Content Creators: Easiest sessions. Little prior WordPress experience is expected.

Site Creators: Some prior WordPress experience would be beneficial for these sessions, but is not required. Small amounts of HTML, CSS, PHP and Javascript might be presented in some talks.

Code Creators: Advanced WordPress concepts, HTML, CSS, PHP and Javascript will be presented.

See sessions in schedule view



You Don’t Have to Sacrifice Your First Born to Make a Child Theme: A WordPress Story

Presented by Sarah Rennick in Room 1, Site Creators.

Have you wanted to make a child theme but didn’t think you could? This talk will tell you how! An intro to making child themes, no coding knowledge needed beforehand. This will give a quick overview of some basic coding, how to decide if you should make a child theme or just use custom css, and best practices when picking a base theme.

WP-CLI: Save Time by Managing WordPress from the Command Line

Presented by Shawn Hooper in Code Creators, Room 2.

WP-CLI is a set of command line tools for managing your WordPress site. It allows you to perform many tasks much quicker than you would be able to by other means. In this session, I will teach you how to get WP-CLI running, and show some of my favourite time saving features. Once you’ve started using WP-CLI, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it! This talk is appropriate for developers, designers and server administrators of all skill levels.

WordPress Security for Beginners: Simple Steps to Build Your Master Plan

Presented by Adam W. Warner in Content Creators, Scotiabank Auditorium.

Security can seem intimidating and complex for many of us, but we shouldn’t (can’t) let that stop us from making sure we’re doing everything we can to secure our WordPress sites. After all, our websites are often part of our livelihood.

In this session Adam will discuss the “big picture” of website security and break that down into the fundamental tasks needed for a strong security plan, in order of importance. He will provide an actionable checklist on what you can start doing today to better secure your WordPress websites.

After attending this session, audience members will have a better understanding of website security as a whole and what steps they can take to mitigate risk. Attendees will be able to start building their WordPress security master plan immediately.

WordPress As a Static Website Generator

Presented by Mitch MacKenzie in Code Creators, Room 2.

Content focused websites like blogs and publications often have only a few common needs for the dynamic functionality that WordPress provides. When those dynamic features are replaced by hosted services or client-side applications, WordPress websites can be hosted as static HTML.

This session will explore how WordPress can create more secure and better performing websites when it’s used as a static website generator. Static website hosting can be affordable and scalable for sites of all sizes.

We will look at:

* the benefits and challenges of static websites
* plugins that work best with static WordPress
* tools and services that make static WordPress hosting easier
* tips and tricks for common static WordPress problems

Tips for Creating Effective Site And Blog Content

Presented by Laura Hawkins in Scotiabank Auditorium, Site Creators.

This practical talk covers the top tips for creating site and blog content that’s built to attract traffic, is compelling and persuasive, and can help you build a subscriber base and/or generate leads for your business.

The “NO Badger” Zone- Sales Tips for Introverts!

Presented by Shelly Peacock in Content Creators, Room 1.

If the thought of having to “sell” yourself or your services makes you want to dive into the back of your closet- this talk is for you. In 45 short minutes, we will remove the fear, and give you the plan to “close without selling”. A must for freelancers that don’t know how to fill the funnel.

Sneaking in Good UX Without a UX Budget

Presented by Anthony D Paul in Scotiabank Auditorium, Site Creators.

We all want to design and build better projects—to feel proud of what we’ve made and to have our end users love it too. Sometimes our projects afford us research budgets and sometimes they don’t. So how do we build in a better user experience when our clients don’t want to pay for those line items?

In this talk, I’ll share some practical tools and tips to “sneak in good UX” as one of my bosses used to say, with minimal impact on your budget but a positive impact on your team’s understanding of key problems to solve.

Panel: Rocking A WordPress Business

Presented by Christina Varro, Meagan Hanes, Mike Tanner, Shelly Peacock, Brian Rotsztein in Scotiabank Auditorium, Site Creators.



