Things to Know #WCDayton

Well, its official we are less than 24 hours until the start of WordCamp Dayton.

A few items that you should be aware of:

PARKING

Here is a parking map that shows the designated parking at Wright State University.

WCDayton - Parking Map
*click for PDF*

Here is the parking pass that will need to be displayed in your windshield.

WCDayton - Visitors Pass
*click for PDF*

DIRECTIONS

For all you GPS users here is a link to Google Maps that will bring you to Rike Hall: https://goo.gl/maps/QpqLb.

REGISTRATION

When you come into Rike Hall you will see WordCamp banners leading to the registration table where you’ll check-in and receive some goodies.

QUESTIONS

It has been asked about the format of Friday’s schedule. Friday is a hands-on introduction to WordPress. A walk-through where users will need a laptop to create a WordPress account and will be taken through the steps of the backend of WordPress.

 While a laptop is not necessary for the tracks it is found that it can be helpful.
Thank you all and the count-down is on!

Speaker Interview – Brian Retterer

brianretterer
I am currently a web developer at Real Art in downtown Dayton. In my job, I build client websites in WordPress with custom themes and custom built plugins. I also own my own development company where I focus on creating quality websites for small business and individuals. I am newly, happily married as of October 12th.

Why Do You Use WordPress?
I use WordPress because of its ease of use and allows my clients to manage their own content for their webpage. I always tell people, “If you can use Word, you already know how to use WordPress!”

When and How Did You Start Using WordPress?
I think I have been using WordPress solidly since 2009. The first install of WordPress that I did however was for my first ever website, brianretterer.com when I was in New Zealand for 6 months back in 2006. At the Time, I think I had installed version 1.5. Man have we come a long way!

What Tips or Resources would you recommend to a new WordPress User?
IRC. IRC is one of the best resources I can say you should use. For people who are not sure what IRC is, it is Internet Relay Chat. It is where a lot of the developers of WordPress spend time and are willing to help others. If you are not a developer of WordPress or think that IRC may be a bit to much development talk for you, Youtube is the other resource I suggest. You can find a bunch of great tutorials on just about every part of WordPress. The last tip I have for you is to just get in there and do it. Don’t be afraid of trying something and breaking something, as long as you have a backup!

What advice would you give someone who’s building a business around WordPress design or development?
SEO and Backups! The best way to get your business to take off online is make sure your SEO is up to par with others if not better. Yoast SEO is the SEO plugin that I suggest for WordPress. The other thing is make sure you backup often! One of the best plugins for this is Backup Buddy from iThemes. It is worth the cost of the plugin and will save you a lot of frustration when/if you ever need to use it.

How do you stay informed about WordPress (news, tips, etc)?
I get most of my news from the community in IRC. I am part of WordPress Meetup in Dayton, Ohio where we are always keeping up to date. I also frequent the changelogs and issue tracker to see what is being brought up.

What’s a cool WordPress based site you’ve seen recently?
In my opinion, the best WordPress site is the one that I can not tell is a WordPress site. There are so many of them and i don’t want to spoil the fun of finding the ones that you enjoy the most.

What do you like most about WordCamps?
The Community of the WordPress users. I love being around other people that like the same things as me. I LOVE LOVE LOVE being able to talk to others and help other users of WordPress out.

Where can we find you online?
Web: BrianRetterer.com
Twitter: @bretterer
Facebook: Brian Retterer
Google+: +BrianRetterer

Sponsor: Constant Contact

Constant Contact LogoAs we get closer to our first WordCamp Dayton we would like to take this time to thank another great sponsor: Constant Contact®. They took notice of how important this event truly is. We thank you.

Constant Contact®, Inc. wrote the book on Engagement Marketing™ — the new marketing success formula that helps small organizations create and grow customer relationships in today’s socially connected world. Through its unique combination of online marketing tools and free personalized coaching, Constant Contact helps small businesses, associations, and nonprofits connect and engage with their next great customer, client, or member. Launched in 1998, Constant Contact has long championed the needs of small organizations, providing them with an easy and affordable way to create and build successful, lasting customer relationships.

