Sessions

All UsersBusinessDeveloper


Track: All Users

6 ways to monetize your WordPress site and make more money online

Presented by Morgan Ryan in All Users.

If you’re ready to start seriously making money online, you need to monetize your WordPress site. It may sound like a lot of work, but it’s actually easier than you might think to get started.

All you need are the right techniques, some tools you trust, and a little creativity. This talk will teach you how to grow your email list, invest in the right sources, leverage and create premium content, find sponsorships, use strategic (not slimy!) affiliate links, and more.

Once you get started, it can almost run on auto-pilot, so you can consistently earn money online with your WordPress blog!

After Party

Presented in All Users, Business, Developer.

TBD – Lighting All Users

Presented in All Users.

Moving to HTTPS

Presented by Tiffany Kuchta in All Users.

In 2014, Google rather quietly announced that they were planning to start using HTTPS as a ranking signal. In the months since, you may have noticed an increase in the number of encrypted sites you use daily. You may have also noticed changes in the way Chrome alerts users about the presence of encryption. Google’s changes are leading the charge on security, helping push website owners and developers to HTTPS as standard. Of course we all want more security (right?), and while a variety of tools can be used to help you transition your site, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to this problem for existing WordPress builds not designed to use HTTPS. You’re going to need a solid plan, and a few more than 5 minutes to transition legacy WordPress content to effectively use HTTPS. We’ll discuss why encryption even matters if you’re not processing credit cards or social security numbers. I’ll share our typical process, identifying common missteps and tricks as well as how to future-proof for new content.

Takeaways:

  • What is HTTPS? And why you should care if your site is using it.
  • How to smoothly transition a WordPress site that is not currently HTTPS to HTTPS.
  • How to prepare your WordPress site for a future of exclusively HTTPS assets.

To Theme or not to Theme

Presented by Scott Saunders in All Users.

This will cover the usage of various theme types for WordPress, illustrating the advantages and disadvantages of each. I will also cover coding your own theme from scratch or using purchased themes, and using front end and backend builders like Advanced Custom Fields, Visual Composer, Divi, and Elementor and how each of these can be catered to best suit a clients needs.

Takeaways:

  • A better understanding of how theming works.
  • Greater familiarity of the tools available to the both the developer and client.
  • The best way to give the client the correct amount of freedom.

Backups: Turning Disaster into Paradise

Presented by Eric Hoanshelt in All Users.

*This is a 15-minute Lightning Talk*

Backups can be a real life saver but far to many people still do not take the time to set this up. I’ll be going over situations where a back up can literally save your business and how to ensure you are properly backing up your site in order to turn a disaster into paradise.

Takeaways:

  • Why back ups are so important?
  • Very real situations that a back up can save your business.
  • Recommendations for easy to install back up solutions.

How to Create Killer Landing Pages that Convert

Presented by Sarah Benoit in All Users.

*This is a 15-minute Lightning Talk*

What are landing pages? Why are they important? What role can they play in generating more conversions and more revenue? Find out the key aspects of successful landing pages and how you can get more of your website visitors to take action and become leads and sales.

Takeaways:

  • List of successful landing page examples
  • Identify the types of conversions that might work for your website
  • Outline tracking tools that will help quantify landing page success

WordPress Security Fundamentals (No Programming)

Presented by Steven Ayers in All Users.

Learn some quick WordPress security measures and policies that do not require any programming knowledge.

Takeaways:

  • Initial Setup Configuration
  • Secure Login Form
  • Plugin To Help Secure Your Website

Getting Started with Multilingual Websites on WordPress

Presented by Karl Hudson Phillips in All Users.

Launching a multilingual website might sound ambitious, but it’s well within your grasp, especially with WordPress. Implementing a multilingual WordPress website can expand your reach exponentially if you implement it correctly.

During this talk, we’ll cover a few options to accomplish the task, go over a few items you’ll need to consider, and go through a quick demo and/or case study.

Takeaways

  • Why one should (or shouldn’t) consider making a site multilingual
  • The various options for making a site multilingual, what’s involved, the pros and cons
  • Additional things to consider (plugin compatibility, SEO, etc)

How to Break your WordPress Website

Presented by Sharon Dawson in All Users.

