Speakers: Evan Volgas

  • Evan Volgas: What Everyone Needs to Know about Data, Physics, Memory, and Information

    WordCamp Long Beach 2019Speaker: Evan Volgas

    November 13, 2019 — Everywhere you go, you hear about it: data is everywhere. Data about us, our tastes, our health, our friends and relationships. The implications to privacy and security are obvious, but we also need to talk about attention (our ability to process data has not grown nearly as fast as data have multiplied), memory (should databases ever forget?), comprehension (how do you keep up?), and truth (critical reasoning matters).

    The first half of this presentation is dedicated to data literacy – what everyone (especially tech professionals) should know about data. The second half of the session reviews tools you can use to manage your attention and decision-making in light of all this data flying around everywhere. Then, speaker Evan Volgas brings it all back to a WordPress neighborhood near you and go over five things you could immediately start doing to work smarter with data and WordPress.

  • Evan Volgas: Profiling Your Server: Tips and Tricks of the Trade

    WordCamp Asheville 2016Speaker: Evan Volgas

    August 16, 2016 — *This is a 15-minute Lightning Talk*

    It’s the bug report call we all dread: “the website is slow.” None of the code has changed in weeks and, other than writing a few new blog posts, the client hasn’t touched the site. The website has been running fine for months. So why is it running slow now? Is it the database? The web server? Is your server swapping? Does it have anything to do with your application or is it maybe a third party service that’s running slow, like DNS? Although we won’t be able to go over everything that might cause your server to behave badly, this talk will review the basics of profiling your server in order to diagnose problems. No prior knowledge of command line tools will be assumed, and the talk will be accessible to non-developers. The one thing that attendees should be familiar with prior to attending this talk is how to SSH into their server. It would also be a good idea for attendees to know how to install software packages using apt or yum.

    Presentation Slides »

  • Evan Volgas: The WordPress REST API – What It Is, Why it Matters, and What You Need to Know About It

    WordCamp Asheville 2016Speaker: Evan Volgas

    July 26, 2016 — WordPress 4.4 was released on Dec 8, 2015. It was the first WordPress release to include the infrastructure for a REST API directly in the core codebase. If you’re not familiar with what that means, then the following claim will probably sound like gobbledy gook to you: the inclusion of a REST API for WordPress is arguably one of the most significant changes to be made to the core codebase in years. This talk will help you understand why.

    This talk will be aimed at WordPress professionals of all stripes. Whether you are a developer, designer, business owner, or blogger, you should be paying attention to the REST API in WordPress and why it’s so important (and so powerful) for the future of WordPress applications.

    In this talk, we’ll discuss what APIs and what it means for them to be RESTful. We’ll talk about why APIs are important in the first place and what having a RESTful one in the core of WordPress means, in real terms. Last, we will talk about the status of the REST API and the efforts that are underway to integrate it more fully with the core.

    If you’re a business owner, designer, blogger, or WordPress developer who’s maybe heard of the WordPress API but you don’t really know what it is or why it’s important, you’ll probably get the most out of this talk.

    If you are a polyglot developer with a fair amount of experience working directly with RESTful APIs, this talk will probably be too basic for you.

    If you’re completely new to WordPress and haven’t done much more than publish a few blog posts and install a few plugins, there’s a chance this talk will be a bit intimidating for you (although honestly I hope it won’t be and you should be brave and come anyway and make me explain anything that didn’t make sense to you… I’m more than happy to do so).


    What is an API and why do we care about them?
    How is the REST API in WordPress different from all those other APIs they have floating around in the WordPress Core? Is this one different somehow or is it just another API? (Hint: it’s very much the former.)
    What does a RESTful API for WordPress mean for me as a designer? As a blogger? As a business owner or entrepreneur? As a developer?

    Presentation Slides »

  • Evan Volgas: WAG the Blog – Using WordPress, Ansible, and Git to Build Your Website

    WordCamp Atlanta 2016Speaker: Evan Volgas

    April 24, 2016 — This talk will show you how to set up a WordPress blog using Ansible, an open-source tool that is often used to deploy code and configure servers. We will deploy WordPress (as well some additional software, like Git) to a fresh new server. We will also look at how to version control your codebase with Git and discuss various ways you can bring Git into your workflow. Last, we’ll talk a little bit about Vagrant and how you can test your changes locally before committing them to your master codebase and deploying them on your live site.

    The talk will assume basic competency with SSH (you should know how to SSH into a server, install new packages, update your package lists, etc) and a passing familiarity with Git (you should know what it is).

    If you are an experienced developer who’s already using Git and Ansible/Chef/Puppet for provisioning, this talk will be too basic for you. If you are a new developer who’s dabbled a bit with version control and/or provisioning software, you’ll walk out of this talk with everything you need to securely deploy WordPress and Git via Ansible. If you’re not a developer, this talk may be a little bit further into the weeds than you’d enjoy going… although if you want to learn more about doing professional software development, there will be plenty of code samples available online and plenty of references to help you get started. If you’re not a developer and you want to come to this talk, try and read over a tutorial on basic SSH and Git and you should be able to follow along too.

    Presentation Slides »

  • Evan Volgas: Things You Always Wanted To Know About WordPress (but were afraid to ask)

    WordCamp US 2015Speaker: Evan Volgas

    December 10, 2015 — This talk will cover a few key “Aha” moments that you should have about the way WordPress works. We’ll talk about things like the template hierarchy, what’s going on in wp-config, where WordPress content is stored (the database vs. the file system), how posts and pages and custom post types are represented in the database, what folks are talking about when they talk about hooks and filters, and just generally review the “behind the scenes” mechanics of how WordPress works. We’ll also touch on a few “tricks of the trade” that you might not realize are out there (version control, staging sites, caching, Vagrant, and other fun tools to make development with WordPress just a little bit easier).

    This talk is aimed at designers and new developers who maybe have a few PHP tricks up their sleeves, but still haven’t figured out some of the details behind the scenes.

    If you’ve never edited functions.php and don’t know what it is, this probably isn’t a good talk for you just yet. If you’ve written a plugin or modified several .php files in your WordPress themes, this talk will probably be a bit too basic for you. If you’ve set up a child theme before and know what functions.php is, even if you haven’t really used it all that much, or even at all…. you’re probably the exact person who will get a lot out of this talk. And if that’s you, you should be able to walk away with a solid mental model of how WordPress works “behind the scenes” and be in a much better position to do development with it

    Presentation Slides »

  • Evan Volgas: HyperDB

    WordCamp Atlanta 2015Speaker: Evan Volgas

    May 5, 2015 — This session looks at what HyperDB is, when you might want to use it, how to use it in the first place, as well as some other flavors of MySQL that you might consider taking a look at (in particular MariaDB and Percona MySQL). This session is aimed at advanced developers who are looking to level-up their database chops.

    Presentation Slides »

  • Evan Volgas: WordPress and Git

    WordCamp Asheville 2014Speaker: Evan Volgas

    September 8, 2014 — This presentation talks about version control and WordPress. Specifically we’re going to look at Git, and how you can clone a git repository (like Github, BitBucket, BeanStalk, Gitlab, etc) to a live server and use your local machine to make and test changes. You’ll need to have some familiarity with SSH and a basic idea of what git is (Wikipedia is fine), but otherwise I’ll assume you’ve never used git and WordPress together and I’ll walk you through how you can do that.

    Presentation Slides »

  • Evan Volgas: Nginx, Varnish and Memcache – How to Make WordPress Fast

    WordCamp Atlanta 2014Speaker: Evan Volgas

    June 15, 2014 — This presentation explains three important technologies that you can use to make WordPress fast. It covers how to configure these technologies to work together by actually setting them up on a virtual private server. Likewise, it discusses some of the implications of using these technologies (memcache especially) and when you might want to choose a different technology for making your WordPress websites run fast.