Episode 9: Varying Vagrant Vagrants & WordPress In Universities with Jeremy Felt

Show Takeaways

You should be using Vagrant in your WordPress development workflow!
Washington State University uses WordPress Multisite on a self hosted server and has been opening sourcing many of their themes and plugins.
Jeremy wrote a wonderful series of blog posts on deployments.

Today’s hangout was with the very talented Jeremy Felt! Jeremy works for Washington State University, maintains the Varying Vagrant Vagrants Github project and also has guest commit access to WordPress core!

In todays show we asked Jeremy about the VVV project and also how Washington State University are using WordPress Multisite along with a suite of plugins and themes to allow staff and students to create and share content.

Show Notes

  • Varying Vagrant Vagrants was created by Jeremy as he was using Mamp for development but had an nginx issue he needed to resolve and didn’t have a server environment to debug it on.
  • VVV aims to give developers a matching environment for local development.
  • VVV uses shell scripts for provisioning rather than other provisioning software to provide a low barrier to entry for new comers to Vagrant.
  • If Jeremy were to start VVV again today he might consider using Salt for provisioning as that’s what they are using internally for provisioning at Washington State University.
WSUWP Platform
  • Jeremy explains the WSUWP Platform which has been open sourced on Github.
  • We ask Jeremy about what he thinks the current ‘State of WordPress’ is in universities in America?
WSU Indie Sites
  • Some previous WordPress installs and unusual new WordPress installs use WSUWP-Indie-Development. We ask Jeremy about this repository and what problems this custom setup solves.
Maintenance, Updates and Rollbacks
  • WSU don’t have a staging environment so all core and plugin updates are done locally and and new plugins will be subject to a local code review to check performance and security before they are rolled out to production.
WordPress in Universities
  • We ask Jeremy what things we can work on as a community to help champion WordPress as a CMS and application platform in universities? Managing a large number of pages rather than focusing on posts is a big issue. http://developer.bu.edu/bu-navigation/ is a great plugin for managing lots of pages. The Media Library isn’t quite robust enough for different types of documents. WP Document Revisions is an excellent plugin that can help to solve this problem.
  • What are some exciting WordPress projects and builds you’ve seen universities implementing? sites.psu.edu. rampages.us
  • Do you think WordPress should be taught as a core topic in Computer Science, Information Technology and Journalism courses in universities?
Get In Touch With Jeremy

You can find Jeremy on Twitter, Github or you can contact him through his website.