WordCamp SF 2014 was off the charts. With a $40 admission charge (sold out twice over), fully catered meals and all day lightning talks and sessions, it’s hard to beat!

Wordpress is now powering more than 20% of the internet, having started with the  simple mission to “democratize publishing”. It did not get there by sitting idly by. It is growing and changing (see stats below) in a multitude of directions. It’s time to start thinking about WordPress as a platform!

The Audience

The  audience at all WordPress events is always very diverse – across gender, age and skill type. Bloggers, designers, and coders alike all gathered to hear from an impressive array of speakers.

Lightning Talks and Sessions

For this go-round, I focused on the design side, as I never get tired of hearing about new ideas, and process in general. There were excellent talks on the (forever illusive) design process, typography and user experience, and working with personas.


Jeff Veen, VP of Product, Adobe :  “Momentum”
Jeff talked about his experience managing teams that ship code. He has great, and had a fresh approach and unconventional ideas for keeping folks motivated and collaborating. I’ll add a link to the source materials when it becomes available.

Jennifer Bourn, Principal at Bourn Creative:
Jennifer made it actually sound very feasible to work well with clients toward a successful outcome and gave some great tips for doing so. See her presentation on WordPress TV.

Luke Wroblewski: From the Front Lines of Multi-Device Web Design
Luke, renowned in web design circles, provided some excellent perspective on the whats and hows of responsive design today (hint: it’s not just about screen width, stupid). Catch him on WordPress TV

Sara Cannon, Creative Director at Range: Typography and User Experience
“Web design is over 95% typography”. Nuf said. See her slides here.

State of the Word Address – Matt Mullenweb

Apparently, this year had the largest turnout and Mission Bay Conference Center was beyond capacity. Sadly for the locals, he announced that this would be the last year for WordCamp SF. Next year, they will be holding a national “WordCamp US” event, similar to what they do in several countries now. Onward and upward!

Stats from the WP Survey

Dressed in his awesome finery (no sarcasm) Matt shared these stats, many from a survey given to users of all stripes in the community:

  • WordPress-as-CMS usage is down while it’s use as a platform for apps is growing
  • Non-English downloads surpassed English downloads for the first time this year.
  • 25% of survey respondents make their living from WordPress. There are 7,500+ people responsible for anywhere between 542K to 1.1 million websites.
  • 23% of the worlds websites are powered by WordPress
  • 6,458 new plugins were added & 684 new themes were approved. Whoa.
  • 16 mobile apps for android & iOS were added
  • 5 major WordPress releases since the last WordCamp (but we knew that!)

The WordPress of the Future

It’s not your grandma’s WordPress any longer. I knew that but was duly impressed at how firmly Matt and friends have their eyes on the roadmap for WordPress. The next release (4.1) is expected on December 10.

Highlights on 4.1 and Future Releases:

  • Internationalization
    WP will offer more languages, time zones, time formats and locales, available in places like plugin repository search results and support. See the first of this in version 4.1.
  • Seamless Updates
    Only 25% of sites are running on the latest WP version (4.0). This presents a security issue for those sites and for the servers they are hosted upon. Keeping current with new releases reduces security threats for both sites and their servers, so hosts are reaching out to the site running outdated versions. Ultimately, the vision is for WordPress to be like modern browsers with regard to updates – fewer, more incremental updates that are automatic and built-in. IMHO, this will take a lot of cooperation between core developers and plugin developers to keep it all on an even keel.
  • Pull Requests
    They are expecting to accept pull requests on Github before the end of the year.
  • Plugin Stats
    Better stats for plugins as this information is important for users and developers.
  • Open Source
    Matt renewed Auttomatic’s emphasis on donating 5% of company resources (14 employees) to WordPress Core. This will be further encouraged in the community. Pantheon, the platform for building WordPress, is expanding it’s reach in this area, looking to hire expressly for this purpose.
  • WordPress JSON REST API
    Currently available as a plugin, the official WordPress JSON REST API is slated to be part of the 4.1 release (due in Dec. 2014).
  • Accessibility
    making WordPress websites more inclusive to everyone including those with vision, hearing and motor challenges.

WordCamp Sessions @ WordPress. tv

It was an awesome weekend of sessions, lightning talks and networking. All were recorded and will eventually be available through WordPress.tv.

The Real Awesomeness

If you check WordPress.tv, you will see really great sessions by folks on everything WordPress from ALL OVER the world. It’s an incredible store of WordPress wisdom.

WordCamp SF 2014 was last modified: November 14th, 2014 by Mary A. Hayne

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