WordSesh 2022, the live, virtual conference for WordPress professionals, is right around the corner. The event runs from May 16–20, 2022. While previous WordSesh events have always been high quality, this particular edition is jam-packed with a diverse selection of industry experts – many who have been building high impact projects with WordPress for years.
This year’s WordSesh will feature 20 sessions, 3 keynotes, and two in-depth workshops. On May 19, at 8PM EDT, frontend developer Ellen Bauer from Elma Studio will guide users in a workshop on how to “Convert a Classic Theme to a Block Theme.” If you are a theme developer who hasn’t taken the leap into block themes, this workshop will get you started:
Together, we will set up the header and footer in a block theme, learn to work with Templates and Template Parts, set up page contents, and dive into how Styles work.
Throughout the workshop we’ll discuss which website projects can benefit from the new FSE features the most, what limitations we are still facing, and how the future of WordPress themes will most likely look.
The second workshop will be given by Tiffany Bridge, Product Manager at Nexcess, on May 20. She will give attendees an overview of how to prepare their web properties for a high traffic event.
One of the most exciting sessions on the schedule is the keynote on May 19. The team that rebuilt WhiteHouse.gov on WordPress in just six months will join the event to talk about the project. Other topics on the schedule include custom block development, headless WordPress, hacking, client services, performance, accessibility, and user experience.
In 2021, Brian Richards, founder of WPSessions.com and organizer of WordSesh, has transitioned the event to be more inclusive of timezones around the world. This year’s event will happen over the course of four days, with time offsets that accommodate a global audience. The first block of sessions is optimally timed for attendees across Asia and the Pacific. Day 2 is designed for attendees across Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and day 3 will cater to attendees in the Americas, Iceland, and Greenland.
“In 2019 and 2020 I ran entirely separate events for each region, but in 2021 I brought them back together as a single event,” Richards said. “I found it was a lot easier to get people excited about and paying attention to one big WordSesh event.
“It feels more inclusive this way, even though the separate events were also open to attendees from around the world. I think that’s primarily because there is something that is conveniently scheduled for someone no matter where they live. And with a single event, watching the recordings feels more akin to catching up on the pieces you missed rather than trying to watch talks for an event that was designed for somebody else.”
The scheduling modifications seem to be working, as the last event in 2021 hosted 3,600 attendees, making WordSesh the second largest WordPress community event behind WCEU 2020.
Richards continues to curate a high-quality speaker lineup year after year, through the help of attendee surveys, which reveal where people are spending their time, attention, and money. WordSesh pays its speakers and Richards also invests time for personal outreach. Through this combination, he said the schedule fills up fast.
“I think paying the speakers certainly helps with recruiting such incredible presenters, but I imagine that’s more icing on the cake for most speakers,” Richards said. “Probably the biggest draw is the history WordSesh now has (this is the 9th year and 12th event, officially), helped by the ever-increasing reach of my own personal network.”
Until 2021, Richards had been running the events entirely by himself. Last year he hired a part-time assistant and also started contracting out the video editing, which has helped him keep the event running more efficiently. It is quite a feat to have hosted WordSesh so many years running when many comparable virtual WordCamps of this caliber often rely on a large team of volunteers and organizers.
Registration for WordSesh is still open and it’s free for anyone to attend. The event will be live captioned by real people and all sessions will be recorded for purchase later on WPSessions.