Saturday – 13 May 2017
Building a WordPress Plugin as a Side Business
In my talk I’ll cover the following subjects:
• Giving Back to WordPress
• Plugin Idea, Research, Roadmap
• Providing Excellent Support (and dealing with cross people)
• Creating a Website for the Plugin
• Revising Readme / Website Wording
• Releasing & Pricing Add-ons
• Transparency Reports
Every open source project is made up of more than code. It’s more than pixels, more than binary. People create the code, craft the experience, test and support. To keep a community healthy we need to recognise the people behind the text. Open source really is people source and the trouble is we keep forgetting that. This talk is part call to action and part wake up call, lets start thanking rather than following a dramatic hashtag. Lets start caring for the people that are our source.
WordPress is a CMS not a CMS
WordPress allows users to manage their content through the WordPress admin screens. This means users can add, edit and delete content and media and manage their sites without the need to ask developers for every change. WordPress is a content management system, but all too often it can end up becoming a content mismanagement system when editing and managing the site is just too difficult, This talk goes through some of the ways in which we build sites so they are easy to content manage, whilst allowing clients to edit pretty much all of their site. It will cover the different methods we use to make content management easy and some of the problems that we see with sites we have been asked to improve. Hopefully by the end of this talk attendees will come away with some practical examples on how to make content management with WordPress easier and quicker for users.
Assistive Technology Demo
While speaking about accessibility I’ve realised that for some people the key to understanding why accessibility is so important comes from experiencing how people with disabilities actually use the websites we build. So I’ll be demoing two pieces of assistive technology (AT): 1) Dragon NaturallYSpeaking – voice recognition software and NVDA – a screen reader. 1) Dragon NaturallySpeaking is voice recognition software, typically used by people with motor impairments who are unable to use mouse or keyboard or touch. I’ll demonstrate how people move around within pages, follow links, deal with internet forms, and can emulate mouse movements when they need to. 2) NVDA is a screen reader typically used by those who are blind, or have poor vision, but also sometimes by those with cognitive impairments such as dyslexia. I’ll demonstrate what you hear when a page first loads, how people move around a page, how they can find information they are looking for in pages, how they follow links, and interact with forms and dropdown menus. Along the way we’ll see the challenges faced by users of these products if sites are not well created.
Using Customizer for custom content
When you need editability in various common (or uncommon!) areas of a website, it can be hard to decide how to deploy this. Do you widgetize it, create a custom options page, add custom fields to a page, use custom post types – there are a-lot of different strategies! When we need this kind of functionality on sites that we build, we’ve tried them all! I’ll demonstrate what I think is the nicest way – by using the Theme Customizer API you can deliver a great user experience, and even a live preview for the client… it’s sexy 😉
Making kitten gif galleries fabulous
A talk comparing some of the popular gallery plugins, as well as general advise and tips on how to optimise your image-heavy websites to ensure they run as efficiently as possible.
Ten clangers I learnt while building my WordPress startup
I’m on my second product built with WordPress. The first one didn’t go to plan. I’m not writing this from a beach in the Caribbean. But I’m giving it another shot and I’ve learnt a huge amount about how to approach building products with WordPress. In this talk I’m going to describe the easy pitfalls you can fall into, how to avoid them and build a successful WordPress product business.
Advanced Frontend Workflow for Building WordPress Themes
Don’t lose your steam! How to deal with unhappy customers
No matter if your product, business plans or plugin is functional and well crafted: there comes a time where a user or client knocks at your door, and they aren’t happy at all with you. Supporting users is not an easy job, not to mention when they’re angry or upset, and this can affect your emotional and professional balance. In this talk I’m going to share some useful tips and tricks I deploy when dealing with upset customers, to turn them into a potential happy users. I’ll also share my advice on how to maintain an assertive and positive attitude when things go south. This talk aims to all the people who can possibly interact with users and are looking to fine-tune their customer support skills.
Waterfall is not a dirty word
In the world of software and web development, all of the cool kids are talking about Agile as the only way to manage projects. The old fashioned way of managing projects, aka Waterfall, is outdated, clumsy and not fit for purpose in this new fast paced era. Or is it? The WordPress community is incredibly diverse and projects come in all shapes and sizes. Surely then it makes sense if we have a range of project management approaches that can be tailored to the individual project. With examples of real projects from our agency, I’ll make the case that not only can Waterfall be the best approach for some WordPress projects but that there are a spectrum of different approaches to choose from and there is no one perfect way of doing things.
