Blue Ribbon Sponsor Spotlight: WiredTree

wiredtree-blue-ribbonThanks so much to Wired Tree for being one of our Blue Ribbon Sponsors!

WiredTree provides Managed VPS and Managed Dedicated Servers to WordPress users worldwide from our Chicago-based data center and offices. Every WT server is backed by 24×7 telephone support, ticket support with 15 minute average response times, and is fully managed and monitored by WiredTree to maximize uptime and minimize frustration.  With experience in SSD technology, MariaDB, Memcached, WordPress plugins, server optimization, and LiteSpeed Web server, WiredTree can take your site’s performance to the next level.

Thank you to our Yellow Ribbon sponsors!

Thanks so much to all of the Yellow Ribbon sponsors for helping to make WCMKE a great event!

serverpress-yellow-ribbonDesktopServer from makes it simple to create local WordPress sites in just a matter of a few clicks. With DesktopServer you can design, develop and deploy WordPress solutions quickly and easily. It is the ONLY localhost server that integrates WordPress with Adobe® Dreamweaver® & Panic’s Coda with WYSIWYG features for theme design & web developer professionals. It offers multi-site, import and export (deployment) of archive files such as BackupBuddy, Duplicator, BackUp WordPress, InfiniteWP & ManageWP.

pushup-10up-yellow-ribbonPushUp effortlessly connects your WordPress site to our website push notification service so that you can selectively deliver on-demand notifications right to your visitor’s desktops as you update your content. Be the first to deliver updates to your readers, and drive them back to your website, instead of context and conversion stripping feed readers. Use the code “WordCampMKE2014” between now and the end of WordCamp MKE to save 33% off sign up.

flywheel-yellow-ribbonFlywheel is beautifully simple WordPress hosting for designers and creative agencies. Flywheel offers rock-solid, super fast WordPress hosting on a platform built from the ground up to support the workflow of web designers.

disqus-yellow-ribbonDisqus is a free service that makes it easy for anyone to create or participate in an online community. Our magic is in connecting people to stuff that’s worth talking about.

wpml-yellow-ribbonWPML turns WordPress websites multilingual. It works with caching, SEO and E-Commerce plugins, and allows the building of complete multilingual sites. WPML powers simple blogs as well as corporate and enterprise sites. More information about going multilingual can be found at

WordCamp Milwaukee Schedule is Out!

You may noticed or you may not have… but, we have quietly released the WordCamp Milwaukee schedule on our website. We have been waiting on finalizing some details before doing an official announcement and now we have things in place so we are shouting it out to the world! Please share, because we have a pretty amazing schedule this year!

We have topics for everyone from advanced development, beginner development, design, community, security, marketing, project management, and using WordPress. We have topics on converting leads on your website, using CSS preprocessors, finding the best web host, how non-profits can use WordPress, monetizing your blog, JavaScript, creating content, usability, UX, and so much more! All of these are being put on by top-notch speakers, many within our own Wisconsin community, but also some experts that have traveled from around the country (or the world, we have one WordPress developer from Australia!).

Be sure to take a look at our schedule and to see who’s attending now!

View the Schedule!

Also be sure to check out some of the other fun things that will be happening over the weekend. WordCamp is more than just attending presentations. You can help build a website for a local non-profit in our Charity Hackathon. You can get help with your WordPress problems or discuss a new way to do something at the WordPress Happiness Bar. And you can also hang around in the lounge areas and get in on some of the best impromptu talks with other attendees, sponsors, and speakers and also participate in some other fun things we will have for your free time. When things are done on Saturday, don’t forget to come to the WordCamp After-Party. This social mixer is the place where the real networking happens. You can mingle and get to know the speakers and other attendees while enjoying a drink and snack at the nearby Miller Time Pub.

See Who’s Attending!

WordCamp Milwaukee Speakers: Round 2

The WordCamp Milwaukee Speaker application deadline has now come and gone. The organizing committee are hard at work shuffling through all of the amazing applications. We are overwhelmed with the quality of talks we have this year! I guarantee there is something for everyone and we have great talks from both local talent and nationally known speakers on WordPress, Web Design, Development, and more.

