Blog – 10up finely crafted websites and tools Tue, 16 Nov 2021 17:51:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 ClassifAI Expands OCR Scanning Capabilities To PDFs Tue, 16 Nov 2021 17:30:53 +0000 ClassifAI

The recent 1.7 release of ClassifAI, our free plugin that augments WordPress-powered websites with artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, expanded its Optical Character Recognition (OCR) scanning capabilities to support multi-page PDF files.

ClassifAI leverages cloud-based services like IBM Watson and Microsoft Azure AI to enhance content management in WordPress with:

  • Automated content tagging and classification
  • Automated image tagging and descriptive alt text assignment
  • Smart focal point cropping of images
  • Bulk scanning of existing content
  • OCR text generation for screenshots, images, and PDFs

The integration of OCR scanning for screenshots and other imagery was introduced in the 1.6 release, on the heels of Facebook and Instagram dropping support for open embeds. Now, ClassifAI uses the same automated text scanning technology to scan and index text within PDF documents of all sizes, adding the text content to the media description field.

The addition of OCR scanning for PDFs is a boon to content creators whose sites often contain large archives of scanned paperwork and PDF documents, as we’ve found to be especially common among higher education and governmental clientele.

Storing PDF text as metadata in WordPress dramatically improves onsite and admin search capabilities by making the text within a PDF searchable. This makes more site content discoverable and helps visitors find the right information faster and easier. For content managers and editorial teams, the ability to quickly search the media library for information within a PDF document avoids accidental duplication, and in turn, can help prevent visitors and search engines from being served outdated or inconsistent information.

As we look to the future, we remain focused on integrating features that simplify the content management process for all content creators and publishers. Our Open Source Practice is currently exploring automatically transcribing audio files for podcasts and integrating with popular personalization services.

Get ClassifAI

To register for a free license key and download the plugin, head to Registration allows us to keep adopters apprised of major updates and beta testing opportunities, gather feedback, and prioritize common use cases.

ClassifAI is developed on GitHub, where we are actively reviewing feedback and issue reports. Designed to be extended, it provides hooks and filters for developers to customize service providers and integration points.

To explore innovative ways to adopt artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies as part of your digital strategy, get in touch.

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10up at WP Engine Summit/2021 EMEA Wed, 03 Nov 2021 16:15:05 +0000 Banner describing 10up as a sponsor of WP Engine's 2021 EMEA Summit

Later this week, 10up will join WP Engine at Summit/2021 EMEA. The Summit, taking place on 4 November 2021 from 10am to 3:30PM GMT, features keynotes by Tech Nation CEO Gerard Grech and Baroness Karren Brady, CEO of West Ham United Football Club. The event is online, and registration is free.

Headless in the Enterprise Panel

I’ll be joining the Headless in the Enterprise panel alongside leaders at WP Engine and others in the media and publishing industry to discuss emerging use cases and best practices for headless. We’ve had the opportunity to share our insights on headless and decoupled architectures at WP Engine events several times since our first headless build over 5 years ago, and I’m excited to revisit the rapidly-changing landscape.

Remote-First Design Workshops

10up Design Director Lea Alcantara will share how 10up adapted multiple in-person design exercises into a single Design Alignment Workshop – a transition that’s since became our default approach for virtual and in-person sessions. She’ll also showcase the tools 10up’s Experience Design team uses to conduct these workshops.

Platinum Sponsorship

Our team is excited to continue supporting WP Engine’s Summit series with a Platinum Sponsorship.

You can visit our sponsor landing page to check out Lea’s session, and to join us in our virtual exhibitor booth during the sessions.

