Corey Brown, Director of Web Services at Knucklepuck, opened WordCamp Baltimore with the 1st presentation of the weekend. Brown was passionate about the importance of recognizing that— beyond building an effective front end of the websitedesigning the CMS (content management system) for the content managers responsible for the site is of critical importance.

“Content managers understand content, taxonomies and metadata,” said Brown. “Talk to them about their objectives and workflow, and then design usable interfaces that allow them to do their job efficiently.”

Along with sharing tips and resources for building winning admin interfaces, Brown walked through real-world examples of WordPress backend UX (user experience) designed with the content manager in mind.

“Make the content managers happy,” Brown advised at the end of his talk, “And you’ll have a customer for a long, long time.”

Later in the day, Joey Blake, a Lead Developer at Knucklepuck lead a highly interactive session offering tips, tricks and tools for practical site speed.

Blake’s best practices for creating speedy WordPress sites was well received as was his insight on diagnosing and fixing performance issues in existing sites.

“It’s easy to get caught up in performance and get way too complicated with unnecessary implementation,” offered Blake. “A practical approach to site performance is critical for budgets, results and, ultimately, developer sanity.”

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WordCamp Baltimore, an informal conference WordPress enthusiasts, was held this year on 10/6-7 at the UMBC Institute of Marine & Environmental Technology (IMET) l on the Baltimore Inner Harbor.