We are finally back from WordCamp U.S. 2019 in St Louis Missouri, and IT…..WAS….EPIC! I have been to a lot of WordCamps over the years, but I must say this is my favorite one so far.! I wanted to take just a few minutes to share some of the great highlights and images that made this weekend so amazing!

Old Friends & New

It is always awesome to see old friends you have not seen in a long while and WCUS was an opportunity to see many of my best friends from the WordPress community. I had a blast hanging out with them!

But let’s not forget the new friends I made! I got to meet some really great folks that I will definitely be staying in touch with. I even got to meet some of my biggest inspirations in the WordPress community like Nick Roach and Nathan Weller of Elegant Themes and of course the great Matt Mullenweg, co-creator of WordPress.

Speakers, Organizers & Sponsors! Oh My!

 

This huge WordCamp featured more than 50 awesome talks by talented and knowledgeable speakers. With talks & Workshop categories from business and community to security and personal growth, there was something for everyone. Some of the most popular talks of the event were:

 

How to Perform a Quality UX Audit on a Budget Maddy Osman 

 

Securing WordPress in the age of 0-Day VulnerabilitiesRahul Nagare

 

How to Leverage Your Online Presence to Get More Clients and Better Job OffersAndrea Zoellner

 

and my personal favorite: The Content Framework that Powers Stories, Landing Pages & MoreChris Lema

 

This event would not have been possible without the astoundingly dedicated team of organizers that put it all together! I got the privilege of interviewing some of these great folks:

Lessons Learned

If you go to a WordCamp and do not learn at least 3 things, you’re not paying enough attention. At WordCamp U.S. I learned much more than 3 things. But I would like to share the 3 most valuable lessons I learned.

Lesson One: Giving Too Much For Too Little

Here at WP Top Hat, we have struggled to give our clients a great value while remaining profitable. We have offered shared hosting prices on managed hosting plans. While this is an incredible value, we find that much of that value is lost when you look at the issues caused by corners that must be cut to keep prices so low.

Obviously we knew this before WCUS, but at WCUS  learned how to strike a balance between affordability and features, thus improving the TRUE value of our services. This lesson is the reason you may have noticed a recent increase in our prices. But you will also notice an improved platform taking place. Even with our new prices, we are still the most affordable value in the managed WordPress sphere.

Lesson Two: Selling Solutions, Not Services

One of the best talks I went to was Chris Lema’s “The Content Framework that Powers Stories, Landing Pages & More“. In this talk, Chris introduced what he calls the Bridge Framework. With this framework, the objective is to find the problems your clients have and market solutions to them over services/products. The beauty of this framework is that when you focus on solving problems instead of on selling a service, you inevitably provide a better customer experience.

When a potential client visits WP Top Hat they are not simply looking for a hosting SERVICE. They are looking to solve REAL problems like an inability to maintain their own sites, a site that is too slow, or hosting that does not fit some other needs. But our site copy and design focuses on selling hosting as a service. We do not focus on the problems that bring clients to our site in the first place.

In the very near future, we will be updating our site to reflect this new focus on solving problems for our clients. Don’t worry, we don’t plan on any drastic changes!

Lesson Three: Developers Are Awesome

I got to sit down with Arindo Duque, creator of WP Ultimo to talk about the future of WP Ultimo. Arindo is a great guy and his humility and open attitude humbled me greatly.

A few weeks before WCUS I posted a rant on the WP Ultimo Users Facebook group about my frustration over the delays in the release of WP Ultimo 2.0. I got the chance to speak with Arindo about that rant and was grateful that he was not angry and that he understood my points.

Conclusion:

WordCamp US 2019 was an awesome experience and I can hardly wait to return to St Louis for next year’s WordCamp US! I am so grateful to the amazing people who made this WordCamp so great.

Thanks to this event, we will be able to implement some significant improvements to the WP Top Hat platform over the next several months. So watch out for those.

If you get the chance, I encourage you to attend WordCamp US 2020 in late October. You will not regret it! Below is a gallery of some of the great pictures we got at this event. Enjoy!

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