How-to: Nginx as a front-end proxy cache for WordPress

From Harvard Law’s Dan Collis-Puro, a how-to on optimizing your WordPress MU install, using Nginx as a front-end proxy cache for WordPress:

We put an nginx caching proxy server in front of our wordpress mu install and sped it up dramatically – in some cases a thousandfold. I’ve packaged up a plugin, along with installation instructions here – WordPress Nginx proxy cache integrator.

You can read the full details on Dan’s blog and grab the plugin from the WordPress.org plugin directory.

[ Visit http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/djcp ]

WordPress as a CMS Case Study: WNET.org

Back in July we posted about the remarkable project that WNET (PBS of NYC) put together with Tierra to launch 50 sites in ten months using one CMS, WordPress.

Dan Goldman and Jamie Trowbridge who headed up that project, were kind enough to present a case study of how it was all done, at the recent WordCamp NYC:
[wpvideo U79YaU5T]

TNT’s Mike Fratello Joins WordPress.com VIP Hosting

Very excited to welcome Mike Fratello to the WordPress.com VIP Hosting program. As many NBA fans know, Mike is the “Czar of the Telestrator” – and works alongside Marv Albert covering TNT’s NBA games. Mike was also previously a top coach in the league:

The site integrates PollDaddy for user polls, as well as Facebook and Twitter in the sidebar.

[ Visit MikeFratello.com ]

UPS Joins WordPress.com VIP Hosting

UPS has announced the launch of their new blog, Upside, which is running on WordPress.com VIP Hosting:

The Upside blog, designed and built by T3 is a “blog created by UPS to share personal insights and perspective about the largest transportation company in the world.”

Some really interesting content posted so far including a video of how UPS and Zappos are working together.

[ Visit blog.ups.com ]

WordCamp NYC 2009

WordCamp NYC will be held this weekend, November 14th and 15th. It’s a great get together for the New York, and the extended, community of WordPress-loving bloggers and developers:
wordcamp-nyc-2009

With an amazing lineup of speakers, over 525 people already registered, and 8 session tracks – there is something for everyone.

Myself and several colleagues from Automattic are flying in for this event, and I’m personally excited to see the track devoted to CMS use featuring case studies of current publishers.

If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s $45 for both days, or just $25 for Sunday. More details available on 2009.newyork.wordcamp.org.

[ Visit WordCamp NYC 2009 and WordCamp.org for other WordCamps happening all over the world ]

SEC Launches Investor.gov on WordPress.com VIP

The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) announced the launch today of Investor.gov – a site focused on helping and educating investors:
sec-investor-gov-vip

Investor.gov is hosted in the WordPress.com VIP program, and uses a custom theme based on the GPL licensed Vibrant CMS theme.

Be sure to check out the video welcome message from Chairman Mary Schapiro for more details.

[ Visit Investor.gov ]

NASA Glenn Research Center WordPress Users Guide

NASA has been using WordPress for a few years now, and recently the NASA Glenn Research Center launched a resource guide for WordPress development:
nasa-glenn-research-center

The site’s goal is to be “the guide to implementing and using the WordPress Content Management System (CMS) with the NASA Web Accessible (CSS) template design on Glenn Research Center websites.”

With a strong emphasis on 508 accessibility compliance, it’s very impressive to see how NASA has built its own custom theme, and is successfully empowering its team to build feature-rich, accessible, and easy-to-maintain sites.

[Visit wordpress.grc.nasa.gov]

University of British Columbia Selects WordPress

Thanks to Brad Tousenard for letting us know about a new site he’s developed for the University of British Columbia, A Place of Mind:
University-British-Columbia

“A Place of Mind is a web site created for the University of British Columbia to aggregate their content from a variety of online sources like YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, and blogs. The site is configured to pull feeds from these sources and import specially tagged posts”

The design and creative work was produced by Fjord Interactive and development work done by Brad Touesnard.

[ Visit A Place of Mind ]

Ann Arbor Chronicle Selects WordPress

Great piece in the The Nieman Journalism Lab about how the Ann Arbor Chronicle is able to produce a top notch on-line only publication using WordPress as it’s publishing platform:

And this is what it feels like: 15 hours a day, seven days a week, from the 7 a.m. check-in with your spouse-turned-business-partner to the midnight bookkeeping.

No kids, no vacations, no car. No office; your only away-from-home base is a former Main Street antique shop that sells shared-workspace memberships to freelance software developers and the like for $100 a month. No novels before bed; there’s no time. If it’s a Saturday and the Michigan team is playing, you can watch the game, but run back to your keyboard during the commercials, okay?

As part of the morning routine, they check their WordPress dashboard for vital stats:

3. Inbound links checked daily. The day before I visited, logs for the Chronicle’s WordPress site reported that it had drawn 277 visitors from a local sports blog, 28 from a local school blog and 23 from annarbor.com, the reincarnated Ann Arbor News.

[ Visit Ann Arbor Chronicle ]

Student Life Selects WordPress MU

Sam Guzik over on CoPress.org details the successful relaunch of Student Life, the “independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis”, on the WordPress MU platform:
studentlife_600

In their evaluation of various platform choices they concluded:

“Although Drupal is also extremely powerful, we found that WordPress’s interface was better suited to a workflow that would begin to allow non-technical reporters and editors to work within our CMS.”

You can read more details about this project on CoPress.org.

[ Visit Student Life ]

Brazil’s Culture Ministry Selects BuddyPress

Thanks Cátia Kitahara for lettings us know about a new BuddyPress site which is being used to enable and foster debate about various aspects of today’s digital life in Brazil. Built by the Brazilian Culture Ministry, the beta site is now live at culturadigital.br:
Brazil-Culture-Ministry-BuddyPress

The site describes itself as “an open public space destined to democratically create and build a public policy of digital culture, integrating citizens, government institutions, state companies, civil society and the market.” Making use of all the “Facebook-in-a-box” features of BuddyPress, this site is off to a great start and could be a model for other organizations and companies looking to build this kind of community engagement and interaction.

[Visit culturadigital.br ]

WordCamp SF: Google & What You Need to Know

For publishers looking at the search traffic benefits of WordPress, Matt Cutts from the Web Spam team at Google, offers his take:

WordPress takes care of 80-90% of (the mechanics of) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Below is a great video of Matt speaking at WordCamp SF 2009 about how Google search works and what publishers should be doing to ensure proper indexing:

[wpvideo lAZUouJF]

[ Slides from Matt’s presentation available on mattcutts.com ]

Tasty Kitchen Launches on BuddyPress

Tasty Kitchen, a site by The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, has launched a community site on the BuddyPress platform:

Built by the team at Voce Communication, Nick Gernert in a blog post today describes BuddyPress this way:

Not to over-simplify things, but think “Facebook in a Box.”
Groups, Wire posts (think Facebook Wall), activity streams, friend lists and forums are all a part of the platform. These all build from the user system native to WordPress and simply add functions to allow users to interact with each other. Use as many or as few of the capabilities as you like.

The site also integrates with the Windows Live, allowing Live users to authenticate instantly — something I believe is a first for a non-Microsoft site.

[ Visit Tasty Kitchen ]

Fifty Sites. Ten Months. One CMS.

I’ve been chatting with the folks at Tierra Innovation and WNET.ORG (Channel Thirteen in New York) on their impressive collaboration utilizing WordPress MU as a CMS for WNET.ORG’s network of high-traffic websites:
WNET-Tierra-WPMU

Using WordPress MU’s built-in features along with custom themes and plugins such as WPDB Profiling, they made it easier and much cheaper for WNET.ORG to roll out multiple sites that provide a great user experience as well as editorial and creative flexibility. Before the new CMS, WNET.ORG could only launch 1-2 sites per month. Now, they have the capability of rolling out 5-10 sites per month for a fraction of the cost.

What’s very cool is that Tierra and WNET put together a white-paper detailing how this project came about and how they ultimately decided on WordPress as the platform of choice. You can read all about it in the white-paper titled: How a Non-Profit Media Company Profits from Building Open Source Online Publishing Platform (PDF) (embedded below using scribd):

[scribd id=17411811 key=key-cnu8svi8dwamzwqngqr]

[ Visit WNET.ORG & Tierra Innovation ]

Telegraph Relaunches Blogs on WordPress MU

Telegraph blogs, a thriving section of the Telegraph.co.uk news site, has relaunched all of their blogs on the WordPress MU platform:
telegraph-uk

Damian Thompson, Blogs Editor of the Telegraph Media Group, announced the upgrade:

Telegraph blogs look different this morning – really different. Overnight we moved everything to WordPress, the world’s most successful and elegant open-source blogging software. It’s a big change that offers immediate benefits to our readers, with many more to come.

