Shopping for a Shopping Cart Solution

WordPress has come a very long way as a fully integrated shopping cart system, and there are so many options available once you decide that you want to sell something from your website. In this session we will look at the different types of shopping cart solutions from plugins, hybrids, lightweight plugins, to hosted carts. What solution might be best for you/your customers/your clients. We will look as some of the more popular plugins, assessing needs, and how we decided on some of the solutions we use on some of our sites.

Networking for Introverts

Do you cringe when you walk into a room of strangers? Wish you felt more confident starting conversations (and ending them)? You aren’t alone. In this session we’ll discuss tips and techniques to overcome natural fears about networking. We’ll also review what networking is (and isn’t). You’ll leave with a better understanding of how to build effective and mutually beneficial relationships.

Everything You Need to Know About Turning Your WordPress Site into a Lead Generation Machine

WordPress is an extremely powerful content management system, there is no question about that, but are you leveraging your site to it’s fullest potential?

If you are running your business’s website via WordPress, there are some critical inbound marketing components that need to be incorporated into your site in order for it to drive in more traffic and convert those visitors into leads.

David is going to run through how to crank up the inbound marketing functionality on your WordPress install, cover which plugins to use, and show you how to have a professional looking website that works for your Business.

Creating Content With Shortcodes

WordPress shortcodes are simple but powerful tools in your WordPress toolbox yet they get very little attention. Shortcodes were added in WordPress 2.5 as an easy way to create macros for use in your content. has a wide array of shortcodes available to it’s users right out of the box. users can make use of the Shortcode API and a growing number of plugins to add shortcode support to their site.

The real beauty of shortcodes is in how they enable WordPress users to take control of their content to produce professional grade sites in a fraction of the time. This session will cover some themes and plugins using shortcodes in both useful and creative ways as well as the pros and cons of using shortcodes in WordPress. We will also go over the new oEmbed functionality in WordPress and how they can be used alongside shortcodes to streamline content creation.

WordPress Workflows Expanded

WordPress includes a well-defined workflow for running a blog with multiple contributors in various roles. It works great; But what if you are using WordPress to run a 1,000 page hierarchical site? Well… the workflows available are a bit limited without getting under the hood. For example, WordPress does not define fine-grained capabilities for controlling who can edit published content. As a result, users have to be granted full editing permissions, which increases the chance that a less-experienced user will make an ill-advised change. Drawing from our experience running large Multisite installations, Boston University has developed a couple of plugins to address some of the limitations. And for the first time, we are planning to release our plugins to the broader WordPress community under the GPL.

This talk will include an overview of the role/capability system presented from both a user and developer perspective as well as overviews of the BU Versions and BU Section Editing plugins. Along the way, various insights will be shared that provide a window into how BU has built an effective content management system on top of WordPress.

Going Mobile: From 960 to 320

The world around us is rapidly changing and content that was once only accessible by computers are being accessed more and more by mobile devices. Making sure your site is mobile friendly is more important more than ever. Learn what you can do to make the transition from the desktop to mobile today. We will touch on some mobile stats (who, what and where), and how to make the transition to mobile from idea to finish and no, it doesn’t start in Photoshop.

SEO & WP: Killing it in 2012

SEO is changing everyday but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep up. Learn about the latest Google updates and how a few best practices and awesome plugins can make your website (and life) a lot better.

Tom’s Best WordPress Blogging Tips

Two years ago Tom Catalini launched three properties on the self-hosted version of WordPress—a professional association website, a cycling hobbyists site, and a personal blog—taking him on a journey of trial and error in everything from tweaking the platform to integrating it with other platforms to developing an effective blog writing style.

Come get a head start on your own blog (or take it to the next level) by learning Tom’s Best Tips, which are specifically geared toward anyone running on or planning to launch a site on the self-hosted platform.

Topics covered will include specific WordPress settings, the best plug-ins and widgets, and ways to organize posts. Tom will also talk about developing a content strategy and schedule, how to find and use Creative Commons images for your posts (and why images matter), and making your posts easily shareable on other social media platforms. He’ll even share his best tips on coming up with ideas for posts, blog writing style and formatting, and finding your blogging voice.

The session will be fast-paced and interactive.

