Local Developers Showcase submissions are open!

One of the objectives of WordCamps is to promote local activity within the WordPress sphere. One way in which we would like to do this this year is to offer the opportunity for members of the local WordPress development community to show our attendees a new theme, plugin or tool that they have built that could be useful to other WordPress users, admins or developers.

Have you created a Plugin, Theme or Tool you would like to share?

If you are local (interpretations here vary somewhat) and would like the opportunity to stand on a soapbox at some point during the event and show attendees how this plugin, theme or tool could help them, please consider filling out our application form online.

Local Developers Showcase Application Form

Please note that at the moment we are just gathering applications to see if there’s a critical mass of developers to make this happen. We also want to avoid making this an opportunity for “free” promotion of services or products. If you want to promote your product or service, please consider being a sponsor

Sponsor Spotlight: SIDEKICK

sidekick-logo-webSIDEKICK is a Toronto based company providing guided and interactive Walkthroughs for the WordPress Dashboard through the SIDEKICK for WordPress plugin.

With over 125 Walkthroughs in our library, our mission is to be the fastest and easiest way to learn WordPress while providing our customers with faster on-boarding, lower support costs and happier customers of their own.”

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Sponsor Spotlight: Lingotek

Lingotek Sponsor LogoLingotek | The Translation Network enables the creation and management of multilingual content inside your enterprise applications. The Lingotek solution leverages People, Process and Technology.

“We have unparalleled expertise in web content, documentation, and software localization. We employ a proven translation and localization process. This, combined with our cloud-based translation management system, empowers enterprises to engage customers globally.”

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Exclusive WordCamp Toronto discounts for AndroidTO

AndroidTO 2014The 5th AndroidTO, Canada’s largest Android-focused conference, takes place this year on October 30th at MaRS.

Use coupon code WordCamp99 when you register. This saves you $26 on the registration price. Register before October 24th and you’ll be entered to win one of five Android Wear watches.

Click here to register for AndroidTO.

From the AndroidTO organizers:

“AndroidTO, Canada’s largest Android event, returns for its fifth  year on October 30, 2014 at the MaRS Discovery District. The conference features outstanding Android design and development speakers from LynxFit, Tumblr, Yahoo and more.

AndroidTO 2014 is a return to the conference’s developer roots: Helping programmers connect the growing number of devices that run the Android OS, including Android Wear, Android Auto and Android TV. AndroidTO will also continue to evangelize the best design and programming practices for phones and tablets.”

Sponsor Spotlight: WP Rocket

WP RocketWP Rocket is a new premium caching plugin for WordPress, used by almost 5000 websites. It’s powerful and really easy to configure. You can follow WP Rocket on Twitter and Facebook.

Why WordPress?

“WordPress is so powerful, easy, and the community is absolutely awesome.”

How has WordPress affected you?

“WordPress affects all our business.”

Thank you, WP Rocket, for sponsoring WordCamp Toronto 2014!

WordCamp 2014 Tracks

We’re a month away and it’s time to reveal the great content we have lined up for you at WordCamp Toronto 2014! With 10 content tracks and over 65 speakers, it’s going to be a packed weekend with something for absolutely everyone who might be in contact with WordPress: from bloggers with a simple WordPress-powered website, to agencies, to seasoned WordPress developers, there’s tons of content pitched directly at your level!

Here are the tracks we have lined up for you:

  • User / Admin: this is the perfect track for WordPress users and small site administrators, whether you’re completely new to WordPress, or have been maintaining a site for some time. The track kicks off with an awesome session on getting the most out of WordCamp! A real “must” if you’re new to the WordCamp scene.

  • A11y: “a11y” is the accepted short form for “Accessibility” and refers to ensuring access to people of all levels of ability. Learn why accessibility best practices on your (or your client’s) websites benefit everyone, not just people with disabilities, and discover tools and techniques for accessibility testing, accessibility audits and accessible theme development.

  • Designer: Graphic designers, web designers and visual artists will all benefit from this track that talks about the creative side of WordPress without digging into the nitty-gritty of coding. Compelling and effective WordPress site designs require a different approach than conventional “static” HTML website design. Discover User Experience tricks, wireframing best practices, web typography, content design strategies and more in this engaging track.

  • Developer: If you’re new to code, learning to code, or an experienced coder, we have tracks for you. The “Beginner Dev” track will introduce you to WordPress development best practices, including powerful tools and workflows to increase your learning curve; the “Advanced Dev” has well-known core contributors and big names in the WordPress developer community presenting latest WordPress APIs and technologies, and killer tips. We’re also dedicating an entire morning to JavaScript and Backbone.js so you can get up to speed with the new way of working with JS within WordPress.

  • Agency: If you’re making a living developing and deploying WordPress sites for client, then this track will have great business-focused topics to help you improve your business practices, workflows and project management. We’re also pleased to be hosting a stimulating, 2-hour business panel, where we’ve invited a carefully selected group of professionals from across the entire spectrum from freelancers to small-to-mid sized agency owners, to big agencies, who will be there to answer your questions in a moderated and interactive forum.

  • Content and Business: sessions in this track are targeted toward a non-technical audience who want to learn how WordPress can help them grow their business and reach a wider, more targeted audience. Topics include Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content creation, monetization and analytics, and includes a 2-hour website “clinic” that invites you to submit your live site to a duo of experts to provide feedback and advice on how they can become more effective.

