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Relate all the things!

So your new site’s launched: great content, beautiful design, and SEO’ed like whoah. But when a visitor comes in for one particular page, how do you encourage them to engage further with your content rather than leave? The Yet Another Related Posts Plugin for WordPress—aka YARPP—was built exactly out of this concern. YARPP offers your visitors a number of “related posts” which may also interest them. These “related posts” are chosen automatically by a unique algorithm which compares the current post or page with other content on the site.

Advocated by the likes of Matt Mullenweg (WordPress) and Matt Cutts (Google), YARPP is by far the most popular content recomendation plugin for WordPress. Learn about the past and future of YARPP straight from its author, mitcho. I’ll talk about YARPP’s internals, share some advanced tips for using and customizing YARPP, and will debut YARPP’s custom post type support.

Blogging and Dating: Not so Different. What your business or brand needs to know for attracting visitors.

The thrills and perils of dating have a lot in common with blogging and building a presence online. Using some common dating tips, this presentation will lead bloggers to begin to think through various aspects of their sites, from content to layout. *No flowers required.

100 Plugins You Need In Your Life

Ryan is the Editor-In-Chief of WPCandy, a blog all about WordPress. He’s tried a lot of plugins. There are a lot of places where you can find different plugins to do one job, but in this session, Ryan will go through a big list of plugins that just work. One job, one plugin. Rapid fire.

How to Win Awards and Influence Readers in 439 Days and 668 Posts

Birmingham’s Best Blogger Wade Kwon reveals the secrets to developing a content strategy. It’s a plan that took an unknown site from just another URL to the Best Website of 2011, according to readers of the Birmingham News.

This session is for intermediate and advanced users, business owners and publishers who want to not only blog more often, but more effectively and with a defined return on investment.

WordPress for Business – You have an SEO’d website that’s fast, now what?

Over 85% of new WordPress sites are sites where WordPress is used as a CMS.  You’ve probably attended tons of sessions telling you how to optimize WordPress for speed, and how to use some SEO plugin. I’ll talk about things businesses need to do, to make sense of their site AFTER they have traffic coming to their site.

Topics covered will be:

– Analytics : You’ve installed Google analytics, now what? Analytics are just numbers, unless you know what they’re telling you.
– Beyond Google Analytics – Other packages besides Google Analytics that can help you understand your visitors.
– Add a live chat .. seriously, live chat on the internet isn’t just for horny co-eds, you too can make money chatting with strangers on the internet.
– Test your messages – You’ve heard of split testing, now use it.

My aim by the end of this talk is to be able to give you ideas on how you can use your website to learn more about your visitors, without them entering a form.

Stop creating content for the sake of creating content

Description: 14% of the web uses WordPress. That’s 70+ million blogs delivering content to users, who in turn are responding with even more content. All of this content, or data, is going untapped as we stumble around and keep asking the same questions:

What makes a great WordPress theme?
What makes a great blog post?
How is WordPress being used?

When I attended WordCamp SF, these questions came up and I noticed a pain in pulling these answers out in an easy way. Fast forward 3 months and came PressTrends, a simple way for developers, designers, and WordPress users to gather trends and insights.

The goal of the talk is to bring into the light the amount of data being produced, how to get this data, and finally how this data can be valuable to building better themes and producing better content.

How to Make Great Tutorial WordPress Videos

This presentation will show people how to make great videos. The target audience will be web designers training their customers or product sellers (plugins, templates, hosting) who need to explain and document their work.

In the presentation we’ll cover:

1) The tools to create clear, understandable videos (microphones, editing tools)
2) The strategies needed for great video content (get the right length, scripts etc)
3) How to present the videos effectively (best video hosting, sharing)
4) A couple of sneaky, advanced tips such as how to do white-screen work

CSI: WordPress — Getting Into the Guts

WordPress has tons of features that can make life easier for developers and designers. This talk will look into some of the nooks and crannies that you might not be familiar with, and we’ll also explore creative uses for features you probably already use. Discussions will include some established plugins as well as code snippets for fine-tuning sites.

Scan it! Incorporating QR codes into WordPress

Move over social media, making room for QR Codes in your WordPress site enables quick scanning of key topics and features.  It can be as easy as a vCard, a coupon, link to an event, or something else.  Understand the do’s and don’ts in using QR Codes to enhance the user experience on your website.  Learn how to create QR Codes, use QR Code plugins and how others are already leveraging this new technology.

WorryProof WordPress: Backup Strategies for your Web Site

It’s a dangerous Internet out there, and your WordPress site needs a reliable backup. In this talk, we will discuss why a backup is so important, the 5 musts of a solid backup strategy, a comparison of free and premium backup plugins, and 2 bonus backup tips.

Responsive Web Design

How to become responsive. We will go over the various methods & styles used to make your site responsive. We will discuss CSS media queries, FitText.js, FitVid.js and responsive slideshows.

