WCSD 2016 Event Photos

Thanks again to all of you who made this year’s WordCamp the best one yet! Enjoy these great photos from our volunteer photographer, Joe McDonald.

Additionally, Kari Leigh Marucchi & Marc Benzakein of Found Art Photography have event photos on Flickr here.

Speaker/Sponsor Dinner Photos

Thanks again to all of our awesome Speakers and Sponsors! It was great being able to give a small token of our appreciation via tacos and beer – San Diego style! Enjoy these great photos from our volunteer photographer, Joe McDonald (thanks Joe!).

Recap: WordCamp San Diego 2016

San Diego WordCamp Recap

With 600 tickets and nearly 95% attendance this year (WOW) it was out biggest and best camp yet! We are happy to report that while the event was “Making Waves”, behind the scenes, everything was smooth sailing, and the entire organizing team was giddy with excitement (and exhaustion) as the weekend wrapped up.

Speakers & Sponsors

During the 2016 camp planning we made it a priority to have something for every type of WordPress user – from total beginner to seasoned developer and everything in between. WCSD 2016 covered Development, Design, Plugins, Admin, Beginner and Business topics, all with their own dedicated tracks!

We had a great lineup of speakers this year to help us tackle all aspects of WordPress, and want to extend our gratitude for all the time they put into preparing for, and presenting at, our event. If you missed any of the talks, we are happy to announce that there are already a handful on WordPress.tv and more are showing up daily!

WCSD is not possible without our sponsors. Not only did they support us with funding and in-kind donations, but many of them came out to network and share their expertise over the weekend. The “community” room was alive with chatter and smiling faces – and the swag was plentiful! We hope you were able to take some time between tracks to meet some of our awesome sponsors and learn more about their services.

Venues & Vendors

NTC/Liberty Station

Finding space for an event of this size with the unique need of multiple, simultaneous tracks proved difficult this year. Coming across NTC at Liberty Station after losing our first venue at the 11th hour was nothing short of a miracle. Liberty Station is a beautiful area and truly captures the essence of our amazing city. All of their staff were a pleasure to work with and very helpful in our efforts to make this space work.

Wild Thyme Catering

Saturday’s lunch was provided by Wild Thyme Catering and they handcrafted a variety of fresh sandwiches and wraps for our attendees. We had options for everyone, and made sure to have tasty options for those with food sensitivities and/or allergies. People spread out along the grass and benches alongside a gorgeous water fountain while they networked and enjoyed a delicious meal.

Wild Thyme also made sure to keep the coffee, tea and water flowing during our event. We know how important it is to stay caffeinated during a WordCamp, so we made sure that coffee was readily available at all times.

98 Bottles

We had a great turnout at this year’s after party held at 98 Bottles in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood. 98 Bottles offers a good selection of local craft beers, and they also have wine and soju cocktails. We also had a selection of appetizers available to our after party guests – the flatbreads and brownie were AMAZING! There were two large areas for people to network and connect, and an open space at the front of the venue along the sidewalk. Overall, everyone enjoyed the food, drink and company!

Vario Productions

Vario worked alongside NTC/Liberty Station to make sure all of the audio/visual worked properly in all the rooms. Vario Productions was a wonderful partner to have for our event, and they worked tirelessly to ensure each track ran smoothly and was set up properly. Additionally, Vario set up our network for Wifi access in McMillin and our beginner’s bootcamp. While we did not ‘promote’ the use of WiFi for WCSD this time around, we did have an extremely fast, solid connection in McMillin for those that needed access.


The WebPass team provided internet to our location via a radio “drop” at McMillin. They worked with our team at Vario to ensure that we had an internet lounge available in McMillin for those needing access.

Making Waves

We hope you’re still riding the wave from WordCamp San Diego and have been inspired to create or do more with WordPress. While you are waiting for WCSD 2017 there are a ton of ways to get involved with WordPress.

Post-Camp Survey

Send us your feedback so we can make next year’s WCSD even better!



The Advanced WordPress Meetup is held monthly in/around downtown San Diego and is a developer-centric Meetup focused on sharing knowledge and ideas.

