WordPress in Government Workshop

wp-in-government

A few weeks ago in Washington, DC, WordPress.com VIP hosted a half-day workshop focusing on WordPress in Government, which was co-sponsored by our friends at GovLoop.com. The workshop was a huge success and I wanted to take just a few moments to share with you some highlights from the day’s events.

First off, why government? WordPress powers close to 19% of the top 10 million websites on the planet and we’re seeing major growth in all areas. The government sector, from federal to the state level and all the way down to local cities and towns, is experiencing some major technology shifts which have led to big changes in the way average citizens relate to and get information from their government. It’s an exciting time to be a technologist or developer at any level of government and it’s leading to some really interesting opportunities for WordPress, as there’s real interest on the part of government to move towards open source software and the availability of responsive platforms that help deliver on-demand information and government services.

We wanted to showcase some of the innovation that’s happening with WordPress for the government sector, so we hosted a workshop at the District Architecture Center in Washington, DC. We gathered over 115 key technologists and decision makers who work inside and outside of the government to network and to hear some presentations about some innovative things happening with WordPress in government. The attendees represented a big cross-section of agencies and organizations and many discussions centered on what they’re currently doing with WordPress and how they plan to scale their platforms.

We had attendees from:

  • Department of State
  • Peace Corps
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Millennium/Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC)
  • National Cancer Institute
  • Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • US Navy
  • U.S. Postal Service
  • Patent and Trademark Office
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Commerce
  • And more…
  • We’ve gotten some great feedback so far on the content of the event, and over the next few weeks we’ll be posting various presentations from the workshop here on VIP News so that you can learn more what’s happening with WordPress in government.

Here are some of the presentations from the event (we’ll be adding more as they become available):

You can read through some of the tweets and real-time reaction that was taking place through the event on Twitter (see below). #WPGov tweets can be found here, and thanks again to GovLoop.com for partnering with us on the event.

Here are some pictures from the workshop:

If you have any questions about WordPress inside your government agency, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Read more about WordPress in Government.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

All About SEO on WordPress.com

On the WordPress.com Blog, we recently published a post on Search Engine Optimization for WordPress.com. It has a ton of great information relevant to authors on WordPress.com VIP, so please check it out and feel free to forward it to your colleagues.

All About SEO on WordPress.com, by Elizabeth Urello

Excerpts:

Common Myths about SEO

Myth: I need a plugin for SEO.

Fact: WordPress.com has great SEO right out of the box — you don’t have to do anything extra. In fact, WordPress takes care of 80-90 percent of the mechanics of SEO for you, according to Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team. All of our themes are optimized for search engines, which means they are designed to make it easy for the Googlebot (and other search engines) to crawl through them and discover all the content.

Smart ways to increase your SERP rank

Make sure to use short, easy-to-read post slugs that accurately describe what your posts are about. On WordPress.com, the post slug is the last part of your post title, which you can edit to be anything you like. For example, the slug “/buying-sailboats” is better than “/how-to-buy-a-beautiful-inexpensive-sailboat-on-Craigslist” or “/354.”

Read the full post here.

Update: What’s Coming Up With WordPress 3.6

The updated target date for WordPress 3.6 Beta 1 is March 27.

By the time Beta 1 rolls around, the core team will have the feature set complete, which means the time for bug testing 3.6 against your themes and plugins will have arrived. According to the 3.6 project schedule, the target date for 3.6 launch is April 29.

Here’s a quick update on where the 3.6 features currently stand. If you aren’t caught up on the features, please take a peek at this introduction post.

Post Formats UI: The UI for post formats is getting a refresh (featuring a drop down selector for formats and better previewing) to make it easier to use and faster to publish. You can take a peek at the wireframes here, and follow along the conversation here.

Autosave and Post Locking: The main goal of this update is so that users never lose a post. This is done by leveraging browser-level storage in modern browsers for situations where users lose their internet connections or their browsers crash. With this enhancement, edits are stored locally and synced back to WordPress at the next possible opportunity. If you are logged out while on an admin page, you will be notified and allowed to log in straight on the page so that you won’t lose your work. As for post locking, if you arrive on a page that is currently being edited, you will be given the option to “take over” or go back.

Revisions: The UI for comparing previous revisions of a post has been significantly updated, including a scrubber bar that allows the user to move forward or back in revisions, and colored text to indicate content that has been added or removed. Take a look at a rough mockup here.

Editorial Flow: This feature has been removed from the 3.6 cycle, but the team is planning to tackle it in future releases.

Menus: The UI for creating custom menus has been significantly cleaned up, with new checkboxes to select where the menu will be displayed in the theme, accordion styling to menu items (being tested), new help text and keyboard accessibility for rearranging menu items.

Twenty Thirteen: As Mark Jaquith writes: “With Twenty Thirteen we’re taking a bold stance: this theme was meant for blogging, and it’s not a blank canvas. It comes pre-marinated with playfulness and warmth and opinions.” Take a peek at a demo of the new Twenty Thirteen theme here.

Where can I find more information?

If you’re not familiar with Make WordPress Core, it’s a good blog to visit. It tracks the open-source development of WordPress, and is the homebase of much of the development discussion.

How do I get involved?

Want to help make WordPress better? Take a peek at the Core Contributor Handbook, or sit in on the weekly developer chat. They will need a lot of help with bug testing and squashing in the coming weeks. Lots of members of the VIP community contribute to core, so you’ll see familiar faces.

When is 3.6 coming to WordPress.com VIP?

Shortly prior to the release of 3.6 on WordPress.org, the 3.6 features will be merged into WordPress.com VIP. This will most likely happen in April, and we will be posting updates here in the weeks before to notify you. If you aren’t already, at that point you’ll need to be testing against trunk, getting the latest nightly build or even better, using an SVN checkout of trunk to test how your sites work on 3.6. You can also use the Beta Tester plugin to easily update beta releases and test.

Easier Twitter Embeds with WordPress.com

Did you know that you can embed tweets into your WordPress.com posts by simply pasting in the tweet URL on its own line?

twitter_post

That’s all there is to it. The content of the tweet will magically appear in your post, complete with the avatar, clickable links, and the date.

 

You can do the same thing when embedding YouTube videosInstagram photosHulu clips, and Spotify songs.

No more screenshots or messy embed codes. Easy peasy.