WordCamp Zurich #WCZRH impressed with 50 percent first-time visitors. Our review reports on grilled hosters, digital WordPress nomads and the daily struggle with WooCommerce.
Bigger, even more interactive and with exciting sessions: Compared to 2015, the camp's organisers have managed to increase the number of participants once again. Raidboxes was a sponsor last weekend. Our WordCamp Zurich recap at a glance:
Pains and Gains with WooCommerce
WooCommerce was much more in demand as a topic at WordCamp Zurich than I know it from other camps. This was confirmed in the conversations with WP professionals and agencies. More and more potential customers realize projects in the area of eCommerce - from the classic shop to the distribution of services and events. Because WooCommerce can do much more than normal webshops. Accordingly, the demand for suitable service providers is increasing.
Tip: You want to work with the leading shop system in the future? Then take a look at our article WooCommerce for freelancers & agencies. It tells you more about the possibilities and business models.
In his session "Pains and Gains with WooCommerce" Enrik Berisha gave exciting insights into the everyday life of his agency for WooCommerce and WordPress. At the moment, only WooCommerce and Shopify are growing, the other systems are stagnating. "But the Pains with Shopify are much worse than with Woo," says Enrik. But he also doesn't like the "software as a service model": "As Shopify grows, the service then automatically becomes more expensive."
Nevertheless, Enrik sees numerous construction sites at WooCommerce . We know these just as well from our support:
- Multilingualism: Manual intervention is necessary for projects with WPML and Polylang. In addition, there is chaos with the permalinks and duplicate product pages(SEO sin). With multilingual shops, customers regularly underestimate the effort for the implementation and for the translations (products, buttons, Theme etc.). Then the finished multilingual feature is often removed again.
- Multicurrency: Several currencies in one shop? With three languages and three currencies, this results in nine different versions of site . And with caching, incorrect versions and thus incorrect final prices are quickly displayed.
- Caching: If you exclude individual WooCommerce-sites from caching, then the system often slows down. This is especially tragic for online shops. See our performance recommendations for WooCommerce.
- Bulk-Price: Scale and quantity prices can only be solved with additional Plugins. But even then, the scaling is often missing, e.g. according to attributes or delivery times.
- Point of Sale (POS): Just quickly implement a pop-up store? That becomes a challenge with WooCommerce .
- Multistock: Online shops quickly have two or more different warehouses. Or they want to include a local store in the logistical planning. This is also not possible with the standard from WooCommerce .
However, the main problem for Enrik remains: At WooCommerce everything can be solved via Plugins . But these very often do not work together, because they do not come from a single source. This is particularly difficult for a commercial approach. Because every termination costs money.
If a social button on site doesn't work because of a Plugins , that's not so bad. If the shopping cart completion does not run in the shop, then that is tragic.
is his summary on this point. Because especially in a web shop, performance is crucial. A negative user experience not only leads to more cancellations in the checkout process, it also reduces the recommendation rate.
"3 seconds of loading time is accepted there. After that, the conversion goes down by 12 percent for each additional second" - explained Enrik during his session. Third-party plugins in particular often slow things down. For example, payment interfaces or solutions for multilingualism.
- Nick Weisser (@nickweisser) September 14, 2019
His final recommendation:
Test your WooCommerce configuration very thoroughly. Then stick to your personal Plugin setup.
See our tip on templates in WordPress and WooCommerce. Likewise on testing and Staging. It is grossly negligent to run WordPress or WooCommerce without a separate testing environment and backups. One wrong setting in a Plugin or a new extension that is not compatible with the rest, and your website is crippled. This may not be so easy to undo.
Tip: You can find more tips on WooCommerce in our 70+ sites strong e-book WooCommerce for professionals. It is aimed at freelancers, agencies, WP professionals, but also at beginners.
Location-independent independence with WordPress
Michael Hörnlimann was once employed in a Swiss web agency. Today, he works completely independent of location, in countries like Bolivia or Portugal. He realizes projects with WordPress and WooCommerce as a so-called digital nomad. At the camp he gave an insight into his life:
On the benefits of working as a digital nomad, Michael says, "The flexibility in this lifestyle is tremendous. So is the quality of life." It has also changed him personally:
I have become much more open and approach people openly ... I have also become more loyal. Especially when it comes to other cultures. Because this lifestyle allows me to get to know them authentically and for a longer period of time.