The white screen of death! You were simply uploading content, updating a WordPress plugin, or clicking on this neat thing to see what it does and then your screen goes blank. You cannot login to your website. You can’t even see your WP login screen anymore. HELP!

In this session, you’ll learn how to break your WordPress site by:
– Updating to the latest version of WordPress
– Updating your plugins
– Adding new plugins
– Adding 301 redirects
– And much more

Most importantly, you’ll learn how these seemingly innocuous updates that should be easy to make on your website can break your WordPress site if not done properly.

Takeaways:

  • Attendees will learn that without the proper research, thought, and sequence of events, it can be very easy for a new user (or sometimes a very experienced one) to break their WordPress website.
  • They will get tips on how to avoid breaking their site and getting the dreaded white screen of death with a presentation with dry humor.

Website Tracking, Google Analytics, SEM Rush and Crazy Egg Heat Maps

Presented by Boomer Sassmann in All Users.

Website tracking is an essential part of building a successful internet presence. The tracking tools are often overly complex/confusing and therefore overlooked and ignored. This talk will highlight the basics (and some advanced) topics for tracking a WordPress website and/or WordPress blog. The tools covered will include Google Analytics and Webmaster tools, SEM Rush, and Crazy Egg Heat Maps.

Takeaways:

  • A basic comfort level of navigating Google Analytics
  • Ongoing keyword position tracking with SEM Rush
  • Heat Map Tracking and how to make educated decisions about design changes.

Using The Cloud To Boost Your WordPress Videos

Presented by Sean Ainsley in All Users.

How to use AWS (Amazon Web Services) to improve distribution of your self-hosted videos. You can easily deliver video to your WordPress website. This approach allows you to maintain analytics and keep your brand consistent. You’ll learn how to use AWS to distribute video content, setup JW Player and add your self-hosted videos to your WordPress site.

Accessibility Panel

Presented by Pat Eason, Alisa Herr, Jeremy Proffitt in All Users.

During this session, we’ll hear from a three person panel on the importance of web accessibility, and how it affects users and businesses. Our panel will discuss various aspects of accessibility with WordPress, and will take questions. We will experience a screen reader and listen to what a user actually hears when navigating both an accessible and a non-accessible website. We’ll explore the most common types of disabilities that can impede usability, checkout out some techniques to improve accessibility, and look at WordPress specific solutions that can help.

Takeaways:

  • An overview of WCAG 2.0
  • Tools for testing accessibility
  • 5 easy changes to make TODAY to help with your website’s accessibility
  • How to better accommodate disabilities and create more accessible web experiences.
  • WordPress specific tools that can be used to make accessibility better.
  • How to sell accessibility to your clients
  • Who has to be accessible by law and the fines associated
  • Organic UX and SEO benefits

Track: Business

After Party

Presented in All Users, Business, Developer.

Are you charging enough?

Presented by Nick Romanos in Business.

You know the services you provide to your clients are valuable, but how do you quantify your impact? Transcend awkward conversations about budgets and confidently price impact-driven work that your clients will view as an investment rather than a commodity. Instead of competing in a race to the bottom, we should collaborate and elevate our community.

Takeaways:

  • Learn how to quantify the impact of the work you do
  • Learn how to communicate this impact to clients
  • Charge what you are worth and feel good about it

Remarketing Advertising: Just Do It!

Presented by Edwin Leskin in Business.

The average web user knows remarketing as the uncanny ability for Amazon to show you the pair of shoes you looked at 5 minutes ago in an ad on another website. Creepy? Maybe. Highly effective? Absolutely. Remarketing is a tactic available for any person selling any product or service on almost any platform. It allows you to show an advertisement on web display or social media to people that have been to specific areas on your website. The possibilities are endless. And the best part? It’s super easy for developers and marketers to set up.

Takeaways:

  • Remarketing is the most personal and potentially effective form of web/social advertising that exists, because its based on people that have already been to a website.
  • Remarketing allows for impactful and clear advertising strategies that make highly focused propositions to users with the goal of creating conversions or introducing web traffic to new services.
  • Remarketing is extremely simple to set up, and developers can include remarketing tags for clients right from the get-go, creating increased value.
  • BONUS: You just should have these tags on your site, even if you are never going to use them.

