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 WordPress.com.


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 WordPress.com 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 Jetpack.com


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 DreamHost.com.



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
  • ehow.com
  • buzzle
  • squidoo lenses
  • hubpages
  • ebay
  • wordpress.com
  • 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: speakerdeck.com/amandagorman/3-seo-strategies-for-building-a-bigger-online-community


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: https://search.creativecommons.org

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. Imageoptim.com for mac
  4. tinyPNG at tinyPNG.com
  5. jpegmini at jpegmini.com
  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:  https://developers.google.com/speed/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.

vishaal.khandoobhai@patheon.com 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 https://www.thecommontraveler.net/ 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 Ranking.com, 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 bit.ly/wcraleigh-svg



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.

Designing A Website in WordPress with Divi

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At 1:45pm on 3/22/2018, I attended Designing A Website in WordPress with Divi, presented by Jonathan Ross, at the 2018 North Carolina Computer Instruction Association Conference in At Asheville-Buncomb Technical Community College in Asheville, NC.

First, we downloaded some instructions and resources from: http://goo.gl/5QLeH3

It was also suggested that Flywheel Local could be a nice asset to consider in future. We will be using Elementor, a free user item, which is nice, because its free, and free is a price we can afford in this training. We installed through pantheonsite.io. The instructions are available.

We began discussing the basics of wordpress- pages and posts, and downloaded “Elementor” plugin. I also downloaded “Addons for Elementor” because it was on the same page and had additional elements for portfolios using masonry.

We adjusted the .htaccess file that the URLs should change within the permalink area. By adjusting the permalinks to /%category%/%postname%/. This was actually pretty cool, but its really only for adjusting and making adjustments for non-blog sites.

With the Elementor plugins, I was able to build these items out in a drag-and-drop environment. This would be an interesting addition to the material. This has a lot of cool information in here, although its a large group of items that you’ll have to learn how to make it happen. I particularly enjoyed the use of typography and its integration with google fonts, as well as the ability to work with portfolio items. So, I’ll be looking into that. I thought the animation options could be fairly cool to work, and I hope our students don’t get too crazy.

Integration with CSS IDs, CSS Classes, seemed nice. However, it looks like it might be just as nice to tag items with content, and then revisit later and adjust those CSS items. CSS background items and gradient overlays seem like they have some great options in here though.

Once layout items are fully built, that seems like the best time to adjust the CSS and look/feel options. This stuff looks really fantastic. On the one hand, lots of students will be real excited to see that. On the other hand, probably a bunch of angry portfolio students. So, take the good with the bad.

Within the builder, there are items that allow you to begin with templates. This was very cool, and allowed you to install those items and view your way through them. Gathering the assets, planning out what to do, and then creating the pieces you want to see and how to ensure that they’re going to work in the way you wish. This is very neat, and allows us to learn along the way into how they’ve been built and how to emulate it.

Taming the Whirlwind

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At 11:00am on 4/22/2017, I attended Taming the Whirlwind, presented by Nathan Ingram, at the 2017 Wordcamp Conference in Raleigh, NC

Taming the Whirlwind

Simple strategies to use to move your company on the right track moving forward. Nathan is a freelance webdeveloer using wordpress exclusively since 2010. He loves seeing freelancers move forward.

Slides can be seen http://www.nathaningram.com/wcraleigh


The Common Struggle
Freelancers face common challenges. In four years of coaching conversations, I’ve found very few unique issues.
You are not alone.
The details are different, but the problems are the same. You’re not alone. If you think you’re the only one who is too busy with client work, isolation, billing, stable income, new clients, you’re not alone. No one has it together. None of us do.

Strategy vs. Execution: Execution is what we do, Strategy is how and why we do it. Both are Critical. Most Freelancers Appreciate Strategy. Become more efficient, more productive, more profitable.The common struggle is Strategy vs. Execution. Execution is what we do, and Strategy is how and why we do it. Both are critical. Most of the time freelancers are great with execution, but are poor at strategy. Not many of us have business backgrounds. You want to do the things which really matter to you.

We’ll name the issues, and then we’ll talk about how to make this happen.

As freelancers we appreciate strategy. Become more productive, more profitable. SO, why is it so hard to keep strategy in focus. WHy do we go to such great info, but we never implement it. Its not that you didn’t have the intention its that life got in the way. Years up the road, there isn’t a big change in the way things have happened.

The Whilrwind

The Whirlwind is the urgent- the energy and attention needed to run your business. Its the half hour client meeting that turns into an hour and half. You have things you want to do, and your time to do it, seems to last 2 minutes. While goals and strategies are important, the whirlwind is urgent, and urgent wins every time.

As important as goals and stretegies are, they seem to get pushed to the future.

