This weekend we will be present at WordCamp Europe in Belgrade with the entire Van Ons team. The event for and by the WordPress community where we are updated by speakers from all over the world about the latest developments and trends within this CMS. Below are some highlights!

The API is becoming increasingly important

Sean Blakely from Pragmatic – a WordPress agency based in the UK – tells us more about the WordPress API and why it is becoming increasingly important. His statement: WordPress is getting bigger and bigger and must continue to reinvent itself to stay at the top of the most used CMSs. The way to do that is by expanding the WordPress API. By using the API, content can be brought in and out of WordPress, making the application of WordPress much broader. He points us to a wonderful case of FairFax, one of the largest media companies in Australia and New Zealand. FairFax uses the WordPress API to manage millions of articles. Read all about it in this whitepaper.

Matt Mullenweg on Gutenberg

After lunch, Matt Mullenweg (one of the founders of Automattic/WordPress) was on the main stage to give an update on the developments in the core of WordPress. It was mainly about Gutenberg, the new WordPress editor and interface that should make it easier to create and publish pages. Version 5 of WordPress will be released when Gutenberg is completely ready and working. Gutenburg will therefore become the standard in WordPress from version 5 onwards. If all goes well, version 5 could be released as early as August this year. Provided that not too many complicated bugs are reported in the meantime... Read more about Gutenberg here.

Boost your Google ranking with internal linking

Marieke van de Rakt from Yoast tells us about the importance of internal linking. While the emphasis in SEO used to be on optimizing the post (keywords, meta descriptions) and obtaining backlinks, the importance of internal linking is now increasingly underlined. By linking correctly within your website, Google better understands how it should flow through your website, it can better link topics to each other and it can better understand which content is really important on your website. Marieke gives three tips:

  1. Choose cornerstone content: this is the content with which you want to score well for the most important keywords. Determine within your website what your cornerstone content is so that you can proceed to step 2.
  2. Link your messages in the “tail” to the cornerstone content: around your cornerstone content you write articles that are more in the niche of the cornerstone content. You link all these articles to your cornerstone article.
  3. Link in context: if you include an internal link, always place that link in a piece of text (context) that is also about that link.

The 5 phases of perfect SEO

We'll stay in the SEO corner for a while, because we're going to watch the talk by Joost de Valk from Yoast. He describes 5 phases of web development and gives concrete tips on what you should pay attention to per phase to get your website completely optimized for the search engines. Most important tip: work out all of these 5 phases in advance, only then actually get started.

  1. Analyse: In this phase, determine what goals you have with your content, what metrics you use to see whether you are successful and understand your visitor. What does he or she need, what is he or she looking for and what solution does he or she want?
  2. Design: consider what site structure you want to use and what content you want to place on your site. This way you prevent yourself from realizing later - when everything is ready - that you actually have too few menu buttons in your site. Create a design for mobile, no mobile site is really possible. Consider how fast the website should be and take that into account in your design. In how many languages ​​do you want to offer your site? Is there a difference per language in the keywords you want to score on with your content? Implement structured data so that Google understands even better what your website is about. Think about the level of accessibility.
  3. development: pay attention to the plugins you use. Some plugins make your website slower and therefore less attractive to the user and therefore less attractive to search engines. Plugins can also cause 404s. And don't forget to set up redirects. Take inventory of the URLs on your old site and point them to the right place on the new site.
  4. To publish: Test your website thoroughly before it goes live. Automate where possible. That saves a lot of time and frustration. Don't forget to promote your website. Promotion provides links to your website and that ensures a higher ranking in the search engines.
  5. Maintenance: link your website to Google Search Console. You will then see where Google has problems crawling your site and provide you with other error messages. Secure your website too. A hacked site is a killer for a good score in the search engines.

On to day 2!