Waiting for WordCamp 2014? Get Involved in Atlanta WordPress Meetups

We are at work on getting our WordCamp Atlanta 2014 site set up and ready to go. In the meantime, here is a description about WordCamps and WordPress Meetups. For more WordPress goodness, check out the posts on this site as well as WordPress TV to see WordCamp presentations from WordCamps all over the world.

According to WordCamp Central,

WordCamp is a conference that focuses on everything WordPress. WordCamps are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users like you. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other.

WordCamps are not-for-profit events that grow out of the local WordPress communities. In Atlanta, our community is made up of people that are active in our local WordPress Meetup Groups.

Meetup Groups

Meetup Badge

We have several WordPress Meetups, held all over the Metro-Atlanta area. These Meetups feature specific topics geared to the various levels ranging from beginners through developers. The Meetups are a good way to learn more about WordPress and how to use it, whatever your level is. If you have some degree of proficiency, WordPress Meetups are a great way to share your WordPress knowledge with others by getting involved and speaking. A good number of our WordCamp speakers are drawn from speakers from our local Meetups. Continue reading

Thanks Everyone!

I just want to say how thankful I am for everyone who participated in this WordCamp. It was a great experience and I’m grateful for the opportunity to hear from people about the experiences they had at this camp. I told many people that what makes all this all worthwhile to me is knowing that on Monday morning hundreds of people are going to apply new ideas to the work they do, WordPress related or otherwise.

I heard a lot of cool stories about what people have gone through to get here, both physically and with WordPress. It was very neat to hear that several people from Ashville met at this camp and were inspired to continue getting together once they got home. I enjoined hearing from the owner of a development shop that had brought 5 people to camp. They split up and attended sessions in the user, design and development tracks and all said that they had new things they were planning on working on next week.

There were a lot more stories like this that made being involved with this WordCamp so rewarding.

We couldn't do it without our volunteers.

We couldn’t do it without our volunteers.

These are the people that served on the organizing Committee. We all had teams of people working with us. Thanks to each and every one of you.

Organizer Committee: Judi Knight, Russell Fair, Carel Bekker, John Saddington
Speaker Selection: Russel Fair and John Saddington
Volunteer Wrangler:Kris McInerny
Video & Photography: Michael Wiginton, Frank Neimier
Registration: Kathy Drewien
Emcee for Rooms: Melody-Rose Parker
Social Media Coordinator: Matt Haff, Monica McPherin
Graphics: Diana Simons , Claudia Arkush, Sue Heslup
Location coordination at Loudermilk: Judi Knight
Logo and Website Design: Jared Erikson
Sponsors: Carel Bekker, Eric Flamm, Cindy Elsberry
Location: Judi Knight
QR: Stephanie Truemoss
Speaker Hounds to get SlideShares: Lynne Young and Monica McPherrin
After Party: Judi Knight
VIP party: John and Sue Saddington

Check out the photos on Flickr by Frank Neimier.

Pictures from the Afterparty! See You Next Year!

Organizing Team!

Organizing Team!

Man, what a blast! I’m still recovering from the event and we had some great photos taken at WordCamp by Frank Niemier.

And we have some fun afterparty pics from the photobooth that we wanted to share with you all! Here full round of images here.

A few photos to get you warmed up!

Russell giving a hand.

Russell giving a hand.

Cody Benson and GSU migration team.

Cody Benson and GSU migration team.

Naomi Bush

Naomi Bush

From the organizing team – thank you! We’ll see you next year!

Oh, and if you have any other pictures, please link them in the comments below!

How To Win Awards And Influence Readers In 439 Days And 668 Posts

Speaker: Wade Kwon
Twitter: @WadeOnTweets
Original Post: http://ihaveclarity.com/2013-wordcamp-atlanta-1/

Professional writer, editor, journalist, speaker, and blogger, Wade Kwon, was the first presenter on this WordCamp Atlanta Track. His blog, http://wadeonbirmingham.com, is a chronicle of all the things he finds interesting about Birmingham and Alabama. His latest offering, http://magiccitypost.com, covers news about passionate people who make a difference in Birmingham and has won multiple awards. Wade also is the founder of Birmingham Blogging Academy.

Wade talked about developing blog content. He said when developing a blog it is important to have an objective or direction for your work and not necessarily a step-by-step plan. Content flows from that direction, and Wade said, “You should cover everything on topic for that objective.” He said that sometimes a blog he thought would be popular was not; while, some blogs that he thought would have no audience, were his most popular work product. That’s why Wade encourages bloggers to experiment as they write.

In my view, one of Wade’s most impressive feats is bringing diversity to Birmingham journalism through his blogs. For example, he introduced ethnic restaurant reviews at a time when all thirty-two of the commonly listed restaurants in Birmingham were Southern eateries. This is just one example of how Wade’s commitment to diversity is reflected in his content.

