Sessions

A full listing of all Sessions for this year’s WordCamp. You probably would rather see the Schedule, no?

Content Architecture *NEW

with Shanta Nathwani

Posts vs. Pages & Categories vs. Tags. There is so much confusion about what types of things should be put on a page and what should be in a post. Static vs. Dynamic content is the best way to tackle this. An “About Us” page would be just that… A PAGE. If you are talking about something that is more time sensitive, then you want to do a post. Connected to this would be Categories and Tags. What are they? When creating a website, you can edit a menu to include not only pages, but also category archives that can create a more complete experience for small businesses.

Contrib2Core: Sunday

It’s time to give back! Whether you’re a WordPress user or admin, a developer who has never contributed to core, or a seasoned contributor, make a point of joining us in the Community Room Saturday and Sunday afternoons. We’ll help you find a way to contribute to WordPress that’s appropriate to your level and interests.

If you’re a developer looking to address a bug in Trac (the official WordPress bug tracking software) we can help you find a ticket that you can work on. Learn how to do it from some of the experts in the room and we’ll walk you through the process of submitting a patch, writing unit tests and documentation. Here’s a little bonus: Submitters of committed patches get their names on the credits page on every install of WordPress worldwide!

Contrib2Core: Saturday

It’s time to give back! Whether you’re a WordPress user or admin, a developer who has never contributed to core, or a seasoned contributor, make a point of joining us in the Community Room Saturday and Sunday afternoons. We’ll help you find a way to contribute to WordPress that’s appropriate to your level and interests.

If you’re a developer looking to address a bug in Trac (the official WordPress bug tracking software) we can help you find a ticket that you can work on. Learn how to do it from some of the experts in the room and we’ll walk you through the process of submitting a patch, writing unit tests and documentation. Here’s a little bonus: Submitters of committed patches get their names on the credits page on every install of WordPress worldwide!

Developer Panel *NEW

Changed due to a cancellation

Bring your WordPress development questions to a panel of experts! This moderated Q&A gives you the chance to learn directly from core contributors and WordPress developers with deep experience across a wide variety of topics from plugin- and theme-development, to workflows, tools and best practices, to the future roadmap for upcoming versions of WordPress.

Agency Panel (continued)

See Agency Panel.

Accessibility – A feature you can build

With Monika Piotrowicz in the Accessibility track

Making a website or application accessible can be an overwhelming task for a lot of developers, especially if you’re not already an expert. Looking at all the complex regulations, specs, and articles on the topic, where should we begin? In this talk, I’ll walk through some of the challenges I faced when working through accessibility requirements for the first time. By thinking about accessibility as we would any other feature, it becomes less of a scary unknown requirement, and instead something we can plan for and implement to create a more open web for all.

Learning Outcomes

Attendees of this talk will:

  • know what the term “accessibility” means
  • learn about some of the practical implications of a11y
  • learn about a11y-related dev tools
  • leave with tips on how they can make their next app more accessible

Agency Panel

This is often one of our most popular sessions, so show up early because the room fills up fast!

Are you curious about the business of designing / creating / developing WordPress websites? We’ve created this session for you. We’ve handpicked experts across a wide spectrum of WordPress-related businesses, from freelancers through web development studios to large agencies. They will be your panel, in a moderated question-and-answer format, where you can ask your questions and hear a variety of (possibly conflicting!) answers from some outspoken folk in the know.

Expect to hear discussions around:

  • How to approach a WordPress developer / studio / agency
  • How much does a WordPress website cost?
  • How does one make money selling WordPress-related solutions?
  • How to incorporate WordPress into your web development workflow
  • What are the challenges of evolving from a 1-person freelancer to a multi-person webdev shop?
  • How do you handle a typical web project lifecycle?

The topics are varied and the audience is broad. The focus of this 2-hour session is based on your questions!

Panelists

Robyn Larsen from Robyn Larsen Development

Avery Swartz from Avery Swartz Web Design

Brian Rotsztein from Rotsztein.com

Brent Kobayashi from Kobayashi Online

Dre Armeda from WebDev Studios

Moderator

Tom Auger from Zeitguys

Sunday Lunch with Abokichi

Abokichi is an extraordinary Caterer and the creator of a wide assortment of delicious Japanese- and fusion snacks, meals, condiments and other goodies. Everything is prepared holistically and local food sources as used extensively to provide sustainable, nutritious ingredients for some seriously awesome and unique food. Unless you were at last year’s WordCamp, you will not have experienced anything like it.

Lunch and snacks on both the Saturday and Sunday are being provided entirely by Jess, Fumi and the Abokichi team and will be different on both days. Our lunch session are extra long to ensure that everyone gets a chance to sample and enjoy this delicious treat.

At other times, you can visit Abokichi at the Annex Hodge-Podge at 285 Dupont Street. Other venues that carry Abokichi’s products include the Liberty Village Live Market, the OCAD student cafe, and a wide variety of Farmer’s markets across town during market season.

Saturday Lunch with Abokichi

Abokichi is an extraordinary Caterer and the creator of a wide assortment of delicious Japanese- and fusion snacks, meals, condiments and other goodies. Everything is prepared holistically and local food sources as used extensively to provide sustainable, nutritious ingredients for some seriously awesome and unique food. Unless you were at last year’s WordCamp, you will not have experienced anything like it.

Lunch and snacks on both the Saturday and Sunday are being provided entirely by Jess, Fumi and the Abokichi team and will be different on both days. Our lunch session are extra long to ensure that everyone gets a chance to sample and enjoy this delicious treat.

