InMotion Hosting

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Squashing the misconceptions about WordPress

I have highly recommended WordPress for various different projects, and often times I am provided with a reason as to why they think WordPress may not be suitable for them.  Those who work with WordPress regularly, know that WordPress can be used to a multitude of projects and in most cases, is the best solution.

These misconceptions are so common, in fact, that Andrew Nacin recently asked for feedback on the most common misconceptions people have.

When reading the replies, it seemed that many others who work with WordPress on a daily basis are all giving the same responses like, “It doesn’t scale”, “WordPress is just for blogs”, and “WordPress isn’t for developers”.  Of course, these are simply not the case.

“WordPress doesn’t scale well”

One of the most common things WordPress development studios face is clients thinking that WordPress is not scalable enough to operate on enterprise platforms.  To think so, is just insane.

WordPress.com is one of the most used blogging sites on the planet and on during October 2014, sites hosted on WordPress.com or externally hosted using JetPack received over 17 billion pageviews and is steadily increasing without any decrease in sight.  While externally hosted sites may skew these statistics a bit, but it still represents the sheer power of how WordPress can be scaled.

Now, you may be thinking, “Ok, but how many individual sites are on WordPress.com?”  Based on how WordPress operates, they are actually all within a single multisite installation of WordPress.  This means that a single WordPress installation is currently operating this massive number of sites.  If that’s not scalability, I would love to see what is.

Of course, this isn’t just limited to WordPress.com who are are better supported than any other WordPress site in existence.  This also spans to Microsoft, CNN, and The New York Times.  If those media giants can successfully scale a WordPress site to fit their massive amount of daily activity, anyone can.

“WordPress is just meant for blogs”

It’s no secret that WordPress was initially created for blogging, but it has evolved into so much more.  WordPress has become the standard for any content management system at this point.  Powering over 23% of sites on the internet, WordPress is certainly used for much more than blogs.

With the launch of AppPresser, WordPress is slowly being adopted as a mobile application framework.  As mobile phones are taking over market share by leaps and bounds, a mobile application framework makes perfect sense and will continue to push WordPress as one of the best ways to deliver your content to end users.

In terms of websites, even sites that are very light on written content are making the change to WordPress due to it’s versatility.  WordPress is made to be built upon and sites are fully equipped to evolve as their needs grow, so logically, WordPress is made for whatever you want to build on top of it.

“WordPress isn’t for real developers”

This is a big one that I hear often from self-exclaimed elitists.  WordPress is but a tool that is meant to be built upon and any other developers stating this are simply misinformed. Just as we fight for WordPress, you can’t blame other developers for fighting for their favorite tools.  We support what we like and many times feel that other tools are inadequate simply because we don’t use them, but belittling a developer’s tool simply because you don’t prefer it is just bad form.

You have to ask yourself, what is a real developer?  For me, it’s someone who simply makes something awesome.  Plenty of WordPress developers push the boundaries and innovate new ideas every day.  Most open source developers want to build things that make the biggest impact on the world and with as large as WordPress is, they are certainly making that impact.

“WordPress is insecure”

This mostly stems from the thought that because it is open source and anyone can view the source, it is insecure.  In the contrary, you have many, many, additional people who are constantly testing WordPress for security vulnerabilities from it being open source.

Do WordPress sites get hacked?  Most definitely.  Is it because of some sort of laziness or lack of adequate security?  Certainly not.

WordPress is a target because of how large it is.  If you had a content management system that is used by 1,000 people, you would see far less hacks not because it is necessarily secure, but because it’s simply not a target.  WordPress simply targeted because it has a very large market share.

So, how do we solve these misconceptions?

Resolving all of these misconceptions about WordPress are primarily the responsibility of the community as a whole to inform the public.  If we can set these things right every time we see them happening, we can begin to push these rumours into the abyss.

I personally feel like the closeness of WordPress.com and WordPress.org are certainly confusing folks.  When a beginner is looking into WordPress at first, they simply see WordPress.com for the most part.  I think if we could better differentiate the two, we would see a significant improvement in fully understanding WordPress for the general public.

