As a managed WordPress platform for legal publishers, LexBlog runs a WordPress development shop.

Not as web agencies do with custom web development, which is tough to scale for the developer and the customer, but to perform the WordPress development work for our managed WordPress platform which supports all of our legal bloggers.

Plugins, upgrades and features are being worked on and shipped by LexBlog all of the time. Just as any other SaaS (software as a service) provider does, we’re constantly maintaining and improving the platform, and accompanying service.

LexBlog’s plugin work over the last year included plugins for the aggregation and curation of third party articles and blog posts via RSS. These plugins power and our growing network of syndication sites such as Illinois Lawyer Now.

Another use of these plugins could be the use of delivering aggregated select content to a third-party’s publishing platform.

Meaning what?

Just as you have a WordPress dashboard for the writing, editing and publishing of articles and pages, a site operating these plugins would also include a dashboard with a list of aggregated content that’s been “pulled in.”

This aggregated content would only be content relevant to the publisher, ie, for the Illinois Bar, blog content from Illinois bar members. Could also mean content selected by topic, jurisdiction or otherwise.

In many cases, LexBlog will “preselect” the content to be fed into the aggregator from our global network of legal blog feeds.

This aggregated content would then be curated by the site’s publisher by them selecting in their WordPress dashboard which pieces to publish and where, editing titles, applying tags, inserting appropriate images and more.

Such a feature could be used by a digital publication, a law firm website that’s looking to display content from lawyers, an email newsletter, an association website with contributions from members etc. The possibilities are only limited by one’s imagination.

Why a third-party’s plugins ala LexBlog’s? Regular upgrades and feature additions to the plugins from a company who not only works with WordPress, but works in legal publishing.

The speed, performance and user-experience of a WordPress site is only as good as the sum of the parts. We’re dealing with open source and a vibrant worldwide community of plugin providers.

Trying to manage plugins on your own can become the height of folly. Installing a plugin yourself and then forgetting about it, as many web developers do, will not fly. Upgrades come regularly to the WordPress core software and it’s plugins.

And in the case of legal content, LexBlog is already aggregating the content, only needing to be parsed as appropriate for a publisher.

Most all of what LexBlog has developed until now has been for use on our managed WordPress Platform. It’s time to explore how others operating websites and digital publications may benefit from using LexBlog plugins.

If you’re wondering about those not using WordPress for websites and publishing, they are becoming fewer and fewer. WordPress is on its way to being ubiquitous when it comes to sites with a content management system.

Stay tuned.