WordPress is a free and open source blogging platform used by millions of users across the globe and many organizations use it as their content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. The WordPress community is such a dynamic crowd and we’re excited to announce that this upcoming weekend through early next week, Canadian Cloud Hosting is sponsoring WordCamp Vancouver and BuddyCamp Vancouver. Bloggers of all levels and developers should consider attending these events. Both events are welcoming and even designers or other enthusiasts can participate if you want to learn more about WordPress, you'll be welcomed to join us since the format caters to different levels of expertise, so don't feel intimidated.
WordCamp is all day conference mainly focused on WordPress, split in two tracks: 1) users and 2) developers. Unlike other conferences, this event is affordable to all and you'll be able to meet, share, and most importantly, learn from a knowledgeable line up of speakers and connect with them and other attendees. The event will be on Saturday, October 13, 2012 from 8 am to 5 pm at the BCIT Burnaby Campus. Tickets are only $25 and part of the line up for users include Tips to Grow Your Professional WordPress Business, Demystifying SEO, How to Make your WordPress Site Mobile Friendly, and for developers, they include Calm and Simple Code With Purpose, Mistakes I Made using jQuery, and How to Avoid them, and Interacting with External APIs. The full schedule will provide you with all the details, so that you can plan out your day ahead of time.
For those of you who are more familiar with WordPress, you most likely have heard of BuddyPress, an open source social networking software package (owned by Automattic since 2008), a plugin that can be installed on WordPress to transform it into a social network platform. It is designed to allow schools, companies, sports teams, or any other niche community to start their own social network or communication tool. These two-days are geared towards a more advanced audience, split in two tracks as well: 1) education and 2) developers. BuddyCamp will bring all of the community benefits as WordCamp and a chance for even more collaboration on their hack day, on the second day. The event will be on Sunday, October 14, 2012 from 8 am to 5 pm and Monday, October 15, 2012, from 8 am to 2:30 pm (hack day) at the BCIT Burnaby Campus. Tickets vary from $10 to $35, including a live stream option and part of the line up include The Future of BuddyPress, Community Building Tactics for BuddyPress Sites and UBC Blogs and the BuddyPress Experiment. The full schedule will provide you with all the details.
Our Ongoing Community Involvement
This weekend will be a fun filled packed event of connecting, learning, and collaborating and we're proud and honoured to be a platinum sponsor for both WordCamp Vancouver and BuddyCamp Vancouver to support the WordPress Foundation and to show our ongoing commitment to give back to this thriving online, global community. Also, don't miss out on your chance to hear Matt Mullenweg, founding developer of WordPress on Sunday, October 14, when he speaks at the first ever BuddyCamp Vancouver and we'll even be raffling off some great prizes too at both events. See you there!Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru
Some of our community members are already business owners, and others might be thinking of starting their own business. We recently heard a local designer share her own personal story on how she got started with her own business and the discussion surrounded six main questions that you should ask yourself before jumping in. In this article, we're sharing her thought process and how it's helped her along the way, hoping that you'll find some takeaways yourself.
Six Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Business
1. Why am I doing this? Have a good reason. In her case, providing a specific type of design is what she loves and since that is what she lives and breathes each day, that's a strong reason for her to go after this endeavour. That is her passion and she understands that there is a clear need for her services today. Her skills can be monetized and since that is what she loves to do, she has no reasons not to do it. The following question adds a bit more depth.
2. Where am I now? Know your city, be part of it. She fell in love with the city and decided that this is where she wanted to personally and professionally set roots. Since jobs were scarce, this was a timely opportunity to jump in and do it herself. In her specific situation, she supports local businesses and what works to her advantage is that because she loves the city, she's able to mingle with them at various events, get to know them on a more personal level and know the latest happenings around town. It's important to know what's going on in the community, to understand its culture and most importantly, to be a part of it.
3. Who are my clients? Know what they care about. With the previous point made, depending on your business, you may have a niche and her type of design service is very specific to a particular clientele and once she figured that out, she's been able to spend more time in that specific community to keep up with trends and again, to find out more about them on a personal level. This allows her to put her best work forward when she's designing for each customer. Each customer has different needs and when she's able to learn more about them as individuals along with their personalities, she's able to let that knowledge influence her as she's creating art. In the end, she's able to connect with her customers' requests more easily.
4. How can I educate my clients? You're their teacher. In her design field, not only is she producing work, but she's also keeping her clients informed on her process from timeline to different types of materials that can be used for their requests. She has to consistently be a teacher, an expert who can provide information about any intricacies in her line of work. Some clients may not always understand how much material or time a certain project may take and she's able to inform them about all of the details that need to take place. For example, with Canadian Web Hosting, our latest post provided information on how to protect yourself from a data breach. Being able to provide unique, and useful information will help others see you come across as an expert in your own industry.
5. Who are my peers? How can I collaborate with them? Every industry has a community somewhere, whether online or offline, to share thoughts and ideas and she goes back to connecting with the community, except in this instance, it's about connecting with her own design community where she can continue to learn about what's new and up-and-coming. In other cases, her peers may have a certain skill set that she isn't an expert at, and a new partnership could well easily be formed to work on certain projects. On a related topic, the WHIR's latest magazine covered power partnerships which speaks directly to this question on a similar level.
6. What do I have to offer? Be different, be you. Design is a vast world and her type of design is unique. She takes a very personal approach by connecting with the community and while she shows some of her own personality when the project is more open-ended, she uses the personal tidbits that she learns through engaging with her own clientele to make the work different, and which reflects her clients' needs.
CTO / SEO Guru