5 Reasons to attend the next WordCamp – A lesson learned at WCEU 2017

5 Reasons to attend the next WordCamp – A lesson learned at WCEU 2017

What is a WordCamp? How do people in the WordPress community look like? What’s the magic behind the people that power 28 percent of the Web? What is so exciting about meeting contributors from around the world and end up translating strings of a content management software that a lot of tech people consider messy and somehow outdated?

I’ve attended my first European WordCamp along with other 1.900 people traveling from 79 countries to answer these questions and to present WordLift to partners and friends.

Long time WordPress ninjas agree that the WordCamp Europe 2017 edition was by far one of the best (article by WP Tavern).

Attending a WordCamp is not just about reviewing themes and discussing core developments of the WordPress platform but it is really about looking closely at the enthusiasm of a thriving and highly competitive eco-system.  

Here is my short summary of the event and my five reasons to attend the next WordCamp:

  1. Accessibility and inclusivity matter. Enjoy it! If there is a single theme to describe WordPress’s core efforts nowadays this would be inclusivity. From presentation about the ongoing efforts to grow the platform, to marketing trends inside Automattic, everything is designed to be accessible to everyone, regardless of technical skills and language barriers. 
  2. Innovation as a side effect. Let’s catch up! WordPress easy-of-use remains the most important driver of adoption of WordPress. Never the less the community is there to show you that a lot of innovative and amazing work is still happening under the hood. We develop WordLift, our semantic SEO plugin, with a focus on digital marketing automation, so my attention was somehow biased by the presentation of Gutenberg (WordPress new web editor technology). Matt Mullenweg attended a casual Q&A session and showed us a demo of the editor that finally introduces true workflow capabilities on WordPress and can be already tested by downloading a plugin on WordPress.org. Now, while a good chunk of the presentations revolve around the industry, open source initiatives and testimonials, there is a great lot of innovation to catch up with (and this is, of course, a great sign)    
  3. Competition is fierce and many-sided. It’s time to find your next partner. By attending this type of events you can finally understand and see that behind the enthusiastic open source community spirit there is a billion dollars economy that fights like crazy to remain ahead of the curve and to create consistent business value. If you’re making a living using WordPress, if you have spent nights coding themes or plugins, a WordCamp really is an event to attend. It’s not just a venue where platform’s users and blogging newbies gather every now and then, this is the event that represents an entire industry!
  4. Great products are made by people, so go and meet them. Products are never finished. This is true for digital products and now it is also true for things that exist in the real world like cars and airplanes. Kevin Kelly talks about ‘becoming‘ as one of his twelve technological forces that shape our future. The basic idea is that perfection does no longer exist and you as a maker shall keep on adapting your product to change what you’re building and to respond to the audience. This also means that people, still play a pivotal role in these ecosystems. Their product adapts over time but their vision is what you, as a prosumer (or consumer) are really buying. A WordCamp is a terrific place where you can go and showcase like we did, your plugin to WordPress’s living rockstars like Joost de Valk from Yoast or Syed Balkhi from WPBeginners and Optin Monster.
  5. Give back, always. It’s good for your karma and good for your business. Whether you are cheering up a thought leader speaking on the front stage or you decide to roll up your sleeves and join for the Contributor Day a WordCamp is the place where you have your chance to move your energy and intentions in favor of others. I don’t want to sound too mystical but this really is the life blood of these experiences.

Here is a timeline from our Twitter account and below, two real gems I picked for you!

Now two contributions that really deserve your attention:

1. John Maeda head of Design and Inclusion at Automattic presenting the three types of design: classical design, business design, and computational design (as during his talk for the WordCamp John explains in this video that inclusivity is the secret weapon of every successful design team). 

2. Marina Pape – Marketing Wrangler at WooCommerce sharing her precious experience. Great stuff!

See you at the next WordCamp… in Rome 😉

Meet WordLift 3.10: our schema.org markup just got so much better!

Meet WordLift 3.10: our schema.org markup just got so much better!

