Learn more about our speakers and their sessions in our Featured Speaker series!

Workshop: Setting up a Local Development Environment

Presented by Tom Auger in WordPress Development.

If you’re still a slave to an internet connection and your webserver when developing WordPress sites, you need to set up a local development environment. If you plan on attending the development workshop today, you’ll need to have your laptop configured and ready to go! The experts at this workshop will help you get your laptop set up with the right configuration of free and open source software used daily by WordPress developers to develop quickly and reliably on their local computers. We will also discuss the critical issue of how to get your development site off of your local computer and synchronized to the remote (often live) website.

Workshop: Project Management with P2 & WordPress

Presented by Andy McIlwain in Making a Living with WordPress.

Communication and collaboration is at the core of every successful team project. There are plenty of web apps that tackle this problem – but wouldn’t it be great if we could just stick with WordPress, instead of tying ourselves to yet another monthly subscription service? In this workshop we’ll be creating a WordPress-powered alternative using P2 and freely available plugins. There is a minimal amount of coding in this workshop. If you’re comfortable editing wp-config to install WordPress, you’re good!

A local installation of WordPress is not required, but is strongly recommended. If you have a laptop but have never set up a local development environment, or are unsure whether you meet the prerequisites, come an hour earlier and attend the “Setting Up a Local Development Environment” workshop where experts will help you get what you need.

WordPress Site Clinic

Presented in D.I.Y WordPress.

Need a second opinion for a website you’ve been working on? No problem! The WordPress Site Clinic puts our panelists to the task of reviewing your site, offering recommendations related to design, content & site structure, and functionality.

If you are interested in having your site reviewed during this clinic, please fill out this form.

WordPress for your Small (but Mighty!) Business

Presented by Jennifer Johannesen in Beginner.

Using real-life examples and helpful dos and don’ts, we will look at how WordPress can be implemented to accomplish your business goals.

WordPress sites are what you want them to be!  You don’t have to be penned in by the blog and the sidebar.  Options abound…  See what others are doing, discover new themes, get some helpful tips for getting started on your small business site.

WordPress for Big Business

Presented by Honrio Cham in Advanced.

Every project has its own unique requirements–some of them more “unique” than others. And sometimes the solution sits right under our noses.

Such is the case with WordPress. Everyone knows it excels as a blogging platform. No one would think twice about implementing it as a CMS for a small business. But what about using it for nationwide projects with daily users are anticipated to grow to the thousands?

Can WordPress actually go beyond its reputation as a small-site CMS? Or are the myths more founded than fiction?

In this presentation, we explore the big business applications of WordPress, sharing how we’ve used it in the past and shining light on its potential. Designed to help web entrepreneurs think outside the obvious, we’ll discuss the opportunities WordPress presents for big business, tips for pitching WordPress, and the best practices we’ve discovered along the way.

After all, there is one limiting factor of WordPress: your imagination.

WordPress DemoCamp 2013

Presented in Community Code.

Come see what the community is doing with and for WordPress! Members of the community will be each offering short (15 minute) demonstrations of their newest plugin, development tool or WordPress related product or service. Get in the loop, get in an open beta, or simply expose yourself to the latest developments in the WordPress community, both locally and internationally.

If you have a new plugin, a WordPress related service or product, or a development tool that you would like to share with the attendees, please contact us right away. There are a limited amount of time slots at WordPress DemoCamp 2013, and priority will be given to sponsors and members of the local community.

Sign up for a slot by filling out this form.

PSD to WordPress

Presented by Al Davis in D.I.Y WordPress.

In these back-to-back sessions, you’ll  learn how to take a PSD doc and turn it into a functioning WordPress theme.The first half of the session will focus on the theory and walk you through the steps involved and give you the knowledge to confidently follow along or attempt the second half where we take our Photoshop doc and quickly turn it into a working WordPress site.

Panel: The Business of WordPress

Presented in Making a Living with WordPress.

So you want to start a business, do you? Taking yourself from the level of a moonlighting freelancer to full-time contractor or business owner is a big step. You end up facing an entirely new world of challenges: project management; contract negotiations; billings; scope creep; teaching clients how to use WordPress. The list goes on and on. Our panelists will address these issues, and any other questions you may have as a proprietor of WordPress-related services.

