GutenReady for the Gutenpocalypse – WPCampus 2018 – WordPress in Higher Education


– [Jen] And I will go ahead
and do our introductions. I’m gonna introduce Brian, Brian’s gonna introduce me, cause we’re
volunteers in this video. Brian is a Boston based
Front-End designer and Developer with NC State University’s
Office of Information Technology. Brian is also the host
of the WPCampus Podcast where he talks to people
about the things they’re doing with WordPress in
higher ed, welcome Brian. (applause) – [Brian] Jen’s my boss. (laughter) So she’s the Web Services Coordinator and the Design and Web
Services team lead for the central LT unit in NC State, and she’s active in the WordPress
community and helps coordinate the annual
Raleigh area WordCamp, so come to WordCamp Raleigh sometime. – [Jen] Yeah, we’re fun. – [Brian] Well Jen’s fun. (laughter) All right, you wanna get started? – [Jen] We should get started, we have 81 slides, so hold onto your, yeah. I’m going to actually
start by passing this to Brian because he needs to explain some very important stuff here. – [Brian] This is really the most important part of the presentation. A little language lesson, a portmanteau is a word of a morpheme
whose form and meaning are derived from a blending of
two or more distinct forms. So that’s like brunch is breakfast and lunch, smog is smoke and fog. A portmanNO is a term that was popularized by Helen Zaltzman of the
podcast The Allusionist. It’s portmanteaus that
you should feel bad about. (laughter) So examples bromance, edutainment, and everything we’re gonna
say in this presentation. (laughter and applause) So I want you to know we
feel shame, we really do. – [Jen] That’s why I made
him do this introduction because it’s so bad, and the rest of my team is really bad, every now and then I do it too, but it’s
mostly them, it’s not me. I enable it though. – [Brian] In this talk we’re gonna talk about NC State’s
gutentroduction to Gutenberg, what Gutenberg means for
a large organization, looking at our campus user testing, and how we talk about Gutenberg on campus. – [Jen] Yeah, we’re also gonna talk a little bit about how we’re planning and scheduling our transition and, they made me say it, we’re GutenExcited. (laughter) So a little bit about our university, we’re located in Raleigh, North Carolina, we were established in 1887, we have over 32,000 students, 2,000 faculty, 6,500 staff, over 40,000 people and we have a couple different satellite campuses as well, including in prog. 11 colleges, plus our Graduate School, so we’re a large institution. Our team is OIT Design & Web Services. OIT is for central IT. We maintain major campus
multisite environments including our free blog environment, our premium campus hostage environment, our works environment,
student rights environment, and we also build custom
themes and plugins, we provide general web support both for WordPress and
other solutions and we do design, development, support, training, and maintenance of campus
clients, so we keep busy. Aren’t we cute? We’re so cute, that’s Brian because again he’s based in Boston and we just– – [Brian] I’m the little one. – [Jen] Yeah, we video chat
with him every chance we get. – [Brian] And then Miles
and Lauren are the other two people who aren’t physically here. – [Jen] But they will be at HighEdWeb, so for those of you who
are going to HighEdWeb we encourage you to look
out for them and chat with them, they’re the
real JavaScript geniuses. We just make that stuff up. Those of you, you’re here, you’re in higher ed, you know this story. We’re a big institution, we
have lots of moving parts. We’re very excited about having WordPress, it’s taken a long time
for us to migrate into a solution that’s, while
not our single solution, certainly the majority
of campus at this point. But in higher ed change is scary and it’s even much scarier on a
40,000 person campus. Because we’re in central IT, again we’re in engineering school, so we have lots of developers across campus. Like many of you we have
a lot of smaller units, the libraries, computer
science, all of whom have their own developers
and their own IT groups. We do think campus central IT is special for us, we’re glad to be in that. We have a lot of flexibility to solve our problems both technically and with non-technical solutions, and our priority is to serve
the entire institution, so if we find a solution, but it’s a really single small-targeted solution, we’re not gonna give that the priority that we’re gonna give to things that help the rest of the institution. So what we’ve built for ourselves we feel should be useful for everyone. And the good news is that’s actually written into our mission statement. We are charged with
finding collaborative IT services, solutions and
strategies that assist the university, state and nation. That’s the kind of thing
that allows us to come to places like this and
talk to you fine people. We’re really glad to have that kind of support from our institution and from our unit connection to take the time and build these things and
share them with you guys. And so all that is to say that we’re a four-person team that’s already operating at capacity and the last thing that we needed was the Gutenbomb drop, I just made that one up right there, I hate you. (laughter) But at the end of the day our job is to find solutions that are
gonna work for everybody, so when this landed on our plates we decided we should give
this in a smart way, so Brian’s gonna give us the background on the day the Gutenshit got Gutenreal. (laughter) – [Brian] Yeah, so we’ve
