Dinner (On Your Own)

After Party (Where is the After Party?)

Closing Remarks

Lunch (On Your Own)

Opening Remarks

Going Beyond Just Plugin Development

I’d like to present on the idea of going beyond standard WordPress plugin development. This will primarily be focused on creating an ecosystem with plugins that reaches beyond WordPress. For example, building an API that makes it possible to build mobile apps that talk to your plugin, or that allow “embeddable” widgets to be placed on other sites.

I believe that truly successful WordPress plugins, especially those with a business being run around them, require much more than just some slick UI and powerful features inside of WordPress; they need to reach beyond WordPress.

Caching: Absolute Beginner to Wizard

We’ll discuss how to speed up your site using caching via easy plugins like WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache, transients, and server site options like Memcache, APC, and Batcache.

Using WordPress’ Built-in Theme Capabilities for Better UX

Buried deep in the WordPress Codexs are easy to implement, usability enhancers that could benefit any theme. In this session we dive into basic UX methodologies before exploring how WordPress already has the functionality to accommodate core UX needs. With the information provided you can create more usable themes, happier users and a better web for all.

Optimizing for Business Performance

There is a lot of talk on the web about optimizing for search engines, security, or site speed. These are important topics, but businesses typically expect more than high traffic counts and blazing site speed from their website.

So how do you determine if your site is living up to potential?

This talk will tackle that question and discuss ways to gather and analyze information about how visitors interact with a site. We’ll also discuss how to use that information to answer important questions that will help you optimize sites for (business) performance.

User-Friendly Admin

There are tons of cool things you can do with WordPress, but not everyone is a developer. You need to make your plugin user friendly so the content authors have no trouble entering data.
This can be accomplished with custom fields and meta boxes.

I will walk you through meta box creation, how to use meta box and custom field data in templates, and custom database tables to accomplish easy of use in the admin with sophisticated display on the front end.

A House with No Walls: Creating a Site Structure for Tomorrow

Whether your site is five pages or 500, it needs a strong foundation that plans for growth.

We’ll cover site maps, wireframing, content strategy, user interaction and experience so you have a plan for your site now, and down the road. We’ll also touch on best practices for doing it all over again for mobile [hint: it’s not just shrinking everything down!].

Are You Nuts? You Want People to Pay You to Create WordPress Websites?

An open discussion covering tools you’ll need, knowledge you’ll need, how you’ll get customers, what type of business you should have and how much you should charge.

Session attendees will receive a free copy of my book: The WPStew Guide to HTML + CSS + WordPress available at

Everything You Want to Know About bbPress and BuddyPress

Anything and everything you’ve ever wanted to know about bbPress and BuddyPress, a guided Q&A with John James Jacoby.

Learning to Love JavaScript

Learn how to leverage the JavaScript libraries and APIs included in WordPress core to build rich, interactive user experiences on your sites.

Depending on time & overlap with other presentations, topics will include:
* Registering & enqueueing script files
* Embedding using script tags
* json_encode()
* wp_localize_script()
* Closures & Immediately-Invoked Function Expressions
* jQuery – DOM Selectors & Manipulation, other wins.
* AJAX ( including security measures like check_ajax_referer() & nonces )
* Callbacks & Promises
* Timeouts & Intervals
* Backbone / Underscore

13 WordPress Mistakes to Avoid

Taking your WordPress skills from newbie to intermediate has its share of hurdles. This talk will walk you through some big no-nos when it comes to maintaining your WordPress website or blog. Learn from my mistakes and keep your visitors on your site and coming back for more.

Key Takeaways:
– Learn how to properly back up a WordPress site, so you can recover from a catastrophe
– Learn how to lock down your website from hackers’ attacks
– Simple tweaks to make your website load faster

Putting the Content in Content Management System

WordPress can store, organize, and display all sorts of custom information beyond just blog posts. This session will explain custom post types and taxonomies in plain English, then demonstrate real-world uses by employing a few plugins to add custom information to your site without any coding.

Making A Living Through A WordPress-Based Business

This session takes both experienced and inexperienced users alike through the process of launching a business built with the help and versatility of WordPress. This includes building a simple lead-generation site for your company, selling products through an eCommerce site, as well as making money through different forms of advertising (affiliate marketing, flat-rate ads, AdSense).

Attendees will learn everything from configuring their theme and setting up analytics, to methods of driving traffic and fostering conversions.

Creating and Selling Premium WordPress Plugins

In 15 months I have gone from zero plugins and no product income to 20 plugins and over $7K per month in sales. Whether you have premium plugins in development or are just thinking about building them I will share valuable lessons on how to design, build, support and sell your plugins.

The four phases of the process:
Dream it: How to find and identify plugin ideas.
Build it: What you need to consider when building your plugin.
Support it: I’ll explain why support is important to long-term success.
Market it: How to setup shop and sell your plugin.

