August VIP Roundup
August kicked off with the second annual WordCamp for Publishers in Chicago, IL, where presentations and discussions centered on how publishers can protect and nurture the open web and all of its core values.
Meanwhile, as awareness efforts kicked up a notch, the new WordPress editor Gutenberg plugin surpassed 100,000 active installs within a week (and is now past 300,000). It’s now a central component of many new enterprise site projects slated for Q4 launch.
Speaking of new site projects, here at VIP we’ve supported a flurry of diverse launches over the last several weeks across business sectors, too many to cram in to a friendly introductory paragraph. To name a handful, we’ve welcomed Wikimedia Foundation, Shionogi, The Online News Association (ONA), Facebook Connectivity and Politics, and Dentistry For Children.
Read on for news, updates, and this month’s profile with featured partner 10up.
Gutenberg News and Notes
The latest tools, demos, and updates around the block-based editor coming to WordPress 5.0.
- After several releases in August bringing issue fixes and user experience enhancements including the new “Spotlight Mode” and Unified Toolbar design, the Gutenberg plugin is now at version 3.7.
- Currently at 300,000+ active installs, the plugin crossed the 100,000+ threshold just a week after the “Try Gutenberg” prompt appeared in the WordPress dashboard.
- Prominent plugins announced Gutenberg readiness: Advanced Custom Fields as of ACF Free version 5, Yoast for Gutenberg, Beaver Builder as of version 2.1, 10up’s Distributor at release.
- Automattician and core contributor Gary Pendergast offered big picture thoughts on the long range vision and benefits of the Gutenberg project.
News and Releases
Updates from around VIP, our clients, and our agency and technical partners.
- Catch up with notes and highlights from the second annual WordCamp for Publishers with co-organizer and Automattician Alexis Kulash’s comprehensive recap.
- Get to know new VIP technical partner Setka and their print design-inspired, Gutenberg ready, content creation tools.
- The Brightcove Video Connect plugin version 1.5 is now available, bringing multiple enhancements and bug fixes.
- Matthew Ingram at Columbia Journalism Review interviewed VIP client Civil‘s founder Matthew Iles ahead of the CVL token sale coming up on September 18th.
- Congratulations to the 10up team for the successful launch of nobelprize.org. Learn more about their origins and work in VIP’s latest partner profile. And check out the public release of Distributor, which uses the REST API to make it easy to reuse content across sites.
- Austin Smith, CEO of Alley, authored an extended report and recommendations around the future of local news for Lenfest, also excerpted in a piece for Nieman Lab.
- Reaktiv Studios wrote an ode to Bootstrap, their favorite CSS.
- Congratulations to rtCamp for their contributions to WP-CLI v2!
- XWP shared a case study on their work improving front end performance for Heavy.
- We’ve soft launched a VIP Dashboard for our VIP Go platform at https://dashboard.wpvip.com/. Please open a ticket to let us know what you think. We’re planning the first major feature, which will be data sync.
- Jetpack has been updated to 6.5. (lobby post for VIP clients, announcement)
- WordPress has been updated to 4.9.8. (lobby post, announcement)
- VaultPress has been updated to 1.9.6.
- Notable updates from our VIP MU plugins:
- Increased the concurrency of the status transition events in our VIP Cron infrastructure and added a new filter prevent status transition cron events being scheduled
- In our JS/CSS concatenation library a fix for script concatenation in breaking Gutenberg and fix to print extra/localized JS
- Fix preventing overriding
Cache-Controlheaders in the REST API
- Note: You can follow all deployed MU plugins changes on GitHub
This month we profiled VIP agency partner 10up, whose work includes enterprise WordPress tools including Distributor and Ads.txt Manager. They have also contributed greatly to efforts around the new WordPress editor. 10up comprises more than 150 full-time staff members globally, and works with a wide array of clients including Facebook, Microsoft, Google, the State of California, ESPN, and AARP. Read the full profile to find out about 10up’s agency history, vision for the future, and why they chose the three words “Dedicated,” “Creative,” and “Welcoming” to describe their culture.
Media and Marketing Notes
Research and perspectives on the business of media and the practice of marketing.
“Unless we build in natural alternatives to ad revenue models we can’t be an honest authentic media brand.”
“Even as they draw from journalism standards and training, podcasters seem to embrace the idea that their tone, style and motivations go beyond traditional techniques, defining their craft in non-journalistic terms such as intimacy and connection.”
Janet Saidi of the LA Times on how podcasts are changing journalism.
“The best parts of Chicagoist, the ones that Chance would be wise to preserve, were its broad editorial freedom and its focus on niche neighborhood stories that might escape the attention of larger outlets.”
Kim Bellware speculates on the implications of Chance the Rapper’s purchase of local news site Chicagoist.
#ONA18, the Online News Association‘s annual conference is just a few days away! Sept. 13-15 in Austin, Texas. Find us at the Midway when you get there. VIP is proud to support ONA as both a sponsor and the platform for ONA’s sites. You’ll find us in several spots on the schedule, including Steph Yiu’s Table Talk and a session with New York Times’ senior editor Hamilton Boardman called, “OMGWTFBBQ: Breaking News Without Breaking Your Site.”
The latest BigWP London is also just around the corner, September 13th at News UK headquarters in London at 6:30 pm. The four flashtalks are as follows: WordPress Multisite for large and high traffic multilingual websites by Giuseppe Mazzapica of Inpsyde; Rebuilding NobelPrize.org by Gabe Karp of 10up; How we won the World Cup by Joel Davis, News UK; and Using Gutenberg in production, by Jason Agnew, Big Bite. Space is limited and signups will close 24 hours before the event.
Look out, too, for a surprising amount of WordPress-related content at Drupal Europe! Automattic will again be sponsoring the event’s Open Web Lounge, to promote sharing and networking between open source projects, communities and influencers; and there are several familiar names from the WordPress world on the session program.