Episode 177: The 2021 WordPress Weekly Awards

Show Summary

Rob Cairns sits down with Davinder Singh Kanith and discusses the 2021 WordPress Weekly Awards.

Show Highlights:

  1. Who won and lost.
  2. Analysis of each category.
  3. Surprises in each category.
  4. Who were the top vote-getters?
  5. Diversity in WordPress.

Show Notes


Morning everybody. It’s Rob Cairns here today I’m here with Davinder Singh Kanith. Good morning Davinder how are you?


Good morning. It’s a good evening here. So,


yes, the pearls of broadcasting across the globe. And today the vendor did this amazing project called the WEP awards 2021. So I thought, we get the vendor on the results are off and I thought we can analyse and kind of dissect some of the awards a little bit. But before we get into the awards, the vendor you had four amazing sponsors, so why don’t you talk about them for a minute.


That was a surprise. So and I’m really thankful to all those for sponsors. And I think I could have gotten more sponsors if I was more serious about getting sponsors, but these four were really good. They were GoDaddy Pro to NDI web hosting cloudways and stellar WP, which owns a lot of WordPress plugins and products,


including my favourite Candice and Candice blocks are under the stellar brands. So there you go.


I think they keep adding more good stuff. So


yeah. And I’m kind of looking at the awards and in front of the awards. Interestingly enough, the number one vote getter and I don’t know if this was a surprise or not a surprise was the admin bar, right? And then ACF Pro, Elementor, Yoast and wordfence And interesting enough nowhere do we see beaver builder in the top five? Is that a surprise to the vendor a little bit?


Not really because Beaver Builder never was in the popularity charts of WordPress page builders per se, even though they are used as just pretty high after Elementor. I think the other page builder that comes is Beaver Builder, though the difference between Elementor and view builder is huge in terms of the usage, but that makes sense because Beaver Builder is not as flashy or as you know, design oriented as Elementor is. And it’s mostly used by I guess it’s wrong way to say but more serious. Web developers like developer developer is a tricky word because it can bring in egos of a lot of people. So I had to stop there.


Yeah, and what I thought we’d do is kind of go down to categories and just kind of run some commentary. So let’s go to category one WordPress themes and no surprise, in my opinion, Astro 409 generatepress the silver medal with 239. And then my favourite Candace seems that 213 Astra is the developer seen no question. Your thoughts on that? Any surprises? There are not really.


I think Astra is my go to team go to theme for last few years now. And I’ve tried generatepress Here and there, but then you just sort of that kind of person, you just use one tool for one purpose. So I stick with Astra all the time, but generate press is equally good. And I’ve also tried cadence which is again, all these themes, you know, the top three they almost are similar in in their feature set and even in their performance like obviously there will be people who will do the performance test Oh, this is 0.0001 second faster than this and this but then those are mostly like boxed comparisons because once you add page builder and other plugins, it all depends on how you optimise them.


Yeah so true. And speak of page builders category to Elementor number one, Gutenberg interestingly enough number two, and beaver builder number three. Kind of not surprised that Gutenberg number two because they’re picking up all the non developer crowd and then the developer crowd for people like me. And and then you’ve got Elementor and beaver builder in there is Is any of that a surprise to the vendor?


Well, Gutenberg is there because, you know, the people who voted or participated in this contest are mostly people who actually build websites. So all of them are aware of Gutenberg, whether they like it or not. And they all have, you know, experimented with Gutenberg. And then now Gutenberg is the future, so why not just vote for it? But I also know the real case scenario like most of the people who run big agencies still don’t use good news. For your client websites, because it’s just not there yet, probably it would be in about one or two more years. But given the current state of scenario, the even the simple drag and drop in Gutenberg is not as refined as you would find in Elementor. Or even in a new page builder, like, say, oxygen or bricks.


