Featured Speaker: Shannon Smith

Shannon Smith is the founder of Café Noir Design, a boutique Montreal web design company specializing in multilingual web development. She builds beautiful, functional websites that her clients can update themselves and that are easy for search engines to find. She support things like making the web accessible for everyone, using open source software, helping organizations find greener more sustainable ways to operate through online technology and helping non-profits with online community organizing. Also foodie and mother of four.

Presentation: Taking WordPress to the World: Options for a Multilingual Site

About 2/3 of the world population speak more than one language and most of the world doesn’t use the Internet in English. This presentation will cover what components are needed for a successful multilingual WordPress site. We’ll compare different set-ups, review key plugins and examine common pitfalls. Then we’ll look at advanced features like e-commerce and email marketing.

This presentation will be accessible to anyone with a basic understanding of WordPress. No coding necessary.

What do you want people to learn from your presentation?

Yes! It is possible to use WordPress in multiple languages!

What attracted you to WordPress in the first place?

WordPress is a great web design tool because it can be (almost) anything you want it to be: a blog, a brochure site, a photo portfolio, a business directory, a social network. I love that it is so flexible and easy to customize, but also that it is easy to use. I work with non-profits and they often have volunteers running their website, which often means high staff turnover. WordPress is great because for users, it doesn’t take a huge investment in time and training to get started.

What are you most looking forward to at WordCamp Toronto?

Community. I am looking forward to hearing about all the interesting things that people are doing with WordPress and I’m looking forward to meeting new people.

Why did you decide to speak at WordCamp Toronto?

WordPress helps me pay the bills, so it’s always nice to be able to give something back and contribute to the WordPress Community. I’m a huge fan of strengthening community and of making communication tools accessible to everyone. It’s one of the reasons I support open source software in general and WordPress in particular.

What is your favourite theme or plugin, and why?

Though I haven’t used it much yet, I’m looking forward to playing around with underscores, a starter theme produced by Automattic. Billed as “ultraminimal”, it looks like a great place to start when designing custom themes.

I’m also a huge fan of Limit Login Attempts. I design sites for non-profits and community activists, and a couple of the more controversial projects I’ve done attract a lot of hackers. Limit Login Attempts sends me a quick email letting me know whenever it stops a brute-force attack. Every time I get one of those emails, I do a little cheer.

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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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