WordCamp Europe 2024 – a summary

WordCamp Europe 2024 - a summary

From June 13 to 15, this year’s WordCamp Europe was held in Turin, Italy. From Krokedil, a group of representatives from development, project management, partner responsibility, marketing and support came down as visitors.

So what is WordCamp? If you ask WordPress itself, it says that it is “the largest event on all things related to WordPress, the open web, and beyond.

With the quote above in mind, it is obviously a huge task to summarize all the speakers and all the personal meetings. But we still wanted to compile some of that which we think is a good representation of the event. Some more detailed, others more condensed, but which we think may be of interest to those of you who use WordPress.

WordPress Playground – use WordPress without a server

WordPress Playground – use WordPress without a server

This was one of the first sessions on the first day and it was also one of the most interesting. WordPress Playground was something that several of the other speakers returned to during the days. It’s clear that this is something that the vast majority of people who somehow work with, or use, WordPress are excited about.

Playground is WordPress everywhere

Simply put, Playground enables WordPress on any device, on any platform, with just one click. You spin up a local environment where no virtual machines are needed, no Docker, no host… you just create a WordPress site and run. Something that obviously creates great opportunities for WordPress users where you can build and test your site.

With the help of Blueprints, you can quickly get started with more or less advanced installations of WordPress. Blueprints are WordPress setup scripts that you can preview live in WordPress Playground. Blueprints contain all the installation instructions needed to setup WordPress, including plugins, themes, site options, starter content to import, and more.

The basic example below will load a Playground instance with the Hello Dolly plugin preinstalled and that opens in wp-admin plugins screen after it automatically logs in.

"plugins": ["hello-dolly", "gutenberg"],
"login": true,
"landingPage": "/wp-admin/plugins.php"

Preview in the WordPress Playground.

Speaking of Blueprints, this was a name they themselves thought was a bit boring. Here they asked for name suggestions from users. So if you have an idea for something that is better or more fun than just Blueprints, you have your chance to make suggestions.

There’s a lot more to say about WordPress Playground, but we’ll stick to a simpler summary in this article. You can read more and try it out on the official site.

See the seminar on YouTube.

Twenty Twenty-Four: Pushing Default Themes Forward

Twenty Twenty-Four: Pushing Default Themes Forward

Depending on who you ask, opinions differ slightly as to whether WordPress’ own themes are, or have been, any good. But regardless of where you stand on the issue, progress is being made. WordPress was initially a blogging tool, but this has developed a lot over the years. Now their theme follows this development as well. Something they have not always done, which they themselves are aware of.

Accessibility ready

Something they have worked a lot on is accessibility. This ran like a common thread throughout the entire WordCamp Europe. Just like Playground above, many speakers returned to accessibility. So before you get annoyed that some things don’t seem to work, some of this actually has to do with accessibility. For example, that you must have text in the header. It is therefore a conscious choice that you cannot have an icon, as this limits accessibility for the visually impaired, e.g.

If WordPress has the ability to be software that can be used for so many different things, why haven’t previous default themes demonstrated that? That is a question WordPress has asked themselves. Twenty Twenty-four has been developed as a space to play with. There, you as a user, and developer, can test things and take advantage of the benefits of a standard theme. Using the question at the beginning of this paragraph as a basis. Advantages such as the fact that you get access to new functions in a platform that develops as quickly as WordPress does. It helps new users get the same picture of WordPress and it gives developers a resource for best practices.

Besides this, Jessica talked about the vision for Twenty Twenty-four and about news in the theme. Ready-made patterns for price tables, newsletters, footers and the option to download additional patterns from wordpress.org.

See the whole seminar on YouTube.

We spoke with over 50 different WordPress product owners. Here’s what we learned.

We spoke with over 50 different WordPress product owners. Here’s what we learned.

In their podcast WP Product Talk, Katie Keith and Matt Cromwell have spoken to over 50 WordPress Product Owners through their interviews and conversations. In this session, they presented some excerpts from these conversations. There we got to hear thoughts from, among others, Rich Tabor (Product Creator at Automattic), Ben Ritner (founder KadenceWP), Amber Hinds (CEO at Equalize Digital), Joost de Valk (Yoast), Miriam Schwab (Elementor) and more.

Simplicity is something that came up. Not making things difficult for the user. Develop, not replace or modify, the built-in admin interface. If a user is familiar with the interface, it’s easier for everyone involved. Work with the goal that something should become a natural extra resource, rather than be an obstacle. It may sound obvious, but that doesn’t mean it’s always that easy. Keep in mind that it may sound logical and natural to you, whether you are a developer or a merchant, but you are not your customers. Always consider their perspective.

What can we learn?

They continued to talk about how product owners need to listen to users. You might think this is something WordPress and developers are good at. Or you might think they are bad at it. Regardless, something we heard repeatedly at WordCamp is that users’ opinions and experiences matter a lot. So the content is; keep giving feedback, they want it.

Another thing that stood out as important to think about and/or remember is that the customer spends time checking out your product. Are you spending enough time seeing your customer?

This seminar is not yet available on YouTube, but as soon as it is posted we will update this article with links. If you want to be sure not to miss anything, you can always sign up for our newsletter, to let you know when the videos are available.

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Introducing Learning Pathways on a brand new Learn.WordPress.org

Introducing Learning Pathways on a brand new Learn.WordPress.org

As we wrote at the beginning of the article, there are a lot of impressions and a lot of information at such a large gathering as WordCamp. Covering everything in is not something we strive for. Our aim is to give an insight and present a good mix where both new and old users of WordPress, with different levels of both knowledge and interest, can get something useful out of. Therefore, we want to highlight this session, which is perhaps primarily aimed at those less used to WordPress. Those who might be thinking about starting an online store with WordPress and WooCommerce, but don’t really know where to start.

“Learn WordPress” on https://learn.wordpress.org/ is a good place to start. It was first launched as an alternative to Meetups due to the pandemic. It has since continued to grow with both content and users. On the site you can take part in lessons, tutorials, workshops and online courses.

Beginner WOrdPress User learning pathway

They are currently working on a new site and it will be relaunched later this year with a completely new design and new structure. Learning Pathways will be prominently featured on the website. These are courses designed to help different target groups acquire knowledge and skills, within their skill level.

See the whole seminar on YouTube.

WordPress Summer Update

WordCamp Europe - WordPress Summer Update

Before we leave all the sessions and conclude this article, we must of course talk about what was also the conclusion of the whole WordCamp Europe; co-founder and project manager Matt Mullenweg in a review of 2024’s achievements. User-centric innovations and the latest features, as well as a glimpse into the future.

The future of WordPress

In addition to summarizing the days in Turin, Matt also talks a little about WordPress 6.6, what WordPress has done before and what will happen in the future. Simple things should be simple, and complex things possible. It shouldn’t be difficult to use WordPress, but it should be possible to do anything. He also thinks that the internet has become boring and wonders how we can make it more fun? Of course, he also talks about Playground and how it “will change everything.”.

See the Matt’s full keynote on YouTube. You can also see the subsequent Q&A as a separate video.

WordCamp Europe 2024 and 2025

The whole event ended with the location of next year’s WordCamp Europe being revealed, namely Basel in Switzerland. So far, there is not much information other than that the dates are June 5 – 7. Keep an eye on https://europe.wordcamp.org/2025/ to get the information as it’s presented.

In conclusion, we want to emphasize again that there is a lot going on at WordCamp. With over 50 speakers and around 50 different sessions and workshops, there is much more to see and hear than what we mention here. You will find more information about everything at https://europe.wordcamp.org/2024/. There you can, among other things, take part in descriptions, as well as the visual material that was used at the respective session.

Thanks to WordCamp Europe and Turin for 2024, hope to see you in Basel 2025!

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