Events for the web industry

happening in Newport, South Wales


Port80 2016 – pre event info

Posted on: May 17th, 2016 by joel

With Port80 2016 looming up on us, here is some key info you’ll need (we’ve already emailed this out once but, due to more ticket sales, it’s best we put it online as well).

The venue you’ll need to head to is the University of South Wales, City Campus. If you’re coming from the train station, it’s about a 5-10 min walk.

Check-in will be open from about 08:20.

The event will kick off properly at 09:00 sharp, so please be prompt.

Parking is right next to the venue.

There will be tea & coffee at the venue (plus a cafe).

Lunch is not included but there is a cafe on site. Also the venue is slap bang opposite Newport’s new shopping centre: “Friar’s Walk” – there’s load of great places to eat there.

There will be an after show party upstairs at The Pen & Wig in Newport from 19:00 (please remember to keep your lanyards etc so you can get in).

If you’re staying over the night before, this is a cracking burger place in Newport (does veggie as well).

Other places to grab a drink / food are:

Please shout out if you have any questions. You’ll probably get the quickest response on Twitter.



Become a speaker for Port 80 2016 *closed*

Posted on: November 21st, 2015 by Mike Gearon

Thank you for showing your interest in becoming a speaker for Port80 this year. However we have now picked our speakers. We may be running another conference in 2017, so please follow us on our social media channels for more information in the future.

After a year off (phew!), Port80 is back for a 4th time on the 20th of May 2016. This is a great year to reboot this friendly, pocket sized, web conference as its home base, Newport, is itself going through a lot of changes with the ongiong redevelopment at Friar’s Walk etc (hurray for Newport!).

Our first job for organising the conf, is to get the speakers lined up; now we already have some people in mind but, as usual, we do want to throw it open to all.

However, before you put your hand up, please can you take a look at the following…

Port80 is a generalist conference for those who either design/build websites, maintain them, or who are just plain old interested. At the moment nothing is fixed in terms of schedule but talks will be around 40 minutes long.

It’s not a hard core coders conference ­but that’s not to say that some talks might be more technical in nature than others. From personal experience I know that not every talk will resonate with everybody in the audience, but all talks should be geared towards a generalist audience and try to be as inclusive as possible; e.g. feel free to propose a talk on what IP6 means to the web community; but please make it accessible.

A key focus for Port80 is ‘​practical’. ​Practical not just in terms of ‘h​ands on’​ but in terms of folks walking away from each talk with a nugget which can help them in their role the very next day. Many of our audience will be either freelancers or working in smaller creative agencies; so gearing your talk towards such an audience will be useful.

The Theme for 2016

If there is a theme for Port80 2016, it is the future. Where are we going? What new technologies do we need to know about? What’s changed which is important? How do we need to adapt to keep up the ever changing web landscape? How can we be better at what we do (and happier whilst doing it)?

Port80 welcomes speakers from all backgrounds. If you are nervous about putting your name forward, don’t worry ­ we’re a friendly crowd in Newport ­(you are amongst friends).

Examples of the types of topics we’d like talk proposals on are:

    • ­ The state of play with web CMSs (beyond WordPress)
    • CRM integration
    • Creating smarter, more effective websites ­
    • Other Analytics (beyond GOOGLE)
    • Understanding client requirements ­
    • Charging; how to make money
    • Latest news in terms of practical A11Y ­
    • When and why to use SVG?
    • Practical IA and UX techniques
    • Content Strategy for the freelancers ­
    • Best practices for working with clients
    • Fostering an awesome working environment
    • The future of web design
    • Process; what works for you ­
    • etc etc etc



How to Apply

From previous experience, we know that sifting through LOADS of random talk requests can be really hard work! So, to make it easier for us, please can you: ­

    • ­Bare in mind what we’ve said above
    • Tell us a little about yourself
    • Tell us which topic/area(s) you’d like to talk on


Please sent talk proposals (or any questions) to Mike who’ll be handling this side of things. Please also follow Port80 on Twitter for latest updates.

