WCEU Contributor Day Notes

At WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. Europe we did an exercise around the subgroups to brainstorm some marketing efforts for the future so projects could easily start moving forward.

With these four distinctions we asked people to choose which of these they were most interested in and break into subgroups. I asked each subgroup to come up with 2-3 problems or opportunities facing each group, and then brainstorm some of the tactical things which can be done to address them.

The purpose of framing opportunities and problems the first is so that we don’t get lost in tactical solutions like “a whitepaper” without being able to roll them back up to the bigger picture. Please note that the problems and opportunities which were brainstormed are not definitive nor exhaustive, and I fully expect them to be refined over time and/or changed/added. Same with the tactical items brainstormed; these are not a definitive roadmap and additional suggestions are always welcome. The volunteers who show up consistently to do the work will determine what projects to undertake.

From our four subgroups – please note that the notes are being posted in rough form directly from the groups; No further prioritization, grammar, spelling, or editing has been done 🙂

Marketing the WordPress community

Community Needs/Wants emerged and proposed contributions

1 – “empowering” team-communication material: supporting the teams in their communication efforts

  • onboarding tools for the different teams (deliverables: flyers, infographics, documentation, etc.)
  • repository of images/visual content to support communication (possibly localized/localizable)
  • structured content on how people can give back to the community to be used (localized?) to promote volunteer onboarding
  • infographics/visual content/video content to share work/stats of each team (“team onboarding”)
  • Media kits

2 – guidelines for better communication: helping the teams communicate better

  • templates and guidelines for promotional material
  • templates and guidelines for presentations (for meetups/etc.)
  • infographics/visual content/video content to better communicate the work of each team (“team branding”)
  • support in communicating procedures/rules/how-tos to new recruits
  • Presentation Kits

3 – raise awareness about Community work outside of the Community

  • PR material
  • press material
  • stats/infographics

Marketing WordPress to end users

Problems/opportunities: Reaching people with information where they can access it.

Tactical/practical solutions:

Better use of WordPress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/ blog:

  • Sharing events
  • Sharing vetted instructional tutorials
  • Sharing inspirational stories

Better use of Social Media channels:

  • Sharing blog posts, events, etc.
  • Sharing posts, blogs, etc. made by community
  • Sharing events, etc.


  • Reaching people who aren’t on social media so much
  • Pulling in from blog
  • Create a compact nutshell of most recent/helpful information to help you succeed on WordPress

Marketing WordPress to Agencies and Clients

Agencies are already convinced. We simply need to help them reach their clients better. This means providing them better marketing materials. For the few uncertain agencies, solid support materials for their clients will confirm their own decision.


  1. emotional appeal to clients
    • video with real people
    • case studies
  2. logical appeal to clients
    • simple PDF fact sheet with top ten reasons to choose WordPress
    • improving showcase
      • dangerously big project
  3. ensuring that agencies have adequate information: agencies can provide the emotional appeal
    • automatically generated list of top ten WordPress site by language/territory
      • some people would like to see this divided by genre (I don’t think it’s necessary: top ten is top ten)

Notes (not so important)

  • agencies don’t have enough information
  • bigger agencies have this information, smaller agencies
  • localised showcsae
  • bring showcase up to modern standards
  • an issue to send clients to case studies featuring other agencies (Jan Thiel, Germany)
    • Marina Pepe of Woocommerce agrees not possible to exclude agencies from case studies as integral
  • high production value image/emotional videos are expensive and labour intensive
    • also need to be localised: should not be America-centric
  • prepare cheat sheet | fact sheet – template
    • big sites which run successfully on WordPress
      • each country sample sites
        • Japan Times
        • 10 sites by country and by traffic, excluding porn

Fact Sheet Initial Notes for Top Ten Points

Here are some sample candidates for the top ten reasons to choose WordPress for your business website.

