Image of the Capital Wheel at National Habrbor, Maryland

WordCamp US 2023 recap

11 min read
Courtney Robertson

Join us for our WordCamp US 2023 recap post, where we discuss all the key happenings that occurred at one of the biggest WordPress events of the year.

This event ran from August 24 - 26, 2023 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland and included a wide array of industry experts, key speakers and curious newcomers — all gathering to learn from one another as one collective Wordpress community.

Some of the topics we'll discuss, include: 

  • Software upgrades
  • Session takeaways 
  • Keynote news
  • Workshop happenings 
  • Continued celebrations of WordPress’s 20th Anniversary

Ready to look back at what happened last year? We've got you covered in our updates from WordCamp US 2022.

WordCamp US 2023 at a glance

Each year, WordPress gatherings are held in select host cities around the world — allowing curious tech-savvy individuals the chance to learn and forge connections. These communities exemplify the collaborative spirit that drives the software's progress — often ranging from creative content makers to dedicated Core software contributors.

As a result, these events serve as valuable hubs that help advance the open-source WordPress project (which helps power 43% of all websites on the internet).

The heart of the WordPress phenomenon lies within its diverse set of WordCamp communities. Yearly cornerstone events are often held in continents like Asia, Europe and North America — helping propel the platform's continuous evolution.

Quick stats

  • Location: National Harbor, MD, USA
  • Duration: August 24 - 26, 2023
  • Participants: 3,000+
  • Sessions: Over 40 presentations
  • Workshops: 6
  • Organizers: 42
  • Sponsors: 64

Exploring National Harbor, Maryland

The Capital Wheel at National Harbor, Maryland.

The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center hosted the upcoming 2023 Community Summit and WordCamp US events. Situated in National Harbor, Maryland, it boasts a captivating atrium that offers panoramic views of Alexandria, Virginia.

It’s also conveniently close to Washington, D.C — making it an ideal location for historical U.S. tourism, museums and fine dining.

Paint party fun: Appreciating our customers from the bottom of our 'art'

This year, GoDaddy hosted an intimate customer appreciation paint party the evening before Contributor Day — where everyone tried their hand at painting the GoDaddy logo with just the right shade of our signature teal blue. Customers joined us near and far from the D.C. area, sharing their success stories and exciting upcoming projects.

GoDaddy paint party WCUS 2023

Session highlights

Wondering what kind of discussions were happening inside the session halls? Take a peek at the notes collected from our team below or view a replay of them on the live-streams below.



BlackPress: Amplifying Black Professionals in WordPress

State of the blackpress panel WCUS 2023

Speakers: Destiny Kano, George H Woodard III, Maestro Stevens, and Ray Mitchell (pictured left to right above)

Allies and black members of the WordPress community celebrated their success stories, while encouraging others to move forward in a more inclusive WordPress community. Discussions revolved around going beyond the current networking space, so that a new generation of black tech professionals can find a space within the WordPress community. These types of changes include more education outreach programs for primarily black colleges or even global efforts across Africa.

Other discussions touched on the black diaspora, black culture in the workspace, and what it means to find a sense of belonging as a minority in the tech industry.

Learn WordPress: A resource for you and your community

Courtney Patubo Kranzke giving speech on Learn WordPress at WCUS 2023

Speaker: Courtney Patubo Kranzke

Learn WordPress is an online resource for event organizers, users and developers that are interested in continuing their WordPress learning journey. This website includes tons of educational materials for users that was to brush up their skills — no matter if you're a beginner or seasoned professional. Some of their offerings include training on:

  • Block editors
  • Polyglots
  • WP themes and more

The WordPress Training Team is also focusing on Learning Pathways to provide progressive user-facing pathways for continual learning needs.

The independent theme developer’s field guide to modern WordPress

Speaker: Michelle Schulp Hunt

This discussion focused on how a web developer can build something modern for clients, while ensuring its stability and reliability for years to come. Here were some of the questions Michelle explored:

  • How do developers find the time to learn new tools while continuing to produce quality work?
  • How do developers support themselves and their team in the process?
  • Why can’t developers keep doing it the way they've been doing it?

Ultimately, building themes while the WordPress Site Editor is in development can be a real struggle for implementing new features. The goal is to balance client work with learning how to advance your skills to keep up with new features.

Building a thoughtful block editing experience

Speaker: Arooba Ahmed

Arooba explained how a great block editing experience takes advantage of the existing Block Editor interface, reduces confusion and empowers users. She reviewed five considerations that touched on:

  • Remembering how to work with the Block Editor and how it's designed to be used
  • Determining what kind of block you'll need and if it needs a custom block
  • Providing a generic descriptive name and helpful keywords
  • Choosing an easy to identify icon that fits with the rest of the Editor
  • Creating intuitive and helpful setup, default and editing states

The goal is to think about where your clients spend most of their time within the Editor and build off of that.

Keynotes that were out of this world

This year's keynote speakers touched on ideas targeting the future of WordPress, along with notable news for innovative advances. Check out some of the highlights below:

1. NASA is really taking open-source out of this world, and using WordPress to help us get there.

They revealed a sneak peek look at their new digital experience, including a new website, mobile app and streaming service (NASA+) — all powered by WordPress functionalities.

2. Executive Director, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, helped us look into the future of WordPress.

Here were some of the questions she posed to the audience:

  • What is the story you want to be able to tell about yourself?
  • What is the story you want to tell about your time in WP?
  • What is the story you want WordPress to tell?

She championed the need to continue evolving the software's efficiency, while also educating new users on how to code. She also stressed the importance of maintaining a safe and inclusive community for anyone who joins.

3. Co-Founder and Project Director, Matt Mullenweg, spoke to the advantages of working within the open-source ecosystem.

He celebrated the release of 6.3 and highlighted the new advancements coming with 6.4 in November. Some of these advancements include:

  • A new theme that focuses on bloggers and content creators
  • Font management that allows you to download straight from Google
  • An Image Lightbox feature that users can zoom in and out from on a front end perspective

Mullenweg closed the ceremony by encouraging community members to think about how WordPress can continue to revolutionize the internet for the next 100 years and beyond.

Why you should attend WordCamp US

Attending WordCamp US sessions can transform both new and returning attendees. Most of these events offers multiple opportunities to learn, connect and grow within the WordPress community. 

Here's why you should consider taking part of this enriching experience:

1. Community connection 

WordCamp US gathers like-minded individuals passionate about WordPress and fosters connections with developers, enthusiasts and contributors. Engaging with this vibrant community can lead to valuable friendships, collaborations and potential partnerships.

2. Contributor day 

Contributor Day provides a unique opportunity to contribute directly to the WordPress project. Whether you're new or returning, this day lets you give back to the open-source community that powers WordPress, showcasing collaboration's true spirit.

3. Knowledge amplification 

Sessions cover diverse topics from the future of WordPress to its development. Experts and thought leaders share insights, strategies, and best practices, elevating attendees' understanding of WordPress and its ecosystem.

4. Inspiring keynotes 

Keynote sessions spark inspiration, offering a broader perspective on the WordPress landscape. These talks challenge conventional thinking and encourage attendees to think beyond their current projects and roles.

5. Skill development 

For newcomers, the event is an ideal platform to kick-start their WordPress journey. Workshops and tailored tracks ensure folks are equipped with the right tools and knowledge to confidently embark on their WordPress endeavors.

6. Insights from peers

Breakout sessions provide insights into the work of peers — along with their successes, challenges and innovative solutions. Learning from others' experiences saves you time, helps avoid pitfalls and uncovers new strategies.

7. Thought-provoking discussions

Engaging in dialogue with experts and fellow attendees can lead to breakthroughs, fresh perspectives and novel approaches. 

Other meaningful ways conversations happen through: 

  • Q&A sessions
  • Panel discussions 
  • Networking breaks 

Remember, attending this event invests in your growth within the WordPress community. It's an opportunity to feel inspired, empowered and motivated by shared knowledge and experiences.

How WordCamp US works

If you're considering attending in-person events down the road, your first step should be watching this panel discussion, featuring our GoDaddy Field Marketing Team. In this video, they’ll share valuable tips drawn from past experiences, plus cover a wide range of topics — ranging from professional networking to handling first-time nerves.

