It had been quite a long time since I last attended a WordPress London meet-up, so I was very excited about going along again and getting a good fix of WordPress geekery (as well as chatting to folk and drinking beer of course). The event was held at Shoreditch Works Village Hall for the first time and it provided ample space and the required tech. The venue and pizza was sponsored by the following kind orgs;
Joel Hughes – The Business of WordPress
Joel gave a passionate and honest account of his move from permanent employee, through contractor and freelancer and onto running his own agency. He covered some of the key mistakes that folk (including him) make when starting out in alone, and some notes on avoiding them (the second time perhaps). They include;
- Undervaluing Yourself : On a personal level right through to pricing
- Clients from Hell : Educate the good ones, they’ve probably not bought a website before. Fire the bad ones.
- Business is Personal : If you’re a freelancer, BE a freelance; don’t pretend to be an agency if you’re not. If you do you won’t be authentic, and this will show.
Joel also did some shameless pimping of his The Business of Web Design conference, which I have to say has a nice looking line-up of speakers. I’d probably be going if we weren’t due a baby the week before.
He also asked for freelancers of all sorts to get in touch with him. Looks like business is good.
David Coveney – Let’s Move It
I have seen one or two of Dave’s talks before at various WordPress (un)conferences and after seeing his take on Baz Luhrmann’s “Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen” I wasn’t sure what to expect next. He didn’t disappoint by starting the talk with some kind of body convulsions which, I think in popular culture, could be described as dance moves.
He then proceeded to talk us through some basics behind running a WordPress migration with as few hiccups as possible. He discussed various migration types (server to server, multisite to singlesite, domain swapping) and their various pitfalls. He also talked through a few tools which can make life easier. These included MySQL Workbench and his company’s Search/Replace plugin.
In true Coveney style he then plumped for a live demo of a site migration (server to server and domain swap)… the audience, of course, new the perils of live demos and were all waiting for the inevitable.
Don’t work with computers – Dave Coveney
And of course the inevitable happened. So much so infact that Dave’s new database that he was using in the demo ended up being named fuckit. He rode out all that the live demo-gods could throw at him with it finally succeeding. His parting words of advice were “Don’t work with computers”.
Stiofan O’Conner and Tim Clark – GeoDirectory
Stiofan and Tim talked to us about GeoTheme and the move to a new GeoDirectory plugin that will be appearing on WordPress.org very soon.
They briefed us on the history and the direction they think the plugin is headed. How they want it to become and extendible product with multiple revenue streams. The plugin looks like it’ll be very powerful and is well worth looking at if you’re interested in building up any kind of location-based directory.
The standard post-meetup beers were had in a hipster-filled pub just around the corner, and I had some lovely chats with old friends and new from the WordPress community. I heard from a couple of the guys and gals that there was a lot of work out there for a WordPress freelance dev… this is certainly good news with my resignation notice period winding down.
I certainly can’t wait for the next one.