Since 1999, Absolute Web’s team of specialists has helped businesses achieve their goals in the digital commerce space, building custom solutions, crafting modern UI/UX, integrating custom code and APIs, and ultimately using innovative marketing strategies.
Based in Miami and Los Angeles, the agency focuses on developing innovative and functional custom web applications that generate more revenue while also improving efficiency for the business.
“Partnering with WordPress VIP means partnering with the best in the industry, and it is certainly a level up in providing our clients with the best technology solutions for their challenges online.”
Sergiu Tabaran, COO
For more information about Absolute Web partnership with WordPress VIP, please visit their partner page.
Good news for WordPress VIP content creators: WordPress 5.7 has unpacked a veritable bounty of feature enhancements to the Gutenberg block editor, including further steps towards FSE (full site editing).
Here’s our at-a-glance summary of 12 exciting Gutenberg features and enhancements included in WordPress 5.7. These new capabilities streamline four of the most common tasks for digital marketers: customizing buttons, editing images, sharing on social, and creating page layouts.
Let’s dive in.
Every marketer knows the importance of a clear, enticing call to action. With WordPress 5.7, more power is in your hands to make your buttons look exactly how you want them. Gutenberg now allows you to adjust the size of buttons by defining the percentage widths for button blocks. Got multiple buttons you’re trying to wrangle? You’ll enjoy the added ability to stack buttons vertically—and transform them from a vertical to a horizontal orientation with a single click.
Get perfectly aligned cover images in seconds with the new full height alignment option. There’s also a clever way to identify whether it’s possible to overlay text in an image block. Click, ‘Add text overlay’ to transform an image into a cover image, and watch as a placeholder paragraph appears.
In WordPress 5.7, you can also define the border radius of an image block to create graphics with rounded corners.
Enhanced social sharing
Hayley Nelson, the VP of Content Marketing at Salesforce, gauges the impact of content in only five words: “Is it worth a re-share?” The latest edition of Gutenberg equips you with more tools to encourage your audience to hit that share button. In just a few clicks, you can edit the size of your social icons, customize the icon images, or update the colors to align with your brand.
Building layouts with reusable blocks
WordPress 5.7 provides an important change to how reusable blocks are shown and edited. Specifically, these updates solve some previous issues around block inspector and block toolbars.
For example, the name of a reusable block is now shown both in the interface and as a label to the block itself.
Curious how a block would look if you transformed it to something else—a column view instead of a group, for example? Make an informed decision with the new transform preview tool. It enables you to hover over a block type in the editor to get a quick look at how the new configuration would look, without committing to any changes.
There’s also a new border around the parent group of a reusable block. This outline makes it easier to see how the individual components of reusable blocks are grouped together. Need to add another block to your layout? Now you can drag and drop blocks and block patterns directly into your page from the inserter—so it’s more intuitive (and more efficient) to build pages with customized layouts.
The Gutenberg block editor already helps WordPress VIP customers ship content 60% faster. And we’re delighted to see its capabilities improving with every WordPress software update.
That’s why I’m thrilled to share that WordPress VIP (listed as our parent company, Automattic) was recognized as a Strong Performer in The Forrester Wave™: Agile Content Management Systems, Q1 2021 evaluation.
Industry recognition like this is always exciting—we believe it’s a hallmark of our rapidly growing market leadership and reflects the amazing team and customers that define WordPress VIP every day.
Findings from the report include:
“WordPress VIP offers strong capabilities in collaboration and planning…”—even more critical in our world of remote and distributed work.
“[WordPress VIP] has a standout practitioner program with more than 700 local user groups worldwide”—highlighting, in our opinion, the massive talent network available for our customers.
“Customer references liked the platform’s capabilities to manage content creation on a global scale for governance and compliance”—an essential requirement for today’s enterprise.
Read on for a deeper understanding of our evaluation as a strong performer in agile content management. And why customers like Facebook, Microsoft, and Salesforce trust WordPress VIP’s content, analytics, and commerce platform to power mission-critical content that drives business growth.
A new era of collaboration between developers and creatives
For too long, enterprise software solutions have been at odds with the simplicity and flexibility content creators need to meet their objectives. Not anymore.
WordPress VIP helps enterprises create meaningful digital experiences by aligning practitioners and developers on a single platform. It’s intuitive and flexible, as well as robust enough to power omnichannel digital experiences.
“WordPress VIP offers strong capabilities in collaboration and planning…”
– The Forrester Wave: Agile CMSes
Customers love us because they get “enterprise” where it matters: powerful technology, world-class security, and scalable infrastructure.
They also get “easy-to-use” by adopting the enterprise platform built by the creators of WordPress—a software with such broad appeal that it powers 40% of the web.
A global talent pool for agile content management
Another advantage of WordPress ubiquity? A generation of developers has grown up using and contributing to the software.
The WordPress ecosystem boasts a wealth of technical talent with a rich and active user community. There are more than 700 local WordPress user groups; thousands of people across languages, cultures, and markets have helped shape the software.
“…also has a standout practitioner program with more than 700 local user groups worldwide.”
– The Forrester Wave: Agile CMSes
In a recent conversation with one of our customers, their Director of Growth Technology told me, “It would be orders of magnitude more expensive to staff up the developers needed if we didn’t have WordPress.”
Built-in governance and compliance capabilities
WordPress VIP is a great choice for enterprises that need to publish content swiftly without sacrificing regulatory compliance.
“Customer references liked [WordPress VIP’s] capabilities to manage content creation on a global scale.”
– The Forrester Wave: Agile CMSes
One great example is the launch of Electrocomponents’ first direct-to-consumer brand, OKdo.
They use WordPress VIP to power enterprise ecommerce sites in seven markets across three continents and six languages—while supporting multiple currencies and complying with local trade and tax regulations in each market.
Tools for enterprise marketers to scale revenue growth
Content is the cornerstone of modern enterprise growth—and the current business climate is only further accelerating the push to digital.
Mallory Russell, Head of Content at Square, explains it well: “Businesses can’t operate the way that they used to. Everything has to be content.” Hayley Nelson, VP of Content at Salesforce, agrees. “Tools that can enable us to be agile are crucial.”
With WordPress VIP’s roots in the publishing industry, our platform was purpose-built for media-rich digital experiences—the kind modern marketers need to forge meaningful relationships with their customers. That’s why top brands trust WordPress VIP to power the content that shapes customer journeys. Our platform provides the ease, flexibility, and freedom enterprise marketers need to scale the digital experiences that drive business growth.
“…fits organizations that have heavy-duty publishing needs, including editorial workflows and collaborative editing capabilities.”
– The Forrester Wave: Agile CMSes
All in on agile content management
From commerce to customer acquisition, agile content is critical for success.
Content that’s late to the game, that’s cumbersome to create, or that can’t be published when it’s needed is one of the biggest blockers to sustainable enterprise growth. And to quote Nick Gernert, our CEO, “When it comes to creating and delivering content, no one does it better than WordPress VIP.”
I’m happy to announce WordPress VIP has added Elementary Digital as a Silver Agency Partner. They’re one of only 46 WordPress VIP partner agencies and one of five in the United Kingdom.
Formed in 2013, today Elementary Digital is a team of 30+ with 17 dedicated UK-based developers. They design, develop, and support enterprise WordPress websites throughout the UK and Europe with a focus on not-for-profit, publishing, membership, and WooCommerce.
The agency has extensive experience with complex WordPress integrations including the WordPress REST API and mobile apps. Their enterprise clients include the BBC, SkyBet, and Travelodge.
“We’re delighted to become WordPress VIP partners. As long-term advocates of WordPress, we look forward to working with the WordPress VIP team to further develop enterprise implementations.”
Gyles Seward, Managing Partner
For more information about Elementary Digital’s partnership with WordPress VIP, please visit their partner page.
Today I am pleased to announce WPVIP is acquiring Parse.ly, a leading content analytics platform, to provide enterprises with content analytics that integrate seamlessly across our commerce and content offerings.
At WPVIP, we’re focused on helping our customers grow their businesses through the power of our agile content platform. Too often, enterprise software solutions are at odds with the simplicity and flexibility content creators need to meet their objectives.
Large companies don’t need to make that trade-off anymore. With Parse.ly, we will offer extensive visibility into the business impact of content.
In recent years, WPVIP has expanded beyond our media and publishing roots to focus on empowering the world’s largest brands to build meaningful customer experiences through content. We believe content has this very unique power to drive enterprise growth.
One of our customers says it well:
“Content is modern marketing and now content is everyone’s job.”
This concept gets us excited when we think about our own business. When it comes to creating and delivering content, no one does it better than WPVIP.
