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Closing Comments & Wrap-up

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Testing Made Easy

Testing a WordPress theme, plugin or application is typically a topic that isn’t for the faint of heart. In this session, we are going to break things down so you will understand the different types of testing available, when to use them, and how simple certain types of tests can be. Imagine having your client practically write your tests for you… good, now let’s show you how to make that happen!

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Overcoming Legacy Projects

In this talk we’ll go over how to deal with legacy projects and their (usually) poorly documented or confusing codebases. We’ll also talk about steps you can take to prevent your current project from becoming somebody’s future headache.

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Lessons in Plugin Development: Successes and Failures of a Large Free Plugin

Getting any plugin on the forum can be a lot of work. Taking a plugin like Better WP Security (now iThemes Security) to more than 2.5 million downloads when it isn’t your full-time job can seem nearly impossible. This talk will discuss how I built Better WP Security to one of the largest plugins on including what I did right and what I could have done better. Specific tips will involve handling support, marketing a plugin and squashing bugs when you wear all the hats (developer, marketer, teacher, project manager, etc). This session will help to equip you with the tools you will need to not just get your plugin out there but also to make sure it is successful.

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Blog Post Checklist

This presentation will provide a pre-publication checklist for blog posts that helps writers and bloggers develop a logical flow for each blog post they publish. This talk will promote how to get the most out of WordPress’s core features, teach simple search engine friendly concepts, help writers develop positive blogging habits, and recommend free and premium plugins that facilitate publication. By following each item in a checklist, you can create a standard operating procedure that ensures your blog post takes advantage of all features, optimized for search engines, and ready to be socially shared, no matter who is developing content for your website.

Working as an Out-of-House Developer, or Maintaining Retainers

One of the lifebloods of our industry is maintaining retainers for clients. As a developer, this means keeping track of core changes, potentially hundreds of plugins, and doing custom development on top of it all. I’ll be going through the day-to-day tips and tricks I’ve found to make this easier over the years as a freelance developer and now working for an agency. Specifics include: setting up VVV for local testing, keeping an eye on the make blog and slack channels, writing plugins for best practices and for easier sharing of code.

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Slow Sites Suck: Make Your Site Hum with HHVM

A tenth of a second can make a huge difference with how many people stay on your site. What about a whole second? Or two? Or five? Find out what HHVM is, how and why it’s being used by the biggest sites on the Internet and how you can use it right now to improve not only the speed of your site but how that can improve your conversions.

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Keynote: Theft, Tributes & Collaboration

The best things in our world are built on top of the ideas and discoveries of others. Yet we all feel like we have to be original in order to be valuable. In this talk, Carl will show a new way to think about collaboration by embracing creativity as a group endeavor. Examples abound that show us how much better we are when we put away the concept of intellectual property and embrace the best ideas of our time.

No One Cares About Your Content… Yet!

We have methods, systems, and software. We have books, blogs, and white papers. Top it all off with automation, and we are prepared to create well-articulated content, manage effective engagement, and produce 1:1 personalized communication at scale.

Yet, our inboxes are full of irrelevant information. We’re inundated with unhelpful, redundant clickbait on social media. Personalization feels arbitrary and nagging if not outright creepy. What gives? It’s time to take a fresh look at content through the eyes of the reader. Join us as we discuss an approach to marketing that cuts through the firehose and creates meaningful engagements with people. It all starts with remembering and applying one simple question: How do we make people care?

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Designing for Development, The Value of Collaborative Design

The old “waterfall” model of design, development, and client partnerships, where projects are expected to be handed off from one entity to the next, often falls short among changing scopes, project discovery processes, and evolving requirements. We will discuss the added value that up-front communication and agile collaboration methods bring to a web-based project to save time, money, and headaches. For project managers, contractors, agencies, and anyone else who has to manage or work with multiple team members on a web project

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Get It in Writing: Business and Legal Issues for Web Professionals

From client agreements to employment agreements to software licenses, web professionals face a number of business and legal issues in the course of working in the field. This talk will address common contractual provisions relevant to web professionals, such as provisions related to indemnification, intellectual property, moral rights, and venue. Attendees will also learn best practices for understanding common contractual provisions in contracts for web professionals, as well as negotiating them. From novices to veterans, this talk will touch on business and legal issues that are important to web professionals of all levels.

Extending the REST API

The WordPress REST API is one of the most exciting new features of WordPress, but it is more than just the default routes and endpoints that it adds automatically to your site. It is also an awesome tool for creating your own RESTful API. We will look at how powerful this tool is, look at some practical examples of extending the REST API and learn how to create custom routes and endpoints. When you leave this talk, you’ll be prepared to create your own custom APIs, the WordPress way.

