Last week Chris held down the Web Savvy fort, while Debbie and I headed off to Arizona for a WordPress conference called PressNomics. Since this was the first conference of it’s kind, we had no idea what to expect. We just knew we wanted to be part of this new WordPress event. We were not disappointed.
The conference was announced months ago and I bought a ticket within an hour or so of the event launch. No speakers or agenda had been posted and I had no idea who from our community would be in attendance. I just knew it was something that I had to attend.
The People Behind the Avatars
The conference was so much more than I think any of us expected. Three days of inspirational speakers and events included key members of the WordPress community. There was a sit down interview with WordPress’ founding developer Matt Mullenweg, a presentation from lead WordPress developer Mark Jaquith, and time to interact with many amazing community sponsors/attendees like security gurus Sucuri, WooCommerce creators WooThemes, or the inspirational FireHost. We were able to meet, talk, and play with the avatars and faces we knew to be experts.
It was the worth every minute of my time. Debbie and I both left feeling inspired and loving our WordPress community even more than we thought was possible.
17% Isn’t Just a Number
WordPress now powers 17% of the internet and has grown much faster than it’s CMS counterparts Joomla and Drupal. It is no longer just for blogs, but it is the future of websites at the small business and enterprise level. If anything, that was my biggest take away. WordPress is currently bigger than most of us realize and the future has unlimited possibilities. WordPress not only powers a huge amount of blogs and entry-level websites, it powers large-scale websites for media companies, publicly held organizations, and government institutions. It’s growing faster and bigger than any of us imagined.
The growth can be attributed to the powerful force of the GPL and the folks that stand behind it. The community isn’t simply a few freelancers, but a massive group of experts that are highly passionate about what they do and the software that makes it all possible. The PressNomics conference room was filled with these experts and the ancillary vendors that help support it. The supporters and sponsors all said they were eager to come, speak, and donate because the people in the room were the true WordPress experts driving the movement and growth. They were right.
We Are the True Core
In actuality, many of us attendees were competitors. But none of us cared because we’re really just a bunch of talented people that all live and breathe WordPress each and every day. It isn’t just what we do; it’s who we are down to our core.
It’s our passion and we spend more hours with WordPress than we do with our own family members. It’s our business, it pays our mortgage, and it makes us proud of what we do and who we help. In my house, it also makes my children proud and at least one child wants to join the WordPress community and Mom’s business as soon as she exits college.
Thank You Seems Not Enough
A big thank you to the folks at Page.ly and their volunteers for creating and executing on the conference flawlessly. I’ve never been to an event that was so well organized. Another large thank you to the sponsors who supported the concept and provided funding for the event. The sponsors also took the time to attend and interact with each of us attendees. To me this act spoke volumes about their belief in the longevity of our community.
When I founded our firm I had planned on “including” WordPress within our service offering. Within months of the company’s launch I made the decision to make WordPress our primary offering. PressNomics was a great reminder that this was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.