Business Owners Guide to the Web

As a freelance web designer I heard them all. The horror stories of domains lost (and later resold at auction), the (not so) ‘great hosting deals’, and myriad tales of web designers who had run off with their money.

If you’re a business owner with a website or getting geared up to build one, you’ll want to listen to Linda’s talk on how to side-step some of these common, and not as common, mistakes. Learn what you need to know to protect your online presence and accounts, and how to work with a web professional to create the product you want (and can afford).

The Dashboard 101

New to WordPress or want a refresher? Let’s take a stroll through the dashboard together to learn all the ins and outs, including the difference between pages and posts, adding images and image galleries, the difference between categories and tags, and more. We’ll also cover the not-so-obvious tools you won’t know how you lived without, like hidden options, extra toolbar buttons, and other tricks of the WordPress trade.

Just Press Publish

It took me 1143 days to start a blog that took 5 minutes to build. Publishing anxiety is common among beginners. The funny thing is, your vulnerability and authenticity are valuable to readers. Configuring WordPress can also be a black hole of unnecessary procrastination. Very few things *need* to happen before you post (ie. basic security and a promo plan). Your first goal = publish. Everything else can wait!

Tools for Managing Multiple WordPress Sites

WordPress is an incredible platform that continues to innovate and grow, but with that comes almost constant updates. WP core, plugins and themes can require frequent updates and there are a variety of ways to track and manage these updates. We will look at strategy, tools and work flow to manage multiple WordPress sites and keep everything up to date. Note this is not relating to WordPress multi-site installations, but multiple independent installations. The talk will look at: – Why you should update WordPress – How regular maintenance is essential for a stable, healthy website – How a management system/software can help – Review of the 7 most popular WordPress management dashboards – Factors to consider in your choice of management system

I’ve Been Hacked

You receive an email from the host informing you that your site is down. They’ve disabled it due to a high volume of spam sent through your domain. Someone has hacked in to promote the sales of Viagra, their porn sites or some political movement. That uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach signals the worst case scenario. You’ve lost everything. Don’t worry; it happens to the best of us, and if you’re like me, then you’ve learned the hard way. I’ve had several sites hacked due to my negligence and lack of knowledge. I’ll walk you through the steps necessary to make your site unattractive to hackers. Of course, someone smart and determined will find a way. The majority of hackers will skip your site and find an easier target. Time is money, and the longer it takes, the less inclined most will be to disturb the sanctity of your work. I’ll provide you with a checklist of things to do when you first set up a site. It includes house-cleaning tips like making regular backups. You can restore your site with limited liability so that you can sleep with ease.

Troubleshooting for Beginning Developers

Learning to write code is easy. Learning to fix broken code is really hard. Whether you’re pasting code from a tutorial or writing your own code, figuring out why something doesn’t work as expected and how to fix it is difficult. In this talk, I will walk you through some basic methods for troubleshooting PHP and JS in your WordPress site, and introduce you to some helpful tools.

It’s always the embeds

What is the biggest thing I have seen done wrong or not thought about in reponsive design. The embeds, it always the embeds whether it be enternal ads, youtube videos or external content. I will show show some large websites that still have this problem! (One of them is a internal stock market’s blog that runs off WordPress) How do you solve this problem with WordPress? It’s very easy!!! I’ll provide snippets of code that you can use in your function file to correct these problems.

Law & Order: SVG

On the world wide web, pixel-based graphic are considered especially data heavy. In modern browsers, the dedicated graphics system that solves this problem is part of an new revolution in dynamic code-based visuals known as Scalable Vector Graphics. This is how to use them.

Using Custom Post Types to Control Access

For our organisation we have information coming from a variety of sources. One of the primary reasons for moving to WordPress was to avoid the “Webmaster bottleneck” and allow multiple people to contributed content to the site. The challenge was to give these contributors as much control over their particular areas as possible while limiting there access to other parts of the site. The architecture that was developed uses Custom Post Types and User Roles to effectively divide up the site into a number of different areas, each with a role that has control over the content in that area.

Troubleshooting WordPress Performance

In this talk we’ll discuss common WordPress performance issues and how to troubleshoot them. Then we’ll dive into New Relic and how to leverage this powerful tool to monitor, troubleshoot and optimize your site.

Do it in code! A guide to creating a custom site structure plugin in WordPress.

Many plugins exist for customizing site structure via the admin, which are great, but good developers know that functionality should live in code, and not in the database. We’ll look at the virtues of creating a custom plugin for your site structure, and explore some great tools to build your custom post types, taxonomy, metaboxes and more: – CMB2 – a developer’s toolkit for building metaboxes, custom fields, and forms – Advanced Custom Fields – export your ACF fields to code in PHP or JSON – GenerateWP – fill in a form, and spit out code – post types, taxonomy, metaboxes, shortcodes, and more! Once we’ve got it all in code, we’ll commit it to version control, and look at code hosting and collaboration with GitHub and BitBucket.

A Cache that Lasts Forever: WordPress as a Static Site Generator

A website built exclusively of static files that never makes a database query or allows a user to log in can provide compelling performance and security advantages over a CMS-backed website. But what do you need to consider before deciding that a static site is right for your next project? Can developers stick with WordPress, avoiding the learning curve of a purpose-built static site generator? This session will cover the advantages and caveats of static sites and will introduce approaches for creating a static site without leaving the WordPress ecosystem. WordPress isn’t widely known as a tool for creating static websites, but this session will help WordPress developers provide the benefits of static websites to their clients while still leveraging their hard-won WordPress expertise.

