guyWordCamp Auckland, Sat 26th July 2014, AUT. 9.00am to 4.45pm. Just $25 (p.s. snack lunch is supplied)

The topics list for the Auckland 2014 WordCamp is outlined below. We’re looking to cater primarily to new or intermediate users, bloggers, writers, graphic designers and IT staff wanting to build a better WordPress site.

The morning sessions examine how people are using and succeeding with WordPress with the right content or market strategy. The afternoon we focus upon how to select or configure themes, plugins, hosting, security etc.

9.00 – Introduction from WordPress & Automattic

An introduction from New Zealand’s own WordPress/Automattic representative Rachel Martin, providing clues as to what’s coming up for 2014 and Automattics role ‘downunder’

9.20am – How we created a stunning (free) WordPress site in a morning

Building a slick website typically involves talking with graphic designers, developers, hosting companies. The process can take weeks and cost more than anticipated. But using keeps things really simple, providing a quick, affordable, painless option for those starting out with WordPress, be they bloggers, schools or small business.

9.45 – Keynote – Jenene Crossan – Publishing for Fun & Profit

The world is full of blogs and online publications, but only a few stand out. Why? What do you need to do to create a successful online publishing business? Learn from one of NZ’s most accomplished, Jenene Crossan. At just 20 years of age Jenene start the website which went on to be a local publishing sensation.

10.30 – Better Words – Tips from a Journalist to improve your content

Writing good content is essential for readers and for traffic generation. But really, few of us have the required skills to do it well. We’re not trained as writers or journalists. This session will be presented by Bill Bennett, a professional gifted in the art of writing well and engaging readers.

11.00 – Travel the World with WordPress

Aucklander Craig Martin spends a few months every two years in New Zealand. The rest of the time, he travels the world as a professional travel blogger (and WordPress consultant). Craig will talk about his journey from hobbyist to professional blogger, with lots of practical takeaways for content marketing and content-focussed startups.

11.30 – Helping our schools & kids

WordPress is amazing for our schools and sports clubs. With the right setup, students, teams or classes can safely post their achievements online in a safe and structured manner. Teachers and students can run their own news website with private or public classroom areas, forums, galleries etc. Sports teams have areas to track games and player profiles too, uploading results, images or videos via iPhone.

Add in calendars, absence forms, event bookings, online payments, even a school-branded mobile app for instant, low cost broadcast alerts to students or their parents.

We’ll also view a new LMS (learning management) plugin that allows teachers to create online courses with videos, quizzes etc, with each student tracked and rewarded. Previously these tools resided at Universities. Now affordable e-learning is here for mainstream schools and educators. WordPress lets schools quickly build a dynamic publishing and education-focused channel for students and their local community. Incredible.

12.00 – Lunch

A snack lunch is supplied.

1.00 – Breakthroughs in DIY, ‘no-coding’ theme building

Deciding upon a theme is the most frustrating part of any new website build. You can buy a pre-built one from the thousands available and tweak it, or have a fresh design done by a graphic designer who then hands the design file over to a skilled coder with the needed php, javascript and css skills.

We’ll show you new themes that include a drag-n-drop approach, eliminating the manual coding bit, opening up possibilities for graphic designers, individuals or businesses who are limited by time, skills or budget. But there are still key things you need to know before embarking down this amazing DIY route. Graphic Designer Chris Young explains…

1.30 – Jetpack and ten other plugins every site should have

An extended, one hour session discussing the new Jetpack plugin provided by WordPress and several others all sites should have. With 25,000+ plugins available, it’s a tough but critical topic. Our expert developer panel will share their thoughts, providing lists and attempt to answer your questions on this key topic.

2.30 – Too little traffic? Top WordPress SEO tricks in 15 minutes

With hundreds of millions of websites out there, the vast majority get little or no traffic. Discover why the WordPress platform is preferred by SEO geeks. Why it is loved by Google and the essentials you need to know for improved search page rankings.

3.00 – WordPress + Facebook. Connecting with friends gives results

People too often make a choice. Should I have a Website or a Facebook page? The truth is you need both. They do quite different tasks, have unique roles and upkeep issues.

But understanding where each fits and how you can drive traffic between your website and Facebook is the untapped key to more traffic (or more friends) in many sectors. We’ll show you a plugin that will change the way you work and think when it comes to leveraging social media.

3.30 – WordPress for Business – Affordable upgrades; Better Support

WordPress has long been regarded as a blogging tool, yet in most cases is now used as a CMS website, successfully competing against longtime solutions like Joomla, Drupal and the countless proprietary systems, like Zeald.

For business use it’s important that a WordPress site is expertly built and maintained to a higher standard than your average install. Knowing good training and support is on tap is critical too in business. Here we outline the special systems and checklist used that allow WordPress to ably compete head-on in the enterprise space, often beating all others on price, usability, performance, upgrade options and support.

4.00 – Site recently hacked; too slow? A security & performance checklist

A common misconception in some quarters is that WordPress is both slow and easily hacked. This is quite untrue. But like any tool or application it’s all to do with your selection of the host platform and how well WordPress itself is configured. Here we outline the host selection process and the essential tips to make your WordPress site fast, robust and super-secure.

Q & A Wrap-up Session

An open panel question and answer session where attendees can ask tricky questions to our panel of experts. We expect most will relate to hosting, themes and plugins.