Sessions

Admins Are Users Too

Presented by Linda Gorman in Talks.

A great end-user experience starts with a great experience for web admins.  Editor interfaces shouldn’t be an afterthought—the most sophisticated tooling quickly becomes useless if it’s counterintuitive.  Let’s talk through principles behind developing editor interfaces, as well as concrete tips about how to leverage core and plugin functionality to build on top of the WordPress admin.

Alternative Hacks: WordPress Security From the Outside Looking In

Presented by Daniel Olson in Talks.

From plugins that promise a layer of security to lofty opinions about file permissions, it’s hard to tell what works. Simply put, a security plan that aims to slow down someone who’s already in your house isn’t really a plan.

I’d like to discuss security as the foundation of a site rather than an add-on and approach this idea from the outside looking in. We’ll cover a high-level process on how to enhance security with version control, hosting and access management, 3rd party integrations and more. My goal is to highlight flaws in common practices and present alternative ones to create more secure WordPress sites.

As a developer working with businesses and Universities with thousands of hacking attempts per day I’ve learned what works.

Conquering Continuous Integration & Deployment

Presented by Tessa Kriesel in Talks.

You know that Continuous something-or-other exists. Maybe you have even heard the terms Continuous Integration or Continuous Deployment, but not much more than that. I was in your shoes just a few short months ago. I came, I coded, I conquered. Now I am breaking it all down so you too can feel confident with the basics of continuous integration and deployment. I will cover the basics of how to setup Github and Circle CI with WordPress and configure deployment to a staging environment. We will cover continuous-jargon and break down YML and script files to better understand how it works and how you can start to use it with your projects. Attend. Absorb. And you too can conquer.

Designing for Customization: How to Build a Modular News Theme

Presented by Julia Smith in Workshops.

How do you approach product design for the ever-evolving news landscape? And how do you develop a theme that includes all the core functionality a news site needs – while also allowing individual organizations to modify layouts, brand their content, and really make their site their own? In this workshop, we’ll look at the the product design process for Largo 1.0, a highly customizable news theme developed by the Institute for Nonprofit News. You’ll learn how to work with the Customizer and think conceptually about designing page templates with flexibility at top of mind.

Destructive Ad Tech and Practical Solutions

Presented by Ben Ilfeld in Talks.

For better or worse, advertising is the lifeblood of the modern media ecosystem. Yet ads increasingly: 1) undermine publisher values and audience trust (advertorial native ads); 2) interrupt, compromise, and abuse our audiences (interstitials, mal-advertising, autoplay videos). Yet an overhaul is financially impractical for publishers at scale. In this session, you’ll learn about two strategies for us to change tack. Plus, you’ll learn how to leverage new capabilities to implement these strategies with WordPress. First, you will learn how to increase the value of direct sold advertising with content sponsorship opportunities using taxonomies in WordPress and “native styles” ads in DoubleClick for Publishers. Second, you’ll learn how to leverage custom post types in WordPress to build a successful, scalable and manageable affiliate link program. It is our responsibility to build better solutions and improve the media ecosystem.

Distribute All The Things: WordPress & The Era of Multiple Content Channels

Presented by Jake Goldman in Talks.

In the era of Google AMP, Facebook Instant Articles, Apple News, mobile apps, Flipboard, and RESTful APIs, creating and distributing digital content is no longer just a conversation about a website.

From design to monetization, publishers need a strategy to thrive on the modern, multichannel web. That means that forward looking content management systems can no longer be thought of or marketed as “website makers” – template systems for spitting out content in HTML. The modern CMS must be the digital hub that enables distribution to the various channels where audiences are finding and consuming content, including new and different ways of making a “website,” sometimes outside of the CMS.

Part history, part philosophy, and part practical tips and tricks, this talk will walk through the evolution of web content distribution and consumption, help you sell and position WordPress as a future-proof platform built for where the web is now and where it’s going, and highlight current tools and tips to make sure your content reaches and engages the widest possible audience on today’s web.

Friday Lightning Talks

Presented in Talks, Workshops.

