Saturday Sessions

Building Custom WordPress Themes With Sass

SPEAKER: Matt Vanderpol
TIME: 9:00 am — 9:45 am
ROOM: Calaveras

This talk is an overview of how to incorporate Sass into your theme building practices.

The talk will cover:

  • What is Sass and why should you use it
  • File organization, including WordPress-specific considerations
  • Sass best practices, including WordPress-specific considerations
  • Using a task runner (grunt/gulp) and development best practices
  • Thoughts and considerations for parent/child themes
  • Incorporating 3rd party libraries and frameworks
  • Exposing styles to WP Admin for better WYSIWYG display
  • Thoughts and considerations for development vs production CSS
  • Debugging CSS issues in the Sass
  • Mention of PostCSS and how it can complement Sass

Five Things You’ll Discover About Yourself As You Blog Consistently

SPEAKER: Chris Lema
TIME: 9:00 am — 9:45 am
ROOM: El Dorado

There’s a lot of great reasons to blog — most of them have been articulated by tons of brilliant folks (you can make money, you can have influence, you can demonstrate expertise). What I’ll share with you is five things you will discover about yourself as you start blogging consistently.

Creating Themes With Atomic Design

SPEAKER: Carrie Forde
TIME: 9:55 am — 10:40 am
ROOM: Calaveras

This talk will cover how atomic design can be incorporated into the WordPress theme design and development process. We’ll talk about the advantages of starting with the smallest elements of a design (think raw HTML elements), and how to combine those atoms to create molecules and organisms (search forms and navigation systems).

You’ll also learn tips for getting started with atomic design in WordPress theming, and what you can start doing now to incorporate the atomic design methodology into your workflow.

Scaling WordPress With Load Testing

SPEAKER: Jason Cosper
TIME: 9:55 am — 10:40 am
ROOM: El Dorado

Everybody wants their site to be scalable. From shared hosting customers to large media companies on expensive dedicated hardware, people deserve to get every last bit of performance that they’ve paid for.

However, most people don’t even bother to load test their sites. And of those who do, a number tend to only run basic tests on their local machine. To truly understand what you can reasonably expect, you need to throw real traffic (and real scenarios) at your production environment.

In this session, we will discuss how to generate tests that mimic realistic user traffic, ways to run these tests against your site, and what to do after you realize things maybe aren’t as fast as you’d thought.

Customizing Beaver Builder For Third Party Themes And Client Sites

SPEAKER: Justin Busa
TIME: 10:50 am — 11:35 am
ROOM: Calaveras

Beaver Builder is a page builder plugin that allows you to visually build custom layouts in WordPress with a drag and drop interface. While that adds a lot of power to any WordPress website, the real power is in its extendability. In this talk we’ll discuss the benefits of using a page builder and how to customize Beaver Builder to supercharge your third party themes or client sites.

Creating An Active Project Management Process

SPEAKER: Tirzah M. Johnson
TIME: 10:50 am — 11:35 am
ROOM: El Dorado

You know how the saying goes, “When you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.”

As business owners, entrepreneurs, and freelancers we often come across projects that may seem complex maybe even overwhelming. In this talk, you will discover how to create structure around your WordPress projects to protect you from the dangers of unmanaged scope creep. There are strategies and steadfast approaches that can help turn even a failing project into a viable one if you are up for the challenge.

This session will cover:

  • How to structure your process for client communications
  • Tips to make room for innovation
  • How to keep the lights on by avoiding scope creep
  • How to turn scope creep into a positive revenue boost

Rediscover Theme Settings With The Customizer

SPEAKER: Anthony Skelton
TIME: 11:45 am — 12:30 pm
ROOM: Calaveras

The topic will cover an introduction to working with the WordPress Customizer in Theme Development. It will cover a range of topics to get people going, including:

  • Setting up your theme for the Customizer
  • Add To / Remove default Customizer Sections
  • Add custom Panels, Sections, Settings, and Controls
  • Basic and Advanced Control Types
  • Output settings on the front end
  • 4.6 Validate Callbacks
  • Tips for workflow and dry coding
  • The future of the Customizer

We’ll also examine the Customizer method properties, including:

  • Type: ThemeMod vs Option and why
  • Transport: Refresh vs postMessage
  • Sanitization: Built in and custom
  • Callbacks: WordPress basic and Custom callbacks

Local WordPress Development With Docker

SPEAKER: Tate Barber
TIME: 11:45 am — 12:30 pm
ROOM: El Dorado

“Docker this, Docker that!” It seems like your nerd friend won’t shut up about this whole nautical technology. And he can be a real jerk about it, but he can sure spin up a local WordPress site faster than I can.

In this hands-on session, you will learn how easy Docker can be, and why it will quickly become your favorite local WordPress development environment. Whether you are a WordPress site designer, manager, or developer this session is for you.

Learn how to replace your LAMP or MAMP stacks with Docker.

Tips And Tricks For Debugging Like A Pro

SPEAKER: Vasken Hauri
TIME: 1:45 pm — 2:30 pm
ROOM: Calaveras

We’ve all had them — nasty bugs hidden deep in the code, causing unexpected behavior or slowing down your site. Tracking down these bugs can be a frustrating process for sure, but with the right tools and a scientific approach, it is possible to greatly improve the speed and efficiency with which you can find and eliminate issues in your code.

