- Create a branded WordPress website for a 3-day conference that includes a home page, about page, schedule page, contact form, and blog listing
- Implement e-commerce functionality that will be used to sell tickets and merchandise
- When purchasing a ticket, the attendee will need to select a ticket type (delegate, sponsor, or student) and will need to provide their name, email address, t-shirt size, Twitter handle, and website URL
- Once a ticket is purchased, the tickets must be sent to the purchaser’s email address as an HTML email and they must also be provided with an option to download the ticket as a PDF
- Tickets will also be sold in person on the day of the event and the system will need to provide a way to manage attendee check-ins/registrations on each day of the event
The 30-Minute Challenge
Given the limited time frame, before I started the build, I prepared a logo, purchased stock images, and created all page content needed for the site (with a little help from ChatGPT).
I then headed over to InstaWP which is a great tool for spinning up sandbox sites used for development or testing. Using InstaWP will significantly reduce the time needed to setup the WordPress site. When the site is ready to go live, InstaWP offers migration tools that make it easy to transfer the site to your hosting service provider.
When creating the site in InstaWP, I chose the WooCommerce template option which spun up a WordPress website with WooCommerce already installed. We then completed the WooCommerce setup, set the currency as USD and set up PayPal so we could accept payments.
Next, I installed the free Elementor page builder and the free Astra theme. These are the tools I already have experience with, however, you can use any theme or page builder that you are comfortable with. I then headed over to the media section and uploaded all our photographs and graphics which I had sourced beforehand.
I then created blank home, about, schedule, contact, and blog pages and headed over to the WordPress Reading settings to set the home and blog pages. I created a menu that included all these pages and set it as the primary menu.
I then returned to the home page and started adding the home page content and building an effective layout. For this challenge, I decided to build all the pages from scratch and not use any templates.
I then moved on to the about page and added the title, feature image and content. Next, I added content to the contact page and added the Elementor short code widget that will be used to place a contact form on the page.I saved my changes and headed over to the plugins section and installed the Contact Form 7 plugin. When installing Contact form 7, it automatically generates a default contact form and provides a shortcode that can be used to add the contact form to the page. I copied the shortcode and added it to my contact page using the shortcode widget.
I then created the schedule page using the same layout as the about page and published an announcement blog post.
Using the customizer settings, I set the site header logo and icon.
Next, I installed the FooEvents plugins which will be used to add event and ticketing functionality to the site. For the most part, I used the standard FooEvents settings, however, I did head over to the FooEvents settings and set tickets to use a QR code instead of a barcode. This is mostly a personal preference as the QR codes look great and are easier to scan.
I then created a product for the tickets and completed all the standard fields such as the title, feature image, and description.
Using functionality provided by the FooEvents Multi-day plugin, I set the product as a 3-day event.
I set up the HTML ticket email and using the FooEvents Custom Attendee Fields plugin, I created custom attendee fields that would be captured at checkout.
I then created a standard WooCommerce product for a t-shirt that would be sold online and at the event to raise funds.
With little time remaining, I installed the free WP SMTP Mail plugin to help improve the delivery of our ticket emails. WP SMTP Mail makes it possible to send site emails such as WooCommerce and FooEvents ticket emails using an authenticated email account rather than directly from your server.
With a few minutes remaining, I returned to the home page and made a few final touches before hitting the 30-minute deadline!
The end result is a fully functioning conference website. While the design is simple, and could probably do with a few hours of design love, it conveys the relevant information in a professional manner.
Functional areas such as the blog and contact form work perfectly and our site is ready to start processing eCommerce orders.
Attendees can purchase merchandise, and they can secure their spot by purchasing a ticket for the conference.
All they will need to do is select their items, proceed to the cart, and then proceed to checkout.
Here, they can complete their billing information and supply attendee information that will be used when generating their ticket.
They can then view their ticket on the order details screen, and thanks to the FooEvents PDF Tickets plugin, they can download a PDF copy of the ticket.
The attendee will also receive a ticket email which has a copy of the PDF ticket attached.
The event organizers can manage both orders and tickets in the WordPress admin dashboard.
Using the FooEvents POS plugin, tickets can also be sold in-person on the day of the event.
Event organizers can print tickets at the event directly from FooEvents POS using most thermal receipts and standard desktop printers.
They can process payments directly within the FooEvents POS system using Stripe & Square card readers. You can also enter a customer’s card details manually which is perfect for taking orders over the phone or if the hardware is not available in your country.
And last but not least, using the free FooEvents Check-ins apps, event organizers can also seamlessly manage registrations on the day of the event. They can easily find ticket information by searching for attendees by name or ticket ID, or they can scan the ticket using the built-in QR code scanner.
This was a fun challenge and a great testament to what can be achieved using WordPress and the tools that support it. Given more time, there are definitely a few more things I would work on (SEO, design, accessibility, performance etc), but considering the 30-minute time frame, I’m pretty happy with what was accomplished.
If you would like to see more details, here is a video of the full unedited 30-minute build process:
These are all the services and plugins I used to create this project.
- FooEvents for WooCommerce – https://www.fooevents.com/products/fooevents-for-woocommerce
- FooEvents Custom Attendee Fields plugin – https://www.fooevents.com/products/fooevents-custom-attendee-fields
- FooEvents Multi-day plugin – https://www.fooevents.com/products/fooevents-multi-day
- FooEvents PDF Tickets plugin – https://www.fooevents.com/products/fooevents-pdf-tickets
- FooEvents POS plugin – https://www.fooevents.com/products/fooevents-pos
- InstaWP – https://instawp.com
- WordPress – https://wordpress.org
- WooCommerce – https://woocommerce.com
- Elementor – https://wordpress.org/plugins/elementor
- Astra theme – https://www.wordpress.org/themes/astra
- Contact Form 7 – https://www.wordpress.org/plugins/contact-form-7
- The WP SMTP Mail plugin – https://www.wordpress.org/plugins/wp-mail-smtp
If you do have any questions related to FooEvents, please head over to our help center and get in touch