WordCamp US 2018 Review: All You Need to Know


It's been a while since WordCamp US 2018 in Nashville. As we look back, I think this was one of the most awaited WordCamps in the history of WordPress. Now, it is time to sit back, relax and take a look at what has happened and what awaits us ahead.

Visual Composer team was visiting WordCamp US to give you a full review of all you need to know about the future of WordPress.

Foreword

For us, it is a crazy distance to make and be a part of one of the biggest WordPress community event - WordCamp US. It took us 24 hours to get to Nashville, Tenessee, but it was worth every hour waiting in the airport and sleeping in uncomfortable positions during the flights.

To be honest, we even skipped a beer party on the first evening, Wednesday, November 5. Yes, we usually do arrive a few days prior to the event to meet our friends.

WordCamp US in Nashville

It was a second year for WCUS to be held in Nashville, Tenessee. Although you know the city pretty well, one of the reasons people like to visit WordCamps is because of the new locations.

For the obvious reasons, there were less major players presented at the event in comparison to the last year. Our friends at WPML decided to skip the event as well, as they were visiting WordCamp New York a few months ago.

Guess we'll see more people in St. Louis next year, but let's focus on Nashville right now.

WordPress - It's Why We Are Here

To be precise, WordPress 5.0 is why we are here, right? The long-anticipated major update of WordPress was released just a few days before the event. Without doubts, Gutenberg editor was the biggest feature to be included.

I guess @photomatt wouldn't be very happy to give his annual State of the Word speech without it. At some point, I even thought that we'll see some kind of performance by Matt pushing the Publish button on the stage. Nevertheless, the update came live two days before the event. πŸ˜¨

As you already know, most of the WordPress hostings did not update to WordPress 5.0 during the WordCamp. Because you don't want to fix your environment sitting at the sponsor's booth …

With all written above, it is a no-brainer that all talks were related to WordPress update and Gutenberg. Again and again, we were asked on our thoughts about Gutenberg editor and how it affects page builders.

I said it once (more than once), and I say it again. Gutenberg did an awesome job to lower the barrier for non-technical people to start using WordPress. Even in the very early stage, it will help to set up simple WordPress sites and get things running. As for the website builder, we have our own roadmap to follow and go beyond content. Also, Visual Composer Hub has already become a huge hit where people can download fresh elements and templates right from the cloud marketplace. And we do have lots of other surprises for you coming out in 2019.

Yet, the question about page builders and Gutenberg are about to change. There are more exciting things coming to WordPress. And there will be more people to answer the same question over and over again.

State of the Word

The key event of the WordCamp is Matt Mullenweg 'State of the Word'. An annual presentation of what has been done, where do we stand, and what to expect next.

As usual, it is a fully booked event with people standing in a queue to join the presentation live.

WordPress has a lot of issues and wasp of directions to go. In his speech, Matt did agree that there are many known issues. Even more, we had a chance to look into UX test videos where people do struggle with the Classic editor not giving them enough freedom.

And this is where Gutenberg comes into play to address at least some of them. Gutenberg editor uses blocks, independent elements that can be added to the page to form the content of your site. The good thing about Gutenberg is that it gives more freedom than the Classic editor and represents blocks in a meaningful way. The downside is that it is far from being a true Frontend editor as everything still happens on the WordPress backend.

Let's talk about technology. A few years ago, Matt said that everyone should start learning Javascript. We already knew that and this is why Visual Composer Website Builder is React based product with public API available for custom element development. πŸ™ƒ WordPress did follow our example by incorporating React technology into Gutenberg.

Next, Matt emphasized the importance of mobile editing. While it is too early talking about full support for Gutenberg editor on mobile, the content generated is responsive. To be fair, at this moment I can't miss the chance to say that Visual Composer editor works on mobile out of the box.

The Future of WordPress

As we already touched things that are coming to WordPress and Gutenberg at some point in the future. The second part of the 'State of the Word' was all about future plans.

Matt said that Gutenberg will go outside the content with taking over widgets and menu in 2019. πŸ€— For a regular user, it is a nightmare to manage menus via WordPress admin panel.

All the rest is even more ambitious. By 2020 (or later) we will see a multi-language solution to enter WordPress core. Even it is good for WordPress users, I do feel bad for the businesses that build their products and services around WordPress multi-language.

Down the road (and more into the bush for developers), the way how WordPress will work with themes will change as well. As said by Matt, theme authors will probably start to work on layout templates instead of themes as a user will be able to build his own layout.

As for the dates, you shouldn't expect these features joining the WordPress before 2022.

To wrap up, it seems that the WordPress core team has their roadmap set and running.

What Else?

One of our personal goals for 2019 is to go beyond being just a tool for designers and beginners. We want to help you build better websites and we want you to learn how to do that in an easy way.

For Visual Composer team, WordCamp US was a perfect time to come up with a new initiate and new product (resource) that will focus on providing you with the helpful information on tips on how to do web design properly.

During the event, we made our first few interviews with well-known experts from the WordPress community on how to address common problems of various types. In the next few weeks, you can expect to see a brand new resource that will include exclusive content for beginners, web design professionals, developers, and marketers on how to run an online business. Stay tuned! πŸŽ₯

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