Month: April 2018

Closing Remarks

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At 1:50pm on 4/29/2018, I attended the Closing Remarks, Presented by Steve Mortiboy and the leadership team of WordCamp, at the 2018 Raleigh Wordcamp Convention in the Engineering Building II of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

Closing Remarks

WordPress team members have come a long way, California, New York, etc. This year is bigger than every other year, and its constantly on the grow. This whole event works only because of our sponsors.

Our Sponsors

We would like to thank all of our sponsors below ,without who, WordCamp Raleigh would not be possible.



BoldGridBoldGrid is a website builder powered by WordPress. It is a free set of WordPress plugins, themes, and other content that allows site creation and management similar to non-WordPress website builders. By placing WordPress more in line with DIY site builder solutions on the market, our mission is not only to make WordPress more accessible and easy for beginners to utilize, but also automate and streamline typical WordPress tasks to provide a fast, creator-friendly platform that even web professionals will appreciate.

Experience WordPress as a website builder, including: free pre-built themes, drag and drop editing, integrated image banks, simplified photo editing, built-in staging, automated backups, and so much more.

BoldGrid will have you creating professional looking WordPress sites in minutes!


All in One SEO Pack

All in One SEO PackAll in One SEO Pack Pro is the popular WordPress SEO plugin, developed since 2007 by Michael Torbert and Semper Plugins of Raleigh North Carolina, for managing the Search Engine Optimization of your website or blog. All in One SEO Pack is one of the most downloaded plugin for WordPress with over 40 million downloads. Chances are you’ve searched Google and found a website that’s running this powerful WordPress plugin.


WooCommerce28% of all online stores are powered by WooCommerce. Built on WordPress, WooCommerce is a fully customizable, open source eCommerce solution.

Whether you’re selling a few handcrafted items to a niche market, taking an existing business online, or going global with an enterprise level eCommerce business – WooCommerce will get you set up and selling fast and scale securely as you grow. Plus your content will be forever yours and customizable down to the finest button color.

Developed and supported by a distributed team, WooCommerce is powered by Automattic, the creators of


JetpackTransform how you work with your WordPress sites and rest easy knowing they’re always firing on all cylinders. Jetpack connects your site to the global services, community, and support provided by so you can focus on the stuff that matters.

Jetpack automatically shields your site from the unwanted attention of spammers, hackers, and malware, while real-time sync and backup means you don’t have to worry about data loss. Straightforward traffic-building tools help you attract the attention of readers and search engines. Pages and videos are delivered at high speed from a global, ad-free content delivery network.

With Jetpack’s Affiliate program you can earn 20% for every sale of Jetpack to your customers and clients. And with unlimited referrals, the sky’s the limit! Refer as many clients and contacts as you can, and get paid for every sale you generate.

Make your site work for you. Get your Jetpack today at


BluehostBluehost has been a WordPress partner since 2005 and powers over 1 million WordPress sites worldwide. Their objective is to help customers, whether novice or pro, create a thriving online presence at an affordable price. With a team of in-house tech experts available 24/7, Bluehost dedicates time and resources to providing the best support and services in the industry. Join millions of other site owners and see what Bluehost can do for you and your online presence.



GoDaddyGoDaddy Pro offers a robust suite of free tools to web developers & designers to help them save time managing all their clients and sites. With GoDaddy Pro, you can easily shop for your client, monitor their sites, and manage all their WordPress websites from one place. Exclusive time-saving tools let you update WordPress core, plugins and themes with one click, as well as automate WordPress backups, cloning and migrations. Get real-time performance, security and uptime monitoring across all your websites. Additionally, your free membership includes advanced 24/7 technical support.

When you pair GoDaddy Pro with GoDaddy hosting products, the benefits are even greater.

Check out the Free Tools


DreamHostSince 1997 DreamHost has helped individuals, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and developers worldwide bring their dreams to life on the Internet. A leader in Managed WordPress hosting, over 400,000 customers trust DreamHost to be their online home. Supporting the open source community with dedicated resources and a passionate team, DreamHost believes in the power of the Open Web and the people that make it happen. Learn more at



AndiSitesAndiSites is an award-winning, down-to-earth digital agency based in Chapel Hill, NC. We make user-friendly, mobile-friendly WordPress websites for businesses, higher education, and government organizations. AndiSites’ goals are to demystify technology and make the web a friendlier place. We listen. We’re different. You’ll see.

A2 Hosting

A2 HostingSince 2003, A2 Hosting has specialized in linux-based, developer-friendly hosting. We cater to the WordPress community by offering robust servers and hosting accounts at an affordable cost. Whether you have never run a website before or a professional developer, rest assured we have a web hosting solution to meet your unique needs. Best of all, we back up our hosting with 24/7 US-based support available by phone, ticket, or live chat.

At A2, we dedicate a percentage of our development time to WordPress as part of the Five for the Future initiative, and we are active in the WordPress community. We support many WordCamps and WordPress meetups around the country and several members of our team help organize their local WordCamps, including WordCamp Ann Arbor and WordCamp Jackson.


HomeAdvisorHomeAdvisor is an easy way for homeowners to find and connect with trusted home improvement, maintenance and repair professionals.

A leading online home improvement marketplace, we’ve connected more millions homeowners to our network to hundreds of thousands of prescreened home service professionals covering over 500 different types of projects.

We offer our homeowners a comprehensive suite of tools, products and services such as our patented Profinder, True Cost Guide, Instant Connect and Instant Booking. Access to all of the site’s features is free to homeowners, with no membership fees.

In Kind


StickerGiantStickerGiant is an e-commerce company that prints custom stickers and product labels. They make it fast, fun and easy to order with quality guaranteed. Every sticker has a story. What’s yours?

Farside Films

Farside FilmsFarside Films is a production company with roots through out the southeast and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. They specialize in videography and photography for live music events, independent shorts, local and regional commercials, website marketing videos, music videos and other media. They have a passion for creativity in every aspect of production which can be seen the work from script to screen.

Farside Films is proud to be a sponsor for the 2018 WordCamp Raleigh conference.


Hosting Decisions


Pixel Propeller

Shepherds Loft


Penner Web Design

Hope Schaefer


Bluehost goes the extra mile

Bluehost gave away a 55″ HD television to a lucky participant.


The video from this content will be made available via WordPressTV at some point in the future.


Come and please take part in the WP Meetups. What do you want to learn? is it a subject, a speaker, something else? Do you want to organize, speak, take part?


Next year will be our 10-yr anniversary. if you want to help plan, assist, host, etc. please let us know. Find us on the internet, email us or call.

Post-conference feedback would be helpful and should be given. Please help us improve! Take time to fill those out and we really value the feedback. Every year we strive to improve. Help us.


Please give us your lanyards so that we can recycle and improve the process, and costs. Last thought was of course to travel carefully one and all. They’ll hope to see us again.

3 SEO Strategies for building a Bigger Online Community

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At 10:00am on 4/29/2018, I attended3 SEO Strategies for building a Bigger Online Community, Presented by Amanda Gorman of Pressable, at the 2018 Raleigh Wordcamp Convention in the Engineering Building I of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

3 SEO Strategies for building a Bigger Online Community


WordPress Community: An entity where connection is democratized and ideas are made tangible. The community is a way for us to move from “I just want traffic” to questions like: who are these people, what do they want?

Community = Connections

We started out with the intention: Learn how to boost your SEO to build a bigger community online with 3 simple strategies:

  1. Keyword Research & Organization
  2. Leveraging Competitor Insights
  3. Writing Content that Resonates.

Intended Audience: Web designers, developers, Nonprofits. Beginner

Tending to your garden

LIke a garden, your community needs care on an almost daily basis. This “tending to”is about seeing what’s needed and then providing what is needed. What ideas are you planting in the garden? that really starts with keyword research. Knowing that this is your piece of the landscape.

How do we build a bigger online community

how do we get traffic, more conversions, more conversations? Go down your own path. Be intentional, be aware, build your own trust. These aspects will be so important an answer that you’ll want to push that first.

Be intentional

Keyword Research. This is where the ideas are planted and the SEO strategies start. Why are you doing what you’re doing? Take your time and have direction in what you’re doing. Watch those competitors and place your focus best. Client experience shows that insight into where to start can be incredibly beneficial. The rabbit holes exist, but they are not always helpful.

Core Concepts

Knowing the keywords you want to rank for vs. Knowing the keywords that are being searched. You want to be the go to person for a particular term. Wo, what is that term? The principal often has a big idea. Start with 20 keywords, expand it, then narrow it back down

“Empathy is the starting point for creating a community and takiing action. it is the impetus for creating change” Max Carver.

What does the community want and how can you expand it?

Keyword Research: Seed Keyword

The seed keywords are competitive and its good to get this before you talk with clients.

  • What are your keywords?
    • brand name
    • products or services
    • consider all possible scenarios
    • brandump words associated with your site
  • Example: Garden Center
    • garden supply
    • container gardening
    • gardening tips
    • backyard landscaping
    • gardening gifts

STEP 1: Dump seed keywords into google. See the related search terms. Perhaps you’ve forgotten catalogs, coupons, warehouses, and perhaps some of these you DON’T want to focus on

STEP 2: Working with Seed Terms build a list

  • spreadsheet in google sheets
    • ubersuggest
    • keyword tool
    • google correlate
    • google trends
    • soovle
    • answer the public: This is a great tool. When you see the same questions here you’re asking or hearing, its great to

Objective: Tap into  long-tail keyword phrases athat are specific to your audience, their needs, desires and pain-points. Remember: Seed Keyword + Modifier = Long-tail Keyword

Using tabs with Seed Keywords, we fill in the modifiers and use that to fill in the content for your site.


Keyword research: Google Keyword planner & The Doc

Enter your keyword findings into google Keyword Planner

  • Keyword
  • clicks
  • impressions
  • cost
  • click through rate
  • average CPC

Your seed keywords are going to be the most competitive. IDentify how much people are willing to spend. Copy/past the information into the spreadsheet

A massive document is overwhelming. Make it clear and concise.

Competitor analysis: be aware

its spying a little bit, but its more about market research, how you’ll become an authority in your niche. Its not a negative. understand your competitors so you can provide what’s missing. What can you provide that they are not?

MOZ bar is a free tool. Plug in your keyword to google, turn on the moz bar

  1. enter keyword
  2. look for one or more below
  3. review quality of content
  • pages with <20PA and DA. if less than 20, you can do a good job and get ranked!
  • ezine articles
  • yahoo! answers
  • buzzle
  • squidoo lenses
  • hubpages
  • ebay
  • blogspot (or other free blog)
  • spammy press release sites

Let’s Have a Look at the Moz bar in action

High page authority means you won’t sneak in there. You’re not trying to beat the whole domain, you’re really only trying to have value for a specific page.

page authority are a lot lower here. This would be a great work to focus on. Gettting on the list will take time and effort, but find the gaps where you’ll fit in

Content Writing: Build Trust

have a trust mindset to build that copy. Forget the mindset of what you want, and build a connection and build trust. Be a place people can visit to get the answers they want fully and wholly.