As for the developers that think WordPress developers are some kind of wannabes, that may never change.  All we can do here is simply show off our work and the improvements we have made, and hope for the best.  There are always going to be haters out there, but lowering those numbers is only going to be done by writing better code, and proving to any opposition that we are here to stay.

WordPress In My Mind – WordCamp Raleigh 2014

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending WordCamp Raleigh where I represented InMotion Hosting as well as spoke on WordPress optimization.  As with all other WordCamps I have attended, there were incredible discussions and memorable relationships made all around.

Pre-WordCamp Gatherings

Being a speaker at WordCamp Raleigh, the first of many interactions with others was the speaker event on Friday.  Differing from the several others I have attended, the organizers decided it would be a great idea to have a sit-down, family-style dinner at Jimmy V’s Osteria.

At the dinner, I sat beside Will Haley and Allen Moore in which we had excellent discussions about our upcoming presentations, web hosting, and front end development.  Through these conversations, I felt an immediate need to learn a bit more front end development and I was able to provide a better inside look on various aspects of hosting.

After the dinner, we made our way over to The Oxford for a bit more relaxing and mingling before the main event on Saturday.  Of course, I always expect at least one person from WebDevStudios when I attend a WordCamp in which I met up with Justin Sternberg and discussed all of the great they’re doing for Microsoft, as well as the newest addition to AppPresser – Reactor.

The Main Event

WordCamp Raleigh took place in the engineering building of NC State University.  The venue was perfect for WordCamp presentations due to large lecture rooms.

Justin Sternberg gave an excellent presentation on CMB2 which will allow you to create custom metaboxes and fields with incredible ease.  If you use any custom fields on either the front end or back end, it is certainly worth looking into.

My favorite talk at WordCamp Raleigh was Allen Moore’s talk on work/life balance.  In this talk, Allen hit the nail right on the head with the endless struggle between working hard and having a life outside of work.  As someone who begins working immediately after rolling out of bed, continues late into the night, and make myself available at all hours, it was great to hear that I’m not the only one that struggles with a lack of social life outside of the WordPress community.  I certainly learned that while WordPress and InMotion Hosting have become a very large part of my life, I need to take a step back sometimes and get my face out of my computer, phone, or iPad.

My presentation at WordCamp Raleigh was titled “Stop Eating Resources and Optimize Your WordPress Site“.  Within my presentation, I was able to inform WordPress users on how to better optimize their site to increase server performance and visitor experience.  Everyone’s site has the opportunity to become faster than it already is, and I’m glad that I was able to help so many users hit the next level of site performance.

While at WordCamp Raleigh, I was also able to have some great conversations about hosting with Steve Mortiboy of SemperFi Web Design.  It seemed he was quite pleased with InMotion’s efforts to know what customers want, and catering to their needs in the most effective way possible.  It was certainly great to speak with someone who genuinely appreciated all of the efforts that InMotion and I make to provide a consistently pleasurable experience for everyone.

Overall Impressions

WordCamp Raleigh was an excellent experience.  I feel the organizers picked the perfect venue, and speakers were well selected.  I had some excellent conversations with highly skilled individuals, as well as some who are just starting out.  WordCamps are a great way for users, developers, and designers to all meet on even ground to help each other, and WordCamp Raleigh did exactly that

A big thanks goes out to all of the speakers, volunteers, and especially the organizers who have shed their blood, sweat, and tears to make WordCamp Raleigh an amazing experience.

Choosing a Template: What to Look for and Why

Choosing a Template ImageIt’s not exactly news, but choice of template for your WordPress site is extremely important WordPress has an expansive collection of free and premium templates to choose from. But how can you decide which is the right one for you? Some websites, like TemplateMonster.com for example, have helpful filters that separate themes into categories and sort them by functions or features. But even if you do have specialized search capabilities to aid you in your endeavor, it still helps to have a comprehensive idea of your criteria.

Said criteria will be determined by the type of website you’re looking to launch. Will it be a business? A news blog? A station for content curation? Or are you just looking for a space to share your thoughts? Whichever happens to be your M.O. it will have a determining effect on the type of functionality your website will require. Today we’ll go over the basics of picking and choosing among the many potential templates subject to your scrutiny.

Universal Concerns

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While template choice is often a very subjective experience, in this day and age there are certain interdisciplinary “must haves” that every website owner needs to take under consideration.

How much do you want to $pend?

Budgetary concerns are invariably near the top of the list in regards to priorities. You can always go the basic route and download a free template, but don’t expect any bells and/or whistles. You get what you pay for, and if you’re getting a free downloadexpect the bare minimum.

Therefore it might be wise to loosen your purse strings a bit. Fortunately, most premium WP themes don’t hit the wallet too hard. You can usually procure just about any theme you like for between $50 and $80.  The only time you’ll really have to stretch your dollar is while shopping for a custom theme.

Custom themes are built from scratch by a developer, and since you’re paying for labor, it won’t be so easy on the bank account. Depending on what you want in terms of looks, function, and complexity a custom theme can be quite costly. You can save a little bit of dough by starting out with a premium theme and then having your hired help tweak it to a minor degree, rather than building from scratch.

Support

We all need a little help here and there, and purchasing a premium theme usually goes hand in hand with excellent support. Though you shouldn’t just assume that this is the case. Do your research: read reviews and see what the brand perception of a theme provider looks like before committing.

SEO

Search Engine Optimization is always an important consideration when establishing any sort of web presence. The way your website is organized, the keywords you use to attract attention, and a myriad set of other factors all combine to make your website scannable and easily indexible to search spiders.

The obvious goal is to make the front page, and that’s completely impossible if your template doesn’t have a framework that’s compliant with the latest Google SEO standards.

WordPress usually comes SEO friendly out of the box, but you need to be careful if you’re paying to build a custom theme. This is another reason why support is so important. With an active support community, you can be sure that your template will be updated to match the latest web standards.

Responsive

Responsively designed websites are those that display attractively across multiple devices, regardless of screen size, and without any mobile redirects. Web templates need to be built responsive these days because mobile use is so extremely prevalent.

Unless you’re positive that your visitors won’t be browsing your site on a smartphone or tablet, it’s best to take care of this concern from the get go by purchasing a responsive template.

Specifics

DESIGN DETAILSNow that we’ve covered some of the universal concerns, it’s time to speak with specificity. This choices described in this section will largely be determined by your personal preferences, as well as your unique needs.

Aesthetics

You know what’s useless? A WordPress template that you don’t find attractive. If it doesn’t look good, then what good is it? Your web presence needs to say something about your company, and your company should be a reflection of your personality. So make sure you actually like the look of your template.

That’s not to say that as long as you like it, it’ll be perfect. Certain things are expected from different types of websites. Corporate sites are generally reserved, minimalist, clean, and adhere to a color scheme that promotes trust, calm, and tranquility. Whereas templates dedicated to design are far more artistic, colorful, and fancy.

Read up on design basics if you’re not already familiar and make some informed decisions.

Needed functionality

Here we arrive at the really important stuff. What do you absolutelyneed your website to do? If you’re opening an online store, then you’ll need a usable system for product imports and exports, featured products on a slider, an opt-in form to gain new leads, and so much more. If you’re web presence is all about event promotion, then you’ll need a calendar function. Do you need to interact with your visitors? Then you’ll have to have sections for them to comment on your content, live chat boxes, etc.

All of your WP template’s needed functionality is completely determined by your personal needs, so carefully consider what you want and need from your theme.

Flexibility

Finally, you want your WP theme to be flexible. The World Wide Web is constantly in flux, and so are expectations regarding webpages. It shouldn’t have to be a problem to alter or edit according to your shifting priorities. For example, you should be able to change the color of a banner or background without much trouble. You don’t want to be buried underneath lines of complex code for the simplest of aesthetic choices.

Nor should it be an issue to add widgets/plugins as you see fit. Sometimes the addition of certain plugins can slow a website down or seriously hinder some vital parts of its functionality. If this is going to be the case for your chosen template, then you’ll want to know up front. The idea is to look for seamless backend editing.

These are just a few of the concerns you’ll want to look out for when choosing the perfect theme. If you’re ready to begin browsing, then take a look at some of the powerfully functional premium templates here.

