Design Panel

Contribute to the WordPress Community

Sometimes contributing to the WordPress community seems daunting. After-all, we’re all hustling everyday to make our personal and professional lives better… and that’s hard enough work. There are small steps you can take to contribute to WordPress and your community that won’t break the financial, time, or emotional bank. Learn how to give a little to support the platform you love in a big way!


Contributor Day at Automattic, 90 Bridge St, Suite 400, Westbrook, ME

Triple-A Blogging: How to Blog Like a Semi-Pro

Not everyone can be the next Daily Beast, Smashing Mag, or Daring Fireball, but with a little bit of time and effort, you can make the most of your blog. This session will cover farm-league blogging basics like defining and refining your message and voice, presenting a consistent brand/image, networking with others, getting traction, and even earning a little something in return (not necessarily monetizing, but other benefits like bartering, affiliates, and complimentary products/services). I’ll use examples of personal experience from and a few technical tips and tricks.

WordPress Q&A

Make Your First WordPress Plugin

Ever been curious about how a WordPress plugin does what it does? We’ll demystify the process for the non-developer crowd by going, step by step, through the process of creating a simple WordPress plugin. From looking at the problem, through designing its solution and putting together the code, this talk will explain the Plugin API, action hooks, and plugin authoring in a way that people with a basic understanding of PHP scripting can understand.

Getting Started With WordPress

Introduction to Jetpack

Jetpack is a plugin that enables many of the best features of on any WordPress site, free of charge. Rather than install a fleet of plugins, you can leverage Jetpack and the resources of to expand your self-hosted site.

In this session we’ll give an overview of Jetpack and talk about the difference between and We’ll dive into popular features such as Stats, Widget Visibility, and Contact Forms, and discuss the available Social and Media options. Finally, we’ll have an overview of the other settings you can use to power up your site using Jetpack.

Passionate About Plugins

The huge range of over 37,000 community-contributed plugins is one of the most valuable features of But how do you determine what’s a safe and effective plugin without being overwhelmed by choice? In this session we’ll look at when to use a plugin and discuss how to make an informed decision about which plugin to use – and explore how to troubleshoot any conflicts that may crop up.

How to Write Magnetic Blog Headlines That Get More Clicks

Out of every ten visitors to your blog, eight will read the headline yet only two will read the actual post itself. Learn to turn these numbers around through the crafting of can’t-miss headlines that drive clicks. Uncover ways to communicate more effectively through your headlines to the subconscious mind of your blog visitors. In this session, we’ll explore the headline strategies that are proven to attract attention, produce organic search rankings and generate social shares (while positioning your posts on the positive side of Facebook’s click-bait crackdown). In parallel, we’ll also review the types of headlines to avoid at all costs.

Making The Internet of Things WordPress Smart

Popular services like IFTTT and the rise of home automation have made it easy to connect physical devices to the internet to help make them more efficient. But why can’t we build integrations in the opposite direction? In this talk, we’ll explore ways to get data out of WordPress and create meaningful integrations with physical devices, then build the integrations and test them together! What if you could setup a red light turn on if your site ever went down? Or maybe you want to play a sound every time you receive a new order in WooCommerce? Maybe you just want to push data from your smart things into WordPress – like create a graph of current temperatures over time on your site. All of these things are not only possible, but fairly easy to setup – all you need to know is where to look!

The Four Agreements and Client Services

The core tenets of the popular self-help book (The Four Agreements) provide a surprisingly on target guide to surviving and thriving in the world of professional services.

Yoast and WordPress: An SEO Love Story

WordPress and Yoast are a match made in heaven. They work together so well, it’s hard to imagine them a part. In this talk, we’ll discuss how these two tools can be used together to look good on line, help visitors find your website, and drive more business.

WordPress Security From The Start

Concern about hacking of WordPress is about as popular as the platform itself. We’ll take a quick look at common attacks, and we’ll talk about designing your WordPress site, from the start, with security in mind. More than just using a proven security plugin, the right user permissions, plugin / theme decisions and site plan — pre-build and post-build — can keep your WordPress install safe.


Super Fast WordPress Themes

Today’s web users have the need for speed. With internet and cellular connections getting faster and faster, users expect sites to feel snappy and not make them wait. We as developers must make sure we’re doing our very best to serve those pages quickly. This talk will focus on the things you should be doing, both on the front-end and back-end, when building WordPress themes.

Typography, Web Fonts, and Your Site

Let’s talk fonts! We’ll take a brief look at the history of fonts on the web and best practices for typography. You’ll learn about some of the top font services available as well as methods and tools for implementing the right font for your WordPress site. Whether you prefer to work with plugins, theme options, or manual edits to the theme, you’ll walk away with some options for adding shiny new fonts to your site.


WordPress for Schools

Learn how Newark Public Schools (NJ’s largest school district – 40,000 students; 70 schools) cut their annual web site technology budget in half by migrating to WordPress from a closed-source, proprietary, expensive, vendor-controlled SaaS CMS. Hear stories from the trenches about budget battles, angry/clueless technology vendors and frustrated administrators from one guy with a vision to disrupt the market and bring better web site technology to our public schools.

Be a Customer Service Superstar with Customized WP-Admin

When you work in WP-Admin every day, it’s wicked easy to navigate. But for users who are new to WordPress or only update their sites occasionally, the admin area can be full of WordPress-centric-lingo and not very intuitive. If you’ve created a customized front-end experience, why not take a few extra moments and tighten up the admin? It’s not difficult to make users happier and reduce the number of questions you get! We’ll cover customizing via both plugins and code, adding your own help documentation to the admin, and current best practices.

Keynote and Q&A Session

Developer Panel

Scale Out Don’t Scale Up

Installing WordPress and getting it to serve up a site is easy. Getting that same site to stay up when millions are hitting it is not so much. In this talk We’ll go over both the tools and techniques to keep your site up as well as the theory behind operating at scale.

Developing for WordPress with Grunt and Command Line Tools

Developing WordPress using Grunt and other command line utilities. Increase productivity by automating WP development. Familiarity with Linux command line and shell scripting required.

Website Accessibility and WordPress

There is good news that WordPress can be very accessible for people with disabilities who use assistive technologies (AT) to access digital content. But there are some issues with themes and plugins that need to carefully checked. This session will discuss the general issues related to accessibility – including “legal” guidelines – and how you can make your WP site as accessible as possible.

Developing WordPress Themes Using Modular Sass

CSS preprocessors make developing clean and semantic stylesheets effortless – yet I feel there is a somewhat steep learning curve when figuring out how to integrate it into a WP theme you are developing if you are new to Sass. Someone new to WordPress is probably used to chucking the majority of their styles in style.css and calling it a day… My talk will take someone through a basic structure for organizing Sass within a WordPress theme, using the Bones theme framework as an example. I will go through some of the benefits and cool tricks you can implement with this structure including the basics of breakpoint includes, variables, and mixins. Finally I will address perhaps the greatest hurdle to immediately implementing Sass in your WordPress theme – compiling. I will take people through the common methods of doing this including Grunt (just a basic rundown without going too deep into it), Compass, and WordPress plugins like WP-SCSS. My hope by the end is that someone would see how powerful Sass can be and how easily it can be used with WordPress.