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WordCamp Manchester 2015 – That’s a Wrap!

The final call has been had, invoices have been submitted and the organisers have just about caught up on sleep. As such, thank you so much to everybody who made WordCamp Manchester a great success!

So this blog post is a huge thank you to everybody who attended, sponsored, or spoke at WordCamp Manchester, as well as highlighting some of the feedback.

Speaker Slides/Blog Posts

Blog Post Roundups

If you have a round up/slides, that we haven’t linked here, please let me know so I can add them!

Thanks again for everybody who made it a success! We’re currently in the process of sending out surveys, and finishing the last things off.

See you in 2016!

Thanks to our Sponsor Bytemark

Bytemark <3 WordPress

Package: Bronze

We love helping make great ideas a reality. We also love free & open source software.

WordPress empowers people across the world to share their ideas. Around 75 million WordPress sites exist (almost 20% of _all_ websites).

That’s why Bytemark is supporting the WordPress community and specifically, WordCamp Manchester.Successful WordPress sites have rock-solid hosting. That’s where we can also play a part. Bytemark’s reliable UK hosting is part of WordPress’s success story, with thousands of WordPress sites already benefiting from what we do.

We also know that setting up and looking after WordPress can be a challenge. That’s why we created Bytemark Symbiosis: a system that takes away the pain of administering servers.

Symbiosis is built on top of reliable Debian and simply unlocks the power of Linux for developers. Now, creating websites & email is as simple as creating folders on your desktop — all while working in sync with Debian and avoiding the opaque wall of control panels.

Symbiosis is free & open source software. It works perfectly on any Debian server and is pre-built on Bytemark’s Cloud hosting (BigV).

With two UK zones, SSD-powered servers as standard and a documented API, Bytemark’s Cloud is the natural choice for WordPress developers who want reliable UK hosting with the reassurance of 24/7 phone support.

WordPress is a fantastic, world-changing — and world-leading — project. Bytemark are proud to support WordCamp Manchester and delighted to support WordPress with reliable UK hosting.

Thanks to our Sponsor WP Velocity

Package: Silver

Website: https://wpvelocity.com

What is WP Velocity?

Refreshingly different!

We are community, educational and support resource, and hosting platform for entrepreneurs using self hosted WordPress.org  to run their business.

We accelerate your WordPress journey through Live Clinics, Workshops, Coaching, Seminars and more.

You can join us for free, anytime – as a WP user or a WP Velocity Hero.

 

Who is WP Velocity?

Mike Little co-founded WordPress with Matt Mullenweg in 2003 and has worked with WordPress ever since. When he’s not working with WordPress you’ll find him having fun with WordPress. Cut him in half and you’ll read WordPress through him like a stick of rock!

Saz Bailey is an holistic entrepreneur coach, connecting passion with success. She works with entrepreneurs to uncover their personal value, create their own products, services and marketing messages, then to design a smart business model using the internet to create the income and lifestyle they truly desire.

WP Velocity Hero’s are passionate advocates of WordPress. For some it’s an obsession of a hobby, for others it’s their primary business. All actively seek opportunity to deepen their knowledge, skills and experience. All are mentored by Mike. WP Velocity enjoy their keen support at our clinics and within the community we are nurturing. You’ll likely meet a few Hero’s a WordCamp!

WP Velocity User Community are passionate business owners who want to be in control of their web marketing asset without getting too technical. We are building an open and supportive community, in common with WordPress ethos and values. Again, ask around at WordCamp – you’ll probably friend a member or two.

 

Why WP Velocity?

The awesome beauty of WordPress is that it is empowering, accessible to all and totally customisable. That in itself creates a problem for non-technical users. Whether you intend to manage yourself, or delegate or outsource, you need a level of personal competency to create, maintain and maximise the potential of any website. We aim to give you that.

WP Velocity started as a germ of an idea through conversation between Mike and Saz in the summer of 2009 when, as a marketing expert excited to use WordPress, Saz was struggling with it to the extent that it was a barrier to her progress. She needed a solution so hunted Mike down.

Mike is an open source fanatic for the freedoms it offers to all. WordPress had become the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, yet he was finding it increasingly difficult to help internet self starters on limited budgets. The very people WordPress should be empowering. He was also disappointed by the quality of training and coaching he could see people investing their hard earned money in. He saw a lack of trusted authorities in the field of WordPress.

Mike and Saz now run Manchester WordPress User Group (MWUG) – a free monthly community Meetup. It serves a group of diverse and talented users from site creation, design, software development and 3rd party integration to SEO and internet marketing. There’s a massive amount of shared learning and the open clinics create a buzz as people enjoy support, collaboration and real time breakthroughs on their projects.  But it’s limited.

WP Velocity was born of the wants and needs of the MWUG and wider WordPress community. Both users and developers. In true open source style we believe that; connected we are exponentially more. We bring people together to share learning, knowledge and expertise. Our Hero’s and the rest of our community collaborate to find you answers and coach you through your projects to keep you moving.

We’re looking forward to meeting you at WordCamp and hearing all about you and the dreams you have for your own WordPress project.

 

Thanks to our Sponsor NetWeaver

Package: Silver

www.netweaver.uk

twitter/instagram : @netweaveruk

NetWeaver is an independent web hosting company based in Lancashire, we offer a hosting package for individuals, clubs and small businesses offering everything they need for an online presence in one package.  As part of this we recommend WordPress to power their website, and encourage them to auto-install at setup time.  We optimise our servers and network for WordPress, with in-house developed caching systems and optional CloudFlare integration to ensure your WordPress site remains both fast and secure.  By keeping your site closer to your customers, it will ensure they have the fastest and most reliable experience possible.

NetWeaver is a small team of 3, who are dedicated, caring and highly knowledgeable.  We look forward to meeting as many people as possible at WordCamp – if you spot us, please say hello – we’ll probably be in a corner somewhere trying to avoid eye-contact.

 

Why WordPress is awesome

WordPress powers our website, and almost a third of our customer sites too – the amazing range of plugins, themes and community support make it a wonderful piece of software to use for both beginners and experts alike.

 

Why we sponsored WordCamp

We’ve been offering free WordPress support to our customers for over a year now, and wanted to become more involved with the WordPress community and WordCamp seemed like the perfect opportunity.  We’re quite a shy bunch, so it’s nice to be able to take part in WordCamp where we will be able to meet fellow enthusiasts, talk geek and drink cocktails at the social.

Thanks to our sponsor Reason Digital

Sponsor: Reason Digital

Package: Gold

 

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.

Website: http://reasondigital.com/

 

Thanks to our sponsor WP Engine

Sponsor: WP Engine

Package: Silver

 

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.

Fabio Torlini

EMEA MD

WP Engine

Thanks to our Sponsor Make Do

Sponsor: Make Do

Package: Gold

 

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: hello@makedo.in 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.

 

Thanks to our Sponsor Heart Internet!

heartInternetLogoCMYK - small

Sponsor: Heart Internet

Package: Bronze

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.

Beautiful simplicity

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.

Enabling creativity

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.

Thanks to our Gold Sponsor Elementary Digital

ed-nexa black logo

Sponsor: Elementary Digital

Package: Gold

Website: http://www.elementarydigital.co.uk 

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!

Website: http://www.elementarydigital.co.uk