Contributing to WordPress

The Codex has a very detailed page explaining the different ways you can Contribute to WordPress. There are opportunities for everyone to get involved, whether or not coding is “your thing”. Some of the ways you could contribute include: writing documentation, helping others in the support forum, assisting with translations to other languages, putting your coding chops to use and participating in development, bug reporting, and more.

Volunteering Next Year

Interested in volunteering to help with WCSD 2017? Drop us a line at wordcampsd@gmail.com and we will reach out when planning for next year begins.

Thank You

YOU are the reason we continue to volunteer our time to organize this event year after year, and it is our sincere hope that you walked away with a bit of inspiration and some new friendships. You are the reason the WordPress community is so amazing.

We look forward to seeing you next year!

– WCSD 2016 Organizing Team

Get ready, get set…

We are looking forward to seeing you at Liberty Station for #wcsd on Saturday and Sunday! Below is some helpful information to ensure you get the most out of your WordCamp weekend.


Registration opens at 7:45 am on Saturday in the McMillin building. You don’t need to bring a physical “ticket”, but you should confirm that the ticket you purchased (or obtained through a friend etc) is updated with your name. The token to edit your ticket is in your original confirmation email. Lines will be setup alphabetically by last name. Opening Remarks are at 8:45 am, so be sure to plan for parking and registration time!

Parking + Directions + Logistics + Special Needs

McMillin Event Center
2875 Dewey Rd
San Diego, CA 92106

McMillin building will serve as the main hub for the event, and we will have tracks in other locations nearby on the Liberty Station/NTC campus.

There is parking on-site, and the Event Map shows the various lots available. Handicapped parking is available within each lot and along the street near McMillin as well.

If you need help with seating, or anything else during the event, please find a volunteer (teal shirts) or an organizer (red shirts) and we will be happy to help!

Saturday After Party

The After Party will be held from 7-11 pm on Saturday at 98 Bottles in Little Italy. You MUST have your WordCamp name badge to attend – no badge, no entry, sorry! 98 Bottles is a 21+ venue, and you should be prepared to show proper ID.

Saturday and Sunday Schedules

Schedules will be handed out at registration, but it’s good to review things ahead of time, and clicking on schedule links will also lead you to further details about topics, so do some homework!



Beginner’s Bootcamp Signup

Signup Instructions

Since the Beginner’s Bootcamp will have limited seating, we are offering a signup so you can secure your seat. Signup will be on a first-come-first-served basis. If you would like to be added to this list, please email us at wordcampsd@gmail.com with the subject “Beginner’s Bootcamp Signup”. Include your name and contact info in the body.

If you are not present in the room when the track begins, your seat will be given up to anyone who is waiting for space.

Bootcamp Structure & Requirements

  1. You should definitely have your laptop for this track. 
  2. Be prepared to stay in this track for the entire day on Sunday – this is meant to be a progression of topics, it’s not meant that you would bounce around between this and any of the other tracks that are going on
  3. Please read over the topics that will be covered to ensure that this is a track you are interested in:
    1. Setting Up Your Local Environment (Local Server)
    2. Plugins & Plugin Troubleshooting
    3. Customizing without Hacking
    4. How to Teach Yourself CSS
    5. How to be Strategic About Getting Content in Your Site

Announcing the WCSD 2016 Beginner’s Bootcamp Speakers

WordCamp San Diego 2016 Begiiner's Bootcamp Speakers

WordCamp San Diego 2016 Beginner’s Bootcamp Speakers

DesktopServer Team

We believe in empowering our customers by developing and supporting great web development tools and services. Our tools reflect our philosophy of balancing form and function and applying “kaizen” (meaning “continuous gradual improvement”) to each evolution in our project cycles. This results in mature and refined processes that help our customers not only save time and money, but also to create unique, attractive, powerful, and timely solutions. We create tools that specifically cater to both creative designers and professional developers. We know that our philosophy can help bring together beautiful design and powerful engineering to help our customers reach new heights in their professional goals. Our favorite interactions are when customers tell us how much time they have saved and how easy their magnificent projects have come to life. It means we hit our goal.

