WordPress can be a controversial topic to discuss when you are among developers. Is it still relevant?
Delivery Hero leverages WordPress as a Content Management System (CMS) on many of its corporate and internal websites. This technology can be as complex or simple as you need, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to WordPress. From simple one-page websites to complex departmental intranet solutions, our Website Services team has been involved in projects of varying degrees of complexity.
WordPress at Delivery Hero
Currently, there are over 70 projects in our team’s ownership. The use case varies from corporate websites, blogs, careers websites, and rider support to complex departmental intranet multi-sites. Our websites attract close to 2 million visitors per month.
Delivery Hero can be quite a complex unit, with a presence in over 70 countries. Managing different brandings, languages, and local tones of voice can be a daunting task.
Our company’s corporate website was established in 2011 and many other WordPress websites have followed suit, making it a go-to content management solution across all our brands globally.
The Website Services team was officially established as a part of our Global Service desk in January 2021. The need to have a dedicated space for WordPress support was clear since there was no dedicated space support and there were dozens of requests bouncing around without a home to arrive in.
After an initial cleanup, which included the safe deletion of over 60 obsolete websites and several scary server migrations, the purpose and scope of the team became clear. The current mission statement reads:
We support stakeholders in the Delivery Hero global group with creating websites that are secure, easy to use and representative of their brand.
The Challenging Parts:
Some of the challenges we are facing:
- Brand variety. Delivery Hero consists of many brands that are unique in their style and our websites need to be able to mirror the local branding. This adds complexity to the code and management of our websites.
- Legacy websites. As the Website Services team got established in early 2021, we started picking up WordPress websites from across the group and moving them to our central hosting solution. We also started providing support and training for content managers. The landscape of what has been transferred into our team is quite wild, with many outdated themes, plugins, core installs, misconfigured websites, security issues etc.
- WordPress evolution. We need to accommodate wp’s constant evolution, driven by the community behind it. Gutenberg, Blocks, Full Site Editing, Headless, you name it. To stay relevant with every major release, we are looking at ways to implement new features into our themes.
- Security. WordPress is not only popular among the users of websites, but also with bots, hackers and all kinds of scammers attacking your websites from day one. There is a strong emphasis on security within our team and we foster a culture of security first approach.
- Knowledge gap. It can happen that some of the content on our websites is not following best practices, and misconfigurations are a common occurrence. We are working on creating in-house training programs to bridge this gap.
- Increasing demand. As the larger company grows, so does the number of requests coming into our team.
As a solution-based team and with this as our primary mindset, we are tackling these challenges by focusing on:
- Continuous refactoring our code base – the Delivery Hero Core theme is currently at v2.1
- Leveraging our Website Services design system – our stakeholders are encouraged to use sections and components that have been developed and designed by our team
- Developing an in-house video training programme – this is becoming available to all content editors across Delivery Hero who are managing WordPress websites
- Scaling hosting as we grow – we are looking for hosting solutions where our capacity can be adjusted depending on the popularity of our websites
- Automated ticketing system – Rather than relying on Slack and Email messages we are using the Jira Service Desk interface for our customers to request work
- Leveraging Headless WordPress – for websites with less complex architecture this is a go-to solution resulting in lightning fast and even more secure websites
- Continuous learning – conferences, code sharing, presenting to other teams, and online courses to keep growing
In the following sections, I’ll go into more depth on some of these topics.
We have developed our own WordPress theme called Delivery Hero Core.
This came from the necessity of having a clean theme without any bloat that is suited to the Delivery Hero ecosystem.
V1 of the theme was created for the deliveryhero.com corporate website. As we expanded as a team and the number of websites increased we decided to refactor the theme and make it available to any website in our group.
In version 2 we have some pretty cool features:
- Child theme helps us make large-scale overrides to any website without changing any of the functionality on the Core theme
- Vite.js for dev and production builds, the code coming out is nice and lean plus this speeds up development time tremendously
- Brand selector is part of the customizer interface and it enables us to change the skin of the website in one click, including fonts, colours and even some layouts
- One-click demo importer to get started with a new website with prefilled content (most common plugins, pages, posts, media etc.)
- Improved architecture in the theme’s partials, again speeding up development even more
We are running blogs on Headless and looking forward to expanding that. So far this has been an improved experience for more straightforward websites while we still rely on standard WordPress for more complex ones.
The benefits of Headless are many including faster loading times, increased security, exposure to modern react.js development experience, clear separation of data and front-end and more. For example, this blog you are reading now is running on a headless solution.
If you need more info I think this article is a good start: https://www.cloudways.com/blog/what-is-jamstack/
We are looking into the evolution of Headless JAMStack and are open to new technologies coming onto the scene. Currently, we use react running on gatsby.
As the number of websites we develop and manage has been growing steadily we have looked into standardising all aspects of our processes. This also came to the design part of our websites. With the support of our product designers, we have put together a very lean extendable design system called the Website Services Design System.
The design system has enabled us to standardise our components and their parts into libraries that we can reuse in different designs without continuously starting from a blank canvas. As we go along, our Senior Designer keeps adding new brands to the system while improving its functionality.
All made using Figma as our design tool of choice for websites.
Developers now replicate the sections and components in our templates (WordPress and react), this is an ever-evolving work in progress.
There is so much more to WordPress than meets the eye and we are excited to keep on expanding our knowledge and serve our stakeholders even better. To choose a few areas of interest we are looking into.
- More automation for repetitive tasks
- Leveraging Gutenberg blocks and full site editing
- TypeScript to be more present in our codebase
- Design System to expand to include all our brands
- Being more involved in the WordPress community, contributing to the codebase and being present at WordCamp conferences
- Integrating a feedback loop so that we know clearly what our stakeholders need from the team
- Delivery Hero Core v3
WordPress is tightly integrated into the Delivery Hero ecosystem and with its powerful interface, we can cover many bases in terms of website development. The exciting part is that it is driven by a committed community of volunteers who keep pushing the technology forward which means it only gets better with time. We are building a foundation at our company to be able to leverage it to our best advantage. With a humble and curious mind approach, I believe we can keep the company’s websites relevant and accessible to anyone interested in our products, services and culture.
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