An Introduction to WordPress Multisite

WordPress Multisite can be a powerful tool, whether you’re looking to open up a network to the public, or just looking to run more than one site on your own. But actually diving into Multisite for the first time can be overwhelming to even the most experienced WordPress administrator.

This session will cover the major differences between running a single WordPress install and a Multisite install. We’ll also go over some of the most common problems people encounter when using Multisite, and how to solve them. We’ll also cover some of the best practices for managing a Multisite Network, and if time permits, we’ll get into some of the more creative ways that others are using Multisites.

The WordPress Community and You

So you’ve downloaded this cool new software to start a blog, but you don’t know where to go for help. Or maybe you want to find other developers or designers in your area, but don’t know how. We’ll go over how to get involved in the WordPress community, from the support forums to local meetup groups and WordCamps. We’ll also cover how you can give back to the WordPress project, even if you can’t code or design.

Building A Simple Theme Framework

A talk modeled after my 4-part series on WPTuts+: I’ll cover some basic rules of software reuse and defining your needs, what’s out there, why I made my own, and then some code: The important elements of WP themes and what should be included in the framework, how to use that framework as a child theme, and how to use it as a starting point for a parent theme. **I can also put together something on Custom Post Types or WordPress Multisite; I recently set one up to manage my client sites.

Design Basics for Non-Designers

To non-designers, design can seem like a mysterious realm inhabited by natural artists — inscrutable beings whose heads are constantly in the clouds as they hunker down in Photoshop, desperately trying to get every last pixel aligned perfectly (Okay, maybe there’s a *bit* of truth to that). Realistically, design is just a series of informed decisions based on a set of principles guided by best practice. By learning the basics of design, you can make your WordPress sites and applications more usable and compelling. This session is meant for anyone new to design.

Unit Testing and WordPress Plugins

This talk will cover what unit testing is, why it’s important, and what tools are available/recommended. This will include an overview of the different kinds of unit testing and their uses, as well as the tools specific to WordPress development. This talk will not be going over the how of unit testing, but rather the what and why.

WordPress on the CLI – Interact, Explore, Automate.

Like many environments, WordPress can be a bit cumbersome to work with when you’re locked into using the GUI that is provided, when there is so much more that can be done on via a Command Line Interface (CLI.) To truly unlock the full power of the WordPress API, having a sense for how to work with it via CLI is the key to success.

I will provide guidance on: how to create CLI scripts in PHP, using a bare-bones example to start and then incorporating the wp-cli framework; using Perl/Shell Scripts to manage and harness WordPress CLI scripts; how to explore and experiment with the WordPress API through ctags and the WordPress shell. I will also demonstrate some higher-level issues with working with WordPress on the command line. I’ll cover how you can use the skills developed to work with giant data files, and discuss the caveats of importing and exporting large data sets.

My Favorite Plugins

Depending on client needs, US Server Net bundles a suite of between 20 and 30 security and productivity plugins with each WordPress installation. These tools reduce the learning curve for non-technical users as well as make sites more secure. The plugins include both free software available for download from, plus several premium plugins that add way more value than their modest cost. Each plugin recommended has been vetted by US Server Net, and they all share a couple of characteristics — they are well written and play nicely together. This presentation will offer an overview of each plugin, how it works and how it contributes to making the job of managing a WordPress site easier.

Content Isn’t King—It’s The Ace Of Spades

Many say “content is king today”. But the truth is, content has always the dominant driver of trends, truth and the American way. The session will compare how traditional power magazines like Time, Newsweek and People compare today’s power brokers: Mashable, Business Insider and Wired.

Mastering the Photoblog with WordPress

Photoblogs are…well, awesome. Readers can consume twice as much content in half the time, and gorgeous photos can be much prettier than words. But getting your photoblog just right – and exactly how you want it – can take some time, effort, and creativity.  Learn how to get going with a fantastic photoblog using WordPress and all of its built-in awesomeness. You will receive practical advice on choosing a theme, making friends with the software to publish your photos, whether or not you should explore the use of a plugin, and how to not let your beautiful blog go the way of the dinosaurs. To make sure nobody is left out, both and will be discussed.