How Businesses, Non-profits, and Bloggers Can Use WordPress

This concept won us the WordPress site of the year award by the CMS Expo.

Implementing a topical homepage strategy to build community in the non-profit world

At United Way in Cedar Rapids, we try to build community awareness around specific topics. While our main areas (income, health, education and volunteering) remain the same there are many sub-topics that we want to highlight throughout the year.

To accomplish this we create topical homepages for different time periods. For example, when we have an community event on Adverse Childhood Experiences we highlight this topic on the homepage. At the beginning of the legislative session we created a video that highlighted how we can help our families that do not earn enough to meet basic needs.

When we were looking to recruit volunteers for 150-some projects, we decided to launch a Virtual Volunteer Fair.

Some elements on the homepage remain the same, of course, but we use WordPress’ static page function to:

– design our homepage as a page.
– and then push that WordPress page to the front.

Honey, I Shrunk the Logs

As a plugin developer it’s important to ship the best code possible, but the world isn’t perfect. Using proper debugging practices during the development process can help reduce the number of customer impacting issues and bugs.

In this talk we’ll go over the recommended best practices of debugging with WordPress, some helpful plugins, and some of the ways you can help reduce bugs in your code.

Employing Best Security Practices For WordPress Sites

This session will focus on how to employ “best security practices” for WordPress sites. The session will review current botnet and hacker schemes targeted at the WordPress platform, as well as current authentication models including one, two, multi-factor and passwordless. In addition, we will review the top WordPress security plugins and then offer time for Q&A.

Getting SASSy: Fun with CSS Preprocessors

Write your CSS faster and more efficiently. CSS pre-processors like SASS and LESS let you write DRY CSS that can be modularly used to create themes and sites quite a bit faster.
Starting from a beginner’s perspective, this talk will allow anyone (designers & developers) to get started with SASS or LESS for their WordPress themeing.

Building Awesome in WordPress

In the world of WordPress there are plugins and themes, there lies a difficult path of how to get started. In this session you’ll learn how where to get started, what themes and plugins you should use, which hosting company you should use, and how to get started in a weekend. At the end of the session, you’ll be wanting to head home to get your new blog or website started.

The Business of Selling Code in Today’s Crowded Marketplace

Business of selling code in todays crowded marketplace: A talk about the years of experience and challenges faced of selling WordPress themes since we started in 2009 with all the way up until today with and why products niche can sell!

Road Map to Great User Documentation

The WordPress ecosystem is expanding with passionate entrepreneurs creating themes and plugins businesses. WordPress users want to improve their productivity by selecting themes and plugins with quality learning documentation. Their user experience is to find information to install, implement and modify your products with as little problems as possible. Develop an effective learning channel, architect the site for findability and engage in quick user testing should be a priority not an afterthought. Stand out with tips on writing, instructional and visual presentation for all types of learner. Doc Sprints and case studies also included.

You Want to Stick that Where?

This session takes new or intermediate users through the process of sizing images and graphics correctly in photoshop and google +. Whether photos are taken with an iPhone or an SLR, they need to be properly sized and optimized so that they work properly. Work done prior to posting on images and graphics only helps to streamline the posting and updating process.

Q&A Panel: Commercial Themes and Plugins

Creating sites for a specific client is one thing, but creating them for the masses is completely different. Pippin Williamson, Adam Pickering, Daniel Espinoza, and Jake Caputo are here to answer questions about anything and everything related to selling commercial themes and plugins. Jeff Chandler, of WPTavern fame, will moderate.

My First 414 Days As A Freelancer: A Retrospective

My session will be a retrospective on my first 414 days as a freelancer: what brought me there, the successes and failures thus far, and my plans for the future. This is not a “quit your job!” speech – just a straight-forward look at how the first year has gone, for better or worse. I hope to share my approach to my craft in a way that is insightful for freelancers and agency-types alike. I am approaching my topic as a collaborative thought experiment where I don’t have all the answers and I don’t quite know everything that I want to do in the future – but I know where I’ve been, and I’d like to share that.

Evaluating E-Commerce Solutions

There are plenty of e-commerce solutions out there for WordPress. We’re going to take a look through some of the more popular solutions and explore their unique strengths and weaknesses.

We’re going to evaluate them based on features, support, documentation, longevity, how often they update, hackability, and many other aspects to figure out the right e-commerce tool for each job.

Stop Making Things Pretty And Start Designing

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. (this talk is geared towards people who want to know more about the design process)

Scoping Projects – A Therapy Session For Those Who Do Client Work

Attention to detail in your code and design work is important – but before you lay down one single pixel, 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.

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 Panel: WordPress for Small Business Websites

How can a small business create an effective website with WordPress? A panel of WordPress developers and website owners answer and discuss questions from the audience. Possible topics: planning, functionality/plugins, design/theme, content, SEO, social engagement, measuring success.

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