I’ve attended WordCamp Atlanta every year since 2012 (and recaped them here and here), and WordCamp Atlanta 2017 was my second time speaking! The topic for my presentation was the same as my free report, Get Your Website Done: 12 Actionable Steps for Designers—which gave me added motivation to launch my new website before the event. (Phew, I did it!) And, here are links to the slides and video of the presentation.
My takeaways from WordCamp Atlanta 2017:
- Helping feels really great. A lot of the contagiously positive WordCamp buzz was centralized in the Happiness Bar. So to the happiness bar I went! At my first conferences, there were so many people who helped me. This year, I wanted to help others. The Happiness Bar does not have alcohol; it’s a place where people can get help with whatever WordPress issues they might be having. I spent most of the first day there, and I was able to help a few folks. One person had a nonprofit and needed help installing their theme, and another person needed help installing Google Analytics. It felt really awesome to help them get WordPress working for their needs.
- Optimize your images before uploading. Want your site’s pages to load quickly? You need to optimize your images prior to uploading them to WordPress. Pretty much, your goal is always to have the smallest file size possible while still having beautiful quality—especially with large background images or portfolio images. Your visitors (and Google!) prefer sites with fast-loading pages, and the free ImageOptim can help you strip away the stuff that isn’t necessary (like meta data that might be attached to the images). Already have images on your site that aren’t optimized? It’s not too late. The ImageOptim Web service resizes images directly on your server.
- Do it faster! You know I’m a fan of maximizing my time, so I attended a session about how to set up your development environment in just a couple of minutes. While it’s going to take a little while to wrap my head around, I know it will be super-quick once I get the hang of it. Where there’s room for doing things faster, I’m on it!
- Pay attention to your passwords! This is not new advice but it’s worth repeating until everyone’s actually doing it. One of the easiest things you can do to prevent your website from getting hacked is using good passwords. Prevent bad stuff from happening instead of dealing with it after the fact! Have a different password for everything. They should be long, random and unique. Use a password manager like Dashlane or 1Password.
- WordCamp is awesome and it’s for everyone. If you’re an experienced designer or someone who has (or wants to have!) a WordPress site, you can learn so much at WordCamp. They’re all over the world—check ’em out!
The coolest thing about having a WordCamp session based on my free report is that it’s really easy to share. Download my free report, Get Your Website Done: 12 Actionable Steps for Designers. And if you need help getting your site done, let’s talk.