Sponsor Spotlight: WooCommerce

We want to thank WooCommerce for being a Commonwealth sponsor at WordCamp US.


Our sponsors make it possible to continue bringing these educational, community-supporting, and entertaining conferences to cities and towns all over the world. The support of sponsors like WooCommerce allow us to keep ticket prices low so the event is accessible to all. Sponsors like these give back to the free and open source WordPress project through their awesome support of the WordPress Community and WordCamps.

WooCommerce is also a part of our global sponsorship program that provides supports to WordCamps, hackathons, and WordPress Meetup groups across the globe. When we spoke with them, they said they have loved the opportunity it gave them to connect with and hear from so many customers all around the world. Feedback from the community helped WooCommerce continue to improve their products and services.

37% of all online stores are powered by WooCommerce. Built on WordPress, WooCommerce is a fully customizable, open source eCommerce solution.

Whether you’re selling a few handcrafted items to a niche market, taking an existing business online, or going global with an enterprise level eCommerce business – WooCommerce will get you set up and selling fast and scale securely as you grow. Plus your content will be forever yours and customizable down to the finest button color.

Developed and supported by a distributed team, WooCommerce is powered by Automattic, the creators of WordPress.com.

Your Philly Foodie guide to everything — 2016 addition!

I love Philadelphia, food, and showing people around town. That’s why I’ve assigned myself the unofficial title of WCUS food tour guide.

Last year’s food post is still full of delicious places to eat and drink coffee, but I’m excited to bring you this WordCamp US 2016 Add-on to my insider’s guide to Philly food.

The Full Philly Eating Experience

Do you want to experience all the quintessential Philly foods in 24 hours? If you’re in a position to throw dietary restrictions to the wind, follow this guide.


Mmmm, Scrapple. Don't ask what's in it.

Mmmm, Scrapple. Don’t ask what’s in it.

NYC may have the best bagels, but we have the BEST soft pretzels. Center City Pretzels is open early every morning, and you can get a delicious hot pretzel right out of the oven.

Want to partake in classic Philly breakfast eats like Scrapple, Pork Roll or Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast? Visit one of Philly’s classic Diners such as Melrose Diner, Oregon Diner, Little Pete’s, Down Home Diner or South Street Diner.

Throughout Center City you’ll find unpretentious silver food trucks where for around 3 bucks you can get a Philly breakfast staple – “Egg ‘n’ Cheese on a long roll saltpepperketchup.” Order it just like that.


In Philly, a sandwich on a long roll called is a hoagie and it’s the perfect thing to eat for lunch. Some of the best places to get a hoagie are Sarcone’s Deli, Paesano’s Philly Style, Campo’s Deli, DiBruno Bros, and, last but not least, Wawa. Yes, Wawa. They’re a Philly area convenience store chain and their hoagies are not half bad.

Sweet Snack

Wapuu holding a Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpet, my favorite as a kid.

Wapuu holding a Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpet.

Looking for something sweet in the afternoon? Philly has a couple of delicious pastry shops in the Italian Market area, Termini Bros & Isgro’s, where you can get fresh cannolis and other Italian sweet treats.

In Olde City you will find Shane Confectionery, a candy shop restored to historical perfection by the Berley Brothers. It is a sweet Philly landmark you should not miss.

Or, if you’re in a hurry, pick up some Tastykakes from Wawa. My favorite is Butterscotch Krimpets.


If you're lucky, George Washington will be your server at City Tavern.

If you’re lucky, George Washington will be your server at City Tavern.

For dinner you can head to any of these classic Philly Italian restaurants to have pasta with “gravy” and meatballs: Villa Di Roma, Ralph’s Italian Restaurant or Marra’s.

If you’re in the mood for pizza, Tacconelli’s Pizzeria is one of the most famous Pizzerias in Philly. It’s a bit far from Center City, and you have to reserve your dough ahead of time, but it’s what you have to do if you want some of Philly’s best pizza.