Improving Usability in the WordPress Admin

For years now the tried-and-true pitch when selling WordPress as a CMS has been that it makes updating a website easy for “anyone”. But any developer who has built more than a few sites with the platform knows that despite its robust user interface, WordPress can still be intimidating to a less-than-tech-savvy client.

Fortunately, with the right amount of adjustments it’s perfectly possible to make the WordPress admin area more manageable for almost any user.

This talk will outline important principles to follow when planning the admin side of a WordPress site, in addition to covering tips & techniques that will maximize your clients’ experience with the platform.

During the talk we’ll look at simplifying the admin area by removing unnecessary features, as well as how to empower users through the proper use of Custom Post Types & Custom Meta Boxes.

Whether you’re just starting to build WordPress themes or simply looking to focus more on customizing the admin side, you’ll come away with some helpful insights for delivering a better WordPress experience to your clients.

Getting The Most Out of Open Graph

During this session we will take a deep dive into Facebook’s Open Graph app creation process. We will review settings, tags, debuggers and basic techniques for implementation. We will also be doing a review of Facebook’s new plugin suite. We’ll talk strategy, technology and metrics for success.

WordPress as a web app framework

Since its inception, WordPress has been known as a great platform for blogging, and it is, but the power of WordPress goes so far beyond the blog. WordPress is a powerful platform for building all sorts of web applications, and we’ll talk about leveraging its’ power.

This talk will be 75/25 theory and code—we’ll talk about why you might want to build your app on WordPress as opposed to other PHP frameworks, we’ll talk about ways to leverage the power of posts and users, we’ll talk about when it’s appropriate to create your own tables versus WordPress meta data, and we’ll talk about using the MVC pattern within WordPress. I hope to see you there!

Selling WordPress: Roping, Scoping and Closing Deals

Design and development are just half the battle when it comes to running a WordPress services organization. Understanding how to sell and how to sell WordPress specifically is key to the success of any web design / development shop that banks on WordPress. “Selling WordPress” touches on the sales process, how to scope out WordPress projects with clients and sell WordPress as an ideal CMS.

Future of SEO

From Panda to Penguin, you may be forgiven to thinking there is an SEO jungle out there. SEO is (fast) changing and contrary to popular belief, I do believe it is for the better. In this complex relationship of content marketing, social media and technical SEO many companies are struggling to keep up with SEO (even if they don’t admit it). There is no wikipedia for SEO, everyone has their own definition, and no, text links are not the answer to SEO. This presentation will cover SEO as a business strategy and how companies can build SEO strategies for future.

Management Strategies for Successful WordPress Projects

Discover a strategy for ensuring successful outcomes of WordPress projects of any size. In addition to being a powerful Blogging Platform and Content Management System, WordPress is an incredible development framework allowing you to use thousands of existing tools (plugins) to speed the development of your projects.

This session will quickly review common Project Management strategies, as well as go more in depth into how expanding your knowledge of WordPress will require you to change some of those existing practices. I will not be promoting any specific methodology (Waterfall, Agile etc), however there are of course vital components of each that are necessary for completing a project.

The most important step in ensuring a successful project is defining what success actually means to the stakeholders. This session will be successful if everyone leaves with the understanding of how outcomes of past projects could have been changed, or at least one thing they’ll change in future projects.

Intended audience:
This session is geared towards anyone who is ready to start a WordPress project or towards those coming off a not-so-successful one. Project Leads, Project Managers, WordPress business owners, Business Analysts, or anyone involved in managing or constructing WordPress project teams.

JavaScript Actions and Filters in Core: Hooked on JavaScript works for me!

Did you know that some JavaScript files in WordPress core have actions and filters in them? They do! As a theme or plugin developer, you can hook into them just like the familiar hooks in the core PHP files.

As JavaScript becomes an ever more important part of the WordPress admin, knowing how to use JavaScript hooks will be as essential as knowing PHP hooks. As a core contributor or the developer of a plugin, adding hooks in appropriate places will make your code more extensible and exponentially increase value to the community.

I will be covering how the WordPress hook system works in JavaScript, how to use existing hooks, how to add your own, and how to address performance and security concerns when adding hooks.

My Favorite Twenty Eleven Display Hacks

Make it yours! This talk is about my favorite display hacks to make a great-looking custom business website in a child theme. Image logo, better page layout, change placement of menus, add extra menus and homepage widget areas… things can get quite nifty, if you’re willing to play with it a bit.

