Google embraces WordPress, now with Web Stories?

Background

Before Web Stories waaaay back in 2003 Google purchased a blogging platform named “Blogger” from Pyra Labs. As the announcements were coming out in February of 2003 another blogging platform was being developed by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little called WordPress. Fast-forward 17 years and WordPress is estimated to be 20% of the worlds self-hosted websites. (455,000,000) Including the one you are reading this on!

We find ourselves in a political time, with the United States fiercely divided. In the last few weeks major advertisers have pulled funding from Facebook Platforms like Instagram and Facebook. I bring this up because this feature is a direct competitor to the Stories functionality on Instagram and Facebook. Although initially stories functionality was made popular by Snap, Inc. *just* widely replicated on Zuckerberg’s platforms. Now Google has brought the same feel with Web Stories to Bloggers in WordPress as so many are abandoning the Facebook ship.

Google Development and Support of WordPress

Google maintains plugins for the WordPress platform, including Site Kit which enables the following Google Features and Functionality:

  • Search Console: Understand how Google Search discovers and displays your pages in Google Search. Track how many people saw your site in Search results, and what query they used to search for your site.
  • Analytics: Explore how users navigate your site and track goals you’ve set up for your users to complete.
  • AdSense: Keep track of how much your site is earning you.
  • PageSpeed Insights: See how your pages perform compared to other real-world sites. Improve performance with actionable tips from PageSpeed Insights.
  • Tag Manager: Use Site Kit to easily set up Tag Manager- no code editing required. Then, manage your tags in Tag Manager.
  • Optimize: Use Site Kit to easily set up Optimize- no code editing required. Then, set up A/B tests in Optimize.

And now they have released Web Stories for WordPress Community Beta to github

What is Web Stories for WordPress?

Here is what Google says:

With Stories for WordPress, we’re bringing first-class Web Stories support to WordPress

Google

The beta features a full WYSIWYG editor in WordPress. In my testing it seems to work quite well even on a WordPress beta test site, like this (5.4.3) 🙂

You can expect it to be a little rough around the edges, for example a trailing slash in URL breaks the UI, but seems to be ready for testing for sure.

Download the beta plugin here: https://bit.ly/3ivovCw

A Sample Web Story here from a recent trip to Catalina with Friends:

Click here for the full screen Web Stories experience: https://qstra.com/quiet/strategy/stories/catalina/

Enjoy it!

User Experience is prioritized in Lighthouse v6

Lighthouse is an open source tool developed by Google. Lighthouse measures 4 pillars of the user experience. Do you know what else has 4 pillars? The conjoined triangle of success, but I digress ;).

The 4 Pillars of Lighthouse reports:

  • Performance
  • Accessibility
  • Best Practices
  • Search Engine Optimization

It is easy to use providing a scorecard along with detailed technical suggestions to improve a page user’s experience.

The current version of Lighthouse (v6) uses Core Web Vitals and is in very good company. Google is powering some of its most popular tools with Web Vitals. All of these tools help a developer improve the user experience of a page or progressive web app.

Google continues to shift to ranking sites higher when the data reflects a great user experience. Lighthouse helps to further pull back the curtain demystifying Google’s priorities when delivering user’s search results (SERP).

Lighthouse  Chrome DevTools Search Console web.dev’s measure tool  PageSpeed Insights Web Vitals Chrome extension  Chrome UX Report  Tools now focused on User Experience

How is Lighthouse different?

Tools like YSlow have existed for years. While initially designed around Yahoo’s (outdated) guidelines, YSlow was a great tool. These classic tools do not consider usability, feel, or accessibility. As an example Lighthouse identifies elements that can be difficult for the visually impaired. Classic tools also lack support for newer web standards and technologies. So in turn remediation recommendations may not help a developer choose the right path to optimization. While objective of these tools is the same, to help owners and developers get real data to improve the quality of web pages for its target users and to improve its marketability to search engines.

Lighthouse is part of the next generation of user experience tools.

Eric Perkins

It evaluates user experience unlike classic tools that measure raw load times. It is not just if your site is fast or slow. Rather more importantly, does your page ‘feel’ fast or slow? How quickly is the page ready for input as it loads? After the page starts loading how long do users wait before meaningful content is displayed? Lighthouse parses a target page over average connection speeds on emulated mid-market device so it can simulate what a typical user might experience.

A good mobile user experience is critical

Sites today take a mobile first strategy, because mobile browsers are the lowest common denominator in responsive design (CPU, Screen Size/Resolution, Bandwidth etc.). While modern desktop browsers are really good at masking issues while mobile browsers amplify them. Lighthouse can be run against a single page or a progressive web app. It can be run in mobile or desktop mode.

