In a tired, but inspired state, after attending this weekend’s WordCamp Brisbane 2018.
Got to start with a big shout-out to all of the organizers, volunteers, speakers and attendees - THANK YOU!
I’m far from a WordPress fanboi - I regularly talk people out of using self-hosted WordPress. As a tech industry professional, I feel responsible to not push everyone to use a certain technology unless it makes sense. For someone who isn’t interested in learning development and being responsible for security and performance of their server (or willing to pay someone else to be), I’d much sooner advise them to check-out a hosted platform, be it WordPress.com, SquareSpace, Shopify, etc. For those who do want to get geeky, I’m more often encouraging them to look at modern web frameworks, not try to bend a blogging tool into uncomfortable positions.
I regularly talk people out of using self-hosted WordPress
So why did I go?
I’m passionate about open source software and WordPress is still a great example of this. It’s definitely helped me earn money over the years and has allowed many others to get involved in development, with a low barrier to entry. I also author a WordPress plugin, which aims to help solve security, performance and cost issues for users who are already invested in WordPress for their website.
I went to present on static sites and how users can continue to use WordPress for all of its benefits, but take advantage of publishing it out to host as a static site. I mentioned my plugin as one means to this end, but it was primarily a mission in raising awareness of what static sites are and why people should care (spoiler: security, performance and cost!).
My passions and long term goals are to see people embrace low-resource computing, re-using older hardware with low-footprint but high productivity software to enable more people to get involved in the tech community (and try to put an end to the forced obselence practiced by companies like Apple, pushing users onto new hardware every 2 years - at great cost to the environment and little benefit to society. More emotions on software bloat and disenchantment within the software industry).
Raising awareness about static websites is one step towards this goal and with WordPress powering > 30% of the top websites, the amount of wasted resources is disturbing.
Though nervous about presenting for the first time, I was pleased with the feedback and engagement from the audience via post talk questions and follow up chats throughout the conference and the evening drinks Friday and Saturday nights. To feel you may have given some people reason to “think different” is really fulfilling and motivating to do more.
Why did I love this WordCamp?
The community. This is the resonating reason everyone gave. An event selflessly organised and volunteered at by users leaves a great impression. I’m an early riser and found myself helping carry some boxes with a trio of another plugin developer, a leading WordPress hosting company engineer and one of the lead WordPress developers from Automattic. That’s just… wow!
There are countless other people to thank for all their efforts.
Whilst my feelings for WordPress, the product, are far from unconditional love, I’ve got mad love for the community and privileged to be a part of it!