Panel: Marketing & Blogging with WordPress

Presented in D.I.Y WordPress.

Creating an effective website that draws in traffic and builds an audience is a daunting challenge. Our panelists will share their own experiences and insights while fielding questions related to online marketing strategy, design & usability, content development, and more. Whether you’re working with WordPress as a hobby or for a business, our panelists are here to answer your questions.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Template

Presented by Sean Nilsson in The Watusi.

This presentation will discuss the development of a magazine site with over 4,000 posts actively updated daily by a large team of writers and editors.  We will discuss migrating a multisite install of a very old version of WordPress into a modern day single install.  Discuss providing a solution where the client can redesign page layouts in-house with no coding knowledge through the use of a premium theme and a multitude of plugins.

Developer Panel

Presented in WordPress Development.

Bring your questions and listen to what the leading devs have to say in this lively and engaging panel discussion format. Panelists will be prepared to field a wild array of topics including: development tools, recommended plugins, deployment and migration, version control, WordPress development best practices, and any other burning question you can dredge up from your own time in the trenches.

Developer Clinic

Presented in WordPress Development.

Bring your website, bring your code, bring your HTML and CSS and let a panel of expert WordPress gurus offer tips, point out potential vulnerabilities, and suggest improvements that will make your site run smoother and will make you a better coder!

If you are interested in having your site reviewed during this clinic, please fill out this form.

Contrib2Core Hackfest

Presented in Community Code.

It’s time to give back. There are hundreds if not thousands of tickets on Trac, the official WordPress bug tracking tool, that are awaiting attention and patches. Let’s put the great talent that will be gathered at WordPress Toronto to knock this number down. Whether you’re a developer who has never contributed to core, or a seasoned contributor, make a point of joining us. We’ll help you find a ticket that’s appropriate to your level, and we’ll walk you through the process of submitting a patch.

Here’s a little bonus: Submitters of committed patches get their names on the credits page on every install of WordPress worldwide!

Choosing a Theme

Presented by Pat Ness in Beginner.

Choosing the right WordPress theme for your website is one of the most important decisions you can make for your business.  These days, a lot of people first turn to a companies website for more information about them and their products. If your website isn’t up to par, you may be loosing out on some valuable business.

In this session I’m going to show you how to choose a well designed theme that’s easy and fast to update. We’re also going to take a closer look at some new theme features and elements. Some of these will blow your mind. WordPress is taking over!

This presentation is for everyone. Business owners (with no technical knowledge), web designers and advanced developers are welcome.

Here’s a brief outline of the presentation:

Part 1 – Knowing Your Business Objectives
Part 2 – How Themes Work and a Look Into the Future
Part 3 – Theme Features and Options
Part 4 – Fun Design Features and Elements
Part 5 – Premium Themes vs Free Themes
Part 6 – Theme Examples and Recommendations
Part 7 – Money Making Themes *bonus*

Building and Customizing a Client Website using WordPress

Presented by Tom Auger in WordPress Development.

This is not your average “learn how to build a plugin” or “let’s create a child theme together” workshop. Delivered by the principal of a digital agency Zeitguys and WordPress core contributor Tom Auger, the focus of this hands-on workshop is how to customize WordPress to meet the client’s business requirements. Bring a laptop and be ready to code along as we:

  • Discuss requirements gathering and gap analysis
  • Choose a parent theme
  • Set up and customize a child theme
  • Bring in custom fonts
  • Create custom post types and custom taxonomies
  • Work with custom meta data
  • Customize the administrative back-end

What Level of Developer is this Session For? This session targets anyone with a little PHP coding experience. We don’t expect you to be an expert, or even know that much about WordPress. However, we will be getting into the weeds with php classes and some best practices, so if you’re scared of <?php > then you might wish to look at the other awesome tracks that are happening today.

This is a hands-on workshop. You are expected to bring a laptop (Mac or PC) already set up for local development. If you have a laptop but have never set up a local development environment, or are unsure whether you meet the prerequisites, come an hour earlier and attend the “Setting Up a Local Development Environment” workshop where experts will help you get what you need.

Obligatory Disclaimer: based on the number of attendees, and the experience level of the attendees, we may not cover every one of the points listed above. We will have at least one additional Expert on hand (in addition to the instructor) to help you out if you get stuck.