Five Figure Freelancing

I’ve found a new level of success as a freelance WordPress developer over the last year and I’d like to share my story with you. But more importantly, I want to teach other freelancers (or aspiring freelancers) how I made the transition successfully from full-time employment to full-time freelancing.

These are the tips, tricks, and strategies that I’ve personally implemented that have allowed me to earn at least $10,000 (five figures) each month as a freelancer.

I’m a 27 year old developer who’s recently made the transition himself and I’d like to help you set yourself up for a successful transition into freelancing as well.

Converting Website Visitors into Business Leads

Business owners work hard and pay money to bring visitors to their website. Most businesses are missing out on being able to directly communicate with that well-earned traffic after they have left the website. Email marketing is proven to be effective for lead conversions, however it can be difficult to get someone to join your list. In order to earn new subscribers, you need to add value to your visitor’s lives and trade them something useful in return for their equally valuable email address. We’ll walk through three non-technical pieces of a lead capture set-up that will help to increase the number of people that join your list and gives business owners the chance to further build trust with their visitors and develop those leads into customers.

She’s crafty: How to start a crafting blog with no money, no code, little time and toddlers underfoot

Does everyone have a crafting blog except you? It’s time to get your blog online using WordPress. Everything the beginner needs to know to start a blog. How do you choose a name? How do you choose a web host or blogging service? How do you get started writing? How do you get people to visit your blog? How do you get them to keep coming back? All your questions answered in a friendly, jargon-free session. This is a session for beginning bloggers and will focus on solutions that don’t require a lot of technical know-how or a big budget.

The Journey from a Side Project to a WordPress Agency

One can have many reasons to form a WordPress agency. At required+ we didn’t think about becoming an agency in the first place. Initially we teamed up to build an online platform that scratched an itch in all of us, we simply wanted to try and prove a point with the idea we had. All of a sudden we were running a thriving job board for the Swiss web industry and had a beautiful side project to work on. In order to keep our creative freedom and sovereignty, we didn’t want to take money from venture capitalists or investors. Therefore we came up with a concept to keep us going while allowing space for our individual lifestyles. We started to take on interesting client projects, this way we continued to build interesting sites & apps. I would like to talk about our journey with – a job board for Swiss web professionals. The talk is intended to be a business talk. I’m going to share our experience in designing & building an online platform on top of WordPress. I’ll share some secrets and learning from running & maintaining it for about 5 years now. I will show you how we managed to balance client work and product work and how we focussed on the features that really matter because of financial and time constraints.

On Creativity: A Freelancer’s Journey through Boredom, Desperation, Success, then it gets Boring Again, & Finally More Things Happen

My talk will focus on the genesis of creativity, whether it occurs out of necessity (oh god I have no job), boredom (this job is lame), or good ol’ fashioned ambition (I think I’ll write 3000 words about elves today). I’ll talk about the unmitigated disaster that was my first Wordcamp talk back in Edmonton in 2013, plus how people can use their own personal story as a backdrop to creative outlet. My talk should be about 20 minutes long. My basic outline: Intro: Wordcamp 2013 when my computer died and I was forced to be creative. Part 1. Unacceptable boredom: backing up to life in a tiny cubicle Part 2. Desperation: creativity born of very few options Part 3. Success! Almost: running a company, following the rules Part 4. The Hitch: different ways to be trapped and cut off creativity Part 5. Marrying Productivity with Creativity: different ways to be creative, new methods, creative discipline – key takeaway: being creative at your job

Workshop: Learn to Contribute to WP’s Meta Team (laptop required)

The Meta team is responsible for all of WordPress’ official websites (,,,, etc). A lot of the code that powers those sites is open-source, and anyone can contribute. Learning how to contribute on your own can sometimes be a difficult task, so this workshop aims to make it easy. We’ll walk through the tools and steps involved, and you’ll get hands-on experience and help along the way. You’ll need to bring a laptop, and you’ll have a head start if you install the WordPress Meta Environment before you arrive —

How to not design like a developer

Are you a developer, graphic designer, or content creator who makes websites? How’d they turn out? Whether your design skills are good, bad, ugly (or worse), don’t worry, there’s some simple steps and tools that can help you design less like a developer.

UX Testing for Beginners: Tools, tests and tricks for optimizing your site

What tools do you use to check if your site is working for your users? How do you use that knowledge to plan improvements? And how do you measure improvement over time? This talk provides a introduction to testing users’ experience with your site. We will start with an overview of user testing best practice. Using examples, we will review a number of approaches and tools you can use to identify problem areas. We will conclude with a list of user-centred optimization strategies that highlight when each tool is most helpful.

Leveraging Partnerships to Increase Sales and Grow Your Business

My experience has been that designers/agencies face two business oriented challenges that they fail to address, often because of a closed lens around what is possible. In other words, they aren’t aware that these options can greatly help their businesses and these partnerships are super easy to form. – Selling alone – I spend much of my day linking agencies with clients to sell projects together. Our clients need designers and often don’t know where to turn. Designer/agency clients need hosts, ad providers, marketers, etc. and again often don’t know where to turn. Selling in tandem increases both stickiness and value for all parties involved. – Building something amazing then turning it over to an unknown hosting or adtech provider. I liken this to building an awesome sports car and then leaving to chance that the owner will park it out on the street with no protection from the elements. This presentation is a vendor-agnostic look at how designers/agencies can increase their opportunities, deliver greater lifetime value to their clients, and insure that their hard work isn’t neglected after a site is finished by partnering with other providers. It also touches on how to choose providers/partners where there is a true synergy and sharing of interests. Thank you for your consideration. I’m excited about the opportunity to help WordPress professionals explore new ways to grow their businesses!