Yeah, I can, I can say, having one bid on this Gutenberg Project. The biggest thing is, if you’re gonna run Gutenberg, you gotta run Gutenberg plus some add ons. And that’s really cool. And, and I think, you know, we’re a year I agree with you, we’re probably a year away from the average person using it that’s not doing more than a blog or more than a project. So let’s go to forms. The old standard Gravity Forms wins again, isn’t that interesting? And then foot forms, and WP forms are two and three. But what I found really interesting is the old standard de facto free contact form seven is still in fourth place. Isn’t that interesting?


Well, if if something is free, and it works, why not right? So and Gravity Forms? Well, it has lot of, you know, users from a lot of years of being there, right. So I’m not surprised with Gravity Forms, because Gravity Forms is not a, and also it’s a paid plugin throughout. Like, there is no free version for Gravity Forms. But it’s still popular. Why? Because it works. And it works for all kinds of users from very simple users to advanced user requiring lot of conditional. And I’m not surprised flowing forms a second because that’s my personal favourite. And it’s almost similar to Gravity Forms in terms of functionality. And it’s getting better day by day. And the third one is WP forms. It’s again, it’s it caters to both kinds of users, simple to the advanced users requiring a lot of things. But honestly, speaking, like I, I’ve worked with you agencies who were using WP forms, and then they switched to other form plugin, because WP forms is known to change their pricing structure quite often. So I think that’s the kind of sticking point with most of the people, it wasn’t just the functionality, it was the pricing because most agencies also take into account the pricing of the tools that they use. So I guess you got to have some form of constant thing at least. So yeah, I’m not surprised with all these three being there. To be honest, though, I would have expected formidable formidable forms and Ninja forms to get more votes because they are also really good solutions


they are. And then we go on to number four dynamic data plugins. And this category has had a little bit of controversy lately with brain force and their wonderful email that they sent out on Black Friday trying to generate more money. But despite that, ACF pro still stays at number one meta box, which is kind of my dynamic data plugin of choice number two, jet engine three. And I’m actually surprised that pods didn’t gain a few more votes, some thoughts, and some thoughts on brain force, because I’m not gonna let you off the hook on that one.


Well, it wasn’t brain force. It’s delicious brains. Brain. Sorry, my Yeah. So I guess they just need to hire a better marketing guy or someone who can do better messaging. The intention wasn’t wrong, I guess. It’s just the way they put it out. That came across little wrong. But it’s no harm asking people to how many times have we seen people asking for donation and supporting and people do support it, right. So the main intention wasn’t wrong, but maybe the way they asked that was a little off for at least some people, but then again, anything you put out, you will have all kinds of, you know, reactions. Remember, we were talking something about things before the call. So we have all kinds of people in the you know, ecosystem and you have to trade a thin line to satisfy at least majority of them because one person shouting can add 50 More people shouting on the same topic. So I’m not surprised ACF, barring the controversy. I think I’m not surprised with ACI being there because ACF, again, is a very solid tool and it’s a developer focus tool and meta box has come, you know, emerged, like out of nowhere, even though I have known meta box for few years now, but it has gained a lot of popularity when ACF got sold out and now the recent controversy so people start looking for alternatives and meta box is the closest alternative to ACF and DOMA though my personal favourite is pods and pods is just like Beaver Builder is it is In the Page Builder ecosystem, it’s a quiet player, solid quiet player and pauses also like solid quiet player. They do they did have struggles of funding and all that with their and they got delayed in their, you know, new next big version, but I think the funding got sorted with Gravity Forms pitching in the much needed funds to speed up the development so my personal favourite here is Potts and of course beaver femur which is not actually a dynamic data registration programme is more of an output plugin, but still, it can be put in a you know, categorization is so difficult I had to spend so much time in putting things in right categories and still I get emails, you know, this shouldn’t be in this category. Yeah, I


