Written by Andrew Bash, Web Designer and Developer
This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending the 2015 WordCamp Columbus conference. The event is one of many that are held each year at locations across the globe, with the objective of sharing knowledge and expertise around the WordPress community. As the organizers themselves put it, “Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other.”
WordPress Developer Tips and Tricks
As a web designer and developer, I was excited to attend and learn more about the inner workings of the WordPress core, and to learn tips and tricks from other likeminded developers. During the Friday sessions I learned about the WordPress loop from Kyle Maurer of Real Big Marketing, as well as heard some great development ideas from Caleb Burks of WooCommerce. A few of my favorites include the following:
- What the File – A WordPress plugin that allows you to easily make theme changes by listing exactly which files are being called on each page.
- Underscores – A “starter theme” for WordPress, containing just enough code to make it easier to start a website project, but not so much that it becomes cluttered.
- com – A great online infographic, displaying exactly how WordPress processes each theme, and which files take precedence over others.
How Content and SEO Go Hand-In-Hand
On Saturday I continued to learn from other developers, beginning the day with a fantastic session on WordPress security with Jason Packer of Quantable. In addition to learning from other developers, I also had the opportunity to learn from copywriting expert, Gery Deer, as well as SEO expert, Ryan Erwin. It was helpful to hear from each of them back to back – this way I was able to gain a better understanding of content writing and the role it plays in search engine optimization. A few of my key takeaways include:
- Content is for people, not search engines. SEO is important, but ultimately your content should be written for your audience first. Writing high-quality, audience focused content drives SEO naturally, and generates a better customer response.
- All content is written content. Whether you are creating a blog post, an infographic, or a video, it is always important to start with a written outline. This helps you better distill your ideas into a readable format.
- Content is king. The consistent message across both sessions is that content marketing is the ultimate marketing tool. No amount of optimization can replace unique, high quality content.
All in all, I had a wonderful time at WordCamp and would highly recommend that anyone who does any work with WordPress should attend if given the chance. Whether you are a developer, designer, marketer or writer, there is such a breadth of session to choose from that there is truly something for everyone.
Many thanks to Angie Meeker and the rest of the WordCamp Columbus team for putting on an amazing conference. I look forward to attending next year!