Thank You for a fantastic WordCamp US 2016!

WordCamp US 2016 is officially over and we’re thrilled that so many wonderful people joined us and made the event a great success. We’ll have more wrap-up details soon, but first this one: THANK YOU! WCUS attendees, volunteers, speakers, and sponsors all made it a great place to be this past weekend and we appreciate you all so much.

We aim to improve each year (and repeat the things that work well), so we’ll be asking for your feedback soon. Please be sure to watch for that and share your thoughts.

When the videos of all of the sessions are up, we’ll let you know here, as well as on Twitter and Facebook. We know the videos are highly anticipated (because we missed sessions we wish we could’ve seen too!) so you’ll know as soon as we do!

If you missed Matt’s State of the Word, the video is up on WordPress.TV and YouTube right now. Or if you want a quick refresher, we’ve Storifyed the live tweets we shared during SotW here:

For now, why not find a way to apply something you learned about or were inspired by while at WCUS last weekend? If you haven’t yet, jot down some notes about your thoughts, ideas, and the connections you made at the conference. Consider what stood out to you, and take action! Did you go to a session that shared something you’re curious about but have yet to give a try yourself? Get started! Have you been meaning to blog but keep putting it off? Take some of the tips from the content-focused sessions and dive in! Whatever it is, go for it. You never know where it’ll take you, and we’d love to hear about it next year at WCUS in Nashville!

Again, thank you!
-The WordCamp US Organizing Team

Welcome to Day 2 of WordCamp US

Good morning, WordCampers! Welcome to the second day of WCUS. Doors are open, all three tracks kick off at 9:30am, and the coffee is flowing!

Today is another full day of great sessions and concludes with the State of the Word. See the whole schedule posted around the event and here:

The after-party is from 8-11pm at The Academy of Natural Sciences. We’ll have the whole place to ourselves, and light appetizers and dessert, plus beer, wine, and cider will be provided. A badge is required for entry. For all the details, see here.

We’re excited to see you all again today! Share your favorite moments on Twitter and Instagram using #WCUS so everyone call follow along. 🙂

If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to a volunteer in a purple t-shirt, an organizer wearing a rainbow lanyard, or via Twitter anytime!

Happy Saturday! It’s going to be a great one!

P.S. When you’re wandering Philly this weekend, be sure to look up at the PECO building!


WordCamp US Social Media Roundup

Day one is over and it looks like our speakers had a lot of wisdom. Thank you for sharing!

And don’t forget about our favorite little wapuu!

#DontStress… Cuddle this guy! #wcus2016 #wordcampus

A photo posted by Kari De Leon (@kdeleon0811) on Dec 2, 2016 at 8:11am PST

Tips for First-Time Contributors at WordCamp US

If you’ve never been to a Contributor Day at a WordCamp, you might be a little nervous to make your first appearance at WordCamp US. The name on its own, Contributor Day, can sound like it’s an exclusive club for only those people who have given a lot of time or provide a high level of expertise. I went to my first Contributor Day with very little experience and few expectations for what would happen that day.

What I remember is that it felt like everyone in the room must know everything there was to know about WordPress; otherwise why would they have gone to a Contributor Day?

Here are some pointers for handling the excitement of attending your first Contributor Day:

  1. Open Source takes all sorts – WordPress is an open source project. It’s built, from top to bottom, by the people who offer their time. You don’t have to have a grand plan in order to help. All you need to know is what your skills are and find the team that needs your skills.
  2. Everyone is an expert at something – Don’t measure yourself by the skills of the person next to you. Not only does our community need people with lots of different skills, but even experts started out not knowing anything.
  3. You’ve just finished up two days of WordPress inspiration – Why not round it out by practicing with people who are just as excited about all of this as you are?
  4. Find a buddy – Buddies are easy to find in the WordPress community. If you didn’t bring a friend with you, introduce yourself to a new friend at the table!
  5. Vote with your feet – We have a lot of ways to give back to the WordPress project. With as many teams as we have, it can be hard to know which one will fit you best. If the team you started with doesn’t fit the skills you know you have, wander on to the next one. But don’t discount the awesomeness of learning something new!