SSL for SEO?

DOES A SECURITY CERTIFICATE EQUAL A RANKINGS BOOST?

Back in March 2014, Matt Cutts, Google’s head of Webspam, said he personally wanted SSL to be a ranking factor. Well that time has come, and probably quicker than most people may have expected.  Well, somewhat.  As of now, adding an SSL 2048-bit key certificate will only provide a minor boost to your site.  In fact, Google says it affects “fewer than 1% of global queries” and does not carry as much weight as “other signals such as high-quality content” which only goes to show you, as always, content is king.

Google has said it wants all “website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web,” so there’s a good chance we could see that ranking signal strengthen over time.

According to Google, more information on this will be released in the future, but in the meantime, Google has provided the following tips:

  • Decide the kind of certificate you need: single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate
  • Use 2048-bit key certificates
  • Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
  • Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains
  • Check out our Site move article for more guidelines on how to change your website’s address
  • Do not block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
  • Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the noindex robots meta tag.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN TERMS OF SEO?

Installing an SSL is not going to miraculously boost your website to the top of the search results, but as Google continues its “HTTPS everywhere” push, it is definitely something you want to be aware of. Especially if it is something Google is encouraging all website owners to do.

HOW TO MAKE THE SWITCH

In order to make the switch to HTTPS your website will need a Secure Sockets Locket (SSL) Certificate.  SSLs are protocols that establish a secure link between a web server and a browser.  It is a way for social security numbers, passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information to be securely transmitted without being intercepted by a third party.

PURCHASE AN SSL THROUGH INMOTION HOSTING

Purchasing an SSL Certificate through InMotion Hosting can be accomplished in just 5 simple steps:

Step 1. Login to AMP (Account Management Panel)

Step 2. Click the Purchase SSL Certificate button.

How to Purchase an SSL Certificate

How to Purchase an SSL Certificate

Step 3. Select the SSL Certificate’s subscription length (ie. 1 or 2 years) and the Desired Certificate Name.

Step 4. Enter the contact information for the owner of the SSL Certificate.

Step 5. Choose how you want the SSL billed, then click Submit. You will then see the following message, “Your order has been submitted for processing. Please look for a follow up from our staff shortly.” 

The typical turn-around time is up to 48 hours.  However, there are many reasons why an SSL may take longer to be issued.  Once your SSL certificate has been installed successfully, you will receive an email notification to your primary email address on file.  After you get the SSL installed, you can show the Secure Comodo Seal on your website.  Check out our guide on how to show the secure seal for your site.

We also have a guide with more in depth instructions on how to purchase an SSL through InMotion Hosting.

Word Camp LAX 2014

Michelle Galvez WCLAX Experience

This past weekend the 2014 Word Camp Los Angeles event took place at the beautiful California State University Los Angeles campus. The event brought together over 400 WordPress users and supporters to engage, share, learn, and experience being a part of the WordPress Community. As proud sponsors, we attended both Foundation Friday and Saturday Sessions.  On Friday we had Maria Abugan(@Maria_InMotion), Paul Tardiff (@HubPaulT), Ryan Balikian (@RyanBalik), Sunil Saxena (@SunilSaxena), and myself (@IMH_Michelle) attending the awesome workshops provided on the beginner, business, and design workshops.

InMotion Hosting has arrived at Word Camp LA!

InMotion Hosting has arrived at Word Camp LA!

Word Camp LAX

Attending a session @ Word Camp LAX

Saturday at WCLAX was even more exciting!  As sponsors, we welcomed and greeted all the attendees at our InMotion Hosting booth. Hanging at the booth were Jerrett Farmer (@JerrettFarmer), William Miles, Sunil Saxena (@SunilSaxena) and myself (@IMH_Michelle). It was such a joy to meet current and potential customers who were excited to hear about all our upgrades to both our hardware and service plans (SSDs!).

InMotion Hosting Booth @ WC LAX

InMotion Hosting Booth @ WC LAX

We wanted to make sure everyone had a great time and even brought our speed stacking cups game for a shot at our newly designed InMotion Hosting jersey-shirts. To top that off, you could trade your business card for raffle tickets to win a brand new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4.

