Selling and Managing WordPress Projects – Panel

Presented by Kyle Maurer, Kevin Skarritt, Thomas Stirling, Ian Wilson in Business, Pond.

So you can create awesome stuff with WordPress. Beautiful sites, stable solutions, compelling content, impressive results. But that is only one piece of the puzzle that is making money selling WordPress services. Also of critical importance is the need to be able to sell those services and then successfully manage the projects so that they complete on time and to the client’s satisfaction.

In this panel, veteran project managers will share their expertise and answer your questions about the topics of successfully selling services and properly planning projects so that everyone wins and costly mistakes are avoided.

How to build an email list and generate qualified leads using WordPress

Presented by AJ Morris in Assembly Hall, Business.

Inbound Marketing is the new buzz word these days. People want to create an audience, brand for themselves. Learn through proven techniques to discover which tools you can use to help accelerate your blog to create the audience you want for the products you sell. You’ll hear first war torn stories and walk away with an action plan of how to get started with an actionable plan to build an audience.

Building Software that Sells and Scales – Panel

Presented by Chris Christoff, Justin Ferriman, Adam Warner, Rebecca Gill in Business, Pond.

Selling open source software is challenging. It can be complicated and confusing to navigate the premium WordPress product landscape for even veteran entrepreneurs. However, some have managed to do this pretty well and this panel discussion will feature some of those developers and business owners who’ve learned important lessons about what works and what does not when it comes to creating products people want to buy and also creating products that can sustain a business long term.

Hiring, Firing and Subcontracting: What We’ve Learned – Panel

Presented by Ross Johnson, Adam Silver, Cory Miller, Rebecca Gill in Business, Pond.

For small businesses, one of the biggest and most overwhelming challenges is often the finding, managing and letting go of employees or subcontractors. This panel will consist of experts who’ve experienced first hand the pains of hiring the wrong people as well as the benefits of hiring well. There will be open Q&A on the topics of when to hire, what to hire for, when to fire, finding good talent and getting the most out of existing human resources.

Organizing WordPress Events – Panel

Presented by Kyle Maurer, Sarah Collins, Angela Bergman, Michelle Schulp in Pond, User.

Do you currently assist with the organization or WordPress meetups, WordCamps or other events? Or are you interested in getting involved with one or starting your own? This panel discussion will consist of several veteran WordPress event organizers ready to answer any and all questions you may have.

Version Control Workshop

Presented by Joel Worsham in Developer, Wolverine.

Final Considerations

Presented by Ross Johnson in Pendleton, User.

Wrapping up the fundamentals series, this session will cover the following important topics:

  • Security
  • Backups
  • Updates

Getting Advanced

Presented by Angela Samuels in Pendleton, User.

At this point in the fundamentals series, we should be ready to begin extending WordPress. So we will now dive into:

  • Plugins
  • Themes

Getting Dialed In

Presented by Seth Alling in Pendleton, User.

Building on the previous fundamentals sessions, for this hour we will explore:

  • Visually customizing your site
  • Menus and widgets
  • Users and settings

Getting Acclimated to WordPress

Presented by Anthony Montalbano in Pendleton, User.

In this fundamentals session we will cover:

  • A tour of the WordPress editor
  • Explain post types
  • Explain taxonomies, comments and media

WordPress Introduction

Presented by Peter Shackelford in Pendleton, User.

This fundamentals session will cover the following topics:

  • vs.
  • The basics of WordPress hosting
  • A tour of the WordPress dashboard
  • Getting started publishing content

Explode Your WordPress Business!

Presented by Steve Bennett, Kevin Skarritt in Amphitheatre, Business.

Expand your role and grow your business within the world of Word Press. In this session, you’ll learn to:

    – Triple your average sale

    – Sell services that you’re not currently offering – while focusing on what you do best

    – Have a higher level of perceived authority with your clients

    – Garner “guru” status

    – Become a full-service agency (if you want to)

… All by making one simple change to the conversation!

Want to be bigger?

Want to see more for your role?

Want to learn to control and evolve the conversation with your clients?

Steve Bennett and Kevin Skarritt will walk you through the process of how leading with brand strategy can take your business to dizzying new heights.

I want the REMOTE: Business, culture and hiring for the remote world

Presented by Krystle Herbrandson in Assembly Hall, Business.

Whether you’re looking to secure a remote position or hire one, this will be the session for you. Come learn tips and tricks for recruiting, onboarding and developing remote teams.

Insider Secrets For Getting Timely Support For Premium Themes & Plugins

Presented by Justin Ferriman in User, West Conference Room.

Justin reveals the fool-proof way to get your premium theme & plugin issues resolved in a timely manner. Cut your resolution time in half with these simple steps!

Mastering the Design Approval Process

Presented by Ross Johnson in Assembly Hall, Designer.

Make the logo bigger, move the sidebar to the left, I don’t like that shade of blue, the font is too big… If you’re working on the web and play any part on the design or interface of a project then you know how difficult the design approval process can be. How can you get something approved if everyone has different tastes?

