This year, the WordPress community witnessed the first ever flagship WordCamp in Asia. The event took place from 17 – 19 February 2023, and was held in Bangkok, Thailand.
This event, which was originally scheduled in 2020, finally saw the light of the day after being postponed for 3 years due to the Pandemic. And it was simply amazing! WordPress enthusiasts, creators, innovators from all over the world met in the beautiful city of Bangkok to network, learn and build newer opportunities.
The first flagship WordCamp Asia
In the past, there have been three types of flagship WordCamps – US, Europe, and Centroamérica. This year, Asia joined the bandwagon.
Why is WordCamp an important event for the WordPress community?
WordCamp is a conference that focusses on all things WordPress-related! It is a casual, locally organized event where contributors and enthusiasts from multiple backgrounds come together to network and share ideas. WordPress is a free and open source platform that powers over 40% of the web. And WordCamps are integral to growing and maintaining this platform.
While a WordCamp may look like any other event from the outside, it is in fact closely integrated with the WordPress community and unique in a lot of ways.
WordPress is a free and open source platform, which means it is built and maintained by those who love WordPress. A WordCamp facilitates this by gathering like-minded people who can share their ideas, knowledge, experiences and contribute to the project.
WordCamp Asia Wapuu
Wapuu is the official mascot of WordPress. Wapuu was born in 2011 at WordCamp Fukuoka and has since then become a staple at WordCamps. The Call for Wapuu received 10 Wapuu design submissions by 8 designers from India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan. And the Chao Phraya Boat Wapuu was chosen amongst these as the WordCamp Asia 2023 mascot!
The event saw:
- 1,724 Registrations
- 1,299 Attendees
- 653 Contributors
- 3,185 live streaming audiences
- 55 sessions
- 44 sponsors
- 60 speakers
- Over 100 organizers + volunteers!
Bluehost at WordCamp Asia
Bluehost is as old as WordPress itself. We complete 20 years along with WordPress this year. This not only speaks of our association with WordPress, but our commitment to growing and educating the space. We have been a proud supporter and take Five for Future very seriously. WordCamps therefore are second home to us.
Bluehost was a top level sponsor at WordCamp Asia 2023. We participated actively at contributors day, with multiple first time contributors along with some permanent ones. We had 2 speakers who joined the various sessions conducted at the event. And we had a team of 14 representatives! A successful presence indeed.
At the Bluehost booth, we highlighted our new Online Store solution which is packaged with an onboarding experience that let’s customers set up their stores quicker than ever. We also spoke about our solution for web designers, developers and agencies – the event had close to 60% pro audience.
Superheroes Pride Party
One day before WordCamp Asia kickstarted, Bluehost, Yoast and Codeable hosted an amazing pride party together. There was glitter, music, fun and most importantly diversity and inclusion. A lot of our friends from the community joined, making it a night to remember.
Contributor Day at WordCamp Asia
The Contributor Day is undoubtedly the most important day at WordCamps. This is where multiple WordPress users meet, collaborate and work towards making the open source ecosystem stronger. There are multiple way to get involved with WordPress and help the overall project. Users from all across participate, irrespective of their skill set – there are opportunities for everyone!
Jonathan Desrosiers from the Bluehost team was the lead at the core table. Our friends at Yoast also led the marketing and community table. Bluehost team that participated in the Contributor Day had only amazing things to share:
"It was such a great experience leading the Core table at Contributor Day. I was finally able to meet the many contributors that make up the Asian WordPress community in person. It’s always inspiring to be surrounded by passionate contributors at different experience levels, learning how to contribute to such a large open source project that has changed so many lives for the better." - Jonathan Desrosiers, Senior Software Engineer
"I joined the Community table at Contributor Day for the inaugural WordCamp Asia. I was thrilled to see the room full of excited contributors. We had enough people that we split into two groups - one group met with a seasoned community member who shared their insights, and answered questions on how to help the community more inclusive and diverse when organizing meetups and WordCamps. I joined the 2nd group, which had experienced representatives from multiple community sponsors (Yoast, Bluehost, GoDaddy and A2 Hosting). Our goal was to provide more standardized documentation for WordCamp organizers to help them deliver a great show for sponsors. It was an incredible day, and was awesome to see the collaborative efforts from different companies within the community." - Devin Sears, Senior Field Marketing Manager
"It was my first contributor day ever! I contributed under the marketing vertical. I submitted a picture to the WordPress Photo Directory (clicked in Bangkok) which got approved. There were people from Automatic, Godaddy and Hostinger at the Marketing table too. I also joined the Official Make WordPress Slack Channel." - Shreya Bhardwaj, Senior Manager - Product Marketing
"As a seasoned WordPress user and practitioner, I was thrilled to extend my insights towards the community by delving into an identified issue from the pre-existing list of submitted bugs. My focus was on the intricate matter of bug #41445, which was an exercise in simplicity with respect to reproducing the issue. The resultant remedial solution involved seamless patching and comprehensive flow testing, both of which were accomplished with finesse. This experience was a valuable opportunity to not only test the boundaries of my proficiency, but to learn from other ardent WordPress enthusiasts as well." - Siddhant Wadhwani, SDET Manager
Sessions at WordCamp Asia
Our team attended a lot of sessions at the event. Two of our team members also got selected to speak at WordCamp Asia. Below are some highlights and detailed notes from the 2 action packed days of sessions.