Consider using the sheets. You are your most important client. If you aren’t moving forward, you’re in the same place next year. Set a calendar point, with a time and 2 alarms. DOn’t get intimidated by the strategy session. Schedule it and keep your appointment. If you fail to do this, you can become an evaporating web developer.

Identify your Goals (2-4 hours)
In a 2-hour goalsetting session, unplug your phone, laptop, etc. Print the material on paper and fill this by hand. Decide on what it is that you really, really need to do.

>ADVANCE Goal Worksheets: nathaningram.com/wcraleigh to download these.
The first page here is a declaration template, and there is a second page which includes a pre-filled form. IF you have found a way to create a recurring revenue (maintenance contract), that pays your salary, you just made things much easier.
Be specific in here and match the SMART system. What is the difference between the dream and the attainable goal? what will you need to understand? What templates can you build to make this easy. Don’t forget the R- the RELEVANCE. If you don’t have a WHY in the mix, you will not be able to keep out the whirlwind.

Time setting allows you to require a timeline. The declaration template says: I will__ by__ because__.

Initial Planning Session
Build out a weekly action item setup where you are setting aside 2-4hrs actionable tasks to keep you on task.

What are the changes I most need to make?
• Prioritize: which bring immediate results?
• Pick your top 3 goals
Don’t pick what you like, but the thing which will bring the most immediate result. You probably won’t enjoy it, or you would have done it already.

Initial Planning Session
What are the changes I most need to make?
• Break down top 3 goals into action items
• Plan action items that will take 2-4 hours each
Top goals will have 12-15 weekly action items. Good. NOw you have several months of material to do. and you’ll do it. Its small action steps, but if you look back, you’ll see how far you’ve come. If you’re just thinking, it could be month before your finished thinking.

setting and seeing results brings momentum. and built momentum is harder to slow.

Weekly Planning Session
30 min – 1 hour planning each week.
Plan time to execute on at least 1 action.
Planning a week is a great concept. If you don’t have the week planned when the week begins, you will not have an easy time getting started because the whirlwind is already waiting. If you’re too busy to plan in advance, you need to plan more than you can possibly imagine.

Weekly Planning Session
Most of us are too busy not to plan.
Without a plan, the whirlwind always wins.

Weekly Planning Session
Plan the week before it starts
– Friday afternoon?
– Sunday Evening?
-Early Monday morning?
As soon as you hit the desk, there’s distractions waiting.

Weekly Planning Session
Plan the week before it starts
It’s hard to plan
in the middle of the whirlwind.

Weekly Planning Session
Plan the week before it starts
Schedule time to accomplish
your objectives
Strategy Overview
Initial Planning Session
Week 1
Week 1
Week 1
Week 2
Week 2
Week 2
Week 3
Week 3
Week 3
Week 4
Week 4
Week 4
Week 5
Week 5
Week 5
Week 6
Week 6
Week 6

You really can do this.

Two Final Suggestions
Priorities are Critical
You will always have more goals than time, so make sure you prioritize well.
• Focus on immediate impact
• Probably not the things you enjoy doing.
There’s no way to fit everything in. So prioritize. Some times good ideas get put on a shelf because its not the best thing for today. Its hard to keep track of incoming pay, but it will bring the best solutions

Two Final Suggestions
Don’t Overdo It
Our tendency is to try to accomplish too many goals.
Keep the goals simple. and if you can keep it under control you will avoid suffocating yourself.

The Law of Diminishing Returns
Number of Goals
In addition to the Whirlwind

Number of Goals
Achieved with Excellence

Franklin Covey
2-3 4-10 11-20
2-3 1-2 0
How many plates of food can you eat in a day? 2-3 can be doable. 4-10 you’ll get about half done. 11-20 goals will bring you zero completed goals.

Two Final
Don’t Overdo It
Our tendency is to try to accomplish too many goals.
One or two action items a week.Plan for 2-4 hours.
THere will always be up and down time. if you’re planning in advance, it can be helpful in downtime.

The whirlwind never goes away
When urgency and importance clash,urgency wins every time.
Develop a strategy to accomplish your goals in the whirlwind.
In 6 months, how would your business change if you put this into practice? if you moved up 2-3 items each week, what can you offer then which you don’t now? How much more could you accomplish?

In 6 months, how would your LIFE change if you did? With structures in place, how much better could your life be. Its just goal setting and setting aside the time to do it. Everyone in here can do what has been described, or something like this

Brian Moran’s 12-week year. Is not a problem with strategy, its measuring your execution as part of your strategy.

Will my clients notice if I take time for strategy? its 2-4 hours each week. If your clients notice that 2-4hr block stops you from being able to take calls, then you need to hire someone. One participant noted that they don’t take any client calls on Friday.

Is there a higher-order process of checklists that you work through with your clients? Yes. Proprietary though.

Trello is a checklist site. Nathan runs his life out of there. THere is a board of home projects, and he and his wife checks through those.

