A simple, quick and cheap setup for filming WordCamp videos

I have been attending WordCamps for a long time now. My first was back in 2009 for WordCamp UK in Cardiff, my most recent WordCamp Manchester 2019. More recently there has been the trend of filming the talks and these are then placed on the WordPress.tv website.

Filming talks is a great idea and allows attendees to see videos from the alternative tracks available as well as allowing people who could not attend the event to view the talks. However recently it seems to be taking a long time to get things onto WordPress.tv. With that in mind, I set about trying to find a quicker solution that still produced a good quality video and did not cost the earth in terms of hardware and post-production time.

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My WordPress story

Back in 2004, the web was a lot different to what it was now. Social media was only just a thing and most people didn’t know about it and people generally did not write on the web – or at least a lot.

The previous year I had purchased my first domain name (markdw.co.uk) which I still use for email to this day, but had not got around to actually using it for a website.

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WordCamp Manchester contributor day

Today I attended the WordCamp Manchester 2018 contributor day. For those not sure these days are all about contributing to the WordPress project. This doesn’t have to be code and there are many ways in which to contribute including things like design and documentation.

I particularly enjoyed the day as I spent it testing one of my plugins for compatibility with an up and coming release of WordPress.

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Talk: Transitioning to a block based WordPress editor in a pre-Gutenberg World at WordCamp Manchester

How do we move towards a block-based admin UI in a pre-Gutenberg WordPress?

With the rise of page builders and ‘block-based’ layouts, and the imminent arrival of Gutenberg – WordPress’ new block-based editor – we needed a solution for transitioning towards this new way of editing content while sticking with the mature and stable technology stack that we know and love.

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Domain mapping with WordPress multisite without using IP addresses

I am currently the lead back-end developer over at Highrise Digital, in charge of a large (over 500 sites) multisite installation of WordPress. Each site in the install has its own custom mapped domain, rather than using a subdomain of the primary site. In this post, I discuss how I set up domain mapping to websites in the WordPress multisite install, without pointing the domains to the servers IP address.

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Filming talks at smaller meet-ups

Yesterday I was pleased to speak at the WordPress Cheltenham group. My talk was all how to write extensible WordPress code. I actively speak and have spoken at a number of these local events and something I wanted to explore was filming to talks to put up on the web. Here is how I did it and the kit that I used.

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Talk: The fundamentals of creating sound plugins

Thanks to WordPress core making plugins to add functionality is not that difficult. However for each plugin you make, there are some sound principles you should follow in order to make your plugin the best it can be.


This talk will teach you some of the principles to follow when making your plugins, which will make it easier for you to develop and upgrade your plugin, as well as allowing other developers to make changes in a safer way and keep things secure. Ideal for beginners and intermediate developers in plugin development.

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Talk: A deep understanding of WordPress actions and filters

WordPress is known for its extensibility – the ability to change the behaviour of the software without breaking the core code. This is added through plugins and themes.


Understanding how to extend WordPress is essential if you want to develop solutions using WordPress. This talk will teach you how actions and filters work, with some practical and theoretical examples to illustrate their functionality.

Attendees should hopefully come away from this talk with a greater understanding on how actions and filters, or hooks as they are collectively known, can unlock the door to building greater things with WordPress, and as I worked out being able to say “Wow, you can do (almost) anything with WordPress!”.

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Talk: WordPress is a CMS, not a CMS

WordPress allows users to manage their content through the WordPress admin screens. This means users can add, edit and delete content and media and manage their sites without the need to ask developers for every change. WordPress is a content management system, but all too often it can end up becoming a content mismanagement system when editing and managing the site is just too difficult, This talk goes through some of the ways in which we build sites so they are easy to content manage, whilst allowing clients to edit pretty much all of their site. It will cover the different methods we use to make content management easy and some of the problems that we see with sites we have been asked to improve. Hopefully by the end of this talk attendees will come away with some practical examples on how to make content management with WordPress easier and quicker for users.

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I received some great feedback about the talk.