Detailed descriptions of all of our WordCamp Chicago sessions. Check back often, as descriptions and details are subject to change!
You Don’t Need jQuery
As developers, one of the first things we do when starting a new project is enqueue jQuery and start writing code. That’s the way it’s always been, and works for you. But as devices get smaller, processors get slower, and web apps get more complicated, jQuery can cause some fairly serious performance issues. So let’s take a step back from jQuery and talk about ways VanillaJS is faster and simpler.
WP-to-JS and back again
WordPress Wizardry Without Code
Harness the power of the WordPress database to streamline and standardize data collection and display of similar information utilizing several very popular plugins that allow you to create web magic without touching code. In this session, I will cover how to setup and configure Custom Post Type UI, Advanced Custom Fields, CodePress Admin Column and Advanced Post Type Order to manage and display your information easily.
WordPress Security – It’s All About the Basics
The key to website security is awareness, is what will be achieved in this talk. Getting down to the basics and sharing insight that very few can share through the experiences we have ascertained at Sucuri. The latest threats and trends will be shared, and of course, some good, hardening takeaways and recommendations.
WordPress in Africa: Empowering Growth
I’ll discuss a few experiments we’ve run with WooCommerce integrations in a South African context and the ways eCommerce can change the African landscape.
This talk will introduce WordPress to people that have never touched the platform. People want to know what their getting into! What kind of commitment does this mean? What things can it do for me on social media? A quick look at the dashboard and take questions that people have. Why would people use WordPress? I’m happy to tailor it if there is something specific that I’ve missed.
Wireframing is a tool designers and developers use to solidify content placement and layout on a page before visual design is applied. This presentation will cover the ins and outs of wireframe development, when to present (and in some cases when not) to the client, and popular tools an apps used to develop informative and well designed wireframes.
In addition to examples of both low fidelity and high fidelity wireframes, annotation and presentation of the deliverable with also be covered.
Why Setting Up Themes is a Niche in Itself, What to Know
To setup and configure many of the popular and powerful WordPress themes today can often require a solid grasp of working with custom post types and fields, design customization options, custom templates, shortcodes, admin settings and various other nuances of working with and tweaking WordPress. Different themes also take wildly different approaches to building admin settings areas and providing access to custom content, so it means you likely have to do something different to setup each theme you work with.
Learning how to get comfortable setting up WordPress themes has a huge payoff. You can make amazing looking websites and charge wage earning prices without having to become a full WordPress theme developer.
This talk covers the essential skills and common scenarios you will come across when getting into the niche field of setting up and customizing awesome WordPress themes for yourself and others.
UX Real-Time Site Personalization
Real-Time Site personalization – Give users what they want, before they ask for it
Using and Installing Plugins
Going over basic plugins that are helpful for beginners. How to install plugins from both search and upload methods. Answer group questions on what plugins are available that they are looking for.
Use Google Analytics to Improve Your WordPress Website
Let’s say goodbye to being overwhelmed by the information in Google Analytics. In this session, we’ll cover just the data points that are most applicable to your website. We’ll discuss what each data point is actually telling us about the areas of our website that need improving. Armed with our new data know-how, we’ll walk through WordPress-specific ideas that you can use to start improving your site. (And to keep all of us focused on the data that matters, you’ll receive a link to a dashboard template that you can “save as” and use directly in your Google Analytics account.)
Understanding WordPress Filters and Actions
If you’re just getting your feet wet in WordPress development, and don’t have a lot of experience working with callbacks/hooks, you might be wondering what the hell you’re supposed to do with all of these Actions and Filters.
The goal of this talk is to get you to a point where you grasp what they are, how they work, and some common places you might use them in theme and plugin development.
There’s No Place Like 127.0.0.1
Developing your WordPress site locally will save you tons of time and prevent that “oops” moment when something breaks on a live site. In this session, we will show you how to utilize tools and incorporate them within your workflow in order to save time and prevent mistakes. We will explain the components needed to create local development sites, show you how to do it by utilizing time-saving techniques and then demonstrate the steps required to deploy your site once complete.
Surviving Support: 10 Tips for Saving Your Users and Yourself
When I open sourced my plugin to the WordPress community, user support was one of the last things on my mind – I was more excited to have written awesome code and a helpful site extension. Shortly thereafter though, customer support was the only thing I had time for. When your user base ranges in skill level from experienced developer to your grandmother, well… you’ve gotta be prepared for just about anything. This session will highlight the challenges and benefits of stellar support and offer a few tricks to make the process as painless as possible for both your user and yourself.
Speed as a Feature: Getting a Handle on Page Load Time
Understanding why your page is rendering slowly is the first step to improving your page load speed. The faster your pages load, the better the site will convert and the happier your clients will be! In this talk, Zack will introduce you to concepts that affect your site’s performance, including network connectivity, CSS rendering, and latency. Comprehension of these core performance concepts will then be used to inform sensible recommendations for overcoming these problems. Throughout the discussion, tools for exploring your site’s performance will be demonstrated to show how to optimize your site through proper measurement.
Solutions Before Development: Creating WordPress Products That Actually Sell
This session will discuss the process of successfully transitioning from selling WordPress services to digital products. It will span the development and sales process, which will cover key steps within concept creation, identifying a target market, product development, logistics, marketing strategy, sales, and ongoing support.
If you’re considering taking the plunge into WordPress products sales, this session is for you.
Smart Design: Icon Fonts, SVG, and the Mobile Influence
Fast, simple, SMART. Mobile devices have forever changed the way we interact with content. Now we have to consider many things such as HiDPI graphics, responsive design, speed, UI/UX patterns, touch target sizes, gestures, and more. All while not losing track of what’s important: Content.
We’re going to discuss the influence of mobile on design trends and learn implementation techniques of smart design such as icon fonts, svg, and other helpful tips.
“Among the most awesome features of WordPress is the shortcode. Simple statements wrapped in square brackets that are capable of executing anything we want them to. We are limited only by our imaginations.
Enhancing our content with shortcodes is an exciting and powerful practice which can help us take our posts and pages beyond what can be done with HTML and a WYSIWYG editor. This session will cover many unique and useful ways in which shortcodes can be used with real examples and simple guides for content creators and beginner developers.”
Responsive Design with WordPress
I will go over some of the core content from my book, Responsive Design with WordPress, which teaches you how to leverage WordPress to get the most out of responsive design, implement best practices, automate important processes, and make your life easier overall.
Put Your Content to REST With WP-API
The JSON REST API (WP API) is coming to WordPress Core in WordPress 4.1. Come to learn more what the JSON REST API is, why this upcoming feature is a game changer for WordPress as an application platform, and leave with some examples of how you can be using or extending it today.
We will walk through examples of how to make HTTP requests to view resources through the API, and authenticating to perform more sensitive actions such as creating, editing, and deleting resources.
You can learn about all the resources available within the WordPress JSON REST API from our documentation, including:
Project Management or How to Herd Cats
Whether you’re creating a small site for one stake holder or re-designing a large site with many players, understanding how to manage the project is the key to getting anything done. We’ll look at a couple of case studies and learn about methods and strategies that keep a project on track and get the site launched.
Passwords: The Weakest Link in WordPress Security
““The weakest link in the security of anything you do online is your password. It’s the key to your site, your email, your social networking accounts or any other online service you use. If your password is easy to guess, your online identity is vulnerable.” – The WordPress Security team (http://vip.wordpress.com/security)
When we talk about WordPress security, it’s easy to get caught up in the technical details that give us the craziest hacks that make the best stories. In reality, though, most WordPress sites are hacked because bad habits — and, more specifically, bad passwords.
It’s easy to recommend better passwords, but this talk will cover the technology that is changing how the password battle is being waged. Background on botnets, two-factor authentication, SSL, and password rot will accompany actionable advice any user can follow to secure their WordPress site. “
No Regrets Web Design
Ready to spend less time managing clients and more time designing and building exceptional websites? This presentation will change how you interact with your clients, colleagues and future employers. For designers and coders who want to see more of their work materialize, you’ll walk away with techniques you can start using immediately.
From this presentation attendees will:
1) learn how to sell your web designs,
2) understand how to better communicate with clients/bosses, and
3) build web designs without regret.