Nathan is the creator of >ADVANCE Coaching. He works with WordPress web developers individually and in groups to help them become more successful in their freelance businesses.

He is also the Host at iThemes Training where he teaches WordPress and freelance business development topics via live webinar.

Nathan has been a freelance web developer since 1995, and is based in Birmingham, Alabama where he is the co-lead organizer of the Birmingham WordPress Meetup and WordCamp Birmingham.

You can learn more about Nathan at https://nathaningram.com.

Wordcamp Opening Keynote: Seven Stories, One Point with Chris Lema

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At 9:15am on 4/22/2017, I attended Where’s The Wordcamp Opening Keynote, presented by Chris Lema, at the 2017 Wordcamp Conference in Raleigh, NC

Wordcamp Opening Remarks: Seven Stories, One Point

Opening remarks were given by Ben Merideth, and Chris Lema immediately began with a story. A texi driver saw smoke and called the fire department, who had already received 6 calls. There were no sprinklers, no clearly marked exits. 10 people died. People from the 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 1st floor were easily evacuated. the 10 were trapped in the bathroom on the 2nd floor. It was not an issue of evacuation, windows or bars, but what was it that caused the problem.

Here he stopped the story, and gave a small motivational talk about how easy it can be to get intimidated. And there is really no reason for that. lunch was the hardest– because he didn’t know anyone. Its easy to be intimidated because you don’t know or are unsure. All of that is normal. Its easy to get intimidated. Here’s seven stories with one point.

In the community, you will find people who are smarter than you, disappointed in you, ignoring you. Chris grew up with a brother who was smarter than him. In the workplace, we see people smarter than us all the time. the important point is to avoid the negative self-talk. There are people within any community who will have expectations that you cannot hit. Certain expectations are good. Others are not. Especially when the expectations are based only on someone else’s expectations when they don’t know you. Others may ignore you. In the community, it is easy to be intimidated when the situation is awkward.

There will be people who highlight your mistakes. Turning on debugging is like bringing in your worst nagging. After dropping a plug-in, he was given numerous mistakes in return. This is especially true in the opensource community. People will take any chance to make adjustments. You can’t take that specifically to your heart. Don’t forget that you can delete comments. At Chrislema.com I used to think that was wrong. But if you want to pontificate, go somewhere else. Others will hustle more than you. A friend runs wpbeginner.com , and he’s 20yrs younger than him. People push harder, work harder, than you. You should be able to hustle smarter, or just less, but that’s ok. Others will disagree with you. 6 months ago, Chris quit his job at Crowd Favorite. Others disagreed, telling him that he can’t quit a job while you have no plan. He took about 9 months with cigars in hot tubs. There are tons of problems that open source isn’t solving. Its hard to find free workers on large projects when there’s no payout at the end. Everyone says “There’s no way”. So he joined a hosting company called Liquid Web. He gave them a roadmap and they agreed.

THe point here is that there’s always going to be someone who disagrees. The suggestion or trick here? GET INVOLVED. Get involved and keep showing up. All the stress and narratives go away. “When its your turn to be picked, you have to be within pointing distance”. You have to go to where the action is, because at some point the older people die off. And you have to be in pointing distance, keep showing up. Don’t get distracted, don’t copy/paste. without context, its all a sham.

Comparison Kills

Why did they die in the restaurant n 1979? why would they have a problem exiting the restaurant? it was 1:30pm. THey had eaten their lunch, but hadn’t gotten their bills. THey didn’t want to be first to leave. The peer pressure caused the smoke inhalation to kill them. Comparison kills. If it doesn’t kill you physically, it can kill you emotionally. Don’t let comparison or someone else’s ideas govern what you can or can’t do.

Its easy to get intimidated, let someone’s beliefs or actions get you down. THis can be intimidating, but comparison kills and this is your show. Engage, get involved, and you’ll defeat that intimidation.

Using Social Media to Enhance your Teaching Learning and Practice

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On March 10th 2016, I attended the NCCIA presentation at 9:00pm with Andy McPhee, Senior Acquisitions Editor with F.A. Davis, in RM219 in the 600 building at Rowan Cabarrus Community College in Salisbury, NC.

Tyler Dockery working with social media masters
Materials can be found at: bit.ly/1QGs45o

Using Social Media to Enhance your Teaching Learning and Practice

We would like to focus more on teaching rather than personal use, because we’re mostly familiar with that.
1.2 Billion on facebook, 1 billion on youtube, 150m on snapchat, 70m on pinterest, 232m on twitter. Now those numbers were from 2013.

WHy use social media? Spread infomation, educate students, interact with teachers and business owners, bloggers and community. Gain info and group collaboration. Never lose sight of the fact that you are always open and vulnerable. Keep everything on or above board. By and Large, hackers aren’t interested in us. We are unchallenging, and that’s our best security.

facebook.com/stella.bellman is a resusitation dummy. She is the face of a nursing program. Its a way to interact with students on social media without compromising privacy. Students interact like she’s real.

