We have a packed schedule of fantastic speakers for WordCamp Hamilton 2015, and want to let you get to know a bit about them before you arrive at the event June 6th! Each week will be featuring a speaker, and we’re starting this week with Shanta Nathwani.
Shanta is a Web Design and Information Architecture Consultant as well as an Instructor in Web Design and CCIT Capstone at Sheridan College, located in Oakville, Ontario, Canada which includes teaching WordPress. The ICCIT program is a joint program with the University of Toronto at Mississauga. She teaches students and small businesses how to use their websites and social media to increase their online presence leading to increased revenues and improved customer service. She has assisted companies to incorporate social media in the real estate, financial, non-profit, education and technical fields to name a few. She is from Toronto, Ontario, but now lives in Hamilton, Ontario.
Shanta will be giving the WordPress 101 session first thing in the morning!
We asked Shanta a few questions about her presentation and her passion for WordPress, see below!
Tell us about your presentation?
As someone told me after I’d delivered this before, this presentation is meant to give people the alphabet of WordPress so that they can learn the dictionary. It is intended for anyone that has never even touched WordPress before and needs some basic information to make some decisions that will start their WordPress experience off right. I assume that people attending my session have no prior knowledge.
What do you want people to learn from your presentation?
I want them to get an understanding of the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org (self-hosted), what themes and plugins are and educate themselves enough to know when they might be in over their heads and need to hire a professional. You may walk away with more questions, but at least you have a starting point and know better which questions to ask, or to whom you need to speak. You’ll be better able to speak with people of all levels, not only at WordCamp, but beyond that one day.
Why did you decide to speak?
This is my home. I want people from all over to see what Hamilton can offer in the way of WordPress and what a great community that it has. I did an amazing tour last year and got some great feedback on this subject. I love teaching the beginners and seeing the look of enlightenment on their faces. Knowledge is power and I’m all about sharing it.
What attracted you to WordPress in the first place?
I had done web design in an earlier life and when I was looking for my next gig, post-graduation from my degree, I didn’t know what to do. I thought about going back to web design, but it had changed so much. A friend of mine pointed me in the direction of WordPress and immediately following the meeting, I went to the store and picked up a book. I’ve never looked back and never regretted it. Now, I teach it, not only at WordCamps, but as my job!
What is your favourite plugin or theme, and why?
I would have to say that Backup Buddy by iThemes is my favourite. It is such an easy tool to use and for those users that I work with who don’t want to be bothered worrying about schedules and what to back up and when. Set it up once and let it run. You can schedule it to do a full backup or just a database backup. You can tell it to store the backup elsewhere, like Dropbox. The best part of it is for those that develop websites for their clients. The migration tool is incredible! I’ve done a demo in front of my class and moved an entire site from one domain to the other in 10 minutes, with instruction to them. A perfect working copy.
What are you most looking forward to at WordCamp Hamilton?
I’ve been talking to people in the Hamilton/Halton area for the last couple of years about WordPress and they’ve been eager to learn about it. This is their chance! It is such a boost for the local WordPress and Web Community as a whole. And, after having done 7 WordCamps across North America last year and planning on doing 10 this year, for this WordCamp, I get to sleep at home in my own bed. 😉