WordPress at No. 10

You may have heard that the official site of the British Prime Minister’s Office at launched earlier today. The great news is that it’s running WordPress, but what really excited me is the fact that the site is also using WP Super Cache.

The site was initially very slow, but once the cached static files were in place, it just zipped along! Three cheers for caching and everyone who has contributed to WP Cache and WP Super Cache! 🙂

I wonder if Gordon Brown will be looking at his Dashboard? *Wave*

By Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Twitter.

50 replies on “WordPress at No. 10”

I just tried accessing it and I got the following error message:

Internal Server Error – Read
The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Reference #3.1655293e.1218557851.15df1e2f

I got that too on one of the internal pages of the site. It went away when I refreshed later.

They must be experiencing some heavy load today. I’d love to see their stats for the day!

Oh dear ……

“Internal Server Error – Read
The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Reference #3.e9d9bd5.1218558601.a6d5390”

A site is only as stable as the server it runs on!!

Is Number 10 the new VIP or is it running wordpress on its own server? Good job on the cache, i knew we irish could get england back one day 😉

Neil – it’s on their own server. I’ve never seen an “Internal Server Error” like that. Doubt it’s an Apache server either. Perhaps Windows and IIS?

No comment on your last jibe at them 🙂

It’s nice to see that the government respect the best publishing platform 😉
BTW Donncha on the tags for this post:

Tagged: wordpress internal server error read reference

And also, the theme is a version of the networker 1.0 theme by antbag(dotcom), if you look at it’s style.css
It’s also hosted in the US, according to whoever it was that told me. Heh.

I’ve been working with the Downing Street web crew for a few months now, building up to today’s launch. We’ve run several small-scale WordPress blogs, learning as we’ve gone along, ahead of this big leap.

Basically, it’s a recognition that the No10 team is (a) small; (b) driven by news; and (c) eager to be careful with taxpayers’ money. Oh, and (d) – aware of the role of political blogs in Westminster these days. All of which seemed to recommend an open-source, blog-style solution.

I’ve written it all up at my own site:

They’re far from the only ones in Westminster keen to use WordPress, by the way. I’ve personally been pushing the concept for well over a year, and have done sites of varying scales for various UK government departments… with several more in the pipeline.

Simon – thanks for leaving a comment! It’s great to see WP being used there. I wonder if we can do the same for the Irish Taoiseach’s office. Somehow I doubt it!

It’s back up again now; good to see that an important Government office is using an open source application.

Maybe the server was re-enacting the Poms performance in the last Ashes series here in Oz? 🙂

Nice! I was trying to check out the login page (/wp-admin) to make sure they put their pants on just like everyone else, but it gives a 404. How is this possible? Have they changed the login URL? Good safety precaution; maybe I should do it for my blog, too.

Is this really the official website of the British Prime Minister’s Office? I have my concerns at it’s authenticity after looking at his photoshop’d signature (blown up to 1000%):

Here in Australia we have strict rules concerning the commercial development of government sites, adhering to W3C X/HTML, W3C CSS and WAI is just the beginning and this site doesn’t even touch close…

I was actually quite surprised with the launch of the new site yesterday morning. The new site actually has quite a few “tricks up its sleeve” including the fact that its auto-balanced based on the user’s IP location. If you visit within the UK you’ll be served the page by a London based server, Visit the site in the states and you’ll be provided the page from a server in California.

I was also surprised to find that the theme used on the site is a freely available open source WordPress theme! Called “NetWorker” by Anthony Baggett.

Its actually quite nice to see the Number10 site refreshed, Too bad they didn’t do it while I still lived there!

(Brit living in the states, Long story!)

really good job
apart from number 10 tv which 404’s
still it is b3ta but i would have though they could have put a temp message there instead of a server error code

Barak Obama in the United States does not use WordPress. He uses Movable Type. And he is not alone, Howard Dean introduced the power of blogging to the political world, and he did it using Movable Type. In the world of US political campaigns, candidates more often than not choose Movable Type. You know why? Because having a presence online is essential, and when a site suffers an outage it does not reflect poorly upon the software, it reflects poorly upon the candidate.

It is interesting to me how people are so grateful to WordPress when it is a plugin, not authored by or sponsored by the people who make WordPress that keep blogs powered by it from crashing.

Movable Type has been caching content from the day it was released over 7 years ago, and now it has introduced features that make it more scalable, more performant, more reliable and more social than ever before.

When it comes to keeping a site up and running even when it is deluged with traffic, there are few you will find that will argue that MT surpasses WordPress time and time again.

Or you could follow in the foot steps of Al Gore, who chose WordPress and had his entire web site hacked.

I for one don’t want to rely on a plugin to do what a publishing system should do right out of the box. That just seems wrong. Shouldn’t it at the very, very, very least, just keep your web site up?

Byrne – thanks for commenting, but you’re just trolling. I’m not getting into a pissing contest with you over which system is better because each has it’s own strengths and weaknesses.

BTW, WP Super Cache is maintained by one of the WordPress developers. Me.

Trolling? Hardly. Ok, maybe a little provocative, I admit. Educating folks engaged in a thread about up time and stability, about an alternative solution which is superior in those respects: certainly.

Donncha, sorry I had my facts wrong. I didn’t know you were employed by Automattic.

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