28 billion pageviews: A Year at WordPress.com VIP

2014 has been a big year at WordPress.com VIP. So far, we’ve served more than 28 billion pageviews (or, 28,250,403,658 the last time we checked). We’ve also added 350 new sites to the VIP network and 13 new members to our team (including an acquisition)!

As the leading WordPress solution for enterprises, we pride ourselves on working with your team to ensure that your code is optimized, secure, and fast. This year our customers have deployed changes 31,000 times, comprising more than one million lines of code—and we’ve reviewed every line. (And in case you were wondering, 4pm ET on Thursdays is the busiest hour in our deploy queue).

vip-2014-yearly-review

Here’s a quick look at big moments of 2014:

January

We rang in the new year by helping Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher launch Recode.net.

And we push the button for @recode

A video posted by Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) on

At the end of the month, we welcomed both The Bloggess and Grantland to the VIP network.

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 10.45.14 AM

February

During the Sochi Winter Games, we were proud to host the Canadian Olympic Team’s official site.

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 8.57.51 PM

March

We launched the newly-designed Time.com on WordPress.com VIP while gathered around a table during our annual team meetup.

We were excited to see Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.com launch on VIP.

April

We hosted our third annual Intensive Developer Workshop in Napa, California, with opening remarks from Tim Ferriss and sessions on everything from performance, to security, to ElasticSearch. 100 percent of the participants surveyed said they would recommend the conference to their colleagues. (You can pre-register for next year’s workshop now!)

May

We hosted our very first European Big Media & Enterprise WordPress Meetup in London! Over the course of the year we’ve hosted nine Big Media & Enterprise WordPress meetups in five different cities: New York, London, San Francisco, Boston, and Toronto, featuring flash talks by USA Today, GlobalNews.ca, TechCrunch, Harvard Business Review, Metro UK, Forbes, PMC, and NESN.

In addition to hosting the TED 2014 conference blog, we welcomed ideas.ted.com to WordPress.com VIP.

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 10.50.31 AM

June

As our team watched the 2014 FIFA World Cup, we were thrilled to be a part of USA Today and Fusion’s soccer football coverage.

We were also happy to welcome Fortune.comAlaska Airlines, and American Eagle Outfitters to the VIP family.

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 10.46.08 AM

July

The Meredith Vieira Show launched on VIP.

We introduced in-dashboard live chat support for the 22,000 editors, authors, and contributors across the VIP network. Our team is on stand-by to assist users and help them get their work done more efficiently.

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 4.09.13 PM

August

Robin Williams’ death was covered by almost every news site in the VIP network, with more than 221 million pageviews over a span of roughly 48 hours.

Quartz introduced a redesign and launched a homepage for the first time, and blog.wikimedia.org migrated their site onto VIP.

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 10.47.08 AM

September

We welcomed Fusion.net, a joint venture between Disney/ABC and Univision, onto WordPress.com VIP.

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 9.17.25 AM

October

We geared up for another set of our VIP Training Days events around the United States – these 1-day courses bring VIP training to a city near you, whether it’s the Superuser, Developer Fundamentals I, or Developer Fundamentals Site Security & Debugging courses you’re interested in.

2014_Automattic_Wordpress-2371

November

Another huge traffic day for the VIP network this year were the 2014 midterm elections. As the results unfolded we followed along the live blog on FiveThirtyEight.com. (Read more on how politicians and government groups are using WordPress to power their sites here.)

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 4.15.07 PM

Also in November, Taylor Swift sold 1.2 million albums during her release week and pulled her music from Spotify. Spotify’s CEO posted a response on their VIP-hosted site.

And finally, we were thrilled to welcome Code For The People to our team, and in true VIP style, celebrated the announcement together in Lisbon, Portugal.

December

We are excited to welcome Foreign Policy, which launched on VIP this month.

As people look back on the year, they are choosing WordPress.com VIP to do so: Time.com’s Person of the Year and Facebook’s Year in Review were both announced on VIP.

2014 was a huge year for WordPress.com VIP, thank you for being a part of it. We’re looking forward to an even bigger 2015!

Looking to learn more about WordPress.com VIP? Take a look at our services, our featured partners, or job openings

WordPress.com VIP Acquires Code For The People

Code For The People is a six-person WordPress development agency based in the UK, known for their great service and the enterprise tools they’ve created. Automattic has acquired them and will be winding down the consulting part of their business as they join our WordPress.com VIP team to continue building the best tools and services for enterprises using WordPress.