Multisite and Multi-network
WordPress Multisite is great, but what most people actually want is multiple networks. In this talk (good for all experience levels), I’ll explain what networks are, why you’d use them, and how to unlock this powerful and hidden WordPress core feature.
Moving your Plugin to GitHub: Trials, Tribulations, and Testing
In December of 2013, the Jetpack team migrated our primary development from the WordPress.org plugins repository to GitHub. This talk will look at why we made the change, how it’s affected our workflow, and bits to consider if you’re thinking about making a similar change as well.
Ever had to move all of your WordPress content to a new hosting provider? It’s a process that can ruin your day, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little preparation and a few simple tricks, it should be relatively painless. We will look at some of the tools and plugins that help get the job done. We will also look at ways to copy your site locally in order to have a well equipped development environment that matches your server.
Knowing What You Don’t Know
Being a mature developer means more than just being a mature human. It means having a specific attitude towards your work, an ability to predict risk, and an open mind. Developer maturity affects your code, your place in the development community, and your ability to keep clients and jobs.
Why does this matter to you? In this talk, I will point the way for new developers and provide a dose of perspective for code veterans. I’ll spell out what developer maturity is, and make the case for mentoring those that don’t have it yet. Whether you’re just starting out in WordPress development or resting comfortably on your laurels, this talk is for you.
Introduction to IDEs and Debugging
An IDE is a very powerful tool that helps you to understand your code. Imagine being able to jump to a function’s declaration, find all usages of said function, and even be able to step through the function line by line to truly understand what is happening in your program (and fix those pesky, hard to find bugs!).
For a long time I thought using a simple text editor like Sublime or Textmate was all a web developer needed. You make a code change, save the file, refresh your browser and it either works or it doesn’t!. If you wanted to be fancy you could even output your variables in a ‘var_dump’!
However, using ‘var_dump’ interjected in your code is not always the best solution (and would sometimes be impossible in an XMLRPC or delayed script), and relying on your editor’s ‘Find’ to search through your entire project to find a function’s declaration is disjointed and can be extremely time consuming.
We’ll walk through using and understanding an IDE (the basics) as well as run through how to set up and step through our code, line by line.
Just imagine, being able to stop at any point of execution in your code, walk line-by-line through it and at any point see what variables are alive and what values they hold. It’s analogous to taking the blindfold off and truly seeing (and understanding) your code.
Introduction to Custom Theming
Custom theming can be daunting to those developers used to relying on premium themes and frameworks for client projects, but the benefits to custom theming are clear. I’ll help the beginner to intermediate developer understand why custom theming can provide a more solid end product for their clients, and will help them get over the hump and start building their first custom theme using _s (the Underscores starter theme from Automattic).
Intro To Jetpack
This presentation touches all the bases of the awesomeness of Jetpack. It center more on the user aspects of Jetpack with touching on the developer aspects. I would go through all of the features Jetpack has to offer and give an in depth description of it’s uses.
Information Architecture Strategy Session
Are you confused on how to structure content beyond posts and pages? Do you want to use custom post types, taxonomies and custom fields but don’t know how to architect this custom content? What will be the custom post types? How can I use taxonomies to sort my custom post types for a unique use case? How many custom post types do I need? Should it be a taxonomy or a custom field? Each project maybe unique and bring different challenges.
Preplanning the relationships of custom post types, taxonomies and custom fields using Information Architecture best practices helps to ensures this content is organized effectively by taking the time to conduct analysis and planning, before implementation.
This session will focus only on conducting a strategy session using sticky notes, sketching and card sorting not on coding. No review of plugins or code with be included as you can find this everywhere on the web.
If you want to structure content with custom post types, taxonomies and custom fields and improve your Information Architecture skills then this session is for you.
how to not design like a developer
Have you got enough WordPress hacking “skillz” to make your own custom themes, but they still look like crap? Don’t worry, there’s some simple steps and tools that can help you design less like a developer.
How NOT to develop (With WordPress)
This talk will examine some common mistakes and pitfalls clients, designers, and developers make throughout a projects life time. Starting with discovery / scope and going through delivery I will show what not to do and (hopefully) ways to avoid these common mistakes.
Getting the Most out of WordPress.com
No coding experience? No problem! With WordPress.com, you can have a great looking site up and running in just a couple minutes. We’ll go through the basics of using WordPress itself, and what WordPress.com specifically can offer you as a beginning blogger or site builder.