Twenty Eleven is a great starting point. Rather than create a new theme from scratch, you can take advantage of the built-in functionality by creating a child theme of Twenty Eleven. BUT it’s characteristic look, header and wide open spaces are not great for, well, most applications. We’ll step through some useful techniques to transform it into a great business site. Mobile-friendly and browser testing issues will also be addressed.

Beginner to intermediate, basic HTML/CSS knowledge suggested.

Guerrilla Podcasting, Soup to Nuts: Using WordPress and Awesome!

Want to do a podcast but have no idea where to begin? This talk is for the podcast newbie who needs help figuring out just how to get started. We will start from the begining, because it’s a very good place to start, and many of your decisions about your podcast will determine what you need to do to make it a success. How will you record your podcast? What will your podcast be about? Who will appear on your podcast? Which plugins should you use? How will you promote your podcast?

Along with options for plugins, we will discuss pros and cons of hosting options such as Libsyn, Buzzsprout, and Blubrry and how they integrate (or not) with your WordPress installation.

  1. Plan your podcast
  2. Record your podcast
  3. Choose your podcast hosting solution
  4. Add the right Plugins
  5. Publish your podcast
  6. Create blog post
  7. Submit to iTunes
  8. Use social tools to promote

Lanna Lee Maheux has podcasted since 2010. Her shows, Lounging with Lanna Lee and the co-hosted The Lex and Lanna Show (with Alexis Lyon) and The Bureau of Awesome (with Edmund Davis-Quinn), are all hosted on WordPress and use different podcast hosting plans, all with their own quirks.

Why we CAN have nice things: The future of Front-End Development and WordPress

HTML5, NodeJS, responsive design, style pre-processors, CoffeeScript: we work in an industry that loves its buzzwords. Front-end technology is evolving faster than ever before—just as we’re finally getting comfortable building responsive, standards-compliant websites, a whole new set of tools and techniques are springing up around us. But what does any of that have to do with WordPress?

As theme and plugin developers we can leverage some of these new tools to make our WordPress sites and web apps even better. I will give a brief overview of stylesheet pre-processors like LESS, JavaScript code quality tools and testing frameworks, and command-line build tools for scripts and styles that you can use to make your sites faster, easier to maintain, and more fun to develop. Think outside the blog

Easy Peasy e-Commerce with WordPress

Does adding an e-Commerce storefront to your site sound intimidating? Too technical? Too time consuming? Too hard to integrate nicely with the rest of your site? It’s not, if you use the right tools.

This talk will show how anyone with a basic understanding of WordPress can add an attractive, fully-functioning online store to the Web site for their business or not-for-profit organization, with “”no muss, no fuss””! The store will integrate seamlessly with your site, provide a beautiful, user-friendly shopping experience — with all the textual and multimedia content you want — process payment transactions (e.g., using PayPal and similar services), automatically deliver any digital content purchased by the customer, track inventory availability, and more.

You would have never dreamed that e-Commerce could be this easy or effective — and your customers will thank you for it!

Making WordPress Child’s Play: Using WP to create class websites for PreK-12 Classrooms

You don’t need to be an advanced WordPress user to create a powerful, interactive, and informative classroom or school website. This no-coding workshop will teach teachers and educational technology specialists how to use free WP themes, plug-ins, and features to built websites to suit a variety of goals and interests, such as discussion groups, online homework assignments, creating secure sections of the site, and much more. Sample sites will focus on elementary classrooms, but the concepts are applicable for the whole PreK-12 range.

Why the @#@#$ Isn’t WordPress a CMS?

The traditional CMS world still looks down at WordPress as “just a blogging platform.” After the merge of multiuser with core, custom post types, BuddyPress, and all the fabulous plugins that build on core, why are some folks still not able to see WordPress as a content management system? I’ll explore some of the reasons both technical and cultural.

Responsive WordPress Theming

You’ve built a Responsive website now let’s make it a WordPress theme. We’ll cover techniques to maintain the responsive integrity of your theme while empowering your User Admins to take control of the site.