been trying to follow along in the WordPress world for a while, we try to be aware of what’s coming down the line, and so we knew Gutenberg was coming, but we didn’t know when. I was giving a talk at WordCamp Raleigh in April of 2017 all about our super exciting Shortcake
strategy, so Shortcake is a plugin that gives you a user interface for using shortcuts, and it felt super modern and exciting, and I knew about Gutenberg, and I said something at the end of my presentation about Gutenberg, and I’m gonna try to play a video here, so let’s see how this goes. – [Jen] This stuff gets recorded, so we all have it available. – The first thing is the big changes to WordPress takes time. With Shortcake, it solves
problems right now, and I don’t know when Gutenberg is going to be part of WordPress. It took a really long time us to get that REST API and that REST– Yeah, you don’t have to Google it. (laughter) So you don’t have to
hear the rest of that. I actually stand by everything I said. I think, given the information
that was out there, I said some very thoughtful things in that presentation, but I was not prepared for, like I was thinking Gutenberg was 2020, 2021, 2022, that kind of timeframe, lots of time, I don’t have to worry about it right now. Then I went to WordCamp US. (laughter) So that was December 2017, and let’s play another little video. – [Matt] I think it needs
about 12 more iterations. We’ve done 18 so far,
or about four months. So cool, so that puts us
back into April for when I think that this will be ready
for the widest audience. Wider than is seated now. – [Brian] Don’t you love the
way he says cool like that? (laughter) Nice and easy, so as Matt
Mullenweg was saying that, literally the moment he was
saying that, I pulled out my phone and opened up Slack
and sent Jen a message. I said oh darn. (laughter) Spoiler alert, I did
not use the word darn. Sometimes state employees say bad words. (laughter) Matt Mullenweg says he thinks Gutenberg will be ready and out
for everyone in April. I’m thinking it takes longer
than that because come on, but that’s months ahead
of where I expected. It really was years ahead
of where I expected. So that was a moment of panic and really, all that you can think
about in that moment, here’s another video clip for you. (laughter) – [Jen] That’s our cleanup
work for the next 24 months. – [Brian] So when we say Gutenpocalypse, that’s the Gutenpocalypse,
that’s everything that we’ve had in mind
for how we were going to be spending the next two
years happening later, and instead we get to
learn about Gutenberg. So my initial thought,
and Jen’s initial thought was this is fine, we’ll figure
it out, we know it’s coming. We’ll be able to get a handle
of this, it’s still WordPress. But also it’s not fine. (laughter) Because this is a massive
change, and what we were thinking was the
scenario where WordPress 5.0 is going to be released,
let’s say April 1st 2018. That’s four months away from when Matt Mullenweg said that, and we wanted to be prepared for that possibility. Even if we came up with some sort of way not to do that, and Matt Mullenweg talked about the classic editor plugin and things like that, we wanted to be prepared for that sort of, oh my goodness, everything’s here in four months scenario. So after the panic
subsides, decisions begin. Jen’s going to talk a
little bit about that. – [Jen] Right, so yeah, spoiler alert, we dove into it, but we did have some time where we were
trying to figure out what we wanted to do and
why we wanted to do it. There’s a lot of reasons, and I’m sure I’m speaking to some of you very directly here when I say there’s a lot of reasons to stick your head in the sand and pretend like this isn’t happening. There’s challenges in several forms, first of all technical challenges for us, which none of us in our shop have a background in development, so we get by with a little green screen and a lot of Googling,
and JavaScript focused development does not
necessarily let you do that. Big changes to all of our existing themes and plugins, there’s gonna be a lot of reworking and learning as the changes as happening, so solving problems as Gutenberg is still being developed certainly has represented even more of a challenge for us I think
than we initially thought. We had a lot of conceptual
challenges to face, not just for ourselves and thinking about how we’re developing, but also for how we teach this to our users because that’s of course a big part of what we do is training and
education for campus. Rethinking about how we build our plugins and our themes, our campus has themes of plugins that use shortcodes,
as Brian talked about, that’s what we really bought into, but we also have a lot of ACF-powered themes and obviously having to go back and rework all this content that’s out there. Then of course organizational challenges, we’re all in higher ed institutions, so we know that this
can be a real challenge. Educating the other campus developers, training site admins and
our content creators, the campus help desk, providing resources for all those groups, those were all priorities for us, and trying to make sure that we had support materials for them. Again, this was the
mental list that we were going through of things that we felt we needed to have by April
1st, and it was daunting. I mean it was like do I have to do this? It’s like ehhh, well… Sorry. (laughter) But there are good reasons for change. There are also technical opportunities. By digging into this we’re able to make hopefully smarter choices about how and when to upgrade our users, how and when to upgrade
our themes and plugins, this is our opportunity to