You can also view the livestream as below:
- WordCamp Asia 2023 – Day 1 – Track 1
- WordCamp Asia 2023 – Day 1 – Track2
- WordCamp Asia 2023 – Day 1 – Track3
- WordCamp Asia 2023 – Day 2 – Track1
- WordCamp Asia 2023 – Day 2 – Track2
- WordCamp Asia 2023 – Day 2 – Track3
Jonathan Desrosiers: Migrating WordPress Core to GitHub Actions
“The transition led to more consistent tooling across all branches, as well as restored automated scanning and testing.”
You can view Jonathan’s slide deck here Migrating WordPress Core to GitHub Actions: A Retrospective – Jonathan Desrosiers.
Chris David Miles: Understanding Your Customer – Turning Empathy and Data into Solutions and Growth
“Data is how you listen to your customers. You can empathize with them when you organize their conversation in 4 different parts: Think & Feel, Hear, See, Say.”
Chris has written a detailed post on this talk at WordCamp Asia here Understanding Your Customer with Empathy and Data | Chris David Miles.
Carole Olinger: Stepping Back to Move Forward
“As you step back, do a little bit of self-discovery. Get your priorities straight and focus on self-care. Stepping back is NOT a regression!”
Thijs de Valk: You’re optimizing the wrong things
“SEO is a sustainable marketing effort. Focus on what makes your business worthwhile, it’s all about having the right content. Optimize for speed and support.”
Alain Schlesser: Advanced Performance & Scalability for PHP Developers
“Use adaptive tools to measure performance and scalability. Inspect inner working, run your code multiple times and do load testing.”
Hari Shanker: Ten Minutes on Five for the Future: A commitment to WordPress and the Open Web
“Every contribution to WordPress helps to sustain WordPress directly and can enable one to succeed. Being a contributor will not only show your credibility but also your expertise.”
Michelle Frechette: Look for the Good
“We need to come together as a community and create the good. It’s important to support one another through personal and professional difficulties. Be united, determined and strong.”
AMA with Matt Mullenweg
Matt could not make it in person at WordCamp Asia, but his Words of Wisdom continued:
- “Chat technologies are the future.”
- “If all of us continue to contribute towards Five for the Future, we can benefit tremendously from #WordPress.”
- “If I had a time machine, I would happily do WordPress all over again, a thousand times!”
- “There’s been a ton of innovation in the onboarding flow with companies like Bluehost doing experiments.”
- “Our focus at WordPress is auto updates and backward compatibility. AI will surely make everyone more efficient in the future.”
Bluehost x Yoast activity at WordCamp Asia
We engaged in a fun activity with our friends from Yoast at WordCamp Asia. Both booths had a short quiz/survey for visitors. Upon taking this, each visitor received a Bluehost pin (at the Bluehost booth) and a Yoast pin (at the Yoast booth). Any attendee who was spotted wearing both the pins were given a ticket. This led to a lot of engagement for both brands, especially because the prizes were an Apple iPad, Apple Watch and AirPods! Who wouldn’t get excited, right?
This is a wrap on WordCamp Asia 2023. While Bluehost continues to be a supporter of WordPress and a sponsor at all WordCamps, we could not have done it without the help of the entire community. WordCamp Asia was a result of a lot of hard work of multiple organizers, volunteers, sponsors – thank you for making us feel at home!
We want to leave you with this podcast from Josepha Haden Chomphosy, WordPress Executive Director, where she explores the three big trends from the inaugural WordCamp Asia – the future of themes, the future of work, and the future of contributions.
They absolutely did it!
We cannot wait for another WordCamp (Europe, we are coming)! The team announced the 2024 edition of WordCamp Asia which will be held in March at Taipei, Taiwan.
Until next year…