By measuring user experience rather than technically when a page completes loading, Google simulates a more accurate picture of your users experience on your site. Google ranks higher quality sites appropriately, so you should care.


User Experience – Resources:

Yoast Blog – by Edwin Toonen – Edwin is a strategic content specialist. Before joining Yoast, he spent years honing his skill at The Netherlands’ leading web design magazine.

Run your own Lighthouse Audit, easily on Google’s web.dev site. Try it!: https://web.dev/measure/

For help implementing Lighthouse’s technical suggestions or monitoring, Reach out to us!


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Eric Perkins – Resume

Objective

To leverage my diverse experience and thought leadership in information technology and security to continue to empower teams to succeed. Now more than ever in an Agile world.

Core Competencies

  • Managing Agile Scrum development teams process and cross functional collaboration
  • Virtualization platform architecture and design leadership
  • Windows and Messaging platform security best practices
  • Networking and network security from both a tactical and strategic perspective
  • Amazon AWS (Migrations, Hybrid Clouds, Microservices)

Eric Perkins – Work History

infoedge, LLC (Kaiser Permanente, Fannie Mae)

Senior Consultant | 6/2015 – Current | San Diego, CA
Overview – As a senior consultant for infoedge, placed at large enterprise clients. Primarily I worked on information security and Agile development related projects and programs. I led the projects and teams I was engaged with from lead development to completion.

Project details included in Accolades and Career Highlights below.

Quiet Strategy, LLC

Senior Consultant – Trainer | 6/2012 – Current | San Diego, CA
Overview – Primarily focused on cloud applications, licensing and training opportunities.

  • Conducted the 1st Large Enterprise Training Classes – Zscaler and Firewall training
    • Northwestern Mutual
    • Kelly Services
    • Edward Jones
  • Citrix, virtualization and integration
  • Security Program and Analytics Review
  • Agile release/development process improvements

Zscaler, Inc

Senior Manager – North America SE’s | 1/2011 – 8/2012 | San Jose, CA
Overview – I managed the Zscaler SE team through the initial startup phase. At this stage of Zscaler’s growth, the SE team was pulled in many different directions, because our team was very strong technically. It was my job to ensure the rapid build up of our documentation and sales process while making certain the SE’s had time for pre and post sales engagements.

  • Aligned SE resources and understanding with engineering, post sales, field sales, and management goals
  • Reduced complexity in architecture and design as well as 3rd party integrations
  • Expedited new SE hire training as well as review process
  • Conducted round table discussions to develop meaningful best practices
  • Formalized (technical) partner development programs

ESI Pros, LLC

Founding Partner | Forensic Analyst | 1/2009 – 1/2012 | Chicago, IL
Overview – ESI Pros, LLC was established to address the needs of law firms in the fast-paced and ever evolving technological world. As a result of combining some of the best and brightest talent in the legal, IT and forensic fields, the founders of ESI Pros, LLC merged their intellectual capital to create highly flexible and cost-effective solutions to address clients’ eDiscovery, computer forensic and cyber security needs.

Performance Network Solutions, Inc – Acquired by CyberKlix Canada

President & CTO | 6/2001 – 6/2009 | Chicago, IL
Overview – All requirements necessary to own and operate a profitable small business. Performance Network Solutions designed large secure complex networks using a variety of technologies including Citrix, NetApp, Secure Computing (Acquired by Intel), and Proxies.

As a result of our successful track record Performance Network Solutions was sold to a Canadian firm in 2009. I then integrated the technical, sales and ops teams with Cyberklix, and stayed on to assist the integration of our U.S. based clients with the new processes, professional services and teams.

  • Developed strategic direction for products, solutions, best practices, and data-center service offerings (pre and post sales)
  • Staffed and developed our pre and post services teams
    • Provided training and career development paths
    • Conducted formal employee reviews
  • Managed projects, customer engagements, expectations, and escalations
  • Worked with our teams designing large secure complex networks using a variety of security and application deployment technologies
  • Worked with partners/vendors to ensure that we are exceeded our training and sales expectations, while developing the right strategic partners
  • Public Speaking, corporate evangelist, company seminars/events, and training
  • Built and managed the U.S. budget including Sales, Ops, Marketing, Engineering
Performance Network Solutions Pre-acquisition, Chicago, IL

Eric Perkins Accolades and Career Highlights

Kaiser Project: KP.org Application Delivery Manager

Working for the KP.org development teams, I helped to enable the transition to Agile from Waterfall. My team was specifically tasked with managing the relationship with other enterprise programs that leveraged disparate governance and project management models. We worked across the organization and programs to remove impediments, translate milestones, build tools for reporting status and managing defects, while empowering our global development teams to stay focused on doing actual development work.

