Mark speaks on most matters WordPress related. Usually, about backend WordPress development but can also speak about freelancing and running a WordPress development agency.

You can view all of Mark’s previous talks here.


Mark is the co-founder and lead WordPress developer at Highrise Digital, a WordPress development agency focused on delivering fast, easy to use content managed websites with WordPress. Previous to a career in web development with WordPress, Mark was a secondary school teacher in the UK. Starting out teaching Geography, he quickly moved over the teaching and leading the ICT and computing department which, is where his love of the web and WordPress was born.

Current active talks

The following are talks Mark is currently presenting at meetups and conferences in the UK. If a talk you would like about WordPress is not listed below and you would like him to talk on that subject, please do not hesitate to ask.

Extensible WordPress Development

Wouldn’t it be great if you could use the same code on multiple projects, but customise it to work differently on each? Wouldn’t that save so much time?

Well, the answer, of course, is to write extensible code that you and others who use your plugins and themes can modify and extend, on a per-project basis.

We will look at what extensible code is, why you should be writing extensibly including the benefits it brings and the techniques used to do so.

Transitioning to a block-based editor in a pre-Gutenberg world

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.

We, therefore, set out to find another solution and this led to the development of the HD ACF Blocks plugin that we use on most sites today.

This talk introduces the plugin, how we built it, how it works, and how it provides value to our clients and our business.

Operating as a remote team – making this a success at Highrise Digital

Many companies choose to embrace remote working including us at Highrise. Digital did this from the very start of our company. Remote working as many benefits but also some challenges, which if the business is going to be a success must be overcome.

In this talk, I will outline some of the benefits remote working has brought the team at Highrise Digital as well out outlining the challenges it has brought and the tools and processes we use in order to overcome them.

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.