Continuing your education and staying on top of industry updates is essential to long-term success in any field. To keep our development team sharp and familiar with the latest WordPress updates, we flew a few members of our team down to Nashville, Tennessee for WordCamp 2017.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, WordCamp is a conference that’s dedicated to the community of developers, contributors, and users of the WordPress Platform. For an entire weekend, professionals from around the globe come together to share their latest tips, news and attend events covering every aspect of web development.
Last week a few VIG team members packed their bags and explored the best WordCamp 2017 had to offer. Our team attended seminars and workshops to learn about the latest best practices for web development. Everything from keeping our client’s websites protected, to ensuring each page is user-friendly, to ensure your site is compliant with the latest standards was covered.
Our team also received a first-hand look at some of the major changes coming to the WordPress platform and learned about some of the latest features that will help our clients running on WordPress.
To give you a high-level recap and let you know of all the ways WordPress is improving their platform to deliver you the best experience possible, we’ve put our notes together to give you a complete guide. Enjoy!
Website accessibility and how users interact with content was one of the main topics discussed throughout WordCamp 2017. During both days of the conference, several workshops were held regarding different tools and methodologies for making both websites and content accessible for all users. Sessions covered everything from user navigation, color contrasts on pages, and even methods for reaching multilingual audiences.
One of the most significant changes professionals discussed is the upcoming Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) requirement. In 2018 all websites will be required to adhere to WCAG level 2 guidelines. This means that certain components of your website such as meta descriptions, title tags, and audio/visual features must be optimized to meet the accessibility needs of different users.
Our team learned about different facets of this mandate and how to improve the user-experience and content of our client’s websites in the future. As a whole, this is one of the most significant web development updates to arise in 2017.
Tools, Plugins, and New Features
One of the main benefits of working on the WordPress platform is the abundance of various tools and plugins developers can use to improve their sites. During several of the sessions, professionals discussed different upcoming and cutting-edge tools that are available to improve performance, accessibility, and security for multiple users.
Accessibility Testing Tools
One of the most challenging facets of accessibility is understanding how your website’s content will be portrayed to different audiences. Whether you’re trying to optimize your website for screen readers or make navigation easy-to-use, there are several tools available for developers to test their sites.
During different sessions, speakers reviewed everything from implementing different testing procedures prior to launch, to free open-source programs. They also reviewed different tools that run automated tests and determine what areas need to be improved on your website. Since the WCAG mandate is fast approaching, the WordPress community is coming together to discuss different tools we can use to make sites accessible to our users.
Managing a large brand with hundreds of multi-sites is a challenge for any developer. This year, speakers from large universities shared their thoughts on how to go about managing a large number of sites and a growing number of users. They also shared their favorite tools & plugins they use.
From a multi-site standpoint, there are several plugins developers can use to set up a basic website with several other websites managed from an admin domain. Whether you’re a manufacturing company with brands for different product lines or a parent company managing several subsidiaries, there are plugins that can allow you to manage each website’s content from one centralized location.
To keep site content secure and available to the right employees, the WordPress platform allows administrators to manage the permissions of each employee/user. In relation to multi-sites, this allows large brands (such as universities) to tightly monitor who is updating their site, where the updates are uploaded, and how the content affects the website overall.
Over the years we’ve built several different web applications for our clients. From performance analysis tools for sales teams to intricate learning management systems, we’ve used a number of different tools to help our developers save time and resources.
The Future of WordPress
Easier to Use Dashboard
Currently, about 29% of websites around the globe use some variation of the WordPress CMS. Websites ranging from full e-commerce storefronts to basic landing pages rely on the WordPress team to ensure features are easy to use and working properly.
In an effort to make WordPress easier to use for beginners and experts alike, the WP team will be making changes to the user dashboard. These changes will allow administrators to manage the content, layout, and features of their website more effectively. This includes giving users the ability to set up their own navigation panels, customize the layout of their pages, and organize the dashboard based on their unique needs.
Easy to Add Content
With the Gutenberg update coming in the near future, website admins will be able to easily drag and drop rich content to their website. Now developers and set up full website or even themes allow clients to make adjustments easily without the need
The WordPress team is dedicated to helping both developers and website visitors around the world. From online courses at WordPress University to WordCamp conferences featuring the latest industry updates, WordPress Continues to be a leader in the industry.
The team at VIG couldn’t have been happier to attend this year’s WordCamp conference. We enjoyed the workshops, speakers, and sharing our ideas with the dedicated WordPress community. The sessions were insightful, the city of Nashville was beautiful, and the community of developers was like no other.
For the latest in web development strategy, implementation, and innovation Think VIG!