Key Accomplishment: Delivered KP.org components of the IPM Program to our members ahead of schedule. Our team consistently enabled KP.org to exceed the program’s expectations, as a result our members received a better experience.

Kaiser Project: MPS Program

Payment Terminal Integration for the MPS Program – Led a team in developing a creative implementation plan in a complex Citrix and ESB environment. Worked with enterprise architecture to ensure the solution we were building met all the required EA and PCI guidelines, while furthering the organization’s architecture vision (SOA) and enabled code reuse. The plan facilitated an enterprise wide pharmacy payment system upgrade.

Key Accomplishment: Provided a path forward for new payment terminals in a highly secure thin-client environment that previously had not been identified

Kaiser Project: TRO Run Books

As part of a new security technology roll-out, our team interviewed the technical product owners and vendor engineers, and conducted a full stack audit/review of the configurations involved.

We needed to ensure our runbooks could help limit the impact on life-saving devices in the event of false positives or an outage. So we used all of these data points with that in mind to write three comprehensive run books for the production support team, call center and the hospital support group.

Key Accomplishment: Identified a production issue that was rectified during deployment. As a result of the good work, KP requested I stay on and transitioned me to help lead the KP.org Application Delivery Team

Fannie Mae Project

My team developed new IAM Analytics service definition and governance model to align the service with new KPI’s around footprint/attack vector reduction. We identified key (and complex) analytics to determine if a user or group is over-provisioned. This resulted in a greater than 30% reduction in privileged access.

Key Accomplishment: Empowered Fannie Mae to reduce risk tolerance by targeting over-provisioned users/groups across the enterprise. As a result the overall security posture was improved at one of the largest financial institution.

Eric Perkins Older Accolades (pre-2015)

  • Zscaler SE Manager
    • Developed SE training materials and course work
      • As a result first trainer certified to teach the Zscaler customer curriculum
    • Developed new Active Directory integrations, methodologies, and firewall integration run-books. As a result emerging security startup Zscaler, could more easily position it’s products at a wider customer base.
  • RSA guest speaker partner summit ’08 ’10 (Mission Beach, CA)
  • Gold Citrix Partner (2003 – 2011)
    • First US Partner Certified to Deploy NetScaler in the US (prior to acquisition)
    • First to reach 5 for 5 with Citrix XenServer
    • Citrix implementer of the year ’05
    • Citrix speaker Summit ’05 ’06
  • Microsoft guest speaker (Small Business and Citrix)

Vendor training / certifications including


Get in touch – Eric Perkins

Continue reading “Eric Perkins – Resume”

Law Firms – Quiet Strategy Links

Quiet Strategy has a portfolio of boutique law firms. These law firms rely on our expert project management to keep costs down. While having access to online marketing subject matter expertise.

We work closely with our clients to develop long-term marketing objectives. While partnering on the goals and milestones.

Quiet Strategy takes a client first approach to professional services and consulting. We are not aligned with a single vendor or product. Instead we implement the right tool for your project. We always leverage industry standards and implementation best practices throughout our work. Our focus is our customers not which vendor pays greater margins or buys us the nicest dinner.


Law Firms

Cafferty Law S.C.

Cafferty Law Office, S.C., is a boutique criminal defense firm with a successful record of litigation. Cafferty Law helps people charged with crimes in federal and state courts. Serving Southeastern Wisconsin (Racine, Kenosha, and Walworth Etc.). The firm is directed by attorney Patrick Cafferty.


Rebecca Mason Law, LLC

Rebecca Mason Law, LLC opened in 2012 in Racine, WI. Focused on providing you and your loved ones with personalized, local legal expertise. Rebecca Mason Law services Southeastern Wisconsin (Racine, Kenosha, And Walworth Etc.).

Specializing in estate planswills, trustsguardianshipsprotective placement and business succession plans. The team of local, trusted experts work with you every step of the way. As a result you always feel informed and like family


Hostak, Henzl & Bichler, S.C.

Hostak, Henzl & Bichler, S.C. is a Wisconsin law firm. Focusing on real estate, family law, estate and tax planning, business law, probate and elder law. The firms attorneys offer the expertise and high-quality legal services of a large law firm, with the personal attention and competitive value of a small firm. They have been located in Racine, Wisconsin for more than 50 years. The team at HHB prides themselves on serving the community with integrity.


Our Resources:

Quiet Strategy – Consulting