Big Mistakes Small Business Owners Make (social media)?

Presented by Aisha Adams in Business.

*This is a 15-minute Lightning Talk*

Social media tips that will help small business owners connect, converse, and convert more clients via their preferred social media platforms.

Takeaways:

  • How to broaden their audience via social media.
  • How to keep people engaged on their platforms.
  • How to convert their audience into paying customers.

How to create revenue streams with WordPress

Presented by Daniel Swain in Business.

I am going to discuss how to create a residual income plan for web designer and developers. I will discuss how to get your existing and new clients to invest in your management plans. What your management plans should consist of … hosting, themes and plugins updates, content updates, back up, security, hosting, analytics. I will provide a list of companies, which you can white label for those services.

Takeaways:

  • How to survive as a WordPress Designer?
  • Making money while you are asleep…
  • Eliminate sleepless nights for your clients.

You Created A Plugin. Now What?

Presented by Adam Warner in Business.

Do you have a plugin (or several) in the WordPress.org repository? Have you ever wondered how to turn your plugin development skills into a sustaining income-based business? Not sure how to go about it?

In this session, Adam details his story of creating a sustainable plugin business. He shares actionable advice that audience members can put into practice immediately to grow not only a user-base, but also a customer-base.

Adam also explains the techniques he uses to guide free-users to premium product. Attendees will learn everything they need to know to create a plugin that people will love, and recommend to others.

Takeaways:

  • Use your free plugin to sell a Pro version.
  • How to market your plugin.
  • Learn the tools used create a digital plugin business.

Planning & Executing a Customer-Centric Website

Presented by Stephanie Rodrigue in Business.

It can be tempting to include every possible piece of information about the company when writing a website. This can be a huge tactical error. Websites are more impactful and convert to sales faster when they are customer-centric. This talk will give you tips to get both you and your clients to create websites based on the final customer’s experience.

Takeaways:

  • Websites emphasizing the customer’s experience convert to sales faster and are more effective.
  • Starting the customer-centric design process starts with thinking like a customer.
  •  Website planning should be consistent with your overall marketing plan.

The Content Development Bottleneck – Don’t Let Content Slow Down Your Development Projects

Presented by Justin Belleme in Business.

Website development companies have long struggled with the challenge of getting website content from clients in a timely manner. This causes a variety of problems for web development and programming companies including mismatched expectations, extended project timelines, excessive client communication, delayed project payment timelines, and in some cases unhappy clients. In some cases this can also lead to websites that are ineffective because although the design is functional, the content fails to compel the site visitor to take. During this presentation we will explore a variety of tools, best practices, and strategies that website development agencies can test and implement to help overcome this challenge.
Starting off on the right foot:

1. Contract consideration – Setting clear expectations
a. Set deadlines early to catch red flags and set expectations
2. Developing Content Branding Guidelines – Making sure everyone is on the same page
3. Building Content Development Timelines – How long dues content really take?
4. Starting with a Strategic Website Architecture – The right foundation

Content development tricks and tools covered will include:

1. Transcribing video interviews
2. Ghostwriting from recorded interviews
3. Leveraging freelance writers
4. Staffing content writing
5. Partnering with copywriting and content marketing agencies

Best practices and strategies covered will include:
• Balancing design, conversion and optimization
• Evaluating internal writing talent
• Creating timelines so that if the content is behind schedule you will know quickly
• Use content types to establish templates for design
• Designing for content – An SEO dream come true
• Designing for content extensibility – Making room for sub-pages, read more, and other optimization extensions after the site launch

Experience Level: This presentation will be helpful for owners, sales team members, project managers, and other support team members at websites development agencies, firms and teams responsible for building web projects. The technical level of this presentation will be low.

Takeaways:

  • This will have more than 3 takeaways but the big three would be around setting realistic content timelines, strategies for getting content from clients, and ideas for ensuring that content is consistent and on brand across websites.

Standardizing Your WordPress Workflow

Presented by Tony Zeoli in Business.

