WordCamp 2011 – Wellington

I (Liz) was lucky enough to go to Wellington on the weekend, and catch up with the great people running New Zealand Wordcamp.
Since we have a lot of WordPress users and they are often requiring our help I like to keep up with who is doing what and how. I was originally going to speak, but after a shuffle the day before things didn't turn out that way (no problem!).

One speaker i really enjoyed seeing, was one of our customers http://minimonos.com explaining what they did and how. Gwen talked all about how blogging was catching on with the younger kids, and how amazing some of the things they were doing (right down to their own graphics and code!).

I learned about a great company called VaultPress who do some excellent backups of WordPress in real time as well as security scanning for very reasonable rates. If you run a mission critical WordPress install, i would most definitely look into using their service.

SearchMasters spilled all their secrets to SEO success, and gave me a few ideas i may implement on various blogs i maintain. Those guys really seem to know their stuff.

Ryan Allen Gave me some excellent insights into scaling wordpress for the *much* larger sites. He explained that after looking around and using everything available, it was still not enough. He has experimented a fair bit and is now setting up a site due to the interest of others at http://scalingwordpress.com (follow @scalingwp for updates)

To top it all off, turned out i was not the only Ukulele player in the crowd, we got a small impromptu group together and had a jam.

There was entirely to much going on to go into detail, but here are a few interesting links, hints and tips.

  • Host files on S3 or similar CDN to save disk IO and serving time. (eg, images uploaded, videos etc)
  • Watch out for wp-cron causing high loads, especially with sitemap plugins doing over 100 queries.
  • http://newrelic.com/ is great for monitoring and trouble shooting code
  • http://wp-techies.com/ - Handy place for helping hand!
  • You can use Bandcamp as well as selling your own music together for more impact rather than either/or
  • Buddypress is great to use, especially with the achievements plugin!

And a list of recommended Plugins/Themes:

  • Custom Field Templates
  • Typekit 4 fonts
  • Tiki press
  • Google maps
  • Contact form 7
  • Blubrry power press (pod press can be flakey)
  • After the deadline
  • Flash video player
  • Gravity forms

Photos:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/booleanvalue/sets/72157625965109285/with/5460213486/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/4nitsirk/with/5458141148/

The #wordcampnz ukulele song about CSS can be downloaded from http://www.kiwiukulele.co.nz/songs/

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