Speaker Interview – John Hartley

johnbhartley
Undergraduate Broadcasting major at Ohio Northern University with an M.A. Interactive Media from Elon University. After grad school I hopped on the WordPress train and didn’t look back. I now live in Columbus and work for companies all around the United States helping them with their web solutions (mainly WordPress). The best kind of food is that which contains jalapenos or sriracha.

Why Do You Use WordPress?
I use WordPress because it’s a great tool for quickly getting a site up and running. I’m not a fan of “my CMS is better than yours” because I think people can make valid points for using any of them. WordPress was the CMS I fell into and thankfully it was at the time when it was becoming popular. I still like to work with other languages, and while some say PHP is stupid (because of it’s simplicity) it’s the language I grew up with as a dev.

When and How Did You Start Using WordPress?
In graduate school I got my first taste of WordPress hacking together a theme. It was awful. Half of every page was hard-coded and you couldn’t switch out content easily and let’s not even get into my custom queries. I learned a lot from that experience and got really attached to the Codex. After a lot of reading, watching and practicing I’m developing custom themes (from Reverie these days) and creating plugins.

What Tips or Resources would you recommend to a new WordPress User?
wpbeginner.com/
wpexplorer.com/blog/
wpkube.com
wpbacon.com
poststat.us
wptavern.com

What advice would you give someone who’s building a business around WordPress design or development?
Find your niche and get comfortable there. It’s not a threat, but one of the biggest things I’ve learned. Say if you’re good at working with bakeries, come up with a bakery theme that you can tweak from customer to customer. Look for a problem in the WordPress or web world and figure out how you can create the best solution, like when WordPress.com started their restaurant websites. They saw that restaurant websites tended to be on the ugly side, so they created a fairly cheap way to get a new website together with all the perks. Plugins have more potential in my opinion than themes (but that’s because I mainly work with plugins).

How do you stay informed about WordPress (news, tips, etc)?
I put out a weekly newsletter with Max Foundry called This Week In WordPress: http://maxfoundry.com/blog/category/this-week-in-wordpress/ and pull from sources like the links in the resources above as well as Twitter.

Twitter is amazing for WordPress news, and jumping into the discussion about current WordPress events. Some of the top names I like to follow in the community:

@pollyplummer
@Krogsgard
@tommcfarlin
@jeffr0
@curtismchale

What do you like most about WordCamps?
The Happiness Bars is one of the best parts, second to getting to know the speakers. If you’re dying to know something about WordPress, the Happiness Bar is generally the best place to go. Past that, meeting new WordPress folks and seeing how excited people are when they come away from the weekend is awesome.

Where can we find you online?
Web: JohnBHartley.com
Twitter: @johnbhartley

Speaker Interview – Marc Benzakein

marcbenzak
I have been involved with technology in varying ways and degrees since about age 10 when I started programming on the mainframe at the University in which my dad taught. Through it, I’ve been a programmer, network administrator, administrator, and most recently, WordPress developer.

Why Do You Use WordPress?
I use WordPress because it’s more than just an amazing CMS. I’ve said it a number of times, and I’m sure people will hear me say it for as long as it’s true: the key strength of WordPress, though, is not the software but its community. It’s a community that works the way community is supposed to work. We realize that the only way to make the product better is by lifting up the people involved with the product. This is not simply relegated to those that build Core, but to EVERYONE at any level who is involved with it that wants to take part. I was happy to find WordPress as a piece of software to fill my specific need at the time. But I feel especially fortunate to have been able to become involved with its community!

When and How Did You Start Using WordPress?
I started using WordPress because it was really easy to get a site up and running. Originally, I was building sites for my own purposes, mostly to run affiliate programs, and they worked well for me. I then developed my own company website and then helped my wife with her blog site. After that, the rest was history. I started building sites for clients and then, eventually got steady work until Stephen Carnam of ServerPress approached me about partnering up.

