Sponsor: Reason Digital
When you grow up with computers and the web you grow up believing that things can always be made better – that you can change things.
And that’s what Reason Digital is really all about.
We’re social enterprise that makes the web make a difference. We only work on projects that do social good.
Right now, we’re saving sex workers’ lives with a Comic Relief-funded smartphone app. We’re boosting charities’ incomes by transforming the way the British public gives goods to charities, with Cancer Research UK and The British Heart Foundation. We’re helping to connect people with food banks, with the Trussell Trust. And we can say that we did our bit towards helping Alzheimer’s Research UK on their quest to find a cure for dementia.
It’s all for good. And that’s a brilliant thing to be able to put your skills towards.
So WordCamp Manchester? Why are we sponsoring it?
Well, WordPress, to us, is a liberator.
We often work with small-to-midsize charities that are locked into a proprietary CMS, created by well-intentioned, but under-resourced web dev agencies, or freelancers.
We use WordPress to give them the control of their site back, and the freedom to work with whoever they want without ongoing licensing fees. Be that us, another agency, or a volunteer. That said, part of the power of WordPress, since v3, is its ability to be used as a framework for bigger projects. We’ve launched larger charity sites now – you can read more about some of the charity websites we’ve worked on, to get an idea of what we do.
We’ve had the privilege of being able to lend a hand to some inspiring people that are working to change the world. And we’ve used WordPress to help them do it.
Oh, and by the way, we’re always looking for talented WordPress folk at Reason Digital. Especially people with PHP skills. So if you’d like to get paid to help us make the world a better place, instead of making some rich guys slightly richer, then get in touch with us at: http://www.reasondigital.com/get-in-touch. We’re based in Manchester, UK, and, as well as being a great bunch of people, we also have an ice cream machine and an office balcony. Just in case you were wondering.
Sponsor: WP Engine
WP Engine Is Pumped For WordCamp Manchester
WordPress’ global reach is undeniable. Here at WP Engine, we serve customers around the globe with our managed WordPress hosting platform—we’re currently in more than 120 countries!
Earlier this year, we officially opened our London office to better serve our growing number of customers throughout EMEA, where WordPress is arming more and more businesses with the ability to publish great content and share their voice with the world. Manchester specifically has grown into a bustling tech hub, so we expect WordCamp Manchester to be well-attended and chock full of exciting and enriching content.
As part of our commitment to being a truly global company, we sponsor and support WordPress and technology events around the world. When the opportunity arose to sponsor WordCamp Manchester, it was a natural fit. We’re excited to get to know WordPressers in all corners of the world, and sponsoring WordCamps like Manchester help us stay connected and in tune with the thriving WordPress community.
Events like WordCamp Manchester let companies such as WP Engine share our WordPress expertise, but they also give us the opportunity to listen and learn through to the wisdom of others. Everyone who attends WordCamps brings unique experience and perspective, and collecting all of that knowledge in a single place where people can share, learn, and grow is incredibly powerful. WordPress doesn’t succeed in a vacuum; it’s important to work alongside and collaborate with others in the community to make the platform better, stronger, and more useful.
One reason we love WordPress is for its ability to flatten the globe. It gives businesses the ability to be truly global and breaks down geographic boundaries. And it fuels the democratisation of publishing. WordPress is a powerful tool that gives a voice to anyone who wants one.
WordPress is truly a platform for everyone. It’s easy to master for individual bloggers to build a career on the web, and it’s robust and secure, so it’s trusted by many of the world’s largest enterprises. It sits squarely at the intersection of simplicity and power, which is likely one of the key contributors to WordPress wearing the crown as the world’s most widely used CMS, a market WordPress leads by a wide margin.
At WP Engine, our goal is to make WordPress a powerful tool for businesses of all size. We strive to eliminate the complexity of the web and empower our customers to leverage WordPress to build, grow, and succeed in their businesses. WP Engine’s managed WordPress platform was designed from the ground up to deliver amazing digital experiences on WordPress. We built it to deliver blazingly fast speed, massive scalability, and air-tight security out of the box, and we fortify it with expert, 24/7 support powered by more than 100 WordPress specialists. Our platform is easy to use and offers a suite of development tools that give developers the power to create and deploy awesome WordPress sites. It’s why a number of the world’s largest, most recognisable brands trust WP Engine with their WordPress sites and applications.