From Zero to WordPress Hero
Do you love WordPress and are interested in getting involved with the community but bewildered at how to “get in”? Wonder no more! In this session I will walk you through freely available resources to help you get involved in any aspect of the community that interests you and take you from an unknown zero to a WordPress hero!
Freemium For the Rest of Us
Freemium is a proven business model for plugins & themes. But what about everyone else? Can you improve your business by giving away some products for free and making money with premium products? Do you have to tell software or can it be other things? We’ll go over these questions as we look at the freemium model in general and how it can relate to other industries.
Do Big Things With A Small Team
Join our panel presentation where Range, a 4-person team and WordPress.com VIP partner, talks about how to do big WordPress projects with a small team.
We’ll discuss organizational tactics, how to sell your agency to clients, design and build processes, the importance of core and community involvement, and things we’ve learned on our journey.
We’ll also make extra time for Q&A!
Develop Very Mild Superpowers with Git
Ever wanted to rewrite history? Create a clone? Have a photographic memory? Or be omniscient?
Develop all of these superpowers and more, with Git!
Git is a powerful version control tool every WordPress developer should include in their utility belt. But with great power comes great difficulty in learning how to use the darn thing!
That’s why in this presentation, Brent will help you learn to love Git by teaching you to wrangle it from the command line.
He’ll start by quickly introducing the fundamentals of version control and Git’s take on it. He’ll then demonstrate how to handle everyday use cases with Git. Finally, he’ll conclude with some power usage tips to massively improve your workflow.
If you’re a WordPress developer wanting to attain very mild superpowers, this presentation is for you.
Designing for the First Five Seconds
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 illicit 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 illicit positive reactions to visual stimuli.
Designing for Interaction
Touch, gestures and voice control are quickly becoming more important for designers (and developers) to think about and design-for. Interaction can enrich a user’s experience of a product or service, and express character and feeling within those interactions. During this talk I will assist in equipping you with the skills you need to design for interactive experiences on WordPress and on the web. How can we achieve clean, easy and scalable interactions that are optimized for every device? This talk will focus on current solutions from various experts in the field, as well as our best practices, and will reveal what the future might have in store.
Content Calendars for WordPress: Tips & Tools
Content calendars are a tool to plan and manage the content you will create for your site. For a multi-author blog it’s vital to controlling the chaos of rounding up writers and deadlines. This presentation covers the elements that make up a good content calendar and why they’re so useful. It will also take a look at tools to manage your content calendar and how to integrate it with your WordPress site.
Topics include an overview of content calendar, what to include, using Evernote to manage a content content calendar & using Zapier to sync with WordPress, using the Editorial Calendar Plugin and CoSchedule.
Comprehensive Dashboard Walkthrough
After learning about what WordPress is and what you can expect earlier in the day, we will take a comprehensive look at the WordPress Dashboard reviewing some aspects of earlier talks and unlocking new and exciting things that are included within WordPress.
We will learn:
* What each menu item in a default WordPress install does
* How to change common settings
* How to write posts and pages, add media, and more
* How to add new users
* How to manage comments
* Managing Menus
* Managing Widgets
* What are dashboard widgets?
* What is my user profile?
Color Theory for Web Developers
“Websites use colors everywhere, but creators of sites don’t always understand the theory behind color. They don’t understand the emotional impact that color can have, or how colors interact with one another. They also don’t always understand how colors contrast with one another or how the math behind that works. And they often fail to take into account users with color deficiencies or provide enough sufficient contrast for their users.
Let’s look at color from a theoretical perspective and a practical perspective. We will answer the technical questions of what color contrast is and what goes into creating it and also look at how color deficiencies affect color choice and how we can test and design for all of our users. “
Choosing and customizing WordPress themes (no code required!)
The theme you choose for your site is as personal a choice as the clothes you pick out in the morning. We’ll discuss where to find themes, what to look for in a theme (and what not to), and how to customize it to be your own.
Check & Double Check: Internal QA is Vital
Before our team can say that a project is complete … before we even hand the project over to the client and say “”We’re done!”” – we have put it through the paces of an internal QA process that checks and double checks the site to make sure that we’ve met the client’s requirements.