The Seven Deadly Theming Sins

In this session, we’ll look in depth at some of the more common and problematic errors made by commercial theme developers, and how to fix them. We’ll analyze what constitutes best practices in each instance, and the problems brought about by doing things the lazy way. Some of the topics included in this talk are … * Why shouldn’t I just use Google Hosted Libraries like jQuery? CDNs are awesome and save on bandwidth!!! * Why shouldn’t I just hardcode links to my theme’s CSS and JS files? * Stylesheet Directory and Template Directory? Those are the same thing, right? * Trust my users? They bought my theme! Why wouldn’t I trust them?!?!?!

Shapeshifting: Adaptive and Future Friendly Web Design

The web we love (and hate) now today, is not the same web from just only five years ago, and won’t be the same web we know next year. The web is rapidly changing and in multiple ways. How we use it, where we use it, what we use it for, and how we are accessing it. Between being accessible now by multiple devices from mobile handsets, tablets, even TVs and refrigerators, we can only guess where it may end up next, or what the next iPhone will be like. Though we can’t be 100% future-proof for what may be next, we can take some steps in the right direction to give a great experience today that will hold up tomorrow. Most of all we need to change our way of thinking.

Oh, The Themes You’ll Do!

Congratulations! Today is your day.
You’re off to create Child Themes! You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head. You have nothing to lose.
You can pick a WordPress theme any style it up how you choose.

You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And this session will help you decide where to go.

You’ll look at many designs and layouts. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”

With your head full of brains and poetic code oh-so-sweet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any Themes you want to bring down.
In that case, of course, you’ll just straight code your own.
(adapted from Dr. Seuss: “Oh The Places You’ll Go!”)

Themes are very popular with users of WordPress, primarily because the theme defines the look and feel of your web site, and the functions within the template carry your content forward to the eyes of your readers. This session takes the user through the basics of creating Child Themes based off an existing theme in order to customize a theme to your liking, without having to code/develop the whole kit and kaboodle! Child Themes are a time saver and a great way to learn about WordPress Themeing. At the end of this session, users will walk away with a downloadable example of a Parent/Child theme used in the session as an example so they can study the code and learn how to apply the techniques to their next project.

Designing for Development

Your Photoshop layout might look good to the client, but is it designed and organized with the next phase of production in mind? Are your layers properly ordered and labeled to assist the developer with producing the WordPress theme efficiently and with as little drama as possible? And are you using visual effects that can be achieved with CSS3, or will you burden the final design with DIV soup and multiple images just because you didn’t run it by your dev team and got approval from the client? Learn how to design a layout with the development phase in mind by understanding theme structure! No need to learn how to code a theme, just how the coder will go about slicing your work. This talk will offer workflow tips, offer a few examples of well-organized PSDs, and even show some live theme code.

Designing For WordPress

As web designers and print designers encounter WordPress for the first time, it can be a challenge to understand how WordPress works. Yet, it is so important for designers to know the system for which they are designing. This presentation will address key points for helping designers understand the basic functionality and structure of WordPress — so that they can design truly beautiful and functional sites that run well on WordPress. This presentation will aim to help designers understand what developers do to get their designs live on a WordPress site.

Development Tools of the Mad Developer

While developing, our goal is to create code. But that does not mean applications used are a means to an end – we should put as much time as is necessary into our development workflow to enable us to create lush code with ease.
The Mad Developer will review common applications for developers (Text Editors/IDEs, SVN applications, debugging tools) and features within these that make for a brilliant workflow.

Network Unavailable: Creating an Offline Medical Records System using WordPress

Most of us take it for granted that we have consistent access to an Internet connection.  However, in some parts of the world, the reality is that your access to an Internet connection may be limited or completely unavailable.  In those cases, accessing a WordPress server running in a remote data center may be an impossible task.  Fortunately, several features in HTML5 allow us to build applications that work well offline.  Join me as I walk through the development of an Offline Medical Records System using WordPress that is deployed throughout Africa.  We will talk about key HTML5 features as well as how WordPress can be used as more than a blogging platform.

Lessons Learned Selling Our Plugin: Paid Memberships Pro

Many consultants aspire to generate passive income or generally find a way to gain enough freedom to work on your own business instead of everyone else’s business. We do too.