Thanks & see you in May.

Joel & Mike

p.s. if you know of anyone you think would be a good fit speak at Port80 2016, please point them this way.


Port80 2014 – a roundup

Posted on: May 19th, 2014 by Helen Reynolds

It was a customarily sunny and warm day in Newport(!) when lots of you hit town to hear from our amazing speakers. Joel did a terrific job or finding a combination of speakers who had wisdom and skills in bucket loads. They kept us laughing, taking notes and generally loving the whole day so a big thanks to Denise, Dan, Nathan, Louise, Roy, Kimberley, Kevin and Matt.

Big shout out to our lovely sponsors of Basekit, Heart Internet and Campaign Monitor.

(We’ll post links to slides in another post)

“Absolutely fab.  Very useful.  Lots to take away and think about and work with.  Loved it.  Good organisation and venue, too.  Many thanks to all who made it happen.”

Steve Aze






The Port80 2014 Offscreen Lanyard Comp.

Posted on: May 15th, 2014 by joel


For all you Port80 2014 attendees coming to Newport tomorrow, we have a little competition for you…

Above you’ll see what your lanyard will look like*. The squared box is for where you can write your name or twitter handle etc.

(*apologies for garish colours, I got carried away with my iPhone camera app)

The competition works like this:

  • Write/decorate your lanyards
  • Tweet a photo of it along with the #Port80Comp hashtag
  • We’ll pick winners during the day

We’ll have a desk and some sharpies near registration to help you customise your lanyard. Prizes will be announced during the day so you can build up your creation during the breaks if you like.

If you’re not much of an artist, find a way of expressing yourself – all entries can win. Helen will be onsite during the day helping out with social media and she’ll be judging the winners; I believe she is open to bribes.

Note: the lanyard card measures 115mm wide by 147mm tall. The box for writing in comes in at 85mm x 85mm.

The keen as mustard types amongst you might want to brew some ideas up tonight or even bring some props with you (e.g. stickers, tinsel, slices of ham*).

(*maybe not)

The Prizes

We have a few editions of the awesome Offscreen mag to give away; this is a thing of beauty.

Enjoy & see you tomorrow



(*Apologies for garish colours, I got carried away with the iPhone camera app)

Get the Port80 app

Posted on: May 15th, 2014 by Helen Reynolds

Right you lucky Port80 people – you can now download the Port80 app!

It’s got all the information you’re going to need about speakers, finding your way to the event and getting you safely to the aftershow drinks.

Get it from the iTunes store

Get the Android app on Google Play

Lovely it is:

App screenshot 1Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 09.12.20Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 09.11.25



2014 Conference Programme and Schedule

Posted on: May 6th, 2014 by Helen Reynolds

Port80, the best web conference to come out of Wales, ever, is on May 16th at the University of South Wales, Newport. It’ll be tremendous.


Book tickets here.


There are plenty of hotels nearby – here’s a handy list of some good ones.


Online chat before, during and after:
Hashtag: #port80
Tweets: @port80events

Running order

09:00 Opening ceremony


09:10 Denise Jacobs

@denisejacobs – Speaker + Writer + Creativity Evangelist

Port80 Talk: ‘Banish Your Inner Critic’

Your inner critic is an unconscious deterrent that stands between the seeds of great ideas and the fruits of achievement, keeping you stuck by telling you you’re just faking it, that others have more talent, that you’ll never achieve the success you seek.
In this talk, we’ll anatomize this pernicious inner force, and learn techniques to banish this critic so that you can have the mental space and energy to let your true talents emerge — and help you be a badass.

dan09:55 Dan Donald

@hereinthehive – Makes words on big-picture-web-journal-thing Break the Page and occasionally does gig-styled web conferences Speak the Web.

