WordCamp Denver 2015 Day 2

WordCamp Denver 2015 Day Two Recap

Here are highlights from five of the presentations I attended on day two of WordCamp Denver 2015.

How I Learned About WordPress Security – Keya Lea Horiuchi (@keya_lea)

Picking up where Angela left off the day before, Keya talked about her experience troubleshooting a hacked client site and her path to becoming at student at Red Rocks Community College studying cyber security.

She talked about how computers and systems get hacked and about hardening WordPress.

Keya then used Wireshark, a free open-source packet analyzer (packet sniffer) to demonstrate how it is possible to view unencrypted plain text traffic data, including usernames and passwords, sent via http.

Here are three security tips Keya suggested:

  • Log in with the lowest WordPress role needed (don’t log in as an admin if you don’t need to)
  • Use strong, unique passwords (and don’t reuse them)
  • Don’t use open Wi-Fi!

We’re Not Building Chairs – Chris Lema (@chrislema)

Slides / Video

Chris put on a master class about how to use stories to get and keep your audience’s attention and drive home your points. Today, he talked about constraining elephants, a golf lesson in Spain and cheeseburgers in paradise. Interested yet?

His first point was to warn us not to be held back by preconceived notions that may be incorrect.

He then contrasted Newtonian principles like cause and effect with modern quantum physics to make the point that while we love simple explanations, predictability, and control, reality can be much more complicated.

He identified four types of situations:

  • Simple – cause and effect exists
  • Complicated – cause and effect exists but requires an expert
  • Complex – cause and effect can only be perceived retroactively
  • Chaotic – cause and effect does not exist

Each category requires a different approach and the actions you take in response to a specific situation should depend on which category you are in.

His advice:

  • Practice a lot so you know your tendencies and find which area (simple, complicated, etc.) you work best in
  • Relationships matter more than anything else
  • (Raise your rates so you can) experiment more
  • Choose collaboration over control

Running a Successful Business with the Add-On Model – James Laws (@jameslaws)


James achieved success when his company (Ninja Forms) shifted to an add-on business model – adding paid options to a free, central core to make it more powerful and robust.  The core should be useful in its own right, stable and something people want to use.

What are his suggestions?

1.  Build a Community around your product.  They created a marketplace and asked for contributors.  Pippin Williamson was the first to respond and built a MailChimp integration (Ninja Forms’ most popular add-on).  Now they have over 40 contributors.

2.  Segment your customers.  The add-on model allows you to group users, developers, freelancers, and agencies and provide targeted à la cart products and bundles for specific groups.

3.  Increase customer value through improved customer acquisition and retention.  With a single product, you can only sell more by acquring new customers.  The add-on model facilitates selling more to your existing customers.

What are the challenges of the add-on business model?

1.  Compatibility – From a development perspective, this is their most difficult challenge.  The more add-ons you have, the more likely conflicts will arise.

2.  Deciding what to charge for – It can be difficult deciding what belongs in the free core and what should be a paid add-on.

3.  Perception – Some customers feel like they are being “nickel and dimed.”

Focus your efforts on the people who buy in, not the complainers – learn to differentiate between whining and useful feedback!

Design for Your Audience: Using UX, Stories and WordPress to connect with your customers – Walter Breakell (@walterbreakell)

Slides / Video

“UX” stands for user experience.  It is the experience your customer has when using your product or service.  It’s different from “UI,” which is the interface being used.

The bottom line is the more you understand your customers the easier it will be to communicate or connect with them.

Use personas to help document info about your customers and their motivations, behaviors, and problems.  Find out:

1.  Why are they coming to your site?

2.  Have you prevented them from achieving their objective?

How?  By asking your customers, observing them and by running tests.

Testing tips:

  • Test at least 5 people
  • Test tasks or scenarios that mirror what the customer would do on the site
  • Take notes, record the session
  • Prioritize the issues
  • Fix the most important issue/issues
  • Test again

Walter recommended two books by Steve Krug, Don’t Make Me Think Revisited and Rocket Surgery Made Easy.

When you identify a problem, fix it (act on your test results).

How to address your customers concerns:

  • Help them achieve their goals
  • Build trust
  • Create connections
  • Show them you are listening
  • Show them you care

The best reaction from a customer – “They understand me!”

Designers think about things like layout, color, type, kerning, and images, but this does not equal customer thinking.  Instead, design for your audience!

Profitable Content Creation with WordPress – Diane Whiddon (@DianeWhiddon)

Slides / Video

Diane talked about content creation, which plays an important role in:

1.  Bringing in clients/customers

2.  Establishing your reputation/expertise

3.  Making you money

Does your content keep people on your site and get them to do what you want them to do?

Diane shared her Get Clear methodology.  When meeting with a new client, she goes through these four questions in depth (which she also did for us):

1.  What do you love most about what you do?

2.  Why do you love it?

3.  Who do you do it for?

4.  How do you want to show up in your biz?

I had a great time at WordCamp Denver 2015 and hope to return!

Want more? Read my recap of day one of WordCamp Denver 2015.

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