WP Engine will be onsite throughout the weekend of WordCamp Manchester. Got a question about our how WP Engine GeoIP can help your site reach a more targeted global audience? WP Engine’s Edmund Turbin is available to answer any and all of your GeoIP questions, and much more. Want to know if WP Engine is the right fit for your business? Find WP Engine’s Jack Clarkson—he’ll help you understand the value of WP Engine and how we can help your business succeed.
We’re extremely excited to sponsor and attend WordCamp Manchester. We can’t wait to hear more about WordPress’ future and to share our vision for WordPress. WordCamp is all about learning, discussing, and digesting all things WordPress. We look forward to seeing you at WordCamp Manchester.
Sponsor: Make Do
Make Do (http://makedo.in)
Make Do are a UK-based Creative WordPress Design & Development Agency that have been building for the web since the 90’s. Our team take great pride in what we do and guarantee that you’ll get on great with us if you need an advanced WordPress solution.
We use WordPress to deliver projects of any size or scope. Our team of engineers and designers specialise in modern WordPress development and love playing with all the interesting tools that go with it like Vagrant, NPM, Bower, Composer, Sass, Git and the REST API.
We also work hard to make awesome open-source Tools & Products such as our Kapow! boilerplate (https://github.com/mkdo/kapow-skeleton) the AspireCPD system (http://aspirecpd.org/) and Posim (http://posium.io/) a flexible WordPress theme designed for people who run meetups, conferences and events of any size.
We love WordCamps
This is the second time we have sponsored WordCamp Manchester and over the past 12 months we have supported WordCamp London, Birmingham and Europe while also running our own monthly meetup in Sheffield (http://wpsheffield.com) which recently had its 5th birthday.
WordCamps are important to the Make Do team because without them we would never have started the Make Do agency. Our co-founder Kimb Jones spoke at his first WordCamp in 2009 in Cardiff and was lucky enough to have both Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little attending and speaking. This watershed event inspired him to build WonderThemes, a WordPress theme marketplace which unfortunately closed in 2011 but led to Make Do. Initially an events and training company Make Do evolved into a full-stack WordPress specialised development agency in 2012 after joining forces with Matt Watson, a long time friend and back-end developer with experience in NHS and Local Government organisations.
Since then Make Do have been lucky enough to work with big-name clients like Stephen Fry and Oxford University while also partnering with a number of world renowned design, marketing and digital agencies to provide them with awesome WordPress solutions for their customers.
We’re growing so you can too
Make Do are a remote team and we’re looking for new members of staff to join us from anywhere around the world. If you think you have the right blend of can-do-attitude and a deep love for WordPress and the web then get in touch direct via: email@example.com or find Matt, Kimb or Dave at the event.
We’re currently looking for team members with skills in PHP/WordPress and front-end/CSS/JS. Experience working remotely via Slack, Trello and Skype is a must.
Personal growth and education are important to Make Do and all members of the team are encouraged to take time out of client work to grow their skill set. So it doesn’t matter if you’re a Junior or Senior developer we’ll consider all applications.
Sponsor: Heart Internet
The WordPress community really sets WordPress apart from other platforms. Having such an extensive network of amateur and professional experts means that if you have a question, there’s always someone available to answer it.
A community driven CMS
Events such as WordCamp are integral in ensuring that the WordPress community continues to grow, and promotes discussion and the sharing of ideas within the community, helping to ensure the platform continues to evolve and maintain its place at the forefront of content management and website creation.
We like to encourage our customers to take advantage of the wide range of community support and resources available through WordPress as this is a great way for our customers’ knowledge and websites to develop and evolve.
At Heart Internet, there’s nothing we love more than a tool that is built with simplicity in mind, a tool that does the job it’s designed to do, and that comes packed with features and extras that provide that extra level of gloss on top of what’s already an excellent product. For us, WordPress ticks all those boxes and more.
We love WordPress so much that it comes as a standard one click install on our hosting packages. We also include JetPack, BuddyPress and bbPress with our WordPress installations, and we love to see the blogs, forums and other creations our customers can come up with.
WordPress is the perfect platform to allow creativity when building a website. It seems that any feasible idea has a whole cast of add-ons, themes and plugins which help to make your idea a reality.
It’s this level of customisation that really makes WordPress the best platform to offer to our customers. Building WordPress on top of our powerful hosting platforms allows beginners and experts alike to build and manage their website in exactly the way they want to.
WordPress powers our customers (and our blog)
We love WordPress and so do our customers. Not only do a huge percentage of our customer base use WordPress to create and manage their websites, but we also run our own blog through it.