If you are a web content writer, there is no need to remind you all the struggle you have to distribute your content. Maybe you spend hours – or even days! – of hard work writing awesome content, and when you finish your text with the last full stop, you know that your job has just begun. Now it’s time to fine-tune your content for SEO purposes, share it on several channels, monitor search keywords for your next article… We’d love you to focus only on writing: wouldn’t it be a real pleasure?

Adding semantic markup to your pages, blog posts, and articles, WordLift can help you distribute your content. How? To explain it, we need to do a few steps back: first of all, you need to know what schema.org is.

WHAT IS SCHEMA.ORG MARKUP

Schema.org is an initiative launched in 2011 by the world’s largest search engines (Bing, Google, and Yahoo!) to implement a shared vocabulary and adopt standard formats to structure data on web pages. Learn more about schema.org

The point you need to know is: schema.org markup helps machines understand your content, without fail or vagueness. 

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR TRAFFIC WITH SEMANTIC MARKUP

Google Search - Rich Snippet

The second position shows the results from the website Camminandocon.org which uses WordLift.

While crawling the web looking for some specific content to be served to users, search engines will unquestionably identify the context your articles belong to. Nowadays this is the most effective and affordable way to distribute your content to those who are looking for it through Search Engines.

The example on the left shows you the results of a search regarding the upcoming events at Borgo di Antuni, a small town in Italy. As you can see, the second result consists of a rich snippet which has 3 links in total (one article and two events) and allows you to skip directly to the next events. This happens because search engines detect in the website’s content the structured data which matches the user’s answer. It’s been proven that rich snippets increase the Click Trough Rate: so, more qualified traffic for you, here!

Intelligent Agents

Salzburgland.com uses WordLift to structure its content.

Moreover, you can explore new ways to disseminate your content based on chatbots, which can serve your just-baked articles to your readers depending on their interests.

In the image on the right side, you can see how Intelligent Agents such as Google Allo can answer your voice search questions with appropriate content if they are correctly structured.

To learn more, read this useful article about how to set-up your first chatbot.

LET’S DIVE INTO THE CODE

The good news is: while developing the release 3.10 of WordLift, we focused on making more accurate than ever our schema.org markup.

Now we can say – without fear of contradiction – that our Plugin offers you one of the most extended sets of markup to structure data on a WordPress website… without writing a single line of code!

We would like to greatly thanks the SEO specialist Jarno Van Driel whose support has been very valuable to these improvements and new features we plan to add to WordLift. If you don’t believe us, believe Jarno when he writes that WordLift 3.10 generates beautiful 5-star – schema.org powered – linked data graphs.

Here is a list of improvements on the markup that SEO specialists and geeks ? are going to appreciate:

  1. ARTICLE: we’ve added the markup schema.org:Article for each article/blog post, publishing it with the property Main Entity of Page {mainEntityOfPage} to help machines understand what is the main entity of your page. Simply put: we say to Google and to the other search engines that this web page is an article. To know more about this property, read this how-to by Jarno Van Driel.
  2. PUBLISHER: about each article, we also communicate the publisher information as structured data. The publisher can be an individual person with his/her proper name or an organization with a name and even a logo.
  3. ID: while in the previous releases of WordLift, we didn’t publish the Publisher ID, now we do! What is an ID, and why it is so important? For each entity, article, and publisher, we generate a permanent ID: a unique identifier which is fundamental in the context of 5 stars Linked Data because it allows the connection between data on the web. Each entity, article, and publisher can be connected to other data, hosted – for example – in WikiData, with the “same as” property and each of them can also be decoded with a JSON-LD data representation.
  4. RELATED ENTITIES: we used the meta tag “mentions” to say which entities are mentioned. In this way, you’ll have a hierarchy or entities where the main one defines the article itself and the other ones are recognized as mentioned on it.

? WordLift uses JSON-LD to inject schema.org markup in your web pages. Click here to see the magic: it’s a gif which shows you the data representation of this article with JSON-LD! ?

To play around with JSON-LD markup that WordLift created for this article head straight to the JSON-LD Playground.

In WordLift 3.10, there are also some other secondary updates and a few fixes you can see on WordLift’s changelog.

If you are using WordLift, update it now to the latest release. If not… why not? ?