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WCEU 2020: The Talks & Impact of the Most Successful WordCamp up to Date

WCEU 2020: The Talks & Impact of the Most Successful WordCamp up to Date

Communication about WordCamp Europe 2020, one of the most important global WordPress conferences, started with some sad news. In March, amid extensive lock-down, the 2020 physical event was officially postponed to next year. The organizers’ heart-broken message only hinted about an online option.

However, in April, an online camp was officially announced to be held for the first time in WordCamp history. This was the turning point that restarted WCEU 2020 to quickly grow into an event we have never seen before.

Eventually, WCEU covered three days, between June 4th and 6th. It started with the Contributor Day (Thursday) and continued with two conference days (Friday and Saturday). The conference was held 100% online with live streaming on YouTube – open and free for anyone to watch. Registrations were also free but registrants were further provided with private Zoom meeting details for easy communication and networking with speakers and fellow participants.

Moving the camp online was not only a smart and logical move, adapting to the new realities. It was an immense effort that resulted in witnessing the biggest and most successful WordCamp conference of all time! So before going into details, let’s give a big thank you to the team who made it possible!

WCEU 2020 In Numbers

Let’s look at the numbers to prove the strong statement above: yes, this was a success never witnessed before! Here is what data says:

WCEU 2020 in numbers

The huge success of WCEU in Numbers: 8,700+ registered participants from over 140 countries, over 2,500 registered attendees with 700+ contributors on Contributor day

Around the time we publish this post, the tracks from the conference have collected a total of 25,300+ views

How Team DevriX Attended

In the current lock-down times, team DevriX is still working in a remote-first mode. So most of the team was tuning into the WCEU channel from home. However, on Friday, some of the guys at DevriX office organized a WordPress session with a big screen in our conference room, open for anyone on-site to join.

team DevriX watching WCEU 2020

The WCEU 2020 Talks

As a major conference, there is a lot to learn from WordCamp Europe 2020, even after it is completed. The topics covered vary from business and content to design and development. Every talk remains forever free and available to be revisited and learned from.

To make it easier for you, we have grouped the talks into topical panels and added the videos for each so that you may check out the ones you choose.

Special Focus: In Conversation with Matt Mullenweg

in conversation with Matt Mullenweg

One of the most highly anticipated sessions was “In Conversation” with Matt Mullenweg, the CEO of Automattic (managing, Akismet, Gravatar, VaultPress, IntenseDebate, Crowdsignal, and Tumblr) and the founder and most important person behind WordPress.

Matt and Matias Ventura started their talk with details about the upcoming WordPress 5.5 update, the new features and refinements on the Gutenberg editor. Then they replied to strategic and fundamental questions regarding the future of WordPress, its market share and positions, and the global community.

Visit WordPress’ own site for Gutenberg in numbers.

Matt reminded that in the present difficult times, WordPress – with all plugins, WooCommerce and everything that could be built on top of it – is a huge opportunity for people and businesses that might feel on “a shaky territory”. Provoked with a question about WordPress becoming a global monopolist, Matt replied that there is a lot of competition out there and the way WordPress community is functioning has nothing to do with monopoly. But he is really proud of the market share, nearly 37%.

Every time we add something to WordPress, we add value for users.

– Matt Mullenweg

Business & Community Talks

David Bisset- Why the next generation is critical to the survival of WordPress

David is a full-time freelancer. He’s a WordPress theme and plugin developer, consultant and Head of Development at Envira Gallery (1m+ downloads, 100k+ installs). David also does regular consulting and speaking gigs.

Suzanne Dibble – Why understanding data privacy and cookie law for your WordPress website is critical for success

Suzanne is a leading privacy lawyer and author of “GDPR for Dummies”. She has been advising leading multi-nationals, working at the world’s largest law firm as well as alongside Richard Branson at Virgin. In the last ten years, she has devoted herself to helping online businesses. In her talk, she covered the impacts of Data Privacy and Cookie Law on WordPress sites.

Vili Mileva Yankova- Benefits realization through project

Vili is a young professional with 8 years of strong business experience, most of which involved in planning, developing and implementing international IT projects – hardware, software and Internet of Things. She is a certified PMP, PMI-ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner) and Professional SCRUM Master I. Her talk was on how you can make your products benefit, reflecting your market needs.

Jocelyn Mozak – Show your business who is Boss!

