#nyc12: Making the Switch to WordPress

Yesterday morning, I gave the last of three CMA NYC sessions I led this week:

Considering making the switch to WordPress? Join Daniel Bachhuber, code wrangler for Automattic’s WordPress.com VIP, to learn how to make open source work for your publication. We’ll discuss whether WordPress is the right fit for you, how to assess other options, and what steps you need to take if you’d like to make the switch.

Most of the people attending had been to at least one of my other sessions, so it was a quicker review of the slides and then more of a general Q&A session. A lot of the questions revolved around the different types of hosting, where you should go for support, etc.

#nyc12: Hacking WordPress in the Newsroom

This morning, I gave the second of three CMA NYC sessions I’m leading this week:

You publish with WordPress, are comfortable with editing theme templates and making basic CSS changes, and you’re ready to take your site to the next level. Join Daniel Bachhuber, code wranger for Automattic’s WordPress.com VIP, to learn what you need to know. We’ll discuss topics like version control, performance and optimization, debugging, and other development best practices. This session will be geared towards the tech-savvy with a practical knowledge of WordPress.

It ended up being a little less ambitious. We started out with (the importance of) setting up a local environment, reviewed what makes a plugin, and introduced a few project ideas. Between a dozen and two dozen students attended; for almost all, the information was completely new.

The most important note on this subject: there are lots of jobs available.

Also, come hit us up with WordPress questions at our Happiness Bar!

Session notes are below the slides.

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#nyc12: I Want to Learn WordPress

This morning, I gave the first of three CMA NYC sessions I’m leading this week:

So, you’ve heard of WordPress before, possibly used it for your personal portfolio, and want to learn everything there is to know about it. Well, everything we can cover in a hour at least :) Join Daniel Bachhuber, code wrangler for Automattic’s WordPress.com VIP, as we cover the WordPress interface, key concepts like themes, plugins, PHP and MySQL, and how to choose a good web host and design for your site. This session will be geared towards those with limited familiarity who want to learn more.

It was a quick introduction to the WordPress project, key terminology you’d hear, and then a tour through the WordPress admin. The room was packed with maybe 30-40 people which was sweet. Tomorrow is “Hacking WordPress in the Newsroom” and Tuesday is “Making the Switch to WordPress.”

I’ll be speaking about WordPress at CMA NYC in March

Following Lauren’s lead, I’ll be speaking at the Spring College Media Convention on Sunday morning, March 13th (the conference runs March 12th through 15th) at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. The organizers have asked me to lead two sessions:

  • WordPress hack attack (Sunday, 9-9:50 a.m., New Media Central 1) – The basic WordPress website is pretty stripped down, but plug-ins and themes can perk up its appearance, simplify your workflow, and streamline your mobile delivery. The former director of CoPress will show you some of the best add-ons, teach you some nifty design tricks, and tell you how to keep your site running at peak efficiency.
  • Making WordPress work for you (Sunday, 10-10:50 a.m., New Media Central 1) – Considered making the switch to WordPress? The former director of CoPress offers tips on how to make an open-source content management system work for your organization. Learn the pleasures and pitfalls of migrating from another CMS and why WordPress is a good solution for college newspapers.

My goal is to make each primers on core concepts, include usable takeaways, and offer lots of links for later digestion. In the first, I intend to cover topics like backups, version control, development sandboxes, and performance, a few different tools, and several of my favorite plugins. See my notes in progress on a Google Doc. In the second, I’d like to give a complete overview of migrating to WordPress, including how to migrate your archives, what to look for in a web host, and where you can train your staff, and then have a healthy Q&A session at the end. These notes are also in progress in a Google Doc.

If you have any concepts, tricks, or wisdom you think I need to cover, please let me know. I’d be happy to credit you in the presentation. I also intend to publish my full notes for reference prior to the sessions.