WordCamp Europe 2018: The Past is Also the Future of WordPress

June 20, 2018 in Community

After a year of waiting, WordCamp Europe finally arrived last week in Belgrade, Serbia. This was the third year in a row that SiteLock sponsored #WCEU. If you didn’t know, WordPress celebrated it’s 15 year anniversary on May, 27th, just weeks before this event. It was a great look back at the beginnings of the WordPress and a look into the future of the open source software that powers over 30% of the internet.

The organization of this event was nothing less than perfect. The entire organizing and volunteer team did an amazing job making sure that everyone entering the Sava Center had a smooth registration process and knew exactly what to do and where to go afterwards.

They also provided an interesting way for attendees to connect on a more personal level by providing Open Networking stickers. The idea was to use these as an icebreaker for conversations that weren’t necessarily about WordPress or web development at all, but rather for listing topics that you might be interested in discussing.

My answer to the question, “what would you like to talk about?” included “family, community, and robots”, three topics I’m passionate about. And it worked! I had several great conversations and made some new friends along the way.

The Numbers

There are multiple WordCamps almost every week somewhere in the world, but WordCamp Europe and WordCamp U.S. are the two largest, behind WordCamp Miami. This year’s #WCEU didn’t disappoint with an incredible number of attendees, both in-person and via live stream to community members around the world who couldn’t make it to Serbia.

  • 2,368 Event Tickets Sold
  • 76 Countries Represented
  • 2085 Attendees
  • 529 Contributor Day Attendees
  • 808 Livestream Tickets
  • 37 Countries

Contributor Day

The first day of WordCamp Europe was all about contributing back to the software and the community that surrounds it. As a reminder, WordPress is free and open source and its popularity is directly due to the fact that people from around the world volunteer their time and expertise to making it better.

This is evidenced by the fact that a whopping 529 people were in attendance at Contributor Day, all ready to help move the project forward by fixing bugs, coding new features, writing documentation for training and marketing the software to new users and so much more. If you’d like to get involved, just visit Make.WordPress.org to find out how easy it is.

The Sponsor Experience

As avid supporters and members of the WordPress community, SiteLock attends a new WordCamp nearly each week. Each event is unique, and WordCamp Europe 2018 was no different.

We had ample sponsor space at this event which allowed attendees easy access to learn about website security and the best practices for protecting their websites.

Our sponsor area was positioned well and foot traffic to our table was non-stop both days. It was also the first time that badge scanners were available and that made it incredibly easy for attendees to enter our raffles, which we had each day and are always a big hit with attendees.

The Sessions

There were many interesting sessions ranging from “how-to” workshops, tips for building your business, social media marketing, and so much more.

There was an incredible amount of knowledge shared in each and every session, along with many presentations sharing personal stories designed to inspire people to keep moving forward with their website and internet business goals. Here are a few tweets that prove it:

Keynote: The Gutenberg Project Roadmap

Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress, gave the keynote address to attendees. His presentation focused on the state of the Gutenberg editor project. At first glance, this project creates a new writing experience in WordPress with the use of “blocks” that makes the creation of content more modern and streamlined. This has been a hot topic of discussion since it was first announced that it will be included in WordPress version 5.0.

The information Matt presented in his talk made it clear that the development of Gutenberg is getting close to being ready for inclusion into core. Just as important, the user testing of this new writing experience has become more focused with the goal of having hundreds of thousands of sites using Gutenberg before the official merge. This is welcome news to many in the community as version 5.0 including Gutenberg could be as soon as August of this year.

Having been a long-time user of WordPress myself (since 2005), I’ve been following the development of Gutenberg closely and knew that it was laying the groundwork to support the use of WordPress into the next 15 years an beyond, but it was only during this presentation that what this means for the software finally clicked for me.

The new writing and content experience that Gutenberg will provide is just the beginning. Eventually, the concept of content “blocks” will apply to the entire website development and design experience. Right now, many users are dependant on what individual Theme developers provide for the placement of various types of content. Using content blocks, even the most non-technical of users will have the power to drag and drop content on individual pages of their WordPress-powered sites into whatever configuration they want or need.

The future of WordPress is near my friends, and I for one, am excited for this new chapter of the software.

In Summary

WordCamp Europe 2018 was another successful event and one we’re glad we were able to support through our sponsorship. We’re excited for the future of WordPress and the community and will continue to in our mission to protect every website on the internet by delivering our patented 360-degree website security solution to find, fix and prevent malware and other threats from affecting websites and their visitors.

If you’d like to know more about our services including WordPress database scanning and core CMS vulnerability patching, automatic malware scanning and removal, an advanced web application firewall, static application security testing, PCI compliance and website acceleration powered by a global CDN, we welcome you to get in touch to see how we can help your WordPress-powered website succeed for the next 15 years and beyond.

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