The Client Onboarding Conundrum: How Do You Actually Do It?

Getting a new client project off on the right foot is so often key to a long and valuable working relationship with that client. Yet, as small business owners, freelance designers and developers, marketing consultants, content creators, SEO consultants, and more, it can prove a challenge to systematize how we can onboard new clients. Sure, there are plenty of tools to help, but what are people like us actually using? We invite you to come hear from a panel of folks who have systems that work for them. We expect that no one’s system is perfect, but our panelists all maintain successful businesses or careers in part thanks to their onboarding system.

Meet our panelists!

Yardell Perkins is the founder and head developer of a web and digital marketing studio called Perkitech. While his team strives to assist individuals and organizations from any reputable walk of life to create or rebuild their digital presences, his entrepreneurial journeys led him into the niche of realtors, real estate investors, and property managers.

Lauren Pittenger is a front end developer and designer. She has experience as a freelancer and in agency settings. She loves systems and processes but also appreciates flexibility when it comes to client services.

Terri Tutich has been working with WordPress since version 2.0 came out, and is passionate about helping people learn how to best use WordPress as a tool to accomplish their goals.

Mark Cunzolo is a middle school science teacher turned web designer. He co-owns Peculiar Pxl, a branding and digital marketing agency in Pennsylvania, and he’s been a dedicated Divi Theme Builder user for the past 5 years.

Meet Recording

PA Meetup Groups

Learn more about the WordPress groups in Pennsylvania:

Integrating an MVC Pattern into Your WordPress Theme Development

In this meet (held in March 2021) you’ll learn about using the MVC (Model, View, Controller) development pattern in your WordPress theme. We will be using the Sage theme by roots along with the Eloquent ORM from Laravel and the Phinx migration system during this demonstration. There is a repo available with demo code for you to follow along.

This meetup is functioning with the assumption that you have experience creating custom themes, solid knowledge of PHP, and have familiarity for using a CLI and composer.

Our speaker, Erik Thomas, is a Senior Web Developer for Nearby Creative. He builds custom web solutions using the PHP framework Laravel creating e-commerce platforms and mobile application APIs. Along with his PHP skills he works extensively with NodeJS, React and Typescript to build front end solutions as well as scripts for clients to manipulate and better understand their data in both MySQL and Mongo databases. When not working his full-time job he does freelance work building custom WordPress themes for clients that require third-party integrations and more particular level of customization.

Presentation Links

Would you like to give a presentation at a future meetup? Let us know! All WordPress-related topics are welcome. We also appreciate talks targeted at any level of WordPresser (beginner, intermediate, and advanced).

Build a Great Divi Workflow: Part 2 – Refining Your Building Techniques

What’s the gist of this meetup?

I want to help you build Divi websites more efficiently and confidently, which is why I’d like to share my Divi workflow with you during this 2-part meetup. In part 2 (held in February 2021), we’ll talk about refining your building techniques. (Check out the slides and recording for part 1.)

What topics will I hear about?

  • Using a child theme
  • Implementing and organizing CSS in Divi
  • Using Divi presets
  • Optimizing for mobile in Divi
  • Using Divi’s efficiency features
  • Additional tools to have on hand (e.g., a better lorem ipsum generator, inspector, auto-prefixer, text editor, image editor, etc.)

Great, but who are you?

Hi, I’m Mark Cunzolo. I co-own Peculiar Pxl, a branding and digital marketing agency in Pennsylvania, and I’ve been a Divi user for the past 5 years. For much of that time, I used Divi but knew I could be using it BETTER. After starting my own agency, getting neck-deep in client projects, and being forced to evolve, I now have a simple workflow I utilize to build with confidence and consistency.

Presentation Links

Would you like to give a presentation at a future meetup? Let us know! All WordPress-related topics are welcome. We also appreciate talks targeted at any level of WordPresser (beginner, intermediate, and advanced).

The Ultimate WordPress Meetup Checklist: From Idea to Event

You’ve considered speaking at a meetup and decided to go for it. Great! Now what? Here’s the process we often use for WordPress Pittsburgh — from idea to event.

Set the Meetup Topic

The first step is usually a discussion (via email) about what topic(s) you (the presenter) are interested in speaking about. A good topic:

  • Is something you are knowledgeable or passionate about
  • Is about WordPress or related to websites in some way (marketing, analytics, etc.)
  • Can be for any audience (beginner, intermediate or advanced)

Set the Meetup Details

Once a topic is decided, the next step is to set the details.

  • What is the official title and description of the meetup?
    • A good title is descriptive, not too long and entices people to want to check it out
    • A good description states what will be covered in the meetup, who the meetup is for, what (if any) requirements there are for the meetup (prior knowledge, specific software or tools, etc.) and a bit about the speaker
  • How long will the meetup be? Meets are normally 45 minutes + 15 minutes for Q&A (1 hour total) to 1.5 hours with 30 minutes for Q&A (2 hours total)
  • What’s a good date and time? Our group generally meets in the evenings but can also accommodate weekend meetups
  • Where will the meetup be held? At this point we’re still meeting online, so this question is easy. But when meetups return in person, the organizer will arrange a convenient venue

Post and Promote the Meetup

After the details are ironed out, the organizer will post to meetup.com (about a month in advance). They will also announce the meetup to the group — this sends an email out to all group members. RSVP to the meetup and keep an eye out to see if anyone posts questions on the event that you can answer.

Depending on the number of other meetups in the same area around the same time, the meetup may show under WordPress Events and News in the dashboard.

WordPress Events and News
Upcoming WordPress events are shown based on your location

The meetup organizer may promote the meetup on the group’s social media platforms (Twitter, etc.) and we encourage you to promote the meetup on your channels as well (social, email, etc.). If you have the first slide of your presentation ready, send that over as an image and we can use that as the social media graphic.

The organizer will check in with you a few days before the event to see if you have any questions or concerns. If you have your slides ready then, send the PDF over — otherwise you can send them the day of the meetup.

Prepare Your Talk

This post isn’t so much about how to prepare your presentation as it is how speaking at a WordPress meetup works, but here are a few quick guidelines:

  • Create an outline of what you want to cover so you can plan your presentation effectively
  • Don’t put too much on each slide; people will end up reading and not paying attention
  • Show examples! Showing the group how to do something is more effective than just telling them how to do it
  • Be prepared. If you’re doing a live demo, test it out ahead of time and have a backup plan
  • Give something. People love slides and recordings (especially if they can’t make the meetup or want to watch it again after). If you have any additional resources, include those too
  • Let people know how to contact you 1) if they have questions later and 2) if they want to connect with you on social media or otherwise

Meet!

On the day of the meetup, the organizer will be ready at least 15 minutes prior to the event. If it’s an in-person event, they’ll hang signs, make sure doors are open and prepare the space as needed. For an online event, they’ll start the Zoom call about 15 minutes early.

Our group often records meetings. If yours will be recorded, the organizer will start recording when the meeting starts. At the beginning, the organizer will give a bit of an introduction before it’s your turn to speak. We welcome people, talk a bit about the group, direct people to our website and YouTube channel for past recordings and slides and let people know that anyone is welcome to speak at a future meetup!

After that, share your screen, show your slides and present!

If you want to take questions during the event, let people know and the organizer can help get you those questions (often from the chat). Otherwise, you can ask people to hold questions until the end during the dedicated Q&A section.

At the end, thank everyone who attended and then go relax!

Recap the Meetup

If your meetup was recorded, we will download the recording and upload it to YouTube. We create a post on wppittsburgh.com with the slides and recording, then post the link to the comments of the meetup.com event as well as social media. You’re free to share the recording and details to your social and other channels as well.

Now you know what to expect when speaking at a WordPress meetup. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Build a Great Divi Workflow: Part 1 – Establishing Your Workflow

What’s the gist of this meetup?

I want to help you build Divi websites more efficiently and confidently, which is why I’d like to share my Divi workflow with you during this 2-part meetup. In part 1 (held in January 2021), we’ll talk about establishing your workflow.

What topics will I hear about?

  • Creating a sitemap that serves as an ongoing measuring stick
  • Building wireframes that focus on repeating structures
  • Installing and building locally using a blueprint site
  • Creating a style guide page
  • Building a library of reusable blocks
  • Constructing the header and footer
  • Assembling pages using the development snowball (my own nerdy term)
  • Finishing up with a launch checklist

Great, but who are you?

Hi, I’m Mark Cunzolo. I co-own Peculiar Pxl, a branding and digital marketing agency in Pennsylvania, and I’ve been a Divi user for the past 5 years. For much of that time, I used Divi but knew I could be using it BETTER. After starting my own agency, getting neck-deep in client projects, and being forced to evolve, I now have a simple workflow I utilize to build with confidence and consistency.

Presentation Links

Would you like to give a presentation at a future meetup? Let us know! All WordPress-related topics are welcome. We also appreciate talks targeted at any level of WordPresser (beginner, intermediate, and advanced).

Your Site Isn’t a Cornfield… Just Because You Build it, Doesn’t Mean They’ll Come

Your website is not a cornfield… just because you built it, doesn’t mean they’ll come.

So, you’ve got a website — great! Now it’s time to sit back and watch the business roll in, right?

I mean, that’s how it works in the movie — he builds the baseball field in the middle of nowhere, and like magic, ghostly baseball players show up and cars line up for miles to see them play.

Unfortunately, you won’t have James Earl Jones or cornfield magic on your side.

In this session, join digital marketing bad-ass, Heather Steele of Blue Steele Solutions and The Problem Solver Method to learn how to get the right people to your website and move them into your sales funnel once they get there.

Check out the presentation slides.

Would you like to give a presentation at a future meetup? Let us know! All WordPress-related topics are welcome. We also appreciate talks targeted at any level of WordPresser (beginner, intermediate, and advanced).

Unlocking SEO Through Content Marketing: A Step-by-Step Guide

SEO is over-analyzed and over-explained. But it really comes down to 1 thing: how well can you connect your website to your audience? The gap between your website and your audience can be difficult to bridge. Fortunately, the best way to connect those two sides is through something that doesn’t require technical knowledge — content marketing.

In this talk, Mark Rogers will walk attendees through everything they need to know to build a content marketing program that grabs attention from search engines. He’ll walk attendees through creating a content strategy, conducting keyword research, writing and optimizing content for SEO, and reviewing success metrics.

Check out the presentation slides.

Would you like to give a presentation at a future meetup? Let us know! All WordPress-related topics are welcome. We also appreciate talks targeted at any level of WordPresser (beginner, intermediate, and advanced).

The Future of WordPress as a Headless CMS

JAMstack is growing in popularity as a faster, more secure option than a traditional CMS like WordPress. However, WordPress is still a powerful tool for creating and managing content and can serve as the backend for a modern application. In this session, you’ll learn what JAMstack is, why many consider it the future of the web, and how WordPress fits into a modern web application architecture.

Would you like to give a presentation at a future meetup? Let us know! All WordPress-related topics are welcome. We also appreciate talks targeted at any level of WordPresser (beginner, intermediate, and advanced).

Fall 2020 (Virtual) Mega Meetup

Last fall we held our first mega meetup. We loved the format so much we wanted to have another this year. Due to COVID, however, we had to move our meetups online and make a few adjustments.

See the schedule and sessions below and make sure to RSVP for each session you want to attend on meetup.com.

Can’t make the event? Check out our site after for recordings and slides for all presentations.

Schedule

Track 1 – Existing Site Users

9-10AM — Open Discussion + Q&A

10-11AM — Mark Rogers — Unlocking SEO Through Content Marketing

11AM-12PM — Heather Steele — Your Site Isn’t a Cornfield… Just Because You Build it, Doesn’t Mean They’ll Come

Track 2 – Developers

9AM-12PM — Mike Hale — The Future of WordPress as a Headless CMS

Sessions

(Track 1) Open Discussion & Q&A

To kick off our mega meetup series of events, we’ll start with an open discussion and Q&A. Ask questions, share a success or challenge, meet others in the group or just come to hang out.

(Track 2) The Future of WordPress as a Headless CMS

JAMstack is growing in popularity as a faster, more secure option than a traditional CMS like WordPress. However, WordPress is still a powerful tool for creating and managing content and can serve as the backend for a modern application. In this session, you’ll learn what JAMstack is, why many consider it the future of the web, and how WordPress fits into a modern web application architecture.

(Track 1) Unlocking SEO Through Content Marketing: A Step-by-Step Guide

SEO is over-analyzed and over-explained. But it really comes down to 1 thing: how well can you connect your website to your audience? The gap between your website and your audience can be difficult to bridge. Fortunately, the best way to connect those two sides is through something that doesn’t require technical knowledge — content marketing.

In this talk, Mark Rogers will walk attendees through everything they need to know to build a content marketing program that grabs attention from search engines. He’ll walk attendees through creating a content strategy, conducting keyword research, writing and optimizing content for SEO, and reviewing success metrics.

(Track 1) Your Site Isn’t a Cornfield… Just Because You Build it, Doesn’t Mean They’ll Come

Your website is not a cornfield… just because you built it, doesn’t mean they’ll come.

So, you’ve got a website — great! Now it’s time to sit back and watch the business roll in, right?

I mean, that’s how it works in the movie — he builds the baseball field in the middle of nowhere, and like magic, ghostly baseball players show up and cars line up for miles to see them play.

Unfortunately, you won’t have James Earl Jones or cornfield magic on your side.

Join digital marketing bad-ass, Heather Steele of Blue Steele Solutions to learn how to get the right people to your website and move them into your sales funnel once they get there.

Manage Your WordPress Site Across Multiple Environments

Whether your goal is to work on and preview your own website changes or to update and present changes for a client’s website, managing multiple WordPress instances can help your workflow. We’ll discuss the benefits of creating local, staging, and live WordPress environments for your site and how to manage changes across multiple environments. Duncan will discuss workflows for those just getting started up to the full-time professional managing websites for multiple clients.

Duncan is an interactive designer and developer with 10 years of experience working with WordPress as a freelancer and agency professional. He’ll share his experience going from a first-time WordPress tinkerer to a juggler of multiple from-scratch client websites.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get notification of future videos!

Would you like to give a presentation at a future meetup? Let us know! All WordPress-related topics are welcome. We also appreciate talks targeted at any level of WordPresser (beginner, intermediate, and advanced).