WordPress Can Do That

All too often we hear from our colleagues, bosses, and clients that WordPress “can’t do that.” Many of these opinions are ill-informed, as with the introduction of custom post types in version 3.0, WordPress can in fact do all sorts of neat things. This session will showcase some of the amazing sites that run on WordPress from blogs on steroids like TechCrunch to online entertainment destinations like to full fledged e-commerce stores. In addition to showcasing the unique user experiences and functionality that can be crafted using WordPress, we’ll also explore the administrative user interfaces that make publishing on these websites a breeze. This session will be of interest mostly to end users, but to aspiring, novice developers as well who are interested in learning about the power of WordPress beyond the blogging capacity it’s already known for.

Content that Captivates

Too often, we focus on the technology and not the message. Join this session where content specialist and professional writer Jeff Cutler takes you through the ABCs of crafting great content for whatever WordPress vehicle you’re using. Is video your favored medium? Make sure the video content you’re sharing is right for your audience. Are words your vehicle? Here you’ll learn how to bang on the keyboard to craft the best message. While creativity can’t be taught, it can be nurtured. Join Jeff for this session that will spark your imagination and leave you with a few tips for creating better content on your sites.

The Psychology of Social Media: Harnessing Psychological and Behavioral Connections to Develop Content Strategies

Once considered a fad, social media has become the epicenter of most consumers’ online experience. Analysts, marketers and reporters and consumers all express a profound fascination with social media and want to learn to harness its power and reach to build relationships – whether personally or professionally. In the world of business, marketers are quickly trying to understand what it takes to build relationships with consumers and help develop brands through the use of social media. In order to understand those relationships, it is important to understand the psychological and sociological principles that surround consumers’ social media use. Exploring why social media has such strong behavioral and psychological connections with users can help marketers better identify strategies for outreach, interaction and content creation. This presentation digs into which principles and theories connect consumers to social media on a psychological and behavioral level in order to inform marketers how to devise social media strategies that resonate with consumers’ needs.

Key takeaways

  • An understanding of what drives and motivates users to engage in social media
  • An understanding of how social media affects people psychologically and sociologically
  • How to develop a compelling content strategy for social media based on what connects users to social media

Everyone’s a Publisher: Create Awesome Content, Not Noise

It’s a new kind of internet, and a new kind of marketing. Everyone’s a publisher, and your blog is the central hub for all of your other social media efforts. Impulsively posting pictures from the company party will get content on your blog, but will it really target the keywords, buyer personas and topics that will generate interest, buzz or leads for your company?

This session will walk you through the things you need to think about when creating an editorial calendar, and how you can measure your content’s success. In this session you will learn:

  • What you should put in an editorial calendar.
  • What to consider before even writing a blog post.
  • How to get your content written – pros and cons of hiring a freelancer vs interns vs guest posts from community members.
  • How to measure your efforts – what to track and how. Recommended tools and plugins.

Enterprise-class WordPress

Sure, we all get that WordPress is great blogging software, and makes a great website for Joe’s Corner Coffee Shop or Mike’s Hometown Consulting Services. And maybe you feel solid about your ability to build a WordPress site on a shared host or VPS. But what about the big guns? Is WordPress a $200,000 enterprise CMS for large businesses? Can you really run an entire university website on it? Is it a million dollar CMS? And if so, what does this mean for building, hosting, and managing such implementations? How do we even sell WordPress as such?

This debut talk is an honest exploration and dialog about what it means to sell, implement, and manage enterprise-class WordPress implementations. We’ll explore solutions, like VIP hosting, EditFlow workflow tools, and development techniques where reliability and scale is a must. We’ll also examine the places where WordPress struggles to compete with or falls short of its enterprise competition, and explore how we can solve some of these problems as a community.

Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue: Updating ‘Kubrick’ to CSS3/HTML5

In this talk, we will look at the classic Kubrick theme, and consider how to modernize it by using HTML5 and CSS3, while providing graceful degradation for older browsers. We will migrate from using images throughout the theme to CSS and finishing with a duplicate of the original theme. We will wrap up by looking at the costs and benefits of using CSS rather than images, and when it is appropriate to do so.

Microdata for SEO

Some see SEO as an online version of Calvinball, where everybody’s just making it up as they go along and none of the rules are written down. We tweak our content for keywords and add all our meta tags hoping the search engines will interpret what we did and file our site away under the terms we’re targetting. Sometimes it just feels like a cargo cult to me, and I work in the industry!

