Thinking » Topics » Content Management Systems
It’s that time of year! Several of the Oomph, Inc. team members are preparing for the annual WordPress WordCamp Boston Conference, on October 25th-27th. This year’s Camp takes place at the Microsoft N.E.R.D Center in Cambridge, and is sure to be rife with inspired workshops and lively conversations.
WordCamp Boston will feature sessions on WordPress design, development, themes, project management, hosting, PHP, and Git. The Oomph Boston office will be proudly represented by speakers Bradley Jacobs (@crazyjaco) and Steven Word (@stevenkword), and naturally the office-buzz is beginning.
So we asked around: What are you looking forward to most?
1. New Frontend Frontiers
Oomph developers Alex and Bradley are most looking forward to K. Adam White’s discussion of backbone.js. Known among the Oomph team for his engaging talks, White’s presentation on development workflow at last year’s WordCamp was an office favorite. This year his talk will dive deeper into backbone.js, which has the potential to breathe new life into the WP 3.5 frontend.
2. Testing, Testing
3. WOrdpress 3.7 Heaven
Andrew Nacin, who is spearheading the effort behind WordPress 3.7, is also a greatly anticipated speaker. Currently, 3.7 is released in beta, but with the platform’s latest incarnation officially releasing soon, we’re sure Nassan will have some special sneak-peeks for the WordCamp crew.
Whether this is your first time at WordCamp (like our marketing whiz Anna), or you’re a seasoned industry veteran (like our CTO Dave McKinley), there’s a lot to get excited about! The Microsoft N.E.R.D. Center will shine in all its sun-lit glory, the SWAG will be plentiful—but the most thrilling thing is meeting the vibrant WordPress community members that will be waiting with open arms. Wear that name badge with pride, and shake some hands!
5. Git a Drink
The Saturday-night after party is sure to be a blast this year—since Oomph is hosting! Come 6:30pm we’ll be at the ever-hip Firebrand Saints. With your badge there’s an open bar until 10pm, so come connect with speakers, meet your fellow attendees, and make some new Twitter followers!
Tell us what you’re most excited to see at this year’s WordCamp on Twitter! @oomphinc #wcbos13
This past weekend, Oomph attended two industry events: Northeast PHP in Boston as well as WordCamp Providence. Both events provide an opportunity for local developers to share and gain new knowledge through presentations, workshops, and strategy sessions. We were represented in Boston by Alex Vallejo and Bradley Jacobs, and in Providence by Nick Blanchard. Nick also contributed to WordCamp as an Organizer spreading the word to potential attendees, designing the t-shirts, and generally overseeing details that enabled the event to run smoothly.
Alex, John, and Nick will be contributing to the blog over the next week with their personal thoughts on the weekend.
Photo Credit: Alex Torrengra
Tomorrow Oomph will be attending the “Big Media” WordPress Meetup in New York City. This meetup was started in 2012 by the WordPress.com VIP team and is held at the New York Times headquarters. It includes a series of lightning talks by Andrew Nacin, Lead Developer of WordPress, Austin Smith of Alley Interactive, Jaymin Patel of the New York Times, and Josh Kadis of Quartz, with a focus on issues concerning the operation, development, and scaling of large, high-traffic WordPress websites.
Dave McKinley, Chief Technology Officer, and Vernon Rauch, Director of Client Services, will be representing Oomph at the event.
WordPress is a key tool for making great things happen here at Oomph, and it’s just become even better. The August 1st release of WordPress 3.6, nicknamed Oscar, continues to expand the potential of web development and comes with a huge list of new possibilities to enhance your website.
Not only are we eager to officially start using WordPress 3.6, we are honored to announce our Site Operations Team Lead, Jim Reevior, had a role in its development! WordPress prides itself on being a collaborative effort – a content management system created by it’s own users. Back in March, Oomph sponsored the first Boston WordPress Hack Day, giving developers a chance to contribute to WordPress core and 3.6. Along with Jim, a team of Oomph developers attended the event and spent the day giving back to one of our favorite platforms.
Keeping up with new technologies is sometimes daunting, even for those who work in technology day in and day out. Fortunately, conferences and camps like Design4Drupal are ideal resources for new information, inspiration and networking. This past weekend in Boston, Nick Blanchard, Alex Vallejo, and I had the opportunity to attend D4D at the Stata Center on the MIT campus. This two-day camp offered sessions geared toward developers and designers—and even a few geared toward business owners and project managers.
The WordPress Zone Manager plugin—alias The Zoninator—helps site admins curate content by allowing them to create content “zones” anywhere on their website. Content is then assigned to designated zones and ordered based on criteria configured on the backend. Oomph’s Vu Huynh has been working to optimize the power of Zone Manager for our clients, and we sat down with him to talk about what’s possible with The Zoninator.
What are some of the key benefits of the Zone Manager plugin?
Zone Manager provides an easy-to-use administrator interface to queue posts in any order without any programming knowledge. This is particularly useful when a certain post order cannot be easily made through a query. Zones can be quickly added, edited and deleted through the admin interface.
How have you been using Zone Manager?
I’ve been using Zone Manager as a means to “feature” posts on a homepage and a homepage-placed sidebar. Administrators can have a specific post remain on the homepage even if the post would normally be archived because of its publish date. Zones are sometimes used as an alternative to stickies when you want to have a featured post remain on the homepage despite its place in the chronological order.
What else is possible with Zone Manager?
Any content type can be placed into zones, not just posts and pages. So anything that queues content into a list can use Zoninator as an interface to do so, such as a custom gallery.
Radar Online, a 24/7 entertainment website, is the most recent online publication to get a facelift from American Media, Inc.—and AMI chose Oomph as the digital surgeons for the procedure.
AMI asked Oomph to implement a new site design they’d drafted in-house, but they needed more than just a front-end polish. Essentially, they wanted us to rebuild the site and give it a new, stronger infrastructure capable of handling high traffic while maintaining reliable, efficient performance. Our discovery team recommended WordPress.com VIP as the choice content management platform for the new Radar Online. As part of the move, we migrated nearly half a million records, including 50,000 image galleries, from their old system to WordPress. We also improved the user experience with the implementation of a cleaner, more attractive front-end appearance.
Oomph’s team of developers did something else unique for Radar: By maintaining the very same URL structure, wherever possible, we helped them avoid the blips in SEO retention that tend to happen when a site moves to a new CMS. Finally, we staffed the Radar Online launch—something we consider to be one of the most important parts of any project. Oomph team members were on-site alongside Radar staff to provide quality assurance and real time problem solving, which not only helped their team feel more secure on such an important day, but also provided a level of crisis management training that they could draw from in the future.
Our collaboration with AMI and Radar is just the beginning of this relationship. The Oomph team is already at work on another major AMI site.