A Peek into the World of WordPress Plugin Development

Presented by Rick Radko in Intermediate.

Curious about what’s inside a WordPress plugin? This session will give you a quick introduction to the construction of WordPress plugins. As we build a simple plugin to add a widget to your sidebars, I’ll summarize the resources needed to help you create your own plugins.

While you will definitely will need to learn PHP, HTML and CSS to create plugins on your own, no coding ability is required for this session. You will be able to create your first plugin by pasting the example code into files on your web site.

28 – Getting Started with WordPress

Presented by Ruth Maude in Beginner.

This introductory session is geared to those who are new to WordPress. WordPress terms will be explained in plain language. During this session we’ll take a live tour of WordPress and discuss themes, widgets and plugins. You’ll leave with a good idea of how WordPress works and how to get started.

27 – WP-Admin for Beginners

Presented by Jordan Quintal in Beginner.

My slideshow/demo presentation will be a crash-course on the WordPress Administrative Area. To start, I will demonstrate how to access, and login to WP-Admin. From there, I will briefly summarize the Dashboard and what it can be used for. Then, I will quickly touch on the Media section, the Links section, the Comments section, the Tools section, and the Users section. Next, I will explain in detail and go through the Settings section and demonstrate how to update certain settings. Moving on, I will explain in detail and show a demonstration on how the Posts and Pages sections work. From there, I will explain and demonstrate how to operate the Appearance section and sub-sections. Lastly, I will explain and demonstrate how to manage the Plugins section.

25 – Next Steps: Extending WordPress with Plugins

Presented by Geoff Campbell in Beginner.

What I’d like to see happen with the WP plugin repository.
The first plugin you should install.
My default list of plugins
So you need a plugin that does this…
Upgrades and conflicts

23 – Be the Perfect Client: A Guide for Hiring a Developer

Presented by Lucas Cherkewski in Beginner.

You’ve got an idea for a website, or you have an existing one, and you need someone who can help you out by writing the code necessary to see your vision through. You’ll learn the whole process, from how to find a good developer, to how to work with them effectively. You’ll learn how a good developer can save you money, and what you should do to be the perfect client that makes the whole process as smooth as possible.

22 – How Video Can Boost Your Traffic

Presented by Richard Martin in Beginner.

Did you know that YouTube is the number two search engine on the internet? Did you know that traffic from YouTube to your site converts higher than Facebook traffic? Now is the time for you to boost your presence using video.

Learn how to create compelling video content quickly and how to use your YouTube account to drive traffic to your WordPress blog/site. The presentation will also cover the various video hosting options, how to create a video xml site map, and cover the new Yoast Video SEO plugin.

21 – How I Changed from to .org – Benefits and Tribulations

Presented by Kitty Fung in Intermediate.

In this session, Toronto native Kitty “Ms Kitty” Fung shares her own experiences with moving from the service to a self-hosted installation.

Kitty will be talking about her needs as a blogger, the benefits she was seeing from the move, the troubles she encountered through the process, and all the things she learned during the experience.

20 – Data Architecture in WordPress

Presented by Shanta R. Nathwani in Intermediate.

Posts vs. Pages & Categories vs. Tags

There is so much confusion about what types of things should be put on a page and what should be in a post. Static vs. Dynamic content is the best way to tackle this. An “About Us” page would be just that… A PAGE. If you are talking about something that is more time sensitive, then you want to do a post.

Connected to this would be Categories and Tags. What are they? When creating a website, you can edit a menu to include not only pages, but also category archives that can create a more complete experience for small businesses.

19 – How to Create a Child Theme

Presented by Laurie M. Rauch in Intermediate.

You will learn how to create a child theme.

A child theme is a theme that is dependent on a parent theme to work, but allows you to build on that theme’s code to customize its design and functionality.

18 – Control Your Content Presentation by Breaking Out of the_content Field

Presented by Denise Williams in The Watusi.

Think of all the site topics that demand more than just a title and a post body. Recipes that include nutritional information. Film pages that list cast and crew names. Books that have won awards.

We’ve probably all been guilty of stuffing this extra related content – videos, links, dates, images, product specs, supporting info – down into the bottom of the post field, leaving it at the mercy of general post body styling. We’re not proud, but we can be.


17 – WordPress Product Development – Using a 4-Step Process to Build Something People Want to Buy

Presented by Austin Gunter in Intermediate.