Matt Cromwell

Matt Cromwell is Head of Support and Community Wrangler at WordImpress. He is the Lead Organizer of the Advanced WordPress San Diego Meetup and AWP Facebook group (which boasts over 17K members). He’s a popular blogger at his personal site (mattcromwell.com), wordimpress.com, givewp.com, and mediatemple.net. Matt has a background in education and as a web developer for nonprofit organizations.

Lucy Beer

Manchester-raised, now based in Los Angeles, I’ve been using WordPress since 2004. I started using it for my own personal projects and in 2009 started to teach others how to use it. Since then I’ve been training people in the ways of WordPress. For the past year I have been working as a Customer Happiness Rocketeer with WP Rocket – the premium caching plugin.

Christina Hills

Christina Hills, the creator of the Website Creation Workshop, has been passionately teaching non-techie small business owners, authors, experts, coaches and consultants, how to easily create their websites in WordPress so that they can get their message out to the world. She has been running this WordPress training program to an international audience for the past 9 years. She loves to teach WordPress as a creative way to get clarity on your business, your marketing, and your message. Christina is also an 11-year online marketing veteran, often seen at events as an expert speaker teaching on a variety of topics such as email marketing, membership sites, and ecommerce marketing, all with a focus on WordPress. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Christina Hills worked as a digital artist for the network promotions division of NBC-TV, and then as a senior technical director in the Feature Film Division at George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic with film credits for Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and ET the re-release. While her skills and background are unquestionably “technical”, her style is completely “user friendly” and marketing-oriented. She puts the fun into teaching technology and empowers business owners to be in full control of their marketing and online presence. Come find her and ask her anything about WordPress, or about Spirituality and God (her other passion!) She lives near the beach in San Diego, California with her husband and daughter.

Start Planning Your Weekend: Track Recap

Can you believe #WCSD is only a couple of weeks away?! Here is a recap on what’s happening so you can start to plan your days.


Saturday has three tracks running: Design, Development and Plugin. Also, there is a “Help Desk” where you can get WordPress assistance at any level (beginner user to developer etc.), so check that out!

Time Designer Track Development Track Happiness Bar (Help Desk) Plugin Track
7:45 amRegistration and Coffee – Doors open at 7:45 am
8:45 amOpening Remarks
9:00 amDesign Thinking (thinking like a designer) {TALK SLIDES} Mark UraineShiny Updates – A Feature Plugin in Two Acts Konstantin ObenlandHelp DeskTaking Your WordPress Site to the Next Level {TALK SLIDES} Carolyn Sonnek
9:50 amWanna bend WordPress (design) to your will? Register some widget areas! Mary BaumTop CLI Recipes for WordPress Development Stephen CarnamHelp DeskFree vs Premium Plugins. Why go pro? {TALK SLIDES} Kyle Maurer
10:40 amA house with no walls: Creating a site structure for the future {TALK SLIDES} Lisa GhisolfDo WordPress Better With The WordPress REST API Josh PollockHelp DeskForms: Beyond the Basics Scott Stewart
11:30 amZen & the Art of WordPress Deena MayneA Look at the Modern WordPress Server Stack Carl AlexanderHelp DeskThe Best Plugins for Social Media and Email Opt-ins {TALK SLIDES} Verious B. Smith III
12:10 pmLunch Break
2:00 pmFast & Easy WordPress Theming with “Page Builders” Adam SilverWrangle the WordPress Template Hierarchy Like a Boss Alicia St RoseHelp DeskWooCommerce Boot Camp {TALK SLIDES} Andrew Behla
2:50 pmHow to Build Websites that Delight, Engage, and Convert Sarah BenoitUnderstanding HTTPS and TLS Zack TollmanAsk Me Anything About Plugins Pippin Williamson
3:40 pmClick This! Subscribe Today! – All About Calls to Action Nile FloresUsing WordPress as an Engine for Hybrid Mobile Apps {TALK SLIDES} AJ ZaneCustom Data Management Made Easier – An Intro To Custom Fields {TALK SLIDES} Brian Bourn
4:30 pmWordPress Development Environments {TALK SLIDES} Josh CummingsPlugin Development Best Practices Sam Hotchkiss
5:10 pmClosing Remarks
7:00 pmAfter Party


Sunday has three tracks running: Admin, Beginner and Business (Business track runs at slightly different times, so see that specific schedule at the bottom of this page). Sunday will also feature and “Open Discussion” where anyone can participate in discussing all things WordPress. The “Help Desk” will return Sunday as well, get WordPress assistance at any level (beginner user to developer etc.)

Time Admin Track Beginner's Bootcamp Business Track Happiness Bar (Help Desk) Open Discussion
12:00 pmKeynote: Chris Lema – Your next five years with WordPress Chris Lema
12:40 pmIs Your Content Helping or Hurting You? Greg TaylorBeginner’s Bootcamp: Setting up Your Local Environment DesktopServer TeamBusiness Track Steve Zehngut, Carrie Dils, Jason Rosenbaum, Jennifer Bourn, Tom McFarlin, Chris Ford, Tony PerezHelp Desk
1:20 pmGetting started with SSL {TALK SLIDES} Erick HitterBeginner’s Bootcamp: Plugins and Plugin Troubleshooting Matt CromwellHelp Desk
2:00 pmDude, Speed Up That Website! Evan ScheingrossBeginner’s Bootcamp: Customizing without Hacking Lucy BeerHelp Desk
2:40 pmWordPress Support Toolkit Jarrett GucciBeginner’s Bootcamp: How to Teach Yourself CSS Matt CromwellHelp DeskOpen Discussion on WordPress Russell Aaron
3:20 pmWordPress Upgrade Anxiety No More: 5 Steps to Having a No Surprise Upgrade {TALK SLIDES} Dustin MezaBeginner’s Bootcamp: How to be Strategic about Getting Content in Your Site Christina HillsHelp Desk
4:00 pmClosing Remarks
Time Business Track Details
12:40 pmBusiness Advice: How do you know which advice is worth listening to? Tony Perez
1:10 pmCareer: What does it take to change careers and how do you prepare for it? Chris Ford
1:40 pmPersonal Growth: How do you run a business while keeping up with changing technology? {TALK SLIDES} Tom McFarlin
2:10 pmBalance: How do you manage the work/life balance challenge? Jennifer Bourn
2:40 pmCustomers: How do you prepare for tough calls? Jason Rosenbaum
3:10 pmLead Generation: How does writing/blogging get you the kinds of leads you want Carrie Dils
3:40 pmPerseverance: What does it take to step out on your own and stick to it? Steve Zehngut

We hope you’re able to mark out some sessions that interest you! Can’t wait to see you at Camp!

Announcing the WCSD 2016 Open Discussion

WordPress Open Discussion

This is an open discussion about WordPress. No speakers, no panel judges. Everyone in attendance is welcome to join in and participate in the conversation. We’ll be discussing themes and plugins, like you’ve never discussed them before.

Asking questions is part of the fun, at WordCamp. Now, you have the chance to answer someone else’s question.

This is not a session to plug your business or mention that you just opened shop. This is a session where you can become part of the WordPress community and give back to others.

Discussion will be lead by: Russell Aaron

College was the place that I first found WordPress. I moved to Eugene Oregon and attended The University of Oregon. This is where I learned how to write a blog. I learned how to manipulate the template ‚”theme” of my site. I had all these blog posts and I still did not get hired. After graduation, I moved to Las Vegas and I was selling memberships to adult websites. I was asked to build the website for the affiliate program. I turned to WordPress once again. In 2011, I attended WordCamp Vegas. I met some really cool people and my love for WordPress was recreated. Since that WordCamp I’ve focused all of my time and attention on WordPress.

Meet the Organizers: Brad Bihun

Brad Bihun has been involved with the San Diego WordPress community since 2007 and co-organizes the San Diego WordPress meetup group. He relies heavily on WordPress for his 2 software companies and annual charity event StachetoberFest for content, marketing and e-commerce. He has been involved with the project management and business relations of the newly released Social Networking plugin PeepSo.

This is his first year as a WordCamp organizer and is humbled to be surrounded with such talent and knowledge within the team that he can learn from.