WordCamp 2017 Happenings in June

Lots going on with planning for WordCamp Seattle 2017 of late…

[If you’re seeing this email, you’re getting it because you signed up for updates last year on the WordCamp 2016 site and very likely are not subscribed to get updates on the 2017 site yet. Please take a minute to make sure you’ve also subscribed to 2017 email updates.]

Our speaker applications are rolling in, and there are some really exciting possibilities for sessions. But there is still lots of time to apply.

→ If you’d like to speak but not quite sure what you want to speak about, we’ve put together a thorough (but by no means exhaustive) list of topic suggestions.

→ If the same-old-same-old 25-minute lecture with Q&A style just isn’t your bag, why not mix it up and consider an alternative session format for your presentation?

→ And if you’re on the cusp but wanting a little training to boost your confidence, we’ve got multiple Speaker Training Workshops lined up around the Sound this month to help you with your pitch and give you some extra oomph with your speaking chops.

If you’ve got any questions or ideas to share, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Planning a WordCamp is as much a community endeavor as the actual WordCamp, so we welcome your input.

WordCamp Seattle 2017 Speaker Submissions are OPEN

Apologies up front if you’re getting duplicate notices about WordCamp 2017, but there are literally hundreds of folks who have not signed up to receive notifications about this year’s WordCamp yet, and we don’t want anyone to miss out.

If you haven’t already, be sure to visit the new site and enter your email address (in the sidebar or footer) to subscribe to get all the latest updates.

If you’ve attended WordCamp Seattle the past several years, think about stepping up your involvement and applying to speak.

We have officially launched the 2017 website and opened up the speaker application.

On the new website, you can:

Apply to be a Speaker

Get Tips About Submitting a Strong Speaker Application

Learn About Upcoming Speaker Training Workshops

Become a Sponsor

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Suggest a Speaker or Topic for WordCamp 2017

Suggest a Speaker or Topic for WordCamp 2017

photo credit: Andrew Villeneuve

WordCamp 2016 feels like it just happened, but amazingly, we’ve already got planning for WordCamp 2017 well underway.

It will be November 4th and 5th this year – at the same location as last year, the Washington State Convention Center Conference Center in downtown Seattle.

Add it to your calendar right now! I’m getting all fired up just thinking about it.

This year, in order to put on another amazing WordCamp that exceeds everyone’s wildest expectations, we’d like to involve the WordPress community as much as possible.

So we’re reaching out to ask for your input.

We’ll be opening up applications for speakers for the 2017 camp here in just a few weeks. But we want to get your ideas and input beforehand…

Are there any speakers and/or specific topics you’d really love to see at this year’s WordCamp?

Here’s what we need from you:

  1. Please take some time to think about people in your network who might be good speakers. We all work in different circles so don’t assume that someone else will suggest people you know.

    Then, take a few minutes to fill out this super-quick WordCamp Seattle 2017 Speaker & Topic Suggestions form (anonymously) to share their name, email address or other relevant contact information, and their area of expertise with us.

  2. Share this post on social media to help us spread the “Word” (pun intended).

We’re planning to personally reach out and invite everyone who is suggested to apply to speak once the application is open.

Personal invitations mean a lot to those who receive them and increase the chances of them applying, so this is a great way to pay someone an anonymous compliment.

There’s also a spot at the bottom of the form to suggest topics you’d really like to see at this year’s camp.

It’s going to be epic, and we can’t wait to see you there! 6 months will go by in a flash.

Oh…and P.S. – the new website is almost up, but you can already sign up to get email notifications about WordCamp 2017, so be sure to pop on over there and enter your email address so you don’t miss out on any of the juicy details.

Note: With the way the WordPress notification system works, it does not transfer email addresses from year to year, so even if you’ve signed up and received notifications in years past, you definitely want to sign up again this year so you don’t miss out.

Thank You, WordCamp Seattle Sponsors

Remember how pleasantly surprised you were when you saw the price of your WordCamp Seattle ticket? That’s not just us being generous.

Your low ticket price, the free lunch you get both days, the fancy venue where we’re holding the event, and many other benefits of this two-day WordPress love-fest were all made possible by the generous support of our sponsors.

These companies are all important members of our WordPress community, and we hope you’ll support them.