Try your hand at our cup stacking game

Try your hand at our cup stacking game

Word Camp LAX

Our lucky raffle winner of a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4

 

As a first timer to any Word Camp event, my experience was definitely a positive one. I forged new relationships, made people smile, and educated others about our plans and services. It’s a place where you can geek out about WordPress and fit right in. Jerrett Farmer took it one step further and volunteered for the Happiness Bar this year. Below is the recap of his awesome experience.

Jerrett Farmer’s WCLAX Experience

I had the opportunity to serve at the WCLAX Happiness Bar this year. I was very excited to have a slot at such a joyfully named place and couldn’t wait for the good times to flow. What could be better than WordPress and beer? Maybe WordPress and more beer?

{sound of record scratch}…There is no beer. There isn’t wine. There isn’t even soda pop. Turns out, I’m not passing out hard liquor to web masters, I’m giving out tech support to WordPress users…for FREE! I thought this was going to be a nightmare. I would have to use my brain and everything.

I was worried for no reason. I had a blast. I met new people and helped with a few problems. Most importantly I sat beside the great Dave Jesch, http://wordpress.tv/speakers/dave-jesch/, who makes everything better. I really hope to get to serve at another Happiness Bar in the future.

Side note, Dave Jesch is the only human being to successfully order a beer from the Happiness Bar.

 

 

The New VPS S-Class Hosting: More RAM. More Storage. More Bandwidth. FREE SSDs.

September NewsletterWe are excited to announce the release of the next generation of Virtual Private Server hosting at InMotion Hosting: the VPS S-Class. The new VPS hosting product line brings a number of significant enhancements to the legacy VPS-1000, VPS-2000 and VPS-3000 packages, including free solid-state drives (SSDs) and drastically increased RAM, storage and bandwidth. The wholesale VPS upgrades are consistent with our mission to bring customers the most comprehensive web hosting experience possible with top-of-the-line service and support.

The development of the revamped VPS-1000S, VPS-2000S and VPS-3000S came as a result of in-depth product evaluation including intensive market research, security and scale concerns, fundamental feature analysis and customer surveys and feedback. In short, we wanted to make sure we are bringing you industry-leading Virtual Private Server hosting that meets all of your needs and addresses all of your website’s digital requirements.

Whether you have a blog with increasing traffic, a growing business, or a website running complex and dynamic applications, our new VPS hosting packages have the power, performance and reliability to ensure your site will run seamlessly. The upgraded S-Class maintains many of the features that made InMotion Hosting an industry-leader, including automated backups, unlimited websites, burstable RAM, free cPanel and WHM, SSH and root access and much more.

Not sure which hosting plan fits best fits your site and needs? Not a problem. Check out our comparison page to find out everything you need to know about shared, VPS and dedicated hosting and which product suits you best.

Team Member Profile: Jerrett Farmer

Jerrett FarmerHometown: Latham, OH
Position: Marketing Production Manager
InMotion Hosting team member since December 2013

How did you get started in the web hosting field?
The first website I ever worked on was the X-Files website in the mid 90s. At that time time I did not know anything about web hosting. Five years later I started freelancing on the side and making websites. Then web hosting became a big deal to me. I found generally the experience with web hosting services to be similar to banging one’s head against the wall. Around 2004 or 2005 I came across InMotion Hosting and was amazed at their service and quality of their product. After using their service for seven years I made the move from video games to working in web hosting. I saw that InMotion was hiring and went for it. Easily the best job I’ve ever had.

What’s your current role at InMotion Hosting? What do you like most about it?
I am the Marketing Production Manager and I love Free Food Fridays.

Coolest gadget you own, want, or have read about?
My six year old daughter Ella.

What would you like to tell us about yourself?
I am what I am.

What’s one word that would describe your personality?
Ambiguous.

Does Your Business Website Have the Right Messaging?

When it comes to your online business, having the right copy is as important as the products themselves. Having poor messaging can turn potential customers away from your business for good. So how do you know if you have the right messaging? Take a look at your website and then ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you list your features and explain why these are better than your competitors?
  2. Does the site explain a particular problem your product solves for your customers?
  3. Do you have clear instructions and “call-to-actions” informing the customer on what to do next?

