WordCamp US, State of the Word, and the Future of WordPress

This weekend over 20 members of the Bluehost team attended WordCamp US in Nashville Tennessee. Over a thousand people attended this camp from all over the world to enjoy community and interactive sessions (and surely some hot chicken). 

Introducing WordPress Pro

During camp, we introduced our new hosting product, WordPress Pro. This product revolutionizes the way people use and build their WordPress websites. This product not only offers improved website performance, it also offers built-in tools for security, marketing, and reliability. The new Marketing Center is a centralized dashboard for new customers to view traffic stats and also control all promotional activities of their website. It also syncs with Jetpack analytics and Google Analytics.

To celebrate the release of our new product we had guitar hero set up in our booth upstairs and a Photo Booth for attendees to take fun pictures to share with their friends online. We also created a Facebook frame that attendees could use to share their experience at Wordcamp US.

Fun at the Bluehost Booth

We invited people on social to share their ‘Why’. Why do you love WordPress? The answers didn’t surprise us one bit. It’s the people who make up this awesome community. A few people were even chosen to win some Bluehost backpacks filled with swag.

WordCamp Us began 24 hours after the release of WordPress 5.0. This release has already surpassed 4 million downloads as of this weekend. There was lots of excitement about this new release, but also notably fear and concern for agencies and developers in the WordPress space.

Many people within the community called for transparency and asked to be part of the decision-making for open source in the future. 

State of the Word

During his State of the Word address, Matt Mullenweg discussed his plan for Gutenberg phases 2-4 and the impact that this most recent update has on everyday users. He also encouraged users to learn blocks, deeply.

Learn blocks. Deeply

Matt Mullenweg

In the beginning of his address Mullenweg played user experience videos that showed users struggling to finish a simple task in the classic editor. This was a simple reminder of all the freedoms that are available to everyday users in the new Gutenberg editor. 

“It feels like writing a blog back in 2005”

“This is very finicky, this does not work”

“Why? Why are you not moving?”

“How would I add a caption? I have no clue.”

Mullenweg also gave credit to all the teams that helped bring the WordPress 5.0 update to life and all of the people who are embracing the Gutenberg block editor by offering classes, custom blocks, and more.

Bluehost WordCamp US Sponsorships

Bluehost was able to sponsor a WordCamp US speaker for the first time. Angie Meeker, of OptinMonster was invited to present her talk, “Marketing Your Plugins for Users, Not Developers”. We were excited at the opportunity sponsor her to share her valuable expertise with the community. 

“A medical emergency led me to WordPress. In the beginning, I sold my first website for only $200. I’ve learned along the way and now I am able to speak at WCUS about something I feel passionately about “

Angie Meeker, WordCamp US Speaker

https://twitter.com/bluehost/status/1071142198706618370

This year, we were able to send our winner of the Bluehost Spotlight Awards to Nashville for WordCampUS. Jackie McEwan, owner of Gluten Free Follow Me, won an all expense trip paid trip to WordCamp US, $1,000, and a year of free hosting. She traveled from LA to be with us and even had some fun in the photo booth and at the after party with the team.

Gluten Free in Nashville for the Bluehost Spotlight Awards

Contributor Day with the Team

Contributor Day is a great time for the community to come together after a camp in order to work on open source projects. There are currently over 15 teams that contribute to the Make WordPress team. Find out how you can volunteer your time and talents.

For the first time, we had most of our team actively working on the WordPress project during Contributor Day. This year we also hired 5 core developers who dedicate all of their time working on Gutenberg, Accessibility, and even Documentation. 

We had a great time in Nashville. We enjoyed the liveliness of the city through great music, great food, and a great community!

Until next year….

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