WordCamp Seattle 2016 Sessions

We’ve got a jam-packed schedule filled with informative and entertaining sessions for our 2-Day WordCamp this year.

Keep checking back as we confirm more speakers!

10 Blogging Habits that Kill the Competition

Presented by Kimberly Gauthier in Tahoma 3.

Often as bloggers, we get in our own way, slowing our blog’s growth. In this presentation, I will share 10 habits that I’ve developed – expanding on each one with real life examples of how these have worked for me and others.

7 of the 10 tips are:

1) Create tomorrow’s To Do list tonight; work on that list before opening email.

2) Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers other than to gain ideas and inspiration.

3) Learn how to make self-promotion work for you and not come off as spammy.

4) Hire a virtual assistant.

5) Understand how to leverage your analytics.

6) Start building your mailing list today.

7) Turn every opportunity into something that works for you (i.e. press releases that have nothing to do with your niche).

A Better User Experience With The WordPress Customizer

Presented by Andrew Taylor in Tahoma 3.

With all the buzz around the REST API maybe it’s been awhile since you took a look at WordPress core’s JavaScript-driven single page application (SPA), the Customizer.

In this talk we will explore how to use the Customizer to improve the user experience for theme and plugin settings, explore how the Customizer has evolved, and look at the future of the Customizer.

Anatomy of a WordPress installation

Presented by Jonathan Kay in Tahoma 3.

WordPress has a lot of moving parts: the database, the web server, WordPress itself, your content, your plugins, your theme… It can be confusing to figure out how it all fits together. In this talk, I will go over all of the working pieces in a standard self-hosted WordPress installation, including things like what the webhost does, what files are present and their role, and how WordPress uses the database. It’s helpful to understand how it all fits together so that you can track down problems on a site, make improvements to a site, or just have a handle on what happens under the hood when you use WordPress.

Becoming a Part of the WordPress Community [Tahoma 3]

Presented by Eric Amundson, Mark Root-Wiley, Kelli Wise, Jeremy Felt, Mika Epstein in Tahoma 1, Tahoma 2, Tahoma 3.

One of the things that makes WordPress as amazing as it is is the vast community of people who give so freely of their time and expertise to make it that way. And there are all kinds of ways, beyond being an ace coder, to make a contribution and become part of the ecosystem. Come listen to a panel of regular folks talk about the ways they are involved in supporting and growing the WordPress community and WordPress itself. If you’ve benefited from this generous community and are ready to pay it forward, this promises to be a fun, inspiring panel and will give you ideas on ways you can contribute, too.

Change Your Defaults, Strengthen Your Security

Presented by Andrew Villeneuve in Tahoma 3.

Ransomware. Viruses. Data breaches. Phishing emails. Website defacement. Ad network hijacking. These are just some of the cyber threats that everyone needs to be aware of and on guard against in the second quarter century of the World Wide Web. The Internet can be incredibly useful, but it’s also home to many bad neighborhoods and bad actors. We owe it to ourselves, our business partners, our customers, and our donors to learn how to secure our websites, devices, and the sensitive data on them. Everyone benefits when we collectively make an effort to strengthen our users’ privacy and security. And the most effective way for us to practice good security hygiene is to change our defaults. As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Learn how to factor security into your choices for web hosting, browsing, payment processing, themes, and plugins — and how to secure the desktop and mobile operating systems you already use. By changing your defaults, you’ll be much better protected against the hive of scum and villainy on the Internet that would do you harm.

Participants will learn how to….

  • Pick an Internet security and antivirus suite
  • Scrutinize and screen WordPress plugins and themes
  • Scan websites for security issues like a pro
  • Encrypt data using HTTPS, SFTP, PGP, and other secure protocols
  • Find documentation that explains the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
  • Deploy web browser “armor” to neutralize threats
  • Create and safely store strong passwords

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

Presented by Catherine Bridge in Tahoma 2.

New research indicates that sitting 8 hours a day may be as hazardous to your health as smoking!

Web developers and other desk-jobbers frequently suffer from postural ailments such as Hyperkyphosis (hunch back) and Anterior Pelvic Tilt, which can cause pain, and eventually lead to injuries such as ruptured disks or sciatica.

