Last month, I (Laura 👋) spoke at WordCamp EU – the biggest WordPress conference in Europe (and, some argue, the world.)


Going into it, I was terrified on the morning of my talk.


Whenever I’m asked to speak at conferences, I seem to always go through the same five emotions:


  1. Elation. ”OMG I’m speaking at a WordCamp! Wow, I’ve made it!”
  2. Overwhelm. “I have too many thoughts, the deadline is approaching, and my talk will never be ready!”
  3. Fear. “This is going to be terrible. Everyone will hate me and I’ll be booed off the stage”
  4. Regret. “Why did I agree to this? I have so much to do and this is basically a full-time job!”


Then, when the conference wraps up…


5. Pure joy. “I can’t believe I did that! I learned so many new things/made some great contacts – I should do it again!”


No matter how many times I speak at an event, I go through these same five emotions in this exact order every. single. time.


But the stage I want to talk to you about today is the last one: joy.


The sheer joy I get lasts for weeks, months, and sometimes even years, after attending an event like WordCamp EU.


Here are the three biggest joyful moments that I’ve had since the conference:


Joy #1: Meeting customers in person helps me understand why people love Client Portal and what I could be doing to improve it


There’s no greater feeling than a total stranger flagging you down and saying they’re a Client Portal customer.


When you do what I do for a living, you mostly just email customers. You rarely get to put a face or a voice on anyone.


Meeting actual customers who love your product is such a cool feeling.


Aside from the, “wow – this real-life person has trusted me enough to buy my product!”, I also learn so much from the discussions I have with customers at events.


In fact, one theme that cropped up multiple times was people asking about lifetime licenses for Client Portal. Either buying a license outright or finding a way to upgrade their license.


Pretty much everyone I spoke to about this didn’t even know that we have lifetime licenses available!


I immediately realized that I need to make this more obvious on the website and in my emails.


Because people (including myself) really like being able to purchase something once and own it (including all updates and support) FOREVER.


Call it subscription-itis or whatever – but it’s nice to actually own something, right?


So if you’re in the “lifetime license, what?” camp, here’s my attempt at making this more obvious:


📣 If you’re interested in Client Portal, but don’t want to deal with annual renewal fees, you can purchase a lifetime license which will give you forever access to Client Portal, all our updates, and our ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ customer support.


Already a Client Portal customer? You can upgrade to our lifetime license (and only pay the difference). Just log into your account here, go to View Licenses, and then View Upgrades to see the upgrades you have available. Or you can always contact us any time and we will be happy to get you your unique link to upgrade your license. 


Screenshot of our 96% great rating


Joy #2: Meeting fellow WordPress plugin founders helps me understand what is working for others – and gives me an opportunity to ‘talk shop’


The second big win from my time at WordCamp EU was being able to meet other WordPress plugin founders like me.


I made a point to go up to every booth to introduce myself and have a chat (honestly, this is something that I find very difficult – I’m pretty shy!)


And I ended up meeting some wonderful people with who I’ve stayed in contact ever since.


Special shoutouts to Travis Lopes from CosmicGiant, Anchen Le Roux from Simply Digital Design, and Katie Keith from Barn2 who have been super generous with sharing their knowledge about their businesses 🙏


The biggest takeaway I got from all of my conversations was that content is still king in the WordPress space.


Writing useful content regularly is one of the best ways to grow a WordPress plugin business. It might not be the fastest, but it’s the most sustainable which is music to my ears.


So you can expect to hear a lot from me about Client Portal, WordPress, and running a successful service business from here on out.


Joy #3: Meeting my team in person allows us to hash out our vision for Client Portal and get inspired about its future


This joy was a bit of luck, really.


Our lead developer, who has been with Client Portal since it first launched back in 2016, lives in Taiwan (I live in the UK).


When I announced that I was going to be speaking at WordCamp, I got this DM:

Screenshot showing that Client Portal's developer will be also attending WCEU


So we actually got to meet in person and spend some time chatting about life (and Client Portal)!


We ended up leaving with a more solid idea of where the product is going and what our big vision plans are for it.


As some of you may know, for the last year we have been working on a major update to Client Portal to bring it in line with a more modern WordPress.


This has been our biggest, and frankly most difficult, update yet – but we are closing in on it being released this year.


We’re going to use block templates to make the editing experience of Client Portal look more like this:


New Client Portal dashboard concept


(Important note, this is a mockup of Client Portal overlayed onto a WPEngine product. You can read the WPEngine article here which explains the technology. The above image is just an idea of how it could look.)


This is really exciting for us because we know that the current way of editing WordPress plugins is kind of clunky. So by doing this update, it’s going to really streamline portal creation and make Client Portal a joy to use.


We’re also working on a series of portal templates that you will be able to import with 1-click to get you started with Client Portal – no matter what industry you are in.


It’s exciting and I’m SO keen to get this live.


So that’s that.


That’s what I learned from attending WordCamp EU this year. Despite all the difficulties in preparing for such an event, I’m so glad I went.


I have a feeling I will be marking this conference as a turning point in the business – and I hope you’ll be following along!