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10up Releases New WordPress Plugin To Address Insecure Content, Updates Others Tue, 21 Sep 2021 13:15:54 +0000 Icons for 10up Plugins

10up’s Open Source Practice has doubled down on contributing tools, time, and code to the WordPress community to empower developers and ensure longevity for the open-source platform that supports many of our largest clients — a platform that now powers more than 40% of all websites. In the last year, that meant investing 6,500+ hours across 30+ projects, which included updates to our flagship plugins like Distributor, ElasticPress, and ClassifAI, among other plugins, and several new WordPress plugin releases like Block For Apple Maps, Eight Day Week, and Convert to Blocks.

Today, we’re happy to announce the release of a new WordPress plugin, Insecure Content Warning, and share updates to several smaller popular plugins.

New: Insecure Content Warning

10up’s latest WordPress plugin, Insecure Content Warning, helps prevent content creators with secure (HTTPS) websites from publishing insecure (HTTP) content that causes browsers to display a mixed content warning for the URL.

When publishing or updating a post with insecure assets, the plugin flags elements in the content editor (such as images, links, and embeds) that are delivered or sourced from an insecure web address. Flagged elements can be fixed manually or by clicking a “Fix It” button that checks to see if an HTTPS equivalent is available.

It works with the WordPress block editor and the Classic editor and requires no configuration.

Insert Special Characters

Insert Special Characters, enables writers to quickly access and search special characters through the block-level text formatting menu. Since its initial release, we have fielded requests for a variety of character additions.

After contributing new characters and updates to the open-source React Character Map library the plugin leverages, we updated Insert Special Characters to include characters for em dash, en dash, hair space, thin space, no-break space, en space, em space, zero-width non-joiner, non-breaking hyphen; and character sets for Currency, Punctuation, and Greek.

The release also focused on accessibility improvements for keyboard users, making the component UI text translatable, and enhancing compatibility with the new WordPress widget screen.

Safe Redirect Manager

The 1.10 release of Safe Redirect Manager, our WordPress plugin that simplifies the management of website redirects, introduced two enhancements for more consistent handling of redirects when URL strings have query parameters appended, and improved SEO.

Redirects And Query Parameters

By default, Safe Redirect Manager now ignores query parameters to ensure all redirects resolve at the proper destination URL. This is especially helpful when sharing redirected URLs on social media sites like Facebook, which appends tracking parameters to links shared on its platform.

For those who don’t want to ignore query parameters, the srm_match_query_params filter is available to ensure only exact match URLs are redirected.

Expanded HTTP Status Code Support

Safe Redirect Manager introduced a new hook that empowers developers to include additional HTTP status codes, like the 410 Gone code, within the plugin options.

The 410 Gone status can have immediate SEO implications:

  • A 404 Not Found status code signals that the requested resource is not currently available but may become available in the future.
  • A 410 Gone status code sends a more precise and definitive signal, indicating that the requested resource once existed but has been permanently removed, is obsolete, and will not be available in the future.

While Google will continue to crawl 404 URLs for up to a year, URLs with a 410 status will be removed from the crawl list and deindexed. The result: Using a 410 status code is a more permanent option for URLs that will never exist again and preferable when a web page must be de-indexed quickly.

Ad Refresh Control

Ad Refresh Control, our WordPress plugin that empowers publishers to easily control the refreshing of ads without making modifications to their existing ad implementation, has seen several point releases that refine the management experience and compatibility with the WordPress VIP platform.

New Filter To Increase Ad Refresh Intervals

The plugin, which allows for adjustments to the ad refresh rate, defaults to an ad refresh interval of 30 seconds — the minimum interval allowed by Google to ensure viewers have enough time to engage with ads. The new avc_refresh_interval_value filter introduced the ability to reduce the interval to less than 30 seconds — a feature valuable for livestream news events where the content on the page is refreshing on a near constant basis.

Additional Refresh Exclusions

The initial plugin release included the ability to prevent ad refreshes for the remainder of a page view for specific advertisers — helpful for advertisers that purchase specific ad slots. Updates expanded the refresh exclusion rules beyond advertiser ID to include line item ID, ad unit size, and ad slot ID.