Why WPVIP + Parse.ly
Over the years, we’ve been fortunate to see firsthand the impact of Parse.ly’s content analytics platform. Parse.ly isn’t simply capturing traditional traffic analytics. Instead, the platform goes deeper—revealing exactly how individual content pieces are impacting traffic in real-time. The upshot for content marketers? Rich reporting with detailed insights into the business impact of their content.
With Parse.ly, the workflows that WPVIP customers use every day will surface insights that move beyond page views and visits. For example, commerce brands will understand which content converts visitors into buyers. They will also be able to deliver content recommendations for top-performing products.
Together, WPVIP and Parse.ly will provide the analytics platform that drives rich content and commerce experiences at scale for WPVIP customers.
In my conversations with Parse.ly’s founders Sachin Kamdar and Andrew Montalenti, it’s been striking how aligned we are across our values, our sense of the market opportunity, our passion for the open web, and our commitment to help enterprises leverage the power of content for business growth.
“We’ve always had a deep admiration for WPVIP as the gold standard for enterprise content teams, and we’re thrilled to join together. From the culture and people, to the product, market, and vision, we’re in lockstep to create more value for our customers. This powerful combination of content and intelligence will push the industry forward at an accelerated pace.”
Sachin Kamdar, CEO, Parse.ly
What Comes Next for WPVIP + Parse.ly
I’m so energized about the future of WPVIP and Parse.ly as combined forces.
To Parse.ly’s customers and team, welcome! I want you to know we’re excited to invest more deeply in the content analytics platform you know and love.
If you’re using WordPress with Parse.ly, get even more excited as we have plans to enrich the experience for all WordPress users.
And if you’re a WPVIP customer, expect even more as we leverage our scale to bring more content insights to our customers.
If you have any questions about how WPVIP + Parse.ly can help you deliver meaningful customer experiences, please get in touch.
Quodem is our first agency in Spain and brings deep expertise in the healthcare sector. They provide the best technology solutions to their clients so those clients can focus on growing their businesses. The agency’s main goal is anticipating trends and identifying business needs to create innovative digital products and services.
With more than 15 years of experience working with top global pharmaceutical companies, Quodem has developed more than 2,000 digital projects in 50 different countries.
Here’s how they describe their unique approach to enterprise engagements:
Creativity: They anticipate the trends to create new and distinctive products and services.
Specialization: Their expertise shapes the identification of needs, the design of solutions, and their implementation in projects.
Flexibility: They adapt and involve themselves fully in each project.
Proactivity: They meet and enrich the needs of their customers.
Value: They offer added value in each stage of every project.
“We are very excited to be part of the incredible ecosystem of WordPress VIP partners. Our mission is always to provide the best technology to our clients to support the digital transformation of their businesses, and WordPress VIP is the most robust, secure, and effective platform available,” said Jose María Prian, Sales and Marketing Director of Quodem.
For more information about Quodem’s partnership with WordPress VIP, please visit their partner page.
Times of great change require innovation and collaboration. WordPress VIP was proud to partner with Wide Eye Creative and the Biden-Harris Transition team to power the digital home for the peaceful transition of power that underpins American democracy.
Here’s how we did it.
Agile content is good politics
Unlike most mission-critical site launches, Build Back Better was dependent on a single variable: the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Election.
In the weeks leading up to the election, WordPress VIP joined forces with Wide Eye Creative and the transition’s digital team led by Andrew Nacin. Everyone recognized the site’s pivotal role on the global stage which created enormous pressure to get every detail exactly right.
To make sure they were prepared to respond immediately to high-visibility, last-minute changes, the team created a menu of options for launch. Agility and flexibility were common requirements for each.
To minimize security risks, the team dedicated weeks to architecture consulting and contingency planning, in addition to extensive penetration testing. WordPress VIP engineers conducted a staggering 500,000 lines of manual code review of the theme and plugins in just five days. WordPress VIP provided additional security best practices based on a decade of safeguarding WordPress at scale, including application security checklists for site users.
On top of these rigorous security measures, WordPress VIP collaborated with Wide Eye Creative and the transition team to customize WordPress to support accessibility, SSO, form integrations, and more. Our engineers evaluated and audited every plugin to guarantee they were building the most secure WordPress implementation possible.
Finally, anticipating site visits from millions of viewers across the globe, the team performed multiple rounds of load testing to help the site shine on its biggest days.
While the nation and the world kept an eye on the vote count, Wide Eye Creative and WordPress VIP remained on high alert to launch the site at any minute.
The site first went live as a multilingual splash page on November 4.
On November 9, the full site became available at BuildBackBetter.com, providing the world’s first glimpse at key administration policies and priorities, like the President-elect’s COVID-19 response plan.
On November 23, when the General Services Administration declared President-elect Biden the victor, the site transitioned to BuildBackBetter.gov—an official government website—marking the final step in the site launch process.
National leaders choose market leaders
By selecting WordPress VIP as its content platform, the Biden-Harris transition team unlocked all the benefits of the open-source CMS that powers 40% of the web.
The flexible and intuitive platform united creators and developers, making it easy to update the site at a moment’s notice. As you might guess, agility was crucial for the Biden-Harris team to keep the site up-to-date in the flurry of a presidential transition.
WordPress VIP was proud and honored to work tirelessly alongside Wide Eye Creative and the Biden-Harris transition team to launch Build Back Better on the national stage—truly mission-critical content at scale.
One of the major decisions enterprise leaders face is choosing a content platform. Do you self-host WordPress on an infrastructure provider, like Amazon’s AWS, or do you partner with a managed platform that provides enterprise WordPress hosting?
Weighing the time and costs involved in planning, building, and maintaining a content management system (CMS) isn’t easy.
For a clearer picture of this challenge, WordPress VIP pulled insights from conversations with executive stakeholders about how they approached it. In summary, we found three main considerations driving these executives. First, which platform would allow their team to focus more completely on critical business initiatives? Second, which path was simpler — and was strategic guidance easily available? Third, which choice would ultimately be more performant and secure?
Below we take a deep dive on the advantages of choosing a managed platform versus self-hosting.
1. Creating Bandwidth for Your Team
Spend Less Time Managing Servers
There’s a common theme among engineering leads who chose to self-host: their developers spend too much time on site maintenance. Instead of developing new features for critical initiatives, their team installs software updates. They load-balance servers. They provision security certificates. The mundane, time-consuming work feels endless.
“We were hosting on AWS and that created an enormous amount of overhead for us,” a new customer recently told us. “We would rather shift our focus from hosting problems, which is a solved problem, and focus our attention on creating new business value.”
Many businesses we speak with have more than a hundred sites scattered across their enterprise, each requiring developer bandwidth. Their dev teams are constantly on the backfoot, never able to play offense.
These teams are attracted to features like the productized site management offered by the WordPress VIP platform — one place, one multisite management system. For many, it’s a dream come true to hear, “You’ll never have to see a server control panel.”
Nimbly Adapt to Digital Transformation
The pandemic forced many businesses to go online during the past year — but not all of them had the teams and expertise ready to handle the transition to digital workflows.
Choosing to self-host means choosing to manage critical work in-house. And, simply put, hiring isn’t always easy. Faced with accelerated timelines, many found it difficult to align a brand new team to their business not only as it is today, but also to as it needs to change.
Working with a managed platform allowed them to do more with the team they already had. Faced with the challenges of the pandemic, this ended up being critical to sustaining business operations: their teams could focus on critical functions and expertise, while partners like us alleviated the technical burden.
2. Leveraging Guidance and Making It Simple
Make Digital Strategy Easy
As you build your digital strategy, it’s easy to find yourself in an analysis paralysis of potential partners, integrations, strategies, and best practices. With the stakes as high as they are at the enterprise scale, this can be quite daunting.
It’s an understandable situation. There are more than 50,000 available plugins alone in the WordPress ecosystem, and plugins aren’t the only technical consideration for a content platform. Those choosing the self-hosting route also have to scope the complexities of managing AWS, GCP, or Azure, a pain point mentioned in every conversation we have.
“I had been wanting to find a partner who can help us,” the CTO of one of our customers told us. “Not only with hosting these sites — but also with making sure they’re aligned to best practices in the WordPress space.”
Guidance through the WordPress ecosystem by a team of experts adds competitive value to managed platforms versus public clouds. You’ll know which plugins are safe to use, which agencies have experience in your industry, which integrations make sense for your strategy, and how to safely accelerate these initiatives.
Get Peace of Mind at Scale
Enterprises turn to experts when they know their digital experience is going to be tested on a global scale. After all, complete responsibility can be intimidating. The risks with self-hosting become too high if you don’t have internal experts with experience handling billions of page hits, or who know how to step in when something goes wrong at scale. At that point, it makes sense to work with a managed platform.
