Big Media & Enterprise WordPress Meetup: Metro UK’s Powerful Content Algorithm

A huge thank you to everyone who attended our first WordPress Big Media & Enterprise WordPress Meetup in London last Wednesday! We had a solid group who came out to the event to hear the presentations, and afterwards we all went nearby to continue the networking.

We had a great lineup of speakers from the London and UK community who are using WordPress for their big media and enterprise sites in different ways:

• Dave Jensen, Metro.co.uk, Head of Development, “Metro’s Content Algorithm

 Lee Aylett, IPC Media, Head of Web Technology, “Breaking the Project Management Triangle”

• Ed Coke-Steel, Rufflr, “RUFFLR – not just another WordPress site

• Simon Dickson, Code for the People, Director, “Seeing your content as WordPress sees it.

We were able to film all of the talks and we’ll be posting the videos of those talks right here on VIP News.

For the first installment, Dave Jensen (@elgrom) from Metro UK (hosted right here on WordPress.com VIP) explains how Metro continually experiments with their content algorithm to promote and feature the most interesting content for their readers and increase engagement on their site and mobile apps.

Dave recently shared some insight on how Metro UK has grown 350% through some growth hack experiments, so he provides another great inside look on what Metro has been doing internally to tweak their site content.

Below is his slide deck and the video from his presentation — thanks, Dave!

https://speakerdeck.com/elgrom/metros-newsfeed-algorithm

To see the presentations from previous Big Media & Enterprise WordPress Meetups, click hereFor Big Media & Enterprise WordPress Meetup groups in other cities, see the full list on VIP Events and join your local group. 

Alberta Motor Association launches on WordPress.com VIP

Welcome to Alberta Motor Association (AMA), who recently launched on WordPress.com VIP Cloud Hosting! The AMA is a non-profit membership organization serving Alberta and the Northwest Territories, and is affiliated with the Canadian Automobile Association and AAA.

The Alberta Motor Association provides its members with roadside assistance service, a range of auto touring and leisure travel services, insurance services, and member discounts with partners.

AMA Home Page   AMA   Alberta Motor Association   CAA Alberta

The AMA site is packed full of features, including the ability for potential members to get a quote for their life, home, or auto insurance needs directly online.

Auto Insurance   Home Insurance   Life Insurance   Insurance   AMA

 

The AMA also offers extensive travel planning as a benefit, and members can plan their next cruise, vacation, or even business trip using their customized travel planning tool.

AMA Travel   Flights   Hotels   All Inclusive   Last Minute Deals   AMA

Visit the Alberta Motor Association site.

Interested in WordPress.com VIP for your corporate or enterprise site? Get in touch.

Buyers Rejoice! Roadloans.com launches on WordPress.com VIP

Congrats and welcome to RoadLoans.com, who just launched on WordPress.com VIP Hosting. It’s a great example of a corporate site packed with information & tools for their customers!
Car Loans l Car Refinance l Roadloans.com

RoadLoans’ guides to buying, getting loans, and other helpful information when it comes to test driving, buying, and financing a car are also supplemented with their shopping tools which help consumers make decisions on-the-go about which car is right for them.
Shopping Tools

The RoadLoans team also regularly blogs to keep their users informed about the latest happenings around the automotive world, and some tips & tricks, too.
Blog

 

Visit RoadLoans.com.

Interested in WordPress.com VIP for your corporate or enterprise site? Get in touch.

A New VIP Training course: Security, Performance, & Debugging

WordPress.com VIP Training Days - Security, Performance, & DebuggingAfter the success of our two initial training courses, we’re launching a second developer course in June in San Francisco!

The new course, WordPress Fundamentals: Security, Performance, & Debugging draws from issues and examples we’ve seen here with our WordPress.com VIP clients. We’ve worked with numerous VIP clients to make their sites more secure, faster, and able to scale WordPress for high traffic, and we’ll now work with you to help make the sites you build safe and scalable.

Below is a complete description of the course. You can sign up for the new training course in June in San Francisco now!

WordPress Fundamentals: Security, Performance, & Debugging is a day-long, intensive course meant to improve WordPress developers’ in advanced concepts like security and performance. Attendees should be familiar with developing WordPress plugins and themes or should have attended our Developer Fundamentals I course.

We’ll cover the basics of writing fast and secure code. Attendees will see and try popular profiling tools and we will show common performance problems, both on the front- and the back-end. Instead of just listing vulnerabilities, attendees will learn how to think like an attacker and exploit the vulnerabilities before fixing them.

Prerequisites

  • Proficiency with PHP development.
  • Awareness of WordPress as a platform, including common terminology such as a post, a page, widgets, and sidebars.
  • Proficiency with basic WordPress plugin and theme development – actions, filters, loading assets, main core APIs.
  • The latest version of VirtualBox: https://www.virtualbox.org/

Curriculum Overview

  • Performance: common reasons for slow back-end code
  • Performance: profiling back-end code with WordPress tools
  • Performance: profiling back-end code with lower level tools
  • Performance: profiling tools for front-end code and asset loading
  • Security: common types of vulnerabilities
  • Security: exploiting and fixing XSS problems
  • Security: exploiting and fixing SQL injection problems
  • Security: exploiting and fixing CSRF vulnerabilities
  • Security: exploiting and fixing remote file inclusion attacks

Sign up for the Security, Performance, & Debugging course in June in San Francisco, or take a look at our other upcoming events and training!