  • Using WordPress to Grow our Network – Maura Teal (Fansided)
  • Customizer-centric Workflows – Jonathan Wold (XWP)
  • Tune Up Democracy – Ernesto Aguilar (National Federation of Community Broadcasters)
  • How a drumming magazine leapt into digital subscriptions with resounding success – Peter Ericson (Zeen 101)

Hiring and Career Roundtable

Presented by Paul Olund, Aimee Gonzalez-Cameron, Julia Smith in Talks.

This panel discussion will focus on how publishing teams can leverage their long-term technology goals to better inform their hiring practices, build stronger teams, and promote professional development practices that will allow them to support that product vision.

Integrating print and digital / print workflow tools in WordPress

Presented by Gabriel Koen in Talks.

At Penske Media Corporation (PMC) we have been through several iterations of trying to integrate print and digital workflows. This talk will be showcasing the challenges and solutions we have come across.

Location Aware Content Discovery

Presented by Deepti Boddapati in Talks.

It’s 2017, cell phones are old news. Everywhere you look, people are looking at their phone. And everywhere we go, we depend on our phones to give us just in time information. However, in the web publishing world, websites that allow you to discover content based on your location seem far and few between. We read food blogs for fun but rely on Yelp for restaurant recommendations. We browse news sites for information but rely on Twitter to know what’s happening in town. We visit museum websites to find the details, but we Google for interpretation. Websites everywhere are being developed without location aware content discovery features. As a result, they are giving up their audiences to goliaths. What can you do to include these features into a CMS based website? How do you add this into our website planning strategy? What are the technical and publishing workflow challenges inherent to location aware content discovery? This talk will tackle those questions by breaking down the fundamentals behind location aware content discovery. We will also look at a few real-world implementations to explore some common ‘gotchas’ that implementers should be aware of.

Make a Statement: Using React to Create Content-rich Articles on WordPress

Presented by Andres Escobar in Talks.

This session will cover the process IOne Digital uses to bring to life interactive layouts created by design teams using stackable and reusable React components.

Making Everyone Happy: Managing a Large Network of Sites

Presented by Meagan Ball in Talks.

Managing a large network of WordPress sites doesn’t have to be herding cats or playing favorites. In this session, we’ll talk about how at Tribune Media we manage more than 30 sites on WordPress.com VIP, with content produced by hundreds of producers across the nation. We’ll touch on how we manage breaking news, editorial workflow, author and content management, as well as communication, at scale. We’ll share what and how we borrowed from community plugins, and what we had to build ourselves to satisfy the needs of product and editorial, across a wide range of needs and wants.

Monetize All The Things: How Condé Nast Profits From Multiple Channels

Presented by Jake Spurlock in Talks.

With the rise of third-party publishing in mobile platforms, publishers are increasingly worried about how to generate profit. WIRED has taken a proactive approach to these platforms and has led WordPress development efforts around these products. At the same time, WIRED has worked within Condé Nast to create tests around the profitability of these platforms, and looks to share insight gained, and the future roadmaps for their products.

This session will go over different monetization strategies, along with ideas and insights in leveraging different technologies and services to rapidly develop around new platforms.

Navigating the Censored Web

Presented by John Gamboa in Talks.

As WordPress continues to represent a larger portion of the global Internet landscape, issues relating to web censorship, internet sovereignty and access for all people are becoming more common. With his experience working behind the Great Firewall of China, John will discuss how sites are often affected by web censorship in all corners of the world.

Prototyping in the Browser with WordPress

Presented by Owen Stowe, Pattie Reaves in Workshops.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a prototype is worth a thousand meetings. Using in-browser prototyping to drive your theme development process will save you time, help you manage code and design complexity, and establish a maintainable style guide that you can reference as your site evolves.
In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to build an in-browser style guide and prototype for your WordPress theme using open-source tools KSS and Huron.

Syndicating Content with the WP REST API and WPGraphQL

Presented by Jason Bahl in Workshops.

Content syndication is the process of pushing content (blog post, article, video, image or any other piece of web-based content) from one system to another. At Digital First Media, we use WordPress as an entry point for content that gets published across multiple websites (some WordPress, some not), and also content that gets sent to print systems as well as other systems such as ElasticSearch. Passing data from one system to another is a challenging problem. We’ve used the WP REST API to move millions of articles, images and other data across various systems and while using the WP REST API so heavily we’ve learned a lot about what works well and what challenges there are with using REST.

