#wcnash 2016 tickets now on sale!

WordCamp Nashville 2016 is set for September 17-18, and tickets are available NOW.

A $40 ticket gets you a full day of WordPress awesomeness, Nashville WordCamp swag and a tasty lunch (with vegetarian and vegan options) PLUS admission to the after-party.

Get Tickets

This year promises to be the best WordCamp Nashville’s ever experienced, with expanded programming, a new venue, and lots of excitement!

WordCamp Nashville tickets are on sale now for the September 17-18 event
Make new connections and beef up your WordPress chops at WordCamp Nashville, September 17-18. Photo by Chelsie Goodwin.

Two days of programming

We wouldn’t be doing the burgeoning Nashville tech scene justice if we weren’t growing right alongside it! Camps of years’ past have happened all in one day, but this year we’re expanding to two. The first day will be familiar to attendees from previous year – 8 hours of sessions that fall into three “tracks” targeted at different types of users, followed by the always-popular after party. The second day will be a contributor day where attendees can learn how to contribute back to WordPress in a variety of ways from code to community organizing, supplemented with small classes that will allow attendees to go in-depth on three different topics (we’ll be announcing details on all of this later – we’re still busy building all this awesomeness).

Regardless of the details, all attendees are invited to attend any session, regardless of skill level, and can switch back and forth between tracks at any time. As camp gets closer, we’ll put together guidelines to help you pinpoint how to get the most out of your WordCamp experience.

A brand new location

As much as we loved Nashville School of Law, we wanted to be closer to the heart of the city… and closer to the community that sustains us. This year we’ll be at redpepper & deavor.

redpepper & deavor are conveniently located to all that Germantown – and the city at large – has to offer.

For those coming from out of town, Germantown is a must-visit. For locals, there’s no other area that is so close to the city center while also feeling like home. Germantown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979 and was Nashville’s first suburb. It is one of Nashville’s most architecturally heterogeneous neighborhoods, containing a significant concentration of Victorian building styles and has been designated as a city Arboretum by the Nashville Tree Foundation.

Nearby points of interest include: The Nashville Farmers’ Market, home to up to 100 farmers and artisans, 16 restaurants and shops, and more than 50 merchants selling clothes, jewelry, home goods, and more; Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, where you can explore Tennessee via a 200-foot granite map of the state, a walkway featuring the 95 counties, 31 fountains representing the major rivers of Tennessee and an extraordinary wall depicting the history of the state; restaurants including Germantown Café, Monell’s, Mad Platter Restaurant, City House, Rolf and Daughters, Butchertown Hall, and The Red Bicycle Coffee and Crepes; and the new First Tennessee Park, the new home to the Nashville Sounds, AAA affiliate to the Oakland A’s.

So much excitement!

Nashville is growing by leaps and bounds, and so is the WordPress community. Right now, there are over 1400 members of our local MeetUp group, and right now, community members are working to schedule MeetUp sessions in neighboring cities like Franklin, Mt. Juliet and Hendersonville. The enthusiasm and passion for WordPress is growing, and this year’s camp is your only opportunity to connect with so many ‘Pressers in one place at the same time.

This year’s WordCamp will bring together more local WordPress fans than ever before – don’t miss out!

Register now for WordCamp Nashville 2016

Refund policy and ticket help
You may request a ticket refund until Wednesday September 14th. We understand that life changes so if you need to ask for a refund please contact wordcamp@wpnashville.com or contact us through our Contact Page. You can also use the WordCamp contact page if you have trouble buying your ticket or have other questions.

Show your face now!
As we continue to build the Middle Tennessee WordPress community, we want to highlight more members in our popular “Faces of WordPress” feature on the WordCamp website.

These spotlight posts are not reserved for developers – our goal is to showcase users, business owners, designers as well as developers to put faces on the depth and diversity of local talent. And yes, you get a link to your site.

So take a minute and fill out this handy form.

Faces of WordPress: Shauna “WhiskeyChick” Castorena

WhiskeyChick-SaysName: Shauna “WhiskeyChick” Castorena

Freelance Writer

Primary website:

Twitter handle: @WhiskeyChick

How were you first introduced to WordPress? I had been running an underground country music fan site using DNN in 2004 and wanted to build something more accessible to mainstream country music fans. WordPress had just come out, so we gave it a try and launched CountryMusicNewsBlog.com on the platform.

