Under the hood of Google’s Web Stories for WordPress

Paul Bakus, head of AMP and Creator Relations at Google, recently joined business leaders, product people, and enterprise developers at BigWP to share a live demo and behind-the-scenes look at an exciting new offering: Google’s Web Stories.

Aren’t stories old news?

Yes and no. Stories have become ubiquitous on most major social media platforms— think Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat. However, Paul argues these implementations of stories emphasize “ephemerality” (they’re meant to disappear) and “casual creation” (they look homemade).

With Web Stories, Google is betting that the story format translates to other uses. Specifically, they see an emerging opportunity in the media and marketing landscape for:

  • High quality,
  • Bite-sized,
  • Informational,
  • Non-social content.

In his talk, Paul makes the case that Web Stories are both less cost-intensive and more structured than video. This means they’re easier to index, making them a valuable tool in the SEO arsenal. Additionally, the visually-appealing format is more engaging than a text article. And unlike videos, stories are scannable, so users can quickly find what they need.

How do Web Stories work?

Under the hood, these stories are essentially web pages. They can be linked to, embedded, and viewed anywhere a webpage can be seen.

But the best part?

They’re native to WordPress! In fact, the new Web Stories for WordPress plugin is an official (and open source) Google product.

To get a full grasp of the capabilities of WordPress + Web Stories, watch Paul’s full 30-minute talk here.

BigWP is an enterprise WordPress event series that brings together business leaders, developers, and product people to share best practices for high-scale WordPress applications. Find more talks like Paul’s here.

A look inside OKdo’s enterprise ecommerce technology stack

Ecommerce is one of the most promising growth channels in today’s enterprise market. In fact, the US Department of Commerce announced in August that ecommerce retail sales were estimated to grow 31.8% compared to the previous quarter.

Box UK is a WordPress VIP agency partner and ecommerce expert. At a recent BigWP event, Box UK’s Lead Business Analyst Allie Brock shared how her team helped OKdo launch an enterprise ecommerce platform in less than 8 months. A division of Electronic Components (FTSE 250), OKdo now manufactures and sells single board computing and IOT technology in seven countries and six languages (read this case study to learn more).

In her talk, Allie covered the questions enterprises need to consider when choosing ecommerce technology solutions. They may seem basic at first glance, but each of these considerations plays a major role in determining the best technology stack for any given use case. Those questions include:

What am I selling?

Whether it’s textiles or electronic components, pay special attention to local trade regulations. These vary country to country and any trade rule violations can lead to a hefty fine. OKdo uses WooCommerce integrated with an ERP to ensure each order can be legally fulfilled.

How will people find my products?

The most important factor in driving people to your products is a strong content and SEO strategy. The most beautiful site in the world won’t convert any sales if customers can’t find it first. OKdo relies on a combination of Yoast and Multilingual Press to optimize technical SEO in multiple countries and languages.

“Customers are more likely to convert if products are shown in their language, with their preferred currency and payment methods.”

– Allie Brock, Lead Business Analyst at Box UK

How will people pay?

Look into the most common payment methods in each region you’re selling in, and make sure your payments processor supports that method. For example, Box UK found people in the Netherlands favor a platform called Ideal; in Japan, meanwhile, payment is expected upon delivery. OKdo found Stripe and PayPal to be the most popular in its leading regions, and WooCommerce integrated seamlessly with both.

For more insights on the technology stack Box UK built for OKdo, watch Allie’s full 15-minute talk from BigWP.

BigWP is an enterprise WordPress event series that brings together business leaders, developers, and product people to share best practices for high-scale WordPress applications. Find more talks like Allie’s here.

How better accessibility can improve your bottom line

Taeke Reijenga is CEO of Level Level, a Netherlands-based design and development agency with an emphasis on ecommerce and web accessibility, and a WordPress VIP Silver agency partner. He’s an expert in helping organizations optimize their digital strategies, which often includes helping them understand that better accessibility can lead to higher revenue.

At a recent BigWP event, Taeke recently shared his tips with us in a talk on the business benefits of inclusive design.