Since WordCamp Atlanta, I’ve been following Wade on Twitter (@WadeOnTweets). It’s no wonder Poynter Institute said that Wade is one of the thirty-five most influential people in social media. Wade’s tweets are informative, funny, and show why he is one of the South’s best bloggers.

Using WordPress as a Rapid Prototyping Engine

Speaker: Drew Morris
Twitter: @drewry
Slides: WordPress for Rapid Prototyping (pdf)

Here’s a link to download the latest version of Piklist that would have all the stuff in it that was demoed. They can download it here:


This is a very early release meant to be used in a Dev environment, if you encounter any bugs/have suggestions please post it on piklist.com/support.

The Art of Quality

Speaker: Reid Peifer
Original Post: Sidways8

The subtitle of this talk is “More Awesome. Less Suck.” for those that want to know.

A little history on the speaker and his company.

The speaker is the author of The Events Calendar plugin, found here.

When they got started with the plugin they started looking at their competitors. There are free plugins, your peers and a 15 year old kid living in his parents basement. So, how do they compete? They offer quality, support and longevity. That is what helps to set them apart from all the rest.

They realized that they need to compete on quality.

Notes on Quality

So what does quality mean? It can mean beautiful, stable, simple, and extensible.

Quality isn’t a state of being. It starts before you write your first line of code and continues long after you get paid for what you do.

Process Promotes Quality

Their process:

  1. Spec – Write out what the thing you are going to build does. What problem will it solve? Who will use it?
  2. Wireframe – Mock up what you want to build. There are probably 50 ways to solve the problem you are building something to solve, and your first idea is probably not the best.
  3. Prototype – This is a wireframe in code. This helps to find the “gotchas” that didn’t get caught during wireframing. They use UX 4.
  4. UX Test – This can be as simple as asking someone you know to test it and using join.me to see how the person testing goes through your app. This can be really simple.
  5. Visual Design
  6. Development
  7. Documentation – You must document your work. Document for both developers and users.
  8. QA – Time to test on as many devices as possible. Test everything, log everything, then go and fix the problems. chiliproject.org, redmine.org, basecamp.com
  9. Security Audit – Its a good idea to find a security expert and pay them to look at your code.
  10. Performance Audit – Stop developing for a minute and actually look at what you have done.
  11. Beta – Ask people to check out your product. You can ask people from Meetups or through Twitter or whatever.
  12. QA
  13. Release

Keep in mind that once you ship your product to the public, that is the day that support starts.

WordPress Navigation in Responsive Design

Speaker: Erick Arbe
Twitter: @erickarbe
Presentation Slides: shrd.by/RyAW0x

“Poorly executed navigation can spell disaster for user experience” – Gene Crawford

What is RWD? – Where can I learn about it?

How your content strategy plays into RWD & navigation

  • What do I want my users to see on mobile
  • Should I show a “lite” version of my site?
  • But aren’t users within different context when viewing my site on their phone?
  • Retro-fitting an existing website to be responsive can be difficult…especially one with a large menu

“Use mobile as an excuse to revisit navigation” – Brad Frost

Manipulate wordpress for a better responsive nav

  • Target your navigation through better css classes
  • use multiple menus if necessary
  • Use # in custom links for top level navigation so users on mobile devices click for a drop down, not to go to that page

think touch

  • optimal sizes for touch elements
  • average human finger pad is 10-14mm
  • apple suggests a 44×44 points (basically, 44px) touch target size (11.6mm)
  • windows suggest a 9x9mm touch target size
  • nokia suggests a 7×7 touch target size

Navigation Patterns

simple padding method

  • very easy to implement
  • users know where your nav is
  • no JS required


  • won’t work with sub-nav
  • can look akward at certain points

grid / percentage based

  • easy to touch – buttons are great size
  • looks terrific & scales nicely
  • no js required


  • can’t really work with sub-navigation (unless you hide sub-nav)


  • accordian style menu
  • great solution for large menus
  • provides good user experience


  • usually requires JS (doesn’t need it)
  • can push page content way down

footer nav

  • great concept – content first
  • pretty easy to implement
  • works across all browsers
  • “give em’ content, not menus”


  • provides an akward jump to footer – especially on long pages
  • usually need to maintain two sets of navigation

select nav

  • can be super easy to implement
  • easy to retro-fit an existing site
  • works well with large menus
  • uses native ui controls


  • not incredibly sexy (tough to style)
  • usability is just ok
  • requires js

off-canvas/page slide

  • facebook style off-canvas menu
  • very slick when used with annimation
  • terrific ux


  • can’t be used with a huge menu

Secure All the Things!

Speaker: Doug Campbell
Original Post: Sideways8

I’m in the developers room at WordCamp ATL 2013 and listening to talk about security. Here are a few notes.

My favorite point so far is the speakers point that WordPress is usually not the weak point when a website is hacked. Its usually a plugin, javascript library, several or some other means of entry.

