Sponsor Spotlight: Crowd Favorite

When I think of professional service providers that have a core focus in WordPress I don’t need to look far. The landscape of providers is expansive. However, there are giants among them. Yep! Giants!!

One giant that stands far above the rest is Crowd Favorite (not to be confused with their Canadian arch-nemesis Crowd Favourite) and they’re a remarkable company. Don’t believe me? Let me tell you why!

Did you guys ever see that movie ‘Pacific Rim?’ I did and it was epic! Crowd Favorite is like the “Jaeger” of WordPress shops. Big, bad-@$$ and, well, BIG! But it’s not because of their size, you see. It’s what’s inside that makes Crowd Favorite special! Continue reading

WP Photographers Kicks in For WCLA

Aaron Hockley isn’t just a man. He’s a legend! He’s also the guy behind an new innovative venture called WP Photographers (launching in August 2014) that marries the intersection of WordPress and Photography. How so? Well, there’s a staggering number of things to think about where it concerns photo usage with WordPress. WP Photographers steps in to fill the knowledge gap in that area with their vast expertise and advice.

WP Photographers is definitely stepping in an underserved area. Additionally, their service offerings aim to help people choose appropriate themes, hosting and more. Get on board and signup to get notified when they launch!

Aaron, the LA Community is just thrilled to have you as a sponsor. Your generosity makes this thing go and become an unstoppable Juggernaught of WordCampery-goodness!

Sponsor Spotlight: Sprout Apps

I’d like to tell you about our new sponsor Sprout Apps. Who are they? What do they do? Why should you care? Hold on, people. I’ll get there. Be patient!

Sprout Apps is a new company that seeks to build something of value for a specific group of people. Specifically WordPress-Centric Business owners. They don’t just want to create an “also-ran” product. Nope! They want to change how you and I work. But how?

By doing something that Chris Lema talks about: “Making the hard things easy, while keeping the easy things still easy.” Specifically, they’re introducing tools that help flesh out your workflow. If you’re like me, your customer intake system probably starts with Gravity Forms, email and then an estimate or proposal from your tool of choice. It’s not integrated, it’s not sexy; it’s downright clunky. That’s the problem Sprout Apps hopes to solve. Integrated workflow; consistent branding, makes getting paid easier…

Simply put, Sprout Apps gets you to where you’re growing.

Sprout Invoices will be their flagship product and you should definitely check it out!

Thanks so much for being a sponsor of our camp this year. Can’t wait!


Call for Design Workshop Speakers

We’re planning a full day of design-y goodness for you on Foundation Friday…but to pull it off, we need some amazing speakers willing to share their design expertise. That’s where you come in!

We’re looking for designers who are pushing the boundaries of design in WordPress while solving actual client problems. It’s easy to talk about design, user experience and branding in theory–we want you to share how you put those theories into practice with a client case study. Tell us about the project that you’re most proud of…or one where you learned a hard lesson. We’re interested in any topic that will help make us all better designers.

Don’t limit yourself to topics related to visual design only. We’d also love to see what you have to say about user experience design, brand strategy, copywriting, or data visualization too!

If you’ve never spoken at a WordCamp before, take a deep breath and apply right now! We’d love to have a mix of WordCamp favorites and new perspectives sharing their knowledge (so just do it already) :D It’s fun, I promise!

The deadline for entries is July 30, 2014. We’ll announce the final lineup on August 11.

Sponsor Spotlight: Zeek Interactive

Do I need to tell you about Zeek Interactive? Do I need to tell you about Steve Zehngut? Well I’m going to anyway.

Steve Zehngut is one of the people who’s inspired many, many folks with his guidance, leadership and various talks he’s given over the last several years. Zeek Interactive gives back, by donating their offices for use of various Orange County WordPress meetups. Steve has given countless talks ranging from how to manage your development team, how to build mobile apps with WordPress to integrating your starter theme with Zurb’s Foundation. Steve’s a rare treasure and someone we’re lucky to have in our SoCal WP community.

Let’s thank Steve and Zeek Interactive for all the awesome they do throughout the year and beyond.


Second Round of Speakers Announced!

Finally the mystery of the second half of our Saturday Sessions speakers is solved! Here’s our second round of speaker announcements – can you believe the awesomeness contained in this post alone?


