One of the biggest strengths of WordPress as a publishing platform is the depth of our community of consultants, developers, designers, and hosting providers. It can be tricky to figure out where to find pointers to awesome WordPress partners, so we’ve pulled together this mini-guide for publishers looking for help.
VIP Services: Hosting and Support
From the team that runs WordPress.com, at Automattic, we also offer VIP Services in the form of Hosting and Support. We’ve worked with more hosts than you can imagine, and in our opinion, the companies in our hosting directory represent some of the best and the brightest of the hosting world. If you’re a publisher with significant amounts of monthly traffic, VIP Hosting by WordPress.com is another option for your hosting needs. If you’d prefer to run WordPress on your own servers, but want some extra optimization, streamlining, or security help to future-proof your site for the traffic to come, you’ll want VIP Support.
CodePoet is a shortlist of WordPress consultants brought to you by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com. As the world’s largest operator of WordPress blogs (over 16 million and counting), we receive a steady stream of requests from people looking for WordPress savvy web design and software development firms. In response we’ve started CodePoet, a directory of consultants who specialize in building beautiful and efficient WordPress sites.
As many of you know, the VIP program that we run provides two services. The first is exclusive bullet-proof hosting on our WordPress.com grid for high-profile and high-traffic sites. And the second is a program open to all where we provide developer-to-developer support on scaling and development projects for self-hosted WordPress sites.
Here’s a short video explaining the program:
We previously had separate sites for these two services, and recently decided to simplify the sites, and combine them into one, vip.wordpress.com .
For WordPress VIP Support, we also introduced new levels of support based on the feedback we’ve received this past year, including a top tier with a much requested on-site visit option.
We have some exciting plans for the VIP program in 2010. First up, we will introduce a dedicated VIP Hosting portal for WordPress.com VIPs in the coming weeks, with documentation of all the special functions, lots of theme and system info, and best practice coding guidelines for WordPress.com. A bit further out we plan to streamline the support and ticketing system to provide a more complete 360 view of activity across multiple sites.
For VIP Support, expect new features and improvements to the private forum which will make finding answers more efficient and provide our team clearer information that will make the interactions better. And starting this year, we now include support for BuddyPress as part of VIP Support, and we are already seeing that become a bigger part of many of the larger WordPress powered sites.
[ For more information, please visit vip.wordpress.com ]
Back in July we posted about the remarkable project that WNET (PBS of NYC) put together with Tierra to launch 50 sites in ten months using one CMS, WordPress.
Dan Goldman and Jamie Trowbridge who headed up that project, were kind enough to present a case study of how it was all done, at the recent WordCamp NYC:
Great to see that RIM has relaunched their official BlackBerry blog, using WordPress.
The blog is called Inside BlackBerry, and aims at “bringing you authoritative content about BlackBerry® smartphones directly from the people who make them”:
[ Visit Inside BlackBerry & be sure to check out the WordPress for BlackBerry app ]
Excited to see that Microsoft installed IntenseDebate on the Microsoft Partner Network to power comments and develop their community.
IntenseDebate, as many of you know, is a distributed commenting platform from Automattic aimed at publishers looking to super-charge community engagement and is available for all content management systems out there including WordPress.
About Microsoft Partner Network
Community is the Foundation of the Microsoft Partner Network
With our more than 640,000 partner organizations worldwide, the network offers real-time connection and support through communities that spark innovation and help you discover opportunities. You can build the relationships that best serve your business and customer needs. Connect and collaborate with other great minds to deliver innovative solutions.
[ Visit Microsoft Partner Network ]
WordCamp NYC will be held this weekend, November 14th and 15th. It’s a great get together for the New York, and the extended, community of WordPress-loving bloggers and developers:
With an amazing lineup of speakers, over 525 people already registered, and 8 session tracks – there is something for everyone.
Myself and several colleagues from Automattic are flying in for this event, and I’m personally excited to see the track devoted to CMS use featuring case studies of current publishers.
If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s $45 for both days, or just $25 for Sunday. More details available on 2009.newyork.wordcamp.org.
[ Visit WordCamp NYC 2009 and WordCamp.org for other WordCamps happening all over the world ]
NASA has been using WordPress for a few years now, and recently the NASA Glenn Research Center launched a resource guide for WordPress development:
The site’s goal is to be “the guide to implementing and using the WordPress Content Management System (CMS) with the NASA Web Accessible (CSS) template design on Glenn Research Center websites.”
With a strong emphasis on 508 accessibility compliance, it’s very impressive to see how NASA has built its own custom theme, and is successfully empowering its team to build feature-rich, accessible, and easy-to-maintain sites.
Thanks Cátia Kitahara for lettings us know about a new BuddyPress site which is being used to enable and foster debate about various aspects of today’s digital life in Brazil. Built by the Brazilian Culture Ministry, the beta site is now live at culturadigital.br:
The site describes itself as “an open public space destined to democratically create and build a public policy of digital culture, integrating citizens, government institutions, state companies, civil society and the market.” Making use of all the “Facebook-in-a-box” features of BuddyPress, this site is off to a great start and could be a model for other organizations and companies looking to build this kind of community engagement and interaction.
[Visit culturadigital.br ]
For publishers looking at the search traffic benefits of WordPress, Matt Cutts from the Web Spam team at Google, offers his take:
WordPress takes care of 80-90% of (the mechanics of) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Below is a great video of Matt speaking at WordCamp SF 2009 about how Google search works and what publishers should be doing to ensure proper indexing:
[ Slides from Matt's presentation available on mattcutts.com ]
Tasty Kitchen, a site by The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, has launched a community site on the BuddyPress platform:
Built by the team at Voce Communication, Nick Gernert in a blog post today describes BuddyPress this way:
Not to over-simplify things, but think “Facebook in a Box.”
Groups, Wire posts (think Facebook Wall), activity streams, friend lists and forums are all a part of the platform. These all build from the user system native to WordPress and simply add functions to allow users to interact with each other. Use as many or as few of the capabilities as you like.
The site also integrates with the Windows Live, allowing Live users to authenticate instantly — something I believe is a first for a non-Microsoft site.
[ Visit Tasty Kitchen ]