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WordPress 201

WordPress 101

Introduction to Contributing to WordPress

Disastrous Deals to Profitable Projects: Comparing My Best and Worst Client Experiences

I’ve learned many lessons over the years building websites for clients. Many of the most important lessons become strikingly obvious when the time is taken to compare projects gone right with projects that went horribly wrong. This session will walk through exactly what factors were different in real life WordPress projects I have been involved in that resulted in either celebrations or lamentations.

Fight Impostor Syndrome

If you’ve ever felt as if you’re “not good enough” to be part of a team, or you feel your success is owed more to luck than hard work and talent, you’ve likely dealt first-hand with Impostor Syndrome. It’s a common affliction, especially in the world of software, but if left untreated it can interfere with career advancement, wreck your personal life, or lead to total burn-out.

This panel is meant to be an open and honest conversation about Impostor Syndrome, how it affects all of us, and what we can do to combat it. Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of Impostor Syndrome and tips that they can use to fight it. Audience participation is encouraged; after all, we’re all in this together.

Participating in this panel are:

Angela Bergmann – Developer and Speaker
Drew Jaynes – Web Engineer at 10up, WordPress 4.2 Release Lead
Rich Robinkoff – Web Development Faculty
Steve Grunwell – Senior Web Engineer at 10up

The Theme Review Team – You can contribute to WordPress!

Have you ever considered contributing to WordPress? Likely you have, and it’s just as likely that one day you stumbled upon But after about an hour of viewing core tickets, if you were like me, you left without contributing. Why? Because it is super overwhelming at first, and like me, you may have felt very out of place.

But there are other ways to contribute! The WordPress TRT (Theme Review Team) may be the perfect fit for your contributions to

In this talk, we will go over what it takes to be on the TRT, and what reviewing themes is all about.

If I knew then what I know now: Lessons in Business

After 9 years in the website business you learn a lot, mostly from mistakes— and now you can learn from someone else’s for a change!

Explore exciting topics like: why it feels like you keep building the same project over and over again, balancing work, life, and business, how to motivate designers without buying them another shiny new Apple product, and so much more in this oftimes-sarcastic and always-painfully-true talk about all of the ways I almost went insane while trying to run my business. Why learn from your own mistakes when you can learn from (and hopefully avoid!) mine?

Truth, Trust and Technology: How WordPress is The Best Community Ever

I came into the WordPress community full force, looking for business and paid work and learned that was the wrong approach. The WAY wrong approach. Since that time I’ve learned what the community is about, how to thrive, make friends, laugh, teach, learn and even cry.

TV….WordPress TV

WordPress TV was created in 2009 as a place to feature presentations, highlights, how to’s and behind-the-scenes looks from WordCamps around the World.

Now you can find all the fantastic videos from WordCamps that you could not attend. See the presentations you missed and learn about topics for WordPress beginners to seasoned developers.

Recently WordPress MeetUp videos have been added for even more awesomeness.

See how videos are submitted, slides inserted and videos moderated before they are published to the WPTV website.

Getting Started with Freelancing Public Square

When in the early stages of offering WordPress related services for clients there are a lot of unknowns. Questions like:

– How do I price a project?
– Where do I host the client’s site?
– What do I do when the scope begins to creep?
– Where do I go when I get in over my head?
– How do I find clients?

These and many more are difficult questions to answer for those who are new to client work but they are incredibly important. This session will be a Q&A and will focus on everything one needs to know and do to make their first projects successful.

Developers Hackety Hack Hack

Developers Hackety Hack Hack

Clean Up! What To Do After a WordPress Hack

WordPress security is a hot topic these days, but unfortunately despite the great improvements that have been made and amount of attention for the topic in general, sites get hacked every day. Maybe even one of yours.

There’s a lot of information out there on how to secure your site ahead of time, but it’s more of a mystery what to do after it’s too late and you’ve been hacked.

This talk will be about how to clean up these hacks in a systematic way so they stay clean.

WP-CLI: Save Time By Managing WordPress from the Command Line

WP-CLI is a set of command line tools for managing your WordPress site. It allows you to perform many tasks much quicker than you would be able to by other means. In this session, I will teach you how to get WP-CLI running, and show some of my favorite time saving features. Once you’ve started using WP-CLI, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it! This talk is appropriate for developers, designers and server administrators of all skill levels.

