WordCamp Europe 2024: Sustainable Open Source for the Future 

WordCamp Europe 2024: Sustainable Open Source for the Future 

WordCamp Europe is the pinnacle of WordPress’s flagship event, gathering the European WordPress community and beyond.

This year’s event took place in Torino, Italy, from June 13-15. WordCamp Europe has always been the biggest in the calendar, with over 2,500 people from over 90 countries in attendance.

Hostinger is proud to get involved in many different ways. This year, we supported the event as an Admin sponsor, joined the organizing team, and led one of the Contributors Day tables.

Read on as I recap the key takeaways and highlights from our experience at WordPress Europe 2024.

Contributors Day

The first day of the event was dedicated to Contributors Day, where attendees gathered to contribute to the WordPress project. Almost all Make WordPress teams were represented on the day, with over 750 contributors working together.

I co-led the Documentation team, and we spent the day mostly working on the new WordPress Mobile App documentation and some WordPress 6.6 release tasks.

By the way, if you haven’t tried the WordPress Mobile App, you might want to, as it allows you to publish posts from your mobile device.

Aside from myself, others from the Hostinger team spread out during the day and made their contributions as well.

Daniels Martinovs, our WordPress developer, joined as a first-timer and contributed to a bug-fixing ticket for the WP-CLI. 

Our Head of Content, Emma Young, was invited to a meeting involving Polyglots, Documentation, and Training teams to discuss the cross-team translation project. This project aims to make community content more accessible to a broader audience.

We also had Hostinger-sponsored contributors at the event. David Perez, Paco Marchante, and Nilo Vélez took the role of table leads and got involved in the Plugins and Photos teams.

During this year’s WordCamp Europe Contributors Day, I noticed that there are more experienced contributors than newcomers. That’s not necessarily a better or worse experience, but it’s amazing to see how almost every person in the room got to work so quickly, with only a few onboarding going on here and there.

Sustainable Open Source: Key Problems and Solutions

The conference days started with a keynote about sustainable open source projects presented by Joost de Valk and Juliette Reinders Folmer. As the WordPress community is getting bigger, I found this keynote really insightful. It was great to step back and look at open-source projects from a broader perspective.

The Open Source Sustainability Issue

Their keynote highlighted a few problems with open-source projects. First, the concept of freedom in open source is often confused with free of charge. As a result, a lot of companies make money with the software and not giving any resources back, making it seem exploitative.

The second issue is that some open-source projects get abandoned or struggle because they rely on just a few individuals. Joost and Juliette reminded us of the challenge maintainers face in balancing project development with their day jobs and personal lives.

The third issue is the regeneration of contributors, including in the WordPress ecosystem. They pointed out that many of the original maintainers and contributors from the early days of WordPress will reach retirement age in about 10-15 years. Therefore, a new generation of contributors and maintainers should emerge to keep the project alive.

The Proposed Solution

Joost and Juliette suggested two main action points for keeping an open-source project such as WordPress alive.

Firstly, the community and the project must be inclusive and welcoming to new contributors. 

But it’s not just about being friendly and helpful. It’s also about making sure there are tasks suitable for new joiners and a well-documented workflow so that they can be properly onboarded with the work and standards set by the team.

Secondly, companies should fund open-source projects.

Joost highlighted that not all open-source maintainers can build a healthy open-source business. Not to mention, the lack of time they have to allocate if they have to think about monetizing the project.

Thus, the WordPress Five for the Future initiative was given as an example, where companies pledge their commitment to the ecosystem by sponsoring contributors.

However, WordPress is not the only open-source project. Plenty more open-source software benefits companies, and they should get the support they deserve to stay alive.

Hostinger Sparkles at WordCamp 2024

This year marked the third year of our involvement at WordCamp Europe, and this time, we sponsored the event as an Admin-level sponsor.

To celebrate, we revamped our booth design from a black-dominated design to a bright and shiny holographic design. We’re happy to hear good feedback from returning WordCampers!

This fresh new design attracted more people to our booth, and this is what we love most about WordCamps: interacting with attendees and receiving valuable feedback.

Attendees could also test out our products at the booth, including our hPanel interface and WordPress AI plugin. 

We were glad to hear that many of our existing clients are happy with our services, with our intuitive hPanel, vulnerability scanner, and multiple data centers mentioned as their favorite features. 

We were so happy to hear feedback from our clients, hosting users, and WordPress enthusiasts. They inspire us to make our products even better.

It’s going to be exciting to see what we can deliver out of these insights to bring our clients the best WordPress hosting experience.

Putting our clients front and center once again, we collaborated with Berry House, an Italian farmhouse, to reward attendees for their feedback.

We brought BerryPress – jams, nectar, and juice from the farmhouse for our attendees to taste.

What’s Next

WordCamp US 2024 is the remaining flagship event of the year, taking place from September 17-20 in Portland, Oregon. 

This one is a bit more special than WordCamp Europe and Asia, as there will be one additional day for the Showcase event. The idea is for attendees to submit their innovative WordPress projects and present them during the day. It would be an excellent opportunity to see what WordPress can offer and how creative minds can use it for something mind-blowing!

We will also be there, continuing our support for the WordPress community by sponsoring the event. So, if you live close by or are planning to attend WordCamp US, we’ll see you there!

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.