WPCampus 2016: WordPress in Higher Education

A room full of attendees during a talk at WPCampus
The WP Crowd
Published: July 21, 2016

This past week, the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee hosted the first ever WPCampus Conference.  Although conferences already exist addressing web site development in Higher Education, this was the first conference that focused specifically on those who use WordPress as their Content Management System of choice.

The conference was spearheaded by WP Crowd member Rachel Carden, and brought together approximately 150 attendees for two days of talks and workshops relating to the use of WordPress in an industry with more advanced challenges, including (but definitely not limited to):

Comparison to a WordCamp

I found WPCampus to be a refreshing change from the community driven WordCamp events.  As listed above, many of the talks were of a more advanced nature. For this reason, the discussion that took place in the “Hallway Track” (the lobby, cafeteria, after parties, etc.) was also at a higher level.  At a WordCamp, you might have a discussion on the pros and cons of shared hosting vs. a virtual private server.  At WPCampus, I partook in a discussion of hosting your own data centre vs auto-scaling network infrastructure in the cloud using infrastructure like Amazon’s AWS.

Having a venue to discuss more advanced topics like this helps to show the community that WordPress can be used as an enterprise-grade content management system. In fact, I’ve spoken with more than one person who’s agreed that there’s only a fine line between “WordPress in Higher Education” and “WordPress in the Enterprise”.

What’s Next

During the closing remarks, it was announced that there will be a WPCampus 2017 at a location yet to be determined. I for one, look forward to it!

(Photo credit: Kiera Howe, Flickr)

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