The Gold Sponsors are all exhibiting at WordCamp Seattle. Please visit their booths and let them know how much you appreciate their support.

Gold Sponsors


Jetpack is a single plugin that instantly gives you powerful WordPress.com features, hooking your self-hosted WordPress site to WordPress.com’s infrastructure to take advantage of robust stats, easy social sharing, and a whole lot more.


WooCommerce is a fully customizable, open-source eCommerce solution built on WordPress. With more than 1 million active installations, more than 37% of all online stores are powered by WooCommerce. 400 extensions let you add all kinds of additional functionality to your store.


Bluehost has been a WordPress partner since 2005 and powers over 2 million WordPress sites worldwide. Bluehost helps customers, whether novice or pro, create a thriving online presence at an affordable price. With a team of in-house tech experts available 24/7, Bluehost dedicates time and resources to providing the best support and services in the industry. Join millions of other site owners and see what Bluehost can do for you and your online presence.


BoldGrid is a website builder that makes your WordPress experience more intuitive. Tedious tasks are automated and the entire WordPress workflow is reimagined to save you time and frustration.


With Pantheon, you get hosting plus a ton of other features:

  • Developer Dashboard
  • One-Click Core Updates
  • Continuous Integration
  • Automated DevOps
  • Advanced Caching
  • Backup & Retention

Pantheon is a WordCamp silver-level global community sponsor, but they upgraded to gold because they love the Seattle WordPress community that much.


Avalara helps businesses of all sizes achieve compliance with transactional taxes, including VAT, sales and use, excise, communications, and other tax types. Avalara delivers comprehensive, automated, cloud-based solutions that are fast, accurate, and easy to use. Avalara has made big investments in small business, including their “Gimme 5 Small Business Customer Spotlight” that gives you a chance to win $5,000 for your small business.


Since 1998, Media Temple has helped web developers, designers, digital entrepreneurs, and innovators bring their ideas to life online. Technology trends come and go, but one thing has never changed: Media Temple’s commitment to customer success. They provide web hosting and cloud services for 1.5 million websites in 100 countries. From everyday people to top bloggers, creative professionals, and businesses small and large, Media Temple makes it easy for anyone to have an effective, engaging Internet presence.


SiteGround offers a variety of hosting options, using the latest performance-enhancing technologies. SiteGround provides unique security solutions and technical support that earns a near-100% customer rating. They brought a ton of swag to Seattle, so be sure to stop by their booth. If you attend the KidsCamp workshop, they brought cute socks for the kids.


Flywheel is a WordPress platform that empowers designers, developers, and digital agencies to focus on what they do best — build beautiful, functional sites for their clients. Flywheel makes it easy to create and develop WordPress sites, handle hosting, hand off billing, and scale your business. Flywheel recently released their free Super Simple SSL.


Setka provides innovative management and editing tools that empower people in media to create beautiful content. The Setka Editor plugin for WordPress was developed by a group of media professionals who have been creating great-looking content for more than a decade. Setka Editor enables more than 300 brands and 100 editors to create award-winning content and advertising experience.

Silver Sponsors


GoDaddy‘s exclusive Quick Start wizard gets you online fast with pre-built websites with all the essential pages and features. We even include a free library with thousands of high-quality images. Plus, our intuitive drag and drop editor makes it easy to add text, edit images or even rearrange the page. And if you have some technical skills, you can add virtually any feature you can imagine.


SiteLock is currently protects over one million WordPress websites. SiteLock is a global leader in cloud-based website security solutions, protecting a total of over eight million websites around the world.


BackupBuddy is the original WordPress backup plugin to backup, restore & move WordPress.


Next year marks IvyCat’s 15th year in business. They have sponsored every WordCamp Seattle and every WordCamp Portland since they started. We are very happy to welcome back our very first original sponsor for another WordCamp.


WPEngine offers stunning speed, powerful security, and best-in-class customer service. At WP Engine, WordPress isn’t just our platform, it’s our passion.

In addition to these gold- and silver-level, we also thank our bronze, small-business, and in-kind sponsors, all listed on this page.


Your 2016 WordCamp Seattle Itinerary

With so many good talks this weekend, it may be hard to pick where to go. You might even think, “Is this WordCamp for me?”