This talk will be broken into three main sections.

  1. Lecture: The woes of desk jobs, a brief outline of Hyperkyphosis and Anterior Pelvic Tilt and what can be done to combat them. This will focus on body positivity and not what is “normal” vs “abnormal” but what causes YOU the individual, discomfort and how to alleviate pain.
  2. Questions: 5 minutes
  3. Zumba Class: That’s right! I am going to lead whomever-shows-up in a beginner friendly, booty shaking, smile inducing physical break from *sitting all day at WordCamp!*

Contributor Track

Presented in Tahoma 1.

Contributor Track is a casual session where people of all skills and experience levels can give back to the WordPress community. We’ll be working in teams to improve WordPress’s documentation, translations, code, design, support, and official websites.

Everyone is welcome, and the only thing you need is a desire to give back to the community. If you’re new to contributing, we’ll help you find an area where you can get involved and walk you through making your first contribution.

CSS Sanity with Sass

Presented by Julie Kuehl in Tahoma 2.

You always start with the best of intentions. The parent/starter theme you begin your custom site with has a beautifully laid out style.css file. You do your best to keep everything organized and logical, but in the throes of deadlines and CSS frustrations things get ugly. Maybe you’ve heard of Sass and don’t know how to begin. Maybe you’ve used Sass and aren’t quite seeing the light yet. We’ll go over how to begin with Sass and how to use the Inverted Triangle way of organizing Sass to help you keep your sanity throughout the entire project.

Custom Post Types for Non-Developers

Presented by Tyler Golberg in Tahoma 2.

Unleash the full power of the WordPress content management system with custom post types. The best part? You don’t need to be a developer to utilize this awesome feature. We’ll cover why, when, and how to use custom post types. To top it off, we’ll set up a custom taxonomy to help organize your data even further.

Drawing with SVG

Presented by Morgan Kay in Tahoma 3.

SVG (scalable vector graphics) can be a really powerful tool for creating dynamic content on your website. In this talk, I will show you how to make responsive animations with HTML and JavaScript, using as a case study.

Get To Know WordPress – A Workshop for Beginners

Presented by Bob Dunn in Tahoma 1.

If you are just thinking of starting to use WordPress, or recently started and want to wrap your brain around the basics, this workshop is perfect for you. It will help you get started while giving you a head start on the second day of WordCamp Seattle to by helping you better understand all the great talks you attend.

Note: This workshop will focus more on running a self-hosted WordPress site vs. having one on However, there are several overlaps and parts of this workshop will address those.

In this 3-hour workshop you will learn:

  • The difference between and
  • What the WordPress dashboard looks like, including an overview of posts, pages, menus and categories
  • What it means to have a blog on your site
  • What a theme is and a quick overview of some of your options
  • What plugins and widgets are and some tips on how to choose them
  • Why WordPress plugins and themes update so often
  • Where to find resources that will help you as you build and grow your site

Getting to Know WordPress Multisite

Presented by Jeremy Felt in Tahoma 3.

Multisite is often treated as a dark corner of WordPress and can be forgotten or managed poorly when developing public plugins or working on client projects.

Let’s pull back the curtain and shed some light.

We’ll cover a brief history of multisite to give context to some of the early decisions. We’ll walk through the structure and load process to show how straightforward multisite really is. We’ll go through the brand new WP_Site_Query and WP_Network_Query class introduced in WordPress 4.6. And we’ll cover some common solutions to things people frequently want to do with multisite.

Hack Attack

Presented by Aftaab Gulam in Tahoma 3.

You receive an email from the host saying that your site has been compromised and is suspended due to large amounts of spam being sent through your domain. You’ve been hacked.

Someone has disturbed the sanctity of your hard work to promote sales of Cialis, Viagra, their porn sites or some political movement. That uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach signaling the worst case scenario–that you’ve lost everything.

Don’t worry, it’s happened to the best of us and if you’re like me, then you’ve learned the hard way. I’ve had several sites go down due to my own negligence, incompetence and lack of knowledge.

