WordCamp Buffalo Recap - the WordPress Community Shines Again

Some reflections on the WordPress community I met at Buffalo, NY, and our never-ending mission to spread the word about WP performance.


Looking back on WordCamp Buffalo earlier this month, the thing that stands out to me is the closeness of the community that the conference brought together. A few weeks earlier I’d been one of thousands of people at CloudFest in Germany, which was an industry event on an industrial scale. Being one of the hundred or so people at Ken-Ton Commons on May 4 reminded me that WordPress runs on the dedication and enthusiasm of its users. They’re a great bunch of people, and they were quick to welcome me to my first ever WordCamp (and hopefully not my last one).

As well as a chance to learn, WordCamps are also a great place to meet people.

Like any strong community, there was a good mix of people there too. In the Site Builders & Developers track, where I spent most of my day, you’d find cybersecurity techs and even core contributors to WordPress itself. Meanwhile, the Content Creators & Marketers track attracted people with more of a business background, or who were there because they’ve built websites to support independent projects. Everyone was welcome, and the talk schedule catered to a big range of interests and levels of expertise.

My talk, Achieving Optimal Performance: Advice for Speeding Up, and Scaling Up, WordPress, was definitely one for the Developer track. It’s always a good sign when you see people taking notes while you’re presenting! The discussion afterwards threw a few interesting questions my way - about everything from time-to-first-byte (TTFB) targets to why AWS rate-limits some of its hardware. 

When we benchmarked hardware in the $25-30 range, AWS’s T3a.medium suffered from intentional rate-limiting

For the record, the answers are that anything over 0.5s is considered to be a slow TTFB, and that AWS throttles its hardware so that its cheaper services don’t perform as well as more expensive ones. Hardware matters a lot in hosting, but you want to be sure that your provider isn’t holding anything back. In the next few weeks we will write up some of the other tips and info that I shared, so keep your eye on this blog.

Throughout the day I learned a thing or two about MySQL database optimization, from a talk that paired nicely with mine, and about the Interactivity API and custom blocks. It was interesting to see that the API enables a more app-like experience. The Block Editor isn’t exactly everyone’s favorite thing, but this sort of capability makes it more appealing. The more you learn about Wordpress, the fewer limitations there are.

As well as a chance to learn, WordCamps are also a great place to meet people. Here are a few of us being outshone by another of the day’s presenters, Christopher Ross:


So here’s a big thank you to all the organizers and volunteers behind WordCamp Buffalo. I really enjoyed the chance to join a friendly community and share a few lessons from the world of hosting. And I hope I’ll see you all again soon.

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