Last weekend I had the pleasure of joining over 120 WordPress users—bloggers, writers, designers, business owners, digital marketers, developers, and user experience specialists—at the WordCamp Detroit 2018 conference to learn and talk about WordPress.
It was wonderful to attend a conference where I didn’t have to travel, other than to the same physical location as our Metro Detroit WordPress meetups, which I help organize in downtown Detroit.
And now as co-leader of the new West Metro Detroit WordPress meetup group in Plymouth, Michigan, I was excited to meet up with members from both groups at WordCamp Detroit, as well as WordPress folks from Michigan and out-of-state.
At WordCamp Detroit, I was room host for the morning sessions in the Business track. Which meant I introduced the speakers and shared logistical information about WordCamp.
One question I asked in several morning sessions was:
How many people are attending WordCamp for the first time?
Was I surprised to discover over 50 percent of the attendees raised their hands!
Glad they all came out for WordCamp and I hope they consider joining one of their local meetups.
Through WordCamp Detroit officially had three tracks, there’s an unofficial track called the hallway track.
And that’s where I found myself for a good part of the afternoon, catching up with friends and attendees, talking about hobbies, WordPress, and the city of Detroit.
Here are my notes from some of the sessions I attended.
My Takeaways From WordCamp Detroit 2018
WordPress for Nonprofits
In her presentation on nonprofits, technology, and WordPress, Birgit Pauli-Haeck shared some amazing statistics as well as useful WordPress and technology resources for nonprofits.
Did you know that nonprofits received $390 billion dollars in charitable giving in 2016? And that 72 percent of those donations ($280 billion) came from individuals?
And that online giving amounted to 27.8 billion dollars or almost 10% of annual donations from individuals? (Source: Nonprofits Source Charitable Giving Statistics)
Just because you do work for a nonprofit doesn’t mean you don’t get paid.
Nonprofits pay for consultants.
And with their goals of raising awareness, increasing donor retention, and managing volunteers, fundraising, and other technological processes, nonprofits have a big need for consultants to help them with their website and information technology.
Pauli-Haeck shared some helpful tools and plugins for the donation process, which you can find in her presentation slides.
One of the things I liked most in her talk was the helpful technology resources she shared. Many nonprofits aren’t aware of what tech resources available to them.
Years ago, I set up the Habitat for Humanity Detroit office with discounted Microsoft Office software as well as discounted accounting software, thanks to programs from nonprofit tech groups.
Here are some of the nonprofit technology resources Pauli-Haeck shared:
All My Favorite WordPress Life Hacks
Who isn’t interested in learning strategies for making their life easier?
I’m talking about strategies to be more productive, improve your workflow, and enjoy your work life.
And that’s what Kyle Maurer spoke about in his presentation, sharing all kinds of tips and resources to help you streamline your work.
My favorite tip: avoid sliders on website.
Nobody looks at all those slides. (Want more proof? Check out Should I use a Carousel?)
Here are a few more of Maurer’s tips:
- Find the difference between two versions of text (or code) with the free online Diff Checker tool
- Use Git
- Say hello to people who you don’t see often. Just to say hello!
- Give more shoutouts to people
- Turn off email notifications. Really.
- Use a portrait-oriented monitor
- Remove social media apps from your phone (I’ve done this with Facebook, it works!)
- Change to a different WordPress user quickly with the User Switching plugin
Slides from All my favorite WordPress life hacks presentation
Web Accessibility: How to Be an A11y
It was the last talk of the day, but a session I didn’t want to miss: Aisha Blake speaking about making sure your site is accessible.
And that is what web accessibility is all about: making it easy for everyone to use your website, no matter how they access the web.
That could mean a desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, screen reader, switch control, or some other assistive technology.
Accessibility is part of your design and development process, not something to layer on top of your process, said Blake.
She discussed the four guiding principles of accessibility in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), POUR, which stand for:
In addition, Blake shared ways you can make your site more accessible:
- Use semantic HTML: one of the most important steps you can take. Example: if you have a button, use a
- Choose good color contrast: make sure your content can be easily read by choosing text colors that display well against your background color
- Navigate by keyboard: using your keyboard, you should be able to navigate a page and view the focus of the element you’ve tabbed to
- Test your site with a screen reader: enable VoiceOver on a Mac, install a free screen reader on Windows (NVDA), or turn on accessibility mode on your smartphone to learn how someone who has visual impairments accesses content on the web
Social Media Conversation
Check out some of the conversation on Twitter from the conference!
— Kirk Earl Schultz (@kirkearl) April 29, 2018
— Jon Edney (@thejonedney) April 29, 2018
— Birgit Pauli-Haack (@bph) April 30, 2018
— Allison Tarr (@allisonplus) April 28, 2018
— Jennifer M. Cline (@breathingmoment) April 29, 2018
— Teal Media (@TealMedia) April 28, 2018
— Terri Orlowski (@torlowski) April 28, 2018
— Dejan Markovic (@dejanmmarkovic) April 28, 2018
— Deborah Edwards-Onoro (@redcrew) April 28, 2018
— WordCamp Detroit (@WordCampDetroit) April 29, 2018
Kudos to the Organizers
Shoutout to the WordCamp Detroit organizers who did an amazing job!