How do you make sure all the software products you spend time building with WordPress are something that your customers will actually want to buy?

It’s one thing to spend a few weeks coding your next big idea. But are you sure that you have an audience of customers that want what you’ve built?

Turns out coding it was the easy part, but making sure people actually wanted to buy what you were selling was the hard part.

The good news is that there is actually a process you can go through to
1) Target a specific customer-set for your product
2) Learn how to design a product that will solve a problem your customer-set has
3) Make your product habit-forming so people come back again and again

Instagram, as well as Facebook, are classic examples of products that fulfill a key customer need, sharing their lives with as many people possible, and that are also habit-forming. Those apps have a habit-forming process based on deep insight into the needs of their users baked into their design.

Now, I’m not saying in this presentation I can teach you how to become the next Mark Zuckerberg. Instead, what I am saying is that in this talk, you’ll learn a process to validate the products you want to build to ensure you maximizes the impact it will have on your customers’ lives, and therefore on your business.

In plain English, the process is called The Hook. The Hook is a repeatable cycle of four steps that most habit-forming products send us through over and over again. I’ll go through the four steps of the hook, and explain how to apply it to the next software project you start.

16 – DIY or Have It Made? Here’s How To Decide!

Presented by Meagan Hanes in Intermediate.

We’ve all heard these words: “Just use WordPress! It’s easy and free!” But how true is this in regards to your specific project at hand? Knowing when to do it all by yourself, when to find a guide, and when to simply manage the completed project is a key WordPress skill that will save you time, effort, and energy in bringing your projects to life. This presentation covers WordPress from a broader perspective, one that focuses on producing the optimal end result with the resources at hand. We believe strongly in working smarter, not harder – learn from our processes and workflow and equip yourself with rock-solid DIY skills!

15 – How WordPress let me quit the rat race.

Presented by Christopher Ross in Intermediate.

We all dream of winning the lotto, but what if we don’t need to leave it to chance? Let’s talk about a frank truth.

WordPress is awesome.

Let’s talk about how I left corporate Canada behind, and how WordPress let me live the life I wanted.

14 – How To Set a Vagrant Development System

Presented by Paul Bearne in Advanced.

Creating a offline development work-space using Vagrant.

Are you fed-up have a lamp/wamp on you dev or FTPing every change to a server when you are coding? Come and learn about Vagrant!

13 – Adding Source Control To Your Code

Presented by Mark Kelnar in Advanced.

A look at how Git saved a developer’s life more than once. Learn how and why taking the time to develop your themes and plugins with source control will increase productivity and probably make you more money at the same time.

12 – WordPress Templates are Broken! (but we can fix them)

Presented by Jared Novack in Advanced.

WordPress is awesome — but the loop isn’t. When you’re writing a custom theme, even simple site requirements can turn your home.php file into a muck of code. Clean markup? Good luck. At Upstatement, we wanted better templates. So we built them.

At Upstatement we integrated Twig (a template language like Mustache, Hogan and Handlebars) into WordPress to speed-up code, testing, and design. Designers and front-end developers can work quickly with the clarity of HTML and use variables from WordPress where they need. This dramatically simplifies and speeds-up the theme development process.

Template languages are a major feature of Rails, Node and Django, but not something found in WordPress (until now). In this session, I’ll walk you through how to build a theme using Timber and Twig. With this understanding, you’ll be making more themes with cleaner code and less debugging.

11 – How To Build Extensible Plugins

Presented by Imran Nathani in Advanced. VIP developer Imran Nathani will cover:

  • What is an extensible plugin?
  • Purpose of writing an extensible plugins
  • WordPress concepts for extensible plugins (action & filters)
  • Functions for actions and examples
  • Functions for filters and examples
  • Priority and arguments
  • Tips and pitfalls
  • Questions & Answers

10 – WordPress as API

Presented by Brian Hoke in Advanced.

Twitter, Google, and other sites offer access to their content via an API, often via JSON. This presentation will explore how one might set up a similar API for a WordPress site: expose posts and other content with JSON, and offer client sites access via both embeddable code and through a more complex, authenticated API.

Visitors to my WordPress site might see an “”Embed This Content”” form on which they could set some options (number of posts, border and link color, width and height) then receive copy-and-paste code to embed a feed of my content on their (perhaps non-Wordpress) site.