Consider FiveThirtyEight, the opinion poll analysis, politics, economics, and sports blogging site. During the biggest week of their year, U.S. Election Week, we helped them hit more than a billion pageviews — with 100% uptime and a server response time flat at 144ms through the peak.
What they invested in was effortless scaling. Effortless scaling means that on your biggest day and every day, your site delivers unparalleled speed for users all over the world. Enterprises that want to pursue bolder digital agendas de-risk these initiatives by working with teams like ours. These teams have spent a decade routinely delivering the highest-profile WordPress deployments in the world.
Accelerate With Ready-to-Go Partners and Integrations
Using an infrastructure provider like AWS means managing your business partnerships (e.g., a design agency) and tech integrations yourself. This takes time, and not just in evaluation.
Part of the responsibility of managed platforms is to proactively curate the best-in-class options, establishing integrations and relationships with these providers. We embrace that approach at WordPress VIP, serving as the epicenter of an enterprise content ecosystem — neither a siloed player (lacking the capabilities you need) nor a monolithic player (that tries to sell you capabilities you don’t need).
Combined with strategic guidance and expert support, these established integrations and partnerships guarantee premier solutions primed to exact business needs, without the pain involved in planning, building, and maintaining everything yourself.
3. Ensuring WordPress Safety and Performance
Embrace Out-of-the-Box Performance
Performance tuning your digital presence can be an intense time-sink, especially if you are hosting the website yourself with AWS or similar providers. While this diligence is table stakes for managed platforms like ours, the larger benefit is that we’re already starting far ahead.
“I’m not sure what WordPress VIP is running, but it put up the absolute fastest scores that I’ve seen by a wide margin. They blew my test rig out of the water.”
Kevin Ohashi, Review Signal
Two distinguishing factors make our platform consistently the fastest WordPress delivery available to enterprises.
First, we are part of the Automattic family, whose CEO is the co-founder of WordPress. We work closely with the open-source community, delivering enterprise-scale WordPress deployments for more than a decade. We’ve seen all the bleeding edge developments in enterprise WordPress — and continuously invest to ensure we stay at the forefront.
Second, we own our infrastructure. And our business model isn’t to host anything and everything, like you might find with AWS, GCP, or Azure. Because we focus exclusively on WordPress, we optimize the hardware and software completely for that purpose.
Embrace Industry-Leading Security
Each software has its own ecosystem of security risks and liabilities. Public cloud providers like AWS host a huge range of software; their ecosystem of potential risks and backdoors is correspondingly massive. They do provide the option of dedicated hosting, meaning the hardware is dedicated to just what one customer wants to host. But, for that, you pay extra. It’s much simpler for managed platforms like ours that focus exclusively on one software (for us, WordPress).
We also own our own infrastructure — not every managed platform does. In fact, many resell AWS hosting.
Because we own the hardware, we have complete control over what is hosted on our servers. The range of possible risks is much smaller, but that doesn’t mean we are any less vigilant. As an example, extremely risk-conscious organizations like the Democratic National Convention Committee trust us to deliver their digital transformation.
WordPress VIP team members are on both the WordPress Security Council and WordPress release teams. Because we work so closely to the development of WordPress, we see changes coming and prepare our customers for them before they are released.
We are also the only enterprise WordPress platform that has earned the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) “Authorized” status.
Our customers rely on multi-level built-in security, using best practices based on decades of protecting WordPress at scale in industries like finance, health, defense, tech, and government. The ease-of-mind is transformational.
Why invest resources in planning, building, and maintaining your own cloud infrastructure (like AWS) when WordPress VIP can take care of the heavy lifting?
Our platform allows you to focus on your core business, empowering you with the ease, flexibility, and freedom you need to scale the digital experiences that drive your growth. To learn more, get in touch.
We are proud to welcome Curotec as a new agency partner! Curotec is one of 45 in this exclusive group of agencies with proven excellence implementing WordPress at scale.
Founded in 2010, Curotec has helped companies around the globe succeed with their digital initiatives, and is a multi-year winner of the Philadelphia100 award for the fastest-growing companies in the Greater Philadelphia Region.
While Curotec’s medium of choice is technology, people—from their team to their clients to their client’s customers—are at the forefront of everything they do. The team starts every engagement by listening to what their clients are trying to accomplish, and then building solutions to help them get there.
The agency’s diverse team celebrates working in an organization that supports and encourages them, making the group determined to deliver successful solutions that delight their customers—and have fun while doing it.
Their approach balances expertise in their craft with clear and appropriate communication and attention to detail. Their wealth of experience provides clients with end-to-end expertise for digital initiatives, including discovery and proof of concepts, design, content, ecommerce, mobile, web, application development, and cloud hosting. Curotec has spearheaded projects for Fortune 100 companies, large charitable trusts, and award-winning ecommerce sites.
“Building beautiful and functional WordPress websites and applications is part of Curotec’s pedigree,” said Founder and CEO Brian Dainis. “Becoming a WordPress VIP partner is both exciting and a goal achieved for our team. By being a WordPress VIP partner, we’ll be able to raise the bar even higher on the digital solutions we help our clients bring to market.”
For more information about Curotec’s partnership with WordPress VIP, please visit their partner page.
Powered By Coffee wants to build a better world for WordPress. Whether it’s for business or open source users, they develop websites and solutions that make WordPress better, for everyone.
Working with a variety of clients, from media groups to the NHS, Powered By Coffee’s in-house team of developers are specialists in creating bespoke CMS, themes, plugins, and tools. As big believers in digital innovation, these WordPress enthusiasts are rapidly growing their London-based agency.
With an anti-jargon, collaborative approach, each project undertaken by the agency starts with an idea and ends with an adaptable, long-term solution.
Specializing in media and publishing, Powered By Coffee recently built Bonhill Group a WordPress multisite platform, increasing engagement of readers with a new front-end visual and features to engage them for longer.
They also developed a content management system for Aye Mind, providing mental health resources for teenagers and those that care for them.
Content is at the heart of a digital customer experience. Addressing infrastructure problems in the content creation lifecycle helps enterprise marketers create more effective content at every stage of the customer experience journey.
If improving the quality of your digital customer experiences is a business goal this year, answering five questions can tell you if it’s time to upgrade your enterprise content platform.
1. Are there unnecessary steps in your content creation process?
Getting to market quickly is essential to delivering timely and relevant content to your audience. Unfortunately, many content platforms lack the flexibility that modern teams require. Consider how long it takes your team to move a piece of content from ideation to implementation across your channels. Is it easy for creators to bring life to your brand vision, or do you wait days for simple website updates?
Choosing an enterprise content platform that suits the needs of both your creators and developers shortcuts the content creation process by empowering everyone on your team to get their jobs done quickly.
“We’ve probably employed 300 people in the last three years and a large percentage of those have actually used WordPress before. It’s an easier system to use,” said Joel Davies, Head of Operations at News UK.
That ease of use translates into real business value when it leads to decreased training time and higher quality content.
Is it easy for creators to bring life to your brand vision, or do you wait days for simple website updates?
2. How much time are your developers spending on basic maintenance?
Creating innovative digital customer experiences requires technical talent. Yet in most of our conversations with prospective customers, we find their developers and engineers are spending most of their time maintaining infrastructure instead of contributing to business goals.
Talk with your technical leaders to understand where your developers are investing time. Are they free to execute your product roadmap, or are they bogged down in performance improvements and software updates?
“Using WordPress VIP means that my team can focus on being creative and innovative, rather than spending time worrying about architecture,” reported the VP of Technology of Hachette Book Group.
Promoting creativity and innovation on your technical team will not only have a significant impact on your bottom line, but can also improve employee satisfaction and retention. All that from an enterprise content platform? We see it happen every day.
3. How strong is your site performance?
Speed and performance matter in your digital customer experience. One Google study found that as page load time goes from one second to three seconds, the probability of a user bouncing increases 32%. From one second to five seconds, it increases 90%. High traffic should be a cause for celebration, but for many enterprises, it’s a cause for concern: will your site shine on your biggest day, or will it crash when you need it most?
Peace of mind is one of the biggest benefits for WordPress VIP customer FiveThirtyEight, who served 1.3 billion pageviews the week of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Through it all, WordPress VIP’s server time stayed flat at 144 milliseconds, delivering a lightning-fast experience for every visitor. Instead of worrying about performance or uptime, their team could focus on delivering content to readers all over the world.
“Using WordPress VIP means that my team can focus on being creative and innovative, rather than spending time worrying about architecture.”
Ryan Pugatch, VP Technology, Hachette Book Group
4. How easy is it to publish your content across multiple platforms?
One of the biggest challenges in consumer expectations is the “always-on” mentality. Your brand needs to deliver exactly what your customer is looking for, where they want it, when they want it, across an ever-growing number of platforms, channels, and devices.