This will be a technical workshop where we will look at examples of how the WP REST API has been used to syndicate content and discuss what has worked well and what has been difficult. Then we will discuss WPGraphQL – what it is and what problems it helps solve with syndicating content.

We’ll get hands on exploring:

  • Tools for working with GraphQL
  • Extending the WPGraphQL Schema to support custom data
  • Writing GraphQL Queries and Mutations

Pre-requisites for the hands-on portion of the Workshop are:

The Care and Feeding of Open-Source-Skeptical Colleagues

Presented by Kevin Koehler in Talks.

The idea of building a business on open source software may be old hat for most technologists, but for many people in more traditional industries, the concepts around using and contributing to WordPress may seem quite strange. Can a program you get for free be any good? How does the licensing work and what the heck is a GPL? Who do we call if it breaks? Who’s in charge of this thing? Sharing technology with everyone, is that safe? Wait, you wrote some code for us, and now you want to publish it for anyone to use, for free? We’ll answer these questions and more in a discussion of how to get OSS buy-in from the whole newsroom — lawyers, executives, and IT departments included. Along the way, you’ll get a refresher on making the most of the open WordPress ecosystem, whether you’ve been a part of this community for 13 years or 13 hours.

The Complete Introduction to WP-CLI

Presented by Dwayne McDaniel, Daniel Bachhuber in Workshops.

Have you opened the terminal before, but stared blankly at it, not knowing what to do? Join Dwayne and Daniel for an introduction to WP-CLI, completely transforming how you work with WordPress (no joke). Go from staring blankly, to staring in awe, and learn the magic incantations so many developers love to use.

Participants will walk through installation of the WP-CLI, learn to perform basic WP administration tasks, from creating and installing WP to manipulating users, themes and plugins without needing to log into the admin interface.  Then we will focus on more advanced usage that publishers will find exceptionally useful.

The Project Scope Will Change. Here’s How You Make It a Tolerable – If Even Pleasant – Experience.

Presented by Whitney Yadrich, Jay Moore in Workshops.

We’ve all answered or asked the question, “What would it take to do this instead?” Change orders increase project tension and can turn a client relationship on its head. They don’t have to, though. This workshop covers how to successfully execute change requests and establish investment expectations using examples from a multitude of projects – and keep your vendor-client relationship happy and healthy.

Thursday Lightning Talks

Presented in Talks, Workshops.

  • How Digital First Media Uses WordPress – Mateo Leyba (DFM)
  • Voice Apps for Publishers – Tom Harrigan (Alley Interactive)
  • WordPress and Newsroom Workflow Management – Douglas Arellanes (Sourcefabric)
  • Reducing “Time To Publish” – Bradley Jacobs (Boston Globe Media)
  • Useful Publisher Plugins – Ben Keith (Institute of Nonprofit News)

Unconference/Conversation Track

Presented in Workshops.

We’ve left some time in the conference workshop track for unconference sessions or small group conversations on topics of interest to attendees.

If you have an idea for a conversation you’d like to facilitate, please fill out this form and we’ll follow-up with you closer to the event. If you don’t have your idea fully-formed yet, no worries! We’ll also have a board for ideas at the opening session of the conference each day.

Unconference/Conversation Track

Presented in Workshops.

We’ve left some time in the conference workshop track for unconference sessions or small group conversations on topics of interest to attendees.

If you have an idea for a conversation you’d like to facilitate, please fill out this form and we’ll follow-up with you closer to the event. If you don’t have your idea fully-formed yet, no worries! We’ll also have a board for ideas at the opening session of the conference each day.

Why We Ditched WYSIWYG and Built Our Newsletter Tools in WordPress

Presented by Rebekah Monson in Talks.

WhereBy.Us creates stories, experiences, and daily local newsletters to help people plug into their cities — all powered by WordPress. This year, we moved to a WordPress Multisite instance, added a build process for multiple developers, built an app to sell newsletter advertising and moved newsletter creation from MailChimp’s UI into WordPress using a plug-in. We’ll walk you through why and how we made the switch, addressing all the benefits, drawbacks and solutions we found along the way.