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Episode 172: WordPress 2021 Year in Review


Show Summary


In this podcast, a panel of Rob Cairns, Davinder Singh Kanith, Todd Jones and Ryan Waterbury sit down to discuss the year in review.

Show Highlights:

  1. The Year In Review
  2. The WordPress Community.
  3. Big Events for the WordPress Comunity.
  4. Things you would like to see for 2022.

Show Notes

 

Morning everybody. We are live with WordPress and review for 2021. I have a panel with me today.

 

Good morning Davinder. How are you? So already this morning, which is so wonderful.

 

And we have Todd Jones of copy flight. Good morning, Todd.

 

Yeah, good morning. I’m definitely better than I was yesterday as pretty much either was laying in a recliner or bed all day yesterday. So I feel better today. And I was just counting my lucky stars that I can actually be well enough to jump on this call. So somebody must have prayed for me. And it must have worked. Oh, yeah.

 

Ryan Waterbury have one dog Susan’s Good morning, Ryan. All right. So let’s jump into one of my most favorite topics in this past year, and that’s WordPress, mergers and acquisitions.

 

Ryan do sorry guys say looks like I’m having in Rogers internet blips this morning. Lucky me. So, Ryan, do you want to talk about mergers and acquisitions and starting your feelings of that in the impact on the community?

 

Mergers and acquisitions? I, you know, it’s it’s kind of interesting, simply for the fact that I think this is a good indication that WordPress has moved to not just your bloggers platform, for sharing your favourite recipes, it’s now powering some really powerful enterprise websites out there. So the mergers and acquisitions and the business dealings really show some maturity in the market. So that’s good and bad. And I think some of us that run small agency, his boutique agencies in particular, are starting to feel a little, the squish a little bit. WordPress, you know, used to have a pretty low bar of entry for development that’s changed. You know, basically, you could get by with a little bit of PHP, CSS, HTML, and a little bit of JavaScript. Now, you really have to be to do anything impactful. You need to be a full stack developer, to really push things. So as we see these acquisitions, we’re seeing whole teams purchased. And, you know, I, I’d like to, you know, I’ve looked at the next s stellar WP acquisitions in particular. And one thing that really kind of just clicked in my mind was a comment that Paul Lacey had made where he said, you know, you’ve got block lock in. And, you know, I’ve looked at Nexus stellar WP in their acquisitions, you know, and they’ve, they’re building a platform. And especially when you look at the last one where modern tribe itself was purchased, I kind of stepped back and I looked, and I said, Hey, this is kind of got the, the drive and the same criticism that, you know, Matt materials pointed out with wordpress.com that, hey, it will develop your website. Yeah, it felt to me like they’re very large platforms being put together. And, you know, wordpress.com is one, you know, pushing the Gutenberg Project. And then you look at, you know, I just picked on Nexus and it’s not a bad thing. I mean, that’s a great solution for somebody coming in, but as a small agency that’s, you know, put together a care solution. In my own stack to offer a platform, you really start to feel the squeeze a little bit. So you know, it’s not a good or a bad thing. It just means we have to adapt. So

 

yeah, so true. So true to vendor, what’s your two cents on all these? Running the new site WP weekly and talking about WordPress, on mergers and acquisitions?

 

I think I think it’s a good thing because more money means more serious decision making. And only those features will go through that will sell. And that will be used by people. Obviously, there’s a school of thought, like Ryan pointed out that small agency boutique owners might feel threatened that like now, they’re almost wiping out the one man plug in developer thing. But even if people get acquired, they will give 10 More people waiting to launch a new thing, right. And it’s a good thing because now even this stellar web, you know, building a bouquet of plugins. I think, WP engine also has tried the same thing with Genesis, which I think kind of failed. And now they’re trying to do with blocks and all that stuff. So if you see these two pillars, like stellar WP and WP Engine, they are basically challenging what wordpress.com does, and, and as a user of WordPress, and even my clients, they will feel more at home, buying stuff from stellar WP and WP Engine rather than wordpress.com. Because they still don’t know what the positioning or branding of wordpress.com because it’s as ambiguous as confusing as we know. between.org and.com. So acquisitions are good, and everyone is trying their best. Even GoDaddy acquired Paige Lee and no one even thought in their wildest dream, they will acquire something like Paisley right, but they did it. And if the sense prevail, they will just keep Paisley as a separate freemium offering and, you know, expand their offering. Because again, there are people who will say, Oh, God, that is bad, and all that, but they still got money and money came from customers, right? It didn’t come from charity. Right? So they are in a big business. So acquisition, I think it’s good for whole ecosystem because more money that comes into the ecosystem more serious people will get and more, you know, SOPs and more structured. Everyone will be like, the you will have a copywriter also, rather than just a developer writing a copy. Right, Todd?

 

Yeah. And that brings me to Todd. Hey, Todd, what is your feelings on all the mergers and acquisitions going? Well, I

 

think the vendor and Ryan really nailed a lot of the stuff that I would say as well. What I see I, you know, a few years ago, I was writing articles in the startup space here in Arkansas. And so I saw a lot of the same thing in the startup community started tech community 810 years ago, a lot of maturity going on, people are buying. There was a kid who did an app in the UK, I think, a few years ago, and I think Yahoo or somebody bought it for a couple billion dominions, just some of these massive acquisitions, I think, a couple things to keep in mind. And I agree with everything they said, spot on, I think it’s a sign of maturity of our market, the WordPress market. Something that Ron was pointing out, I think the two things I would like to see is the ability to stay nimble, which means innovation. So appointed vendor made, as you know, sure one thing gets acquired, and maybe there’s 10 More people ready to build something else. We’ve always got keep building. There’s got to be individuals keep building, the big companies will handle the support really well. Probably better than the small companies will, which is why we need it, but they need to win. They really need to keep developing the product as long as they can, but they really need to handle the support because support is an area that is tough for small groups to do. Number two, and he mentioned ball AC and I think Paul was hit the nail on the head with his article at the WP minute, a couple weeks ago about community. One of the things that make WordPress so important in the last 10 years think for every single one of us in this call is community both good and bad, obviously. But you we all find a sense of community somewhere in the WordPress Ico space. Whether you know, I know like a vendor at one time I was hanging out with all the Genesis people. I watched carry deals as office hours that’s where I first saw the vendor. Carrie was very nice to me and a lot of questions I had the early days before I really was in the WordPress community about the WordPress for dummies book by Lisa saving Wilson. And I’ll ever consider her a hero. He I’ve never met her like talk to her. You know, along the way, I’ve met some really cool people. The Joe Casavant is the world, the the Kim Doyle’s The Jennifer borns. Some of these people have been really nice and given me feedback or just, you know, advice or just supporting what I’ve done. We have to keep that somehow, as we mature as a community. I don’t know that I have the answer per se. But there are some people in our community that are very good about a community support, and we need to look to them for leadership. I’m thinking like Michelle Frechette, who is really good at customer support, but that is drawn from her Billy ability to facilitate a community, we have to keep looking at people like Michelle, to help keep the sense of community in the WordPress space baby Paul Lacey is part of that as well. So those are two things I would like to see WordPress hold on to, as a community, obviously, that doesn’t really come from automatic automatic doing what they do. And I have put a client on a wordpress.com site, and it works really well for that client and what they need. And then of course, as it goes, I think everybody’s all, we all get into this thing, as a developer. I mean, I was doing WordPress websites still do, I just try not to do them so much, I try to send them to you guys. But um, I went more to the copy content space, because I felt like there was a need there in the community. But I think we’re gonna see more people that are kind of bowtique agencies, change directions and find a way that fits. Ryan is a good example, this may still built those builds, but he’s kind of adopted the web care. And a lot of people are like Ryan, and then the vendor, just kind of he’s kind of like the design, the design, the design guy, you know, many people will say, hey, vendor, I need a new design, or I need to design this particular landing page. And he does that. And then of course, he does his own internal projects, which we all love and support. So I think everybody’s gonna be looking for an angle. And that’s the beauty of a matured ecosystem, right? There’s all these different corners, that that become something that you can make a living off of. So it’s not a bad thing. As long as we keep those two things in mind community, and being able to keep innovating.