know. And, and it’s funny our mutual friend Todd Jones says I’m the reason that Tosa was one more folk than Potts Yeah, Todd, thank you. Find in the chat this morning as we go through these Gutenberg add ons. Cajun sparks was number one, generate box number two stackable number three. I’m not surprised that that I’m, as I’ve said to many people, I’ve been all in with cadence bots for months and months. And their support and some of the things they’re doing over there with things like accessibility and other things is really good. Shout out to my good friend Kathy Zahn who’s now with cadence working for stellar WP. They’re doing some really good stuff but January box has stackable are good options as well, in my opinion to have an adapter vendor No,


absolutely generate I think it all depends on who came first with the you know, all these three players, they came up with the pro version very quickly. So people latched on to it and out of out of these two I’ve used Caden block cadence blocks and generate blocks and both of them are very neat. I’ve also tested stackable it’s quite a similar again, all these you know add ons, they have similar kind of functionality, the only difference is in terms of the performance and some someone should step up and do the performance check. And also the differ in the output code that they generate. I think out of these three the other one to watch out for the next few months would be ultimate add ons UAG from people who make Astra theme. So they’ve they’ve kept their plugin free for a long time. Probably they’re itching to launch a pro version. So let’s see because again, this ecosystem Gutenberg add ons it’s gonna get more competitive next year.


Yeah. And they go back to the questions about dynamic dynamic add ons Courtney Robertson just posted in chat she’s a pod fan so she’s with you to vendor buy another one Elementor Adams which is something be frank I’m not just familiar with because I don’t run Elementor so we got essential add ons one unique at our mentor to and cry in Krakow block three, any thoughts or knows the vendor?


Honestly, even I don’t use Elementor on regular basis, considering now that I’m a Gutenberg user, like not that Gutenberg user, at least like all my personal sites now run on Gutenberg, for me taking Gutenberg for an experimental spin because you can experiment on your personal sites not on client websites. And majority my client sites are on Beaver Builder for a long time. But yeah, I think these ultimate Elementor and this is from the Astra people, I think. And then essential add ons is from WP developer, which again, is very popular player in a lot of plugins. So I’ve heard about Krakow block a lot. But again, I’m not used them because I’m not. Again, these would be used majority by Elementor user. So you’re not talking to any solid or, you know, frequent Elementor user here.


Yeah, and by the way, the vendors you get a lot so I have this morning, I should tell you a cork, Courtney says that you tried to make her use pods and she’s okay on the backend. So there you go. The vendor fan club has come out in the middle of this live stream. So let’s go to backups. And this is always a contentious one. All in One migration wins. Updraft Plus, which is one of the tools I use is second duplicators third, and then you got three others that are close bog vault WP vivid and backup, buddy. What is your choice and what do you like and where do you kind of play in that site?


My favourite one was duplicator but in recent years, it has been all in one migration because it’s no nonsense plugin and it works. Almost every time, it has never failed me. And so I love it. And I know a lot of my friends also use Updraft Plus. So I’m not surprised to see the, I think the recent one that got a lot of attention for it to be very solid and working is WP vivid. And a lot of people recommended that and I’m sure it works. I do own backup, buddy also. And in my initial years, I used to use Backup Buddy. It works. But sometimes it doesn’t work. You know, I’m telling you the story like few years back, so at the moment, I’m not too sure how it performs, because I’m not been using it actively. And you know, other thing is, this category is a little nascent now because most of the people are using their own servers and their backup servers. So they will just dump the whole server into a duplicate server, or they are using managed hosting, like, you know, Kinsta and WP Engine. So they are them. They themselves do backups really well. So most people actually don’t do backups if you’re using Kinsta, or you know, something like WP Engine. But as a, as a you know, as a cautionary thing you should take your backup and I would recommend all in one migration.


