Our 5 top WordCamp London speakers

We have just returned from a rip-roaring WordCamp London 2019 and – wow – what an event. Some of the top WordPress brains from around the globe congregated on the Holloway Road campus of the London Metropolitan University to impart their pearls over a three-day WordPress-fest.

WordCamp London 2019

So whether you’re a content writer, analytics cruncher, developer or designer, there are tons of reasons why you should get involved in a WordCamp.

We weren’t disappointed.

Not only was there a huge schedule of talks across development, content, analytics and business development, WordCamp was also great opportunity to network and find out about all the new WordPress developments. Did we also mention a cracking lunch and lots of swag to collect?

We’ve decided to summarise our top speakers and their topics from across the weekend. Let’s get started…

1. Zac Gordon

Zac Gordon WordCamp

About Zac:

Zac Gordon is a super interesting guy and a JavaScript aficionado. Zac has many years of experience teaching at high schools, colleges, bootcamps and online learning sites like Treehouse, Udemy and Frontend Masters.

In addition to teaching, Zac also runs Web Hosting for Students, one of the world’s largest hosting companies dedicated to students and teachers. You can also catch his free Office Yoga sessions on OfficeYoga.tv. He contributes to Make WordPress training and plugins teams.

What he spoke about:

How the new Redux-based data API changes everything in WordPress

How we get and interact with data in WordPress is changing dramatically as of WordPress 5.0 and the release of the new Data API. The Data API is built with the Redux state management library. It allows developers to get data from WordPress and dispatch actions using JavaScript in ways that were not possible before.

This API is the future of how to interact with data in WordPress using JavaScript and React and is an essential skill for any serious WordPress developer.

In this talk, Zac covered how the Data API works, what options are available and some other important things to know. He covered how to use the Data API to manage state for your own WordPress plugins.

Zac is an integral part of the progression of WordPress in it’s evolving state. Gutenberg and the new JS approach in WP is a tough subject for a lot of people to tackle (considering that we have been a PHP world for a long time). He’s bringing the new age of JS to the masses and showing people how to build in Gutenberg. Thank God he makes it look easy!

Find out more:

Zac’s website is bursting with info on his courses, speaking engagements and free weekly office yoga videos. You can also nab his book React Explained: Your Step-by-Step Guide to React.

2. Piccia Neri

Piccia Neri WordCamp London 2019

About Piccia:

Picca’s energy on-stage was fantastic at WordCamp London. She offered by far the most stimulating design talk of the weekend. With a background in art theory, Picca has been a practising designer for more than two decades, working with cultural institutions and London agencies on global brands. Piccia led the creative direction of the design department at the British Film Institute, London. She was also Vice President of the Chartered Society of Designers (UK) 2013 to 2016.

Piccia runs her own web and design consultancy agency out of Valencia, Spain. She educates ‘geeks’ on design and speaks at a range of conferences on design topics.

What she spoke about:

UX for Everyone

UX for Everyone was a scintillating and rollercoaster of a talk explaining how you can put user experience at the heart of your website no matter what your budget. Piccia’s talk was truly inspiring and covered how anyone, no matter what the web budget, can consider UX.

The talk demystified UX and showed how to make it an integral part of the web design process. One of the takeaway quotes of Picca’s presentation was ‘Good UX is as much about good design as it is good marketing’. Look, feel, usability are all part of great UX but the key ingredient is…EMPATHY. A user is a human, not just a number in Google Analytics.

Find out more:

You can check out the UX for Everyone slides or cruise on over to Piccia’s site at https://piccianeri.com.

As well as running a bespoke design studio, Piccia also offers a free UX For Everyone online course, plus a closed Facebook group for Design for Geeks, Devs, Techies and Marketers.

3. Alain Schlesser

Alain Schesser WordCamp London 2019

About Alain:

Alain is a freelance software engineer, speaker and WordPress consultant and does a great job in helping to standardise the way we build plugins. Alain is a big supporter of the open source community, contributes to Make WordPress coreWP-CLI and Polyglots teams, and is a MeetUp Organiser. He also runs Bright Nucleus.

Alain has worked with numerous platforms and programming languages for the past 25 years and is passionate about software architecture, code quality and never misses an opportunity to share best practices.

What he spoke about:

A New Plugin Boilerplate for a New Era

WordPress is planning to raise its minimum PHP version requirement and if all goes according to plan, we will have a required minimum of PHP 7.2+ for December 2019.