If you’re hungry for history, you can go to City Tavern where you will eat Colonial-era food and drinks in a replica of a 1700s tavern and be served by a fully costumed staff. It’s a little touristy, but fun to do at least once.

Late Night

The Philly Taco

The Philly Taco

If it’s late, you’re hungry and want to eat something bad for you, head down to South Street. South Street is like the St. Marks Place of Philly. A little touristy, artsy, bridge & tunnel and punk rock at the same time.

Ishkabibbles is a takeout window located at 337 South Street where you get some of the best fries in Philly. I also recommend the hot “Veggie Hoagie” for junk food vegetarians – grilled veggies covered in tomato sauce & cheese.

Jim’s Steaks at 4th and South street is (IMHO) one of best cheesesteak places in the city and they are open until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Lorenzo’s Pizza at 305 South Street has sloppy slices of pizza that are bigger than your head. They are open until 4 in the morning and a late night Philly food staple.

Finally, I bring you the phenomenon known as The Philly Taco. The Philly Taco is a Jim’s Steaks cheesesteak wrapped in a slice of Lorenzo’s pizza. It’s a real thing.

Vegetarian / Vegan Heaven

If the previous list left you feeling like you needed Lipitor just from reading it, I want you to know Philly has some of the BEST vegan and vegetarian restaurants ever.

WordPressers at Charlie Was a Sinner during WCUS 2015

WordPressers at Charlie Was a Sinner during WCUS 2015

Richard Landau & Kate Jacoby own a few amazing vegan restaurants in the city. VEDGE has been named one of the best gourmet vegan restaurants in the entire country. V Street is their vegan street food restaurant and Wiz Kid is vegan junk food at its finest.

Nicole Marquis is another Philly vegan restaurateur with a trio of outstanding restaurants. Charlie Was a Sinner is a speakeasy-style restaurant and bar with cocktails just as amazing as the food. Bar Bombón is a corner bar with Latin-themed food. And finally, HipCityVeg is vegan fast food joint with 2 locations in Philly.

In Chinatown you have a few vegetarian options, 2 Philly favorites are New Harmony and Veggie Lovers. They both have menus with familiar dishes like General Tso’s Chicken and Peking Duck, but all meatless.

If you’re on South Street and don’t want a cheesy slice of pizza, Blackbird Pizza has pizzas, sandwiches and desserts and they are all vegan.

Dottie's Donuts

Dottie’s Donuts

Miss Rachel’s Pantry is a vegan catering company that does 6 course family-style dinners on Saturday nights for up to 12 people. If you want to join in, you will need to book dinner in advance.

There are so few vegan dessert options at regular restaurants that it’s a real treat when you’re vegan or dairy-free and can have any dessert you want! Dottie’s Donuts is an all vegan donut shop in West Philly. Sweet Freedom Bakery is not only vegan, but also allergy-friendly. Little Baby’s Ice Cream also has regular ice cream, but half of their flavors are dairy-free and all of their cookies are vegan. You know what that means? Delicious vegan ice cream cookie sandwiches!


Unfortunately, you can’t get good Water Ice in Philly in December, but there are still many places to go for delicious desserts.

Some of the WCUS organizer team at Franklin Fountain

Some of the WCUS organizer team at Franklin Fountain

Franklin Fountain is an amazing ice cream shop restored to early 20th Century accuracy. The ice cream, sundaes and sodas there are amazing. They usually have a few dairy-free flavors on the menu as well. Since credit cards didn’t exist in the 1920s they are cash only; make sure to bring some Hamiltons.

Little Baby’s Ice Cream is located in Fishtown, which is a little far from Center City, but a fun neighborhood to explore. In addition to offering delicious ice cream, Little Baby’s, partnering with the Workshop School, recently won a Geek Award for their project, Ice Cream in Space.

In Chinatown, there is a dessert, coffee and tea shop called A La Mousse where they have really cute and interesting desserts. For instance, they have a tasty parfait called “The Harvest” that looks like a potted plant.

