About.com switching to WordPress

Sheila Coggins just published an interview with me on About.com Weblogs, which came out fairly well and talks a little bit about new efforts like WordPress.com.

The timing for the interview couldn’t be better. As people watching closely may have already started to notice, About.com has begun switching their sites over to WordPress from Movable Type. They’ve been doing it quietly and one-by-one for at least month now, you can see WP in action on Weblogs, Baby Parenting, entrepreneur, US politics, and many more. They’ve integrated it so tightly with their system most of the usual signs of a WP blog aren’t there, but the dead giveaway is the comments. In fact none of their older blogs seem to have comments enabled, just the upgraded WP ones.

About.com isn’t very “2.0” hip but they are still get some of the highest traffic on the web, easily within the top 50 sites in the world. From what I understand they haven’t made any changes to the core code, all of their customizations have been through plugins. They’re also looking at bringing a WP “powered by” link to the pages. (Which, as noted in the previous entry, is completely optional.) I’m very glad About has found a platform that will grow with them. :)

The good news keeps coming in.

26 thoughts on “About.com switching to WordPress

  1. Wow, reading this gives me yet another vibe that we simply overlook the enormous power and influence a beautiful piece of code can have on the daily life of people.
    Should we make a comparison to for instance religion [might , then WordPressism would be, I think, the fastest growing and most influential of all.

    I wonder what the WP-Bible with all its plugins would look like? ;) [Mmm, probably a lot like the Codex!]

  2. Apple, Yahoo, MSN… now About?

    Where is Google? Their official blog is very poor in terms of functionality and presentation. Their main ‘courier’, Matt Cutts, has been on WP for months despite Blogger and Blogspot being available.

  3. I can’t believe Google would go with anything but Blogger and BlogSpot (for their official blogging — Cutts is on his own in what he chooses), given that they own that service; they’re not fool enough to undercut their own wares. Business is business.

  4. How are they doing it? Do they have only one install for a sub domain or are they installing WP individually on each sub domain on About.com?

  5. I think this really helped me decide to switch other parts of my web site to WordPress. I am already running a blog and like it a lot. Now, I will be using it as CMS for 3 other sections of the site.

    Is there a way to share user DB or administrate 4 instances of WP simultaneously on 1 site?

  6. Doesn’t change the fact that About.com is ugly and cramped. *cough*

    Still good to see WP being used at such a large place. :D

  7. Jake: You misunderstood me, perhaps due to brevity. MSN and Yahoo are search giants, yet their range of applications extends far beyond that as time goes by. They handle the task of information management and thus must (or are expected to) provide rich content. And yet, Google is the largest among the three and much like the others it boasts a huge community of bloggers. Google started with search and moved on to Web-based applications, tools pertaining to information and data mining. Yahoo grew from communities, content, tools, and services. MSN grew from an operating system and a browser that points to MSN by default.

    While Google’s Code Manager, Chris DiBona, among many others, have settled on Blogspot or Blogger, Matt Cutts refused to do so (or put more politely, preferred to abstain) and registered his own domain (running WordPress of course) where he became a sort of a messager — an oracle — of Google search algorithm. The community that is thirsty for SEO tips syndicates his feeds, of which there are plenty. He is used to writing plenty of items about gadgets, film reviews and the like, but due to the versatility of WP feeds, his subscribers are able to set aside the noise ‘and’ get Google inside infomation exclusively.

    So there… more than I intended to write, but the very fact is that Matt Cutts’ blog is far more popular than these ‘get your blog among splogs in 30 seconds’ thingies. Google could learn a few things from Matt (Cutts/Mullenweg) and given that they are kings of Open Source, it’s surprising that it is them that have not adopted WP yet.

  8. About.com has grown very big last couple of years and now with WP platform thrown in I am quite sure it will make WP to be the de facto blogging platform! Or has it been already?

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