by Sam Spence
Whether you know it or not, there's a good chance one of your favorite websites is powered by WordPress. In fact, you've probably spent some time staring at a website created on WordPress in the last few minutes. On May 17, WordCamp Charleston will bring together users of WordPress, the web platform that powers some of the biggest sites on the internet, for a one-day conference to hear from an impressive slate of speakers from Silicon Harbor and beyond.
The online software that provides a user-friendly interface to create and maintain about 22% of the interwebs, WordPress is far and away the market leader among content management systems. And for years, WordPress users have organized WordCamps around the world to learn about newest WordPress tips and tools and to meet other members of the WordPress community, with some of the larger meetups, like WordCamp San Francisco, becoming seminal events where the growing industry around the WordPress ecosystem gathers for its annual check-in. WordCamp Charleston is the first time one of the summits will take place in the Palmetto State.
"WordCamp is an invaluable opportunity for anybody who works with WordPress or is even considering using WordPress," says WordCamp Charleston co-organizer Mannie Schumpert, who also helps organize the local WordPress user group.
The inaugural WordCamp scored a major coup in enlisting Andrew Nacin, one of a handful of WordPress lead developers, as its keynote speaker. Other speakers at the conference, which will be held on the College of Charleston campus, include local designers and developers from BoomTown, SPARC, and the Iron Yard, as well as national names like Media Temple, Treehouse, and Sucuri.
"Whether you’re an expert or a total noob, you’ll come away enriched with knowledge and community connections,” says Schumpert, who is scheduled for a session entitled, "WordPress Capabilities Magic," just to give you an idea of what's on tap.
Created in 2003, WordPress has evolved from a blogging-specific platform a decade ago into a major league industry standard platform for websites large and small, powering everything from your neglected food blog to major media sites like TechCrunch, Washington Post, and Quartz. Automattic, the parent company behind WordPress was recently valued at $1.16 billion.
Tickets for WordCamp Charleston can be purchased for $15 and include all-day access to the three-track conference Saturday as well as a reception Friday night and an post-event party Saturday evening.
WordPress co-founder and Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg gives the annual State of the Word address at WordCamp San Francisco in 2013: