Last week I flew over to New Zealand to speak at WordCamp Auckland 2014 – an event I’d been keeping my eye on for a little while.

The Auckland WordCamp was put on by the same people who run the WordPress meet up over there. I was told early on in the piece, that the group was built up of a lot more power users / users / newcomers compared to say Sydney and Melbourne where there is probably a closer ratio of WordPress developers compared to WordPress users.

It’s a pretty big trip to make to present a 30 minute talk, but I really do like Auckland – it’s one of my favourite cities, so I had no issues in making the trip across the Tasman.

My last talk

Last year I spoke at WordCamp Melbourne, in the developer track. I spoke about optimisation and performance, but as I’ve reflected over that video, there were a number of things I didn’t like. I didn’t establish a clear objective in my talk. I didn’t isolate a single / set of issues and I didn’t fix them. I almost presented a structured ramble.

I don’t think it was that bad but in terms of public speaking in general, I think I could have done better. Since then, I’ve been looking for a chance to speak again and to be able to put some more effort in and improve.

Recently, I read Scott Berkun’s book “Confessions of a public speaker” – and that was quite helpful in giving me to structure to present a talk. Not starting a book review here, but I really like Scott’s writing style and the book was pretty casual, yet helpful. 

The talk

Keeping in mind the audience was a lot newer / less techy, and still fresh in my mind from my WordCamp Melbourne talk, I didn’t want to give a code talk, nor something too technical.

I decided to speak about some of the common reasons WordPress is often dismissed in the commercial world, and some of the counter arguments. I also covered some of the reasons why I use WordPress, again from a commercial sense, not so much the standard reasons you’d read on a blog for WordPress users.Finally I wanted to share some insight in how to find and hire good WordPress developers or consulting. Much like hiring an accountant or lawyer, hiring a WordPress developer is hard to do – and hopefully I was able to give the 140 odd New Zealanders who attended, some ideas.

New Zealand WordPress

As much as I love New Zealand, they do lag Australia  a bit when it comes to certain technologies or embracement of technology. On one hand New Zealand consumers embrace technology faster than any other country. New Zealand is one of the world leaders when it comes to having a cashless economy – ie – paying by card.

The turnout did suggest WordPress is on the ground in NZ and will no doubt power forward as more developers skill up and work in the WordPress space.


Thanks @TusaMathew for the photo and kind tweet / lead photo. There were actually a lot of nice tweets (and no bad ones either!)

@benjmay good talk!

— Mathew Tusa (@TusaMathew) July 26, 2014

Ben May doing a fine job selling WordPress for business #wpakl

— Bill Bennett (@billbennettnz) July 26, 2014

Ben May highlighting his reasons for recommending WordPress for business: data ownership, freedom from vendor lockin. #wpakl

— Apertura Designs (@aperturadesigns) July 26, 2014

People who can do WP. Tweakers, Assemblers, Developers, Engineers. I’d add Experienced Users cost we specify& deliver content #wpakl

— Rebecca Caroe (@rebeccacaroe) July 26, 2014

@benjmay “never say assumed, ever” #wpakl ask questions

— Rebecca Caroe (@rebeccacaroe) July 26, 2014

4 categories of people who work on WordPress… Tweakers, Assemblers, Developers, Engineers. #wpakl

— Brandon Wilcox (@evolvenz) July 26, 2014

Some great pointers from @benjmay about WordPress for enterprise. #WPAKL

— Chris Young (@ChrisWardYoung) July 26, 2014

Try and use as few plugins as possible – if you can use the code instead. @benjmay #WPAKL

— Chris Young (@ChrisWardYoung) July 26, 2014

.@benjmay up now talking enterprise level WordPress #wpakl

— Jason Kemp (@dialogCRM) July 26, 2014