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Synchronizing Creativity with Content Management

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Boston University began tinkering with WordPress in 2007. Today our highly customized web-publishing platform serves 1,000+ websites, ranging from blogs to behemoths, and 60+ themes, ranging from bespoke to basic.

BU’s culture of free thought extends to the creative team and has lead to increasingly diverse site designs. But how do we sustain the creation of inventive visitor experiences without overcomplicating content management?

Learn about the smart choices and stupid mistakes – both creative and technical — we’ve made along the way to building the most ambitious WordPress installation in HigherEd.

Boston University began tinkering with WordPress in 2007. Today our highly customized web-publishing platform serves 1,000+ websites, ranging from blogs to behemoths, and 60+ themes, ranging from bespoke to basic.

BU’s culture of free thought extends to the creative team and has lead to increasingly diverse site designs. But how do we sustain the creation of inventive visitor experiences without overcomplicating content management?

Learn about the smart choices and stupid mistakes – both creative and technical — we’ve made along the way to building the most ambitious WordPress installation in HigherEd.

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Synchronizing Creativity with Content Management

  1. 1. Synchronizing Creativity + Content Management
  2. 2. (alternate title) Designer vs Developer
  3. 3. (alternate title) Smart vs Stupid
  4. 4. THE Con lict!
  5. 5. roles executive designer editor developer help desk
  6. 6. The executive needs: Value, reliability BUT! high output
  7. 7. The help desk needs: Detailed documentation BUT! quick tasks
  8. 8. The editor needs: Ease-of-use BUT! more features
  9. 9. The developer needs: Features to build BUT! lean codebase
  10. 10. The designer needs: Total freedom BUT! quick builds
  11. 11. regularity/creativity
  12. 12. Meddling with WordPress & the organizational divide
  13. 13. WordPress is a service for everyone IS&T/MarCom WordPress is for big sites only 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
  14. 14. Pilot #1: School of Medicine = 1 designer = 0 developers = 0 editors 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
  15. 15. Pilot #1: School of Medicine = 1 aging CMS = 136 sites > 200 editors 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
  16. 16. Implementation > 1 year later = 0 designers = 0 editors = 0 sysadmins = 2 developers 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
  17. 17. Crippling WordPress - Comments - Roles - Categories - Tags 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
  18. 18. “Don't ight WordPress. Understand it. Embrace it.”
  19. 19. Pilot #2: Admissions > 9.5 million views 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
  20. 20. Pilot #2: Admissions = 2 designers = 1 contractor = 0 IS&T 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
  21. 21. Pilot #3: Human Resources = 3.2 million views 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
  22. 22. Pilot #3: Human Resources = 2 students = 2 IS&T plugins 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
  23. 23. DIY themes: = 1/8 designer = 1 developer = 0 coordination 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
  24. 24. 581 sites 342 sites 141 sites 136 sites 0 sites 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
  25. 25. Total: + 253 In-progress + 1,800 Blogs = 2,732 Sites 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
  26. 26. Average Rate since 2008: = 1.9 Sites/Day!!1 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
  27. 27. The Oh Sh*t! Moment
  28. 28. roles executive designer editor developer help desk
  29. 29. roles must understand each others executive designer editor developer help desk
  30. 30. content design site tools
  31. 31. Collaboration
  32. 32. A range of offerings: 1. Fully custom 2. Quick setup 3. DIY tools
  33. 33. Can’t support Effort & cost: 2,732 Custom Sites! 1. High 2. Moderate 3. Low
  34. 34. Establish work lows: 1. Sandbox 2. SVN >10,000 commits! 3. Documentation 4. Tools to talk
  35. 35. Moving code sandbox devl pre-prod prod
  36. 36. Moving content live prod content design sandbox + develop around real content in-progress pre-prod content
  37. 37. assemble teams that cross boundaries (even if it’s awkward)
  38. 38. tools CUS DIY sites TOM sites lexible theme framework
  39. 39. “ lexi”
  40. 40. lexi = color options
  41. 41. lexi + content banner
  42. 42. lexi + layout editor
  43. 43. lexi + automated setup + good defaults = happy help desk
  44. 44. lexi logo variations
  45. 45. lexi = child themes + extensible (+/-) + widget formats + shortcode library
  46. 46. lexi + mobile themes
  47. 47. + plugins
  48. 48. How many plugins does it take? Main Main Integrated Third-Party BU-speci ic w/ BU apps Gravity Forms BU Navigation BU Calendar WP SuperCache Access Control List BU Maps (w/ Single Sign-on) Akismet Google Search User Management Appliance Networks for (w/ Single Sign-on) WordPress Course Feeds Content Banner Training Manager Post Details Emergency Alert Advanced Tiny MCE Site Manager Cache / Message Queue Daemon
  49. 49. How many plugins does it take? Main Main Integrated Third-Party BU-speci ic w/ BU apps Gravity Forms BU Navigation BU Calendar WP SuperCache Access Control List BU Maps (w/ Single Sign-on) Akismet Google Search User Management Appliance Networks for (w/ Single Sign-on) WordPress Course Feeds Content Banner Training Manager Post Details Emergency Alert Advanced Tiny MCE Site Manager Cache / Message Queue Daemon
  50. 50. How many plugins does it take? Main Main Integrated Third-Party BU-speci ic w/ BU apps Gravity Forms BU Navigation BU Calendar WP SuperCache Access Control List BU Maps (w/ Single Sign-on) Akismet Google Search User Management Appliance Networks for (w/ Single Sign-on) WordPress Course Feeds Content Banner Training Manager Post Details Emergency Alert Advanced Tiny MCE Site Manager Cache / Message Queue Daemon
  51. 51. Up next» + mobile + BU Today + libraries + magazines + responsive + wp community
  52. 52. (by) @gcorne Gregory Cornelius vs Scott Dasse

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