New Filter For Callback Requests

For those with a more complicated ad setup, the new avc_refresh_callback filter provides the ability to customize callback requests that run prior to an ad refresh. Now when leveraging options like header bidding, site owners can request new bids for a specific ad slot before refreshing the ad.

Simple Local Avatars

In response to WordPress core updates and the availability of more current avatar filters, the latest release of our plugin Simple Local Avatars boasts a refactored codebase to improve local avatar management and prevent plugin conflicts.

Unlike other local avatar plugins, Simple Local Avatars remains a simple, single-purpose custom avatar solution. For WordPress users that have media permissions, the plugin adds an avatar upload field to their user profile, and upon upload, generates the right avatar sizes on demand just like Gravatar.

Check Out Our Plugins

We invite you to check out all of our plugins in the WordPress repository or check us out on GitHub to learn more about our project roadmaps and get a close-up look at our open source initiatives. We welcome bug reports, feature requests, questions, pull requests, and spirited, respectful debates.

To learn more about how 10up can support your digital goals, reach out!

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10up Appearances, Fall 2021 Edition Mon, 13 Sep 2021 16:00:26 +0000 Team 10up Speaking Appearances

At 10up, we make a better web by finely crafting websites and tools for content creators. We also give back to our community of digital makers by encouraging team members to share their experience, insights, and lessons learned at industry events, and through engagement with online media. Here are some recent and upcoming highlights around the web:

Torque Social Hour

Our President & Founder Jake Goldman kicked things off as a special guest on The Torque Social Hour, a weekly livestream about WordPress news, events, and life. The show spends a lot of time on headless WordPress solutions like WP Engine’s Atlas product and Jake discusses some newer 10up plugins and our ongoing contributions to the open source community.

De{code} Podcast

On a similar note, catch me on the DE{CODE} Podcast discussing the business case for adopting headless architectures, when and how 10up encourages a client to go headless, and his wishlist for making WordPress more headless friendly. The episode drops on Monday, September 20.

WP Campus 2021

On Wednesday, September 22, you’ll find Visual Design Director Lea Alcantara speaking at WP Campus 2021. Her presentation, How To Create Design Workshops For Remote Engagement, shows how 10up consolidated multiple in-person design exercises into one virtual Design Alignment Workshop, offers recommendations for engaging remote client experiences, and showcases the online tools 10up designers use.

CodeLand 2021

Director of Open Source Initiatives Helen Hou-Sandí is one of four keynote speakers for CodeLand 2021, a remote two-day conference designed to level up programmers and people learning to code. Her keynote address on September 23, Musical Lessons for Engineering Teams: Developing a Culture of Feedback Cycles, will explore her journey from musician to engineer and how the feedback cycles used by musicians can elevate engineers and transform engineering teams.

Reverse Engineered Podcast

Find Vice President of New Client Strategy Brad Miller chatting with Kinsta COO Jon Penland on the Reverse Engineered Podcast about his career journey, his experience at 10up in a remote work context, and how he still finds time to write music. The episode airs on September 28.

WordCamp US 2021

Helen Hou-Sandí will also take the virtual stage on Friday, October 1, as part of the single day WordCamp US 2021. Her session, A Voice For The New White House Administration With The Block Editor, will share the story of how 10up joined the whirlwind journey of giving the incoming Biden-Harris administration its online voice with a brand new White House website powered by WordPress. It will also offer a first-hand look at how the site leverages the block editor and showcase its fast, intuitive visual editing experience.

HighEdWeb Annual Conference

On Tuesday, October 5, 2021, catch Senior Content Designer Amy Grace Wells presenting at the HighEdWeb Annual Conference. Her presentation, Supporting Neurodiversity in Content and Usability, will explore how neurodiverse users experience elements such as workflows, complex information, time limit requirements, and task completion and share how higher education can design mindful digital user experiences that make its products and applications more accessible to all.

