Online Communities Now and In The Future

Presented by John James Jacoby in BuddyCamp.

State of the BuddyPress

Join John James Jacoby as he lays out his vision for the future of the BuddyPress software as well as how that fits into the larger WordPress ecosystem.

Mind-Blowing Online Engagement

Presented by Tania Jones, Toby Cryns in BuddyCamp.

Sometimes an awesome online community platform (like BuddyPress) isn’t enough. Building awesome online communities requires a continuous cycle of energy and an engaged community manager or two.

Join Tania Jones, online community manager for United Front, and Toby Cryns, BuddyPress developer, as they share their experiences building and maintaining the robust online social networking and organizing tool that is United Front.

Intro to Building Online Communities with BuddyPress

Presented by Lisa Sabin-Wilson in BuddyCamp.

An introductory look at the BuddyPress plugin for WordPress. Discover what BuddyPress is and determine if the features of the BuddyPress plugin meet your feature needs. This session takes you through a quick discovery of the features and components of BuddyPress, a walk through on installation and real world examples of BuddyPress in action. By the end of this session, you’ll have a complete grasp on what BuddyPress is (and isn’t) to enable you to answer the questions “Do I really need it?” and “How hard is it to work with?”

Membership Sites using BuddyPress

Presented by Dan Beil in BuddyCamp.

The s2Member plugin is a great way to turn your WordPress site into a membership site (either fee based or free). Best of all, it integrates almost seamlessly with BuddyPress. In this session I will be showing both a s2Member stand-alone free membership site as well an example of BuddyPress integration. I will also touch on when it is appropriate to use a membership plugin rather than other built-in functionality of WordPress itself.

BuddyPress as a directory

Presented by John Hawkins in BuddyCamp.

While BuddyPress is a great go-to tool for “Social Media in-a-box”, 9seeds has used it successfully for several clients as a directory service.

I’ll show how BuddyPress memberships and profile extensions can be used to create an easily searchable directory. I’ll show two client examples of a national lawyer directory as well as a student / alumni directory for a university. If there’s time or interest, I can go deep into the customizations to show how we added custom searching, including GeoIP locations.


Stop Making Things Pretty And Start Designing

Presented by Michelle Schulp in School of Design & Technology.

Design is not just about themes, graphics, or the look-and-feel of a website. We will discuss “design thinking” as a problem solving strategy, including why the most beautiful sites are not always the most successful. We will end with some ways for you to start applying “design thinking” principles to all of your projects.


Rocking the Responsive Web

Presented by Josh Broton in School of Design & Technology.

Up until the last few years, it was completely acceptable to design/develop a new website for one size of monitor. But with the release of the iPhone, iPad and other mobile devices, we’ve witnessed the beginning of a mobile revolution. By the end of this year, over 50% of Americans will use their phone or tablet as their primary web browsing device. The question is, are the sites that you are creating ready? In this talk, I discuss reasons why responsive is the best way to develop new websites, as well as the best techniques I’ve discovered after two years of full-time development of responsive websites.


Advanced Actions & Filters

Presented by Alison Barrett in School of Design & Technology.

Get a deeper understanding of how actions and filters really work. In this session, we’ll walk through the core functions that power hooks line by line and decipher what’s really going on. You’ll also get a run-down of some vital hooks to know about, and see some examples of hooks you may not have heard of before. Lastly, you’ll learn how (and why) to make your own hooks when building theme frameworks, parent themes, and plugins.


A Designer’s Approach To Customizing Themes

Presented by Nick Pelton, Travis Totz in School of Design & Technology.

All designers approach problems, visual presentation and design, and usability differently. As designers, we understand that brand and image are important for a site. A theme or site is an opportunity to extend your reach to an audience who is unfamiliar with you or your client. A unique theme design is a way to put a business, a message and brand, front and center as well as effectively communicate the value of the product or service. Most likely, there are other sites using the same (or similar) theme that you’re using, and you need to distinguish yourself from your competitors as much as possible.

In this session, you will learn a few key ideas on how to differentiate yourself and your work when customizing WordPress themes. We’ll discuss some rookie mistakes and how to avoid them, as well as how to approach theme customizations to make yours distinct and applicable to today’s design trends.


Quickly and Easily Measure WordPress Performance

Presented by Peter Chester in School of Design & Technology.

Have you ever wondered what WordPress is thinking about as it slowly takes it’s time, compiling your page, chatting with the database, casually sauntering between functions and finally flirting with the browser in anticipation of a long overdue response?

Well wonder no more my friend! Come learn how to quickly and easily identify which of the hamsters is falling off his wheel. We’re going to apply some very simple principles to find performance leaks in your plugins and themes and patch them.

You will leave this session with the knowledge and tools to improve WordPress plugin and theme performance and by proxy, increase your SEO (and probably your hourly rate as well).


Scoping projects to avoid stress, headaches and angry mobs

Presented by Lisa Sabin-Wilson in School of Business.

Attention to detail in your code and design work is important – but before you lay down one single pixel, install your first plugin or one single line of code, you need to make sure that everyone (you, your client, your clients client, etc) are on the same page and make sure you are managing expectations on what the desired project outcome is. Learn how to dissect projects – either web site or plugin development – to determine the best approach to meet your client needs.

This 30-40 minute covers hard lessons I’ve learned in a decade of client work – I hope to pass those headaches on to you so you don’t make the same mistakes. Q/A welcome, afterwards.

