Category Archives: Speakers

Meet the Speaker: Kyle Johnson

Kyle Johnson will be speaking as part of the Freelance and Business Owners track this year. He will outline strategies for adding ‘products’ and ‘product thinking’ to the existing list of WordPress-related services freelancers provide.

Kyle works at Ninja Forms and is host of the Plugin Architect podcast. He was kind enough to answer a few questions so we can get to know him better before he takes the stage on October 29th.

Q1: Why do you choose to participate in WordCamp? What is the impact of plugin architect WordPress/WordCamp for you?
A1: Before getting into WordPress I spent some time looking into Drupal, which has a surprisingly large developer community in the Chattanooga area. Looking to move from all custom work to using a CMS the community aspect and the resources of a local camp were much desired. Shortly after that camp I discovered a local WordPress meetup hosted by a company in my home town, the WP Ninjas. This was my first real introduction to WordPress, and while I was looking at Drupal, the local WordPress community pulled me closer. WordCamps are the recurring representation of the community that I saw in WordPress and my chance to meet more people in that community.

Q2: How do you primarily work with WordPress?
A2: My day to day is developing for Ninja Forms, the drag-and-drop form builder for WordPress. We recently released a sweeping UI and codebase change with Ninja Forms THREE that has kept me more than busy for the past year. Outside of that I maintain a website for my developer podcast, Plugin Architect, and build sites for Non-Profits and small businesses on the weekends.

Q3: What have you learned is the most helpful “rule of thumb” in managing a freelancer-lifestyle?
A3: By far, scheduling seems to be the most important consideration, as it can be one of the biggest factors to your success, but also your biggest downfall. Every client loves a freelancer that can keep a schedule, but failing to do so will lose many projects over time. This affects more than just the workday and can bleed into your social life, or lack there of, if not managed correctly.

Q4: Any apps/tools you find super helpful?
A4: phpStorm with XDebug has changed my life (thank you Iain Poulson!). Also, is a fantastic resource for PHP developers, second to none.

Meet the Speakers for the Developer Track

The past two days we introduced you to the speaker lineups for Track 01 and for Track 02. Track 03 for Developers is another rockstar roster full of highly skilled and technically-minded folks.

If you’re ready to dive deeper into WordPress and crack open what makes it tick, this is the track for you. Track 03 will be brimming with acronyms, work environments, optimization tips and command prompt tricks. So check out the Developer track if you want to learn more or simply want to learn what all that means.

EVAN MULLINS – Evan blogs at and has even been known to dream in WordPress. With a background in digital media art, he now embraces the dark side and has found a strong creative outlet programming websites.

MICAH WOOD – Micah currently works at Narwhal Digital as the team lead for enterprise WordPress projects and helps organize a local WordPress meetup group.

COREY MAASS – Corey is a full-stack web developer with a love for entrepreneurship and minimum viable everything. He built his first website in 1995, his first SaaS app in 2003, and his first WordPress plugin in 2009.

DAVID WOOD – David is a web developer with over 7 years of development experience. He has spent much of his career working with WordPress, writing everything from custom plugins and themes to highly specialized code for unique situations

PATRICK BATES – Patrick began his Internet career with becoming his hometown’s first ISP in 1995. He first became involved with WordPress in 2011, which then led to him co-founding Project Nami (a port of WordPress to SQL Server) in 2013.

SAM BRASSEALE – Sam is a Birmingham based web developer working at Cayenne Creative managing a team of developers who build client sites primarily using WordPress.

Many of these developers will be hanging out all day. A few will even be helping out in the Happiness Bar. So be ready to ask questions or chat them about all things WordPress. Buy your tickets today!


Meet the Speaker: Sam Brasseale

Sam Brasseale will be speaking as part of the Developer Track on October 29th. He’ll be helping us learn how to manage multiple sites with Vagrant and Wordmove.

Sam is a Birmingham based web developer working at Cayenne Creative. He has been working as a web developer since 2009. Since then he’s worked at various agencies around town, founded a startup, Freshfully, based in Avondale, and now manages a team of developers building client sites primarily using WordPress. He was kind enough to give us a few minutes to answer some questions so that we can get to know him better.

Q1: Why do you choose to participate in WordCamp? What is the impact of WordPress/WordCamp for you?
A1: I chose to participate in WordCamp partially due to peer pressure, ha!. I also have always wanted to find a way give back to the community of developers in Birmingham. I’ve been toiling away in my little bubble of influence for a while now with no real benefit outside our client base. I feel it’s important for us to share what we know to help others get there faster. A rising tide lifts all boats.

Q2:  What is the impact of WordPress/WordCamp for you?
A2: WordPress has impacted me personally for a number of years. I’ve been employed as a WordPress developer for going on 7 years now. I’ve basically built my life around creating great user experiences for my clients and their clients using WordPress as a platform. I also landed one of my early jobs after attending WordCamp many years ago. WordCamp has always been a great example of providing ongoing learning for both developers and those who need websites.

Q3: How do you primarily work with WordPress?
A3: All of my work with WordPress is custom development. We will use some off the shelf plugins for functionality, but most of that functionality is heavily modified or created from scratch.

Q4: What is the most powerful tool or strategy for someone managing multiple WordPress sites?
A4: Well, as it so happens, my talk at this year’s WordCamp will be specifically about that topic. I’ll be speaking on using Vagrant and Wordmove to manage multiple websites with relative ease. There are a few tips and tricks involved in setup and day-to-day usage, but pretty much anyone familiar with developing sites locally should be able to pick up the techniques and run with them on day one.

WordCamp Focuses on Business & Freelancers

Yesterday, we we introduced you all to the Track 01 speaker lineup. Today, we want you to meet the speakers coming into Birmingham and leading the sessions for Track 02 aimed at Businesses and Freelancers.

There is so much practical and real world experience listed below. No matter what stage you find yourself – a 10-year freelance veteran or simply dreaming of the day someone would pay you money to do some WordPress work – the folks listed below are the ones you would want to buy a cup of coffee with and pick their brains.

NATHAN INGRAM – Nathan is a regular instructor at iThemes Training where he teaches WordPress and freelance business development topics via live webinar.

ELIZABETH PAMPALONE – In 2007, Elizabeth started her first company, Jax Computer Chic. She started out making house calls for sick computers and branched out into teaching classes at the local High School.

BRIAN KROGSGARD – Brian is the editor of Post Status, a news and information website for WordPress professionals. It’s a community-centric project with more than 700 members doing incredible things with WordPress.

KRISTI L. OLIVER – Kristi is a serial entrepreneur, public speaker, and professionally known as The Brand Visibility Expert™. Like many of her fans and clients, she is passionate, results-oriented and operates her brand and businesses in a spirit of excellence.

ADAM WARNER – Adam  discovered the world of WordPress in 2005 and has been working within the community ever since founding several WordPress-focused businesses providing education, plugins and consulting services for online business owners.

KYLE JOHNSON – Ninja Forms Senior Developer and host of the Plugin Architect Podcast.

So buy your ticket today and come on out to WordCamp Birmingham 2016 to learn from their successes, failures and bags of tricks.





Meet the Bloggers & Power Users Speakers

WordCamp Birmingham is just about a week away. We are so excited to be getting everyone together in Birmingham on October 29th. The day will feature three tracks all designed to help WordPress users of various skill levels and interests.

Today, we want to introduce you to the outstanding slate of speakers lined up for the Bloggers/Power Users track. Check out the list below or click through to get more info about each speaker. You’re probably even going to want to give their sites a follow or chat them up on social media somewhere. So look for them in all those spots as well.

KATE NEWBILL – Kate has been building websites since she taught herself HTML and CSS to dress up her eBay listings in 1999. Today she runs 2FishWeb LLC, a general WordPress consultancy offering design, development, security, and maintenance services, and teaches classes on WordPress.

GERROALD BARRON – Gerroald is passionate about WordPress development and WordPress security.

GEORGE CHILDS – George has taught WordPress training seminars on three different continents. His passion is to make things easy to use so that nobody feels stupid, because most people aren’t.

SHELLY PEACOCK – Shelley built her first website in 2009- as a way to make my designs “do stuff”, and as a portfolio for her art business. Mantra: Life is short- GET #FIERCE WITH IT.

SARA CANNON – Sara is an entrepreneur, creative director, and artist. She is the Managing Partner and Creative Director at Range. She is also the Founder of Spruce Media, LLC.

KATHRYN LANG – Master of “it’s all about #relationships.”Aficionado of inappropriate laughter, Kathryn Lang has been helping others find the time to make their dreams come true.

What do you think? Many of these speakers will all be doing follow ups in the Happiness Bar after their talks, so you can track them down to ask more questions or to get help.

Buy your tickets today!



Meet the Speaker: Gerroald Barron

Gerroald Barron will be speaking October 29th at WordCamp Birmingham about WordPress Site Security for Beginners.

Gerrold_BarronGerroald helps out with Support over at iThemes. He is passionate about web design and development, as well as terrible B-rated horror and sci-fi movies. He was gracious enough to give us a few minutes to answer a few quick questions so that campers can get to know him better.

Q1: Why do you choose to participate in WordCamp? What is the impact of WordPress/WordCamp for you?
A1: I love going to WordCamps to be around like minded people and see the different ways they use WordPress. Every time I leave a WordCamp, I leave inspired and motivated to learn more.

Q2: How do you primarily work with WordPress?
A2: I primarily provide technical support for the iThemes Security plugin. We’re all lifetime learners, and while providing support I get the opportunity to learn about our customers, how they use WordPress and what some of their pain points are. This is the primary reason I decided to share about beginner WordPress security with the community.

Q3: What’s the biggest challenge for WordPress users when it comes to security?
A3:The largest challenge for users that I’ve interacted with is education, and having the knowledge to educate their clients/co-workers on best practices. Security can be intimidating and downright scary, but there’s many very simple practices that can we can all use to significantly increase the security of our sites.

Gerraold has much more to share, so grab your tickets today. We’ll see you on October 29th!

2016 WordCamp Speaker Lineup

We are so excited to finally get to share with you the WordCamp Birmingham Speaker Lineup. This year’s event is jam packed with talent, teachers, leaders and coders. WordCamp Birmingham is all about bringing together the WordPress community in a way that we ALL can learn and share, no matter your skill level or experience.

So if you’re thinking about starting your own website or if you’re a seasoned WordPress pro, click over and buy your ticket today and then check out the schedule below.

We have three dynamic tracks loaded for you on October 29th. Track 01 is for the Blogger/Website Owner. Track 02 is designed to be helpful to Freelance and Business-focused folks. Track 03 tackles the tech and best practices that Developers need to know.


Kick off the day with our KEYNOTE with Cory Miller

Track 01 – Bloggers / Power Users
  1. In Case of Zombies… Creating a Disaster Action Plan *Before* You Need It with Kate Newbill
  2. Beginner WordPress Security with Gerroald Barron
  3. Usability Testing Workshop – Make Your Site Better in 30 Minutes with George Childs
  4. Frameworks for Freelancers– Double Time IT! with Shelly Peacock
  5. Strategic Design: How Information Can Drive your Design Decisions to Success with Sara Cannon
  6. Write 30 Posts in 30 Days without Hurting Yourself with Kathryn Lang
Track 02 – Freelance / Business
  1. Surviving a Crisis of Confidence with Nathan Ingram
  2. Starting your Business on a Shoestring Budget with Elizabeth Pampalone
  3. Running a WordPress Membership Site in Real Life with Brian Krogsgard
  4. What’s the Plan for your Master Brand? with Kristi L. Oliver
  5. Pitfalls of Working from Home with Adam Warner
  6. Separate your Time from your Income with Kyle Johnson
Track 03 – Developer
  1. WP API, What is it Good For? Absolutely Everything! with Evan Mullins
  2. Using Chrome Developer Tools with Micah Wood
  3. Rapid Web App Development on WordPress with Corey Maass
  4. I18n…what? Internationalization: Why and How with David Wood
  5. From LAMP to WISP – Options for Operating WordPress in Microsoft Environments with Patrick Bates
  6. Managing Multiple Sites Made Easy With Vagrant and Wordmove with Sam Brasseale

So pick a track or bounce back and forth between sessions. Whatever works for you and your needs! Have a question – let us know and don’t forget to get your tickets now.

Submission Deadline in 12 Hours

We have 12 hours to go folks! The response has been solid and we’re looking forward to lining up some solid speakers for WordCamp Birmingham on October 29, 2016.

But there is still time for YOU to submit your idea or topic to present on for WordCamp. The form will stay live until midnight. So click over and read through the short sections about “What we look for…” and “Some suggested themes…” to get the creative juices flowing.

The WordPress community is a wonderful world full of folks who share their tips, tricks, knowledge and experiences. It’s a world that YOU are a part of. So come share what you know and meet some great folks.



Call for Speakers banner

An Open Call for Speakers

WordCamp Birmingham is about community. It’s about design. It’s about development. It’s about marketing. It’s about smart and ethical business practices. Ultimately it is empowering users. Want to be a part of it?

We’re hoping you have the skills, knowledge and the same passion to share that we do. If you do, consider speaking at this year’s WordCamp Birmingham on October 29, 2016. Here’s the official rundown post of what’s expected and what you can expect. Once you scroll through, please fill out the form to get your submission process started.

We know you have something to share, we just want to help connect you with the right audience. Speaking at WordCamp is one of those awesome times when no one can tell who is getting the real benefit. That’s the beauty of WordCamp and the folks who do all the hard work to present on a variety of topics. Everyone benefits.

So take a look and hope you’ll sign up. We’d love to see what you bring to the stage in October.

Introducing Our 2016 Keynote Speaker

Cory_MillerWe are excited to announce Cory Miller as our keynote speaker for WordCamp Birmingham 2016! Cory is the founder and CEO of iThemes, a leading web design software firm that has provided WordPress plugins, themes and training to thousands of people around the globe since 2008.

So he knows a thing or two about sharing top tips and skills with others.

Cory is also co-author of the WordPress All-in-One for Dummies book and has delivered dozens of WordCamp addresses and keynotes.

Part of Cory’s title, at iThemes, is CEO – that’s Chief Entertainment Officer – so you can expect to hear big ideas, clear advice and have a good time during his WordCamp Birmingham Keynote Address on October 29, 2016.

In the meantime, you can check out Cory’s personal site, his company iThemes, follow him on Twitter, or check out his new podcast Leader.Team.