Telegraph Media Group has always been an innovator in the digital space dating back to their early web site efforts in 1994. With their recent award as Digital Publisher of the Year, and now this move to WordPress, they continue to impress !

[ Visit Telegraph blogs ]

GigaOM Pro Powered by BuddyPress

Recently GigaOM – a network of sites focused on technology news, analysis and opinions – launched a new premier research membership site powered by BuddyPress running on WordPress MU.

This new site, called GigaOM Pro, was created “to address the gap that exists in real-time expert industry analysis on emerging technology markets.”:
gigaom-pro-buddypress

The site was built by Mark Jaquith, who has written up a few thoughts and tech details on this very exciting project.

[ Visit GigaOM Pro ]

WordPress Plugins for Collaboration Emails

In talking with publishers who are using WordPress as a full CMS for their sites, many folks are eager to enhance the “Submit for Review” feature for Contributors to include email notifications.

Peter Keung of Mugo Web, has created two Open Source GPL plugins that provide this enhanced functionality.

The first is Peter’s Collaboration E-mails:

This plugin enables automatic e-mails to the relevant users at the different post status transitions: when posts are pending; when they are approved or scheduled; and when their statuses are changed from “pending” back to “draft”.

The second one is often used in conjunction to append relevant notes, called Peter’s Post Notes:

Add notes on the “edit post” and “edit page” screens’ sidebars in WordPress 2.7 and up. When used with Peter’s Collaboration E-mails 1.2 and up, the notes are sent along with the e-mails in the collaboration workflow. There is also a general and private notes system on the dashboard.

You can download both these plugins from the WordPress.org plugin directory along with 5300+ other Open Source GPL plugins: Peter’s Post Notes and Peter’s Collaboration E-mails.

WordPress in Demand on Elance

Elance, a marketplace “where businesses connect with independent professionals to get work done”, has published their latest Elance Online Work Index. In this index they rate which skills are most in demand in their marketplace based on 100,000 new jobs posted on Elance over recent months:
elance-wordpress

The #1 in demand skill is PHP, followed in the #2 slot by MySQL. The top publishing platform, with an overall ranking of #13, is WordPress, up 2 spots from #15 since the last index. Joomla comes in at #29, previously 18th overall, and the next publishing platform listed is Drupal at #75, previously 46th in the last index.

Since WordPress is PHP/MySQL, WordPress professionals out there are in a great position with the most in demand skills.

You may recall back in January oDesk posted about similar trends in their marketplace as well.

[ Read more on the Elance blog ]

Health.com Launches New TalkPress VIP Forum

Health.com has launched the Ask the Natural Living Experts forum hosted on the new TalkPress VIP service:
health-talkpress-vip

This new discussion area enables Helath.com’s visitors to interact with healthy living experts in a forum and Q&A environment. This forum site also runs our anti-spam service Akismet and integrates seamlessly with the other Health.com WordPress.com VIP blogs. That means visitors to Health.com sites such as Healthy Living, are already registered for the forums and can begin interacting immediately.

For a bit more info on the technical workings of TalkPress head over to Sam’s post on that topic. And for more details on the building of this forum project, the lead consultant Watershed Studio has posted a few thoughts.

[ Visit Ask The Natural Living Expert ]

The “Joy of Working with WordPress”

Michael Ashby of Coherent Methods LLC, published a very thoughtful post about his experience so far working with WordPress and BuddyPress:

I switched from MoveableType to WordPress back in September of last year and it’s been one of the best decisions that I’ve made regarding this blog. WordPress is just so much easier and, dare I say, FUN to use. There’s a richer developer community, more templates and generally more help out there than there is for MT. But my joy with working with WP over MT is more than just skin deep.

Michael goes on to talk about the Six Apart Motion component that works with MovableType:

When I first watched the video for Motion, I kept going “Huh? How am I supposed to use this?” If you take a look at the Motion Demo, you’ll see what I mean … After looking at the demo, the only feeling I’m left with is “Why?” Why would someone want this on their site?