Doing Ajax in WordPress

WordPress makes AJAX easy and all too often developers write their own code for handling AJAX.  The purpose of this presentation is to walk developers through the process of implementing basic AJAX functionality in themes and plugins.  Topics covered will include best practices, client-side AJAX requests via jQuery, server-side processing of requests with WordPress action hooks, proper inclusion of scripts, localizing data and implementing nonces.  Sample code will be made available for download.

5 tips for success when the project team involves more than just you

Designer, information architect, content producer, developer, tester, systems administrator, project manager, sherpa, shepherd, client… Which roles do you play? Who plays the other roles? How do your fellow cast members affect your happiness, compensation and overall success?

12 years after the dot-com bubble burst, technology projects are approached very differently than before. Today, fewer people hone their craft as part of a large company, particularly in the world of WordPress. Individuals and small shops account for a great deal of the awesome work debuting every day. This means that any project team will likely involve people who don’t “work together” in the traditional sense.

This session will share five tips for succeeding in a multi-person project. The idea is to communicate more clearly and reduce friction so you can have more fun.

Oh My, So Many to Choose From.. . How to Pick a Theme

This presentation will give the scoop on themes. Specifically, What is a theme? What is GPL licensing? What is difference between free themes and premium themes. What are theme frameworks and why use child themes? And why certain themes are better than others depending on what your background is ie: coder, designer, beginner or intermediate skill level.

Running Your Freelance Business: a workshop

Freelancing allows you to create your own hours, work at home in sweat pants, work from a cabin in the mountains, work anywhere you’d like!  Freelancing lets you do things your own way, when you like it and how you like it. The market is wide open for web developers – especially WordPress. So what’s holding you back?

In this freelancing workshop, I’ll touch on taxes, becoming an LLC, budgeting time and money, proposals and contracts, managing projects, obtaining work, and hiring other freelancers. I’ll also touch on the key to success in freelancing – managing clients.

Since this is a workshop, I’ll bring some example proposals and contracts, project scopes and contacts for local resources to help you with your own taxes and legal questions. I’d love for you to bring anything you’d like to discuss or ask questions about – your own proposals, portfolio website, company descriptions, sticky client situation and questions about your own freelance career. If I can’t answer your question, I’ll point you in the direction of someone who can!

Enqueues, Includes, and Defines, Oh my! The foundations of plugin and theme development

Extendable Extensions

Code is Poetry. You may have noticed this phrase in the footer of or printed on a t-shirt or sticker. It’s a beautiful metaphor, but what does it mean? During the course of this talk, I’ll be looking at “Code is poetry” from a couple of different view points. I’ll also be taking a look at a select group plugins and themes that put these ideas into practice.

WordPress for Beginners

In the WordPress for Beginner’s session of WordCamp Birmingham, Brian will take you through and explain the steps you took in the “5 minute” installation of WordPress, and break down what it means. He’ll walk you through the different settings your website has, describe how things like widgets and menus work, and even lay out a base understanding of just what makes WordPress so much more than a blog these days.

You might hear scary phrases like “custom post types”, “the loop”, “taxonomies”, “queries”, and “templates” come up, but it’ll all be laid out in a way that almost anyone can understand. And come with your questions because he’ll have the answers.


Beyond the browser: Creating a restful webservice with WordPress to power an app or act as an API

Using Theme Frameworks for rapid development and sustainability

Developing WordPress themes from the ground up is time consuming and costly to sustain, as version iterate.  Using a theme framework such as Thesis or Genesis can speed up development time and drastically reduce site maintenance over time.

Hardcore Custom Post Types

This is for Plugin and Theme Developers who are comfortable with PHP!

Hardcore WordPress Post Types

Custom Post Types were a watershed feature added to WordPress 3.0 in 2010. Since then there has been an explosion of WordPress use for all types of sites, not just for blogs. But as with most powerful new features the reality is that taking Custom Post Types to their limit can take thousands of hours of trial and error.

But why spend all those hours with a sore forehead when you can bypass most of the effort by attending this presentation/workshop? This will be a DOUBLE LENGTH workshop and EVERYTHING will be done in PHP code in WordPress theme’s functions.php file while at the end we’ll convert to a plugin.

Here’s what you’ll learn how to do:

– Define a Custom Post Type in PHP
– Configure the edit screens for Posts and Pages
– Set up Custom Columns in the post list admin screen
– Set up Custom Sorts and Filters in the post list admin screen
– Create Custom Meta Boxes with custom form fields
– Add Custom Meta Boxes for parent/child Post Types
– Query Custom Post Types within Theme files
– Create Custom Taxonomies and Assign to any Post Type, even Posts and Pages
– Add a Parent Post Field in a Metabox of the Post Editor
– Create Hierarchical URLs for Hierarchical Custom Post Types
– Recognize and Bypass the various gotchas you’ll run into,
– AND maybe a few other things that come up as questions during the workshop.