In this session, I share some easy methods that you can start doing with your projects today to improve overall client satisfaction and try and eliminate that dreaded list of things that just ‘aren’t quite right’ on a project you thought was done.
Building Your First Widget
In this session you’ll learn how to build your first WordPress widget. We’ll go step-by-step through the best practices for building a simple widget, talk about different existing widgets and some possibilities for new custom widgets.
We will discuss when a widget should be built into a theme or plugin, and when a widget should be its own plugin. When we’re through with this talk you’ll be ready to unleash your own widgets out into the world!
Building and Managing Large Multisite Networks
In my agency, we handle a couple of 1,000+ site multisite networks for the mortgage industry. This talk will go over the challenges we’ve faced, both technical and business.
Are you ready to learn a bit about Pricing
If you’re frustrated with low revenue, you can raise your rates. If you’re not earning enough to support your plugin business, you can raise the price. But when? How? At what cost? And how do you know if you’re doing it right? Come join me as I share with you some stories that will help you price better.
After Party – 3rd Floor Rooftop Terrace
Immediately following WordCamp Chicago
Includes dinner, drinks, socializing!
Advanced Topics in WordPress Development
Admin as a User Experience: The Quest for Simplicity
Leave those divs out of the WYSIWYG. Clean up that editing screen. We’ll cover the basics of Advanced Custom Fields, modifying the admin menu, and other ways to dummy-proof wp-admin for users and simplify data entry.
Activities – Lightning Talks, Architecture Tour, Networking
|12:00 pm||1M Downloads – Lessons Learned Growing a Plugin John Havlik|
|12:15 pm||Knowing What You Don’t Know Alison Barrett|
|12:30 pm||WordPress in Africa: Empowering Growth Joel Bronkowski|
|12:45 pm||Migrating WordPress Brian Busche|
Sign up at registration and meet in the lobby. Space is limited!
Sign up at registration and meet in the lobby.
Topics: Non-Profits, Education, Development, Plugins, Themes
Looking for Work/Looking to Hire Meetup
Taking place in the Lounge (Multimedia) Room. Show up and mingle!
Accessibility Ready: Theming for a larger audience
With WordPress 3.8, the theme repository supports a tag called ‘accessibility-ready’, to promote and identify themes that make it possible to build an accessible web site with WordPress. Learn what it takes to make a theme meet the accessibility-ready guidelines — and why we can’t call any theme “accessible.”
A Website Is Not A Poster
In the world of print, designers have control over every point and pica, but with all the variables inherent to the web, that same desire for control leads to headaches, frustration, and bad practices. You will learn specific guidelines to let go of that control and design more effectively for the web, as well as how to collaborate with developers to ensure a successful project without all the usual struggles.
A Walk Around the Loop
Not your mother’s Loop talk! This will be an examination of the Loop from an advanced developer perspective. As WordPress continues to grow as an enterprise solution, we as developers need to make sure the queries we’re writing within the loop are fast, safe, and hardy enough to withstand the bombardment of traffic many top sites encounter. We will walk through how a query is set up in WordPress, and how that query builds the MySQL query.
A house with no walls: Creating a site structure for the future
Whether your site is five pages or 500, it needs a strong foundation that plans for growth.
We’ll cover site maps, content strategy, user interaction and experience so you have a plan for your site now, and down the road. We’ll also touch on best practices for doing it all over again for mobile [hint: it’s not just shrinking everything down!].
1M Downloads – Lessons Learned Growing a Plugin
Since adopting the predecessor to Breadcrumb NavXT in 2007, I have grown immensely as a plugin developer and maintainer. Along the way, I have faced obstacles, made mistakes, and had fun. This session will cover what I have found that works, and the mistakes I made as I’ve grown Breadcrumb NavXT into a plugin that has been downloaded over 1 million times. Topics covered include: support and release strategies, workflow and tools, and WordPress plugin coding tips.
101 Ways to Elevate Yourself and Demand Higher Fees
Discover 101 practical ideas you can implement in your business to position you as a premium consultant and demand higher fees. This presentation is dynamic, fun and has had rave reviews from WordCamp Melbourne and WordCamp Phoenix.