Just before WordCamp Philly 2011, we launched our plugin Paid Memberships Pro in the WordPress repository with paid support from our website.

Learn how we added $1000/month in recurring revenue to our business and why we gave it all up to pivot to a different business model.

Well also cover:

  • Pricing
  • GPL Licensing
  • Plugin Support
  • Processing Feedback
  • And much much more …

Vagrant for WordPress Development

Vagrant, in it’s own words, was designed to: “Create and configure lightweight, reproducible, and portable development environments.” In this session I’ll do a introduction to Vagrant and related virtualization concepts, and walk though multiple examples of how it can be used to ease WordPress development.

Ghostbusting Your Code: Creating a Boilerplate for Speed an Efficiency

A great website starts with a great foundation. Don’t get stuck with the ghosts of bad code that got thrown together in the beginning of the project. Find out how by using a well refined boilerplate you can learn from past mistakes and make your code stronger and more efficenient. In this session you will learn some general techniques to creating your own HTML/CSS/JavaScript/WordPress boilerplate, as well as look at some examples of well established ones.

Lets Make Lots of Money. Unsucking e-Commerce

Any developer worth their salt will tell you e-Commerce sites just suck. Systems are confusing, never do exactly what you want, and costs balloon quickly before you even utter the words “what do you *mean* you don’t have a gateway for the People’s Bank of Outer East Duluth.. they have awesome rates!”   Every developer you talk to will give you a different opinion on what you should do and how you should do it. But we’re WordPress people… so lets unsuck it. We’ve got 40 minutes to jumpstart your dainty leap into the vast briny depths of WordPress and e-Commerce and we’re gonna rock this bitch.

  • Who should bother setting up a store rather than use existing systems
  • Should you use WP vs proprietary software or e-Commerce systems
  • What do you need to get going?
  • The 10 things you really ought to know about e-Commerce sites

Oh yeah, and we’ll TOTALLY SET UP A STORE. This isn’t a hands on session (and I can set the landspeed record for words per minute and you’ll want your eyes up front since I’m known to throw things at attendees) but you can definitely follow along. Hop on board, peeps. I’m about to show you where they keep the $$

Custom Post Types for Right-Brained Folks

Many front-end designers wish they could build site functionality without the help of a PHP programmer. Luckily, WordPress makes that possible with Custom Post Types (CPTs) — even for people who know HTML and CSS, but not PHP. This presentation will explain what custom post types and taxonomies are, why they are awesome and how to build them. In a designer-friendly language and teaching style, attendees will learn how to code (yes, code) CPTs from scratch and use them to create dynamic front-end content managed by a user-friendly back-end admin. The end of the session will include time for questions and links to helpful resources. This session is perfect for front-end designers familiar with HTML/CSS and editing code using a text editor and FTP. Users with no HTML/CSS experience who only use WordPress via the back-end admin may be lost and people who already know how to make CPTs may find the information too basic.

Freelance like a Rockstar

How to keep your freelance game tight by managing client expectations and targeting high quality projects, all the while staying sane by minimizing work hours.

What the !$#% was this plugin for anyway?! Maintaining a sustainable WordPress Multisite install

Plugins and themes offer exciting possibilities, but too many can equal too much excitement, especially in Multisite. We’ll discuss best practices to promote stability and ease of upgrading, while supporting user needs. We’ll also share tips on cleaning up WordPress, based on our experience of weeding plugins and themes, and on taking advantage of 3.0′s nifty new features.

How My Blog Pays The Rent

I’ll take you through how I monetize my blog and how I’ve reached 4 figures a month in revenue with less than a couple of hours of work. My talk will include the process of selecting topics, how I write my posts to increase monetization potential, how I promote the posts and the advertising networks I use to do it.

Creating With WordPress: The Ultimate Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Social Sharing

Learn tips & strategies for content creation and management in WordPress, from best practices for formatting images, posts, and pages to content calendar management (especially with multi-author blogs) to the best plugins for social media sharing and SEO.

Intro to WordPress

Just getting started with WordPress? I’ll take you through the key features and options of this flexible, powerful Content Management System. We’ll cover: – Creating and formatting Pages and Posts – Handling comments – Themes – Plugins and Widgets – Basic site administration No coding involved! This is an introductory level session.