Many hands make light work…thank you all

There are quite literally hundreds of people to thank for the fun and success of WordCamp LAX this past weekend. It takes so much work to pull a WordCamp together, and we were only able to do so because of all the help we had pulling it off, both on stage and behind the scenes.

First, thank you to every single person who attended WordCamp LAX. If you hadn’t bought tickets, supported us, and shown up, our event never would have happened. Thank you for being a part of it, thank you for making new friends and connections, thank you for getting inspired to start new projects, thank you for sharing your experiences with family and friends.

Thank you to Cami Kaos and Andrea Middleton for their patience, support, help, and advice. These two do an amazing job of coordinating the efforts of local WordCamp teams the world over.

Thank you to each and every one of our sponsors, who not only provided the budget to make WordCamp possible, but who also provide help, support, useful products and services, and a sense of community.

Huge, huge thanks going out to all of our volunteers who rocked WordCamp like it was their jobs. Thank you for making sure registration ran smoothly, Happiness Bar patrons were helped, rooms were monitored, talks were recorded to video, speakers were kept on schedule, chairs were folded and unfolded, trash was cleaned up, and an endless assortment of boring, thankless tasks were tackled with enthusiasm and pride.

Thank you to our speakers, who not only volunteered the time they spent preparing and giving their talks, but many of whom also paid their own travel and hotel expenses in order to be at our Camp. Thank you for being generous with your time and with your invaluable knowledge.

Big thanks to our volunteer organizers, who took whole pieces of WordCamp LAX off our plates and made them even better than we ever could have. Thanks to Steve Zehngut for organizing the Business Workshop, Chris Ford for organizing the Design Workshop, Gregg Franklin for teaching the Beginner Workshop, Grace Park for organizing the speaker dinner, and Sé Reed for organizing a pretty epic after party.

Thank you to Greg Douglas for designing signage, schedules, stickers, tshirts, bags, and our web site.

And I’d like to personally send a big thank you to my fellow co-organizers, Alex Vasquez, Nathan Tyler, and Ryan Cowles – not just for helping to get things organized, but also for setting aside sleep and personal lives to make it all happen and for keeping a sense of humor even when things were going all wrong. It was a real slice, but let’s never run around in lawn sprinklers with all the tshirts again, k?

I know that for many of you, WordCamp LAX was your very first WordCamp. I hope you learned why we all love our community so much and are so proud to be part of it. Don’t forget that we stay connected throughout the year at meetups, in online groups, and with coworking sessions. Stay connected by getting involved in the community.

Now, who’s up for helping plan 2015?

WordCamp Swag

Just a couple more days and we’ll all be at WordCamp LAX, learning some stuffs and meeting some peeps! But we were too excited to keep some stuff under wraps until then.

Check out our super awesome tshirts!

Women's tshirt

Women’s tshirt

Men's tshirt

Men’s tshirt

For the women, we picked out this flowy tshirt that is soooo soft – and flattering on, like, everyone. And the guys get this super awesome ringer T so they can pretend it’s 1978, but in a good way.

We’ll also have bags for you guys!

Canvas zipper totes!

Canvas zipper totes!

Our local shops here in LA have stopped providing shopping bags, so you can never have too many totes around. Plus, this one is totes cool!

Huge thanks going to to Mr. Greg Douglas of Premium Interactive for designing our swag (and everything else associated with WCLAX14). Let him know how much you appreciate his work when you see him at WordCamp – he’s such a rock star, he’s speaking TWICE.

And huge thanks going out to AG Silkscreen, who is printing these bags and tshirts for us. We’re thrilled to be able to support such an awesome local business. No machine printing in this shop! Every single shirt and bag is being silkscreened by hand the old-fashioned way. We think that makes them something extra special.

See you in a couple of days!

Design Workshop Speakers Unveiled!

Phew! Can you believe that we’ve been announcing speakers for 5 weeks now!?!