learn JavaScript deeply. We were very lucky in that we had already at that point hired someone who had a lot more JavaScript experience than either Brian or I did, and we were actually in the process of hiring
someone else and that person is also a great
JavaScript developer. Optimistically, Gutencoding in 2018 means things are gonna be a lot nicer in 2019. What do you think? We’ll let you know next year. (laughter) And there’s conceptual
opportunities here too. This is a cool way of building websites, it’s certainly gonna require a different mindset for ourselves, for training, and for our end users, but this means re-usable, modular, adaptable content and an opportunity to correct a lot of campus websites and tools that have been not necessarily built
terribly efficiently, or with content in mind,
and it’s definitely an excuse for us to retire some old code because I don’t know about you guys but we got some bad stuff. And organizational
opportunities, making sure that we were prepared
let’s us in central IT be a resource for others
for the rest of campus, it lets us control our
timeline and our priorities, and again since we’re charged with helping the wider community
we’re really enthusiastic about the opportunity to jump into this and then share what we learned. We really were, it sounds nerdy, but we just were, with wholesome means. So again, I know that there’s a lot of maybe not love for
Gutenberg at this point, but we really do think that it is a, there’s never a good
time for a big change, but this is a good, big change. It is certainly something that WordPress is going to grow from. I don’t think that it’s something that’s going to go away, so for those of you who think it’s a flash in the pan, you’re gonna wait it out, I think that’s not necessarily a longterm strategy that’s gonna work, of course
this is just my opinion. I do think that they’ve addressed a lot of things that were issued with WordPress and how it distributes
its content, and I’m really excited about
the opportunities that (mumbles), so we’re gonna talk some more about some of those pluses as we go, but I just wanted to say that we are really excited about this obviously. Also, I’m not out of
line, of course we’re not gonna go Gutenberg the
day WordPress 5.0 drops, I don’t know very many
people who would, but by preparing for an aggressive timeline we’re hoping that this is gonna
help us do this right. But Brian, start by talking about how we’re gonna figure out how to do it right. – [Brian] Yeah, so step one was trying to figure out what was
actually going to happen. Really, step zero and
step one is figuring out how the users that we
support are going to, how they’re going to direct the editor and where the theme points are gonna be. We started out with some
user testing, and here’s our disclaimer, we did this
user testing in January. Gutenberg has changed
tremendously since January. I think the lessons
we’re going to share here are still valuable, but
you should really do your own user testing on your own campus. – [Jen] And then you
should tell us about it. – [Brian] And tell us
about it too, if for no other reason than we
learned a lot just from watching our users try to
figure out this new editor. We learned things about
how our users approach new technology, we learned
about how our users think about why does it work for us, where they look for things. – [Jen] And they’re doing
things in weird ways. – [Brian] Yeah, the people you support are probably not, like especially if you have support of a large campus
community, they are solving problems in ways you did not know they could solve
problems, and so it’s interesting to see that before your very eyes in user testing. So don’t take our word
for anything we’re about to say, but hopefully this
will be useful for you. Like I said, we did this
in late-January 2018, we decided to mostly
focus on “power users” who already knew WordPress, and I’ll talk about that in a second, we gave them a 30-minute content exercise to learn the new editor and create content, and you can read all about it in a blog post that I wrote that was way longer than I needed to make it, but gives you a lot of insight into what
we were thinking about. So why test with power users? On our campus there are two types of WordPress content creators, there are the people who use WordPress every day to do their jobs, and then there are the people who use WordPress sometimes when their boss says make this change on the website. We decided that the biggest pain was gonna be felt by the everyday users, the people who are logging in every day and experiencing it because they’re going to experience the new editor and the new user interface every day, so we mainly selected testers who we knew were the kinds of people who log in all the time. Whether or not that was a good idea we’ll talk about in just a few minutes. So the first lesson we
learned is that nobody knows what the hell anything,
or where anything is. (laughter) One of the quotes here says
“So I clicked on the little “mini-hamburger options
thing looking over here.” He’s talking about this three dots next to each block that opens up a menu. This is actually an old screenshot, it looks a little different now, but it’s still got the three dots. I don’t know what to call
those three dots either. – [Audience Member] Gutendots. (laughter) – [Brian] So we’re sorta
bracing for the fact that when more and more
users expect to see Gutenberg, we’re gonna hear more and more new and unfamiliar words, and it’s gonna take a
little while to parse through, like what are they talking about? It’s also not always clear
when to choose which block. One of the exercises we gave them was to create something like this gray box you see on the screen where it’s a paragraph with a big first letter