What is web accessibility?

Most folks think “web accessibility” is the practice of making websites accessible for users with disabilities. And while that’s technically correct, Taeke says it’s only a fraction of the answer.

Instead, he argues, web accessibility is the practice of making websites accessible for as many users as possible. See the difference?

Why prioritize accessibility?

According to Taeke, it’s generally accepted that 20% of people have some form of disability.

While it’s a huge number, that percentage doesn’t take into account people with short-term disabilities (like a broken arm) or the significant increase in our aging population.

In short, improving accessibility for disabled populations will benefit everyone’s digital experience. And it will also improve your bottom line.

The business case

In this talk, Taeke covers three ways better web accessibility can boost business outcomes:

  • Increasing income: Did you know 69% of disabled users abandon a site when they find it’s not accessible? For ecommerce sites, that drop translates directly to lost revenue.
  • Decreasing expenses: When it’s easier for people to find what they’re looking for, your customer success team will spend less time fielding support requests.
  • Mitigating risk: Increasingly, web accessibility is regulated by government bodies. In many parts of the world, inaccessible digital experiences can lead to hefty fines.

For more information, watch Taeke’s full 17-minute talk here:

Taeke’s talk was originally recorded at BigWP EMEA, part of our enterprise WordPress event series. BigWP brings together developers, business leads, and product people who work with high-scale WordPress applications every day. Find more talks like Taeke’s here.

 

How we planned the first virtual BigWP in just 3 weeks

Back in January, we laid out plans for BigWP in 2020. BigWP is an enterprise event series where our customers, partners, and friends gather to share the exciting things they’re building with WordPress at scale. We had a big vision for multiple events in New York, San Francisco, and London this year.

Then everything changed.

We knew pretty quickly we didn’t want to miss out on BigWP by waiting to see how the pandemic would progress, so we made a quick decision to pivot to a virtual event.

This post outlines our approach to the first-ever virtual BigWP. We hope it can be helpful for you as you navigate your way through the world of newly-remote events.

New Considerations

There are so many new considerations in taking an in-person event online. For us, those included:

  • Could we engage high-quality speakers on short notice?
  • Would people want to attend with all the distractions they were enduring?
  • Might this open up the opportunity for more attendees without being geographically limited?
  • Could we keep the balance of informative and fun that makes BigWP so special?

Turns out, the answer to each of these questions was a resounding “yes!” We realized we had a great opportunity to bring the San Francisco and New York events together, and dubbed it BigWP Americas —which also allowed us to extend invites to clients, prospects, and partners in Canada and South America. Our first win!

Next up… everything else.

Mission 1: Platform selection

In choosing a platform to host the event, we wanted to ensure it was interactive and something that attendees were familiar with using. Our immediate thought was to host this as a Zoom webinar, but that wouldn’t have allowed the audience to be seen, only the speakers. Since the enterprise WordPress community was at the core of this event, we shifted to what attendees would later call “the largest Zoom meeting [they’ve] ever been to.” Not only did this allow everyone to see and interact with each other, but it also allowed us to use breakout rooms for the Happy Hour to satisfy the social aspect of the evening.

Mission 2: Branded event website

While we previously used Meetup.com for BigWP events, we outgrew the constraints of the platform. We needed a site that could become a one-stop resource hub for everything BigWP—while also being reliable, easy to update, and granting us full ownership of the content. We built the new site on the VIP Cloud, which allowed us to serve multiple events and locations simultaneously. This move will also enable us to create a resource library of past talks, all in one place.

Mission 3: Compelling content

Choosing the right speakers for this enterprise community event was essential. We always work to strike the right balance of informative and interesting.

“What is the right path to start selling products on my WordPress site?”
Presented by: Matias Saggiorato, CTO of SAU/CAL

Matias is the Argentina-based CTO of the web development agency SAU/CAL. He actively contributes to open source projects and he and his team are certified WooCommerce Experts and are a WordPress VIP Silver Agency Partner. They build, enhance, and maintain high-scale online stores.

“The key to evidence-based decision making for product teams”
Presented by: Cathi Bosco, UX Architect for XWP

Cathi is a designer and UX Architect for web development agency (and Gold agency partner) XWP and UX consultancy UXATT. Her teams work with companies to create great experiences for humans through UX audits and informal research studies.

“Web Stories and the early version of Story Editor”
Presented by: Paul Bakaus, AMP & Web Creator Relations, Google

Paul joined as our keynote speaker. We were thrilled when he did a live demo to share a product feature that is yet to launch! This was a great way to give our community behind-the-scenes access to what’s happening next with AMP and WordPress.

Mission 4: Delightful swag

Swag is a big part of our physical events. The right swag is a great way to leave a long-lasting, positive impression on your attendees, and we challenge ourselves again and again to up our swag game each time.

For our first-ever virtual event, we wanted to create a physical aspect of the event despite the distance. Enter: gift boxes with all the fixings for mocktails/cocktails. We chose a recipe inspired by the Smoky Lemon Mule featured on SugarAndCharm.com, who call WordPress home. This element allowed for a fun surprise arriving to attendees’ homes the week of the event, and created a shared experience over Zoom as attendees raised their custom tumblers in a toast.

Mission 5: On to the next one!

We produced an event in less than three weeks from concept through design to go-live.

This agility was thanks largely to moving the BigWP site over to the VIP Cloud. The new site gave us full control over the user journey and empowered us to create a richly-branded event using minimal technical resources—just one (awesome) designer and one (fantastic) developer.

Happily, BigWP was received well by both the attendees and the speakers. We can’t wait to host our next event, BigWP EMEA, coming soon!

Empower your team with evidence: Making the case for user research

“One thing we know for sure is good user experience equals good business 1000% of the time,” asserts Cathi Bosco, a designer and UX architect at WordPress VIP agency partner XWP.

“Why speculate about the people we are building and designing for,” she asks, when user research is proven to positively impact business outcomes and boost customer satisfaction?

In this talk, Cathi makes the case for incorporating evidence-based decision making at any and every stage of product development. Specifically, she recommends semi-structured, informal research studies.

According to Cathi, these studies are easy to implement and yield powerful insights, especially when paired with exposure studies (where team members observe users interact directly with the software under development in real-time). She even recommends a formula: every member of the product team should dedicate two hours of direct exposure with users every six weeks.

Watch the video for Cathi’s four-step approach to semistructured research, which works equally well for remote teams. (Journey maps for everyone!)

BigWP is our enterprise WordPress event series. It brings together developers, business leaders, and product people who work with high-scale WordPress applications every day. To learn more, visit https://bigwp.vip

How to build an ecommerce store that scales with WordPress

High performing ecommerce solutions require both your back and front end to be lightning fast. In fact, according to Google, the probability of bounce increases 32% as page load time goes from 1 to 3 seconds.

After a decade of building ecommerce solutions for large organizations, Matias Saggiorato has learned a thing or two about optimizing online stores for speed and performance. Matias is CTO of WordPress VIP partner agency SAU/CAL. The agency is a certified WooCommerce expert and they’ve worked with enterprise clients like Stripe, P&G, Amazon Pay, and Phlearn.

In this talk, Matias shares how companies looking to diversify their revenue streams can build a platform that scales up to thousands of transactions per day without breaking a sweat.

BigWP is our enterprise WordPress event series. It brings together developers, business leaders, and product people who work with high-scale WordPress applications every day. To learn more, visit https://bigwp.vip

How AccuWeather leverages decoupled WordPress

At BigWP NYC, associate product manager Rachael Trost took the mic to discuss how AccuWeather makes use of decoupled WordPress. Founded in 1962, AccuWeather is recognized as the most accurate source of weather forecasts and warnings in the world.

These days, AccuWeather serves roughly 1.52 billion people a day with over 50 billion data calls across their product lines. These products include weather forecasts, local media partnerships, enterprise solutions, APIs, videos, podcasts, and more.