Jocelyn has 11+ years of experience building and running a WordPress website design agency all while raising her sons. Her education in engineering certainly refined her technical and analytical skills, but it is her passion for design and team management that makes her an outstanding business leader and a prominent website designer. Jocelyn’s talk was based on how to create a successful business and how not to sabotage our success in the long run.

Jocelyn Mozak suggested that you always started with a Why

Tara King – Be a good boss: How to support your marginalized colleagues

Tara King is an experienced WordPress and Drupal developer and open source contributor. Currently, she is a developer advocate at Pantheon and leads Drupal Diversity and Inclusion. She has also worked as a Senior Developer at Universal Music, tried her skills at several digital agencies, and ran her own webshop. Tara.

In her lecture, Tara gave attendees examples on how to become a better boss by making underrepresented staff more included for better work surroundings. She touched on some very important matters going on these days like racism, sexism, transphobic slurs, and micro-aggression at work. We hope everyone has learned from her.

Mary Job – How we grew a diverse Nigerian WordPress community

Mary is a creator at How Do You Tech. She currently works as a Technical Support Personnel at Paid Memberships Pro, a plugin that allows you to get paid by selling membership on your WordPress website. Mary also works on WordPress daily and teaches digital skills freely to women and girls at her village hub. She gave some fascinating insights into her work with Nigeria’s WordPress community.

Wendie Huis in ‘t Veld – Sustainable freelancing!

Wendie started playing with WordPress in 2009. Her hobby turned into a job and the job into her own business. Her company Websiteclub helps Dutch freelancers and small local businesses with their online presence. As a side project, Wendie works with the social project LoveDoctor Company.

In her talk on sustainable freelancing, Wendie gave some amazing tips on how to maintain a happy freelancing life.

Talks On Content

Ivana Cirkovic – How to give people what they want with your content

Ivana Ćirković is a Digital Marketing, PR and SEO consultant, with over ten years of experience in the field. She’s been an active member of the WordPress community since 2015 and one of the WCEU 2018 organisers.

Ahmed Khalifa – Making videos beautiful, accessible and engaging at the same time

Ahmed Khalifa is a freelance WordPress SEO consultant, working with businesses to grow their visibility, engagement and conversion of their WordPress sites. Ahmed is an advocate for deaf/hard of hearing people. Combining his WordPress SEO experience with his own personal lifestyle has allowed Ahmed to understand how important it is to make content accessible.

Ahmed Khalifa’s talk shed some light on the importance of engaging video captions and how content creators can maximize the impact with it.

Amit Kvint – The “dos and don’ts” of translating a website – a complete guide based on real cases

Amit is a Chief Customer Officer at OTGS, plurilingual and supporting thousands of clients developing multilingual websites.

Amit Kvint’s talk was about the difficulties that the WordPress Community faces with multilingual websites and the possible solutions to them. He shared his knowledge on multilingual websites, how to create them efficiently, and do translation within websites.

James Brockbank – How to use PR tactics to build better links and supercharge your SEO

James is MD & founder at Digitaloft, an award-winning digital PR, content and search marketing agency that delivers high-performance strategies for clients (like Compare the Market, Admiral Insurance, Groupon, StubHub). James has spoken at some of Europe’s leading SEO and digital marketing conferences. In his talk he provided some PR tactics to build better links and enhance SEO strategy.

Talks On WordPress Development

Zeev Suraski- PHP: a glimpse into the future

Zeev Suraski is one of the principal authors of the PHP programming language – in which WordPress is written: he co-created PHP 3 and spearheaded PHP 4, which turned PHP into the most popular development language in the world for Web apps, contributed to PHP 5 and led the team which developed the groundbreaking PHP 7 engine. He co-founded Zend Technologies in 1999 and served as its CTO for almost 20 years, before joining Strattic and making WordPress his full-time job.

His talk was a glimpse into the future as he shed light on the story of PHP 7, its impact on the PHP ecosystem, and some key features in the upcoming PHP 8.

zeev suraski future of PHP

Doug Cone – 10 steps to a faster site

Doug shares that as a kid he loved writing code so much that he filled many notebooks with handwritten code. He started freelancing in high school, found that he was building the same solutions repeatedly, and began building his own CMS. Then he discovered open source, and never looked back. In his talk, Doug gave an insight on how to make our websites fast and minimize the latency to make browsing faster for the users.