Google and Microsoft (Bing) understand our pain, they really do, and they teamed up to bring us a standard language for telling them exactly what a site, a page, and even an individual piece of content on a page is about. The family of microformats leverage HTML5 features to annotate your content & reach more customers.

Bing is the only search engine actively using this data, and Straight North’s experiments have shown pages rising in the search result rankings after having microdata on our site for just a month.

“Bing’s results greatly differed from the Google results. Microdata had a huge impact on Bing rankings. Before microdata, we weren’t even ranked in Bing for most of the keywords in the experiment. At the conclusion of the experiment, we were ranked on the first page of search results in Bing for nearly half of the keywords. Out of 48 keywords, fifteen increased in rank while only one decreased. The other 32 did not change. Thirteen of the keywords that were previously not ranked are now being ranked in organic search results.” –

Dave will discuss various formats available and show examples of how easily formats can be integrated into custom WordPress themes and widgets. He will also demonstrate tools from Bing and Google for verifying how the search engines will interpret your markup.

The Future of Civic Engagement and Education

The political environment in the US and around the world is in a state of disarray. The governments and agencies that represent the population are generally not well connected to the individuals, and individuals remain uninformed and unengaged in policy-making decisions that affect them.

There are several e-democracy platforms that aim to bridge this gap and improve civic engagement. In this discussion, we will examine some of the most effective e-democracy platforms (“We the People”,, and more), how citizens get their information (news, media, word-of-mouth), and most importantly, how a dynamic WordPress platform can improve communication between constituents and elected officials. Through leveraging open-source collaboration and real-time data from sources such as and Sunlight Labs, the creation of a 21st century civic-engagement and education tool is just around the corner.

Social Networking with BuddyPress

BuddyPress is a social networking package built on WordPress. A plugin, it enables features such as user groups, discussion forums and private messaging. In this presentation, we’ll discuss BuddyPress installation and configuration, as well as how BuddyPress can be extended with additional plugins. This presentation is an introduction to BuddyPress. Attendees who will benefit most are new to BuddyPress, but already familiar with WordPress.

Optimizing WordPress for Speed and Scale

This talk will encompass ways to optimize your website to make it fast, and then how to make that speed scalable. It starts at the beginner level with basic ways to get themost from WordPress, and will go all the way to the uber-technical level and include specific example of tweaking servers and caching to scale millions of visitors to a site and not suffer slow loading times. Compiled from the experience of Ben Metcalfe, WordPress innovator, the talk will give perspective of WordPress since its inception.

Andrew Nacin Presents Something Awesome

Andrew Nacin will talk about something awesome. Perhaps WP_Query, or something new in 3.4, or or whatever else strikes his fancy. Whatever it is, it’ll be a “can’t miss” for developers in attendance.

Developing an automated workflow for front end development

Do you still write your CSS by hand? Do you still copy files when it’s time to release a new version? Do you still manually run your tests? If you answered yes to any of these, you will benefit from developing an automated workflow. Tools such as Compass, Watchr, PhantomJS, AutoLint, SASS, LESS and many many more will save you time and enable you to become the Lazy programmer we all strive to be.

Moving Beyond the Codex: Learning WordPress from Itself

The WordPress Codex is a great resource for new developers, but as many have noted, it is far from complete and isn’t necessarily always accurate. While there are myriad web-based alternatives that can serve as a guide to WordPress’ inner workings, there is no better aid than Core itself.

Intimidated by all of those files? Don’t be. They’re actually rather well organized, and with a bit of guidance, one can easily locate the appropriate function for a given task. As you’ll find, there are even many useful functions that don’t appear in the Codex.

I’ll provide an overview of how Core is organized, discuss why certain functions exist only in wp-admin, and highlight some of the exceptions to the organizational rule that lead to frustration when first exploring Core. With this understanding, not only can one more efficiently identify the proper function for a given situation, but also give back to the community by updating the Codex; it’s just a Wiki after all.

It’s Gotta Be Easier… Simplifying the theme building process

Ok, so you’ve found the perfect career as a freelancer, building WordPress themes. It’s creative, exciting, and could make you some serious money while offering you the flexibility to be your own boss. It also can be frustrating, overwhelming, and has a learning curve that never goes away.