In this talk I describe a process that dramatically reduces approval challenges. I cover the steps I take to establish expertise, squash fights over aesthetic preferences and reduce the amount of effort required to get a design approved.

This process is so effective we rarely have more than one round of revisions and the first round typically takes less than 30 minutes to complete.

Don’t Be A Search Engine Optimist

Presented by Angela Bergman in Amphitheatre, Business.

Everyone hears they should be using SEO on their website, but what does that really mean? Angie will walk you through the important basics anyone can do to help their websites get better ranking, without the smoke and mirrors act.

Getting Off the Factory Floor: Doing What You Love and Getting Paid for It

Presented by Adam Warner in Business, West Conference Room.

Adam left college with a degree in Advertising Design and went straight to work on the factory floor making office furniture. It wasn’t the life he’d imagined but having been raised in a blue collar family, he was taught that a strong work ethic would make you invaluable to “the company” and “they” would provide the financial security and stability needed to raise a family and enjoy life. In other words, this meant working in the same stark metal building for 30 years with 20 minute lunch breaks and two weeks vacation in the summer.

In this session Adam will detail how he discovered WordPress and the open source community, the many businesses that he’s started and failed at, and how he’s utilized these experiences to continually fuel his entrepreneurial spirit and create his own path to a work/life balance and how you can too.

No matter what your passion, WordPress can be an integral tool to helping you achieve your dreams and success in your own business.

“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
― Babe Ruth

I ❤️ Code Reviews and So Can You

Presented by Brian Richards in Assembly Hall, Developer.

Creating an Effective WordPress Website

Presented by Annie Wolock in Business, West Conference Room.

Effective websites not only attract more traffic but they convert that traffic into leads and sales – and they measurably improve customer relations and retention.

Tech trends may come and go, but savvy business practices significantly advance your business outcomes.

Topics addressed will be:

  • Findability
  • Conversion
  • Retention

Where to Find the Right WordPress Help For You

Presented by Rich Robinkoff in Assembly Hall, User.

As someone new to WordPress, getting all the answers to questions you have in building and enhancing your site can be a challenge. I am here to help break it down for you and give you some direction.

A Behavior-oriented Approach to Design and Function

Presented by Alex Beaudin in Amphitheatre, Designer.

I will discuss a user-oriented design approach from the perspective of a social scientist, rather than a designer or developer. Based on my experiences as a project manager and practicing anthropologist, I will cover what an understanding of human behavior and practice has to offer on the topics of user interface, user experience, and usability design.

Your Theme Does Not Dictate Your Business

Presented by Russell Aaron in Assembly Hall, User.

There is a difference between sales marketing and marketing a product because it’s based on a content management system. WordPress Theme Demonstrations are a primary example of what I’m talking about here.

My first WordPress theme problem comes from the demonstration itself. Sure it looks pretty, but how is it built. Am I going to install 400 plugins to make the homepage work? Do I have to buy a plugin, that the developer built, in order to use the WordPress theme in the first place? Am I required to switch religions and claim a new faith in order to change church themes? These are real problems new WordPress users have.

Ecommerce Fundamentals

Presented by Andrew Wikel in Amphitheatre, User.

Rightsizing your WordPress Site Build: Knowing when to do it yourself, hire a freelancer, or a WordPress agency

Presented by Karim Marucchi in Assembly Hall, Business.

Come take a behind-the-scenes look at how enterprise service providers manage their client accounts, with specific tips on how you can implement those practices on even your smallest projects.

Have you had a specific client management problem that you weren’t sure how to resolve? Have you noticed a trend among a few of your last challenging projects that seems to be hindering your “project profitability”? Then this session is for you. This session will focus on techniques large-scale agencies use to give a white-glove client experience while controlling scope creep.

More Core Functions You (Maybe) Don’t Know Exist

Presented by Nicole Arnold in Developer, West Conference Room.

The WordPress codebase contains thousands of functions, including many hidden gems that are often overlooked, virtually unknown, or just not talked about. We’ll cover a variety of WordPress core functions that you may not know exist. Regardless of your experience as a developer, you’ll learn a variety of new gems you can use every day. If you’ve enjoyed the “Core Functions You (Maybe) Don’t Know Exist” sessions in the past, come back to explore even more new functions.

WP Battles: Webmaster vs. Hacker

Presented by Kyle Maurer, Adam Silver in Amphitheatre, User.

The Internet is a battleground. It’s true. Every minute of every day, a war is being fought. This is a war between the owners of every website in existence and the nefarious hackers seeking to circumvent any and all protective layers in order to gain control of the digital property of others to use for their own malicious intent. There is no end in sight to this struggle. It is one in which we must all engage no matter how serious or trivial our purposes may be.

This session will take you into the depths of this conflict where you will witness firsthand the tactics and strategies employed by both sides to gain the upper hand. You will learn the methods used by hackers to bypass security and compromise websites. You will also see how experienced webmasters protect and defend their sites from invisible enemies.

Immediately Practical Ways to Use the WP REST API

Presented by Brian Richards in Amphitheatre, Developer.