Yeah, I am, I would look at this. And I’ve kind of switched over the years, I used to be a big Backup Buddy user, and I’ve kind of switched up draft plus. And I think the reason for this Updraft Plus handles large files better Backup Buddy seems to have issues when the files get extremely huge. And I think that’s one of the big knocks on the product. And I’m with you I do backups two ways for clients, one at the host level first to cPanel level, and also do backups at the site level. So I actually do both. So I think, you know, people should not put all their marbles in their hosts hands and, frankly, take some responsibility and do some of this themselves. That would be be a great idea. So you know, so there’s that now SEO plugins, and before we get into the category, we I was talking to somebody recently, um, we all talked about the green, white screen, yellow, red traffic lights, and they and they went again being used. And I think they’re the de facto standard. And then we got rankmath. And then we got SEO press. I interestingly use none of the three of these. So these days, I’ve kind of gone off the board and become a squirrely user very quickly, personally and just fine. But I think a lot of it is how you apply the SEO functions, not the plugin that you use. What are your thoughts on that


one? Exactly, you know, again, people have to sell their plugins so they got to make a lot of promises. Some of them are really fluff, especially in SEO industry, right? Not just plugins in SEO industry, a lot of you know SEO Services. Oh, you’re going to be number one, just pay us this, this this right. So coming back to SEO plugin, I think Yoast it works and it works let me tell you and rankmath and Seo press is just extends Yoast further now if you consider use plus Yoast premium, it’s almost same as rankmath SEO or SEO press. But rankmath and Seo press has gone into a different direction now they offer like keyword tracking and all that for an additional you know fee and all that stuff. So now the SEO plugins have, you know, branched out not just you know, helping you do the actual SEO stuff like meta title and meta description and all that stuff but also doing you know, keyword research and all that even though I don’t think this should be part of things you do in the WordPress dashboard. But then a lot of things are coming in WordPress dashboard that shouldn’t be there, in my opinion, but then again, it’s some people do want these things and so my, as far as I’m concerned, I’ve been using Yoast for I don’t know ever since Yoast have been there I think Yoast have been there ever since the WordPress has been there to what I remember. And although fewer manuals I do use SEO press pro because it gives you more more options again, I can get those option if I get Yoast premium so all of these are almost similar in terms of you know, features that obviously there will be people who will do comparison on speed test and all that so it doesn’t actually matter.


You’re being agreed with once again the vendor what else what else is no yeah, no Thanks, Todd.


And no and I do want to mention one thing like if if you really want this simple SEO just go for Slim SEO slim SEO is I think from seeing people who make metabox Yeah, it’s it sticks with its name. It only gives you slim features that you actually need because it Again, as a user, you don’t need too many SEO, you know, features to just write good content. That’s the missing point. Or missing part, most of the things,


security stuff, and boy has security become an issue and Assange tear. The heavyweight map wordfence wins the battle. I think security number two malcare. Number three, everybody else kind of after that. My take on that is I’ve been a bit of a wordfence slash I theme security user for the last number of years. So I think they do their space really well. I’m I’m not surprised. And I’m not surprised the security plugin was in your top five. Do you have any thoughts on that you’d like that?


Well, my favourite one that I use on almost all my sites for two, three years now as Pat stack, didn’t get that many words, because maybe they are not that. They also rebranded recently, like any year back, so maybe people are little, they will call that box. And now they call Pat stack. So yeah, Pat stack. And I theme security also is pretty good. Again, malcare is good if you’re using also their companion product, which is blocked vault wordfence. Again, it’s a leader and it’s a leader for a reason, to be honest. And a lot of my corporate clients who are very serious about security, they only use wordfence. So you know the answer.


Yeah, I would I would agree. And let’s be fair, both wordfence I theme somehow care all give a lot back to the community in terms of newsletters, security alerts, how tos, and things like that. They really should be commended for helping the WordPress community get through some of these challenges. And it seems to be getting worse by the day. Not better. So some of that E commerce and membership. We have learned dash memberpress and Lu memberships. That doesn’t surprise me really? Do you have any thoughts in that category? Your audio, your audio Devender Hello, can you hear me now? Yeah, there you go. Sorry.