Developers and Designers have their own passions and skill sets but then they go on their own and after a couple of projects full of self-inflicted frustration they soon realize there must be an easier way and it may be time to collaborate. Collaboration between designers and developers is not only a great way to relieve some of the burden, but also helps to improve creativity, enhance quality, and increase productivity by combining different perspectives.

This presentation will help you reach your goals of quickly building more innovative WordPress sites by discussing collaboration as well as other time saving techniques that can help in your development process.

21 Optimization Secrets of Top Media Companies

This session will provide practical tips for making progress with your blog / site today. The intersection of the following types of optimization will be reviewed in a cohesive manner helping you to kill multiple birds with one stone, no silver bullets, but actionable insight. Topics include: conversion rate optimization, social media optimization, search engine optimization, web site optimization and usability. This is a key session to check out for those that want to learn about how media companies address challenges at scale.

Putting the ‘Social’ Back in Social Media: Building Community Through Blogging

Writing should be a social experience. It worked for Tolkien and Lewis, didn’t it? Instead, we bloggers are often a solitary bunch – we want our ideas to be heard, so we create our own blogs and fill them with our ideas. Bathed in the light of our monitors, we put out posts about fashion, comic books, and our own lives. What would happen if we came together to create this content? Entice the fashionista with a new recipe. Introduce the devoted Metallica fan to Guster and Dispatch. Inspire the armchair activist to get involved in their community.

We can use the power of the blog to bring people together and try new things. Especially on college campuses where social groups may never mix, writers (some of whom may never have even thought themselves worthy of publication) can join in one room as a community of diverse and interesting people. Check out this talk if you want to make the internet a truly social experience. You’ll be shocked, or at least pleasantly surprised.

Engaging & Growing Your Audience Beyond The Blog Post

Starting a blog is easy to do, but growing and maintaining audience of followers is a far more challenging task. The goal of this talk is to discuss the different ways bloggers can go beyond the basic steps of writing posts and responding to comments so they can expand the level of communication they have with their audience. Some examples include building and growing a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social networks, in addition to running contests, and incorporating techniques such as gamification into the process of blogging. The goal is to provide ways to engage your audience more heavily and get more out of your blogging experience.

Save Your Code: One Codebase, 9 Blogs with WordPress Multisite Using Sub-domains and Subdirectories

NorthPoint has had many years of experience with implementing WordPress sites for many of the world’s leading organizations. Most recently, NorthPoint implemented a WordPress multisite for nine blogs for a leading, global media company. Among the nine blogs, three blogs were created using sub-domains and six blogs were created using sub-directories. Compared to normal, single installs of WordPress, there are more considerations to take when creating such a network of blogs for a large-scale project like this. Challenges include setting up the multisites for both sub-domains and sub-directories, setting up nine different looks using one theme, and setting up different plugins and social media add-ons. This presentation will discuss the key steps we took to ensure a successful implementation, address the known issues with the configuration and installation of the code, and highlight best practices that we used to overcome these issues.

Avoiding Disaster: Setting Up Your Local Development Environment

Editing a WordPress site on a live server is quick and simple. It’s also one step away from disaster.

The goal of this talk is to give you all the knowledge and tools you need to develop WordPress on a local machine, and then to push those changes to a live website. We will automate as much of the process as possible, giving you more time to actually develop your site instead of copying files back and forth or clicking dozens of menus to export and import databases. Topics discussed will include local web servers and databases, file version control (Git), and database synchronization.

Developing for a (relatively) high-traffic WordPress Multisite install using GitHub

In brief, I would like to speak about three different aspects: 1) how we develop for Multisite to save development-time 2) how we (attempt) to reduce page load times for all of our WordPress development and 3) how we use Github to manage our repositories.

From PSD to WordPress Theme: Bringing designs to life

If you want to design your first custom WordPress theme, this talk is for you. You’ve been venturing out little by little, changing some CSS here and HTML there. You’ve even created a child theme or two. But now it’s time to take things to the next level. You want something that’s all yours!

You convinced your friend put together a design for you in Photoshop, and now it’s time to take the next step. How do you get that beautiful concept to translate into a living, breathing WordPress theme?

That’s what we’ll cover in this action-packed presentation geared toward the curious beginner and intermediate WordPress fans.

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