Sessions

Schedule coming soon, but for now check out our great sessions!

WordPress Design Trends

Presented by Mel Choyce in Auditorium, Designers.

What does the current WordPress design landscape look like? What are popular and upcoming design trends to look out for? We’ll take a look at the current WordPress design ecosystem and explore how it’s projected to change in the next year.

Conversion Rate Optimization 101

Presented by Chris Edwards in Ballroom, Business Owners / Entrepreneurs, Intermediate.

You worked hard to drive traffic to your website, so what now? It’s time to get down to the basics of conversion rate optimization on your website. Learn how to collect data, analyze data and optimize your WordPress website using various free marketing tools. You will discover ways to run simple AB tests, heat maps, basic and advanced analytics tools to generate new conversion opportunities within your current website.

The Four Agreements & Professional Services

Presented by John Eckman in Business Owners / Entrepreneurs, Freelancers, Upstairs.

The core tenets of the popular self-help book (The Four Agreements) provide a surprisingly on target guide to surviving and thriving in the world of professional services:

  • Be Impeccable with your word
  • Don’t take anything personally
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Always do your best

Q & A with WordPress Core Developers

Presented by Scott Taylor, Konstantin Obenland in Auditorium, Ballroom, Keynote, Upstairs.

Konstantin and Scott, the release leads for WordPress 4.3 and 4.4, are going to be on stage to share some of their thoughts on the immediate future of WordPress, and to answer all the questions you may have around everything WordPress. They have over 1500 commits to WordPress Core between them, and share big media and big blogging experience from their work at the New York Times and WordPress.com.

XSS, CSRF, SQLI, WTH(?!?): The Truth on Theme Security

Presented by Michael Cain in Developers, Upstairs.

Theme security is an intimidating topic for both new and experienced developers but ignoring the issue will make you a target and leave your site vulnerable to attacks. In this talk you’ll learn theme security best practices, the common types of attacks, and many of the functions that WordPress and PHP provide to keep your site safe.

Visibility = Opportunity

Presented by Bobbie Carlton in Auditorium, Ballroom, Keynote, Upstairs.

Saturday Keynote

 

Contracts and Copyright for the Developer, Blogger and WordPress Guru

Presented by Louise Leduc Kennedy in Beginner, Business Owners / Entrepreneurs, Upstairs.

In this session we will discuss the power of copyright and how to protect this important asset of your business. We will walk through some terms that should be in all services agreements and share some cautionary tales of inadequate — or non-existent — agreements to produce work subject to copyright.

Git Started with Version Control

Presented by David Parsons in Beginner, Developers, Upstairs.

Many developers do not have backups of each commit they make to their server, which will cause a lot of headache when you get into a situation where your site goes down due to a coding error. The solution to this problem is version control, which saves a version of every code change you make to your server. In this talk, I will cover the basics of version control and how to use it on your next project. In addition, we will also be coving how to use Version Control with a team and debug code with it.

Local and staging environments for multi-person development that actually work!

Presented by William P. Davis in Advanced, Auditorium, Developers.

Setting up and maintaining local development and staging environments can be time-consuming, especially if you want to keep your dev environments up-to-date against an active production site. And if you use multisite this gets even harder. Stop editing your hosts file every 10 seconds, keep your database all up to date, and spend no time doing so. Also covered will be how this fits in with the BDN’s QA process.

HTTP/2 and You

Presented by Zack Tollman in Developers, Intermediate, Upstairs.

You may have missed it; the biggest update to the HTTP protocol in over 15 years was finalized this year. The long awaited HTTP/2 update is finally here and you can take advantage of it now, but what does this change mean for you, a builder of the web? In my talk, I will break down the important aspects of the new HTTP/2 protocol, how it differs from HTTP/1.1, and ways in which you can take advantage of the HTTP/2 performance improvements today. Whether you realize it or not, HTTP/2 will affect your life in the near future and I will help you understand what it all means.

Content Migration: Beyond WXR

Presented by Matt Johnson in Advanced, Ballroom, Developers.

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.

Explaining Hard Things to Humans

Presented by Fred Meyer in Auditorium, Beginner, Developers.

The Principles of Effective Technical Communication

This talk summarizes things I’ve learned over the past 18 months writing WordPress tutorials at WPShout, as well as co-writing an e-book and screencast series on WordPress development. It describes principles for communicating technical knowledge clearly and effectively.

Some principles to be explored include:

  • Understanding the danger of *tacit knowledge*: knowledge you assume others have that they may not (example: “Just SSH in and…”)
  • The value of analogies for communicating the intuition behind technical points (example: “WordPress is a factory that makes webpages: the database is the warehouse, the fetched posts are the raw materials, and template files are the assembly lines.”)
  • Key principles of technical writing (example: remove appeals to simplicity like “Basically, this is just…”)

This talk should be especially helpful to:

  • Anyone who blogs about technical topics
  • Developers, who must often communicate technical details to clients
  • Developers who have to write public-facing documentation, such as commercial theme or plugin developers

Build a Social Network with WordPress and BuddyPress

Presented by Daniel Miller in Auditorium, Developers, Intermediate.