Port80 Talk: ‘Designing Evolution’

The fluidity and flexibility the web offers us is something we’ve never really had to deal with properly before. How can we ensure that looking at capabilities (of which width is one) and describing how a layout can start with a solid baseline of colour and typography can evolve?
Further ahead, what might some of the challenges be if we work with ‘element queries’?

10:40 Morning break

nathan11:00 Nathan Ford

@nathan_ford – Creative Director at Mark Boulton Design

Port80 Talk: ‘Mastering the dark art of fluid layout’

Beautiful, fluid layouts do not need to be mystifying. Designer and developer Nathan Ford will take you through some of the ways traditional grids and other layout methods on the web are hindering our designs, and show you ways to build with fluidity from the start.
He will demonstrate how to derive bespoke grid systems from your content, strengthening the connectedness of device, content and layout, and then show you how to adapt your layout as needed to maintain your smart compositional decisions across an ever-changing landscape.

louise11:45 Louise Tierney

@thelittle_t – Producer & User Experience Analyst for Zengenti

Port80 Talk: ‘Put yourself in their shoes!’

It’s a fact that many decisions are made by our emotions, why then would you publish a website that makes people feel frustrated? Why don’t we all make websites that just ‘feel right’ to use?
Louise explains why it isn’t’ as easy as you might think – there isn’t just one thing to get right. In her talk she explains that it’s a combination of elements which creates a good User Experience; design, layout, colours, content, writing style and the Content Management System (CMS) behind the website.

12:30 Lunch*

roy13:30 Roy Tomeij

@roy – co-founder at AppSignal

Port80 Talk: ‘Make Them Click’

Whether you want it or not, you’re the constant victim of neuro-marketing. Understand the unconscious reasons for your online actions, and how to apply psychology-meets-UX.

kim14:15 Kimberley Tew

@kimberleytew – Freelance copywriter and content manager/strategist

Port80 Talk: ‘Accessibility for Humans’

Accessibility has an image problem. It is often seen as an added extra that must be requested by the client, or as an ugly hindrance to your beautiful design. This is less of a talk, more of a show and tell session that will demonstrate the human impact of accessible websites. There will be no checklists, no code samples, just simple humanity.

15:00 Afternoon break

kev15:20 Kevin Evans

@kwe – CTO and Head of the Development at the University of South Wales

Port80 Talk: ‘These ARE the Droids you’re looking for’

The talk focuses on the theoretical and practical development of mobile context aware applications to delivery rich user experiences. Using technology like Bluetooth LE (iBeacons), Geofencing and Social data, to deliver and gather the right content at the right time. Mixing the digital and physical to create delightful experiences.

jukes16:05 Matt Jukes

@jukesie – Head of Digital Content at the Office for National Statistics

Port80 Talk: ‘Lies, damned lies, and statistics’

Think you have worked on some difficult projects?

The ONS website has been called “a national disgrace” in the Financial Times, “the world’s worst website” in a best-selling book, “virtually unnavigable” in the Guardian and was the subject of a Parliamentary Select Committee investigation. Bet you don’t feel so bad now do you?

The talk will be an honest assessment of why things got so bad, what we are trying to do to fix things and where we hope to get to in the future.

17:00 Closing ceremony

Aftershow: The Riverfront from 19:30*



The Pub Quiz – Results & Winners!

Posted on: March 19th, 2014 by joel


Ok, fair dos, the Port80 cherub has been a little slack here but he/she has eventually got off their polished, tiny, golden bottom and is making amends. So, without further ado, here are the winners to the Pub Quiz (well, ‘without further ado’ but interspersed with me pimping stuff).

Sign up to the Port80 Newsletter to keep up date on shizzle

At last month’s year’s Winter Localhost event we had a pub quiz which a shed load of you entered…so let’s take a look at your glorious answers…

1) What was the score line when Wales destroyed England during this last year’s 6 Nations tournament?

The actual, glorious answer was 30-3 (“this never happened” said Craig Gardener – of yes it did! No David Randall, it was not luck!).

Update: this joke is obviously less funny after this year’s tournament. That’ll learn* the cherub for tempting fate.