and a background color. There were four blocks
that people went for, the quote block, the pullquote block, the verse block, and then finally the paragraph block which
is the correct answer, you can do all of this
using the block options to change the styling
of the paragraph block. That’s not obvious, that’s something that you really to build
up an intuition about. So you need to build some time into your processes to build that intuition yourself and to help your users that you’re supporting build
that intuition too. Basically nobody noticed the block setting in the right-hand sidebar. – [Jen] Literally nobody, including me. – [Brian] That’s true, we practiced the user testing with Jen first, she hadn’t really seen it, and she did not see this right-hand sidebar at all. There’s something about
that that makes sense. In sort of classic WordPress editing the right-hand sidebar is where you do your textonomies or you
choose your page template or things like that,
this is not where you go when you’re thinking
about formatting content. You look to the top toolbar
or something like that. So this is just something that your users are gonna have to
build that intuition again. They’re gonna have to learn that sometimes things happen in the right-hand sidebar that they should be aware of. We also, this is a
little subtle, I noticed, and this is something you notice when watching users test live, and we recorded everything they did and
re-watched those recordings. Lots of people, when they
did see those options in the right-hand sidebar,
they would select text in a paragraph and then go
and change the font size rather than just go and
change the font size. There’s a certain sense
to that that makes. It’s just like if you wanna make your text bold or something like that, but that’s not how, in the corner Gutenberg likes, that’s not how it works, and the (mumbles) blocks the block options on the right-hand sidebar
act on the entire block. That’s, again, intuition that needs to be built up over time,
how do these new tools, how do they work, what should I expect, what are my expectations
for when I click this? And then we really have found that we just have to remind people
try a different block. This is not doing what you think it will, just try something else,
look for another block because there are a lot of blocks available out of the box in Gutenberg and you have, for instance we asked some users to embed a YouTube video, and that’s not exactly obvious. You have the YouTube embed block, you also have the video block which is for embedding a video file like you have in your media library, and then you have the image block which has nothing to do with video at all, but a lot of our users are used to going to the media library button and image makes them think the media library and there’s some sense of maybe I can
embed a video from there. So there’s a lot of these things that have to be learned by the
users that you support, and by you if you’re new to Gutenberg. So what we found in
this is that the people we were testing got the
hang of it after about 20 minutes in a lot of trial and error. It’s not they were experts, it’s not they were totally comfortable, but I would feel comfortable letting them build a page in Gutenberg and feeling like yeah, they’ll figure out
something that looks okay. Or some version of okay. That’s a good starting
point, but when you’re thinking about the entire campus of WordPress users, you have to think about how many support tickets are going to come from so many replicated,
repeated 20 minute trial-and-error sessions, and that’s a lot of support tickets. The next step is trying to figure out how we manage those support tickets. (coughs) While I have a coughing
fit, Jen is gonna talk about why testing power users
is maybe not a good idea. – [Jen] Right, so the
power users, again the reason why we went with that was a couple years ago I was part of the team that did training when, do you guys remember Office came out with the ribbon press top, and all the power users freaked out. Shelly’s laughing ’cause I’m sure you had to address this for a million people who expected it to be one way and nothing was where they expected it to be. It was a problem, and so I was expecting the people who were used to things being in a certain place in WordPress being the most off-put by the new change. That’s not really the case. Most of the power users are actually people that spend a lot of time on computers and are used to simple digital interfaces, and the simplicity and iconography of
Gutenberg works for that. On the other hand, it doesn’t really work for people who don’t use WordPress very often or are not technically savvy and don’t necessarily spend a lot of time in digital interfaces. So you have a lot of people who didn’t use WordPress or didn’t use web interfaces very much having more problems. Here’s the classic editor, you can see it’s actually, you don’t think about it that much, but it’s pretty wordy. Certainly compared to Gutenberg which, again, much more focused on iconography. It’s a lot cleaner and
simpler, but there’s certainly less helper text, and they have addressed that some with the extra hover help and stuff
like that, which we’ll talk about some more,
but it is, certainly when we were doing our
training it was an issue. So moving on, training, obviously it’s gonna be a big thing,
and trying to convert campus to this tool, what does a major change to WordPress
like this look like? Again, we’re also used to it being there, it’s actually been 12 years since WordPress came out with