Okay. Out of all these, I think the most that I’ve used a lot is lifter LMS. It didn’t get that many votes. I don’t know why. But I’ve used lifter elements a lot. And it’s really solid plugin. I also use LearnDash. Again, it’s equally good. And I started recently using con restrict content Pro on one of my side projects, which didn’t take off that well. So that’s another story. But as a membership plugin, it worked. Exactly I wanted. So yeah, because again, I’m more of a for me memberships website, if you’re not, you know, as a client, if you’re not ready to invest money in managing a membership or hiring a person to manage a website, then you shouldn’t use WordPress for membership. There are many hosted platforms that you should use. So again, LearnDash pretty good. memberpress again, really good. Now they’ve added the Courses module so it becomes almost like members plus courses will membership if you love if you love WooCommerce then go for membership. Otherwise, stay away. Yeah, I think pretty much. Yeah. And even paid membership pro you would be surprised. And I was also surprised to be honest, when I was doing research for content Pro and you know, which membership plugin should I use? And I tried prayed membership Pro. Man, the free version is so feature it you actually don’t need a pro version of paid membership pro if you just want to make a simple membership website. And, you know, kudos to the team for putting out the free version that that actually works.


Yeah. Well, two things going on here. One, I think Todd Jones has been hanging around with Bob Dunn and Jeff Chandler too much because he’s saying do the Whoo. So there you go there. And the other person we just had dropping the chat was a bit of celebrity. The one Kyle Van Dusen, the head of the admin bar the all time point getter in this little foray has now shown up and is showing up in the chat. Congratulations, Kyle. Well deserved marketing automation plugins. And before we get into this, I’m oven, Nick’s belief here, and I’m one of those people believe marketing automation should be kept out of the WordPress dashboard. I think it’s better suited out. I’ve tried many of the plugins. I personally prefer to go to a third party solution but since the categories here, we have fluent CRM, WP fusion and then cart flows. And interestingly Things like Groundhog newsletter glue WP funnels want flows didn’t show up in the top three. Any thoughts on that one?


Well out of these three fluence CRM is one of those which I’ve used ever since it was under manufacturing, like I was the beta tester. And I was surprised to you know, because fluency around when it started, they started building it was more like just an email marketing plugin, like just having a MailChimp kind of thing within your WordPress dashboard. But obviously, they’ve expanded it into full CRM. So fluid CRM, I know each and every feature of it, because I was their Beta tester and you know, played around with a lot of things. WP fusion I’ve used on a lot of my client website who uses say, a lifter, LMS or LearnDash. Because WP fusion makes things so easy, like, the problem with web version is when you go to their website and see the price tag, you think, oh, it’s very expensive. But actually, it’s not expensive. When you see how much time it saves you if you’re managing, you know, your CRM setup or your WordPress stuff is getting linked to an outside CRM, say Active Campaign and all that. So w fusion cart flows, I don’t have that much experience. But I know a lot of my people in my you know, close group use it and it works. Hustle I’m not aware about groundhog is equally good CRM. So it actually is more big and solid is just they are just trying to get the marketing thing out more. But it’s again, very solid, a newsletter glue again, again, my bad it shouldn’t be here in this category. But then I had to put it somewhere in some in some category. Because NewsLink blue is a little different. Like it’s like your, you know, posting a publishing a blog post and sending it as a newsletter from your dashboard. Leslie, the person behind this she’s very active. And she’s very passionate about it. And I’ve seen the preview, I’ve seen the demo, and it works. And a lot of people I know, in my ecosystem use it. So again, others I have no knowledge about because I’ve not used them. But obviously I’ve heard about launch flow is something similar to cart flows, but launch flow is more, you know, suited for Elementor users. So I think launches is more like a competitor to cart because again, I can be wrong here. So don’t be don’t put me under the bus.


And then let’s go to Developer Tools Query Monitor, Faker press and the hub Go Daddy pros. So any thoughts or no thoughts? Which ones you do? Like which ones don’t you like?


I have no idea. I’m not. I’m a fake developer. So Faker press works.


