WordCamp Ottawa 2014—Next Steps

We hope that you found WordCamp Ottawa 2014 rewarding—and that you’ll help with a few next steps.

Fill out our feedback survey

Please complete our feedback survey while your memories and opinions are fresh. What you tell us will help us plan next year’s WordCamp.

Upload your photos

We’ve created a Flickr group where you can post photos you’d like to share.

View the presentation slides

The presentation slides are being posted as we receive them from the speakers.

Join us year-round

The knowledge-sharing and opportunities to gain new acquaintances didn’t end May 4. Ottawa has a vibrant WordPress community whose members get together about once a month for informal lectures and networking. Join us at The Ottawa WordPress Group meetup.

Attend nearby WordCamps

If you enjoyed WordCamp Ottawa, please consider attending WordCamp Toronto and WordCamp Montréal (to be announced in the next week).

Sign up for our newsletter

And for ongoing news about the Ottawa WordPress community, feel free to sign up for our newsletter.

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Thank You for Helping Make WordCamp Ottawa 2014 a Tremendous Success!

You can’t stage an event like WordCamp Ottawa 2014 without help—and your event organizers have quite a few people to thank.

Our attendees

First of all, we’d like to thank the hundreds of people who came out, listened, asked questions, offered opinions, made friends and explored business opportunities during the last couple of days. An event like this one needs an understanding and appreciative audience—and we certainly had one this year!

Our volunteers

To the thanks we owe our attendees, we’d like to add a special thanks to our volunteers. We were fortunate to attract the skills of people who worked tirelessly for the benefit of all of us who took part in this event.

Our speakers and presenters

We said we were holding a WordCamp and we asked speakers and presenters to step forward—and a great group of speakers answered our call. By sharing their knowledge and insights, they have helped make the Ottawa WordPress community stronger and better able to use the WordPress publishing platform.

WordCamp Ottawa 2014 speakers included Mikey Arce, Elida Arrizza, Ariadni Athanassiadis, Alison Barrett, Paul Bearne, Michal Bluma, Stéphane Boisvert, Troy Chaplin, Lucas Cherkewski, Michael Corkum, Michel Fortin, Ben Fox, Victor Granic, Meagan Hanes, Julie Harrison, James Hipkin, Shawn Hooper, Mohammad Jangda, Elizabeth Kricfalusi, Joey Kudish, Angele Lafond, Alan Lok, Taylor Lovett, Richard Martin, Shanta Nathwani, Ryan Parent, Tony Perez, Jordan Quintal, Rick Radko, Laurie M. Rauch, Christopher Ross, Brian Rotsztein, Alex Ruaux, Brendan Sera-Shriar, Christoph Trappe, Mike Venables, Jasmine Vesque, Scott Walkinshaw, Amy Young, Gregory Young.

Our sponsors

We couldn’t hold a WordCamp without sponsors. Their contributions meet about three-quarters of the cost of holding the event. That makes them quite literally essential—and on behalf of the organizers and all involved in WordPress in Ottawa we thank each of them.

WordCamp Ottawa 2014 sponsors included:

  • Carleton University — Venue Sponsor
  • Bluehost — WordCamp Pillar
  • WiredTree — WordCamp Pillar
  • Code Poet — WordCamp Champion
  • DreamHost — WordCamp Champion
  • WPML.org — WordCamp Accomplice
  • Scott Buckingham Media — Platinum Level
  • easyPress — Bronze Level
  • SIDEKICK — Bronze Level
  • The Genius Web Media — Bronze Level
  • Yoast — Bronze Level
  • Transforme Communications Inc. — Small Biz

We’d like to add special appreciation for Carleton University, for being our Venue Sponsor for this event. It was a great venue—and the University helped us every step of the way.

Finally, we’d like to thank Patty Boland’s, a great place with a friendly and inviting atmosphere, for offering us an excellent venue for our networking get-together on Saturday night.