Beyond the fantastic sessions and workshops, you can also anticipate engaging after-hour events. These moments are perfect for reuniting with familiar faces and establishing new connections.

Curious about Sessions, Contributor Day and Workshops? Read on for a quick breakdown of how each one typically operates. Drawing from this year’s schedule, the following insights and examples will help illustrate what makes the experience special.

WordPress Community Summit 2023

The Community Summit is an invite-only, in-person meetup, where contributors from various corners of the WordPress open-source project come together. This gathering offers a dedicated space for collaborative conversations across projects, with the common goal of propelling the project forward and enhancing it in every possible way.

Community Summit discussions revolve around subjects that bolster the broader WordPress open-source project or propel the work of contributor teams. These topics specifically benefit from focused, face-to-face discussions that bridge different teams and perspectives.

Contributor Day

If you're a seasoned WordPress enthusiast, you're well aware that every contribution helps fuel a platform that services over 43% of the web. The primary reason to get on board and bring your A-game is simple: without dedicated contributors like you, WordPress wouldn't be the powerhouse it is today.

Here are just some of the ways Contributor Day is beneficial for all who join in: 

  • Allows folks to forge new friendships and expand their professional circle
  • Gives you the ability to apply hands-on skills (plus gain new ones along the way)
  • Experience the thrill of joining a vibrant team (regardless of your skill level)

Online participation

Can't attend in person but still want to get involved? You can still participate through tools such as Slack and online workshops that day. Head over to the Contributor Day Online Participation area for additional details.


Sessions (aka tracks) involve an array of speaker presentations and panels, distributed throughout the day. You'll frequently discover conversations and talks encompassing a wide spectrum of subjects, spanning from marketing to web development and accessibility.

View the WordCamp US 2023 Schedule here for a recap of all the sessions.


Are you seeking an opportunity to get a hands-on learning experience with WordPress? Workshops are the right spot for you. These extended sessions will involve a deeper dive into topics where presenters are also your learning facilitators. This is your chance to apply what you learned from sessions.

Sponsor area and hallway tracks

GoDaddy team posing for a picture at WCUS 2023(1)

GoDaddy returned as sponsors, including our close friends at Pagely and Sucuri. Each of our teams were eager to connect with attendees in the sponsor area and meet with community members between sessions — which is, in our opinion, the best part of attending WordCamp US 2023 in person.

Here are some of the familiar faces that attended this year's event from our team:

Top row (from left to right in picture above)

  • Justin Nealey - Sr Product Manager
  • Bhala Dalvi - Vice President Engineering, Partners
  • JR Tashjian - Engineer: Software Development IV
  • Jeff Uberstine - Sr Manager: Software Development
  • Ryan Neudorf - Sr Software Engineer
  • Jonathan Bardo - Principal Software Engineer
  • Jeff Anderson - Manager - Marketing
  • Drew Jaynes - Sr Software Engineer
  • Joseph Palumbo - Director: Commercial Operations
  • Giorgi Mamadashvili - Engineer: Software Development III
  • Brent Harrison - VP Product Management, Partners
  • Mike Schroder - Engineer, Software Development IV
  • Scott Clark - Sr Software Engineer IV, Pagely
  • Marcus Burnette - Sr Marketing Specialist
  • Adam Warner - Director, Field Marketing

Bottom row (from left to right in picture above)

  • Willington Vega - Engineer: Software Development IV
  • David Smith - Sr DevOps Engineer
  • Kate Chechko - Sr Manager, Internal Communications
  • Colton Zebe - Product Operations Manager, Care
  • Drew Wilde - Director of Product Management
  • Sandy Edwards - Sr Marketing Manager, Venture Forward
  • Courtney Robertson - Web Designer& Developer Advocate
  • Matt Clancy - Sr Product Manager, Pro Experience

Not pictured

  • Michael Roehricht - Director of Product Marketing
  • Paul Bindel - President, Partners
  • Gabriel Mays - Director of Product Management
  • Frankie Jarrett - Senior Manager: Software Development