7 Common UX testing mistakes and how to avoid them

Presented by Anna Harrison in Upstairs.

The best way to improve your website is to watch real people using it. This is often referred to as User Experience (UX) testing. While it may seem that nothing could be simpler than watching a user interact with your site, it turns out that watching users in a way that consistently delivers useful insights is a hard skill to master. The good news, however, is that it’s possible to learn, refine and polish these skills over time. In this talk, I look at seven of the most common mistakes made in user testing, and how to avoid them. The presentation will be packed with examples and footage from real user tests, and is ideal for those new to user testing or in need of a refresher.

Impostor syndrome: Make it while you fake it

Presented by Peter Wilson in Downstairs.

Wikipedia defines impostor syndrome as a “concept affecting successful individuals unable to internalise their success with a persistent fear of being discovered as a fraud”.

tl;dr: imposter syndrome is your internal monologue telling you that you’re no good at your job.

Imposter syndrome is suffered by actors, journalists, and even a founding father or two. It’s also common among web engineers and designers.

Peter will remove his own mask of confidence and share his experiences of imposter syndrome, making an attempt to separate the real from the imagined. He’ll talk about objective success and reveal how his own internal monologue undermines it at every turn.

Peter will share his techniques for getting over his own impostor syndrome as it recurs in his day-to-day job. What works, what doesn’t and how sometimes they can sometimes be the same thing.

Project Management Principles to improve Life, Work, and your Mental Health

Presented by Dee Teal in Downstairs.

Whether you work alone as a freelancer or solopreneur, as a product maker, a developer, content writer, home maker, blogger, or business owner, there will be times you have to deliver things. It may be a product, it may be a renovation, it may be a website, a bunch of cakes for the PTA cake stall, heck, it could even be a tiny human… but you have made a commitment and now have to deliver…

There are some great principles in Project Management that can be applied not only in the workplace for any scale of product/project development but in ordinary life to make delivery of the things you or need to do a much smoother process.

This talk will deliver some easy to implement principles you can use in across the board facilitating more efficient, transparent, delivery of your ‘projects’ whatever they may be.

Testing any day: guide to end to end test driven WordPress projects

Presented by Vladimir Roudakov in Upstairs.

Do you get notified if some crucial functionality on your website was changed or broken?
Is automated testing part of your daily routine or deployment process?
If not, then you are risking of losing parts of your website or even entire project.
Testing is no longer developers realm and everybody should get involved and get the benefits of test driven development.

In this session we will cover:

  • basics of end-to-end testing
  • test reports and who should receive them
  • Automated testing best practices
  • How clients can benefit from automated testing

This session is aimed for

  • everyone who is interested in getting daily reports on how healthy their project is
  • Teams who would like to improve communication internally and externally by means of test reports
  • Project managers and developers interested in collecting data about their project over time

WordPress Best Practices in 2017

Presented by Luke Carbis in Upstairs.

WordPress development has changed quite a lot over the last few releases! The WordPress REST API prompted us to rethink the way we use AJAX in our themes and plugins. The Twenty Seventeen theme reminded us to take advantage of the latest Customiser updates. Improvements to the way WordPress handles language has had a big impact on the way we implement internationalisation. This talk will look at these examples, and propose some updated Best Practices for the modern WordPress developer.

Creating compelling content that cuts through the clutter

Presented by Mel Kettle in Downstairs.

With the average attention span shorter than that of a goldfish, it’s important we know how to cut through the cluttered social media space of today. Mel will show you how to create compelling and useful social media content that cuts through in a crowded market. In this session you will learn:

  • how to get more customers to know, like and trust you
  • how to create social media posts that will be liked, commented on and shared
  • the three best ways to grab attention with your social media posts
  • 10 ways to re-purpose content
  • the importance of authenticity
  • why video is so important.


The Roller Coaster Journey Of WordPress Development

Presented by Harley Oliver in Upstairs.

A brief insight into how I started developing with WordPress, from editing child themes with next to no idea about what I was doing, covering all the way up to the way I develop with WordPress today.

Covering the pitfalls and ‘ah-ha’ moments that I’ve experienced learning about how WordPress works, and what resources I’ve used to learn more about WP development over the last 5 years. This includes build tools, IDEs and coding standards, learning that doing work without a local dev environment is a terrible idea and how the WordPress community can help immensely.

Also looking into the future for WordPress and how the REST API opens doors for more than just WordPress development, and what it means for current developers looking to up their skill set but aren’t sure where to start.

Creating Online Courses With WordPress

Presented by Geoff Powell in Downstairs.

In this talk, Geoff Powell will be talking about the rapidly growing world of e-learning and online courses, and the tools and approaches you can take using WordPress as the platform.

How To Make Google Love Your WordPress Site

Presented by Kate Toon in Downstairs.

In this presentation, Kate will tell you the tips, techniques and tactics that she uses to help make sites 100% Google lovable, including:

  • The impact of hosting and domain choice
  • Integral set up steps that boost SEO friendliness
  • My top 10 Plugins to improve SEO
  • Easy peasy content formatting
  • What to consider when offering on going SEO packages


How I Created My Online Business And A Community Of 20k Crystal Lovers With WooCommerce And Facebook

Presented by Melanie Surplice in Downstairs.

