The Care and Feeding of Your WordPress Website

Presented by Cindy Cullen in Beginner.

Want to know how to protect your WordPress content and keep it healthy, happy and secure? We will discuss hosting options, backups, updates and other security measures to keep hackers out. I will explain a little about how WordPress works under the hood so that you understand why your content needs extra protection and what you can do to prevent and/or fix a broken website.

Tweet about this session using #wcn15security

The Anatomy of a WordPress Theme (for devs)

Presented by Liz Fulghum in Intermediate.

Despite the millions of files included with your average commercial theme package, a WordPress theme doesn’t actually have to be complex.

Targeted towards designers, theme hackers, and folks who are ready to dive into theme design, this session will give a light technical overview of the soft squishy insides of WordPress theme architecture and offer hints, tips and words of wisdom for developing basic themes.

New Mom, New Town, New Job, and the Biggest WordPress Site of my Career

Presented by Kristina Johnson Parish, James Ellis in Beginner.

One day you’re in the back of the tour van, crisscrossing the US playing rock shows to the generation of alt-whatevers with a similar affinity for the Sonic Youth, Fugazi and Converge records that mattered. But you’ve got a laptop and WordPress to help you pay the rent as you slog to the next show. Cut to 10 years later: you’re moving to Nashville with a newborn, and restarting a career. The one constant through it all? WordPress.

Kristina will be joined by James Ellis, partner at Brooklyn-based Athletics. Together they will spin a yarn of reinvention, how WordPress has shaped their lives, and what it’s like launching a WordPress site capable of handling a terrifying 100m pageviews per month.


Modernizing WordPress Search with Elasticsearch

Presented by Taylor Lovett in Developer.

WordPress search is notoriously lacking. Why? MySQL is not search optimized. Elasticsearch is a scalable database that when coupled with WordPress produces extremely powerful results. This talk will cover what Elasticsearch is, why it’s important, and integrating it with a WordPress website using a 10up open source plugin called ElasticPress. ElasticPress has become increasingly popular in the WordPress community even being leveraged by popular hosting companies such as WP Engine.


Is Your Back Porch Ready For Visitors? RSS Feeds

Presented by Robin Cornett in Beginner.

If your website is like your home, it’s easy to get lost in making sure it has good curb appeal–that it looks great and performs well from the front side. But the back porch can be just as important as a place to welcome and entertain. Your RSS feed is like the back porch for your website. Don’t leave it as an afterthought in your design process–sweep out the cobwebs, plump up the cushions, and make sure it’s ready for visitors!

Tag this session on twitter using #wcn15rss

Infinitely Scalable WordPress

Presented by Scott Humphries in Developer.

There’s little debate that WordPress is simply the best CMS on the planet, but relying on PHP and MySQL is holding it back from realizing its true potential. Imagine the flexibility and ease of use of WordPress with the sheer speed of static hosting or even infinite scalability with Amazon S3. I propose a solution for generating a static sites using WordPress as a CMS.

Increase Your Chances At Starting A Successful WordPress Business

Presented by James Laws in Intermediate.

If business success is, as I believe, equal parts great idea, hard work, and luck, what hope is there if I can’t control luck? I’m glad you asked.

It’s true, there is no guarantee that your business will be a success. There are, however, some things you can do to increase your chances that luck will find you in the right place at the right time.

When we started the WP Ninjas back in 2011, no one knew who we were (some of you still may not). We were launching into a saturated market, had zero experience in a product business, and had been very unlucky for the previous six years. After a year and half of careful planning and intentional changes, we are a very different company and have found what many would call financial success. We got lucky. But only because we made it easy for luck to find us.

In this talk, we take a look at tools and tips that will help you position your project for greatness. If you think you have a great idea, and are willing to work hard, then perhaps I can provide the missing link between lucky and unlucky.


How to grow your email list with your WordPress site

Presented by Matt Thackston in Beginner.

Many have been predicting the demise of email for years, and yet it’s still the number one tool at your disposal for marketing to your customers or leads. But how do you get those folks that are reading your website or interacting with you via social channels to sign up for your mailing list? This session will explore best practices surrounding email address acquisition, and we’ll talk about the most effective ways to convince your followers to sign up.
Talk about this session online using the hashtag #wcn15listgrowth

Hacking the Community to Build Themes Faster

Presented by Andy Wilkerson in Developer.

Creating a WordPress theme can be a daunting and time-consuming task. Whether this is your first time building a theme or you’ve built dozens, you can always find ways to improve. We’ve identified some of the best community resources to make tasks easier: from starter themes to frameworks to option builders and more. There are many powerful resources to jump start your project, but are they worth the time it will take to learn a new system? Help put time on your side with a more efficient work flow for your team or yourself.

Getting Started with Custom Post Types and Taxonomies

Presented by Bryan Belanger in Intermediate.