To meet that demand, smart enterprise marketers adopt a “create once, publish everywhere” approach. Even then, it’s not easy to build a cohesive brand experience across every channel.
Rachael Trost, Product Manager at Accuweather, knew content was a key competitive advantage for her company, but her legacy CMS stunted her ability to reach their audience. So she turned to WordPress VIP to support a decoupled (or headless) WordPress setup connected to the REST API. “The headless implementation has been fantastic … to serve articles, videos, landing pages, various alerts, things like that,” she explained in a presentation on decoupled WordPress.
Are there channels you’d like to use to connect with your customer, but aren’t sure how? Instead of the one-size-fits-all approach of many digital experience platforms, your content goals are better served by an agile content platformenhanced with customizable plugins, integrations, and APIs to meet audience needs.
You should never pay for anything that doesn’t positively impact your revenue growth.
5. Are you paying for anything in your enterprise content platform you don’t need?
Each year, marketers are asked to do more with less.
So take a long, hard look at the cost of your current enterprise content platform. Of course, assessing your total cost of ownership can be troubling, even humbling—you might be paying too much for services you don’t use or need. Or underinvesting and limiting your growth and flexibility because your platform offers little more than hosting.
The majority of digital experience providers fall in the first category: bundling expensive solutions into what essentially becomes shelfware, or locking you into a vendor ecosystem where the answer to any problem is “Buy this new product.”
Instead, WordPress VIP works with each customer to assemble the best enterprise solutions, experts, and global agencies from the large open source community to address their unique long-term growth goals. While an enterprise content platform is always an investment, you should never pay for anything that doesn’t positively impact your revenue growth.
A better digital customer experience in 2021
As you look ahead to this year’s growth goals, remember that the biggest improvements in your digital customer experience will be made from the ground up.
Take a moment to ask yourself: “Are my content tools agile, giving my creators and developers the freedom and flexibility we need to scale engaging digital experiences? Or am I locked into pricey marketing clouds that create unnecessary obstacles for my team?”
Modern digital customer experiences require a flexibility that is hard to find outside the enterprise WordPress ecosystem. If it’s time to rethink your enterprise content management infrastructure, remember: no one does content better than WordPress, the software powering 30% of the Fortune 100. And no one does enterprise WordPress better than WordPress VIP. Get in touch to learn more.
In 2020, both commerce and communities shifted online. This sudden change led to a deeper understanding among enterprise leaders about the mission-critical role of content in today’s business growth.
“Businesses can’t operate the way that they used to,” explained Mallory Russell, Head of Content at Square, during our panel on driving ecommerce growth. “Everything has to be content.”
We worked closely with our customers last year to deliver the agility they needed to respond to a whole new way of doing business. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at 15 of 2020’s biggest moments in enterprise WordPress.
We welcomed 17 new agency partners in new regions like Spain, Croatia, and South Africa to bring our customers the best design and development partners on the planet.
We added 22 new technology integrations in key categories including OneTrust for data, security, and governance; global ecommerce with Digital River, and visual storytelling with Google, Shutterstock, and many others.
Our customers’ development and marketing teams became more agile than ever after migrating to our cloud platform. VIP Go puts more power in developers’ hands to ship new code quickly. Meanwhile, creative teams enjoy the same intuitive interface with faster turnaround time for shipping new sites and projects.
The new VIP Dashboard puts more power into our customers’ hands. It’s a one-stop-shop to measure site health, deploys, usage metrics, authorized users, and so much more.
The amazing WordPress VIP customer success team achieved 99.7% SLA, a measure of responsiveness across 15,600 support tickets. These experts help our customers uncover solutions to any obstacles on their digital experience roadmaps.
We introduced new-and-improved documentation to make it easier than ever for developers to execute on the VIP Go platform.
Speaking of empowering our customers, we added new HTTP Request Log Shipping. These logs provides deep data around content performance and traffic patterns. Now our customers can make better data-driven decisions to guide their content strategy.
WordPress VIP celebrated 36% growth as demand for enterprise WordPress continues to accelerate.
We powered a total of 68.7 billion pageviews.
Nearly 100 new customers joined the WordPress VIP family.
We welcomed 56 new teammates from 11 countries to WordPress VIP—and we’re hiring more now!
In 2021, we’re thrilled to empower more businesses than ever with the ease and flexibility they need to build meaningful digital experiences and lasting customer relationships. If you’re looking for an agile content platform to help exceed your growth goals, get in touch.
ATCS is a global technology consulting firm focused on providing scalable and robust digital and analytics solutions for Fortune-50 as well as mid-size clients.
With nearly 1000 dedicated employees spread across 10 global offices, ATCS combines the prowess of enterprise IT with digital marketing and social insights to help innovative enterprises deliver a 360-degree digital customer experience.
“We are very excited to enable enterprise-scale digital experiences for clients in partnership with Automattic. With WordPress VIP, client customer experience teams can focus more on the content and strategy and have a technology that works at the pace needed for digital channels,” said Tushar Patil, Managing Director and Partner.
“The WordPress VIP partnership coupled with ATCS’ deep technology integration and martech expertise completes our end-to-end digital service offering to bring high-quality and innovative solutions for clients.”
I’m happy to announce Happy Cog is now a Gold Agency Partner! Happy Cog is one of only 11 partners in this distinguished group and stands out as one of the only full-service digital agencies with a dedicated team of designers, developers, digital marketers, content strategists, and project managers—all under one roof.
Happy Cog is a best-in-class, full-service NYC-based agency specializing in web and mobile development, design, and digital marketing. The award-winning company has vast experience building WordPress websites across a multitude of industries—from nonprofits and higher education to media and publishing to technology and enterprise.
Matt Weinberg, Co-Founder & President, Development & Technology said:
“Creating great digital experiences is in our DNA, and we’re proud to claim work that has transcended time and tolerated changes in taste and technology for over twenty years.
WordPress VIP has proven to be a fantastic platform for achieving this, and we look forward to continuing to partner with them to solve complex business problems for our clients and equip them for the future in new and unexpected ways.”
Did your digital transformation timeline accelerate this year?
We’ve seen many leaders realize in 2020 that digital content is intrinsically tied to their business growth (or survival). Also, given the state of constant change we all find ourselves living in, agility has become more important than ever for businesses looking to create engaging customer experiences.
With this understanding of the mission-critical nature of content, executives are assessing not only the content management platforms they use, but also their ability to deliver digital agility, and the costs involved in doing so.
It’s not always easy to assess the total cost of ownership (TCO) of enterprise content platforms, as a platform that looks less expensive on the front end can carry hidden costs in its ability to actually deliver digital experiences that engage your customers.
Most content platforms providing managed WordPress will be able to speak to hardware costs, disaster recovery, basic security, ongoing operational support, and other “standard” factors that impact TCO. However, there are significant differences between enterprise and mid-market offerings.
Stakeholders assessing these platforms must consider the implications in site performance, long-term budgeting, security mitigation, developer empowerment, and the platform’s ability to deliver on a strategic digital growth roadmap.
Here’s how choosing WordPress VIP can help reduce your total cost of ownership in each of these five areas:
Maximize Every Revenue Opportunity
Studies show that even a .1s increase in site speed leads to retail customers spending almost 10% more.
Every potential customer that bounces from your site due to poor performance is an indictment on your platform provider. In fact, this is frequently why we are seeing enterprises choose WordPress VIP over competitors. When your website contributes such a significant amount of your revenue, you cannot afford to compromise it in any way.
In a recent conversation with a prospect, they mentioned poor site performance as a chief motivator in considering a platform change.
“85% of leads and revenue come from our website,” he explained. “With WP Engine, our page speeds are very poor, we are not running on a dedicated server, and we have little to no tech support.”
As the premium enterprise WordPress platform, we invest heavily to ensure our performance is best in class. Instead of reselling hosting, we own the platform down to the hardware. Because we only host WordPress, we are able to optimize monitoring and speed throughout the stack in ways that other providers are not.
For example, we are one of the top 3 DNS providers in the world, we deliver performance in the single digits of milliseconds, and we provide advanced features like edge caching to ensure that time to first byte (TTFB) is extremely fast — in fact, in our monthly speed tests, WordPress VIP performs 20 to 50% faster than major competitors. For a real-world example of our performance at high scale, read how we helped FiveThirtyEight shatter traffic records with zero downtime during the 2020 U.S. election.
Of course, site speed is just one metric that goes into the total cost of ownership calculation. But if you follow the example cited earlier, the conclusion is already clear: any metric that can lead to a 10% difference in customer spend dwarfs any savings you might have from choosing the partner who submits the lowest-dollar proposal.
