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Posts Tagged ‘WordCamp’

WordCamp Phoenix Day 1 Recap #WCPHX

Even though I have been working with WordPress for years, this is my first WordCamp, so I was really excited to meet lots of great folks in the WordPress community as well as some of the providers I have worked with, but not yet had an in person connection. Having a super busy schedule, I did not get there until the afternoon session. And well, I was manning one of the cameras at 1PM, so it was pretty important to be there. 🙂

Checking In
The check in process was amazing, which for conferences can be tough. They (wisely) used QR codes to simplify check in and from the user perspective it made life simple.

Great Workshops
Day One held 5 Tracks:

    Beginner User
    Advanced User
    Beginner Developer
    Advanced Developer

(My) Session One
I spent the afternoon in the Advanced User sessions. The first session I attended was Building Websites that Visitors Actually Want to Use: Google Analytics & The Sticky Factor, with Ken Granger of BrandCo. Ken challenged the group with some great questions we all need to ask when it comes to our websites

    Why do you have a website?
    Who visits your website?
    What do you want them, to do?

As a group, we did a review of two pizza websites (Barro’s Pizza and Pizza Hut). I won’t tell you all that we found, but we answered the three questions as it related to both sites.

Ken also emphasized the importance (and power) of reading your analytics often. I am an analytics geek, so I appreciated that. Ken also demoed the “live view” of Google Analytics and pointed out that Google Webmaster Tools will give you the keyword data that Google Analytics is no longer showing.

My Second Session
The second session was Security Best Practices with Brennen Byrne & Sam Hotchkiss and it was full of solid “need to know” info. One attendee even called it “the best session of the day” via Twitter:

They discussed the 5 Rules, 4 Tools, and 3 Important Habits to keep your WordPress website safe. If you missed it, you are in luck, they made the slides AND their WordPress Security Checklist available. Here are the links: (slides) (security checklist)

They also highlighted two amazing security plugins. BruteProtect & Clef. I was really impressed with the live demo of Clef and I will be setting it up shortly. One attendee actually set it up during the session (per his Tweet below), so I’d say it’s pretty user friendly.

Great People
As expected, I ran into people I know, met people I only “knew” virtually, and got to connect with the great folks at WP Engine. If you don’t know about WP Engine, they are a managed WordPress hosting solution that my company started to use last year. It’s was great to meet some of the people behind the scenes at the company.

Great Resources
The two great resources I learned of were:
Torque – A WordPress news site run by the great folks at WP Engine. – The daily WordPress blogger.

That’s all for now. It was a busy day because I left WordCamp for a quick meal with my wife and then a client meeting, so I ended my day a bit after 9PM, making it another 13+ hour day.

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