Book Publishing with WordPress and PressBooks

That book you’ve been sitting on for years, just won’t write itself. In an age of digital everything, social media, and individual brands, how best to write and publish longform content?

WordPress can be a good tool to capture and manage writing and publishing books, longform prose, and other semantic content.

PressBooks is an open source WordPress plugin. You can easily export your books to Mobi (Kindle), EPUB (Apple iBooks, Nook), PDF (print-on-demand), and make a web version of your book.

If you know how to blog, you know how to make a beautiful ebook and a lovely typeset PDF. Many collaborators can work in distributed teams, and your book can be sold through Kindle, Apple iBooks, Nook, and other ebook retailers. It’s “one button publishing.”

(We might also discuss some not-yet-released apps for collaborative writing and editing semantic content in teams.)

Let’s get started with WordPress and PressBooks!

WordPress and GPL

Who ever thought that anyone would get excited about a license? But the GPL is one of those things that people love, and people hate. This presentation will look at what the GPL is and how it works, how it found its way into WordPress, and what it means for you.

The Art of Becoming a Leader – How to Stand out in a Noisy World

Ever wonder why some bloggers have a knack for not only being read, but really being seen all over the web? In this presentation, Syed Balkhi, founder of WPBeginner, will walk you through all the steps he took that helped him go from a 12 year old kid to becoming a public speaker, a professional consultant for large corporations, and the man behind numerous popular blogs like WPBeginner and List25.

The Dog Who Caught the Car – Building a Development Team

I head up a team of more than 20 developers and designers who build WordPress-based products for the biggest brands in the world (Disney, ABC, ESPN, Bloomberg, Fox, NBC, NFL, TED, Tribune Broadcasting, Variety and Sony PlayStation.

We’ll talk through what has gone into building this team including:

* Team recruitment
* Business acquisition
* Structuring agreements
* Client management
* Process scaling
* Retaining work

WordPress in the agency world

Main Point:

outline the differences in how a WordPress developer would function inside an agency or larger company, as opposed to a dedicated design / development shop.

1. marketing / management teams who aren’t familiar with the WordPress community, or your job as a developer

2. open source in the wild

3. contributions and company IP

Scoping Projects to Reduce Stress, Anxiety and Angry Mobs From Forming at Your Door

Attention to detail in your code and design work is important – but before you lay down one single pixel, or one single line of code, you need to make sure that everyone (you, your client, your clients client, etc) are on the same page and make sure you are managing expectations on what the desired project outcome is.

You, and your client(s), need to determine which theme framework (if any) are appropriate for the project, which plugins can be utilized to meet the goals of the project and determine which aspects of the project require custom development to account for features that existing plugins do not currently cover.

Managing expectations and properly scoping out a project is key to successful project management, both for you and for your client.

This 30-40 minute covers hard lessons I’ve learned in a decade of client work – I hope to pass those headaches on to you so you don’t make the same mistakes. Q/A welcome, afterwards.

WordPress and Search Engine Optimization

I’d like to talk On-Page optimization using WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. I will discuss Headings, Titles, Meta-Descriptions, Inner Linking, Meta-Keywords, Sitemaps, URLs, and Canonical Redirects.

From Leads to Checks: The tools we use to win, manage, and close our WP projects succesfully

I’d like to explore the different tools we use to handle clients, from the initial lead email/phone call, to the final invoice getting paid, and the different mistakes we’ve made in the last 3 years doing WP projects for clients of all sizes.

I’ll go beyond the basic, “use freshbooks for invoicing, basecamp for PM, etc…” and get into some of the more advanced integrations and reasoning for using a certain tool over another.

I’ll pepper in some real stories of how small/large clients responded to certain tools, and what we’d recommend for each.

I’ll include some different variations depending on the team size, but most tools will be aimed at 1-5 person shops.

WordPress is saving Journalism

Learn how community newspapers in California are replacing their proprietary publishing systems with WordPress. Learn lots of outside the box uses for WordPress from someone who learned the hard way.

We’ll take a deeper dive into topics depending on audience interest. Talking points and demos may include:

Plugin demos
Theme building
Child themes for mobile optimized sites
Scaling WordPress
Advertising sales models
Subscription based sites
and more!

