Come and find me at WordCamp London 2015

If you fancy coming along to my talk, you can find me in the “developer” lightning track on the Sunday:¬†

My talk will be a shorter version of the one I did for WordCamp Birmingham. Here is a quick overview:

Catering for WordPress

The catering / restaurant industry has very few tools to help them create / store recipes, plan menus and work out costings that can be shared with members of staff and other branches of a chain.

This talk will be a whistle stop tour of how WordPress was used to create an intranet for businesses in the restaurant / catering industry. Some of the features include help plan and budget dishes and menus, work out costings for bulk recipes down to individual portions and include other factors such as VAT and a variable gross profit.

I will be there all weekend (well from Saturday to Sunday) so whether you come and see my talk or not, please do say hello! ūüôā


Talks and workshops announced for WordCamp Birmingham – Updated

I will be pretty busy at WordCamp Birmingham in February because, as well as being part of the organising team, I will be giving a talk and running a workshop on theme development using Advanced Custom Fields.


The organising team from left to right: Jonny Albut, Pauline Roche, Rachel McCollin, Me, Nathan Roberts. Photo by Drew Kirkland

If you are thinking of coming along to either, below is an outline of what I have planned:



Talk: Catering for WordPress

A case study of how WordPress was used to create a recipe building / menu planning tool for the catering industry.

During this talk I will be covering how custom post types, custom taxonomies and custom fields were used to create an intranet system for the catering industry helping them to plan, manage and cost their menus. I will also discuss some of the challenges, pitfalls and where things worked well.

You will need a good understanding of PHP, advanced theme development and knowledge of jQuery for this talk.

Update: you can view the slides from my talk here:


Workshop in full swing

Workshop in full swing

Workshop: Using Advanced Custom Fields

Run in conjunction with Nathan Roberts from Studio A2 this workshop will take a look at the Advanced Custom Fields plugin from Elliot Condon and how to integrate it into your WordPress theme to add new functionality and options to build more complex, data driven websites.

This workshop assumes you are comfortable with WordPress theme development, PHP and possibly some jQuery as well. Ideally you will have a fresh local install of WordPress and the ACF plugin.


Nathan and I working hard before our workshop on ACF (I’m sure he will thank me for using this one ~ grin!). Photo by Drew Kirkland

Earlybird tickets for the weekend have now sold out but you can still grab a ticket at the full price of £25 here:

Staffs Web Meetup – January Meetup

It’s funny how things work out. As a bit of an introvert¬†(if you are interested, you can read more about being an introvert in a post I wrote for ShropGeek here) I have a real love / hate relationship with public speaking.

A rare photo of me looking relaxed before my talk

A rare photo of me looking relaxed before my talk

I¬†love the feeling I get when I’m actually doing the talk and the audience is responding well (even if its only laughing at the animated .gifs which I can’t take any credit for creating) and the huge sense of achievement I always get afterwards. But, I really don’t like the build up at all. I find it very stressful. To the point that in December I had¬†said that I wouldn’t do much public speaking in 2015.

And then less than 12 hours after uttering those immortal words I had an email from Dave Redfern… He had seen my talk at Responsive Day Out in Brighton last year (you can read more about that here)¬†and wanted to know if I would present the same talk at January’s Staffs Web Meetup. Of course I said yes.

And I’m so glad I did. I am a huge supporter of grass roots events, I literally cannot put into words how important I think they are, not just for developing and diversifying the web community, but also for inspiring us and pushing us all to do awesome work. And Staffs Web Meetup is one of the best I’ve been to!

The lineup on the night was myself and Jenny Wong. Jenny did a really inspiring talk encouraging people to get involved with events and start public speaking. Its something I champion a lot through ShropGeek and she made lots of excellent points.


Jenny talking about sharing knowledge and finding your voice


My talk was about responsive web design and lessons learnt when providing deliverables to clients. It also featured this slide:

Explaining what I thought freelance life would be like.

Explaining what I thought freelance life would be like (and some of my best design work of 2014 ~ grin!)

For the record: I do not live in a pink house, or own a pink dressing gown/sofa or have that many cats. Honestly! ~ grin!

The whole evening was a huge success,¬†it was really well organised,¬†there was a great crowd of people there, the¬†venue was fantastic, and the food laid on looked amazing (I can never eat before doing a talk so sadly didn’t actually try¬†any).

Staffs Web Meetup is held on the Third Thursday of each month and highly recommend that if you are anywhere near the area you go along. I will certainly be going back again very soon!

More photos can be found on their website here: and you can follow them on Twitter here: @StaffsWebMeetup.

You can never go wrong with mini burgers!

You can never go wrong with mini burgers!

Announcing WordCamp Birmingham 2015

If you design, develop, or manage websites using WordPress then you will want to be at this. A whole weekend of talks and workshops dedicated to¬†WordPress! And, as one of the core organising team I can say that it is¬†definitely going to be¬†much fun. ūüôā

No matter whether you are beginner and what to learn how to blog effectively, set up your own site or perhaps dig into some more advanced theme development techniques, there will be something for you.

If you have never been to a WordCamp before then you are in for a real treat. As well as awesome, insightful talks from very talented folk, it is the perfect opportunity to get to know the UK WordPress community a little better. There are some truly awesome people, doing some amazing things with WordPress in the UK.

Early bird tickets are only £15 for the whole weekend, including a social the Friday night and mid conference party Saturday night too. You can find out more and purchase tickets at: