Jump to technical track.

A guide to sourcing and evaluating plugins

Presented by Tim Nash in General.

“Don’t dig latrines with a swiss army knife”

An antidote to Kimb Jones (inevitable and great) Wow Plugins talk. Not every plugin is a “wow” plugin most just do a single job and some do them really well, often not glamorous but essential these plugins are the backbone to millions of site but how do you find these day to day plugins? How do you work out if they do what they say? How do you check if they will slow your site down or even harm it? Good Questions, guess we need a talk on sourcing and evaluating plugins to answer them?

A Web Designer’s Law Update

Presented by Heather Burns in General.

Regardless of CMS or platform, web designers and developers have to comply with national and EU laws affecting our work.

Most of the resources about these laws are written for lawyers, by lawyers, and these resources offer little insight for those of us who are obliged to implement the laws on client sites. So once again Heather has taken it on herself to translate the legal gobbledygook into practical insights that the web community can implement.

A new EU law, The Consumer Rights Directive, takes effect on 13 June 2014, replacing the 1990s trading law that currently governs e-commerce transactions in the UK. All web sites offering goods or services online must comply, and failure to do so cancels the e-commerce transaction or contract.

Heather’s talk will deliver a plain English explanation of what web site owners need to do to bring their WordPress e-commerce operations into line with the regulations.

Heather will also give an update on recent legal developments including domains, cookies, and databases which directly affect our work as web professionals.

Easy, Lazy WordPress SEO

Presented by Jessica Rose in General.

Between WordPress development, content production, editing, publishing and keeping your plugins and themes in order you’ve already got enough on your plate.

This presentation will focus on how to optimize your WordPress site for search without adding another full time task to your schedule.

We’ll take a beginner-friendly look at how to optimize your site, your content and manage the off page factors that all impact where you show up in the search ratings.

We’ll also look at the fundamentals of how search engines rank content to lend a better understanding of how these optimization processes work. In the interests of keeping costs down we’ll take a quick tour through free tools you can use as you optimize your sites.

The session will also touch on some of the dangers of getting carried away with your SEO, touching on Google penalties and how best to avoid them.

Lightning Talks

Presented in General.

One of two sessions.

Lightning talks are a great way to share your experience or thoughts, without doing a full session on your own.

There will be eight 10-minute slots for you to share anything you like. No slides, just you sharing something that might be of use to your fellow WordPressers.

The lightning talk submissions will only be accepted on the day and will be a first-come first-served basis.

Lightning Talks

Presented in General.

One of two sessions.

Lightning talks are a great way to share your experience or thoughts, without doing a full session on your own.

There will be eight 10-minute slots for you to share anything you like. No slides, just you sharing something that might be of use to your fellow WordPressers.

The lightning talk submissions will only be accepted on the day and will be a first-come first-served basis.

Making your WordPress site more shareable

Presented by Carolyn Jones in General.

This talk will be suitable both for those running a personal blog, or a business website on WordPress. It will look at:

  • How you can leverage and optimise for the main social sites including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Linkedin as well as some other more specific platforms such as
  • Understanding Follow vs. Share vs. Like.
  • Sharing buttons, the official and other options.
  • Social meta data like open graph tags and twitter cards & the benefits of implementing them.
  • Testing and previewing social meta data – Plugins as well as manual options.

Managing a Multi-Author Blog

Presented by Sam Berson in General.

I run the site with roughly 35 authors who each submit monthly content for review and publication.

The talk will cover how I find the authors (emails, other blogs, freelance sites), how I manage the authors (using Trello), how I edit the posts (and keep the same quality and formatting standards for all the posts), and how & when I publish the content (keeping a schedule etc.).

The Candid Developer. Developing and Maintaining A Successful Plugin… Is Scary

Presented by Kevin Stover in General.

We’ve all heard the same talks: a very calm, hip developer talks about working on or releasing some cool project. They’re bold, confident, and appear to have everything under control. If you’re like me, you don’t feel that way at all. You’re terrified of letting anyone else see what you’re working on. You assume that everyone is smarter than you, and that you have no business trying to start a business.

Let’s strip away the false pretenses and talk frank about how we really feel. Releasing a plugin to the public can be a very scary prospect. Charging people for the privilege of using your code is even scarier. When do you release? How often do you update? Will you make any money? If your plugin is open source, how do you get people to commit to your project?