(*yes, I know it’s wrong, it’s just what we sez around ‘ere).

2) Please list the planets of the solar system (smallest to largest)?

@tinocellupica: 'Uranus'

@tinocellupica: ‘Uranus’

Pluto is no longer a planet but I wasn’t going to be anal about it (and more about arses in a moment).

So, here we (starting with the smallest): (Pluto), Mercury, Mars, Venus, Earth, Neptune, Uranus (yup!), Saturn, Jupiter.

Katherine Cory mentions her ‘very easy method just speeds up naming planets’…and then didn’t name any.

Rachel Schillcock must get a mention here because of her lovely entry (personally the cherub would have gone for an ordered list though 😉

@missrachilli: Uranus (again)

@missrachilli: Uranus (again)

A special mention goes to Gaz Parry who simply, but firmly, answered with a ‘no‘.

Final thanks should go to all of you who also decided to go the school pun route: Dan Edwards simply stated “Myanus – Uranus“, Craig Gardener “Uranus (your anus) (bum hole)“. Poetry in motion.

3) Who was the 35th President of the USA?

This answer was JFK.

The answer was not:

  • Arnie
  • Zeldman
  • Colonel Sanders
  • Steve Jobs
  • Some random dude with beard

But the insane prize for this category has to go to Gavin Filmer for his (I hope) random answer of ‘Terry Venables‘.

4) What does PHP stand for?

It looks like the pure answer is ‘PHP Hypertext Processor‘ but I’ve got “Personal Home Pages” lodged in my brain so I’ve been kinda lenient.

Peter Carless maybe hit the nail on the head though with “Please Help Please?!“.  Mark Bucknell was more direct with “Putrid Horrific Poison”. Odd ball entry goes to someone from Romania who stated “Pretty Huge Penis“. Ahem!

The Port80 2014 Web Conference is on the 16th of May in Newport. More »

5) What s the national currency of Egypt?

The correct answer here is the Egyptian Pound but we shouldn’t let that distract us from the (literal) goldmine of answers which included ‘sand‘ (thanks Graham Dobie) Pyramids (how many pyramids for a pint of milk please guv?”) and the even more enticing ‘mummys‘.

6) A Blackberry handheld device is good for what purpose?

A bit naughty this question. Especially since I was once a proud Curve owner for a good while. Popular answers included:

  • a gift
  • a coaster
  • exploring deep space

But best answer goes to Mark Bucknell for ‘Appreciating your iPhone so much more..“.

7) Which Apollo 11 astronaut did not set foot on the Moon?

The correct answer was Michael Collins; who’s role as Command Module Pilot left him orbiting the Moon whilst Aldrin and Armstrong descended to the lunar surface for their history making adventure.

Incorrect answers included:

  • Buzz Lightyear (popular vote)
  • Joel Hughes (nice idea Steve)
  • George Clooney
  • Peter Andrew (Gavin, again)
  • Phil Collins
  • My mate Dave (ok Matthew, you win the crazy horse prize

The really, really, really incorrect answer was anything which even hinted that the Moon landings were faked: Mud, KatherineJaymie, I’m looking at you. I can pretty much guarantee Moon landing hoax theorists won’t win a prize; now that is a conspiracy!

8) Which national team introduced ‘Total Football” at the 1974 World Cup in Germany?

Correct answer was: Holland / Netherlands.

Incorrect answers included:

  • Not ‘The Mighty Ducks” (Gaz Parry).
  • Ben Meyrick decided to flaunt his youth with “I was born in 1991. F**k knows“.
  • Emily Pankhurst would have been proud of this answer: “I’m a chick, I don’t know about these things
  • Fiji
  • Bolton Wanderers (ok, you win)

Well done to Javier from Spain, Val, Peter, Matt Northam and all of you who got his one right.

9) What is the Greek word for ‘fire’?

Pyro is the answer on my card but I was happy to accept “pyra‘.