A small but mighty force

Although content forms only a small part of AccuWeather’s traffic, content delivery still adds up to over 75 million data calls a day. And content is a key element of AccuWeather’s competitive advantage in a market where weather data has become a commodity.

Conscious CMS decoupling

Earlier this year, AccuWeather migrated its CMS from Brightspot to WordPress because the editorial team was struggling with Brightspot’s lack of customizable features. After some initial deliberation, AccuWeather selected WordPress thanks to its inherent flexibility, extensive documentation, and straightforward integrations.

Watch Rachael’s talk to learn:

  • The pros and cons of decoupled WordPress
  • How AccuWeather extends the REST API to deliver localized content
  • Rachael’s three key takeaways from their recent CMS migration

BigWP is our enterprise WordPress event series. It brings together developers, business leads, and product people who work with high-scale WordPress applications every day.

Find all of the talks in the BigWP NYC November 2019 playlist.

Building a B2B membership product with WordPress

Dan Entin of the Commercial Observer takes the stage at BigWP in New York City

What do Dan Entin, Rex Reed, and Carrie Bradshaw have in common? They all share roots in Observer Media, where Dan has been the VP of Product for the last 2 years. Headquartered in New York City’s financial district, Observer Media operates multiple brands including Commercial Observer, the leading commercial real estate media property in the country, which reports on the key trends and leaders defining the global real estate landscape.

In an effort to diversify their revenue streams across print advertising, digital advertising, and events, the Commercial Observer decided to create a new product: member subscriptions. After extensive market research, Dan’s team decided on three membership tiers: Basic, Premium, and Premium+.

“We have quadrupled the number of basic members that we get each month.”

– Dan Entin, Observer Media’s VP of Product

To learn more about the user research that informed Commercial Observer’s membership approach, including details on how they actually built the paywall using WordPress VIP and our technology partner Piano, watch Dan’s full talk:

 

BigWP is our enterprise WordPress event series. It brings together developers, business leads, and product people who work with high-scale WordPress applications every day.

Find all of the talks in the BigWP NYC November 2019 playlist.

The anatomy of a WordPress core security update

Jake Spurlock speaks at BigWP, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the WordPress approach to security

As both a WordPress VIP Technical Account Manager and a Core Security Release Lead on the WordPress project, I have a rare glimpse into one of the most critical aspects of enterprise WordPress: security.

I spoke at BigWP SF this fall to share a behind-the-scenes look at one small slice of what it takes to make WordPress a secure platform for 35% of the internet.

In this talk, I cover:

  • Who is in charge of safeguarding WordPress
  • How the team uses HackerOne to identify, disclose, and address vulnerabilities
  • What the security release process looks like from the inside
  • How people can contribute to keeping WordPress secure

BigWP is our enterprise WordPress event series. It brings together developers, business leads, and product people who work with high-scale WordPress applications every day. Find all of the talks in the BigWP SF November 2019 playlist.

How to spin up a WordPress-powered React app in 1 step

Gina Trapani on stage at Big WP discussing the powerful relationship between WordPress and React

“People are wrestling with the same issues across the software industry,” declared Gina Trapani, Managing Partner at Postlight, during her talk at BigWP NYC.

Postlight is a newly-minted WordPress VIP Silver partner who builds digital experiences for clients like Goldman Sachs, the Obama Foundation, the National Audubon Society, and more. As a premier product, design, and development agency, the Postlight team is exposed to content management challenges across sectors and organizations large and small.

So, Gina took to the stage to address one of the questions clients often struggle with.

Pattern recognition

React is a popular JavaScript framework with more than a few fans. Unsurprisingly, countless companies are seeking the best software solution to deliver content to their React applications. Gina’s answer? For many scenarios, decoupled WordPress is the way to go.

After successfully arguing this case, the Postlight team found themselves writing the same code for the same architecture over and over again. So they decided to combine a front-end, back-end React/WordPress instance into a downloadable, user-friendly package.