the Wysiwyg editor, and we’re all very
accustomed to it, we don’t even think about it anymore, we just assume that it’s gonna be there. So we are thinking that there may be some resistance that we’re
gonna have to overcome in order to get folks on
board with this change. To that end, I became
manager a couple months ago and they sent me
to management training and I feel like I should use it, so– – [Brian] That’s true,
she becomes a manager and then she starts talking (mumbles). (laughter) – [Jen] That’s what they train you to do. So actually I have to blame Brian because he’s a math major and this is the change equation is what he called it. Resistance to change can be overcome by addressing three
things, the dissatisfaction with how things are, the
vision of what’s possible, and offering first steps
to making that change. So with that in mind, we were aware that we needed to focus on
three major audiences for campus and provide
this reasoning for them. So with that we focused on them, the first being content creators. We wanted to explain to them
why WordPress is changing, what Gutenberg is, and how
that change is happening. Also we wanna talk about
what isn’t changing, like straight up by saying hey don’t freak out, there’s a lot
of options in WordPress, we’re really just talking
about this stuff here. And then also what are blocks
and how do they help me, the idea here behind
that things like why is WordPress changing and
what are blocks are the things that are gonna help
us overcome that change. It’s a little bit tricky
with content creators because at this point
they’re not necessarily clamoring for a change,
so I wouldn’t necessarily say that a lot of our
users are quote unquote “dissatisfied” with the
state of things, so of course we have to start training
by explaining why it sucks, why WordPress needs to change. That is tricky, but I do think that the key there is just saying this is a vision of what’s possible and why it’s better. To that end, the second audience is the site admins, so the people that are really in there administering sites and doing the day to day management
of their environments, explaining the same things and then also what are their options for making this transition and choosing to upgrade and how to upgrade, lots of questions
about that of course. And then also will my
theme work with Gutenberg. Then from campus
developers, questions like will my theme work with Gutenberg and if not how do I fix it. What are block templates, or how do block templates work, for a lot of people that’s a piece of education right there which is what are block templates and why should I be using them. And then how do I build my own custom blocks which of course is something that a lot of us wanna know about. So with all three of those audiences we knew that we were gonna want to provide certain resources for them to shepard them through this process, and this is the kind of stuff that we wanted to have in place, if not by the time Gutenberg got
here, shortly thereafter. And those with things
like hands-on experience are making an environment available for them to try things out, prepare them with hints and reminders, prepare hints and reminders to put them in place when they start doing changes, and then also time for them to try things out and prepare, and again this is part of overcoming the resistance by giving some first steps, giving a vision of what it’s gonna look like and how they can make these changes
to improve their sites. We started this actually with what we called GutenDay, again, they just can’t help the prefixes, and we made this available to all of our campus developers and we also
invited some friends at other campuses nearby,
so North Carolina. We did a React Crash Course to help do some training for folks, get their hands wet with JavaScript so to speak, except for we forgot to tell everybody to install Node first. So nobody got much done. (laughter) Learning experience, failure. It was great because that also allowed us to really talk to the
other developers about things that we knew that we wanted to do for campus with Gutenberg, and that big thing was a plugin that we’re working on, we’re calling
it NC State Blocks. Brian mentioned we have shortcodes, and shortcodes are designed to make it easy to add little bits of code here and there in sites that mimic various brand tools like major links or callouts or different services like that, and the blocks plugin is a really natural way to provide the same sort of things, but with blocks instead of the shortcodes, so that’s one of the
things we’re working on. Once GutenDay was done,
and that was March 3rd, we started an ongoing series of workshops, Gutenberg for Content Creators and Gutenberg for Site Administrators. These are also available
online ’cause we have folks who can’t always make it to class, and we record them on
YouTube Live so they’re available for people to
watch after the fact, and they offer hands-on
exercises, provide the basics as we see it at that time, upgrade scenarios, and eventually we’ll be able to work in more
things like demonstrating the NC State Blocks plugin
and things like that. In terms of providing hands-on experience, we have created a multisite environment with Gutenberg already
installed, so people can go and create their own sites and play around with them and test it out. If you care to you can go look at that, I guess you can’t create a