How to shout out about your business to the world
We are good at building websites but are we good at promoting them? Is it enough to just build a site and move on? We need to understand that these days Websites are not much different than business cards so we need think about how we are going to find the people to give our business cards to.
Confessions of an entrepreneur
This talk is for anyone who is or wants to be their own boss, either as a freelancer or the next big thing. Rich will discuss what it takes to be an entrepreneur; telling anecdotes, offering tips and advice, and sharing a little insight into the opportunities WordPress has to offer.
Sunday – 14 May 2017
WordPress = Child’s Play
Helping 3 children between the ages of 4-8 to create their first WordPress sites, I realised that adults and children approach problem solving very differently. Adults try to relate everything to experience, which works a lot of the time. For children, every experience is a lesson. They are constantly problem solving, thinking outside the box, and seeing things that adults often do not see. My children have pointed out solutions that are hiding in plain site, but they have also used their imagination to their advantage. This talk offers practical advice for supporting young people creating their first WordPress website, highlights the importance of teaching the future generations about technology and demonstrates that the next generation of WordPress developers could teach us a lot too.
Internationalisation for WordPress Developers
In this workshop-style presentation I cover the concepts of internationalisation, the three core steps needed to internationalise your WordPress plugin or theme, some best practices, and advanced considerations to make the lives of your translators easier.
The Themer’s Guide to WP-CLI
WP-CLI is a useful tool for automating tasks and optimizing developer workflow in WordPress. WP-CLI is commonly used for maintenance and can be put to good use in the initial site build process. Learn how WP-CLI can help improve your themeing process and make it faster to perform common site building tasks. This talk will explore how you can get started with WP-CLI and will include 3 step-by-step examples.
Writing for the web
The talk is meant to interest users, who having got a website, are writing articles for it. I would guess that the professional writers could happily add extra ideas to my talk. So, I’ll offer a set of guidelines that enables writers to assess if their article could be easier to read. Little bit on SEO and typography perhaps.
From WordPress Novice to WordPress Specialist
In this talk I plan to outline my journey from a self-confessed WordPress novice to a WordPress Specialist, with challenges I’ve found along the way, as well as where I see myself going from here. Taking a humorous approach, I’ll look at how ‘on paper’ you’d never expect me to be doing what I’m doing now, but now that I’m doing it I can’t see myself ever doing anything else. I’ll talk about agency life and why it should be fun, and will also share the tools I have found useful and give my opinions on how to get the best out of WordPress. I see this talk being useful not only for those wanting to progress with WordPress, but also for agency owners to consider how to grow their staff and get the most potential from them. Plenty of jokes and silly pictures included.
Word After Word: A Writing Workflow
From blog posts to internal reports, reviews, documentations, business proposals or social statuses, there is a wide range of cases to write for. Whether you’re an accomplished writer or not, you need to have an established writing workflow in order to create better content with less resources. In this talk I’ll explain how I start from a simple idea and develop a good text that is ready to be read by someone else. Tools of the trade, good and bad habits, text accessibility, but also lessons learned from pragmatics, sociolinguistics, and other linguistics subfields. This session is aimed not only at authors and content creators, but also at all professionals who want to write more effectively for different purposes.
Google Analytics – Measure, Learn, Take Action
Using Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager to implement third party software and measure visitor interaction, to give them more of what they want to see, so you achieve your website goals. What you need to know about: What Aspects of Your Marketing Are Working? Are Visitors Engaging With Your Website? Are You Measuring Your Return On Investment (ROI)?
Designing for GDPR
The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will become law in 2018 and effects how we need to store and manage data for people in the EU. After Brexit, it’ll still effect how we handle customers in the EU’s data. The 100ish page GDPR covers all sorts of telecommunications and electronic data so this talk aims to tell web designers and developers the essentials they need to know in an easy to digest format so that they can help their clients (and themselves) stay inline with the legal requirements, from discussing considerations for big databases through to simple newsletter sign ups.
Get Twig, use Twig, smile
Designing for Accessibility
Key decisions made at the design stage can make or break the accessibility of a website. But how do you know what those key decisions are, and why? The WCAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines do contain many clues, but the guidelines are large and complex and the design ideas on accessibility, are mixed up with all the ideas for developers and content authors. So here’s a condensed list of sensible and pragmatic design ideas to ensure accessibility, with simple examples and explanations of why they’re important. Topics covered: use of colour, text alignment and resizing, form placeholders and error messages, etc.