Having Success in Virtual Teams

Whether you’re outsourcing a few tasks, working with remote staff, or building a distributed company, having success in virtual and remote contexts is critical. We’ll look at the biggest questions that people struggle with when it comes to virtual teams, and then talk about the strategies and tools that can help.

Google Analytics- Measuring for Success

WordPress is an amazing platform with thousands of plugins themes and options- how do you know if adding a new plugin adds to your website experience or takes from it.

In this action packed 30 minute presentation you will learn how to understand what real life visitors do on your website. You’ll understand the following concepts:

How to install Google Analytics in WordPress
Visits/Visitors/Percentage of New Visitors
Time on Site and Pages per Visit
Bounce Rates and How to Impact Them
Determine where your visitors come from and if your marketing is working

Offensive Support

I’d like to talk to anyone who’ll listen about the dangers of only handling support from a defensive stand point (that is, being reactive to your users and any issues that arise from your code or service).

The defense-only method will leave you scrambling and spending extra time responding to customer problems. Having a pro-active (offensive) approach is a crucial and overlooked component.

By anticipating the needs of your users and providing solutions ahead of time you can reduce customer support requests and spend more time developing your awesome product.

Tools to curate content to your blog

Once you have set up your blog and ready to create your own content, there are many tools to curate content in your own niche to establish yourself as an authority on your subject. We will address easy tools to find content in your niche and easily create it in your blog.

Freelance Primer

I started freelancing full time out of necessity during the dot bomb in 2001. There were no blogs on freelancing, no conferences, but I was deeply blessed to find a mentor who helped me avoid the worst mistakes my first year. While you shouldn’t get paralysis by analysis (just get started), certain key tips often make the difference between navigating a successful freelance career and a lot of sleepless nights. Whether you are dreaming about freelancing or in the thick of bootstrapping, be practical and be intentional about running a business and you will be successful.

* Why you ALWAYS get a deposit
* What to spend money on and what to skip
* How to get a business license and what form of business to choose
* Don’t be a cowboy, get input from the right people
* Why you should clock your time, even if your aren’t paid for it
* Contracts matter – finding a template you can use
* The IRS is watching: separate bank accounts and track your finances
* Planing makes you real money: think about deductions and expenses now
* Avoid the bad projects and evil clients with a project checklist
* 6 months in the bank = freedom to define your terms
* And so much more…

If You Use “Impact”, My Heart Will Cry: Font Exploration for your WordPress Sites

You guys, if you want to have a well designed website, fonts make the most impact with the least resistance. That doesn’t stop people from using the same old fonts that use Helvetica.

This talk will give some hints about tools you can use to make your websites look most excellent – or at the very least – different from a WordPress default theme. We’ll go over:

– Why system fonts can be played out
– Things type designers look for (line heights, spacing, kerning)
– CSS3 properties that make fonts even more awesome
– How people used to do this before: images (boo!), cufon, etc.
– Tools that are awesome: Google Fonts, TypeKit, Typecast, kerning.js

It’s All Fun In The Sun Until Someone Gets Burned

I would like to talk about how WordPress sites are compromised, and the steps that are needed in order to properly recover once a compromise has occurred. To do this, I will be showing both the hacking life cycle and the incident response life cycle. I will show a live demo of compromising a site including how attackers maintain access to a site after the initial compromise. Finally, I will show how incident response is conducted including detection, analysis, and recovery (including how to prevent the same thing from happening again).

How to Hire and Manage a Developer

As a seasoned web professional since 1995, I am always interested in hearing stories from individuals who have encountered challenges while working with a developer. I have led several sessions focusing on this topic and I always start by asking the audience what kinds of problems they have experienced in the past. Some of the common threads include:

• “My developer delivered something that was not exactly what I had in mind. I then had to pay them to change it to match my expectations.”
• “My developer missed the deadline.”
• “My developer has gone AWOL. They refuse to return my phone calls and emails.”
• “The costs are spiraling out of control with no end in site.”
• “My developer takes suggestions personally.”
• “My developer does not understand my industry.”
• “My developer does not have the core competencies to complete every aspect of my project.”

While the audience always has a good laugh at some of these responses, none of them surprise me. I have heard them all before. The good news is that many of these problems can be avoided up front with proper planning and expectation management.