Seattle WordCamp 2016 has something for everyone!

There’s no wrong way to pick which sessions you attend, but we made some “itineraries” for those of you seeking some recommendations. (And if you miss one, they’ll all be on WordPress.tv in the coming months.)

Session Selection Pro-Tips

Before we get to the itineraries, here are general tips for picking speakers:

  • Read the talk descriptions. If you’re not sure what a presentation is about, click its title on the “Schedule” page to read a description.
  • Push yourself. No one wants to sit through a talk and understand none of it, but knowing everything is just as boring. If a topic sounds complicated but interesting, consider taking the risk and seeing what you can learn!
  • Don’t forget the hallway track. There may be one slot where neither talk sounds too interesting. That’s OK! You can always find people networking or getting helped by experts at the Help Desk. WordCamps bring together an amazing community, so take one talk off and meet some people!
  • Listen for recommendations. If you come out of a talk you love and hear everyone in your row is going to the same next talk, follow them!


Graduating WapuuThe Total Novice  & Site Owner

If you’ve never logged into WordPress, or you can’t remember the last time you did, these sessions will ease you into it. Even if you know your way around the Dashboard a bit, this is your chance to really know WordPress.


  1. KEYNOTE: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
  2. [Double-slot. Don’t Miss!] Get To Know WordPress – A Workshop for Beginners
  3. Custom Post Types for Non-Developers
  4. Usability Schmoozabillity: 5 Tips to Make Your Website Work for Customers
  5. Managing Your Online Reputation
  6. Hack Attack


Need a break? Come support the WordPress community in the Contributor Track all day Sunday!

  1. Becoming a Part of the WordPress Community
  2. [Technical, but Don’t Miss!] Anatomy of a WordPress installation
  3. [Don’t Miss!] There Are No Dumb Questions: Beginner Q&A
  4. Tools for Managing Multiple WordPress Sites
  5. On Site SEO in WordPress for Content Marketing
  6. [Don’t Miss!] 10 Blogging Habits that Kill the Competition
  7. Using a CDN to Speed Up Your Website

Hipster Wapuu with coffee cup and satchelThe Consultant & Site Builder

Many people make a living building or working on WordPress websites. Even more business owners use WordPress to power their own sites. This track blends business and WordPress to help you get more clients and improve your own site.


  1. KEYNOTE: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
  2. [Don’t Miss!] Stop Saying No | Learning to Nurture Clients
  3. Common Desk Job Postural Ailments and What You Can Do About It!
  4. [Don’t Miss!] Custom Post Types for Non-Developers
  5. Usability Schmoozabillity: 5 Tips to Make Your Website Work for Customers
  6. Managing Your Online Reputation
  7. Profitable Website Projects – The Oreo Cookie Strategy


Need a break? Come support the WordPress community in the Contributor Track all day Sunday!

  1. Becoming a Part of the WordPress Community
  2. Anatomy of a WordPress installation
  3. There Are No Dumb Questions: Beginner Q&A
  4. Tools for Managing Multiple WordPress Sites
  5. [Don’t Miss!] This Is Not What We Asked For: Avoiding, Preparing For, and Handling Difficult Client Moments
  6. What I Learned From Making A WordPress Powered Extranet For My Freelance Biz
  7. [Don’t Miss!] Six Figure Freelancing

Wapuu MinionThe Parent to a Budding Techie

If you’ve got a kiddo between the ages of 8 and 14, Saturday is a great opportunity for Bring Your Kid to Camp Day. Let them experience the world you work in and take them to sessions with you Saturday morning. Then send them to get their own WordPress experience on at the KidsCamp Workshop Saturday afternoon.


  1. [Inspiring for all ages] KEYNOTE: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
  2. [Zumba! They’ll love it!] Common Desk Job Postural Ailments and What You Can Do About It!
  3. KidsCamp Workshop

Pink mohawk WapuuThe Creative & Design Mind

For the creatives and designers, WordPress is one of the most common CMSes for which to design. These topics will teach you some of the tech that implements your designs and show you tools and ideas to inspire your next project.