Converting the decoupled doubters

With Postlight’s WordPress + React Starter Kit, users get two working example sites out of the box. Each site contains React components that implement common WordPress features like rendering pages, posts, taxonomies and content previews; in addition to custom post types with fields exposed via APIs.

The bottom line of the starter kit, explains Gina, is that WordPress works beautifully with modern technology and tooling.

Check out her full talk about creating the WordPress + React Starter Kit, including actionable tips for countering anyone who argues that WordPress doesn’t play nicely in forward-thinking software implementations.

BigWP is our enterprise WordPress event series. It brings together developers, business leads, and product people who work with high-scale WordPress applications every day.

Find all of the talks in the BigWP NYC November 2019 playlist.

Updating the Apple News plugin to be Gutenberg native

Kevin Fodness onstage at BigWP talking through the process of updating an existing plugin to be Gutenberg-native

WordPress VIP featured partner Alley originally created their Publish to Apple News plugin to help users seamlessly submit and edit their Apple News content straight from the WordPress editor. Version one of the plugin automatically converts HTML content to JSON and sends it to Apple to publish via their API.

After the WordPress 5.0 update, which brought the new Gutenberg editing experience to core WordPress software, Alley began developing version two of the plugin, which provides full native support for Gutenberg. Chief plugin contributor and Alley’s director of software development Kevin Fodness recently shared learnings from this project at BigWP NYC.

All things considered

The biggest challenge of making the plugin fully Gutenberg compatible? “We had to embrace the future of WordPress while not losing users who weren’t fully embracing Gutenberg.” (Yet.)

In a simpler world, Gutenberg adoption would be binary. Either a site is taking advantage of the new software, or it’s not. However, in practice, business cases are nearly always more complex. In this case, many enterprise users have selectively enabled Gutenberg on some but not all of their content types within the same site. This creates a tricky scenario for plugin developers who need to ensure their product’s functionality across a dozen different platform scenarios.

Rethinking the metabox

Inspired by Yoast and Jetpack, Alley opted for the popular sidebar approach to integrating Gutenberg functionality directly into the plugin interface. Now, editors can configure Apple News settings in four sleek collapse/expand panels which replace the cumbersome metabox.

The end goal for this project was simple: provide a better experience for editors using the Apple News plugin. Achieving this goal was anything but simple, and in his talk, Kevin walks through Alley’s approach to updating the plugin–including all the things they broke along the way.

BigWP is our enterprise WordPress event series. It brings together developers, business leads, and product people who work with high-scale WordPress applications every day.

Find all of the talks in the BigWP NYC November 2019 playlist.

Bringing Xbox to the block editor

Reaktiv CEO Josh Eaton gives talk at Big WP SF on using custom Gutenberg blocks for Xbox
Josh Eaton, CEO of Reaktiv, presented at BigWP about building custom blocks Gutenberg blocks for Xbox and Microsoft

The block editor, part of the project known as Gutenberg, is one of the biggest changes to WordPress core software in over a decade and a half. It brings unprecedented agility for enterprises to customize media-rich content directly within the WordPress editor.

WordPress VIP featured partner agency Reaktiv recently worked with Xbox to build custom blocks that leverage Xbox’s existing design components to streamline workflows. Together, these new blocks reduce manual effort, speed up time to publish, and deliver a better user experience.

The day of BigWP SF, Reaktiv CEO Josh Eaton was celebrating Xbox’s successful launch on Gutenberg. In his presentation, Josh walked attendees through Reaktiv’s approach to implementing the block editor on four of the entertainment company’s regional sites.

So far, the project includes eight new custom blocks, including Countdown timer which adds a stopwatch-style ticker alongside sale items and automatically eliminates the entire post once the deal has expired.

Josh shared his biggest piece of advice for transitioning to the new block editor: iterate, iterate, iterate. With an enhanced ability to sync styling in the front and back ends, Gutenberg facilitates new processes that were previously impossible (or at the very least, cumbersome) in the old editor. If you’d like to explore what’s possible for the block editor in your organization, please get in touch.

BigWP is our enterprise WordPress event series. It brings together developers, business leads, and product people who work with high-scale WordPress applications every day.