It’s just that you can only pack so much awesomeness into one week, we’ve had to space it out. Plus, it takes some time to get so many rockstars on board. Luckily, we have a little over three weeks to get rid of all the brown M&M’s. Ha ha. Just kidding.

These folks might be rockstars, but they’re not the type to get all uppity about the wrong color M&M’s in the green room. They’re just as generous and accommodating as they are smart and all-around amazing. So, please, let’s have a hearty round of applause for our Design Workshop speakers:

c8bf7bac3f7ae1a9c6f6bfc52d2efb53Thom Meredith. With more than 18 years of experience in web development, digital workflow and communication design, Thom Meredith has served as art director for Looking, managing projects for Warner Bros., SONY and the Los Angeles Public Library; as interactive and print designer for the Los Angeles Times Magazine, overseeing the website, iPad app and print production; and as a solution architect and interaction designer at his own design and technology firm on projects for RE/MAX,, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Kaiser, Nestle and Wikipedia. He serves on committees for the Los Angeles chapter of the AIGA and currently teaches interaction design and development at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

a874bb80b6241b0af7c8b906648d4374Robert Palmer is a digital problem solver in San Diego, California. After a decade of in-house and agency work for the creators of newspapers, magazines, television, hardware, software, sporting equipment, industrial products, and tract housing, he started his own web development and graphic design company in 2007. He has hand-crafted websites, WordPress themes, applications, identities, and technical illustrations for startups and Fortune 50 companies alike. He lives with his amazing wife Michelle, and works from home with their two cats, who are only occasionally helpful.

81adf1e35a6364ae5805c9b50b9476daGreg Douglas is the Founder and Creative Director of Premium Interactive based in Hollywood CA. ( An active member of the Los Angeles and Southern California WordPress community, Greg is the co-organizer of the popular Hollywood WordPress meetup group (

45d0bc24b622b43d9975040123791ca7James Archer is the Chief Creative Officer for Crowd Favorite. He’s a future-focused optimist who loves identifying problems and designing solutions for companies that make a difference. Over the years he’s worked for clients like Microsoft, Motorola, Walmart, and Yahoo, and projects he’s worked on have appeared in U.S. News & World Report, Fast Company, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, The New York Times, AdAge, NPR, and others.

fd5093291ce465911f8a2d5aa2045de6Brian Bourn is the chief executive at Bourn Creative, a full service design company and Genesis recommended developer in Sacramento, California. He also co-organizes the Sacramento WordPress Meetup Group.

With a passion for business, and eye for design, and a predilection for code, he provides consulting for online businesses, works with clients around the globe on website strategy and brings their vision to life in the browser with meticulous precision. In his 10th year as the boss, Brian keeps business running smoothly, moving forward, and growing year after year. Plus, he gets to tell his wife and business partner what to do every day (Bonus!).

28c9691df0b13814f1596bffaf33bdd0Bryan Monzon has worked for Fifty & Fifty since 2010. Starting out as solely a designer, he eventually made the rare jump to full time developer. He manages a small team of six developers as they build solutions, both large and small, for non-profits around the world.

66a6a4ffe7257618960f655c089b61ffTaylor Aldridge has over 20 years of design and communication experience, with the last decade spent as the Creative Director for one of America’s largest food distribution companies. He is adept at motivating and inspiring creative teams and obtaining the highest quality design while still achieving targeted business objectives. Taylor’s expertise is creating communicative designs that are directly tied to enhancing usability.

As 10up’s first Creative Director, Taylor is tasked with building an exceptional web design team, process, and results on par with 10up’s well-earned engineering and development reputation.

64d4f34ac4bfb2c9fd9b51cd16896c68Jessica Barnard is the Designer & Developer behind The Pixelista, a creative agency specializing in business branding and WordPress web development. Jessica has been making the internet more attractive since 2008, and her passion is working with small, women-owned businesses.

f7904723d37458e899541a5debd255fbAnne McColl helps brands find the right words + pictures to tell their story. As The Best D@mn Copywriter, she works with a slew of agencies, studios and businesses and has had the pleasure of collaborating with amazing brands including Four Seasons, Hawaii Visitors Bureau, TurboTax, San Diego Zoo, eBay, PETCO, WD-40 and Rubio’s Fish Tacos. When she’s not surfing the Internet she can often be found surfing the juicy waves in San Diego. @annemccoll everywhere.

