Paris is one of my favourite cities in the world. No excuse is really necessary, but the fact that this year’s WordCamp was being held there was a good reason to re-visit the city, which is full of culture, art, and a huge growing tech community.

The last WordCamp I attended was in Auckland in 2012, so this would be my first WordCamp in Europe. I was looking forward to it and was excited about the talks and workshops I planned to attend.

I’ve been working with Performance Foundry for six months and it’s been a great experience. Being a remote team we rarely get a chance to meet our teammates, but at WordCamp I was going to meet Ricardo, who took my technical interview. An extra cherry on on the cake :).

Day one of WordCamp Paris

On the first day, Ricardo introduced me to several of his friends from the Portugal WordPress community and we all selected the talks we wanted to listen to. As there were two tracks, it was hard to pick the best one!

The two most interesting talks for the day for me were those of Alain Schlesser and Otto Kekäläinen. For the last two months, I have been an active part of the Performance Foundry support team and I thought these talks were very relevant to what we do. Otto’s talk was about site optimisation and speed improvement, and I knew I had to take in as much as I could and put it into practice at work!

The talk focused on how we can optimise the server, use server commands, and add our custom scripts to monitor bottlenecks on site and fix those issues: sometimes external tools don’t exactly give the root cause of why a site is acting slow.

Working directly on the server has its benefits as we don’t have to depend on external resources, and can tweak the server as we find any issues. He demonstrated tools like xDebug and PHP profiling to help in improving the overall performance of WordPress websites. We also did a demo on the WordPress 2017 theme and saw a considerable load-time improvement.

At Performance Foundry, we already do a lot of the steps suggested by Otto, but I’m excited about adding some extra steps to our workflow to make our clients’ websites even faster, more secure, and better performing. As always, we want to allow our clients to focus on the business side of their website while we take care of their optimisation.

Visiting WordCamp Paris was a great experience, and I’m already looking forward to WordCamp 2018 — to be held in Belgrade, Serbia.