Using PressBooks to become your own digital publisher

Presented by Nick Ciske in School of Business.

PressBooks launched as a SAAS offering in 2011 to facilitate the easy creation and publishing of ‘electronic first’ books (epub, mobi, etc) that can also be printed (traditionally and on demand).

In February 2013, an open source version was released further democratizing the creation and publishing of ebooks and print-on-demand publishing.

We’ll cover how to install PressBooks OS, pros and cons of the hosted vs. open source version, and how to publish your first book using the tool.


Freelancer Panel

Presented by Stephen Haislip, Reid Peifer in School of Business.

Have you ever dreamed of quitting your job for the carefree life of a freelancer? Sleeping in, working from the beach, only taking on choice projects, and rolling in giant Scrooge McDuck piles of money? We’ll break down the myth and discuss the pros and cons of working as a freelancer in today’s marketplace. We’ll cover how to find and woo clients, the basics of running your own business, passive income, and opportunities specific to the WordPress ecosystem. We’ll make sure to break down some of the most common mistakes that freelancers are making.

You’re going to get to see both sides of freelancer life. Stephen Haislip is currently freelancing under the moniker Company of H working with small businesses around the twin cities. Reid Peifer is an ex-freelancer who now runs teams of independent contractors on large scale WordPress projects with Modern Tribe. We’ll be leaving lots of time to answer your specific questions, so if you’re a seasoned freelancer or someone just dreaming of breaking off on your own there will be something for you.


You can make a living with WordPress

Presented by Becky Davis in School of Business.

Becky Davis highlights working in and building the WordPress community, sharing knowledge, constantly learning more of the craft as well as ways to manage your own freelance business and client strategies. The work is out there; if you make the commitment, you can make a living.


Creating and Selling Premium WordPress Plugins

Presented by Daniel Espinoza in School of Business.

Whether you want to add to the income from your client projects or go 100% into selling products, there has never been a better time to build premium WordPress plugins.

Maybe you want to do this but don’t know where to start. You might have asked yourself questions like:

  • How do I know what to build?
  • Where do I sell my plugins?
  • What does supporting a premium plugin look like?
  • What happens if my plugin has a bug?

Daniel will answer these questions and share his story of how he went from zero product income to over $7,000 per month in sales over the course of 15 months.


The Tools We Use to Win

Presented by Grant Landram in School of Business.

Grant explores the different tools he uses to handle clients, from the initial lead email/phone call, to the final invoice getting paid, and the different mistakes he’s made in the last 3 years doing WP projects for clients of all sizes.


Accessibility & WordPress

Presented by Joe Dolson in Continuing Education.

Covers a wide range of accessibility topics including but not limited to implementing best practice accessibility in theme building, discussing current progress and goals from the WordPress Accessibility P2 group, and address general principles of accessibility that might be of interest to WP developers and designers.


Beyond Basic: Advanced Technical SEO for WordPress

Presented by Julie Kosbab in Continuing Education.

You’ve got keywords, titles and great content already. But there’s really a lot more to SEO. In this session, we’ll dig into advanced technical tactics to kick your WordPress SEO into high gear.

We’ll discuss duplicate content challenges in WordPress and the technical tweaks to control them, advanced content markup using Schema specifications, authorship, and how to update your permalink structure without bolluxing your existing traffic/rankings. We’ll also suggest tools and plug-ins every master of WordPress SEO should have at their command.

WordPress as a Newspaper Platform

Presented by Dave Buchanan in Continuing Education.

Case Study of maintaining 25+ newspaper sites in WordPress for over 4 years now. High traffic newspaper sites, each with a lot of content and a lot of customizations.

The Power of Custom Types

Presented by John Havlik in Continuing Education.

Custom post types (CPTs), and custom taxonomies are very powerful features WordPress has had since version 2.9. However, many people are still doing things in a convoluted and unmaintainable manner. This presentation aims to inspire members of the audience to use CPTs in their next project. Topics covered include: CPT and taxonomy basics, CPT related tips and tricks, and a showcase of select plugins that utilize CPTs.

Slides: Power Of Custom Types.pdf (PDF) Power Of Custom Types.ppt (PowerPoint)

Planning for Failure – Basic Security Practices

Presented by Rose Fields in Continuing Education.

WordPress has grown in popularity since it was first launched in 2003 as a blogging platform. Today is accounts for 22% of all new websites created. It has a growing community of plugin and theme developers that help to give it new looks, styles, and functionality. It has also become a popular playground for hackers to wreak havoc on sites that aren’t properly secured.

WordPress has few security systems in place and presents multiple opportunities for hackers. This presentation will highlight 5 basic tips to secure your WordPress web site and keep hackers out.

Getting on the Web with WordPress

Presented by Andy Christian in Continuing Education.

So you’ve decided to start a website with WordPress. But where to begin? This session will introduce you to the world of possibilities that WordPress can offer. We’ll start at the beginning, covering vs, an introduction to the WordPress interface, themes, plugins, and more. You’ll also find out about some resources for learning more about WordPress going forward.


Inspecting WordPress

Presented by Josh Leuze in School of Design & Technology.

Learn how to dig into a WordPress site with Firebug or other web inspectors and see how it’s put together. Investigate specific elements and learn what CSS rules are being applied to them. Live edit CSS for quick and easy theme building. Make faster sites by checking the size and speed of your pages and files. Find and fix JavaScript bugs or theme and plugin conflicts.