Stop Using cURL in WordPress Plugins

Web hosts are buggy and not all support cURL. WordPress has a built in API to handle HTTP requests no matter what support the web hosts offer. By using cURL in plugins you’re doing a disservice to yourself and, if the code is shared, to your users. WordPress’ built in HTTP API has been around since version 2.7– about 6.5 years now. To be blunt, you should be making use of it. I’ll go over the basics and how to make both simple and complicated requests with the HTTP API so that you can finally kick cURL to the curb.

Integrating non-WordPress Database Tables Into WordPress

We’ll look closely at the $wpdb object in WordPress and cover the various options it offers. We’ll also look at what WordPress can offer to the data once it’s been retrieved from the database.

How to Talk to WordPress with AJAX

Are you a burgeoning theme or plugin developer looking to improve the interactivity of your UX with AJAX? In this mini-workshop we’ll explore and implement two different ways of (properly) implementing AJAX calls in WordPress with jQuery. First, we’ll walk through building a basic script that utilizes WordPress’ built-in wp_ajax hooks to store and/or fetch options, an approach useful for plugin configurations or user-facing actions like voting or fetching the weather (it can also be a way around caching in a pinch). After that, we’ll explore using AJAX in combination with template overrides, so that your themes can leverage the power of ajax while still benefitting from things like caching and pagination. At the end of the workshop you should leave feeling comfortable knowing which approach to use when, and be able to implement either!

Securing wp-admin for Free: Self-Signed and Free SSL Certificates

A walk-through of generating and implementing self-signed certificates and resources for getting free CA signed certificates and a how-to for forcing the wp-admin and login to HTTPS only.

Beef up WordPress Theme Dev with Twig and Gulp

Want to get into the latest and greatest in Front End development for your WordPress websites? This presentation will talk about re-organizing your theme development process by streamlining your build process with Gulp (http://gulpjs) and beefing up your templates with Twig (via Timber

Will have some template comparisons and go over some best practices for Sass, JS coding style and using Twig.

A Web With No Mouse: Why Your Site Should Be Accessible

We’ll take a look at accessibility across the web, what it is, who it affects, and why you should care. Imagine trying to navigate your website with just a keyboard. Is it possible? Do you have any idea where you are? If not, then thousands of internet users also have no idea. In this talk we’ll get you on the right track to thinking in terms of accessible sites without a big hit to your wallet. We’ll also touch on screen readers, ADA, WCAG and AA compliance. This is especially useful for anyone selling items through their site.

Rearchitecting Event Espresso: An Interview with Seth Shoultes

Join us for this in-depth interview of Seth Shoultes from Event Espresso, as we discuss the drivers, challenges and successes of re-architecting a major plugin while still maintaining the previous version. The code we write can evolve as the use of the code grows, and as the developers themselves grow. You’re sure to gain some valuable insights for your own WordPress projects from this interview.

Support Your Product

Whether a plugin or theme, free or paid, at some point you’ll need to support your product. Let me show you how to lay the groundwork for customer expectations and prove excellent support without going (completely) insane.

Developers Hackety Hack Hack

Vetting Plugins: Assessing Extensions for Safety, Reliability and Function

When you add plugin extensions to a WordPress site, the functional possibilities are seemingly endless. There are over 12,000 plugins in the WordPress Repository alone, and thousands of them claim the title of OFFICIAL, ULTIMATE, BEST and VERY BEST. With multiple plugins that achieve the same goal, and the utter ease of installing plugin after plugin at will, how should we go about choosing which ones will best meet the needs of the website? How can plugins affect the functionality of our sites, both positively and negatively? This combination talk/public square discussion will cover where plugins come from, how to gauge their reputation for effectiveness and security, and how to assess your WordPress needs to decide which ones should make the cut and be added to your site. An open discussion will allow participants to share experiences with specific plugins and look to each other for guidance in solving their extension needs.

Photo Prep 101 for WordPress

How come when you upload your photos, they don’t fit right and it doesn’t look like it’s supposed to look? I will do a session on basic photo editing for WordPress and what my process is for preparing the images before I upload them and why I do it this way.