Find all of the talks in the BigWP SF November 2019 playlist.

How implementing dark mode in WordPress boosted 9to5’s sites

At BigWP, 10up president Jake Goldman demonstrated two ways to enable dark mode support

WordPress VIP Gold agency partner 10up recently worked with media company 9to5 to add light and dark mode support to its most popular sites, including 9to5Mac and 9to5Google. Jake Goldman, founder and president of 10up, took the stage at BigWP SF to discuss the project and provide a practical primer on supporting native, OS-level dark and light settings.

As of this year, all major operating systems and browsers have begun to support the ability to view different display modes (light and dark), based on user preference.

Beyond aesthetics, dark mode is a contributing factor in improving accessibility for users who suffer from eye strain or other vision difficulties. Additionally, enabling dark and light mode options empowers users to personalize their experience with your content–which can improve engagement.

The good news? Dark mode is relatively easy to enable. It took 10up only about 30 people hours to set up five sites on the 9to5 network that shared an overarching layout.

In this talk, Jake walks through two approaches to achieve similar results. First, a CSS path to deliver content in light or dark mode based on a user’s predefined settings. Next, a JavaScript method to allow users to toggle between light and dark mode on their own, which defaults to user device settings.

BigWP is our enterprise WordPress event series. It brings together developers, business leads, and product people who work with high-scale WordPress applications every day.

Find all of the talks in the BigWP SF November 2019 playlist.

How to scale a development team

Aaron Jorbin has years’ experience successfully scaling development teams

We often hear about scaling WordPress sites, but what about scaling your WordPress developers?

At BigWP NYC, Aaron Jorbin, Director of Editorial Technology at Penske Media Corp (PMC), shared his approach to growing a successful team.

According to Aaron, there are various models for finding the right people for a team, like T-shaped people and tree-shaped people. But what about Rorschach-shaped people?

When Aaron conducts job interviews, he prioritizes candidates who value learning. His number one priority? Building a team of people who are able to find creative solutions, rather than clever solutions. To do so, Jorbin has a few recommendations. These include proactively identifying weak spots (like a lack of diversity) and encouraging each person to find their “superpower.”

Catch his full talk here:

BigWP is our enterprise WordPress event series. It brings together developers, business leads, and product people who work with high-scale WordPress applications every day.

Find all of the talks in the BigWP NYC June 2019 playlist.

How TechCrunch built a subscription tier on WordPress

Image of Sam Singer on stage at BigWP SF discussing Extra Crunch, TechCrunch's paywall built on WordPress
Sam Singer delivers a presentation at BigWP SF on building a successful subscription tier on WordPress

Recently, TechCrunch leveraged WordPress architecture to launch a subscription tier paywall, Extra Crunch. Sam Singer, Lead Software Engineer at TechCrunch, delivered a talk at BigWP SF that gave an overview of the project’s process, architecture, and challenges.

TechCrunch wanted to make the product experience better for its core audience. Additionally, they wanted to give this audience a chance to support high-quality journalism. To that end, Extra Crunch subscribers have ad-free access to premium content, as well as the ability to get in touch with writers directly.

Extra Crunch’s launch followed one year after TechCrunch’s major redesign, which saw the launch of a semi-decoupled WordPress and React web application. Subsequently, Sam’s team was able to build upon the existing WordPress architecture to add payment processing and content paywall capabilities. As a result, Extra Crunch readers can support the creation of more evergreen content and deep-dive journalism.

See Sam’s full talk here:

BigWP is our enterprise WordPress event series. It brings together developers, business leads, and product people who work with high-scale WordPress applications every day.

Find all of the talks in the BigWP SF June 2019 playlist.

You may also be interested in:

How Credit Karma leveraged WordPress to jump start a secure testing strategy

Credit Karma is a financial tech brand championing financial progress for all. For them, security is an important consideration. This summer, April Aaronson, Growth Technology Manager at Credit Karma, took the stage at BigWP SF to talk about how they keep security in mind without sacrificing growth.

