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WordCamp Plovdiv 2019: A DevriX Conference Day Recap

WordCamp Plovdiv 2019

We recently got back home after sponsoring and speaking at the first ever WordCamp Plovdiv and we’re thrilled to share our Conference Day recap experience with you. From the moment we arrived in Plovdiv to the point when we packed our bags and DiXies and went back to Sofia we relished each minute of WCPLD 2019.

The event organization was excellent, as the entire team of sponsors, organizers and volunteers did a perfect job ensuring everyone in Plovdiv had an awesome time, beginning from the registration, to the talks, and of course, the after party.

There’s no doubt that Plovdiv, Europe’s Culture Capital for 2019 is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, so we were extremely excited about this gorgeous town.

Plovdiv Drama Theatre

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The conference day took place in Plovdiv’s Drama Theater, located right downtown, Plovdiv, which was pretty awesome because we had an amazing venue and the lively street vibe near us the whole time.

As eager supporters and Core contributors to the WordPress community, we attend WordCamps regularly, with each of the events being unique. WCPLD was no exception, and again, we made sure that our contributions made an impact!

Our eco-friendly booth was well-positioned and it was pretty busy as usual when we sponsor a camp!

The WordPress Community is like family to us and in Plovdiv, we successfully grew the community tree together, and we are proud to say, it was a major hit among attendees!

Our swag was pretty unique as well, as each of the visitors who left their mark on our community tree got a bag with a pot, soil, and tea seeds, so he/she can continue to #flourishyourproject at the office or at home.

What was even more awesome is that one of us won a prize as well, kudos to FastComet who organized the raffle!

To capture the atmosphere of the event we’ve also made a short video with interviews from some of the participants and organizers at WCPLD. Have a peek at the amazing drive and spirit the attendees, sponsors, speakers, and organizers have:


The Sessions

With 17 sessions, WordCamp Plovdiv offered a lot of valuable insight to the attendees present in both of the halls where the talks were held. We feel especially proud and privileged that we have CEO such as Mario Peshev, who again, made sure that his immense industry knowledge and 20 years of experience was beneficial for the attendees, and for our Marketing Relations Manager Dian Tankov who killed it on his first ever WordCamp talk!

Mario knows just how perfect WordPress is for high-scale enterprise projects! To scale business requires tapping into an enterprise-grade market, and willingness to pay a premium for high-end services. Working with smaller businesses is one thing, and conforming to enterprise processes is a whole different ball game.

To be successful in the WordPress enterprise marketplace, you need to be ready for long sales cycles, proactive and ongoing management, SLA that stands out, a defined process, tailored offerings, and complying to industry standards.

Discussing both the technical and the business spectrum of enterprise WordPress projects, Mario emphasized the following:

  • Decide if you’re good enough for enterprises. Enterprise work implies a lot of paperwork, negotiations, meetings, and complex sales process.
  • Know your audience and tackle it as a corporation. Analyze how enterprises operate and adapt to their process.
  • Make sure that your legal and communication paperwork is sorted out on time. This is paramount, it really is. Imagine landing a 6-figure deal only to find out that your small business/solopreneur account doesn’t allow for that.
  • Obtain all assets as early as possible. Every bad decision can slow the process down even further.
  • There are professional tools that you could scale, such as PM and support systems, legal/quoting tools, SaaS and marketing automation platforms.
  • Always deliver outstanding quality that follows the three pillars of success which we follow for every project – Stability, Performance, Security.

You can find the slides from the presentation here. As always, Mario made sure to answer as many questions as possible.

Through the prism of his 10 years of professional and unprofessional experience WordPress experience, Dido told the attendees how he has enjoyed contributing since his first ever WordCamp, and how anyone, even a non-developer can work with WordPress, contribute to its growth, and be an active part of the WordPress Community.

For him, WordPress and the Community gave him a huge boost in life and his career, while working and having fun at the same time. As a matter of fact, he got to know Mario and Stanko at a WordPress meetup in Sofia a couple of years ago.