Tips for success:

  • Write freely first
  • Use your target keyword at the beginning. don’t use more than 3 times, but have document open to the terms page, and include the related search terms, and don’t overuse or push that content or overstuff.
  • Keep your sentences concies
  • Include images, charts, videos and lists. People are also visual learner.
  • Create comprehensive content. This is key.  Rather than provide information overload with a short reply, be comprehensive. Give a full comprehensive report on each additional item

Improve Click-through rate

Quora & Udemy shows that there is a question and a need. Look at structure of content, and get inspired on how you might approach the subject. What’s missing? What questions have been asked which you can elaborate on, answer easier.

Add modifiers to your titles:

  • How to
  • the current year
  • review
  • best
  • fast
  • checklist
  • guide
  • tipseasy
  • simple
  • Use a number

Include bucket brigades: Add these headlines between content in an effort to re=catch the reader:

  • Here’s the deal
  • now
  • whats the bottom line
  • you might be wondering
  • this is crazy
  • it gets better/words
  • but here’s the kicker
  • want to know the best part?

The better you understand the content and the audience, the better you become and your website becomes. Keep People coming back to get that killer content.

Question & Answer

Content Length for a post?

500 minimum, but 1,000+ is better. better to write more and publish less than publish often but keep people reading than to publish often and not enough content

How to assist our customer?

Here’s what competitor does. it looks like… if you write this… dive deep into the specifics, and ask what they want to write about. Help them pick down to 5-10 key terms.

How much time should we expect to take building this list?

2 weeks of time. depending on the number of tabs.30 tabs might take  6 hours. Many clients only take 2 hours. From that step, its time to push the data and see how the trends show up.

What if I’m notified of a Keyword overload?

If you have too much, consider related words. Use google keyword suggest to pull secondary words and use those in the place of the oft-repeated term

What if you’re just getting started?

make connections with related industries. Life coach might find doctors and psychologist to connect with. Find a voice unfound and press into that niche. Be consistent with writing and promoting.

Other Suggestions

Brian Dean of Backlinko


See the whole slide deck at:


Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman helps nonprofits and wellness-based businesses build thriving online communities. As a Customer Success Coordinator at GiveWP she works diligently each day to assist nonprofits in growing their communities and receiving more donations online to make a bigger impact in the world. As an SEO consultant, she’s passionate about tending to the internet like a gardener would tend to their garden, so it can become a safe and fun place to connect again. Amanda uses her SEO superpowers to help her clients better understand their purpose, their audience, and how to better reach their people. Amanda is in love with her husband Casey, her nephew Jackson, and their dog Topanga whom all live together in Rochester, New York.

Optimizing Images in WordPress to Improve Performance and SEO

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At 11:20am on 4/29/2018, I attended Optimizing Images in WordPress to Improve Performance and SEO, Presented by Steve Mortiboy of Pressable, at the 2018 Raleigh Wordcamp Convention in the Engineering Building I of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

Optimizing Images in WordPress to Improve Performance and SEO

This session is really aimed at beginners who want to understand how to leverage images to improve their website. I’m hoping we’ll take a hands-on look at things you should do when adding images and common mistakes to avoid that could negatively impact your site, especially with search engines.

Intended Audience:  Beginners

What we’re supposed to cover:

We need to think about performance, image optimazation, SEO, performance, etc.

Embedding Images

We’re doing this without proper sizes, etc. and we don’t really think about how it might affect performance, or adjust the layout.


JPG, PNG, GIF. We cover this material, and its good content

File Size

this is the biggest problem. Taking an image from our phone or other device is huge, 10MB or more. High def is even worse. Before uploading into wordpress, we’ll want to adjust it. The smaller the better, with 100KB or smaller as ideal.


A 600px content area will not need 1000px width content. in Settings, Media you can adjust your content sizes. Your media may not convert to those sizes, even if supposed to. WordPresss does not know the content, it just crops the images as it feels the data tells it. Beware oversized images. Editing an image on the page allows you to set custom sizes

Image Resolution

DPI and PPI only apply to printing. It do affect image size in the file however. There is a myth of 72dpi. we don’t need to do that in our websites.

Images per page. The more images appear on a page, the more you need ot consider file sizes and page load times. Remember your mobile device users. Consider using a gallery or slideshow such as:

  • JetPack Tiles Galleries
  • JetPack Carousel

Do not load the image initially. Load only when requested.

Image Linking

Where should we link an image embedded? Should it load the media file. attachment page, custome URL, or nothing? LInking the media file should be reconsidered. That just loads the image in the browser. Google following that link only sees the file, no information, and the user must push the back button.

Consider instead an attachment page. This is an older forgotten page type. An attachment page is a wordpress page. You can add these theme pages with styles, links, back buttons, exit data, etc. It allows information such as MetaData to provide richer content to our customers in ways such as location and date. It allows us to add Meta tags, SEO, anything you’d like. You may not know you’re even on a page only for a photo. Google will index that page.

Custom URL is useful for custom button creators, etc.  Uploading a button linking to a particular page (such as contact us) allows you to create linkable, custom pages which can also be indexed.

An item with no reason to click on an image, you should just select none.