Rely On Predictable Budgets
High site traffic should be a cause for celebration, not for hidden expenses. Unfortunately, many platform providers operate using artificially limited packages, with built-in overage fees and other gimmicks aimed at forcing you to upgrade to the next tier.
We believe that your customer’s interest in your company shouldn’t be held against you. With WordPress VIP, if you experience a spike in traffic, you simply pay for that hosting cost—instead of having to pay extra for an “upgraded tier,” hidden overage charges, or other gimmicks. WordPress VIP customers who operate at large scale and value predictability in their budgets mention that our reliability in handling high traffic loads is one of the primary reasons they choose WordPress VIP.
“Not only did you guys make the cut, you’re the front runners based on your ability to dynamically scale the environment to handle bursty loads.”
— Head of Cloud Operations, WordPress VIP Customer
Mitigate Security Risks Globally
Can you put a price tag on peace of mind? Turns out, yes you can. We recently spoke with a customer who is the VP of Strategic Technology at a top global publisher. He was comparing us with managed WordPress platforms and quantified the peace of mind we create for his business.
“Not worrying about getting hacked is a big benefit,” he said. “[Without WordPress VIP] I would need two people to manage the environment and de-risk hacking, so that’s in the six figures already.”
WordPress VIP brings a thoroughness to security that elevates us from other high scale WordPress providers. As an example, we run parts of our production file system in read-only mode, protecting applications against attacks that install backdoor shells and other malicious files.
This is just one of the security features that come standard with WordPress VIP — they are not locked behind upgraded packages at additional costs. Other security differentiators include our support for 2FA, SSO, DDoS protection, and the fact that we own our hardware. Learn more about WordPress VIP’s security best practices.
Think “Developer Empowerment,” Not “Developer Support”
When it comes to total cost of ownership, the right resources can save developers from months of headaches, technical debt, and delayed deployment. True, developer support is table stakes for most digital experience platforms and managed WordPress solutions. Yet you’ll find that most of them think of developer enablement as a cost center, instead of as an opportunity to build a true partnership.
At WordPress VIP, we know that our world-class content management customer success team and solution-oriented approach is a primary reason why enterprises choose us as the foundation for their digital strategy. As members of the Automattic family, whose CEO is the co-founder of WordPress, we bring expertise in WordPress that is not matched anywhere else.
Beyond a list of features, what distinguishes our approach to customer success is a difference in philosophy — it’s the difference between proactive and reactive support.
We make it our business to understand your project and help you reach your business goals. That’s why we offer expert review and recommendations for code, themes, and plug-ins, and are available to advise on any issues that could put your customer’s digital experience at risk.
In stark contrast, for some of our competitors, the single most important metric for their customer success team members is how much hardware they can sell. Because we own our own infrastructure, our business is not based on the margin we make reselling AWS/GCP/Azure hardware. For our customer success team, “throw more hardware at it” would feel like giving up. Instead, we work with your developers to build lasting solutions in the best interest of your business.
Everyone says they can provide application-level support but when you prod you see a reluctance to go as deep … I have more faith that your engineers can figure it out.
— VP of Strategic Technology, WordPress VIP Customer
Embrace Long-term Digital Transformation
The cost of platforming goes beyond just the migration from one platform to another — enterprises must also consider the opportunity cost involved in that platform’s ability to deliver on digital transformation.
This brings them to the WordPress ecosystem. As the most ubiquitous, open, and easy-to-use content management system, enterprise leaders who understand the direct impact of content on business growth often turn to the WordPress ecosystem to bring their digital experiences to life. These leaders might consider an array of WordPress platforms such as Kinsta, Pagely, WP Engine, and WordPress VIP in their objective to leverage the open web.
To accurately assess any of these platforms, it’s crucial to understand how the platform fits into the broader ecosystem of your existing technology stack — and where you want your stack to be a year from now, five years from now, and in 2030.
What elevates WordPress VIP’s content platform from other WordPress platforms is the deep understanding of and strategic approach we take to the needs of enterprise users.
This approach is reflected in our relationships and integrations with best-in-breed partners like Salesforce, OneTrust, and Cognizant. In this we are unique: our goal is to empower our customers to select the best technologies from both inside and outside the enterprise WordPress ecosystem so they can solve their specific customer experience needs—today, tomorrow, and into the future.
“I feel it is difficult to bring WP Engine into enterprise conversations. It’s a different experience with WordPress VIP. I feel like I learn something when in conversations with WordPress VIP, and with WP Engine I need to step in and help them.”
— WordPress VIP Agency Partner
The content platform you choose will have long term impacts on your revenue, budgets, security, development, and digital agility, so think carefully about how each partner will impact the total cost of your platform ownership. At WordPress VIP, we know that content is at the heart of growth — and nobody does it better for the enterprise.
We are proud to welcome Vertex as a new agency partner! With headquarters split between Austin, Texas, and Lagos, Nigeria, Vertex is the only Featured Partner with its own coding academy. This academy creates a direct pipeline to some of the African continent’s best and brightest developers—and in turn, helps Vertex provide 24/7 support to their clients.
Vertex offers design-first development
Vertex has been building Web-based software solutions since 1996. Their development approach is design-driven, led by a process they call the 4D method: Discovery, Design, Development, and Deployment.
Of these, their key differentiator is design. For all jobs, they produce design documents to reduce development time and ensure customer buy-in before a single line of code is committed.
Experience in enterprise-ready applications
In the 24 years since Vertex was founded, they’ve gained extensive experience in multiple industries, including healthcare, technology, online learning, and finance.
Their specialty is SAAS applications and mobile apps, as well as complex websites, ecommerce sites, portals, APIs, and application integrations. Notable customers include Merck, Dell, Ascension Health, Loomis, Harcourt Houghton Mifflin, Silicon Labs, Pearson, DefensiveDriving.com, Yahoo, Fujitsu Siemens, Aramark, and Best Buy.
They have also developed online applications for IBM, HP, Google, Lenovo, Veeam, Riverbed, EMC, and many others.
A game plan for success
Vertex helps customers reimagine, redefine, and automate business processes and product strategies to take advantage of the best current technologies and anticipate the digital landscape of the future.
Its teams are both cross-platform (offering full stack development in both Windows and LAMP environments), and interdisciplinary (with specialists in everything from software architecture, DevOps, native mobile apps, database administration, front end development, UI/UX, graphic design, and content development).
Their work on WordPress, for example, has included complex multisite deployments that seamlessly integrate with native .NET applications and mobile apps.
“We’re excited to become a WordPress VIP Featured Partner because it means we can offer our customers the best possible tools, support, and hosting services available for what is by far the world’s most popular content management system,” said Vertex CEO Dave Macdonald.
For more information about Vertex’s partnership with WordPress VIP, please visit their partner page.
This year, FiveThirtyEight shattered its own record, serving close to 1.3 billion pageviews from Monday-Friday during election week. On Tuesday night alone, their site served 132,000 requests per second, with WordPress VIP’s server response time staying flat at 144 milliseconds.
Engineered for peak performance
A win like that doesn’t just happen by chance.
One of the benefits of WordPress VIP’s approach to customer success is our true partnership with each of our customers. We knew far ahead of time that customers like FiveThirtyEight would experience massive demand during election week, so we collaborated closely with them to make sure they were ready to shine on their biggest night of the year.
ladies and gentlemen, this is mambo number five thirty eight
In the weeks leading up to the election, our dedicated team of engineers coordinated with FiveThirtyEight’s engineers and their development agency 10up (a WordPress VIP Gold partner) to improve cache efficiency and ensure their sites were optimized for the extraordinary traffic they were expecting, freeing them to focus on delivering content to readers all over the world.
Election season is stressful for everyone involved, but our biggest goal was to help our customers breathe a little easier knowing WordPress VIP and 10up were hard at work on their behalf. There’s no greater satisfaction than celebrating their success. If you need a partner to help your digital experiences shine, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Electrocomponents is a 70-year-old company whose mission is to deliver innovation and inspiration to engineers worldwide so that they can do their business better. And we’re talking about a lot of engineers: across six lines of business, Electrocomponents serves 500,000 products to 1 million customers in 80 countries each year. In a single day, Electrocomponents will ship upwards of 50,000 packages.
In 2019, Electrocomponents launched its first direct-to-consumer business line, OKdo, focused on serving the single board computing (SBC; think Raspberry Pi) and the Internet of Things (IoT) markets. OKdo provides end-to-end support for all SBC and IoT segments, spanning makers, entrepreneurs, industrial designers, educators, and reseller partners.