In his talk he gave at WordCamp London 2019, he included the use of things like Composer, which help bring WP into the modern dev era.

Alain’s presentation outlined why he worked on a new open source plugin boilerplate that provides a robust, strictly typed OOP framework and incorporates a lot of applied best practices.

The session covered an introduction to the new boilerplate and why it can improve plugin code and reduce maintenance costs.

Find out more: https://www.alainschlesser.com/

4. Sabrina Zeidan

Sabrina Zeidan WordCamp London 2019

About Sabrina:

Sabrina is a WordPress Multisite consultant and awesome speaker.

A fan of WordPress since 2010, Sabrina is fond of scaling the networks of websites with WordPress Multisite and performance optimisation. She focuses on making WordPress websites faster as a part of WP Media team. She is a WordCamp volunteer and a contributor to Make WordPress polyglots and plugins teams.

What she spoke about:

5 Steps to a Faster Website and Higher Google Rankings

Her talk answered the questions such as ‘why should you forget about the scores if you want to speed up your website? What is TTFB and why you should care about it? Why using CDN might not help you improve the site speed? Why Twitter with all that funny GIFs loads lightning fast and your visitors have to wait for ages while one single kitten gets loaded? How do you get to know your hosting is fast enough?’

“Cache, cache and more cache”. What can be cached, should be cached. Browser caching, page caching, Opcode caching, object caching and CDN caching are all important factors for site speed.

We learned that your site can make 30% more income on an improved site speed alone. Site speed (or lack of) is one of the main offenders when it comes to high bounce rates. The main takeaway was to ‘measure correctly’. All the various measurement tools will vary and yield different results, but its not about the tools. It’s about understanding what you are trying to improve and why.

Basic checks include the PHP version, hosting, images, GIFs and HTML5 videos, HTTP/2.

Find out more:

You can find out more about Sabrina, her work and her talks over at http://sabrinazeidan.com/.

5. Topher DeRosia

Topher DeRosia WordCamp London 2019

About Topher:

Topher is a web developer who is interested in building the web properly. He specialises in WordPress, PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS and is also a WONDERFUL speaker. Heralding from Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, where he lives with his wife, two daughters and two little dogs, Topher works as a WordPress Developer Evangelist for BigCommerce.

Topher contributes to Make WordPress coreplugin and Polyglots teams and has been both a WordCamp and MeetUp organiser. A great WP advocate! He also wins ‘the best speaker name’ title, too.

What he spoke about:

5 eCommerce Trends to Implement Now

eCommerce is evolving and brands can do a lot to move the needle for their businesses if they know the right strategies to use. In this session we learnt about the most relevant trends in ecommerce right now and how to put them into practice immediately.

Topher guided us through the main philosophies behind eCommerce. He boldly stated ‘Amazon rules the world’, eBay is fading but that a standalone online store can prosper, as can offline retail…when done well. However, he asked: ‘what was the number one reason someone made an in-store purchase?’ The answer…going to the brand’s website first. So your eCommerce website has to be fit for purpose and offer a smooth user experience.

Topher also highlighted that Instagram, Facebook and SnapChat are upping their eCommerce game, with Instagram launching its own in-app checkout last month. He also stressed that payment options matter (so think about offering finance repayment plans or digital wallets) and that every generation values different things from eCommerce. Gen Z love free shipping, Gen Y love discounts AND free shipping, Gen X searches for discounts whilst the Baby Boomers and Seniors don’t particularly act on incentives.

Find out more:

Get his ruminations on the Topher deRosia website or visit BigCommerce.

Where can I see the full WordCamp London presentations?

It was a tough call to pick our top five as all the talks were very informative. If you want more, all of the WordCamp London 2019 talks were live streamed here. Grab a coffee, and catch up in the comfort of your own home/office/safe space.

You can also subscribe to WordCamp London’s YouTube channel.

Find a WordPress WordCamp near you

WordCamp London 2019 at London Metropolitan University

The next UK-based WordPress event is 16th and 17th August 2019 at WordCamp Brighton.WordPress provides a handy guide of all the upcoming WordCamp community events over on WordCamp Central. Wherever you live in the world, there is likely to be a Camp near you.

WordCamp Central

Collaborate on a WordPress team

Contributing to WordPress is super easy and warmly welcomed. The whole premise of an open source platform is that it is grown by the users, for the users.

The Make WordPress section on WordPress.org highlights all the different ways you can get involved, no matter what your specialism.

Written by

Marketing Manager

Rechenda Smith
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