I’ll give you a moment to catch your breath.

Yeah. Boom! If I had a mic, I’d drop it right now, but I’m writing, not speaking, silly!

So, which workshop are you planning to attend on Friday – beginner, business, or design? What sessions are you looking at for Saturday? And how will you be contributing on Sunday? You better start making some decisions, because theres’s only a couple weeks left!

We got your website badges right here!

So, you’re coming to WordCamp LAX. (You are, right?) Or you’re speaking or sponsoring and you’ve earned our undying gratitude.

Well, surely you want to tell the whole world about that, right?

What better way to do that then to display one of our premium, first-class website badges on your own site or social media profile? These badges were hand-crafted by hissing cockroaches in Timbuktu. Just kidding! They were designed by our illustrious WCLAX designer, Greg Douglas, just for YOU and they’re available in two sizes!

Just take a look at how spiffy they are!

WCLA14_badge-attend-125 WCLA14_badge-speak-125 WCLA14_badge-sponsor-125

You can get the different sizes of badges and even copy some code to get you going over on our Website Badges page. So head on over there and let everyone know about WCLAX!

Business Workshop Speakers Announced!

Just a couple days ago we blew the rooftops off some noggins with our Beginner Workshop Announcement for Foundation Friday. And coming soon, we’re gonna make you physically implode when we announce what we have in-store for the Design Workshop part of the program…

Look, you know it and so do we. You’re here for the announcement alluded to in the title of this post. Right? Right! We are so giddy and so excited to announce our Business Workshop speakers for Foundation Friday! These folks come from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines; from high up on the mountain ranges where folks of such wisdom often commune with one another discussing the sorts of things we haven’t yet begun to consider. Does that sound crazy? WRONG!! YOU’RE crazy if you think this some sort of put on. Heck, we’ll even send you back in time using our own personal WordCamp TARDIS to show you how we put it all together, just for you!

Enough of the fluff, let’s get to the wonderful speakers who will be bringin’ it to our rapid fire Business Workshop discussions.

88575a70c2ee2dd1862afb9e12c100f7Steve Zehngut founded Zeek Interactive in 1995 and he has been the creative technologist behind the Huntington Beach based company since its inception. Under his direction, Zeek has grown from an apartment bedroom to one of Southern California’s leading development and consulting shops.

Steve is the organizer of the OC WordPress Meetup and has helped build the community to over 1100 members. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and has taught interactive courses at UC Irvine, USC, the American Film Institute, and Cal State Long Beach. Steve has a BA in Film from Cal State Northridge.

Steve went above and beyond to help us organize the Business Workshop track for Foundation Friday, and he’ll also be moderating the discussion on Sales and Marketing.

282d599b414022eba5096510f675b6e2Chris Lema has been managing high performers and overseeing new product development for twenty years. He’s a daily blogger, an ebook author, a public speaker and works as the VP of Engineering for Emphasys Software. In his spare time he helps companies leverage WordPress, and WordPress companies find leverage.

Chris will be moderating the discussion on Project Management.

Jennifer BournJennifer Bourn is the Creative Director and Digital Strategist for Bourn Creative, a full service design company in Sacramento, California, specializing in custom, lead generation WordPress sites. As a Genesis recommended developer, Bourn Creative works with clients around the globe on on branding, website strategy, web design, WordPress, as well as a wide range of graphic design projects.

With more than 15 years in the design trenches, and almost 10 years pretending to take orders from her business partner, boss, and husband, Jennifer is an award-winning designer with a penchant for writing, marketing, chocolate, and Legos (yes, Legos not logos). She built her first WordPress site in 2008, fell in love with giving clients the ability to make their own content revisions, and went all in with WordPress pretty much the same day. Now with more than 300 custom WordPress sites under the belt, Jennifer now shares her expertise and lessons learned as a dynamic speaker, an avid blogger, and a co-organizer of the Sacramento Meetup Group.