How do you stay sane, happy and paid in your business as a WordPress service provider? You lean on the wisdom of those who learned the ropes, made the mistakes, and kept on ‘truckin.

We’ve gathered a fantastic group ready to share their experiences and answer your questions on all things business. This panel is aimed at freelancers, consultants, designers, developers and small business owners who are out there making WordPress sing for others. Save time, money and your sanity by learning from our panelists’ experiences. Topics will include: pricing, how to draft an iron-clad contract, scope creep, spotting problem clients, how to get paid… all the touchy stuff you’ve wanted to know but were afraid to ask. Come for the advice, stay for the Q and A!

Local WordPress Development with Docker

Presented by Pascal Martineau in Code Creators, Room 2.

As a containerization platform, Docker offers a fast and powerful way to boost your local development workflow. By presenting our company’s DevOps strategy and sharing the tools we’ve built to efficiently manage over 100 WordPress sites, I explore various aspects of Docker-based WordPress development, from running your own GitLab instance to synchronizing your sites with a production server.

It Doesn’t Have to Hurt: Bringing Modern Dev Best Practices to WordPress

Presented by Chris Van Patten in Code Creators, Room 2.

While we all love WordPress, it’s often painful to return to it after spending time in more “modern” dev-friendly frameworks. While WordPress’ complicated relationship with modern PHP is unlikely to substantially improve any time soon (for good reasons, really!), that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate modern best practices into your private project. In this talk, you’ll learn strategies for leveraging the latest and greatest web dev best practices with WordPress: Composer dependency management, dotenv credential management, atomic deploys, smarter project structures, Twig templates, and even how to use WordPress functions inside Slim and Laravel projects.

How to Troubleshoot WordPress Performance Issues

Presented by Carl Alexander in Code Creators, Room 2.

Have you ever had a client come up to you and ask why a WordPress page was slow to load? We’ve all had that happen at some point or another. Especially nowadays with the increased importance of page load times! (Everything has to be fast fast fast!)

But what do you do when someone asks you to fix such an issue? It can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. The issue could be anywhere. (It really can!)

So how can you troubleshoot what’s going on? There are a lot of tools at your disposal to help you figure things out. But that doesn’t mean that you’re any closer to knowing what’s going on.

This is what this talk will help you with. We’ll look at the tools that you can use to solve this tricky issue. But we won’t stop there either We’ll also go over how to interpret what these tools are telling you. Because that’s how you’ll get to the root of the issue so that you can fix it.

How to Organize Information on Your Website

Presented by Shanta R. Nathwani in Room 1, Site Creators.

Ever wonder what the difference is between a page and a post? What about categories and tags? What is a custom post type and why do I use it instead of a regular post or page? Answers to this and more can be found in this talk.

How to Leverage Your WordPress Skills for Big Money

Presented by Maxime Jobin in Scotiabank Auditorium, Site Creators.

In a world where WordPress “experts” are available to any businesses on Fiverr for $5, how can you really make money with your WordPress skills? You may have the skills but is it possible to sell them for big money in this global economy? The answer is yes! This talk will show you how.

How To Get From Employee/Freelancer To Plugin Business Owner

Presented by Brad Touesnard in Code Creators, Room 2.


Making the leap from employee or freelancer to plugin business owner is daunting to say the least. Building a successful plugin business while working full-time on other things seems next to impossible. Yet plenty of people have done it including me.

In this talk, I’ll layout a roadmap for how you can build a product, what you should do, what you should avoid, and all backed up by stories from my experiences and those of my friends who have plugin businesses.

5 Things Audience Members Will Learn

1. How to come up with a product idea: aspirin vs vitamin
2. Why your first product shouldn’t be a SaaS
3. How to make time to work on your product
4. Why you should hire at the very start
5. How to live very well while self-funding your product development

How to Change Lives with WordPress, Including Your Own

Presented by Andrea Rennick in Content Creators, Room 1.