Capogiro Gelato offers a wide range of decadent Gelato and Sorbetto. My favorite flavor there is Avocado (dairy-free). It’s sounds strange, but it’s creamy and delicious.

Federal Donuts is a Philly chain that serves 2 things – donuts and fried chicken. They have 2 kinds of donuts, fancy and hot. The fancy donuts live up to their name by coming in many fancy flavors. The hot donuts are made by their donut robot and are served sugar coated, fresh and hot.

I hope you enjoyed my supplement to last year’s food post. As always, if you’re looking for something specific, Tweet us your questions and we’ll be happy to answer.

Sponsor Spotlight: SiteLock

We want to thank SiteLock for being a Commonwealth sponsor at WordCamp US.
SiteLock 760

Our sponsors make it possible to continue bringing these educational, community-supporting, and entertaining conferences to cities and towns all over the world. The support of sponsors like SiteLock allow us to keep ticket prices low so the event is accessible to all. Sponsors like these give back to the free and open source WordPress project through their awesome support of the WordPress Community and WordCamps.

2016 has been an amazing year for SiteLock and the WordPress community. SiteLock’s evangelists, Logan Kipp and Adam Warner, have criss-crossed the globe attending and speaking at WordCamps. Through those travels and sponsorships, they’ve met so many wonderful people and learned so much about the world of WordPress. With 2017 just around the corner, SiteLock hopes to continue their strong support for WordPress and WordCamps and make 2017 the best year yet!

Currently protecting more than one million WordPress sites, SiteLock delivers a patented 360-degree website security solution to find, fix and prevent malware and other threats from affecting websites and their visitors. Services include malware scanning and vulnerability detection, automatic malware removal, an advanced web application firewall (WAF), PCI compliance and website acceleration powered by a global CDN. SiteLock provides phone support, available 24/7/365. For more information visit http://wpdistrict.sitelock.com/

Keeping WordCamp US Affordable

WordCamp US is North America’s largest WordCamp, with a few thousand WordPressers getting together for two session-packed days, a Contributor Day, an epic after-party, lunch each day, and exclusive swag, yet tickets are only $40. It’s important to us that people who want to attend are able to, and we’d hate for ticket cost to be what stops someone from joining us at WCUS.

How do we cover the costs for WCUS?

While each $40 ticket contributes to the budget, it doesn’t cover the food, the swag, or all of the other things that go into putting on a WordCamp of this size, and we have to make up the difference somehow.

First, we have amazing, generous sponsors who support WCUS. It wouldn’t happen without them, and we’re very grateful. While you’re at WordCamp US, we hope you’ll swing by their tables to check out what they have to offer and let them know we all appreciate their support.

Another way WCUS keeps costs down is through the vital support we get from our volunteers. This year there will be over 200 people donating their time – helping with registration, taking photos, assisting attendees, working at the Happiness Bar, and dozens of other tasks – to help make it a great event. The volunteers do critical work and they’re necessary for any WordCamp, especially one as big as WordCamp US!

On top of that, there are many people behind-the-scenes working hard on the planning, organizing, and communications needed to make WordCamp US a wonderful experience for everyone. The organizing team, contributors in the WordPress community around the country, and people from WordPress Community Support work together, starting several months ahead, so that WordCamp US can be a great experience for us all.

It takes a lot of work, but it’s worth it! We want the WordPress community to keep growing, and making it possible for more people to attend WordCamp US by keeping tickets affordable is one fantastic way to make that happen.

Tickets are still available if you haven’t gotten yours. And if you are interested in learning how to give back to the community (no matter what way you’re curious about), then be sure to check out Contributor Day!

State of the Word Returns to WordCamp US

This year’s WordCamp US will once again feature the State of the Word by WordPress co-founder, Matt Mullenweg. He’ll share his thoughts on WordPress today, where it’s headed in the future, and answer questions from the audience.

Matt Mullenweg gives the State of the Word at WordCamp US 2015 #wcus Photo by Sheri Bigelow

If you haven’t seen the State of the Word before, check out last year’s, delivered in Philadelphia at WordCamp US:

Want to be in the room for this year’s State of the Word? Grab a ticket now!


