Gutenberg, WordPress Performance and Accessibility – WordCamp Europe 2017

WordCamp Europe 2017 (or WCEU in short) in Paris is over. And we are back home and look back on #wceu with fond memories of all the awesome people we met. This is our recap of four awesome days in Paris at #wceu 2017.

First of all, if you do not know what a WordCamp is, we highly recommend this article about WordCamp that tries to explain a bit about the structure and purpose of this awesome event.

The Conference talks

The topics of the WordCamp Europe are as diverse as the people, that are attending. The only real issue we had was the depth of the topics. The time limitation of 30 minutes and the fact that you had to reach as many people as possible made it virtually impossible to dare a deep dive into a topic.

But these were some of our highlights.

Improving WordPress Performance with XDebug and PHP Profiling

Otto Kekäläinen showed us some handy tricks to find the performance issues with our pages and talked about how to fix these issues. Performance in modern web is a direct SEO signal, so this topic is very important and can benefit in better rankings.

CSS Grid Changes Everything (About Web Layouts)

We thought flexbox was the holy grail of web layouts in the recent years. But we were wrong. Morten Rand-Hendriksen showed us the possibilities of CSS Grid and we were impressed. Time to work with grid in produciton. If you want to know his article on Smashing Magazine about CSS grid is highly recommended.

Security is a Process & WordPress Security for All

Dispite our developers knowing strict rules to secure WordPress on a user-basis as well as on the code-basis of our Plugins and Themes those two security talks where a good reminder of best practises. Even if the web seems to become more and more dangerous it’s not useful to have a “Fort Nox” of a website when you’re just blogging about your travel and vice versa to neglect simple security tricks on commercial solutions.

We are all making this up: Improv lessons for developers

Since one of the biggest advantage of WordPress is the community-aspect ot every talk has something to do with design, development or business cases. So this session of Dwayne McDaniel (a developer who is an improv actor and comedian in is sparetime) was all about the interpersonal layer when working in a big team – including some live improv-games with the audience.

Unfortunately the temperatures were not very friendly, it was really hot on both conference days. This did not help with the motivation to visit a lot of talks, especially the second day was slow. Everyone was exhausted and it was showing.

The future of WordPress

A big part of #WCEU is always the discussion about the future of WordPress. Everyone has their own opinion about that, so we asked some attendees about their thoughts on the future of WordPress.

Q&A with Matt Mullenweg – Gutenberg

A big part of the Q&A between tech-blogging legend Om Malik and WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg was the introduction of the Gutenberg project to the WCEU attendees. The project aims to replace the complexity of the current WordPress WYSIWYG editor with a streamlined, new editing workflow.

Named after the inventor of modern book printing, Johannes Gutenberg, the editor projects aims at nothing less but leapfrogging competitors like or in terms of ease of use and customizability.

The wceu afterparty issues

On Saturday evening the WCEU organizers invited everyone to the beautiful Pavillon d’Armenonville, where the afterparty took place. The afterparty is always a good opportunity to socialise and strengthen bonds between old friends and new contacts.

But while the intentions were probably good, the organisation fell short on its promises. They said would offer food and drinks at a lower price than usual in Paris. Furthermore did they tell us NOT to eat beforehand! The last thing I would expect after such a statement is an 8€ burger (without sides) and a 4€ Heineken (0.25l bottle).

We quickly helped ourselves and simply went to a nearby Burger King, where we had an AWESOME team dinner for a fraction of the price. And as we went into the fast food restaurant we quickly noticed, that we were not the only one wandering away from the party.

WCEU 2018 in Belgrade

After two unforgettable WCEUs we participated in Vienna and in Paris we are looking forward to the WordCamp in Belgrade, Serbia. We were able to witness the energy and positive attitude of the Serbian community first hand in Paris and that makes us really look forward to this awesome event next year.

Our conclusion of WCEU 2017 in Paris

We as a team had four transformative days. The event showed us what we are doing wrong and what we are doing right. We came out a better team than we went in as.

I can’t stress enough how awesome the people are, who are attending this event. So the only thing to do at the and is to say: Thank you for being awesome, #wceu!