I’ll walk you through the steps necessary to help recover, clean up your site and provide some best practices to limit your vulnerability to hackers in the future.

Helping Non-Profits Change The World With WordPress

Presented by Jocelyn Mozak in Tahoma 2.

In this presentation, I walk you through why WordPress is the perfect solution for non-profits, and share stories about three non-profits I had the pleasure of working with to help transform the way their organizations function. In particular, I will discuss how I helped improve their online fundraising experience, implemented an automated membership system to connect Rotarians around the world, and created a video sharing community all through WordPress features and WordPress Plugins. If more organizations are able to learn and understand how to harness the offerings of WordPress, there is no limit to what they can do.

KEYNOTE: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There [Tahoma 3]

Presented by Chris Lema in Tahoma 1, Tahoma 2, Tahoma 3.

I’d like to inspire courage and taking action when we don’t know the full extent of the results by focusing on a variety of new disciplines people might embrace. This will apply to you if you’re a freelancer, blogger, agency owner or young developer.

KidsCamp Workshop

Presented by Nichole Betterley in Tahoma 1.

KidsCamp is a half-day, 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!

Managing Your Online Reputation

Presented by Tammy Finch in Tahoma 2.

Word-of-mouth advertising – and a good reputation among customers – is still your most valuable marketing and public relations asset in the digital age. On the Internet, a positive reputation can take you farther than ever… and a few bad reviews can sink your sales overnight.

In this short workshop, experienced online marketing coach Tammy Finch is going to show you:

  • How to monitor reviews and respond to negative feedback
  • How to manage (and separate) your personal and professional personas
  • How to use social media profiles and other digital tools to get feedback from buyers

This should be considered a must-attend session for any marketer or business owner.

Names, Versions, Releases, and SVN

Presented by Mika Epstein in Tahoma 3.

Writing the code is the easy part. Naming things, figuring out versions, and handling all that in SVN is not as easy as it should be. Even experienced developers mess this one up. Regularly. So don’t feel like you’re a loser if you don’t get it. Be prepared to Google and keep an open mind.

On Site SEO in WordPress for Content Marketing

Presented by Val Scrivner in Tahoma 2.

“How do I improve my rankings in Google?” – The ultimate question for anyone who has ever built, owned, or managed a website. There isn’t one right answer to this conundrum, but there are many proven ways to help boost your site’s authority and friendliness with search engines.

We will explore the anatomy of a website as it pertains to it being an active participant of the world wide web with on site SEO best practices as your digital citizenship. Through this idea, we ‘ll cover the basic page elements that every site looking to rank well in search engines should include as well as tips, tricks, and tools for effectively and efficiently incorporating these components using WordPress.

Profitable Website Projects – The Oreo Cookie Strategy

Presented by James Hipkin in Tahoma 2.

Red8 Interactive builds custom WordPress themes for design agencies across the country. Several of our customers have told us that they are no longer designing websites because they can’t make money on the projects. In fact they frequently lose money. The presentation is a reaction to this. It’s based on our experiences and presents an approach that will lead to profitable projects. With a few changes to their process a website project can be profitable. But it does require change.

Six Figure Freelancing

Presented by Nate Reimnitz in Tahoma 2.

Over the past year I’ve been quite successful at freelancing as a WordPress developer and I’ve developed some tips, tricks, and strategies that have proven to be extremely effective a earning a great living as a freelancer.

My talk is called “six figure freelancing” and it covers how I manage to earn at least $10,000 every month as a freelancer. I’d love to share my story with others and help them become more successful as well.

Stop Saying No | Learning to Nurture Clients

Presented by Tim Sisson in Tahoma 2.

As a freelance designer, we turn down business constantly. Most small business owners undervalue the work we do and have limited budgets. Every week, I found myself turning down those dreaded “I have $300. Can you build me a website?” kind of leads.

Then, I realized I didn’t have to. With the right strategy and confidence in your work, you can make a living on $300 jobs. But more importantly, you can convert that customer you would’ve turned down into the customer you wanted, to begin with (and still do the fun custom work we really love to do).