Adrian Goodman has worked for Electrocomponents for over 20 years, and he’s now the Senior Digital Product Owner for OKdo. Last year, WordPress VIP and our agency partner Box UK collaborated closely with Adrian and his team to launch OKdo’s global ecommerce platform, powering sites in seven markets across three continents and six languages, supporting multiple currencies and complying with global tax and trade regulations. (Get the full story in this case study.)
We recently had an opportunity to chat with Adrian and Allie Brock, Product Owner at Box UK, about their experience building and operating OKdo’s new global ecommerce platform at scale.
In the course of the conversation, Adrian revealed the key to OKdo’s success so far: adopting an ecommerce platform that integrates natively with their CMS—in their case, WooCommerce and WordPress VIP. (Be sure to check out the webinar for more insights!)
1. Increased flexibility
One of the benefits of choosing an integrated CMS and ecommerce platform is increased flexibility. “We’re a very small team at OKdo,” Adrian explained. “We’re part of a large organization, but our team is very small. Having the entire platform integrated helps us be nimble.”
From the beginning, Allie knew WordPress VIP and WooCommerce would be a great fit for OKdo’s needs. “To me, having content and your ecommerce platform together seems natural,” she elaborated. “Any gap in connecting those together leads to delay.”
“It literally was a Friday lunchtime idea and it was live by Monday.”
2. The ability to quickly spin up new offerings
Another benefit is the ability to get to market quickly. “With a B2C business model,” Allie said, “you’re not just marketing a product—you’re marketing an idea.” And bringing new ideas to life requires tools that empower rapid product launches.
One example: when the UK received notice earlier this year that schools would be closing to limit the spread of COVID-19, Adrian knew OKdo could help.
“We hit on a campaign called Kits for Kids. We had a bit of a flash of inspiration that we could pull something together to create a value-add offer targeted at children and families at home trying to learn something and keep occupied,” Adrian said.
Luckily Adrian’s team had recently upgraded to Gutenberg, the WordPress block editor, which made it super simple to create new branded, modular product pages and launch them within days across multiple markets. “It literally was a Friday lunchtime idea and it was live by Monday.”
To promote the offering, OKdo employees took kits home and recorded videos of their own kids playing with the product. They pushed it out on social and generated strong engagement. “It was quite popular,” said Adrian. “It wasn’t about making a ton of revenue—it didn’t set the accountants’ hearts beating. But it did help build the brand.” And as a fairly new company, building brand awareness is a huge win.
3. Bringing out the best in your team
Finally, an agile CMS can bring out the best in your team. Easy tools with intuitive workflows enable each contributor to deliver quality work in a timely manner instead of wasting their time wrestling with clunky software.
Allie has seen this dynamic play out in real-time with WordPress VIP and WooCommerce at OKdo.
“Last week we had a product launch with OKdo that involved updating products, creating a landing page, creating a press release, making changes to the home page, updating the hero, all of that kind of stuff. And it all being in the same system meant that people who are experts at managing products also became experts at creating content.”
When asked about the future of OKdo, Adrian emphasized the role of content in OKdo’s ongoing business growth.
“We want to reach as many customers as we can, through not just product but through content as well.” The SBC and IoT markets are both expanding rapidly, and Adrian knows OKdo will need to be proactive to compete with players like Google and Amazon.
With WordPress VIP and WooCommerce, he’s got a game plan for success. “It’s more content, it’s better content; it’s more product, it’s better product, and doing it all at scale.”
We are proud to welcome Shutterstock as a new Featured Technology Partner!
Shutterstock joins our growing group of partners with proven excellence in implementing solutions and integrations for WordPress at scale. They are also the leading global image provider to enterprise brands, marketing agencies, and media organizations with offices around the world and customers in 150 countries.
Shutterstock is a 17-year old, leading global technology company offering high-quality assets, tools, and services through its creative platform.
Made in New York City, with over 1,000 employees across offices in Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, Paris, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Toronto, and Dublin.
More than 340 million images; over 1.5 million images added every week with a focus on volume and an unbiased advanced search experience.
Shutterstock is a premier source of editorial images for the world’s media and works with thousands of marketing agencies and enterprise corporations around the globe.
Meet the new Shutterstock WordPress Plugin: Enterprise users can now license images and editorial photos seamlessly within WordPress, which allows them to streamline production workflow so they publish faster and with more engaging content.
“Our new integration into WordPress VIP furthers our mission to maximize the impact and accessibility of Shutterstock content for our enterprise clients,” said Alex Reynolds, VP of Platform Solutions at Shutterstock.
“By surfacing hyper-relevant visuals at the point of production and publishing, we are helping the world’s most notable brands get their message to market more efficiently and effectively than ever before.”
Storyware launched as a one-man consulting endeavor in 2005 and quickly scaled into a tight-knit team of highly skilled creatives. Storyware has always been passionate about crafting straightforward user experiences for customers to express their stories, ideas, and information in imaginative and engaging ways.
As a long time Tumblr partner, Storyware is no stranger to working with high profile clients with time-sensitive needs. Their client list includes many household names such as Kate Spade, The Home Depot, and Pfizer.
Each of Storyware’s projects starts and ends with the same goal: to build flexible, accessible websites that serve their client’s needs and meet their business objectives. WordPress has always been at the forefront of Storyware’s work and they’ve invested over a decade specializing in pushing its boundaries to make it even easier to use.
Whether that requires custom API integrations, ecommerce, multisite networks, multilingual architecture, event management solutions (or pretty much anything else you can think up), they’ve got you covered.
It is such an honor to be a part of the WordPress VIP agency partner program. We look forward to working on many projects together and contributing in new ways to the enterprise WordPress ecosystem.
Todd Wickersty, Cofounder and CEO of Storyware
Find more information about Storyware’s partnership with WordPress VIP here.
Today we are thrilled to celebrate a milestone in Salesforce’s digital transformation journey: the launch of The 360 Blog, powered by WordPress VIP.
As Salesforce’s Vice President of Content Marketing, Hayley Nelson, explained in our conversation earlier this year, Salesforce is on a mission to tell impactful stories that provide customers with relevant, timely information to confront the challenges keeping them up at night.
Agility is key to creating a valuable customer experience
With content at the heart of their customer experience, Salesforce knew they needed a CMS agile enough to empower them to respond quickly to changes in the market. When COVID-19 hit, for example, the content marketing team rallied to create the Leading Through Change series—to deliver helpful guidance to business leaders navigating the unknown.
“Unfortunately, our legacy publishing systems were not as flexible as we were, and it took weeks, not days to create the key pages we needed to house our new initiative,” wrote Hayley in her post introducing the new blog. “We’re optimistic this kind of pivot will go differently in the future.”
Usable software provides both flexibility and control
Hayley also needed a CMS that could ensure Salesforce’s marketing team—over 1,000 strong—could deliver a consistent customer experience across all their channels. The intuitive WordPress editorial interface makes it easy for large teams to build exactly what they need while adhering to a cohesive design system.
“With WordPress’s drag-and-drop modules and a full range of options for multimedia embeds, we’ll have greater flexibility to customize the presentation of our stories,” Hayley wrote.
“We are also now poised to efficiently deliver content to our global community in multiple languages, and soon we’ll scale this infrastructure and design system to nearly 20 markets around the world.”
A next-generation digital experience
Behind the scenes, WordPress VIP and our agency partner10up worked hand-in-hand with Salesforce’s team to build, migrate, and deploy this new digital experience on the VIP Cloud. The project builds on the success of other launches on our platform including the Salesforce Newsroom and is a key demonstration of the agility that WordPress VIP provides. Core to our mission is to empower customers like Salesforce to focus less on infrastructure and more on delivering a valuable customer experience.
Salesforce is without a doubt one of the most transformational companies of our time and we are pleased to partner with them as they bring their next-generation digital experience platform to life. Stay tuned.
We are proud to welcome Zephr as a new technology partner!
Zephr joins our growing group of partners implementing solutions for enterprise publishers and marketers using WordPress at scale. They lead the market with an intuitive, drag-and-drop customer journey builder.
Zephr’s initial focus and vision is to allow their partners to create the best customer journeys in a totally new, code-free, highly iterative way—and their ongoing product development is informed by years of experience building identity, subscription and paywall solutions. Founded in 2017 and headquartered in London, they already work with dozens of major clients globally, including a host of international media brands such as Conde Nast, News Corp and Dennis Publishing.
Zephr’s best-in-breed platform helps clients in the media and publishing industry build stronger customer relationships and create more long-term customer value. Non-technical teams can use Zephr to design, A/B test, and deploy data-driven registration, subscription, and retention journeys at scale. Their code-free UI allows business users to optimize those journeys in real-time, with no tech dependency to hold them back.
“This partnership cements Zephr as part of the best-in-breed digital ecosystem,” said Zephr CEO James Henderson. “We’re excited to help brands using WordPress to dynamically alter customer journeys in real-time, offering unique, tailored experiences that bring real value to both customer and brand, driving better acquisition and customer lifetime value.”
As we look to the upcoming 2020 U.S. elections, political parties are conducting more virtual events than ever, and media outlets are experiencing major surges in traffic.
In an environment of increasing cybersecurity attacks across the digital landscape, we want to highlight the best-in-class security measures which empower WordPress VIP customers to operate safely and securely throughout the election season and beyond.
This post shares our best practices alongside steps customers can take in the shared responsibility of protecting application security.
With WordPress VIP, customers get built-in security on multiple levels using best practices based on years of experience protecting WordPress at scale. Best-in-class security protection is baked into the platform down to the metal and this is no different during the election season.
Visit our security page to learn about the individual components of our security best practices, including network security, data security, vulnerability management, and more.
Security during election season
WordPress VIP has a proven track record of providing a secure and stable platform throughout the election season. During election week in 2016, WordPress VIP provided 100% uptime for customers with significant traffic spikes, including FiveThirtyEight, which received in a single day the amount of traffic we see in an entire week at some of the world’s most popular sites.
In the rare instance of a service disruption, we embrace a key tenet of the Automattic Creed: communication is oxygen.
WordPress VIP will always, as soon as reasonably practical, provide information on the nature of a disruption, the steps being taken to remedy the disruption, and the expected duration of the disruption. Here are a few places to bookmark to stay up-to-date with service statuses:
If the WordPress VIP Lobby is unavailable, information and updates will be provided by email to the address we have on file for your account or via Twitter @wpvipstatus.
Following a service disruption, Automattic will post information on the cause and resolution of the issue to the WordPress VIP Lobby as soon as it is available.
Quelling potential threats
By its very nature, the open source WordPress platform maintains a strong security posture. Unlike closed and proprietary software, WordPress has an entire ecosystem of contributors actively monitoring for security threats. The WordPress security team, for example, is a global community of experienced developers and security researchers that proactively identifies and resolves vulnerabilities in the software.
As an added layer of protection, WordPress VIP has many active measures in place to combat potential enterprise security threats. These protections include:
WordPress VIP manages WordPress core updates automatically. Employees of Automattic, WordPress VIP’s parent company, compose about half of the WordPress security team, and its lead is WordPress VIP’s very own Jake Spurlock. Updating themes and plugins is still a customer responsibility, but we help guide customers with any concerns.
We automatically detect and mitigate brute force login attempts to both /wp-login.php and /xmlrpc.php at our edges as well as within WordPress via our platform and systems teams. Administrator-level users must use 2FA to access any site on our platform.
All of our web servers are run in read-only mode. This blocks access to the underlying file system which could be used to install a backdoor shell or other malicious files. What this means is that even if user credentials are brute-forced and 2FA is bypassed, an attacker is still unable to execute many common attacks.
We are committed to reacting quickly to “zero-day” events and working with you on a solution. Zero-day exploits are inherently challenging to defend against because they are novel. However, our proximity to WordPress core development grants us insight into security patches as soon as they are available.
Security is a shared responsibility
Holistic application security is a shared responsibility between WordPress VIP and our customers. That’s why we created a best practices checklist to help ensure your systems and processes play their part in safeguarding your applications, which you can download here:
Security is our number one priority, during election season and every other day of the year. We are deeply committed to safeguarding our customers’ sites and data. For more information on our enterprise-grade security protocols, visit wpvip.com/security or get in touch.
And don’t forget—perhaps the most important step U.S. citizens can take during this election season is to get out and vote!
Andrew Binns is an expert on technology infrastructure for major events. His experience includes the Super Bowl Halftime Show, Tony Awards, and NFL kickoff, in addition to the last five Democratic National Conventions (DNCs). His role in the DNC goes all the way back to 2004—when WordPress itself was just a year old.
As COO of the 2020 Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC), Andrew led the transformation of this year’s convention into a fully-remote, high-performing digital experience. This historic event attracted a record-breaking 35.5 million digital viewers and suffered zero security incidents or outages.
WordPress VIP was proud to serve as the official digital platform partner for this year’s convention, and I recently had the chance to interview Andrew and Hannah Flom, Director of Digital Communications at the 2020 DNCC, about their experience pivoting to digital. (Be sure to watch the webinar for the full insights!) Below are a few of the tips Andrew shared to mitigate risk while conceptualizing, building, and managing high-impact enterprise technology productions.
Plan for every scenario. And then plan for 100 more.
The only way to make sure you’re prepared for every scenario, Andrew argues, is to literally prepare for every scenario. As soon as the pandemic hit, the DNCC team spent three weeks doing intensive scenario planning, where directors organized teams to come up with every possible outcome for the convention itself, from hosting it in-person to going 100% remote and everything in between. This approach empowered stakeholders to make timely and informed technology investment decisions.
“We literally had three teams come in and just come up with all of these crazy, crazy options for us,” explained Andrew. Then, they presented each of these scenarios to leadership, with recommendations for how to move forward. “We said, ‘These are all the options. This is when you have to make the decisions. This is how much money things will cost. This is how much money things will cost if you don’t make the decision on time.’”
Make redundancy a priority.
During the webinar, one attendee asked, “What was the backup plan in case one of the feeds went down?”
“We have backups, on backups, on backups,” Andrew said. “One of the things that we do from the very, very beginning is redundancy diversity on our circuits, on our hardware, on our software, on our programming, everything.”
This is especially important if you’re operating video streams from multiple remote locations, like Andrew’s team was. “From the very beginning we work with major ISPs, and major partners—like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, AT&T, Comcast, Spectrum—to make sure that anything we get in there, we have redundant and diverse networking.”
To optimize reliability and redundancy, Andrew also recommends using multiple paths of travel. In addition to IP-based connectivity, the DNCC coordinated satellite, fiber, and point-to-point setups.
Opt for open source.
The DNCC needed technology tools with best-in-class security and unsurpassed flexibility. For Andrew, that means open source—specifically, WordPress VIP.
“Open source is a good security posture. … WordPress is probably the most successful product tied to open source software out there, and that’s for good reason. There are so many people looking at the code, so many people fixing it when there are issues; I think it helps us on the security side.”
Flexibility is also key when planning a complex project like the convention. Choosing open source software opens up a world of technology integrations that are readily available to confront business challenges. (For more, read our report on the most widely adopted enterprise WordPress technology integrations.)
“Generally, if you have something you want to build, you have the ability to do it either with built-in or third-party plugins or custom coding,” said Andrew. “So across the board, WordPress is good on both the ability to adjust and change and flex, and also the security side.”
As the leaders in enterprise WordPress, Andrew turned to WordPress VIP to power a secure and flexible platform. “The security, the trust, the expertise, is what brought us to WordPress VIP.”
Build to the unknown.
Above all, when planning for any kind of large-scale technology production, Andrew says it’s essential to build toward the unknown. “We never know what’s going to happen. [The pandemic] was not on the list of things that we had expected, certainly, but the process that we had built on the infrastructure side was easily shifted and could take this on.”
According to Gartner, marketing teams spend approximately 30% of their budget on content creation.
That’s nearly a third of their entire budget, dedicated to producing content.
And it makes sense: the modern customer experience is a digital one. Content has become the primary way businesses interact with their customers. Across every major industry, smart brands turn to content to engage and nurture potential customers, build new revenue channels, measure customer satisfaction, and more.
Given this expanding role of content in today’s business strategies, how a company produces content is becoming just as important as what they produce. If an organization is investing a third of its marketing resources on content creation, that process needs to be as agile as possible.
An enterprise content hub is a data store that centralizes all of an organization’s content in a single repository and provides the flexibility to create once, publish everywhere.
Via APIs, it can also separate, or decouple, the editorial experience from the customer experience, so teams can use one backend system to push content to multiple devices and platforms, including apps, syndication networks, digital displays, and more.
Why use an enterprise content hub?
Large organizations often struggle to streamline content production across multiple teams. Content might be siloed across several CMSs, and the technology, marketing, and design teams may only be comfortable operating certain platforms.
An enterprise content hub removes those barriers, simplifies the content technology stack, and creates a pathway to a more effective content strategy.
Some other advantages of this approach include:
Content hubs empower content creators to focus on producing unique content and avoiding duplication of effort. It provides teams with the freedom to focus on the areas they know best, and thus, produce their best work.
Content hubs equip your product and marketing teams to get to market faster by streamlining content delivery across every channel. Rules can be configured so that posts that meet specific criteria are published across multiple sites immediately, without the need for human intervention.
Create once, publish everywhere
Whenever an organization has disparate content management systems (which is often the case), it becomes challenging to publish articles across all properties. An enterprise content hub can be a centralized store for all content, allowing different teams to republish content according to their particular approach.