What Tips or Resources would you recommend to a new WordPress User?
ASK QUESTIONS and GET INVOLVED! One of the things I’ve realized after speaking to so many people at various WordCamps is that no one knows everything. And everyone wants to help! THIS MEANS YOU! People want to help you! People want to see you succeed. And if you think that you have nothing to offer back, you’re W R O N G! Everyone, no matter their experience level, has something to offer! Whether it’s volunteering at a WordCamp or getting involved with your local meetup or even blogging about your experiences, it’s never too early or too late to get involved!

What advice would you give someone who’s building a business around WordPress design or development?
“The same as I’d give to anyone about any other business:

1. Be honest
2. Be fair

These two pieces of advice apply not only to your clients but to yourself. Never sell yourself short. People are coming to you for something because they see you as an authority. Make sure that everything you’re doing reflects that. If it’s too far above your head, you’re doing them a disservice by saying yes and if your price is too low, you’re doing yourself a disservice as well.

Relationships work ONLY if both sides of the equation feel like they are getting value out it, so pay attention to your gut and make sure that the value you’re providing is being returned or it will be a short-lived proposition.”

How do you stay informed about WordPress (news, tips, etc)?
I read Torque, and check out the emails I get from WPTavern a lot. Plus, I have a network of WordPress peeps that I chat with daily in which we share anything new that pops up.

What’s a cool WordPress based site you’ve seen recently?
I hear that the Milwaukee WordCamp site is going to be pretty knock-your-socks-off! ;-)

What do you like most about WordCamps?
The people. No doubt. I have been to about 15 WordCamps and I’ve only been to one where I felt like I didn’t get much out of it. Upon reflection, it turned out that was completely my fault because it had plenty to offer.

Seriously, if you’re not getting to know people at WordCamps, you’re doing it wrong. The coolest people on the planet hang out there!

Where can we find you online?
Web: ServerPress.com
Twitter: @MarcBenzak
Facebook: ServerPress

Speaker Interview – Angela Bergmann

angelabergmann
Angela has 13 years of experience in website design and development – 10 of which she has specialized in WordPress. Angela creates user friendly websites that are aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate, and optimized for search engine indexing. She also has expertise in Social Media, Search Engine Optimization, and Pay-Per-Click.

Why Do You Use WordPress?
I use WordPress because it makes my job and my clients lives easier. Clients can make on the fly content changes, and I can better assist them with additional functionality as needed.

When and How Did You Start Using WordPress?
I started using WordPress for personal blogging waaaaaay back in the Cafelog/B2 days. Over the years it has morphed from a personal interest to a professional interest as well.

What Tips or Resources would you recommend to a new WordPress User?
Don’t be afraid to jump in and screw something up. Between backing up your website and revision history, you are covered. So don’t be afraid to jump in and start messing with things.

What advice would you give someone who’s building a business around WordPress design or development?
Keep it simple and easy to use.

How do you stay informed about WordPress (news, tips, etc)?
I read blogs and follow several WordPress related twitter streams.

What do you like most about WordCamps?
Meeting new people. I go to WordCamps to meet and socialize with new people.

Where can we find you online?
Web: radkitten.nu
Twitter: @radkitten
Facebook: Angela Bergmann
LinkedIn: radkitten
Google+: +AngelaBergmann

Speaker Interview – Chip Bennett

chipbennett

Chip has been using WordPress since 2005, and has been a hobbyist web developer since the mid-90s. He has developed WordPress Themes and Plugins, and is a minor contributor to WordPress core. He is an admin for the WordPress Theme Review Team that reviews/approves Themes for inclusion in the WordPress Theme Repository. He can often be found in the WordPress.org support forums and at WordPress StackExchange. He is also a part-time freelance WordPress developer.

Why Do You Use WordPress?
I use WordPress because it is an awesome Content Management System. I started out with WordPress as a user (a convert from a hosted Blogger site to self-hosted WordPress), and still appreciate it for its ease of use.

