WordCamp Ottawa 2014 will feature sessions chosen for those new to WordPress, those who have WordPress skills, and professional designers and developers.

As an attendee, you can sit in on any session in any of the tracks. You can switch tracks if you like. There are no restrictions on the tracks or sessions you attend.

To help you decide which sessions to attend, we’ve let you know the audience knowledge level the speaker is expecting and any prerequisites the speaker suggests. But the levels are only guides—and the prerequisites are recommendations, not requirements. So, if a session interests you, feel free to attend it even if it doesn’t seem to be at the right level. Just be aware that some parts of it may not suit you.

Thursday, May 1

WordCamp Ottawa 2014 opens with an optional three-hour Pre-camp Introduction to WordPress. This takes place on the Thursday evening before the main camp.

Saturday, May 3

We’re planning 32 sessions, each lasting 45 minutes for Saturday. The sessions will be divided in tracks suited for:

  • Content Creators, who want to learn how to publish content on a WordPress site
  • Site Creators, who want to learn more complex tasks but aren’t designers or developers
  • Code Creators, designers or developers who want to learn about topics such as site set-up, theme design, plugin development, development best practices and more

Sunday, May 4

For Sunday we’re planning a half-day of eight in-depth sessions and panels, each lasting 1-hour-and-45-minutes. The sessions will be divided in three tracks.

Three days of learning and networking—plus the Happiness Bar

And don’t forget the Happiness Bar where registrants can get one-on-one help and answers for their WordPress questions.

WordCamp Ottawa 2014 will bring together hundreds of attendees and about 40 knowledgeable session speakers, some from our own WordPress community and others from distant centres, to present to you the latest and greatest about WordPress.

If you want to learn and meet people who share your interest in WordPress, this is the event to attend!

Session List

Introduction to WordPress

Introduction to WordPress is for you if you’re a beginner who wants to learn some of the main WordPress concepts and terms before the weekend sessions. There are no prerequisites for this session. At the session, you will learn about:

  • What WordPress is
  • Who uses it
  • What the WordPress dashboard is
  • WordPress content types
  • How to add content to a WordPress site, including images and video
  • How to add and manage menus, sidebar widgets, themes and plugins

The details

  • Introduction to WordPress takes place Thursday, May 1, 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. in Room 5050 of the Minto Centre at Carleton University
  • You need to register for this session separately. To register, please select the Pre-camp “Introduction to WordPress” ONLY option.
  • You can attend this session without attending the main WordCamp on the May 3 – 4 weekend.
  • WiFi will not be enabled during this session.

WordPress Site Clinic

Need a second opinion for a website you’ve been working on? No problem! The WordPress Site Clinic puts panellists 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 register your site for review..

Level: All

Prerequisites: Register your site for review, only pre-registered sites will be reviewed.

Advancing your custom fields

Do you often use custom fields in your custom themes? Have an interest in using them, but not sure how or why? Find the core setup not as user friendly for non-technical users as you would like? Then the Advanced Custom Fields plugin might be just the thing for you! From simple text fields or radio options, to more advanced features such as repeating fields and conditional logic, Advanced Custom Fields goes a long way in helping you take your custom fields to the next level by providing a wealth of options for your users.

This presentation will provide you with lots of ideas and samples of the various ways you can use the plugin to your advantage from the most commonly used features, to more advanced functionality including some that are found in a few of the plugins add-ons

Level: Intermediate developer, Advanced developer

Prerequisites: You should have a good knowledge of php, and creating and using variables.

Be the Perfect Client: A Guide to Working with Developers

You’ve got an idea for a website, or you have an existing one, and you need someone who can help you out by building the site which will see your vision through. We’ll start by looking at what it takes to find a developer who’s easy to work with, and then focus on 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.

Level: Beginner user

Prerequisites: None

Blogging from your mobile devices

Mobile WordPress apps aren’t perfect but they help us blog during those 10 minutes of free time that just happen here and there. Use time waiting for an appointment to finish and publish (or schedule) a post. It’s doable.