Image ownership

This is a big issue over the years. Big companies are seeking out smaller companies to Quash. Just because you found it doesn’t mean you can use it. There are different types of license. Consider using the Creative Commons Search Tools at:

Stock Images

For the love of Pete, don’t do it. They’ve been done to death. Take your own photos, be real and be genuine. It brings nothing to the visitor to be seeing general images.


Lossless compression reduces file size without losing quality. Lossy compression reduces file size with possible loss of quality. Your goal is to reduce a web image to 100KB or less. Granted, it always depends on the original image.

  1. Photoshop
  2. GIMP
  3. for mac
  4. tinyPNG at
  5. jpegmini at
  6. EWWW image optimizer plugin


Retina schreens and displays are common.


  • using plugins, WPRetina 2x
  • using SVG
  • HTML method src=”image-800×600.jpg” width=”400″ height=”300″

Image SEO

1000+ line pages are boring. Images are sticky, they keep us there and easily tell us if we’re in the right place. Keep the visitor on the site, but also keep the visitor finding the site. Make your imagery search-engine friendly.

  1. Image Filename: DSC_005612987 doesn’t tell us anything. Rename your images to something which is helpful for search engines. You cannot rename the file once its uploaded because the images is posted in the server. If you’re using the same file on different pages, upload the same file with a different name. It may look the same, but it will be seen as different by search engines and computers which matter.
  2. Title attribute. Set the title and alt text to the content of the page, not the image. rather than describing the image, link it to the page and make it easier to find the page
  3. Alt text. Required for many governmental website.
  4. attachment page. Add the SEO title, the SEO description
  5. include images in your XML sitemap. AllInOneSEO automatically includes these items in the XML sitemap

Images for social media

Cathcing people’s information is really important, and a good high-quality image can really get you that click-through. Use a plugin to set that image. Create a custom image which is properly sized just for social media. Social media images can be shared and cached. It may only be for 7 days (facebook). Twitter and LinkedIn make it difficult to clear that cache.

Image sizes for social media

  • facebook images 1200px x 630px
  • twitter images 900px x 450px
  • pinterest images 236p x scaled height
  • instagram images 1080px x 1080px

Image Caching and CDN

  • JetPack Photon
  • WP Super Cache
  • W3 Total Cache
  • MaxCDN
  • Amazon CloudFront

Test using Google PageSpeed Insights:



Steve Mortiboy

Steve Mortiboy is the COO and Service Delivery Manager for Semper Plugins. He leads the team that develops plugins such as All in One SEO Pack. He has been working with WordPress for over 8 years and devotes much of his time to helping people get the most from WordPress. He is also one of the co-organizers of WordCamp Raleigh and the Raleigh WordPress Meetup Group. When not hard at work he’s working on DIY projects at home or off traveling.

Donuts and Business Cards: WordCamp 2018 Day 2

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At 9:30am on 4/29/2018, I attended Donuts and Business Cards Presented by Rise Donuts, at the 2018 Raleigh Wordcamp Convention in the Engineering Building I of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

Donuts and Business Cards: WordCamp 2018 Day 2

I Came to enjoy Rise Donuts, and network with your fellow attendees. This social event took place in the main sponsor area near the registration desk. It was nice in the morning to talk with the WordCamp volunteers before most people showed up.

I would like to take a second to compliment Rise Donuts. If you know me, you may understand that I am Big and Cheap. Similarly, I recognize quantity over quality as the deciding factor more often than not. I prefer to be full rather than piqued. The first donut I had was crusted with nilla wafers, filled with fresh whipped creme, and tasted of light banana. It was a banana pudding donut! I’d never enjoyed anything like that in a donut before, so that was a clear winner for the day. may be interested in contacting students about intern or entry-level possibilities, so that’s a nice perk.

I’ll be honest, I went back for another banana pudding donut. 

I had an opportunity to assist Annick Lenoir-Peek of which you can visit at: The Common Traveler  She was an excellent individual with a really nice blog on her website. I had a chance to see a few of the articles, maybe you will have a look.  🙂

I think this’ll be a great day!

I Know I should use SVGs, But I Don’t Know How

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At 9:15am on 4/28/2018, I attended I Know I should use SVGs, But I Don’t Know How, Presented by Colin Lord of Pressable, at the 2018 Raleigh Wordcamp Convention in the Engineering Building II of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

I Know I should use SVGs, But I Don’t Know How

Using SVG images are a lot like going to the gym. We all know we *should* be using them when we write our front end code, but we end up putting it off for another project down the road. And when SVGs are used, they are often implemented in a way that doesn’t unlock their full potential.

During this presentation, I hope we’ll discuss the best practices for SVG implementation and how they vary depending on the size and audience of your site. Perhaps we will also go through what an SVG sprite is, how to create one, and why they’re awesome. According to Advanced Web, only 3% of sites on the internet use this technique…but 97% of browsers support it!

After this talk, I hope to be ready to work on SVGs effectively.

Everything we’re talking about will work on wordpress 4 & 5

The slides will be available. The Coke bottle is an SVG, and it means there are notes in the slides

These Image types have been available over the last 10 years.


SVG Compliment the other image types. You won’t stop using the others. there are 3 types we use, but there’s room for a 4th.

SVG files are smaller than jpg, png, gif

The logo for this company is either 0.5kb or 12kb depending on file type. That’s a dramatic savings on file type. Also,they are HDPI ready. They don’t have to be saved as a 2x, 3x, and you are future saving as well.

