This year the Shipyard crew had the opportunity to attend the 2015 WordCamp in Norrköping. A one day WordCamp (plus contributors day of course) with a fantastic line-up of speakers and topics.

Norrköpings Visualiseringscenter was the (amazing) venue. The developer track was basically where we hung out and this was held in the dome room which was had a super-awesome domed screen above our heads.

The talks

First up we had a very thorough, technical explanation of how to scale WordPress using Amazon cloud by Miljenko Rebernišak, a really interesting talk about how to use the various services Amazon offer and how they can be utilized to effectively scale WordPress up (and down) for highly trafficked sites. There was a lot of information to take in, but it was really interesting to see how much could be done with this type of solution.

Next we had a pro-Git talk by Karin Taliga. I wasn’t sure how advanced this talk was going to be, but it ended up being very useful, which some great tips for when rebasing branches is a good idea (and when it is most definitely not!). We were all reminded to keep our commit messages meaningful (I really needed reminding!) and ideally that each commit should refer to one change (or at least related changes), which I think is great advice.

Marko Heijnen spoke next about using node.js which was really interesting. His main point was that it’s not always the best idea to use WordPress or even PHP to do everything. There are times when another language can be much more suitable for a task and that we shouldn’t be afraid to think outside the box. Great talk, really inspiring, Node is awesome!

Edmund Turbin spoke next about content and development workflows. This was a fairly general talk regarding some development tools and workflow but the really interesting part was regarding diverse solutions for content workflows. He mentioned several plugins for pushing content from stage to production (and vise-versa) specifically Content Staging and Ramp that tackle the problem of keeping content in sync between local, dev and production environments. What I though was most interesting was the idea of never adding new content to a live site, that all new content should go via stage and then be pushed live. This seems like a very smart idea indeed. We deploy our code, so why not deploy our content too!

After a excellent lunch Christoffer Larsson gave a really fantastic talk about the WP-API. He gave kit.se as an example of an entire site where the entire frontend is written in Angular and fetches content from the backend via the API. It’s a gorgeous site, check it out! He also gave some very useful tips on how to extend the API, how to add new endpoints and when that’s a good idea. This was definitely one of the highlights of the conference.

kit.se
The gorgeous kit.se

I switched after this to the not-so-tech track to listen to Niklas Högefjord and Peter Elmered talk about WooCommerce. It wasn’t a very technical talk (nor was it meant to be!), but it was a good, solid talk about how best to customize WooCommerce and how to handle updates to WC and WP in general.

Magnus Jahrl then showed us how he had built a successful portal for Securitas on a very limited budget with a bunch of plugins and Olaf Lindström spoke after about Papi, a framework for adding different page types and metadata to WordPress. Papi looks really interesting, it’s beautifully written and is entirely aimed at developers. Advanced Custom Fields we all know and hate love, but there are so many issues with ACF: Translation, how ACF stores repeatable fields in the database, lack of a proper API etc so Papi looks, in that regard very, very promising. Our very own Robban has written a first impressions post about Papi on this very blog, go read it!

Finally Stanislav Khromov gave a talk about how they had used Varnish with edge side includes at Aftonbladet to make certain parts of a page dynamic, with the rest served by the Varnish cache. This was a really great talk with clear examples regarding how this can be implemented. Inspiring stuff. Varnish config seemed always a little daunting to me, but it’s really very logical and not at all weird.

There was also, as always, plenty of opportunity for making new contacts which always just seems so effortless at WordCamps. WordPress has a really awesome community.

Summary

WordCamp Norrköping was a hugely rewarding event with excellent speakers held in a fantastic location. The organisation was excellent and everything ran smoothly. The only problem was that the after party bar closed before we could spend all our tokens, although in hind sight that may have been a good thing…

A huge thanks to all the organisers and speakers. Until next year!