At other times, you can visit Abokichi at the Annex Hodge-Podge at 285 Dupont Street. Other venues that carry Abokichi’s products include the Liberty Village Live Market, the OCAD student cafe, and a wide variety of Farmer’s markets across town during market season.

So You Want to Be a WordCamp Speaker (continued)

So You Want to Be a WordCamp Speaker (continued)

Website Assessment clinic (continued)

See Website Assessment clinic in the Content and Business track.

So You Want to Be a WordCamp Speaker: A practical workshop for beginners

with Kathryn Presner and Tammie Lister in the Community track

Sunday, November 16, 9:30 am-noon – special 2.5 hour hands-on workshop

Have you considered presenting at a WordCamp but thought you didn’t know enough or felt like an imposter? Does the idea of speaking in front of a group set your knees quivering and your heart racing? During this hands-on session we’ll look at what’s stopped you from speaking in the past – and explore how to move past your fears. We’ll delve into practical techniques for choosing a topic, writing a proposal, crafting presentation content, and making great slides. We’ll discuss how to avoid common public-speaking mistakes and techniques for battling stage fright. We’ll help you navigate the dreaded post-presentation Q&A session and gather post-talk feedback. Each participant will come out of the workshop with a WordCamp or meetup talk proposal – and more confidence to submit it.

Check out http://getspeak.in/ for a sneak peek.

Learning Outcomes

  • feel more confident about applying to speak at a WordPress meetup or WordCamp
  • understand common speaker pitfalls and how to avoid them
  • know how to brainstorm and choose presentation topics
  • know how to submit a solid talk proposal and bio
  • know how to craft solid content for a presentation
  • know what goes into crafting a great slide presentation
  • have practical strategies for battling stage fright
  • know how to handle post-talk Q&A and how to ask for feedback to help improve

WordPress Media Tools for Creatives

with Denise Williams in the User / Admin track

Put your masterworks up on a solid pedestal. Whether you need to build a home page for your band, a portfolio for your art, or a viewing hub for your videos, there are native and external WordPress tools for hosting, embedding, and presenting your multimedia content in ways that are easy, responsive, and cost-effective.

-WordPress.com portfolio post types and related themes
-image gallery options: what’s included in .org and .com, and what you can customize using Jetpack or other plugins
-audio and video: embeds and hosting
-promotion tools: widgets, plugins, and subscription services for interacting with outside content networks (like bandcamp, spotify, pinterest, more)

For beginner and intermediate bloggers and beginner site developers.

How to take a free theme and make it yours

With James Strang in the User / Admin track

Not everyone can afford to have a custom designed theme for their WordPress website. Often we have to resort to the themes that are available for free or cheap. But how do we avoid having the website look the same as everyone else’s who used the same theme?

I will show you how to take the most common WordPress.org themes and turn them into the unique look you want. Google Chrome or Firefox recommended. No coding knowledge is required, but you will learn some basic CSS.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify an item in the source code
  • Add and edit the CSS files using the WordPress editor
  • Create a basic child theme (optional)
  • Change colours and sizes of display elements
  • Insert their own graphics into a theme using CSS

Website Assessment clinic

with Ruth Maude and Dawn Comber in the Content and Business track.

Let two seasoned experts review your website and provide on-the-spot advice and insights into ways it can be improved!

This two hour session will give you feedback on your existing website with practical recommendations to improve it. Website assessments will include reviewing usability, messaging, SEO (search engine optimization) and design. We’ll address the principles of each as we review the websites of participants in the room.

WordPress 101

With Al Davis in the User / Admin track

This presentation is aimed at those who are new to WordPress and want to get a guided headstart. We’ll be looking at the WordPress landscape, some basic terms and terminology that will really help you get started, and tips and tricks acquired over years of teaching WordPress in a classroom setting.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com and know which is appropriate for you
  • Understand the basic components of WordPress content and how you should use them to create the blog or website you want
  • Leverage plugins and themes to customize your blog or site’s visuals and functionality
  • Gain useful tips and advice that will help you in the early stages

Everything you know about AB testing is wrong

With Stephane Boisvert in the Developer track

This talk is more advanced than most testing talks in that it goes in depth on why you need to be careful about statistical significance and not getting caught up in early results.

Learning Outcomes

  • Use statistical significance to inform their testing
  • Optimize their landing pages without making random guesses
  • Not be fooled by early test results

Back To Square One: Building A WordPress Starter Development Kit

With Kyle Unzicker in the Agency track

The back-end and front-end teams at Modern Tribe set out to create a WordPress starter development kit in order to speed up development and help keep uniformity among projects. So, how did we build it? Why didn’t we use “________” framework instead? What does the code look like? Is our universe real? What is true happiness? This session will attempt to answer at least 60% of these questions.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify what recurring challenges your projects have and how to get a head start on that
  • Build your own starter development kit, use or fork our own!

WP Front-End Editors

With Jacques Surveyer in the User/Admin track.

Drag and drop Visual Designers have a checkered history in software development: too proprietary, too complex to learn, generate low-performance spam code, etc. But there is no doubt that Visual Design tools like Microsoft Visual Studio,various versions of Eclipse, NetBeans, Sencha Visual Designer, and others retain allegiance among very large groups of developers.

Now in the past 3-5 years WordPress has seen the emergence of frontend Visual Theme Designers that can be applied to both posts and pages. Headway Themes, Pagelines DMS, Ultimatum and Bakery’s Visual Composer are among these tools.

This presentation will examine the question – is there a rock solid WordPress Visual Designer?