Developers are a rare breed. Given the barriers pertaining to technical jargon, preconceived notions can ultimately create conflicting ideas of what the finished product should look like. Instructions and objectives can become cloudy – ultimately creating a loss of time, effort and money for the hiring party.

This presentation will cover Interviewing Your Potential Developer, Planning & Project Management, Using a Version Control System, and Bug Reporting. Ii will give the audience a reality check on how to go about working with a developer to get a project built on time and on budget.

Here is a brief list of some of the questions that will be answered in the presentation:

• What questions should I ask when interviewing a developer?
• What are the communication pitfalls that I should avoid?
• How can clients get involved in project management?
• What is version control and how does it benefit me?
• What is the best way to handle bug reporting?

The presentation will also delve deeper into questions that should be asked throughout the various phases of working with a developer, including:
• Will my project be billed as hourly or as a flat rate?
• Once my project launches, is there a maintenance fee?
• Where does my project rank with the other projects on your production schedule?
• Do you have the bandwidth to give my project the attention it deserves?
• What is your procedure when something goes wrong?

In addition to providing appropriate questions that should be addressed, the presentation will also involve examples of common answers and real life examples. It will include suggestions based on years of first hand experience from the developer’s point of view.

Child Theming & Customizing Twenty Thirteen for Self-hosted WordPress

Twenty Twelve is the new, fully responsive default theme by It is lightweight, fast, and is becoming a favorite starting point for developers wanting to create a responsive user experience for their visitors.

My session will cover the basics of the theme, including file structure, how to create a child theme and make it your own, using post formats, how to add more widgeted areas to your functions.php file and more.

Introduction to WordPress Multisite

As an experienced WP designer/dev, I’d been scared to jump into multi-site for so many reasons – yet I manage a server with 40+ installations of WordPress. What was I thinking?

I’d like to present a brief introduction to Multi-site for folks already familiar with WP – how it works, how it’s set up, requirements, things to be aware of, how domain mapping works, how to set up development/test environments, even some basic plugins that have been really helpful in developing a network we run.

🙂 Andi

Integrating Social Services Into Your Blog

1. Integrating WP to Flickr, create instant picture galleries and pages
2. Integrate WP to youtube, create instant video galleries and pages
3. Using your RSS feed to feed your Social Media accounts using Hootsuite
4. Featured post or pages in your site
5. Integrating ECWID shopping cart widget in WP
6. Updating your blog form your cellphone

Encouraging community collaboration (plugins / themes)

I’d like to present on various ways to encourage other members of the community to contribute back to your plugins / themes, in the form of code patches, assistance with support, and marketing (sharing the word).

I will present on a lot of the things I have learned from developing / managing Easy Digital Downloads, a popular ecommerce plugin that has a large number of official contributors and even more one-off contributions from members of the WordPress community.

Staying of the Website Threats and Becoming One with Malware

I’d like to provide my friends in Miami a WordPress Security talk like no other. I’d get jiggy with the crowd, talk about the latest threats and things they can do to really help themselves. The idea is to educate and in the process help them gain a deeper appreciation for the underbelly of the web and the realities of the web based malware.

No one cares about your content (yet).

While content as ‘king’ may not be the best analogy, the importance of well-written, useful, textual content can’t be overstated. Tone can affect engagement, keywords can make or break your SEO, length can kill interest—great writing is vital. Content isn’t just blog posts or ‘About’ pages, it’s everything that gives information (including the way the information itself is presented).

You’ve got a great business or cause, but there are countless others just a click away. How do you find the right people to get involved, and how do you make them care?

In this session, we’ll refresh how you view your own web content by seeing it through the eyes of the user, and we’ll discuss methods of improving UX by employing simple and effective psychology alongside common-sense SEO. We’ll also explore how methods of effective in-person conversation can be applied to web content strategy. Then, since better prospects will be finding and reading your content, I’ll show you how to target your audience, measure the results, and constantly improve your outreach.

