Excellent talk line-up at WordCamp this Saturday

Annual WordPress conference WordCamp Hamilton is taking place this Saturday June 2nd at McMaster Innovation Park – tickets are only $20.

You can visit the conference website for all details at 2018.hamilton.wordcamp.org. Check out the full line-up of speakers below…


5 Secrets to a Knockout About Page

Presented by Allison Smith in Room 2.

Your About page is one of the most important pieces of content on your site – this is your chance to create a connection with your readers and tell the story of your business. No wonder we get writer’s block when we see that blank canvas in front of us! But it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether you’re a small business owner, creative freelancer or tech pro, you can craft a knockout about page that will have your visitors devouring your words down to the last letter. In this talk, I’ll share 5 secrets to making it happen.

A/B testing – which way does your duck face?

Presented by Mike Demo in Room 1.

When you launch a website, do you know what works? You don’t; you’re guessing. Your guesses may be based on experience and education, but with good A/B testing you can also make decisions based upon data.

For example, do you know that even the way a duck’s face points (left versus right) could increase your conversions by 40%? As a case study, one of our clients, an insurance company, increased leads by making just a small 2px change.

In this talk, we will spend some time reviewing the A/B checklist I personally use to guide you on your journey to discover what things to test, testing methodology, and the best tools to use for your clients’ sites.

Headless WordPress + React

Presented by Thiago Loureiro in Room 1.

The idea of this talk is to provide some insight and show a possible way of using WordPress as a headless CMS and take advantage of modern JS frameworks. Part of the presentation will be focused on showing how to build a simple application using this approach and the cool possibilities of using React + WP.

Integration with Social Media

Presented by Wendy Marshall in Room 2.

So you have your website and you keep blogging and updating but no one other then your mother sees it? You need a bigger audience who are interested in not only what you have to say in your blogs but what you have to offer as a service or product. Posting on social media is not just about you it has to be a full integration with your website and marketing plan. I will share some of my favourite plugins and tools for integrating WordPress and social media together.

Making Security Make Sense to Users/Clients

Presented by Adam Warner in Room 1.

As someone who builds WordPress websites for clients, you’ve probably learned that offering (or requiring) monthly maintenance contracts is smart business. It’s likely you’re including core software, plugin and theme updates as part of your maintenance plan, which ensures a steady income stream you can rely on and helps with your financial forecasting. But are you including website security as part of your project proposal and scope?

The security of your clients’ websites is often not a priority or is left until the end of a project (or sale?) as an optional add-on for the client to consider after going live. The value of a strong website security posture can be difficult to explain to clients, but when put in the context of their business and possible loss of revenue, it can become an integral part of your offering that separates you from the rest.

In this session, Adam will cover simple website security best practices that you can implement immediately for your own site and those of your clients. In addition, he’ll also offer advice and examples on how to best present the importance of website security during the proposal, scope, and maintenance package stages to your clients. Not only does this ensure your maintenance plans offer what every website needs, but also presents an additional revenue stream opportunity for your business.

Oh crap! We need a web site. Now what?

Presented by Jim Echter in Room 2.

Go on the journey of a “mere mortal” (someone without a computer background) on how they learned WordPress, designed two business sites and opened an on-line store with Woo Commerce. Your trip guide will take you through the WP basics, identify tripping and stumbling points, direct you to where to get information, introduce you to the language of WordPress, where to “hotel” your site, and overview safety tips for your journey.

Panel – WP-FAQ

Presented in Room 2.

Join us as some of panelists discuss answers to some of the more common questions to a wide variety of WordPress related questions.

Submitting, maintaining and growing a plugin on wordpress.org

Presented by Brian Hogg in Room 1.

You have a plugin and want more people to check it out, and submitting to the official WordPress plugin directory. But how do you get it ready and submit it, easily keep it up-to-date, avoid common conflicts with other plugins, and get more people finding out about it?