We will be announcing the full speaker list and our schedule within days, but we’ll just leave you with a little teaser today. Here are five more speakers to add to the WordCamp Milwaukee Lineup:

Chris Coyier

chriscoyierChris Coyier (@chriscoyier) is a front-end developer and is dedicated to helping people build better websites. He is the founder of the amazing site CSS-Tricks, where you can find info on pretty much anything to do with CSS and front-end development. He also hosts the popular ShopTalk Show podcast on front-end development and design, co-wrote the book “Digging into WordPress,” and co-founded the amazing front-end playground CodePen. Chris has spoke at events around the world and has written many articles on front-end design and development including for Smashing Magazine.

John James Jacoby

jjjJohn James Jacoby (@jjj) is the Director of Web Engineering for 10up and a lead developer on BuddyPress and bbPress. John formerly was a member of Automattic’s VIP, Dotorg, and Social teams and has been developing with WordPress for years. John speaks around the country at WordCamps and other events and loves teaching and volunteering his time to the community.

Rachel Baker

rachelbakerRachel Baker (@rachelbaker) is a Senior Strategic Engineer with 10up and an active member of the WordPress community. Rachel has lead development on WordPress projects of all sizes including high-traffic communities and for Fortune 500 Companies. She created the popular BootstrapWP Theme and has been instrumental in developing the new WordPress JSON REST API.

Ryan McCue

ryanmccueRyan McCue (@rmccue) is a Web Developer with HumanMade and a regular WordPress Core Contributor. Ryan lead the new WordPress JSON REST API project as part of the Google Summer of Code. Ryan is also in charge of the SimplePie RSS library included in WordPress core and used in many other PHP Applications on the web.

Michelle Schulp

michelleschulpMichelle Schulp (@marktimemedia) is a graphic designer, web designer, and WordPress specialist. Michelle has talked at WordCamps around the country imparting her knowledge to help others create better, more effective designs. Michelle is the lead organizer of WordCamp Chicago 2014 and does does web design for Modern Tribe and freelance projects.

WordCamp Milwaukee Speakers: Round 1

This year for WordCamp Milwaukee, we are going to roll out the announcement of our speakers starting today! We are excited about all the great submissions we’ve received this year from both local and national speakers. We are staring with a group of five great speakers that we’ve accepted. Don’t worry though, our speaker applications are still open for one more week if you are still interested in submitting a talk.

Amongst our first round of speakers we have one of the top WordPress authors, a security expert and podcast celebrity, a local PHP expert and organizer of the Milwaukee PHP Users Group, the founder of one of the top WordPress help sites, and even a Joomla! Core Developer! Yes, I said Joomla! We’re excited for this group of speakers and those we will be announcing in the coming days.

Lisa Sabin-Wilson

lisasabinwilsonLisa Sabin-Wilson (@lisasabinwilson) is a partner at WebDevStudios, one of the top WordPress agencies working with clients such as Microsoft, MSNBC, and Time. Lisa has multiple top-selling books on WordPress including the popular WordPress for Dummies. She is a very active member in the WordPress community contributing to the education of users, both new and advanced, about the platform through her travels and appearances at various WordCamps around the country.

Syed Balkhi

syedSyed Balkhi (@syedbalkhi) is the founder of WPBeginner. He is known for his aggressive marketing skills, creative designs, and expertise in SEO. Syed has been in the industry for over eight years, and he has worked with some of the top brands in the industry. He is known as “the WordPress Ninja” because he is a total WordPress Geek.

Dre Armeda

dreDre Armeda (@dremeda) is the CEO of the top security and monitoring company Sucuri, a web security expert, and half of the popular WordPress Podcast, the Dradcast. He is infatuated with WordPress, web design, and web security, is a Harley enthusiast, and loves tacos.

Michael Babker

michaelbabkerMichael Babker (@mbabker) is an active member of the Joomla! community, participating in the Bug Squad, contributing code to the CMS and Framework, and is a member of the Production Leadership Team. He specializes in optimizing performance in existing code, developing libraries and extensions to enhance Joomla’s code base, maintenance of Joomla’s CMS and Framework unit testing suites, and development of custom solutions for the Joomla CMS and Framework.