As with all WordCamps: Have questions? Just ask! There are helpful volunteers and attendees all around at WordCamp US. If the person you ask doesn’t have the answer, then chances are that they can point you in the right direction.

Contributor Day is included in the price of your WordCamp US ticket. It’s a chance to meet face-to-face with people you work with online or welcome interested new contributors to teams.


Everything You Need to Know When Attending WordCamp US

After months of preparation, WordCamp US kicks off this Friday! Below you will find all of the information you’ll need to make the most of your time with us at WCUS! (Be sure to let us know if you’ve got any questions or think we left anything out!)

Early Registration

If you’re arriving a bit early, you can pick up your WordCamp US badge in the lobby of the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown on Thursday, December 1 from 2:00-4:00 pm. Early Registration will not include badges for special registration. Speakers and volunteers will receive badges Thursday evening and sponsors will receive theirs at booth setup.

Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown
201 North 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Tel: +1-215-448-2000

Friday and Saturday

The first two days of WordCamp US – December 2 and 3 – take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. If you’re staying at the Sheraton, then it’s a short walk – a great way to start your day!

Pennsylvania Convention Center (map)
Broad Street Atrium Entrance
Broad and Cherry Streets

Friday and Saturday will be filled from beginning to end with inspirational and fresh presentations! And lunch. We definitely have breaks for lunchSave a PDF of the schedule on your phone now to avoid any possible signal or WiFi issues once you arrive.

Doors open for attendees at 8:00 am on both days.

Opening remarks kick off promptly at 9:00 am on Friday in the upstairs ballroom, followed by sessions in Kite & Key (Room 119), Liberty Bell (Room 120), and Independence (Room 121) on the first floor. Sessions begin Saturday morning at 9:30 am and the event concludes Saturday afternoon upstairs with Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word. Lunch will be served upstairs both days.

Bonus: Come early for Yoga for Desk Jockeys in the Kite & Key room (#119) at 8:15 am on Friday and Saturday!


Get online: The network name (SSID) is WordCampUS and the password is opensource

Getting There

On foot: If you’re staying at Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown, the Pennsylvania Convention Center is a short walk away:

Via subway: Whether you’re on the Blue Line (Market-Frankford) or the Orange Line (Broad Street), get off at the City Hall station.

Taxis and ride services: Philly has plenty of Taxis and there’s Uber and Lyft if you want to request a ride from your phone. When requesting a ride, enter the cross streets (Broad & Cherry) to make sure you’re dropped off near the Broad Street Atrium Entrance.

By car: If you’re driving to WordCamp US you can find directions and parking info here:

We recommend the Convention Center Parking Co. at 142 N. Broad.

After-Party – Saturday, 12/3

The official WordCamp US After-Party will be Saturday evening after the conference at The Academy of Natural Sciences from 8:00 to 11:00pm. We’ll have the whole place to ourselves, so you can check out the exhibits, meet some live animals, hang in the Butterfly Room, show off your singing skills at karaoke, or find a nice quiet spot in the library, if you prefer. Light appetizers and dessert, plus beer, wine, and cider will be provided.

A WordCamp US badge is required for entry into the after-party, so be sure to get a badge for the friend you’d like to bring along!

Academy of Natural Sciences
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway (map)
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Contributor Day – Sunday, 12/4

For Contributor Day, the last day of WordCamp US, we’re back at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Doors open at 9:00 am, opening remarks are at 10:00, am and the event goes through 5:00 pm. Offsite lunch will be provided.

Stay Connected

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram as WordCampUS, and like us on Facebook, to see all of the latest updates as they happen. Use #WCUS on social media to connect with us and your fellow attendees. For questions during the event, find a volunteer or reach out via Twitter anytime.

We hope you’re as excited to attend as we are to have you here!

Inclusion and Accessibility at WordCamp US

Inclusion and accessibility is a priority in The WordPress Community. For WordCamp US, we made a commitment to make the event as accessible as possible so that WordCamps continue to be an example for open source and technology conferences the world over.

