Find Your Dream Job: Freelancer, Founder, or Agency?

Presented by Paul Clark in Track 1.

Get a head start on the next step in your WordPress career by considering advantages, challenges, and tips from three job types in the WordPress economy.

Paul will share stories of the good, bad, and ugly from 7 years as a freelancer, 3 years as an agency co-founder, and 1 year as the Director of Recruiting at, the largest WordPress agency in the world.

Want to step into freelancing? Take your business to the next level? Grow your team, or score the perfect agency job? This is the talk for you.

Q&A Panel

Presented in Beginner.

Working with Themes & Plugins

Presented by Susan Ramsey in Beginner.

For the Love of Blogging

Presented by Marjorie Asturias, Kristin Sheppard, Corrin Foster in Beginner.

Best practices, tips and tricks, and a little something sweet from three seasoned bloggers. This interactive discussion will touch on everything you ever wanted to know about blogging. Whether blogging is your business, your passion, or a dream waiting to happen, this panel’s for you.

The Mad Men Guide to Creating Website Content

Presented by Clara Matthews in Track 3.

The Mad Men Guide to Creating Website Content It will focus on the basic principles of storytelling for creating website content, using the TV show Mad Men as an example.

Beginning WordPress Plugin Development with the Simplest Possible Plugin

Presented by Bill Sullivan in Track 2.

Making the leap to writing your own WordPress plugin can seem impossible, but you can make it easy! In this talk, I’ll show you how to write the simplest possible WordPress plugin. The plugin won’t be able do much, but after writing it you will. You’ll learn how to add your own javascript, css, and php while making sure that all the code you write works correctly with WordPress and any other plugins you run.

The truth is that working with WordPress plugins opens up a new universe of creativity and it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed by it. Some of the best plugins can have thousands of lines of code and might even interact with several web services. If that’s what a plugin needs to be, how could anyone ever get started? The solution is to figure out a Minimum Viable Plugin and start learning by creating the smallest plugin we can get away with.

You’ll be surprised how far you can go just by writing simple plugins, too. Sometimes, you just want to slightly tweak the functionality of WordPress, or even another plugin, and a simple plugin will get the job done. We’ll look at a few other small plugins I’ve written that make the WordPress sites they run on a little friendlier or just work better.

And, after you’ve built the simplest possible plugin, you can try developing the second simplest possible plugin on your own. We’ll talk about a few ideas you might like to try next. And once you’ve made a few simple plugins, you’ll find yourself making plugins that might have seemed to hard to even begin before. There’s a while lot of plugin development to do after you make the simplest possible plugin, but it’s an excellent way to get started.

People First: Accessibility Considerations for WordPress Theme Developers

Presented by Trisha Salas in Track 1.

Accessibility is a growing concern in the WordPress community at large. Accessibility in web design means creating a site that everyone can use. The U.S. Census Bureau says that over 47 million Americans have a disability of some kind. The UN and the World Bank say this adds up to 650 million people worldwide. That’s around 10% of everyone in the world. At some point in our lives, disability will affect most of us, no matter who you are. Every decision you make as a developer affects hundreds of thousands of people (or more!).

The mission statement of WordPress is to democratize publishing through Open Source, GPL software. WordPress ‘out of the box’ is already a great way to make a website accessible. As theme developers we can do more. People who can’t see or hear, others that can’t use a mouse, people who use special assistive devices to access the web — these people need to access websites. As theme developers, we need to know about accessibility.

Accessibility Statement: “Accessibility is the degree to which a product, device, service, or environment is available to as many people as possible.” Cynthia Waddell

There are 2,655 themes in the theme repository. Only 12 of those themes have the tag ‘accessibility-ready’. We can meet those accessibility guidelines with just a few extras steps. We will start with basic things like creating readable headlines and adding alt text to images. From there we will cover some of the information in the Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 Guidelines.

I’ll also provide real world examples from the perspective of my visually impaired son.

We are all responsible for making our part of a project accessible. You will need to shake things and change your processes a bit in order to achieve accessibility.

Scoping Projects

Presented by Sheryle Gillihan in Track 3.

Knowing how to “right-size” a project is one of the most challenging tasks and some will argue that if you say you’re good at estimating, then you’re really good at lying. However, this is a reality of writing contracts and it’s important to know what you’re doing so that you don’t lose time, money, your reputation or perhaps your sanity.

Choosing the Right E-Commerce Platform for YOUR Needs

Presented by Patrick Rauland in Track 3.

You might have the next best thing and you want to sell it online. It could be a book, some music, a trendy t-shirt, an entire collection of baseball cards, furniture, of even software. Or maybe someone you know has this product and you want to help them sell it online. well before you get cold hard cash in your bank account you need to make a decision about which e-commerce platform you want to use. There are hundreds of platforms each with their own pros and cons. I’m going to give you a set of tools you can use to determine which of these platforms is right for you. We’ll look at hosted, self hosted, customizable, easy to use, platforms for one product, platforms for thousands of products, scalability, payment options, configurable products, simple products, native WordPress solutions, non-WordPress solutions, and of course your budget to help you determine which e-commerce platform is the right one for your project.

Your First WordPress Site

Presented by Marc Gratch in Beginner.

When many of us take the dive to set up our first WordPress site, whether it’s for yourself or a client it’s easy to lose enormous amounts of time. For many veteran WordPress developers it is very easy to forget that first experience of stumbling through the dashboard, or sifting through countless plugins. I will walk through the process of getting a domain to launching a basic site.

