Why The Washington Post Uses WordPress

Yuri Victor from The Washington Post gave this flash talk about “Why The Washington Post Uses WordPress” at the VIP Workshop in May 2013.

The main reasons he cites are :

  • Tests well with bloggers
  • Tests well with audience
  • Allows fast development
  • Allows us to ABC (Always Be Changing)

They started with just one blog and moved on to other Washington Post properties:

We did a test with Ezra Klein’s blog by converting it to WordPress. He loved it and the blog has seen such a massive increase in pageviews we’re now moving all our blogs to WordPress and we’re launching new blogs every week.

and are big proponents of iteration and prototyping, which they did with their mobile site:

When we wanted to redesign our mobile site we started doing rapid prototypes with foundation and WordPress. Rather than building a Washington Post mobile site with articles, we wanted to build a mobile site with a great reading experience that happened to be by The Washington Post. This was obviously going to be a radical departure from most mobile news sites so to get buy in we had to have real prototypes management could use and approve.

Click through his slides (below) to see the full presentation deck, and delve into their meaning further in this post on Yuri’s blog.

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

Yuri also presented a version of this talk at the annual WordPress conference, WordCamp San Francisco:

Redesigning KFF.org & Battle Entropy

Robin Sidel, Associate Director, New Media and Marketing, Kaiser Family Foundation & Evonne Young, Associate Director, Web Development and Production, Kaiser Family Foundation presented “From Legacy to the Future – Moving Technology Mountains” at the recent WordPress in Government Workshop.

The Kaiser Family Foundation migrated from a legacy platform to WordPress — learn from their challenges, new opportunities, and best practices as they successfully went from old to new without leaving any data or content behind.

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

WordPress Powers Sites.usa.gov

James Mathieson, Product Manager from Sites.USA.gov, General Services Administration, presented “WordPress Powers Sites.usa.gov” at the recent WordPress in Government Workshop.

Sites.USA.gov is a shared service to help government agencies focus on creating content rather than building systems to deliver that content. James’ presentation is an introduction to the platform, how it was built on WordPress and who should use it, and why WordPress is the solution for an open content management system when it comes the federal digital strategy.

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

Andrew Nacin: Scaling WordPress & Optimizing Security

Andrew Nacin, WordPress Lead Developer and Tech Ninja at Audrey Capital, presented two topics at the WordPress in Government Workshop: “A Crash Course in Scaling WordPress” and “WordPress.org & Optimizing Security for your WordPress sites.”

A crash course in scaling WordPress

In this talk Andrew explains how WordPress can scale (spoiler: and it’s easy!) by delving into how nginx can play a role in multiple ways, and tips on tweaks to perform at the PHP and WordPress software levels, as well as hardware.

WordPress.org & Optimizing Security for your WordPress sites

In this presentation Andrew walks through the differences between major and minor WordPress releases, the philosophy on backwards compatibility, and a basic crash course in WordPress security. Click through his slides to learn more.

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

Case Study: BBC America runs on WordPress

BBC America content was previously spread across 3-4 different content management systems. They knew they needed a change and wanted to consolidate their support efforts into a single platform.

We spoke with David Anderson, Senior Product Development Manager at BBC Worldwide, about how WordPress powers BBCAmerica.com, starting with their site redesign a year ago.

BBC America

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Recent Launches on VIP: Global News, TIME 100, Wired TV

We’ve had a lot of fantastic sites debut on WordPress.com VIP lately. Here’s a quick look at some of our latest launches. Welcome to the WordPress family!

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Last Monday was a big day, when we launched Global News, a Canadian broadcasting network. The site was developed by our Featured Partner 10up. Stay tuned for an in-depth post on this innovative new site.

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This new TIME 100 site is fully responsive and encourages readers to “Cast your vote for the leaders, artists, innovators, icons and heroes that you think are the most influential people in the world.” Their polling system is powered by Polldaddy.

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The brand new Wired TV site hosts a large database of videos which can be searched or filtered by channel, popularity or recency.

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NI Group Ltd, the home of The Times, The Sunday Times, and The Sun, recently moved their corporate site onto WordPress.com VIP.

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Pandora’s blog is a great place to discover new music, and to learn a little bit about their social media community through their embedded Twitter and Instagram feeds.

Ready to become a VIP Services Client? Some of the world’s biggest brands rely on WordPress.com VIP Services.

WordPress.com VIP at SXSW

Headed to SXSW? We’d love to see you there.

We’ll be co-hosting a party on Sunday night with Sailthru:

logoSailthru and Automattic present
Party for the People
benefiting charity:water
March 10 at 7pm, Stubb’s BBQ
Event Page

Automattic will also be hosting a Happiness Bar at the SXSW Trade Show. Stop by to pick up some swag, chat about WordPress, get technical support, or meet some of our colleagues.

And finally, members from the WordPress.com VIP team will be there! We’d love to catch up with you in person. If you or your colleagues will be at SXSW, be sure to let us know.

See you there!

Oscar Night with the WordPress.com VIP Liveblog Plugin

One of my favorite parts of watching live television events is the second screen experience — the running commentary from liveblogs and Twitter that stream onto my phone or laptop.

The staff at National Post were totally on top of this Sunday night, creating an incredible multimedia liveblog experience for The Oscars. Using our Liveblog Plugin, they pulled together a collage of smart (and funny!) commentary, beautiful images, YouTube clips, tweets, and even animated gifs.

We also enjoyed following along Caroline Westbrook’s liveblog on metro.co.uk’s site as she authored an impressive 150 updates over the course of the night  — pulling together a mix of tweets, videos, photos, and updates.

Not familiar with how the WordPress.com VIP Liveblog Plugin works? Take a look at this video. It’s super easy, featuring content insertion from the front-end of the site, and drag-and-drop image uploads.

The Liveblog Add-On is $500 USD per month, with an annual subscription, for VIP SaaS Hosting clients. This includes unlimited liveblogs, and an unlimited number of users visiting, viewing, and receiving updates — all powered by our massive WordPress.com cloud infrastructure. If you’re interested in using the LiveBlog plugin or learning more, please get in touch.

Recent Mobile Launches on WordPress.com VIP

We’ve been really impressed with the mobile sites that have launched on VIP recently, many of which are responsive websites. Here’s a quick roundup of recent mobile launches on WordPress.com VIP.


Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 6.45.54 PMQuartz

Quartz’s fully responsive theme is blindingly fast, and scales whether you’re looking at it on a phone, tablet or laptop. The site looks and feels like an application. You can read more about Quartz’s innovative design here and here.


mzl.lbnlkphx.320x480-75LocalTV

LocalTV’s mobile app (available in both the iTunes and Android stores), is powered by a custom mobile theme that is wrapped into an app. It also receives “rich” push notifications, meaning they can push HTML updates.


Time.com Person of the Year MobileTime.com’s Person of the Year

TIME.com’s Person of the Year site was launched in just two weeks using a responsive theme.

Our Q&A with TIME.com Managing Editor Cathy Sharick

Time.com’s responsive redesign announcement

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New Liveblog Features: Editing Posts, “Smart” Updates

Have you seen our liveblog premium add-on? Since we launched it in September, we’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback.

A quick re-introduction: the liveblog plugin allows you to quickly update a post on the fly from the front-end of your website. It’s super simple, no outside embeds necessary. You can even drag-and-drop in photos, and embed tweets by pasting in the tweet URL. Take a look at our full documentation of liveblog features.

Below are the new features we’ve added this week. Download the liveblog plugin here.

Edit Previous Liveblog Posts

The ability to edit posts was the most-requested feature from VIPs. We’re happy to announce that this feature has been added. To edit a previous post, all you need to do is scroll back in time, click “edit” on a post, and you’ll be able to rewrite history.

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“Smart” Updates

This feature makes it easy for your readers to enjoy your liveblog without being overwhelmed with updates.

If the reader’s browser is sitting at the top of the post, new updates will automatically appear, highlighted in yellow.

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However, if your reader has scrolled down the post to catch up on previous updates, liveblog will wait to update with new posts. Instead, a notification bar will appear at the top of the screen. When the reader clicks on the bar, the new updates will resume loading at the top of the page.

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Post times are also now relative, which means it will display as “2 minutes ago,” with the time updating every minute.

Archive Liveblog Posts

Once the event has wrapped up, you can archive your liveblog. This means that visitors will still be able to see the blog, but the editing tools will go away and the post will stop polling for updates.

You can archive and re-enable a liveblog from the Edit Post page.

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When a liveblog is archived, your editors will see a notification that says the liveblog must be enabled to accept new posts.

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We’ve loved watching our VIPs use the liveblog premium add-on. National Post used it to cover Lance Armstrong’s interview last night, and TVLine used it for the Golden Globes on Sunday. Big Ten Network liveblogs games every Wednesday, and Time.com has used it to cover high traffic events like the iPhone 5 announcement.

Special thanks to Matt and Zack at GigaOM for their help with the smart updates feature, and everyone else that has submitted bugs and feedback. You can see GigaOM’s use of the liveblog with the recent Facebook event.

For VIP SaaS Hosting clients, the Liveblog Premium Add-On is $500 USD per month, with an annual subscription. This includes unlimited liveblogs, and an unlimited number of users visiting, viewing, and receiving updates — all powered by our massive WordPress.com cloud infrastructure.

If you’re interested in giving the liveblog a try, please get in touch!