Joel Clermont

joelclermontJoel Clermont (@jclermont) is a PHP developer in the Milwaukee area, accomplished speaker, and organizer of the Milwaukee PHP User Group. Joel has spoke at TrueNorthPHP, ThatConference, and keynoted MidwestPHP in 2013 and has spoke at many other conferences and meetups.

Speaker Submissions Extended Until May 23!

Time is running out on submitting speaker applications to WordCamp Milwaukee! We know that many of you are procrastinating on submitting talks, so we decided we would give you one more week to get your talks submitted. Our new deadline for submitting to become a speaker at WordCamp Milwaukee is May 23!

We are thoroughly impressed by the quality of talks we have had submitted so far and it’s going to be a very difficult time putting together this year’s schedule. It’s shaping up to be the best WCMKE schedule yet. But, we want you to make it even more difficult by submitting some more of those awesome talks!

The extension doesn’t mean you have to procrastinate any more. Get your talk in today!
We are no longer seeking submissions.

Also, stay tuned because later today we will be announcing a first round of speakers from our deep pool of submissions!

Photo Credit: Moonrhino cc

Stay Tuned for Some Exciting News on WordCamp Milwaukee Speakers!

The WordCamp Milwaukee organizing committee has been thoroughly impressed with the speaker submissions we have been getting so far! We have some great talks submitted by some great speakers both local and from around the country. Our current plans are to keep Speaker Submissions Open Until Friday, May 15.

I know it’s going to be a hard time choosing from the great crew, but we want you to make it even harder. We would love to have just a few more speaker applications submitted. If you’ve been thinking about speaking at a tech conference, this is a great opportunity! We are looking for all types of speakers and especially love showing off our local talent. Remember, talks don’t need to be specifically on WordPress, just so they are of interest to WordPress users, developers, designers, or business owners.

Stay tuned, the exciting news is that later this week we will be announcing our first round of speakers! We have some pretty amazing ones to announce and are excited to be sharing this with everyone.

Photo Credit: teamstickergiant cc

Who Should Attend a WordCamp?

WordPress provides users with free software that they can use to build a simple website in a few minutes. Websites can consist of one blog or they can be complex creations with multiple pages, blogs, videos and links to social media. The underlying WordPress software is written using open source code. This allows developers to write new themes and plugins that hook-in to the existing code to modify the appearance and functionality of the basic unchangeable WordPress template. The developer can then sell these items to other interested users.

a wordcamp logo

Consequently, WordCamp Milwaukee 2014 is suitable for individuals of all ages and interests including teenagers with an entrepreneurial flair, college students developing school networking sites, seasoned professionals managing hundreds of blogs, freelance web designers, individuals promoting their existing business and creative software developers who want to make some money. All of these things are possible with WordPress. In addition, this conference provides WordPress users, developers and designers a chance to network in a congenial environment. Experts are available to answer questions throughout the day at the Happiness Bar.

Specialized hands-on introductory training workshops are being held on the Friday preceding the conference. Each session will focus on one of three topics: general use, theme development or plugin design. We encourage attendees to bring a laptop to the training session. These orientation sessions should prepare the attendees to better understand the more advanced weekend discussions.

Saturday and Sunday sessions cover a variety of topics including general use, new features, security concerns, engaging designs, social media, intermediate and advanced theme development and plugin design (the fundamentals are covered in Friday’s introductory workshops), marketing and business development.

go wordcamp!

It’s a fun and informative weekend, and we invite everyone to join us at the Saturday night party where you can get to know the fellow members of your WordPress Milwaukee community. Not everyone is a competitor; you might meet a future collaborator or employer. Creative people are an invaluable asset to any enterprise.

Local volunteers support this event. Let the organizers know if you want to participate and make this conference the best one ever!

Buy your ticket today for the July 25-27th event…  tickets are going fast!

What Are Other WordCamps Around the World Like?

