Many of the Three29 staff made it out to WordCamp 2016 this year, and two of us gave talks! We had the pleasure of gaining wisdom from many incredible speakers like blogger and WordPress authority Chris Lema and relative new-comer and developer Austin Gil.
WordCamp is a conference held across the world where WordPress users and enthusiasts gather to learn and talk about the platform. All of the talks are recorded by volunteers and posted on WordPress.tv.
The event was hosted at Sacramento State University, our founder Kevin’s alma mater. We arrived early on Saturday morning, grabbed some of the coffee provided, and visited the sponsors, gathering trinkets like notebooks, pens, stickers, and even a light-up yo-yo (thanks, The Art Institute of California – Sacramento).
Our own UX/IX Designer Cristina Robinson spoke on the dos and don’ts of entering content.
We don’t think much of populating content, we think of it as a quick copy-and-paste process. But it’s a little more complex than that, word processors are just that, processors of words. So they carry over unnecessary formatting, and sometimes, that can break a site. Her talk, distilled:
- Don’t use a word processor to create your content.
- Try tools outlined in her article to strip the formatting in already created content.
- Take preventative measures like educating your client and adding a content-stripping plug-in.
Cristina’s talk is well worth exploring, entering content can cause unnecessary complications if not done properly.
Read the slides here.
On Sunday afternoon, we returned to see our founder Kevin Howe give his talk Freelance to Agency: The Peaks and Pitfalls of Growth. Kevin talked about starting Three29 in 2010, building up from working out of his house, to working with a team of 14 members in a beautiful office space. His talk, condensed:
- Remember your mistakes and don’t repeat them.
- Have a support network: Kevin has his wife as his sounding board, his CPA to save him money, and his business coach to guide him.
- Understand that as you transition from freelance to agency, your role will evolve and you’ll have to delegate some work.
- In regards to hiring, do it slowly and prioritize cultural fit. In regards to firing, do it quickly and respectfully.
- Learn the difference between working in and on your business. Working in your business means producing the product and working on your business means cultivating those relationships you need to expand and maintain your business.
Kevin’s talk explores what is often hard to talk about in business, the realities of owning a digital business with a human team.
Some of the other notable nuggets that we picked up on and we’ll be thinking about:
- Projects don’t fail at the end, they fail at the beginning. (James Hipkin)
- Web performance influences user experience, SEO, and conversion rates. (Austin Gil)
- People are more than just pageviews, they’re people. (Chris Lema)
- Always send follow-up emails! (Kevin Howe)
- Copy and pasting content directly onto your site from a word processor, like Microsoft Word, can break your site. (Cristina Robinson)
We’re looking forward to using the information we learned this year!