 

Yeah, I would agree, Todd, and I’m gonna I was gonna save the community angle for later in this chat. But I think I’ll jump into it now. One of the big projects I’m involved in right now, and I’m gonna throw this shameless plug, because that

 

is I think I need to keep building the community. I keep working on community in a big way. And we have some issues in the WordPress community right now, by far. So anybody want to tackle that? Please? Send Thank you.

 

Well, I’m assuming we were having a hard time hearing you about your topic. Sorry, my

 

Yeah, I was saying we were working on a LinkedIn initiative to build our press community on LinkedIn. And I think part of our problem is people keep blaming the people keep blaming the issues in the community, and not the people. And I think some of this needs to stop I mean, it didn’t, and I’m going to tackle this and

 

I’m sorry, guys, I’m obviously having some issues. But I was gonna say it didn’t hurt that Chris Lima, came out on Twitter and said he was the gatekeeper of WordPress, which I, I humbly disagree with. And you can take shots at me now, folks, you know, anybody want to go there?

 

I think verbatim. He said, Of course, I’m a gatekeeper for Kabul press, and as he should be, and that’s directly what he said. But I, you know, I alluded to this with the barrier of entry into WordPress, you know, with the development skills. So, you know, you’d find bloggers long time ago when WordPress was still maturing that, oh, I need to add this function in my functions, that PHP file. Okay, I need to tweak this, add a little CSS, and then next year, you’re a full blown WordPress developer, after you’ve, you know, gained a couple of skills it wasn’t it wasn’t that difficult to start tripping into core and really doing some cool things. Now, the complexity of all the different languages involved in writing a plugin to do things, and and which route you choose is it’s pretty fast. And so when we talked about the the acquisitions, I think it’s good because those companies can afford to employ developers that are specific in their their area of expertise, whether it’s front end or back end development, and designers, I mean, that that’s really what separates the small one person shops like myself, I do development, design, marketing, everything from the larger agencies that have a staff of 10 that you don’t have a project manager, a marketing person, you know, the front end developer, the back end developer, the the designers that really specialise. So I think that gap has widened a little bit. And that sense of community where somebody that just wants to go in and tinker and get themselves online, you can still do that. And I think for a time starting in 2015 2014 2015, with the advent of page builders, that really just kind of leapt forward a whole nother step with nice tools to do those things. And I, I’m bringing up page builders, because I think that that’s been a shattering thing in the community with Gutenberg, that, you know, we look at automatic, the the parent company of wordpress.com. And the CEO, they’re obviously one of the founders of wordpress.org, those lines get blurred a little bit, and there are people out there that aren’t in our community that you know, equate wordpress.com with.org and they don’t know any different. That’s one thing that I wanted to touch on here, where I really see that that’s a conflict of interest, having Matt heading up both projects, you know, the private company and the public org core has fallen behind, as far as there are some things that really should be taken care of, while Gutenberg, which fully benefits wordpress.com has taken the the the driver seat in the development. And I think the community small agencies like myself, feel the pinch there. And that disconnect. And that’s been one of the the wedges that that we’ve seen. So it’s, I’m looking forward to the state of the word to see how some of the if some of these things are addressed, and you know, how, how Matt talks to the community there. So I think the community is still there. But you know, it’s a tool. I’ve used Drupal, Magento Bigcommerce, Shopify reluctantly, but it’s just a tool to get online. There are other ways to do things. You know, so, but the community, I mean, I love going to meetups, and I will tell you working with other marketing folks, nobody wants to share any any tips, tricks or anything like that to really do things. But when I go to a WordPress meetup, people will actually share code and tell you how to do something specifically without any reservation. I don’t think in any other community, any of the CMS groups that I’ve felt that nice, forward thinking community led just the sharing of knowledge anywhere else besides WordPress. I think that’s changing a little bit.

 

I would agree defenders your two cents please.

 

I think WordPress community is alive and thriving. And regarding Chris Lima, I think he is one of the inspiring people in the community. You may not agree with everything he says but he definitely says a lot of right things obviously has to balance his you know, position as a person working for a company and also as a person as a user of WordPress. Now coming to WordPress community, I think it’s alive and kicking like how there was a big backlash with blocks like it’s not for me. So if there wasn’t a community, why would you hear negative voices right? And even I didn’t like the concept of blocks when it came out. But now as it has matured, I think I like it, but I like it more because I understand it But from my client perspective, they still don’t understand. And I am not surprised. And most of my clients use Beaver Builder and they say, when he will raise working, why should I use blocks, right? And no one has time to learn something new when something that they are using is already working perfectly fine. So that is the bigger issue because blocks started as a, you know, fancy editor like Wix has Squarespace has. But now it’s stepping into the territory of page builders. Again, if you step back and look blocks is basically creating the same ecosystem as page builders has, like they are different page builders, and they are different add ons for every page builder. And now we have a page builder called Gutenberg. And they are different add ons for the page builder called Gutenberg. So it’s like creating a parallel, you know, what do you call economy, like even for plugins, like someone was saying, oh, I should have a block for this functionality. Now, I believe we have a plugin for a functionality. And now we have a block for functionality. So again, a more parallel economy being created. But I think blocks now as of today, I think it’s a good direction. But and I really liked that they did postpone the full site editing, release and all that because it was really rushed up and be because that will have bigger impact on people who were not using a page builder and using default theme, some things will break. So yeah, community is still there. Because if there wasn’t community even we wouldn’t be talking to each other. Right? So community is there. But community is only between people who build a website, it doesn’t, you know, drip to our clients? Because it won’t, because that is not where the community should be. And yes, there are shifts in changes, like now, there are more paid communities within the whole community, you know, and I sort of like this direction. And and if if you see the Facebook groups, most of them have dried up in terms of healthy interactions, because there’s too much spam. And then there’s a LinkedIn group, which you’ve recently created. And I got surprised for that. Yeah, I think community is doing great. And even though people don’t there are people who would say I don’t like Gutenberg and all that but eventually everyone will fall in line but that that’s how it is like when you build a foundation. People have to build a house on that foundation, they just cannot build a new foundation. So that’s the problem. And what I always tell everyone in WordPress like WordPress is not always an answer. I use a lot of things other than WordPress to power my business. And I’m not sorry for them. I’m not sorry for that decision. I’m actually happy for that decision because WordPress is not always an answer for you. So you got to choose your tools according to your capacity according to your capabilities and according to the time that you want to save because time is money because in the end everyone is here to make money even automatic I think Rob froze my speech.

