As close partners to specialist WordPress experience platform WP Engine, our development team were invited recently to a workshop dedicated to outlining the WP Engine roadmap for development for the foreseeable future.
The relationship between Enterprise WordPress agency and Enterprise WordPress hosting platform can be an interesting relationship to manage at times. It’s key for lines of communication to be open as much as possible, as projects can evolve on an almost daily basis, and It helps the agency development team when planning new innovations to know what their hosting partner can do to help.
So what are WP Engine up to? What is their roadmap? How may it affect us, and more importantly, you guys, our clients?
WP Engine API
If you’ve worked in Tech, you will have heard of an API. An API stands for an Application Planning Interface. When a company builds a Web API, what it is effectively doing, is creating a gateway between two separate applications/systems/websites/servers. It allows data to be sent and received from the remote system. The API then delivers the raw data from that company/service in real time.
A good example of this would be an embedded Twitter feed on a news website. Whether this uses a plugin or is custom coded, it will be making a request to the Twitter API and getting a response in the form of a feed of tweets.
Launched at the end of Q1 2019, this will become more and more useful as it matures. The main benefits of an API will be that the site creation process can be scripted and that there will be the ability to add several installs to the site, saving agency development teams plenty of man-hours, as will the ability to add domains and redirects to each install as and when they are created.
WP Engine CLI (Command Line Interface)
WP-CLI is the command-line interface for WordPress. It’s a set of command line tools that help make things quicker during the development process. This means that it can help you update plugins and configure multisite installations amongst many other things, without the need for a web browser. It is an example of one of those community-managed tools that is adored by thousands because it is effectively maintained, and doesn’t fall foul of hackers. This is only made possible thanks to sponsors, of which WP Engine is one of them.
WP-CLI can help developers with many different tasks, some of the main ones include:
•Setting up WordPress Instances quickly.
•Advanced WordPress troubleshooting.
•Carrying out maintenance tasks across multiple websites, saving you from installing additional plugins.
One of the things they are working on is that WP Engine has integrated WP-CLI into their bash environment when you SSH into the server, (this was our developer Matt’s highlight of the talk, I’m told) which will speed things up even more.
Studiopress is a premium marketplace for business-focused WordPress websites. They are the creators of the Genesis framework, which bakes in SEO optimisation and high-grade WordPress security into any theme you buy through Studiopress. It used by thousands of developers and has a large community of users. In June of 2018, WP Engine acquired the company, along with Array Themes and are now ready to share what that means for Wp Engine users. Array Themes are the creators of the Atomic Blocks plugin, a collection of free Gutenberg blocks, and the main announcement here is that that all atomic blocks, will be integrated into the Genesis framework, making sure that any new websites built solely on Gutenberg will be as safe an secure as any other.
As one of a number of agencies that have a partnership agreement with WP Engine, It’s highly useful from both a development and a management perspective, to know what the roadmap is.
All three areas of focus that were spoken about will ultimately generate tremendous value for our developers, particularly when it comes to saving time on repeating various elements in the dev process. In an industry that costs websites on a time and materials basis, having a partner that is constantly trying to save you time is a huge asset.