In this presentation, Melanie will discuss how she built her online retailing and healing business, A Surplice of Spirit, using the powerful combination of WordPress, WooCommerce and Facebook. Since its launch in January 2016, A Surplice of Spirit has grown from zero to thousands of dollars in sales each month, driven almost entirely by their Facebook page.


From One To Many: How To Scale Your WordPress Consulting Business

Presented by James Banks in Downstairs.

In this presentation, James is going to teach us:

  1. The power of process – how to reclaim your time through effective procedure creation delegation and management
  2. Building your Team – How to plug your skills gaps by finding, recruiting and retaining talent.
  3. Lead acquisition and sales process that consultants can use to go from having to do all the work, to being able to afford a team to do it instead.

Working with off shore developers to help grow your business

Presented by Peter Bui in Upstairs.

We all get those emails and phone calls. Well at least Peter does, just about every single day of the week.

This presentation is about how you can actually make them work for you. He’s been travelling back and forth between Australia and South East Asia for the last two years on what people seem to thing is a really long vacation (Just take a peak at his Instagram feed), but in reality, He’s been working with his off shore development team, training them up, getting to know them better, understanding how they best work so that they all get the best outcome possible in regards to leveraging the skills of developers from South East Asia.

This presentation will go through how to find a developer, how to set up processes to get them working, how to transition yourself from being a solo business person to having a great team around you helping you grow your business.

Developing for the WordPress Customizer

Presented by Anthony Hortin in Upstairs.

The WordPress Customizer allows you to update various WordPress settings and theme options, all while providing you with a Live Preview of your changes.

Anthony plans to show you how you can add Customizer functionality into your theme (or plugin). He’ll cover creating Customizer Panels, Sections, Settings and Controls, including making use of the default Core Controls, and also creating your own Custom Controls.

He’ll also show the various ways in which you can update the Live Preview for your Customizer settings, and lastly, how to make use of your Customizer settings in your theme.

How To Create Your Entire Website Content Easily And Effortlessly, In 7 Days Or Less, Without Writing A Single Word, For Less Than $1,000

Presented by Nik Cree in Downstairs.

Whether for your own website or as a developer for client websites, writing content is often akin to pulling teeth without anesthetic, using pliers and a hammer.

The traditional way is to sit down with blank paper and a pen or a screen and keyboard, possibly with a draft site map, coffee in hand to graft through a painful wooden writing process.

As a developer, this can drag out a 4 – 6 week build to 4 – 6 months and turn love and excitement into resentment and despair.

The problem with the writing content for most people (businesses) is that we automatically get into an ‘unnatural writers’ mode, and what comes out on paper (read screen) is nothing like how we speak and communicate in normal every day life.

Web pages should engage, be emotional, engender excitement and “”this’ is so interesting”” so visitors are compelled to take action and find out more – yep the ol’ call to action!

The best web pages should read exactly like we speak (without all the umms and aahhh’s) and develop a conversation where visitors to want to be part of the conversation … so naturally pick up the phone or fill in that web form.

The 3 step process we have developed and now use for our own projects and with clients, makes content generation a breeze (and enjoyable – just like having a conversation with a bestie over a couple of glasses, which is in fact, how we actually do it).

Forget Fiverr and outsourcing your content creation to English-as-a-second-language-keen-as-beans-I-can-do-anything-well-intentioned outsourcers. This process will have have your entire website content written and published on you WordPress site in less than 7 days guaranteed, and take you no more than 90 minutes personal effort, if having a glass of wine chatting with a mate is what you consider ‘effort’.

We have built business websites, that outstrip their competitors, are personable, rank well in search and convert to leads and sales with Adwords (i.e. they work and do what they should – generate leads and make money).

And, what would normally cost thousands with a copywriter (like 5K – 10K), this process costs less than $1,000 – for the entire website content.

This presentation will give you the step-by-step process and templates you can use to create compelling content that converts into leads and sales, with less effort than would take to drag yourself to a regular 6 monthly dental checkup.

Just Do It!

Presented by Robey Lawrence in Downstairs.

Basically a story about how opportunities can open themselves up to you when you make the decision to overcome your fears and anxieties and ‘Just Do It!’.

Starting from the beginning of how he got into the WordPress centred career he’s in today, by punching his fears in the face and putting himself out there.

How To Setup A Consistent Development Environment Across Your Team On A Per Project Basis

Presented by Bronson Quick in Upstairs.

One of most important things for a team of developers is having a development environment that matches or closely matches the production environment.

Bronson will teach you how to use Chassis and it’s suite of extensions to create a development environment which can be used be everyone on your team so you don’t end up with different developers with different local environments for development.

He will teach you how to commit a configuration file that can automatically install WordPress, specify the version of PHP to use, the PHP modules to install and even build tools that you might need on your server such as Node, Yarn, Bower and many more!