We’ve worked very closely with Simon Dickson, Simon Wheatley, and the rest of the Code For The People team in recent years as partners collaborating on projects for our mutual customers, and before that through their many contributions to the WordPress open-source project and community.

They bring a deep understanding of WordPress, unique experience providing solutions for government agencies, and a particular specialty developing multilingual tools, like Babble, for enterprises. We also really appreciate their commitment to contributing back to WordPress, and are excited to have John Blackbourn continue leading the development of WordPress 4.1 as part of Automattic.

And while Automattic has always been a distributed company, and WordPress.com VIP a global team, we’re excited to expand coverage for our European customers as well.

Congrats to the team, and welcome to the Automattic family!

The Dream Internship: Work at Automattic (Spring 2015)

Update: Applications are now closed.

Our company Automattic — which runs WordPress.com, Akismet, VaultPress, and many other services — is looking for a few stellar spring 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, Recode.net, NYPost.com, etc.

You’ll be working on a range of projects depending on your skills and passions, but here’s an overview:

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.

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.
Update: The Development Internship position is now filled. We will be accepting applications for our summer internship starting February.

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. This paid internship runs 12 weeks between March 9th and May 29th, 2015, but we are flexible on the dates.

Interested? Complete your application by filling in the form below. In the space provided, introduce yourself and why you’d like to be an intern with our team. Be clear about 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. Students enrolled in a full-time or part-time undergraduate or graduate program with 6+ months left before graduation are encouraged to apply.

Send in your internship application by November 1st for consideration in the program. If you have any questions, please leave a comment and we’ll get back to you!

Applications are now closed.

Josh Betz is a former VIP intern who now works as a code wrangler. During his internship he worked on a VIP user management plugin and WordPress.com Enterprise.

The Meredith Vieira Show Launches On VIP!

Meredith Vieira has had quite a career. You probably know her from years as co-anchor of the Today Show or maybe as host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Well, starting this fall, you’ll know has as host of The Meredith Vieira Show, which is slated to launch September 8th on NBC. And, starting this week, you’ll know her as the newest member of the WordPress.com VIP family – the brand spankin’ new website for the television show is live and we’re super excited to welcome Meredith and her team! Good luck with the show launch!

The Meredith Vieira Show

http://meredithvieirashow.com/

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!

Extreme Makeover, Data.gov Edition

Earlier this week, Data.gov relaunched with a beautiful new redesign. Behind it is a powerful CMS platform called WordPress. The previous version of the site ran on a mix of Drupal and other proprietary systems, but as Marion Royal points out in a blog post explaining the relaunch, development on the previous version of the site was done behind closed doors. Marion goes on to explain the open source ethos that was put into play with this update of the site:

Now we’re using open source systems, including WordPress and CKAN. Most importantly, the development is public from the beginning on GitHub so you can see how the site came to be, and will continue to grow. We’ve already had significant help from the open source community and look forward to more.

Data.gov is one of the most innovative initiatives inside of the federal government. A talented team of designers and developers are working hard to expose millions of pieces of government data from across the entire government so that citizens, along with government entities, can leverage that data for good. From the Data.gov website:

Data.gov is the home of the US government’s open data. You can find Federal, state and local data, tools, and resources to conduct research, build apps, design data visualizations, and more. The Data.gov team works at the U.S. General Services Administration, but the site itself is open source, and we’d love your help making it even better.

I have personally worked closely with many of the developers who helped to steer this project. I have been continuously impressed by their level of dedication to opening up government data and putting it into the hands of those who want to use it to make America a better place. I expect big things out of this team, and I believe that Data.gov — and other similar initiatives — can help redefine the way citizens view the work that the government does. It’s an exciting time to be working on these issues and I’m very excited to see WordPress at the center of the action in Washington, DC.

Data.gov on GitHub.

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.

WordPress Powers Health Care Reform

In March 2010, President Barack Obama signed landmark comprehensive health care reform known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and also known as ‘ObamaCare’.

Yesterday, a critical component of the legislation rolled out, giving American consumers the chance to purchase health policies on the open market by joining a pool of other buyers, which legislators and policy analysts believe will ultimately drive down the cost of health care for everyone. In some instances, these exchanges are being run by the states and in other cases, the federal government is administering the marketplace.

We were very excited to see that WordPress is the dominant content management system being used to power these exchange websites and as a result of this powerful platform, yesterday, millions of Americans from coast to coast researched their heath care options and began the open enrollment process.

Here are some great examples of WordPress being put to work behind large, enterprise-level websites who are dealing with complicated data structures, high traffic demands and of course, sensitive security.

