Today I was able to score free tickets to Word Camp San Diego thanks to

It’s been a blast with sessions all day about everything Word Press for beginners and advanced users. If you’re an online retailer and want to jump into blogging and SEO for your website, I’d highly encourage you to attend a Word Camp. The price is right and the information is fabulous.

Here’s a copy of yesterday’s schedule:

Word Camp San Diego Schedule 1


Here’s the highlights and most important takeaways from my first Word Camp:

WordPress for Photographers – William Bay

Reading Settings > Front Page Display > Make a static page your home page. Make your post page your blog page. With a static home page you have more flexibility to adjust the design and present a more visually heavy first impression.

“My slideshows are javascript that I put into the page – can’t find a reliable WordPress plugin.” – William Bay

JPEG compress your pictures before uploading. No 1, 2 mb pics!

Alt-Text all of your photos for SEO.

Treat Your Blog Like a Business – Lucy Beer

Build subscribers. Build a library of great content. In the beginning, don’t worry about the traffic. “Dance like no one is watching us, write like no one is reading us.”

Look at the different stages of the buying cycle that your customers have. Create blog content for each type of customer and lead them down a funnel to complete a conversion.

Create very specific pages that are optimized for each type of client. Focus on their intent.

WP store cart – WordPress ecommerce plugin -

If you want to make money with your blog go straight to a self-hosted website.

Hidden Gems: Little Known Facts about Publishing with WordPress – Sheri Bigalow

Zen Mode in WordPress 3.2 – Gives you a blank canvas that nearly covers your computer screen to focus on writing.

The Kitchen Sink with WP 3.2 – Change the color of your fonts and use symbols.

Kitchen Sink > Help Button > Keyboard Shortcuts for WordPress.

More Keyboard Shortcuts – User profile > Settings > User Shortcuts.

Auto Embeds – Embed videos through WordPress without the embed code. Flickr slideshows, PollDaddy, Youtube, etc.

Screen options at very right of your post page > adjust the format of your WP post page to customize the interface for your liking.

Use the Bookmarklet in your Tools page. With the Bookmarklet you can Highlight Text > click a button and it copies that text into a new post page to add onto / edit.

Pagination – Put a Nextpage tag instead of a More tag into text to paginate each section of a post. Great way to breakup content.

Old Slug Redirects – Make a typo in page title > Chage slug to redirect from title to fixed page. Can someone clarify this point for me?

There are hidden “Easter Eggs” in WordPress that if you find, you can use!

Add a featured image for a custom header. It will be the header for that specific post. Good for Word Press 2010 and 2011 has a great series on learning WordPress basics.

WordPress as a Content Management System (CMS) – Matt McInvale (Special thanks to Chris Daley and Matt McInvale for sponsoring my ticket to Word Camp)

PageMash – Great plugin for page order on WordPress.

“Gravity Forms. Best contact form in WP. Period. Just do it. Seriously. No really.” – Matt McInvale

Slide show plugin > Pods > Mini CMS within WordPress that lets you do SlideShow. Add JQuery Library to make it pretty.

Comments Are King – Matt Browne

Matt works with SD Bloggers,

Are you a King or are you a Kingdom? In regards to your blog – how does your audience perceive you? This will impact how you formulate your comment strategy.

Don’t accept what WP does with comments by default. Take a step back to analyze your comment plugins and strategy.

Each blog, and each post has certain types of comments that it sources. Debate, props to the author, self promotion, questions, etc.

Two main reasons people comment on blogs is to give the author kudos or to debate a point on your blog in their own community.

It’s important for people to be able to reply to each other. Comment threads in posts. But can your comments or interactions be more efficient with a chat room instead?

(One of my favorite tips that we’ll be using!)  TweetBacks! – Plugin where Tweets are pulled into your blog as a comment.

IntenseDebate, Disqus – comment plugins – what’s best for your audience for comments?

Commoner / Knight / Ruler – what comment rank do you have? The more comments you have, the more control you have on how you display them on your site, and how you ask your audience to comment (your comment policy).

Comment Tips #1: Friction (eliminate it, make your comment system easy to use), Instant (auto approve your comments so people can have an immediate discussion), Participate (answer questions and participate in your comment stream), @ back (thank commenters, they are your biggest fans).

Comment Tips #2: Evangelists (engage your commenters, get feedback from them), Subscribers (get a lot of them!), Policy Page (What type of comments do you want from your audience? Explain this to them).

When is it Time to Graduate to a Custom Theme? – Jodi Kirkwood

With a template you’re restricted. With a custom template, the flexibility gives you a lot of options.

Figure out what type of personality do you want your site to represent?

Doing everything means doing nothing REALLY well. Get the core of your site perfected first.

Custom WP sites can range from $1,000 to $25,000.

Designing Success for WordPress – Cody Landefeld

Cody’s presentation slides (if you have slides of your presentation and would like to add them to this recap, please post a comment with your link and I’ll include it).

First – identify bad designs (check out if you are so inclined).

How to Achieve Good Design – Plan Your Design Efficiently! Research > Sitemap > Wire Frame.

Plan your design efficiently. Figure out what’s an example of efficient design.

Consider your audience and the mediums they use to find your website (browser, tablet, mobile).

Consider flexible design. How easy will it be to update your website? How costly?

Use text often. But be efficient with it. IMHO: No more than 5 fonts, less is more.

Which plugins will be leveraged in your WP design? Consider this carefully beforehand.

Content Consideration. Content is King. Is your blog: Article driven? White paper driven? Video driven? Plan for the long-term.

Allow for adjustments to your design in the future. This couples with leverage flexible design. Have ownership enough to know you can adjust here & there.

Responsive Web Design With WordPress – Wes Chyrchel

“It may be an even bigger idea than we initially realized” – Jeffrey Zeldman

Why build responsive design? Because 1/3 people have smart phones! Responsive design adapts the web page’s picture size and format to a user’s browser.

Get more continuity with the user experience with responsive design. – Article on Responsive Design -

Google to begin giving more favor to sites that are mobile enabled.

Town Hall – Matt Mullenweg

Matt is one of the founders of WordPress and was nice enough to take an hour of his day to source questions from the WordPress community at Word Camp SD.

More than 20,000 people use WordPress as their primary source of income. Probably more considering there are more than 50 million WordPress sites.

“Do not Google for WP themes, you might catch something. Use to find a theme.” – Matt Mullenweg

WP looking at auto updates in the near future.

“Think user experience first, work your way backwards from there.” – Matt Mullenweg


Word Camp San Diego was without a doubt one of the most fun events I’ve been to. Packed with informative sessions and cool people, I’ll be sure to be back next year. Word Camp takes place all over the world as well, so make sure you find one in your neck of the woods to attend.

If you have any questions about the event, feel free to post a comment and I’ll respond to it quickly.

About the Author+Andrew Davis is CPC Strategy's Director of Marketing, an expert in ecommerce marketing strategy, product marketing and all things shopping engine related. You can contact Andrew directly at or via phone at 619-297-3798. See all posts by this author here.

  • matt mcinvale

    Great meeting you yesterday. Excellent event summary. Hopefully well see you in LA.

    • CPC_Andrew

      Pleasure meeting you too Matt! We’ll be in touch.

  • William Bay

    Great recap, and thanks for the mention. Glad to have you in the audience. Let me know if you have any questions!!!

    • CPC_Andrew

      Great meeting you William! And will do. Thanks!