His tips for living a location independent life are mainly:
- Start slowly and in small steps.
- So if someone is still working classically and full time in an office, there may be a home office option. See our tips for working remotely.
- Classic fields for digital nomads are graphic design, web design, social media and online marketing.
- A financial buffer is especially important with this lifestyle.
- The places of work must have a good infrastructure. For example, a fast internet connection but also good shopping facilities.
Want to learn more about the work of digital nomads? Read our interview with Michael. In it, he gives detailed tips for working with WordPress from other countries. Equally exciting: The blog post from Jan Tissler about typical freelancer mistakes and how to avoid them.
- Raidboxes (@Raidboxes) September 14, 2019
Roast my Host
Around 80 participants wanted to know how web hosters deal with typical customer problems. And how they can assess the quality of their service provider. Our support hero Tino from Raidboxes and representatives from Cyon, infomaniak and AlpHosting were there. The round was moderated by Lucas Radke from Plesk.
It was about missing brackets in the source code, backups, disabling and the right selection of plugins, sifting through logs, modified .htaccess files but also hacked WordPress sites. The questions hardly made the four representatives sweat. From there it is true: "Roast my Host" passed.
Only in isolated cases did the different approaches become visible, for example between shared and managed hosting for WordPress. Especially in the areas of performance and page speed. For example, some representatives recommended the use of plugins for caching. Raidboxes relies on the integrated approach here. The same applies to WordPress security: When it comes to removing malware, the other hostrefer to external service providers. We offer this as an additional or even integrated service (in the planFully Managed).
We supported WordCamp Zurich as Bronze Sponsor and Microsponsor. Already at the "Sponsor Dinner" on Friday evening there were exciting discussions about WordCamp Asia, the development of WordCamps in Switzerland and of course about the latest developments of WordPress.
On Saturday, the table of Raidboxes was very well attended. Numerous WP professionals as well as agencies from Switzerland and Germany took the opportunity to talk to Tino and me about high-performance WordPress hosting as well as our FREE DEV programme and affiliate commissions. Our tools for developers were particularly in demand. For example, for cloning WordPress projects with pre-configured plugins, settings and themes.
We were particularly pleased with the interest in our e-book WooCommerce for professionals - in the printed version. By late afternoon, all copies were gone. This also shows us that WooCommerce is "coming" as a topic.
The WordCamp took place at Technopark Zurich, just like in 2015, when there were around 200 registrations. The numbers of this year's camp:
- 240 registrations
- 200 participants
- 23 Speaker
- 27 Volunteers and Orga
- 30 percent women, with a significant increase compared to the last WordCamps in Switzerland
Also particularly nice: 50 percent of the participants were at a WordCamp for the first time. This shows that it's by no means always just the same round of "old hands" at WordCamps. The organizers have managed to inspire almost 100 new faces for WordPress and WooCommerce .
- Raidboxes (@Raidboxes) September 14, 2019
At this point many thanks to the team. Especially to Nick Weisser, Gerd Zimmermann, Christian Zumbrunnen, Silvan Hagen, Claudio Rimann and Michael Hörnlimann, with whom we had a great sponsor contact.
The annual WordCamps in Switzerland are now set. The next WordCamp Switzerland will take place on 21 March 2020 in Geneva. See
There are further WordPress Meetups in Baden, Bern, Fribourg, Lausanne, Lucerne, Lugano, Monthey, Neuchâtel, Schaffhausen, Sion and St. Gallen. More information in the overview here.
The WordPress -Meetup Zurich has over 800 members. However, due to time and organizational reasons, there are no regular monthly meetings so far. The team would therefore be happy to have you join! You can find more information at https://wpzurich.ch/community/.
Here you can read more voices and sessions of the #WCZRH:
- Nick Weisser: Biggest Swiss WordCamp in History
- Gabriel Figueiro: Lessons Learned @ WordCamp Zurich 2019
- Martin Sauter: Multilingual websites with WordPress
- Michael Hörnlimann: Slides of the session "Digital Nomads
- Mark Howells-Mead: Photos from WordCamp Zurich 2019
You have also written about WordCamp Zurich? Post the link in the comments and we'll add it to the list.