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WordPress Upgrade Anxiety No More: 5 Steps to Having a No Surprise Upgrade

WordPress upgrades, they bring us new features, faster sites, and better security. But pushing that upgrade button can be a scary moment, unless you’ve ensured your site is ready and compatible. I’ll show you the best practices for ensuring your site is ready including a simple strategy that works whether you manage one site or hundreds.

Unleashing the Magical Powers of WP_Query

We will be discussing the magical powers of WP_Query, what things you can do with it beyond the standard loop and why you would want to unleash the power of WP_Query by modifying the query and using it in different areas on your project.

Passwords, Attacks, and Security Oh My!

Learning about WordPress Security can leave you feeling overwhelmed but you don’t have to. We will talk best practices and simple steps to keep your site safe and secure. From secure passwords, to security plugins, to what to do when you have been hacked, we will discuss it all.

BuddyPress and bbPress

BuddyPress & bbPress, the same but different. JJJ will demystify the reasons why you might use one vs. the other — for yourself, clients, hobby projects, and more. He’ll share what direction they are likely to take in the future. He’ll show you exactly what his favorite parts are if you’re looking for inspiration. He’ll give you an intimate look into what influences him for shaping the way people communicate on the web. He’ll probably talk about Prince.

Blogging for Business

Blogging can be one of the best methods for driving inbound leads into your business. Yet, the biggest challenge many small business owners face is not whether they need a blog, but how to build a blog that brings in business.

Breakdown of Common Beginner Struggles & Solutions

Based on 3+ years of teaching countless students, I see a bunch of the same confusing issues. From picking a host (shared, VPS, managed) to theme selection (free vs premium) plugin installation (free vs premium) as well as best practices in securing your site from hackers. (25% marketshare makes WordPress a target!)

How to Transition from Freelance to Agency

Using WordPress for Bloggers

Describing why the WordPress platform is best for bloggers. Contract with Blogger/Squarespace/etc. Talk about different tools/plugins it has that are useful.

Using Podcasts to Grow & Market Your Business

Podcasting is a steadily growing medium and a perfect means to build a following around your product or idea. In this course, you will learn the benefits of running a podcast for your company as well as the steps necessary for a successful show launch.

Information Architecture for Normal People (Growning beyond posts, pages, categories and tags)

Posts, pages, categories and tags only get you so far. This talk will focus on the differences between hierarchical and non-hierarchical taxonomies, the benefits of creating custom taxonomies and how to plan the architecture for several types of sites.

Communities and the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense

If you’ve ever had experience growing a community (WordPress, Open Source, or otherwise), you know that every community has its ups and downs. From trolls in comments sections, face to face name calling, and general toxic personalities, no group is perfect and no one knows how to deal with everything.

In this talk, we will discuss the basic principles of healthy communication as laid out by Suzette Haden Elgin and how you can apply it to your community growth to keep your community happy and engaged all while keeping you safe and healthy.

Giting the Hang of Version Control

Many developers understand that git is important to use in their workflow, but don’t appreciate the advantages until late in a project. In this talk, we’ll be going over some common use cases for git in a bigger organization and examine how that can be applied to small agencies or teams. This ranges from internal code reviews all the way up to code debugging.

Curing Design Complacency

Have you ever had a dream project that slowly evolved into a state of mediocracy by the time it launched?

We may have an epidemic on our hands: complacency. This disease is often triggered by short timelines, unset expectations, corporate red tape, lack of research, budget and sometimes motivation.

Fortunately, there is a cure! Together, we will focus on how to keep pushing past the status quo to create something in which we can all be proud.

Creating A WordPress Website That Works From the Start

Installing WordPress, plugins, and a theme is just a start, but in maintaining and growing your website, you’ve got to make plans. Sure, your initial idea of creating a WordPress site for whatever reason is great, but if you’re trying to get people to either subscribe to your newsletter, share your posts, fill out your lead forms, leave a comment on your posts, click an ad, or buy your stuff, you’ve got more to do.

If you’re not getting some type of return on investment, which is to get people to do something on your website, then your website is broken. Come sit in and let me help you fix your problem by giving you ideas that you can use.

Project Management: The Life Cycle of a Web Design Project

As any project manager will tell you – successful websites don’t create themselves.

In this session you’ll get an overview of how we run a project: planning, designing, building, testing, deploying, communicating with clients and team members, and the tools we use.

So You Think You Can’t Video

Does the thought of creating video content scare the crap our of you? Do you want to create video content but not sure where to start? In this session, you will learn what equipment you will need and tips to start creating great video content for your WordPress site.

Marketing for the Anti-Social

How someone with ADHD and Autism can breakout with more business than they can handle even if they consider WC’s there largest social gatherings of the year. Going over how to outsource yourself to other more social companies.

Intro to WordPress Hooks

WordPress hooks are everywhere- in core, in plugins, in that theme you just bought. They’re there to make your life easier, and keep you from breaking their code, but how does one go about using them? Learn how to use filters and actions to tie into the core page flow, plugins, and theme functions to take your WordPress development to the next level.

Your Ultimate Checklist after Launching Your WP Site

The talk will discuss important items to check off your list after launching a new wp site, including, but not limited to, submitting a site map to search engines webmaster tools, checking every link, ensuring that the robot.txt is readable, google analytics, permalinks, update all relevant plugins and disable those not being used, manually backup site, seo plugin installed e.g yoast, disabling comments and using captcha on all forms. The talk will make available a handy checklist that attendees will be able to use for all their WordPress projects.