Jennifer will be sharing her ideas on Focusing on the Bottom Line as part of the Growing Your Business discussion.

6bec359c1baf9f4c3c98cf1e955cfe91 Cody Landefeld is passionate about helping organizations solve problems creatively. He is a user experience problem solver by nature and has over 10 years of experience in the creative field. He currently leads the team at Mode Effect where they are privileged to work with some amazing clients.

Cody will be stepping us through Explaining the Development Process in Plain English as part of the Managing Expectations discussion.

59db8b5ab9bd1dc2dd87e88404ac92adKarim Marucchi is the Founder and Chairman of the VeloMedia Group, the parent of several boutique professional service firms around the world. Over the last twenty years he’s run startups, taken companies public, managed mergers and acquisitions, and led professional service organizations across the globe. Today he is also the CEO of Crowd Favorite, which continues to grow beyond its current offices in Los Angeles, Denver, Bucharest, Las Vegas, New York, and Rome due to its unique blend of localized project management and high quality digital solutions. As the first premiere WordPress agency for the Fortune 500, National Geographic, DirectTV, Lexus, the Dallas Mavericks and major entertainment studios count among the company’s client roster.

Karim will be talking about closing the sale (Coffee is for Closers) as part of the Sales and Marketing discussion.

81adf1e35a6364ae5805c9b50b9476daGreg Douglas is the Founder and Creative Director of Premium Interactive based in Hollywood CA. An active member of the Los Angeles and Southern California WordPress community, Greg contributes by organizing the popular Hollywood WordPress meetup group.

Greg will be talking about Setting Healthy Boundaries with clients as part of the Managing Expectations discussion.

95e2f589963c4cfc569f258d7f2a0099Blossom Wright has been working with creative teams since 1997 in the Film and Music Industries. She enjoys the challenge of balancing the business and technical needs of a project while maintaining a stimulating creative environment, where collaboration amongst team members and departments is encouraged.

A WordPress user since 2010, she discovered the greater WordPress community of WordCamps and Meetups last year, and let’s just say it’s a slippery slope. Struck by the similarities in process between developing websites and producing projects for the entertainment industry, Blossom is excited to now be flexing her Project Management skills at Los Angeles based Tyler Digital.

Blossom will be sharing her ideas on Fostering a Collaborative Environment as part of the Project Management discussion.

1a98b40b11648b774dc1b2c51c445819Kevin Michael Gray is the founder of and WP E-Signature which transforms any WordPress website into a secure, legally binding and customizable document signing application (but without the monthly fees). He has over 14 years freelance consulting experience helping companies like Google, American Express, Spotify and many more increase their market-share. Kevin will be talking about Validating Your Idea as part of the Growing Your Business discussion.

b6a817504fa68c23de2b15e540d5cca2 Dre Armeda is an old-timer, he has been using WordPress since 2004. You may know Dre as one of the Co-Founders of Sucuri Inc. where he was CEO from 2010-2014. These days you’ll find Dre on the mat practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or on the ball fields with his girls!

Dre presents security and business topics at various WordCamps and other events every year. Dre is a proud WordPress contributor and was the lead organizer that brought WordCamp to San Diego.

Dre is the Co-Host of the DradCast on Wednesday nights. Pressing all the words!

Dre will be moderating the discussion on Growing Your Business.

75a6a0138ff5e4ccad98df8bee36e37d Robert Griffin started in the Mortgage/Real Estate industry in 1996 as a loan processor. He became licensed in 2000 to further pursue a career in real estate and by 2003 he was a Branch Manager for Direct Lender. In 2004 he Co-Founded and launched Catalyst Investment Solutions. Robert started the BPO/REO division in 2007 to specialize in distressed properties. He enjoyed the fast-paced environment of working with banks, lending institutions and asset managers, which utilize his analytical mindset and extensive operational skills in providing a solid foundation that guides his entrepreneurial instincts and enthusiasm.