Credit Karma has scaled its business by expanding beyond free credit scores: they demystify finances for their members. To accomplish this, they provide financial calculators, editorial content, and other tools to help consumers better understand their financial standing.

In the financial technology industry, trust is critical. As a result, Credit Karma takes great care to be thoughtful about the tools and technology they use across all aspects of the business. April’s talk focused on how they leveraged WordPress to develop a testing strategy that put its 100 million members first.

April Aaronson of Credit Karma holds a mic on stage in front of a group of seated people at BigWP SF
April Aaronson shared at BigWP SF how Credit Karma leverages WordPress for secure testing

BigWP is our enterprise WordPress event series. It brings together developers, business leads, and product people who work with high-scale WordPress applications every day.

Find more talks in the BigWP SF June 2019 playlist, or individual posts here:

Creating an open platform for 60,000 contributors with WordPress and Thrive Global

John McAlester presented at BigWP SF on leveraging WordPress for Thrive Global’s massive scale publishing.

When Ariana Huffington created Thrive Global’s behavior change platform, the goal was to build a scalable, open, publishing system… fast. In his talk at BigWP SF, John McAlester, Senior WordPress Developer at Thrive Global, talked through the wins and challenges of building a WordPress site at scale.

Thrive Global, an open media platform focusing on wellness and productivity, leverages the power of WordPress and the REST API to make its community and branded content available to mobile apps, eLearning courses, and third-party integrations. Contributors to the platform increase brand awareness by publishing hundreds of posts per day, focusing on wellness and productivity.

On the back-end, the platform makes use of custom user roles with modified capabilities. It also has a custom sign-up flow to encourage good actors. Engineers coordinate deployments between a decoupled React app and the WordPress back-end. This approach allows their content to be repurposed in various contexts.

In the talk, John also discusses the downsides of having a decoupled frontend, and why he believes in working with core WordPress themes and user systems.

Watch the full talk here:

BigWP is our enterprise WordPress meetup series. It brings together developers, business leads, and product people who work with high-scale WordPress applications every day.

Find all of the talks in the BigWP SF June 2019 playlist, or individual posts here:

How Multidots nailed big data for the Air Jordan set

Image of Multidots CEO Anil Gupta in orange sunglasses presenting on the REST API at BigWP NYC
Multidots CEO Anil Gupta presents on the REST API at BigWP NYC

When Sneaker News, the “CNN of kicks,” needed to streamline their content creation, VIP partner agency Multidots rose to the challenge. At BigWP NYC, Multidots’ CEO Anil Gupta talked about how they leveraged the REST API to help Sneaker News reduce operations time by 65%.

Sneaker News needed a centralized repository for sneaker data that could seamlessly push updates to six different systems. With this in mind, Multidots leveraged the REST API to move data from this “master” repository to the various “child” applications, which included several WordPress sites.

Sneaker News publishes up to 150 new posts per month and receives millions of monthly page views. Thus, reducing 65% of operations time with an automated flow was a big win. Next up, Multidots will convert the centralised “master” repo into a decoupled WordPress instance.

Watch Anil’s talk in full to learn more:

BigWP is our enterprise WordPress meetup series. It brings together developers, business leads, and product people who work with high-scale WordPress applications every day.

Find all of the talks in the BigWP NYC June 2019 playlist.

How FiveThirtyEight tuned Liveblog for the midterms

Paul Schreiber
FiveThirtyEight’s Paul Schreiber shared the media outlet’s experience leveraging WordPress for high-stakes liveblogging

FiveThirtyEight makes heavy use of live blogging, especially for elections, debates, and live sporting events. At BigWP NYC, Paul Schreiber, Staff Web Developer at FiveThirtyEight, talked about the site’s journey with live blogging plugins.

In 2014, the need for a live blogging plugin on FiveThirtyEight arose when editors wanted a way to rapidly update posts with content related to the midterm elections. At the time, they started using LivePress, but when that plugin was deprecated in 2017 the team needed to move to a different solution: Liveblog.