 

I think you everything he said was spot on there to vendor.

 

So so true. Yeah, I would agree. So let’s jump into another topic AI in WordPress. And as that applies even more than copy editing, so let’s start with Todd.

 

Thought I was coughing when you said that. So you’re talking about what in WordPress? Yeah. Oh, by the way, you know, depends on the day whether I like it or not regularly use it. i There’s a lady that you had on podcast. But I don’t think you talked about with Briar Briars kind of she is a copywriter in the copyright community who uses AI. And so it’s a it’s a debate in the copywriting community some people are very threatened by just kind of like page builders when they came out and WordPress, you know, all of a sudden, you know, you don’t need a developer you just buy a page builder and you can do what you need to do the problem. I don’t know if there’s a problem with AI, but I don’t think a eyes are gonna run a long form article. You’re but but AI can help you with your headlines and they can help you work things better. I mean, heck, grammerly is basically had a I had it for years now. And all the other writing aids they use a lot if you write it better, make it sound better make it more grammatically correct. We all need that, I think to some degree. When you do copywriting I mean a good half of it or more is simply research. Not something AI can do. But if you’re going to use AI to write a page It’s gonna need all the elements that come from the research so I don’t you know you’re still going to need copywriters and copywriters are still going to need copy editors which are the people that make things slow better make sure your grammars made to be broken in copywriting so just but um people like my friend autumn who’s a copy editor help you know your your copies sound better be consistent, more clear those kinds of things you need people like autumn at the same time. So you know, it’s just really interesting all of them are coming out the people I know who who know the AI stuff best tend to refer to Jarvis as the best one so far. So I don’t have endless money to try all of them. kind of wish I did I know that vetoes team is lost Berta would be curious to try it. But I will say so join away from Copy Hackers likes to say when I was watching a one of her Tuesday tutorials one time, she said something about writing 50 headlines for to come up with a headline as like does that apply to copy or to cut blog content too. And she said, you should always do it for whatever you write. And that was like a kick to the gut. So the little Canadian woman kicked me in the gut. Saying that you need to have a 50 headline, you need to write 50 headline for each headline, I don’t know if that’s going to be in everybody’s capacity. But with AI, you can come up with 50 variations pretty quick. And even if you want to test them for not sure I would test on a blog content, but certainly on your home your major rd pages if you want to test headlines, I mean, AI could be a great way to come up with variations and eliminate, or at least streamline your time a little bit. So AI is like a tool like people use a page builder to build a web page or whatever. So you’re not going to do a complete copy or content project probably with AI. But you can speed things up and probably come up with more better variations of headlines and you can your own hit.

 

So try the vendor your thoughts.

 

I think the problem is not the tool AI tool is how its marketed like in case of page builders like how they are marketed a you just need a page builder you need you don’t need a designer or a developer to build a website. Now Similar is the case with AI tools. You don’t need a brain you don’t need to write anything they will generate everything but AI tool is to refine your thoughts in the end, the main content the main subject, the main thought will still come from your head, right? So if you cannot produce that good enough, he AI tool is as good as AI. Right in then you don’t need artificial intelligence, you need natural intelligence to put your thoughts out.

 

So Ryan, does that make it easy to get content for your customers?

 

Uh, you know, I’m gonna disagree with something that Todd said Sean, Sean, shots fired. So, uh, you know, I part of my businesses SEO and reading content. And one of the tools that I picked up a while ago and have added their monthly add on after purchase the Ltd was phrase. And this has been a really nice tool to do research and AI content generation to help me write about topics that I’m not a particular expert about. So it will crawl and pull up relevant topics. As I’m writing, and put an outline together for me to help write a blog article. And that’s been an invaluable tool. You still have to do the research and understand what needs to go into the article, but it helps you it’s it’s not going to replace you as a writer, but it definitely it’s definitely increased my proficiency in writing blog articles for my clients, businesses, where I’m not the expert, I certainly write an article and have them review it. And if I come across a suggestion from the AI writer, that they may not have given me an outline. I asked them is this relevant? They’re like, yeah, I forgot about that. And that should be in there. So it’s been a nice tool to make sure that we’re writing relevant content about a subject, but it absolutely doesn’t replace me as a as a writer. I’m not a great writer. So for me It’s been a nice crutch to lean on to improve my writing capabilities. The other nice thing is doing advertisements, particularly social media advertisements, where I can drop in my headline, and some short copy and ask the AI to rewrite it and give me variations. Well, I now have four split tests with copy. And I will tell you, it’s not perfect. I always adjust. But there are some combinations and rephrasing of my original input that have converted better. And if it wasn’t for AI, giving me that that extra nudge with, you might want to phrase it like this, I probably wouldn’t have had an ad campaign work as well as it did. So there’s certainly some uses for AI in the community, but it’s a tool, just like anything else. And the vendor and Todd both said that, the same thing that you initiate everything,

 

what are you disagreeing with me about? I didn’t catch it.

 

Wow, I disagreed with you that, you know, one of the tools that I use can do some of your research

 

and yeah, okay. Yeah, there’s you’re talking about different kinds of research, the ability to go out and crawl the rib web and, and find relevant sources. That’s one thing that definitely can, but I’m talking about, you know, voice of customer research survey, in the future, you may be able to do some stuff for sure. I wouldn’t be surprised at all. But you know, you know, come on web copy, I guess more than anything, you were coming into it from a content standpoint. So although I would like to see this is something I guess in the WordPress community, I’d like to see people in our community who don’t seem to do this too much with your blog posts, and they tend to do what you’re talking about, which is just go out and find relevant sources and so forth. But it maybe it’s a time issue, but one of the best places you can go is interview expert, which is what a journalist does. So if you’re having if you’re talking about something in a field you’re not familiar with, obviously, you can go out and find content on the web about it, right? Or you can and or you can go interview someone who’s an expert. It’s like a journalist saying, Man, I need to know more about page builders, let me interview the vendor. Or I need to know more about web security. And I may interview Robert or Ryan, you know, that kind of thing. So I’d like to see more of that in our community.

 

One of the things that AI stuff, it’s getting better, but it doesn’t capture the tone or your customer voice. That’s one of the things that I’ve had a few of my clients when they’re, they look at my blog, and they actually read, I was kind of surprised. Because nobody likes reading stuff. They just want to ask the question. This is what I rob favourite things. There’s this thing called Google, go use it. But a comment that I got back was, I write about my personal experience and business growth, because I write my blog for small businesses and nonprofits and tips and things that I’ve learned over the years and my colleagues I’ve learned, and I share how I’ve integrated those things. And a little bit about my story, I kind of learned that from you, Todd to use some storytelling in my writing, and it’s paid off. I’ve had a couple of clients that said, I like how you relate how you accomplish this task specifically, and how it worked for you. And that’s something that AI doesn’t give you that that personal touch and experience and that that tone of your writing. It can help you write some things but that that storytelling, that personal connection, it’s not there yet. I’m sure it will be at some point but not now. And yeah, my my tool is Grammarly for now Grammarly.