Speak Up And Say Hello

If you’re planning to participate in any of these events, please speak up and say hello — our team members would love to meet you and answer any of your questions about our work, open-source contributions, WordPress plugins, working with us, or even joining our team.

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WordPress 5.8 Released, Eight 10uppers Named As Contributors Thu, 29 Jul 2021 20:20:19 +0000 WordPress 5.8 Tatum

WordPress 5.8, released last Tuesday, brings a variety of enhancements to the block editing experience and introduces Global Styles and Global Settings APIs.

Blocks have transformed the way pages and posts are built. WordPress 5.8 extends the power of blocks to put even more control in the hands of site owners.

  • The new Block Widgets Editor and Customizer provide more content design options by empowering site owners to add blocks in widget areas and with live preview through the Customizer.
  • A new Query Loop Block makes it possible to display posts based on specified parameters, like posts from a specific category.
  • When using a WordPress theme that has opted into the feature, the block editor can now be used to edit theme page and post templates.

Solutions were also introduced to make complex content easier to manage and navigate. The new block List View menu lists all of the blocks used in a page layout so that content creators can navigate quickly to the exact block they need. The Pattern Transformations tool will suggest block patterns based on the block being used. 5.8 also introduces support for smaller, faster loading WebP images and duotone image filters.

The Global Styles and Global Settings APIs theme.json file offers developers the ability to enable or disable features and set default styles globally or on a per block basis. Block support flags, introduced in WordPress 5.6 and 5.7, have been stabilized and expanded upon to add new block support flags — like adding duotone support for images — and new options to customize registered blocks.

Eight 10uppers helped make this release possible, including myself who acted as Release Co-Coordinator and Helen Hou-Sandí who was recognized as a Noteworthy Contributor. Thank you for helping make WordPress: Alejandro Perez, Clayton Collie, Fabian Kaegy, Felipe Elia, Ramon Ahnert, and Ryan Welcher.

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Embracing Friday Culture To Build A Happy, Healthy, High-Performing Team Wed, 07 Jul 2021 18:11:42 +0000 Team 10up In Florida

When I founded 10up, building a remote company at scale was somewhat of a novelty. Our agency has been featured in case studies, books, ebooks, interviews, and articles about remote work culture, including a Forbes list of notable remote work companies. I have guest lectured at universities like Stanford and the University of Michigan on the subject. Where we were once early pioneers of a new model, companies around the globe have come to embrace remote work.

Now, more than 10 years in, we’re called to revisit how we think about remote work in the context of client service, continued pioneering of working models, and cultivating a happy, healthy, high-performing workplace.

For instance, one thing we’ve realized is that when you already work remotely or stay at home during time off, a day off doesn’t always feel like a day off. When your home and office are the same place, and “entering the office” is only few taps away on that computer in your pocket, finding a healthy work/life balance can be a challenge.

While evaluating potential improvements to the 10up workforce experience, we found ourselves asking, “Client service is our number one value — can we make meaningful changes for our team without diminishing our customer experience?”

Ultimately, we realized two things:

  1. The wellbeing, sustainability, and long term productivity of our team is at least as important to our clients as it is to us.
  2. Meaningful, impactful change can happen without disrupting the quality of service and craftsmanship our clients expect.

Team 10up In Orlando

Focused & Flexible Fridays

This summer, we’re evolving Friday culture with a new series of programs — Focused & Flexible Fridays — that prioritize team health, focus, and greater balance in a way that we think will improve creativity, productivity, and effectiveness.

Our goals are to:

  • Offer 10uppers more schedule flexibility and opportunities to take Fridays off without worrying about missing something important like a team meeting.
  • Further help us attract, sustain, and support the best global talent in our space by continuing to adapt to evolving work / life balance needs.
  • Create the space for focused, efficient, uninterrupted deep work that leads to better experiences and outcomes for clients.