  1. KEYNOTE: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
  2. [Technical. Don’t Miss!] A Better User Experience With The WordPress Customizer
  3. Common Desk Job Postural Ailments and What You Can Do About It!
  4. Custom Post Types for Non-Developers
  5. [Technical. Don’t Miss!] Drawing with SVG
  6. Managing Your Online Reputation
  7. Hack Attack


Need a break? Come support the WordPress community in the Contributor Track all day Sunday!

  1. Becoming a Part of the WordPress Community
  2. [Technical. Don’t Miss!] CSS Sanity with Sass
  3. Helping Non-Profits Change The World With WordPress
  4. The Web We Make
  5. This Is Not What We Asked For: Avoiding, Preparing For, and Handling Difficult Client Moments
  6. 10 Blogging Habits that Kill the Competition
  7. Six Figure Freelancing

Hoodie and laptop WapuuThe Accidental Techie & Aspiring Developer

Ready to nerd out and ease into WordPress development? We’ve got the perfect set of presentations for you.


  1. KEYNOTE: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
  2. [Technical. Don’t Miss!] A Better User Experience With The WordPress Customizer
  3. Getting to Know WordPress Multisite
  4. [Don’t Miss] Custom Post Types for Non-Developers
  5. Usability Schmoozabillity: 5 Tips to Make Your Website Work for Customers
  6. Change Your Defaults, Strengthen Your Security
  7. Profitable Website Projects – The Oreo Cookie Strategy


Need a break? Come support the WordPress community in the Contributor Track all day Sunday!

  1. Becoming a Part of the WordPress Community
  2. Anatomy of a WordPress installation
  3. Helping Non-Profits Change The World With WordPress
  4. [Technical. Don’t Miss!] The Web We Make
  5. This Is Not What We Asked For: Avoiding, Preparing For, and Handling Difficult Client Moments
  6. What I Learned From Making A WordPress Powered Extranet For My Freelance Biz
  7. Using a CDN to Speed Up Your Website

Wizard Hat WapuuThe Code Monkey & Tech Wizard

If you’ve contributed to core, build custom themes, or maintain 10 plugins you probably don’t need too much help picking sessions, but maybe we can steer you in an interesting direction or two. Maybe this is a good time to work on some of those soft skills 😉


  1. KEYNOTE: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
  2. A Better User Experience With The WordPress Customizer
  3. Getting to Know WordPress Multisite
  4. Names, Versions, Releases, and SVN
  5. Drawing with SVG
  6. Managing Your Online Reputation
  7. Profitable Website Projects – The Oreo Cookie Strategy


  1. Becoming a Part of the WordPress Community
  2. Contributor Track!
  3. Contributor Track!
  4. [Don’t Miss] The Web We Make
  5. Contributor Track!
  6. Contributor Track!
  7. Contributor Track!
Wapuu playing fire-spitting bagpipe on a unicycle

Had to get this one in somehow!

All Day: Help Desk & Networking

Got a specific WordPress question you need help with? There will be a WordPress help desk staffed with experts all day to help you with your questions and website problems! Bring your questions and leave with answers.

There will be great networking and conversation throughout the day, in the halls, between sessions, and over lunch. If you find a topic particularly interesting, keep the conversation going with fellow attendees in between sessions and over lunch.

Looking to connect with other attendees online? Then the #wcsea hashtag is for you! Use it on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram so we can all follow along on your journey through WordCamp Seattle: Beginner Edition.

We can’t wait to see you there! Don’t have your ticket yet? There are still a few left! Buy your ticket now.

What are those things!?

These cute yellow creatures are wapuus! They’re the unofficial mascot of WordPress.

My Journey to Becoming a Good Citizen in the WordPress Community

by Nichole Betterley, WordPress Designer/Developer at “N” Powered Webistes and WordCamp Seattle 2016 Speaker

Becoming a Good Citizen in the WordPress Community

I’ve been working with WordPress for close to 10 years now.  I have somewhat of a background in development, but just about everything I’ve ever learned about WordPress has been self-taught thanks to super-smart, generous people “out there” in the WordPress community.  No classes, no actual books.  Just YouTube and what must be thousands of blog posts and support forums researching how and what to do.  And miraculously, I’ve been able to build a business out of it.

I’ve discovered that WordPress is kind of a unique community in that way.