 

I think that they’re, they’re moving in that direction. I think I have come across an AI tool that is supposed to help a storytelling. I think even though there there is one it is probably going to be like any other AI tools tool is going to handle the basics before to take in. But he can’t pull that out of your head. You’re talking about you know, what is it our friend Kim doll says everything is content. So you’re taking a personal experience from business and writing about it and relating and the business owner relates to that. And that’s something that you know, AI can’t really do in that regard. And as if you’re going to do that you need to learn how to do storytelling. And there’s a lot of ways to do that. Heck, we talked about Chris lemma He’s got a storytelling course, on his website. And I’ve looked at it, I haven’t looked through the course. But I’ve looked through the contents. And it’s very good from what I can see. Obviously, I recommend stories a stick by Kyndra Hall, as a good way to learn more about storytelling in your business. So there’s a lot of ways but I just the best way to learn about killer storytelling is just tell stories. Tell them in your blog post, tell them in your presentations, tell them in your emails, tell them in your videos and your podcasts. Tell them when you talk to stories, talk to sales, tell stories.

 

Sorry. Thanks, Todd. Not to worry. Let’s jump into another topic. WordPress is not secure Ryan, go.

 

I, I’m glad you picked on me first. Interestingly enough, I acquired a new client for a couple of websites. One of his websites that he was maintaining by himself on one of the wonderful eig hosts, who won’t be named here now hosted on my servers. He started having problems with it and configure it out. I crawled the site got into it got him on a care plan immediately. And it said, Okay, we’re going to do an audit and signed him up for that. And I’m glad I did. Because it was full of outdated plugins and malware. Because he didn’t keep the site updated. It was able to clear that out and started looking at some things and realise that it was time for a rebuild and starting fresh and just pulling the content out. But WordPress isn’t secure it. It has tolls, they get patched regularly. But I have clients that never log into their websites ever. They they’re on care plans. And that’s why they have me to make sure that plugins are updated, themes are updated that might web care, we run a firewall at the server level at the web application level. We run regular malware scans, and make sure that when we do these updates, that nothing breaks. That’s the other piece of it. plugins and themes commoditized development. So you have different development teams, different libraries, all working together. So when you update for security, oops, you just broke all the forms on your website. Nobody can communicate with you. So security is not just throwing up a firewall, on the server or on the web application. They are different things. But it’s it’s a process of making sure that everything works in tandem and cohesively. Starting in July, I noticed that I themes had changed their monthly to bi monthly to weekly security rollouts. And I commented on Twitter, I said, Holy cow, this is 67 vulnerabilities. I think this is the highest I’ve ever seen. They said Yep, it sure is. And it’s not going to slow down. And and since then they’ve been publishing new security updates and vulnerabilities weekly. And they’ve dropped down because development teams are patching things regularly. But is that a bad thing? Does that mean WordPress isn’t secure? Not at all. I think WordPress can be secure. And you can harden things and lock things down. But it’s a process just like your phone software gets regular updates in the background. Your custom website needs to do that as well. And because of the nature of the modular building with WordPress, you know those updates, you have to be careful when you apply them. I mean, we all we’ve all had websites break on an update. Thankfully, like the vendor i I’m in the Beaver Builder camp, which is has been rock solid. I think I’ve only had to roll back once in the past five years that I’ve ever I trust those updates, and there was only one that I had to roll back and it was fixed in four hours. That team is fantastic. Not all plugins are that fast. And, you know, sometimes there’ll be days when you have to plug in conflicts when you roll for a security update. That, you know you keep your eye on that and that’s part of the process. You know, security isn’t I’m just gonna instal this plugin Like I themes are wordfence and you’re done doesn’t work like that. Yeah, you have to monitor that. And that’s something that a lot of clients that go the DIY route, find out after a certain point in time. One of my former clients

 

asked me to look at something. And I said, Sure, you know, I know where that is on your site. I logged in, since I had been maintaining it, I think they had 31 updates, that were several versions behind, nobody had touched anything. And I just said, you can either pay me to clean this up and get and get on a care plan, or, you know, we can have a couple hour consulting session, and I can tell you what you need to do. They didn’t either. And a few months later, they were hacked, and the website was down for several weeks while they were trying to recover their data.

 

Yep, yes. And the ongoing, it’s an ongoing issue. Ryan, as you know, I’ve gotten to some clients. And usually when they come running back, my prices go like up and up and up by the day, because they need to learn that, you know, there’s a reason we charge what we do. And we have tools, and we have expertise to help them right. And some of these people think, oh, it’s easy. I just go push update, I turn auto updates on, I actually turn the auto updates off. I don’t like them on for multiple reasons. And I actually go in and put code in the stop automated WordPress updates from being deployed unless I deployed them. I really don’t like taking chances.

 

Yeah, absolutely. auto updates are off on all my sites. The the only ones that roll that I’ve finally become comfortable with are the dot updates. WordPress. Yeah, they’re they’re very minor. Those are the only auto updates that are on the major updates. I’m not going to update to 5.9, which has been delayed until January, thankfully, January 25. Yeah, it was a nice change from we’re gonna up we’re gonna have sites update right before the Christmas holiday. I was thankful for that one.

 

vendor, your two cents on security, you do a lot of development for other agencies. What do you think?

 

I think security is a very profound topic. And most people are not expert at it. And yet they portray as expert. That is a bigger problem in our ecosystem, like, even from a normal user to one man agency, hey, let’s instal a plug in and we are done with it. That’s, that’s the approach most people take, even if you take that approach, I think most people would fail at is taking backups. Because even if your security setup, you know, drags everything down and you have a backup, you can always recover it. And the other problem with backup is, most people take backup on the same server as the hosted. So there’s so it’s like peeling the onion, right. So there’s so many layers that you need to have understanding of it. Obviously, I’m not a security expert. But since I’ve done so much work in last 1518 years, I’ve seen so many agents, I’ve worked with other agencies also. And I’ve seen how they handled different setups, some people outsource it, which is the best way to do it if you do not know what you’re doing yourself. And some people just use managed WordPress hosting, and they do a very good job at you know, handling the website, data and all that stuff. But then your cost rises because managed hosting is expensive. If you’re managing 102 100 websites in one go. So security is is difficult. Make sure you learn it before you say I’m a security expert. I’m not a circuit security expert. So I humbly admit that.

 

And by the way, let’s add if you’ve got backups, maybe you should test that you can restore that backup for free. Exactly.

 

Exactly. Because which plugin you’re using to take backups isn’t that is a problem like you took a backup with one plug in it makes us zip file with a specific wudu type extension and then you try to recover it WordPress doesn’t identify what this file is all about.

 

So true. So let’s use that as the segue Todd. We’re gonna sort of talk security but I want to go broader. He just did an amazing survey for on WP Caroline’s for main WP. Do you want to talk about that a little bit? And we’ll segue there,

 

buddy. I thought you did work me talk security dogs Uh, he’s ignored me when it comes to security note which so I’ll say this I’ll say this from from my standpoint. No, I’m not an expert, but I did work for an agency had to see our share cleanups along the way. So my role in this we had a server admin, I mean, that’s what he did. And he would clean it up. And this by the way, this was whether it was Drupal or WordPress, we, we had different kinds of on that when I worked for the agency, we had monex we had Drupal, we had WordPress, I don’t think we had a gym or we might have so there’s multiple platforms. And the other thing, developers outside of the WordPress space look at updates a lot differently than WordPress people do. Because I’ve had a number of people say well if you have to update if you have to constantly update then you have a problem. Well, WordPress is different and that’s something I think people need to know if you don’t work outside the WordPress space. We had drew Drupal websites Drupal is a pain in the butt update because it’s just totally different WordPress you push a button I mean literally click click something and it updates auto updates all this stuff you’re talking about if you if you back it up well you know you make a mistake you can roll it back right and talk about rolling back Beaver Builder one time in five years. WordPress, the processed update for WordPress is 100 times easier than Drupal. Drupal is like a no not deal to update from I don’t know enough about it. But so I think, well out of the box WordPress isn’t any more secure or less secure than any other platform. There are multiple layers that we all talked about server level, as well as firewalls and all this other stuff. And so I think people have to understand that it’s looked at a little differently outside the WordPress space. Now back to what you were talking about. The survey? We started that what is it? Did you have a question about the survey? Just

 

I just wanted you to talk about in general Yeah. I’ve been working on

 

Yeah, it’s it’s for an article at Main WP which I write at which is a a single dashboard self and self hosted for for updating WordPress websites. And there’s more than one out there but main WP is probably the biggest one that’s not work managed WP. And in actually, our theme this off all you guys, so the questions. You know, you you guys were very big part of that helped me get that thing down. But is this for web care people. So in the main WP community, you know, I talked about earlier that people like Ryan have gone more toward web care. I think a lot of the boutique agencies that have the chops to do Server Admin will actually do that. Now some other people who are maybe more designers or whatever, they might outsource to Ron, or rob or whatever. And that’s fine. What I was gonna say about, let me back up just a second what I was going to say about web server and security was this, if, if you’re a company listening to this, and you’re not going to pay Rob or Ron or whoever, your developers to do that regularly, you need to do one of two things, you need to use a good managed host, who will take care of all that for you Keemstar did PNG and whoever or you need to put it on wordpress.com If you’re not going to pay somebody to manage your site, that’s my opinion. You guys may throw tomatoes that mean whatever. But, you know, server, web care costs anywhere from 25 to, you know, 200 plus a month, you know, depending on who’s doing the server. That’s one of the questions we asked was how much you charge. Then I asked things like, you know, what are what are add on services you do? Is an SEO content creation. You know, paid media, email marketing services, design development, privacy policies, you do you do accessibilities shout out to our friend Colleen, who’s a big Excel accessibility expert, and I’ve learned a tonne about accessibility from Colleen, enough to know that I shouldn’t be messing with it. I should send them all to Colleen. Landing Pages, social media, you know. So those are some of the questions I asked. I’m not sure if it was Rob or Ron one, but you had the ideal to ask if we included software plugin licences. So that’s gonna be interesting. The host you offer what kind of host and then there’s a few things I added in that I was curious about. If you write a consistent blog, if you have an email newsletter, and who your target market is, so I do plan on letting that go to the 18th December I made a when I was doing the article last week. about it for main WP, I made that decision that cut it off on the 18th. Because I’m we’re in a good spot now with the answers. And so I think anything from here on is really just adding to the to value. But if you check the last article at Main WP for me, the link to the survey will be in there. If you’re a web cares consultant, I would love your feedback, your answers to that. But when obviously, doing web care, a big, big, big part of that is security. And so I know enough to be dangerous and not take care of all my sites and a handful of customer sites. But certainly bigger sites and people with more to lose to be using somebody like Rob Iran, in my opinion. So. And in our friend, Trevor, he’s got some really good services on the on the web care front as well. And he’s got a new last platform of website as a service launch engine. So this is going to be interesting to see how all this plays out in the next few years.

 

Yeah, and since we’re in the middle of shameless plug time, which I just absolutely love the vendor. You’ve been working on some awards with WP weekly Where do those stand? Because we’re now at the end of the month? Do we have some winners coming soon?

 

Yeah, I’ve been calculating who got how many votes. And I can give you some insights here before I publish it like I do. 1138 Something people voted. So I was expecting I was expecting 200, but I guess it crossed 2000. So spamming helps a little, I guess. So. Yeah. And now I’m actually going through the, you know, results. And I think that we need two categories. And I’ve gone through eight categories so far. And results have been surprised. They’ve been few surprises, especially the Page Builder category, like Gutenberg is a certain popular page builder. Not. So I think Matt Motorworks Gamble is paying off now people assume and presume and view Gutenberg as a solid page builder. Obviously, it’s not a page builder. But, you know, with add ons, ecosystem behind Gutenberg, now, it definitely can work as a solid page builder. And with F false editing coming very soon, I’m sure it will make I think we spent 2021 in your thinking how false editing will look like. And it’s almost there, but not there. And 2022 would be spent in seeing how full site editing as a baby grows up to a toddler, and maybe not yet adult because it will still take few years to get there. So coming towards it was a surprising, you know, it will it was a surprise thing that I did it. It just came. A few people suggested that this could be a good idea. So I said, Let’s because I’ve been in this mindset for a few years. Now, if you have an idea just implemented, don’t think too much about it, because we spend few years but thinking it and that idea becomes stale and not that useful. So it was a surprise thing and the engagement and the and the you know,

 

I have a question. Yeah.

 

Sure. Of course, again,

 

can you tell us the stack you used to do your words like, you know, what did you use? How did you on the back

 

end? And that’s even more interesting part. Before I tell you that before I tell you that I’ve counted, almost six people have emailed me asking me the same very question. Can you tell me the full walkthrough how you did it? And how you calculating the results and all that? Well, it’s a very simple thing and even came to all suggested me, hey, you should make a proper video workshop around it. I do it because that would be easier thing. And I might even

 

do that. Charge 1015 bucks or see why not

 

add another zero be greedy, right? So yeah, so my stack was very simple to be honest. As you know, fluid forms. I’ve been a fluid form user for ever since it came out like I bought Ltd. On the second day, or the third day shout out to all of us have the LTD of fluid forms, right? So me too. Earlier, I was using some other form plugins, which I would not name but I’m now all my client sites, all my personal sites, everything uses fluid forms. So what happened is when I was going through this process of setting up awards, I wanted to first see can it be technically possible with fluid forms? So my only question was the the bigger question was like, I don’t want one One person with one email address submitting multiple entries. So how do I restrict one person with one email address? To submit only one word? And I, you know, call me lazy. I didn’t post that question in Facebook group of landforms, I actually directly messaged Shadowhunter, well, on Messenger and I do have this question, is it possible? And he said, yeah, there’s a, there’s a setting in FLUENT forms, and I never knew about it. And, and he even told me another setting like you can also restrict those people by IP address and all that. So all that geekery was already there in FLUENT forms, it was in the form of setting I just have to click few buttons, and I was done with it. That was the that was only, you know, technical part that I wanted to get sorted and fluid form already had it. So I didn’t have to do any, you know, manual code or something. The only thing I did with regard to manual code was styling the, you know, layout so that it looks more easy on eyes. And because they were like more than 200 entries, right? So that can be overwhelming. Earlier, I had image for every entry, but loading 200 images on a page and would make the page even longer. So I ditched the image part and went with all text. And I made it optional, because not everyone there were 20 to 21 categories. Not everyone will vote for everything right. So earlier. So I made it optional. And people actually liked it. And I got few appreciation emails. Oh, that was easy and quick. It’s easier than voting in elections, the real elections. So yeah.