Bronson will also deep dive into using Xdebug & PhpStorm to show you why you should stop using `var_dump` during development because you can save time with real time PHP debugging using breakpoints.

Throw away the commute: Stories of two remote workers.

Presented by Tarei King, Stuart Shields in Upstairs.

Remote working often conjures images of beaches, laptops and cocktails, but for some – remote working can be as simple as swapping the office, for a space at home.

Stuart and Tarei discuss some of changes, challenges and benefits when working from home as WordPress engineers for a distributed WordPress agency.

These discussions are for the freelancers, remote workers, digital nomads, misfits and those who are interested in potentially making the move to remote working.

How to build a website in 20 minutes

Presented by Kristen Symonds in Downstairs.

There is so much available for WordPress, how can you find what you need?

I will explain some common gotchas and give some tips on finding and testing themes and plugins.


How To Deliver A WordPress Website To A Client

Presented by Cath Hughes in Downstairs.

Over the time I’ve been building and teaching people how to use WordPress websites, I’ve encountered dozens of sites that needed resuscitating. So I thought it was a good time to talk about how to deliver a WordPress website to your client, the RIGHT way.

In this talk I’m going to discuss WordPress, plugin licences, your responsibilities, your clients responsibilities, what files to handover, maintenance and support and how to ensure your clients sites don’t end up in the WordPress ER 6 months after you deliver them.

Better Put An “S” On It

Presented by Warren Denley in Downstairs.

The Why, What and How of implementing SSL on your site.

This talk will look at:
* The importance of moving your site from HTTP to HTTPS
* Various types of SSL certificates available, and which is best for you
* How to install the certificate and force your site to HTTPS
* Problems that may occur, and how to resolve them

By the end of the talk, attendees will know how to get the lovely green bar to show up in the browser for their site, giving their visitors confidence to interact more with the site.


Cyber Security The Journey Down The Rabbit Hole

Presented by Myles Agnew in Upstairs.

Join Myles on his Cyber security journey of his past failures and how he has grown in to practical cyber security to reduce the fears in your client and stakeholders when making the move or starting out with WordPress.

This is live interactive presentation using a mobile phone voting platform to guide the presentation to answer the big questions and solve the big problems around securing WordPress and Cyber Security in general.


Finding REST: When Machines Talk To Each Other

Presented by Rheinard Korf in Upstairs.

Designing APIs for machines can be exciting and challenging. In this talk we will be exploring what it has been like to build a service for machine clients using the WordPress REST API.

Topics that we will touch on include: custom endpoints vs. content endpoints; authentication; documenting your API with an API Definition Language; non-WordPress machine clients; and of course the challenges and opportunities we faced building an API with WordPress.


Google Analytics: Your Secret Weapon For Conversion Focused Websites

Presented by Paula Glynn, Melinda Samson in Downstairs.

In this talk, Paula and Mel will demonstrate the power of Google Analytics to win clients, and help you add value to your website projects, including:

  • How to produce reports that you can give to clients
  • The importance of conversion tracking & how to setup
  • Lighting “How to” guide for Google Tag Manager
  • Using Google Analytics data in web pitches
  • Using Google Analytics to influence web design & development


User-Centered Design – Front And Back – With WordPress

Presented by Sarah Brown in Upstairs.

As WordPress developers, we should aim for a true user-first strategy to design and develop customised WordPress Installations, and not fall back on ‘premium’ themes, page builders, and one-size-fits-all approaches. So many times I have taken over WordPress websites that look like the original ‘developer’ just chucked the business description into a theme marketplace and bought the first theme on the list (cafe/gym/photographer etc). While this sort of thing can be great for a small business DIYers, it should not be too pervasive in the world of professional service providers.

Sarah will explore all of what she’s seen and show how we can design for what the end-user needs and how to setup the WordPress dashboard in a way which allows your client to manage their website easily using tools such as Advanced Custom Fields and theme frameworks such Genesis.



Domain Names & DNS

Presented by Peter Shilling in Downstairs.

Everything…you didn’t know or potentially thought you knew,  but in fact you don’t really know and should.

Domain Names and the Domain Name System are some of the key building blocks that keep the internet running. Come and learn a little more about how it all works.

In this session you’ll learn about:

  • The industry that keeps your domains up and running
  • Who regulates domain names, where to get help
  • New GTLD domains like .sydney and .shop
  • The basics of DNS
  • Understanding how DNS can help you make a website move much easier

Product-Driven Websites: Achieving Results from Day One

Presented by Noel Tock in Upstairs.

How do you design and make decisions for the WordPress websites you build? As competition increases, the process through which websites are produced will become increasingly important. In his talk, Noel will tackle this challenge from a product-focused approach – to help you build more successful websites, quicker.

Extending WordPress and WooCommerce core

Presented by Michael Visser in Upstairs.

Join Michael as he shares his favourite practical WordPress and WooCommerce code snippets that can be applied to WordPress sites. Session content is aimed at WordPress site integrators and WooCommerce store owners but there’s content that new WooCommerce store owners may want to jot down for future reference. We will cover as much content as possible before switching to Q&A format.