My web visitors won’t sit still

Have you noticed that visitors to your website don’t view your information on just one platform?  They’re on smart phones, tablets, desk tops, huge screens, mini screens, and…   Well you get the idea. How do you get your information in a format everyone can view?

Elizabeth Cagen addressed designing WordPress websites last year at WordCamp RI.  Sit back and soak up some great ideas.

Q & A with Aaron Ware

Once again this year, one of the key organizers for WordCamp RI is Aaron Ware, President of Linchpin.  He took the time to answer some questions so we can have a behind the scenes look at what goes into planning a WordCamp.
In your professional life, when you’re not helping to organize WordCamp RI, what do you do?  What role does WordPress play?
WordPress has a large involvement in the projects, tools and inner workings at Linchpin. On a personal level, I always have pet projects or forum support for various open source projects I work on.

One of your roles with WordCamp RI is connecting with sponsors.  Why would a company or a consultant want to be one of the WordCamp RI sponsors?
With WordPress itself being an open source project, many companies have been able to take advantage of that cost savings. What better way to get even more value out of WordPress than by supporting the community that supports WordPress? Sponsorship tiers are extremely cost effective. It also gives businesses and agencies alike the opportunity to reach out to a very talented pool of potential hires.

How do the sponsors directly help the WordCamp RI attendees?
Sponsorships are key to keeping costs low for our attendees. If I could get enough sponsors to make the event completely free I would!

WordCamp RI is two days of all things WordPress.  For someone attending for the first time, what advice do you offer to get the most out of WordCamp?
Plan out the tracks and topics that make sense for you to attend. I personally love the buddy system. If you have a colleague or peer, the two of you can go to some of the sessions together, but then also break off into separate sessions when there are multiple topics you are interested in during the same time slot. The great thing is the sessions will be on as well, so you don’t really have to worry about missing anything.

Friday there are day-long in-depth sessions on various topics.  Saturday is made up of a variety of 45-minute seminars throughout the day.  What is the advantage of taking those two approaches over the course of WordCamp RI?
Workshop day is great for a deep dive, so get ready to roll up your sleeves and work! Session day typically we share overall insights and thoughts on items, but it would be hard to actually get in and start working. Lastly if a session isn’t the right fit, don’t be afraid to gracefully bow out and check out another session that is right for you.

What’s this Happiness Bar everyone is talking about?  Why would I want to stop by?
The Happiness Bar is a great place to get some support. Whether you have a simple WordPress setup issue or a more advanced topic, there is typically someone there who can give you a shove in the right direction.

After WordCamp RI is over, there is the After-Party.  What is that?  Why should I attend?
The After Party is, in my eyes, one of the most important aspects of any WordCamp. The After Party helps cut through some of the awkwardness that someone could possibly feel about going up to a sponsor, speaker or another attendee to maybe ask a question or to say thanks. I can personally attest to walking up to people I admire in the community and simply saying “Thanks for what you do.” I think it’s easier in the After Party setting.

Is it OK if an attendee stops by a sponsor table during WordCamp itself and says “thank you” to the sponsors?
YES! Definitely. Also, I think it isn’t always about stepping up to a table. The best part about WordCamps for me is the schmoozing. Walk up at any time to anyone and just have a conversation. If you want to slip in a thank you during that conversation EVEN BETTER. I think it’s about having a conversation. If you aren’t into X or Y or Z solution, product or service that’s A-OK. And again, the After Party is always a great opportunity for casual conversation.

WordCamp draws a diverse crowd: beginners, experienced coders, people who provide web content, project managers, and more.  What approach does WordCamp RI take that such a varying group attends each year?
We leave a good portion of our approach up to the community itself. As a team, the organizers also take a look at what has worked, and what hasn’t, in years past and we go from there.

What tips and tricks do you recommend to get the most out of WordCamp RI?  What should I bring?  What should I do?  Does it matter if I look at the schedule posted on the WordCamp RI website a day or two before I attend?
You honestly don’t NEED to bring anything except an openness to learn. At WordCamp RI we will have schedules posted on the Website as well as have screens throughout our venue at New England Tech, which will be updated in case of any last minute changes.
I always carry a bag with me that has some standards: my laptop, phone, a pen and small notebook (which I rarely use). Also, I bring a charger, a battery backup for my phone, a surge protector with a few extra outlets so if someone else needs to charge I don’t take up the entire outlet.
I would also suggest having some room in your bag for some swag!

Once the actual days of WordCamp RI arrive, what do you personally like to make sure you do?
Hydrate and Caffeinate.

Is there any follow-up that makes sense once WordCamp RI is over?
Fill out the session and over-all event surveys. Reach out to people with whom you made an acquaintance; you never know what it might turn into: a new career, a new project opportunity, etc.

Any other thoughts?  Does WordCamp RI need anything?
Volunteers. It’s one area we need to grow in our community. More volunteers means that we can have more people step up in the future.
Aaron Ware is President of Linchpin.  You can follow him on Twitter @aaronware and on the WordPress Slack @aware.

Child Themes in WordPress

Hope you are planning to come to WordCamp RI 2016! Once again we’ll be at New England Tech Institute in East Greenwich.  The dates are September 30 and October 1.  Can’t wait?  Here’s a trip down memory lane with New England Tech Assistant Professor Ajay Coletta.  His talk at last year’s WordCamp RI was Child Themes.

An Appetizer to WordCamp RI

You will be attending WordCamp RI on September 30 and October 1 at New England Institute of Technology in East Greenwich.  However, that seems like such a long time to go without any WordCamp sessions.  Never fear, WordCamp RI has connections with Boston WordCamp!  Here is some information to attend WordPress “summer school.”

WordCamp Boston will be held July 23 and 24 with six learning tracks:

  1. Designers
  2. Developers
  3. WordPress in Higher Education/Introduction to WordPress
  4. Users/Writers
  5. Business/Entrepeneurs
  6. Contributor Day

Where’s the RI connection?  We have a few of them.

WordPress RI Meetup organizer, and previous WordCamp RI presenter, Aaron Ware will be speaking on “Empowering your Clients and Being an Advocate for You.”  Those of us who have heard Aaron speak know that one of his strengths is talking about weaknesses.  That is, he doesn’t gloss over the tough parts of his experiences, which helps us avoid some pitfalls he’s already discovered.  Aaron is always an energetic and engaging speaker.

WordPress RI Meetup member, and WordCamp RI speaker alum, Adam Lamagna will reveal “The Frustration with Website Security.”  Adam will get right to the heart of website security, even for those who think their website could be of no interest to a hacker.  (p.s. That’s not true.  Hackers are interested in every website.)  While I can’t promise anything, there is a chance that Adam will also throw in a bonus movie reference.

And yet another previous WordCamp RI speaker and member of WordPress RI Meetup, K.Adam White has a fascinating topic “Machine Learning with WordPress.”  Want to know more about how Google makes psychedelic images and how poets and other writers can use machine learning techniques for creative results?  This is the talk for you.  (And by the way, did you possibly think I had a typo with K.Adam?  I’m crushed.  Here’s an insider peek: K.Adam pronounces his name “Kadam” and so spells it appropriately.)

Tickets for Boston WordCamp this summer:

Tickets for WordCamp RI September 30th and October 1st :

See you at WordCamp(s)!


SEO and Plugin Help and More

Are you getting good search engine results with your WordPress site?

How can you tell if a plugin is the right one for you?

Are you the owner of a WordPress site, needing to find someone to work on your website?

Or do you work with WordPress; looking for more jobs?

These were the topics at the June meeting of the WordPress RI Meetup.  As the days are at their longest in June, our group took advantage of the extra sunlight to travel out of state for our meeting.  Destination: Fall River, Massachusetts.

(We will pause our regularly scheduled blog post for a gasp of admiration.)

(We will now resume normal blogging.)

emagine hosted us at their headquarters.

You can review what you learned that evening or watch the talks for the first time on the videos from the Meetup.

Alicia Hale,  VP of Digital Marketing at emagine, reviewed SEO tips and tricks:

Aaron Ware, President of Linchpin, unveiled the new website matching those who want, and those who can offer, help with WordPress sites.  (Spoiler alert: the website is  His talk is at

Christian Nolan, Technical Director at emagine, advised on finding good plugins.

These are the types of topics you’ll find given in more depth, along with many other topics, at the 5th annual WordCampRI held on September 30 and October 1 at New England Institute of Technology in East Greenwich.  See you there!

Thank you to Tom and Reiko Beach for videotaping!

It’s 11 p.m. Do you know what your blog post is tomorrow?

Content may be King, but do you have to be a serf?  Here are some great tips from Aileen McDonough in her talk at WordCamp RI last year.  This might be the best stress relief you have all day!

Come back to WordCamp RI this year for more great sessions.  Once again our host is New England Tech Institute at their East Greenwich campus.  The dates are Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.



Answers for speakers

Some have expressed an interest in applying to WordCampRI to be a speaker in 2016, but are not sure what we want.

Here’s some help for you!  First, check out our blog post with general topic ideas.

Secondly, look at what was presented last year.  Do you have added information?  A new angle on a topic?  Or maybe we need to run the same session again this year!

WordCampRI 2015 ran a day-long boot camp for those who wanted help setting up their website.

There was a day-long session to advance the skills of coders.

Website administrators concerned with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) found this seminar of great value.

There was even a valuable people-skills session on managing expectations.

Does that have the wheels in your brain turning?  Check out the complete schedule from WordCamp RI 2015 to come up with ideas how to bring this year’s WordCamp RI to the next level!  Then apply to be a speaker!

So you’re thinking about talking

WordCamp RI is accepting applications from potential speakers for WordCamp RI 2016.  What are we looking for?

Talks of interest to:

    • Developers and coders
    • Those who need help setting up a WordPress website
    • Information for those who would like to move their website to the next level
    • Help for those who have a website framework with holes that need filling with content
    • Strategies for coordinating websites with social media
    • Coding help that is geared to beginners or intermediates or advanced users
    • Content ideas geared to beginners or intermediates or advanced users
    • Marketing strategies for beginners or intermediates or advanced users
    • Ways to use WordPress in education
    • Other ideas you might have

On Friday September 30 we’ll be running day-long training for those who want an in-depth look at a topic.  That’s about six-hours of training.

On Saturday October 1 we’ll have a series of 45-minute sessions.

Apply for either or both.  The bullet list applies to both days also.  Every year we have all-day tracks that are geared to beginners and to advanced users.

WordPress is used by more than one-fifth of the websites in the world.  That means a lot of different people would like to learn a lot of different things!

If you’d like to submit an idea for a talk, go to the speakers page.  We’d love to hear from you!


A Blast from the Past

or Throw Back Thursday… whichever you prefer.  We’re busy getting ready for WordCamp RI 2016 at New England Tech Institute.  However just at this moment, it’s time to relax, take a breath, and relive a highlight from last year’s WordCamp.  Remember our keynote speaker?  It was past WordCamp RI lead organizer Jesse Friedman speaking about “Engineering Positive Change.”  Revel in the memory, or watch his talk for the first time.  Here’s a link to Jesse’s talk at WordCamp RI 2015: