We Are Communication Architects

Building brand awareness through content creation and community engagement.

July 23rd, 2007

Heading Back from California and WordCamp 2007

As I sit here waiting for my flight to leave the San Francisco Airport I figured I’d take some time to get an updated post on the cnp_studio blog. Just finished up a trip in California for client meetings and was also able to squeeze in a trip to this year’s WordCamp. For those of you unfamiliar with WordCamp, here’s a description from the WordCamp site…

WordCamp is a 2-day conference for WordPress users and developers. The first day will focus on how to be a better blogger, the second on the development and future of WordPress. 

More and more we are using WordPress in our business here at cnp_studio. We have been using WordPress in its traditional sense as a blog platform (Sony, Winter Haven Chamber), but also in the less traditional sense as a content management system.There were definitely sessions at WordCamp that I was able to take more from than others. A few of these sessions were:

Whitehat SEO tips for Bloggers – Matt Cutts, Google

Matt’s tips weren’t just for bloggers. Anyone with a Web site can benefit from what he has to say. Since Matt actually works AT Google, you can really take to heart the tips he gives. A few main points:

  • Dashes are the best word separator when making URLs
  • Pick whether you want your site to be located at www.domain.com or simply domain.com. These two URLs can be treated as two different sites and can be a point of confusion
  • Switching your Title tag around on interior pages of your site helps search engine relevance. For example, the title of the homepage on our site is cnp_studio. The Portofolio page of our site should then be “Portfolio – cnp_studio” rather than “cnp_studio – Portfolio.” You’ll notice we’re currently not doing this, but will be soon.

Barry and Matt’s HyperDB and High Performance WordPress

An interesting take on how to increase the performance of any WordPress site. Since we’ve been working on some higher traffic sites as of late, this is extremely helpful. We were already using wp-cache, so there were no gains to be made there, but the main helpful piece was learning more about HyperDB which we currently are not using on any of our sites (and honestly do not need at this point, but in the future very well could). As we see traffic increases, the ability to spread this load across servers can be extremely helpful. A little bit more on what HyperDB supports:

  • Replication
  • Failover
  • Redundant (public/private) networks
  • Local and remote datacenters
  • Partitioning
  • Different tables on different DBs
  • Advanced stats for profiling

Liz Danzico’s Usability Analysis of WP

This session was great to hear about what we can expect to see in WordPress 2.4 (at least on the administration side). WordPress 2.3 should be out in September, supporting things like tagging, but it seems that the 2.4 version with a completely redesigned administration will come with many welcomed updates including:

  • An updated dashboard (hopefully with less WordPress news and more news about your actual site)
  • An updated navigation that will hopefully solve the space issues presented with the current horizontal navigation (as more links are added it gets harder and harder to find things, especially when the navigation goes down to a second or third line)
  • An updated “Drafts” list in the post management area. This is much needed and long overdue in my opinion. The current laundry list that appears above the post listings in the current administration becomes slightly cumbersome once you get a few posts in it.

These were my standouts. Due to the nature of sessions being split between a blogger and a developer focus everybody that attended will have sessions that were more meaningful than others.

About the Author
Nick Gernert leads the Platform Services team that's part of Voce Connect and oversees all web development efforts as well as making sure all those efforts are strategically sound. He is on Twitter as @nickgernert.

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