Getting them from A to B

Presented by Jesse Friedman in 1. Schulze Hall, Content.

Imagine a person looking through a telescope tasked with finding their favorite star. Through the telescope they are only able to see a handful of stars at a time, but if you remove the telescope, the number of choices becomes overwhelming.

Navigating a very large website can be akin to finding that one special star. A typical landing page will have 10 – 20 navigable choices; this is like looking through that telescope. Scanning a very large sitemap would provide too many options and, unfortunately, isn’t as beautiful as gazing up at the night sky.

In this talk you’ll learn how to tell a story with your content, how to engage users on their journey, and avoid the problem of the “Single Path.” We’ll also examine websites that do this well and cover practical strategies you can employ today to craft better experiences for your users.

Remember to Breathe: Productivity Tips for Freelancers

Presented by David Laietta in 4. Opus 202, Business.

I’ve been a freelance web developer for over a decade, and have been running my own shop for the past six years. Over that time, I’ve made an embarrassingly high number of mistakes on how to run a business.

Developers build up a library of code and get the right tools to be more efficient, and everyone working in the WordPress space can benefit from the same application of productive skills to get more done in less time. Come learn some of the things that have kept me from having to return to a day job, and share skills that you’ve developed as well.

Lean Requirements, Without Skimping on the Meat

Presented by Anthony D Paul in 2. Thornton Auditorium, Design.

In today’s website feature debates, you and your team hash out priorities based on budgets, timelines, and what one of the clients mentioned in passing, ignoring the larger context of the design problem. We focus on the current list of edits–and rallying for the user is lost in the shuffle. In this session, you’ll be introduced to a framework for approaching your WordPress project’s situational analysis from many perspectives, to create success goals that resonate with everyone on your team—including your client’s wallet-bearers.

Attendees should walk away with:

  • A method for breaking complex design problems into smaller problems without losing awareness of larger project needs
  • A skeleton for assembling more effective, yet lightweight use-cases to audit against
  • Ammunition to debate the validity of your decisions (and win)

This session is designed for web professionals of all levels and skillsets–including design, development, and content planning. It’s not required, but a writing utensil is recommended.

Creating usable, maintainable, and upgradable WordPress sites

Presented by Nick Ciske in 2. Thornton Auditorium, Development.

You’ll find thousands of tutorials, snippets, and other advice online advising you to “just add this to your functions.php file.”

It’s a bit more complicated than that…

I’ll cover:

  • Why that’s rarely the best strategy for anyone (yes, even a non-technical user)
  • Why developers and designers should never do this on client sites
  • What best practices are regarding adding custom functionality to your site
  • Tools for users of all levels to avoid functions.php bloat

I’ll also cover:

  • Why “app themes” are probably a bad way to start a business/website
  • Which code belongs in plugins vs. themes
  • How using a theme framework/starter theme can save you hassles and headaches

IP for Creatives

Presented by Blake Iverson in 4. Opus 202, Content.

A quick overview on copyright and trademark law for designers, developers, and business owners

Automating Accessibility

Presented by Joe Dolson in 4. Opus 202, Development.

Assessing web sites for accessibility can be a burdensome task. I’ll talk about how to use automated testing to improvement your testing. I’ll review the nature of automated testing so you know what automation will catch and what it won’t. Finally, I’ll talk about the tools available for doing automated testing in WordPress when working on themes, plug-ins, or WordPress core.

Content Production for Bloggers, Writers, and Editors

Presented by David Skarjune in 1. Schulze Hall, Content.

WordPress has achieved it’s mission to democratize publishing, so any blogger, writer, editor, or content manager has access to a powerful publishing platform on the Web. But, how do you put all of the awesome capabilities of WordPress to best use? Copywriting is just a beginning step in the production process for a content management system. Learn how to better manage WordPress for an effective:

  • Author Experience
  • Editorial Workflow
  • Typography
  • Distribution & Sharing
  • Content Strategy

Tips and tricks will be offered for both indie bloggers and content managers.

Where does my code go? Plugin or Theme?

Presented by Russell Aaron in 3. Opus 201, Development.

In the WordPress community, there is a huge debate on whether you should add your code in a plugin or use it in a theme. The answer really depends on who the code is written for.

In this presentation, I’ll be sharing my experiences and best practices to help you determine whether your code should go into a plugin or a theme.

Content Migration: Beyond WXR

Presented by Matt Johnson in 3. Opus 201, Development.

Content migration is the art of getting your content from one website to another, automatically, and having it still look nice when it reaches its destination. If you’ve ever built a new WordPress site that’s meant to replace an older site, you’ve probably had to migrate content. Migrating can be a challenging thing to do, but it can also be fun, interesting and a fascinating programming challenge!

This talk will cover the ideas behind content migration, and introduce development strategies and examples that you can employ in your projects if you’re migrating from something other than WordPress, or if the built-in WordPress WXR import/export tool misses or mishandles important content on your site. With this in your toolkit, you can speak confidently to clients or employers about your ability to get them onto WordPress.

Super fast WordPress themes

Presented by Trevan Hetzel in 2. Thornton Auditorium, Development.

Today’s web users have the need for speed. With internet and cellular connections getting faster and faster, users expect sites to feel snappy and not make them wait. We as developers must make sure we’re doing our very best to serve those pages quickly. This talk will focus on the things you should be doing, both on the front-end and back-end, when building WordPress themes.

Keynote: Building Software, Building Community

Presented by John Eckman in 1. Schulze Hall.

WordPress the platform is great, but it isn’t just about the software. We’re on a mission to democratize publishing and have a very real opportunity to make the web a better place. The question isn’t whether you should be involved (you should) or when you should get involved (now), but how – and there are many great ways to do so. Lets go!

Commit to Contribute

Presented by John James Jacoby in 1. Schulze Hall, Business.

Starting as an independent, working on VIP & Jetpack, living the agency life at 10up, and eventually starting my own company, the one constant has been volunteering to improve WordPress and the surrounding initiatives.

I’ll talk about how I apply what I’ve learned from these experiences, and what I hope to help WordPress, GlotPress, BuddyPress, & bbPress be in the future.

Designing for Seniors

Presented by Cemal Tashan in Lightning Talks, Pourhouse.

An American turns 50 every 7 seconds. The senior age group is now, for the first time, the largest in terms of size and percent of the population in the U.S. Those aged 50 and older represent 45% of the U.S. population. One-third of the internet users in the U.S., are adults aged 50+ representing the Web’s largest constituency.

WordPress sites must be designed with this in mind. You will learn how to meet seniors’ needs from one of their own.

Cain & Obenland in the Morning!

Presented by Konstantin Obenland, Michael Cain in 1. Schulze Hall, Development.

Cain & Obenland in the morning! – a morning show-style WordCamp talk with three segments: two that will cover any number of WordPress topics – current WP happenings, theming, design, development, best practices, worst practices, future trends, you name it – and a special guest interview with a big name from the WordPress world.

Beyond Whitespace: Designing for Complex Content

Presented by Michelle Schulp in 3. Opus 201, Design.

We’re all enamored with the minimalist websites that employ only the most essential use of color, images, and space. But what happens when the volume of information can’t be boiled down to something that simple? We’ll explore how to use design principles to organize and display elaborate user experiences like mega-menus, massive news sites, high-information catalog pages, and multi-level interactions.

Making The Internet of Things WordPress Smart

Presented by RC Lations in Lightning Talks, Pourhouse.

Popular services like IFTTT and the rise of home automation have made it easy to connect physical devices to the internet to make them more efficient. But why can’t we build integrations in the opposite direction?

We’ll explore ways to get data out of WordPress and create meaningful integrations with physical devices, with real-life examples and resources for getting started.

Design better websites with content first

Presented by Travis Totz in 2. Thornton Auditorium, Design.

Approach your site design as pure typography. This may sound weird at first, but if you think about it, everything from headlines and body copy, to buttons and quotes, almost all of it… is just plain text. It’s at the core of almost every single site you design. During my talk I will discuss adding an initial step to your design process to help you knock out design work faster, easier, and more efficient by simply writing everything out first.

OOCSS, SMACSS & BEM for Modular, Scalable CSS

Presented by Alec Rippberger in 2. Thornton Auditorium, Development.

As your projects grow in size and complexity it’s important to keep your CSS well organized and documented. A failure to do so will make your CSS difficult to augment, modify and maintain. This talk will cover the three major conventions for organizing CSS: Object Oriented CSS (OOCS), Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS (SMACSS) and Block Element Modifier (BEM). We’ll discuss similarities, differences and use cases between the schools, as well as general tools that can be used to speed up and clean up the CSS development process.

Writing (more) Secure Plugins

Presented by John Havlik in 4. Opus 202, Development.

As plugin developers, we need to write code conscientious of the fact that someone will attempt to maliciously exploit our plugins. This session aims to enlighten the audience about some attack vectors and how to counter them with the current security best practices for WordPress plugins.