Building High Performance WordPress Websites

Presented by Jon Bellah in Track 2.

Performance optimization is an oft-overlooked aspect of creating great user experiences. Optimizing the critical rendering path, eliminating unnecessary roundtrips, and other optimization techniques can have a huge impact on your bottom line.

In this session, we’ll take a look at some of the ways you can improve the performance of your websites, with a specific focus on building high performance WordPress websites.

Foundation Framework

Presented by Jaymes Downer in Track 2.

Building a Church Website on WordPress

Presented by Chris Wallace in Track 3.

A Secret Clubhouse for Clients: Using the P2 Theme for Internal and Project Communications

Presented by Dorian Speed in Track 3.

This presentation can apply both to organizations looking for a WordPress-based system for internal communications, and to web professionals who want an efficient, simple setup for communicating with clients.

I’ll cover from start to finish the process of setting up a “secret clubhouse” on WordPress, including:

  • A brief overview of the p2 theme, created by Automattic for internal communications.
  • Demonstration of a sample version of the p2 theme, with discussion of recommended plugins to enhance the basic functionality of the theme.
  • Explanation of how to create a simple child theme of p2 that allows for customization consistent with one’s overall brand
  • Overview of setting up a simple multisite installation, creating a site for each client by cloning an initial, configured-just-right version of the site.

Running a Business While Traveling the World

Presented by Daniel Espinoza in Track 1.

How do you coordinate with clients when you are 10 time zones away?

What do you do when a client needs you but you’re flying over an ocean?

How do you get work done when living in a new place every week?

Daniel will share what he’s learned about running a sustainable WordPress business while traveling the world with his family.

Anatomy of a WordPress Theme

Presented by Corey Ellis in Track 2.

The theme of your site at minimum controls how your site looks and many times may offer a multitude of the functionality. The basics of understanding how WordPress themes work is understanding patterns in the 3–5 core files that are required for a theme.
This sessions walks you through a cursory overview of each of these files so you understand how they all work together to create a WordPress theme.

Development Environments in Distributed Teams using Vagrant

Presented by Brandon Dove in Track 2.

In a distributed working environment with employees spanning multiple countries, it’s very important to get everyone using the same tools for stable development and deployment. I’ll walk through the vagrant provisioning process, 3rd party services, and home grown tools that make us successful with our Enterprise clients.

Optimizing Development Workflow Using Gulp

Presented by Andrew Taylor in Track 2.

gulp is a node.js JavaScript task runner that helps you automate your development workflow. This session will take a look at leveraging gulp to speed up WordPress theme development

Some items we will cover are using Gulp for:

  • Sass compilation
  • CSS auto prefixing
  • Image optimization
  • Javascript concatenation and minification
  • Auto injection with BrowserSync
  • And much more

Integrating WordPress with External APIs

Presented by Aaron Campbell in Track 2.

WordPress is amazing, flexible software, but it doesn’t do everything. Facebook, PayPal, MailChimp, Basecamp, slideshare, and Google Maps are just a few examples of places that are already doing something well, and you can integrate your WordPress site with them through their APIs. However, there are right and wrong ways to do this, especially if you want to distribute your solution to others. I start from the beginning, introducing people to the WordPress HTTP library helper functions, then bring lots of code examples from my plugins show start to finish how to integrate the right way.

Securing WordPress the Right Way

Presented by Chris Wiegman in Beginner.

Securing WordPress The Right Way There’s a lot of information out there on making WordPress as secure as possible. Some of it is great and some of it, well, not so great. My session will walk users through numerous tips and tricks for securing WordPress the right way from the start. In addition we’ll look at a few security misconceptions in an attempt to sort the good information from the bad and keep you from becoming the next victim.

Getting More Comments on Your Business Blog – How to Increase Customer Engagement

Presented by Kari Sullivan in Track 3.

I have been running some experiments on my company’s blog for the past couple years to try to increase quality customer comments. My talk will outline what worked, what didn’t work, and how to address common problems that come up as a blog’s audience grows.

Re-Imagine Marketing and Blogging through Authentic Storytelling

Presented by Christoph Trappe in Track 1.

Getting a blog setup and going is just the start.

This section will help get the most out of your new WordPress blog. Search algorithms change. Social networks evolve and sometimes fizzle away.

One thing that isn’t going anywhere is the consumer’s need for relevant, educational, compelling and helpful information. The brands that feed this need — in the most relevant manner — will have the most customers, advocates and will make the most money!

This interactive session – led by IMA Master Storyteller and Executive Council Member Christoph Trappe – shares how you’ll steer your blog toward digital excellence by sharing authentic stories that align consumers with your business goals. It will help your organization stay relevant with today’s and tomorrow’s connected consumers.

You will learn how to:

  • Define your content goals
  • Get buy-in from key people in the organization
  • Shape your message in a new and authentic way
  • Measure results

Four Steps to Determine Value and Start Pricing

Presented by Kirk Bowman in Track 1.

Most service professionals (designers, web developers, consultants, etc.) charge the customer by hour. The problem is there is no correlation between how long something takes (the hours) and the result the customer wants (the value). No one ever asked a car dealer how long it took to make a vehicle.

What is really important to the customer, even if he does not realize it, is the result your craft will help him achieve. If you insist on identifying the value first, you can help the customer make better choices and contribute to a real impact on his life and business.

So, how do you do it? There are four core steps to learning to determine value and start pricing. In this session, you will learn the four steps and how to implement them in your business. Explore the fear that comes with a new business model, questions you should ask the customer, and how you can set a price based on the value you help create.

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