After 3 years of silence we could finally enjoy another WordCamp Nederland. And it felt like coming home.
The Dutch WordCamp was located at the beautiful Safari Meeting Centre in Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem. Though not an obvious location for a WordCamp, it suited quite well. Spacious rooms for a larger audiences. A foyer with unlimited coffee for candid conversations with old and new WordPress friends. And the adjacent Bush and Ocean were great places to tranquilize the mind.
WordPress and Sustainability
Many talks were related to sustainability. Joost de Valk (founder of Yoast, developer of the SEO plugin) explained the frightening effect of webcrawlers on your hosting provider’s energy bill. Even a tiny site gets 100 times more crawlers than humans visiting. Theo van der Zee pointed out that better usability and accessibility immediately lead to less energy consumed. How to investigate the carbon footprint of your hosting was explained by Csaba Varszegi. Erik Joling had a more holistic and philosophical approach to make WordPress sites more sustainable.
WordPress and Accessibility & Privacy
The best way to get introduced to website accessibility is a workshop by Rian Rietveld, where she shows us that even small improvements can make an impact. Ton Zijlstra showed his Indieweb setup of WordPress, creating an independent and distributed social network where your content is yours.
An inspiring talk was given by Liesbeth Smit, who showed us how she deep dived into the clients message to built a scrollytelling website in WordPress. A campaign on personal data that not only informs the visitor, but very visually shows how a seemingly boring subject actually impacts us on a daily basis.
WordPress and Developer Tools
Milana Cap briskly showcased the WordPress Command Line Interface. With live coding she showed how to perform boring chores in seconds, how to make hard tasks easy, and how to make the command line memorize almost anything. The depth of CSS was presented by Veerle Verbert. Juliette Reinder Folmer explained some deeper principles of Git that even seasoned developers fear. With this knowledge you can unleash the true power of rebasing. In a project showcase of the Dutch Government Erik van Beek wowed us with the infinite possibilities of Gravity Forms. Jessica Lyschik explains the factors that make a website performing and shares the tools to improve our page speed.
Marija Zaric talked about the importance of sharing digital commons and open source. The boundless creativity that she showed was energizing. And she earns eternal glory for donating a free cat shelter WordPress theme to the world!
Business & Branding
Many developers consider communication with clients a necessary evil, but Caroline Greven takes another approach and showed us her guidelines for mutual benefit. Christien van de Sande explained how dividing a project into different parts or phases makes it more manageable with a higher chance on a successful outcome and shared her methods for a thriving relationship between client and agency.
Ivana Cirkovic inspired us with a vibrant talk-slash-workshop where we were put to the test about our business message. By asking the question ‘So what?’ over and over again, we were prompted to think deeper about the core of our message: what is it that we are helping our (potential) clients with and how to explain it in only a few words. Also Vassilena Valchanova emphasized that providing unique value with our brand is key to a successful business. “If we don’t differentiate by value, then we have to compete by price.” By sharing our knowledge, being visible and knowing where our audience is coming from, we can show our expertise, gain trust and built a connection.
WordCamp Nederland replays and photos
Missed a great talk or couldn’t join live? No worries, all presentations on WordCamp Nederland were recorded. Soon you’ll find them all on wordpress.tv.
All photos of WordCamp Nederland, taken by the amazing photographer Henk-Jan Winkeldermaat of Punkmedia.nl, are posted online on Flickr.com.
You can also read about the presentations and speakers at netherlands.wordcamp.org.
© Featured photos by Henk-Jan Winkeldermaat, Punkmedia.nl