If you were able to answer “yes” to all of the questions, then good job on your website. Your content makes it easy for shoppers to clearly distinguish the advantages of your products over your competitors. It also makes it easy for your customers to either checkout, or find a way to get a hold of you for more information.

However, if you answered “no” to some or all of these questions, then now is a good time to go back, review your copy, and make the proper content changes. Here’s breakdown of each question and why they are important.

List Features and Explain Them That Your Competitors Don’t Have

When shoppers come to your site, it needs to be clear to them that your product is superior. A way of doing this is listing out your features and then explaining these features. You should also do some research to get ideas about what your competitors are doing.

Explain the Problem Your Product Solves

When people shop, they are primarily looking for something that solves a particular problem they have. Be sure your content explains this. If it’s not clear what benefits you offer, then chances are potential customers will leave your site.

Clear Call-to-Actions (CTAs) Makes Your Site User-Friendly

“Learn More”, “Order Now”, “Call Today” are examples of clear CTAs. These tell your shoppers what they should next from the page they’re currently on. The purpose of this is to invite shoppers towards an action which hopefully results in a sale. Also, if this is a link, be sure that it stands out since it is the primary action you want your customers to take.

Building Trust with a Blog

Engaging your customers is important, and there’s no easier way to do it than with a blog. Blogs allow you to display your expertise within your industry, keep readers up to date on new products or upgrades, and provide news about your company. Plus, it gives your customers a reason to keep coming back to your website.

If your business does not already have a blog and you want to set one up, then we would recommend WordPress. Installation is easy, its dashboard is well thought-out, and maintaining it just takes a single click. For installation instructions, we have easy-to-follow tutorials depending on the type of hosting product you have.

Our Business Hosting comes with Softaculous which allows you to easily install WordPress with a few clicks. Read more about the installation process here: How to install WordPress using Softaculous.

If you have a VPS or dedicated server, then you will need to do a few extra steps for installation. You can find the installation instructions for VPS and dedicated servers here.

These are just a few simple tips to improving your business website. Of course, these tips alone won’t guarantee an increase in sales. But what it is, it’s a step in the right direction towards making your site easier for shoppers to get information and ultimately lead them to buying your products.

WordCamp Maine 2014 – WordPress and “lobstah”

WordCamp Maine 2014 header

I recently had the pleasure of visiting beautiful Portland, Maine for the first ever WordCamp Maine. Living in the city for so long and only traveling to large cities for WordCamps, I wasn’t sure of what to expect with a brand-new WordCamp out in the middle Maine. Well, to my surprise, it was an amazing trip full of wonderfully knowledgeable individuals who truly cared about WordPress as well as open source software.

Being a smaller WordCamp, I felt as if it was much easier to connect with people a lot closer than other WordCamps I have attended. If you have attended larger WordCamps in the past, you may have found that there are usually somewhat of common people that hang out together. Of course, absolutely anybody is welcome to walk up to whomever they want and strike up a conversation, but groups are sometimes formed that can discourage new folks in the community from talking to the big name “circuit speakers”. What I felt at WordCamp Maine was exactly the opposite of that.

Typically when I attend a WordCamp, I go with an agenda of who I want to speak with and the particular topic I want to discuss. At this smaller WordCamp, my approach was to wander up to absolutely anybody and strike up a conversation. From the very moment I arrived at the speaker/sponsor party to the very end of the day Saturday, I was constantly asking people what they did with WordPress and what they are currently working on. Sure, it may have been a bit strange to some for someone to randomly approach them and ask them about their work, but learning more about everyone’s jobs and upcoming projects was well worth it bit of creepiness I could have possibly portrayed.

The arrival

Not very often do I get the rare opportunity to arrive in a city with much time to explore. Typically, I fly in, get to a speaker dinner, get much less sleep than I should, attend the conference, run to the after party, then catch a flight home in the morning. When I had the opportunity to arrive in Portland on an early flight, I knew I had to make the best of it.