  • enterprise capable
  • self-managed content
  • (not) stable
  • cost-effective
  • not expensive to maintain
  • runs economically (hosting)
  • widely supported
  • friendly team behind
  • standard open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. technology
    • no lock-in
    • change hosting, change developer
  • security
  • flexible
  • SEO friendly

(John Blackbourn has News Corp notes for sale to crib from: promised to send)

Proposed Tactical Actions

  1. Fact sheet
    1. Translation into all languages
    2. Distribution (direct to each language WordPress.org)
  2. Automated list of top ten sites in each country.
    1. Add to Fact Sheet (page 2) as social proof
    2. Distribution (direct to each language WordPress.org)
  3. Prepare case studies.
    • add them to the WordPress blog as a categoryCategory The 'category' taxonomy lets you group posts / content together that share a common bond. Categories are pre-defined and broad ranging. (everyone loves a success story)
    • create a page with better sorting
    • make sure the countries are doing some of these as well (not all countries/markets can but those who can should with translation back to English for the better ones)
  4. Improve Showcase for each country (include all the known top ten sites to start and then go on from there)
    • improve design (Foliovision have both code and experience to help with this) to modern standards
    • tag sites effectively so clients can see sites which are relevant to their experience and/or agencies can gather the right sites to show to clients)

Marketing WordPress to developers

Marketing to developers

For new people come to WordPress, open source is a very abstract thing. What even is it? Without being on the front foot, strengths turn into weakness

Assumption that WordPress is automatically good for everyone.

If you are THIS kind of developer, if you’re not perhaps not for you.

Not grasping.

From a developer’s perspective, there are quite a few drawbacks. A few key ones:

– perception that WordPress refuses to advance in the technological area – encourage and celebrate innovation

– enforcing 5.2 PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. http://php.net/manual/en/intro-whatis.php., pulling people into the PHP legacy – allow repository plugins to be more flexible on PHP

– trying to cater for everyone

– adding admin interfaces, laravel

– not nimble / agile / easily perceived as ‘stuck in the past’ / retro

– if you’re an agency with clients, WordPress gives you peace of mind. Tried and tested. Don’t have to do as much yourself.

– WordPress APIAPI An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways. not stressed enough, tiny black box. Modular

Compared Drupal to WordPress (talk from wceu), backwards compatibility makes eh API very reliable.

5.2 limits this (e.g. long class names), gives WordPress a bit of a limp

Developers keen to push boundaries and really innovate, might not choose WordPress.

Where is the web moving now? Do people start with WordPress?

Work to encourage and celebrate innovation. Why do people become developers?

WordPress API – threat that people would move away from WordPress. Frees developers.


Effort to get developers on board with WordPress

– WordPress has the luxury to go where the work is

– at the moment, people demand WordPress, so there is money behind it

– the pitfalls: WordPress has limitations in the area of what can be done with evolving technology / scale

– depending on the need, would recommend different things


WordPress.org also about the ecosystem


A WordPress site can scale as well as its weakest pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party

Developers give clients boundaries within which to choose WordPress, the upper boundary is linked to scalability.

– too few examples

– bit of a mystery how it is pulled off

– white papers on scaling

– what is the roadmap for massive sites?

– “When we grow big we will leave WordPress”

– When you get really successful we’ll have to let you go


WordPress is this open web free thing, contradiction

– free plugins in the repository, bit of guilt around when you start charging

– give back give back, when do you need to make money

– little bit less hippy

– clear boundaries, need to be transparent

– half the plugins in the WordPress repository are crap, needs a clean up

– ship crippled products, bullshit on their own, stricter around this. Report ‘crippled products’

– free repository is not for marketing

– needs to ‘work great without paying’

– frustration around how to make money off WordPress

– bait and switch, teasers

– WordPress has a bad image there, turns people off

– Seeing opportunity in customisation done for clients, turning customisations for clients into shippable products

– lack of understanding, do some edu around this. How to make money of WordPress as a developer (guilt-free)


At the moment, WordPress is where the money is. Client approach develops asking for it: but what is the future? What will ensure developers continue recommending, enjoying and making money from WordPress?

