Whether you made the trek to Athens, Greece, for this year's WordCamp Europe (WCEU), or you're counting down the minutes until tickets go on sale for next year, one thing's undeniable: The impact this conference has had on the WordPress community. From presentations regarding the future of AI and how it relates to WordPress to conversations about how to survive an algorithm update and more, there were plenty of eye-opening presentations seen and connections made at the conference, which occurred June 8-10, 2023.
We chatted with two presenters from WordCamp EU 2023: Anna Moragli and Ant Miller. Here are some key takeaways that these two speakers discussed in their conversations at WordCamp EU 2023. (Psst: These key takeaways are guaranteed to get you excited for WCEU 2024 in Torino, Italy!)
Four Key Takeaways from Ant Miller's Chat on the Fidelity Gap
Ant Miller, the Director of Client Engagement at Crowd Favorite, created a presentation for WCEU 2023 titled "The Fidelity Gap: How to Embrace the Unknown and Succeed in Development Projects."
According to Miller, "The premise is there's two groups here. There's a group of people who have a responsibility for delivering business value, and there's another group that's been brought in to design and develop and deliver....a technical solution that will allow this business group to succeed. And my experience over the last 20 years is mostly in the professional services agency, although I've been client side as well. And it's mostly been in teams which include a degree of technology. Sometimes it's been more focused on the technology. Sometimes it's been more focused on design. But I started out as a project manager, so from that project management delivery, then account management and various other leadership roles.
And these days, I head up sales and business development for an agency, and so what I see my role these days is setting up the relationship between these two groups. What I wanted to put into this talk was a few concepts that I've brought together over the years that I think are really useful, and they've always given me, I think, a bit of a unique perspective on the challenges there and have really helped me understand both the key problems and not necessarily new solutions. But how business approaches to doing that work, how they all fit together and really understanding the why of it."
Now that you have context around why Miller's work makes him exceptionally qualified to deliver this presentation, you might be wondering: What exactly is the fidelity gap? Miller says, "The main gap that I'm talking about is the gap between this group that want to deliver the business value, what they need to define, what they really need to have in order to deliver their business value. And on the other side of this gap is, what do the people here building it need to know in order to build the right thing? And what tends to happen, I think, is people try and close the fidelity gap. They try and make that gap go away. And that's when lots of bad things happen. You work harder, you lose track of your requirements. You ask things of people that really isn't inside their remit. You expect developers to do design work. You just hammer teams and you get burnout and you get overrun and you get our profitability."
Therefore, if you've ever noticed a disparity between these two groups, you can benefit from some key takeaways from Miller's chat.
Four Key Takeaways on the Fidelity Gap
Ready to dive in? Here's what you can't miss about the fidelity gap.
Here's some news you'll want to pay attention to. According to Miller, "The fidelity gap cannot be closed." So instead of attempting to close this gap, it's a matter of learning how to work with it. "It exists," he says. "But you can bridge it, and this is the point. If you think of that gap as being always there, and then you have to cope with the gap, how do you cope with the gap where you bridge it and a bridge is a shared thing? It's the people. People on both sides of the gap are responsible for building that bridge."
By creating a bridge between both sides of your WordPress projects, you can reduce the fidelity gap and create more realistic expectations for the outcome of your project.
Miller's second key takeaway? Be prepared to play a role building a bridge between these teams. "What does a bridge need?" He asks. "[A] Bridge needs firm foundations — a bridge needs on both sides, a really strong foundation. Those teams have to know what they're about, know why they're working and what they're doing for, and the main load bearing support between those two foundations is a very, very strong relationship. And it's also a very strong personal relationship between the leaders, the key stakeholders on both sides."
By ensuring your key stakeholders have buy-in on both sides of the project, you're more likely to have a strong partnership.
And the next key takeaway? Don't shy away from answering your why. "So the key thing there is when you're making any decisions in business, you got to start with the why," says Miller. "Why are you doing this? Being intentional about the way you do business is really important."
By deciding your why and keeping it in mind throughout your project, you have a sense of motivation and place of reasoning for all the decisions your team makes.
And the last key takeaway? Miller doesn't want to ignore the impact burnout resulting from trying to close the fidelity gap can cause. Additionally, burnout can occur as a result of teams that simply can't get on the same page, don't have their why, and don't have a strong foundation. "I do want to recognise that burnout," says Miller. "The Fidelity gap is the thing that does it, and I think it's really important. So there's a degree I think of mental health."
Three Takeaways from Anna Moragli's Chat on Algorithm Updates
Anna Moragli was another speaker at WCEU 2023. Moragli's session was called, "Help! My site has been hit by an algorithm update." Moragli, the founder of boutique search engine optimization (SEO) agency Search Magic, has seven years of experience in the SEO space.
Moragli says, "My speech is about algorithm updates… how to analyze a traffic drop that can be from an algorithm update."
Here are three main takeaways from our conversation with Moragli regarding her speech at WCEU 2023.
The first key takeaway Moragli mentioned during our conversation with her? That it's crucial that as a website manager, you explain to your team that algorithm updates are expected, and that even if your website was negatively impacted by one, it doesn't mean that it's time to ditch your website strategy and entirely start from scratch.
Moragli's next key takeaway is around creating realistic expectations for getting your website back on track post-algorithm update. "It's not going to be resolved overnight, it's going to take time. With algorithm updates, it's going to take time to recover from it," she says. Even with the most robust plan to get your site back to where it needs to be post-algorithm update, the reality is that your website is going to take some time to recover — and that's okay.
Moragli's last key takeaway is to be mindful about the content you're creating — and try to build out as much quality content as you can. "Create quality content across the buyers' journey," she suggests. "If you have a keyword, you just don't have to have the product page. Cover the entire buyers' journey, create a guide, create video content, create everything about it." By covering all of your bases, you're more likely to get more visitors' eyes on the content.
Get ready for WCEU 2024.
Ready for WCEU 2024? We certainly are. We're certain next year's WordCamp in Torino, Italy, will be sure to offer many more opportunities to learn about WordPress website SEO, project management, and beyond.