Keep in mind, shared hosting also means shared security. So, when you are on shared hosting the 100+ sites on that server can impact how secure your site is.

How do Hackers get in? Known exploits, brute force password hacking, network scanners, wifi vulnerabilities (be careful at coffee shops poeple!), automated tools, rootkits.

What do you do to keep your site safe? 3 Words. Update. Update. Update. In other words, keep your stuff up to date! Update the core, Update plugins, Update Themes.

Some good plugins and tools to think about using:

  • Hotfix Plugin
  • WP Security Scanner
  • Login Lockdown
  • BulletProof Security
  • Scuri.net

Delete plugins and themes that you are not using, even if it is disabled.

What do you do when your site is hacked:

Now every PHP file on your site is suspect. So you need to nuke the site and start over. Download WordPress core and re-build the site. Same with your plugins and same with your themes.

Reinstall your database from backups. If a database has been hacked, then cleaning up your files will only help temporarily The hacker will just get back in and mess stuff up again.

About Site backups:

What do I need to have backed up?

  • Database – your content is your most valuable thing.
  • Uploaded media
  • Custom themes and plugins
  • wp-config.php
  • keep a list of your installed third party plugins

Make sure you have a history of backups. If your site has been hacked and then backed up you have just backed up your hacked site.

Other Good Plugins and whatnot:

  • Backup Buddy
  • VaultPress
  • WordPress backup to dropbox
  • WordFence

Other Notes:

Make sure to have secure passwords.

Make your passwords long. A longer password of just simple dictionary words is actually harder for a hacker to crack, for example “correct horse battery staple” is better than “Tr0ub4dor &3″ because it is longer and therefore harder for a computer to guess with a brute force attack.

How To Make Six Figures In Web Design

Speaker: James Dalman
Twitter: @jamesdalman
Presenter Slides: http://jamesdalman.com/wordcampatl/

Focus on strengths – It’s very rare that you can be good at design and development.
Don’t try to become the jack of all trades.
Build your confidence – If you don’t have confidence in yourself, how do you expect your clients to be confident in you? Sometimes people will sign-up because you believe in yourself.
Invest in relationships – Invest in your clients, if you truly care then you’ll do great work.
Invest in other designers/developers, it’s important to give back to the next generation.
Find great clients – Respond to your emails, respond to your phone calls.
Sell true value – Don’t charge hourly, charge per project. Give them great value and they won’t care about the price.
Price for profit – Make money on your services.
Do Awesome work – Just because you aren’t the greatest designer/developer doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try your hardest. Always thrive to do better.
Final thoughts – Act on your ideas or they’ll never get done. Strive to be successful, but keep in mind that money isn’t the most important thing. Just get out there and do it!

Speed Things Up With Transients

Speaker: Cliff Seal
Twitter: @cliffseal
Presentation Slides: logos-creative.com/wcatl

What is the transients API

  • simple way to store cached data in the database temporarily by giving it a name and timeframe after which it will expire
  • like options API, but with expiration
  • uses fast memory (if configured)
  • uses database otherwise

What can you do with it?

  • external APIs – tweets, friends, scrobbles
  • cache expensive queries – tag cloud, ratings, custom queries


  • $transient
    • (string) a unique identifiedr for your cached data
    • 45 characters or less in length
    • For multi-site transients, 40 characters or less in length
  • $value
    • (array|object) Data to save, either a regular variable or an array/object
    • Handles serialization for you
  • $expiration
    • (integer) number of seconds to keep the data before refreshing
    • built in wordpress time functions
  • get_transient($transient);
    • if the transient does not exist, or has expired, returns false
    • an integer value of zero/empty or could be the stored data
    • should not be used to hold plain boolean values; array or integers instead
  • delete_transient($transient);
  • multi-site
    • set_site_transient
    • get_site_transient
    • delete_site_transient
  • warnings
    • everything works on request
    • expired != deleted, unless requested
    • unrequested, undeleted transients stay until you remove them explicitly
  • scalar
    • accepts scalar values (integer, float, string or boolean) & non-scalar serializable values (arrays, some objects)
    • SimpleXMLElement will FREAK OUT, so convert it to a string or array of objects (i.e. simplexml_load_string)
  • infinite
    • transients set without an expiration time are autoloaded
    • if you don’t need it on every page, set an expiration (even if it’s a year)
    • consider the Options API for non-transient data
  • caching
    • in some shared hosting environments, object caching can be slower than using the database; check your host’s recommended settings
    • always use the Transients API to access transients; don’t assume they’re in the database (or vice versa)
  • 3 useful tools
    • TLC Transients – supports soft-expiration, background updating
    • Debug Bar Transients – adds panel to debug bar with transient info
    • Artiss Transient Cleaner – Deletes expired transients and optimizes table
  • Lots of code examples, be sure to checkout the presenter slides!