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.

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WordCamp Boston 2011 - Enterprise WordPress Dos & Don'ts

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