Additional sessions that stood out were:

  • Vanina Ivanova’s “WordPress for Marketers”
  • Stanimir Stoyanov’s “How to Make an Extension with React and WP REST API”
  • Sjardo Janssen’s “How I Taught Myself Front-End Development”
  • Alex Savkovic’s “The Uncomfortable Truth”
  • Petar Nikolow’s “WordPress is 15 Years Old. Now What?”,
  • Nikolay Krastev’s “15+ WordPress Myths”,
  • Katerina Angelova’s “How to Build a Successful and Meaningful Partnership”
  • Kaloyan Dimitrov and Dimitar Karamarinov’s “How Fantastic Services took blog traffic from 0 to 150 000 (and rising) per month for both B2C & B2B models?”
  • Nikolay Chochev’s How to Build a Successful Online Magazine with WordPress”
  • Jordan Hlebarov’s “WordPress Support Done the Right Way or WordPress Operation Happiness”

According to Vanina Ivanova, every marketer should include WordPress in his/her arsenal of work tools. It’s easy to set up a blog without any technical knowledge, you can integrate all sorts of plugins and payment systems, and it’s an open source platform, which makes it a truly unique tool for marketers. In her lecture, she also provided examples of her work with WordPress and how she turned a regular company blog into an analysis tool!

Stanimir’s lecture was aimed at people who have not used React before with practical tips on where to start and how to link the React application to the WordPress interface. He definitely showed and motivated the attendees to learn React and create stunning and functional interfaces with the JS library! Even though his presentation was a bit technical for some of the marketers, the stories from his personal experience with this technology and about the problems he encountered during his time there were useful for everyone that listened to the talk.

Sjardo knows exactly how challenging teaching yourself how to code is! Even after 6 years as a professional in front-end development, it’s still difficult for him to keep up and create what he wants. His talk was a thorough insight into his journey, from his first steps as a front-end developer until today, from HTML and CSS to teaching himself React to successfully build Gutenberg blocks. He gave the attendees some practical tips on where to start as a front-end developer, as well as where to find the information you need and why asking questions can save you dozens of hours!

Katerina is aware of the importance of the community and the human relationships that are made within. You can’t build anything by yourself, and in the same manner that people network and connect with each other, smaller companies can build strategic partnerships with larger organizations. She also shared practical tips and steps that businesses can use to approach potential partners. She also shared how to write emails and proposals that get the attention and bring results!

Aleks’ talk was a real eye-opener! Diversity is not inclusivity and equality is not the equity. Inclusivity over diversity and equity over equality is always something that everyone in the industry needs to think about. The WordPress community should know how to treat marginalized groups so that inclusion can be improved! And It will make the WordPress community even better and hopefully, we can all change the world by helping out these groups.

Peter Nikolow made a pretty detailed and well-informative retrospective of the past 16 years since WordPress was born! As WordPress grew and matured, lots of technical developments led to what we are today as a community, and the amazing thing is that the platform still keeps on growing. He also made a point about the future of the platform, and how everyone should be aware that 2019 is the year to prepare for the big shifts that will come our way, so you better not be surprised by them!

Kaloyan and Dimitar made sure everyone present knew how to bring a serious amount of traffic for blogs per month, both for B2C and B2B models. It is all about building a process and handing each technical aspect that comes your way when you want to scale for higher traffic, including the research process and content structure, as well as informational aspects such as NLP and intent-based research along with onsite and offsite optimization.

Nikolay Chochev spoke about the most important plugins and strategies that you need to be equipped with to successfully build a WordPress online store. He also included the most important steps toward proper in-store marketing, as well as real marketing examples from his 10 years of website and online shops development experience.

For Jordan, it seems that the community considers WordPress support as a pretty complicated topic. Agencies and freelancers have various approaches on how to do it and in most of the cases, they’re wrong. But why is that? He answered us that and related questions while also discussing some good practices on how to ensure WordPress happiness all around.

From time to time there are people saying that WordPress is an insecure platform because of its open source character, or that it’s only suitable for a blog and can’t be optimized further. In his lecture, Nikolay successfully debunked each of the most common WordPress myths and told everyone about some good practices used in Bulgaria and around the world.

After his presentation, it was time for the best performers to step forward – The sponsors, organizers, and volunteers team! These guys and gals made sure everything went efficiently and was pleasant for each attendee at WCPLD, from the registration process to the sessions, networking, the lunch, and of course, the endless coffee which kept everyone’s eyes opened and attentive!

As much as we wanted to do an encore, it was time for a beer! So, we thanked everyone and we went straight to a stylish after party at Drama Theatre in Plovdiv! Cheers to the first WCPLD, and we can’t wait to go back next year!