As I had not seen Chris Wiegman of iThemes Security since WordCamp Miami, and he was arriving a bit earlier as well, I saw it as a perfect opportunity to connect with him. After a few text messages back and forth, we took a short walk (that felt like an eternity uphill) to downtown Portland. There, we decided to grab a bit to eat and chat about WordPress, airplanes, and stray cats for several hours before we had to head over to the speaker/sponsor party. Walking the city of Portland was never on my bucket list, but it was certainly a pleasure.

The speaker/sponsor party

wordcamp-maine-jeff-and-chrisAt WordCamp Maine, I had the pleasure of being part of an incredible group of speakers, and bowling alongside them as well at Bayside Bowl. If bowling skills had a direct correlation to WordPress development/design skills, I think we would all be in some serious trouble.

The organizers had the right idea when they decided to encourage people to randomly bowl together so that everyone would be almost forced, in a sense, to talk to people whom they don’t know. It certainly broke the ice well and led to some great camaraderie between individuals who may even be business competition.

Overall, the speaker/sponsor party was a great success and I highly encourage other larger WordCamps to encourage conversation and teamwork from the very beginning just as well as WordCamp Maine did.

The main event

Just a quick walk from my hotel was WordCamp Maine, located at the Maine College of Art. I especially loved they layout of the WordCamp in which most would walk by the Happiness Bar and it was very open and inviting. As the majority of my memorable discussions occur at the Happiness Bar, that was my direct target.

At WordCamp Maine, the keynote was John Eckman of 10up, one of the largest WordPress development and design studios out there. In his keynote, John discussed his roots and the community spirit of the open source community, especially WordPress. It was quite possibly one of the best keynotes I have been to recently due to the direct connection I have with the WordPress community and its impact on me both personally and professionally. In some way, WordPress has shaped our lives and John did an excellent job in describing that feeling.

I spoke at my typical 3:00PM time slot on choosing a WordPress host. As it was a smaller WordCamp, it was a smaller crowd which was nice as I was able to read everyone a lot better and determine where more emphasis may need to be placed. I felt like the audience certainly learned how to better choose a host for their WordPress site in an unbiased manner.

After speaking, all speakers are highly encouraged to sit at the Happiness Bar for an hour to further discuss any topics that may have been left out. During that time, I had the pleasure of meeting Jeff Ackley who is heading up the Ecosite Competition which is an effort for developers to provide websites for eco-friendly organizations. We were able to have some great conversations about eco-friendly datacenters and helping the environment as developers as much as possible.

Why WordPress Maine was awesome

Firstly, no WordCamp can be a success without the organizers that give their lives to it, the volunteers who work hard to keep things running smoothly, the speakers for providing excellent subject matter, and the sponsors for footing the bill. A big thanks goes out to all of you for working so hard to make the very first WordCamp Maine such a success.

WordCamp Maine was a great approach towards bringing people together, regardless of their status within the community. I feel that the organizers worked especially hard to keep a large amount of diversity within the group. As WordCamp Maine grows, I hope to see those values continue through many successful years.

I had a great time speaking at WordCamp Maine and hope to see you all next year!

Team Member Profile: Jason Hong

13c9c48Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Position: Affiliate Manager
InMotion Hosting team member since February 2011

How did you get started in the web hosting field?
This was my first professional job in the web hosting field. InMotion took a chance with me because I had some international BD experience and I was a Systems Analyst for around 7 years, so I had the technical background to learn the industry quickly.

What’s your current role at InMotion Hosting? What do you like most about it?
I am the Affiliate/ Business Development Manager with InMotion Hosting. I like the fact that this is one of the most challenging positions I’ve had in my professional career. The industry itself is very competitive, and the day to day challenges with affiliates and Google keep me on my toes, so no two days are ever alike.

Coolest gadget you own, want, or have read about?
I’ve read about a device that can store multiple credit cards, IDs, and cards all in one secure digital card. I’ve been looking for a way to make my wallet thinner since the 90’s and they finally invented it. Just took 20 years…

What would you like to tell us about yourself?
I’m older than I look.

What’s one word that would describe your personality?
Flexible