Robert is currently the CTO and Co-Founder of Media Ocean, Inc, an online target market company that helps drive targeting traffic and leads to local business owners. Robert loved working with other entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses and take them to the next level. His key focus is on technology, and follow-up. We have all head the term, the fortune is in the follow-up. But how many of us have dropped the ball on a call or two, or twenty. Robert works with business owners and helps them get the most out of the traffic, leads, and resources that already have.

Robert will be talking about Selling Yourself as part of the Sales and Marketing discussion.

5ed6d15e7ec205c829b94d099125b266Wes Chyrchel has been building websites for 17 years. He has worked with WordPress since 2006 and exclusively with WordPress, since 2008. He is passionate about creating great websites and personal customer experiences for visitors and his clients. Wes loves to talk about the business of web development and is committed to making his clients successful.

Wes will be sharing his ideas on What to Know Before You Scope as part of the Project Management discussion.

f26869d8a79889a1db6191e2de211be9Nathan Tyler is the Principal and Lead Developer at Tyler Digital. He’s focused on building sites, products, and web applications on the WordPress (and often BuddyPress) platform. If he’s not at the computer, he can often be found playing soccer or recovering from related injuries.

Nathan will be discussing Managing Remote Teams as part of the Project Management discussion.

9311de174bd95babe529d057bb873f02 With a graduate degree in psychology, Jeff Turner looks beyond the “how” of social and internet technologies to get to the “why” that unleashes their true power. He applies the beauty and science of creative communications not just to his own organizations, but to those of his clients. His insight has helped his companies and clients achieve measurable, practical, real-life success … time and time again. As founder and CEO, he led his former company, J.J. Grace to Inc. Magazine’s list of the 500 Fastest-Growing Companies in America and was at its helm when it won Cisco’s “Growing With Technology” award, is the former President at Zeek Interactive, and the founder of He is currently the President of RealSatisfied North America, a fast growing real estate brand management tool, is Chairman of the Board at Mothers Fighting For Others, a charity dedicated to educating orphaned Kenyan girls, and serves on the Board of Directors for Aumnia, a full service mobile application development company.

Jeff will be moderating the discussion on Managing Expectations.

498cbdca992fef890b019db7cb6f1e17 Jeff Zinn started web development in the mid 1990s. In 2004 he founded Pixel Jar with Brandon Dove, a custom web development firm in Orange County, CA that began specializing in WordPress work in 2007. Early in 2014 Pixel Jar was folded into the Crowd Favorite family where he currently works.

Jeff also co-hosts the monthly Orange County WordPress Developer meetup in Huntington Beach, speaks and volunteers at neighboring WordCamps, and is a co-organizer of the Orange County WordCamp.

When not programming, Jeff likes to switch off and reset. He spends most of his free time traveling, hiking, camping, surfing, and any other activity where there is no signal.

Jeff will be talking on Keeping Clients Happy as part of the Managing Expectations discussion.

ad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536 Lisa Tsou has been helping technology and new media startups raise money since she graduated from law school in 1997. Since then, she’s spent time on Wall Street working on financings for companies like DoubleClick,, and Mapquest and done numerous acquisitions of websites like, and

Now, she enjoys spending her time coaching founders and entrepreneurs on how to present themselves to investors and raise the money they need to take their businesses to the next level.

Lisa is a graduate of Columbia University School of Law, received her MBA from the Marshall School of Business at USC, and is a member of both the New York State and California bars.

Lisa will be sharing tips on Pitching to Investors as part of the Growing Your Business discussion.

eb24236ce20b42a513f9c10261563b65Bob Watson is the co-founder with his wife, Kathy Kilingaman, of the highly acclaimed Social Media Mastermind Orange County – SMMOC – 5 years running on Saturday mornings. SMMOC is a free, facilitated discussion focusing on the internet, technology and social media.