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Thank You, WordCamp Ottawa 2014 Sponsors

Your organizers couldn’t have staged WordCamp Ottawa 2014 without the generous support of our Sponsors.

Sponsor contributions have enabled us to host this event at a phenomenally low cost to the attendees. About 75% of the budget comes from sponsorship. The rest is from ticket sales. Quite simply, without Sponsor contributions we could not hold WordCamp in the same way we do now. In addition, their strong support gives us the confidence to look ahead, as we have begun to do, and envision WordCamp Ottawa 2015.

Thank you.

Carleton University — Venue Sponsor

Situated on a beautiful campus bordered by the sparkling Rideau River and Canal, Carleton is just minutes from the heart of our nation’s government and enjoys easy access to the many organizations, associations and businesses which thrive in Ottawa. Many of Ontario’s leading high tech companies surround our campus where cutting-edge research joins with highly innovative teaching to solve real-life problems. Members of a dynamic, research-intensive university, Carleton’s faculty and staff provide a superior learning experience for our fine students who hail from every province and from over 100 countries around the world.

Carleton offers 65 programs of study in areas as diverse as public affairs, journalism, film studies, engineering, high technology and international studies. More than 2,000 brilliant professors and staff members constitute a diverse and dedicated team serving 26,000 students. Carleton’s creative, interdisciplinary and international approach to research has led to many significant discoveries and creative works in science and technology, business, governance, public policy and the arts.

Bluehost — WordCamp Pillar

Bluehost has been a WordPress partner since 2005 and powers over one million WordPress sites. Their goal is to provide outstanding hosting services and customer support for the best possible price. Bluehost is also constantly innovating and upgrading their services and infrastructure at no additional cost to their customers. Join the millions of other website owners that have already chosen Bluehost and see how they can help you with your site.

WiredTree — WordCamp Pillar

WiredTree provides Managed VPS and Managed Dedicated Servers to WordPress users worldwide from our Chicago-based data center and offices. Every WT server is backed by 24×7 telephone support, ticket support with 15 minute average response times, and is fully managed and monitored by WiredTree to maximize uptime and minimize frustration. All servers come ready-to-run with cPanel/WHM and are optimized and security hardened with firewall and anti-spam out of the box. With experience in SSD technology, MariaDB, Memcached, WordPress plugins, server optimization, and LiteSpeed Web server, WiredTree can take your site’s performance to the next level.

Code Poet — WordCamp Champion

If you use WordPress to build things for other people, Code Poet wants to make your life easier. No matter whether you freelance on a solo basis, lead a small web shop, make plugins in a dark closet, or crack the whip at a large design firm, Code Poet’s aim is to become your go-to source of information and resources to help you expand your WordPress skills and know-how. To make you better at what you do. To make it easier to make your living and look great doing it.

You’re part of a tribe of WordPress designers and developers over 10,000 strong, spanning the entire globe. codepoet.com aims to bring the working knowledge and real world strategies of those people into one place, for you to tap into.

DreamHost — WordCamp Champion

DreamHost is a global Web hosting and cloud services provider with over 350,000 customers and 1.2 million blogs, websites and apps hosted. The company offers a wide spectrum of Web hosting and cloud services including Shared Hosting, Virtual Private Servers (VPS), Dedicated Server Hosting, Domain Name Registration, the cloud storage service, DreamObjects, and the cloud computing service DreamCompute. More information can be found at http://dreamhost.com.

WPML.org — WordCamp Accomplice

WPML turns WordPress websites multilingual. It works with caching, SEO and E-Commerce plugins, and allows the building of complete multilingual sites. WPML powers simple blogs as well as corporate and enterprise sites.

WPML allows users to translate everything in the site, including content, menus, widgets and even theme and plugin texts. WPML powers over 400,000 commercial websites from all over the world.