At a larger size, there is no difference in quality, but this is not true with bitmap graphics. Vector graphics do not increase in file size and no loss in quality. This is opposite with raster graphics.


What’s the browser support like?

the only red column is IE8. Unless you are worried about old IE versions, it works across the board, and works with CSS grid. They are easy and efficient to animate, giving more framerate and can manipulate it with CSS and javaScript. One SVG with javascript inside. Rather than exporting 365 graphics, a single SVG can be used for a whole calendar.

Chris Coyier Practical SVG is a fine book. This book is about creation, export, advocation on SVG at the 4th graphic type.


How do we use them correctly and efficiently?

there are ways to use this correctly and incorrectly. Photoshop can export anything as an SVG. Bitmaps (raster) is not a good SVG image. Once exported how can you use them:

You can treat it like any other image, and it will be treated the same way. Its pretty simple to put them into a webpage. The logo has size advantage and will be used well on any

Image is not loaded into the DOM. It just sees the size as a square. SVG at its core is just code, so you can load it into the dom

This gibberish all came out of illustrator. SVG vectors are really just a lot of math. How do we get on this? This is horribly against several brand guidelines. You can use any CSS, color change, states, etc. You can open the SVG in any text editor, and then post this item into the HTML

It is clear why to use that: there is so much to take advantage of.

rather than consider how much it is to deal with those items, this would be ridonkulous. To fix that, we use the SVG Sprite.

These are less important and people have pushed them out of style. It was tedious and not fun. You create and image window and long background image. It slides around as needed.

Here’s a basic example:

children inside the SVG sprite are symbols, and we give a name or ID inside for each. we use the name SVG- at the front so that we are not confused with it as a CSS Class. The viewbox here is the spacing. The title tag may or may not come with titles out of illustrator. The main takeaway is that the title may be something you wish to add yourself.

An SVG sprite is something we’re not displaying, but we’re putting symbols in in the code.

CLient logo, search and star are being used here. top images are at bottom of <header.php> file. Stars are only on the profile pages.

Social media icons can use a single sprite. You only need to link to it a single time.

this is all relegated to a file (erb?) which can be somewhere on the page

There are more ways, but these are 4 easy ones which we can use. There are more which can be used and they don’t always work well, such as SVG Injector

WIth this, we load the library. Anywhere we use Inject-Me class, the Image.svg is removed and the new items are added in the place at a browser and server level. The problem, it loads the image twice. First it loads the page, loads the javascript, loads the images again. That means we see the images show up, remove, show up again.

If the client saw it, that’s bad. Also not a good performance trick. Of the 4 examples we’ve discussed, there hasn’t been a time when the materials didn’t work properly.

Use FontAwesome. Load it into your site. Use them in your site. The iconset is fantastic.

Look at the material here. The HTML method (97% of use) has the most red X in them. Before you go down that road, its how many people use it, but its very, very limited.


The takeaway here: There’s a place for a 4th file type here.

Slides at



The Logitech Spotlight (works with bluetooth and also dongle) was used in this presentation, and it was fantastic!

Exporting from illustrator?

Use the web-optimized version so that you keep things clean and clear

Colin Lord

Colin Lord is a Senior Front End Developer for Modea in Blacksburg, Virginia. He has spent the last three years working in the healthcare industry for the Vanderbilt University Medical System, the Duke University Health System, and Carilion Clinic. Before that, he spent time in the music industry building sites for artists like Brad Paisley, Garth Brooks, Imagine Dragons, and The Band Perry. Other clients that have crossed his path are Verizon Wireless, ADT Home Security and DirecTV.

You Don’t Have Any Business Cards?

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At 4:35pm on 4/28/2018, I attended You Don’t Have Any Business Cards? Presented by Ray Mitchell,  owner of SixFour Web Design & Marketing, at the 2018 Raleigh Wordcamp Convention in the Engineering Building I of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

You Don’t Have Any Business Cards?

This happens a lot at formal networking events, but it happens even more frequently at WordCamp. Do you feel intimidated when it’s time to give your “30 second commercial”? Do you run out of things to talk about once you’ve exchanged names?

Effective networking is an important part of building your WordPress business. This presentation will help you get past the “grip and grin” stigma that people associate with networking and cover some ways that you can get the most out of mixing it up at networking groups, “business after hours” meetups, and of course the Hallway Track at conferences like WordCamp. Whether your an introvert or an extrovert, you’re sure to pick up a thing or two.

Ray meets people at networking events and conferences all the time, and this talk came out of the frustration as part of meeting individuals but not finding they had business cards.

disclaimer: this presentation is not about business cards

Networking is for slackers and shmoozers, until you have to do it. A slacker was never available because he was always networking. No work was getting done. Later, when the slacker got fired, he was able to score a job 3 levels above where his coworkers were, due to his network of contacts.

The Grip & Grin cycle is important, and its the way you have to work when you’re working for yourself or working for a small business, that’s your job now. One guy saved his life from a networking event, saved his life. He blew up at a friend at the time because he didn’t want to go  out and network.

Networking IS the work

Over the years, the majority of the work comes not from the website, but rather from the relationships. The word of mouth is important to getting a strong, solid base of work. This flipped a switch and he became a network evangelist.

The purpose of networking is to build and forge relationships. You either spend time building your relationships, knowledge, or bank balances. People who can use you, who can get to know you, or people who can network for you and come to know your worth.