Interesting answers included:

  • “Maximo Flamo” (nice one, Dan)
  • Hotas
  • Burnos
  • Tofu
  • Pasta” (wtf?!)
  • Bernard” (wtf again?!)

Special mention to Matthew Phillips for this calligraphic beauty:

Greek word for 'Fire'?

10) Mariposa, Motyl, Farfalla, Borboleta, Papillion and Summerfugi are European words for what?

A = Butterfly

Incorrect answers included:

  • slippers
  • cheese
  • bang tidy
  • teabagging
  • prison
  • Your mum (wtf?)

Special thanks to Christina from Romania with this lovely drawing:

Thanks to Christina for this lovely drawing

Are you a freelancer? Or run your own show? The Business of Web Design conference in Cardiff this July is for you. More »

11) The Andrea Gail is an ill-fated ship in which film?

No, not Titanic  or the ship from the Poseidon Adventure (which was called, unsurprisingly, ‘The Poseidon‘) but the boat from a Perfect Storm (not a great film I admit). Rocky V and Das Boot were also incorrect.

12) The name of which American rock band was also the term used by Allied pilots in WWII to describe UFOs?

Foo Fighters! You all pretty much smashed that one out of the park.

13) Who discovered the ‘Box Model Hack”?

The correct answer was Tantek Celik.

Some of you plumbed for other web heavyweights such as Dan Cederholm, Eric Meyer, Peter-Paul Koch, and even Dr Web himself (Zeldman) got a mention. Oddly, I got a mention (thanks Gaz) but no, twaz not me.

And no, Matthew Phillips, it wasn’t Ricky Hatton.

14) In Greek mythology, after being spurned by Nacrcissus, which heart broken nymph pined away until only her voice remained?

The correct answer was ‘Echo‘.

Miley Cyrus‘ was, oddly, a popular answer; cropping up quite a few times – am I missing something here?

15) Which hero’s arch enemy is Dr. Robotnik?

Sonic the Hedgehog. You gamers did well here.

16) What is the well know Arabic word for “The Island” or ‘The Peninsula”?

The answer you were looking for was ‘Al Jazeera‘.

Many of you pointed out that it wasn’t ‘well known‘ if you didn’t know it – well played.

Special mention to Val for this work of art:


17) Which pre-Italian Renaissance painter could draw a perfect circle and had a European space mission named after him.

Giotto. Not Picasso, And certainly not Walt Disney,Il Duce, Buffy, Spongebob Square Pants or Mozart.

18) What is the name of the foreboding island in King Kong?

Skull Island.

(Thanks to Geraldine for spotting the spelling error forboding instead of foreboding). You have been eliminated from the quiz for spureous(sic) miscellaneious(sic) reasons).

19) Which worry prone film character is fluent in more than 6,000,000 forms of communication?

I was surprised how many folks got this wrong as I worried it was a little easy. No, the answer was not Marvin the Paranoid Android but it was in fact the more golden (and more annoying) C-3PO. Great to see ‘Dusty Bin‘ get a nice mention (what are you drinking, Matt Ridding? 😉

The Business of Web Design is touring the UK on a mini-roadshow. Come and say hello. More »

20) What is my favourite colour?

Ok, this is a tricky one I admit; normally I’d say blue so let’s go with that. Clever answers went to Mud AND Rachel Shillcock for thinking that my fave colour might be associated with one of Jack Franklin‘s jumpers; but no. Gaz decided to be cryptic again with his answer: “You have two“. ‘Puke green‘ was never going to be right.

And the winners are….

