Featured Speaker: James McKenzie

James McKenzie

James McKenzie

James McKenzie is a web developer, graphic designer, and information architect. He has specialized in WordPress template development for the past 2 years, with a strong focus on crafting custom WordPress admin screens for each project to best suit the information design of the site while also enhancing client usability. He has built and managed multi-user sites, membership sites, and brochure sites. You can see some of his work at jmkenz.com.

Why WordPress?

The abundance of themes and plugins for WordPress is what initially attracted me to the platform. Then I started falling in love with the interface, and finally found the underlying code to be quite elegant. I now build exclusively with WordPress.

What are you most looking forward to at WordCamp Toronto?

It will be great to meet others who are developing with WordPress. The online community surrounding the platform is incredible and it will be great to extend that to the offline space.

Why did you decide to speak at WordCamp Toronto?

With just a few key plugins, WordPress becomes so much more powerful than many people realize. WordPress is great as a blogging platform, but it can also shine as a full fledged CMS.  I’d love for more people to see the true CMS potential in WordPress.

What is your talk going to be about?

There are a handful of key plugins and functions that will inject WordPress with some serious CMS awesomeness. With these additions, you’ll be able to easily:

  • Extend the default custom fields interface to allow any input type – text, WYSIWYG, file upload, drop-downs, radio buttons, and even repeatable fields.
  • Create custom post types and customize edit screens on a per-category, per-post-type, and even per-page basis.
  • Control exactly what backend sections you want your client to see
  • Add new editing buttons to the Visual Editor
  • Add custom styles to the Visual Editor and even allow clients to set up columns right within the Visual Editor
  • And more!

What is one thing you want people to walk away with from your talk?

Use custom fields. Clients will love you for it.

Bonus Question: What is your favourite WordPress plugin or theme? Why?

Advanced Custom Fields by Elliot Condon is the most useful plugin I have ever used for WordPress. It takes WordPress up several notches towards being a full-fledged CMS. (Plus clients absolutely love the optional repeater-field function.)

» Click here for more posts from our Featured Speaker series.

About Andy McIlwain

Andy is a front-end dev and community guy (GoDaddy, Toronto's WordPress meetups, and WordCamp). Find him on Twitter and his personal blog.
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