So where can you build relationships

Business networking groups, chamber of commerce events, in your Uber, Grand Opneings and Ribbon Cuttings, conferences and Associations Meetings, Civic Groups, Little League or Soccer Games. Uber, for example is not the dream job. They have daytime jobs, and the Uber is a side job. give them a card. Meet at the ribbon cuttings. You’ll meet people who’re involved in community, and they’ll get to know you. People in your industry are referrals. The way to be known, liked and trusted is to be out in the public and in positive humor.

Elevator Speech

Give a concise description of what you, who your clients are, and communicate in a compelling way.


the goal of the 30 second commercial is to get someone to say “How do you do that?” If you can explain how and why of what you do. The first person who says “So what do you do” wins, because you can change your 30  second commercial to tailor your answer to suit their circumstances. Many people will tell you everything they have, whether there is a need or not.

Plan to meet all individuals again. First, its polite. Second, you are building a long-term relationship. If you’re building a long-term relationship, you don’t have to have to talk about everything right away. Its OK if you don’t get the lead right away, its the over time relationship that counts.

Now what do I talk about?

You can be an introvert when you go home, but when you’re in business, you need to talk. Rather than bringing up a conversation on shapes, but instead talk FORM

  • Family
  • Occupation
  • Recreation
  • Message of your business

What should I not do?

Don’t BURP

  • Bad jokes
  • Uncomfortable Childhood Experience
  • Religion
  • Politics

Networking is not about you

What can you do to help others? Is there an article or resource you can recommend? Is there someone at the event you could introduce them to? Is the person a good service provider for a client or your family? Is this person a good partner for your business?

Follow up after the event

Good meeting you, let’s get together for coffee. Can I give you a call after wordcamp? It was great meeting you, are you on linkedIN? Can I send you an invite? This can immediately give steam and connections online.

We talked about making both BAD and GOOD business cards, but honestly as a designer, this is a bit of a no-brainer. That said, it was good information for those who don’t know.

Consider making a connetion with Ray:

Question & Answers

What happens when you see a website but a public domain email? I love it! its a job opportunity, because the person who sold them a website did not sell them email. And, if they didn’t sell them branded email for their business, and also the business cards went by without it, what else have they missed? This shows a slack and unsavory designer was on the job, and its probably time for someone like me to take over.

In a piggyback question, I asked Ray how he might approach that situation to build that relationship while pointing out the flaw, and his answer was very smart: First, he’d visit the website and see the copyright information, or if there even was any. Then, after gauging the age of the website, he’d contact the individual. He’d mention first that they met, and where that was. He’d mention that he had the card and that he noticed the discrepency. He’d talk about how the branded email could help their business, and if that was something they’d like to talk about. He also mention that if their website had not been updated recently if that was something they’d also like to talk about.

In short, he approached it more from a “we know each other, can I help you” level rather than a “you’ve got a flaw, let me fix it”. That was awesome.


Ray Mitchell

Ray is the owner of SixFour Web Design & Marketing, which focuses on meeting the unique marketing needs of small businesses and non-profit organizations. He also serves as a Mentor at the Small Business Center at Forsyth Technical Community College.

Active in the local community, Ray is a member of, and sits on the board, of several community non-profit organizations.

Freelancer’s Guide to Survival with WordPress

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At 3:25pm on 4/28/2018, I attended the Freelancer’s Guide to Survival with WordPress, Presented by  Kyle Laverty of Laverty Creative, at the 2018 Raleigh Wordcamp Convention in the Engineering Building I of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

Freelancer’s Guide to Survival with WordPress

Surviving as a freelancer can be tough. I didn’t have a guide when I started. I read some articles, looked at other freelancers, and still it wasn’t a very straightforward process. I wish I would have had a guide.

In this presentation, I will go over what it takes to not just survive as a WordPress freelancer but hopefully thrive as well. I will provide useful tools, links, and info on how to find work, where to look for inspiration, mental health, and work/life balance as a freelancer.

Kyle began talking about how the hour before speaking is usually the toughest, but that once the show begins, that all goes away. I understand how that can be.

Being a freelancer is great, its a constant learning experience, and you cannot ever stop learning.

What is a freelancer

A self-employed person. A designer , writer, developer, writer, maintainer, digital marketer, SEO Specialist, and more. A wordpress freelancer may require one or more of any of these.

How to get started

Its hard to know how to get started as a freelancer. A website for yourself is a great way to make that happen. As a freelancer is to gather a plan, make a process, and then proceed

  • Develop a plan

    • See what others are doing
    • Write down your goal
    • Choose your niche. Stay open to other options though.
    • Determine your rate. Value your time and see what you can create. Look for 20% profit. You’ll end up working on things you do not value it you don’t watch out.
  • Process

    • Define it. How do you do what you do? Will the customer have a different idea if you don’t state it?
    • Stick with it. Be flexible with your process, but have something in place to stick with
  • Proceed

    • Register your business
    • Create your website
    • Create case studies. People should be able to see your work
    • Promote it. Promote via social media.

Failure is the key to success

We know because we’ve failed a bunch of time, but still here today. Its ok to fail. Failure leads to success, and you can accept failure. Move on, and learn the hard way. Write it down if you need it, to remember it in the future. Pick up the pieces, and make the necesasry changes. Every client is different, and every client needs to be handled differently. Some people don’t change after they’ve failed, so they make the difference or they repeat it

Where people fail

Common areas of failure are clear. Going full time too soon is a way to find out you cannot make it. Do it part time and build from there. “If you build it, they will come. Later”. Watch out for idea overload. This is one in which you think you can do more than you can actually succeed. Taking on too much at once is a serious issue. You cannot communicate, or only to let them know you cannot succeed on time. Customer service is another way to drop the ball. Not handling properly, treating unresponsively or without communication. Be responsive and you will not fail.

