Better late than never, I’ve finally got around to finishing my blog post on WordCampUK 2010, the conference for WordPress designers, which was held in Manchester this year.

Sadly, I just didn’t have the resource to get as involved in the set-up of the event as I have in previous years – and Tony, ChiChi and all the guys in Manchester really did us proud with a great venue and well organised conference. Of particular note was this years t-shirt, a homage to Joy Divisions seminal album ‘Unknown Pleasures’ – with a distinctive WordPress slant – great work by Jonathan Harris (I can appreciate how long this took to redraw as vector artwork – a true labout or love!).

I have presented at the last two WordCampUK conferences on various development subjects including using WordPress as a Content Management System and WordPress project workflow. However, I got the distinct impression over the last couple of years that although most subjects were covered, theme design seemed to be missing from the mix so this year I presented on theme design structure in WordPress 3.0. I also participated in the ‘Site Doctors’ session, which was an ad-hoc questions and answers session that I thoroughly enjoyed… there’s nothing quite like being put on the spot! However, with help from Jordan Hatch, Mike Rawlings and John Reid I hope that the discussion was useful!

I also had the great pleasure of sharing the fruits of my labour over the last few months and introduced Wonderflux – the new WordPress theme framework I have coded. Wonderflux is a completely new theme framework coded from the ground-up to be easy enough for beginners to use, but offer the flexibility that professional designers and developers need. An important part of the conference was the announcement of the private beta release to the delegates of WordCampUK – giving them a chance to view and comment on the pre-release version. With over 70 sign-ups and some great conversations around the subject of theme design it was a resounding success (oh, and the Wonderflux chocolates seemed to go down well too!).

Some real highlights of the conference for me this year were Michael Kimb Jones excellent presentation on the evolution of the theme marketplace (Kimb is part of the Wonderflux team and his insight has been invaluable), along with Paul Gibbs presenting twice on BuddyPress – which has evolved sooo much since I last looked at it 12 months ago! Also of great interest was the talks by Jeffry Ghazally on extending WP-Ecommerce, and Mike Little’s presentation on a really interesting community based site he built recently. There was just so much to see at this years conference due to the dual track presentations it was tricky getting it all in and I sadly missed Peter Westwoods presentation, along with a couple of others that were on my list.

There was just so-much to take from the conference this year – and I have forged some great new contacts, some of which may even be contributing to Wonderflux which is really exciting! Roll on WordCampUK (or whatever it is going to be called) 2011 – see you there!