All attendees will benefit from the general review and demo of WordPress Visual Design tools. WordPress designers and developers will get specific insights on the features and methods used by the major tools:

  • The top 4 WordPress Visual Design tools
  • The common features provided by all the tools
  • The unique features and component/widgets provided by each tool
  • Each tools support for mobile and responsive designs
  • Each tools support of popular eCommerce plugins and server-side connections
  • An assessment of the costs and trade-offs of each tool
  • Futures including Automatic designating one tool as preferred interface creation tool

Use ARIA Now!

With Billy Gregory in the Accessibility track.

In this session we will jump right in and use ARIA and HTML5 to create modern, accessible web applications. Starting with the basics, and working up to some more advanced examples, attendees will learn how to start using ARIA right away.

Speaker sliders in a new tab

Prerequisites

  • Basic HTML/JS knowledge
  • Basic understanding of ARIA, or at least what it is

Learning Outcomes

  • Day one WAI-ARIA implementation tips
  • Intro to ARIA from a developers perspective
  • An introduction to keyboard design patterns

Multisite for Multilingual

With Rick Radko in the Beginner Developer track

This talk is about creating a multilingual WordPress site using WordPress multisite. The talk will cover: the basics of setting up multisite, some plugins to make it easier to create a multilingual site, pros & cons of using multisite for multilingual sites, and some tips and tricks to help with your sites.

Learning Outcomes

  • Create a multilingual WordPress site using WP Multisite.
  • Understand the advantages and disadvantages of this approach to multilingual.
  • Use some tricks/shortcuts that I’ve picked up through the school of hard knocks.

WordPress Project Management 101

With Chris Van Patten in the Agency track.

I’ll be focusing on how you can manage a WordPress development project from start to finish: writing great proposals, working with project management software, learning to communicate with clients, and more.

Link to speaker deck

Learning Outcomes

  • Eliminate fear and anxiety around large WordPress projects
  • Implement a task management system in WordPress
  • Make clients happy with more frequent check-ins and status updates
  • Level up your WordPress business!

 

Save Time By Managing WordPress from the Command Line

With Shawn Hooper in the Developer track.

WP-CLI is a set of tools that allow you to manage your WordPress installation from the command line. Many of the features of WP-CLI are huge timesavers. I’ll demonstrate the installation of WP-CLI and explain many the features that come with it. I recommend this presentation for anyone designing or developing in WordPress.

Learning Outcomes

  • Install WP-CLI on a web server
  • Install WordPress from the command line
  • Install, activate and deactivate plugins from the command line
  • Create test data
  • Search and Replace values in the database
  • Create a custom command

It’s ALIVE!!! – Using AJAX to bring WordPress sites to life.

With Brian Layman in the Beginner Developer track.

There was a time when every action taken on a website involved staring at a white screen for 5 seconds as the entire page was reloaded. If, for your clients, that time was last week, you should attend this session.

We will learn the basics of using AJAX to improve the speed, performance and presentation of your website. This session will involve writing source code. A basic understanding of editing plugins, themes, hooks and filters will be helpful, but may not be required.

Learning Outcomes

  • Eliminate unneeded page refreshes
  • Improve usability of plugins
  • Increase perceived responsiveness of themes
  • Maximize bragging rights by proclaiming “I KNOW AJAX”

Demystifying SEO

With Alex Rascanu in the Content & Business track.

Discover what SEO best practices and resources can help you win in the long run, while complementing your current WordPress development processes. Learn how to incorporate our key take-aways to improve your organic search results and generate more customers for your brand.

Learning Outcomes

  • Integrate SEO into your website development process (30-point SEO checklist)
  • Use the best free SEO plug-in to optimize your site’s content (WordPress SEO by Yoast plug-in overview)
  • Keep an eye on the top SEO thought leaders & resources

 

Designing Creativity

With Lucas Cherkewski in the Designer track

Speaker notes from the presentation

Design doesn’t have to be something that requires special talent, nor is it something limited to so-called “creative” people. Design is a skill, to be learnt and practiced like any other.

We’ll learn how to apply the principles of problem solving to a real design project to remove the necessity of a “creative” mind, and gain some tips for good design thinking along the way.

(Targeted at anyone interested in design, especially those who feel like it might be unapproachable or impossible for them.)

 

Organizing fully accessible communities

With Jordan Quintal in the Community track

Link to slides

Most of us have discovered that WordPress.org has made efforts into making the WordPress platform more web accessible to those with physical and mental challenges, as a website publishing platform, but what about WordPress communities?

My presentation will discuss how to make your WordPress community or WordCamp event more accessible. I will cover what accessibility is, and why it is important. I will cover who accessibility affects, and how accessibility can help those affected. I will also discuss what it means to me as a person with a physical disability, and share some life experiences and real life challenges. From there, I will share some informative tips on how any community leader can go about making their WordPress communities and WordCamp events more accessible.

Learning outcomes

  • an understanding of how to make your local WordPress community more accessible to people with disabilities.

Multilingual WordPress – How to make your WordPress site multilingual

With Matt Smith in the track

This session will provide a detailed overview on how to get your WordPress site multilingual ready. We will discuss the types of multilingual plugins and how they compare, auditing your site for multilingual readiness, preparing for multilingual content, considerations for plugins and themes, and finally options on how to leverage service providers for additional multilingual automation.

The intended audience includes people that needs to know what to do to make Worpress sites multilingual OR plugin developers and themers that need to learn how to make their plugins or themes multilingual ready.