And before we move on, and I’m going to put the vendor on the spot because I know he’s worked really hard with some sponsors give you for sponsors were more pointy, please.


Okay, I I’m really thankful to all the four sponsors that came forward in sponsoring this and they took the rest because this was the first edition of the web award. So they took the rest whether it will work or not, but it worked really well. So shout out to GoDaddy Pro hosting, to ndi cloudways and stellar WP. They’ve been awesome and supporting this first edition on WP awards and


many other things in the WordPress community too. I should I should say. Just kind of looking at chat. Jeez, tides awake and active this morning because he says he loves newsletter goo and Leslie is awesome. So there you go, folks. Little what a one for Leslie series.


And yeah, I didn’t do need to pitch. You know, Leslie here because if you really want to learn how to pitch your new plugin in the ecosystem. Learn it from Leslie how she’s doing. She’s amazing.


Yeah, yeah, she really is. And she’s such a sweet lady. I’ve I’ve had her on with me. And she’s such a pleasure and so much fun and cares so much about what we do. hosting services. Speaking of our sponsor, cloudways, one SiteGround, two Kunis to three. I use none of them. So there you go. But what what I’ll say is, I’m surprised SiteGround says highest they’ve been especially with all the issues in the WordPress community. And what do you think about that?


I’m not surprised. I use SiteGround. So, yeah, it’s it’s a number two, I’m happy about that. But yeah, personally, I use SiteGround. But I have the agencies that I work with, they all toggle between WP Engine kingstar some of them use cloudways And few my friends use liquid web also. So they all are almost same in terms of you know, again, you you’re paying a premium price for premium service and they all live live to what they are offering. So yeah the only I think the only difference here the you know, very niche kind of services would be static which is more like static website and convey SEO which mostly focus on view and membership stuff. But then again, there’s Nexus brand also, I believe Nexus also focus on the membership and who kind of thing so yeah, you know, hosting is something like that, like if you’re too geeky, you would not look at any of these and just spin up your own server.


Yeah, and by the way, we just got a thank you from Courtney Robertson for all the GoDaddy shout outs. Thanks, Courtney. Appreciate those who don’t know Courtney does work with COVID Daddy, so you know much much appreciate for the comment. WP support and services. No surprise in this one. I think main WP wins out. WPM you Dev is two and go WP is three have you used all of them the vendor I can’t remember are the only use like main WP are kinda worked at them.


I used to use manage WP but again it’s out of focus now so it vanished almost I don’t know no one even nominated them but I used to use managed WP and it report really well I think it’s still there. So out of man out of these abuse main WP again it works and mostly I get to know about main WP from our common friend Tony Jones. But yes, me so passionate about it. And other than these, I think dear designer, few my agencies that I worked like two three years back they they used dia designer I’m sure they’re using still now and they really deliver on the stuff they have many services like dear designer which is like subscription based design services, but the designer stands out of all the crowd and again go WP and WP buffs they are like WordPress maintenance services and they are very not just the vocal they’re very supportive in the WordPress community so I’m not surprised for them to be there.


Yeah, and we got a comment from Kyle where he says to people go WP are fantastic.


Oh yeah, they’re fantastic. I did I didn’t even receive a t shirt from them so I need to show I need to take it because you know the state of


the box. Thanks Kyle for the comment. WordPress blogs. And this one really doesn’t surprise me we’ve got WP beginner at the top, which I think they give a lot back into the community. And then Chris Lima at number two and frankly Chris has been blogging every day. I think he’s at like 361 days. So shout out to Chris and then they all encompassing oldest new site. WP tavern number three and then we got a whole pile of others including post status condensed WP Mayor WP main line and so on. So I think the WordPress blogging spaces in a really good spot right now what do you think the


