WordCamp Asia 2024: Building the Future of WordPress 

WordCamp Asia 2024: Building the Future of WordPress 

As spring is coming to Taiwan, people from around the world gathered in Taipei for the biggest WordPress event in the region.

WordCamp Asia 2024, taking place from March 7-9, kicked off the series of WordPress flagship events. 1,320 people from over 60 countries traveled to Taipei to attend insightful talks and exchange their thoughts on WordPress.

This year, Hostinger participated as a Jade Mountain sponsor. Not only that, our team members also made contributions to the WordPress project. For instance, I had the opportunity to be a Contributor Day table lead during the event.

Read on as I recap the highlights from WordCamp Asia 2024.

Contributor Day

The event started with Contributor Day, where attendees could contribute to the WordPress project.

Unlike the usual flagship WordCamp, not all 22 Make Teams were present. But that didn’t stop the enthusiasm from the crowd, as over 600 participants joined, and more than 200 of them were first-time contributors.

Support table during WordCamp Asia's Contributors Day

What I like about the Contributor Day is that everyone, regardless of their experience with WordPress and technical skills, can join. And no matter how big or small their contributions were, they helped pave the way for WordPress’s future.

In this WordCamp, the organizer prepared an Orientation Table where new contributors can set up the necessary accounts and tools to contribute. There were also mentors who helped them to find the right team they could join based on their skill set.

There was another unique corner, too – the Human Library. In this “library”, attendees could have a one-on-one conversation to get insights and knowledge with “books” – human volunteers, that is – who are experienced in WordPress and contribution.

Our team spread out to different tables throughout the day, including Support, Marketing, Polyglots, and Documentation.

“Contributor Day is one of my favorite parts of WordCamp. I like to sign up for multiple tables and then join the ones that I haven’t been to before,” said our Head of Content, Emma Young, as she’s eager to learn more about other teams.

I contributed to the Documentation table by being a co-lead. This was my first time doing this role at a WordCamp event, and it was amazing to see the enthusiasm of new contributors.

Throughout the day, the Documentation Team onboarded over 10 new contributors and guided them to complete their first tasks.

Contributors working during the Contributors Day

The Future of WordPress: Takeaways from the Keynote

The conference days were kicked off with a keynote about the future of WordPress from Noel Tock, the co-founder of Human Made.

He began with the startling fact that the WordPress market share has stagnated in recent years. The declining trend of search interest and the number of new WordPress sites launched supported this claim.

Google Trend results for WordPress keyword, showing a declining trend

He then introduced the concept of the product lifecycle S-curve, where matured products tend to become stagnant and prone to disruption by newcomers. Unfortunately, WordPress is now in this stage.

We’ve seen competition from SaaS website builders with fierce marketing campaigns attract people looking for a website platform. He also predicted more potential disruptors in the future, such as headless solutions and AI-based platforms.

While there’s nothing wrong with WordPress software, the contributors behind the project need to bridge the gap between the development team and the ever-changing market needs.

“WordPress Core is not the problem. It’s the distance between Core and the market,” Noel Tock said.

Noel Tock presenting his keynote speech

So, what are his suggestions for strengthening WordPress in the face of these new challenges? Noel pointed out several opportunities to leverage WordPress’s appeal in the market.

One way is to develop native WordPress integrations for commonly used functions instead of depending solely on plugins. Imagine if you can get eCommerce functionality, form builder, and membership management from WordPress without having to find and install plugins. This is what Noel envisions as simplifying the initial setup and improving user experience.

He also suggested WordPress capitalize on AI to empower users with built-in no-code options. This could involve AI-assisted content creation, website design, or workflow automation within the WordPress ecosystem.

Noel’s ideas might be challenging for the community. However, his keynote speech undoubtedly inspired the contributors and developers who were present in the hall. This is a good starting point for planning the next WordPress evolution.

The atmosphere of WordCamp asia hall

Hostinger’s Presence at the Event

Hostinger’s participation as a top-level sponsor at WordCamp Asia 2024 is part of our commitment to supporting the open-source community. Plus, over 60% of websites hosted with us use WordPress, so every WordCamp is a perfect opportunity to meet our clients directly.

Strategically placed near the sponsor hall entrance, our black-and-violet booth encouraged attendees to stop by and chat about our services or collect our merchandise.

Hostinger booth in WordCamp Asia

Booth Interaction

Direct interaction with WordCamp attendees is an invaluable experience for us, as it’s a golden opportunity to get to know our users and their needs better. We were thrilled that many attendees were familiar with Hostinger and our services, some of whom were our clients.

We received great feedback – both positive and constructive, from agencies, freelancers, and business owners. They motivate us to improve and deliver the best possible managed WordPress hosting experience.

Attendees who were curious about our services could get to know Hostinger better at our booth. They tried our services firsthand, and our specialists gladly guided them through the hPanel.

They could experience the convenience of managing WordPress through our hPanel or starting up a new WordPress site using our integrated onboarding process. Or, if they are intrigued by the rising AI trend, they could try our WordPress AI Assistant plugin and generate content instantly by entering prompts.

Booth interaction in WordCamp Asia

But not all conversations were about hosting. As a gathering of WordPressers, we also chatted about WordPress itself and trends that are ongoing in the industry.

For example, I had very interesting discussions about AI usage in WordPress content creation. Many people agree that AI is a good companion to help writers and content creators speed up their workflow, but it’s still a long way until AI can fully replace humans for the job.

Another conversation I had was about WordPress communities in Singapore and Malaysia. I discovered that Singaporean and Malaysian WordPressers sometimes attend the same Meetup events due to their close proximity, which shows how unified the WordPress community is.

The amount of insights we got is truly incredible, and we wouldn’t have gotten them without interacting directly with the attendees.

The Merchandise

It’s no secret that one of the reasons people stop at any sponsor booth is for the merch. Of course, Hostinger had them covered.

We had something special at this WordCamp as we wanted to put our customers front and center. We collaborated with Dou Zhai Coffee and Roastery, our client based in Taiwan, to deliver the WordPresso – available in beans and ground coffee.

WordPresso merch

We also had two pieces of merchandise with local touches – stickers and tote bags. The tote bag attracted so many attendees. Not only because it incorporated local designs like Taipei 101 and the Yin and Yang but also because a tote bag is very convenient to have at a WordCamp.

WordCamp Asia attendee holding Hostinger tote bag

The Raffle

We also did something different – a raffle. We invited people who visited our booth to enter the raffle to win a Macbook Air M2 and a Business WordPress hosting plan.

200 people joined the raffle. The winner, Uzma Jafar, was announced at the end of WordCamp, at the plenary hall, in front of all attendees.

Hostinger team announcing the raffle winner

What’s Next?

With WordCamp Asia done and dusted, it’s time to look forward to the next flagship event – WordCamp Europe 2024. It will take place in Torino, Italy, from 13-15 June. Hostinger will also take part as a sponsor, so if you live close by, let’s meet up at the event!

Meanwhile, if you’re looking forward to next year’s WordCamp Asia, great news: the organizers have announced that WordCamp Asia 2025 will take place in Manila, Philippines. Stay tuned to their official website for the dates and more information about the event.

The author

Leonardus Nugraha

Leo is a Content Specialist and WordPress contributor. Armed with his experience as a WordPress Release Co-Lead and Documentation Team Representative, he loves sharing his knowledge to help people build successful websites. Follow him on LinkedIn.