This is designed to be a FAST-paced workshop for people who are comfortable using PHP. We’ll take suggestions from the audience for what kind of post type to build so come with ideas. Then we’ll show a series of code snippets built from scratch for you to see how each one comes together. And we’ll make mistakes while we’re working so you can see how to get past the mistakes you will inevitably make.

If you are really saavy and have a local install of WordPress on your laptop you can work hands-on in real time and immediately see how everything work. But it you are not ready to follow along in real time we’ll give you access to a link at the end of the session where you can download all the code.

– Experience modifying PHP in themes and/or plugins.

– A New Installation of WordPress 3.3
– An empty child theme based on TwentyEleven
– A high quality text editor/IDE (PhpStorm highly recommended)
– A local installation of WordPress (Apache + PHP + MySQL + WordPress)

– Come prepared with some ideas for a post type we can build.

Fun with Integration: Using WordPress APIs to connect sites to everything else.

While WordPress is naturally great for all websites, many people use
other services. Facebook, Twitter, Google, Flickr, Foursquare… All
of these various services have something in common; they usually offer
APIs of various sorts for connecting to them. You can use parts of the
core WordPress code to make that sort of integration easier to do in
themes and plugins, and to simplify much of your custom development.
Learn some tricks with making HTTP calls, OAuth and why it matters,
and how to connect to various parts of the WordPress core to do
interesting things.

Using a Network Installation to Distribute Content to a Family of Sites

Ever needed to send unique content to dozens of related sites? Would you like to skip the hassle of maintaining all those unique websites? Using WordPress’ network features you can use one WordPress installation to keep all your sites updated and full of fresh content. It’s easier than you think.

Empowering NPO’s with WordPress

In an age of social justice, social causes, and social media, the quintessential non-profit has to be a dependable source of constantly-changing information, spearheaded by tech-savvy people creating engaging content for blogs, print media, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, text messaging, and infinitely more.

The problem? How does the staff (if there is one) get the time and, more importantly, the energy to do all that when they’re, you know, busy trying to get a non-profit off the ground? On the other side of that same coin, how does a long-standing NPO inject itself into internet culture without immediately seeming stale and forceful? The general consensus seems to be that successful organizations such as charity:water simply blitzed social media, created a good-looking website, and magically blew up. Yet, most NPO’s will (or need to) face the fact that they don’t have the same perfect storm of passion, resources, and engaging content. How do you do the best you can with what you do have?

My answer: WordPress.

The incredible power of the WordPress platform combined with the easy-to-teach-and-use interface of the admin area allows you, as a developer or project manager, to start an NPO off on the right foot while allowing for scalability- not only in a website context, but in all forms of online media. My presentation on ‘Empowering NPO’s with WordPress’ would include such things as:

1. Using Custom Post Types to make web updates easy for clients
2. Using social plugins to help a NPO appropriately scale engagement in social media
3. Customizing the admin area with branding to give administrators the feeling of ‘ownership’
4. Using Custom Fields to allow for future extensibility of features, such as #5
5. Creating a native iOS application using RSS feeds from WordPress
6. Bottling the excitement of a NPO from the possibilities above and using it to spur them into further innovation

The last point is the best. When you’re able to consider the fact that you can not only code useful features for a NPO, but take the fear out of them being creative by building in extensible features that will deter the costs of future projects, you get clients who are:

1. Excited about their web presence
2. Excited about WordPress
3. Excited about the open-source community
4. Able to focus on what they do best
5. Excited to give you MORE future projects and refer you to others without hesitation

Everyone needs successful NPO’s to bring social justice to the world, and you, as a developer, need more work, more references, and more excited clients. And wouldn’t you like those same clients to be excited by WordPress?

3rd Party Plugin Integrations and Signup: Can we improve the user experience?

Companies with existing services are attracted to the WordPress plugin repository because of the exposure it offers to new eyes. In return, these companies build — on their dime — some really nifty plugins that integrate their API’s into the WordPress ecosystem.

In this presentation will will example three case studies plugins currently in the  the WordPress repository. We’ll look at their registration process and how the plugins integrate with the sponsoring company’s API. Analyzing their signup and integration process ,can we help these plugins improve the user experience?

There’s A Plugin For That

Exploring the WordPress repository for the right plugin can be frustrating and exhausting.  And then once you find a WordPress plug-in, you might find that it’s outdated, conflicts with other WordPress plugins, or just plain doesn’t do what you thought it would.  Understanding what a plugin can do and how it can expand the functionality of your site helps you to explore the possibilities and push your site further. Test the boundaries to see what’s possible and then venture forth in your quest for just the right fit.

WordPress Ecommerce: Not so scary anymore!

John will briefly demonstrate a WordPress ecommerce theme and then go through the steps in creating a storefront using WordPress and the FoxyShop plugin.  If he has time, he’ll also show us how to make the store responsive.

Crackerjack CSS: Basics & Best Practices

This talk covers the very basic things you need to know to get started with CSS and a brief overview of the best ways to add CSS to WordPress themes.

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