Main types of social media: Social network, microblogging, etc.

It is difficult to do facebook just for business. As soon as you open an account, they require you to add school, etc. Contacts come out of the woodwork. Its so easy to respond to a comment from the wrong accounts. It becomes difficult to keep the two worlds separate. Classmates create a group – a secret group so no one can see – only friend students and then unfriend students at the end of the semester. The profile becomes the problem.

Since community is built and small you get some nice stuff.

Its a good source for up to the minute news source and information-giving device. Andy is mainly using IFTTT to flip facebook posts to twitter.

Trying to become facebook. Losing some of its mission. Its still a fine way to network and find work. JOBS is a great feature if posting. Its a job networking site and SPAMMERS are coming on to become a connection.

all collect URL and show based on your interests. It will populate with information that are shared or digged most.

vimeo, youtube, instagram, Vine
THere are a million of these. Periscope for example is new, and there will be millions within the next few years.

Student project: Watch one, Do one, Teach one. It engages students in the process, and builds a community. They know they’re being recorded and the know they want to do it right. How do you know a video is reliable? The info is out there, but is it right? do you know anything about the host? What are your parameters and understanding.

Pinterest is an oddball. You’re sharing only images – they link in the background, but goes well for fashion, shoes, jewelry, and recipe. Its mostly pushing for women, but that isn’t the only audience. Andy uses it for books. He gets lots of re-pins. Does it help the business? it is unknown. How might it be used in the classroom? For graphic design and social media statistics, it makes a nice research site available for students.

Wordpress, Blogger, Goodreads. Ongoing copywriting, ideas, representation, explanation. Getting students started is more than half the job.

Seven Basic Learning Styles

Learners come in 7 basics styles: Visual, Aural, Verbal, Physical, Logical, Social, Solitary. Visual: items in space. Aural: sound and music. Verbal: speech and writing. Physical: using body, hands, sense of touch. Logical: logic, reasoning, systems. Social: learning in groups or with people. Solitary: Prefering to work alone or self-study.

Real interactivity should look to children’s e-book! Most publishing companiestake a book and retrofit to a digital platform. Consider starting with a chapters summary: what’s the final takeaway. Students should then be able to wind their way through the learning pattern to assemble the material. Test them on the summary. Retrofitting does not solve this issue. Children’s books do this, because content is so limited.

Areas of the brain are involved in this. look to Occipital Lobe for graphic designers. Parietal lobe, frontal lobe, temporal lobe, cerebellum. [see slide for more information above at bit.ly address] In addition to this, there are learning styles

Using Social Media to Enhance Your Teaching, Learning, and Practice

Visual Learners
I learn by seeing.

Aural Learners
I listen and learn
audio backed PPT

Social Learners
I enjoy learning in groups.
Google Docs or other simultanous-editing apps
Chat rooms
Synchronous or asynchronous discussion boards

Physical Learners
I learn by doing
Difficult on social media
demonstrate for video outlet

Logical Learners
I’m thankful for technology
scripting for youtube video (sequencing)
pinterest (grouping)

Verbal Learners
I enjoy learning in groups
google docs or simultaneous editing apps
chat rooms
synchronous or synchronus discussion baords
blogs and wiki

SOlitary Learners
I learn best on my own

Working with Social Media
Plan, Produce, Give Back. Plan from the very beginning. What do you want SM to do for you? You literally can’t be in everything. Choose your battles.

  • Communicate with colleagues
  • Stay current
  • Promote self in professional community

Choose your outlets, and get everyone on board. Build Follow/Friend lists. Do this slowly. Search for the content that you like. Follow them. Set your accounts to follow an RT of every follower. Check outlets regularly to increase lists. Build your community. You cannot set this up to run on its own.

Produce with Social Media
Write and Share your knowledge. You are teachers, provide the content, but don’t get into arguments. Communicate, Listen and respond. Experiment

Give Back
Don’t just read, post
Help, don’t push
Follow the “rules”

11 Rules of Social Media Etiquette

  • Give more than you receive
  • Don’t be an idle chatterbox
  • Add value
  • Don’t interfere with other’s efforts
  • Remember that cheaters never win
  • Build quality relationships
  • Stop being too aggressive
  • Respect the community
  • Listen to others
  • Be accountable for your actions
  • Be nice

Words to the Wise

Be Careful With YOur Personal Information. Would you want your boss to see whatever you’re posting? If not, don’t bother writing it. NEVER post or repost student information. Never, Ever post a negative piece about a student, in fact, just post positive materials. No swearing. No criticizing individuals by name or other descriptors. Always professional, courteous, helpful

Above all… Have Fun. Play with it. The more you engage, the more you’ll be able to

What questions do you have?