WordCamp Milwaukee 2014 has been organized by local volunteers who love WordPress, and the same basic format has been used to develop similar events in other areas. Every WordCamp is assisted by the WordPress Foundation, and they are a nonprofit organization that was created with the intention of helping WordPress move forward with its mission of democratizing publishing via their open-source project. In other words, anyone who already loves WordPress or wants to learn how to use it can receive assistance by attending one of these events due to the presence of skilled volunteers and the WordPress Foundation.

wordcamp is all about

What Can I Expect from WordCamp?

Although each WordCamp event varies slightly due to the specific people involved, there are many similarities between each of these gatherings. For example, WordCamp Chicago 2013 featured more than 50 diverse speakers, including one of the founding developers of WordPress. Attendees were able to listen to each of the speakers discussed many relevant topics during panels such as The Zen of Freelancing and WordPress Business Owners. There were also several informative discussions about everything from SEO to content strategy. Each of the three days of WordCamp Chicago were packed with educational tracks, and this enabled people of all skill and interest levels to receive invaluable information that can help them get more out of WordPress.

What Do Volunteers Do?

Volunteers are a critical component of each WordCamp, and they are utilized in a wide variety of different ways based on their availability and technical skills. For example, WordPress and video gurus help keep the event running smoothly by assisting with panels and answering questions. Each event also has a high need for more basic assistance such as working at the registration desk, setting up and cleaning up. Attendees who are interested in volunteering should sign up immediately before each available spot is filled. It is important to note that volunteering is one of the absolute best ways to ensure that each WordCamp will be successful enough to be repeated in the future. After all, without enough help, it is impossible to put on events of this nature.

What Have Been the Top Perks of Attending Previous WordCamps?

Having the opportunity to attend panels and educational tracks is definitely one of the main highlights of each WordCamp, but this is not the only positive benefit that attracts people to these events. In fact, many attendees actually prefer the fact that attending WordCamp helps them connect with a large group of like-minded people. Therefore, each previous WordCamp has provided attendees with the ability to network with each other, and the lunch break that is built into each day is the perfect time to socialize and meet new potential business connections. Additionally, most attendees stay in the local area, and this opens up the option to network with people after hours at nearby restaurants and other establishments.

We hope to see you at THIS YEAR’S event!

Scott O.

Why Choose the WordPress Content Management System?

The organizers of WordCamp Milwaukee use WordPress as the technology platform on which we build business websites.  We do not use our own proprietary content managements because we believe strongly in the use of open source technology. As a modern web developer, designers and marketers, it’s a big part of who we are and how we do business.

It’s Easy to Use

WordPress will give you the ability to update the various pages of your websites, such as news items, case studies, FAQs and any other types of content on your website. One of the reasons the WordCamp organizers chose to develop websites on the WordPress platform is because of how easy WordPress makes it for us to teach our clients how to manage their own websites.

On average, it takes us only a few hours to get our clients fully trained on how to keep their website content up-to-date. Of course, if there are any new features desired after launching a website,  it easy to program additional functionality. From our experience, our clients have been pleased with the flexibility and power of WordPress and rarely have to rely on us for help in maintaining their websites.

It’s Free to Use

In addition to the freedom from licensing costs and restrictions, with WordPress, you get full access to the source code. This means that any changes can be made without reliance on any one particular web developer. There are thousands of web design companies across the world who know how to develop websites using WordPress, so you would not be limited to working with just one company who only understands how to work with their own proprietary code.

It’s Well Supported

Some web development companies talk about “custom code” or using their own “in-house CMS.” We strongly recommend staying aways from these types of “closed source” proprietary solutions in order to avoid vendor lock-in where only one specific company has the ability to host the website or to address security vulnerabilities as they arise.

Based on these principles, we standardized on using WordPress as our content management system of choice. It is a popular open source platform that millions of business websites, large and small, rely on every day.

It’s Continually Improved

By using WordPress, a developer can build your site quickly and can easily add additional features at any time.  Another reason we chose WordPress is because it is constantly being updated and maintained. WordPress has developers all over the world contributing to its continual improvement. It is already a great system and it’s getting even better every day.

We hope you will come to experience it for yourself at this year’s WordCamp Milwaukee! Tickets are on sale today.

Scott Offord
WordCamp MKE

July 25-27, 2014 at UW-M School of Continuing Education