This talk will cover the BuddyPress plugin and to set up a social networking site with it. This presentation will go over the various features of BuddyPress as well as digging into some of the code and extending the plugin to suit the needs of your application.

Mission-based WordPress

Presented by Michael McWilliams in Business Owners / Entrepreneurs, Intermediate, Upstairs.

An overview on WordPress as a tool for nonprofits — with a special focus on using the platform to build-out organizational capacity for a robust, vibrant online presence. Will briefly cover some of the more exciting new tools that enable nonprofit staff to develop and manage functional websites for their organizations… and when it might be a good idea to seek out specialized help.

Areas to be covered include:

  • Landing page strategies
  • Using the web to provide a a compelling overview of the organization and its work.
  • Tools for integrating online fundraising into WordPress sites.
  • Ideas for presenting outcomes, metrics, and financial information online.
  • Different approaches to WordPress blogging for nonprofits.
  • The critical requirements: online newsrooms and contact information.
  • WordPress as an excellent “story” platform …and approaches to presenting factual context in meaningful, engaging ways.

 

7 Ways to Turn Your Company Website Into a Lead Magnet

Presented by Christina Inge in Business Owners / Entrepreneurs, Intermediate, Upstairs.

You have a great website — except, where are the customers? If your website is not generating leads for you, learn how to get more customers than ever with these simple hacks. We’ll look at the latest developments in mobile, SEO, and conversion optimization to help your business website get you leads. Whether you’re a freelance consultant or working for a small business, this practical session outlines 7 simple tweaks to bring in the traffic, get people to contact you, and generate business from your site.

How Much Can I Charge? Pricing Isn’t Just a Number

Presented by Adam Juda in Auditorium, Beginner, Freelancers.

Many software companies and freelancers are able to build fantastic websites, but they have no idea how to decide what to charge.  Unfortunately, poor pricing decisions can destroy a company’s financial future and mean the difference between owning a successful business and being forced to live in a van down by the river.  In this presentation, Adam will present techniques to determine the most appropriate pricing strategy for your WordPress projects.

Using the Yoast SEO Tool to the fullest

Presented by Sandy Edwards in Ballroom, Beginner, Business Owners / Entrepreneurs.

Yoast is a very powerful SEO plugin that allows for a lot of different functions. I intend to cover what to do when you first install the plugin, and what is most important for the quickest results. Also, I will cover what to update and how to know when to update it.

A Better Individual Experience

Presented by Jesse Friedman in Ballroom, Beginner, Designers.

WordPress at its core makes it so easy to build a website people will enjoy visiting. And with 10’’s of thousands of plugins and themes available it’s also easy to bloat our sites before we know what users need or even want. On top of all that, SEO tactics, content strategies, and social media endeavors tend to make things even worse.

In this session you’’ll learn how to build an MVP (minimal viable product). We’’ll start by stripping out all the bloat, get rid of all those widgets and start with naked content. Then and only then we’’ll start to methodically add features, as they are needed. You will be amazed how much your visitors enjoy just reading your content and engaging with you through simple solutions.

You’’ll walk away with practical strategies around:

  • Building content driven websites
  • Gaining traction and increasing engagement
  • Elegantly monetizing your blog
  • Plus 5 experience tips that will make your website 1 of a kind

Let’s stop adding features for the sake of adding features, stop following exhausted advertising strategies, and start focusing on providing better experiences for people.

Start Selling Images With WordPress in Under 10 Minutes

Presented by Scott Wyden Kivowitz in Ballroom, Beginner, Users & Bloggers.

What’s the most efficient way to sell images with WordPress? Why choose a WordPress plugin over an image selling platform like SmugMug or Zenfolio? See the differences between popular ecommerce plugins, their strengths and weaknesses. Watch as a WordPress website is created and setup to sell images in 10 minutes.

Agile Contracting

Presented by Mike Toppa in Auditorium, Beginner, Freelancers.

Before going out on my own to start Poka Yoke Design this June, I worked at PromptWorks, where we signed over 30 Time & Materials (T&M) contracts with clients over the past 2 years, from local businesses to nationally known media companies. This is in contrast to traditional Fixed Scope, Fixed Cost (FS-FC) contracts.

Prospective clients typically have an initial preference for FS-FC contracts: they’re familiar, and at first glance, seem to guarantee the client will get what they want (by spelling out business requirements in detail), and place the business risk on the contractor. However, traditional contracts fail to recognize that web application development is more like an R&D project than a construction project. In the fast paced world of the web, business requirements can grow and change rapidly, technical challenges and opportunities can arise, and both parties benefit from being able to respond to these changes in a teamwork fashion, instead of spending time on lengthy contract re-negotiations.

In this talk we’ll explore what goes into a T&M contract, how to persuade a prospective client to sign one, and how to live up to the expectations you create in the persuasion process, to deliver a successful project.

Forms Showdown

Presented by Aaron Reimann in Ballroom, Beginner, Social Media / Marketing, Users & Bloggers.