What do you like about it? After years of hacking drag & drop components that would go buggy all the time, and not having a real “magazine” aesthetic to work with, WordPress solved all of those problems. It was easy to use, even easier to customize, and best of all, worked as a real publishing platform and content management system as opposed to a static site builder.

What do you do with WP now? I have a total of 14 entertainment sites built on the WordPress platform that focus on different areas of the music business, but primarily in country and rock & roll. I also use WordPress to teach basic web development skills to friends and colleagues, as well as help bands stretch the platform to its fullest potential by building out their online hubs with it.

How has the WP community (local and beyond) helped you? Being an open-source platform, the WordPress community has been a critical part of my success in publishing and marketing. I have participated in a few Wordcamps, and helped organize one in Phoenix, AZ (now known as TechPHX) several years ago, and have found the community to be open, accepting, and extremely helpful. Other WordPress users always seem excited and engaged in helping each other find new ways to make the platform do amazing things!

Did learning WP lead to any significant professional, personal, creative changes in your life? Tell us how! WordPress provided all the tools I needed to dive into internet publishing head first and without hesitation. I’ve enjoyed a successful career so far, and will continue to use WordPress to help that career grow.

What would you tell a brand new user? Don’t let a lack of knowledge keep you from getting started. Just go. Build. Break things. The community is here to help turn your ideas into action!

Do you use WordPress? Do you live in the Middle Tennessee area? If so, we want to feature you and your story of how WordPress makes your work awesome. Submit your story here.

OnTheGoSystems: a multicultural company for WordPress Multilingual

OnTheGosystems is the company behind WPML, we started in 2007 and now have more than 80 staff members. We come from all over the the world and that cultural diversity has been the inspiration to transform our differences into one goal:

“We love WordPress and love to make the lives of the WordPress community easier.”

We believe that happy people make great products. We care about our team members, and we encourage them to continue improving their skills, leading individual initiatives, assigning scholarships to enjoy freely any activity of interest and, of course, helping to attend to any WordCamp around.

WPML — The WordPress Multilingual Plugin

Every time you think about WordPress multilingual, you associate it immediately to WPML. Why? Because WPML make it possible to have your WordPress site ready to provide content in different languages quickly and easily.

Back in 2007, the WPML project, in its early beginnings, was actually intended as a vehicle for the translation work for our service, ICanLocalize. Then, we realized that 99% of the people just wanted to use WPML without our translation services and were more than happy to pay for a commercial-grade plugin. So our focus shifted to there.

From that time to today, WPML has evolved until becoming the most complete tool to translate your WordPress site. Nowadays, you not only are able to have a site completely translatable, but also you can count on local or external translators to provide the best content for your users. If you are thinking about running a multilingual e-commerce site, WooCommerce Multilingual along with WPML will make your life sweet.

Toolset — The easiest way to add custom types to WordPress sites

With all this experience and the great team built around WPML, we decided to create Toolset. Idea was to leverage on Custom Types to build websites that were easy to manage and maintain. That’s precisely what Toolset does, you can add custom types to the WordPress admin and front-end, using any theme and without writing PHP.

For making this possible we have created:


Create your custom post types, taxonomies, and custom fields. All from within the WordPress GUI and with no coding!


Easily display custom post types and fields. Display and sort your content for listings and inventory. Add custom searches to allow visitor to filter your contents and find exactly what they are looking for.


Design entire WordPress sites using a drag-and-drop interface.


Allow others to edit and add full scale WordPress content using front-end forms. No need to force clients to edit content from the WordPress admin – allow them to use your customized CRED form right from the site. Additionally, allow user registration from the front-end.

Visit our Toolset site for more details

WordCrash – complementing Nashville’s southern hospitality

If you’re a ‘Presser, there’s no better excuse to see the world than travelling to WordCamps. Right now, according to central.wordcamp.org, there are over 50 camps coming up between now and the end of the year! You could spend your whole year travelling from camp to camp, meeting fellow WordPress enthusiasts all over the globe.