Topics covered include: Plugin security best practices, data sanitization, action authorization, and permissions.

Beautiful Web Type

Presented by Mel Choyce in 2. Thornton Auditorium, Design.

With the rapid popularization of web fonts over the past few years, type on the web has never been more exciting! We’ll learn a bit about basic typographic principles, review techniques and services for integrating web fonts into your WordPress sites, and finally conclude with a bit of speculation on where type on the web is heading.

Child Themes, Starter Themes, and Frameworks… Oh My!

Presented by Julie Kuehl in 2. Thornton Auditorium, Development.

The stock themes out there just aren’t quite right. You want to make your site your own. Change it up a bit. Make it roar. But where do you begin? Will a child theme be the best choice? What about these frameworks everyone talks about? And what’s a starter theme? Let’s talk about what the differences are between these options and why you would choose one over the other.

Keyword Mapping: Developing a Content Strategy that Supports SEO

Presented by Jen Jamar in 1. Schulze Hall, Content.

Does your content strategy support ranking well for keywords that drive traffic to your site? The function of a search engine is to deliver relevant results to their users (your potential readers & customers). Each time a user searches on Google, they have the potential to click through to hundreds of thousands of answers to their query. That’s a lot of competition.

Keyword mapping helps define which search queries your site answers best. We’ll begin with an overview of the keyword mapping process, then discuss how apply a keyword map in WordPress to create a framework for your content strategy.

Powerful Local Development Environments with Vagrant and friends

Presented by Brad Parbs in 4. Opus 202, Development.

In this talk we’ll walk through setting up a professional, powerful, and efficient local development environment.

We’ll discuss how to get set up, why, and the different things you can do with a great set up.

Give away the farm to get the ranch, why you should teach your clients how to do your job

Presented by Mendel Kurland in 3. Opus 201, Business.

Bootstrapping a web development business usually means having little money for traditional advertising. Learn how to use the power of teaching to give a little to get a lot. You won’t leave this session empy-handed, as you’ll take away valuable action items that will help you attract highly targeted clients.

Walking as a Sheep Among the Lions

Presented by Jonya Pacey in Lightning Talks, Pourhouse.

Niche businesses, vanity blogs, hobby websites, yellow-book brochure pages for small businesses. These customers need good websites but don’t have the money for services from larger companies. Many can be intimidated by how *hard* it is to set up a website, even on So they turn to companies like mine. I’m one of the small businesses that do not want to compete with our larger, hungrier brothers, but nevertheless feel we are giving good value and service and helping to make the online world a prettier place to be. We want to be recognized for what we provide for the WP community – which of course starts with being recognizable and responsible to the community. I’ll share how I achieve this and what I plan to do in the future.

From Zero to WordPress Publish

Presented by Michele Butcher in 2. Thornton Auditorium, Development.

How do you start with WordPress? We go from concept to live site. We will do a secure install, talk about posts and pages, and widgets and themes. If you have any questions about starting in WordPress this session is for you.

The Awesome guide to contributing to WordPress

Presented by Nikhil Vimal in 4. Opus 202, Development.

This talk is about contributing to WordPress core, with or without code.

Building Your First Functionality Plugin

Presented by Josh Leuze in 2. Thornton Auditorium, Development.

If you have ever built or customized a WordPress theme, a functionality plugin is the perfect place to start learning how to build plugins.

In this talk you will learn what a functionality plugin is, what belongs in a theme and what should go in a plugin, and how to build a plugin.

Staying Sane: Writing Compatible Code

Presented by Dan Griffiths in 2. Thornton Auditorium, Development.

A discussion on how (and why) to ensure that your plugins are safe and conflict free.

Detoxify Your Site

Presented by Mika Epstein in 1. Schulze Hall, Content.

Applying a cleanse to your site is as complicated and troublesome as trying the juice cleanse to your colon. What happens when your blogging community becomes vile and vicious and all you want to do is have an open discussion about things? I’ve been there too, and while the basic rule is to delete the trolls and ignore them, you’re not alone. There are tricks, tools, and methods to the madness of dealing with people who cannot see reason, and generally don’t want to. I’ll help you on your path to a pure blog without having to spend every free moment of your day moderating.

Jetpack for Developers

Presented by Kelly Dwan in 1. Schulze Hall, Development.

Jetpack has a lot of features for users, but did you know that it can make your life as a developer easier, too? With infinite scroll, featured content, and various custom post types, Jetpack can save you time in creating commonly requested features. Use a CSS preprocessor for easy-to-use customization options. In this talk, I’ll explore all the secret developer features in Jetpack that can give you a head start on your next site.