site unless you’re on campus. – [Brian] You need a campus ID to create a site for that multisite, but you can check out the other sites. – [Jen] Yeah, so the other thing is our campus Gutenberg demo, and this is using Frontenberg, and that, if you go to that link, will just take you to a front-end interface for WordPress’s, it looks like Gutenberg back-end but on the front-end, you can’t say that you can play around with blocks in there, and that has been really useful for us, number one it gives everybody a vision of what we’re
actually talking about, it lets us go to meetings and demo Gutenberg on the fly and explain to people what we’re talking about. That’s been really using for campus. – [Brian] I see a couple
people writing things down, I wanna make sure they
have the right notes, there will be the link
to the slides in the schedule and at the end
of the presentation also. – [Jen] And
go.ncsu.edu/gutenberg is where we dump all of our stuff, so
you can always go there. We have a couple video tutorials in place, we’re working on more
knowledge based articles, we use (mumbles) we’ve
been front-loading those to help our other campus help desks, links to external resources, blog posts about this whole process, we are working on adding DotTips which
is the functionality in Gutenberg now for having contextual help for each of the blocks. – [Brian] Has anybody in
here seen the DotTips? Like in the latest
iteration, yeah all right, we got like one person, maybe two. It is pretty snazzy, I’m excited. – [Jen] He gets excited
about weird things. (laughter) That’s something we’re
gonna add to custom blocks and you’re welcome to use those, please help yourselves to whatever it is that helps, and Brian’s gonna talk about how we’re gonna
actually make this happen. – [Brian] Right, so at this point this is all just an intellectual exercise. We’re learning about this thing, but at some point actual websites are gonna start using Gutenberg
as their content editor. That’s the hard part. So spoiler alert, WordPress 5.0 was not released in April 2018. (laughter) You didn’t all just miss it. But that’s okay because
by preparing as though it was going to be released, that got us really in a good mindset for we’re gonna hit the ground running,
we’re gonna do this. In the slide I say here more time to prepare is just more time to prepare. This is great for us. Right now, like at WordCamp Europe Matt Mullenweg was talking about more like a fall release, sometime September, October, something like that, and I think that’s still really scary, that’s really soon and we got a lot of work we need to do, but that means we’ve got lots of months ahead of us where we can keep figuring out what our process is and figuring out how we’re going to transition sites. So everybody wants to know what’s gonna happen with their website, and we wanted to know that too, so we started mapping
out upgrade scenarios. On our campus, and just in the world in general, WordPress is used in a lot of different ways, and every website is different, but we’ve identified four typical scenarios that
we see on our campus. There’s variation within these scenarios, but they’re a good
starting point for figuring out what are the next steps for a website. Scenario number one is Vanilla WordPress. They don’t have anything
special, it’s just using regular visual
editor, content editing. They don’t have any sort of page-building plugins or anything like that. Next scenario is sites
with lots of shortcodes. Again, I had this really exciting Shortcake and shortcode swing going about a year and a half ago, so we got shortcodes used in all sorts of weird and interesting
ways all over campus. We have sites that use
advanced custom fields, and really sorta the most extreme version of advanced custom fields where it’s not being used for any sort of metadata as post-meta, it’s being used as just a templating engine where they never even call, like in a page template, they’ll never even call the content function, they’ll just call different ACF modules, and that’s gonna be a challenge for adapting a theme like that to the Gutenfuture. And then you have sites that
use page-building plugins. Although our group has
generally shied away from page-building plugins, there are plenty of folks on campus who come to us for help and use anything ranging from Divi to Beaver
Builder to Visual Composer to weird things downloaded off the code canyon that are weird and scary. (laughter) So we’ve marked out these
upgrade scenarios and we have about 20 slides to
show what that looks like. We’re not gonna do that right now because that’s 20 extra slides and we already have 81 slides, but please come talk to us at the after party if
you’re curious about what we found with those
scenarios that we mapped out. It’s not necessarily easy work, but it’s hopefully we’ll be able to show you what the next step might look like. – [Jen] For what it’s worth, if you have Divi or Page Builders, we only have one slide and it’s like good luck. (laughter) We don’t have the answer for that one. If you’re gonna talk to us about that at the after party, bring beer. – [Brian] Also, I realize that saying come to the after party
so we can show you slides is not the most exciting
thing in the world. (laughter) It doesn’t have to be
slides, we can just talk. All right, so that means now we know what’s gonna happen with different types of websites, now we have to actually plan what the site migration will look like for our group, and we are responsible for thousands of websites. We have about more than 50 campus clients, so departments or units on campus that contract with us for at least one website where we’re doing stuff for them, whether it’s custom coding or just making sure things stay up to date. That’s more than 125 sites right there. We also have an open registration blog multisite for students, faculty and staff, we have a student organizations multisite, so the whatever club has a website from there, and then we have the premium-tier,
