Speaker Announcement: Natalie MacLees

Check it out, another great person added to the roster!

In 2010 Natalie MacLees worked as technical reviewer on WordPress 3 Complete by April Hodge Silver and in 2012 she published jQuery for Designers with Packt Publishing. A WordPress enthusiast and one of the people who leads the Southern California WordPress User’s Group, below is what she will share at WordCamp this January.

What will you be speaking about?
Setting up a WordPress site the right way

Who is your target audience?
Business owners, bloggers, etc

What do you hope attendees will get out of your session?
I see a lot of people “start” their WordPress site by spending hours, days, or even months combing through themes and having nothing to show for all the time they’ve put into their sites. In this presentation, I will walk people through setting up a WordPress site from scratch the right way – focusing on getting the content and audience right first, then worrying about the look and feel. People will be more productive and able to get sites up and running in a fraction of the time and will spend less time in the theme search phase. I’ll also include tips on choosing the correct theme and plugins.

Tell us about yourself and how you use WordPress.
I am a front-end web developer, UI designer and founder/CEO of the interactive agency, Purple Pen Productions. Together with Noel Saw, I head up the Southern California WordPress User’s Group, now numbering over 1000 members, where we offer workshops, help sessions, and meetups. I use WordPress almost exclusively for building sites for my clients, and also for my own projects.

What is your favorite WordPress plugin and why?
Wow – picking just one plugin is tough. And even though there are lots of really amazing plugins out there, I think I’m going to have to go with the one I seem to use the most often and am most grateful for – WP DB Migrate. Yep – it’s not flashy, but this little plugin has saved me so much time – it makes migrating a site between servers/domains or from my local environment to production a snap.

Do you have a WordPress hero or a person that has made an impact on you?
You mean aside from Matt? 🙂 Aside from Matt, I’d have to go with Michael Fields. I almost skipped his presentation called ‘Theming for the Masses’ at WordCamp LA 2011 because I thought I was an expert on theming already. Then Michael showed me just how much I didn’t know – I was blown away by his presentation and learned so much that’s been incredibly helpful. I very much admire his passion for WordPress and the community surrounding it.

Tell us your favorite WordCamp Story.
I’d imagine that most people’s favorite WordCamp story is the story of their first WordCamp and my first WordCamp was San Francisco in 2005. I’d worked with WordPress only a tiny bit, and I’m not even entirely sure what prompted me to decide to travel to San Francisco for the event, but I was blown away by the people I met. So many passionate, committed people, who seemed dedicated to helping each other out. And don’t even get me started on the talks. So many things to learn about WordPress – I had no idea. It was after that first WordCamp that I moved away from being just an occasional tinkerer to being a WordPress evangelist.

Connect with Natalie: @nataliemac

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