Through being both appropriately satirical and data-driven, I take a unique approach to getting content creators to spend some time in the shoes of their audience, revealing some of the absurdities of our assumptions and demonstrating how to challenge and test them. Data, empathy, logic, and optimization, together, always lead to better engagement. More concretely, we’ll discuss:

1. How visitors measure and absorb value when viewing web content (using data, psychology, and theories)

2. How real conversation teaches us how to engage with visitors

3. How to systematically and sustainably empathize with your target audience

4. How to make content memorable through positive emotional interaction

5. How to define and focus on your target audience

6. How to identify and test your assumptions about user interaction

You can also read through attendee feedback and see the slides from previous times I’ve given this presentation: and

Why LiveNinja Choose WordPress/BuddyPress

Recommended by David Bissett.
LiveNinja is a videochat marketplace built on wordpress/buddypress and based in Miami, FL . The presentation would cover why we chose wordpress over other cms products as well as HOW we use wordpress, the power of custom post types and different caching mechanisms to build a fast, scalable service in the cloud.

Using WordPress to Generate Traffic, Leads and Customers for Your Business.

I’d like to talk about how I use WordPress with my clients to generate traffic, leads and customers. I’ll give concrete examples on how I’m:

Doing on page SEO with WordPress – with concrete examples of what has worked for me.
Creating Blog schedules and keyword targeted Blog Posts – with examples of how weekly blogging has generated targeted traffic for me and my clients.
Creating Calls to Action and Landing Pages in WordPress – the good bad and ugly, what works and why.

From URL to Query

Ever wonder what process WordPress undertakes when someone visits your site? Or how it translates that nice permalink to the database query that ultimately delivers the content your visitors requested? Or what it takes to load the appropriate template from your site’s theme?

In this talk, I’ll walk through WordPress’ loading process and shed some light on the various APIs used. I’ll also discuss how these APIs work together to make the software function.

Designing for Development

The traditional workflow of Photoshop comps being handed off to slicing by a web developer is facing challenges by newer techniques, such as responsive/adaptive design. CSS3 has been around for a while but not all Photoshop effects will translate easily.

If you’re a designer and you’re not aware of these limitations, you may be causing a breakdown in the workflow with your colleagues. This talk will give advice, workflow tips, and a short primer on the WordPress theme structure so you can create comps that developers will enjoy implementing.

Increase WordPress Performance on the Stack

I would be speaking about how to increase WordPress performance on the back-end server. Even though most of the slowness of the web is on the front-end, most of the time, there is still some things you can do like caching the database via Memcached (using plugins like W3 Total Cache), running an HTTP caching proxy like Varnish, or using a faster server architecture, like Nginx with PHP-FPM, instead of running Apache.

I could also get into better server configuration settings, like making sure PHP and your web server is ideal to your server specifications. This would be a speech for the people running on their own virtual/dedicated servers, as on shared hosting, they would not have access to these configuration files.

The Importance of Storytelling in Web Design

With the craft of web design, we often focus on coding methodologies, user interface design, color theory, typography and scripting. While these details are important, we also need to take a step back and apply a more meta approach to the entire design of a website and how it engages end-users. What if we strengthened our creations for the web by building them upon a foundation of Story? Let’s explore the growing importance of storytelling in web design, how to communicate Story through all aspects of a website from content, to design, to ux; and how to apply key components of great storytelling in literature to the medium of the web.

Using WordPress as an Application Framework

At WDS, we’ve used WordPress to build some amazing applications far beyond a standard website. WordPress is a perfect platform for any web based application you can dream of. In this presentation we’ll discuss the advantages of using WordPress as an application framework. I’ll also demo some crazy applications we’ve built over the years to get everyone in attendance thinking outside the box when utilizing WordPress for their projects.

Using WordPress in an Agile Environment

I can speak on User Experience, I can speak on the difference between Lean and Agile UX, What I want to do is relate User Experience to WordPress, so ultimately I would like to research and possibly speak on the topic of Using WordPress in an Agile Environment.

Integrating with APIs

An application programming interface (API) is a way for two different pieces of software to communicate with each other. In your WordPress plugins and themes, you’ll often want to pull data from or send data to a third-party service that has an API. In this talk, Randy will explain the terminology you need to know to get started, share best practices and techniques for integrating with APIs, and walk through two real-world examples. You’ll leave with code snippets to help you get started integrating.

WordPress The Right Way

Where to start with WordPress. Making the choices to make your experience with WordPress development/usage as enjoyable as possible.