 

So do you have like a poll module or something you used? Or what are what was

 

done? It was I just used simple checkbox module within the fluent form. But it was styled in a way that when it’s not clicked, it will show a minus sign but when it’s clicked, it will show a tech sign. So it was all CSS magic behind it. So yesterday, I downloaded the all the results as a Excel file uploaded on Google Drive. And then I you know, I used to use Excel long time back so I forgot how to use formulas and all that. So I googled, you know, Google ism is friend so I found a function. So that function helped me a lot like it saved me time. So I just copy one column say page builders and all the entries under page builder that column this copy in a blank Excel sheet and then run that formula and in one second I’ll know how many words Beaver Builder God, how many words Elementor God and how many words Gutenberg got God.

 

I would love to see them do a poll module. I did a poll in November at Conway seen and I use gravity forms on that site. I have an old developer’s licence for Gravity Forms and they’ve grandfathered me in every year. And so I keep using that for most of my sites, even though I use fluid forms for most of my clients sites.

 

You can do you can do the same thing with Gravity Forms also. So

 

but but for the economy seam site I did they’re basically three poles and I ran it completely through Gravity Forms and the back end the showing results is nicer anything I would do it was very helpful no need to go out and get any other plugin you know to do a poll.

 

Yeah, some people suggested Why don’t you show live results like India while voting? I thought that that is technically possible but I don’t want to influence things like oh, element is one would be Hi, let’s get all Elementor employees and let’s Yeah,

 

I think in in what you were doing, I think it’s right not to show I was doing Thanksgiving food. Okay. Results, you know, after you you click I like turkey instead of ham. It’s not as big of a deal as Elementor versus Beaver Builder I don’t think so. We didn’t rush

 

right in all transparency. I plan to publish all the results. I don’t know how it will be received. Like every word that went to every product, it will be listed on the page so people can make out their own analysis and judgement. Seeing those numbers obviously those all those numbers came from people who voted so I have nothing to hide like it will be all transparent everything will be there. So there will be three winners in each category gold, silver and bronze. All WordPress Olympics in progress right.

 

And give and give vendor take bribes in US dollars sent to his first vendor thanks for sharing that Ryan Simpson plug time. Is there anything you want to talk about? Dig a bit more Kanaan or anything interested?

 

You know, interestingly enough, I’m probably the holdout on on fluid forums and partly, Todd mentioned the old Developer licence with Gravity Forms. I’ve got some really complex forms that I’ve done with gravity. And, you know, interestingly enough, I’m using it to populate some pods, you know, which recently released their their new version want to give a shout out to the pods team, with the newly released version, all all new back end that is nice and new. And another shout out to Gravity Forms for fully funding the 2.9 development for repeatable fields. So then working on some nice integrations with front end forums and populating custom post types through pods to display dynamic data. And that’s dynamic data is a big part of why I’m still a little bit of a holdout on Gutenberg Beaver Builder. Just makes it so easy with the integration with beaver femur pods, Gravity Forms, those things together, can really make front end submissions to drive dynamic content on your website seamlessly. Just a snap once you get everything running. So got that long term project. It’s It’s been over the last year plus, that will be launched in January. I’m very, very fully looking forward to clearing my schedule out. But yeah, that, you know, it’s December’s kind of my cleanup time, I usually look forward into the next year and my my crystal ball email comes out around the New Year on here. Here’s what I see in the new year. And there’s been a lot of good food for thought in our discussion. So still collecting thoughts and just looking forward at more web care and managed services, I think, you know, as we look at page builders and Gutenberg, getting a website isn’t difficult. Getting a website that looks nice. It’s getting easier. Getting a website that looks nice, is actually found on Google, and does what you wanted to properly. That’s still a challenge. So I, you know that that’s where I’m hedging my bets is helping those clients that actually want their website to be a functional marketing tool. And so that that’s kind of my goal and shift is to be that continued communications partner going forward.

 

And I wanted to mention, it’s a shame inside here. He had a family emergency come up, but AJ Morris of the Gravity Forms was originally going to join us this morning. And AJ was a big part of that pods integration project for the last six months I’ve, I’ve had countless discussions with AJ, we were actually talking about it a couple of days ago, and all the work that went into it. And I’m sure I’ll get him on in any year, but a special a special shout out to AJ and all the work his team made on making that integration with pods happen. So you know, he’s a really approachable guy. And if you need to talk to him about the integration, a JSON, Twitter’s probably the best place to get a hold of them. And we the panel, which is your your family. Well, so thanks, AJ. I’m not going to avoid the Gutenberg topic. I’ve kind of danced around that for an hour and I think we need to have a bit of a chat up. So I think one of the things that’s helped in the last while at automatic is they did some smart things Chiron Birgit Pauli hack up there who runs Gutenberg times, they’ve now handed hire the lead whose name escapes me I’m sorry. To oversee the the Gutenberg relationships, they’re reaching out to more the host relationship people to have those discussions. I know I’ve had several discussions with people up at automatic about Gutenberg lately. And they’re also reaching out to several podcasters people like Bob Dunn people like myself, people like Matt madeiros. You know, people like Jeff Chandler, these are people that are all well respected in the community and and matter and their start. I think they’re starting to listen a little bit and point in check. They took 5.9 Instead of ramming it down us two weeks before Christmas. And I’ve got a WooCommerce site with 35 not 35 350 products on it. And the last thing I want to see if 5.9 go in before Christmas Day Because Ryan’s nodding his head because that’s a recipe for disaster. And so they delay that to the 25th, which will be full site editing. And I think that release is going to have its challenges. So I’m going to open the floor up. And let’s start with Todd and talk about Gutenberg a little bit. But before we do what’s degress one bit? Well, I think of davinder mentioned an issue, where he said, You know, when you build your Gutenberg stack, that you’re building things around Gutenberg. So is it any different than building a page builder stack? And a shortcode? stack? So now, we’ve gone to Gutenberg blocks, and you kind of have to decide in the Gutenberg world, what are your exit? So so to speak, so I know with myself, I’m all in with cadence. I’m a cadence form, Cadence, theme cadence blocks and then I’ve gone with editor plus by extend defi. Shout out to Spencer foreman for helping refine that stack a little bit. But the way I look at it is it’s no different than what your beaver builder stack in your add ons, what’s your Elementor stack? And your add ons taught? Kicked out with?

 

Wow, okay. Yeah, um, you know, what? I know, there was a lot of issues when Gutenberg first came out, and I heard everything on Twitter, and there were a lot of good, hopefully, some of that stuff has changed and gotten better. I’m not a developer. So I can’t tell you some of that. I know that accessibility was one issue with it. I don’t know if they’ve addressed that very well yet or not. But hopefully, they have been having been someone who’s written in another environments, including at one time, a lot of medium. And if you go LinkedIn, the WordPress editor was outdated, in, in really, in how it looked and what it did. And I understand they’re using the old tiny MC, tiny mice, whatever in, it’s probably less bloated that way. As a as a, as a regular old person who has a website that Ryan or a vendor or rob developed for you, you’re kind of limited with those small edit that old editor and what you can do now. There’s good and bad with that, right? You know, I mean, remember back in the geo city days, when we were building websites, and we learned how to add those moving gifts to the email box that danced and all that kind of stuff, because we could write, and they really were terrible. I’m thinking about this a little bit differently. And I usually fall in the middle and some of the stuff. If you hand especially a big website with multiple authors over to somebody with Gutenberg, and they can do all this stuff to it, you could very quickly kill the vibe in the look of a site because they do all this stuff inside the the box where the blog can go. So you know, it’s a bit of like being thing I guess maybe it has come down to roles. Maybe you give some of that stuff to editor role rather than an author role. You know, but hey, you got half your for instance, let’s take a one thing I thought was really cool early on, was that you could cap make a big guess, you know, in the first word, I get a drop

 

Whoa, I guess it’s just me.