Bob will be telling us why you should host a meetup as part of the Sales and Marketing discussion.

With that lineup, it’s no surprise that we think the Business Workshop is going to be a day full of information so useful, you’ll have to adjust your hat band to make room for your bigger brain. Maybe even two sizes bigger. Heck, you might have to throw away your hat and get a visor.

We’d like to send out a big thank you to Steve Zehngut for organizing the Business Workshop. He’s put together a lineup of business discussions that will no doubt give you piles and piles of ideas for running your business better, growing it bigger, and just being all around as successful as you can possibly be.

Stay tuned for the Design Workshop speakers and schedule, which will be coming your way soon. In the meantime, you can bask in the glow of our Business Workshop speakers.

This week’s upcoming WordPress meetups

Hey, we all know that the WordPress community is like super stupendously amazing. But did you know that you don’t have to wait for that once-a-year WordCamp to hang out?

We have lots of WordPress Meetup Groups throughout Southern California, so there’s sure to be one in your neck of the woods, beach, desert, or mountains. Check ’em out over on our Community Page.

This week we’ve got:

  • OC WordPress Design Meetup happening Monday, August 4th. WordCamp LAX speaker Joseph Karr O’Connor, perhaps better known in the WP Community as ‘Accessible Joe’ will be speaking on accessible design.
  • Inland Empire WordPress Meetup will be on Tuesday, August 5th. If you’ve been out to that one before, note that they’ve got a new location this month, and haven’t decided on a topic just yet, but it’s sure to be a good time hanging out and learning something new with WP peeps.
  • Los Angeles WordPress 101 will be meeting up that same night, on Tuesday, August 5th to talk about plugin best practices. This group is just for those who are just getting started with WordPress and need a little extra help getting things figured out.
  • Advanced WordPress (San Diego) is hosting a summer hackathon at Thought House. If you’re in the mood to code, collaborate, and create be sure to RSVP to join them.

Holy smokes! That’s all happening within the next 7 days!

Our local WordPress community is something really extra special, so don’t hesitate to jump in and get involved with one of your local WordPress meetup groups. You don’t have to wait until WordCamp!

Beginner Workshop Speakers Announced!

We’re so excited to be bringing Foundation Friday – a full day of workshops – to you as part of WordCamp LAX. We’ll have three, count ’em THREE,  all-day workshops running on Friday to give you a great place to get some intensive learning done!

We’ll be announcing the schedules and speakers for the other two workshops soon, so keep your eyes peeled for those announcements! Today, though, we’re all about the Beginner Workshop!

If you’re just getting started with WordPress and need some help getting it all figured out, then this is the workshop for you. You’ll learn how to set up a site, and how to add, edit, organize, and remove content. You’ll learn all about themes and child themes and how to change the look of your site. You’ll learn about plugins and how to add extra bits of functionality to your site and customize it to make it all yours. And you’ll also learn how to run backups and keep your site secure. You wouldn’t want to lose all of your hard work!

Here are the smart and helpful speakers who will be guiding you through the Beginner Workshop:

91bbe686a63e30869289e1726d3b6d36Gregg Franklin will kick off the day with a 4-hour introduction to WordPress. Gregg is a WordPress Developer and team member over at ServerPress LLC, the creators of Desktop Server – and all-around awesome and great guy. We suspect he walks around with a superhero costume under his clothes. He’ll cover setting up a local copy of WordPress, then will walk you through posts, pages, categories, tags, menus, and widgets.

06c8b571b6a88dcfb17de91de4900802Adam Silver will explain themes, theme frameworks, and child themes so that you can get your WordPress site looking just the way you want and decipher many of the conversations happening in the WordPress community. He’s also a podcaster and a talented dancer, as Facebook videos have attested. Adam owns and operates Silver Lining Productions and spends his days working as a social media manager, website developer, and photographer.