Sarah Pantry – Getting the best from code review

Sarah got her first break into commercial development at a large London ISP when the dev manager found out everyone was playing an online PHP game she had co-written. After that, she worked as a developer or dev manager at several agencies, developing a love of WordPress, and working with Symfony. In her talk Sarah shared some good practices on how to approach code review.

Niels de Blaauw – Everything is broken: an introduction to testing, logging, monitoring and metrics

As lead developer for Level Level, Niels’s role involves translating customer and user wishes into positive experiences. By staying on top of new developments in his branch, Niels creates efficient websites with interesting integrations. Niel’s session was on how to approach testing, logging, monitoring and metrics.

Chris Teitzel- Secure your site by becoming a hacker!

In over a decade of open source development, Chris has had the opportunity to work with some of the largest enterprises, built e-commerce business in the emerging markets of Africa, and engaged in aid work in Haiti and Washington DC. He has worked in both WordPress and Drupal to foster strong encryption and privacy standards. His talk was focused around the idea that to protect your site from a hacker, you need to know how hackers think.

David Artiss- Everything you ever wanted to know about WordPress transients

David works as an Enterprise Support Engineer and hiring lead on the VIP team at Automattic. His nearly thirty years’ experience in IT support roles has given him the chance to cultivate the art of truly taking care of people and writing so anyone can understand. David has also been quite active in the WordPress community. His talk was on WP transients and how to make the best use of.

David Lockie – Nine ways to make WordPress better with AI

David’s interests lie in WordPress, open source and future technology trends. He’s the founder and CEO of Pragmatic – a top-tier WordPress agency globally, which he started in 2012. David loves working with the team at Pragmatic in delivering websites that add real value to businesses, and in turn enjoys sharing his expertise. His talk was about the use of AI on WordPress projects.

Nestor Angulo de Ugarte – AI in the ‘Hacking world war’

Nestor is a technology enthusiast, computer science engineer, early adopter, photographer, coffee lover and passionate about learning… Living in the Canary Islands, Spain, Nestor says he feeds his huge curiosity by working remotely as a Security Analyst at GoDaddy Security, where he comes into contact with the cybersecurity world, hackers, backdoors, and more everyday.

From Nestor’s talk we learned about the mind of a cyberterrorist and how they hack into our sites and why they do it. And of course, how we can better prevent our sites from hackers.

Jessica Lyschik – How Subgrid enhances CSS Grid

Jessica is a front-end developer at result gmbh, a digital agency from Cologne, Germany. She has been professionally creating websites for 13 years and dived into full-time WordPress development five years ago. While Jessica has worked with various CMS and programming languages, she is always passionate about HTML and CSS. She is an active member of the local WP community. In her talk Jessica shared about Subgrid and how it can enhance the CSS Grid.

Kirsty Burgoine – Accessible CSS: honoring dark mode!

Kirsty is a WordPress engineer/frontend developer at Human Made, working on Enterprise level WordPress projects. She has a geeky fascination with frontend technologies, especially CSS. Her talk was a guide on Accessible CSS, honoring users’ visual preferences, and she also shared how small changes can affect user experience for everyone.

Merary Alvarado – Accessibility: digital transformation or social digital transformation?

Merary is an accessibility evangelist with 5+ years of proven experience in executing, development and leading Accessibility processes in digital strategies for Fortune 100 clients. She is contributing as a Subject Matter Expert on Accessibility by establishing guidelines, best practices, and standards related to designing and maintaining accessible websites, native applications, and documents.

Merary talk was a practical session that covered all the Web Accessibility Guidelines, Accessibility Best Practices, and Inclusive Design methodologies.

Luis Herranz – Headless WordPress: current status and remaining challenges

After some years working at recording studios, Luis started on his path of entrepreneurship in 2011 with TrainYourEars, an ear training software that is still widely used. In 2015 he started the open-source acoustics project HertzLovers to help small recording studios improve their acoustics. Now Luis is the co-founder and lead developer of Frontity. His talk was highlighting the current Headless WordPress Status and some of the challenges we need to solve for a better experience.