  • Community: We’re really excited about this new track, which is specifically crafted to help those who wish to get more involved with the WordPress open source movement and community. There are so many ways to get involved, from participating, volunteering, and organizing events, to answering support questions, to helping with theme reviews and accessibility, to contributing code and patching bugs. This track should not be missed by anyone who has been benefiting from this free software and its fantastic community and wants to start giving back in whatever capacity they can.

  • Contrib2Core: Are you a WordPress developer who has always wanted to contribute a patch and get their name up in the WordPress credits page? Are you a technical speaker in-between sessions and want to hack out a bug with Automatticians and core contributors? This is where we’ll be hanging out, to help new contributors find patches and tests they can do in the time they have available. We ran this last year and 6 of the attendees’ names appeared in the credits of the next WordPress release!

  • Happiness Bar: This is a staple of every WordCamp: an open, casual zone where you can come with your WordPress-related questions, problems or challenges, and find an expert volunteer to steer you in the right direction. We’ve got a great venue for the Happiness Bar this year (and it will be right next to the coffee and snacks) so come on over, hang out and snag a “Wizard” for a few minutes. You’ll be glad you did!

Am I restricted to just 1 track?

No! By no means. The tracks are just ways for us to organize sessions that seem to have a similar focus. We’re organizers, that’s what we like to do. You are free to mix and match and attend sessions from any and all tracks. For the convenience of attendees, we tend to keep all the talks for a track in the same room, so you don’t have to be constantly switching rooms. But folk will switch rooms to attend talks across any of the sessions according to their interest.

You can see why we are so excited to offer this WordCamp to you this year. There’s just so much great stuff to learn and so many awesome speakers who will be presenting.

Stay tuned over the next week as we reveal the full schedule, but don’t wait until then to buy your ticket if you haven’t already done so.

Sponsor Spotlight: Carbon60 Networks

Carbon60 NetworksCarbon60 Networks’ enterprise WordPress platform delivers content fast and reliably, making your site highly resilient to both welcome traffic spikes and unwelcome denial-of-service attacks. Carbon60 provides a white glove level of service to support the entire WordPress development and delivery life-cycle, hosted within Canadian data centres.

Their WordPress sandbox allows you to create new WordPress development environments on-demand while an integrated code management service provides a secure place to manage code changes. Sites are then staged for testing using Carbon60’s integrated security and performance testing tools. Once optimized, site code and content are promoted to the production WordPress delivery platform. This platform combines the strengths of an enterprise cloud computing architecture – optimized to host WordPress source code, plug-ins and content – with a vastly scalable and robust global edge content delivery/security system which guarantees your site is secure and delivers high performance to you viewers.

Why WordPress?

1. WordPress democratizes the web, meaning there’s no need for bloated web departments on staff. Personnel have direct access to easily publish their content. Our clients use WP because of the low barrier to entry, and the large community surrounding it.

2. WordPress plugins & themes create a diverse landscape so not all wordpress sites look and act the same, and can allow for rapid development without having to re-invent the wheel.

Do you have an interesting WordPress story?

While WordPress does democratize the web, sometimes you just need to ask for help!

We have a client who has an ecommerce site which sells thousands of different products. Their navigation menu includes every single item they sell. In addition to this, the site is multilingual, so each nav tree needs to be drawn twice.

A single page load called the DB approximately 35000 times, each load. The webserver load however, remained minimal.

We were able to aggressively cache these db calls, and are working with the client to enforce some content rules to bring down the amount of calls to the database in their navigation. Additionally, we are looking to separate and generate the menu system to be used as an include going forward.

At Carbon60 we are not just interested in publishing your content. We want it to be fast, and stable.

How has WordPress affected your business?

Because Carbon60 Networks is focussed on enterprise requirements, our environments are more secure than some other hosting environments. Typically we do not allow clients access to production environments without permission. This means that supporting WordPress falls on our support department. Users enjoy the convenience of the one-click upgrade, and this is the type of service we strive to provide (though stability and security are top of mind – in the event that the one-click upgrade goes badly, we are present to roll back the change and investigate what went wrong.)

From a hosting/support perspective, WordPress allows us to have a familiarity amongst all sites and this allows us to provide reliable, scalable, support procedures, and lets us implement proven best-practises for securing and maintaining our clients’ sites.

What’s your advice to WordCamp attendees?

Adding a CDN to your existing site is a great way to speed it up, and keep it up during brief outages.

Porting your enterprise site to a clustered hosting environment is a fantastic way to maintain uptime, and luckily WordPress helps us with the heavy lifting – Sessions are stored externally in cookies and the database so the webservers don’t need much configuration to scale horizontally.


Thank you, Carbon60, for supporting WordCamp Toronto 2014!

Sponsor Spotlight: easyPress

easyPresseasyPress is a Canadian company specializing in WordPress hosting. A fast, reliable and secure web host is super important when you value your website and its message. Focus your time and energy on your content and let easyPress relieve you of managing the tech that makes WordPress load quickly and consistently. All of our service plans include DNS and email hosting provided by easyDNS. Check out our very affordable offerings at http://easypress.ca/plans/.”

Why WordPress?

Our favourite thing about WordPress is that it’s high quality open source software.

What’s your advice for WordCamp attendees?

Take advantage of the happiness bar.

What’s your one question for this year’s WordCampers?

Is it important to work with Canadian (hosting, design, development, etc) organizations and professionals?

A big thanks to easyPress for sponsoring WordCamp Toronto 2014!