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Google collaborates with WordPress to build platform for local publishers

By Greg S
Jan 15, 2019
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  1. Staking claim to presence on nearly 30 percent of websites, Automattic and WordPress.com have come together to build a new platform called Newspack. The low-cost and secure system for publishers has also received funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Lenfest Institute for Journalism, and Civil Media.

    Instead of spending time on all of the backend parts of a website, Newspack is being designed as an easy solution for small teams. Think of it as a rewritten lightweight version of WordPress that has cut out the unnecessary parts. WordPress plugins are meant to be fully compatible for groups that need extensibility, but the core will not bog down simple sites that just need to get information shared.

    Exact features to be included in Newspack are still under consideration. Research performed by local media groups will be passed along to Google and Automattic for analysis. The goal is to create a platform truly inspired by small publishers so that management is easy and site visitors receive a welcoming experience.

    So why exactly should anyone besides publishers care about this collaboration? WordPress may currently hold a spot on a relatively large percentage of websites, but most are blogs hosted by individuals, small businesses, and local organizations that do not have massive followings. If Newspack proves to be worthwhile, it may start replacing the traditional WordPress platform on millions of websites.

    Actual development of Newspack will start within the next few weeks. Google and Automattic are expecting to release the platform later this year globally.

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  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,005   +1,557

    There are a few products that offer what is basically a drag-n-drop webpage creation service. I tried one for a client and looked at the performance of the page presented to the browser and, not unexpectedly -- it was deplorable!

    Many references of CSS and JS were loaded and most frequently, very little of their content was use at all. Sadly this is quite common when attempting to create universally common code. This approach then downloads MBs of useless code, taking significant time to load, and the I/O performance of the server sinks which impacts the quota data volume for server costs (where data volume is part of your billing by the ISP).

    An example test showed 45 SECONDS vs 6 seconds with had crafted HTML.

    If you only need One Home Page and no links to others on your site, these systems can be cost effective to build. IMO you should Look Before You Leap.
     

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