  • How to prepare your photos for import
  • Photo editing options if you don’t want to buy PhotoShop
  • DPI, PX, Pica, PT, what the heck does all that mean?
  • How to edit or fix your photos once you’ve uploaded them
  • Plugins that help resize or optimize photos
  • I’ll briefly touch on copyright and where to get good photos

Harnessing the Power of WordPress Plugins

In my talk, I’ll discuss how powerful the plugin/theme model is and go over some common scenarios – membership sites, profiles, hidden blogs, team forums, etc.

That’s just the surface, though. Did you know you could run an entire pen and paper RPG with WordPress? I’ve done it! Did you know you can create extensive databases, interactive maps, and complicated connections between post types? The tools are there!

In the talk, I’m going to dive into a few of my wildest projects to show how you can use normal tools in unorthodox ways to create something well beyond what the plugin author ever could have dreamed of.

As a note – in most of the situations, you’ll be able to accomplish the things I discuss with backend tools and UIs, so you won’t have to dig into PHP. However, you’ll get the most out of this session if you have a base understanding of post types and how WordPress stores information.

Custom Responsive Theme Workshop

After watching a video on, I discovered an easy way to create the basis for a complete custom responsive theme for WordPress. Demonstrating Steve Zehngut’s method for taking the Underscores Theme from Automattic and Foundation 5 from Zurb, we’ll build a custom responsive theme. Bring a Photoshop mockup, or just a sketch on a napkin and turn it into a reality during the session, or at least get a good start on it. Also included, you’ll see how to use this method to create a framework and then create a child theme for the look of the site, so you’ll be able to build future sites quickly.

Designing for Conversion

It’s easy to talk about designing for conversion until you decide you’re really going to do it.

What design considerations really do matter for conversion? What’s the role of copy, given these two prevailing (and conflicting!) attitudes:

1. Just make the BUY button big and add a picture of a baby. Nobody reads the copy anyway.


2. Copy is everything! If someone really is in the market for your thing, they’ll read everything you have to say! (Just add a video of someone saying the exact same thing at the top, and use LOTS of subheads.)

We’ll take a look at these points of view and more, on the road to converting your lookers to buyers, one press of that blue button* at a time.

*Not that the button should always be blue. But there’s a family story behind that phrase.

Beginners Guide to working with Custom Post Types, Custom Taxonomies, and Metaboxes

A basic understanding of Custom Post Types and how to take advantages of their many uses using easy to understand resources such and GenerateWp, Advanced Custom Fields, and of course the WordPress Codex.


Content Architecture in WordPress AKA “You Can DO That?!”

This session is an introduction to putting the practice of Content Architecture to work on your WordPress site to build the most flexible and manageable site possible. You have your content all planned out, your site graphics are designed, and now all you have to do is… shove it all into WordPress? Somehow? In this interactive session we will figure out what are your WordPress-specific content types, what they need to do, and how to build them. Understanding how to structure content in WordPress is an invaluable skill to have whether you are a user, themer, developer, project manager, SEO specialist, etc etc – and no matter what level you are at, you are going to understand these concepts and be ready to apply them to your next project!

Session includes:
–optional remote WordPress site access — BUT due to the nature of WiFi it is -highly recommended- you set up your own local environment. Please go to to get a local WordPress dev environment setup on your computer.
–Theme files separated into chapters (available day-of on thumbdrives)
–Documentation/online tutorial so you can follow along with me step-by-step or work at your own pace.

We will be discovering and implementing content types for our own fake project, but you are welcome to bring your own content and theme ideas and work on them alongside us.

Advanced, Actionable SEO

The problem with every SEO presentation I have been to is that there is no real strategy discussion. Its, what is a title tag and make sure you add google analytics to your site to track visitors. It was extremely frustrating to be at those talks. I like to give actionable advice and most importantly, share my thought process. You have to teach people how to think and approach SEO at a high level so they can jump into any vertical or client type and understand how to analyze and formulate a plan.