The two main prizes are courtesy of the lovely folks at Five Simple Steps. Colin, Marta, please chose which pocket guide collection pack you’d like:

  1. UK: Colin Rotherham
  2. Overseas: Marta Armada from Spain

And special prizes of ‘Collection 1‘ pocket guide go to:

  1. Val (for his lovely handwriting & drawing)
  2. Gavin (for his insane answers)

So that about wraps it up! Oh, hang on, need to pimp some stuff:

  1. Port80 2014 is coming up in May, we have some great speakers – check it out.
  2. The Business of Web Design‘ is a new conference aimed at agency owners and freelancers. Check out our line up. Coming to Cardiff in July.
  3. There is no Handheld this year but Craig is running something even better: check out TheWeb.Is

The next Localhost will be in August. Oh, and we’re probably going to run some hands on workshops in September so please shout out if you’d like to know more.



Port80 2014 Spring Localhost – round up

Posted on: March 7th, 2014 by joel

Well, fair dos, that was a cracking Localhost. In fact, I’m pretty sure that was the best one we’ve had (and we’ve had some crackers).

We had a great mix of talks and a lively audience; who could ask for more on a dark, February night!

Big thanks to everyone for attending, to the University team for sorting out the room and, of course, to our speakers for the cracking job they did.

Talking of speakers, here are some links to slides:

Some photos:

Stu 'Tweety' Robson

Stu ‘Tweety’ Robson

Ruth 'Thundercats' John

Ruth ‘Thundercats’ John

Gareth 'Not so' Strange

Gareth ‘Not so’ Strange

See below for some awesome tweets about the event – see you in May?


The Port80 Cherub


Port80 2014 – Hotels

Posted on: March 3rd, 2014 by joel

With the Port80 2014 event starting to loom a little larger on the horizon, here is a list of hotels which may be of use.

This is cheap and cheerful and not a huge walk from Newport city centre.

Celtic Manor
This is a little bit more up market; the sumptuous palace where the Ryder Cup was help is for the more discerning Port80 attendee.

The Priory
This is actually in my little village which is a bus journey from Newport. Caerleon is a lovely old Roman town (check out that amphitheatre!) with some cracking boozers. The Priory is a lovely place to eat & stay.

Knoll Guest House
I’ve not stayed here but have heard great things. Slap bang in town as well.

West Usk Lighthouse

An unusual gem of a B&B (I should write reviews for a living).

Newport Travelodge

Very central in town. And more likely to be a bit more boisterous.

Holiday Inn Express

This is just off M4 J28 (so on the outskirts of Newport). A quieter experience than Travelodge but a taxi ride in and out.

p.s. in case you missed it, Stu Robson & James Cryer are running some great workshops on the day before Port80.


Port80 Workshops in May

Posted on: February 14th, 2014 by joel

On the day before May’s Port80 2014 we’re putting on two, half day,workshops ran by some very smart cookies: James Cryer & Stu Robson. The cost is £59 (+VAT) and tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Workshops will be on the 15th of May 2014 (the day before Port80 2014) and will also be held at the City Campus in Newport.

Stu Robson – “Sass: An introduction” (a.m. workshop)

We’ll look at CSS pre-processors, why and where you would use them, what they do and how they work. After this we’ll move onto how to use the power of Sass to make your CSS authoring more efficient and hopefully more fun.

  • Options for installing Sass on your machine
  • The two syntaxes, Sass & SCSS
  • Variables, mixins and includes
  • Extends and placeholders
  • Built in functions
  • Media queries & nesting
  • Compass, Bourbon and other frameworks
  • Sass and front-end performance
  • And more!



James Cryer – “Making development sane, modern tools for the web” (p.m. workshop)

In an ever changing world, it is difficult to keep up with the latest trends in web development. However, there are tools and frameworks out there that can remove the mundane tasks, freeing up your time to work on the latest and greatest things. In this workshop, we’ll explore the latest tooling available for quickly scaffolding single page applications. This includes automating CSS pre-processing, image optimisation, linting, testing and web performance.

The tools used will be Yeoman which include Yo, Bower and Gruntjs. We’ll also explore the latest features in ChromeDev Tools that can really optimise your workflow.



Please shout out if you have any questions. There will be some ok(ish) tea & coffee available.


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  • May 19th, 2014 - Port80 2014 – a roundup

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