Firstly, a big welcome to the wpContent Showcase category! This is a new format we’re trying out, and we’d really appreciate your feedback in the comments. In this new category, we’ll be showing off some of the most famous sites that are using WordPress, and explaining how they’re using it in terms of services, themes, plugins and additional features. So, the first site to be featured here is TechCrunch, which has “the latest technology news and information on startups”. Let’s get started!
Which Service Are TechCrunch Using?
As announced in the site’s footer bar, TechCrunch is using the WordPress.com VIP service to host and maintain their site. Well, what does this mean? WordPress.com VIP, or VIP for short, is “the world’s best WordPress solutions for enterprises”, and is a service made by the guys at WordPress. For a self-hosted VIP site, pricing is $1,250 per month, or with their cloud hosting, it’s $5,000 per month. Not the cheapest of solutions, but definitely works well for large blogs!
Some of their clients, who I’ll no doubt be covering in future posts, include NBC Sports, TED, CNN, TIME, Dow Jones, UPS, and of course, TechCrunch.
What Theme Are They Using?
TechCrunch appear to be using a custom built theme, which is not surprising, seing as though they’re one of the biggest tech news sites on the web! If you’re looking for a similar style of theme, you’re gonna want to look for News/Editorial themes, as these convey a similar look for a low price. As a quick overview of the theme itself, the homepage features a post slider, and a post timeline, as well as a sidebar with ads, text widgets, a subscribe form, and video posts.
Which Plugins Are They Using?
This proved to be a pretty tricky task for me to find the plugins which TechCrunch are using, however, it seems they’re using some social sharing plugins, retina imaging plugins, and custom post types (which are likely controlled with a plugin).
Any Custom Features?
Yes, there is one main feature which I spotted on the homepage, and mentioned above, which is in fact the post timeline! Now, whilst there are already timeline plugins available (just like mine!), this one seems a little more complex, and custom built. Here’s why.
The default view shows off the latest posts from across the TechCrunch site, and they appear in chronological order. There’s also a tab for popular posts, and this is the most intriguing one. Why? Well, it doesn’t just show the posts from all time with the highest number of comments – it actually appears to show the most recent posts (within 24 hours, I think) and then arranges them according to their own algorithm. I took a closer look at how the posts were actually being ordered, and it’s definitely not just by comments, or social shares. Perhaps it’s something to do with the number of pageviews? I guess, we’ll never know!
As I’m sure you’ll agree, the TechCrunch site is a really great use of the WordPress.com VIP services, custom themes and plugins, and custom features developed by their team. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this is a new format, and is currently being tested. If you have any feedback about it, please leave a comment below.