— What is SEO really?
— On and Off Page SEO and how to structure your time/efforts
— Things to Avoid
— Forming a strategy/process/initial and ongoing workflow
— Analyzing Results and Adapting Strategy (continue on or pivot/adapt)

This topic hits a wide demographic that has at least a baseline understanding of what SEO is and how to implement on page changes. I have worked in house doing enterprise level SEO using WordPress and Drupal and freelanced doing $500 sites. My experience runs that gamut of mom and pop with no budget to large monthly enterprise level clients. That has given me great perspective that allows me to stretch a dollar for small budgets and accommodate budgets where the sky is the limit. I really enjoy giving back and these talks are gauged to provide what I found to be extremely difficult to find on my own. Lastly, if I can help someone advance themselves or prevent a mistake I made and learned the hard way from, I feel that adds a substantial amount of value to the audience.

SEO 101

Basic things any user can do to improve the SEO of their website. From what plugins help to what they can do while writing to better optimize their website.

Growing your NonProfit with WordPress

Do you have a non-profit? Are you thinking about starting one? Do you build websites for non-profits? We’ll be covering topics ranging from donation management, event planning/registration, and even finding a champion. You can expect to walk away with knowledge on how to set up your website to take donations, sell event tickets online, and even why e-commerce can be a huge asset to your non-profit.

Creating a Tournament-style Bracket System for the NYPost

I will be talking about how I built a tournament-style bracket system for the NYPost’s using the Polldaddy API and Fieldmanager.

Aside from the brackets themselves (voting, round creation and procession, match-ups, modal navigation), I’ll touch on some related aspects of the development process such as: Custom fields, storing data, leveraging available services/functionality, scalability.

Exploring WooCommerce

With WordPress, you are empowered to easily create websites and publish your content to the world. But content only goes so far. WooCommerce can take your blog/website to the next level and help monetize your efforts.

I would bet that everybody has, at one point in their life, come up with a great idea of something they could sell. I mean, who didn’t want to make a lemonade stand as a child?

In this talk, we will explore WooCommerce and some of the awesome ways you can extend it. From membership sites to subscription services, by the end of this talk, you will be able to sell anything. Beautifully.

Content Quality & Social Media

Do you create content for search engines or for people? If you answer, “people,” you’re at once ahead of your time and behind it.

Only now are SEO specialists finally catching up to what most copywriters have known since the medium first hit the computer screen – content matters more than keyword loading. In this talk, we will discuss the elements of high-quality content that help generate organic search results and retain visitors.

He’ll also show how this concept will make your social media posts more effective and drive LIKES and new followers to your content.

5 Things You Can Do to Become Your Agency’s Favorite Client

There’s a dirty little secret in the agency world that doesn’t get talked about enough but is absolutely true: awesome clients get special treatment, and crappy clients fall straight to the bottom of the pile. In the same way the barista at your regular coffee shop will occasionally upgrade your drink or a waiter will give more attention to the pleasant tables, the people behind your marketing or development efforts are much more likely to exceed expectations, negotiate on price, or drop everything to help you when an issue arises when you’re a well-liked client. In this session, attendees will gain an insider perspective on building stronger relationships with agencies, freelancers, and other vendors, becoming a better client in the process.

Local WordPress Development Environments

I’m going to cover how to get set up to develop with WordPress locally on a Mac, including using MAMP, Vagrant/VVV, Homestead, Docker, etc.

WordPress JSON API

WordPress 201

Over the past five years, we’ve helped over 350 people get started using WordPress in our WordPress 101 workshops. We’re excited to offer the next-step for beginning WordPress developers at WordPress 201!

We’ll help you understand WordPress’ page templates including functions.php; hooks, action and filters, custom post type and fields, child theming and more. Everything you need to further your skills as a WordPress developer.

This is a full-day workshop on Friday, July 17. To get the most out of WordPress 201, we suggest you attend the entire workshop from beginning to end.

10AM – 11AM Template Heirarchy
11AM – 12PM The Loop
1:30PM – 2:30PM Custom Post Type, Custom Fields
2:30PM – 3:30PM Hooks, Actions, Filters
3:30PM – 4:00PM Registering Widget Area, Widgets
4:00PM – 4:30PM Registering and displaying new menu locations
4:30PM – 5:00PM Shortcodes

WordPress 101

From installing WordPress to using themes, plugins and adding content, we’ll walk you through getting started with the world’s most used content management system.

WordPresss 101 is a full-day workshop on Friday, July 17 designed for those who are just getting started with WordPress, or who may not even have a WordPress website yet. To get the most out of WordPress 101, we suggest you attend the entire workshop from beginning to end. For details of the topics covered, click the more link.