Sessions

All UsersBusinessDesign and Front-EndDeveloper


Track: All Users

Making the Link: Social Media and WordPress

Presented by Ben Goliwas in All Users (Room 159).

Best practices for connecting your social media presence with your WordPress site. We’ll look at social media plugins, working directly with social media APIs, best practices for connecting your blog with social media platforms, and social media planning basics.

Take aways:

  • Using plugins to embed social media content on your site
  • Working directly with social media APIs
  • Social media planning best practices

WordPress Security: Don’t Be a Target

Presented by Will Chatham in All Users (Room 159).

Learn how to lock down your WordPress website so that you become less of a target for hacking, defacement, or data theft. Using freely available tools, you’ll find out how to thwart cyber attacks and build trust with your visitors.

Take aways:

  • Becoming less of a target for hackers.
  • Hardening WordPress websites with security plugins.
  • Other tools and tips for website security.

Can I Has First Page Search Result? How to Develop Content That Shows Up

Presented by Leah Quintal in All Users (Room 159).

Google search results have changed. There are fewer and fewer search result slots that show real content. In a marketing era that’s all about content, how do you produce content that has a chance? In this instructional presentation, I will show you how to use free tools to assess your search result potential and craft content that can get you on the coveted first page of Google Search Results.

Take aways:

  • Learn how to use free tools to make informed decisions about what topics to write about.
  • Learn how to assess your search potential.
  • Learn how to sum up your competition.

Disaster-Proof Your Website: Creating an Action Plan *Before* you need it

Presented by Kate Newbill in All Users (Room 159).

How much money and credibility would you lose if your website went down for a week? A day? An hour?

Let’s take a look at some of the most common things that can go wrong with a WordPress site. This talk will outline easy plans and steps you can take to prevent website disaster. We’ll also share a downloadable action plan to help you get started.

Takeaways:

  • Create an action plan covering most common issues that could befall your site(s).
  • Know how to increase security by making it more difficult for hackers to break in.
  • Have resources available to help in case the site faces problems too big for a backup to fix ( i.e., hacked with no clean backup; host goes out of business and takes site down.

The WordPress REST API: What It Is, Why it Matters, and What You Need to Know About It

Presented by Evan Volgas in All Users (Room 159).

WordPress 4.4 was released on Dec 8, 2015. It was the first WordPress release to include the infrastructure for a REST API directly in the core codebase. If you’re not familiar with what that means, then the following claim will probably sound like gobbledy gook to you: the inclusion of a REST API for WordPress is arguably one of the most significant changes to be made to the core codebase in years. This talk will help you understand why.

This talk will be aimed at WordPress professionals of all stripes. Whether you are a developer, designer, business owner, or blogger, you should be paying attention to the REST API in WordPress and why it’s so important (and so powerful) for the future of WordPress applications.

In this talk, we’ll discuss what APIs and what it means for them to be RESTful. We’ll talk about why APIs are important in the first place and what having a RESTful one in the core of WordPress means, in real terms. Last, we will talk about the status of the REST API and the efforts that are underway to integrate it more fully with the core.

If you’re a business owner, designer, blogger, or WordPress developer who’s maybe heard of the WordPress API but you don’t really know what it is or why it’s important, you’ll probably get the most out of this talk.

If you are a polyglot developer with a fair amount of experience working directly with RESTful APIs, this talk will probably be too basic for you.

If you’re completely new to WordPress and haven’t done much more than publish a few blog posts and install a few plugins, there’s a chance this talk will be a bit intimidating for you (although honestly I hope it won’t be and you should be brave and come anyway and make me explain anything that didn’t make sense to you… I’m more than happy to do so).

Takeaways:

  • What is an API and why do we care about them?
  • How is the REST API in WordPress different from all those other APIs they have floating around in the WordPress Core? Is this one different somehow or is it just another API? (Hint: it’s very much the former.)
  • What does a RESTful API for WordPress mean for me as a designer? As a blogger? As a business owner or entrepreneur? As a developer?

You’ve Written Your Blog; Now What?

Presented by Mark Bloom in All Users (Room 159).

Build it and they will come? Not any longer. Not when so much new information is appearing on the Internet every day, every hour, every minute. You have to find the right audience and promote your blog. Without this extra effort, your carefully crafted prose may go unread. Learn tips to get noticed and gain an audience.

Take aways:

  • Learn how to present your blog to attract.
  • Learn how to find your audience.
  • Learn how to promote your blog to get attention.

Forms Comparison

Presented by Aaron Reimann in All Users (Room 159).

Forms comparison (Gravity Forms, Ninja Forms & Contact Form 7)

Email Marketing in a Flash

Presented by Lydia Roberts in All Users (Room 159).

*This is a 15-minute Lightning Talk*

You might have a newsletter signup box sitting on your website, or maybe just a nagging feeling that you should send out a newsletter to your customers — but you’re afraid your efforts might be wasted. Learn some quick tips about email marketing and get the confidence to push Send! I’ll talk about what makes email marketing an amazing tool for business, and you’ll get tips for structuring your email marketing program to be useful for your customers instead of “just another newsletter” cluttering their inbox.

Take aways:

  • Why email is relevant to you and your customers.
  • How to best take advantage of email.
  • Tips for improving your email list, layout, and sending habits.

Stop Doing That: 10 Lazy Mistakes That Break Things

Presented by Russell Fair in All Users (Room 159).

*This is a 15-minute Lightning Talk*

How the Internet Works

Presented by Julien Melissas in All Users (Room 159).

*This is a 15-minute Lightning Talk*

Have you ever thought about how the internet actually works? WordPress running “on the internet” is only one small piece of the puzze. How about “The Cloud”? Routers? Modems? Datacenters?

This is a lightning-fast overview of what happens when you connect to the internet, all the way to when WordPress loads its page up and sends it back to you. We’ll learn that the internet isn’t just a “series of tubes” and how small of a role your WordPress site plays in that big, messy puzzle. There is usually a method to the madness.

Up and Running With WordPress

Presented by Boomer Sassmann in All Users (Room 159).

Did you attend PreCamp? Did you leave with a wealth of information but feel like you need a little bit more? You’re in luck! This session will build upon the foundation that was established during PreCamp.

Even if you didn’t make it to PreCamp this year but you consider yourself in the early stages of your WordPress learning curve, this session is perfect for you too.

In particular, we’ll dig deeper into the following:

  • A Divi Demo – A popular WordPress page builder theme
  • Selecting specialized plugins based on your specific site requirements. For Example: E-Commerce, Directory Management, and Image/Event Heavy
  • Healthy website checklist for ongoing growth and success of your site.

Feel free to bring your questions and access to your demo site (From Friday’s PreCamp) for follow-up advice and troubleshooting.

Not Your Father’s SEO

Presented by Rich Owings in All Users (Room 159).

The days of ten blue links are gone. When people search by voice they may never see a screen of results. Google’s answer boxes may allow people to find what they are searching for without going to another website. What is driving all this and how do you optimize for it? How can websites, blogs or local businesses take advantage of these changes? This presentation is most appropriate for someone with at least a basic knowledge of SEO.

  • Why search is fragmenting
  • The different ways people get search results these days
  • How to optimize for the new SEO

Track: Business

Setting Up Shop (E-Commerce)

Presented by Derek Schmidt in Business (Room 143).

In this session I am to go through a demonstration on how you can setup an e-commerce website using WordPress and WooCommerce. We’ll go through everything from setting up various products and product types, setting up taxes, payment gateways and shipping rates. We’ll also briefly get into the “sales funnel” with how you continue to connect to your customers to keep driving them back to your website for more conversions.

Take aways:

  1. Learn to sell products or services for your website (or clients website).
  2. Learn how to keep driving traffic to your site and some basic marketing tips.
  3. Learn how to set up taxes and tax rates depending on your states requirement.

Taming the Beast – How to Use Facebook Effectively to Promote a WordPress Website or Blog

Presented by Sarah Benoit in Business (Room 143).

Facebook could be considered the social media site that took over the world. No other social site in the US market has the saturation, popularity, and sheer membership size that Facebook has generated over the last 12 years. Facebook can be an extremely powerful tool when it comes to attracting new, potential, and qualified customers and clients. When it’s integrated with a WordPress website the two together can create a highly engaging, extremely usable experience for customers, clients, and prospects. Together they can also become a highly successful marketing strategy.

Take aways:

  • A list of tested and high quality Facebook plugins for WordPress.
  • The best practices for blogging and creating a content strategy for your WordPress site.
  • Tips on how make the most out of your Facebook Business page.

Blogging For Fun & Profit

Presented by Frank Jones in Business (Room 143).

I was recently hired to help a client bring more traffic to their site with SEO – but decided NOT to do that. In this presentation, we’ll take a deep dive into the changes I helped this client make, which grew their revenue by 12X in just 3 months! Then we’ll touch on how I helped put systems in place so this client was able to focus on his growing family while maintaining his income, working just a few hours each week.

Take aways:

  • Understand that your audience wants more from you, and you’re not serving them if you’re business is not sustainable.
  • Learn why more traffic does not equal more money.
  • Begin to identify the profit leavers within your own website.

What I Learned From Building 48 Websites in 48 Hours

Presented by Adam Walker in Business (Room 143).

*This is a 15-minute Lightning Talk*

I’m a digital marketer with a love for my community and the nonprofits that serve my community. Some friends and I set out to create a way to help marketing professionals and developers use their specific skills to help local nonprofits, and 48in48 (48in48.org) was born. We recently finished our first 48in48 event where a team of over 150 people built 48 WordPress websites for 48 nonprofits in 48 hours. This session will explore what I learned during the creation, planning and execution of the event and will give some thoughts on how the WordPress community can give back using their professional skills.

Take aways:

  • How we approached building a plethora of sites a short amount of time.
  • How we approached the volunteers.
  • What plugins we used that were essential for the success of the project and for the long term success of the nonprofits.
  • Overview of what we learned and what we plan to do next.

Do Keywords Still Matter?

Presented by Leah Quintal in Business (Room 143).

*This is a 15-minute Lightning Talk*

Keywords are a big part of search engine optimization. Even so, every year dozens of articles come out spelling the end of keywords and keyword research as we know it. In this lightening talk I’ll dispel some misconceptions, and put keywords in context.

Should I Freelance or Build an Agency?

Presented by Bill Gadless in Business (Room 143).

Most web developers go into the profession without a clearly defined long-term career path. There’s an obvious enormous demand for talent and that reality in itself is enough incentive for getting into this great industry.

Some designers and developers go the conservative route and get a 9-5 (no shame in a guaranteed paycheck). But the beauty of this community is its rich entrepreneurial spirit. If you’ve gone out on your own, inevitably you’ll come to a crossroads: to remain an independent freelancer or build a business.

In this talk, Bill Gadless, President of 50-person agency emagine, will go through the pros and cons of both and provide success insights for both paths:

– How to maximize income while remaining an independent freelancer
– Growing a business: do you have what it takes? (stomach, risk, time, devotion, know-how … and least importantly, money)

Take aways:

For either path, the following are critical:

  • Why you MUST specialize.
  • How to find the best people to work with.
  • How to keep a constant flow of revenues.

5 Steps to an Actionable Marketing Plan

Presented by Joan VanOrman in Business (Room 143).

FOCUS is a 5 step marketing approach to an actionable and creative marketing program. A program that is tailored in syle and content for each business. I’ll share information and examples on each of the 5 FOCUS steps and share examples from business and non-profit organizations. Many businesses are “reluctant marketers.” This approach presents marketing tools in 5 easy, fun, and actionable steps.

Take aways:

  • Learn a fun, effective and actionable marketing approach.
  • Discover creative marketing and public relations tools to consider for your business.
  • How to conduct a quick and effective audit on your current marketing program.

How to Integrate Social Media with WordPress Without Losing Your Mind

Presented by Sarah Benoit in Business (Room 143).

*This is a 15-minute Lightning Talk*

Choosing plugins can be a daunting task, especially for those of us that can’t hack or custom build a plugin to make it better. Learn social media best practices for 2016 and how to integrate social media into your WordPress site in a way that is useful and relevant to your audience, as well as effective and beneficial for you.

Take aways:

  • A list of tested, highly rated social media plugins that can work with a vast majority of site designs.
  • An update on current best practices and trends for social media that every designer and business owner needs to be aware of to stay on top of their social game.
  • An outline of tools and steps to gauge success on social media using proper tracking and analytics.

15 Pinterest tips in 15 minutes

Presented by Alicia Murray in Business (Room 143).

*This is a 15-minute Lightning Talk*

Pinterest is more than a fun addiction — it’s a proven traffic driver, especially if your target demographic is women. In this lightning round you’ll get 15 solid tips on how to transform your Pinterest activity from being a passive pinner to a strategic pinning machine! Pinterest will be your new secret weapon in your marketing arsenal that will drive traffic and increase sales.

Take aways:

  • Current tips to maximize your Pins.
  • Do you need to use hashtags on Pinterest?
  • How many times a day do you need to pin?

Podcasting and Live Streaming With WordPress

Presented by Tony Zeoli in Business (Room 143).

Podcasting and live streaming have gained in popularity. There is just a podcast for just about everything you can think of today. And, with YouTube, Periscope, and Mixlr, you can live stream audio or video. In this session, you’ll learn how to record, edit, and publish your podcast or live stream with WordPress, and how to use WordPress plugins to embed your live stream or distribute your podcast to iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and other podcast outlets.

Take aways:

  • Learn the basics of audio/video recording and editing for podcast or live streaming.
  • Understand copyright – what you can and cannot do.
  • Prepare your website or blog for podcasting or live streaming with plugins and 3rd party services.
  • Discover how to publish your podcast to iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher, as well as using embeds for live streaming.

Dealing With Problem Clients

Presented by Nathan Ingram in Business (Room 143).

Spend time talking with a group of freelancers and the conversation will inevitably include someone’s unfortunate experience with a terrible client. Most freelancers have a story or two (or eight). While bad clients can’t be completely avoided, there are strategic steps any freelancer can take to contain the impact of a bad client. In this session, Nathan will explain the how to create a system that preserves workflow and keeps problem clients in check.

Take aways:

  • Four strategies that will keep problem clients in check.
  • Five monsters you should know and how to contain them.
  • The payoff of building good fences.

DIY User Testing

Presented by Sarah Ovenall in Business (Room 143).

Whether you’re redesigning an existing site or starting from scratch, content that puts the user first leads to happier users and better return on investment. User testing helps you understand your users and structure your content for them. It doesn’t require a large team or expensive resources. You can do it yourself, and WordPress makes it easier. We’ll cover card sorting, tree testing, prototype testing, understanding the data you collect and using it to design your content.

Take aways:

  • How a small team or individual can run effective user tests.
  • How WordPress makes user testing easier.
  • How to interpret user data to build a user-focused site.

Asana for Team Collaboration

Presented by Boomer Sassmann in Business (Room 143).

*This is a 15-minute Lightning Talk*

In this fast paced talk we’ll explore the workflow and best practices for team collaboration and project management while using Asana. Keep up with projects, people, processes and so much more… for free!

We’ll explore the hierarchy of organizing items so you can best decide which method fits your own personality and/or group size.

The GPL: What It Means (and What It Doesn’t)

Presented by Nancy Thanki in Business (Room 143).

The GNU General Public License (GPL) is a free (as in freedom) software license that is used by many open source projects, including WordPress. While many of us are probably familiar with the GPL, there are also a number of misconceptions. It’s important, as WordPress professionals, for us to be able to talk about the GPL with our clients and coworkers — both in terms of what the GPL says and also what it doesn’t say. The GPL is based on some extremely powerful ideas, and it’s a shame that they are sometimes misunderstood. If you feel like you could use a refresher, or ideas about how to explain the GPL to people you’re working with, this talk is for you.

Target audience: Anyone interested in getting into GPL products or wanting to learn more about what they’re already doing. This can be building them, purchasing them, or modifying ones that already exist.

Take aways:

  • What does the GPL actually mean? We’ll cover several examples of what sort of circumstances are and are not permitted under the GPL (as well as the sort of obligations you have when working with GPL-licensed software like WordPress).
  • How do I make money from GPL products if people can just copy and distribute my work?
  • What are some common misconceptions people have when talking about the GPL and where can you get some clarification.

Track: Design and Front-End

Reactive UX with React

Presented by Josh Levinson in Design/Front-End (Room 221-222).

*This is a 15-minute Lightning Talk*

A last minute addition – Josh Levinson will talk about React and some simple ways to drop it into WordPress.

Meaningful UX at any scale

Presented by Cliff Seal in Design/Front-End (Room 221-222).

Why does a user’s experience matter—not just to an organization, but in a broader sense? And, if we can find a deeper meaning in designing for others, how can that help us achieve business goals?

Design is finally getting some attention in tech, and we ought to realize the importance of that opportunity and capitalize on it for the good of everyone. You might be surprised at how a focus on helping people actually results in the metrics that everyone cares about, like user happiness and team efficiency—and I’ll back it up with statistics you can take back with you.

So join us as we talk about the foundation of great UX and how to scale our methods (no matter what size your organization is). Simply doing more of the same ol’ stuff won’t cut it, so we’ll discuss how subtle shifts in thinking can help us continually improve our work for the benefit of everyone it touches.

WordPress Rewrites API

Presented by Jonathan Daggerhart in Design/Front-End (Room 221-222).

PLEASE NOTE: while this talk is in the Design/Front-End room, it is geared more towards Developers. A big thanks for Jonathan for stepping up as we had a speaker cancellation last-minute.

Rewrite rules are how WordPress creates clean/pretty URIs from URL query parameters. When your new page or blog post automatically gets a human-friendly URL, this is provided by a rewrite rule, which itself is using WordPress’s Rewrite API. In this presentation Jonathan Daggerhart will go over the basics of the Rewrite API, create a few new rewrite rules as examples, and make use of the data the Rewrite API provides the global WP_Query object when it matches a rule’s pattern. Hopefully by the end of the class, you’ll have a good understanding of what the Rewrite API is, how it works, and some use-cases where it could be beneficial.

JS Framework Showdown

Presented by Julien Melissas in Design/Front-End (Room 221-222).

I’m going to be speaking about some of the more popular JS frameworks, Angular, Backbone, and React, and show some real-world examples of how easily they can interact with the API.

I’ll be showing (and possibly live-coding) basic examples with each library and fetching the 10 latest posts from the WP-API.

Take aways:

  • The WP-API isn’t that scary, it’s so easy to get/send stuff if you’ve got JSON skills (which aren’t that hard).
  • JavaScript frameworks all have different ways to do things, but similar stuff going on in the background.
  • At the end of the day, React rocks (it’s the best), but it might not be the best solution for your project …

WordPress Front-End Performance

Presented by Michael Mizner in Design/Front-End (Room 221-222).

In this presentation I’ll show how WordPress themes (and sites) can be built to achieve 100/100 Google pagespeed. You’ll learn about my process of using Gulp to concatenate and minify resources, along with intentional enqueues and dequeues.

Bonus: some ways to configure cache plugins to achieve a similar effect.

Take aways:

  • How front-end performance effects mobile users on slower speeds.
  • Tips on improving front-end performance.
  • Gulp basics and how to use with WordPress.

QA Testing Websites Before Launch

Presented by Cameron Campbell in Design/Front-End (Room 221-222).

One of the worst feelings when launching a site is having the client or users find errors you know you should’ve caught. In this talk, I’ll guide you through my Pre-launch Quality Assurance (QA) process at WebDevStudios and how we ensure errors are caught before the client or user ever sees them.

Take aways:

  • Find out how to be a better designer/developer who charges more and gains a better reputation by following a QA Testing process for your sites before launch.
  • Learn about the proper tools and processes for minimizing your time spent cross-browser testing.
  • Learn how to transition from “big picture” to focusing on the smaller details that easily slip through the cracks.

Customize Your Clients’ Administrative Experience with Advanced Custom Fields

Presented by Clifton Canady in Design/Front-End (Room 221-222).

In this presentation, I’ll talk about how to understand Advanced Custom Fields to make your client administrative experience pleasant. I’ll also talk about the get_field or the_field functions. And you’ll learn how you can mix other plugins like Admin Columns or Adminitize to make the back-end easier to use.

Take aways:

  • Understand that it’s not hard to get up and running with ACF. I’ll show all the different types of fields that you can use.
  • Learn how the ACF dashboard works, and how to create a field group and fields inside the field group then attach a field group to a page or page template.
  • Learn about the get_field , the_field and/or the_sub_field functions and how to out put field on a page template.

Installing a Local Development Environment

Presented by John Dorner in Design/Front-End (Room 221-222).

A local development environment is a safe way to practice and test changes to your site without effecting your live site.

Come learn why and how to install a local development environment on both Windows and Macs.

This session is for beginners and we’ll look at using XAMPP and talk about other environments such as MAMP, WAMP, Vagrant and others.

Take aways:

  • Why to install a local environment.
  • How to install XAMPP.
  • What are some of your other choices.

Rapid Prototyping With WordPress Page Builders

Presented by Anthony D Paul in Design/Front-End (Room 221-222).

There are many popular page builders out there—CornerStone, Beaver Builder, Site Origin’s “Page Builder,” Velocity Page, Themify, Divi, and more. Some are free. Others have multiple price tiers. This session won’t get into the ins and outs of which are best for production code, but I’ll demo a couple I’ve found helpful for quick turnaround projects.

In this talk, I’ll take a couple of my favorite page builders and show you why I like them, why I feel they’re good for your clients, and how to use them as a foundation for your own UI prototyping library.

Take aways:

  • The benefits of using theme builders outside of the typical development process.
  • How to get started and what to focus on.
  • How to build a reusable toolkit to save time on future projects.

WordPress and Flexbox

Presented by Michael Mizner in Design/Front-End (Room 221-222).

Adopt a Child Theme

Presented by Wolf Hoelscher in Design/Front-End (Room 221-222).

If you plan to make changes to your theme’s files and code, better build a child theme if you want those changes to stick. In this brief talk, I’ll explain what a child theme is, why you need it, and how to set one up.

Front-End Developer Tools

Presented by Katherine Wakefield in Design/Front-End (Room 221-222).

Windows and Mac tools to get sites built faster. From which code editors are snippet friendly to apps to speed us along in preprocessing a Gulp stack – I’ll offer a wide range of entry level to advanced tools, websites and apps to get things done.

Take aways:

  • If someone is new to web development of already advanced, they’ll have tools and resources they may not have heard about that can make their workflow faster, what to learn first.
  • One does not need to know javascript to get a gulp stack built for web development.
  • Plugins to code editors to speed up workflow.

Track: Developer

The Impact of Web Accessibility

Presented by Jeremy Proffitt in Developer (Room 223-224).

This talk will briefly touch on the legal requirements, penalties, and benefits of web accessibility for businesses of all sizes.

Searching for a Better Search

Presented by Russell Heimlich in Developer (Room 223-224).

WordPress’ built-in search functionality leaves a lot to be desired. A LOT! Why is the default search so bad? What are the options for making search on your site better? In this talk I’ll cover a range of solutions for improving the search results of your site and integrating with WordPress.

Take aways:

  • How WordPress’ default search works under the hood.
  • What are some ways to make WordPress Search better.
  • What are key features when evaluating different search technologies.

Hosting Super Fast WordPress Websites on a Budget

Presented by Lew Ayotte in Developer (Room 223-224).

In this session, I’ll discuss some free tools available to show you problem areas of your websites that are causing slowdowns. We’ll discuss the plugins you can use to help increase your site speed, as well as recommended server configurations.

Take aways:

  • Web tools you can use to track down problem areas of your websites.
  • Recommended plugins to help speed up your sites response time.
  • Server tools you can use to increase your site speed.

WP CLI

Presented by Lew Ayotte in Developer (Room 223-224).

*This is a 15-minute Lightning Talk*

So many developers avoid the command line and they are missing out on so much power. With the addition of the WP-CLI to our set of tools, they are missing out on even more. In this talk I will go through some of the amazing things you can do with the WP-CLI to help work more effectively, efficiently, and automate your life as a WordPress developer. I hope to inspire you to jump into the command line, begin learning the WP-CLI, and start improving your life, today!
Take Aways:
1) Grok the CLI

Profiling Your Server: Tips & Tricks of the Trade

Presented by Evan Volgas in Developer (Room 223-224).

*This is a 15-minute Lightning Talk*

It’s the bug report call we all dread: “the website is slow.” None of the code has changed in weeks and, other than writing a few new blog posts, the client hasn’t touched the site. The website has been running fine for months. So why is it running slow now? Is it the database? The web server? Is your server swapping? Does it have anything to do with your application or is it maybe a third party service that’s running slow, like DNS? Although we won’t be able to go over everything that might cause your server to behave badly, this talk will review the basics of profiling your server in order to diagnose problems. No prior knowledge of command line tools will be assumed, and the talk will be accessible to non-developers. The one thing that attendees should be familiar with prior to attending this talk is how to SSH into their server. It would also be a good idea for attendees to know how to install software packages using apt or yum.

Pick A Post Type, Any Post Type

Presented by Michael Hull in Developer (Room 223-224).

*This is a 15-minute Lightning Talk*

For websites that have a variety of content, it can feel forced to stay within the confines of Pages and Posts. By tapping into custom post types, we can capture the essence of our different content types and showcase them each in their own way.

In this talk, we’ll show a method for creating post types in a matter of seconds, and we’ll discuss how you can choose one or more custom post types to represent your own unique types of content. We’ll also explore some ways to present different content types on the front end.

Take aways:

  • Break free from Pages and Posts.
  • Take control and define your own content types.
  • Learn techniques to use in your child theme for displaying different content types on the front end.

Picking Your Server Platform

Presented by Peter Baylies in Developer (Room 223-224).

WordPress runs on a technology stack that provides many options for your choice of web server, database, version and flavor of PHP; this talk explores the commonly used options, and the various pros and cons of each choice, i.e., nginx or apache; PHP 5.x, PHP 7, or HHVM; and MySQL or MariaDB.

Take aways:

  • No tool is best for all jobs.
  • There are many implicit trade-offs to consider with software platforms, such as optimizing for speed vs memory usage, or using an older solution because it may be more stable, more well-tested, or more widely supported.
  • With any new project, these factors should be considered to ensure that you choose the best tools for your particular job.

Using Hooks (and Creating Your Own)

Presented by Michael Hull in Developer (Room 223-224).

Hooks give end users a chance to write custom code that safely alters the behavior of WordPress core, plugins and themes – all without modifying the core, plugin or theme code itself.

In this talk, we’ll go over basic usage of WordPress hooks, and we’ll explore ways to find the right hook when you have a need for custom functionality. We’ll also talk about how easy it is to create your own hooks, and how important it is to do so when creating plugins and themes.

Take aways:

  • Learn how WordPress is listening for you to run your own code at certain key points.
  • Safely alter or add to the behavior of WordPress core, themes, and plugins.
  • Give others a chance to expand upon your own code as they see fit.

WordPress as a Backend for Native iOS and Android Apps

Presented by Patty Alman in Developer (Room 223-224).

*This is a 15-minute Lightning Talk*

The WordPress API, recently added to WordPress core, offers exciting new possibilities for connecting WordPress data and functionality with external systems.

In this talk, you will learn about how one Asheville company has used WordPress as a backend for iOS and Android apps.

I’ll do a brief demo of the “War In Our Words iPhone” app, which provides a platform for veterans to share their own personal stories with the world. The app makes extensive use of the WordPress API for backend functionality including user registration, authentication, and data storage/retrieval.

This talk is for all audiences. While it will touch on a few technical issues, the talk is designed to introduce any level of user to the power and possibilities offered by the new WordPress API.

Diving Into Commercial Plugin Development

Presented by Matt Gibbs in Developer (Room 223-224).

*This is a 15-minute Lightning Talk*

Learn key takeaways from my experiences running a plugin business. I’ll go over how to determine whether your plugin idea can sell, how to set the price, deciding on the business model, whether to self-host, and handling support.

Friendlier, Safer WordPress Admin Areas

Presented by Cliff Seal in Developer (Room 223-224).

The WordPress Administration area is no walk in the park. Just because it’s, perhaps, the most user-friendly of the big CMSs doesn’t necessary make it objectively easy to use. All sorts of things that can seriously break your site are mixed in with trivial options. And, once you start adding robust plugins, things can get complicated – fast.

There are many ways to make WordPress more palatable for the common user (see: non-developers) and reduce the risk of big-time accidents. In this session, I’ll show you how easy it is to remove things users don’t need from the admin area—all with your own plugin.

Don’t worry if you haven’t written a plugin before. Not only will I give you the working plugin to start with, but I’ll explain everything along the way.

Let’s make WordPress just a little easier and safer for everyone!

Take aways:

  • Make the admin area easier for the most common users.
  • Reduce the risk of “damage” by users.
  • Customize the admin with a simple plugin (code provided!)

Building Single Page Applications with the REST API

Presented by Jack Lenox in Developer (Room 223-224).

There are very exciting opportunities that are made available by the development of single page applications with JavaScript, and the now partially merged WordPress REST API. Jack has been experimenting with using WordPress REST APIs for a number of years. This talk will include the good, the bad, and the ugly of this emerging area of web development, with a hopefully pragmatic and optimistic conclusion!

Using the REST API for Better Responsive Images

Presented by Ethan Butler in Developer (Room 223-224).

WordPress 4.4 was a milestone release, with the addition of both responsive images and a REST API. In this session, I’ll demonstrate API endpoints and JavaScript I’ve written for using the REST API and AJAX to load responsive background images into sites.

This technique has several advantages: first, using the background-image property is more semantic and powerful than traditional <img/>s. Second, you can have a dynamic background on an otherwise cached page. Third, you have more information available about how your user is viewing your site than just their viewport width.

The session will include three short demos: First, a basic demonstration of the technique. Second, using array_rand on the server to pull in a random background image. And as a finale, using the ambient light API in OSX Firefox to load in “day time” and “night time” images.

Take aways:

  • The addition of responsive images into the WordPress core was powerful, but it doesn’t solve every problem and isn’t always semantic.
  • Using AJAX to load images has many benefits because you can know more about the client.
  • The WordPress REST API can be used for more than you realize.

Leveling Up From Plugin Hacker to Plugin Dev

Presented by Chris Flannagan in Developer (Room 223-224).

I’ve gone from trying to hack plugins to do what I want to actually developing my own from scratch over the past year. It’s challenging but very doable. This session will touch on the process I went through to become a much better WordPress engineer and a better coder. The presentation will discuss changing your thinking process when approaching WordPress development. We’ll touch on WordPress coding standards, how actions and filters work, and why they are so valuable. We’ll end by actually building a simple plugin step-by-step, in under 10 minutes.

Take aways:

  • Attendees will leave knowing they can improve their skills and how to start that process.
  • An understanding of why it’s important to develop in WordPress using the proper methods and not hacking it together.
  • A live demo of how simple developing a small plugin can be.

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