The WordCamp US 2016 conference was held in Philadelphia over the past weekend. I had the opportunity to attend the conference and learn from a diverse list of talks. Below are some of the interesting takeaways that are relevant for eCommerce stores built on WordPress.

WordCamp US 2016 Takeaways: State of the Word

State of the Word is an annual talk given by Matt Mullenweg, a founding developer of WordPress and the CEO of Automattic. The talk is typically a recap of the year and a look at the future of WordPress.

WordPress now powers about 27% of all websites in the world. If you’re running your website or store on WordPress, then you’re in good company.

In the past 5 years, WordPress has grown from powering 13.1% to powering 27.2% of all websites on the internet.

A thing Matt encouraged developers to continue to do, as he did in last year’s talk as well, was to learn JavaScript. 28% of WordPress core is JavaScript and that will have a big role in WordPress’s future.

We had a preview of WordPress 4.7 and the new Twenty Seventeen theme. Version 4.7 was released yesterday and you can take a look at the release notes to see the improvements it brings. An important part of the release is inclusion of REST API content endpoints (more on that later in this post).

These are just a few highlights from the talk. You can watch the talk once it’s released, and past talks on the WordPress YouTube channel.

WordCamp US 2016 Takeaways: SSL certificates, content and SEO

You probably already use an SSL certificate on your store. If you don’t yet, consider adding an SSL certificate to your store as it adds a layer of security if you want to process payments on your website, and helps improve your search ranking.

If cost is a concern, take a look at the open source Let’s Encrypt project where you can get a free SSL certificate for your website.

In each talk that touched upon SEO, the emphasis was on creating ongoing and relevant content. We all create content all the time when we talk to people. This is especially true for store owners when they’re talking about their business, their products, or to customer inquiries or concerns.

Content is not something special that you need to create in order to improve your SEO. You can use your blog to create even basic things like answering commonly asked questions to your support.

To learn more about improving SEO on your store, take a look at this post and this post.

WordCamp US 2016 Takeaways: REST API

REST API is a protocol that allows WordPress to talk to external applications and devices. This means that an event on your WordPress site can trigger events in these external applications. For example, when a customer’s order is shipped on your store, you can trigger a notification on an Apple Watch app.

One of my favorite talks from WooConf earlier this year was Bryce Adams showcasing physical products being affected by events on a WooCommerce store. If nothing else, check out the Woo Drone demo starting around the 24 minute mark:

The REST API allows for a lot of possibilities where WordPress can power applications. WordPress 4.7 includes REST API endpoints for posts, comments, terms, users, meta, and settings.

If you haven’t already, check out the talks from this year’s WooConf.

WordCamp US 2016 Takeaways: Summary

So there you have it. This was a really quick and short summary of things that may be useful for store owners. Keep a look out for the talks being posted online on to watch sessions you like or explore talks from around the world.

Posted by Jai Sangha

Jai is a regular contributor to Sell with WP, and helps merchants improve their WordPress eCommerce businesses with plugin reviews, marketing or customer service tips, and tutorials.


    1. Thanks for sharing Luke!

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