Reintroducing Windows Azure Storage for WordPress

When collaborating with Microsoft, we are often responsible for making WordPress work seamlessly with Microsoft’s own offerings, including their Azure cloud service platform. An ideal Azure hosting configuration leverages Azure Blob Storage to store and deliver uploaded media assets and attachments. Microsoft’s existing, open source solution, Windows Azure Storage for WordPress, had been neglected for years; we stepped up to overhaul the plugin.

The 4.0 release addresses legacy SDK dependencies and features a refactored code base, bringing it in line with our WordPress Best Practices.

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IAB unveils a new Ad Unit Portfolio

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On October 25, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)—responsible for setting online ad guidelines and best practices—held a webinar to review an ambitious overhaul of its Ad Standards Portfolio.

So why the overhaul?

The new portfolio of ad units aims to address concerning trends, including an increase in the adoption of ad blockers and content delivery platforms like Google AMP and Apple News that limit ad integrations. The IAB has asserted that, as publishers focused on margins and increased automation, their audiences have increasingly encountered invasive interstitials, purposefully-hidden opt-outs, auto-play videos, and recurring-ad fatigue. Sites have grown heavy with extended load times often caused primarily by third-party ad servers and content discovery platforms like Outbrain and Taboola.

“We messed up,” wrote Scott Cunningham, Senior Vice President of Tech and Ad Ops at IAB. “As technologists tasked with delivering content and services to users, we lost track of the user experience.”

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Introducing Twenty Sixteen React and NodeifyWP

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As web technologies and mobile devices improve and global internet speeds increase, consumers increasingly expect taps and clicks to deliver results nearly instantaneously; the “app-like” experience has become an expectation in web browsers. To this end, we’ve seen huge strides forward in web platforms and frameworks.

Among its most notable relevant advancements, WordPress introduced a JSON REST API, which opens up new, compelling use cases as a framework and content storage engine, such as headless publishing workflows. However, since WordPress runs on PHP, it can’t be used in conjunction with an important breakthrough: isomorphic applications.

Isomorphic web applications run the same code on the server and client (web browser), providing the flexibility, extensibility, and consistency to build the most modern “app-like” experiences on the web. JavaScript and Node.js are used to create isomorphic applications, since JavaScript runs natively in the web browser and is the foundation for server-side Node.js. (Learn more about isomorphic applications.)

Since we can’t run PHP in the web browser, we have a few options for creating JavaScript-powered “app-like” experiences in WordPress.

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John Eckman

I recently published an article on CIO Review discussing the benefits and challenges of implementing a headless publishing workflow to better facilitate cross-channel and cross-platform content distribution.

Traditionally, content management systems handled both the management of content (the “backend”) and the presentation of content to audiences (the “front end”). By going headless, content creators decouple site backends from front ends, enabling many different content presentation applications – websites, mobile apps, social or syndication channels, etc – to  consume content managed in a single backend.

Given the benefits laid out in my article, we’re increasingly encouraging 10up clients to consider “going headless” for their next site builds.

Refining our message and design

More than two years ago, we overhauled 10up.com to reflect the company we had become. Conceived and built entirely in-house, we strove for an experience and aesthetic that would project the craftsmanship we offer our clients. More than two years later, we think the art direction and architecture has more than withstood the test of time.

Over the last two years, our mission, message, and value proposition has evolved, presenting an opportunity to improve the way we articulate ourselves, in content and design. I’m happy to announce a site wide update that highlights our refreshed mission statement and improves the way we describe #team10up.

We think that our own story becomes most tangible when telling our project stories, so we’ve also taken the time to completely redesign our work portfolio. Our user experience and visual design team worked closely with internal stakeholders and engineers to craft a portfolio that is as visually stunning as it is functional, across screen sizes and device types.

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Several 10up speaking appearances left in August

September is nearly here, but you can still catch 10up engineers at speaking engagements in August.

Is 10up hiring Senior Project Managers? Yes!

As we continue to add inspiring, award-winning clients to our roster, we continue to expand the 10up team. We can’t deliver outstanding client experiences and websites without first-class project managers at the helm, so while we continue to hire across our disciplines, we’re especially focused on adding qualified Senior Project Managers.

If you want to work with some of the biggest brands on the web with industry leading talent, let’s talk. Start by downloading the Senior Project Manager job description (or read on), and visit our Careers page to learn more about working at 10up. When you’re ready to apply, send your résumé and cover letter to jobs@10up.com.

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Jon Bellah

I’m presenting “Visual Regression Testing with PhantomCSS” at Front Porch Conference in Austin on Tuesday. Front Porch brings together leading experts in web design and development to share their knowledge. I will present a better way to QA websites—traditionally an inefficient effort requiring manual review of an entire site after each code change—illustrating how PhantomCSS test suites can automatically compare visual differences and flag changes for further review.

10up speaks: one weekend, many locations

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July 15-17, you can find #team10up speaking at WordCamp NYC, WPCampus, and WordCamp Lima.

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10up at WordCamp Europe 2016

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Be sure to catch 10up at WordCamp Europe 2016, taking place June 24-26 in Vienna, Austria.

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