WordPress has matured and the offerings within the WordPress ecosystem have matured to the extent that now enterprise organizations’ IT teams can take on WordPress into their ecosystem.
Sean Blakeley is the WordPress Technical Director at Americaneagle.com, a family-owned award-winning web design and development agency passionate about the power of technology. Americaneagle.com is also a WP Engine strategic partner.
Blakeley created his first website over 25 years ago and discovered WordPress in 2006. As WordPress Technical Director at Americaneagle.com, he oversees the Enterprise WordPress team and provides technical leadership to key enterprise partnerships. He’s also a sought-after speaker at global conferences, including WordCamp Europe.
In this episode of Velocitize Talks, Sean Blakeley shares his thoughts on CMS (content management system) platforms, headless and the future of AI (artificial intelligence) technologies.
WordPress & the Enterprise
Part of the journey that WordPress has been on is being that secondary or even tertiary kind of CMS often championed by the marketing team.
Americaneagle.com is “platform-agnostic,” choosing platforms on a mostly case by case basis. For example, a large enterprise business might use multiple CMS platforms. But opposed to five years ago, Blakeley finds he no longer has to justify the employment of open-source WordPress; it’s immediately being considered among their options.
Working in open source can also manage the larger and more diverse needs of the enterprise. Americaneagle.com is able to seamlessly integrate WordPress for their enterprise clients. “Now enterprise organizations and IT teams can take on WordPress, with confidence, into their ecosystem,” Blakeley says.
The goal wasn’t just to build what they had before; they could actually build in all these improvements because they could utilize WordPress and leverage what WordPress had to offer.
Americaneagle.com partnered with John Bean Technologies (JBT), a global technology solutions provider to the food and beverage industry, to improve their overall content management flow and publishing functionality. The agency successfully migrated JBT from an existing Sitecore website to a WordPress site hosted on WP Engine.
In addition to the migration, JBT needed an auto-translation tool due to its international team of content creators across different languages.
“They had very particular approval flows and editorial flows that they needed to try and replicate the governance of the site,” Blakeley said. “There was this complex web of permissions…but at every turn WordPress was able not just to fulfill where they were in terms of their site but to improve where they were.”
The Heart of Headless
If we imagine that the data center, WordPress, is the body then our application is the new head of architecture.
There are a number of drivers to adopting a headless approach, including page speed and front-end freedom, especially when dealing with unpredictable environments and outdated/legacy technologies. Headless technology provides a more dynamic and consistent customer experience. “It’s incredibly powerful in the right hands,” Blakeley says.
One recent enterprise-scale project that Americaneagle.com has been working on involves an auction site with more than a quarter of a million data points. “WordPress is really the beating heart of headless architecture,” Blakeley says. “It’s the engine, it’s ingesting data, it’s parsing and manipulating that data and pushing it into a front-end application.”
If I were to have the purse strings for the marketing budget, I wouldn’t hesitate to invest in AI.
AI learns from every interaction it has with your customers, which allows it to continually improve and increase its accuracy. Prior to AI, businesses would have to manually sift through collected data; now analytics provide much more efficiency.
According to Blakeley, AI is going to impact your business no matter what. The question is whether you’ll get out in front of it.