• 10th WordPress Meetup Zagreb

    10th WordPress Meetup Zagreb

    By: Emil Firšt



    The 10th Jubilee WordPress Meetup Zagreb took place on the last Friday of November so we had to be there. Actually, we didn’t have to, but our eagerness to learn and get involved in the community got us on the road.

    Just like every meetup there were three interesting speakers with three different topics. They were young, enthusiastic and creative people from the industry who wanted to share their experiences.

    SOS WordPress

    2Mario Janković, Frontend and WordPress developer, and Martina Čuljak, responsible for unfortunate people’s stories, stepped on the stage first. Their topic was “SOS WordPress“. They also talked about their project called “HelpBalkans”, a WordPress platform and online campaign in which the purpose was to help people affected by the great flood in the summer of 2014. They launched it almost immediately after the flood happened. Mario said that everything was happening very fast and there was no time to waste but, at the same time, he was trying to build a high quality, recognizable platform. It was a big challenge for him as a human first, and also as a developer, to build up a campaign like this. I think that it was an inspiring story for most of the attendees. The most important fact was that they succeed in raising funds and gave it directly to the people who lost everything in this catastrophe.

    WordPress Development Workflow

    The next topic was “Wordpress Development Workflow” by Igor Kovačić, the Lead Frontend Developer in web.burza, Croatian digital agency. Through some examples he showed us how the workflow in development of custom WordPress templates from scratch looks like.

    Their developers created Starter Kit, which allows developers to automatize repeatable actions and save a lot of time. They also use popular technologies such as Node.js (package manager), Grunt (JavaScript task manager that compiles Sass into CSS and merges JavaScript files etc.), Sass (CSS extension) and Bower (manage installations of different frameworks, libraries etc.).

    Igor emphasized the importance of code standardization, which teamwork would follow from the start of a project. It’s very easy to create a mess, and confusion can disturb the whole workflow. In order to avoid this developers should all follow the same standardized rules in regards to coding. In his agency they created their own system with rules which helps them to remind themselves, for example, which classes to use and to guide new developers so they can adopt and join the team immediately.3

    In his workflow demonstration, he explained that after the static code has been written and set up, WordPress takes the main role. Igor mentioned that they use GIT (for code versioning) and Vagrant, a tool for building development environments. What they do next is pull the meta project from GIT and start Vagrant virtual machine. Then it’s time to set up WordPress database through phpMyAdmin and the site is ready for a new theme.

    When the structure of the theme is done it requires some functionalities which are separated in plugins. Some basic plugins they use on every project are Query monitor, Advanced Custom Fields and SEO plugin.

    The next workflow step is to deploy, which is also done by GIT because classic FTP often has bad performance and lacks useful features.

    Then the project needs to be tested and the client should confirm its final appearance and functionality. This takes place on a staging server before it’s pushed to final production.

    Blogs and Content Marketing for Freelancers

    The last topic of the evening was “Blogs and content marketing for freelancers” by Nela Dunato, an experienced blogger, web and brand designer. That topic was very important and useful for everybody who works with clients and who wants to enhance their reputation and chase new opportunities. She was talking about the content being the fundamentals of web.

    4A blog is only one of the ways to publishing content on the web and has many benefits. One of the many benefits is marketing and SEO, with the intent to reach as many users as possible. Nela made comparisons between content on the social networks and blog content. Posts published on social networks have a higher user reach at the beginning and then fades away as time passes by. The interesting fact is that views of blog post increases by the time and it becomes more popular. The next thing she discussed was the benefits to building your reputation. You can share your knowledge and experience with everybody. One important benefit is the conversion of visitors to customers because visitors trust you more than your competition that doesn’t write about their interests. Through blogs you can talk to your customers, give them support and teach them. Your blog posts can open the door to new business opportunities, as well as offering the ability test your product before you have even developed it. You can even make money with affiliate marketing, ads, sponsored posts etc.

    Nela categorized web articles into four types. The first post type was “How to” post with purpose to teach users how to do something. These posts are the most shared on social networks and bring the most visits. The second post type was “Case studies” of your own projects or projects for clients. That’s the best way to sell your skills. The third post type was “Theoretical considerations”, as Nela called it. This goes for your own design or development philosophy. The fourth type was “Personal post” which is important to connect with users on human level and generates loyalty between you and your readers.

    I would like to share Nela’s tips & tricks which can help you start writing a blog or to help you improve your current blog.

    Tips & tricks

    • Write for one person
    • Write in your preferred client’s language
    • Start writing from the point
    • Don’t try to say everything in a single post
    • When cut surpluses save them in a new document
    • Start your blog with at least 5 posts already written
    • Write more than one post at the same time
    • Write until you’re well rested
    • Create a schedule of writing
    • Insert at least one image
    • Create a newsletter
    • Use Facebook groups to promote your posts

    As always, we all have moved to the neighboring Café to chill, chat & share experiences…drink a beer or two and have a good time.

    We are looking forward to the next WordPress meetup in Zagreb!

    Photos are provided by wpcroatia.com.