When and How Did You Start Using WordPress?
I began using WordPress in 2005. Before then, I had a PHP/static HTML website, that had a blog served from Blogger. Around the time I got tired of dealing with the lack of control and other issues with using Blogger, I discovered a relatively new, self-hosted CMS: WordPress. I installed it, imported my content, and haven’t looked back since.

What Tips or Resources would you recommend to a new WordPress User?
Don’t be afraid of the Codex, and don’t be afraid to ask questions in the forum – please just read and understand the ground rules for the support forum, so that you can get help and answers as quickly and efficiently as possible. Don’t EVER use a search engine to search for free WordPress Themes. Start with the official Theme directory. Understand that the people who develop the vast majority of the Themes and Plugins that you see in the official directories have contributed those Themes and Plugins for free, and develop and support them on their own time. If you need Theme/Plugin support, please be patient with the developers, because while most developers willingly give of their time to provide support, they do so at the expense of spending that time working/getting paid, or spending that time with their families.

What advice would you give someone who’s building a business around WordPress design or development?
Understand your business model, and how that model is impacted in a F/OSS environment/community. Build a business model that is scalable. Don’t promise “lifetime” anything, if your ability to fulfill that promise doesn’t scale with your company’s growth. Commit to and invest in supporting your product.

How do you stay informed about WordPress (news, tips, etc)?
I follow WPTavern and poststat.us for most WordPress-related news and editorials, and listen to several WordPress-related podcasts. I follow most of the make.wordpress.org sites (one of the best ways to stay informed regarding WordPress project-related updates, from core to community). I try to provide support in the official support forums, and on the WordPress StackExchange. And I have a huge list of WordPress-related people that I follow on Twitter.

What’s a cool WordPress based site you’ve seen recently?
It really doesn’t get the attention that it should: make.wordpress.org

What do you like most about WordCamps?
I love building on my experiences with the Theme Review Team by helping to promote Theme development best practices and education. I also appreciate the opportunity to be involved with my local WordPress community, and to talk to WordPress users and developers face-to-face, rather than solely via the internet.

Where can we find you online?
Web: chipbennett.net
Twitter: @chip_bennett

Sponsor: The Ohlmann Group

The Ohlmann Group

Dayton WordCamp  would like to publicly thank is The Ohlmann Group  - They have   demonstrated that they want to help the local community grow with their generous sponsorship. A little background on the Ohlmann group:

Marketing professionals at the Ohlmann Group have brought clients’ communication to life for 65 years. Our creative campaigns dot the region’s highways and dominate television screens and radio dials. Our digital and social teams create relationships, engage audiences and dredge up demand through data analysis. The Ohlmann Group’s integrated approach to paid, earned and owned media ensures creative messaging resonates with our clients’ target audience.

Brands choose the Ohlmann Group to impact their bottom line and the public conscience. Our clients demand more than just great ideas. They expect a partnership with the Ohlmann Group to be transformative, leaving their operation stronger, smarter and more innovative than ever.

We help clients create the future.

Speaker Interview – John Parkinson

johnparkinson
John Parkinson, 58 years old, lives in eastern Ohio. IT Manager for a county engineer office.

Why Do You Use WordPress?
I was hooked the first time I saw WordPress.

When and How Did You Start Using WordPress?
I started using WordPress about 5 years ago when a friend of mine asked me to change a club HTML website to WordPress.

What Tips or Resources would you recommend to a new WordPress User?
TIP – Don’t be intimidated!

Too many resources out there to list. Find people and websites that you are comfortable with and follow them.

What advice would you give someone who’s building a business around WordPress design or development?
Not sure I am qualified to give someone advice on a business website. I would suggest to keep your clean and simple to navigate.

How do you stay informed about WordPress (news, tips, etc)?
A few websites, Twitter, Facebook groups, podcast.

What do you like most about WordCamps?
The chance to learn something new and meeting future friends!

Where can we find you online?
Web: johnparkinson.me
Twitter: @jwparkinson
Facebook: John Parkinson
Google+: +John Parkinson