Category Archives: WordCamp Sessions

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 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 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.

Custom Post Types Are For Everyone!

by Tyler Golberg, Web Tinkerer at CYBERSprout and WordCamp Seattle 2016 Speaker

Custom Post Types for Non-Developers

Everybody knows that WordPress is a content management system (CMS), but it hasn’t always been that way. WordPress 3.0 made the leap from being only a blogging platform to a CMS with the introduction of custom post types.

What are custom post types?

A custom post type is very similar to a post or a page except it has a lot more flexibility. It can be static, timely, simple, or comprehensive. It is up to you!

Here are just a few common uses for custom post types: properties, products, services, case studies, and staff. Some plugins even use multiple post types. A calendar could utilize events, venues, and organizers together.

When To Use Custom Post Types?

It is hard to say exactly when. However, these four guidelines will help you out:

  • The content doesn’t work in a page or a blog post
  • A different taxonomy (e.g. categories) is needed to organize the content
  • You need to pull static content into a loop (i.e. doesn’t work for pages)
  • Ease of use compared to pages

Loving Custom Post Types

As you dig deeper into this feature, you’ll wonder how you lived without custom post types! The most beautiful part of all? You don’t need to be a developer these days to take advantage. There are several plugins that make it easy to easy to use custom post types as a non-developer.

Come learn everything you need to know to unleash the power of custom post types and make your site so much more than just posts and pages!

Get your WordCamp tickets today!

The One Change that Turned My Blog from a Hobby into a Business

by Kimberly Gauthier, Dog Nutrition Blogger for Keep the Tail Wagging and WordCamp Seattle 2016 Speaker

10 Blogging Habits that Kill the CompetitionHow many times have you sat staring at your blog’s analytics, wondering what you could do to make the numbers finally start ticking skyward? I was told not to obsess about my blog’s analytics. “Just produce quality content,” they’d say. I’ve learned that publishing blog posts isn’t enough and I’m sure you’ve figured this out as well.

In 10 Blogging Habits that Kill the Competition, I will be sharing the 10 things I did to help me take Keep the Tail Wagging from a small blog in a big pond into one of the leading dog nutrition blogs on the Internet in less than three years.

Today, I’m going to share the principal change that made the biggest impact.

Niche Blogging

When I narrowed my blog’s focus to raw feeding, I left an ocean of pet bloggers and found myself in a small pond. Within a year, my traffic increased 500% and I was labeled an authority in raw feeding.

Sounds simple, right?

Looking back, it was the simplest thing in the world. It was also a complete accident. I stumbled upon this good fortune, because I had a dog with allergies and a reader who wanted to know more about what I was feeding him.

After my accidental fortune, I began to pay more attention to what was working for my blog.

Create a Unique Voice

Although I was in a small niche, I wasn’t the first person to blog about raw feeding; not by a long shot. I was, however, the first person to approach the topic as a novice who was learning alongside her readers. I’m not a veterinarian or a canine nutritionist and never felt comfortable telling others what to feed their dogs. As a result, my blog became a place where people could get information and ask question without feeling the pressure to transition their dogs to raw.

Without realizing it, I had created a unique voice.

Promote What’s Working for You

When the traffic began to grow, I saw more monetization opportunities. It was tempting to throw every banner ad in the pet sphere on my blog, but I’ve learned from past blogging experience that this rarely works.

Instead, I promoted what was working for me and my dogs. I began addressing problems and offering the solution that worked for my dogs and sprinkled affiliate links throughout.

I had integrity and the audience that followed me because I didn’t judge them, added my recommendations to their shopping carts.

Becoming a Big Fish in a Small Pond

None of this happened overnight. It takes a tremendous amount of focus, passion, and discipline to build a successful blog. And for me, it took a bit of luck as well. At WordCamp Seattle, I plan to share everything that I’ve learned and that I’m doing that has landed me on the first page Google results for “dog nutrition blogger.”

Don’t miss out on Kimberly’s session!
Get your WordCamp tickets today!

Introducing Seattle WordCamp Speakers – Part One

We have received a total of 63 speakers and 89 topic submissions. We have carefully reviewed the speakers and the topics and now we have the first set of speakers ready. Hop over to the speakers page to see our speakers. We will be adding more speakers later this week.

We will be having 3 tracks with speakers and workshops on both Saturday and Sunday. Check out more about the beginner workshop on Saturday. We will be putting up the final schedule later this week.

Have you bought your tickets to the Seattle WordCamp yet? Well what are you waiting for? Purchase them now.

Get To Know WordPress – A Three-hour Workshop for Beginners

We’re getting excited for WordCamp! While we’re still working on finalizing the schedule, we wanted to share one of the great workshops we’ve got lined up!

Whether you are thinking about using WordPress or have just started, sometimes there is that moment of hesitation. Are you doing the right thing? Is this going to be as easy as everyone says it is?

Let’s all remember: “easy” is a relative term.

One of the challenges that keeps some from going to a WordCamp is the unknown. When you are just beginning to use WordPress, it can be scary. What if you don’t know what they’re talking about? Or maybe you feel you need to understand it more in order to attend.

First, there are always great sessions that go through specifics to help you get started. And there are many helpful people who are more than willing to answer any question you have.

What could be more comfortable than knowing you will learn those basics in a setting where you have a nurturing space and no question is too “simple”?

Bob Dunn

Bob Dunn of BobWP

This is what Bob Dunn’s 3-hour Get to Know WordPress Workshop on Day 1 of WordCamp is going to be all about.

He’ll take you through the basics. Not only will you have a better understanding of WordPress, but you will feel more prepared as you dive into sessions on the second day.

To learn more about what he will be sharing with you, check out the workshop description and make sure to grab your ticket to WordCamp. And oh, by the way, Bob will be hanging around as well if you have more questions.

See you there!

WordCamp is Going to the Kids

KidsCamp is coming!

Maybe you haven’t noticed, but KidsCamp has been sweeping the nation at WordCamps from coast to coast over the past year or so. We are over the moon to be including it in WordCamp Seattle this year and introducing the next generation to the awe and wonder of WordPress.

KidsCamp Seattle 2016

KidsCamp is a half-day workshop taking place as part of WordCamp on Saturday, October 29th from 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm. It will be a hands-on learning experience especially for kids that covers:

  • Learning about WordPress and all of the cool things it does
  • Being safe online
  • Setting up their own site on
  • Changing themes and adding widgets
  • Creating posts and pages and adding images
  • Good blogging habits
  • Sharing and following
  • And way more!

You’ll need to bring:

  1. An “age appropriate” kid – 8-14 years old
  2. A laptop or tablet that can connect to the internet so they can roll up their sleeves and work during this workshop
  3. Some ideas about topics they might like to write about
  4. Some images on their device so they can practice uploading media
  5. Login ID and password for their own account **

** Before the workshop, please help your child create a account which requires an email address. If they’re younger than 13 you’ll need to do this for them.

Tickets are only $20. We’re limiting it to just 30 kiddos, so don’t miss out!

We are asking that parents stay on-site with their kiddos. This is not childcare, and you’re responsible for your kiddo. Please don’t drop and run. You are welcome to sit in on the workshop with them. Or if you prefer, get your own ticket and enjoy the oodles of other fun and informative WordPress presentations taking place that day.