Learning Outcomes

  • Compare plugin options to install that enable multilingual functionality
  • Ensure your themes, plugins, and content are multilingual ready (internationalized)
  • Translate a theme or plugin into a new language
  • Send content to a translation services provider when needed
  • Use typical workflow for translating posts, pages, menus, and other types of content
  • Understand typical translation and editorial workflows
  • Leverage machine, professional, and community translation

A Quick Guide to Long-form Content on WordPress

With David Hamilton in the Content and Business track

Blog post on the presentation subject matter

It’s widely believed that all online content should be short to contend with diminishing attention spans. In fact, a common online response to long-winded pieces of writing is “TL;DR” (or “Too Long; Didn’t Read”).

Yet, there are many vibrant examples of how long-form content is being consumed and shared online, and even driving traffic. Many of the most popular websites include long, in-depth content, and communities like Medium and Narratively are built around the idea that people crave long content – as long as it’s worth their time.

However, keeping an audience hooked is a crucial aspect of long-form storytelling, which requires specific strategies to keep them engaged. This presentation will go over some of the fundamentals of long-form content, what stories are best suited to long-form, and what tools and techniques can be used in WordPress to create compelling long-form pieces.

Learning outcomes

  • Discover where to find great examples of long-form online content.
  • Identify what sorts of stories are best suited toward long-form.
  • Build structure into longer stories.
  • Incorporate multimedia (words, images, sound, and video) in your storytelling.
  • Use tools and techniques in WordPress functionality and the Aesop Story Engine plugin to create engaging long-form experiences.

The Ghost of Metadata Past, Present, and Future

With Scott Kingsley Clark In the Developer track

We will be going over the new Metadata UI / API project (http://github.com/wordpress-metadata/metadata-ui-api) and the far reaching impacts it will have once it reaches adoption into WP core in 4.2+.

Link to speaker deck

Learning Outcomes

Attendees will learn about the process of starting the project, considerations for going through the process of WP Core adoption, how we researched existing plugins and libraries out there to eventually land on the approach we took, and some mind-blowing use-cases for the API once it’s adopted.

Levelling up your development workflow

with Dara Skolnick in the Developer track

Interactive slideshow on GitHub

“About a year ago I realized that my WordPress development workflow wasn’t nearly as efficient as it could have been, so I took steps to make it far better, and I think that sharing what I learned would be really useful for other developers. Here are some of the things I might talk about:

  • Developing locally using MAMP instead of working on a live or staging server
  • Using version control, even when I’m working by myself on a project. Now every project I create has its own Git repository
  • Using a custom starter theme instead of starting from scratch every time
  • Using Sass instead of plain old CSS
  • Using Gulp (and before that, CodeKit) to run tasks that I had to do manually before (e.g. image compression, CSS/JS concatenation and minification, JS linting, and, of course, live reloading)

This talk would definitely be most useful for people who are already WordPress developers.

I wrote a couple of blog posts on the topic of developing locally, which can give you an idea of some of the things I might talk about:

  1. http://daraskolnick.com/developer-tip-tuesday-always-develop-locally/
  2. http://daraskolnick.com/developer-tip-tuesday-always-develop-locally-part-2/

Learning outcomes

I think what participants would learn is already covered above. In sum, they’d learn to develop more efficiently than they are currently.

Let me know if you have any questions or if I can help clarify anything!

19 Plugins You Should Be Using

With Renee Moore in the User / Admin track

Slide deck from the presentation

This talk will cover 19 of my favorite plugins that are especially useful for those who are selling products or services from their WordPress website.

Learning outcomes

  • promote their content on social media sites easily
  • create and post beautiful sales pages
  • publish a podcast
  • capture more emails from visitors
  • design amazing forms to collect data
  • keep out hackers
  • chat with customers on your site
  • get paid
  • backup their site on a regular basis and more!

Level up: review themes on WordPress.org

With Tammie Lister In the Community track

From entering the newbie zone to beyond, this talk will guide you through how you can unlock the achievement of being a theme reviewer. Theme reviewing levels you up as a themer, allowing you to tackle anything themes throw at you. My own journey has taken me from a learner theme reviewer to working at Automattic.

I will go through how to become a review and the tools you need. I’ll look at the world of theme reviewing. I’ll give some tips on how to refine your skills as a theme reviewer so you can be the best reviewer you can be.

In this talk, I’ll show how by reviewing themes for WordPress.org you can become a better themer. I will show why it’s important to review themes.

Learning Outcomes

People will leave knowing what you need to do to become a theme reviewer. They will learn how important it is for themers and how you can grow by being a theme reviewer. I hope to also show contributions don’t just have to be core or for development. I will show how they can contribute and why they should.

WordPress and Client Side Web Applications

with Roy Sivan in the Advanced Developer track

The intended audience are developers and those interested in learning more about building client side web applications with WordPress.

My presentation will focus on the merits of client side applications, why they are “better” in some regards, and why it is helpful to use them in certain use cases. I will go into more detail about how to build one using WordPress utilizing AngularJS code and the JSON REST API (WP-API).

I will spend some time going over the code itself, doing a short demo of some of the things I have built using AngularJS + WP-API + WP, including:
http://www.roysivan.com/angular-wordpress-theme
and a more robust web application:
http://www.codingofficehours.com (beta)

I will also be touching on how using AngularJS can be easy and does not mean a full Single Page Application is needed, in the case of my plugin:
http://wordpress.org/plugins/angularjs-for-wp/
which allows you to utilize AngularJS technology in simple shortcodes on a per-page or per-post basis.

Learning Outcome

  • Understand Client Side and Single Page Applications and how they work
  • Understand the benefits of loading client side and SPA
  • Leverage AngularJS in any theme/plugin

Integrating WordPress with External APIs

With Aaron Campbell in the Advanced Developer track

WordPress is amazing, flexible software, but it doesn’t do everything. Facebook, PayPal, MailChimp, Basecamp, slideshare, and Google Maps are just a few examples of places that are already doing something well, and you can integrate your WordPress site with them through their APIs. However, there are right and wrong ways to do this, especially if you want to distribute your solution to others. I start from the beginning, introducing people to the WordPress HTTP library helper functions, then bring lots of code examples from my plugins show start to finish how to integrate the right way.

Learning outcomes

  • Leverage the HTTP api to handle external integrations
  • Listen for notifications from other sites
  • Cache data received from an API

How to Perform an Accessibility Audit

With Janis Yee in the A11y track

In my experience, I worked as a self-made accessibility advocate when AODA came down the pipe early this year. With limited time, and resources, I had to develop a strategy on my own as to how to perform this audit and work with developers to implement the changes. As the field is so new, and there were no local leaders I could turn to as a mentor, I waded through much of this on my own. This is my chance to pass along these lessons as things I wish I knew when I started out.

Topics covered:

Brief Intro:

  • What are the goals of AODA in respect to Web Design and Development?
  • What is WCAG?

The Meat:
Step by Step Process – How to perform an audit?

Intended audience:
General but with some basic front-end dev knowledge such as understanding CSS as some parts will require knowing how to use “Inspect Element”

Learning Outcomes

Participants will:

  • Gain a high level understanding of WCAG 2.0 guidelines
  • Be able to apply them to auditing existing sites or be cognizant of them when designing/developing for new websites.
  • Have an understanding of the Process required to perform an audit independently.

Disaster-Proof Your WordPress Site

With Kate Newbill In the Beginner Developer track

Description: How much money and credibility would you lose if your website went down for a week? A day? An hour? Let’s take a look at some of the most common things that can go wrong with a WordPress site and discuss plans and processes to prevent disaster.

Intended audience: Business owners who use WordPress for their websites; beginning/intermediate WP site managers.

Learning Outcomes

  • create an action plan covering most common issues that could befall their site(s)
  • know how to increase security by making it more difficult for hackers to break in
  • have an independent backup plan not dependent on their webhost, so that they can move or restore the site at any time
  • have resources available to help in case the site faces problems too big for a backup to fix ( i.e., hacked with no clean backup; host goes out of business and takes site down.

Note: This is not a sales pitch for anyone’s services. There will be a legitimate list of resources (no affiliate links) to help business owners prevent disaster and, in worst cases, recover from it. I’ll cover both free and premium solutions and discuss why I suggest each.

Sass and WordPress

With Brian Hoke in the Designer track

Link to Reveal.js version

I’ve used Sass, the CSS preprocessor, more and more lately in my work, particularly after authoring an online course on the topic. My presentation would highlight the benefits of using Sass, particularly with WordPress: code organization and reuse, leveraging the power of outside libraries, more-efficient update and redesigns in the future, and more.

My talk would definitely be aimed at coders, but not at the highest technical level. I’d present code examples and highlight both the benefits of effective use of Sass and some pitfalls of using it poorly.

Learning outcomes

  • for those who don’t know already, discover Sass, the CSS preprocessor library
  • see how Sass can benefit your work: more efficient CSS authoring/maintenance, more robust CSS features
  • explore Sass libraries: save time and jumpstart projects with powerful mixin libraries
  • avoid mistakes: contrast the benefits of a thoughtful, well-planned use of Sass with a poor use of the tool

Wireframe Secrets Revealed

with Elida Arrizza in the Designer track

Wireframes. Such a mysterious and elusive term. You may have heard rumours that they exist deep in the depths of waste bins napkins to top secret security compounds. Legend states that wireframes transcend powerful benefits of website creation. But some say could be dangerous to use or almost extinct. Could this be all true?

If blueprints are to a building, what wireframes are to a website, you could be missing out on fundamental knowledge. Let us embark on a LoFi to HiFi journey, discovering wireframe types, tools and much more.

Learning outcomes

  • Overall, people will come away with a solid grasp on how and when to use wireframes.
  • Better understanding of how wireframes are central to connecting code, design and content during planning and production.
  • Expose Wireframes for those who do not have “”inside access””. For example solo freelancers without team experience or official training in wireframing.
  • A novice will gain basic wireframe skills (or become more comfortable) using wireframes for as planning and communication tool. Those who do have some experience will gain more confidence of how to approach wireframes when needed.

The Human Side of UX Design

With James Archer in the A11y track

I’ll explain why empathy and emotion are crap-tons more important to overall user experience design than parallax, front-end frameworks, and even the hamburger icon. I’ll also explain why design is too important to leave to the designers, and why developers, and others should be directly involved in the process.

Learning Outcomes

Attendees (including non-designers) will quickly come to understand the key difference between effective design (that changes peoples behavior) and merely attractive design, and I’ll explain the step-by-step process that gets them there. I’ll provide a number of real-world project examples to illustrate exactly how it’s worked in the past, and why this process gets such good results.

1000 sites: MultiSite as an intranet hosting platform

With Tom Sommerville in the Beginner Developer track

Case study of OPSpedia, which uses WordPress MultiSite as a hosting platform for numerous Ministry and enterprise intranets, as well as a blogging platform and professional networking site for Government of Ontario employees.

Intended audience: MultiSite users or wannabes; people using WordPress to host intranets and/or employee networking tools.