We’ll cover a couple of free tools currently available for your development environment, and also briefly cover some subscription offerings that may be useful for obtaining performance data on your production sites. While the tools we cover can be used to track down a variety of code problems, our focus will be on often insidious, hard-to-track, performance-killing bugs rather than the “white screen of death” variety.

Lightning Talks On Content, A Slack Bot, And Podcasting

SPEAKERS: Cristina Robinson, Jon Shumate, and Jonathan Denwood
TIME: 1:45 pm — 2:30 pm
ROOM: El Dorado

This session will feature three lightning talks from three different speakers. Each speaker will have 10 MINUTES to present and a group Q&A will take place at the end of the session.

Best Practices For Creating Content

Cristina Robinson will cover the best practices of content creation, including why writing your website and blog content in a traditional word processor might not the best approach.

A Slack Bot SAAS Built On WordPress

Jon Shumate will share the story behind building a Slack Bot SAAS on WordPress: a part time passion project that kicked off last March at the Launch Hackathon and will culminate in August with the launch of a super cool (and free) slack bot SAAS.

Five Steps To Launching Your Podcast Using WordPress

Jonathan Denwood will talk about how you can get started podcasting with WordPress in just five easy steps.

Building A Learning Platform With WordPress

SPEAKER: Kim Shivler
TIME: 2:40 pm — 3:15 pm
ROOM: Calaveras

Online courses are hot in business right now, and the best classes are much more than a series of videos. With WordPress, you can create a perfect platform for learning along with solid courses to serve your audience. We’ll explore what makes a great platform and a solid course plus WordPress configuration options to create this. From bbPress and Learning Management Systems to BuddyPress, we’ll look at what’s possible along with difficulty levels of the various implementations.

Whether you are a business owner looking into how online courses can increase business or a developer looking for a new package to offer customers, this session is for you.

A downloadable guide and private area demonstrating one of the implementations will be available to attendees.

Developer First Design: Make Design Great Again

SPEAKER: Ozzy Rodriguez
TIME: 2:40 pm — 3:15 pm
ROOM: El Dorado

It all starts with a vision, a designer’s dream. There are no limits. It’s a developer’s job to bring that vision to reality. There are some limits. If a designer doesn’t know, understand or acknowledge they exist, it can make for a not so cool end result or work experience. By discovering where a developer is coming from, together, we can make design great again!

The Loop And WP_Query()

SPEAKER: Michael Shores
TIME: 3:40 pm — 4:15 pm
ROOM: Calaveras

This talk will cover how to use the WP_Query() method to write queries and loops for just about anything in WordPress, including queries like:

  • Getting a list of posts by category
  • Query by custom post type
  • Query posts before or after a specific date
  • Complex queries on custom field values
  • Multiple queries and post lists on the same page

Leveraging Partnerships To Increase Sales And Grow Your Business

SPEAKER: Colin Dowling
TIME: 3:40 pm — 4:15 pm
ROOM: El Dorado

It’s been my experience that many WordPress developers, designers, and agencies have little focus or time for sales. This is understandable – there is actual code or design work to be done! Keeping current clients happy takes priority! But finding new business is imperative not just for growth but, in many cases, for survival. And if new sales and marketing efforts are constantly taking a backseat to actually doing the work, eventually the string will run out.

This session is designed to teach anyone interested in generating income with WordPress how to get outsize returns on the time spent selling and marketing their work. How? By building a channel of partners, not referrers. With a partner channel in place, the top-of-the-sales-funnel can seemingly solve itself.

Whether you are working alone, have a partner or two, or are building a thriving dev shop the lessons here can apply to you: finding other people in the digital community to partner with can lead to an exponential increase in available opportunities without becoming a massive time sink. In just a few hours each week (sometimes less), anyone can build a hearty channel of mutually beneficial partnerships that keep the right kinds of new business coming in.

WordPress And Git

SPEAKER: Treighton Mauldin
TIME: 4:25 pm — 5:00 pm
ROOM: Calaveras

This talk will cover not just how, but also why using a Version Control System like Git with your WordPress projects is helpful and important. You’ll see case studies, as well as a detailed tutorial, so you will will leave with knowledge on how this integration can be accomplished, as well as the confidence to integrate it into your own work process.

Taking The Yoast SEO Plugin To The Next Level

SPEAKER: David McCormick
TIME: 4:25 pm — 5:00 pm
ROOM: El Dorado

The Yoast SEO for WordPress plugin is the best SEO (Search Engine Optimization) solution available on WordPress and has over 32 million downloads to date. For the novice, using it out-of-the-box is a great step forward in their SEO efforts. For more experienced users, it’s time to move beyond the built-in recommendations and to optimize their site like an expert.

In this talk, I’ll briefly explain that effective SEO is based in data and is deliberate and measurable, and define the often misunderstood “keyword” and how they as relevant today as ever. I’ll then give specific ways web managers/masters can apply keyword and content strategy to the Yoast plugin.

We’ll cover the most common and important elements: page titles, meta descriptions, robots meta, Open Graph, page copy (briefly — it’s a big topic), headings, and multiple focus keywords (for Yoast Premium users). For each of these elements you’ll get a definition and specific recommendations for length, structure, keyword usage, and why it’s important, and the expected result.