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Content Architectures in WordPress 5


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Slides from my talk at WordCamp Miami 2019. A review of my proposed process for WordPress product and service providers to begin adopting Gutenberg as part of their WordPress content and development workflow.

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Content Architectures in WordPress 5

  1. 1. Content Architectures In WordPress 5 @jamieschmid
  2. 2. Hello. I’m Jamie and I failed miserably at Gutenberg. And I gave up.
  3. 3. Why did I fail?
  4. 4. Dumb? Lazy? Bad at JavaScript? Am I even a WordPress developer? What am I even doing here??
  5. 5. I had the wrong assumptions about what Gutenberg is.
  6. 6. What is Content Architecture?.
  7. 7. Content Architecture is: ● Strategy & Planning BEFORE touching WordPress! ● Data and Content Modeling: Information Architecture ● Content Reuse (instead of duplicating in multiple places!) ● Editorial Workflow & Author Experience (AX) (the WordPress site you create is the end tool someone has to use to do their job!) ● Scalability (what will our content need to do in the future?) ● Wireframes
  8. 8. Introducing... A System for Building Great Content Architectures In WordPress
  9. 9. + An enhanced Discovery Process + The Content Model + WP Architecture … UI design + Author & Content Stress Test … development, etc What does this involve?
  10. 10. Enhanced discovery process We have opportunities here to add much more value to the project! Business processes Workflows Governance Author experience Content sharing (DRY!) Channel distribution Future scaling Identify painpoints and places to improve, speed up, accommodate or automate:
  11. 11. Editorial workflow & publishing governance needs? Do they CREATE content in WP, or create it elsewhere and paste into WP after it's publish-ready? Where should we use structured content, where can we use freeflowing content? What is the mental state of the author when they're doing this: will they have the capacity for the extra cognitive load of Gutenberg? Do they have the design skills to make page level content decisions? Technical level of author Do they need flexibility of adding a structured component anyplace in a post? Do they need global shared content? What other channels does this website content feed out to, what is the sharing/structuring/formatting needs? What is the balance between guided & locked down editorial vs free flowing access to everything incl plugin installs & gutenberg Role and privileges of author Longterm goals for the site: scaling? sharing to app? integrating with something else? Look for:
  12. 12. The Content Model
  13. 13. The Content Model We have opportunities here to add many more value$ to the project! Objects Attributes Relationships Duplicate content? Grouping? Terminology Channels: here or there? What content do you need and why? How is it all related?
  14. 14. Governance & Editorial Workflow Who are your content creators & their technical abilities? What are their roles? What are the access limitations? What is their editorial workflow? Can we do it in WordPress? Will they be creating content inside WordPress, or creating outside and pasting it in? Is the author allowed to delete pages? Publish? Do they need signoff?
  15. 15. What does the content look like? Where does it come from? Is it structured & formatted (aka you can upload & map it??) Similar design styles: your modules
  16. 16. WHY start content entry so early?? Does the ACTUAL content fit the molds you’ve made? Go through the author process with the actual authors. What is confusing? Where do they struggle? Listen to their feedback. Is the client unable to produce any content? There may be issues getting it from them by the due date. Help coordinate. Maybe an editorial calendar? Edit & revise early! Catch content structure problems before they become PROBLEMS
  17. 17. WP Architecture: Understanding Content Types in WordPress
  18. 18. WP Architecture Good WP 5 Architecture starts with a good understanding of WordPress Content Types. Posts & Post Types Post Meta Taxonomies Options What are we working with? First we must understand WordPress. Users Comments
  19. 19. The WordPress Database 11 tables: Users(2), Posts(2), Taxonomies (3), Options, Comments(2), Links
  20. 20. There are 3 basic types of content in WordPress Posts Post Meta Taxonomies
  21. 21. Core Post Types in WP 5 ● Post (Post Type: ‘post’) ● Page (Post Type: ‘page’) ● Attachment (Post Type: ‘attachment’) ● Revision (Post Type: ‘revision’) ● Navigation Menu (Post Type: ‘nav_menu_item’) ● Custom CSS (Post Type: ‘custom_css’) ● Changesets (Post Type: ‘customize_changeset’) ● Custom Post Types (Post Type: literally anything) ● Blocks (Post Type: ‘wp_block’)
  22. 22. Posts have inherent attributes.
  23. 23. Posts have inherent attributes. And some attributes are more efficient to query by than others, because they’re indexed in the database.
  24. 24. They have custom fields!
  25. 25. And ways to group them, aka: taxonomies!
  26. 26. Most of the magic you see in WordPress every day comes from just these three content types.
  27. 27. (it’s not very popular right now with people who review stuff on :(
  28. 28. Why??
  29. 29. Why?? So why did we… ?
  30. 30. Oh yeah. (Users!)
  31. 31. Author Experience (AX) Matters You’re not just building one site. One for your client’s users. You’re building two. One for your user: the client. We are all experience designers.
  32. 32. What is the WordPress Experience? What are our goals as a platform? Democratize publishing. Educate & enable. Improve the internet.
  33. 33. How is Gutenberg moving us forward?
  34. 34. ● The_content is actually structured now (really). ● Things we used to use multiple queries to post meta are now available right inside the content. ● We can define blocks. ● We can share blocks (global content!) ● We can create custom blocks. ● We can create templates. ● We can lock blocks and templates and remove attributes and override style defaults. ● We can give our users the ability to create that rich, longform content that Google loves and delights people and wins awards and stuff.
  35. 35. But as WP developers..
  36. 36. We’re overwhelmed, confused, unprepared, and resentful. So we’re not using it. And we’re letting WordPress happen around us.
  37. 37. ● We need more legacy users & devs using Gutenberg. ● We need more devs talking about building with Gutenberg. ● We need more of our peers talking about successes and failures with it. Here’s what we need to do. ● We need documentation THAT’S NOT JUST GEARED TOWARD JAVASCRIPT DEVELOPERS: we need to understand content types, we need to learn content modeling (deeply), we need to redefine roles of the tools and processes and artifacts we work with daily to structure, style and manage this content. We need to start shaping how this new paradigm plays out.
  38. 38. Here’s my idea on how to get started: Block Editor Stories Podcast WordPress Content Architecture Initiative ● Content Modeling resources & education ● Education on WP content types - for everyone ● Exploring and defining new roles ● Establishing and documenting new patterns for content, display and development.
  39. 39. We are WordPress. All of us. Let’s own this new paradigm. Together we will work to shape the future of the web.
  40. 40. Please join me! Block Editor Stories Podcast: production help, hosts, people to interview, stories to tell and problems to discuss I am also looking for people to help me build, refine and present the WP Content Architecture Initiative! @jamieschmid
  41. 41. Thank you. @jamieschmid