Getting Started with Freelancing Public Square

Presented by Kyle Maurer in McGilvrey Ballroom.

When in the early stages of offering WordPress related services for clients there are a lot of unknowns. Questions like: – How do I price a project? – Where do I host the client’s site? – What do I do when the scope begins to creep? – Where do I go when I get in over my head? – How do I find clients? These and many more are difficult questions to answer for those who are new to client work but they are incredibly important. This session will be a Q&A and will focus on everything one needs to know and do to make their first projects successful.

How the WordPress Community Changed My Life

Presented by Jeff Matson in McGilvrey Ballroom.

In this session, Jeff discusses his accidental fall into the WordPress community, and how it has changed both his personal and professional life forever (and has the tattoo to prove it).

Fast & Easy WordPress Theming with “Page Builders”

Presented by Adam Silver in McGilvrey Ballroom.

Headway, Divi, Beaver Builder, Architect have changed the landscape..some say for the better, others for the worse. For those who want to “whip” up a site and share their content, these options have become good solutions with passionate communities behind them.

Deploy a WordPress site with Minimal Work

Presented by Seth Alling in Dix Ballroom.

Cowboy code, FTP to a development server, work locally and FTP, work locally and push changes with version control. There are so many different environments available for developing and deploying WordPress sites that it can seem a little daunting, and figuring out how to make it all work is even more so. Explore the different ways to deploy a website from a local environment, and learn how you can exponentially reduce your deployment time with a few scripts.

Professional Development for Professional Developers

Presented by Steve Grunwell in Dix Ballroom.

The best and worst part about our chosen vocation is that there’s an endless amount of stuff to see, learn, and try and nowhere near enough time in which to do it. In an industry where “the new hotness” changes every week, what hope does a developer have of keeping up?

This talk focuses on the professional development of a professional developer. How do we continue to grow as professionals without getting totally overwhelmed with information? We’ll touch on the topics of stress, education, humility, and more.

Stronger Than Fear: Mental Health in the Developer Community

Presented by Ed Finkler in McGilvrey Ballroom.

Mental disorders are the largest contributor to disease burden in North America, but the developer community and those who employ us are afraid to face the problem head-on. In this talk, we’ll examine the state of mental health awareness in the developer workplace, why most developers feel it isn’t safe to talk about mental health, and what we can do to change the culture and save lives. Attendees will leave with 5 things they can do to make their workplace safer for those dealing with mental health disorders.

UI Testing with Selenium in PHP

Presented by Ben Cool in Kent Ballroom.

How to use User Interface testing to increase product quality and decrease support costs. This talk will help you discover how to Automate UI testing with the Selenium WebDriver using PHP. An in depth discussion of the Page-Object model for creating clean, reusable code for tests. Discussion of services available for automated testing on any Browser in any Operating System.

Keynote: Can I Predict Your Future?

Presented by Chris Lema in Dix Ballroom, Kent Ballroom, McGilvrey Ballroom.

WordPress as a product requires WordPress as a community to ensure a long future. Chris will share insights from 21 years in software, and how the future of WordPress relies completely on something that only you can provide it.

The Joy Of…being a considerate developer

Presented by Nowell VanHoesen in Dix Ballroom.

Let’s have a discussion about things we can do to make our themes and plugins a pleasure to work with.

Membership Sites For Everyone

Presented by Sean Manion in Kent Ballroom.

Membership sites allow consultants and experts of ANY industry/role to earn money by turning their content/expertise into “pay to play” sites. I will cover current examples, UI/UX/needed pages, tools to use, payment processing, security, & marketing.

Mix It Up: 75 Content Ideas to Keep Visitors Engaged

Presented by Stoney deGeyter in Kent Ballroom.

When people think of content, they usually think about text in the form of blog posts. While your standard blog post can provide great, valuable content, only presenting information that way can bore your audience. And why get stuck in a rut when I have identified different 75 content ideas that you can use?

In addition to learning these 75 content ideas, you will also see how these ideas can be presented in five different content formats. You will learn the importance of planning and organizing your content so that you and your team can work on it with a set schedule. Armed with the information from this session, you will be able to create better and more engaging content on a consistent basis.

Project Management: 3…2…1…Launch!