While WordCamp Nashville is – like all WordCamps – definitely a celebration of local WordPress talent and resources, we welcome and encourage folks from out of town. Southern hospitality is a thing, y’all. We’ll sit you down, hand you a mason jar of sweet iced tea and talk your ear off! Nashville is growing by leaps and bounds, with new talent arriving daily. If you’re new to town, thinking about moving here, or just want to make a connection to our city, there’s no better way for a ‘Presser to get to know our city than through the weekend of WordCamp.

Of course, we all know travel is not cheap. You might have all the time in the world to hop from camp to camp, but last we checked, Delta doesn’t barter a site build for tickets and Hampton Inn doesn’t accept a plugin license in exchange for a hotel room. Plus, when you get to a new city, there might be a friendly bunch of ‘Pressers gathered at camp, but making fast friends isn’t always easy.

The Ann Arbor, MI WordPress MeetUp has started a site that aims to break down barriers to feeling at home when you’re travelling to a far-off WordCamp… or just travelling, period. WordCrash.net is a way for ‘Pressers around the world to easily connect in a low-key, low-commitment way. WordCrash makes it easy to start a conversation with someone in your destination city, whether you’re looking for a friendly place to stay or just interested in finding out more about a city. And it is allows locals a way to let travelers know they’re willing to help, without having to post their name and contact info up for every bot out there to crawl all over. There’s no commitment required; it’s just a way to connect people who love WordPress!

WordCrash is basically couch surfing for the WordPress community. It allows willing hosts to anonymously list themselves in a place where others with travel intentions and common interests will be able to reach out to them and start a conversation. The purpose of WordCrash is to start that conversation.

WordCrash is completely free to use and is extremely simple. It allows anyone who has an interest in traveling somewhere to connect with friendly folks in the area of their destination who might be able to provide accommodations or at least guidance and friendship.

Nashville already has one host listed. For those travelling into the city for the weekend of camp, there’s at least one friendly person who can offer up accommodations & advice. For all of us locals, let’s take this opportunity, if it appeals to you, to get listed on the WordCrash site! Whether you’ve got an air mattress or a bus-turned-guest-house, being a resource for folks travelling to Nashville is a chance to show off our town, forge new friendships and maybe even meet your next business partner. Of course, you should only do this if you feel comfortable, and you’re not required to host someone. It can be used as a simple conversation starter!

Sign up as a WordCrash host
(WordCrash is a group project of the Ann Arbor, MI MeetUp group. They’re currently having some issues with the user activation emails, but they do answer inquiries through their contact form, so don’t hesitate to follow up with them)

DISCLAIMER: Use WordCrash, and services like it at your own discretion. WordCamp Nashville cannot ensure the safety or availability of any of WordCrash’s hosts and assumes no liability for distributing information about the service. Be smart 🙂

Faces of WordPress: Eleasha Drew

Photo-on-7-10-16-at-7.18-PMName: Eleasha Drew

Employment: Freelance Web

Twitter handle:

Primary website:

How were you first introduced to WordPress? Well, earlier this year, I just kept hearing people mentioning it more and more so I thought that whatever it was, it must be worth looking in to. It took a second to realize there was a WordPress.com and WordPress.org and what the differences were, but eventually I chose the WordPress.org route and started going to some of the MeetUps in Nashville and that helped me get connected with the community of users here.

What do you like about it? I like that there are endless possibilities of how to use WordPress and you can mold it to be anything you’ve ever wanted.

What do you do with WP now? Recently, I’ve used it to publish my personal website!

How has the WP community (local and beyond) helped you? Not to be cheesy, but the WP Nashville MeetUps have helped me put a face to other people out there that use WordPress and it’s always nice to know that there are people in similar fields that want to support each other.

Did learning WP lead to any significant professional, personal, creative changes in your life? Tell us how! I think that it’s opened a lot of doors for me, creatively. It’s become a step in my creative process that I’ll most likely never change and just makes the general idea of launching a website a little less daunting. Through the WP Nashville group, I’ve been able to make new friends and professional connections in the web design field that I would not have made without deciding to start learning about WordPress.
What would you tell a brand new user? I know WordPress.org can seem like a huge undertaking at first, but it’s definitely worth learning! You will thank yourself later!
Anything else we should we know? Sometimes, I have dessert for breakfast to shake things up a bit.

Do you use WordPress? Do you live in the Middle Tennessee area? If so, we want to feature you and your story of how WordPress makes your work awesome. Submit your story here.