Photo Credit

Excited About WordCamp US? Bring a Friend!

WordPress is one of those tools that you can learn from the ground up at home (or anywhere you have a computer and some internet). No matter where you are, no matter your current level of technological savvy, WordPress resources are widely available across the internet so that you can level up your skills at your own pace.

With all this ready-to-use training available, you may ask yourself why you should attend a WordCamp.

WordCamps, which are always filled with fabulous content, give you a chance to meet an extensive community of passionate WordPress enthusiasts. Meeting people from your own area who do exactly what you do – whether that’s development, design, or running a full-service agency – can really connect you to what makes WordPress thrive. The community behind WordPress is what makes it so different from other CMS options out there and WordCamp US brings WordPressers from all over North America together to learn, connect, and celebrate.

2015 WordCamp US (photo by Casey Alexander)

Are you excited about WordCamp now? Guess what. I bet you have a friend who would be excited, too. We have at least one person on our own organizing team who feels like they were introduced to WordPress for the first time through a WordCamp. WordCamps, and the WordPress community as a whole, are welcoming and inclusive; we take all kinds here and teach them all about WordPress. 🙂

So what do you say? Bring a friend, Make a friend!

Photo Credit

Join us at the Contributor Day

Contributor Day at WordCamp US will be held Sunday, December 4. Lots of people have already indicated interest in attending when purchasing a WCUS ticket, so if that’s you … keep reading for details!

What is a contributor day?

A contributor day is an event dedicated to giving back to the WordPress project, often paired with a WordCamp. It’s for both seasoned contributors and people making their first foray into getting involved.

We had 334 contributors at the inaugural WordCamp US contributor day and anticipate easily surpassing that this year.

What: WordCamp US Contributor Day

When: Sunday, December 4. Doors open at 9am for a 10am start. Lunch will be provided, and we’ll finish up at 5:00 p.m.

Where: Pennsylvania Convention Center

Here are some of the things you’ll be able to do:

  • Contribute your first patch to core
  • Fix bugs
  • User testing
  • Translate WordPress or WordPress plugins or themes
  • Write documentation
  • Help out on the support forums or IRC
  • Get involved with accessibility
  • Review themes
  • And more!


We will have 12 different teams represented at Contributor Day this year: Accessibility, Community, Core, Design, Docs, Flow, Marketing, Meta, Polyglots, Support, Theme Review, and Training.

To find out more about each team, including early set up information and team leaders, check out the Contributor Day page.

If you’re new to contributing to WordPress, we’ll send out information soon about how to get set up for each team, so you can hit the ground running on the day of. Some initial setup done in advance lets us spend more time actually contributing!

Sign up, pick your team, or edit your previous selection!

Screenshot of WordCamp US ticket confirmation email with edit link

You can edit your team selection to attend (or not) by following the link in your WCUS ticket confirmation email.  (A WCUS ticket is required to attend Contributor Day.) If you want to attend and have already purchased your ticket, please go to the link in your ticket confirmation email and select which team you want to join.

You must select a team to confirm your attendance at Contributor Day.

What’s next?

If you plan to attend, check out the Contributor Day page for descriptions of the participating teams and their respective leads. Once you’ve chosen a team and updated your ticket, stay tuned for details on how to get set up in advance. And if you haven’t already, join us on the Making WordPress Slack in the #wcus-contributor-day channel.

A WCUS ticket is required to attend, so be sure to get your ticket now!

Check out the schedule!

In the past few weeks we’ve brought you our speaker announcements in part one, part two, part three, part four, and part five. And now it’s time to sew them all together into one action-packed and incredible schedule.

We’re really excited to bring you 52 amazing sessions, including morning Yoga and the ever-anticipated State of The Word with Matt Mullenweg.

Now’s the time to go ahead and start planning your days. There are a lot of fantastic talks given by some of the most dedicated folks from the WordPress community and beyond.

Don’t have your ticket, yet? You don’t want to miss this.

Friday, December 2nd

Time Independence – Room 121 Full-length Talks Liberty Bell – Room 120 Full-length Talks Kite & Key – Room 119 Lightning Talks
8:00 amRegistration
8:15 amYoga for Desk Jockeys Erica Varlese
9:00 amOpening Remarks
9:30 amManaging Your Iceberg Cory MillerDesign for humans not robots Tammie ListerVersion Control Your Life: Alternate Uses for Git Lisa Yoder
9:45 amHow to Talk Content: A Guide for Developers Lisa Melegari
10:30 amWordPress for Schools Cameron BarrettOpen Source Creativity Sara CannonA Dash Through a WordPress Release Mike Schroder
10:45 amCode Review: Keeping Things Secure, Clean, and Performant Ryan Markel
11:30 amAnswers by Pippin Pippin WilliamsonDiversity and the design team Marc ColemanFive Newsroom Tips for Better Website Content Andrea Zoellner
11:45 amLessons from the Classroom: How to Use WordPress at Your Planning Agency Winstina Hughes
12:15 pmLunch
1:15 pmFrom Community to the World. Instantly! Éverton RosárioTeaching the FBI to photoblog with WordPress Karl KevilusContributor Panel Michael Arestad, Gary Pendergast, Joe Dolson, Taco Verdonschot, Tina Kesova
2:15 pmHeroPress: The People Of WordPress Topher DeRosiaThe Back End Is Dead: A New Paradigm for Assessing Talent & Creating Great Applications Courtney WilburnFrom Shadows to Limelight: How women found their voice at WordCamp Montreal Kathryn Presner
2:30 pmFrom Chef to COO: Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire Christopher Hinds
3:15 pmWordPress is for Blogs: CMS Diversity in Museums Courtney OCallaghanYou Are Not Code Mika EpsteinLessons in New User Experience Mel Choyce
3:30 pmHow to Speak “Conversational Developer” Zach LeBar
4:15 pmFinding your voice by blogging Chris LemaCare and Feeding of Your Passion Josepha HadenLibraries <3 WordPress Lauren Comito
4:30 pmOnline Education Communities with WordPress Troy Dean
5:15 pmWhat’s New in TypeScript Doris ChenThe WP REST API guide for non-developers Petya RaykovskaInfluence is Not Only About Likes: How I used WordPress to change laws and (maybe) save lives. Elise Desaulniers
5:30 pmTales from the Closed Web: Working with WordPress Censorship in China John Gamboa

Saturday, December 3rd

Time Independence – Room 121 Full-length Talks Liberty Bell – Room 120 Full-length Talks Kite & Key – Room 119 Lightning Talks
8:00 amRegistration
8:15 amYoga for Desk Jockeys Erica Varlese
9:30 amInternationalizing The New York Times Scott TaylorWordPress & SEO in 2016 Joost de ValkBreaking social barriers and creating opportunities Sakin Shrestha
9:45 amLet’s Take This Offline: Making friends, and growing professional relationships IRL Shayda Torabi
10:30 amLet’s Encrypt! Wait. Why? How? Nancy ThankiThe Dark Side of Democratization Dennis HongBlogging – The Best Thing I’ve Done as a Developer Sal Ferrarello
10:45 amHow to embrace your WordPress mediocrity Tessa Needham Synnott
11:30 amSo you’ve released A WordPress product…. Now what? Ines van EssenBuddyPress as the Foundation for Training, Distance Learning and Support for Business and Government Lisa Sabin-WilsonWPDrama, The Four Agreements, and the WordPress Community John Eckman
11:45 amEvent Accessibility Kelly Dwan
12:15 pmLunch
1:45 pmWordPress Reflections Andrew NacinA view from Google: The latest in Search and mobile Maile OhyeColor Theory and the Fundamentals of Design Sonja Leix, Hugo Baeta, Beth Soderberg
2:45 pmComputational Design and Inclusion John MaedaDeaf-Friendly WordPress: Beyond Video Captioning and Sign Language Svetlana KouznetsovaPagebuilder Plugins: You’ve Come a Long Way Baby! Michele Mizejewski
3:00 pmHow to Overcome Your Fears and Start Sharing Your Knowledge Nicole Kohler
3:45 pmState of The Word Matt Mullenweg

Introducing the WCUS Speakers – Part 5

We’ve shared so many great speakers so far, in the first four posts, and today we’re at it again! Here are six more speakers to round out the list:

DorisDoris Chen

Dr. Doris Chen is a Senior Technology Evangelist at Microsoft for the Western region of the United States, specialized in web technologies (mobile web, HTML5, JavaScript, and Java).
Doris has over 18 years of experience in the software industry working in several open source web tier technologies, Java platform, .NET and distributed computing technologies.

TroyTroy Dean

Troy Dean is co-founder of WP Elevation, the largest business community for WordPress consultants. His background is as a WordPress developer working with clients such as Quickbooks, F1 Grand Prix and The Ashes Cricket. Troy has spoken at several WordCamps, including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Chicago, New York, Boston and Phoenix.

EricaErica Varlese

By day, Erica Varlese works at Automattic. She spends her time on the Happiness Hiring team, welcoming folks passionate about support into the Automattic family. Outside of work, she has a dog, Francis, who she thinks should be the official mascot of her home state, New Jersey. Her background in social work and communications is what drew her to WordPress, but it’s the welcoming, creative, and brilliant community that has inspired her to stick around.

EvertonÉverton Rosário

Facebook Partner Engineer and Main commiter for SDK and one of the most active in Instant Articles open source community. Co-author of the Facebook Instant Articles WordPress plugin.

MalieMaile Ohye

Joining Google in 2005, Maile works on Google Search as a Developer Programs Tech Lead. A few of Maile’s projects include rel=”canonical” (co-author of the IETF RFC), and rel=”next” and rel=”prev” for paginated content. Prior to Google, Maile was a systems integrator specializing in content management systems for organizations including AT&T and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She earned a B.A. in Cognitive Science with a Computer Science emphasis from the University of California at Berkeley.

SakinSakin Shrestha

Sakin Shrestha is a technology entrepreneur and an avid WordPresser from Kathmandu, Nepal. He is the owner of Catch Internet Pvt. Ltd. and co-founder of Acclaim Technology. He is also a co-owner at ThemeReview.co.

Great lineup, right? Grab a ticket so you can see them speak in person and hang out with a bunch of WordPressers!

WordCamp US live stream

Wanting to be a part of WordCamp US but won’t be able to join us in Philly this year? Great! We have a live stream for that! WordCamp US will once again be live streamed so that you can be a part of all the WordPress goodness without ever leaving home. But this year there’s one big change.

We’re delighted to say that this year the WordCamp US live stream ticket will be free!

In the past there was an option to purchase your live stream ticket as a stand alone or purchase a live stream ticket with a commemorative WordCamp US t-shirt. We haven’t forgotten about you folks who want a little piece of swag from the event. After WordCamp US our t-shirts will be on sale in the swag store (more details to come).

Once you’ve registered for a free live stream ticket to WordCamp US, you’re in for a real treat! Enjoying WordCamp from the comfort of your living room, dining room table, or backyard is pretty fantastic. Haven’t picked up a free ticket yet? There’s still time: you can even get a live stream ticket during the event.

The stream will start at 9:00am Eastern on Friday, December 2nd, and 9:00am Eastern on Saturday, December 3rd, and will be available at our Live Stream page. In order to view the stream, you’ll need to enter the e-mail address that you used to register for your ticket.

Please make sure you test that your computer can view the stream before the conference starts.

If you’d like to join in the conversation via Twitter, the event hashtag is #wcus.

If you miss any of the sessions on the live stream, don’t worry! All of the sessions will be recorded, and we’ll start posting them to WordPress.tv soon after the event.

Enjoy the event, and we’ll see you in the stream!