View the Slides on Slideshare

Outsourcing WordPress Development Effectively

During this session we will discuss the value of your time and procedures to help find qualified developers. Will also give an outline for delivering project ideas (those that need some hand holding to find the solution) and work requests (those that know exactly what needs to be done). Wash it down with some general best practices for communication. Topics Discussed:

  • Do you really need to hire someone?
  • How to find a “good” developer
  • Delivering work requests the right way
  • Issue resolution

Link to Slides

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Mobile-First Development: Why and How

Mobile-first is one of those phrases getting thrown around a lot now, but most often mistakenly as interchangeable with “mobile responsive.” Mobile-first is the holistic design and development approach of both designing for phones first and flipping the stylesheet on its head so media queries are for large mobile on up to desktop and CSS without media queries are for the phone viewport. Topics covered:

  • Why mobile-first
  • Trends
  • Examples How-to: – Sassify – re-think – re-organize

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Let Grunt do your Grunt Work

If your like most WordPress developers, you have a list of tasks that you run when launching every site or project you make. As you continue to make better quality products, this list can grow to be much more time consuming than you intended. The solution to getting your time back is by using Grunt, a Javascript framework that allows you to automate repetitive tasks while coding. During this talk, we will go over the basics of getting your next project setup with Grunt and how it integrates into WordPress.

Get your WordPress Site in Shape

A live case on how I took a website of a big interior design company with great content but serious performance and structural issues that used to be extremely slow (index page loading for more than 6 seconds) causing excessive server resources consumption and turned it into a perfectly optimized website. Included in this talk will be: – Problems with switching hosting accounts – the challenges we faced when migrating a site with more than 16,000 images from one hosting provider to another – Proper WordPress URL and SEO site structure – how to overcome problems like non-UTF8 URLs, manage redirections, bulk r – Pinpointing and prioritising your site issues – Plugins clean-up – Switching themes & keeping the info in your custom post types – Speed and usability benchmark – Tips on how to avoid issues if you’re starting a new site

Link to Slides for this Presentation

Rapid Prototyping & Theme Design with Sketch

Sketch is a Mac design app for vector and web graphics. Learn how to leverage this powerful creative tool to quickly prototype designs, wireframes, and theme layouts. Share UI/UX design tips and discover fun Sketch to WordPress workflows.

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How Much Can I Charge?

It’s great to solve customers’ problems, but what can you charge? Poor pricing decisions can destroy a company’s financial future and mean the difference between market success and market failure. In this presentation, Adam will present techniques to determine the most appropriate pricing strategy for your digital products and services.

Design and Development Techniques for Accessibility

I’ll explore basic web accessibility principles for web designers, developers, and site owners, then show how to turn seemingly daunting and confusing accessibility requirements into understandable, actionable tasks and techniques. The talk will cover some of the accessibility-specific WordPress plugins and themes available, as well as some quick, easy tests to integrate into design and development workflows.

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Agile Approach: Sales, Onboarding, Research and Discovery

You’ve probably heard the word “Agile” in regard to development practices. Maybe you’ve even tried implementing it yourself! In this session, we’ll give a brief explanation of what Agile development looks like, show why it’s helpful in setting your project up for success, and explain how we use it as part of our regular process and workflow at WP Valet. From there, we’ll open it up to a QA session with WP Valet teammates James Tryon & Mason James.

The Power of Recurring Income

Unpredictable income creates stress and anxiety for many freelancers. Learn how to stabilize your business with a growing revenue stream of recurring income based on WordPress maintenance plans. We’ll talk about why this is important, how to package and price your services, and how to sell your services to clients.

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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.

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Avoiding “How Do I Do That Again?”: Making WordPress Easy for Your Clients

While we work with WordPress every day, many of our clients do not. Make this powerful CMS easier for them to use by implementing good UX practices using:

  • Custom post types and custom meta boxes
  • Client-proof plugins, and
  • Quick functions.php additions

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It’s the Little Things: Creating a Delightful WordPress Experience for your Clients

As a freelancer or agency, we are tasked with designing great experiences for their customers or clients. We labor over user experience and calls to action, making sure to deliver the most effective and useful site possible to help them reach their goals. But how do we architect the product we’re delivering to also delight our own clients? Andi and her team have created a variety of practices that help delight their clients before, during and after the WordPress build. The website build process can be frustrating for both parties, but it doesn’t have to be. She’ll share the way Big Sea uses client touchpoints, specific plugins and follow-up methods to help keep their clients engaged – thrilled, even – throughout and after the process.

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How to Use Promises to Grow Your Profits

You can deliver on your contracts. And meet your deadlines. That’s the easy stuff. But are you doing enough? Are you working effectively? How well are you progressing with your career? In this talk, we’ll discuss promises and the unexpected ways we can use them to make more money (and, of course, live a happier, healthier life).

How to Gain Initial Momentum with Google Using SEO

The session will provide actionable information, advice, and tips to publish a WordPress site, and to do it in ways that are within the best practices of SEO. Primary Topics to Include: Setting up Google Analytics on a WordPress Site. Using Google Console to understand what Google sees. How to use WordPress Page/Post architecture to optimize the content being published for Google to crawl and index a site correctly. Understanding content and keyword optimization on the website. Doing “Off Page” marketing to help build domain authority that will increase traffic to the site. Top Myths currently going around about SEO and website marketing. Listing of free tools that can help to do better SEO

Conversion Rate Optimization 101: Make Your WordPress Site Convert!

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 & plugins. 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.

Code Audit & Review Panel

A panel of industry professionals doing a live code audit. What’s a code audit? Exactly what it sounds like. The panel of experts are going to review user-submitted code ahead of time and then go over it, on screen, live with the audience. The goal is two-fold: we want people to see the mistakes that even experienced people make, and to show everyone that having your code in public isn’t something to be afraid of.

Moderated by Andrew Norcross.

Code Reviewed in the Panel

Podcasting with WordPress: How to Grow Your Audience Through Collaboration

Whether you are only interested in the possibilities of podcasting or currently have over 200 episodes… this presentation will provide 10 essential strategies for taking an idea in your head to developing a thriving community through generously noticing your audience & collaboration with others.

Sunday Lunch

Development Workflow for Agencies that Increases Profits and Frees up your Weekends

Agency work is hard for developers. If there is an opportunity or new technology available to you that can make your life easier and make your company more money you should be investigating whether or not the new technology can work for your own agency.

Over the past 6 months we have migrated all of our self hosted WordPress sites and developed all of our new WP sites on Pantheons agency platform, Pantheon One for Agencies. By moving to Pantheon we were able to cut our development time in half on new sites and have been able to reduce labor spent on maintenance by 40%. I want to teach you all how you can use Pantheon’s free agency platform to cut your costs and raise developer moral with little to no onboarding involved.

We will be discussing some advanced workflows that revolve around a Git Flow workflow. We will discuss how to set up and maintain a custom Git upstream that you can use as a common codebase to give your projects a head start. This leads into how you will never have to update 20 separate sites again whenever there is a new WordPress update or any of your favorite plugins. We will talk about a cloud based multienvironment workflow that allows you to develop locally or on a dev server in the cloud. All of the environments are under version control and even when you aren’t using Git, all of your changes are still being recorded to version control. Finally we will discuss how Continuous Integration can bring all of this together in an automated fashion.

Never again will you deploy a new feature branch into a production environment without first testing those changes on a test server. Did I mention that’s automated. This session is geared towards agencies, but anyone who handles more than a few WordPress sites can benefit from this.

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Getting What You Need With WP_Query

This talk will review getting information from the WordPress tables using the WP_Query class. We’ll discuss the various options for getting different types of data, properly escaping input and output, resetting the loop, and possibly storing the results in transients.

View Presentation Slides on Slideshare

Complex queries as opposed to transients

The Challenges (and Solutions) of Support

When it comes to plugins and themes, your customer base will range from brand new WordPress users to expert developers which will result in all kinds of customer support questions. In this talk, we will discuss different techniques and strategies for supporting your products and assisting your users. You will also learn about many of the challenges you may face and I will offer a few tricks to overcome them. Lastly, we will examine the ways to minimize the amount of time you spend on customer support while also ensuring that your users receive the best customer support.

Link to Slides

Creating Custom Sites with Post Types, Taxonomies and Meta

When posts, pages, categories and tags don’t cut it any more, custom post types, taxonomies and metadata are your saving grace. These tools really open up your ability to expand the core capabilities of WordPress to build whatever your imagination can dream up. With some very easy tools, you can quickly and easily build fairly complex and useful web applications for all sorts of projects, which really opens you up to work on a bigger variety of projects than just simple websites.

