Supporting our team and clients during the spread of COVID-19

XWP is committed to the safety of our team members and the continued support of our clients and the delivery of their projects.

As we continue to hear reports of how COVID-19 is spreading and impacting the world, we remain committed to the safety of our team members and the ongoing delivery of services and support to our clients and the WordPress community through our Open Source endeavors.

Safety for our Team

We are fortunate to operate in an industry and under a business model that, by comparison, is less directly affected by the impact of COVID-19. We have, since our inception, been a 100% remote team. This means that implementing a practice of self-isolation during this pandemic is easier to facilitate. Our team members are equipped through the provision of company resources and processes to operate at full capacity from their home workspace.

We have an internal community program (called Unleash+) that provides funds to team members for products, activities, and experiences that enhance (unleash) their personal lives. We are reworking this program to help provide team members with extra resources for gaining access to items and services needed during this time.

Delivering for our Clients

Our remote operations mean we are well equipped to continue to deliver in full to our client and partner commitments. Working remotely is normal for our team members and they will not need to adjust to a new way of doing things. Additionally, if a team member were to contract the illness, there is no risk of further spread amongst the team.

In a time when our clients’ internal operations are adjusting to cope, they can rest assured that the team they have in us is ready to support them.

We are also offering support to our clients and partners in advice around transitioning internal teams to remote. We have 15+ years of experience in remote and have a wealth of experience we are willing to share. 

Some Changes

We can’t deny that there are some changes to regular operations. Our teams have always enjoyed engaging at, supporting, and running events around web tech and Open Source. For the foreseeable future, all event attendance by XWP team members for business or community contribution purposes is cancelled.

Along with this, we occasionally meet in person with certain clients. While 95% of client engagement is remote, this facetime often brings value to our projects. As with events, this will also be on hold for the foreseeable future and we will work with clients remotely.

We will reassess these restrictions when appropriate and as the nature of this pandemic evolves.

Love in community 

In times of fear, look for those doing good!

It’s so easy to become lost and burdened by the cycle of news. Of course, we should remain informed, but remember that the world we live in, the world burdened by this pandemic, is one made up of communities. If we look within our communities, we can see everywhere signs of goodness in people. Help, care, love, and support shines when there is darkness. Be inspired by the goodness of others and find ways you can shine for your community.

Optimise Sydney 2020

On the 26th and 27th of February, XWP, Google, and News Corp hosted Optimise in Sydney. The inaugural event brought over 110 media, publishing, and web professionals together to dig deep and learn more about the opportunities for business of WordPress, AMP, and other modern Open Source tech.

Our ambition for the event was to bring together the incredible expertise we are fortunate to have within our network of partners and have it shared across the APAC industry. Our ambition was more than met with some incredible feedback coming in post-event. We are now establishing the groundwork for hosting the event in North America and Europe. Stay tuned for news on this.

Am I AMPable?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: One of the highlights of the sessions was the presentation of a simple proxy tool that lets you drop in a URL and have it assessed for AMP validation. It leverages the AMP WordPress plugin to parse the page, render it AMPlified for visual checks, and generate a report of AMP validation errors. For anyone exploring the benefits of AMP, but wanting to first understand the gap between their existing implementation and the ideal AMP state, this tool gets you 80% of the way to a clear plan of action. We’re working on having this tool more widely accessible and are hoping to announce something soon.

Slide Decks

There was a lot of amazing content spread across many sessions and you would need Sherlock-level retention to be able to recall it all. Future events will have the sessions recorded, but for now, the slide decks from the different sessions are here below.

You + AMP

We work closely with Google on enterprise AMP implementations. Get in touch if you’d like to learn more.

Meet (X) in St. Louis: Let’s catch up!

We’re excited to announce quite a few of the XWP team (19 of us?!) will be attending and speaking at this year’s flagship WordPress event—Wordcamp US 2019—taking place this weekend, November 1-3.

This year’s annual event covers many interesting topics from user experience and visual regression testing, to advanced usage of javascript frameworks and how to address the emerging legal changes to internet privacy.

A few we hope you’ll catch: Two of XWP’s engineers, Alain Schlesser and Jonny Harris, are presenting on Friday. Alain will talk about “The Cost of Contribution,” and Jonny will tackle questions surrounding the REST API and Authentication. Plus, XWP contributor Bridget Willard will also conduct a workshop on how to craft effective bios for your internet presence.

Aside from our presentations, we’ve got a big portion of our team in attendance this year, and we’re always excited to talk about how we want to build a better web together. 

So whether you’re contributing to open source projects like WordPress, looking to build advanced editorial workflows, or maybe you want to learn how we’re building some of the fastest sites on the internet, or are looking to level up your large site with the leading engineering WordPress firm, we’re around to chat all weekend. 

Plus, we’re hiring for frontend engineers and project managers—so if that’s you, don’t be shy and apply!

XWPeople in Berlin for WCEU 2019

Drop us a message at the form below and we’ll find time to connect during WCUS.

The Final Transmission

TL;DR: We made a digital treasure hunt. If you like a bit of a brain challenge, you should give it a go.

The development of a new Visual Identity is a lot of fun. Reflecting on history, understanding culture, considering the future and then bringing it all together into something that visually reflects it all is great. The roll-out though can be somewhat… academic.

So, to have some fun, we made a game around it all. Without giving too much away, we pulled together a trail of digital breadcrumbs, cyphers, cryptic messages and clues and wrapped it in a story that represented the stage we were at as a company and the release of the new visual identity.

Result == a lot of fun. Collective efforts, a dedicated Slack channel and long page of documented findings took the team through the game’s story over the space of about 2 weeks.

We had fun making it. The teams had fun playing it. We thought we’d share it with you.

So to start the game, all you need is this message from one Sam C.


Systems are operational. Mission Phase 3 has the green light.

Instructions are delivered here as per operational security requirements. The system is old and the original architect is retired, so you’ll need to follow the breadcrumbs.

Everything you need to start is hidden in this image, or so they tell me. I don’t know where or how. I guess that’s what they call “security through obscurity”. Good luck and see you on the other side.