Saskia, developer at Van Ons, attended WordCamp Rotterdam for two days last week, the first truly sustainable WordCamp. She wrote down the nicest and most valuable things for you!

BlueCity on the Maasboulevard in Rotterdam. This swimming paradise used to be Tropicana, now a playground for innovative companies that strive for a circular economy in which waste does not exist.

A few statistics:

Common thread of the event: make sure you look ahead and are always one step ahead. Be prepared, take action & don't sit around waiting


When does it take effect?
May 25, 2018.

What is it?
AVG (General Data Protection Regulation), or in English GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), is the new privacy law. This will actually come into effect at the end of May, with all the consequences for maintaining your website.
There is still a difference between personal data and extra privacy-sensitive personal data, but you must handle all data with care.

What can I do? The best tips from SOWMEDIA!
Map out which parties are involved in the website and have access to it. This concerns, for example, web hosting, developers, designers or marketing agencies. Anyone who accesses the website must be GDPR compliant. And also pay attention to the scripts you load into your site. If those scripts provide access to personal information, you should check with the supplier of that script whether it works in accordance with the GDPR. Also consider alternatives; there is no need to load all kinds of plugins with share options, many social media channels have their own share URL. You can easily share this post on Facebook by going to

There are several plugins for WordPress that can help you implement GDPR:

  • WP GDPR Compliance (free)
    Plugin from Van Ons that allows you to arrange explicit consent by automatically adding consent checkboxes to forms.
  • GDPR Consent (paid)
    Plugin from SowMedia that allows you to create a consent form. Based on the given permissions, plugins are/are not loaded.
  • Delete Me (free)
    Offer your visitors the opportunity to forget themselves on your website. Think of posted messages, comments, etc.
  • Wider Gravity Forms Stop Entries (Free)
    Add-on for Gravity Forms that allows you to easily forward all submissions to your email or an external party, so that they are not stored in your WordPress site.
  • Gravity Forms Encrypted Fields (paid)
    Add-on for Gravity Forms that allows you to encrypt form submissions. Access can be granted to certain users.

Sowmedia gave even more tips. Take another critical look at the data you really need from your visitor. Collect only that data. The less you know about your visitor, the safer it ultimately is, and the easier it becomes to manage that data securely. Also let your visitor know what information you store and for what purpose. Uncheck checkboxes by default and explicitly request access to collect data from the user. And if something unexpectedly goes wrong, always inform the Dutch Data Protection Authority. Better safe than sorry!



When is it coming:
Gutenberg will be ready for release when WordPress 5.0 is released, likely in late April 2018.

What is it?

“We called it Gutenberg for a reason” – Matt Mullenweg

To understand Matt's quote, a history lesson might be helpful. If Gutenberg had been invented in the Netherlands, we would probably have called it Coster. Laurens Janszoon Coster was (and is still seen by some) as the inventor of the printing press. However, there is also a lot of doubt about whether this person even existed. What we can say with reasonable certainty is that Johannes Gutenberg is the inventor of movable type for the printing press. Those individual letters were then used in the blocks with which you can put together a page. Until that time (1455), pages were printed in their entirety, an expensive affair if a letter was wrong in such a block.

WordPress Gutenberg got its name from this modular structure. You can easily build your own layout for your page or post using different blocks. There are blocks for embedding videos, adding a quote, a full-width photo, a gallery, a parallax image, right out of the box. But you can also divide a text over two columns, add a table or use so-called “Shared Blocks”, which show the same information on every page where you return it. In short, definitely worth playing with!

What can I do? / Tips from BOE!media
Practice with Gutenberg in advance. You can download the plugin from the WordPress plugin directory, Have you come across something that doesn't work, or that you think could be improved? Let us know and also indicate a possible solution. The plugin also has a page for feedback in the admin. You can find talks about Gutenberg on WordPress.TV:

And you think “Whoa, whoa! That's all happening a bit too fast for me!”? Don't stress, your old trusted editor is still available as a plugin for the time being:


Earth Overshoot Day

Although this does not have much to do with WordPress itself, it was an important thread during WordCamp Rotterdam and certainly worth telling more about.

When is it time for action?

What is Earth Overshoot Day?
Earth Overshoot Day is the day on which we have used up as much of the world's raw materials, foodstuffs, and the like as what the earth can produce in one year. If we continue with the linear economy, it is expected that this day will already fall in June in the year 2030. We are exhausting the earth. To combat this, we need to reuse more. BlueCity – the location of WordCamp Rotterdam – runs on the principle of a circular economy, an economy in which what we call waste is a raw material or nutrient for the production of a product.

For example, leather is made from fruit (shoes from mango), marble from plastic bottles, cookies from day-old bread, lemonade from fruit that does not pass the beauty committee, but is actually still perfectly fine. Vet & Lazy makes beer with filtered rainwater and passes on the CO2 emissions to the algae grower. The cooling water is also reused as much as possible in BlueCity and the grain goes to a care farm nearby.

The coffee grounds - from restaurant Aloha, which can be found in the whitewater course of the former Tropicana - are used by RotterZwam as a breeding ground for their oyster mushrooms. These mushrooms are then sold to companies in the region. Aloha also takes them away and turns them into delicious bitterballen again. Okay Wood makes tables & other furniture from written-off, used mooring posts from the port of Rotterdam. There will be further yellow NS signs with train times upcycled into, among other things, trays or track blocks for all your notes. In the Disco Hall (former dance club Tropicana) there are carpet tiles made from discarded fishing nets. Colorful and very durable!

What can I do?
Brilliant idea? Nothing is too crazy in BlueCity. As Lars Crama, commercial director of BlueCity, stated:

“It always seems impossible until it's done.” –Nelson Mandela

Be creative. Think about how you can up- or recycle your own “waste”.
Pay attention to what you consume. get products locally and “in season” so that the supply chain remains limited.

Closing comments

Thanks to the organization, speakers and all volunteers!
See you on WordCamp Europe in Belgrade!