Our efforts began years ago with the introduction of Focus Fridays — the avoidance of standing meetings and code deployments on Fridays — to give 10uppers the proven productivity (if not sanity!) benefits of a focused day “in the zone” of production.

We’ve now introduced Refocused Fridays — standardized, fully supported alternative, flexible, 4-day workweek options that enable 10uppers to frontload their time Mon-Thurs or choose a part-time schedule with Fridays off.

This summer, we’re evolving Friday culture once again with Refresh Fridays, which turns the third Friday of every month into a fully focused Friday — no interruptions or meetings, guidelines to minimize emails and Slack messages, and an intention to avoid any disruptive or especially stressful communication.

On Refresh Fridays, 10uppers can work whatever hours work best for them, and step away from the virtual office and screens on Friday once they’ve put their week’s work in. We think it will also be the perfect time to take that long weekend we all need from time to time, without the fear of missing out at the office or the emails and disruptions at your fingertips that can make it hard to really unplug.

10up Annual Summits

Building A High-Performing Remote Work Culture

While we are setting some new expectations for the clients we serve — asking them to understand that we’ll be a bit less responsive on Fridays, avoiding nonessential deployments on Thursday evenings that might disrupt Friday, minimizing non-urgent disruptive communication — it doesn’t mean team members won’t be available. Coverage plans will be in place for any team members taking Friday(s) off, and of course, we will be available in the event of an emergency or urgent issue.

At the end of the day, we believe the kinds of clients that value what 10up brings to the table will understand and embrace the link between the service they want and the environment conducive to having a team that is more energized, focused, and productive. Heck, we think our clients might themselves appreciate a different kind of day to end their weeks, as well.

As I’ve said before, we expect that new work/life balance choices will play a big role in the next decade of work, and we want to be at the forefront — again. We hope these changes are just a beginning.

If you care about collaborating with a creative team that values work/life balance just as much as a smooth, uneventful platform migration, let’s talk about how we can support your digital initiatives.

If you want to work with a team that cares about your health and happiness as much as your skills and talent, come work with us.

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A Decade of Contributing to WordPress Fri, 25 Jun 2021 17:34:11 +0000 WordPress Trac ticket #17887 with a date of 10 years ago

Ten years ago today, I submitted my very first proposed change to WordPress itself and not long after, in August of 2011, I joined 10up. I have been fortunate to be a part of and grow with the WordPress community in the decade since. Not only have I grown from Web Engineer to Director of Open Source Initiatives at 10up, but also in that time, I’ve gone from being a first-time contributor to one of a handful of WordPress lead developers.

The power of open source and its communities continues to astound and humble me. I could never have dreamed this is where a little curiosity about the second freedom to “study how the program works and change it to make it do what you wish” would lead… and I look forward to seeing what the next decade of my career brings with it.

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10up Uncovers Security Vulnerability in FileBird WordPress Plugin, Update Now Available Wed, 16 Jun 2021 14:00:52 +0000 FileBird WordPress Plugin

As a leading contributor to WordPress, 10up is committed to the cultivation of a vibrant, collaborative, and healthy open-source ecosystem. We strive to strengthen open platforms and tools through responsible stewardship, and embrace the concept that “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.”

Last week, that work included helping a popular WordPress plugin with 90,000+ installs fix a critical security vulnerability.

On June 9, 2021, a 10up Engineer conducted a routine code review of the FileBird plugin on behalf of a client. The code review followed 10up’s Engineering Best Practices and focused on areas that did not pass our initial automated scans. It uncovered that the code was vulnerable to a Blind SQL Injection attack — a clever type of exploit that involves sending “yes or no” questions to MySQL to extract information from the database when it cannot be output directly to the browser.

That same day, our team responsibly disclosed the vulnerability. We reached out to the team at WPScan, who we’ve previously collaborated with on our WP-CLI Vulnerability Scanner and WordPress Composer Scanner, to report the vulnerability and collaborate on disclosure.

