WordCamp Kent 2020 Online & Beyond

Blog Date
Stuart O. Smith, Jr.

WordCamp Kent 2020
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When I write a blog post about a tech event, I include resources from the event, and information about the hosting organization. For this post, I want to start by looking beyond the May 30-31, 2020, event. Yes, look at the resources (they are excellent) from WordCamp Kent 2020, but more importantly, let's first look at their ongoing educational WordPress training opportunities:



WordCamp Kent -- One of the Great NEO Tech Education Opportunities!

Over the years, I had heard great things about Kent.WordCamp.org, but I have never attended their weekend of WordPress training. This year, I was scheduled for a multi-month backpacking trip on the Continental Divide Trail, but due to the coronavirus crisis, I had to cancel my trip to New Mexico. Instead, I have been exploring local parks and attending online activities -- learn more by reading my sosAssociates.com Social Distancing blog posts.

When I learned on Twitter from @WordCampKent that this year their WordCamp was not canceled and would be online, I was excited to attend. I am so glad I registered for it. It was great! Not only did it provide great resources for WordPress development, but it also included some really excellent management workshops.

Kent.WordCamp.org reminded me why I love the tech community in Cleveland and Akron -- so many people giving of their time and talent to help others. Lately, I have not attended many Northeast Ohio tech meetings. After enjoyment of running the Web Development Special Interest Group for ten years and formally tracking 164 tech meetings in northeast Ohio for many years, it was great to get back to tech education with Kent.WordCamp.org!!

If you are interested in learning how FREE web development training was offered in the late 1990's to 2016, see my blog post:

I recommend learning more about the WordCamp Kent 2020 speakers and their topics on their website at: 2020.Kent.WordCamp.org. The speakers' biographies and topic descriptions give you a good background on the talks, along with their professional information.

This blog post starts with the background work I did before attending the two-day training, followed by tweets and videos from the event. Please share those tweets that you find useful or interesting by retweeting. The goal is to help others learn about Kent.WordCamp.org.



Pre-Event Practice -- Creating With WordPress

After reading Deborah Edwards-Onoro's (@redcrew - @LireoDesigns) blog post, Easy WP Guide Released for WordPress 5.4, and signing up for WordCamp Kent 2020, I decided I would be better prepared to learn if I practiced building a website using WordPress before the weekend event.

Both this sosAssociates.com website that I designed, and the website that I managed in my former position as a Website Director, were built in the Drupal open-source content management system, so I don't work with WordPress daily. Even though I have taken WordPress development classes, and have in the past built WordPress sites as part of a team at Cleveland GiveCamp (see blog posts here), and used to manage the old ClevelandGiveCamp.org WordPress website, I felt that I really needed to learn more before the WordCamp Kent 2020 weekend.

In preparing for the weekend, I found the Easy WP Guide WordPress Manual by Anthony Hortin | Maddison Designs (@maddisondesigns) very useful, since it has a large section on the brand-new WordPress editing feature called Block Editor. I have done some minor content updates to the new ClevelandGiveCamp.org website that was built in 2019, but have not built a website using the Block Editor (its development codename is Gutenberg).

Easy WP Guide
A simple, easy to read WordPress Manual
You won't find any talk of HTML, PHP or creating WP Themes here. What you will find is a simple, easy to read WordPress manual that will guide you through the process of editing your site content.

Awesome pricing
It’s free! How affordable is that, right!?
Download the Easy WP Guide for free, in PDF format. If you really want to get the most out of it though, for not much more than a cup of your favourite coffee, you can get the mobile optimised version or a brandable version.

The Easy WP Guide gives you all the information you need on updating your WordPress site, in simple easy to read language. The Guide is constantly updated, keeping up with the latest WordPress version, so you can be assured that you’ll find out about all the latest features in the world's most popular blogging and content management system.

For practice, I used my hosting company's WordPress "One-Click Install" feature to create two sites -- one with just basic WordPress, and a second site with deluxe features and more themes. Both options were free from my hosting company, so it was easy to set up to two practice subdomains of sosAssociates.com.

Whenever I have worked on building an open-source content management system website (either Drupal.org or WordPress.org), I always have created a child theme. Since I have not created a WordPress Child Theme in a long time, I created one for practice before WordCamp Kent 2020.

(NOTE: If you are a new blogger, or looking to build your first simple website, it is good to first understand the difference between building a website from WordPress.org resources, and hosting/creating a website on WordPress.com. With that base knowledge, you can decide where you want to start if you decide to build using WordPress content management system.)

The pre-event practice helped me understand more about some of the technical talks I attended at the online WordCamp Kent 2020.



WordCamp Kent 2020 Speakers Announced and Promotional Activities



Saturday, May 30, 2020 - WordCamp Kent 2020 - Day One

Day One Morning Tweets



Day One - 8:40 AM - Keynote: The World Beyond WordPress - Steve Grunwell

As we navigate the new terrain of hosting a 100% online event for 2020, we are excited to announce our keynote, who is an experienced speaker and a familiar face to past WordCamp Kent attendees. This year’s keynote speaker is Steve Grunwell!

Steve is a Senior Software Engineer at Liquid Web, working primarily on the Managed WordPress and WooCommerce platforms. Specializing in WordPress and web application development, he has a passion for teaching and contributing back to the development community through speaking, blogging and open-source work.

Learn more by reading the Q & A with Steve Grunwell "in which he shares more about his background and what inspired his keynote session, 'The World Beyond WordPress.'"