In comparison, the BuddyPress platform sparks this reaction:

Then you take a look at the BuddyPress Demo and there’s a remarkable difference. It’s clearly designed to mirror the FaceBook style of community, but it’s cleaner and clearer as to what you can do and how everything works. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that it’s a better design that FaceBook! I’m currently developing a new community web site and I actually had to stop and think about BuddyPress for quite some time. So at the end of the demo, I’m left thinking “How would I use this?” Not, “Why would I use this?”

Looking forward to seeing what Michael and his team put together with WordPress and BuddyPress.

[ visit mashby.com ]

Wired.com Blogs Migrate to WordPress

Wired has completed the transition of all 12 of their blogs to WordPress, migrating them from Six Apart’s TypePad service:
wired-blogs-wordpress

One of those blogs, GeekDad, announced the switchover earlier today in a post titled “Welcome to GeekDad 2.0“:

We’ve been hinting at this for a couple weeks now, but the mad scientists at Wired HQ finally pulled the switch this weekend, and the monster lurched to life. Welcome to the new look and feel of GeekDad! We’ve switched content platforms to WordPress, which should allow for all kinds of widgety fun and games as we move our stuff into the new place and figure out where to hang things

Congrats Wired on the move to the new platform and we look forward to seeing your team innovate in true Wired style !

[ Visit wired.com/blogs ]

P2: The New Prologue Theme

Over a year ago we released the original Prologue theme for WordPress, which we used internally at Automattic for group communication.

We are now happy to announced the update to Prologue with a new name, P2. This new theme is perfect for group collaboration and communication. It’s especially handy for communication which you want to keep private – as many are using P2 as a private “group Twitter”. The instant notifications also make this theme ideal for live blogging.

Here’s the overview of what’s new in P2:

  • Threaded comment display on the front page.
  • In-line editing for posts and comments.
  • Live tag suggestion based on previously used tags.
  • A show/hide feature for comments, to keep things tidy.
  • Real-time notifications when a new comment or update is posted. (If you have a Mac, you know what we mean when we say it’s Growl-like.)
  • Super-handy keyboard shortcuts: c to compose a new post; j to go to the next item; k to go to the previous item; r to reply; e to edit; o to show and hide comments; t to go to the top; esc to cancel.
  • Helvetica Neue for you modern font lovers.
  • Plus more to come! Keep an eye on the news blog for updates.

And as always, there’s:

  • Hassle-free posting from the front page.
  • RSS feeds for everything: the entire prologue, each author, each tag, and any search.
  • A feeling of supreme awesomeness because you’re using a sweet theme custom-made by Automattic.

Check out this video below for a short overview:
[wpvideo iYMYzOim]

You can run P2 on WordPress.com and on your self-hosted WordPress by downloading the theme from the WordPress.org theme directory.

E. Webscapes Design Studio Migrates Colorburned

Great write-up from the folks at E. Webscapes Design Studio on their work migrating the popular Colorburned.com site from MovableType to WordPress:

Back in 2008, I worked with Grant Friedman from Colorburned to implement his design ideas into a custom theme for his Movable Type powered site. Recently, Grant approached me again with his desire to convert his MT blog over to WordPress – including a brand new theme design with several innovative features, to boot! He brought his design ideas and specifications and I was up for the challenge…

There are a ton of good tips and reviews of various plugins and methods used to redirect the MovableType links to the new WordPress site. The post concludes with a great summary:

I launched Grant’s new design on the WordPress platform this week and he’s gotten rave reviews so far – and is pretty happy, himself. He’s finding that he is appreciating the WordPress platform, over Movable Type, mostly because it saves time in his, already busy, blogging schedule.

Grant of Colorburned also offers his thoughts on the new design and move to WordPress.

[ Visit Colorburned.com ]

StockTwits on WordPress

Howard Lindzon has announced that StockTwits will now be using WordPress for their platform expansion:

Today at Stocktwits we are launching our new blog and our plans for expansion using the great WordPress platform . I am so excited to have Brian Shannon and Upside Trader as our first premium writers. More special is the fact that they are investors in Stocktwits as well and are so enthusiastic about the community.

They make money for their readers and pretty much that’s all that matters. The fact that they love social media and the new tools of the web and we can give them all that on WordPress just makes it better.

The official post adds:

We believe that WordPress offers a revolutionary publishing platform which will play a critical role in the expression and sharing of information today and going forward and we intend to be there innovating and getting great voices heard.

You can read the full announcement post on StockTwits.com.

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