My 10 Favorite WordPress Plugins & Why I Like Them

By Marc Apple, Strategist at Forward Push

I’m guessing that you’ve been asked this question a million times: “What’s your favorite WordPress plugin?”

It’s quite understandable why others are gung-ho on asking this question. After all, considering how WordPress websites and plugins go together like suitcases and travels, it makes perfect sense for the site owners to want the best elements masterfully working together to optimize their piece of online real estate.

That being said, allow me to share my favorite WordPress plugins.

When you’re done reading this post, it is my hope that you’ll learn a trick or two on how to improve your website’s performance and functionality by using some (or all) of the WordPress plugins that I’ll share with you.

Let’s hop right in.

1. All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets

All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets
We all know that ranking in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) is only half of the battle, influencing our online searchers to click our pages instead of our competitors’ is the other half that we need to deal with.

The All in One Shcema.org Rich Snippets plugin can help us with just that.

Before we talk about the nitty-gritty of how this plugin can help us, allow me to share the meaning of the word “Snippet” first, just in case we have newbie web developers reading this guide.

Brainstormforce.com’s definition is pretty spot on so I’ll just share it here.

“A Snippet can be defined as a small piece or an extract of content or details obtained from your website. This is the first thing that appears to your users on the SERPs and therefore, has to contain the best, detailed information they might need.”

A classic example of Snippets are the results that would appear when you type in your keywords in search engines like Google.

Here’s an example of how they look.
example of rich snippets
All in One Schema.org helps us create “rich” snippets for our pages just like the 3rd snippet showing above.

As you can probably imagine, it’s highly likely that the internet users would click the 3rd snippet over the 1st and the 2nd one because it has boatloads of information attached to it. Not only does this make your snippet look more authoritative and credible, but it also helps your snippet stand out from the rest in the SERPs.

2. Broken Link Checker

Broken Link Checker plugin helps you find the broken links in your website and fixing them.
It’s quite natural for websites to accumulate broken links since websites die and restructure all the time. However, even having said that, you shouldn’t leave the broken links in your pages since they can cause some serious problems down the line if left unattended.

The Broken Link Checker plugin does such an amazing job at helping you find the broken links in your website and fixing them.

  1. Here’s a bird’s-eye view of how the plugin works:
  2. Once installed, it parses your website’s content for links.
  3. When it’s done parsing, it will then check if the links work.
  4. Should the plugin find any broken links, it will show them in your WP admin panel under “Broken Links” which you can find under the “Tools” menu.

The plugin then allows you to fix the broken links by, editing the URL, unlinking, tagging the broken link as “Not Broken,” or dismissing the broken link.

Having this plugin installed will help you monitor your website’s links to make sure that you have very little to no broken links.

3. Click to Tweet

Click to Tweet allows you to create Tweetable content for your audience without you having to code
The last time I checked, Twitter had a whopping 300 million monthly active users! The figure is a telltale sign of how the platform still continues to thrive despite how competitive the social media space is.

Twitter also mentioned in one of their blog posts that at one point, 80% of their users mentioned a brand in their Tweets. This tells us that Twitter is a fantastic place to get more brand visibility and traction.

Now that we have an idea of how the Twitter users are keen at sharing, we just need to make the entire process as painless as possible for them.

That’s where Click to Tweet comes in.

The plugin allows you to create Tweetable content for your audience without you having to code. In fact, all it takes is one click for you to create the Click to Tweet boxes.
Because you’ve made it a lot easier for your readers to Tweet about your content, it’ll drastically increase the chances of them doing so. That being said, the possibility of your content going viral also increases.

4. OptinMonster

OptinMonster is a classic workhorse when it comes to helping you with lead generation and customer acquisition.

The plugin allows you to create high converting opt-in forms in minutes, do split tests, track results, segment your customers based on their behavior and create full-screen welcome gates (among other things).

What’s more, the plugin integrates with all the major email marketing service providers like Mailchimp, Emma, Aweber, etc.

Another nifty feature that’s worth mentioning is OptinMonster’s exit-intent feature. It detects the web visitors’ behavior and prompts them to particular campaigns when they are about to leave. This gives the website owners another chance to capture their visitors’ email addresses before they exit the site.