Once again WordCamp US is pleased to share that we will be fully accessible to the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing members of our community via Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) live captioning and American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreters. Captions will be projected to the main screen in every presentation room and ASL interpreters will be provided on request. The Livestream will also have captions available. Thank you to the Deaf-Hearing Communication Centre and White Coat Captioning for helping us implement these services

This year we will also have nursing pods available. For mothers who would prefer to nurse privately, the pods are a clean, comfortable alternative to using public restrooms or office space. Any volunteer will have more information, or ask at the registration desk!

WordCamp US will also include non-gendered restrooms as well as traditional Women’s and Men’s restrooms. We don’t assume you know best about our bodies, so we won’t assume we know best about yours.

Even though we work tirelessly to make these events as inclusive as possible, we know that sometimes things are missed. We encourage the “See something, Say something” mentality for all WordCampers — if you see something that isn’t right, let us know. If you’re not sure whether something should be mentioned or not, refer to our Code of Conduct.

Want to be part of the change in technology inclusion with WordCamps? There is still time to get your ticket!

Sponsor Spotlight: Jetpack

We want to thank Jetpack for being a Commonwealth sponsor at WordCamp US.


Our sponsors make it possible to continue bringing these educational, community-supporting, and entertaining conferences to cities and towns all over the world. The support of sponsors like Jetpack allow us to keep ticket prices low so the event is accessible to all. Sponsors like these give back to the free and open source WordPress project through their awesome support of the WordPress Community and WordCamps.

Jetpack is a free WordPress plugin that simplifies managing your sites. This single plugin enables Photon (a global CDN for images), uptime monitoring, brute force protection, traffic-boosting tools, single sign on, multiple-site management, and automatic or bulk plugin updates. Additionally Jetpack includes several features that help you customize the look and feel of your site without installing other tools. More information can be found at

Have some non-WordCamp fun in Philadelphia!

Like our foodie post from this year, we have an exciting set of updates to our list of things to do in and around Philadelphia for 2016. Here are some of the highlights — some new, some old favorites, that you’ll want to put on your “I should see that!” list.

If it’s listed in bold you can even walk there from the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown or the Convention CenterThose listed in italics are a bit farther of a walk, but just fine for a lengthy stroll.

Happy Holidays

SCUBA-diving Santa.

SCUBA-diving Santa.

Mount Pleasant in Fairumount

Mount Pleasant in Fairumount

Must-See Museums

Dinos in the hall at the Natural Science museum

Dinos in the hall at the Natural Science museum

Mural Arts in Philadelphia

Mural Arts in Philadelphia

See A Little History

While in Philadelphia, the birthplace of our great nation, you should definitely take the opportunity to see some of historic sites, such as

Independence Hall

Independence Hall

See the Great Outdoors

Twilight on Boathouse Row by Michael W. Murphy

Twilight on Boathouse Row

  • Schyulkill River Trail Bike, run, or walk as far along the river to the West of Philadelphia. Be sure to catch a glimpse of Boathouse Row while you’re out and about, particularly after dusk.
  • Valley Forge National Park is not just a park with national significance, it’s also a beautiful semi-wilderness escape, museum, and driving tour.
  • Washington Crossing State Park Although the recreations of Washington’s crossing of the Delaware don’t start until December 11th, the park itself is still a beautiful trip to make.
  • Fairmount Park Fairmount is the largest urban park in the world and its trails, playgrounds, art installations, and more make it a great place to spend some quiet time communing with nature.


And More…

If you’re looking for more to do, VisitPhilly and Uwishunu maintain a wealth of links to other parks, museums, activities, and events.

Haven’t registered yet? You can get tickets here, and we even have a schedule so you can plan your trip accordingly. WordPress all weekend and a picturesque Philadelphia tour? What could be better!

Announcing the Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship Winner: Elizabeth Shilling

When we first set out to find the WordPress Foundation’s Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship winner for this year, we had one specific type of person in mind: A woman who would move the WordPress community forward with hard work, dedication, and a sincere desire to see more female leaders and role models in the tech world. We’ve found that person in Elizabeth Shilling; a former biology teacher who is an aspiring business owner, plugin developer, and feminist leader.


 When Elizabeth found the WordPress community she quickly fell in love with it. She has a B.A in Psychology, but went back to school to study computer and data science, leading to an eventual career change – and an insatiable thirst for knowledge about all things web. She grew up playing video games on a Tandy TRS 80 model 1, which was her introduction to computers. Her late mother was an integrated software engineer with Boeing, and is her inspiration to pursue a better representation of women in math and sciences.

Having helped to start the Women Who WP meetup as a way to pay homage to her mother, she’s found herself as a champion for women in leadership. She’s mostly interested in how gender affects experience in the tech world, and wants to encourage everyone to lead – especially those who are hesitant to do so.

Elizabeth is a wonderful representation of someone that Kim would have loved to have met at WordCamp US. She’s dedicated to open source, and is happy to have found an inclusive and welcoming community with an edge of geekiness in WordPress. We’re proud and honored to have Elizabeth join us as the second winner of the Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship.

The Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship was created in 2015 as a way to encourage more women to get involved in the WordPress project. You can find more information about last year’s awardee here. It is funded by the WordPress Foundation and administered by the WordPress Community team.

Tips For First Time WCUS Attendees

WordCamp US Philadelphia

We asked some seasoned pros among the attendees for their top tips for the new WordPressers who we’ll welcome to WCUS this year. They did not disappoint. Their advice follows:

Get the most out of the WCUS tracks

  • Attend the sessions by speakers who you’d like to ask questions. Catch the rest on later.
  • Plan for some time in the Hallway Track. There will be many fantastic people to chat with in the halls! (The Hallway Track is the name given to the informal conversations that take place outside of the sessions themselves. The chats about WordPress code, content strategies, and more, often between people who have just met each other.)
  • Bring an extra bag to put your swag in. You won’t want to ditch a session just to find somewhere to stash it.
  • Prepare a question for the Q&A section of Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word.
  • Avoid distractions on your devices. Take notes with paper and pen.

Be ready to socialize

  • Talk to everyone!
  • Make an effort to meet new people. (Bring business cards!)
  • Schedule time in advance to chat with folks you’ve been wanting to meet in person.
  • Make it a point to sit with people you don’t know at lunch.
  • Go to the after-party! Even if you prefer quieter places, there will be a place for you.

Take Care of Yourself

  • Dress in layers. There will be (unattended) coat racks.
  • Introverts: plan some quiet time into your schedule. (We have a spot for that!)
  • Bring vitamin C. And wash your hands!
  • Go running (or insert your preferred method of exercise here) each day before WordCamp.
  • Attend the official Yoga for Desk Jockeys session to start your day.

Enjoy your time in Philly

  • Visit different parts of Philly if you can. (Keep an eye out for our guides on what to eat & where to go!)
  • Don’t drive if you don’t have to! Try SEPTA, bicycles, or walking.
  • Stay nearby! The official hotel is very close.
  • Charge your devices before you arrive so you don’t end up wandering around looking for an outlet.
  • Bring an external battery pack to recharge during the day. If you like to live tweet sessions (which we encourage and appreciate!) your phone is going to need a boost.

Top Tip

Believe you belong. You do.

Big thanks to everyone who shared their top tips when we asked on Twitter and Facebook!

Amy Letson, Doug StewartJoe CasabonaJohn ParkinsonKatie ThompsonLauren Pittenger,
Liam DempseyLisa B. SnyderLuke PettwayMatt CromwellMorgan EstesMorten Rand-Hendriksen,
Roberto RemediosRuss SanderlinSal FerrarelloSusan WalkerTara Claeys

Heading to WordCamp US in Philly next week and want to join in on the social media conversation? Check out the #wcus hashtag on Facebook and Twitter. Haven’t signed up yet, but a friend convinced you to go? There’s still time to grab a ticket!