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.
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.
We would like to thank all of our sponsors below ,without who, WordCamp Raleigh would not be possible.
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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.
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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:
Keyword Research & Organization
Leveraging Competitor Insights
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.
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.
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?
products or services
consider all possible scenarios
brandump words associated with your site
Example: Garden Center
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
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
click through rate
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
look for one or more below
review quality of content
pages with <20PA and DA. if less than 20, you can do a good job and get ranked!
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:
the current year
Use a number
Include bucket brigades: Add these headlines between content in an effort to re=catch the reader:
Here’s the deal
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
Do not load the image initially. Load only when requested.
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.
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
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.
Imageoptim.com for mac
tinyPNG at tinyPNG.com
jpegmini at jpegmini.com
EWWW image optimizer plugin
Retina schreens and displays are common.
using plugins, WPRetina 2x
HTML method src=”image-800×600.jpg” width=”400″ height=”300″
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.
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.
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
Alt text. Required for many governmental website.
attachment page. Add the SEO title, the SEO description
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.
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.
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.
firstname.lastname@example.org 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. 🙂
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?
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.