WordPress’ simplicity allowed us to combine their solid CMS and our own design to create and run the Heart Internet blog (https://www.heartinternet.uk/blog/), which not only looks great but allows us to post blogs and interact with our visitors.
We regularly feature handy WordPress plugins to help manage your SEO or some of our favourite WordPress themes on the blog, and we can tell from the views we receive that our readers love it too.
At Heart Internet, we’re dedicated to providing the best of the best to our customers and resellers, and WordPress integration is a huge part of ensuring that our hosting packages are the best they can be, and as such we’re committed to giving back to the WordPress community and helping them to continue their evolution and to keep setting such high standards.
Why we are sponsoring WordCamp
Sponsoring events like WordCamp is a great benefit to a company like ours. Encouraging discussions and developments of the WordPress platform will only serve to improve our products and the services we can offer.
At events such as these, even a simple line from a speech or a conversation over coffee can spark an idea which will be the building block to a key new feature or an interesting new plugin that can further improve a platform that has become synonymous with website hosting and CMS. To play a part in making these new ideas happen is hugely important and will ensure that both Heart Internet and WordPress continue pushing the envelope of website creation and hosting.
Sponsor: Elementary Digital
Who We Are
Elementary Digital is a Leeds and London based digital agency with a focus on WordPress solutions. Infact, we would describe ourselves as a dedicated WordPress agency and we’re pretty obsessed with building, developing and innovating in the platform.
Elementary Digital was formed in 2012 with a remit to follow a new way of working. Not only picking a platform to specialise in rather than being a jack of all trades and master of none, but also in pushing the idea of a location agnostic model for employees. Give us an Internet connection, a nice chair and a pot of coffee and we’re good to go anywhere!
This allows us to be flexible in how, when and where we work. Sure we still need to answer the phone 9-5, but if a developer gets on to a roll in pursuit of fixing a particularly difficult issue they can keep going and have a lie-in as a reward the next day. Cutting the commute out and letting our staff work in familiar environments has done wonders for stress, motivation & productivity. We maintain presence with our clients via regular stand ups – again we just need a decent Internet connection and a suitable space and we can connect via Skype.
We keep a cohesive team feel with weekly meetings and ad-hoc nights out, usually centred around good food and good beer!
Why We Chose WordPress
After a lifetime of stress dealing with homebrew CMSs of varying abilities it was time for a change. Even the better ones tend to resemble a Frankenstein’s monster of code as feature creep over the years takes its toll. Clients will keep wanting to add just one more feature to a system that is often not designed to be particularly extensive.
Then there’s the ‘passability’ of the site – with a system like WordPress we can (and often do) pick up someone else’s project and deliver it to completion. There’s a major time overhead when trying to do that with a custom system. This type of CMS can often resemble an attempt to lock someone in with the original agency. Not always, of course, but often enough.
We also love the flexibility of WordPress. Often derided as being a platform ‘just for bloggers’ we know that infact some of the world’s most popular sites are either running WordPress or integrating it as part of a wider solution. We understand that this is down to the perceived ease of the platform, but it’s not like that puts any of us out of business. It’s great for beginners to jump into and half an hour later they have a website! But we chose it because it’s powerful enough to go far beyond that.
WordCamp Manchester 2015
For us, sponsoring WordCamp Manchester 2015 is about finding a way to contribute to the community of a system that was a revelation to us when we found it and it’s part of our duty as a dedicated WordPress agency.
We believe that by being a part of fostering the community we all gain. We want to contribute what we know; our experiences, our techniques. There’s no point in trying to hoard all the knowledge – new ideas can be born in isolation, it’s true, but the best results come from a group of fired up peers bouncing ideas off each other. It sounds like an awful piece of business-speak, but it’s true, the group dynamic often creates something more. As a forward-thinking agency we want to be part of that.
It’s also about learning for ourselves. Between us we’ve years of experience in WordPress, but we never claim to know it all. We want to keep learning and growing. Keep going or be left behind!
So that’s why we’ve decided to sponsor Wordcamp 2015. We can’t wait to get involved, watch the talks and get to meet you all!
Manchester Digital Laboratory (MadLab) is a grassroots innovation organisation, based in Manchester UK. Our primary areas of focus are science and technology; arts and culture.
We support a diverse range of communities and activities – from monthly meetups and courses through to public experimentation with new & emerging technologies, and collaborating with others to deliver new, interesting and exciting projects.