New Plugin: Comprehensive Sitemaps

Map of Boston by Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL

We’re excited to announce the availability of a new plugin for WordPress.com VIPs: Comprehensive Sitemaps.

All WordPress.com sites come with XML sitemaps built-in. These files are automatically generated, cached for a 24-hour period, and updated whenever a post is published, updated, or deleted—however, they are also limited to the 1,000 most recent posts.

With Comprehensive Sitemaps, you can now build and serve sitemaps encompassing all of your content, to help give search engines an extra boost when crawling your site. This is done by using sitemap indexes and breaking down the files into years, months, and days. Additional care was taken to optimize the plugin for quick and fast delivery (individual sitemap files are pre-generated), and the plugin smartly handles post changes by updating only the affected sitemap files, so you’re always serving up-to-date content.

The code was originally written by the development team at Metro UK. Here’s what Paul Kevan, a Metro engineer, had to say about the plugin:

The sitemap plugin spawned out of a requirement to maintain our indexing when migrating over from our in-house CMS to WordPress.com. The default plugins only output 1000 posts and considering the Metro site had over 300k posts, we were worried about the indexing drop when we not only moved hosting but also changed the structure of our permalinks.

Three months later, thanks in part to the plugin, we had fully reindexed the whole site in Google with only a few minor problems.

When the VIP team got in touch to discuss open sourcing the plugin, we were only too pleased to say “yes”. The Metro development team is able to be very lean thanks to the services of WP.com VIP and we were conscious that the best way to repay this was contribute back to the community.

We worked closely with Paul and Metro’s development team to get the plugin into a shareable state. Other VIPs like Maker Media and Service Partners like Alley Interactive and 10up also offered to help and contributed code that helped further clean up or optimize the code or introduce new features.

Installing the Plugin

The plugin needs to be installed via your theme code:

wpcom_vip_load_plugin( 'msm-sitemap' );

Setting up Sitemaps

Once you’ve committed the code change to activate the plugin, please open a ticket so that we can generate the sitemap for you. We need to run a one-time process to generate the full archive; it’s rather resource-intensive and something that we can help run in a smooth manner.

Note: if you’re using custom post types and want to include them in the sitemap, you need to explicitly include them via the msm_sitemap_entry_post_type filter.

Follow Along

You can follow development on Github. If you come across problems, we ask that you first check the issues on Github and if the problem hasn’t already been reported, go ahead and create a new one. There are several fixes and improvements planned; pull requests are welcome and highly encouraged.

A big thank you to Metro UK for contributing this code back to the VIP community!

Map of Boston courtesy of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL.

The Dream Internship: Work at Automattic (Summer 2013)

Update: The application period is now closed. Thank you to all who have submitted an application! We’ll get in touch with potential candidates via email. 

Our company Automattic — which runs WordPress.com, Akismet, VaultPress, and many other services — is looking for a few stellar summer student development interns, specifically to work with us on the WordPress.com VIP team.

As a paid intern, you’ll be working on a range of projects depending on your skills & passions — everything from doing development work on plugins that improve WordPress functionality for large media companies to working on core WordPress.com features and development. Last year, our interns had a great time developing code for WordPress.com that launched and is still in use! One of our intern developers worked on an early version of WordPress.com Enterprise, and another worked on Push Syndication, which is live on the WordPress.com VIP platform now.

Where will you be working you may ask? Anywhere! We are a distributed company and are happy if you work from wherever you are — including your parent’s summer beach house — as long as you have a good broadband connection. The internship runs 8-10 weeks between June 1st and August 1st, 2013, but we are flexible on the dates.

Interested? Write up a post on your WordPress blog and leave a comment on this post with a link to it telling us what you’d work on — for example, a killer plugin or integration, a feature improvement, etc. Your comment and link will remain private to the VIP team.

Send in your internship application by May 1st, but the earlier, the better!

Looking forward to hearing from all of you.

Neil Leifer on WordPress.com VIP

Photos by Neil Leifer on WordPress.com VIP

You may not recognize the name, but you’ve seen his photos.

Neil Leifer, iconic staff photographer for Sports Illustrated, Time, and LIFE magazines (and one of Matt’s favourite photographers), now has a beautiful new home on WordPress.com VIP.

Here’s a snippet from Neil’s bio:

Leifer eventually became a staff photographer for Sports Illustrated before leaving in 1978 to become a staffer for Time magazine. In 1988 he was made a contributing photographer at LIFE magazine and spent the next two years dividing his time between Time and LIFE. When Leifer left Time Inc. in 1990, his photographs had appeared on over 200 Sports Illustrated, Time, and People covers—at that point, the most ever published of one photographer’s work in Time Inc. history.

Want to see his most memorable photos? Head on over to http://neilleifer.com.

Developer Plugin v1.0: Helping WordPress developers develop

One of the great things about developing for WordPress is the number of tools available for developers. WordPress core ships with a bunch of useful features (e.g. WP_DEBUG) with many more built by the community (like our own Rewrite Rules Inspector and VIP Scanner) that make development and debugging a breeze. The hardest part is getting your environment set up just right: knowing what constants to set, what plugins to install, and so on.

That’s why we built-in the Developer plugin. It’s your one-stop resource to optimally configure your development environment by making sure you have all the essential settings and plugins installed and available.

If you’re a WordPress developer, we highly recommend installing this plugin in your development environment. You can download the plugin from the WordPress.org Plugins Directory or directly from your WordPress Dashboard (Plugins > Add New).

Here’s a quick walk-through:

If you’d like to check out the code and contribute, join us on Github; pull requests are more than welcome.

Are there any tools, tips, and tricks that you’re using that we’ve missed? We’d love to add them to the plugin. Let us know in the comments.

Previous Post

Mo Jangda:

VIP Code Wrangler, Daniel Bachhuber breaks down some of the enhancements and bug fixes available in the most recent update to Co-Authors Plus.

Originally posted on danielbachhuber:

Co-Authors Plus makes it easy to add multiple bylines to a given post, and has full support for custom post types. Out just a moment ago, v2.6.2 has the following improvements:

  • AJAX user search matches against first name, last name, and nickname fields too, in addition to display name, user login, and email address.
  • Comment moderation and approved notifications are properly sent to all co-authors with the correct capabilities.
  • Filter required capability for user to be returned in an AJAX search with ‘coauthors_edit_author_cap’. This defaults to ‘edit_posts’
  • Filter out administrators and other non-authors from AJAX search with ‘coauthors_edit_ignored_authors’
  • Automatically adds co-authors to Edit Flow’s story budget and calendar views.
  • Bug fix: Don’t set post_author value to current user when quick editing a post. This doesn’t appear in the UI anywhere, but added the post to the current user’s list of posts. See related forum conversation.
  • Bug fix: Properly cc…

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