There are lots of industries where individuals protect and hoard their knowledge (and are proud of it), and you have to take expensive, college level courses to gain any traction.  Not so with WordPress.

A few years ago, I was hit with a strong realization that it was time to find a way to give back to this community that had given so much to me, so freely shared their expertise and advice and recommendations and know-how all over the place, in all kinds of forms.  I very rarely ran into a problem that someone else hadn’t already solved and gone to the trouble of sharing how they did it online.

So I started trying to figure out where I could possibly be effective.

I’m not a hard-core coder by any measure.  I do like to dabble in PHP and can code a mean theme from scratch when the occasion requires it, but actually trying to contribute to WordPress code seemed insurmountable to me. So no dice there.

I tried joining some WordPress groups on LinkedIn and answering questions for people there.  But, I picked a group that had like 60,000 people in it already, so that was a big flop.  I might have known the answer to some of the questions, and there were even one or two where I was able to weigh in with my opinion about something, but the group was overwhelming, and I never felt actually useful.

I even answered a question or two on the WordPress.org support forums.  Happened to come across a post I actually knew the answer to and no one else had responded to this poor guy.  That was a good day, but my approach – random encounter with an open ticket I knew something about – didn’t seem sustainable (although I might try tackling this one again at some point).

And then I discovered a meetup group that wasn’t too far from where I lived.

The focus of the group was helping small business owners use their WordPress websites. Hey! That’s right up my alley.  I started out just attending and even working with folks 1-on-1 at the end of the session to help them fix a specific problem they were having with their website.  But then eventually I got brave and gave a talk at one of the meetups and began to find other ways to help make the meetup successful.

I didn’t think that public speaking was my gig (I still really don’t, but I try to get out there anyhow), but man – scheduling meeting rooms and emailing out a newsletter to the meetup members, now that’s something I can get behind!  It’s not sexy, but it’s something I have ended up enjoying tremendously.  This year, I even branched out into volunteering to help plan this WordCamp, and I feel like I’ve finally found my place where I can contribute to the WordPress community.

We’ve put together the Becoming a Part of the WordPress Community Panel first thing Sunday morning, the 30th, so that regular folks, just like you and me, can share the myriad of ways they have found to be a part of the community and to give back some of what was so generously given to them.

Don’t miss out on this fun, informative panel, and maybe you’ll get some inspiration on how you can contribute, too.

If you haven’t already, be sure and Get your WordCamp Tickets Now!

What is an Extranet?

by Tiana Cameron, co-founder of a digital marketing fulfillment agency for mid to large size companies and a WordCamp Seattle 2016 Speaker

What I Learned From Making A WordPress Powered Extranet For My Freelance Biz

Extranet sounds super techie, doesn’t it?

Wikipedia’s definition is pretty techie:

“An extranet is a website that allows controlled access to partners, vendors and suppliers or anauthorized set of customers – normally to a subset of the information accessible from an organization’s intranet…it provides access to needed services for authorized parties….a private network organization.”

In plain talk, extranet is just a fancy term for “PORTAL” where you and your customers/clients can conduct business online.

Now, what is a WordPress powered extranet? The most amazing thing ever.

Think of it like a private, custom portal that you have complete control over. You get to choose and implement the features, set certain access for certain customers/clients and style the look of the extranet to your company’s visual brand.

A super awesome benefit is you get to keep your customers/clients in-house and not make them bounce around to different places to do things like:

  • pay a deposit or invoice
  • make an appointment
  • sign a contract
  • leave feedback on a document

Not to mention, you r own extranet keeps you from signing in to various websites to manage stuff for your business like:

  • projects, tasks and teams
  • prospects, leads and clients
  • invoices and recurring payments
  • email campaigns (for real!)

If you’re a frugal opportunist like me, the greatest advantage is ALL THE MONEY YOU SAVE when using it to substitute a lot of monthly subscriptions. Like, maybe enough money for a vacation!

Considering your own WordPress powered extranet? Learn all about my journey into how I created one for my freelance business, the unexpected bumps, wins and how much money I saved overall at WordCamp Seattle 2016! See you October 29th & 30th! 🙂

The Contributor Track

WordCamp Seattle 2014 Contributor Day

This year we’ll have a track on Sunday that’s dedicated to contributing back to the WordPress open-source project.

