This was the my first WordCamp ever. As a developer, I found WordCamp Denver 2016 to be great in some areas and lacking in others. For the coder, there were a number of highly informative talks about tips, tricks, and coding ideas. The rest of the sessions revolved around business and marketing strategy and how to use WordPress as a part of that. Even as a coder, I understood how this is crucial for small businesses trying to improve sales.
During the conference, I made excellent business contacts and even met some WordPress Community contributors that provided advice for giving feedback to WordPress. Now let’s go over some of my favorite highlights from the conference.
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The first session I attended was Child Themes and the Template Hierarchy. The best part was a plugin the speaker recommended that I’d never heard of. What The File plugin shows you all the parts of a template – and the template files – corresponding to a particular page. From a development standpoint, this is amazing. It’s especially useful when working on a WordPress site you did not build or inherited from some other company.
Another important session was Accessibility Testing for WordPress Development. This showed how important accessibility is for today’s websites. What’s interesting is how easy testing for accessibility can be. Two simple things that help prevent accessibility issues are:
- Using the keyboard to move through a website
- Checking contrast ratio
Something else new to me were screen readers. These are programs that work with browsers to read to the user what’s on the page. This was something I would never have thought to look into. With accessibility becoming such a big part of today’s technology, at periscopeUP we’re already changing the way we look at all websites.
Forms That Engage
How to Engage Users With Forms That Don’t Suck was a session that caught my eye from the beginning. FormidablePro owner Steve Wells was one of the speakers, and he did a great job explaining how forms can engage users without “sucking”.
Adjusting the form submission button alone can help tremendously. Changing the button from “Submit” to something more friendly like “Download Now” or “Get Started Now” can make a world of difference to a user and conversions. For long forms, the speakers explained that telling the user – before they get started – what they’ll need or how long it takes can help prevent form dropouts or failed completions.
WordCamp Is Worth It
All the sessions attended were good, and the one’s mentioned provided exceptional value for me to think about after the conference.
Here are all the sessions from WordCamp Denver 2016. I think any developer or business owner could benefit from checking out the WordCamp content to help strengthen their WordPress knowledge.
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