More information about going multilingual can be found at WPML.org

Scott Buckingham Media — Platinum Level

Scott Buckingham Media is a digital agency in Ottawa specializing in custom WordPress websites and web-applications.

Using our skills in branding, strategy, user experience, and responsive design along with vast experience configuring and customizing WordPress, we are able to create amazing interfaces that are easily managed by our clients, and are well-liked by their users.
With corporate websites and webcam-controlled games, mobile applications and touchscreen kiosks, online stores and immersive museum exhibits, we use WordPress to its fullest.

In addition to WordPress websites and web-applications, we also offer a large variety of other services including professional photography, video production, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, social media management, and much more.

Take a tour of our studio and browse our portfolio, then give us a shout to discuss your next project!

easyPress — Bronze Level

easyPress is a Managed WordPress Hosting service that’s made in Canada. A fast, reliable and secure solution is super important when you value your website and its message. Focus your time and energy on your content and let easyPress relieve you of managing the tech that makes WordPress load quickly and consistently. All of our service plans include DNS hosting and some even include email hosting provided by easyDNS. Check out our very affordable offerings at http://easypress.ca/plans/.

SIDEKICK — Bronze Level

SIDEKICK for WordPress helps your users, customers, or clients learn how to use WordPress by actually using WordPress.

There are no videos or written documentation here. Instead, users learn by following interactive, voice-guided lessons (Walkthroughs) right inside their own WordPress environment.

The Genius Web Media — Bronze Level

The Genius Web Media has been in operation for over 5 years and is located in the heart of Toronto, Canada. Our Genius team is compiled of intelligent, skilled, and ambitious individuals who are all dedicated to delivering powerful and trendy media.

We currently specialize in SIMPLE to COMPLEX Web Development for ALL Online Media purposes. We have the capabilities to develop small to large scaled projects, as well as the capacity to supply new and fresh ideas. Our specialties are focused on: Current frameworks, Usability, “Responsive” technologies for mobile optimization, and Web Accessibility for the physically and mentally challenged.

Our goal is to leverage high quality, effective, and efficient Web Development to assist businesses by improving their online identity, by enhancing online exposure, and by increasing lead generation and sales.

Check us out at www.thegenius.ca

Yoast — Bronze Level

At Yoast, we help you optimize your website for SEO, conversion, and site speed, often using our WordPress plugins and themes. We make websites more usable, easier to navigate, faster and more reliable. We can even help you find the best WordPress hosting. In other words: we make websites work. Not just for the owner, but for the visitor. The added bonus is that if you do all that right, a website becomes easier to find too.

Transforme Communications Inc. — Small Biz

Transforme Communications Inc. is a creative agency that helps influence decision-making through innovative and strategic design solutions. Transforme is a global leader in web design with WordPress & PageLines DMS.

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Joining Us After?

It’s a question you’re likely to hear, if you listen. And we hope you will.

Because we’d like to see you at Patty Boland’s, 101 Clarence Street, at about 6:15 p.m. on May 3, at our WordCamp Ottawa 2014 networking get-together.

Follow us there and you’ll find people you’ve spent the day with—WordCamp speakers, WordPress experts and some of the many whose attention and contributions have helped crown the event with success.

Good company, we believe, in an informal setting with food and other refreshments and an open invitation to introduce yourself, make new acquaintances, talk about WordPress and its applications and discuss business.

It’s no secret that WordCamps can bring together people who become friends and business partners.

See you there!

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Apply for an Expert Site or Blog Review

If you’d like to hear from experts about how you can improve your WordPress site or blog, we’d like to hear from you.

About the Site Clinic

The experts will offer their opinions at our Site Clinic, a WordCamp Ottawa Sunday session. There, they’ll review and suggest improvements for site and blog design, content, structure and functionality.

The session will aim to offer solid advice, good ideas and some inspiration. The suggestions should prove instructive whether or not your site or blog is being reviewed.

Many requests, few chosen

Site Clinic organizers expect many requests—but only a few of the sites or blogs will be chosen for review. So, if you’d like your site or blog to be one of them, please apply today.

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Speaker Spotlight: Mikey Arce

Mikey is a Happiness Engineer at Automattic where his day to day job is helping people use WordPress, and he absolutely loves it.  In previous jobs, Mikey led support efforts at a computer repair shop, a creative firm, and a University campus.  When not engineering happiness on WordPress.com, Mikey can be found playing tennis, badminton, helping his wife with their hobby farm, or out exploring the beautiful outdoors in Vernon, BC.

Mikey is presenting: Engineering Happiness for your Clients: Support through Building Relationships.

1) Why do you like using WordPress?
Simply – it helps me do what I need to do fast and effortlessly and gets out of the way when I need it to.

2) Why did you decide to speak at WordCamp Ottawa?
I have a huge passion for the art of Support and love sharing my stories of failure and success to help people learn along the journey.

3) What is the one thing you want people to walk away with from your talk?
If they can walk away with a few laughs and a few practical ways to improve how they support their users – I’d be happy.

4) What is your favourite WordPress plugin or theme? Why?
I love the Underscores starter theme and the Sass version (thunderscores). I start all my projects with Underscores and has saved me countless hours in projects.

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Speaker Spotlight: Rick Radko

Rick Radko has been creating web sites and applications since 1996. He launched his first WordPress site in 2008. Rick is at home coding plugins, designing custom themes, building multilingual sites and teaching others to do all of those. His involvement in the WordPress community began when he became a co-founder of the Ottawa WordPress Meetup Group and spoke at WordCamp Toronto around the same time in 2011. Since then he has been a repeat presenter at WordCamps Toronto and Montréal, and launched WordCamp Ottawa in 2013.  Rick is the founder of R-Cubed Design Forge, where he develops and designs web sites and applications using open source software. @r3designforge

Rick is presenting: Introduction to WordPress

1) Why do you like using WordPress?
I work with WordPress because it’s really easy to use. My clients get web sites that they can manage and update mostly on their own, and as a developer I get a framework that is easy to modify or extend with add-ons and plugins.

2) Why did you decide to speak at WordCamp Ottawa?
I’ve worked with WordPress for the past 6 years, and I want to see it continue to grow. Organizing this WordCamp and speaking too, provides an opportunity to give back to the WordPress community in a way that supports it and helps it thrive.

3) What is the one thing you want people to walk away with from your talk?
The “Introduction to WordPress” is to help new WordPress users get a running start before all the sessions on Saturday.

4) What is your favourite WordPress plugin or theme? Why?
As a developer I use a lot of different plugins, but few that I use most of the time are Gravity Forms, Google Analytics for WordPress, TinyMCE Advanced and for building multilingual sites on WordPress multisite – Multisite Language Switcher and WP Native Dashboard.

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Speaker Spotlight: Stéphane Boisvert

Stéphane was a Senior Advisor for the Federal Liberal party for 4 years leading the party to radical growth in online data acquisitions and donations. He currently works for Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com as a VIP Engineer.

Stéphane is presenting: Making It Rain Conversions. How to get visitors to do what you want

1) Why do you like using WordPress?
I feel like WordPress is so flexible, it is able to speed up all site development while not restricting what you are able to do. It also is able to scale to tremendous sizes with little effort.

2) Why did you decide to speak at WordCamp Ottawa?
I’m really excited to talk about conversions and A/B testing. I think there is a lot of myths out there that need to be dispelt and I hope to help people with that.

3) What is the one thing you want people to walk away with from your talk?
I want people to know that changing the colour of a button probably isn’t going to help them increase their conversion rates.

4) What is your favourite WordPress plugin or theme? Why?
I feel like the wide variety of plugins is what makes WordPress so wonderful. The fact that there is a plugin for everything imaginable is what makes WordPress so great. No single plugin can rule them all, all of them combined is what makes WordPress great.

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So, What’s a WordCamp?

A WordCamp is an informal, affordable event that focuses on how to use WordPress publishing software. It is organized by a local WordPress community for the benefit of those who use WordPress or who want to learn more about it.

Who attends

Attendees include the range of people from a new or casual user to a core developer. A WordCamp offers something for just about everyone—and, often, a great deal for a great many. It’s an occasion to learn, share and get to know others who, like you, have an interest in WordPress publishing software.

Who you’ll find

You’ll probably find new bloggers. There will be people with sites powered by WordPress who want to learn more. You’ll find you’re in the good company of experts—professional WordPress developers and consultants, knowledgeable presenters, Happiness Bar specialists and employees of Automattic, the company behind WordPress.

There will also be those with interests related to WordPress, such as graphic designers, copywriters and copyeditors, and social media professionals. You may run across those seeking more work—and those looking for some help.

What happens

You attend sessions where you listen, usually learn and sometimes contribute. You get answers to your WordPress-related questions. You make new acquaintances if you are so inclined. And you take part in our networking get-together if, as most people do, you enjoy that sort of thing. It’s no secret that WordCamps can bring together people who become friends and business partners.

Not about money

WordCamps operate under planning guidelines set out by WordCamp.org, and each WordCamp is approved by the WordPress Foundation.

They’re not about money. As WordPress Central points out, “WordPress-based conferences organized as money-making opportunities are not approved to use the WordCamp name.”

Yes, you pay to attend a WordCamp. But most of the event’s costs are covered by sponsors. Without sponsors we couldn’t hold a WordCamp.

And any surplus isn’t treated as profit for the organizers who, like the speakers, are volunteers. Any surplus is used to benefit the WordPress community—to fund meetups or next year’s WordCamp, or it’s contributed to the WordPress Foundation to fund other community events.

Then and now

The first WordCamp took place in San Francisco in 2006. Since then some 346 WordCamps have taken place in 172 cities in 48 countries on six continents. I suppose you could say the idea took.

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Speaker Spotlight: Jasmine Vesque

Jasmine is a WordPress evangelist who enjoys helping people share their most important stories and ideas. She loves teaching and regularly contributes as both an instructor and a mentor to The Ottawa WordPress Group and Ladies Learning Code . This is her second year as a WordCamp Ottawa organizer, and if you’ve ever engaged with @wpottawa on Twitter, you were most likely talking to her.

Jasmine is a freelance web specialist, consultant, and trainer. Her work experience includes government, small businesses, arts groups, and non-profits. She is also the VP of Communications and Webmaster for the charity, The Forget for a Moment Foundation.

Jasmine is passionate about digital communications, social media and web design.  She welcomes tweets @jasmineVesque.

Jasmine is presenting: Introduction to WordPress and hosting: WordPress Site Clinic

1) Why do you like using WordPress?
I like using WordPress because it’s flexible and easy to use. Whether you’re a blogger, a small business, or a large organization, WordPress can be scaled to suit your needs. Anyone can use it, and it can help create an online presence for anyone’s ideas no matter how big or small

2) Why did you decide to speak at WordCamp Ottawa?
I am passionate about teaching. I just love sharing what I know with others! I really enjoyed presenting at last year’s WordCamp Ottawa, and I knew I had to do it again this year.

3) What is the one thing you want people to walk away with from your talk?
At the Intro to WordPress session, I want people to get comfortable with the WordPress platform so they can get the most out of the WordCamp weekend. At the Site Clinic, I want people to walk away with solid advice, great ideas, and inspiration on how to improve their websites. I’ll be wrangling up some other WordPress experts to help me deliver on this. Even if your site is not one we review, I hope all in the audience will leave with some great ideas.

4) What is your favourite WordPress plugin or theme? Why?
BackupBuddy! It makes backing-up, migrating, and restoring websites a simple and relatively pain-free experience.

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