We want to equip developers to know: ‘when WordPress’ and address some of the bumps in the road they experience.

  1. There exists a perception that WordPress perhaps isn’t advancing in the technological area (PHP 5.2 / backwards compatibility). > Build a story around innovation with WordPress, show what people are doing with the API. Address PHP issue somehow.
  1. “A WordPress site can scale as well as its weakest plugin” – developers give clients boundaries within which to choose WordPress, the upper boundary is often linked to scalability. “When we grow big we will leave WordPress”. > Develop some content to convince developers (and their clients) that WordPress can do the distance.
  1. We discussed that there is a bit of a tension around making money off WordPress, in terms of contributing to the repository. GPLGPL GPL is an acronym for GNU Public License. It is the standard license WordPress uses for Open Source licensing https://wordpress.org/about/license/. The GPL is a ‘copyleft’ license https://www.gnu.org/licenses/copyleft.en.html. This means that derivative work can only be distributed under the same license terms. This is in distinction to permissive free software licenses, of which the BSD license and the MIT License are widely used examples. / open source and making money off WordPress. leads to ‘crippled plugins’, dodgy freemium. Help developers with this, guidelines, seeing opportunity in customisation done for clients being made into plugins. > Create a guideline on plugin business model. Building a business on WordPress.

How? Create content on the WordPress.org blog as well as dialogue in the community and a ‘push’ at WordCamps, that speak to this.


  1. There exists a perception that WordPress perhaps isn’t advancing in the technological area (PHP 5.2 / backwards compatibility). > Build a story around innovation with WordPress, show what people are doing with the API. Address PHP issue somehow. Perception that WP isn’t cutting edge, some things in classes some not. HooksHooks In WordPress theme and development, hooks are functions that can be applied to an action or a Filter in WordPress. Actions are functions performed when a certain event occurs in WordPress. Filters allow you to modify certain functions. Arguments used to hook both filters and actions look the same. and filters are quite unique to WP.

Perception: WordPress isn’t structured for innovation (not cutting edge): namely PHP issue.

  • Help plugin developers understand what the lay of the land is


  • Benefits of backwards compatibility
  • Access to the biggest market possible
  • You can add laravel
  • Stick with WP for content driven sites
  • Admin of WP is really good UXUX UX is an acronym for User Experience - the way the user uses the UI. Think ‘what they are doing’ and less about how they do it.
  • As a developer you give your client the best CMS in the world, easy and structured
  • Great plugins


What are our ‘competitors’ doing?






  • Who is managing https://developer.wordpress.org/?
  • Build up this page, include education and cheat sheet (how to pitch)
  • Needs to cater to experienced developers, n0obs, those looking in
  • Link to it more prominently from .org homepage
  • I.e. Why WordPress?
  • Include a search function

Some reasonably comfortable with IT, turnaround time, have control, don’t have to wait on someone else. Time-rich, strongly motivated to finish it

https://wordpress.org/news/ – what is happening here?

  • Seems quite ironic that we aren’t using our own blog, what is the plan?
  • Could we create something that was guest posts from experts?
  • News / magazine?
  • How do we turn wordpress.org into more of a marketing arena
  • What are we doing for new developers?
  • What is beyond controversy?
  • What can ONLY WordPress.org talk about
  • Window into the world of WP.org
  • soft roadmap
  • stories about the community
  • talking to people not at them
  • Release notes

.org site redesign: not just about the CMS, it’s about the people

Agencies spend a lot of time debunking myths and allaying fears about WP

False negative myths:

  • It’s insecure
  • It’s slow (one oversimplified bucket for many performance issues)
  • It is not for big complex sites (mileage may vary)

False positive myths

  • You can do big things, cheaply well, on WordPress
  • Everything is quick to build with WordPress (complexity always takes time)
  • Everything is for free

If you think an expert is expensive wait until you try an amateur