What We Learned at WordSesh EMEA 2019

WordSesh EMEA outer space logo

Hello friends! Brian Richards here, creator of WPSessions. I recently had the pleasure of hosting WordSesh EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) and I would like to take a few moments today to share with you some of the things I personally learned from each presenter this year.

What’s WordSesh?

WordSesh is a live, 100% virtual conference for WordPress professionals. The entire event is highly curated to provide attendees with the absolute best possible experience. Every presenter is hand-picked and each topic is selected to complement or build on the others.

Why host a virtual conference?

For years I wanted to get to every WordCamp so I could learn from all the incredible speakers. This proved to be quite cost prohibitive, not to mention time intensive. I just couldn’t make it work. But with a virtual event everyone can learn and participate from their own home. This eliminates so many barriers and makes it possible for a global audience to learn together!

Event Recap

This event featured 11 presentations that covered a wide gamut of topics. Speakers presented from all across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and even the USA. They shared with us the joys of Gatsby.js, image optimization, blogging, tooling, and personal well-being.

I highly recommend that you watch the recordings of each session on WPSessions. Without all the scheduling breaks they fit into a tight 5 hour package!

As a surprise bonus, I’ve included links to all of the speakers slides with my summaries. This content is normally something only WPSessions members get to access after the event.

Title slide for High-Performance Images in WordPress

High-Performance Images in WordPress

Keith Devon shared a wonderful amount of information about how to select the most appropriate image format, how to further optimize the images for better user experience, and how to better deliver images for faster websites.

View Keith’s Slides

Title slide for Build Your Blazing Fast Site w/ Gatsby & WordPress

Build Your Blazing Fast Site w/ Gatsby & WordPress

Muhammad Muhsin provided a nice primer on why you should consider Gatsby (along with what it is) followed by a succinct tutorial for creating your very first Gatsby-based WordPress-fueled site.

View Muhammad’s Slides

Title slide for Optimizing Your Gatsby Site for Production

Optimizing Your Gatsby Site for Production

Right after Muhammad, Maedah Batool showed us how to further improve a Gatsby-based site in Optimizing Your Gatsby Site for Production. She specifically showed us how to enable RSS feeds, create sitemaps, and embed videos.

View Maedah’s Slides

Title slide for Building a SaaS App w/ WordPress and Laravel

Building a SaaS App w/ WordPress and Laravel

Jon Bossenger provided us with the most hands-on development talk of the day in Building a SaaS App with WordPress and Laravel. This presentation was an actual walkthrough of creating a functioning webapp and provided many helpful solutions to common issues. I highly recommend this talk if you're looking to explore Laravel.

Jon provided a comprehensive live demo, so there are no sides to share.

Title slide for WebOps Wins!

WebOps Wins!

After this, Steve Persch represented some of the best parts of Pantheon (woot, woot!). He explained how WebOps Wins by eliminating complexity and making it easier for entire teams to collaborate on updating a website. He also showed off some of the slick tools Pantheon provides to support risk-free deployments.

View Steve’s Slides

Title slide for How to Use GitHub Actions

How to Use GitHub Actions

My personal favorite talk of the day was Ahmad Bilal's introduction to How To Use Github Actions. In just 12 minutes(!!) we were given a complete explanation of what they are, how they work, and a demonstration of adding one to an existing WordPress project. Very impressive stuff!

View Ahmad’s Slides

Title slide for Blogging for Business in 2019

Blogging for Business in 2019

Francesca Marano shared how each of us should be leveraging Blogging for Business. One section that really stood out to me was when she compared the life expectancy of different forms of content. A single blog post lasts longer and gains more impressions over time than every other platform combined! So, watch this talk and start blogging. And then use the other platforms to point viewers back to the blog.

View Francesca’s Slides

Title slide for What’s All The Fuss about DXPs & Why Should I Care?

What’s All The Fuss about DXPs & Why Should I Care?

Karim Marucchi provided a number of helpful visuals that illustrate what a platform needs to include to be considered a "true Digital Experience Platform" (DXP). He also provided a lot of great recommendations for how we can deliver better client experiences whether we're working with small, local businesses or large enterprises.

View Karim’s Slides

Title slide for 8 Lessons Learnt Through My Mental Illness

8 Lessons Learnt Through My Mental Illness

In our last talk of the day, Judith Schröer shared 8 Lessons Learnt Through My Mental Illness. Now, I'm usually very wary of people using their highly-specific and personal journey to prescribe universal advice but I invited Judith to present because her story has a very redemptive quality AND her lessons learned are timeless and true. This talk is worth your attention even if everything currently feels perfect in your life.

View Judith’s Slides

An extra special “Thank You” to Pantheon!

I’ve really enjoyed working with Pantheon while organizing WordSesh and running WPSessions. In addition to being my favorite host for personal and client projects, they are also an incredibly supportive sponsor. They helped provide speakers, promote the event, and also provided some excellent physical swag for this virtual event.

I recognize that you, dear reader, are reading this on Pantheon’s official blog and may think this is mere lip service, but I assure you it’s true! Feel free to ask me on twitter – publicly or privately.

Get excited for the next WordSesh

If you missed this event, don’t fret. Everything was recorded and you can watch it on WPSessions. If you’re looking forward to the next event, I have good news! WordSesh will return in 2020 to a timezone near you.

Visit WordSesh.com and join the mailing list if you would like to get notified when the future dates are announced.

Until next time, keep making the internet awesome!


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