67a6505bfb36238498079f18d2287f82Lucy Beer will tell you everything you need to know about plugins – how to find them, evaluate them, install them, and configure them. She’ll also share some of her plugin recommendations so you’ll have some great plugins to get started with. You’ll also get a chance to check out Lucy’s stylish haircut – the result of having shaved her head for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to raise money to conquer childhood cancer. Lucy has been using WordPress since 2004 and teaches people how to use WordPress for a living.

7a128db19c0cd5e3597b69d864df70ddSuzette Franck will cover making and storing backups of your site, and also some basic security measures you can take to keep your site safe. Suzette’s a WordPress Evangelist at Media Temple, an LA-based hosting company and all-around terrific WordCamp speaker. If you’ve attended any of our local meetups or pretty much any WordCamp ever, chances are that you’ve run into Suzette! She jet-sets all around the country spreading the WordPress love!

a5e56e16e70022ff99839050f8b38b4ePhilip Artinyan is going to explain hosting and domains. Philip is a part of the SiteGround Customer Service team and he’ll be stepping workshop attendees through choosing a reliable host – what to look for in a hosting company, what your hosting options are, and when to use them. He’ll also go over how to choose and register a great domain name.

With these helpful, dedicated folks on board to teach, our Beginner Workshop will get you up and running with a new WordPress site in no time flat.

And, if you’re local to Los Angeles, you might want check out our local WordPress 101 Meetup Group. Geared just for beginners, you can get answers to your questions and help getting up and running. That group is run by WordPress coach Karen McCamy. Their next meetup is coming up on Tuesday, August 5th.

But wait…there’s more!

We have one new speaker to announce for our Saturday Sessions! What the what? The fun never stops here at WordCamp LAX Planning HQ.

aed115c68b7a66222606bc282caabfc3Shaimoom Newaz an artist, musician and coder and has a particular fondness for CSS. He’ll be speaking on a starter theme workflow that involves such fancy things as Roots, GitHub, Grunt, and Bootstrap. And if all that sounds scary to you, well, let me just assure you that Shaimoom will show you how he accomplishes all that without getting too deep into code. Create custom themes with less bloat and easy deployment.

Like I said, folks, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the announcements on the speakers and schedules for the Design Workshop and the Business Workshop because we’ll be announcing those in two shakes of a lamb’s tail! Foundation Friday is worth taking a vacation day for! Or, well, you know, maybe calling in sick. *cough*

Can’t wait for WordCamp LAX?

We’re chugging along with just 6 weeks to go until WordCamp LAX kicks off. Yes, it’s going to be awesome, but you know what else is awesome? The WordPress community we have here in Southern California!

WordCamp LAX happens just once a year, but there are WordPress meetups happening year-round all over Southern California. If you haven’t been to a meetup yet, why not check out one of these meetups coming up in the next couple of weeks?

  • Advanced WordPress LA is having their July meetup on the 26th. If you’re a WordPress developer or advanced user, come geek out with us. This meetup is co-organized by WordCamp organizer, Natalie, and a couple of WordCamp speakers, Joe Chellman and Lucy Beer.
  • OC WordPress Meetup, for those a little further south, is having their general meetup for all levels on July 28 in Huntington Beach. This meetup is organized by Steve Zehngut, who’s putting together our Business Workshop for Foundation Friday.
  • North County San Diego Meetup, continuing right down the coast is meeting up to talk about building WordPress themes with Foundation and Underscores on July 29. This meetup is co-organized by WordCamp speaker Chris Lema.
  • Hollywood WordPress is hosting their ‘One Problem, One Solution’ meetup on July 30. This meetup is organized by WordCamp designer and speaker, Greg Douglas.

And that’s just the next week or so! Didn’t I tell you our local community is amazing? We have about 20 different meetup groups throughout Southern California, so there’s sure to be  one in your neck of the woods. We’re trying to wrangle them all up over on our Community Page if you want to take a gander.

Don’t wait for WordCamp to get involved!

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) 😀 It’s fun, I promise!

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

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 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 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.