How WordPress VIP Contributes to WordPress Core
Did you know our VIPs are responsible for some of the key software updates?
As part of Automattic—the parent company to WordPress.com, WooCommerce, and Jetpack—WordPress VIP contributes to every single WordPress release. This involvement sometimes runs deep—with WordPress 5.5, we would be second in the world for contributors if VIP was counted separately from Automattic. The amount of contributions may vary per release, but we always contribute.
And that sounds great, but what does that actually mean?
Table of contents
What is WordPress core?
“WordPress core” refers to the standard, foundational software files that make up the open source WordPress CMS. These are the files and codebase you get when you download WordPress from the official WordPress.org website. The core software allows users to publish content online with a host, without needing to write the software themselves.
As open source software, the WordPress code is freely available and can be modified by anyone. Various organizations are involved in the evolution of WordPress core, from independent developers to VIP agencies and other Automattic brands as part of Five for the Future, which encourages organizations to give 5 percent of their resources to WordPress.
As a result, folks from around the world contribute to its development, from committing code to writing release content.
How does WordPress core differ from VIP’s platform?
Foundation and platform
Core: Provides the base essential functionality that you expect from WordPress. This includes content management, themes, plugins, and more. You still need to use a host.
VIP: Provides a full suite of tools to run WordPress at scale, including secure and stable hosting, global edge caching, better database scaling, elastic search integration, built-in security and reliability features, and even content analytics.
Updates and rollouts
Core: The WordPress development team regularly releases updates to WordPress to fix bugs, introduce new features, and improve security. It’s crucial to keep WordPress updated to maintain the security and performance of your site.
VIP: The VIP team also rolls out regular updates for WordPress and VIP-related functionality, but we help you manage the update process. With our extensive documentation and the VIP Lobby, you’ll have no trouble keeping up with the latest VIP features and rollouts.
Plugins and integrations
Core: While core provides basic functionality, the true power of WordPress lies in its extensibility. When using core, all extensions, plugins, and themes must be added and integrated manually.
VIP: Built for the enterprise, the VIP Content Management platform includes a list of Must Use plugins for security and reliability, a CDN, and multiple integrations for popular tools like Salesforce.
Core: Because of its open source nature, any free support you need with WordPress core will likely come from online forums and members of the extensive WordPress community.
VIP: Every VIP customer receives access to our 24/7 dedicated support teams. Whether you require only base-level support, or want a fully managed migration and consulting, our support teams are happy to accommodate your needs.
How does VIP contribute to WordPress core?
The developers and product engineers at VIP are some of the foremost WordPress experts in the world. As part of Automattic’s Five for the Future commitment, VIP is dedicated to giving 5 percent of our resources back to the WordPress project, which includes contributing to core.
Because we’re so closely involved with the WordPress software, we’re in an optimal position to make meaningful improvements. These contributions come in many ways.
Occasionally when a VIP customer submits a ticket, our support team will determine if the issue also has the potential to affect a large number of WordPress users.
VIP developers are often instrumental in creating and launching new features for WordPress core. One of the more recent examples can be found in the new client-side filter that allows developers to modify block settings before the Block Editor is rendered.
Lead Software Engineer Gopal Krishnan worked with Software Engineer Alec Geatches to implement this new feature.
Gopal described the feature as “a powerful new addition to the Block Editor because it allows developers to modify block settings based on the block’s location, neighboring blocks, and the current user’s role.”
Standards and testing
Testing potential core updates before they’re launched plays a big part in VIP’s contributions. As WordPress experts, our engineers test code to ensure it performs optimally prior to rolling out the updates to the wider WordPress audience.
Besides testing, VIP Premier Engineering Lead Gary Jones has contributed to the WordPress Coding Standards—including the handbook documents and `PHP_CodeSniffer` package.
When asked about some of the biggest VIP contributions to core, Gopal mentioned Gary’s standout work with the WordPress Coding Standards. “It’s a coding standard that a lot of plugins and VIP’s platform relies on, so it’s critical maintenance,” he said.
As the Gutenberg project (a key part of WordPress core) starts on Phase 3, WordPress VIP has partnered with sponsored Automattic core contributors to learn exactly what VIP customers need. Phase 3 focuses on collaboration, and we know that VIP customers work in some of the most demanding content creation environments on the web.
“The core team has consistently reached out to learn about our customers, and we are excited to get into the weeds on this,” said Jacob Smith, who focuses on Enterprise Gutenberg at VIP. “I know that these conversations are shaping how Phase 3 will be built. It’s exciting to be there right at the start alongside our customers and the core team.”
Not all contributions require coding! In fact, the WordPress community relies heavily on just that—community. Part of this community involves in-person and virtual events for people to gather and discuss all things WordPress, including at the enterprise level with VIP.
In the spirit of open source, VIP holds frequent events for partners and customers to come together and share knowledge about their infrastructure and solutions.
Get an inside look at some of the best enterprise WordPress content in our BigWP Content Hub.
VIP helps core keep moving
WordPress core would look a lot different today without the ideas, testing, and implementation from our VIP engineers and developers.
Have questions about specific contributions? Reach out to our experts today.
Lucas Radke, Product Manager, WordPress VIP
Gary Jones, Customer Success Engineering Lead, WordPress VIP
Gopal Krishnan, Engineering Manager, WordPress VIP
Sathiya Venkatesan, WordPress VIP Premier Engineer