“hosted WordPress” we call it, multisite where if you want third level domain, or you want some sort of special treatment or something like that, you can buy into that as well. Upgrading all of these sites at the same time would be a very bad day. We are not going to do that. We do know that some sites will upgrade fairly quickly, that sorta vanilla WordPress scenario where all we really need to do is talk to the content creators that are using that site, train them up on it,
and then flip the switch and we’re available to
support moving forward. Other websites are going to be classic editor plugin for quite awhile after WordPress 5.0 lands, and that’s just while we figure out what we need to do for them, rewriting theme plugins or in some cases training a larger user
base, things like that. To help us figure this out, we decided we need to figure out how much it’s gonna hurt, the GutenPain, and we created the Gutendex rubric, and Gutendex, you really gotta want
it, Guten and pain index, just merge them together you get Gutendex. (laughter) So this rubric can figure out how we’re going to prioritize and schedule. It’s great also though because for some clients, so any new work we’re doing at this point is either going into a Gutenberg world or being build with how are we going to make this Gutenberg in six months or 12 months. For clients that we
aren’t doing new work for, this is a great opportunity for us to do new work for them, to try to get rid of some old code, like Jen said, and make some long needed improvements like those websites that are still using the old brands that were supposed to be gone two years
ago, things like that, that never happens in higher ed where you have the straggler websites. So the Gutendex is very specific to our team and our needs, so we’re not sharing specifically how we calculating our pain score, but generally speaking what we’re looking at is what theme will I use, is it one of the themes that we wrote and we support, is it something else that somebody else wrote, or is it something bad that they should’ve never been using in the first place, and now’s a great time to do something about that. We look at their plugins,
and in particular are they using the
shortcut plugins that we built, are they using
advanced custom fields, or are they doing something else custom that maybe we did for
them, maybe we didn’t. Then we looked at the users, the people who are actually going to be working with the website on a daily basis. We sorta have them on three tiers, the people who are going to be okay with some training, people who don’t even need the training, they’re just gonna hit the ground running ’cause they’re excited about new things, and then the people who are gonna have a little more trouble, the ones who definitely don’t got this. From that we generate a site timeline, a proposed timeline, a site category. The categories (mumbles) we’re cool, we got work, and panic mode. The timeline we have May through July as these are early adopters, these are the people that we’re trying to put on the road for Gutenberg right now. That’s only a very small group of people, but it’s the people who we trust to give us really good feedback to help us develop more training resources. Then we got the people in the August to December timeline, those are the people who it’s going to be a relatively painless transition, so once WordPress 5.0 drops we can start looking them over right away, and then the January to June of next year for the people who it’s gonna take a little more work, and then the people after that who we’ll think about someday, we don’t wanna think about
them right now though. So here’s just a screenshot
of Jen’s master spreadsheet. It really does say they got this, they got this, they got this. – [Jen] They don’t got this. – [Brian] They don’t got this. (laughter) And so as I mentioned earlier, new work in 2018 that we’re doing right now is Being Guten’d from the
start whenever possible. We are being choosy about which users we are turning Gutenberg on for in the short term because again, we want to make sure that we
don’t go off the rails. Existing sites are going to be scheduled for an upgrade and we’re gonna try to balance things easy to hard so we’re not overloading ourselves. So with all of that we got our very aggressive schedule, we think we can have just about all of our campus, the people we support, using WordPress 5.0 and Gutenberg 12 to 14 months after Gutenberg and WordPress
5.0 are really released. It’s gonna be a lot of work, it’s gonna be a lot of focus on our part, there are gonna be other things that we aren’t going to do while we are doing this, but we think we can do this and that’ll put us in a really good position for using this new tool and really
embracing Gutenberg. We have been developing
a lot of the tools, and I’m looking at the time, I’m gonna speed through this a little bit. So Jen mentioned the
NC State Blocks plugin, this is the plugin icon which my colleague Miles created, this is what happens when you combine
the NC State Wolves and the Wolfpack with Johannes Gutenberg. (laughter) So these are blocks that we’re working with other folks on campus to create blocks that match our campus brand and interact with other campus APIs and systems to try to really bring that value and that vision of what’s possible with Gutenberg
into our users’ lives. We’ve started playing a
lot with block templates. We don’t have time to talk
about block templates, but you should Google block templates, they’re fantastic, they’re the best. Jen will talk your ear
