What I Learned at the ithemes Builder Bootcamp

Last Friday and Saturday (April 23-24), were spent in tech bliss (and overload), at the first ever ithemes Oklahoma City Builder Bootcamp. Here are a few things I learned…

Dustin Bolton, Chris Jean, Matt Danner, James Dalman

1.  Builder is even better than I originally thought. I purchased Builder the minute it was available (sign up for their email newsletters, you could probably snag a discount coupon on product releases {sorry @jamesdalman, I had to mention coupons}). I listened/watched some of their demos and on-line workshops and thought that this is going to be great for we non-geeks to use. Being at the workshop and seeing the staff explain and demo the features taught and/or reinforced the Builder skills I had been developing.

2. There’s a distinction to be made with Builder and the Child Themes. We think about Builder being a theme, but really, when using Builder, we upload and activate a particular child theme and that child theme is actually the theme being used. That’s the way I was doing it, but I didn’t really understand the genius behind their thinking.

3. Rename Child Themes before tweaking them. I’ve not been brave enough to do this yet, but if I do, I’ll be sure to save the original child theme and then rename the child theme I want to revise. They said that the child themes usually don’t need to be upgraded and that the major changes/fixes/enhancements they make will be in the Builder theme upgrades. (I hope I got that right!)

4. Delete your inactive plug-ins – they are a security risk.

5. Chris Jean @chrisjean is a genius. He’s the author of Builder, he answers all my novice-type questions so kindly and on my level, and he’s one of the few guys I know who can multi-task! I mean this guy is always working on code while doing other stuff! (p.s. to Chris—remember my request for a feminine/lighter color child theme!)

6. Lisa Sabin-Wilson @LisaSabinWilson is very approachable, knowledgeable and gives back regularly to the WordPress community. She was at our Bootcamp and enhanced everyone’s experience by being there and participating. She let me do a short interview with her, which I’ll publish later this week.

7. Getting to know fellow itheme students. There were people here from CA, TN, NM, MO (Duct Tape Marketing folks), MN, MT and elsewhere there. A valuable serendipity was exchanging contact information with these people and hopefully keeping in touch with them.


I want to thank the ithemes team for hosting the workshop right here in Oklahoma City. It’s wonderful to have this premium theme company leading the OKC tech community. I got to meet Cory Miller @corymiller303 for the first time and found him to be as genuine, passionate and dedicated as I thought he would be. I also got to visit with James Dalman@ jamesdalman for awhile about what he does and the new Web Design Services iThemes is starting to offer. I found out his other role at iThemes is body guard for Cory Miller 🙂

So to Cory Miller, thank you for deciding to hold this Bootcamp in OKC. I’ve been around some of your team at our local WordPress meetups and have found them to always be helpful, gracious and patient. It was evident at the bootcamp that there is a special camaraderie you all share. The team was available and willing to help any and all this past weekend. It was a great experience and I’d recommend any future Bootcamps you decide to put on.

Please read David North’s post of what he learned at the Bootcamp. David is the OKC WordPress Meetup group organizer. Anyone in the local OKC area is invited to the monthly WordPress meetups. We meet the last Monday each month.

7 thoughts on “What I Learned at the ithemes Builder Bootcamp”

  1. Lynn,

    Thanks for the post and a huge thanks for being involved! We had a great time meeting everyone and just being available to share, teach, and learn.

    I hope we can continue to build and improve these gatherings for iThemes and WebDesign.com as it really gives us an opportunity to hear from our valuable community and the chance to build relationships.

    Thanks again for being there … and I won't hold the coupon code against you! LOL!

  2. Genius? Apparently my "Mad Scientist Weekly" subscription is finally paying off. 🙂

    I'm glad that you were able to attend and that you got value out of the weekend. I'll remind the team about making some lighter/more feminine designs.

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  5. So Lynne, do you have a website online using the iThemes Builder WordPress theme yet? If so what is the URL? And have you run into any trouble with it yet? Do you feel this would be a good theme for a want-to-be web designer? Could one create a sample theme page for clients to check out with Builder and have it as part of their Builder site?

    1. I'm working on one for a client – it's just about ready. I've learned so much during the building process.

      Really, there aren't any problems. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with all of the choices available and I've found it works best to focus on one page at a time and remove all the options (widget areas) except for what I'm using on a particular page.

      Another bonus I get because I have Builder are some great plug-ins. My favorite is Style Editor.

      If you have built a website with WordPress, you should be able to do it. I do think Flexx is a bit easier to manage. There are some helpful videos at http://ithemes.com. Also, when you buy any of their themes, you'll automatically get instructional videos in your dashboard.

      Thanks for coming by!


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