Written by Creative Strategy

What I learned at WordCamp Hampton Roads

I had a fantastic crowd of WordPress Multisite developers show up, and it was exciting to be able to share my talk a second time.

KyleBondo.com - What I learned at WordCamp Hampton Roads

It was time for round two! After cutting my teeth at my first WordCamp in Asheville, North Carolina, on July 26, 2015, it was now time to head down to Virginia Beach, Virginia for WordCamp Hampton Roads on October 17, 2015.

The WordPress enthusiasts in Hampton Roads put together their first WordCamp, and invited me to give a talk on WordPress Multisite monster patterns (i.e. what I was calling Monsters of WordPress at the time). I had a fantastic crowd of WordPress developers show up, and it was exciting to be able to share my talk a second time. It was even more exciting to come back to the town where I started my career in the US Navy, met my wife, and hosted my wedding! If you missed it, here are my presentation slides.

Of course, giving a talk at a WordCamp can be a big deal, especially if you’re new at it. I suggest everyone give it a try because it helps you to really, really (REALLY) learn the topic you hope to teach while allowing you a chance to hear from others interested in that topic. I think the questions and comments after my talk were just as important as the talk itself. You will be surprised at the kind of questions you get asked, especially the ones you never considered. And as an added bonus, after talk questions sometimes become new ideas for other blog posts and potentially new talks at future WordCamps!

The other great thing about going to any WordCamp is learning something new about WordPress (that you can also use). I often enjoy hearing about strategies for approaching particularly sticky WordPress problems, but I am always looking for those talks that present a new nugget of knowledge with regards to dealing with the “softer side” of WordPress consulting. I walked away from WordCamp Hampton Roads with these new thoughts:

Tracy Rotton introduced me to Sass (Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets) and why I don’t need to grind through my own CSS style development anymore. Someone went and created a fantastic CSS extension language that I can use with RWD (Responsive Web Design) principles. It takes a bit to get up-and-running with your own Sass preprocessor, but Tracy’s talk started my brain thinking about how I can make Sass work in-house.

After my own talk, I heard from fellow WordCamper’s interested in how WordPress Multisite can be used to improve Membership and Product sites. I had presented several WordPress Multisite patterns that work for certain projects, but the Membership pattern (i.e. clubs, associations, non-profits), and Product Support pattern (i.e. support FAQs, forums, blogs, how-tos) resonated with attendees the most. Turns out that the way WPMU can leverage compartmentalization via sub-domains appeals to those trying to separate content between specific audiences, especially when trying to protect content behind a paywall. Many WordCamper’s saw creating separate subsites for each audience to be a possible solution for their project.

Unfortunately, I didn’t go into many details about HOW you would build a monster pattern for a membership site, just that you COULD build one using WordPress Multisite as a tool. I received lots of positive feedback from just the concept but learned that WordCamp’s want more depth. It was only a few attendees that wanted to go more into depth, but it was enough to consider researching possible products that could meet these niche requests.

I enjoy one-day WordCamps in cities I’m familiar with. It makes for good mini-mullet vacations (i.e. WordPress party in the front, ocean beach in the back!).

Meanwhile, I would love to hear from you if you’ve used a monster pattern in your development efforts. Visit kylebondo.com to learn about other patterns I’ve discovered, or just stop by to tell me about your experience with WordPress Multisite Monsters!

If you need support in taming a WordPress Multisite monster project, please Contact Me!

Kyle Bondo: Monsters of WordPress

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Last modified: July 1, 2021