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Unscrambling An Omelette - How Companies Can Use WordPress Better - Jeremy Kelaher


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Fairfax Media have 40+ sites on WordPress, with more added every month.

As part of his new gig with Fairfax Media Jeremy has taken on the task of making this manageable, secure and cost effective, and he will share with you some ideas on approaches to the problem he has used in the past and new approaches that are just being rolled out now.

Published in: Internet
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Unscrambling An Omelette - How Companies Can Use WordPress Better - Jeremy Kelaher

  1. 1. Unscrambling an Omelette How companies can use WordPress better 1
  2. 2. “Automattic's mission has always been very aligned with WordPress itself, which is to democratise publishing.” - Matt Mullenweg 2
  3. 3. Fairfax have 40+ WordPress sites today, more all the time We needed a better way 3
  4. 4. Why WordPress, anyway ? Ease of training for authors - most used CMS in the world. Lots of build partners available. Fast and convenient for journalists - for example WordPress app for authors. Fast to stand up, quick to skin, compared to “business” CMSes. But … Currently less supportable after go live and needs active dev support if it is not to “rot”. 4
  5. 5. WordPress site types and different challenges Seasonal - eg once per year events like Actively developed eg clique - Actively used but not actively developed eg Agency 5 Keep WordPress Up to date, changing development partners Code review, small isolated dev teams Keep WordPress Up to date, occasional small updates Sales teams, charging for customer, keep up to date
  6. 6. Strategy for scaled use of WordPress 6
  7. 7. Key questions any large user must ask ● When should I use WordPress ? When Not ? ● What will it cost to host at the traffic levels I expect? ● How do I make my site secure ? ● Can updates be automated or at least made simple ? ● Is my internal dev/ops team motivated to really run lots of WordPress? ● Dev pipeline from test to prod. ● How will my code get quality reviewed ? ● What plugins are safe ? ● Are core hacks allowed ? ● CDN costs ● Membership integration 7
  8. 8. What you need to do 8 ● All your code and assets in (one) GIT and have a release automation strategy (eg bamboo) ● Train your devs on hosting deployment and local dev methods and make sure doco exists for partner devs ● Core comes from main repo (SVN/GIT) or hosting partner(s) ● Maintain list of acceptable plugins and have process to vet new ones ● Choose hosts, reexamine annually ● Choose dev partners, use “panel” for all internal jobs staff can’t do ● If possible get staff who are active community members or want to be ● Develop one or more parent themes ● Encapsulate any corporate special requirements (eg APIs, paywall, analytics) in plugins if off the shelf plugins not suitable. ● Contribute to the community
  9. 9. The WordPress Flow 9 Prototype Gated by: ● Business case ● Revenue ● Traffic “Weaponize” Deploy to Enterprise Hosting Pre- existi ng sites Innovate Fix Legacy Issues
  10. 10. Choosing a dev Partner 10 ● Blended Development model - works to empower your internal dev/ops team (fishing rods, not fish) ● Do core committers work for the company ? Well known Plugins ? ● Active community members ? ● Do they have great local tech/PM “front men” AND well vetted offshore for scalability ● What do the top Hosting companies say ? ● Sites like yours ● Lead times
  11. 11. What you need to do to host it yourself 11 ● So you have internal dev/ops, and are going to cloud self host (eg AWS) ○ Consider using a framework that is “like” the ones the better hosts use ■ Eg Bedrock from ○ Get WordPress into your git and automate the update of core - all sites use that ■ ○ Get your authorised plugins into your git, ditto the updates ○ All internal customisations = plugins or themes, in git. ○ code quality checks ■ VIP rules and vip_scanner ■ Lint, eg from wp-engine ■ Check for use of deprecated functions ■ Even internal themes should follow theme review team guidelines ○ Plugins and tools to capture db from prod and pull to staging on every release candidate ○ Security eg
  12. 12. Choosing a hosting Partner 12 ● What do the dev partners recommend ? ● Integration with GIT easy (hint - (S)FTP is banned) ● Ticketing system for problems and requests ● Dev/staging/prod - included ? ● Multisite vs many site ● Geography (USA OK, Singapore not so much) ● CDN included ? ● How to core updates work (fully automatic, facilitated) ● Code Quality control included ? ● Plugin limitation acceptable (hint - probably should be) ● Cost model for scaling steps (number of sites, traffic) ● Security Model (hint - they should have one!) ● Authentication for company users (eg against Microsoft AD)
  13. 13. Example - WordPress Hosting Tradeoffs 13 Option/ ability Auto Patch WP core Dev Staging ? Front End Scalability Database Scalability Level 1 Ops Support Frontline Security Plugin Vetting Code Vetting Core Hacks ? Corporate Authenticat ion ? CDN HTTP(S) AWS DIY Dependent on internal skills At cost YES, Dependent on internal skills YES, Dependent on internal skills Internal Internal Dependent on internal skills Dependent on internal skills YES YES At own cost (cloudfront possible) either Pantheon No YES, included YES, some WP configuration skill needed YES, some WP configuration skill needed Outsourced CDN and Outsourced Review on initial deployment of each site Dependent on internal skills YES, though will impact easy updates YES At own cost either WPEngine Yes Extra cost Yes, some account management needed Yes, some account management needed Outsourced https://s t/ Yes Dependent on internal skills No YES At own cost either Automattic VIP YES Staging at extra cost YES YES Outsourced YES YES YES NO, Never No Included HTTPS only
  14. 14. WordPress can be used well at scale it just takes the right people and the right ingredients 14
  15. 15. Thanks! Jeremy Kelaher Head Of Architecture Fairfax Product Solutions Join us :) 15