Most of the time, it feels like you’re building a plane in mid-flight. I speak from experience. In two years, our main product, Ninja Forms, has now been downloaded nearly 350,000 times, and we average $28,000 a month in Ninja Forms extension sales. I think anyone would say that’s pretty successful. From the outside, it might seem like we have everything together and that we’ve got it all figured out. It’s taken two years to get here, and trust me, we’ve made plenty of mistakes.

In this talk, we’ll have an open discuss about the pitfalls of managing and supporting a premium WordPress plugin when your user-base is growing very quickly. Some points we’ll cover: Overcoming the fear of releasing a plugin. Our experiences with support. Tales from a terrible update. Leading a group of open-source committers.

Jump to general track

A Journey into Underscores

Presented by Tammie Lister in Technical.

Underscores is a starter theme, but what does that mean? Why should you use Underscores, also known as simply _s?

In this talk I’ll go through why at Automattic we use it to create our themes. I’ll also show you why and how you can too. Along the way we’ll take a look the past, present and future of Underscores.

Underscores is a project on Github anyone can contribute to and I’ll also show you how you can get involved. So join me on a journey into Underscores !

Consuming External API with WordPress

Presented by Kathryn Reeve in Technical.

This talk will give a brief introduction into the WordPress HTTP request API which can be leveraged to request data from most APIs.

Creating microsites – a 1 day job down to 30 mins

Presented by Steph Cook in Technical.

I worked on a WordPress site for a client which required the creation of microsites.

Each microsite collected together all the content about each supplier from all over the site. It had been hacked together using a large amount of plugins, tools and widgets which meant it took about a day to set up a microsite for a new supplier and required a whole heap of knowledge about the system.

I will talk about some of the tools I used to bring the setup time down to around 30 minutes with the added benefit of consistency, including custom post types and a great plugin called posts2posts.

Easy Extensible Plugins

Presented by Mark Wilkinson in Technical.

Extensible plugins are often the ones the WordPress community consider to be the best as they take advantage of the WordPress license and allow developers to build on and edit them.

In this talk I will outline some of the methods which can be used to make your plugins extensible, allowing others to edit and build upon them.

How to get your first Child Theme off the ground

Presented by Rhys Wynne in Technical.

I will be doing an introductory beginner talk on Child Themes, which will involve the following:

  • What is a child theme?
  • When you should use a child theme?
  • When you shouldn’t use a child theme?
  • Structuring a child theme in your themes folder & common practices.
  • The style.css file of a child theme, how to structure it.
  • The functions.php file of the child theme.
  • Common Issues that beginners ask about.

Optimising your Front-End Workflow for WordPress

Presented by Simon Owen in Technical.

I will be presenting some of the techniques, applications and shortcuts that I use to help me in my WordPress workflow, generally for when I am building themes.

The talk will be an overview, including things such as git, bitbucket, cli, sass, ACF, local dev. environment, staging and live, apps, shortcuts, browser testing, etc.

Syncing the Team’s Development Environments

Presented by Simon Wheatley in Technical.

VVV is a WordPress focussed development environment, giving you, the WordPress developer, a “default server configuration … intended to match a common configuration for working with high traffic WordPress sites”.

At Code For The People, we contributed to the functionality which allows automatic site provisioning within VVV; meaning that you can give your development team a few files, have them restart their VVV development server, and they are able to start work on a project without further fuss.

I will introduce some techniques we use in our site provisioning scripts to solve issues with private Git repositories and cover various provisioning methods (WP CLI, SVN, Git, Composer).

The Basics of Unique Theme Development

Presented by Samantha Miller in Technical.

I’ve recently had a few people asking me about bespoke WordPress themes – what you can and can’t do, what is ‘WordPress specific’, what starter theme to use, etc.

I would like to give a short demonstration on the basics of creating a WordPress theme from scratch, showing how it is much easier than people may think.

I will also share a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years that enhance and enrich bespoke builds, along with a few resources I’ve found invaluable.

The talk is aimed at people who want to create a one-off theme for a single website (eg. a client project, personal blog), rather than building a theme for distribution.

It will require previous knowledge of WordPress, HTML, CSS and basic familiarity with PHP.