 

Let’s keep let’s keep talking about Gutenberg now. Yeah.

 

Everybody’s coming back.

 

Okay, now we should keep going. Todd is there. Okay.

 

Back to the Drop Cap, I think is a cool thing, the drop cap. The problem is if you’ve got multi authors on a blog, and let’s say one or two people want to use the drop cap on every single blog that the other two or three, don’t. You You’ve killed consistency. So I don’t know. I’m going back and forth. I think I do like the fact that one thing about Gutenberg I was excited about was we’re trying to put a modern editor in and I thought that was good and not you know, and so I thought that was good. Because I like I said I one time I’d written articles on medium, and LinkedIn, and they use a modern editor. And so I thought that’s good. We’re trying to update the editor because the old editor is really limited in some ways is more developer friendly. If you know how to add some code on the backend, you can do all these things we’re talking about. But with Gutenberg in I still think there’s some issues with the fact that, you know, the average person may not know how to use the blocks. So it’s, I don’t know, I like Gutenberg in general. I like there’s some things you can do. I’ve played around using it on pages. And so one of the things you guys know, talking about projects I did, I have a local website called Conway scene and I had done the Holiday Gift Guide in years past had the vineyard out because those are all Beaver Builder page that was the beaver Beaver Builder page. So I would always refer to the vendor last couple years on that this year, I thought, and I think this really needs to be done with custom posts that were up to 26 or 27 gifts that I mean, just a single three column page with beaver builders kind of I want to be able to, like, have a little search capability, you know, like, okay, all the books, you know, all these kinds of gifts. And so we’re up to 2627 gifts, not be over 34 It’s over with. So I decided to do custom post ops now. I think we’ve established that I’m not the developer you guys are. I like the idea of custom post op, but I can never display them worth a darn. And so the vendor installed pods for me and I just could never make that work right. And then so I finally settled on toolset, because it gives me the ability to kind of do almost a page builder top display and it would allow me to do within blocks. So the gift God this time is done with toolset. CPT on a Gutenberg page. When I got done with that rafter figured out I think this is pretty nice but I think I would have rather done it with page with Beaver Builder, to be quite honest with you. But there are a lot of things I think your your regular old turtle pages, you can really do a nice job with Gutenberg, especially if you have the design chops to do that. I’ve learned a lot from Joe Casa bhana just watching his lives because he worked with Gutenberg. And I really watching him really helped me begin to wrap my brain about around how Gutenberg worked in as more than just a writing editor. So I like Gutenberg as another option. Now, I’m not hanging on to my page bill, my Beaver Builder though.

 

I would agree, Todd, just to put it out there. The latest release cadence to talk to accessibility. They actually built in some new accessibility functions right in the theme. So cadence is certainly recognise that I’m Ryan, your thoughts around Gutenberg my favourite topic?

 

Ai? Are you sure you really want me to share my thoughts?

 

You’re allowed to share your thoughts? Good, right, good silence.

 

I’m gonna say bad things. silence And he is not allowed to speak.

 

No, go ahead.

 

You know, from a blog editor, I mean, the tiny MCE editor, you know, tide touch on this, this is just old, outdated. And it needed an update from a blog, writing experience and tool, it’s still not a good writing experience. You know, my clients that write their own blog, still struggle with it, and actually more so with the, with the the options that the block editor has introduced. So my advice is, write your blog in Google Docs, cut and paste it into Gutenberg, which works well. And then add your images later. It’s still a process where we really should be able to do that right in the block editor. And I agree or the problem is the block editor is being pushed as you know, a page builder replacement and, you know, a tool to get wordpress.com on the level of Squarespace or Weebly, or, you know, some of the other site builder tools. I think it’s a good initiative because the old editor sucked it just it. I mean, you can’t do enough with it. But to be able to be a really good writing tool. It needs some help. So I use it for all my blogs. I love it. And it’s such an improvement. There’s so many more things inside that that block space for the blog that it’s been great as a whole for a site building tool. i It’s not working for me Right now with some of the dynamic data that I’ve done, and, you know, that’s still lagging behind. So my tool of choice is still Beaver Builder. And I just noticed, you know, I talked about platform building that Beaver Builder just recently announced, I think this morning that they partnered with cloudways to be able to launch cloudways droplet with Beaver Builder pre installed. So, you know, the platform building out there is is taking hold the different facets. So it Gutenberg is not going to be the only option out there. I think it’s providing competition for the page builders. And I think all of them will improve. But as a whole, I’m probably going to be one of those laggards because I have to support sites that I built, that are extremely complex with page builders. So from a page building experience, it’ll be a while before I pick it up as a stack. But from a blog writing experience. It’s, it’s immensely more flexible and offers much more rich content editing within that editors face. No, but my clients still struggle with it.

 

I agree with Ryan like the only way you can do it as a page builder experience is go to an add on, like go to something like cadence blocks Studio Press box ultimate box. That’s the only way if you’re running with native Gutenberg, I don’t think he can come close person.

 

And in that instance, you’re Yeah, and you’re just extending it and you’re kind of locked into that block set. So it’s just like using a page builder. That’s why I see Gutenberg as competition for page builders, at least right now. Especially with the the theme add ons like cadence, you know, generate press those options out there. It’s, it’s still in its infancy. So, like defender touched on we’ll see what full site editing brings. Yeah, I’m, I’m really looking forward to see what what that brings. But I don’t think I’ll be using it to any extent when 5.9 comes out.

 

Devinder Do you have anything you want to add to what you’ve already thrown out with Gutenberg? Are you

 

I think we Ryan just mentioned full site editing, right, we already using full site editing with beaver thema in Beaver Builder and you can do the same thing in Elementor. And other page builder is not something that’s come out that will be revolutionary, obviously, the way they will implement will be a little different in terms of UI and stuff. Now scaling back to the introduction of Gutenberg, it was supposed to be a replacement for the classic editor. And it definitely is an improvement over classic editor. But it’s still makes me a little uncomfortable when I have to drag things because I’m not confident it will land on a right place. Like compare that the drag and drop experience Elementor gives your beaver builder gives you it’s just I don’t have confidence in doing that to be honest, and it gently lands in a wrong place. So instead of dragging, allegedly copy, paste, and then delete the previous, you know, row thing. And yes, it started as an editor. But now it’s being marketed as not marketed. But that’s how it’s being shouted as like page builder, but it’s still got a long way to do it. If you do not know CSS, you just cannot control things, the layout that’s been made in Gutenberg or you have to use an add on now the other thing that’s being said about Gutenberg very well, mentally and loudly is like it’s the most optimised way to build a website. I think that’s incorrect. Why? Because if you’re building a small five page website, and it’s just fewer images, then Gutenberg is perfect for you. But client websites are not like that. I believe people who are talking have done client website, they are not like that. Clients have all kinds of requirements. They need all kinds of features. If you’re using good and like as it is, it’s fine. But when you want to cater to client requirements, either you have to put the manual scripts or manual code to fulfil that requirement or you will add add ons of Gothenburg and when you add these things to the mix, mind you the optimization is not to the extent what people say it’s optimise. It’s almost same as a payable around the corner sitting in the ecosystem. So all those things it’s easy. Well, it’s easy, definitely easier than classic editor but is it easy then the established page builder in terms of drag and drop? No, it hasn’t. Now, is it optimised? Yes it’s optimised if you only You score Gutenberg, and you can splash a little bit of PHP and CSS. But guess what, how many clients want to do that? I guess zero, at least in my case. So Gutenberg got a long way to do it, because they need to get the basics right. So like, if you want to have Gutenberg, core Gutenberg, to do layouts, they need to have padding and margins and responsive layouts like that is a must without that, and they have to have for every element because without that, it’s, you’re still depending on other add ons for Gutenberg. So it’s almost like a page builder package.