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Using WordPress in The World Of Higher Education

Much like online businesses or blogging, higher ed is a world of its own with unique challenges, content, stakeholders, and target audiences. In our world, we don’t worry so much about which eCommerce plugin is best. Instead, we’re more concerned with how to manage a large-scale network of faculty blogs, abide with FERPA regulations, and implement Active Directory single sign-on. This talk will showcase how WordPress is used in the world of higher ed and how we’re a great candidate for utilizing WordPress to its full potential, whether it’s using the powerful CMS to stretch limited resources or using its new API capabilities to share information and break down silos.

The Elephant In The Room: Working on a Distributed Team

How does one handle depression, imposter syndrome, and all the other elephants that no one wants to talk about? People who work remotely have a far greater chance of acquiring a mental illness than ones who work around people. This panel will share their pitfalls, accomplishments, tips to make life better, and where to find help when you need it. Even the smartest and happiest people get the blues sometimes but the best professional community, the WordPress Community, is here for more than the code.
Presented & Moderated by Michele Butcher.

How to Build a WordPress Membership Site

During the first seven years of running our memberships sites, we added tens of thousands of members. We also endured hundreds of unnecessary headaches as we learned about subscriptions the hard way. The most significant lesson? Selling memberships is really hard. Forget the fantasies of money growing on virtual trees. The truth is that membership sites can be one of the hardest ways to earn a living in e-commerce. This session will be a step-by-step guide to building a successful membership site with WordPress. The session will be highly-practical and will give you a blueprint to launch your first membership site. We’ll also provide resources to allow you to dig deeper into the topic after WordCamp Tampa, allowing you to make detailed decisions about payment gateways plugins and business strategy

Link to Slides | Training on Membership @ OSTraining

Saturday Lunch

Helping WordPress Core

This talk will highlight the many different ways to give back to WordPress Core. At a high level I will go over the Core TRAC Ticketing system and how to work within tickets. I will even be diving into Vagrant and show how to set up a development environment and create a patch. This talk will take some of the ambiguity out of contributing to Core and focus mainly on teaching how to do the little things that lead to bigger impacts.

Streamlining the Web Design Process Using Style Tiles

Style Tiles are a simple and effective way to help clients separate design decisions from content, so you can make sweeping changes before they become time-consuming and expensive. If you design websites, or work with people that do, this presentation will explain how Style Tiles can promote buy-in and a sense of ownership from the client, helping them feel like the final design was their idea all along. You will learn how Style Tiles fit into the design process and development process. And to get you started, a Style Tile template and some basic survey questions will be available for download.

Link to Slides

Smaller, Faster PHP: an Introduction to Backend Performance Optimization

Have you ever installed a plugin or theme, only to discover that your page loads are suddenly taking several seconds longer? Maybe you’re the author of that plugin, and your users are complaining about the effects on their sites? Do you have a client that wants the site you built to load more quickly? Before you blame the host or tell your customers to buy faster hardware, it’s time to take a humble look at your code and figure out where you can do things better. This presentation will look at techniques and tools you can use to identify performance bottlenecks in your code and explore options for optimizing and caching the problems away.

Be a Part of Something Bigger: Get Involved with WordPress

When people talk about contributing to WordPress, you usually think of an experienced coder. But that shouldn’t be the case because ANYONE — especially those new to the WordPress Community — can be valuable. This talk will show the many different ways you can contribute back to the WordPress Community, why you should do it, and how it can improve your own skills and confidence.

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Breaking Up (Your Code) is Hard to Do

So you know how to write a theme, but do you know how to organize one? Let’s look at some techniques you can use to keep your code separated into logical groups, make it more reusable, and help you sleep better at night. This will not only help you to better maintain your projects, but it will also help with collaboration and the general speed of your work. Whether you are just starting to write themes and plugins, or have been doing it for years, these practices will add to your development chops.

Link to Slides

Make WordPress Your Own: Painless Child Theming

WordPress themes are a painless and powerful way to change your website’s design, but a pre-made theme will never be a perfect fit. In his presentation, Taylor shows you WHY and HOW to create a child theme, empowering you to Be Different, Be Independent, and Be Yourself! Creating a child theme doesn’t have to be scary or overly complicated. With his direct and easy to understand approach, Taylor shows how to create a child theme from scratch and the tools to effortlessly make changes to the theme’s design.

*** See more at:

Behind the Scenes Look at How We Handle Customer Support

Trying to decide between forums vs help desk? Want to know how to speed up your customer service workflow? Over the years, we have perfected how we handle customer support across our products. Here is the behind the scenes look at how we handle customer support at OptinMonster.

The Future of Sales – Understanding Information as a Currency

This talk will take the audience through a brief history of sales, the development of social media, help them understand the social sales process, and show them how to turn their WordPress website into a social sales engine.

Link to Slides | Video