This session will talk about how to make the most of the mobile apps, their limitations and how to use them to stay on your blogging schedule – even if you don’t have one, yet.

Level: Beginner user, Intermediate user, Advanced user

Prerequisites: none.

Build a Responsive WordPress Theme with Zurbs Foundation Framework

Responsive design is becoming an expected standard for web developers. Your website or blog needs to look good and function on all screens and devices all the time, and just choosing a “responsive” WordPress theme isn’t always the best choice. In this session you’ll learn how easy it is to integrate foundation.css into your WordPress theme and how to get added functionality from their jQuery and zepto libraries. We’ll also dive into the css to understand how “responsivity” works.

Level: Intermediate user, Intermediate designer, Intermediate developer

Prerequisites: basic CSS, jQuery, HTML5 and WordPress theme development.

Content Marketing with Guest Posts for Businesses and Bloggers

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. Recent controversy regarding SEO and guest posts will also be touched on.

Level: Beginner user, Intermediate user, Beginner designer

Prerequisites: none.

Copyright & The How-To’s of Online Image Posting

Using images online is essential to the effective communication of your ideas when creating content or developing your site. Central to the decision of what images to use or not use is the copyright conundrum. The presentation will provide a practical framework for identifying the copyright issues that affect decisions about what images to use online, including: (i) an overview of copyright principles, (ii) strategies for managing copyright content issues such as securing consent, stock photos and Creative Commons licenses, and (iii) various WordPress tools (e.g. plugins) available to give notice of copyrights, digitally certify original content, share content, deter and prevent content from being copied.

Level: All

Prerequisites: An interest in learning how to work with copyrighted content in WordPress and more generally in a digital world.

Creating a Simple Child Theme for WordPress

In the presentation the creation of a basic child theme using one of the core themes will be covered with basic CSS and edits. Why to create child themes, instead of modifying the core themes directly will also be covered.

Level: Beginner user, Intermediate user, Beginner designer

Prerequisites: How to install WordPress, how to use a basic text editor, basic FTP client use.

Develop Plugins Like a Pro

Maybe you’ve dabbled in writing WordPress plugins and themes before, or maybe you’ve been too intimidated to get started. Whatever your skill level, there’s always more to learn! In this workshop, I’ll cover the basics of plugin development and share some tips to have you writing plugins like a pro in no time.

Level: Beginner developer, Intermediate developer

Prerequisites: Students in this workshop should have a working knowledge of PHP and have a local development environment set up on their computer.

Developing a Marketing Strategy for Your WordPress Creations.

So you’ve created a WordPress plugin, theme, application, or site and you want to bring awareness to it. Think of marketing as a funnel. Marketing is everything from awareness to a sale. This pipeline must be continually refined for efficiency and effectiveness. We will go over a variety of tactics to drive targeted traffic to your WordPress site or Plugin. How to leverage your digital assets to create a high return on investment with low time commitments. Topics covered will be marketing theory, social media strategy, email marketing, google analytics, SEO and qualifying prospects.

Level: All

Prerequisites: No technical knowledge is required but the discussion will be useful to all levels of users.

Down with Sliders! Show them everything!

In an age of cluttered design and unintuitive interfaces, sliders have become a divisive subject
…which is why we won’t actually talk about them at all!

Instead, we’ll be covering two main topics: Presenting content in a tile-based layout with Masonry and how to actually get that content using WP_Query.

At the end of this session, you should have the tools needed to present your latest posts with their featured images or Custom Post Types with custom attributes in a modern layout. You’ll also be a bit more familiar with the process of getting information to loop through.

Level: Beginner designer, Beginner developer, Intermediate developer

Prerequisites: It is strongly suggested that you’ve looked under the hood of a theme at least once. You don’t need to master every aspect of theme development. Minimal knowledge of “The Loop” is a plus. A familiarity with CSS will be helpful.

Engineering Happiness for your Clients: Support through Building Relationships.

For many, providing support for a service or software is often the last step in the development cycle, and it’s not everyone’s favourite thing to do.  Learning to excel at providing customer support, using good tools for support, and having a solid strategy can make a huge difference for your own time management, and for building a strong and happy client base.  In this 45 minute session we will hear stories of support success and failure, and get some practical advice on doing day to day support.

