WordCamp Miami was held over the weekend, drawing more than 770+ attendees who converged upon the University of Miami to connect over all things WordPress. The event celebrated its 5th anniversary (quite ancient in WordCamp years) with a world-class lineup of speakers and many opportunities for attendees to network.
BuddyCamp Miami kicked off the event on Friday, fueled by a delicious array of gourmet donuts. The organizers didn’t take an official count, but based on registration and room capacity, there were more than 150 people in attendance to learn more about BuddyPress and meet other users of the plugin. Those numbers are roughly double last year’s BuddyCamp turnout, making the event one of the fastest-growing branches of WordCamp Miami.
If you missed out on BuddyCamp, you can still check out the collection of slides from presentations given at the event.
I gave a quick introduction to BuddyPress and its components. We had a live demo site set up for the event and attendees were able to register and explore BuddyPress hands-on during the session. The majority of those in attendance were brand new to BuddyPress and were trying it for the first time.
Michael Eisenwasser presented on Scaling BuddyPress, offering a framework for understanding how to scale a BuddyPress site over time with tips on hosting, caching, using a CDN, and optimizing to prevent bottlenecks.
Best of BuddyPress Plugins
Karla Campos presented about the best BuddyPress plugins for building community. Her slides have some excellent examples of successful BP sites and advice for those interested in building their own social networks.
BuddyPress Theme Do and Don’ts
Tammie Lister gave a beautiful presentation on conceptualizing and building themes with support for BuddyPress features.
Jared Atchison gave a very entertaining presentation that included a quick history of bbPress and all the basics you need to know about using it to power forums on your WordPress site.
We’ll add the remaining slides as they are added to the event’s collection.
Overall, BuddyCamp Miami was a great success and many of those new to BuddyPress are now excited about creating their own social networks with WordPress. The event provided an excellent opportunity for beginners to get fully immersed in BuddyPress as well as the chance for more advanced users to sharpen their skills. Although there have only been a handful of BuddyCamp events in the past, feedback from this event and others proves that adding a BuddyPress/bbPress track can be a positive addition to the traditional WordCamp experience.