging and well written. Listen to feedback and reply to comments.
- Moving to the Big Dogs ~ WordPress is not just for bloggers any more. It is used for e-commerce, newspapers, large corporations and membership websites. The opportunities are growing, it is getting more extensive and exciting.
This WordCamp event was enlightening for me on many levels, but I think the most important was to know that using WordPress is the way of the future and that is important to me.
At some point you may need a website too or improve on the one you have. It can be a daunting task, hiring a great team to accomplish the outcome you want and desire may be the way for you to go, verses trying to do it yourself, if so we are here to help you.
Update: I wrote this article in 2012, it is still very relevant but a lot has changed. WordPress is still growing strong that is evident in this article.