Austin Smith: Elastic Search on WordPress.com in Action

Austin Smith is a managing partner at Alley Interactive, a VIP Featured Partner Agency. At our August Big Media Meetup, he gave a short “flash talk” on Elastic Search on WordPress.com, which we’ve shared here. You can read more about the VIP Search Add-On here, and see it in action at KFF.org.

Other talks from the event:

Interested in coming to a future event? Be sure to join our Big Media WordPress Meetup group.

Big Media Meetup Recap and Scott Taylor on The Future of Blogs Development at the NYT

A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to attend the Big Media WordPress Meetup at The New York Times Building in August! It was a huge success.

The event featured 10-minute “flash talks” by Scott Taylor (The New York Times), Austin Smith (Alley Interactive), Josh Kadis (Quartz), and Andrew Nacin (WordPress), followed by breakout discussion groups.

If you’re interested in coming to future events, be sure to join our “Big Media” WordPress Meetup Group.

In the next few days we’ll be sharing video from each of these talks. Today, here’s Scott Taylor’s presentation on “The Future of Blogs Development at The New York Times,” where he discusses how the NYT’s WordPress blogs fit in with the larger site-wide redesign.

Kaiser Family Foundation: Bringing 20 years of data into WordPress

kaiser_family_foundation_66933The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation recently relaunched their data-heavy site on WordPress.com VIP, bringing multiple websites and content management systems under one roof: KFF.org. The new site combines disparate databases into one state and global data table, and features fact sheets, reports, polls, and slides, all of which can be searched and filtered inside WordPress with the new faceted VIP Search.

We spoke with David Rousseau, Kaiser Family Foundation Vice President and  Executive Director, Health Policy Media and Technology, and Robin Sidel, Associate Director, New Media and Marketing to learn more about the foundation’s innovative redesign, which was built by VIP Featured Partner Alley Interactive.

Continue reading

Global News Q&A: The Technology Behind Their Responsive Redesign

news_2xGlobalNews.ca is the online news hub for the Global Television Network, a large Canadian broadcasting network with 12 owned-and-operated stations across the country. In March this year, they launched a massive redesign of their site, built on WordPress by 10up and hosted by WordPress.com VIP. The new site consolidated their many local and national sites into one responsively designed site that displays relevant content based on a user’s location. We chatted with Keith Robinson, the manager of digital products at Global News, to learn more about the vision and technology behind this redesign.

Continue reading

New Editorial Features in WordPress 3.6

We’ve been posting about the development of WordPress 3.6 over the past few months, and while the target launch is coming up later this month, many of these features are already available to WordPress.com users. Here’s a quick overview of the new editorial features.

Post Locking

Working in a multi-author environment? Post Locking lets you see at a glance who’s editing a post, and prevents authors from overwriting each other.

See Who Is Editing What Post
If you navigate to All Posts in your dashboard, you will be able to see who is editing what post.

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 11.53.12 AM

Prevent Editors from Overwriting Each Other
If you click on a post that another editor is working on, you will have three options to choose from: Go backPreview, and Take over.

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 12.02.00 PM

Know If Someone Else Is In Your Post
If you are working on a post and someone takes over, this screen will prevent you from continuing to work on the post.

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 9.08.14 AM


Log Out Notification

If for some reason you are logged out of WordPress while still in the dashboard (or editing a post), a pop-up notification will appear and allow you to log in right on the page, so that you won’t lose any work. Once you’ve logged back in, the pop-up will disappear and you will be right back where you left off.

Screen Shot 2013-04-10 at 12.44.54 PM


Better Autosave

The newly revamped Autosave takes advantage of your web browser’s storage to ensure that you never lose your work again, despite a wonky internet connection. If you are editing a post and suddenly get disconnected from the internet, you won’t lose your work. When you get reconnected, you’ll be able to restore the backup and the browser-stored content will simply pop up into your text editor.

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 12.14.46 PM


Revised Revisions

WordPress 3.6 gives revisions an update, making it easy to scan through previous revisions and see edits or updates.

Avatars with Revisions
See at a quick glance on your “Edit Post” page who has previously edited a post.
Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 12.30.41 PM

See Changes Easily
The new revisions page includes a slider that lets you move forward or backward through revisions, and colors additions in green and deletions in red.

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 12.32.52 PM

Compare Revisions
The “Compare Revisions” tool allows you to drag the slider to two different revisions and compare the differences.

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 12.39.14 PM


New Look for Post Formats

Note: This feature is still in development. Post Formats got an updated look, which allows you to quickly toggle between different formats (i.e. quote, video, image) using a new bar at the top of “Edit Post.”

To switch to a different post format, simply click the icon at the top.


Manage Menus with Ease

If your theme supports Custom Menus, the interface to create anad manage these menus has been updated. Now, “Edit Menus” and “Manage Locations” are split into separate tabs. Step-by-step instructions on how to use Custom Menus can be found here.

menus-edit-menu-screenmenus-menu-locations 

Want more? To see the many updates that went into 3.6, follow the open-source WordPress development here.

Interested in learning more about WordPress.com VIP Cloud HostingGet in touch.

Showcase: Responsive Sites on WordPress.com VIP

Over the last 12 months here at WordPress.com VIP, we’ve seen a lot of innovative, smart redesigns from our clients. The majority of them have chosen to make their sites responsive, meaning that the site and content scales dynamically for desktop, mobile or tablet.

Today we thought we’d showcase some of these examples. Many of these sites are industry-leaders – being either the first responsive news site in their country, or in the case of TIME.com, the first global news site with a fully responsive design. Take a quick browse through this list. We’re very impressed – we hope you are too.

