Jesse Cheng came to WordCamp Kansas City last time I spoke there as a complete neophyte with no WordPress experience. He came up this past weekend to show me what he had built since we last met: a website for his fantasy hockey league. This ability to make something yourself is one of the cool things about WordPress. The fact that you can go back to WordCamp later and share what you made with your fellow campers is another of the cool things.
I presented a couple of sessions at WCKC this year and will be sharing them with you here. In the meantime, here are 10 things I learned at WordCamp Kansas City 2014:
- From Pippin Williamson I learned that if you know how to put some functionality into a theme, you can put it into a plugin.
- Also from Pippin:
- From Mike Stowe I learned that creating a plugin allows you to modify the code without altering the core code — thus, you can update WP without fear of breaking your theme. Changing your site with a custom plugin is therefore safer than adding a couple of lines of code to the editor.
- From Michael Calvert I learned that the Disqus WordPress plugin automatically styles itself to match your site, based on your CSS.
- It was also from Michael Calvert that I learned that in a survey of 15,000 people (possibly a bit skewed toward techies and gamers), social situations turned up as the #1 most frightening thing ever. Mike is trying to figure out a way to build these terrors into his new video game.
- From Jim Grant I learned that you can indeed do a WordPress install in five minutes, live, in front of an audience.
- From Jeremy Green I learned that people often keep themselves to themselves at WordCamps. I’m glad we’re involved with friendly WordCamps.
- From Mark Benzakein I learned that using an old browser to upgrade a site can cause it to break.
- From Sam Sidler I learned that everyone can — and perhaps should — contribute to WordPress. If you know anything at all about WordPress, you’ll find a question you can answer in the support forums.
- From Sam I also learned that WordPress is the platform used for 22% of all the domains in the world, and WordPress.com just counts as one.
Have you been to WordCamp yet this year? Share what you learned in the comments!