The FileBird plugin authors responded quickly and responsibly, and issued a patch within 36 hours.

This is a critical vulnerability that only impacts version 4.7.3 of the FileBird plugin. It does not impact any previous versions and has been patched in version 4.7.4. All users of FileBird version 4.7.3 are advised to upgrade immediately.

While we plan on sharing more information about the vulnerability at a later date, we are holding back to give site owners time to update the plugin and secure their sites.

From global consumer brands to vital government agencies, 10up supports high-profile, mission-critical projects where information security is crucial to continuity of operations. 10up’s full-stack team of Engineers, including those dedicated to security and open source initiatives not only enable us to quickly operationalize synergies between client work and open source, but build a better web for everyone, including FileBird’s 90,000+ users.

If you want to work for a company that cares about open source and makes amazing projects and tools for WordPress, come work with us!

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10uppers Share Expertise Through Articles, Conferences, and Webinars Mon, 07 Jun 2021 15:25:10 +0000 10uppers

10uppers travel the globe every year to volunteer, speak at, and organize dozens of industry events. The pandemic may have limited the ability to travel to events, but it hasn’t stopped our team from giving back and sharing their expertise. Here are some recent highlights:

Much of our open-source community involvement is tied to code contributions — 2020 saw 10up invest 6,500+ hours across 50+ releases and 30+ projects, and fifteen 10uppers contributed to WordPress 5.4, 5.5, and 5.6, with Helen leading an all-women and non-binary release squad as Core Tech Lead for 5.6. But contributing code isn’t the only way to give back and get involved in the community.

If you’re looking for a speaker or a guest article on topics related to building a better web, reach out! I’m pretty sure we know someone.

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WP Engine Includes In New eCommerce Hosting Plans Thu, 03 Jun 2021 16:46:13 +0000 WP Engine recently announced a new eCommerce solution for Small/Medium Businesses (SMBs) seeking to launch a new WooCommerce store or scale up, optimize, and increase revenue for an existing online store.

ElasticPress delivers Instant Search for WP Engine eCommerce Hosting Plans

The new solution offers an integration with — our fully integrated, end-to-end SaaS solution for adding the power of Elasticsearch to WordPress and WooCommerce.

eCommerce Hosting + Premium Search

Already vetted by WP Engine for inclusion in their Solution Center, enhances online stores with a premium search experience. The integration, referred to as “Instant Search” or “Instant Store Search” by WP Engine, gives store owners access to the advanced search features of and the ability to manage searchable content in real-time:

  • Offload complex search queries and content-heavy views that commonly strain WordPress’ MySQL backend, so visitors can find what they want quickly and content creators can save time.
  • Tailor search results to showcase your most valuable and relevant products with the Weighting Engine and Custom Results Editor.
  • Manage common misspellings and associate interchangeable search keywords or phrases — like sweatshirt and hoodie — with the Synonym Dashboard.
  • Help shoppers see exactly where search results match their search query with search term highlighting within the content.
  • Make it easy and fast for shoppers to find what they’re looking for and clarify search intent with Autosuggest capabilities.
  • Search custom post types, categories, taxonomies, metadata, and more with a NoSQL data engine that responds to your site’s unique content.

Store owners who enable have seen revenue increases of up to 18% by taking advantage of the platform’s benefits.

Get Started Today

Getting started with WP Engine and is easy.

To build, launch, or migrate an existing WooCommerce store on a fast, secure, scalable eCommerce platform, pick an eCommerce hosting plan that includes Instant Store Search. By the time you’re done signing up, ElasticPress will be ready to go.

To learn how enhanced search can improve eCommerce conversion, you can watch a webinar I recently co-hosted with WP Engine: How to Optimize Search for Your WordPress Ecommerce Store.

Check out the official announcement post for more information about the new WP Engine integration; you can also contact us to explore additional ways we can work together to add enhanced search capabilities to any WordPress-powered eCommerce site.

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