Hristo Pandjarov – WordPress performance trends 2020

When it comes to WordPress, Hristo has seen every side. He’s supported WordPress clients, built websites, designed themes, written eBooks, and is a long-time organiser of WordCamp Sofia! As SiteGround’s Manager of WordPress initiatives, Hristo spends his days developing and implementing various in-house performance-boosting solutions to help make WordPress websites faster and more secure. Hristo’s talk explored the latest “must-use” technologies in 2020 that help in enhancing overall site performance.

Miriam Schwab – Let’s make WordPress cutting-edge again to ensure its future for years to come

Thirteen years ago Miriam stumbled across WordPress and it was love at first sight. Since then she has gone on to found a leading WordPress development agency, and more recently Strattic: static and serverless hosting for WordPress websites, making them virtually unhackable, and exponentially faster. Miriam is also a five-time organizer of WordCamp Israel and a regular speaker at WordPress Meetups.

Talks on WordPress Design

Anyssa Ferreira- Prototyping WordPress projects

Anyssa is Brazilian, from the city of São Paulo, a Co-founder of Haste, a WordPress development studio. A graduate in Design, she has over 10 years of experience in design and web development. In 2015, Anyssa won the inaugural Kim Parsell Scholarship. She has been organizing WordCamp São Paulo since 2014.

Anyssa’s session was all about prototyping WordPress projects and the tools and techniques required to do so. She has provided attendees with the link to use to learn how to prototype as an admin.

Anyssa Ferreira- Prototyping WordPress projects

Chris Lema – eCommerce and storytelling: the shift away from catalogs and carts

Chris Lema has been building eCommerce stores since 1997 (back when it took forever, cost a lot, and still didn’t always work). And he’s been telling stories even longer. Today he leads product development at Liquid Web, where his team designed and built the first platform dedicated to WooCommerce. In his talk, Chris shared his vision on a different eCommerce project.

Eileen Violini- Beyond pretty-simple design principles to create richer user experiences

Eileen is a designer and developer of user experiences and interfaces for WordPress websites and products. With over seven years experience building WordPress solutions, she currently puts her skills to work for clients and agencies as cofounder at Sidetrack Studio and WPBlockShop, and as the User Success Advocate with Castos and the Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin.

Mel Choyce- Art direction with Gutenberg

Mel Choyce is a wicked awesome product designer based in Boston, Massachusetts, designing products at Automattic. Not only is Mel a WordPress Core Committer and former Release Lead, she is a regular core contributor and speaks frequently at WordCamps on design, typography, and user experience. In her presentation Choyce explored how Gutenberg editor can be used to create gorgeous art-directed websites.

Ruth Raventós- A/B testing – the art of building better websites with science!

Ruth Raventós is one of the co-founders and CEO of Nelio Software, a startup focussed on delivering WordPress-based services. Ruth has worked in both the business world and at universities. She has been a University Lecturer at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), Vice-Dean for Corporate Relations of the Barcelona School of Informatics, and Associate Lecturer at ESADE. Ruth’s talk was a guide on the A/B testing where she shared the importance of A/B tests and different types of tests you can do for your sites.

Sonja Jaakkola- Designing for conversion

Sonja is a designer and developer focused on helping companies grow their business through digital channels. In her free time she plays with clay, eats berries and sometimes helps to organise WordCamp Finland and WordCamp Nordic.

Sonja’s talk was about how designs impact sales and included some real-life designs and A/B testing results.

Stefano Minoia – Towards universal design through accessibility, usability and inclusion

Stefano is a self-employed, all-round website manager for small local businesses. He describes himself as a front-end developer, but is also curious about all aspects of website building. Stefano joined the WordPress Community in early 2018; since then, he has decided to give back as an accessibility contributor and by speaking at WordCamps.

More About the Speakers

Traditionally, the speakers on WordCamp Europe are some of the most prominent global professionals in their field. Although it was not possible to meet them in person, they have provided their contacts and remain available for further business opportunities. Check-out their full profiles and contact information on the camp’s site:

Everyone who posted a selfie with #WCEU and #WCEUFamilyPhoto on Twitter were added on the huge collage.

Community Spirit Moving to Online-First

WordCamp Europe was an excellent example of how a virtual conference should be organized and conducted, in very short terms. Although we all missed the live networking part, there were some quite big advantages that made this online event the most successful camp in history.

Probably the major one was that all talks were streamed for free, with open Q&A sessions, and remained immediately available online. We hope that this article will only make it easier for you to further use these resources.

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