Presented by Hilary Fosdal in Kent Ballroom.

As any project manager will tell you – successful websites don’t create themselves.

In this session you’ll get an overview of how we run a web design project. We’ll also cover tough topics like how to manage scope creep and the art of communicating with clients.

Custom Responsive Theme Workshop

Presented by David Brattoli in Dix Ballroom.

After watching a video on, I discovered an easy way to create the basis for a complete custom responsive theme for WordPress. Demonstrating Steve Zehngut’s method for taking the Underscores Theme from Automattic and Foundation 5 from Zurb, we’ll build a custom responsive theme. Bring a Photoshop mockup, or just a sketch on a napkin and turn it into a reality during the session, or at least get a good start on it. Also included, you’ll see how to use this method to create a framework and then create a child theme for the look of the site, so you’ll be able to build future sites quickly.

Ten Tips for Starting a Successful Online Business

Presented by Danny Santoro in Kent Ballroom.

Through painful, self-taught lessons and by seeing hundreds of other small businesses start, succeed, and fail online, in this talk we’ll discuss ten “do”s and “don’t”s for small businesses of all shapes and sizes in the environment.

Topics include:
– Choosing the right theme & plugins
– Writing content for search results
– Making your site stand out

After a quick presentation, I’d like to have extra time for Q&A so you can ask questions specific to you – since we’re all different, our online presence should be, too!

Building Your Passion Project With WordPress

Presented by Melanie Sklarz in Dix Ballroom.

A passion project is a creative side project you work on outside of your chosen career that brings you joy, builds confidence, and you use to make your mark on the world. Learn how I used WordPress as a content and blogging platform to turn my passion project into a cohesive brand that led to a new career, speaking offers and the recognition as an expert.

Sequential Design – What comics can teach us about designing for the web

Presented by Brad Colbow in McGilvrey Ballroom.

When most people think of comics they think of larger than life heroes or over the top cartoon characters. But what makes these big ideas work? It’s the spaces in between–the details that tie all the elements together that make the big moments gigantic, and the special moments memorable.

It’s the same with design. Whether you’re wireframing an app or crafting the UI for a corporate website, the design is the story you tell. The visuals and the message work together to craft the experience.

You’ve already learned everything you need to know to about user centered design from comics. Brad will guide you through the basics and explain how design can tell the big stories, the little stories, and everything in between.

CSS Transforms, Transitions, and Animation Basics

Presented by Beth Soderberg in Kent Ballroom.

You’ve got the basics of CSS down, but you are ready to kick it up a notch and add a bit more pizazz and interactivity to your websites. In this session we’ll explore the fundamentals of CSS transforms, transitions, and animation. What are the basic building blocks that make up these capabilities? What is the difference between a transition and a transform? What does browser support look like? Most importantly, how can you put these tools to use in your next project and where can you find good resources to learn more? We’ll answer these questions and more as we explore the basics of how to add some of the more truly dynamic elements of CSS to our websites.

From Service to Product: How I Broke Out of Client Work and Started a Successful Plugin Business

Presented by Ross Johnson in Kent Ballroom.

In the ten years of running a design agency I’ve run into countless freelancers, consultants and business owners that dream of breaking free from the pains of client work by selling a product.

Two years ago I started a successful plugin business and learned what it takes to break from the service mindset and produce a product that you can sell and scale.

In this presentation I discuss how to come up with a viable product, finding the time or resources to build it, marketing the product and what challenges you can expect to face.

WP Battles: Entrepreneurship vs. Employment

Presented by Adam Silver, Kyle Maurer in McGilvrey Ballroom.

The WordPress economy is huge and still growing. Have you found your place in it? As in any industry, one fundamental question to answer is whether you are cut out for working for yourself or for someone else. There are abundant opportunities to start and grow new businesses based on WordPress but there are also countless amazing companies that are well established and looking to hire. How can you decide what role you are meant to play? In this session we will take a detailed look at both sides, share the pros and cons for each and really break down the fundamental differences between starting a WordPress company and working for one. If you ever find yourself questioning whether you’re really doing what’s best for you, this session will help you really understand which path to choose.

Taking Your Blog to the Next Level

Presented by Don Abbott in Dix Ballroom.