absolutely like? I’ll talk about the winners later but I want to talk about like web tng from David McCann WP mainline from Jeff and lair WP from Ben downside. I think these three blocks have started showing really good promise specially the web tng and web will and and I won’t be surprised next year. If I do do these awards again, which I would most likely I think these will get more awards because they’ve been producing lot of you know real content specially web TMG. David does really good deep dive drills into and those are really good they are they are very objective. They are not he’s not putting his subjectivity into it. So that makes it even better. And the winners are not surprised with WP beginners because again, it’s been there for a long time and it has a tutorial on every question. A new WordPress user or advanced WordPress user would need. Yeah, Chris Lima blogs uh, you know, that can be a surprise to some people who actually do not know Chris Lima. But again, I know Chris lemma for some time now I’ve been following his stuff. So I’m not surprised. But again, I’m sure a lot of people have discovered who Chris lemma is or what this blog is all about. But then I think Chris lemma should make a video how he blogs every day constantly. Yeah, we


need to satisfy or better scale come join you and I in talking about it. Right. So So there’s your there’s your challenge, Chris?


Yeah, but people don’t realise that Chris Lema blogs as a passion thing and a side thing because his main job is something else. Obviously it’s related to WordPress. I think now he’s up for LearnDash


He’s the general manager at LearnDash, which is a stellar WAP brands. Yeah.


So he has a full time job. So this thing is not full time. So but he’s still doing it every day. So kudos to him for doing it.


And Todd was just complaining how David does a really good job on his articles. I so hardly agree with that one. David McCann, we’re lucky to have him in our community he gives so much back in and you know, a shout out to him for some of the tear downs. He does what well done. Podcasts. WP builds number one congratulate our good friend Nathan Wrigley. I’m a little biassed, sir. Because I’ve been on with Nathan a couple of times. Number two agency Trailblazer. Number three woman WP podcast. Nice to see some diversity in the top three. And let’s see. And then everybody else is kind of in there. And truly, I think we have a large number of really good WordPress podcasts. I mean, I look at the top 10 And I say I probably have a number of these on my in my podcast catcher that I listen to on a regular basis. So I think the WordPress space from a podcast standpoint, is there a real good spot right now? What do you think?


Absolutely. And I’m not surprised WP builds is there because Nathan does so much hard work, you know, it’s not easy being a you know, he also does weekly, you know, live videos and all that I I myself don’t prefer doing live videos is just people like you who pushed me to come on live video, so I can’t thank you. But otherwise, yeah, dealt with Nathan does really good. And I think agency tool base has been there for a long, long time. And Lee Jackson puts out content really good content regularly. I think he has rebranded it because I was on his website. Now. It’s instead of calling agency Trailblazer, it’s called Trailblazer FM. Yeah, I need to dig into that. Again. Our other podcasts. I’m a regular listener of Matt report, because, you know, I have a special place for Matt report podcast in my heart. Because Matt report was the first podcast, I was invited as a guest to be back. And I was surprised like, Why do someone wants to hear me but again, that was the icebreaker for me. And I will be always thankful to mark materials for giving me that opportunity. Yeah,


and I know it has a special place for me because frankly, without Matt, I don’t know. And a couple other people, I don’t know if I’d have my podcast sitting on cash versus this point in time. And Matt has been a large inspiration on a lot of help to many podcasters in the WordPress community. So, you know, I agree with your shout out to Matt, let’s move on to community. And, you know, I mentioned that we had a bit of a celebrity in the room this morning, the number one category vote getter of all time, the admin bar, and then big orange chart, and then post status number three, and then we kind of had all the other communities behind it. What are your thoughts on that one?


