Meet ElasticPress 2.0

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ElasticPress 2.0 is a major update, with improvements to search result weighting, expanded query parameters, and better metadata syncing.

Tweaks to the search algorithm’s fuzzy matching limit unwanted results (i.e. searches for “yell” previously returned results for “yeti,” since the terms are only two characters apart) while still correcting for misspellings. Results are more intelligently weighted, with documents containing all search terms boosted 2x, and another 2x boost for documents matching the order of searched terms.

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10up and ESPN launch The Undefeated

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On May 17, 10up launched The Undefeated, the latest project in our longstanding partnership with ESPN. Like Grantland and FiveThirtyEight before it, The Undefeated examines our world through a unique lens, exploring the intersections of race, sports, and culture through “innovative storytelling, original reporting, and provocative commentary.” We’re thrilled to celebrate the release of The Undefeated, which is receiving accolades and high engagement with its community feature, You Got 99 Words.

Streamline migrating to WordPress Multisite with MU-Migration

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Migrating a standalone WordPress site to a site network (or “multisite”) environment is a tedious and tricky endeavor.

The WordPress Importer works reasonably well for smaller, simpler sites, but leaves room for improvement. It exports content, but not site configuration data such as Widget and Customizer configurations, plugins, and site settings. The Importer also struggles to handle a large amount of content. Third party backup plugins that are compatible with site networks offer another solution, but they often involve slow intermediary “cloud” backup and restore steps, and the reliable solutions are mostly commercial.
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10up partners with Joyent to bring WordPress to Docker

We’re proud to announce that 10up has partnered with Joyent to bring WordPress to their Docker infrastructure.

Joyent, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IAAS) company providing software to power their—and their clients’—cloud platforms, knows the difficulties in prepackaging software installations that can be readily moved across server environments. To solve this, Joyent uses Docker, a technology which packages an application with all of its dependencies into a standardized unit for software development. In plain terms, it creates a fully assembled, preconfigured, and portable software environment.

Docker offers several practical benefits for teams building websites and applications using repeatable configurations and industry best practices like testing environments. First, as simple as the WordPress famous 5-minute install is, it results in a default, out-of-the-box configuration; Docker helps engineers fast forward past the remaining configuration. Second, it ensures that multiple installations (local, staging, production, separate servers) mirror each other, so as to allow worry-free code deployments. We made inroads in solving this problem with Varying Vagrant Vagrants, and Docker takes that solution a step further.

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10up client projects nominated for “Best of the Internet” awards

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The 20th Annual Webby Awards, the web’s canonical awards program recognizing the best of the internet, presented their nominees last week. Nominees qualify for two awards: The Webby Award selected by a professional judging body, as well as The Webby People’s Voice Award, selected by an open vote that runs through April 21. Among the many WordPress-powered nominees, several 10up projects are in the running.
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Clean up and secure WordPress data with WP Hammer

When making copies of a website for development and testing, populating a thorough content and data set is vital for Quality Assurance (QA). The most efficient path typically involves mirroring the entire production site’s database. But this can be problematic: a large site can have tens of thousands of posts (each with many revisions and healthy doses of metadata) and many user accounts.

Those user accounts (and sometimes the site’s content) can contain sensitive data that, if mishandled, can put clients at risk. On top of that, testing, development, and initial imports—often executed on lightweight virtual machines—can be painfully slow when working with very large datasets. Cleaning up imported production data is a must, but has been a tedious, inefficient task.

Enter 10up’s WP Hammer: an open source developer tool that quickly and efficiently reduces—or completely removes—production data and sensitive client information like email addresses and hashed account passwords from a WordPress installation.
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Supercharge WooCommerce performance and search with ElasticPress WooCommerce

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WooCommerce is the world’s most popular e-commerce software, available as a free WordPress plugin. Its expansive extensions library houses a number of premium extensions addressing recurring payments, different payment gateways, shipment tracking tools, and more.

Scaling open source e-commerce solutions like WooCommerce, that can be installed on infrastructures of all shapes and sizes, is challenging. Online stores typically require intensive database transactions: complex queries on both the front and back-end that filter and sort products based on several categories, stock, and properties like pricing and reviews.

Further, most shoppers depend on site search to find products. Complex filters combined with keyword search across fields heavily tax relational databases like MySQL, the underlying database used by WordPress. And of course, increased store traffic increases the number of database queries to process, making every transaction even slower. Not surprisingly, many WooCommerce sites run quite slowly.

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Eight Day Week: a digital-first web-to-print workflow plugin by Observer & 10up

The web publishing experience is at the heart of 10up’s mission. So needless to say, when Observer (a long-time client) offered the opportunity to reimagine their editorial process, merging content management across their digital property and hallmark print publication, New York Observer, they couldn’t hold us back.

The existing process was relatively simple, but introduced several pain points and some potential for inaccuracy. Content was first authored in a word processor; it then moved through several teams and systems: from fact checkers to InDesign and InCopy, then to print, and finally to WordPress for publication on Observer.com. All of this was tracked in a spreadsheet, which involved manually copying and pasting between the word processor, spreadsheet, and WordPress. For a publisher doggedly moving to a “digital first” business model, their process hadn’t exactly caught up with their vision.

The 10up/Observer team came up with a better approach: let’s flip that process on its head and drive the entire process from within WordPress, taking advantage of its content authorship and storage capabilities! In doing so, the burden of duplicating content is removed, and content can be published online much more quickly, without waiting for print publication.

The result? Eight Day Week–a web to print plugin that helps digital content creators use WordPress to streamline their print production workflow.

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Reflections on ElasticPress

With 2015 coming to a close, I’ve been reflecting on the ElasticPress project’s accomplishments since its inception one and a half years ago.

Today, we released ElasticPress 1.7, which completely restructures post meta storage. This enables performant post meta queries with complex comparisons against data types, such as integers, dates, and times. We also fixed some bugs.

Like many of our popular open source projects, ElasticPress was originally conceived as an internal tool designed to support some specific client needs. Since open sourcing the project, ElasticPress has garnered over 30 contributors (most of whom do not work at 10up), 16 major releases, and a thriving Github community where developers and site owners are collaborating. ElasticPress is used by major hosting companies and across hundreds of websites, some of which serve millions of pages each month. I have introduced developers to ElasticPress at speaking engagements around the world.

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We’ve also learned our fair share of lessons since initiating the project. Here are a few that stand out.
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Marrying Brightcove and WordPress

When it comes to providing enterprise-class cloud solutions for video delivery and monetization, Brightcove is the biggest game in town.

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10up recently teamed up with Brightcove to create Brightcove Video Connect: a beautiful WordPress plugin that leverages the new Video Cloud API to power an intuitive experience for content creators designed to look and feel like an organic extension of WordPress. The plugin features the functionality that media publishers value most, such as easy video uploads and playlist management. We even designed the plugin with extensibility in mind, so that major media companies with unique workflows and presentation requirements can customize and extend their experience.

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