Jonathan Tobin is a lawyer, a web developer, and a WordPress enthusiast. Seriously. All those things in one person. In his legal practice, Jonathan works with creators and creative professionals. He’ll be speaking to us on legal issues you should consider when working with your WordPress site including things like licensing, privacy, user-generated content, and e-commerce.

282d599b414022eba5096510f675b6e2Chris Lema blogs occasionally. Just kidding – he blogs daily, folks. He also writes ebooks, speaks, works as the VP of Engineering at Emphasys Software, helps companies leverage WordPress and WordPress companies find leverage and on top of all that, still finds time to take a nap every day. He’ll be sharing several stories of people whose lives were changed by WordPress.

ee5e8ca0d182486c5cafabcbc004815cRoy Sivan has been using WordPress since something like version 0 and has built out his fair share of WordPress sites. Currently, he just likes to take WordPress and make it do incredible amazing stuff nobody else thinks is even possible. He’ll be speaking on using WordPress as an application framework to build out client-side and single-page applications. Maybe a little bit of his awesomeness will rub off on you.

7bf2e7abb6c22e285e5206c86022ba0eMatthew Boynes is lead developer at Alley Interactive. He loves solving complex problems with WordPress and helping others to get more from WordPress. He’ll be speaking on turbo-charing WP_Query so that you can build complex queries and super amazing sites without taking a big performance hit.

2370ea5912750f4cb0f3c51ae1cbca55Konstantin Obenland is really tall. And also probably really sick and tired of people talking about how tall he is. He’s also a core contributor and was backup lead and theme developer for some recent themes you may have heard of like Twenty Thirteen and Twenty Fourteen. And he loves Dr. Pepper. He’ll be speaking on the seven defined philosophies of WordPress core development and how these philosophies shape every decision made about WordPress.

53870378fbdf719fa705096f84ce184eShanta Nathwani is an IT and Social Media Consultant and also an Instructor in Web Design and CCIT Capstone at Sheridan College. She’ll be speaking about how WordPress helps non-profits get the most out of their web site budgets and encourages members of their organizations to contribute content.

af68e38bb11e4898d3ff9737a413f64cDave Jesch, owner of one of the most amazing ‘staches this side of the Mississippi, is the Principle and CTO at SpectrOMTech.com. He’s a full stack developer who works with stability and scalability in mind. He’ll be speaking on writing code that scales for WordPress plugins and themes. His tips will come in handy for building out high traffic sites and also for developers who want to release plugins and themes.

d9fe7ee35692bb9404982d13d3aa6289Sé Reed has a special place in her heart for small business owners. In addition to her work helping out small business owners with their websites, she also does all sorts of WordPress-y stuff and is a musician. She’ll be showing us an awesome combo of plugins that small business owners can use to take their websites from basic to bada$$ without having to wrestle with code.

15189d1fcbef49ea46d47e545f4e1d1fdavid t pisarra is a regular columnist for the Santa Monica Daily Press, a contributor to the Huffington Post and the Good Men Project, and author of 5 books. He’s also got a podcast – Men’s Family Law. No stranger to producing content on a deadline, he’ll be speaking on creating and using editorial calendars to take the hassle out of blogging and podcasting.

08536f030f73d271dc746c7e15dfe5c2Trevor Wolter oversees all testing at Zeek Interactive. He’ll be speaking on testing for independent developers and freelancers. If that’s you, you know you’ve got to wear a lot of different hats, but Trevor will convince you that your tester hat is an important one for making sure your code works as expected and that client and user expectations are met and exceeded.

8b9a5e91c941587f24be646266537944Gary Magnone loves craft beer, cocktails, and coffee, but more importantly, people, he’s a digital marketing consultant and entrepreneur. He launched Highrise in 2012 and helps his clients drive traffic, leads and revenue. He’ll be speaking on search engine optimization in 2014 – a world where Google is constantly changing and SEO is more nuanced than ever. He’ll also cover some WordPress-specific tips, tools and tricks for maximizing your site’s reach.

5d981fc86c8ed211a89723312a0fd9b3Joe Chellman thinks he probably started using WordPress before Roy Sivan. He’s an experienced builder of themes and plugins, author of Introducing WordPress: Learn by Video on Peachpit, and author of several JavaScript titles on Lynda.com. He also chose the title of Supreme Dictator for Life to describe his role at Shoofly Development and Design. He’ll be talking about version control, specifically Git, and why you should be using it.

One again, if these were the only twelve speakers we had, we could easily sell out. But combine these twelve superheroes with the twelve we’ve already announced, and that adds up to a day of Saturday Sessions that will blow your mind. As if these 24 speakers weren’t enough to convince you to attend, we still have the Foundation Friday speakers to announce. What the what? Stay tuned for more awesomeness than you can shake a stick at.


Behla Design and Development Uses Zen Voodoo to Prop WCLAX

Andre Behla of Behla Design and Development is a pretty rad guy. These days he sports a lush mane and beard. He’s pretty rad that way.

His design prowess and design acumen shines through, if you check out his portfolio. He is one of LA’s premiere design and development shops. Not only that but he also puts back into the community big time by hosting a meetup in Topanga Canyon; traveling and speaking at many other meetups and also donating to various other WordCamps.

Let’s throw up a healthy round of applause to Behla Design + Development for their most generous contribution this year!


We all make mistakes. We’ve all felt the sense of impending doom that follows a WSOD. It’s all part of working with WordPress. And being human. The important thing is that we learn from our mistakes… and publicly share these often embarrassing moments with each other. Enter WPconfessions.com!

We thought it would be fun to share our own moments of WordPress #fail. Whether you accidentally published a post too soon, or took down a site with the wrong wp-config.php settings, we want to know! We can laugh together, cry together… and maybe even learn from each other.

So, Tweet us your story @WordCampLAX and include the #WPconfessions hashtag. We’ll display it on WPconfessions.com and share some of these Tweets during breaks at WordCamp LAX!

inMotion Hosting Helps Bicycle-Kick WordCamp LA into Shape!

inMotion Hosting is like the German National Football Club of 2014, if the German Football Club did Web Hosting… And were based out of Los Angeles… Okay, maybe that was a bad analogy. Probably. Definitely. Let’s just say that inMotion Hosting dominates the hosting game and they’re right here in good ol’ Los Angeles, with all the other cool kids! They say it on their site, “We Love LA” and gosh golly we love those kids, too!

They’re not a one-trick pony either. If you want to run WordPress, they have optimized solutions just right for your needs. They’re support wizards are friendly and knowledgeable and when you need help, they’re there. One time I had a site go down and rung up their support team and they said “Not on our watch, brochacho!” Yes, they’d recovered my site in all of ten minutes. People, I can barely style my hair in 10 minutes. So when I say inMotion is impressive, believe the hype!

Let’s give a hearty thanks to the good people at inMotion for helping make WCLA get going this year!

What is Foundation Friday?

We’ll be kicking off WordCamp LAX with a full day of workshops on Friday. We’ve recruited some awesome volunteer help to put these together with us, and we think they’re pretty much going to rock. You’ve got three choices for Foundation Friday:

First up, we have our Beginner Workshop. Never used WordPress before, but looking for a jumpstart? You’ll want to join our all-day beginner workshop. We’ll kick off the morning with a 4-hour intro to WordPress with Gregg Franklin of SeverPress. In the afternoon, workshop teachers will walk you through setting up your first WordPress site and will show you how to add and edit content, create menus, add widgets, install new themes, and more!

Our second workshop is our Design workshop, being planned and curated by Chris Ford of Creativity Included. We’re recruiting a gaggle of talented, successful design professionals to come and share practical tips and case studies on real-life projects and design problems they’ve solved.

And our third workshop is our Business workshop, being planned and curated by Steve Zehngut of Zeek Interactive. We’ll be providing smart, successful professionals who will share their knowledge with an audience of freelancers. Earn more money and work smarter with the tips and advice you’ll pick up in this all-day workshop.

And don’t forget – Foundation Friday is just one day of our three-day camp! If we’re packing this much awesome into Friday, just imagine how great the rest of the weekend is going to be! We’ll be sharing details on schedule and speakers for these three workshops as they’re finalized, so stay tuned if you’re interested!