Global News | Built by our Featured Partner 10up

“The new GlobalNews.ca has been completely reinvented to maximize the user experience and make it as easy and intuitive as possible. Central to this philosophy is its use of responsive design technology, which will automatically scale GlobalNews.ca content to fit any screen size or resolution, creating a seamless experience on all browsers and platforms; be it PC, tablet or smartphone.” Read more.

GigaOM

“Our site — and the content on it — now adapts to whatever device you’re reading. The first phase of our site redesign, which went live today, also includes more curation, easier sharing and a crisper display.” Read more.

TIME.com

“On Monday, Oct. 22, TIME.com was the first global news site to roll out a fully responsive redesign optimized for mobile and tablet browsing. … Created by TIME.com design director Davina Anthony with input from the magazine’s design staff, the new look showcases the depth and breadth of their content, with more than 100 new articles, blog posts and photos produced each day.” Read more.

Metro (United Kingdom)

“We’ve unashamedly built this from a mobile-first point of view, sure in the knowledge that mobile users are making up an increasing proportion of our visitors – and will soon be in the majority. … With a flick of your finger you can now swipe or click through the top stories at that time, whether that be stories Metro’s editors think are important or those our users have shown they enjoy by liking, tweeting or reading. And this edition will keep changing throughout the day.” Read more.

Quartz

“Quartz is a website optimized for mobile phones and tablets. And as an HTML5 web app, it works seamlessly across a range of devices, from smartphones to desktop computers. It does not need to be downloaded from an app store and can be accessed simply by going to qz.com. … Quartz is free and built for social distribution: there are no pay walls, registration walls, or app store walls. The site’s radically simple, responsive design helps readers get essential information as quickly as possible.” Read more.

Variety

“The new website addresses years of requests from readers, with a site that’s easy to navigate and automatically configures material to platforms of various sizes and shapes, from large monitors to tablets to mobile devices. … Among the new features: An adaptive design for desktop, tablets and mobile phones; An expandable navigation bar that previews essential content from each site section; A new Video channel featuring news, events, trailers and interviews.” Read more.

The Dish | Built by our Featured Partner 10up

“The Daily Dish was founded in the summer of 2000 by Andrew Sullivan as one of the very first political blogs. … It has a readership of around 1.2 million unique visitors with an average of around 8 million pageviews a month from around the world. The Dish covers anything Andrew, the Dish team or the Dish readership finds interesting – from politics to religion and pop culture and art and film and poetry and philosophy and web humor.” Read more.

Metro (Canada)

“If you’re reading this on a mobile or tablet device, you’ve already noticed that metronews.ca is (we believe) the first national news site in Canada to employ a fully responsive design, meaning that no matter what size screen you view this page on, everything should be formatted nicely and properly.” Read more.

PandoDaily

“We’ve always had two goals we hold above anything else: respecting the readers’ time and respecting the readers’ intelligence. We do the latter with our original, frequently long-form journalism. We do the former with the PandoTicker. … We’ve made the ticker more app-like and dynamic in this version. It constantly updates and “new” flags call out when something is breaking.” Read more.

Black America Web | Built by our Featured Partner Oomph

“BlackAmericaWeb.com, launched in June 2001, is a broad-based effort to become a timely and credible source for news and information covering all aspects of daily life, featuring a wide array of viewpoints and perspectives.” Read more.

The Windsor Star

“The site was designed to make it easy for you to find the content you want. Our search bar scrolls down the page and our menu lets you search for stories based on topics — the courts, TrafficWatch, city hall — or geography. … Above all, the website was designed for our readers, who have told us they value local content above all and who have grown accustomed to reading breaking news on our website and coming back as those stories are updated and enhanced throughout the day. I stone cold love the new look and feel and I hope you will too.” Read more.

Skype Blogs | Built by our Featured Partner HumanMade

The Skype Blogs feature company updates such as new releases, feature updates, product education, and innovative use cases.

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

100,000 Commits on WordPress.com VIP

Last week, a developer at Time Inc. made a milestone commit on WordPress.com VIPr100000!

Our WordPress.com VIP clients commit and deploy code daily, and often development teams will commit several times a day to keep up with their changing site features and improvements. We do several checks on code optimization and security before approving a commit for deployment, and we’re really proud to get 90% of commits deployed within two hours of submission. We also unveiled automatic deploys for static CSS and images last year, which has made deploying instantaneous for thousands of client code commits.

It took roughly 75,000 deploys to help reach this milestone commit. We began tracking deploys in March 2011, and as you can see in the chart below, we doubled the number of deploys from 2011 to 2012, and are on track to do so again this year.

Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 10.13.54 PM

And, for those who are interested, here’s a peek at commit activity over the course of a week at WordPress.com VIP (times in GMT):

Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 10.20.39 PM

While we’re looking at commit data, here’s a quick nod to the top five committers from the last 365 days: I.N. from Global News (942), C.B. from GigaOM (791), F.I. from Dawn Media (784), V.K. from COED Media Group (652) and E.G. from CBS Local (605).

And finally, here’s a peek at deploys from WordPress.com VIP over the last 3 years.

Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 10.13.44 PM

Interested in learning more about WordPress.com VIP Cloud HostingGet in touch.

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!

Screen Shot 2013-03-29 at 12.43.46 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2013-03-29 at 12.45.17 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2013-03-29 at 12.44.27 PM

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

Screen Shot 2013-03-29 at 12.46.19 PM

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

Screen Shot 2013-03-29 at 12.45.54 PM

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.