Building and Running a Global Workforce – The People Aspect of a Remote Company

Presented by Tony Perez in 3. Opus 201, Business.

This talk will share the challenges of a remote work force; talk to people issues, culture, growth challenges, scaling, and everything in between. This post will share some of the lessons learned at Sucuri over the past 5 years of doing business at a global scale.

Advanced Meta Data and You: going beyond add_meta_box

Presented by Dan Beil in 4. Opus 202, Development.

Add_meta_box(); is great! It allows us to extend any post object with additional information, moving beyond a simple post with an author, date, excerpt, and image. But it can do so much more. This talk will be a case study of using Custom Post Types and Meta Data to populate navigation structures and ‘category’ archive pages of a enterprise level site which easily has 150,000+ views per day and strict publication requirements for the client’s editorial team.

Users don’t want to think about your backend

Presented by Nick Pelton in 3. Opus 201, Development.

Content management UI’s are one of the most important things you should think about when building a website. It’s also why a lot of us choose WordPress. Lets explore how to make content management make sense to your customer – reducing ongoing support and training in the process.

Create Your Own WordPress Theme

Presented by Barbara Schendel in 1. Schulze Hall, Development.

If you have a demanding client or a custom-designed interface, you can easily spend way more time tweaking and customizing a third party theme, as opposed to just coding your own. In this talk you will learn how easy it can be to start with a static HTML page and convert it into a dynamic theme. This talk will cover the basic template tags and is intended for people who are comfortable with HTML, CSS.

Why You Should Be Blogging

Presented by Nile Flores in 1. Schulze Hall, Content.

Blogging is not new. It might be new to some people, but it’s been around for some time. Some even think it’s a dirty word! Blogging is just another cute term like writing a journal or creating content. Now, blogging doesn’t mean you have to sit with the night light on and talk about what you did for the day. It’s MORE than that!

Blogging is a tool anyone can use, even a business. You don’t even have to be some hotshot journalist or Grammar Nazi.

I’m going to answer why you should be blogging, and if you’re a business owner, this is definitely a MUST attend because you’re going to get a the 411 on the foundation of leveraging blogging for your business.

Be awesome at something!

Presented by Toby Cryns in Lightning Talks, Pourhouse.

For the first 7 years of being a freelancer, Toby Cryns tried to be awesome at everything. But for all his efforts, after all those years of sweat and toil and working into the late-night hours, he came to the harsh realization that his path was really a commitment to being average across all sorts of categories.

Two years ago, he started a journey to be awesome at one thing. Getting to awesome meant leaving behind a lot of notions he had about success as well as creating a new framework for prioritizing his time.

In this talk, Toby will share the struggles and joys of being awesome at something. He will give you nuts and bolts advice borne of his experience building a company that provides on-demand WordPress support, but, even more important, seeks to be the best communicator of work, budgets, and deadlines in the entire world.

Content, Call To Actions & Marketing

Presented by Marcus Genzlinger in 1. Schulze Hall, Content.

Get a an overview of marketing ideas that can enhance your WordPress site. I am going to discuss the role of content, plugins and calls to action that can help create greater results. The session will also briefly touch on funnels, SEO, social and signups. Time will allow for questions and dialog between attendees.

Multilingual WordPress

Presented by Lisa Sabin-Wilson in 1. Schulze Hall, Development.

WordPress is global. Themes and plugins should be prepared for translation and there are some very basic steps you can take to make sure that is the case. But there is more to it, especially if you are doing client work. Lisa has launched several large, enterprise-level networks in multiple languages and has learned some valuable lessons along the way that she would like to pass on to you in this session.

Financial Business Planning for Freelancers

Presented by Heather Acton in 3. Opus 201, Business.

Driven by passion and a desire to be our own bosses, oftentimes we struggle with the financial aspects of running a sustainable freelance-based business. In this talk we’ll discuss setting financial goals, budgeting, accounting for time, and consistently measuring and analyzing financial data to ensure we’re setting ourselves up for longevity and growth while we serve our clients well.

Basic WP Security: What you really should know

Presented by Kenneth Justiniano in 2. Thornton Auditorium, Development.

As a designer or freelancer have you ever wondered:

  • What is so important about internet security?
  • As far as internet security, how much should I know?
  • What would make my WordPress site more secure?

Come and join Ken Justiniano in a discussion on understanding WordPress security, basic internet security and what you should be doing to practice “good basic security”.