WordSesh Americas 2019

The May 2019 WordSesh event featured 17 separate sessions covering the gamut of business and development. If you develop sites with WordPress, whether independently or as part of a team, there is plenty here for you.

As a member of WPSessions you can access all of the replays and speaker slides right here on WPSessions at no additional cost. As an annual member you can also download all of these videos for permanent, offline viewing.

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WordSesh May 2019 originally broadcast live on May 25, 2019. Below is a list of all the presentations, speakers, and descriptions.

Choosing to Enjoy the Ride: 3 Ways to Embrace the Entrepreneurial Roller Coaster

Brandy Lawson
Welcome to the ride! Even though you can’t fully control the ups and downs, you can choose how you ride.

In this session, Brandy will provide you with three tangible strategies to embrace the roller coaster and truly enjoy the ride you’re on. Come learn from Brandy’s experience as an entrepreneur and growing up with entrepreneurial parents.

Overdelivering: The Art of Exceeding Customer Expectations

Kyle Van Deusen
You have a prospect who needs to sell goods or services online. What do you need to know in order to provide them the proper solution, and what do you then need to do and say to land them as a customer?

Chris Lema, VP of Product at Liquid Web, will teach you the dynamics of marinading in the problem space, understanding your prospect’s needs, making an informed proposal to meet those needs, and ultimately build a hugely beneficial working relationship.

GutenBOOM: How Being First To Market Powered the Most of My Year

Joe Casabona
At WordCamp US 2017, Matt Mullenweg announced that he believed WordPress 5.0 would be out in April, with the brand new editor Gutenberg. With that news, Joe decided to be proactive and develop the first Gutenberg user course. In this talk, Joe will discuss how being first to market in January 2018 transformed and powered his business for a large part of the fiscal year.

The Rhythms of Distributed Teams

Shane Pearlman

Does your team actually understand what it takes to succeed on a project? What is the definition of success that you’re going to use to make decisions when nobody is around to tell you what to do?

What you’ll learn:

  • Why every process and deliverable requires a single owner
  • How to build a meaningful backlog
  • Creating a successful communication policy
  • What information should be communal vs private
  • How to create a thriving environment

Selling WordPress to Enterprises

Rahul Bansal

Rahul’s WordPress journey started with working on small projects as a freelancer. Over the past ten years, Rahul founded and grew his agency rtCamp to reach the other end of the spectrum, regularly handling large, enterprise WordPress projects.

At this scale, the rules for “selling” WordPress change. WordPress’ traditional advantages don’t necessarily apply anymore.

How do we sell WordPress to Enterprises?

Agile Marketing + Pantheon = Great

Matt Cheney
The best websites are the ones that change regularly. Successful websites come from development teams who regularly collaborate, experiment, and iterate. Pantheon offers a WordPress development platform that can help build workflows so your development process can be agile – and get results.

WordPress Acceptance Testing: SOLVED

Taylor Lovett

Automated testing is an important part of every web application. When building WordPress plugins, themes, and websites, there are a plethora of different frameworks for unit testing, integration testing, and acceptance testing. While many of these frameworks are useful, most of them are hard to use, ineffective at stopping regressions, not scalable to a team of developers, or not easily integrated with CI pipelines.

WP Acceptance, is a toolkit that empowers developers and CI pipelines to test codebases using version controlled acceptance tests and sharable environments. This talk will explain the motivation behind WP Acceptance, how to use it, and why it’s the most effective way to test your WordPress applications.

Happy Browser, Happy User

Katie Sylor-Miller

Performance is fundamentally, a UX concern. Sites that are slow to render or janky to interact with are a bad user experience. We strive to write performant code for our users, but users don’t directly interact with our code – it all happens through the medium of the browser. The browser is the middleman between us and our users; therefore to make our users happy, we first have to make the browser happy. But how exactly do we do that?

In this talk, we’ll learn how browsers work under the hood: how they request, construct, and render a website. At each step along the way, we’ll cover what we can do as developers to make the browser’s job easier, and why those best practices work. You’ll leave with a solid understanding of how to write code that works with the browser, not against it, and ultimately improves your users’ experience.

Continuous Integration with Pantheon

Andrew Taylor
Pantheon is more than just WordPress hosting. Their developer tools allow for simple integrations and advanced workflows. In this quick session, Pantheon Developer Programs Engineer Andrew Taylor will be showing how GitHub, CircleCI and Pantheon work together to bring automation to WordPress development.

Fast Web with Gatsby and WordPress

Maedah Batool
Gatsby is a blazing fast React-based static site generator that has won the hearts of many. Maedah is going to show you why it has become such a popular tool by demonstrating how you can leverage Gatsby to supercharge your next WordPress site.

VSCode Power User Workflows

Ahmad Awais

After 10 happy years with SublimeText, Ahmad switched to VSCode. Since then, he has spent over 1,000 hours perfecting his setup.

In his session, Ahmad will provide you with a bunch of shortcuts so that you can run the ideal WordPress development workflow through VSCode. He’ll cover debugging with Xdebug, auto-formatting your code, docs searching, code linting, and more.

Learning from Success

Courtland Allen

Courtland is the creator of IndieHackers, a community of founders who help each other create profitable businesses. In these past two years, Courtland has interviewed more than 100 successful business owners who started their journey alone (and many of whom are still wildly successful companies of one).

Sit in on an exclusive interview and learn about Courtland’s journey, the lessons he’s learned, and the timeless advice he has for anyone who wants to create their own profitable and independent business.

What’s Next for Pantheon?

Josh Coenig
A first-hand account covering the exciting changes happening within Pantheon.

Building a Therapist Directory with React and Headless WordPress

Michelle Wiltshire
This talk highlights the significant technical details of building a membership directory using React and WordPress as a headless CMS. Along the way, Michelle will divulge challenges she faced as a newbie, some successful moments, embarrassing decisions, and a few inner narratives from a developing Full-stack Product Designer.

Accesibility Patterns from the Ground Up

Carie Fisher

Digital accessibility can be difficult or frustrating to a lot of people, but it doesn’t have to be. By making small changes to your everyday workflow, you can have a huge impact on making the digital world more inclusive – without crushing your creativity or sacrificing your sanity!

In this talk, we will walk-through the process of creating an accessible pattern from design to development, while focusing on accessibility best practices at each step. We will start with a wireframe/sketch, process that into a design, translate the design into code, and finally, retest for accessibility. We will also talk about the different kinds of patterns out in the wild and which are the most accessible to the widest range of users.

The audience will leave the talk with a deeper understanding of accessibility best practices and will have take-away action items to help them start building their own accessible patterns!

Win Clients & Customers Through Stellar Support

Keri Jacoby

Successful businesses are built on a strong foundation of satisfied customers. Every interaction you have with an existing customer or client has the potential to impact your business. If you’re not meeting your customers expectations through stellar support there will inevitably come a day when they’ll find someone who can.

SEO for Freelancers

Lindsay Halsey

Site speed, great user-experience, and quality content – sound familiar? As a freelancer, you are likely already doing SEO for your clients by designing and building fantastic websites. Take credit for the value you provide and consider adding SEO to your services. Grow your recurring revenue and create long term relationships with your clients.

In this session, we will focus on the three aspects of adding SEO as a service:

  • Process: How you will provide the service.
  • Pricing: How you will get compensated for the value you provide.
  • Sales & Communication: How to talk to your prospects and clients about SEO