Reading Time: 3 minutes

The speaker line up at December’s Big WP in London hit the mark of the event’s advertised focus: a gathering for people working on high-traffic or high-profile WordPress sites. It was a fantastic opportunity to hear how our peers work with WordPress at enterprise scale. That’s one of the many reasons WordPress is a solid choice for enterprise: there’s a healthy and friendly community of professionals tackling common challenges, and sharing that experience to push forward what we can do collectively.

My key takeaways and musings:

First up we had Tammie Lister (@karmatosed) talking about the hottest topic in WordPress right now: Gutenberg.

  • Key message received loud and clear: TEST, FEEDBACK, MAKE AWESOME!
  • Find out how you can help here: Call For Testing: Gutenberg
  • Tammie said the Gutenberg team is actively encouraging people to build their own blocks
  • The “slash inserter” means you can quickly add a block using /
  • Meta boxes the classic editor and even page builders are not dead: in fact, Gutenberg should be seen as an opportunity for future releases.

It was really encouraging to hear the focus of the Gutenberg team now is finding out what users think, and how everyone can input into this project before the release into core in April.

Next up, Jason Agnew (@JasonAgnew__) gave a deep dive into Big Bite’s fork of the Live Blog plugin. Since the advent of always-on, 24 hr live news, it’s easy to take for granted a feature such as live blogging. However, on high traffic enterprise sites, creating a regularly refreshing feed is no mean feat. Jason gave us a whistle stop tour of the new version of Live Blog, which has incorporated React (now back in favour with WordPress developers after the Facebook licensing hiccup earlier this year). Great presentation that covered the techy side, showed the practical applications for users, and gave a clear roadmap for the future of the plugin.

Be careful when having a play around with this plugin, as a live blog will cause a high level of server requests (via the AJAX polling used to update the blog feed).

After hearing from an agency, we then heard from client side Parker Ward from Cap Gemini (@pkdub). Parker gave us many reasons why they went with WordPress and it sounds like their partnership with Human Made has been a great success so far – big ups to all those involved.

  • Having a WordPress fan client side in an enterprise environment is a huge benefit
  • Cap Gemini need to recruit 30,000+ people a year to maintain numbers – that was just a general jaw on the floor moment!
  • Great to see the democratisation of publishing happening in a business environment too – the numbers of people able to contribute content had grown massively

Finishing off this quartet of enterprise ready WordPressers, Daniel Drave from Sotic (@danieldrave), let us in on their platform-like offering for their sports clients. It was interesting to see how Sotic had created a standardised framework, that meant they could manage multiple sites relatively easily. It was an open, honest talk, which sparked interesting debate in the Q&A and in the pub afterwards!

  • I think Daniel got validation and a load of praise for the way they are doing things over at Sotic
  • With Gutenberg on the horizon, at what point to agencies, running multiple sites on a common framework, start thinking about incorporating it into release plans?

In summary

WordPress at enterprise scale is something we are passionate about here at Pragmatic, so to hear stories from peers and their clients was extremely valuable. There’s definitely space for more enterprise WordPress events, to promote all the amazing work going on in the WordPress community and encourage other big organisations to make the move to WP.

Thanks to the organisers and sponsors – will definitely be returning in 2018.