 

I would wholeheartedly agree on that one having taken the experiment and I’ve had many discussions with David McCann over the last fall because David’s kind of the Page Builder, Guru, right or one of them where he compares page filters and defenders rolling his eyes at me.

 

He’s also helped me with my pod my CPG experience you know, as well So David’s a good guy,

 

David’s a good guy in the shelter Tim and we’ve had many discussion where I made the decision back in September to take my agency website and gradually move into Gutenberg and let me tell you it’s been an interesting experience to say the least if you’re not going to go with add ons and I kind of mentioned my stack earlier in this conversation you’re not going to get there so you got to you got to think about going with add ons and then you know the the argument with page builders from my perspective is well if you move from Beaver Builder to goo to native WordPress you have a problem well guess what? If he moved from cadence with Gutenberg to native WordPress, you got a problem to the problem doesn’t go away. I mean, there’s many block patterns that run that if you’re not running editor plus by extend to five they won’t work. So there you go. I mean, it’s the same problem. It’s just moved from one part of the ecosystem to another and I think you have to kind of choose what works for you. Really and let and let’s stop all this WordPress fighting over Gutenberg and just say okay, if you want to run Beaver Builder fine if you want to run Gutenberg fine, if you run the run Elementor fine. Somebody had a comment who was no.

 

Oh, I was just gonna comment that we’re, we’re talking about Gutenberg, as if it’s WordPress. It’s It’s spot on top of WordPress. You can

 

easily eliminate Gutenberg use ACF instal Elementor. Beaver Builder, there’s so many things you can do to bypass Gutenberg. So WordPress is still there. And use tools that work for you not for your neighbour.

 

Yep. And stop the shiny toolson the righty.

 

Oh, yeah, I’ve stopped that long time you know I’m not purchase anything from absolutely no while also.

 

Yeah. Did you purchase anything for Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Nope.

 

I only renewed my Beaver Builder. That’s it. I was like, that’s a benefit of being sick during Black Friday.

 

I only bought vanished VPN. And that was the end of that for me. So. So let’s kind of wrap this up. Let’s go around the table real quickly and see and mention one thing you want to see going into WordPress in 2022. Let’s start with Ryan.

 

You know, touched on it earlier. And I just mentioned that Gutenberg sits on top of WordPress. I’d like to see core, get some love and some updates. I’d like to see the dashboard, get some of those updates. It’s long overdue. And I think the the Gutenberg team is doing some nice things. But let’s let’s give core some love. Let’s roll out some of those updates to WordPress as a whole. So that those of us that build elsewise can still move forward. And that benefits not not just people like me who use Beaver Builder, but you know, others that use Gutenberg or one of the box add ons or Elementor or oxygen. It only helps the entire community. So that’s what I’d really like to see. change a little bit is giving core some love and looking at the community as a whole and stopping this complaining about Gutenberg and look at WordPress Core again. I would globally it gets a little more. Yeah, hopefully in 22 It gets a little more love. I think that’s the feeling on a lot of the disgruntled people or the people that are pro Gutenberg. I think we all would like to see that So that’s, that’s kind of my look into 22 on WordPress.

 

And let’s start with the media library. Right Ryan, like the most unloved portion of the whole WordPress back end, I’m concerned.

 

In it, I’ve tried a number of different add ons and they help but it that’s a huge project. And that’s just one part of core that that needs some love. So, yeah, that. Yeah, let’s give core some love and 22.

 

Defender, your thought what do you want to see in 2022?

 

I think the dashboard, as Ryan pointed out, definitely needs an update, it still looks outdated, obviously, they can build one on blocks editor. And, you know, make that but I don’t know how much love that will get. But more than, you know, looks, I think the functionality of the dashboard, especially the messages, various third party plugins, you know, generate within the dashboard. Now that’s annoying to the core, to be honest, and there has to be some standardisation for everyone, for everyone without exception, whether you are on the free or paid, like your message appear in a specific area in the dashboard or specific section under say tools or settings, and not cloud your whole dashboard. Because not everyone will instal a plug in to block messages and blocking these messages actually harm more than you know, because you’re missing on important updates. And there has to be distinguished between an update and a promotional message. Obviously, you get the point like you’ve installed a free plugin, and they have all the rights to you know, promote their pro version, which is given but there has to be some standardization like you can’t have half of the screen being covered by that. And if you come out of the dashboard, I think the talk of having more diversity and representation and all that which is more popular in us than here. I think that’s good, but I only see talk rather than the action is very little to be honest, if you see from the distance, I hope people take more action on that. And other than that it’s good. Like you still have to use capital P in WordPress, you can just otherwise Magnetic Rose would be angry.

 

I’m sure, Todd, what would you like to see in 2022?

 

Man, those two from a technical standpoint, I think are very good. What Ronnie vendors said would be very, I do think that the notifications can be a little crowded there in the dashboard. So dashboard love, I like that. For me, I would just say I’m going to use two words. And basically same thing, Communication and Community. The word community comes or word communication comes from, or there’s the word community comes from communication, if I remember right, so let’s do a better job of communication in general, which should help facilitate better community. But you know, just as I mentioned earlier in the broadcast, the two things we got to keep as we mature is the ability to innovate. So nimble, be nimble on the front end, and then community. And I think Paul lacy made that call. And the way to do that is to do a better job with communication, both internally within the WordPress community. But also things like we need to, in some ways, we need to update up our content game, and our web copy game. They’re they’re behind, in a lot of ways. And so that’s kind of an outward communication, if you will, the outreach part of it. But I think one of the things that is so cool about WordPress, it is built on a platform that celebrates communication, right? Blogging for everyone, I think it was the early mantra of WordPress. So, you know, let’s, let’s, and I think we got some good people in place to help with that. So let’s just, let’s just keep working on that and keeping those lines open. Because even if you disagree with something that doesn’t mean that you should be cut out of the communication. And we should all try to find a way to to continue. Now we’re not going to agree with every direction, right? You know, there’s some people that will never agree with the whole Gutenberg thing, but you know, make the best of it. And we just need to keep communication important to our communities more than so I think Rob fell asleep.

 

Now I’m here I said for 2022 I think for me it is I care so much about that. Just coming in, it’s one of the things that keeps me in it and talking to people like you guys and other people. And, and frankly, doing a podcast. I mean, one of the coolest things, and a vendor will tell you this having done his own, is when you podcast you get to meet all kinds of amazing, real people. And that builds relationships. And we need to keep building those relationships. And I

 

want to restart it very soon. But I’m not sure in which format, but it’s coming in next year. So let’s see, was in it next.

 

 


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