Learning Outcomes

  • Use WordPress as a hosting platform for multiple intranets in a large organization
  • Juggle the demands of multiple stakeholders in a complex enterprise environment
  • Integrate open source and custom plug-ins into the WordPress MultiSite platform
  • Structure a Scrum-based (agile) development methodology to support numerous theme developers across the enterprise
  • Support multiple content contribution models among multiple stakeholder groups

Setting up Vagrant for Unit Testing

With Paul Bearne in the Sunday Developer track

Learn how create and run unit tests using a Vagrant development server
We will cover creating units test in core, Plug-in and Themes.
We will cover the basic phpUnit commands

Learning outcomes

  • Understand what a Unit Test is
  • Know where to find unit tests
  • Know how to run a unit tests
  • learn how to create tests

Next-gen A11y Testing Tools

With Karl Groves In the A11y track

Slides from the presentation

Since the invention of the Web, we’ve never experienced the kind of explosion in new techniques for developers to ensure efficiency and quality of their work – from JavaScript task runners to unit testing & acceptance testing, to continuous integration and automated build & deploy systems. Modern web developers can and should leverage these toolsets to make their work better. This talk will discuss how Tenon.io uses many of these tools to create our product – an automated web accessibility testing API.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will learn about an array of items in the modern web developer’s toolkit.

Core Functions You (Maybe) Don’t Know Exist

With Nicole Arnold in the Developer track

With thousands of functions in the WordPress codebase, it’s virtually impossible to remember all of them. We’ll cover some overlooked WordPress core functions that you may not know exist. We’ll walk through some practical examples for their use, and give you a variety of new gems you can use every day.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discover unfamiliar WordPress core functions
  • Apply these newly discovered functions with practical examples

WordPress Theme Accessibility

(or Building Websites that EVERYONE Can Use)

With Jordan Quintal in the A11y track

The focus of this presentation will be on making a WordPress theme more accessible for those with disabilities. This presentation will be programming specific, and cover various HTML and CSS requirements to ensure any WordPress theme is accessibility-ready. I will cover accessible images, media, link text, headings, keyboard navigation, colour contrast, skip links, and forms; and how a developer can program these aspects to meet WCAG 2.0 Guidelines.

Speaker slides on Google Docs

Learning outcomes

  • apply WCAG 2.0 guidelines to create fully accessible WordPress themes
  • apply specific strategies to ensure every aspect of web accessibility is covered.

Google Analytics and WordPress for Beginners

with David Bird in the Content and Business track

Google Analytics produces thousands of different numbers, metrics and statistics. There’s so many numbers it can be more confusing than enlightening trying to figure out which ratios should be taken into account, which stats are the most important.

This session is a beginner’s guide to best practice set up of Google Analytics and navigating the user interface so you can look at your traffic more critically. We’ll also talk about how Google Analytics WordPress plugins simplify your set-up and analysis.

Learning outcomes

  • Identify your most valuable (not popular) web pages
  • Discover your most valuable traffic sources
  • Interpret your data by understanding key concepts and terms
  • How to get more from your Google Analytics plug-ins.

Grow Your Audience with Savvy Content Marketing Tactics

With Brian Rotsztein in the User/Admin track

You’ve been blogging, tweeting, and otherwise creating content seemingly forever but no one is paying attention. As a result, you’re not benefiting from social media sharing or getting the website traffic you were hoping for. You’re not alone. Your work may be suffering from a lack of quality, direction, and purpose which means there’s no compelling reason for you to get the attention you were anticipating. It’s time to learn more about what content marketing can do to remedy this situation. Content marketing is one of the hottest buzzwords in the online world and for good reason. Properly implement, content marketing plans can increase search engine visibility, social media networking, brand awareness, personal branding and sales, while decreasing costs. WordPress is a great platform that businesses and bloggers can harness to achieve these objectives. Topics such as social influence, guest posts, and social signals for SEO will be discussed. Key plugins and relevant online tools will also be highlighted.

Learning Outcomes

  • Implement specific tactics to grow an audience.
  • Use the tools and plugins presented to promote your content.
  • Get people who visit your blog or website, to share it for you and help distribute your work.
  • Integrate content marketing tactics with SEO, social media, and email marketing.
  • Understand the importance of content marketing in an online marketing strategy.
  • Differentiate between content strategy and tactics.

Congratulations! You’re having a WordPress site!

With Joe Rozsa In the User/Admin track

Slides

Congrats. You’re having a WP Toronto

Description

I’ve often found when people first start to use WP that frustration sets in very quickly. It’s not the fault of WP, but more by the fact that these new users and admins haven’t been shown how things are done within the WP dashboard. When I do presentations I like to try to tie a real life experience into what I’m presenting about WP. This session compares having/launching and new WP site to having a baby. There are so many unknowns that you need to find out about both. It’s a fun, light-hearted session about not getting frustrated. No one really knows how to change a diaper, but they learn quickly. The same holds true with many things associated with a new WP site. Hopefully by the end of the session, I give new users hope that the frustration is only temporary.

Learning Outcomes

I want people to leave my session knowing that things that they don’t know about WP are only temporary and there’s no need to get frustrated. I will have explained and compared things within WP to those of having a new born baby. Once they get the hang of things and how to do them, they become second nature.

Getting Comfortable With Child Themes

With Kathryn Presner in the Beginner Developer track

Child themes are a simple but powerful way to customize a pre-made theme. Learning how to use them properly means you’ll never risk losing all your modifications when the developer releases a new version and you update the theme. Using easy-to-follow language, I’ll walk you through the steps to set up a child theme and we’ll get started making some tweaks – from CSS look-and-feel adjustments to more substantial changes in functionality.

