Thank you from VIP Workshop 2017

We spent most of last week with many of you at WordPress.com VIP Workshop, our annual gathering of clients, partners, Automatticians, provocative thinkers, and invited guests. It brought together folks from all over the world, including India, Australia, across Europe and the UK. The main focus of the event is to convene the community of enterprise WordPress users to share knowledge, forge relationships, and spark ideas. But there are lots of other great things that always fall out of it as well, including the chance to hear directly from our platform users in a more relaxed setting, and the chance to renew and strengthen the bonds between lots of folks distributed throughout the world who work together all year long.

The first night and each day started with big picture thinking about issues broader than our day-to-day work. Innovation Catalyst Lee Kitchen offered a few examples and approaches to creativity that help his team get unstuck. Automattic’s Head of Design and Inclusion, John Maeda shared his real-world experiences in leadership challenges and his overarching mission of inclusion for WordPress and other platforms. And Matt Mullenweg reflected on VIP over the years, and a look at what’s coming to the Customizer as well as the Editor.

Sessions focused on many of the challenges and opportunities we all face every day. In the business track, a few highlights among a slate of stellar talks all around included Nicole Wilke of TechCrunch on how to approach major redesigns, Google’s Ilya Grigorik on key trends in Search, and Automattician Luca Martoni, who presented a methodology and case studies for A/B testing.

The developer track featured explorations of Google’s Progressive WordPress Sites and AMP with Alberto Medina, multi-format publishing with Facebook by Diego Quintiero, and Automattic’s testing infrastructure with Lauren Mermel. Several talks focused on using the REST API, including Jason Bahl of Digital First Media on GraphQL. Automatticians also led sessions about WooCommerce, the Calypso project, the VIP Go architecture, and the history of Jetpack’s redevelopment as a React app powered by the WordPress REST API.

Planning for next year’s has already begun. We take great care in gathering and reflecting on lots of feedback from participants, and we’ve just started the process of compiling all of that and taking a look at it together. In the meantime, we wanted to say thank you to everyone who took the time out of their busy schedules to be a part of this great event.

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:

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