Make WP_CLI Work For You: Extending WP_CLI With Custom Commands

WP_CLI is a powerful tool, even right out of the box. But it can be made to do so much more. This talk will discuss extending WP_CLI by adding your own commands. Whether for simple site maintenance or helping to manage clients learn to utilize WP_CLI to it’s maximum extent the right way with tips on adding commands, handling input and output and making sure that users can figure out just what your command is doing. This is an advanced talk appropriate for intermediate to advanced developers.

Command Line for the Beginner

This session will introduce the incredible potential of using the command line in developing for the web.

Interested WordPress designers and developers will gain the knowledge of using SSH to connect to servers, Git for version control, WP-CLI for interfacing with WordPress, Aliases and Bash scripts for common tasks, and automation/task runners like Grunt and Gulp.

Attendees will come away from the session with their interest piqued, with the desire to learn more about using the command line in their workflow.

WooCommerce Basics

Best practices to get WooCommerce started for you and your client. Will go over the steps and worksheet to get client store online. This is geared towards those who have WordPress experience and will include a worksheet handout for future use.

Choosing your WordPress Development Crew

The time has come to adopt WordPress. 26% of all sites are using it to drive business on the web, but you need more than the famous 5 minute install. You’re looking to do something special and you need a team of professionals to do it. You’re coming to the right place. WordCamp is chock full of developers and agencies, all eager to help, but how do you choose the right team? How do you; side-step problems, remove delays, communicate needs and align them with the right capabilities? Let’s tackle those questions and ensure you come out the other end with the best site, both on time and on budget.

Disastrous Deals to Profitable Projects: Comparing My Best and Worst Client Experiences

I’ve learned many lessons over the years building websites for clients. Many of the most important lessons become strikingly obvious when the time is taken to compare projects gone right with projects that went horribly wrong. This session will walk through exactly what factors were different in real life WordPress projects I have been involved in that resulted in either celebrations or lamentations.

Backward Compatibility as a Design Principle

What is “backward compatibility”, and why is it so important to WordPress? I’ll describe a couple of examples from the history of the project that demonstrate the hoops that WordPress has jumped through – or has chosen not to jump through – in the name of back-compat and user trust. I’ll talk about how the project’s approach to backward compatibility underscores the development of nearly all new features in WordPress. And I’ll say a few words about the lessons that plugin and theme developers might want to take from WP core’s approach to back-compat.

Understanding Google Analytics

How do you decide what your visitors actually want on your website? In this talk you’ll learn how to install Google Analytics, and read the reports to make good decisions about your website and your business. You’ll learn how to set and evaluate goals for your website that align with your business, and how to make sure your website brings you an ROI. This talk is great for business owners, bloggers and designers, and anyone who wants to get results from their WordPress site.

Third Coast Review: How an all-volunteer team is building a new website

Third Coast Review arose from the ashes of a 12-year-old Chicago website, As GB arts editor, I worked with a group of GB writers to launch the new website, focused on curating Chicago arts & culture. My talk will tell the story of how I started out with a site and moved it to with the help of a great developer. Today 3CR is almost two months old and growing in readership every day. I’ll talk about content, design, social media and organizing an all-volunteer team.

The good, the bad & the ugly of finding & keeping work as a freelancer

I’ll explore what I’ve done over the last 13 years to grow my freelance business, what I’ve done wrong, and the lessons learned. I’ll cover:

• How to get business without cold calling
• Why social media works – and sometimes doesn’t.
• How to get (lousy) clients
• How to be a lousy freelancer
• How to be a good freelancer
• Contracts
• Discussing money
• Getting paid

Never Launch without Training

Every year I meet dozens of people who have WordPress sites and don’t have any idea how to use them. As WordPress professionals, we have an obligation to make sure our small business owners know how to add, edit and even update their own sites. This is why people want a WordPress site in the first place! It’s actually pretty easy to do and adds real value and client satisfaction to a project. In this session, I’ll be covering training and development techniques that empower the site owner.

Increasing Quality and Security With PHPCS

This talk will introduce the concept of WordPress coding standards and then discuss PHPCS. We’ll demonstrate how it can improve code quality and reveal security issues.

Customer Information Security in E-Commerce

How to present and maintain a secure E-Commerce site. We will go over some details on PCI compliance, as well as privacy policy, and general web security.

But Why? Designing For Strategy

Designers and non-designers alike can get caught up in the aesthetics and functionality of a website, and forget that every decision made should be supported by an underlying strategy. We will discuss how to find your site’s primary call to action and create experiences that support that goal. We will also evaluate design choices of many well-known sites as we examine how they help (or hinder) common goals. Whether you’re a designer, developer, or a person maintaining a site, you will come away with a critical eye for evaluating design patterns and a process for narrowing down a design strategy.

eCommerce Speed Demon: The Pursuit of 800ms

In eCommerce, speed is your most important metric. Mere milliseconds can mean the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart. I’ve spent a good portion of the last three years in pursuit of page speed, exploring caching, virtual machines, hosting platforms, SSL negotiation time, CSS preprocessing, minification, inline styles and WooCommerce optimizations with the goal of sub-one second pageloads. Using real-world examples, I’ll show you the results I’ve been able to achieve and how to replicate them yourself.

10 Keys to Success

10 things that freelancers and budding WP entrepreneur’s need to kick ass, keep clients happy, and to consistently build high quality sites. We will discuss importance of contracts, vetting clients, specializing, learning to say no, importance of testing, importance of being a teacher, tips for handling ongoing support, etc

SEO Audit Techniques

We will discuss various on and off page site audit strategies as well as a technical analysis from a site structure perspective.

Using the analysis to make data driven decisions, we will discuss crafting a successful SEO strategy and road map.

Link to Slides: SEO Audit Techniques