How to succeed

What can you do to succeed? You need the proper mindset. The right mindset means an eye on completions and make the work happen without pushing it off. Set your expectations. If you set no expectations for yourself, how can you monitor whether you’re achieving goals? Are you able to do what you want? Don’t expect things to happen right away. You need to work at it. Engage with people. Attend conferences, attend meetups. Meet people, get in front of them

Where to find freelance work?

Google it, craigslist ad ($5.00). Your local chamber of commerce is a great set. Twitter is great, but you’ve got to search for the right terms, like “hate wordpress” or “[expletive] wordpres”. You can fix those people’s materials. Facebook groups and LinkedIn are fine sources. Consider sending out flyers. Host a workshop for others and show your stuff. Cold calls or emails. Do whatever works.

What about Finding Clients?

Freelancing Tools

  • Register your business
    • Legalzoom
  • Proposals, contracts, invoicing
    • Wave
    • Shake law
  • Task Manaagment
    • Evernote
    • Debugle
  • Taxes
    • Painless1099

Not Just Survive But Thrive

  • Ask Clients for a review or testimonial. They like to give this out, especially if there’s been good service
  • Content creation
    • Post to your blog regularly
    • Create an eBook. Have them sign up with an email and
    • Create tutorials
    • Put logo and name on the bottom of your presentation
  • Speak at Conferences
  • Give Current Clients a referral bonus
  • Keep Doing what you’re doing

Do what you’ve been doing, but of course avoid the failure issues.

How to Maintain It All

  • Keep your sanity
    • Take breaks
    • Set specific hours for yourself
    • Get help if you need help
  • Don’t overload yourself
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff



Kyle Laverty

Kyle is a freelance digital creative in Apex, NC. Originally from Pittsburgh, he served 4 years in the Air Force working on fighter jets before transitioning out and eventually finding an interest in web design and development.

A self-taught developer, Kyle currently does freelance work for several different companies as part of his freelance business, Laverty Creative. In addition to this, he manages a veteran-focused website, Creative Vets, and also designs T-Shirts for Peak of Things.

Outside of that he enjoys spending time with his fiancé, 5 kids and 2 dogs.

The Proper Feeding, Care and Growth of Your WordPress Website

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At 9:15am on 4/28/2018, I attended The Proper Feeding, Care and Growth of Your WordPress Website, Presented by Adam Silver,  of WPConcierge, at the 2018 Raleigh Wordcamp Convention in the Engineering Building I of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

The Proper Feeding, Care and Growth of Your WordPress Website

A website is a living and breathing piece of your overall business & marketing plan. You need to feed it! This presentation will cover why a website isn’t a “set it and forget it” entity.

Learn about content creation types, determine the need for enhanced features (eCommerce, membership, LMS), ways to encourage visitor engagement, website security and site backups and when it might be time to redesign the site itself.

Intended Audience: Beginner


How many of us have websites? Last update? Many of us have sites but we’re not adding content.

The Old

Static HTML. We had tables and frames. Truly coded sites include Internet Explorer is Evil, and Ask Jeeves

The New

CMS/Database Driven (content management system). Optimized for speed. Easily Updated and maintained. Truly coded sites include WRAL Tech Wire, and Can You Start Yesterday.

How many websites can you handle? Competition is fierce. Work from a place of abundance, not scarcity. Its a waste of energy to say “Joe is getting work and I’m not”. What we do we like, but it takes time.


  • 86% of the US on the internet
  • 40% of global users, more than 1billion people, have bought products or goods online
  • 65% of web usage is on mobile

Local Stats

  • 85% of consumers use internet to find local businesses
  • 35% read reviews to make purchasing decisions
  • 65% of web usage is mobile


How to Grow Your Website

  1. Design & Functionality
  2. Content
  3. Engagement


Design & Functionality

  • Mobile Ready it needs to meet the needs of the clients and audience
  • SEO Needs to be found by search engines. Best SEO is uploading content on a constant basis that your audience needs.
  • E-Commerce it needs to have the ability to make money, find it easily, and search or organize what you need.


  • Fresh + Which Format? The content should be new and changing. Is it text, video, podcast, images, etc.
  • Relevant Material The material should be relevant to what the audience wants and needs. Keep them coming back, but find your audience. Don’t be everything to everyone
  • Actionable Make it something people can do


  • Social Media I’d rather have 5 email addresses than 1,000 likes. Its permission to market to the individual. This is an outpost. use this to explore and bring others home
  • Owning vs Renting. The social media could crash at any time, so get the connect
  • Tools

Growth: Tools & Services

Freelance vs Agency? More work than you can handle, you’re an agency. You’re busier in a different way. You can scale. Is the business growing? Shotgun sales allow you to either build or sell, but you very likely cannot do both. Get developers who can do what you need, and will work at a rate you can afford. Know your strengths.

The old approach was to email an individual and CC to the Trello board. no followup, and cold call. Plenty of people are doing your same job. Get a CRM for the business.