Sessions List and a Thank-You to the 2020 WordCamp Kent Organizers






Day One - 9:45 AM


How to find the right customer for your service-based business - Rahul D Sarker


Designing Websites that Generate Leads - Bill Rice



Day One - 10:45 AM


7 Steps to Sustainability – Improving your business model for freelancers and small businesses - Kori Ashton


Transitioning from a hyperactive college kid to a full-time Content Marketer ft. The WordPress Community and Mental Health - Swaahili M



Live WordPress help on Slack

Remember that the Slack workspace NEO WordPress is available to get help all year. It is great how Northeast Ohio WordPress professionals help each other!



Be social with @WordCampKent and Attend Northeast Ohio WordPress Meetup Events






Day One - Lunch Break






May 30, 2020 - 1:00 pm - Cleveland Rising Community Report Out

At 1:00 pm, overlapping with WordCamp Kent 2020, the Cleveland Rising Community Report Out (@CLERisingSummit) took place. I dropped in at the beginning of the online Zoom meeting, and watched part of some of the reports, as well as their Twitter feed. Learn more on their CleRisingSummit.com website and in my blog post:

During WordCamp Kent 2020, I heard a lot of about a caring and supportive WordPress community. The attendees of last fall's Cleveland Rising Summit also reflected that spirit of giving their time and talent to help the larger community. Here are a few of the tweets about Cleveland Rising that I shared from the day:



In the Cleveland Rising Digital Access & Literacy category there are two work groups:

As I mentioned above, I used to promote tech meetings in Cleveland/Akron in on my blog, and I also ran the Web Development Special Interest Group. Attending WordCamp Kent 2020 reminded me of how so many people give of their time to provide FREE tech training. It is good to see that Cleveland Rising T.E.C.H. Up Group is working on how to get all members of the community access to tech training in order to support the Cleveland's economy. The T.E.C.H. Up Group would be wise to look at Kent.WordCamp.org and The NEO WordPress Meetup as successful models.



Day One - 1:00 PM


Mastering the Client Consultation - Nathan Ingram


Success on Social Media - Brittney Oddo



Day One - 2:00 PM


5 Essential Questions to ask on a Sales Call - Jocelyn Mozak


The Bedrock of Content Creation – Creating, Validating, and Using Personas - Stephen Morrissey



Day One - 3:00 PM


YouTube Video + WordPress = How To Double Down on Your SEO Potential - Steve Schwartz


Low Budget Photo Editing - Tim McReynolds



NASA Launch!!

To say it was a busy day is a huge understatement!!! The Twitterverse was flying with so much going on (protests against racism and police brutality, Cleveland Rising, NASA Launch, WordCamp Kent) in the middle of a once-in-one-hundred years pandemic! Very unusual times!

Very cool that the logo for WordCamp Kent 2020 featured a rocket on the same day that NASA had its historic launch.


I have written many blog posts about NASA and NASA events in Cleveland which you can see by clicking here.



After Day One Sessions



Sunday, May 31, 2020 - WordCamp Kent 2020 - Day Two

Day Two Morning Tweets



WordPress Community Panel



Day Two - 9:45 AM


Preventing Client Problems Before They Happen - Nathan Ingram


WordPress 101 – WordPress Basics - Joe Querin



Thank You, WordCamp Kent 2020 Leadership Team and Volunteers!



Day Two - 10:45 AM


Common Misconceptions about Customer Support - Allie Nimmons


WordPress 101 – Themes and Plugins / Custom Post Types & Custom Fields - Joe Querin




Day Two - Lunch Break!



Day Two - 1:00 PM


WordPress REST API with AJAX Forms and Pages - Craig West


WordPress 101 – WordPress Multisite / Local Development Themes and Plug-ins - Joe Querin



Day Two - 2:00 PM


Rethinking Themes: Embracing Atomic Design With Gutenberg - Michelle Schulp


“Uh-oh!”: Troubleshooting common problems in WordPress - Abby Buzon



Day Two - 3:00 PM


Theme of the Future — Creating Block Themes and Patterns - Eileen Violini


Working From Anywhere: Taking Your Show On The Road - Lee Drozak



Get Ready for Closing...



Closing Remarks and a Thank-You to the WordCamp Kent 2020 Leadership Team!!



After WordCamp Kent 2020

After the WordCamp Kent 2020 Weekend, more resources were shared:



What Others Say

I always like to list blog posts and articles that others write about an event I attended.  Please let me know of any others that you see.



Thank you, Megan!

I want to especially thank Megan Rose (@megabyterose) for her assistance. After WordCamp Kent 2020, she stayed in touch with me through the NEO WordPress Slack group to answer my questions, and helped me locate resources for this blog post.

I know that she has worked for years supporting the NEO tech community, and I first met her in person through her years of service to Cleveland GiveCamp. She is part of a team that truly represents the best in our local tech community for supporting others.



Related Blog Posts

When I started my sosAssociates.com blog on March 8, 2012, the emphasis areas were "Cleveland and Akron Tech Meetings, Social Media Events, and Entrepreneur Groups." The blog posts that my co-blogger and wife, Julie Smith, and I now write cover a wider array of topics, but the foundation was technology.

I also like to include related blog posts at the end of a post, but instead I will suggest tags that link to multiple blog posts that might be of interest:


I enjoy putting together these blog posts, since they help me retain what I learn at the different events I attend. WordCamp Kent 2020 was a memorable training weekend.