As the founder of an agency, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time learning WordPress itself and themes and plugins available on WordPress.org or other marketplaces. As the WordPress community has grown and along with it a cottage industry of theme and plugin developers all seeking my business, I began to think about standardizing my workflow with best of breed themes, plugins, and other resources, so that I could focus on the work and not on the constant race to find a better, faster, or stronger theme or plugin. It was exhausting to keep us with all the advancements from all the tools that now exist and plugin to WordPress. It was time to settle on an effective strategy for everything from hosting and DNS to search engine optimization and lead generation. In this talk, I will go over my process of how I solved my workflow problem with WordPress and its associated themes and plugins.

Takeaways:

  • Standardization creates a great framework in that every site you work on, you know and understand each tool you used to build into your site. It makes it much easier to update, maintain, and create.
  • Trust is hard to come by, but you still have to make a decision on which resources are the right onesfor you and your business. In that, all the 3rd party providers who want your business need to earn your trust. Once they do that, you can be confident that you’ve made the right choice for you and your clients.
  • Speed to market. By standardizing and eliminating processes that no longer work or are antiquated, you can build sites faster with less exposure to cost overruns. Getting to market quickly on time and within budget is important to a business owner trying to solve a problem or launch their service.

A Roadmap To WooCommerce Success.

Presented by Rhonda Sterrett in Business.

WooCommerce Successtown is a place that we’d all like to get to. However, there is a lot of planning, tools, and knowledge that are required to get there. There may also be roadblocks or delays that require a pivot or detour during our journey. With all of the complexities involved in eCommerce projects, having a process and checklist will increase your chances of completing your journey while avoiding major calamities.

Takeaways:

  • WooCommerce Roadmap
  • A checklist in how to price out an WooCommerce project (so nothing is forgotten)
  • Being able to direct a prospect/client to what is needed for a succesful WooCommerce project

Forecasting the Future: Business Practices and financial forecasting for a growing WordPress business

Presented by Jason Knill in Business.

This is a business focused track, but built for freelancers and developers, alike. We didn’t start our firm with anything but our team and time.

This talk discusses actionable items and financial practices that you can do on a daily basis to better run your WordPress plugin, theme or consulting business.

In this talk I will discuss:
-How our firm used the “free downloads metric” to monitor paid growth in year 1 of Startup (we are now in year 3 of GiveWP.com)
-How we used financial projecting to grow from 4-8 employees with no outside investors
-Planning our internal “hours as dollars” against Code base assets and COG expenses
-Using Cash Flow projections rolling three months to plan for product development cycle budgets
-Budgeting marketing, quarterly without understanding future sales
-Release learnings vs. free and vs. paid and how our projecting formulas change as our business matures
-Projecting renewals

Finance might seem boring. This talk won’t be.

Takeaways:

  • How to setup and work against your planned budget
  • How to project based on outside variables that you can and cannot control
  • A different view of finance–how it can be fun and playful, not boring.

ReBranding to Modernize your Marketing

Presented by Emily Breedlove in Business.

A website is the heart of any brand, but most WNC organizations need help to bring their site into the modern age. However, the process of ReBranding is much more complicated than simply launching a new website. Modernizing an existing brand requires leaders to refine their message, deliver engaging content, and manage a robust platform around the website to maintain a more sustainable relationship with customers.

Takeaways:

  • Draft a ReBranding Strategy and Timeline
  • Identify the key channels in and out of the website
  • Better understand the connections between website message, imagery, and functionality in relationship to the evolving brand

Silent Speech: Building better written communication

Presented by John Ragozzine in Business.

Being able to write in a way that is both factual accurate and respectfully positive can be challenging. From emails to project updates to tweets, we are constantly sending text artifacts out into the world that may not jibe with what we MEANT to say.

This talk will explore words to avoid when interacting with words, and ways to temper both your writing, and your reactions to other people’s words. In a time when we need unity more than ever, starting with the basics of word choice and tone is a good way to start off on the right foot.

Who needs this talk? EVERYONE! “But devs don’t need to know how to write well,” you say. Sorry, but developers do need to, for:
* Clients (both current and potential) – being able to explain technical issues in a way that is both intelligible and digestible is a key work skill. Many WordPress developers and businesses live and die by solid RFP responses;
* Coworkers – website development can be a solo gig, but often involves code collaboration (even if your collaborator is your future self #docbrown). How you update (or solicit updates from) your co-workers can make or break a project. The words we choose only become more important in situations where cannot rely on body language (such as in Slack, email, forums, or work tickets);
* the WordPress community – when all you have are Core Trac ticket updates, how we bolster support or provide actionable feedback to our peers is crucial. A poorly crafted forum reply can drive someone away from open source contributions, so being able to respond in helpful, respectful ways is a skill we all must hone;
* Yourself – Do you tweet? Do you publish content online? Are you seeking work and need to craft RFP responses or application cover letters? All these require stronger writing skills than a one-and-done draft.

By sharing easy-to-implement tips and tricks on writing, I will help attendees communicate better in any situation.

Takeaways:

  • Words to avoid and replacements for those words
  • How to create stronger drafts and better final versions
  • What to do when something written triggers you.

Track: Developer

After Party

Presented in All Users, Business, Developer.

Build it in a Builder

Presented by Jonathan Ross in Developer.

WordPress theme builders have taken over as the easiest and fastest way to create custom layouts for WordPress. In this talk you will learn about the basics of using theme builders such as Elementor, Beaver Builder, Upfront and/or DIVI to quickly create complex layouts and highly interactive sites. In the talk we will focus mostly on Beaver Builder and DIVI, and discuss content types (modules), common features like templates, global modules, and more. We will also look at a few sites built using Beaver Builder and DIVI to see how the builders were used to create complex sites easily.

Takeaways:

  • Overview of different WordPress builders
  • Useful features of WordPress builders
  • Beaver Builder and DIVI use on “live” sites

Multidev, multi-platform development with Docker

Presented by Doug Cone in Developer.

A case study on using Docker to develop from multiple machines. Covering docker-compose, docker files, basic commands and a few clever nginx hacks to round things out.

Takeaways:

  • Learn how Docker can be used to build consistent platforms
  • Discover how Docker can make your workflow faster
  • Better understand containers and how they work

Easing into React on your existing WordPress

Presented by Jeff Bowen in Developer.

Have you wanted to play with React, but didn’t know how to get started on a “real” project?
Do you want to add some flair and interactivity to your site, but love your theme and don’t want to start over from scratch?
Are you curious what all the fuss is about the WordPress REST API?

Tool up to create some custom pages! Whet your whistle for modern front-end development & get a taste for WordPress as an “App Platform.”

Takeaways:

  • How to build a single-page application on top of your existing WordPress
  • How to start hacking on React / JSX components and figure out what to do with component state and properties
  • How to interact with some standard REST API endpoints from your application, and add some new ones!

Becoming a WordPress Coding Master

Presented by Micah Wood in Developer.

WordPress is an awesome platform with a vibrant community of developers and a huge market share. Even though WordPress developers are a dime a dozen, it can still be difficult to find developers who really know their craft.

Don’t be “just another WordPress developer”. Learn how to create a roadmap for growth, hone your craft, gain confidence and stand out from the crowd.

Takeaways:

  • How to identify where you are in the learning process.
  • How to know what you should be focusing on right now to optimize your learning.
  • How to identify your niche in the WordPress space and stand out from the crowd.


Ultimately, the concepts learned here can be applied to learning any number of things, but we’ll be specifically focused on learning WordPress development.

Real-Time Publishing With WebSockets

Presented by Ethan Butler in Developer.

*This is a 15-minute Lightning Talk*

In this talk, we’ll cover building a WordPress site that leverages the power of Express.js and WebSockets to enable things like live publishing, commenting, and alerting users when content is being edited. We’ll build a simple Express app to handle POST requests from a WordPress site and turn them into events emitted to users, and build REST API endpoints to handle data from users. We’ll also talk about integrating something like this into a production site.

Takeaways:

  • Writing a node.js application with Express and Socket.io to send content to users in real-time
  • Writing a plugin to send data to an external app through webhooks
  • Extending the WordPress dashboard

JavaScript in WordPress Core: Past, Present and Future

Presented by Adam Silverstein in Developer.