In this talk, I’ll go through tips and techniques to save you (and your plugin users) from pulling out their hair and get your plugin out there on wordpress.org

The future is accessible

Presented by Heather Gray in Room 1.

Do you think accessibility is just about catering your site to a minority of users who have disabilities? Even though as many as 3.8 million Canadians (about 15%) have reported having a disability, find out how a11y improvements will help your site become more inviting to all users and will help to improve visitor retention.

We will also explore tools and extensions that can help you to meet WCAG 2.0.

This talk is geared toward designers and developers who are comfortable with basic vanilla JavaScript.

Thinking out-of-box themes

Presented by Richard Rudy in Room 1.

It’s time to update your site, with so many inexpensive out-of-the-box themes available is custom development really worth it?

In this talk I’ll run you through a case-study comparing a popular pre-made theme and a custom developed version. I’ll run you through the differences in performance, accessibility, and maintainability. We’ll look at the pros and cons of the options and provide you with various business cases for their use.

Use your own data to take your WordPress website to the next level

Presented by Paul Thompson in Room 2.

We all want to improve our websites, but “best practice” guesses aren’t enough – we want real data to help us understand where to focus our limited time and resources. But so often, the data and stats are intimidating – and the complexity of tools like Analytics can reinforce that. In this presentation, we’ll discover seven specific ways our own data can narrow down for us where to optimise for the most impact. We’ll learn specific ways to tweak our analytics to collect more critical decision-making information and how to use that data to make SEO, conversion optimisation, page speed, and usability improvements for a more powerful, successful website.

  • discover what content our own visitors are begging us to write.
  • learn how fast our website pages really are for our actual users and which need improvement. Bonus: What if our site could notify us when important pages got slower?!
  • understand what parts of the site’s navigation/calls to action our visitors find helpful and which ones they ignore.
  • key in on the pages that would provide the greatest benefit if we worked to improve them. (And what is bounce rate really?)
  • and more, including teaching Analytics how to show you the important data you care about, instead of having to dig it out every time you want to check it.

Don’t miss this chance to get a better handle on how we can our own data to improve our websites!

Using your WordPress powers for good

Presented by Michelle Ames in Room 2.

WordPress powers almost a third of the internet, making it not only powerful, but as an open source project, WordPress is a tremendous gift to all of us. So what do you do with an amazing gift like this?

  1. Make a living from it.
  2. Have fun with it.
  3. Give back.
  4. Pay it forward.
  5. All of the above!

I make a living with WordPress, but I’m also what you might call a “serial volunteer.”

In the years that I’ve created a career with WordPress, I have also set aside time to help others through:

  • Mentoring
  • Organizing Meetups
  • Organizing Hackathons
  • WordCamp organizing and speaking
  • Creating WordPress classes and clinics
  • Setting up WordPress coworking days
  • Creating free and discounted non-profit websites
  • and more!

There’s a side effect to giving and giving back with WordPress: I’ve found that the more I give…the more I’ve gained: friendships, clients, jobs, and the warm feeling that only comes from sharing good things.

Attendees can expect to learn more about the social power of WordPress, how the WordPress community functions, and how giving back is really a way to give to yourself.

WordPress, Blogging, and Getting Engaged

Presented by Joey Coleman in Room 2.

Joey Coleman discusses how he became one of Canada’s leading bloggers in the 00s, got hired by Macleans, and then decided to be Canada’s first local crowdfunded journalist, and how you can similarly use WordPress to be your online home instead of Facebook or another platform you don’t own.

WTH are CPT’s and ACF’s?

Presented by Shanta Nathwani in Room 1.

Ever wonder what a Custom Post Type is? Why would you want to use them? How do they work with Custom Fields? What’s the difference between CPT’s and Posts? Many of these questions will be answered in this beginner talk, meant to improve your knowledge of content architecture. A basic knowledge of pages, posts, tags and categories would be helpful.

Kevin Browne

Editor of Software Hamilton.