We’ll discuss strategies, contracts, residual income generation, and long-term customer-focused approaches to freelance web work. We’ll also chat about keeping yourself happy in the midst of working for yourself and why those leads you’ve been turning down can be a huge asset.

The Web We Make

Presented by Andrew Woods in Tahoma 2.

The web plays a lot of roles in modern life. It’s a world wide network designed to be available and accessible to everyone. The types of people, their range of abilities, and their types of devices are quite diverse. How can we, as developers, impact this diverse user base? How can we make the web a better place? The approach we use to develop our code can have a significant impact. That approach is the combination of accessible design and progressive enhancement.

There Are No Dumb Questions: Beginner Q&A

Presented by Kelli Wise in Tahoma 3.

” .. every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question” – Carl Sagan

Have a question that hasn’t been answered by one of the presenters today? Or maybe a discussion with one of your new WordPress friends has sparked your curiosity? This is your chance to get answers, explanations, or just a good laugh

This Is Not What We Asked For: Avoiding, Preparing For, and Handling Difficult Client Moments

Presented by Devon DeLapp in Tahoma 3.

When a web project is going great, client relations is a breeze. But what do you do when its not? Misunderstandings, under-bidding, over-asking, delays, and more can stall that project and sour a relationship. But with a bit of preparation, and pro-active management, you can give your project the best chance at success and turn upset clients into your biggest evangelists.

As a graphic designer, Hollywood personal assistant, and owner of a boutique agency, Devon DeLapp has overseen hundreds of projects and thousands of support requests. This talk will present his best practices for keeping projects on track and clients satisfied even during tough times.

Tools for Managing Multiple WordPress Sites

Presented by Christina Varro in Tahoma 3.

WordPress core, plugins, and themes require constant updates and there are a variety of ways to track and manage these updates to keep WordPress secure and up to date. We will look at strategy and tools to managing multiple WordPress sites quickly and efficiently. After almost 6 years of running a freelance business with a strong focus on WordPress, I have used a number of management tools and dashboards and want to share my experiences.

Usability Schmoozabillity: 5 Tips to Make Your Website Work for Customers

Presented by Kristin Kinnamon in Tahoma 2.

User-centered design isn’t just the latest trend – it’s a natural extension of good customer service. By focusing on basic usability principles, you are more likely to make your customers (visitors, users) happy, and to meet your business, client, or personal goals.

Get simple tips on user research, creating good content, and UX standards that don’t change. User-centered design can help answer arguments and avoid tangents in the development process, and results in a better product.

Using a CDN to Speed Up Your Website

Presented by Gaelan Lloyd in Tahoma 3.

Slowly loading websites not only negatively influence the customer’s perception of your brand, but they also negatively impact your site’s search engine rankings.

A CDN, or content delivery network, is something that everyone can use to speed up their site for visitors all around the world.  CDN’s used to be expensive and require long-term contracts, but all of that has changed.

No matter what kind of website you run, and no matter how much you spend on hosting, a CDN is something that everyone should be using to ensure a fast loading website and smooth user experience.

Join me in this session where I’ll show you how to get started with a product from Amazon Web Services that can speed up your site, take a load off of your server, and increase your site’s search engine rankings — all for a cost that’s next to nothing!

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

Presented by Tiana Cameron in Tahoma 2.

One Sunday morning while reconciling my books during a slow cash flow month, I was shocked to realize that I was paying nearly $300 a month in subscriptions to run my freelancing gig! Things like invoicing, project management, contracts and growing – it was seriously getting out of control.

Sure $7-$35 here and there was harmless, maybe even unnoticed most times. But after seeing all the subscriptions categorized (especially during a slow month) and knowing there’s over 40,000 plugins available in WordPress, I couldn’t help but wonder “What can WordPress replace?”

And with that, I started a journey into creating (even though I didn’t realize at the time) an extranet that my clients and I both could use, all with the ultimate goal of reducing my monthly operating costs.

This topic is about what I learned while creating my extranet and what monthly subscription services WordPress could totally replace, what it might be able to replace (depending on circumstances), what it should not replace and the unexpected benefits and head bumps I uncovered!