Foundation Friday – Users

10 Tips for Turning Your WordPress Website Into an Traffic Driving Machine

Presented by Rebecca Gill in Foundation Friday – User.

Did you build it and no one came? If your website isn’t bringing in visitors like it should, join me for an educational session full of action items. We’ll walk through the ten top changes you can make to your WordPress website to begin driving traffic and converting visitors.

Don’t Fear the Code

Presented by Kyle Maurer in Foundation Friday – User.

Have you ever felt limited by what you can do with WordPress without calling a developer for help? Have you ever searched for how to do something in WordPress only to find (seemingly) complicated tutorials that require you to use code to achieve your ends? If you have experienced this and other restrictions common among non-coders than I’d like to share with you some basic lessons I learned as I “accidentally” became a WordPress developer.

The topic will relate to the clarity and flexibility one acquires as they develop basic coding skills, the surprising ease in which they can be acquired and the abundance of opportunities that arise when we open the door to what goes on “under the hood” in WordPress.

Getting Started: What you should do BEFORE you buy your first theme

Presented by Andrea Napierkowski in Foundation Friday – User.

When it comes to getting a business off the ground, there are lots of decisions to make. From finding the right theme / plugins / host, figuring out fonts, writing good copy, finding great images, and getting your site ranked, it’s tough to know where to begin.  In this session I’ll provide a list of steps and to-dos to help you get started and get your business off on the right foot.

Intro to WordPress

Presented by Jared Olson in Foundation Friday – User.

Learn the basics of WordPress from creating pages and posts to installing themes and more.

Foundation Friday – Developers

Core Functions You (Maybe) Don’t Know Exist

Presented by Nicole Arnold in Foundation Friday – Developer.

With thousands of functions in the WordPress codebase, it’s virtually impossible to remember all of them. We’ll cover some overlooked WordPress core functions that you may not know exist. We’ll walk through some practical examples for their use, and give you a variety of new gems you can use every day.

Fledgling WP Developer? Learn your PHP!

Presented by Peter Shackelford in Foundation Friday – Developer.

This is me. I have been using WP since 2005. I have managed large multisites, built oodles of page templates, written plugins and heck I am in the 700 club on the codepoet quiz. but … have only just started learning php. I knew a lot about getting things done with WP magic but didn’t understand the what and why of PHP. Don’t be that guy. I’ll present examples of things that really helped me understand how WP works. Need someone to walk you through it? Pay to learn. Team Treehouse. Or take advantage of these free resources.

Introduction to WordPress Hooks

Presented by Ian Wilson in Foundation Friday – Developer.

This session takes users who are looking to expand their knowledge of WordPress hooks for theme and plugin development. I’ll walk them through what hooks are, first and foremost, the WordPress core page load (ie when certain hooks fire), the anatomy of the various hook functions, and finally some examples of common ways they are used.

Register, Enqueue, Confusion! The proper way to include files in WordPress

Presented by Joel Worsham in Foundation Friday – Developer.

This session will dive in deep into the proper way to include files from plugins and themes. We’ll learn everything from including a script the easy, proper way, to dynamically calling custom scripts in dynamic situations.


12 Tips For Better WordPress Content Creation

Presented by Peter DeHaan in Front-End / Content.

Setting up your WordPress site is just the first step; the next challenge is filling it with useful, helpful, and interesting content that will engage readers and keep them coming back for more. This session will cover pointers from veteran blogger, author, and publisher Peter DeHaan to help beginners minimize frustration and existing bloggers to be more effective in what they write.

Be a Lean UX Team Machine

Presented by Gloria Antonelli in Front-End / Content.

The convergence of building native mobile apps, growing WP design agencies and acquiring enterprise projects empowers WordPress to the next level. Now is the time to step up our game with a Lean UX workflow. Lean UX is a fast design process with focus on a sequences of sprints to define, prototype, test, and refine user experience. Team collaboration, customer learning cycles, and design thinking are key. Find out how Lean UX creates the best user outcomes.

Design Is In The Details: How Decisions Shape Communication

Presented by Michelle Schulp in Front-End / Content.

People put a lot of effort into putting a website together, but often stumble at the finish line when it comes to making their final design decisions. Learn how seemingly minor design choices have a huge impact on how people interact with and understand the content of your site. We’ll go through specific examples of simple design tweaks that make a big difference.


Designing for the First Five Seconds

Presented by Ross Johnson in Front-End / Content.

People make snap judgements. In fact, most users only take 50 milliseconds to form their first impression of your site. This impression lasts the remainder of their visit and even influences return visits. Suffice to say, the first five seconds a user experiences your site is extremely important.

Designing for first impressions is no easy task. 50 milliseconds isn’t enough time to read a single line of copy or even fully comprehend what you’re looking at. So how can you design for good first impressions?

The key is understanding human psychology and emotional reactions. Despite our highly evolved state, all humans have a subconscious “lizard brain” that makes lightening fast assessments about what feels good or bad. If you understand the lizard brain, you can use design to elicit positive first impressions.

This talk discusses the lizard brain and how it secrets influences our actions and thought. It then covers the framework for emotional reactions and how you can use design to elicit positive reactions to visual stimuli.

The Intersection of Clients + Design

Presented by Taylor Vanden Hoek in Front-End / Content.

A designer’s perspective on working with clients of different sizes to form creative solutions that meet them where they’re at, and where they’re going.

I plan to focus more on understanding the position of clients within their own business/organization and asking key questions to further understand their design requests in order to create effective design solutions.

Theme Customization Best Practices

Presented by Kyle Maurer in Front-End / Content.

This presentation will address the needs of anyone wishing to make changes to their theme. Everything from minor CSS adjustments to complex modifications of built in features and templates will be covered. In each example, the “wrong” ways will be explained and contrasted with more appropriate methods and detailed explanations will be given on both the “why” and the “how”.


AJAX : using JavaScript in WordPress

Presented by Nate Reist in Development.

Using Ajax and JavaScript in WordPress plugins. JavaScript is an incredibly powerful tool to make your website and or web app more powerful and interactive. See the full power of integrating right into your WordPress with wp_ajax and taking advantage of client side scripting.

Command Line Awesome

Presented by Topher DeRosia in Development.

This would cover tips and tricks for working on the command line. It would also review WP CLI; installation and usage.

Customizing the WordPress Admin Area

Presented by Bob Orchard in Development.

Show attendees how to customize the WP Admin area through the use of a simple plugin, styles to change/update and hooks/filters to work with.

Extremely Powerful Local WordPress Development with Vagrant and Friends

Presented by Brad Parbs in Development.

If you’re developing anything for yourself or for clients, you want to develop locally. This prevents disasters, allows you to develop more quickly, and a lot more benefits.

By using Vagrant and its friends, you can easily create a super-powerful local development toolkit just like the pros.

In this talk, we’ll walk through all of the benefits of Vagrant, how to easily get it setup, and the wide range of complementary tools and process you can add to your workflow to become a local development master.

Keeping WordPress Under [Version] Control with Git

Presented by Steve Grunwell in Development.

Learn how to keep your WordPress sites under version control using a git workflow refined over dozens of sites. We’ll cover repository organization, what belongs (and, perhaps more importantly, what doesn’t belong), and how to make deploying updates and working with multiple environments as painless as possible.

Please note that this presentation is not an introduction to Git nor version control. While Git experience is not mandatory it’s recommended that you have some understanding of version control going into the talk.

Wrangling WP-Cron

Presented by Chris Klosowski in Development.

WP-Cron is a powerful tool for developers to execute scheduled tasks, but with great power comes great responsibility. Learn the ins and outs of using WP-Cron responsibility and how it can help improve your user’s experience.


Building a Sales Funnel (that sells) with WordPress

Presented by Dan Kaufman in Business.

Having a nice looking website is great – but if you are not able to lead your prospect down the right path they will never become a customer / client. How to build a sales funnel within WordPress. A sales funnel is a structured method for developing products and/or service offerings at multiple price points, designed to entice prospects to first divulge their contact information, then make an initial purchase, followed by additional purchases. The Marketing Funnel, done right, maximizes the lifetime value of a client.