Level: All

Prerequisites: Anyone can attend – this will target anyone who has ever had to support a client, or even their parents.

Extending Gravity forms: a deep dive into hooks, filters and API calls

Learn how to extend Gravity Forms to override the options in a select and to push the submitted content to an API after save. You will see how to extend classes and to use hooks and filters and make remote HTPP API calls

Level: Intermediate developer, Advanced developer

Prerequisites: Happy in code

Getting Set-up with Hosting and WordPress

An overview of choosing a web hosting service, installing WordPress and other related topics. Topics covered will include hosting platforms, WordPress installation scripts, manual installs, uploading files to your site, installing plugins, maintenance of your site, setting up SSL, working with your host to troubleshoot problems, backing up your site, moving to a new host and speeding up your site.

Level: All

Prerequisites: Users must be familiar with using a browser. Familiarity with FTP software will also be a benefit but not required. Although there may be some topics targeted at intermediate or advanced users, the focus of the discussion will be on tools that can be used by all levels of experience.

GIT Down to Business – An Introduction to Version Control

As developers, most of the time we work locally and then just upload when we’re done. However, when you’re working on a large project with lots of components, or when you’re working with other developers, this can be disastrous. Even if it’s just as simple backup, you should be using version control for your projects. Learn the basics of how this works, and how to setup simple version control system.

Level: Beginner developer, Intermediate developer

Prerequisites: None

Hardening Your Website To Attacks or Making It Easier to Hack Into Someone-Else’s Website

Accepting the defaults for a standard WordPress install can leave your site vulnerable. The hacker’s typical goal is to promote their (spammy) site with backlinks from your site or to spread malicious code. As a result, Google can blacklist your site. While no security is absolute, the presentation will cover several steps that can be taken to make it harder for an attacker to hack into your dashboard.

Level: Intermediate user

Prerequisites: Comfortable with FTP tools and editing text files.

How to create a child theme – Workshop

You’ve bought a fancy new WordPress theme, but now your site looks like everyone else’s. So how do you make that fancy new theme look a little bit more… you? You create a child theme.

Child themes build on top of the original theme, letting you change as much… or as little… as you want, while keeping all of the snazzy theme options and functionality built in to the parent theme.

Join us for a hands-on session where we will build a child theme from the ground up. We’ll also discuss how to find the perfect parent theme, changing styles, and customizing functionality.

Disclaimer: You will get the most out of this workshop if you come ready to play with code. Bring your laptop (Mac or PC) with WordPress installed, preferably in a local environment, and your HTML editor of choice. It will also help if you’re familiar with HTML/CSS and PHP, but we won’t make you write your own code if you aren’t.

Level: Beginner developer, Intermediate developer

Prerequisites: A little CSS/HTML and have WP installed either on a test site or locally so that we can build out the theme.

How to Effectively Teach WordPress

At some point you’re going to find yourself teaching someone to use WordPress. It’s inevitable. This presentation explores the basic fundamentals of teaching a non-technical person a technical skill like WordPress. If you would like to be able to more effectively teach WordPress to your friends, family, clients or colleagues then this is the session for you.

Level: Advanced user, Intermediate designer, Advanced designer, Intermediate developer, Advanced developer

Prerequisites: A desire to be a more effective teacher and a sufficient caffeine level. Pen and paper optional but recommended.


Interacting with WordPress in your own applications. and Jetpack-enabled sites offer the ability to interact with them via a REST API. This workshop would first explain what the possible integrations with WordPress are, what the REST API is and then would demonstrate how to get started with it and create a simple Javascript application that interacts with the API.

Level: Advanced user, Beginner developer, Intermediate developer, Advanced developer

Prerequisites: Attendees should have an understanding of Javascript and PHP. Not everyone is expected to be a developer though the topics covered will be developer-centric.


Internet Business-Building, Marketing, and Selling Tips and Strategies For WordPress Websites That Sell or Promote Goods and Services Online.

