Our WordCamp US 2023 Experience

WordCamp US 2023 was held in National Harbor, Maryland at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Attendees (That’s us!) enjoyed plentiful space, three gigantic conference halls, and delicious catering in the naturally-lit foyer of the facility. That’s to say nothing of the workshops and presentations that took place within those halls, the meat and potatoes of any con-goers experience!

Let’s break down our favorite presentations that we personally attended and share what we learned.

Gutenberg: Next with Matt Mullenweg: The WordPress co-founder and CEO of Automattic was present to talk shop on the technical updates and roadmap of the Gutenberg editor. Some exciting stuff is in the works for our favorite Content Management System’s built-in editing tools.

Josepha Haden Chomphosy on The Future of WordPress: Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy shared some words for those of us looking to help move the platform forward, and what’s happening with contributors.

Recipe for Accessibility: Limiting Ingredients for Faster Design: Gen Herres gave an excellent talk on how we can strive for better accessibility during our design process, to meet WCAG criteria for accessible websites. Making sure everyone can use your website is of the utmost importance, and it’s always good to get more experience making sure design considerations are all-inclusive.

Hands on with NASA’s New Digital Platform: Our first workshop of the event, NASA’s new website’s launch in the works, some of the masterminds at work to bring it to life gave attendees an exciting behind-the-scenes look at their implementations of WordPress, and insights into how everything works on the backend of the organizations new home on the Web.

Make It Real: Use AI to Successfully Deliver an Authentic Content Creation Process: Artificial Intelligence tools are here to stay, and learning how best to use them was the focus on this workshop by Femi Lewis. Covering ideas such as jumpstarting content creation and helping with ideas, managing tone and maintaining a voice on social media platforms and emails, and helping produce internal reports so we can focus on the important stuff, it was an exciting look into the emerging world of generative language models.

Core Web Vitals 2023: User Experience and Performance Evolved: User experience covers many things, including responsiveness, performance, ease of navigation, if it’s easy on the eyes, and current with the latest functionality standards, to name a few. Henri Helvetica’s talk was an excellent look at how and why our online netscape (not the defunct web browser) is evolving and changing. While it’s one thing to know new practices are emerging, it’s another to understand the reason they are, what they provide, and how to best utilize them. It was an extremely helpful and much appreciated presentation.

These excellent talks and workshops were only a third of what went on this year at WordCamp US. Unfortunately, we can’t be everywhere at once, and we may have spent a bit too long in the sponsor hall. But to that, we always say: There’s always next year. We hope to see you there!

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