How WP Can Save Academic Freedom and Cure the Crises in Higher Education

Presented by Jim Luke in Business.

Higher Education is facing many threats and challenges, including cost increases, demands for greater accessibility, and an increasingly part-time (adjunct) faculty. In recent years publishers such as Pearson, established closed-source tech firms such as Blackboard, and VC-funded edtech startups have tried to “disrupt” higher education via MOOC’s, pre-packaged courses, and other supposed “innovations”. The effect has been to suck-up all the available tech resources in higher education and actually raise costs to students. The most serious threat is to academic freedom, though, as these closed-source, walled-garden technologies substitute a single corporate voice for the voices of existing faculty, limiting the diversity of voices that students hear. There is an alternative though. WordPress and the GPL together are the dynamic super hero duo that can help higher education meet its challenges, reduce costs, and increase accessibility. In the process, WP and GPL can help increase academic freedom and help a new generation of students find their own voices and become publishers. My own experiences in teaching using WordPress and the experiences of a too-limited number of highly innovative schools such as Washington State, CUNY, UMW, and Penn State, show how WordPress and GPL can give voice and time to faculty. They can also help students find their voices and become writers/publishers themselves. My talk will cover four parts:

  1. What’s Happening: Quick Survey of some of the more exciting WordPress applications and directions in higher ed teaching.
  2. The Threats: The challenge to faculty, academic freedom, and students from closed-source, controlled-copyright edtech solutions.
  3. WP and GPL, the Dynamic Duo: How the WordPress Philosophy and the GPL can counter those threats.
  4. What We Really Need Now: The directions of development and evangelism of WordPress needed to achieve these goals. Higher ed, and faculty at non-elite schools (the majority of faculty nationwide) have some needs for future WordPress evolution and implementation. I hope to help developers understand these opportunities.

Learn From My Mistakes: 8 Years in the Game

Presented by Ian Wilson in Business.

Are you a WP-based business owner, freelancer, or are looking to get into the business? This talk is for you, once and future consultants.

Our path is one fraught with peril on all sides, including the biggest threat of them all: ourselves. Take a journey with me through 8 years of mistakes and lessons learned, failures, victories, and high-fives.

Topics covered include:
Growth (encouraging it and managing it)
Hiring vs working with contractors
Making design & dev teams play nice together
Client Management / Project Management / Account Management

And no doubt a flurry of excellent topics brought up during Q&A!

The Traffic Data that Matters in Google Analytics

Presented by Tim Yow in Business.

Google Analytics is a data goldmine and it is completely free. Amazing! The problem for many site owners is information overload from the moment you log in. After all, the idea is to use that data to improve the performance of your site. At the same time, how do you know where to begin? We’ll discuss the various options for implementing Google Analytics into your WordPress site and, once installed, where to focus your attention to get the most out of the traffic numbers it makes available to you. If you want to understand bounce rate, landing pages, exit pages, visitor loyalty and what these terms actually mean to you and your blog or business website, you’ll want to join us. The data tells a story if you know how to follow the plot.

Website Mistakes Small Businesses Make, and How to Fix Them

Presented by Chad Warner in Business.

Learn which websites mistakes small businesses make, and how to fix them. Small business sites often have the wrong content, aren’t optimized for sales, aren’t mobile -friendly, and more. Learn how to fix these mistakes so your site delivers business results.

WordPress in Schools – How We Saved Taxpayer Dollars And You Can Too

Presented by Cameron Barrett in Business.

We are replacing a proprietary SaaS CMS with WordPress for the largest school district in the state (Newark, NJ). We launch our 70+ schools sites Aug 29, 2014 on top of WordPress. Our district site is 30,000 pages and media assets all by itself.

In the end, we are cutting our annual web site management budget in half and have beautiful new web sites powered by WordPress that ease the pain points our content owners, administrators and technology coordinators have when managing their school web sites.