Paul’s team, together with VIP featured partners 10up and Big Bite, set to work updating the plugin with the features they needed. Their custom updates include metadata, migrating from LivePress, integration with the Co-Authors Plus plugin, and access to the media library. All the work is open source, and contributions are welcome!

Watch the full talk to learn more about the process, including the Liveblog product roadmap:

BigWP is our enterprise WordPress meetup series. It brings together developers, business leads, and product people who work with high-scale WordPress applications every day.

Find all of the talks from this event in the BigWP NYC June 2019 playlist.

Human Made’s approach to Gutenberg? Don’t repeat yourself.

Libby Barker, a Senior Project Manager, and K. Adam White, a Senior Developer, both from Human Made, spoke about their approach to working with clients on Gutenberg projects, even before its recent official launch in WordPress 5.0. This talk was delivered on November 13 at BigWP NYC, a gathering of developers and product people who work on WordPress applications at scale.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, Human Made started with the blocks already available in Gutenberg, and customized from there. Rather than spending time and effort building blocks from scratch, they were able to give clients more control of design elements and a better editing experience.

Any Gutenberg block might turn out to be reusable on another page, or in another layout. In one example they shared, the Human Made team found that an element built for a site’s homepage could double as a recirculation module at the bottom of single posts or pages, too.

Watch the talk:

BigWP is our enterprise WordPress meetup series, that brings together developers, business leads, and product people who work with high-scale WordPress applications every day. To be the first to find out about the next enterprise WordPress event in New York, join the meetup group. You’ll find groups for other cities there as well.

Find all of the talks in the November’s BigWP playlist.

Bringing AMP and Gutenberg Readiness to Setka

How the Setka Editor team built AMP compatibility into their custom post design tool

At our latest enterprise WordPress meetup in New York on November 13, Katya Bazilevskaya, Cofounder and CEO at Setka, talked about building the Setka Editor to be Gutenberg-ready and AMP-ready. The Setka Editor is a powerful tool for building beautiful longform stories out of building blocks, all optimized for mobile with full Google AMP integration.

The Setka team transformed WordPress galleries, javascript libraries, and even animations into AMP-ready HTML elements, speeding up mobile load times and giving users a lightning-fast experience.

Modern CSS approaches available in AMP help cut down on time to First Meaningful Paint, and Setka users are seeing the difference.

Watch Katya’s talk:

BigWP is our enterprise WordPress meetup series, that brings together developers, business leads, and product people who work with high-scale WordPress applications every day. To be the first to find out about the next enterprise WordPress event in New York, join the meetup group. You’ll find groups for other cities there as well.

Find all of the talks in the November’s BigWP playlist.

Push Notifications at Scale at the New York Post

How The New York Post uses WordPress to manage push notifications for a busy newsroom

Remy Stern, Chief Digital Officer at the New York Post, our hosts at BigWP NYC on November 13, led off the presentations with an explanation on how they use WordPress.com VIP to send thousands and thousands of push notifications, email alerts, and to control their breaking news alerts on the web, too.

Why use WordPress to manage notifications? It’s the central tool for workflow in their newsroom, and reduces the risk of errors by keeping things in one familiar system with a consistent user experience. As a bonus, that helps things move quickly.

“Speed really matters when you’re sending out breaking news push notifications.”

Maropost, Urban Airship, and even Apple News are all in the notifications mix for the New York Post, all managed from inside their WordPress admin.

Watch Remy’s talk in full:

BigWP is our enterprise WordPress meetup series, that brings together developers, business leads, and product people who work with high-scale WordPress applications every day. To be the first to find out about the next enterprise WordPress event in New York, join the meetup group. You’ll find groups for other cities there as well.

Find all of the talks in the November BigWP playlist.

Ready to get started?

Drop us a note.

No matter where you are in the planning process, we’re happy to help, and we’re actual humans here on the other side of the form. 👋 We’re here to discuss your challenges and plans, evaluate your existing resources or a potential partner, or even make some initial recommendations. And, of course, we’re here to help any time you’re in the market for some robust WordPress awesomeness.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.