So he Tested the CRM of other successful users (hubspot, agileCRM, pipedrive). Hubspot was nice, but features included major cost increases. AgileCRM was automated, but there was not enough of a personal touch. Pipedrive has pipelines for integration. The $20 monthly for email is a great system

meet (give a date to contact, call, action) > sent an email (systemize what you can). Links for longer trial dates are out there

[Growth tool % slide]

Email marketing still works. to install a free level of setting meetings. Start free and invest in what works


The lead magnet concept is amazing and straight forward. Give the tips away, because at the end of the day, they’d rather hire someone.

Launch checklist. Start with mailchimp for free. Constant Contact is getting better, but there are still issues. iContact is also OK

Optinmonster gives a double confirm, and before you go (exit intent alert). People hate these, but they work.

Abandon Cart. 85% of people who put things in the cart, leave. Some services put those items in AJAX, and send an email within a few minutes (hey you left this, do you still want it?), within a day (we haven’t heard from you yet) and then a coupon 4 days later 20% off. It was a lost sale anyways. JILT is for wooCommerce and several other services.

Spend your time on content. Put the time and effort to update content. Because you work too hard, you do not update the blog, and then your site looks out of date and abandoned. Keep adding the products and services to the site to keep the pages moving.




Adam Silver

Adam is a native of California, though relocated to North Carolina in 2017. Currently providing WordPress development and support services through He produces 2 weekly podcasts at & The Get Options Podcast & was the lead organizer for WordCamp Los Angeles 2016 & 2017. In his free time, he speaks at industry events sharing his insights & expertise into all things digital. Married for 19 years to his amazing wife & has 3 wickedly cool kids.

Beyond the Website – Small Businesses and WordPress

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At 9:15am on 4/28/2018, I attended the Beyond the Website – Small Businesses and WordPress, Presented by  Adam Sewell, of MyGeek Technologies, at the 2018 Raleigh Wordcamp Convention in the Engineering Building I of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

Beyond the Website – Small Businesses and WordPress

In this talk, we discussed several other uses a small business can have for WordPress rather than “just a website”. The WordPress ecosystem has grown well beyond a blogging platform and informational websites. It’s now possible to run an entire business off of WordPress.

Intended Audience: Business

We began with funny cats being scared by cucumber compilation and then cat jump fail with music by awolnation.

Adam introduced himself. and provided a link to the slides:

Several of us use the wordpress to blog, others as brochure sites, ecommerce, teaching and classes, etc. The obvious platform is using it to build e-commerce websites. Most clients are unaware that you can use e-commerce with wordpress. WooCommerce is a nice adjuster, as is EasyDigitalDownloads. WooCommerce blew everyone out of the water when it came out.

Non-Profits and Non-Profit board managment

In Management, he discussed transferring away from ChamberManager to WordPress. WordPress is a fine way to work with non-profits to keep all management activities under a single roof.

Business Directory

One of the issues is the creation of the Business Directory Plugins. The re-entry of all business data through a plugin was better than using iframes. GeoDirectory also works.

Support Ticketing

Awesome Support and Support PLUS for wordpress also work. Rather than an email system, there are a few items available to you. SimpleDesk was an older system you might find on GitHub. For anyone like plumbers, etc who use on a one-off business, this might be a great system to use those tickets, work orders, and service calls. In this section, we extended several Q&A items about whether the AwesomeSupport system could be used with quickbooks, etc. One question about project management divided the group. Most use Trello and some use Project Panorama.

Event Ticketing/Management

Tickera, events manager, modern tribe… several of these exist. Plenty of these out there. There are thousands of wordcamps and they all use plugins in wordpress. While you’ve heard that there’s an app for that, but there is a wordpress plugin for everything.

The easier it is for the customer, the easier your life will be.

You can use the modern tribe plugins to create the events and sell the tickets to the events. It works well. They have events tickets and event tickets plus. With the base plugin, its RSVP. People are not interested in giving away information. If people pay, they feel like they can give more information, and they are also more likely to show up. Sending reminder emails and telephone calls are very important to ensuring the connection remains.

One item which was discussed. Product Camp had an idea for the conference. They charge for the ticket, but when they showed up, the option existed for the attendee to have their fee returned. Most people would choose NOT to have the money returned. Its a great way to have non-profits keep their money.

Adam Sewell

Adam Sewell is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. Most of his time is spent with his IT support company, MyGeek Technologies. Though he is also known to develop WordPress sites and plugins as well as providing high performance hosting specific to WordPress. He is also very involved in his local community serving on boards and volunteering for events.

Keynote Presentation with Bridget Willard: Wordcamp Raleigh 2018

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At 9:15am on 4/28/2018, I attended the Opening Remarks, Presented by   ,  of , at the 2018 Raleigh Wordcamp Convention in the Engineering Building I of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

Opening Remarks: Wordcamp Raleigh Convention 2018

WordPress is awesome. Open Source is great. But what does that mean? It means that this free and open source software is maintained and written by a volunteer labor base. When you contribute to WordPress, that’s you.

With now 30% of the market share, WordPress is scaling fast — as a software and as a community.

In this talk, Bridget Willard will give actionable tips to help us be mindful of our entire health: physical, emotional, and financial.

Bridget Willard

Bridget Willard is a marketing consultant and educator with a passion to help small businesses. She began in construction, and worked in franchise development, nonprofits, and tech. She is known for her brand building for Riggins Construction and GiveWP.

She is the co-host of WPblab, a show on the WPwatercooler network, co-organizer of Women Who WP Meetup, and Marketing Team Rep for Make WordPress.

She writes about social media and WordPress on her site at and teaches social strategy on her YouTube channel.