Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My first WordCamp

ABQ WordCamp is not the sort of conference I normally attend (think PyCon, DjangoCon and AWS Re:Invent are my regular haunts). Apart from being written in PHP the WordPress community is more diverse as you can develop and use it out of the box, with Django you need to build your site first before it gets a more CMS feel.

We have adopted WordPress for our company blog so it seemed sensible to meet some WordPress folk. I followed the user/publisher track, even though I'm more of a developer so it was refreshing to get a more SEO and social media slant. Some top tips:

  • WordPress handles most of your SEO for you
  • Building your blog is an active role, find like minded individuals/communities and get involved (comment on their blogs)
  • Comments are hugely important for an active and engaging blog
  • Disqus is the best commenting platform (plus it is powered by Django)
  • If traffic spikes for a particular post then repeat/stick with that topic
  • Introduce series for these popular topics
  • Be smart on social media, there are numerous WordPress plug-ins to make sharing easy
  • Google+ is the single best thing for SEO, even if you don't use it, post to it for instant indexing
  • is perhaps the only URL shortener that is indexed by Google
  • Getting to page one on Google does require time and money (AdWords, potentially) via a trial and error approach, pick keywords, evaluate, update then repeat repeat repeat
  • You must have frequent new content (easier said than done) to get high search rankings
During the Developer Diversity Panel a common theme in tech popped up, that of women. Having heard similar talks at PyCon, WordPress is indeed well ahead of the curve in terms of the number of women present, which is great to see.

Yesterday I found out that Google are running DevFest ABQ, so maybe I'll be attending more conferences in ABQ in the future.