Developers might sign up to receive an API key from my WordPress site, after which they could leverage my site’s API to consume content (my posts, say) in whatever technology they choose – allowing for interesting, easier, and more complex mashups and interactions between and among my site and others.

09 – What You Need to Know About Computer Science and WordPress

Presented by Taylor Lovett in Advanced.

Computer Science is a big part of web development and WordPress whether you know it or not! This talk will explain what Computer Science actually entails. You will see WordPress through the lens of someone with a Computer Science degree. We will talk about ways to describe code performance using Big-Oh notation comparing different post meta and taxonomy queries. We will also discuss concurrency as it applies to WordPress, specifically data races and how they can occur while counting post views.

07 – Developing Customer-Centric Content for your Website Project

Presented by Scott Armstrong, Cheryl Kamran in The Watusi.

Join us and learn how to develop better content that attracts and guides prospects through the sales process, while leveraging your credentials and subject matter expertise. We will look at some real company website and content examples, and learn how to become a content creation pro with practical tips.

06 – How to become a Social Propietor

Presented by Terry Heenan in The Watusi.

Your first WordPress website

  • Why you must control your url
  • Starts with the option of choosing a host and a web designer or doing it on their own
  • Provide suggestions for the necessary software programs to utilize the functions of WordPress i.e. Firefox, Filezilla, Notepad++.
  • Resources if you are going it alone i.e.: Google search, WordPress TV,

How to build a successful WordPress installation

  • Site setup and security
  • Permalinks
  • Backup solutions
  • Suggested Themes Installation: discussion on the use of child themes, free and premium themes

WordPress basics

  • Pages and page layout
  • Posts, categories and tags
  • Inserting images: Using Captions, Alt tags, building Galleries
  • Link building: Internal page links and external website links
  • Menus
  • Sidebars, headers and footers

Plugins: How to choose a quality plugin

  • Jetpack, NexGen gallery, Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
  • SEO plugins, the need for tracking code and using Google Analytics

Why you need to publish “content” in order to succeed

  • Building a website is not enough on its own
  • Demonstrate how WordPress gives you the opportunity to become recognized as an authority in your business category (tell your business story to an audience)

Use the features of WordPress

  • (comment forms and contact forms) interact with your customers
  • Connect WordPress to Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels

Join the WordPress community

  • Participate in forums, WordCamps, host Meetups,

04 – Content Marketing with Guest Posts

Presented by Brian Rotsztein in The Watusi.

Content marketing is a hot buzzword right now and for good reason. An effective content strategy can have a profound effect on search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, visibility, brand awareness, and conversions. Properly implemented, the use of guest posts is one of the best ways to take advantage of WordPress for online marketing and promotional purposes. This holds true for bloggers as well as the business world. This is an introductory session that will highlight several important concepts, plugins, and best practices that should be considered when using WordPress and guest posting as part of an inbound marketing plan.

03 – So you want to teach WordPress do you? A “Train the Trainer” presentation.

Presented by Ben Fox in The Watusi.

Training a person or group in a technical skills like WordPress is no longer just the work of your friendly neighbourhood web developer, designer or guru. With increasing frequency, employees, friends and generalists familiar with the technology are being called upon to teach their peers.

While many of us in these situations have a strong working knowledge of what we’re being asked to teach, how confident are we when it comes to transferring our skills and training someone else?

During this session you will receive a crash course in the fundamentals of effectively teaching WordPress including:

1. Making your training sessions memorable and engaging (Don’t just be live. Be ALIVE!)
2. Teaching a technical skill to a non-technical person and how we learn (Is a slide deck REALLY the best way?)
3. Setting learning goals and objectives
4. Which WordPress points to cover based on the time available and the homework to send home
(i.e. 8 hour seminar vs. 2 day course vs 8 week course)
5. Avoiding the next day time suck
6. In-class activity examples
7. The top questions all WordPress trainers should be prepared for
AND MORE! (Time depending)

Following the presentation you will receive materials to help you prepare and run your own WordPress classes and seminars.

02 – Caching; for fun and profit

Presented by Mo Jangda in The Watusi.

Understanding different caching tools and techniques available to WordPress developers such as the Transient and Object Caching APIs and how/why they can make or break your site.