Let’s walk through a few common AJAX patterns and compare how they look and work using the WP REST API instead of custom admin-ajax hooks and functions.

Specifically, we’ll look at code samples for infinite scolling/load more buttons, look-ahead search, and interacting with a totally custom data set (custom post type and custom post meta).

Throughout the process we’ll talk about what you get for free from the REST API, what you have to build yourself, and review real, working code so that you can build smarter and faster solutions.

Amp it UP! Using Google Accelerated Mobile Pages with WordPress

Presented by Mike Hale in User, West Conference Room.

Google is pushing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in a big way. AMP pages restrict what you can do all for the sake of performance on mobile devices. In this talk we’ll cover the basics of AMP, how it’s different than mobile-ready and responsive design, and the plugins you’ll need to take advantage of AMP on your WordPress site.

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Presented by Ian Wilson in Business, West Conference Room.

Explore exciting topics like: why it feels like you keep building the same project over and over again, balancing work, life, and business, how to write the perfect email, and so much more in this oftimes-sarcastic and always-painfully-true talk about all of the ways I almost went insane while trying to run my business. Why learn from your own mistakes when you can learn from (and hopefully avoid!) mine?

Rockstar Support

Presented by Andrea Rennick in Business, West Conference Room.

In this session you will learn the ins and outs of giving the best support possible for your clients and customers, for both free & paid products or services. Learn from my mistakes, find out the tools I use and see how I stay sane through it all.

Taking the Web Offline

Presented by Steve Grunwell in Assembly Hall, Developer.

The internet is an amazing tool for sharing information with users all over the world, but what happens when “online” isn’t a guarantee? This was the question posed after 10up built an web-based product catalog for one of the world’s leading water technology providers. With a sales team of hundreds, how could we be sure that the sales materials were always available to the sales team, regardless of internet connectivity?

This session is a case-study on taking a web application offline, synchronizing JSON data and assets while maintaining a consistent user experience. Attendees will gain insight on the unique challenges of taking an app offline, as well as the technologies available and strategies for keeping data intact and the user experience seamless.

Designers != Pixel Pushers

Presented by Tracy Apps in Designer, West Conference Room.

Who needs designers anymore… right? Well, everyone, actually.

Designing for interactive media is much more than pushing pixels into place. There’s so many more dimensions to good design, and some amazing tools to help us successfully solve these greater problem solving challenges. Designers, developers, project managers and even content creators all play a role in this process, so lets look at how design has “grown up” and become so beautifully complex, yet exponentially more exciting than it ever has before.

Creating the Perfect Client Experience

Presented by Thomas Stirling in Assembly Hall, Business.

In this talk I present my findings from interviews with 10 WordPress agency founders and ask them what steps they have done to improve their client process, from selling a project for top dollar to handling design concerns and poorly-constructed feedback. We designers and developers can all learn from one another on how best to structure the relationship, continue to deliver outstanding results and avoid headaches.

DIY Design: Think Like A Designer When Creating Your Site

Presented by Michelle Schulp in Amphitheatre, User.

Constructing a Large Informational Site

Presented by Becky Davis in Designer, West Conference Room.

How do you set up an informational site that has over 700 pages and is constantly growing? How will anybody find anything? By crafting the menu and template pages to show categories of items and allowing the user to filter the results. Through the use of custom taxonomies, template pages with custom queries and a faceted search result, we walk through how a site can be setup so that it can grow and maintain it’s consistent structure. Even if your project only has 70 posts, being able to cross-reference them with multiple terms so that no matter how they look for things, the information will be found, is very powerful.

Unit Tests Workshop

Presented by Ben Cool in Developer, Wolverine.

Local Development Workshop

Presented by Marc Benzakein in Developer, Wolverine.

Local Development. What is it? Why do you need it? Many of you may know that “Cowboy Coding,” or coding on a live server is not a good idea, but you might not know a better way. In this workshop, I will show you how to create a fully functional WordPress environment on your own computer in just a few minutes with minimal “brain damage,” and talk about some of the best practices when incorporating it into your workflow.

Prior to the workshop, it would be in your best interest to download and install DesktopServer from ServerPress, LLC as this will be the main tool that we will be using during the workshop. You can download the file for either Mac or PC here:

If you have any installation issues prior to the class, please feel free to contact ServerPress Support at Be sure to mention that you’ll be attending the workshop at WordCamp Ann Arbor.

WordPress, SEO and You

Presented by Rebecca Gill in Amphitheatre, User.

In this session will look at SEO best practices and how to apply these to your WordPress website and blog. We’ll discuss what search engines want and need, so you can apply this to driving traffic via organic search traffic.

What’s a REST API and why should I care?

Presented by Topher DeRosia in Amphitheatre, User.

The WordPress REST API is one of the most fundamentally important new aspects of  WordPress, yet it’s rarely explained to people who aren’t developers. In this talk we’ll explain what this thing is, and why you should be excited about what it can do for you, even though you’re not a developer.


Presented by Cory Miller in Auditorium, User.