Learning outcomes

  • set up a child theme
  • make simple child-theme modifications using basic PHP, HTML, and CSS
  • understand the difference between functions and other types of child-theme files

Typography in Web Design

With Jasmine Vesque in the Designer track

This presentation covers typography basics and best practices, examples of typography in web design, trends, personalities of type, an introduction to Google Fonts and different ways to enable fonts on your WordPress website.

The ideal audience is anyone looking to better understand Typography and how it relates to web design. They don’t need to have a coding or design background, but that would be an asset.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the different types of fonts and when to use them
  • Recognize the various personalities and tones fonts have and how they can affect your message
  • Know what the current trends are in Typography and web design
  • Use theme options and/or plugins to modify fonts
  • Leverage Google Fonts and integrate them directly into your theme

Put a little Backbone in your WordPress!

With Adam Silverstein in the Advanced Developer track

Backbone (and Underscore!) are bundled with WordPress – explore how you can leverage their power to deliver complex user experiences while keeping your code organized and maintainable. When and why should you use Backbone? How can WordPress help? We will delve into a sample Backbone project and review major WordPress core components built with Backbone – including media, revisions and themes.

learning outcomes

  • Tips for using Backbone in WordPress
  • Why Backbone is Awesome!
  • How contributing to core is a collaborative experience that will level your coding up

Powering Business Sites with WordPress

With Luca Sartoni in the Agency track

Full blog post summarizing the talk

I’ll be addressing all the code poets, the WordPress consultants and business owners who powers their business sites with WordPress. I’ll be showing them how to define their business goals and structure a methodology based on WordPress to implement all the tools to meet those goals. I’ll be covering case scenarios: restaurants, gyms, local businesses, consultants, pro-bloggers, etc.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify the business goals
  • Embrace a Growth attitude
  • Understand the Growth methodology
  • Implement Growth tools on WordPress with the right plugins
  • Empower their WordPress sites with user flows
  • Track the relevant metrics
  • Measure results and define iterations

Fixing Inaccessible Content

With Sean Yo in the A11y track

Learn about common web accessibility problems and be introduced to the WCAG 2.0 Sufficient and Advisory Techniques for resolving these problems.

Learn to identify common web accessibility problems and develop an understanding of the authoritative code solutions published by the W3C for these problems and be familiar with the How To Meet WCAG 2.0 resources.

Link to speaker slides on speakerdeck.com

Improving Performance with Responsive Images

With David Newton in the Advanced Developer track

Speaker notes from the presentation

I will be speaking about the web’s hunger for more, bigger, and higher-resolution images, and the performance problem this creates. I’ll give a brief history of the new (and occasionally controversial) `picture` element, and discuss some other exciting new standards and techniques that are on the horizon. Attendees can expect concrete examples of how `picture` works, and to learn how they can use responsive (and responsible!) images right now to improve performance and deliver the best possible experience to their users.

Learning Outcomes

  • Design with performance in mind
  • Improve site performance with responsive images
  • Integrate responsive images into existing and new WordPress themes
  • Use the WordPress plugin API to automatically resize images for different viewports and screen resolutions

The Database Schema

With Mo Jangda in the Advanced Developer track

Learn how the database schema of WordPress is setup, including a walk-through of the tables and how WordPress stores the data and helps you interact with it via its APIs. We’ll also dive into the benefits and dangers of the schema and how to adapt it to go beyond just blog posts.

Link to speaker deck

Learning outcomes

  • Understand how WordPress stores its data under the hood
  • Learn the correct way to access this data
  • Discover when it is appropriate to alter / add to the schema (answer: rarely)
  • Learn some sugary goodness about the API and convenience methods

Designing for Content

With David Hickox in the Designer track

In this talk, I’ll go over the method I’ve created for designing websites from the content outward. I’ll cover aspects of designing in code, type choices, line height and typographic scale, creating a proper base style sheet for your child theme, usability best practices, semantic structure, and more. Since the web is fundamentally a text-based, utilitarian medium, making good type choices is arguably the most important aspect of web design. In this presentation, I’ll walk you through the things I’ve learned in my 15 years designing for the web.

The intended audience is designers who use WordPress as their CMS, but it has css and code elements that should resonate with front end developers as well as general typographic and structural principles that are helpful for content creators.

Learning outcomes

  • apply time-tested principles of typography and layout to the web
  • build out a base “kitchen sink” typography stylesheet
  • make better font choices in their designs
  • gain an appreciation for content-focused design

Pump up your search visibility with structured data

With Mendel Kurland in the Content and Business track

Link to slides

Intended audience are pressers who have been using SEO plugins like Yoast, but want to take their search listings to the next level. Also those that run local businesses or do travel / photo / event blogging will find this beneficial as well.

Google and other search engines use schema.org formatted structured data to power rich snippets in search results. These rich snippets make a search listing stand out, and therefore make it more likely someone might click on your listing. This talk focuses on the PODS framework and how it can be used to easily add schema.org structured data information to your WordPress content to improve the Google search listing for your content.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the value of structured data and how it changes the appearance of search results.
  • Learn multiple situations / use-cases in which they could leverage structured data.
  • Learn fundamentals of how to use structured data item examples from schema.org and implement on their WordPress site.
  • Leverage Pods framework to easily create re-usable structured data widgets for specific post categories.

Pick the right CMS for your job

(or “When is WordPress the right choice for your project?”)

