WordCamp US 2021 – What Happened at the One-Day Event?3 min read

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The flagship North American WordCamp kicked off on October 1st, 2021. After taking a hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic and virtual event fatigue, the organizers pulled off a single-day virtual event full of top-notch speakers and panels.

The past few years have been a challenging virtual learning curve for most everyone, especially the event industry. WordCamp organizers have been diligently working with the latest technologies to bring their events to life in the virtual realm. While many long-time WordCamp attendees have missed the in-person engagement and networking, the virtual benefits for people who couldn’t physically attend resonated with the WordCamp US team this year. 

The 2021 virtual event was focused, with a single-day schedule and two session tracks. The Yukon track supports the community side of the project, and the Columbia track developers and agencies.

WordCamp US 2021 for Developers

The Columbia track realized its underlying message from the first session with Corey Webb’s Demystifying Gutenberg Blocks – Understanding First Steps to Becoming a Gutenberg Developer. The focus on blocks and Gutenberg continued with Building Modern WordPress Sites: The Interplay of Blocks, Patterns & Theme.json with Rich Tabor. The theme continued later in the day with a panel discussing block and theming, and hit its final note with 10up’s Helen Hou-Sandi’s talk about creating the whitehouse.gov website for the Biden campaign. 

The bottom line for developers is knowing the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack is no longer all you need to know for WordPress development. Understanding React/Javascript is a must as we move into the next five years of WordPress. The Columbia track offered a solid starting point for anyone who wants to get started in the future of WordPress development.

WordCamp US 2021 for the Community

The Yukon track focused on community issues and storytelling, with Bet Hannon kicking it off with her session, Accessibility as a Journey: Rationales & Practical Tips for Making Sites Accessible. Jill Binder followed, focusing on storytelling with her talk, Not an Overnight Leader: A Celebration Of My 10-Years Of Being Empowered By WordPress.

The day continued with talks on green websites, community building, contributing to Open Source, and the future of learnwordpress.org. Taco Verdonschot from Yoast took things to the next level with an on-topic, entertaining and well-produced session on Recharging Your Social Battery in the Age of Online Events. Overall, the Yukon track delivered on showcasing the fantastic open source community that powers WordPress.

WordCamp US 2021 Networking and Swag 

The networking aspects of WordCamp US were limited to sponsored Zooms and Job Fairs. But let’s face it – networking at virtual conferences has never been the highlight of the experience. It seems the organizers wanted to focus on the sessions without spending time and technology on something only a handful of attendees would use. 

However, WordCamp US did a great job with their swag offering for attendees, with virtual wallpapers, sticker downloads, and even a free sticker sheet and Wapu pin for those willing to pay the shipping fee.  

Conclusion:

While we are ready to return to in-person WordCamps and get back to the networking and hallways talks, events like these keep educating the community and bring us closer to the next in-person event. Cloudways would like to thank the WordCamp US team for all their hard work on the event, and we look forward to seeing you all in 2022! For more information on Cloudways sponsorship of WordCamp US 2021, please visit here

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