Publishing Workflows for WordPress & CMS Expo 2013

Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in CMS Expo 2013, where I presented Publishing Workflows for WordPress. The final talk is broken down into three major sections: (1) a review of inherent WordPress workflow, including some improvements coming with 3.6, (2) a look at plug-ins that enrich its native workflow, from full featured editorial plug-ins like Edit Flow, to narrow, helpful tools like Ice Visual Revisions, and (3) inspiring case studies that illustrate just how far WordPress workflow and curation can be extended in the hands of a strong engineering and user experience team.

I’ve published the slides to YouTube, since a large portion of the presentation includes screen recordings, demoing some built in features, plug-ins, and showcases. I want to thank the awesome, engaged audience, which ranged from fellow WordPress professionals to novices who have never even opened the software.

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Video & Discussion: Enterprise Class WordPress

Enterprise Class WordPress is a look at what it means to tackle web projects for really big organizations using WordPress. The talk highlights tools and resources for enterprise implementations, marketing tactics and resources for pursuing large scale clients, and even takes a hard look at what our platform needs to do better (multilingual). Above all, it explores how we, as a community, can better pursue large businesses and make WordPress not just the #1 web publishing platform for small to medium sized organizations, but the #1 platform for large scale implementations.

Meaningful conversation and education about WordPress in enterprise is really critical for ushering in the next stage of WordPress’s growth, which is why I’ve taken this conversation to a few WordCamps in the last few months. I debuted the talk in Orange County, but the Boston version was the first to make it up to You can also see the standalone slides from the original version (which has evolved a bit).

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Slides: Enterprise Class WordPress

Updated 9/16/2012 with the latest version of the deck, presented at WordCamp Los Angeles.

Here are my slides from Enterprise Class WordPress – a talk I debuted at WordCamp Orange County last weekend. Like What Would Core Do?, the focus was on big ideas, not code. I found this difficult to formulate, largely because it involves a complex “problem” that’s more human than technical, and as such, requires a lot of generalizing. I do think that the underlying ideas are important to WordPress’s growth, and I’d like to see the conversation percolate. I plan to refine the talk and explore this with other communities and at other camps – starting with Boston. Please chime in with ideas!

Video: Next Generation Web

The video from my WordCamp Phoenix 2012 presentation in the “Think Tank” track on “Next Generation Web” is up on This was a fun talk to give, a mix of theory on the evolution of web technologies, a high level technical overview and preview of some of today’s cutting edge open web technologies, and a sneak preview at what’s coming down the pike.

If you’re looking for a deep dive into the technical nuances of HTML5 and CSS3, this is not the talk for you. If you like thinking about technology trends, want a sampler of some hot technologies you can use today, and want to be inspired by what’s still ahead, I think you’ll enjoy the talk. You can find the slides here.

Pulling back the curtain: thoughts on agencies

Back in February at WordCamp Phoenix, I participated in a panel on agencies, offering thoughts, experiences, and insights into the agency model. Great insights from my co-panelists, including WordCamp Phoenix’s lead organizer Dallin Harris, along with an engaged, packed audience, and superb moderation by Michael Eck added up to a fun and informative panel. Check out the video if you want some insight into the agency model, or a peak behind the current at the business of 10up and similar agencies.

Next Generation Web: What HTML5 and CSS3 Are All About

Here are the slides from my talk at WordCamp Phoenix 2012. Presented in the “Think Tank” track, it explores some ideas and concepts that underlie change in web development medium, and introduces coding techniques for the last HTML5 / CSS3 capabilities. Here’s the description from the WordCamp schedule:

We’ve all probably heard of HTML5, CSS3, Responsive Design, and other “future of the web” buzzwords. Maybe you’ve even dabbled in HTML5 doctype declarations and “header” tags, or used CSS3 rounded corners or gradients. But most of us have only scratched the surface of these technologies, and for good reason – not everyone is using Chrome 16 or Firefox 9 yet, and even they haven’t settled on uniform implementations. We’ll look at how Responsive Design is already beginning to change the way we approach building sites for different screen sizes, and peak into potentially transformative HTML5 techniques that are only beginning to appear around the web.


What Would Core Do?

WWCD? Or, What Would Core Do? Yesterday, at WordCamp Miami, I finally debuted a talk that I had been thinking about for some time. I see WWCD as the third and capstone talk in my “extending WordPress administration” series, and it’s my favorite of the set.

The series began in 2010 at Chicago with “Hijacking WordPress Admin” – one of the first talks to focus on hooks and techniques to generally tailor the administrative panel to individual clients. You can only fit so much into a talk, so rather than focus on good user interface, I focused on sometimes over the top examples to illustrate the idea that the admin panel is actually remarkably flexible. After a few repeats at different WordCamps, I used WordCamp Chicago 2011 to debut the second in the series: “Editing the Visual Editor.” This time, the focus was solely on methods to customize the visual editor and refine the writing experience – the place where publishers spend most of their time.

The capstone talk is the lightest on code (two quick slides at the end). Rather, it gets back to the philosophy of extending WordPress administration, and challenges plug-in and theme authors to “do better.” It’s a fun look at some terrible plug-in practices, with a serious underlying point: when you build on WordPress, do you think about how the core development team would approach the problem?

We’ll hopefully have the video from soon, as well.

Building Communities Around Your Content

How do you build an audience and inspire them to actively engage with your content? That was the subject of my talk at WordCamp Miami 2012.

Start learning our secrets by checking out the slides. Hopefully the video will be published on within a month or two; we’ll be sure to post that when it’s up.

Editing WordPress’s Visual Editor

These are the slides from a talk I gave at the 2011 WordCamps (WordPress conferences) in Chicago, Philly, and Orlando. I consider this a “sequel” to a broader talk on editing the WordPress administrative experience that I like to think I pioneered in 2010 at a few WordCamps, including Chicago and Mid-Alantic, which several new speakers now seem to be running with.

WordPress’s visual content editor (TinyMCE) is, in many ways, at the heart of WordPress’s content management experience. It’s where editors spend most of their time, and where content is crafted to appear on the front end of your site. Like most of WordPress, the editor can be customized to be both more powerful and more specific to the needs of an individual site or client. This presentation covers topics including custom editor stylesheets based on post type, modifying and removing buttons from the editor, and even creating your own custom buttons for the TinyMCE toolbar. It even covers brand new WordPress 3.3 techniques introduced with the new wp_editor function.

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