With Alan Lok in the Agency track

Over the last 6 years, Alan has tackled content management system projects for small and large companies, and the question of what content management system is right for the project. Ask yourself these questions and know when is the right time to pitch WordPress in your RFQ and defend your choice in front of your client. In the presentation, Alan will be sharing insights on where WordPress make things easy, highlight areas that other CMS packages may shine, and help clients dispel the myth that WordPress is for small sites only.

Intended audience: WordPress developers, content consultants, business owners

Learning outcomes

  • Confidence in pitching WordPress for your project when appropriate
  • Expand your horizons on what other CMS have to offer, and packages that can make up lost ground

WordPress for Designers

With James Hipkin in the Designer track

WordPress for Designers provides an overview of what sits under a WordPress site, so that designs won’t be in conflict with WordPress’ inherent capabilities, and can efficiently design effective WordPress themes that are equally efficient to build. The presentation is broken into four sections: how web sites are built, how WordPress functions, implications for designers, and tips, tricks and pitfalls. It’s based on our experience as a production studio that specializes in building custom WordPress themes for designers. In this role, we’ve seen all the mistakes.

Learning Outcomes

  • Avoid expensive design mistakes.
  • Take full advantage of WordPress’ capabilities.
  • Design sites that developers can build efficiently.

Writing Cleaner, Sturdier Code With Unit Testing

With David Herrera in the Developer track.

Speaker deck

The code you wrote today seems like it plays nicely with the code you wrote yesterday, and you’re pretty sure it will be easy to work with tomorrow. But can you be more confident about it?

Writing unit tests for your code can give you more confidence. Configuring your WordPress development environment for unit testing, though, can also mean confronting many unfamiliar tools at once, including the WordPress core test suite and PHPUnit.

This session will gently introduce unit testing and the tools involved in it. We’ll set up your development environment and scaffold unit tests for your code with WP-CLI, write your first tests with PHPUnit, and learn more about unit testing with the core test suite.

The intended audience is developers with some experience at the command line.

Learning Outcomes

  • Install unit tests inside plugins and themes that extend the core WordPress unit test suite.
  • Write unit tests using PHPUnit assertions.
  • Understand what happens when a test runs.
  • Explore the core unit test suite for testing patterns and guidance.
  • Use WordPress-specific helper testing functions in unit tests.

Community: Getting Involved

There are a ton of ways to get involved with the WordPress project and give back. Whether it’s design/ui, code, answering questions in the forums, writing documentation, translating, or testing, it all needs to be done and everyone has the ability to pitch in and help somewhere. I run through the reasons you might want to contribute, ways you can work it into your schedule and workflow, and how to get involved in each area. I’m a developer through and through, so I spend a little extra time talking about testing (in my opinion our biggest need), and what out release cycles look like and how each stage will affect what the various contribution areas look like.

With Aaron Campbell

Slide deck

Download slide deck

Learning Outcomes

  1. What opportunities are available to pitch in and help out
  2. Where to start when looking to get involved
  3. The benefits to being involved.

Don’t Fear the Custom Theme: How to build a custom WordPress theme with only four files

Commercial WordPress themes have to be ready to handle thousands of use-cases, but your custom theme doesn’t. Reducing a theme to its essential components – index.php, style.css, and functions.php – gets your design into the browser as quickly as possible and allows for rapid prototyping based on client feedback. It’s also an easy way for beginners to start developing with WordPress, without getting lost in dozens of files.

With Linn Øyen Farley

Learning Outcomes

  1. Convert a HTML & CSS-based design into a WordPress theme
  2. Understand the bare minimum of PHP functions needed to build a WordPress theme

Introduction to Backbone.js

Heard of Backbone.js but have yet to use it in your WordPress plugin or theme? Get an introduction to Backbone.js (and Underscore.js), why you should be using it, and how to add it to your next project.

Have you seen that Backbone.js (and Underscore.js) were bundled with WordPress, but have yet to use it in your theme or plugin development? This will give you an introduction on what backbone.js is, and how to start using it to better organize your front-end code.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Ability to include backbone.js in their next plugin/theme
  2. Understand why using a framework like backbone.js is better than a huge file of jQuery for organization, expandability, etc
  3. Ability to create a basic backbone.js framework
  4. Knowledge of where to go to learn more

Selfish Accessibility

With Adrian Roselli in the Accessibility track

Slide deck

Talk details

We can all pretend that we’re helping others by making web sites accessible, but we are really making the web better for our future selves. Learn some fundamentals of web accessibility and how it can benefit you (whether future you from aging or you after something else limits your abilities). We’ll review simple testing techniques, basic features and enhancements, coming trends, and where to get help. This isn’t intended to be a deep dive into ARIA, but more of an overall primer for those who aren’t sure where to start nor how it helps them.

What will attendees learn from this presentation?

  1. Recognize that they are all going to qualify as disabled users.
  2. Recognize that non-disabled users benefit from accessibility affordances.
  3. Perform simple accessibility testing.
  4. Have reference material and resources to continue self-education.
  5. Write code that uses ARIA properly.
  6. Write basic HTML that isn’t a barrier to accessibility.
  7. Apply these skills to any platform.

How to Rock a WordCamp Even if You’re a n00b

I’ve now been to about 20 WordCamps and discovered that they all have the same problems. Newbies seem kind of lost and by the end of the day they seem to feel like their head is going to explode.

Slide deck on Speakerdeck

In this talk I would cover 12 steps on how to get the most out of your WordCamp as well as how to start giving back to the Community on Day One.

If you are new to WordPress or WordCamps, set yourself up for success by making sure you don’t miss this great kick-off to our two-day event!

Participants will:

  • Learn how to make the most of WordCamp without getting home feeling like a zombie.