I’ll be comparing the three most popular form plugins, Gravity Forms, Ninja Forms and Contact Form 7.  With different business models the pros and cons are hard to see.  I shed light and help you understand which would be best for you and your projects.

How being a musician made me a better developer

Presented by Ryan Kanner in Ballroom, Beginner, Developers.

In this talk, we’ll look at the parallels between being a musician, and being a developer. I’ll share my story of how I transitioned from music to development, and how the skills I learned from being a musician helped me succeed in the development world.

Blogging for Business

Presented by Amy CQ in Beginner, Business Owners / Entrepreneurs, Upstairs.

(How to stop ignoring that thing on your website called a blog.)

Solopreneurs/Freelancers/Small Business Owners: So, you’ve finally got your WordPress site optimized and ready to knock the socks off your ideal clients. All the mission critical areas of your site have been carefully crafted and stellarly executed. Well, except that black hole of a neglected area that’s been sitting on your “should do someday” list: your blog. While you don’t make your living directly from blogging, you are smart enough to know you could be doing something useful it, but you have no idea where to start.

In this session we’ll discuss the purpose of blogging for business (versus blogging as a business), how to make sure you are talking to the right people, how it can actually save you time in the long run, creating an editorial calendar, tips for using categories and tags, and easy ways for coming up with topics that will save you from staring at a blank screen wondering what to write about.

How to Create Outstanding Content

Presented by Suzette Martinez Standring in Intermediate, Upstairs, Users & Bloggers.

Make your blog a go-to resource. Compelling content is a mix of vivid storytelling, offering new facts, sharing a novel viewpoint, and evoking emotion from the reader. Learn from the strategies of Pulitzer Prize winning writers and fuel a faithful readership.

The Final 20%

Presented by Jeremy Green in Ballroom, Developers, Freelancers, Intermediate.

I’ve built a lot of sites, and it seems that the final 20% can be the hardest to complete. I want to teach designers and developers about the 80/20 principle and how it applies to their project workflow. Then I will talk about tools and tricks that I use to finish a project strong, particularly when building a custom theme.

The Fundamentals of Web/WordPress Accessibility

Presented by Jordan Quintal in Auditorium, Designers, Developers, Intermediate.

The focus of my presentation will be on WordPress and website accessibility; from a front-end perspective. First, I will explain what web accessibility is and why it is important. To continue, I will discuss AODA and Section 508 regulations for Canada and the United States. Then, I will go over some key WCAG 2.0 compliancy requirements a developer will need to ensure the websites they develop are fully accessible. From there, I will showcase a few web accessibility tools, then some WordPress accessibility tools and tips.

Best Friend OR Worst Enemy: Multisite Network Do’s & Don’ts

Presented by Taylor McCaslin in Auditorium, Developers, Intermediate.

We’ve all built a ton of WordPress sites. We’ve also managed them all too. You’ve probably heard about WordPress Multisite Networks, and all the awesome things it can (and can’t) allow you to do.

With great power, comes great responsibility. During this talk, Taylor will step through the do’s and don’ts of Multisite Networks. He will share how WordPress Multisite can be your best friend or worst enemy… but usually both… at the same time.

Expect pro-tips, eureka moments, and hard lessons learned from his experience setting up and running multisite networks for small private company intranets, all the way to global enterprise brands.

By the end of this talk you will know the pros and cons of WordPress Multisite Networks, best practices for setting up and running a multisite, and know about alternatives if multisite isn’t a fit for your next project.

WordPress Upgrades: Ready, Set, Go!

Presented by Dustin Meza in Ballroom, Business Owners / Entrepreneurs, Intermediate, Users & Bloggers.

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.

Developing WordPress Themes Using Modular Sass

Presented by Michael DeWitt in Auditorium, Developers, Intermediate.

CSS preprocessors make developing clean and semantic stylesheets effortless. My talk will take someone through a basic structure for organizing Sass within a WordPress theme, using the Bones theme framework as an example. I will go through some of the benefits and cool tricks you can implement with this structure including breakpoint includes, variables, functions, nesting, and mixins. Finally I will address perhaps the greatest hurdle to immediately implementing Sass in your WordPress theme — compiling. I will take people through the common methods of doing this including Grunt, Compass, and WordPress plugins like WP-SCSS.

Smaller, Faster Websites

Presented by Mat Marquis in Auditorium, Ballroom, Keynote, Upstairs.

Sunday Keynote

When the goal is to serve an ever-expanding landscape of browsers, devices, and connection speeds, a responsive layout is just the beginning. Regardless of their browsing context, users expect a site to load as fast—or faster—on their phones and tablets than anywhere else. From bandwidth budgets and responsive images to smarter caching and leaner scripting, Mat Marquis will share the tools and techniques that ensure that your content will reach your most demanding (and least powerfully equipped) users, without detracting from the experience of users on the latest and greatest devices—without limiting the creativity of your team, and without a massively inflated deadline. We’ll discuss strategies for smarter asset delivery, techniques for avoiding potential points of failure, and start to cultivate development habits that help us deal with a vast landscape of unknowns from the very start of a project.