It’ll be similar to the Contributor Days we’ve done in past years, where people of all skills and experience levels get together in a casual environment to give something back to the WordPress community. We’ll be working in teams to improve WordPress’s documentation, code, support, official websites, and maybe a few other areas as well.

Everyone is welcome to come, even if you’ve never contributed before — especially if you’ve never contributed before! You don’t need any special skills, everyone has something they can do. We’ll have experienced contributors from various teams there to help you get started and answer any questions you have.

It’ll be going on all day on Sunday, so feel free to come and go as you please.

What to bring:

  • A laptop or tablet is the only thing you really need.
  • If you want to bring a power strip and extension cord that could come in handy, but we’ll have some already there too.
  • A pair of headphones, if you plan to subtitle WordPress.tv videos.
  • If you plan to work on code, you can get a head start by setting up Varying Vagrant Vagrants and the WordPress Meta Environment for a local development environment.

What If You Don’t Want to Sell Cialis on Your Website

by Aftaab Gulam, a creative, a problem solver, a listener, and a WordCamp Seattle 2016 Speaker

Hack Attack

I’ve been using WordPress for several years without issue. One day, I received an email from my host telling me they’d suspended my site. This was due to a large amount of spam sent from the domain.

Instant panic set in

I realized that I was in trouble as I had no backup of the site and would need to rebuild it from the ground up. All this hassle because a complete stranger wanted to sell Cialis.

I’d paid attention to form and function ignoring security. I assumed the host and platform were already secure.

Some of you are no doubt chuckling away to yourselves as you read this.

Yes, I learned the hard way

I want to share my experiences with you in the hope that you can avoid the same anxiety and frustration.

In my presentation, Hack Attack I will walk you through getting your site back online. I’ll show you some best practices to keep the undesirables out.

It is not possible to guarantee that you won’t get hacked. The harder it is to break in, the less chance the hacker will waste their time on your domain. These practices will help limit your liability moving forward and give you peace of mind.

Learn how to clean up a hacked site

Register for WordCamp Now

Decrease the Pain and Discomfort that are Common with a Desk Job (and Zumba!)

by Catherine Bridge, avid Zumba enthusiast, front-end WordPress developer, co-owner of Rocket Lift Incorporated and WordCamp Seattle 2016 Speaker

Common Desk Job Postural Ailments and What You Can Do About It

Protecting your body from common postural ailments

With my Common Desk Job Postural Ailments and What You Can Do About It! talk, you get two great experiences for the price of one! The first half of my talk will be an overview of two common postural ailments that plague desk-jobbers. When we’re done with that, we’re going to shove all of the chairs against a wall and get our sweat on with 20 minutes of Zumba!

You are highly encouraged to bring a towel.

Part 1: Two common postural ailments and what you can do to decrease pain and discomfort

We’re going to talk about Thoracic Hyperkyphosis and Anterior Pelvic Tilt, two postural ailments common with people who sit a lot and/or work at a desk. If you’re suffering from “tight shoulders” or ever feel a deep, twingy pain around your hips, back or low belly when you stand up, this talk is for you. Learn about stretching and strengthening exercises that can take years off your shoulders and low back.

Part 2: Get your Zumba on!

That’s right! We’re going to have a brief interlude from all that conference sitting, and get up, and shake it! Zumba has been known to burn 500 to 1000 calories an hour, increase body confidence, and produce spontaneous smiling.

Don’t be scared of not knowing the moves, not being able to dance, or worrying about what others think of you.

  1. Only I will know the moves in advance. It’s my job to teach them to you!
  2. EVERYONE can Zumba. I promise.
  3. No one is looking at you. Again, I promise. Everyone is looking at me, and trying not to run into you.
  4. Don’t worry if you run into someone. Smile apologetically and get back to shaking your booty.

What to bring:

  • Comfy clothing: shoes, sports-wear, and a change of clothes if you like. We’ll be doing  Zumba right before lunch so you’ll have time to change.
  • A towel. If you want to join me in working up a sweat, I can guarantee you will!
  • A water bottle. Stay hydrated, friends!
  • A willing spirit. Don’t forget this one, it’s important!
Come get your Zumba on!Grab your WordCamp tickets now

Zumba photo courtesy anujraj.