Have you ever tried to build or enhance a website to grow your business? Have you spent lots of time learning WordPress, how to work with plug-ins, and how to tweak your website to boost traffic and sales, only to have it produce lackluster results?

In this presentation, you will learn how to increase traffic and maximize online sales with WordPress. Discover which plug-ins create the best results; how to tweak your plug-ins to maximize your site’s selling power; how to work with themes and templates to optimize your site’s attraction potential; and how to avoid common errors committed by WordPress designers.

This presentation is ideal for do-it-yourselfers who know the basics of WordPress and want to know how to take it to the next level; hired webmasters or web designers who want to improve their skills to bring much greater value to their clients; and website owners who don’t know the technical stuff but want to be sure their web people make the right decisions.

Level: All users, Beginner designer, Intermediate designer, Beginner developer

Prerequisites: Fundamental understanding of WordPress, how to work with themes and plugins, and basic CSS and HTML. Some light scripting might be useful (jQuery and PHP), but not necessary.

Making It Rain Conversions. How to get visitors to do what you want

What is the purpose of your website? What are your goals? Do you know if you are meeting them? Do you know how to increase them? How do you get visitors to do what you want?
I will sow you how with A/B testing and some knowledge of what’s worked in the past you can increase conversions, whatever that means for you!

We’ll go over WordPress plugins and 3rd party tools that help and how to use them.

Level: All

Prerequisites: Basic Knowledge of goals and conversions. How html works is also useful.

Maximizing resources: Manage the back-end of your business with your WP dashboard

Entrepreneurs often bootstrap their businesses but how many times have you thought: “I wish I could do (insert any task here) in my business but I can’t afford the enterprise / big box options out there”.

That’s where your WP dashboard comes into play. You CAN build and intra-net type environment for your staff, schedule clients and shifts, invoice clients, do networking follow-up, sell products and anything else you can imagine!

Informative and engaging with a few funnies thrown in for good measure. There WILL be chocolate 🙂

Level: Beginner user, Intermediate user, Advanced user

Prerequisites: None

Modern WordPress Development

Modern WordPress Development is all about using the best and proper tools to make your WordPress applications easier to develop, administer, and deploy. Using the Bedrock WP Stack (, I will show how to properly structure a WordPress project, use Git for version control, Composer for dependency management, Vagrant for development environments, and Capistrano for deploys. This 45 minute presentation will go through the steps of creating a project from scratch (live, in realtime) including: starting a new application with Bedrock, creating a new virtual machine in minutes with Vagrant, adding a theme and plugins with Composer, provisioning a real production server in minutes with Vagrant (to a Digital Ocean cloud server), and deploying the site to production with Capistrano.

Level: Intermediate developer, Advanced developer

Prerequisites: Installing WordPress, Configuring WordPress, Basic system admin knowledge, Terminal/Shell basics, Apache/Nginx basics, Version Control basics, Virtual machine for development.

Saving Time with WP-CLI

WP-CLI is a WordPress plugin that allows you to interface with a WordPress site using Unix style commands. This presentation will walk you through writing commands, provide you tips to make sure your commands scale, and show you some cool ways to use existing commands.

Level: Advanced developer

Prerequisites: You should have a little bit of knowledge of Unix style commands. You should probably be running either OSX or some Linux distribution. If you are a Windows user, you should have knowledge of how to run Unix style commands on Windows.

Scaling WordPress for the world and on a (relatively small) budget

WordPress deployments are mostly on a single LAMP stack, but what happens when you have been asked to help scale WordPress to handle an international press release? In October 2013, Alan deployed the Global Slavery Index for the Walk Free Organization (the world’s largest anti-slavery movement with an international audience). This presentation will discuss the technologies and strategies utilized in this deployment.

Level: Intermediate developer, Advanced developer

Prerequisites: Best suited for DevOps, Ops or anyone launching WordPress sites on a Linux environment from scratch. Emphasis on utilizing Amazon AWS to deploy.

Setting Up a Local WordPress Development Environment

Using free tools, this topic will be exploring how to set-up and configure a local WordPress development environment. Attendees are strongly encouraged to bring along a laptop with at least 5 GB of free space. The tools we will be covering will work with most modern PC, MAC or Linux computers.

Topics will include enabling virtualization on your hardware, installing the VirtualBox virtualization environment, installing the TurnKey Linux WordPress appliance, first run set-up of TurnKey Linux and basic WordPress configuration.

The presentation will be in a workshop format where attendees are highly encouraged to install the tools during the presentation.

Level: All

Prerequisites: Participants should be comfortable with installing software on their computer.

To help reduce time and traffic downloading during the workshop, please download the correct version of Virtual Box for your laptop, and the WordPress appliance in advance of the workshop.  We will have some copies available on USB sticks.

Virtual Box:

WordPress appliance:


So You’re Ready to Start Making Money from Your WordPress Site… Now What?

What’s the difference between AdWords and AdSense? What’s an affiliate and how do I become one? How do I sell my own products from my website?

Do a search on any of these questions and you’ll find no shortage of answers. Unfortunately, many of those answers already assume a certain level of marketing or technical expertise that many site publishers don’t have.

This session is designed for those people. It will explain the basic concepts of site monetization and provide easy-to-follow directions for applying them to your own blog or website.

Level: Beginner user, Intermediate user

Prerequisites: Copy and paste. 🙂

Strategies for Improving the Performance of Your WordPress Website

There are 3 general areas that are integral to the performance of a website: server side stack, frontend design and code. The same is true for WordPress. By addressing each area independently this presentation aims to give sysadmins, designers and developers some straight forward tactics that can significantly improve the response and load times of WordPress.

Level: Intermediate user, Advanced user, Intermediate designer, Advanced designer, Beginner developer, Intermediate developer

Prerequisites: Attendees should be very comfortable using WordPress and ideally have an at least a basic understanding of the components that make it work. Some exposure to code is also helpful.

The 10 User Experience Principles à la WordPress

Learn about User Experience (UX) principles to enhance your visitors interest and delight on your site. User Experience is about empathy for your audience, because the usability of your site can make or break your visitors day, not to mention their attitude towards your brand. We’ve all frustrating experiences accomplishing tasks online, but may not be able to communicate why. This presentation will provide you with an overview of tools and techniques to improve your website’s usability and even learn some fancy terminology. We will examine the 10 golden UX heuristics with examples and also look at how WordPress supports and encourages a better user experience. Bonus: Live Quiz!

Level: All welcomed, from Beginner user to Advanced developer.

Prerequisites: None

The Database Schema

Understanding how the database schema of WordPress is setup, including a walkthrough of the tables and how WordPress stores its data. We’ll also dive into the benefits and dangers of the schema and how to adapt it to go beyond just blog posts.

Level: Intermediate user, Intermediate designer, Beginner developer, Intermediate developer

Prerequisites: Attendees should have experience of trying to implement their own WordPress site from, not

There’s a Plugin for that!

Plugins are what make WordPress extra-awesome and allow you to make your website do pretty much anything you want it to. Need to add collapsible sections to a page or make your gallery images circular? There’s a plugin for that! How about making your widget titles into links, or duplicating pages at the click of a mouse? Yep, plugins can help you do that too. Whether you’re just getting started with WordPress or use it everyday, with over 30,000 plugins to choose from finding the right one for the job can be tricky. We’ll look at how to choose an appropriate plugin and I’ll introduce you to a few I just couldn’t live without.

Level: Beginner user, Intermediate user, Beginner developer, Intermediate developer

Prerequisites: None

Time Code: Scheduling Automated Tasks Using WP_Cron

Automated Tasks Using WP_Cron This presentation will teach how to create, query and delete scheduled events using WordPress built in Cron module. I will also how to use this method to trigger long running tasks asynchronously in order to keep your application responding quickly to user’s requests.

This presentation is aimed at developers who are creating web-based applications using WordPress.

Level: Intermediate developer

Prerequisites: Attendees should have a basic understanding of PHP, and how to make changes to either their functions.php

Tips for WordPress Freelancers (Business)

A 35 minute presentation on how to use WordPress to improve the relationship between designers and clients by empowering the client with a fully fledged content management system.

We’ll talk about how to pitch WordPress to people as a successful CMS, how to discuss security and other obstacles, and the most common practices how to balance technical, creative, and business goals to deliver powerful, profitable, and manageable WordPress websites.

Level: All

Prerequisites: None

To the Word and Beyond! Extending WordPress Past a Simple Blog

This presentation will look at novel and unique ways to use WordPress beyond a simple blog or website. Ever think of using WordPress to manage a project, be a private communication board, or even have a forum? We’ll cover these and more uses that truly push WordPress to its limits. Participants will leave with a great understanding of the true potential of WordPress!

Level: Beginner user, Intermediate user, Beginner designer

Prerequisites: A familiarly of the WordPress system is an advantage!

WordPress Accessibility – building WordPress websites that EVERYONE can use

The focus of my presentation will be on WordPress and website accessibility; from a front-end perspective. I will cover WCAG 2.0 guidelines that will assist developers in understanding why and how to make their WordPress websites more accessible to people with sight, hearing, motor, and other challenges. I will also present some valuable website and WordPress resources, plugins and various techniques that developers can use to meet web accessibility compliance.

Level: Intermediate developer, Advanced developer

Prerequisites: The audience of my presentation will need to have front-end scripting related experience.

WordPress for Designers

Targeted at designers, WordPress for Designers provides an overview of what sits under a WordPress site, so that designs won’t be in conflict with WordPress’ inherent capabilities. The presentation is broken into three sections: how web sites are built, how WordPress functions, and Tips, tricks and pitfalls.

Level: Beginner designer, Intermediate designer

Prerequisites: None

WordPress for Small Businesses

WordPress consulting for small businesses is what I do. I help small businesses set up their WordPress websites to fit their needs and can give a basic overview of ways to set up your website. Not just technically, but from a Data Architecture perspective. I recommend bringing some post it notes to start putting your site together! Make sure you have your login information so we can start building your website. I’ll ask for volunteers to use as the examples and we can all work through it together!. We’ll talk about Categories, Pages and Menus.

Level: Beginner user

Prerequisites: Attendees should at least have their own site started since I would like to help set up their sites. This is meant to be hands on.

WordPress Security – The Latest and Greatest Around Website Security

Because of today’s ongoing website threats it’s important we take time to talk about what those threats are and what the look like. In this presentation we’ll look back over the past 12 months, understand the latest trends and discuss ways to better protect ourselves as website owners. It’ll be riddled with security insight that many have little time to research and force us to implement solutions that are applicable to today’s threats.

Level: Beginner user, Intermediate user, Advanced user

Prerequisites: Applicable for any end-user that owns and / or manages a website, also applicable for anyone that surfs the web and has a basic understanding on the basics of what a website is.

WordPress Themes and Frameworks Explained

Confused by the number of themes available in WordPress? Don’t know how to choose the right theme for your site? Can’t understand the difference between a framework and theme? This presentation will answer all of these questions and walk you through the major paid WordPress theme/framework suppliers including WooThemes and StudioPress (Genesis). It will identify what you should be looking for when evaluating a theme/framework – saving you significant time, money (and potential disappointment).

Level: Beginner user

Prerequisites: Introduction to WordPress

Writing Tips for Non-Writers (No Grammar Geeks Allowed!)

It’s true; anyone can blog – even bad writers. But with more than 150 million blogs competing for readers’ attention, can you afford to turn them off with mediocre writing or lazy grammar?

Remember how you used to sleep during English class? Don’t worry: Julie was the geek at the front of the class and she took enough notes for all of you! Topics will include: crafting engaging titles for posts, best practices for editing your online writing, persuasive writing techniques, and WordPress plug-ins that help make it all easier.

Level: Beginner user, Intermediate user, Advanced user

Prerequisites: Technical knowledge is not necessary or relevant — just an open mind to learning new tips and tricks.

Comments are closed.