Follow my journey from being just a stay at home homeschooling mom of 4 to author, speaker, and working for one of the biggest premium theme shops in the WordPress marketplace, becoming a WordPress influencer along the way AND staying in the Maritimes.

How I Build A Profitable Fan-Based Website By The Seat Of My Pants

Presented by Dan Parker in Room 1, Site Creators.

An in-depth look at the recipe for success I applied to my website, and how you can apply it to seek success in your own adventures. Some items I’ll cover include:

  • some of the plugins used to keep the site running in top shape
  • how to manage member users
  • the journey from knowing very little about website management to making it my career

Happiness Bar

Presented in Atrium.

The Happiness Bar is a part of the event where volunteer experts hang around and help attendees with any questions they have. Get your WordPress questions answered, one-on-one, by some of the best experts around. Tricky configuration question? Plugins issues? Wanting to bring WordPress in your enterprise but wondering if it’ll fit in? Whatever the question, our friendly volunteers will make sure you leave the chat with solutions.

Running 9:00am-4:45pm in the Atrium

Guardians of the Website: Awesome Toolkit Vol. 1

Presented by Jean-Francois Arseneault in Content Creators, Scotiabank Auditorium.

So you’ve just built (or contracted for) a shiny new WordPress website and now your first visitors are leaving comments, purchasing off your site… exciting!

But just like out there in sci-fi movies, the internet can be a dangerous place: spam bots, malware attacks, insecure web hosting, etc.

With this Awesome Toolkit Vol 1, I intend to provide you with all the basic (and some more advanced) WP management tools AND techniques that will ensure your site is secured, backed-up, and performs at its best.

At the end of this presentation, you’ll have the know-how and resources to maintain your own site, or if you’re a designer, to improve what you deliver to your clients and ensure the safekeeping of their new site.

All clients and incidents portrayed in this presentation have been renamed to protect the innocents.

Field Guide to Caring for a Developer

Presented by Allison Tarr in Scotiabank Auditorium, Site Creators.

Surrounded by constant workflow advancements, new frameworks, and version updates, tech culture often makes exhaustion a badge of honour. How do we best take care of ourselves when faced with obstacles like burnout, isolation, and uncertainty?

Whether you’re a remote employee, freelancer, or working within a larger tech team, the issues of mental health are important. In this talk, we’ll examine the state of mental health awareness within tech and discuss strategies and resources to improve it on both a personal and community level.

Diving into the Divi Framework

Presented by Crystal Picard in Content Creators, Room 1.

In a world where diversifying your income and creating/publishing content are vital for success online, the developers at Elegant Themes have heard our cries for a code-free framework and answered with the theme Divi.

In this talk we are going to cover:

  • What is Divi – Framework vs. Theme
  • The pros & cons of the Divi theme for the code-free user
  • Pre-made layouts & modules examples
  • Review the options panel for setting up your website

We will end the talk with a demonstration of setting up a simple home page in 5 minutes or less.

Building apps with the WordPress REST API

Presented by Gavin Anderegg in Code Creators, Room 2.

Along with many user facing features, WordPress 4.7 brought the REST API content endpoints into Core. This developer-focused change is hugely exciting, as it makes building applications on top of WordPress much easier. In this talk, I’ll discuss what the REST API is, how it can be useful, and walk through examples that leverage this powerful new functionality.

While intended for developers, this talk might be also be interesting to anyone who’d like to understand how WordPress could be used as backend for application development. That said, an understanding of web services concepts, as well as some PHP and JavaScript experience is recommended.

A CSS Adventure

Presented by Kathryn Presner in Room 1, Site Creators.

Ever wanted to make small changes to the look-and-feel of your site but weren’t sure how to go about it? Itching to change the colour of your site title, tweak the size of your paragraph text, or hide the date on your posts? Let’s go on a CSS adventure together! In this session you’ll learn some basic CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and we’ll look at some practical examples, using a browser inspector to customize our site’s design.

Some basic HTML knowledge is helpful, but not required. You should be open to looking “under the hood” at a site’s HTML and CSS.

See sessions in schedule view