VIP Workshop 2014 v3 Recap

At the beginning of the month, dozens of WordPress.com VIP clients, partners, and team members gathered in Napa, California for our 3rd WordPress.com VIP Intensive Developer Workshop! This year was our largest event yet, though with a restricted number of attendees so we could keep the feeling of the event intimate and small.

We some great feedback from the attendees:
100% of participants surveyed said they would recommend the conference to their colleagues and
92.68% said they would come again!

Developers from the WordPress.com VIP team and extended Automattic team led our hands-on workshops focused on Security, Performance, and Elasticsearch and attendees also had a chance to sit down 1-on-1 with members of the VIP team to talk through their development aims or hack on a problem.

We again had some great flash talks from VIP clients and partners, and this year’s presentations included talks from CBS Local, Re/code, USA Today, Digital First Media, BlueHost, The New York Times, Tribune Broadcasting, and Interactive One.

The event provided a lot of networking opportunities and we’re hopeful the fruits of some of the discussions and ideas which happened over the course of three days will make their way into those VIP sites, projects, and contributions to WordPress soon!

If you missed this year’s VIP Workshop, don’t worry! We’re doing our 1-day in-person training courses, VIP Training Days, in 3 cities in the near-term, in Toronto, London, and San Francisco. In conjunction with the training for developers and superusers, we’re also helping to host the Big Media & Enterprise Meetups in those cities as well. Find out more and sign up for the meetup groups and for the training.

And keep your eye on our Events and Training pages to see what we’ve got planned in the future!

Here are some scenes from this year’s VIP Workshop: 

Interested in hearing more about WordPress.com VIP Training and Events? Check out our Events and Training pages and sign up for our newsletter.

You can recaps of the past events here: VIP Workshop 2013, VIP Workshop 2012.

Toronto, London, Boston, San Francisco Big Media & Enterprise Meetups Coming Soon!

Following the success of the Big Media & Enterprise Meetups in New York City, we’re going to help roll those out to three more cities in the next few months: Toronto, London, Boston, and San Francisco!

If you’ve never been to a meetup, they are focused on the operation, development, and scaling of large, high-traffic WordPress websites. The meetup features four 10-minute presentations, followed by an evening of networking. Take a peek at previous presentations here.

We’ve just created Meetup groups for the upcoming events in Toronto, London, and San Francisco, which start in May and June. Please join your local group and recommend it to your friends and colleagues in the area!

Toronto:

London: 

Boston

San Francisco:

Even if you can’t make the next Meetup, be sure to sign up for your local group so that you’re kept in the loop for the next event. If you’re interested in speaking, helping find space for the next meetup, or volunteering in general, leave a comment here and we’ll be in touch.

VIP Training Days in Toronto, London & San Francisco

We’re excited to announce upcoming VIP Training Days in Toronto, London, and San Francisco!

WordPress.com VIP Training Days

VIP Training Days are intensive, one-day in-person training courses led by a team of WordPress.com VIP instructors. We’ve already had two great sessions in San Francisco and New York, and we’re planning on doing many more.

We deliberately limit the size of each class to no more than 20 people with each team of VIP instructors so you can ask as many questions as you need to, and can get individual attention and assistance from the instructors.

In each location, we’ll be offering our existing Developer Fundamentals I and Superuser courses, and in San Francisco in June, we’ll be debuting a new course, Developer Fundamentals: Security, Debugging, & Performance, which we’ll introduce in the coming days in more detail.

Here are the upcoming dates & links to register for those courses! You can read on below for more information about the other courses, or go directly to the event registration pages where each course is explained in detail.

Hurry up and register! Space is limited for each class, and we definitely expect to sell out for each. VIP Training Days courses are open to the public, so VIP clients and non-VIP participants are equally welcome to sign up!  These courses are suitable for both self-hosted and WordPress.com VIP sites/superusers/developers – the large majority of the material will focus on core WordPress functionality/features.

We’re also hosting the Big Media & Enterprise WordPress Meetup in each of those cities during the training week. Find out more about the event, and sign up to the group to get notifications!

About the courses:

Developer Fundamentals I Training

Description

WordPress Fundamentals I is a day-long, intensive course meant to introduce PHP developers to programming for WordPress. Attendees should be familiar with WordPress as a tool, and have a working understanding of its general terminology. Proficiency with PHP is also a must, but no knowledge of the WordPress code itself is expected. This is a great course for developers looking to build sites which will scale to VIP levels, and write secure and scalable code.

Prerequisites

  • Proficiency with basic PHP development.
  • Awareness of WordPress as a platform, including common terminology such as a post, a page, widgets, and sidebars.
  • A local development environment running WordPress Trunk. We will provide a virtual machine ahead of time for participants who don’t have their own development environments, but they will be responsible for setting it up ahead of time.

Course Materials & Requirements

Each student will provide their own computer (laptop) for the course, with working wifi functionality. A lunch break and light lunch will be provided by WordPress.com VIP. Students should have a local working copy of WordPress trunk installed and tested prior to the training. To download trunk: http://wordpress.org/download/svn/

Curriculum Overview

  • Intro to WordPress core, SVN, and Trac, history and culture
  • Developer environment and debugging tools
  • WordPress Development Best Practices
  • Introduction to Plugins
  • Actions and filters
  • Introduction to Themes
  • The Loop & WP_Query
  • More on themes
  • …and more!

Superuser Training

Description

In this course, you’ll learn how to manage and use the WordPress interface from a site owner’s point of view; as someone who will be managing multiple users, their permissions, and ultimately sharing knowledge with them about how to use WordPress to publish a great site with an active community and/or audience. We like to think of this course as our teachers teaching your teachers – those who will serve as the WordPress expert in an organization.

We’ll also do a deep dive into the publishing process so our superusers can teach their editors, authors, and contributors how to best use the WordPress interface. From creating and publishing posts to managing tags and categories, from mastering multimedia and images in articles, and bulk management of posts and pages, we’ll cover the entire publishing process from draft to done.

Prerequisites

Users should have a working (beyond basic) knowledge of the WordPress administration panel / backend. They should be managers, administrators, or editors of an existing or future WordPress site with multiple users.

Course Materials & Requirements

Each student will provide their own laptop computer (no tablets) for the course, with working wifi functionality. A lunch break and light lunch will be provided by WordPress.com VIP to all students. For the purposes of the course, students will be given access to a WordPress.com site. Users will be requested to create a WordPress.com username if they don’t have one, and this username will be submitted to the course instructor. To create a WordPress.com username: http://en.wordpress.com/signup/

Curriculum Overview

  • User Management: roles, permissions, and invitations
  • User Profiles: settings, preferences, and Gravatars
  • Comments: moderation, spam, and notifications
  • Creating & Publishing posts
  • Managing tags and categories
  • Mastering Media: images, galleries, and slideshows
  • Bulk management of Posts and Pages
  • …and more!

Sign up for one of these courses!

If you’re interested in VIP training and can’t make it to this location or these dates, keep an eye on future VIP training events, or you can register your interest and let us know your location preferences (no commitment required). It’s possible we’ll add more dates or locations in the future.

The Dream Internship: Work at Automattic (Summer 2014)

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

WordPress.com VIP provides hosting and support for high-profile, high-traffic WordPress sites, including Time.com, FiveThirtyEight.com, qz.com, TechCrunch.com, Observer.com, GigaOM.com, etc.

We currently have two open (paid) intern positions. You’ll be working on a range of projects depending on your skills and passions, but here’s an overview:

Development Intern: This internship is all about making things. You’ll likely be working on WordPress plugins for large media companies, or working on core WordPress.com features and development.

Communications Intern: This internship is all about improving client communications. You’ll likely be writing case studies, interviews, launch posts and new feature posts for the VIP News site, in addition to helping organize our fall events.

Where will you be working you may ask? Anywhere! We are a distributed company and are happy if you work from wherever you are — as long as you have a good broadband connection. The internship runs 8-10 weeks between June 1st and August 1st, 2014, 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’ve done and what you’d like to work on — for example, a killer plugin or integration, a feature improvement, a case study, etc. It’s OK if you’d like to keep your post private; your comment and link will remain private to the VIP team as well.

Send in your internship application by May 1st, but the earlier, the better. If you have any questions, please leave a comment and we’ll get back to you!

InStyle Launches New Look for What’s Right Now

TIME’s InStyle launched new desktop and mobile designs of their popular fashion and lifestyle news site, InStyle’s What’s Right Now, on WordPress.com VIP Cloud Hosting.

InStyle What's Right Now

The fully responsive site features up-to-the-minute articles about fashion and celebrity news and has some great new features which they detail in their site refresh post:

“…effortless sharing from everywhere; a new way to save your favorite finds; bigger, bolder images; and a new How-To section packed with videos, slide shows and even a few GIFS that will show you how to get the latest fashion and beauty looks. What’s more, you’ll find the same clean and intuitive layouts on every device and screen size.”

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 4.00.34 PM

The site also tracks and showcases the stories which are most popular and are getting shared on various social media channels:

What's Popular on InStyle What's Right now

The WordPress.com VIP team was excited to help this get launched! Congrats to the InStyle team.

Want more information about WordPress services for your fashion or publishing site? Get in touch

Last-minute spots opened up for VIP Workshop

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Are you a developer or technical lead running a high-scale WordPress site? Are you interested in learning more about scaling, security, and performance from the WordPress.com VIP team and from other VIP clients and partners? 

Due to some last-minute changes, a couple of spots have opened up for the WordPress.com VIP Intensive Developer Workshop v3.0, which will take place at the end of the month from March 31st – April 3, 2014.

If you’re interested in participating, fill out the pre-registration form and we’ll follow up with you.

Pricing, schedule, and other information are all available on the VIP Workshop page.