Finding Gold at WordCamp Atlanta 2017

Click to Listen
Voiced by Amazon Polly

What to Expect at WordCamp Atlanta

WordCamp Atlanta is almost here, which means speakers are finalizing their topics and attendees are eagerly awaiting the session-filled days. With a theme like “Finding your pot of gold”, we know it’s going to be a weekend filled with new ways to utilize WordPress.

Atlanta has a thriving tech community, which means WordCamp is the place to meet new people. Whether you love WordPress plugins or want to make your website more secure, there are sessions to help you learn and grow in your craft.


What is WordCamp Atlanta?

WordCamp Atlanta is part of the greater WordCamp community, which focuses on bringing together WordPress enthusiasts, whether they are developers, marketers, or casual users. This community event is a great place to meet others in the area, share your latest ideas, and participate.

Don’t worry about being too new or too inexperienced. There are sessions for every level of WordPress user, and attendees and speakers are both always willing to explain a concept further. There’s an array of speakers for this year’s event, and we’re excited to see what they’ve created for WordCamp Atlanta.

In anticipation of hearing the variety of sessions that WordCamp Atlanta 2017 features, we wanted to hear from the speakers themselves to hear the “gold” that they will be bringing.


Simplifying Website Security

Aaron D. Campbell (@aaroncampbell) has been developing websites for over sixteen years, as well as contributing to WordPress for the last decade. He’s worked with a variety of both small and large businesses, and is currently working with GoDaddy. This experience makes Aaron the perfect speaker to discuss security.

“We all want security, but where locks, deadbolts, [and] even safes are easy to understand, digital security is confusing, complex, and often scary. It doesn’t have to be. I’m going to give a few easy ways to drastically improve your security both on your WordPress site and across the web.” (Emphasis added.)

Security may not be a glamorous job, but it’s an important piece of your online strategy in order to keep hackers from accessing your information.


Improving Website Deployment Workflow

Jason Lengstorf (@jlengstorf) has worked just about every role in an agency, giving him the knowledge to to create a fully functioning and helpful website. He now works with IBM Design as a front-end developer. Due to Jason’s extensive website development knowledge, he’s found a better way to websites from development to production. And he’ll be be sharing it with us.

“When I was running my web agency, easily the biggest source of wasted time was moving WordPress sites from development to staging to production. We started using FTP — which is soooooo slow — then later switched to Git, which was better, but still slow. We were wasting tons of time copying and modifying databases and plugins.

“Then we found Trellis, and it saved us days of work every month. I’ll be walking through an automated deployment workflow that will show everyone in attendance how they can get those same time savings in their own WordPress workflow.”

Who doesn’t want to save time? Not everything can or needs to be automated, but when we need to move websites, it’s important to be efficient.


Budgets And Mobile Websites Aren’t Mutually Exclusive

Budgets shouldn’t prevent you from having beautiful and responsive websites. Ali Green (@alitaylorgreen) of GreenMellen Media will be sharing how she converts her clients’ ideas and requirements into websites that will increase visibility, and ultimately their business. Clients don’t always have the budgets we may hope for, but as developers, we can often still help them. Ali and Ashlea will be showing us how!

“We have been building mobile responsive websites at GreenMellen since 2012 when the trend was just surfacing in our industry. Since then, we have been working continuously to improve our approach to planning and building responsive sites.

In [our] Responsive Web Design Workshop, Ashlea and I will be walking through our process of first defining features for a site, and subsequently planning the architecture through wireframing. Throughout the course of the double session, we will get in teams to plan and sketch a website for a hypothetical client with a tight budget! Should be a good time!”

Hands-on sessions are always popular, because hearing and seeing then doing is the key to successfully learning a new concept.


You Need to Teach to Improve

Carl Alexander (@twigpress) is the resident Canadian of WordCamp Atlanta, and will be sharing why you should be teaching if you want to become a better developer. As an advanced developer who shares a variety of information on his website, Carl is the man to show us how it’s done. There are often times we know a concept enough to complete a task, but do we really know it?

When we teach, we’re forced to further examine our knowledge and the gaps we may have. Carl will be speaking about this idea, and how taking the time to teach others will benefit our skill set.

“I’m going to talk about how teaching can make you a better developer. It might seem backwards, but there’s merit to the approach. Or put another way. I’ll spend 30 [minutes] explaining this quote: ‘If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.’”

While we may not have official teaching roles in our company, it’s still beneficial to learn more about the best ways to relay information.


Community Breeds Innovation

Sometimes it can feel like us tech folks are in a bubble because we’re in our dark offices all day typing out code. But are we really? Bridget Willard (@YouTooCanBeGuru) is the Marketing Manager for WordImpress, a plugin development shop, and has seen personally the effects of building community.

When there’s a shared interest, there’s a community. Bridget will be sharing more about how specifically the WordPress community can help developers grow.

“I’m going to be talking about how spending time with the WordPress community helps with isolation, information, and innovation.”

To complement Carl’s session on educating and sharing information, Bridget’s is also going to be an exciting one. When the community is thriving, so are the workers and the companies.


Working Efficiently with Processes

Bret Phillips (@bretwp), one of the organizers of WordCamp Atlanta 2017, is speaking on the power of process. As someone who has built WordPress websites since 2009, he knows how to create processes to improve our workflow. And while this is easy to talk about in the abstract, it can be hard to implement. Bret is going to give real life examples so we can better understand the concept.

“My presentation is called Processing the Process of Processes, showing you how I use repeatable steps and automation to save time and money in my WordPress business.

“The goal here is to give real life examples of how we come up with and implement processes in our WordPress business that keep us efficient, and keep everyone on the same page.

“Without these, each project would appear to be new, we would be scrambling to get through them, and we would never be able to support the amount of projects that we are currently able to get through.”

Community is important in the technology industry, and WordCamp Atlanta is giving us the chance to make new friends on March 17 through the 19. These speakers (and more) have developed some innovative and interesting sessions, and we can’t wait to hear. Education never ends, which is why community events like this are so important. How will you bring back gold from WordCamp Atlanta?

For more information, visit the WordCamp Atlanta website or their Facebook page.


By Marc Apple

Marc Apple is recognized as a leader in the marketing industry and has 20+ years of experience helping businesses of all sizes improve their digital marketing. He specializes in website design, SEO, social media, and paid search programs. He is a frequent contributor to other marketing websites and speaks regularly about marketing to small business owners and startups. To learn about Marc and to contact him, visit his author bio page.


7 Steps to Having a Digital Marketing Plan Workbook

Get actionable tips for how to build your digital marketing strategy so you can grow your brand and your revenue.