WordPress In The Enterprise – Article 5, Post Mortem

This article is article 5 in a series of articles about implementing WordPress in the Enterprise. This article is about some of the aftermath of our big conversion of enterprise sites to WordPress. In some ways it never ends, the tweaking and upgrading and improving of WordPress sites. This is both good and bad. Good in that we don’t have to keep such large web development staffs around and we are keeping up to date with current SEO, security and other WordPress driven stuff. Bad, in that it never ends…

Here are the original articles if you want to start at the beginning

WordPress For The Enterprise – Article 1 – Setting The Mood
WordPress For The Enterprise – Article 2 – Issues And Plugins
WordPress For The Enterprise – Article 3 – Implementation Problems
WordPress For The Enterprise – Article 4 – Upgrading

Some of what I am going to discuss in this article has to do with small details which occurred after the implementation and continue to happen. These small details are important because they are some of those gotchas after a big migration. They are just listed here in random order:

301 Redirects On Additional Domains

Let’s say you own about 10 other domains that you have pointed to the same web site as your base site. This would be like having http://www.strategicpoints.com and then having http://www.internetanalysistools.com and then pointing internetanalysistools.com to strategicpoints.com. It just happens that on additional domains, WordPress should take care of this for you. Just set the DNS to point to the same server and make sure the apache conf (in Linux is set) and you are good to go. The second domain should hit the site and switch over to the real site. This also works the same way for www.strategicpoints.com and strategicpoints.com. Set it to one in wordpress admin and it will always redirect to the other. This is important for the search engines to have one domain for the site to avoid duplication and getting crawled incorrectly on the secondary domains.

Nofollow Meta Tags Left On (kind of like your headlights left on)

Just happened that prior to our migration, we set the dev and QA sites to not be indexed by the search engines. This setting is under Settings/Privacy. It is called Blog Visibility, and the exact wording is “I would like to block search engines, but allow normal visitors”. We had these Dev and QA sites set this way, so that we would not get these sites indexed. However, somehow this template theme was transferred to the components of our enterprise production system which are not WordPress sites. This means that we copied the template as is, and it had the follow Meta tag because of this setting:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow" />

In particular we ended up leaving this in production on these non WordPress sites. It was an oversight, and one we immediately fixed. But this just says that even after you do your QA and job and the best you can, there is still a potential problem that you are not aware of in these environments. So you have to be vigilant and look things over periodically.

I am going to keep adding to this article as issues slowly bubble to the surface on the enterprise wordpress implementations we have been through.