Blogging is relatively easy – write some stuff, add some pictures, and click “Publish”. Getting people to actually read your blog and be part of your tribe is harder. Join the Snarky Gardener (a vegetable gardening blogger) and follow his 3 year blogging journey from site to where he is today. He doesn’t have all the answers but hopefully he can inspire you to take your blog to the next level.

How to ruin your WordPress business in 10 easy steps.

Presented by Angie Meeker in Kent Ballroom.

Amidst a sea of advice about what you SHOULD do to succeed as a freelancer or small agency owner, we’ll talk about the tried and true ways to really screw up. I’ll share from experience what you SHOULDN’T do.

Keynote: Design for Real Life

Presented by Eric A. Meyer in Dix Ballroom, Kent Ballroom, McGilvrey Ballroom.

You can’t always predict who will use your products, or what emotional state they’ll be in when they do. By identifying stress cases and designing with compassion in mind, you’ll create experiences that support more of your users, more of the time.

Design for the Non Designer

Presented by Melinda Helt in Dix Ballroom.

Confused about choosing the right fonts for your website projects? Do you select your color pallet by throwing darts at a color wheel? Need help with images for your blog and creating those nifty social media graphics that all of your friends share?

Come to this session and Melinda will share some tips, tricks and free resources to polish up your projects.

Using WordPress as a Web Application Platform

Presented by Joe Querin in Kent Ballroom.

Web application developers often can feel stuck in a rut when developing a new application. There are various basics that every app needs, user management, data entry, etc. WordPress solves all these challenges, and provides an extensible way to record, save and display data. With the introduction of the WP Rest API, WordPress has become an ever more desirable Web Application Platform.

At my full-time job we are in the process of converting our college website to WordPress, and we are building a way to distribute News and Events throughout our WordPress Multi-Site Network, as well as third-party systems. I’ll share the progress we’ve made thus far, as well as plans for future growth. I’ll also share why we decided to build this way, and how other apps could be develped similarly.

Accelerating the Mobile Web with AMP

Presented by Steve Grunwell in McGilvrey Ballroom.

Mobile users are sick of heavy, bloated sites eating up their precious data plans. In response, the open-source Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) Project was born. AMP promises a lean, near-instant mobile experience for users with minimal effort on the part of publishers. Come learn what AMP is all about, how you can implement it in your projects, and why it’s so much more than “just a mobile version of the web.”

So You Think You Can’t Video?

Presented by Jessica Garbarino in Dix Ballroom.

Does the thought of creating video content scare the crap out of you? Have you wanted to begin creating video content but don’t know where to start? In this session you will learn the basics of video production from the equipment to use and what makes great video content as well as resources to help you become better educated in editing and producing your video content.

The Designer’s Toolkit

Presented by Kassey Sikora in Dix Ballroom.

Whether or not you do it professionally, everyone is a designer and we should all have a toolkit of resources to help us design better. In this session we’ll discuss everything that makes up a basic toolkit for designers, from programs to people. And don’t worry if you prefer Hitachi power tools over Bosch, this session is less about specifics and more about concepts to help you build the arsenal you need.

Streamlining Mockups & Theme Styling

Presented by Shelby Elliott in McGilvrey Ballroom.

If you’re building a site for your own purposes, or doing some freelance work for others, but don’t consider yourself a developer, you’re probably working with purchased themes. And just maybe you’re looking to have more control over the look of your theme, than what is afforded by many built-in theme customizer options. This talk will focus on some things I learned the hard way, that now routinely save me a lot of time and frustration in the mockup and styling processes, using simple techniques and free tools. A basic knowledge of CSS is recommended, though not required for this session.

It All Starts With A Story

Presented by Josh Pollock in McGilvrey Ballroom.

It all starts with a story. Everything starts with a story.

WordPress has an origin story, two people in different countries, looking to improve their open source blogging software, that evolved into thousands of people working on or with that software. But who we are, humans, our evolution has been driven by our ability to tell increasingly complex stories.

Storytelling is not just at the root of who we are — it is who we are.

In this talk we will remind ourselves of what a story is. Once we are clear on the difference between a story and a statement, we will explore what understanding our stories means for us, as bloggers, business people and developers working in an open source ecosystem.