Get Covered America

http://www.getcoveredamerica.org/

Get Covered Illinois

http://getcoveredillinois.gov/

HealthSource RI

http://www.healthsourceri.com/

New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange

http://www.nmhix.com/

Connect For Health Colorado

http://connectforhealthco.com/

Hawaiʻi Health Connector

http://www.hawaiihealthconnector.com/

Massachusetts Health Connector

https://bettermahealthconnector.org/

Maryland Health Connection

http://www.marylandhealthconnection.gov/

Hungry for more information? The Kaiser Family Foundation (powered by WordPress.com VIP) has a great resource on their new website. If you’d like to get in touch to find out more about hosting your website on WordPress.com VIP, you can contact us here!

The Liveblog Add-On: Now with Rich Text Editing!

It’s been just over a year since we launched our Liveblog Add-on. It’s been fantastically well-received by our VIPs who have used it to cover a wide variety of events, like Canada.com’s coverage of the Calgary Flames hiring Brian Burke, TechCrunch’s iPhone 5s launch coverage, and today, KDVR’s coverage of the disastrous flooding in Colorado.

Today, we’re very happy to announce that we’ve added rich text editing controls to the Liveblog Add-on. Sometimes known as WYSIWYG, you can now easily add to your liveblog updates with simple text formatting, such as bolds, italics, and links — all by pressing one button. These enhancements are already live and immediately available for our VIP Liveblog Add-on customers.

The new editor looks like this:

WYSIWYG Liveblog Editor

And here’s an image of the new editor in context, as well as highlights of recent Liveblogs from across WordPress.com VIP:

These enhancements were a joint project by WordPress.com VIP and X-Team, our newest Featured Partner.

If you’re new to the Liveblog Add-on and are wondering what makes it special:

  • Post updates right from the front-end of your site (no need to use the /wp-admin dashboard)
  • Viewers of your Liveblog get new entries served to them instantly and automatically, without needing to refresh their browser.
  • Your authors can drag-and-drop photos right into the Liveblog area, without needing to navigate to separate browser tabs or windows.
  • Easily add to your liveblog updates with simple text formatting; bolds, italics, underlines, links, and more.
  • There’s no need for a separate site dedicated to liveblogging: every post can be a liveblog, even existing ones.
  • When your Liveblog is done, it’s archived so your readers can catch up whenever they would like.

If you’re interested in using the Liveblog Add-on as a WordPress.com VIP Hosting client, get in touch!

The White House launches Next.Data.Gov on WordPress

The White House just announced that they are launching a new generation of Data.gov, moving to a WordPress / CKAN based approach with their newest iteration called: Next.Data.Gov. Here’s a quick look at the new site:

Next.Data.Gov

Here’s more from the White House’s blog:

Last week, President Obama talked about the importance of opening government data to the American people, so entrepreneurs and business owners can use those troves of information to create jobs and solve problems that government can’t solve by itself. In remarks last Monday, he noted many examples of the Administration’s progress toward making that happen, saying:

“At Data.gov, you can search through and download more than 75,000 data sets – data on everything from what different hospitals charge for different procedures, to credit card complaints, to weather and climate measurements.”

And:

Scalable and Open Source: Next.Data.Gov was built using new tools. This project tapped into two very active open source projects: WordPress and CKAN. The content and community sections of Next.Data.Gov are powered by WordPress. The data catalog is powered by CKAN.

Building Next.Data.Gov Together: The Next.Data.gov interface launching today is an early peek at the future Data.gov experience. Because many of you depend on Data.gov for critical functions, Data.gov will be maintained in its current form and will remain fully accessible while the Data.gov team continues to iterate and improve upon Next.Data.Gov. Going forward, expect regular design and software updates.

Next.Data.Gov - mid-page screenshot

There is a ton of interesting data (the site notes 75,714 datasets) being ported into this site from across many key government agencies, including the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, whose website is also powered by WordPress. Visitors can also get access to data on education, energy, finance, global development, health, research and safety. As the White House’s blog post notes:

The team studied the usage patterns on Data.gov and found that visitors were hungry for examples of how data are used. The team also noticed many sources, such as tweets and articles outside of Data.gov featuring Federal datasets in action. So Next.Data.gov includes a rich stream that enables each data community to communicate how its datasets are impacting companies and the public.

Similar to NASA’s Data.NASA.gov project, WordPress is instrumental in bringing data closer to the public, and making it useful and beautiful, too.

Want more information about WordPress for government or enterprise sites? Contact WordPress.com VIP Services.