In this session we will cover an introduction to custom post types and taxonomies from a couple different perspectives. We will go over several different use case scenarios to help identify situations that make the most sense for custom post types, taxonomies and how they’re functionality can be leveraged for the content. We’ll also discuss how to easily create and define these in your functions.php file, explain different options within the arguments, and all without using any plugins. There is also an incredible resource out there to push these further called “Advanced Custom Fields”, and we will talk about how this resource can be used in your themes as well. My goal is that you come away with some new information to help you tackle different scenarios you come across in your theme development. Tweet about this session using #wcn15customposttypes

Getting Hired As A WordPress Developer

Presented by Corey Maass in Developer.

As a full-time WordPress developer, who has helped multiple agencies hire WordPress developers, I’ve seen both sides of hiring and getting hired. I’ve seen hundreds of resumes, and interviewed dozens of developers. I can tell you what makes an amazing WordPress portfolio, what skills will make you stand out, and what mistakes to avoid.

From Zero to WordPress Publish

Presented by Michele Butcher in Beginner.

So you want to make a website? Come join the world ride from site concept to site publish. We will go over everything from choosing a domain and hosting to what is the difference between a post and a page. This talk is solely for those who only think of WordPress as a cool idea or those who got a cool free site on but now want to grow their site to a self-hosted site.


Custom Fields and Metaboxes

Presented by Joe Hills in Developer.

The scope of your WordPress project may require editors need to easily and safely add content beyond post title and content. In this talk, you’ll learn about several tools you can use as a developer to make requesting, storing, and presenting this content easier. You’ll also learn the strengths and weaknesses of each tool you’ll need to determine when to use each. The tools covered include: WordPress APIs, CMB2, ACF Pro, and PODS.


Building an Enterprise Application with WordPress

Presented by Josiah Goff in Developer.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever built with WordPress? Have you ever thought about using it for large scale application development? In this session, Josiah Goff will talk about why and how his team used WordPress to build an enterprise application for organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to major government agencies.


Agile Contracting

Presented by Michael Toppa in Intermediate.

When you develop a WordPress based project for a client in an Agile way, you deliver working features on a frequent basis, such as weekly, as you build out the project. This allows for review, feedback, and adapting to change. Evolving business requirements are welcome in an Agile process, instead of a source of frustration.

The problem is, even if clients think an Agile approach sounds good, they almost always have a preference for traditional Fixed Price, Fixed Scope contracts. These contracts, with detailed specifications, costs, and delivery dates, contradict the Agile approach, but they provide clients them with a sense of security and confidence that they will get what they want.

How do you convince them a traditional contract is actually riskier than they think, and persuade them to instead sign a contract that facilities Agile development? This is the most significant challenge facing consultants who want to follow Agile practices. At PromptWorks we use Time & Materials contracts with our clients, and we have signed over 30 of them in the past 2 years. In this talk we’ll discuss:

  • What different types of contracts imply about the nature of the relationship with your client, and what it means for it to be a professional relationship of equals. Risk and reward should be shared, and the relationship should feel like a partnership.
  • The persuasion and negotiation process for getting your prospective clients to sign a Time & Materials contract. We’ll discuss real-life situations from our experience at PromptWorks.
  • PromptWorks’ typical project proposal, Master Service Agreement, and Scope of Work documents. We’ll highlight key aspects of our approach, and things to look out for if you have to use contract documents provided by your client.


A Beginner’s Guide To Writing and Sharing WordPress Plugins

Presented by Kevin Stover in Intermediate.

Depending on your familiarity with WordPress, the phrase “write a plugin” could translate to: “just write a plugin” or “calculate the course of the moon with this astrolabe.” If you’re in the second category, or want to know more about sharing your plugins with others, then this session is for you. We’ll demystify writing a WordPress plugin and then discuss the merits and methods of sharing that plugin with others. There are nearly 30,000 plugins in the repository, and each of these is a unique attempt to solve a problem or provide additional functionality. Many started off as custom solutions that their creators decided to share with the world. Maybe you’re new to all this plugin-creation stuff and want to know what it’s all about. Perhaps you’ve already written a plugin that adds some neat functionality, why not share it with the world? This session will walk you through the steps of creating a plugin and submitting it to the WordPress plugin repo.

7 Ways to Monetize Your WordPress Website

Presented by Mark Tune in Beginner.

Learn how to monetize your wordpress site using the best methods of monetizing, the checklist for site setup, and the list of wordpress plugins that will help you fund your business or hobby. We’ll cover case studies and examples of the successful ways you can monetize. You will discover which monetization works best if you are just starting or have had a site for some time.

Tweet about this using #wcn14wpmonetize

*Entry-Level* PHP and Theming (for non-devs)

Presented by Kenneth White in Intermediate.

If you know some HTML but you’ve been afraid to take the dive into PHP, fear no more. We’ll use the world’s smallest WordPress theme to introduce basic PHP concepts and how it works in WordPress to build themes. The talk will go through basic PHP setup, variables, and conditionals–all through the lens of WordPress and the template hierarchy.