off at the after party about how much she loves block templates. Then we created a plugin,
my colleague Miles, the same person who made
the Johannes Wolfenberg, created a Block Attributes Glossary plugin which programmatically
looks at every block and figures out what attributes are available for that block, and that is super helpful for
building block templates. So now Jen’s gonna talk about
why we are GutenExcited. – [Jen] We’re all in, yeah. So again, to recap here,
Gutenberg obviously is gonna be a lot of
work, but we’re really excited about what it’s gonna be doing for WordPress, it’s
taking that next big step. Brian just glossed over block templates like it wasn’t even important, but they’re super cool, we’re finally able to natively build content and layouts in WordPress. We’ve always been able to add our own custom COS types pretty easily, but now you actually also build the ACF fields that required another plugin before it into WordPress, so we’re really excited about
trying to make that happen. Solving problems with the
native supported tools instead of hacky workarounds or different solutions for everybody, it’s a good thing at the end of the day. It’s gonna be some growing
pains, but it’s gonna be good. Again, we are excited
about WordPress being a community, and contributing to that community is important to us and we’re glad that we’re able to. So by jumping into this early we’re hoping that embracing this change is gonna let us make cool things and tell you about it and get you guys excited too. This is, Miles said “We have this one “great moment of chaos to take control “of our destiny,” and I think that’s something that we should embrace. Embrace the chaos and
make it more awesomer. So when you decide it’s time to dive into Gutenberg, obviously you should all know that it’s gonna be hard work, technical work, organizational work, and it’s gonna take time, but this is going to happen, Gutenberg
is coming, and I do think that eventually
we’ll all be better for it. You will all get through it, I promise. Hearts, hearts. So here are some of our
resources, our slides are available on this last, the link to our slides are available online and on the next slide, our blog posts, which I know are long and arduous, Brian you’re supposed to write, man. Frontenberg we definitely suggest trying that out on your campus and making it available to people for trying out Gutenberg really easily. Brian does a great WPCampus podcast, you can listen to him
talk, we actually have a podcast where we just
talk about all this stuff. The Block Attributes
Glossary is definitely really cool, any site
that you install that in, it will list all the block attributes you have, so if you’re working with some custom blocks it will also list the blocks that you’ve created and attributes associated with them,
so that’s really great. You can always tweet us or e-mail us. I think we have maybe
a minute for questions. Four minutes, we’re rolling in time! – [Audience Member] So we could
hit those 20 extra slides. (laughter) – [Jen] Yeah, like five
per minute, it works out. – [Audience Member] So
I know almost nothing about this, but is there a way of handling access rights to Gutenberg so that you can’t necessarily change
the layout of a page? – [Brian] Yeah, so the
question was if there’s a way to handle access rights so that a user can’t change the layout of a page. – [Audience Member]
Still type in it, but… – [Brian] Right, so this is where block templates gets really cool. There’s an attribute when you’re building a block template where you can lock the layout, or where you don’t have to lock the layout, but you can limit it to just the blocks that are preloaded and you can move them around, but you can’t add anything new, so that gives options for pre-calculating this is what your page looks like without, or your custom (mumbles) type or whatever, without letting your users go really wild. That’s a great question. – [Jen] Often make new choices. – [Audience Member] Yeah, ’cause we’ve had to to deal with those issues. – [Audience Member] Is that
by user ult, by any chance? – [Jen] Right now no. I have a feeling that that is something, ’cause I’ve already played with it some and I can tell that there’s gonna be, like you wanna make an exception for somebody who’s an admin or something like that, but for right now it’s just built into block templates
as a single option. – [Brian] Right, the question that Jen just answered was if that was something you control by user ult. – [Audience Member] How do you train when someone is using a custom plugin that hasn’t been updated for Gutenberg yet, so how do you prepare
your user for that change knowing not exactly how far
you’re gonna look (mumbles)? – [Jen] The question was how do you train for people who have plugins
that aren’t Guten’d yet, and the answer is right
now we’re not counting specifically on a site unless it’s a new site that we’ve transitioned and we know that everything’s
working in Gutenberg. Otherwise the classes that we do are just general trending where there’s not a whole bunch of
extra plugins involved and they can see what they’re doing, and then again at that point we are, if someone goes through training we’ll turn Gutenberg on for them so they can use it if they want to, on
some test sites usually. So far we haven’t had any problems with themes or plugins causing
issues with Gutenberg. – [Brian] I think the
shorter version of that answer is we’ll cross that
bridge when we come to it. So it looks like we’re out of time, thank you everybody, we’ll be around. (applause)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *