It was time for round two! After cutting my teeth at my first WordCamp in Asheville, North Carolina, in July 2015, it was now time to head down to to Virginia Beach, Virginia. The WordPress enthusiasts in Hampton Roads had put together their first WordCamp, and invited me to give a talk on WordPress Multisite network patterns (what I was calling “Monsters of WordPress” at the time). I had a fantastic crowd of WordPress developers show up on October 17, 2015, and it was exciting to be able to share my talk a second time. It was even more exciting to come back to the town that helped start my career, meet my wife, and host my wedding! If you missed it, here are my presentation slides.
Of course, giving a talk at a WordCamp can be a big deal, especially if you’re new at it. I suggest everyone give it a try because it helps you to really, really (REALLY) learn the topic you hope to teach, and it allows you a chance to hear from others interested in that topic. I think the questions and comments after my talk were just as important as my talk itself. You will be surprised at the kind of questions you get asked, especially the ones you never considered. And as an added bonus, after talk questions sometimes become new ideas for other blog posts and potentially new talks at future WordCamps!
The other great thing about going to any WordCamp is learning something new about WordPress (that you can also use). I often enjoy hearing about strategies for approaching particularly sticky WordPress problems, but I am always looking for those talks that present a new nugget of knowledge with regards to dealing with the “softer side” of WordPress consulting. I walked away from WordCamp Hampton Roads with these new thoughts:
Tracy Rotton introduced me to Sass (Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets) and why I don’t need to grind through my own CSS style development anymore. Someone went and created a fantastic CSS extension language that I can use with RWD (Responsive Web Design) principles. It takes a bit to get up-and-running with your own Sass preprocessor, but Tracy’s talk started my brain thinking about how I can make Sass work in-house.
After both of my talks, but this one in particular, from fellow WordCamper’s interested in how WordPress Multisite can be used for Membership and Product sites. I have several WordPress Multisite patterns that I have used for certain projects, but the Membership pattern (i.e. clubs, associations, non-profits), and Product Support pattern (i.e. support FAQs, forums, blogs, how-to’s) resonate with developers the most. Why? It seems that the compartmentalization that Multisite provides via sub-domains appeals to those trying to separate content between specific audiences. Many WordCamper’s see the concept of creating separate sub-sites for each audience to be easy to understand. The issue of how you actually go about doing that is why they sought out my Talk. Unfortunately, I didn’t go into the details of the how, I instead focused on the why. But from my audience during the “why” of my talk, I received lots of positive feedback from those that now are interested in the “how”. It’s a small sample, but enough to start the research for how much “how” want and need is out their.
I like 1-Day WordCamps in cities I’ve been to before. It makes for a good mini-mullet vacation: WordPress party in the front, ocean beach in the back! As always, if you need any help with a existing or potential WordPress Multisite problem, please contact me on Trenchbucket.com.