*This is a 15-minute Lightning Talk*

Take a tour down memory lane as we explore the JavaScript files and features added to each version of WordPress: from quicktags.js in version 1.0 to wp-api.js in 4.7. We’ll look at the JavaScript/Backbone based features in today’s WordPress including media, the customizer, themes, plugins, revisions and the REST API client. Finally, we will learn about the exciting things happening now in JavaScript in WordPress core that will shape the WordPress of tomorrow.

Modular Web for WordPress

Presented by Evan Mullins in Developer.

*This is a 15-minute Lightning Talk*

WordPress the CMS, meets the Modular Web. We need to stop thinking about a website as a collection of pages and templates, but as a set of modules and a system to manage them. Modules, like Legos, are interchangeable and can be combined fairly quickly to create an infinite number of results all while both showing variety and remaining consistent. With this modular paradigm shift, our workflows improve, our websites improve and our very well-being improves. Let’s explore how to use WordPress to manage site content using modules. We’ll see what this does for our development process and programming as well for our content management via the admin. We’ll discuss how to build and maintain a module library, and use it for every site you build. These principles have been immensely helpful in each team or project where I’ve put them into practice, so we’ll even take a look at a few examples and point out where to learn more.

Takeaways:

  • Learn the basics of Modular design for web
  • Understand the advantages to building sites modularly
  • See how to do it with WordPress

Badass WordPress Stack

Presented by Julien Melissas in Developer.

In this talk we’re going to cover how to build a WordPress stack that means business. With real-world examples, I’ll show you how to run WordPress-based SaaS multisite (or single site)/app. Learn about hosting, using the roots.io Bedrock project boilerplate with composer to manage dependencies, a custom CDN/image stack, even how to manage development/staging environments and deploys!

Takeaways:

  • All the ingredients needed to build a reliable foundation to your WordPress site/app, and some suggestions on where we get our ingredients 😉
  • Using Composer to require dependencies (plugins or otherwise)
  • Sensible environment management and deploys

Welcome to the Multisite Ecosystem

Presented by Adam Smith in Developer.

Multisite is a powerful tool used to expand the capacity of WordPress while still maintaining all the things you know and love. Multisite allows site mangers to share a core codebase of themes and plugins but deliver different experiences to each website. With multisite domain mapper a company can white label their product for multiple clients while still using one main WordPress engine. Learn how a multisite works, how to set up a multisite, how it can benefit your business and how to development a WordPress multisite platform.

Takeaways:

  • What is WordPress Multisite and how I use it
  • How does WordPress Multisite handle data, themes and users
  • How to build plugins for a WordPress multisite

WordPress and Express: Building Better APIs

Presented by Ethan Butler, Jordan Cauley in Developer.

For BeerNC, Cardinal Media used WordPress for content management but served content and user data over a custom Express App. This provided a content management experience the client was comfortable with and the security and control of Express for the app’s internal-facing API.

Takeaways:

  • Using Express and an ORM can be better for some use-cases than the baked-in WP-API features.
  • Using WP-API methods and hooks can be used to create webhooks to keep an external API in sync with WordPress content, while giving content creators the ease-of-use that WordPress offers.
  • Shortcodes can be integrated into a front-end framework – we used Ionic2 to build BeerNC, but the methodology should be similar for most front-end frameworks.

Optimizing WP for PageSpeed

Presented by Jason Johnson in Developer.

This talk will discuss methods for optimizing your WordPress theme and plugins to improve your site’s score on Google PageSpeed and other testing tools.

We’ll go over various types of caching, look into debugging jQuery issues and render blocking as well as minification and CDNs.

Takeaways:

  • Types of caching
  • Tools for minifying
  • Defer render blocking js

So you wanna dev? Join the team!

Presented by Evan Mullins in Developer.

WP Dev/tools for beginners: ftp, git, svn, php, html, css, sass, js, jquery, IDEs, themes, child themes, the loop, inspect element, hooks, APIs, CLI, agile, bootstrap, SEO, slack… etc.
We’ll discuss the language and various acronyms and buzzwords used by devs in this crash course introduction to the developer’s world. Overview of primary development processes and terms and what software is needed to play the game. We’ll cover what you need to go from zero to developer and hopefully how to have fun on the way.

Takeaways:

  • Learn to speak dev
  • Get familiar with concepts (and acronyms) you’ll need to dev
  • Learn about tools that will help you

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