5. Simple 301 Redirect

In layman’s terms, 301 redirects are permanent redirects from one URL to another.

Here’s an example. If you have an old website (http://Oldwebsite.com) that you want to change to a new one (http://Newwebsite.com), all you need to do is implement a redirect from your old site to your new one.

When the 301 redirect is processed, whoever reaches your old URL (http://Oldwebsite.com) will be redirected to your new URL regardless of whether they typed in your old URL in the address bar or they clicked a link.

The plugin makes it easy for you to process the redirects. Even if it’s your first time using the plugin or you haven’t done any 301 redirects before, you’ll find that the using the plugin is very simple.
To access the plugin, you just need to go to your Dashboard → Setting → 301 Redirects.

6. Simple Share Buttons

While there are a plethora of social sharing plugins on the web, I’m a huge fan of using Simple Share Buttons.

I like how the plugin is highly customizable, yet the interface doesn’t have a clunky feel to it.

If you are unsure of what each element does, you just need to hover your cursor over the label, and it will give you information about the item.
Because of the way the plugin is setup, you can customize your social sharing buttons within minutes, all without you having to type in a single code.

7. Sucuri

“The threat is incredibly serious—and growing. Cyber intrusions are becoming more commonplace, more dangerous, and more sophisticated.” – FBI.gov

Here’s a thought: If FBI takes cybercrime very seriously, then don’t you think you should do the same thing too?

If you’ve been slacking off on your online security just because you think your business isn’t big enough for the hackers to even notice, then you’re making a terrible mistake.

An article published in The Guardian mentions how small businesses are now in the crosshairs of the cyber-criminals. More than that, they are fast becoming the favored targets of the hackers.

“The company’s case is not an isolated one, and experts are warning that not only are small businesses now firmly in the crosshairs of cyber-criminals, they are fast becoming their favoured target – and are often woefully unprepared.” – TheGuardian.com

At this point, I hope you now realize how cybercrime isn’t something that you should take lightly.

While I have used several WordPress security plugins, none of them came close to the kind of results that I’ve gotten from Sucuri.

The plugin protects you from DDoS, hackers, blacklists, and malware.

Whether you’re looking to clean your hacked website or you’re trying to protect it from cyber attacks, you can rely on Sucuri to deliver real results.

8. Revive Old Post

Revive Old Post is one of those set-it-and-forget-it plugins that works like magic.

Because the plugin will automatically share your old posts, it will end up growing your social media shares and followers without you having to do anything. You just need to go through the setup process once and you’ll be set for life.

What’s more, the one-time setup is quite easy to do. The labels have short descriptions added to them making it easier for the users to understand how the plugin works.
* Bonus tip – There are only five social media accounts that integrate to Revive Old Post: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Xing, and Tumblr. Also, out of these accounts, you can only integrate Twitter and Facebook if you’re using the free version.

You don’t have to limit yourself to these social media accounts, however.

If you use other services like IFTTT, you can syndicate all the social media shares that you’re making on Twitter to the other social media sites.

That being said, all you need to do is integrate your Twitter profile (or Facebook) using Revive Old Post, then setup your IFTTT recipes so whatever is published on your Twitter account, also get shared on all other platforms automatically.

9. Yoast SEO

When it comes to optimizing my website for the search engines, I choose Yoast SEO plugin to do the job.

There are a couple of good things to be said about this plugin:

  1. It tells you how SEO friendly your page is (real time).
  2. It helps you optimize your post titles and meta descriptions.
  3. It analyzes the readability of your copy.
  4. It helps you with your XML sitemaps.
  5. It gives you better control over your website’s breadcrumbs.
  6. It helps you with your permalink cleanup.

Just to give you an idea of how powerful the plugin in is, allow me to share with you how their page analysis looks.

(Yoast's keyword analysis)
(Yoast’s keyword analysis)
(Page analysis for the readability of the content)
(Page analysis for the readability of the content)

As you can see, the feedback that the plugin gives is quite comprehensive. When you are equipped with these details, you’ll have a better idea of how to optimize your pages for the search engines, and for your readers.

10. Social Locker

(Image source CodeCanyon.net)
(Image source CodeCanyon.net)

The idea behind this plugin is pretty straightforward. If your web visitors want to continue reading your content, then they need to share it or enter their email addresses. Otherwise, your content won’t be unlocked.

If you use your creativity, I’m sure you’ll come up with several methods to make this plugin work for you. What I’d like to do when using Social Locker is to create a build up in the entire article telling my readers that I know the solution to their problems.

I then sprinkle the post with gazillions of ways on how they can benefit from my epic solution, making them want to continue reading until they read the information that I’ve somewhat been withholding.

When I feel that I have created a strong enough build up for my solution, I will then reveal half of it to my readers. At this point, even if I’m only sharing half of the idea, I make sure that it still packs a strong enough punch to blow my readers’ minds. Doing so will cause them to have a sense of gratitude towards me because I just shared with them the key to solving their problems — even if what I shared is just half of the equation.

I then add a content locker on the other half of the solution. This will influence them to take action on my content lockers without them feeling any resentment or annoyance due the content being locked.

Here’s an example of how the content locker looks.

(Image source CodeCanyon.net)
(Image source CodeCanyon.net)

What’s next?

Are there other WP plugins that you feel should be added to the list? If you answered with a “yes,” then shoot me an email over at marc@forwardpush.com and tell me why you like the plugin.

I look forward to hearing from you soon. Cheers!

About Marc Apple

Marc is a strategist at Forward Push, an inbound marketing agency that specializes in helping small businesses and startups navigate the ever changing internet. In order to do that, he makes it a point to attend WordCamps and hang with developers and designers at every opportunity. If you see him this weekend, be sure to share your favorite plugin with him.

Forward Push is a Bronze Sponsor for WordCamp Nashville. Follow the company with offices in Nashville and San Francisco @ForwardPush on your favorite social media channel or at ForwardPush.com

Faces of WordPress: John Housholder

housholder-335x335Name: John Housholder

Employment: Ah So LLC

Primary website:

Twitter handle: @jhous1

How were you first introduced to WordPress? I was building a website for a project called Project Go Pink which aimed to empower Republican women with tools to succeed. I had never heard of WordPress and needed a CMS. I went to WordCamp Birmingham in 2008 and the rest is history.

What do you like about it? WordPress is constantly evolving and improving. When you get stuck, you can always find someone willing to help if you take the time to look and ask for help.

What do you do with WP now? I run businesses that run on WordPress. From our website builder platform, Exodus, to Kurate.it, a tool to curate WordPress content for emails, to WP Faciliator for WordPress owners, to Ah So, if its in the WordPress ecosystem, I have my fingers in it.

How has the WP community (local and beyond) helped you? I have loved getting to know local WP devs through the developer meetup at our office. I also attend conferences like Pressnomics and Cabo Press which have helped me become a better business owner.

Did learning WP lead to any significant professional, personal, creative changes in your life? Tell us how! I know have the privilege of owning a company thanks to WordPress.

What would you tell a brand new user?Don’t be afraid to break things. That’s how you learn.

Anything else we should we know? I like to dress up like Kix Brooks and sing karaoke with my friend Jake who dresses up as Ronnie Dunn. We call ourselves Drooks and Brunn and you can find us on random Friday nights at Santa’s Pub.

Do you use WordPress? Do you live in the Middle Tennessee area? If so, we want to feature you and your story of how WordPress makes your work awesome. Submit your story here.

Faces of WordPress: Claire Sweet

12373178_10201069635419675_6278190321605542781_n-1Name: Claire Sweet

Employment: Junior Web Designer

Primary website: http://mydesignsaresweet.com

Twitter handle:

How were you first introduced to WordPress? I was first introduced to WordPress in college when I had to build my portfolio website.

What do you like about it? What I like about WordPress is the freedom to customize the design. As a designer that’s very important to me.

What do you do with WP now? I continue to use WP to maintain my personal portfolio site. I also regularly use WP in my full time position as a web designer.

Do you use WordPress? Do you live in the Middle Tennessee area? If so, we want to feature you and your story of how WordPress makes your work awesome. Submit your story here.

Snag a .org profile badge

WordPress Community Organizer Badge
Community Organizer
WordCamps don’t happen without valiant efforts from a whole slew of folks. From camp sponsors and volunteers, all the way up to the long-term planning team and the support team at WordCamp central, hundreds, if not thousands, of hours are poured into making local camps a reality.

WordPress Speaker Badge
As the centralized infrastructure for WordCamps has grown, our ability at the local level to connect to WordPress.org has gotten a lot sleeker. One of the first things we ask of our speakers & organizers is to provide their .org username. That’s how we can identify someone as the same person across all the various sites that exist – the camp website, the community site, and gravatar.
WordPress Plugin Developer Badge
Plugin Developer
When we add a .org username into the profile of a speaker or organizer, it automatically pulls in helpful information, like a profile picture.

If you created your .org login a long time ago, you may or may not know that

WordPress Theme Developer Badge
Theme Developer
your .org username comes with a profile!
If you’ve never taken a look at one, check out Matt Mullenweg’s for a really rich example. Your profile connects to your gravatar account, collects all of your .org activity (like reviews of plugins, or things you’ve favorited), and has a place for your gravatar image, contact information and a short bio.
WordPress Translation Editor Badge
Translation Editor

As you get more involved in the various areas of WordPress over time, you’ll find that your .org profile grows! If you favorite a plugin, write a post on a community or camp site, or participate in the community in some significant way,

WordPress Core Contributor Badge
Core Contributor
it appears on your profile. There are even some pretty badges that show up at the top right that signify your involvement in different areas.

Not that we need an excuse to get more involved with our favorite CMS, but .org profiles make our involvement more visible.

WordPress Core Team Badge
Core Team
And there’s a bit of a thrill to knowing that all the hard work we put into making WordPress awesome – no matter what form that work takes – is recognized and recorded for the entire community to see.

Want to get a speaker badge? We’re still accepting session submissions through midnight on August 14, so sign up now! Speakers get a yellow megaphone badge. This is a great year to throw your hat in the ring for the first time, because you have the option to give a 20-minute “lightning” talk; there’s nothing special about that, they’re just meant for shorter topics or for folks who might not want to commit to a full 50.

Not feeling up to speaking? Our volunteer team could use you! Find out more or sign right up!

Faces of WordPress: Dustin Meza

dustinmezaphotoEmployment: Director, Customer Experience Operations at WP Engine

Your primary website: wpengine.com/blog

Twitter handle:

How were you first introduced to WordPress? I first started using WordPress when I started for WP Engine over 3 years ago. Before that I hadn’t used it so I was definitely playing catch up to the rest of the experts at WP Engine. Thankfully it’s a great CMS and I found it easy to pick up the basics, and fun to deep dive on certain areas of knowledge!

What do you like about it? I love that it’s free, the great equalizer, being free allows WordPress to go against every other CMS and say, let’s just look at features, which one is better? Because of that, the barrier to entry for someone wanting to play around with it or an Enterprise company is the same, not a lot of products out there can say that!

What do you do with WP now? I work for WP Engine, the world’s largest Managed WordPress Platform. We use it internally for all sorts of cool things, but specifically my team owns the WordPress Upgrade Process for WP Engine, meaning we are in charge of ensuring all 45,000+ customers are kept up to date and secure!

How has the WP community (local and beyond) helped you? Being new to Nashville the local community has already been great, being a part of the WordCamp organizing team has exposed me to more parts of the community, more opportunities to give back, and more great people! Outside of my local community I’ve spoke at 10 different WordCamp’s and met so many community members, this has allowed me to hear feedback from real WordPress users and make changes at WP Engine to give them the best WordPress experience possible.

Did learning WP lead to any significant professional, personal, creative changes in your life? Tell us how! Definitely, like I stated before, I didn’t know WordPress before I started at WP Engine, now that I’ve learned more, I’ve been able to travel all around the country speaking at WordCamps and sharing my expertise with the community.

What would you tell a brand new user? Keeping your plugins, themes, and WordPress core up to date is the single most important thing you can do to keeping your site secure. Also, when you’re ready to build a site that is critical to you, make sure you host it with a Managed host, the peace of mind they offer goes a long way to giving you valuable time back to focus on what you do best!

Anything else we should we know? I love sports, quickly falling in love with how much Middle Tennessee loves their sports!

Do you use WordPress? Do you live in the Middle Tennessee area? If so, we want to feature you and your story of how WordPress makes your work awesome. Submit your story here.