WordPress and Enterprise

Where it comes to Enterprise-Level clients, your definition of them will differ from mine, most likely. For the last year I’ve been dealing with some Schools and getting WordPress up and going within their environment. I’ve been a part of a large migration project for moving sites from ModX to WordPress. It’s been a tough project, it’s been challenging but we’re getting it done. The light is at the end of the tunnel.

What inspired me and gave me confidence was this talk by Jake Goldman, from WordCamp Orange County

So what makes a client an “enterprise-level” client? This is hard and there’s not one conclusive answer. However, I can tell you what I think qualifies:

  • An organization that has more than a few units/teams/departments that serve different functions and business units (HR, Accounting, Admissions, Tech Support etc) outside of just making money
  • An organization that has more than one line of business to support their growth
  • An organization that uses many tools that tend to accomplish the same functions. Work with me here, but an Enterprise will often have different teams using different tools to accomplish the same thing. We have people Using P2 blogs, Google Sites and internal Wikis in addition to effing Sharepoint (I hate you, Sharepoint).
  • You serve thousands of customers daily, hourly, to the minute and beyond

Notice I didn’t mention anything about ‘volume’ of business as it relates to how much a company earns? That doesn’t matter, in my opinion. The complexity of the systems and infrastructure is what matters most, I believe. Karim Marucci over at Velo Media works with many Enterprise level accounts and his experience and opinion differ greatly from my own, I’m sure. The Enterprise I work with is likely rather small comparatively speaking. And that’s fine, but it’s no less complex and requires no less consideration to “get it right.”

How is Working with WordPress in Enterprise Different?

Fucksocks! It’s really different. It requires lots of planning, lots of testing and lots of cussing…

Shit for you to think about:

  • You will have to worry about content admins, you will have to worry about site admins and how they interact with the site.
  • Your end-users will differ greatly.
  • Will they use WordPress’s native login?
  • Will they Require LDAP? 
  • Will you be connecting with external Web Services to pull data into your WordPress site?
  • Can WordPress really DO THAT thing that you’re being asked about?
  • How will your choices affect the future-proofing of your site?
  • Should you use Multisite? 
  • How thoroughly will you test? 
  • What kind of resources are available to you? 
  • What will your development/staging/testing/production environment work? 
  • How will you interact with other developers on the project? 

And this isn’t even have of the shit you have to think about… Sorry about all the cussing folks, I’m just really hyped up on caffeine and peyote… Fuck.

WordPress for Enterprise is Like Playing Life on Difficulty “Hard.”

It just is, people. There’s a lot of moving parts and a lot to think about. But let me tell you something: You’re going to fuck up. Your early fuckups will inform your wisdom down the line. Fuck up often, just try not to do it in production.

That said, the past year has taught me that WordPress is more than ready and more than capable for Enterprise and I’m really excited to see where it all goes from here.

I plan to write some bits and bobs about my experience with Enterprise level WordPress and share what I’ve learned and failed at…

WordCamp Los Angeles

Okay, I’m redoing this post because, well, I was lazy. I posted the following quote:

“When you find yourself doing something you love for no pay, you know you’re in the right place…”

Truer words, right?

This past weekend our team of organizers (Natalie Maclees, Ryan Cowles and Nathan Tyler) pulled off WordCamp Los Angeles 2013. By most accounts, people seemed to enjoy it quite a bit. I know there’s a lot of opportunity to tighten things up for the next go-around and there were lots of hiccups, but nothing that derailed our collective enthusiasm and commitment to get this thing done.

That said, having spoken at a WordCamp a couple of times, attended nearly 10 WordCamps I can tell you that organizing a WordCamp is something else. I have to say… I’ve never slept better in my life than I did when my head hit the pillow Saturday night… Jeffrey Zinn, over at Pixel Jar, said I’d sleep pretty good… Turns out he was right.

The moral of this particular story isn’t really about all the awesome people who came together to be apart of this, but it’s really a more selfish thing, you see…

Leading up to this people would ask me “How much are they paying you?” they being the WordPress Foundation. The answer? Not a dime. We’re all volunteers. “But WHY are you doing this? Are you getting more business?” people would ask. I didn’t have a truly good reason that didn’t sound like complete bullshit…

Now that this weekend is done I can answer those questions. Because I love this WordPress community thing. For the first time, I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be. It’s a strange, strange journey that can bring you to where you are… Attending a meetup, organizing a meetup, meeting and making new friends; learning from folks ahead of you and pulling those behind you giving and taking. Loving what you do. Open Source Culture for the win, folks…