Content hubs are also valuable in the personalization context, where curated, branded, or generated content for a topic is displayed and customized for each audience member. Having a centralized hub makes it easier to manage and enforce the categories, tags, and taxonomies that power personalized experiences behind the scenes.
Rapid prototyping without hampering editorial
Decoupled applications help organizations rapidly prototype and improve the end-user experience without impacting the editorial workflow. An enterprise content hub is inherently decoupled as there is a content provider (the hub) and content consumers (the various digital properties). It’s a step beyond the typical decoupled architecture as the consumer could display a wide variety of content from multiple sources.
Dynamic content feeds
A standalone marketing site microsite might require a different technology stack than other sites, and may rely primarily on evergreen content. Traditionally, these sites are unable to accommodate new content as their content creators are involved only for the initial launch. An enterprise content hub enables these smaller sites to publish new, relevant articles without the need for manual curation.
Removing intra-organizational barriers
Providing autonomy to teams without hindering shareability can be onerous. Centralizing the content breaks intra-organizational barriers in content sharing and helps provide a more unified, consistent experience across all digital platforms.
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Ultimately, an enterprise content hub breaks down organizational silos and sets up your content creators for success as they will be able to reuse existing content and create new content more efficiently.
As the roster of WordPress VIP Technology Partners continues to grow, we’ll update you here on some of the best new features, integrations, and events for enterprise publishers and marketers building on the open web.
For another way to build critical page building and design workflow into a highly performant WYSIWYG experience in the WordPress Block Editor, be sure to check out the latest from Setka, one of our Featured Technology Partners. Setka CEO Kate Bazilevskaya spoke at the Knotch Pros and Content Connect event in June 2020, sponsored by WordPress VIP. Don’t miss this longform post covering how to be a successful “Content Experience Disruptor” in 2020 and beyond. (It’s also a great illustration of what’s possible with Setka.)
Today we live pretty much all of our lives online, so we expect a lot more from technology and digital interaction. That’s why most of today’s biggest innovations don’t involve solving a new functional problem entirely, but instead finding a way of doing something that provides a better experience for the user. In other words, most innovation now comes from “EXPERIENCE DISRUPTORS.”
Consider the big picture and commit to active engagement. It’s not only about the day your attendees log on and watch live panels or keynote sessions; it’s also about everything leading up to it and everything that follows when it’s all said and done. It’s about curating active engagement through email invitations, social posts, customer calls, press releases, etc.
Learn from WordPress VIP Customers
When it comes to selecting best-in-class technology integrations for your enterprise content management platform, one great source of inspiration might be WordPress VIP customers. Read our first ever Technology Integrations Report to find out what our customers find most useful in key categories including Personalization, Business Intelligence, and Digital Asset Management.
Cultural appropriation was the result that came from running ads that said things like “It’s lit” while not showing any African American people. It’s an old American story to profit from parts of Black culture without reference.
Ready to learn more about the WordPress VIP Technology Partnership program? Read about all our partners, or get in touch to become a partner today.
At WordPress VIP, we have witnessed our customers build amazingly powerful and flexible platforms to fulfill their digital experience strategies. The fun part is, no two of these platforms are exactly alike. That’s one of the best things about enterprise WordPress: it’s endlessly customizable. Brands can choose from hundreds of plugins and integrations to build exactly what they need.
Inspired by these customers, we recently set out to gather insights on the most popular technology integrations for common business requirements. We surveyed customers across three continents, including countries like Guatemala, England, Switzerland, and Australia. True to our roots, the majority of respondents came from the media industry, but we also had respondents from companies in financial services, pharmaceuticals, sports/entertainment, and travel/hospitality.
We hope this survey will provide helpful insights for business leaders looking to better understand the richness of the enterprise WordPress ecosystem. There’s a tool for just about everything, and if there’s not, there’s a global pool of talented developers to help you build it.
Over almost two decades of web development, Aleph’s band of creative misfits has worked to bring WordPress to enterprises of all shapes and sizes.
Aleph’s approach to client work focuses on content and context, meaning they tailor the technology to fit what is being communicated, not the other way around. They revel in a scrappy, small-team culture that brings together a diversity of opinions, backgrounds, and skillsets. Aleph’s staff takes real ownership of each client project. Above all else, they seek to cultivate longevity in both their web projects and client relationships.
Clients who work with Aleph have immediate access to a trove of experience across industries, technologies, and trends, supported by years of demonstrated success for huge brands, renowned design firms, and vital nonprofit causes, among others.
Their developers have built everything you can imagine with enterprise WordPress, from large-scale publishing platforms for media organizations like KQED, to communications and recruiting portals for Airbnb, and even a SaaS platform to help small municipalities with efficient waste management called Recyclist. As true user interface experts, Aleph’s devs often pair WordPress with stunning design and cutting edge front end frameworks to deliver superlative, design-driven experiences.
“It’s a huge plus for both us and our clients to have such close ties with WordPress VIP. Knowing we can offer this caliber of a platform to our largest clients, and that we can work directly with WordPress VIP to address our clients’ needs, is a great thing.”
In the decade-plus that we’ve brought the benefits of WordPress to large organizations, we have learned their needs are concentrated in four key areas: agility, flexibility, simplicity, and ownership. VIP Go addresses each of those needs in a powerful, intuitive platform with the rock-solid performance and reliability our customers have come to expect from WordPress VIP.
What are the benefits of VIP Go?
With VIP Go, our customers’ development and marketing teams are more agile than ever. VIP Go introduces GitHub workflows and a new command-line interface (the VIP CLI) which puts more power in developers’ hands to ship new code quickly. Editorial teams enjoy the same intuitive interface as before, with faster turnaround time for shipping new sites and projects.
Direct access to the WordPress API makes it easier than ever for our customers to build exactly the experiences they’re looking to deliver with seamless third-party integrations. With the introduction of true pre-production environments, teams are able to experiment freely, test thoroughly, and tweak to their hearts’ content—all before making any changes to the customer-facing application.
Can we say three cheers for added simplicity anywhere we can get it these days? Our engineers built VIP Go based on over a decade of expertise powering the most sophisticated implementations of WordPress at scale. Over the years, we’ve learned what works, what doesn’t, and how to optimize the experience (from performance to usability to security) so customers never have to worry about things like uptime or traffic spikes. VIP Go bakes that expertise into the very infrastructure of the platform, so customers are free to focus their attention and resources on driving revenue and delivering their product roadmap.
The new VIP Dashboard grants additional visibility and access to content syncs, domain mapping, command line history, and more, putting control of the application in the developers’ hands. The VIP-CLI makes it convenient to run commands and query applications. Furthermore, code review is no longer required, though it is still available for customers on a by-request basis. Our goal is to grant our customers increased ownership of their applications while continuing to provide the world-class support that has always defined our approach to customer partnerships.
As of today, over 75% of our customers are already enjoying the added benefits of VIP Go. This group includes some of our larger organizations with complex, mission-critical applications—think brands like Intuit, Vanguard, Facebook, and more. Each of these companies migrated from our previous platform to VIP Go with great success, and we’re excited to move nearly all of our customers onto VIP Go by September 30, 2020. At that point, we will begin phasing out support for sites on WordPress.com VIP and transition completely to VIP Go by November 1, 2020. (Are you a current customer with a question about your migration? Please reach out to your Relationship Manager for more details.)
VIP Go is a significant milestone in bringing the best of open source to large organizations who need agility, flexibility, simplicity, and ownership in their software in order to bring out the best in their teams and their business. Content forms the heart of every customer experience, and we believe every customer experience should be delightful. We are proud to play a role in making the web a better place, one deploy at a time.
Now more than ever, “customer experience” has become synonymous with “digital experience,” and the quality of these experiences is a key indicator of business health. Our colleagues at IDC (a global market research firm) seem to agree: a recent study found that 91% of tech vendors consider customer experience a “top business priority.”
However, executing a strong digital customer experience strategy can be more challenging than it looks. It requires a constellation of best-in-class tools and technologies working in sync to minimize risk and grow revenue.
At WordPress VIP, our main goal is to help our customers empower amazing results for their customers. So we were curious: what major trends are shaping customer experience strategies in 2020 and beyond? How can business leaders manage the many complex processes involved in delivering a unified customer experience? We teamed up with IDC to find out and created this free report to share the insights.
The report addresses topics like:
Big-picture trends in customer experience research
The biggest challenges for today’s digital experience teams
Advice for organizations looking to improve their digital experience management capabilities
The report’s author is Marci Maddox, who has been researching content technologies and workflows for over a decade. Her core research coverage includes the evolution of enterprise content, customer communications, content sharing, and collaboration.
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.