WordCamp Boston 2011 - Enterprise WordPress Dos & Don'ts

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Guidelines to follow when using WordPress at an enterprise level based on personal experiences working @northps for large-scale websites.

Guidelines to follow when using WordPress at an enterprise level based on personal experiences working @northps for large-scale websites.

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  • 1. Enterprise WordPressDos and Don'ts
    Arwin Holmes
    Technical Project Manager
    NorthPoint Solutions, LLC
    WE LEAD WITH EXPERIENCE.
  • 2. Talk Overview
    What “enterprise” means to you?
    How WordPress has evolved
    Guidelines for managers, developers, users and owners of WordPress-powered sites covering the following areas:
    Hosting Infrastructure
    Migration
    Development
    Launch
    Training
    Maintenance
  • 3. So what does “enterprise” mean?
    A starship in some popular science fiction series?
    A company or business?
    In the context of this WordPress presentation, it means:
    Supporting large scale sites with regards to:
    Site traffic
    Site content
    Site availability
    Maximizing uptime
    Providing professional services
  • 4. The WordPress Evolution:from Blogging Platform to CMS
    WP version 2.3 - Custom Taxonomies
    No longer limited to just categories and tags
    A feature rarely used until 2010 with added support in 2.9 and 3.0
    WP version 2.9 - Custom Post Types
    No longer limited to just pages and posts
    A feature rarely used until 2010 with added support in 3.0
    WordPress matures to a CMS
    WP version 3.1 – Network Admin and Expanded Queries
    Streamlined admin and writing interfaces
    WP version 3.2 – Performance and Modernization
    Faster and more lightweight
    Support for incremental updates
  • 5. Personal View of WordPress Adoption as a CMS
    2008-2009: Migrated multiple sites from Movable Type for various Conde Nast Digital properties
    8/2010: Migrated fashion.elle.com from TypePad
    9/2010: Migrated ellegirl.com from TypePad and EZ Publish
    5/2011: Migrated dailywd.womansday.com from TypePad
    Current projects include full multi-site installs and proof of concepts for full intranet and extranet offerings
  • 6. Guidelines
    Dos and Don’ts to consider when working with WordPress
  • 7. Hosting Infrastructure
    Do
    Carefully evaluate service offerings before deciding on a host
    Give yourself at least 2 weeks for new WordPress VIP setups
    Give yourself additional time for VIP code and plug-in reviews
    Leverage AMI’s for sites hosted on Amazon Web Services
    Use multiple regions for failover on Amazon Web Services
    Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
    Don’t
    Host multiple high-trafficked sites on the same hardware
  • 8. Migration
    Do
    Transfer your SEO juice using 301 redirects
    Minimize the need for a double-publishing scenario
    Don’t
    Forget about your image assets
  • 9. Development
    Do
    Use a source control system (e.g. SVN, GIT) for your code
    Install WordPress with it hidden from search engines
    Have a search engine blocking robots.txt file
    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /
    Leverage WordPress’s API Library
    Use WPQuery
    Use transients
    Use wp_enqueue_style and wp_enqueue_script
  • 10. Development (cont’d)
    Don’t
    Modify WordPress core files
    Write your own SQL queries unless absolutely necessary
    Go plug-in crazy (be minimal about what you activate and if it makes sense, see if it can be packaged with the theme instead)
    TIP: Evaluating Plug-ins
    Past and recent activity
    Usage / adoption
    Compatibility (current and future)
    Forget about your admin users – use contextual help and train them
  • 11. Launch
    Do
    Lower DNS TTL settings before launch (if updating DNS address)
    Apply appropriate CDN exceptions for wp-admin pages
    Update WordPress settings to make it visible to search engines
    Replace the search engine blocking robots.txt file with a valid one
    Verify server permissions on files and directories
    Set up an automated deployment process
    Don’t
    Deploy unnecessary files (source control files, .DS_Store, ._, etc) and settings (testing environments) to production servers
    Keep .htaccess writeable
  • 12. Training
    Do
    Train your users for their various WordPress admin roles
    Don’t
    Assume everyone knows how to use WordPress (presumably why you’re here!)
  • 13. Maintenance
    Do
    Keep your core and plug-in versions up to date
    WordPress generally releases major versions every 6 months
    Read about the plug-in version updates
    Plan major code releases during off-peak hours
    Don’t
    Let your site’s code get outdated
  • 14. Three Final Points
    Perform
    Relax
    Promote
  • 15. Perform.Cache whenever possible.
    PHP op-code cache (e.g. APC)
    Object Cache (e.g. Memcached)
    Web Proxy (e.g. Squid, Varnish)
    Content Delivery Network (e.g. Akamai, LimeLight, S3)
    Plug-ins (e.g. WP Super Cache, Batcache, etc)
    TIP: Beware of plug-ins using external web services
  • 16. Relax.Secure your site.
    Passwords. Everything tastes better with a little SALT.
    Table Prefixes. Don’t stick with the default “wp_”
    Permissions. Reserve write privileges for only the most deserving files, directories, and plug-ins.
    Data. Back up files and database regularly.
    Tracking. Log and monitor your site.
    Great resources:
    http://codex.wordpress.org/Hardening_WordPress
  • 17. Promote.Optimize and network.
    Use tracking software (e.g. Google Analytics) to help refine your search keywords and descriptions.
    Leverage social network (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) integration for viral traffic.
  • 18. Continuing Education
    Where do we go from here?
  • 19. Dive deeper.Related WordCamp Sessions.
    7/23 330pm - Enterprise Publishing on WordPress.com VIP
    7/23 330pm – WordPress & InBound Marketing
    7/23 415pm – How to Market Your Blog
    7/24 415pm – Advanced Theme Performance Techniques
    7/24 345pm – jQuery Performance and New Features
    7/24 515pm – Don’t Be a Tool: Content (Management) Strategy
  • 20. A few WordPress sites developed by NorthPoint Solutions, LLC
    tvrecaps.ew.com
    fashion.elle.com
    ellegirl.com
    dailywd.womansday.com
    blog.caranddriver.com
  • 21. Shameless plug.Need consulting services or a job?
    Grab my business card.
    Talk to me. I’m hungry for your feedback.
    Connect online.
    @arwinholmes
    aholmes@northps.com
    WE LEAD WITH EXPERIENCE.