I’m not surprised again, because admin bar. I think the, again, the community is all about people and how they feel about being their admin bar has been really good. Because if you go there and read comments about, you know how people interact, they’ve been happy again, because, you know, in most of the WordPress communities, the newbie questions or the usual question get put down really badly. And plus, there’s obviously negativity around, you know, where you come from, how you look and all that stuff. I don’t see that in admin mode, which is really good. And they also joke about things which is, again to keep the human level high from all the stress stuff. So I’m not surprised with admin bar, my own groups, the web Creators community is lost. So I’m not surprised about that, because I’ve been ignoring it for some time now. Because, again, priorities, but yeah, I love people in my own group were creators and basic and beyond WP. But yeah, I usually hang out in you know, dynamic WordPress group, which is from web tng again, David McCann, it’s a newer group. And again, out of these I think, I’m also part of the woo launcher, which is a group outside WordPress, it’s, it’s on circle. It’s a circle group, not on Facebook. So yeah, I’ve been part of a lot of slack and discord and all that stuff. So I try to minimise my time that I spend there because you only have 24 hours, right?


Yeah, I know. And, and as you know, lately, I’ve been spending a little time in the new LinkedIn product group. Shameless plug them wanted to to managers along with Courtney Robertson, that group and that group is just growing right now. So it’d be really interesting to see where these numbers are in a year from now, versus today with all the changes that are up and about. And communities kind of become a big stress issue for most of us in the WordPress space. We’ve talked about it and talked about it and talked about it and it’s something we got to kind of keep working on. So I think that’s too big of an issue. YouTube channels, WP dots, tuts WP crafter, and Nicole Osborne and let Nicole number three, then surprise me. David Warmsley was right behind her. David McCann was right behind that. There’s a lot of really good YouTube content going out there. And the other one that’s not even listed, interestingly enough, was Joe Castle, bonus YouTube channel. When I look at the list. Any thoughts on that?


Again, don’t put me under the bus here. I didn’t put all these nominations. They were all submitted by people, I did get a lot of people commenting like why there’s a Facebook group, not Facebook group or a YouTube channel by a guy called Mac MNK. So to be honest, I really I may have seen the videos. But again, I didn’t select the these nominees they were all submitted either by themselves or by their you know, people who follow them. So may all those people who are missed I can only say all those people who are missing this year, probably when the nomination open next year, please to go ahead and sum it because I didn’t leave out any nomination that was submitted. And I’d again, this is a very thin tightrope walk because I didn’t leave out any nomination. But then there were some people who said, Oh, there are too many nomination to even vote for so. You know, there’s this fire on the either side. But again, I can just say I’m sorry if your thing was not there, but it wasn’t there because you didn’t submit it or someone who was your visitor or follower did not submit it.


So yeah. And someone to Nicole Osborn Nadeau her on her YouTube channel.


Our videos are fun. Her smile is so infectious. Yes, yes.


And I’ve had the pleasure of talking to Nicole and it’s, she’s just an amazing lady. So So let’s go on to niche plugins. We have the events calendar, we have WP ml. And we have affiliate WP and then there’s a whole assortment with a call popery behind, you know, just an interesting category and property could be maybe broken up into a couple categories down the road, right defender,


probably because, you know, this was the first time first attempt at this thing. So I had no idea to be honest, I didn’t have any idea how many categories I’ll end up with. But when it came a penny became after 20 categories as well. It’s getting bigger now. But now I when I look at things, I think even if I had 30 categories, it won’t be a daunting thing for a person to work because again, you don’t have to vote in every category right? Because if you see not voted in every category that means those people skipped these categories. So people can vote quickly and yeah, next year, I think I need to do a better job. And probably I should add a category field at the nomination stage itself so that people can self categorise themselves and then I can review them the category and put them in the right category. Yeah, my mistake.


No, that’s okay. Everybody’s got it. So


honestly speaking anything I can find the category went into niche plugin category so there’s that but then Events Calendar obviously, it’s been there for a long time now it’s part of stellar group. And yeah, it’s it’s the best plugin in the own niche of calendar plugins again, WP ml affiliate WP they all are like leaders in the category. So with again, other plugins, they are there and they they are there. I think I should have categorised them better.


And then we go to performance plugins and you got WP Rocket hummingbird auto optimise and I mean there’s a pilot caching and a problem pile of image optimization plugins that could go in there very easily. It’s pretty uneven category.


Right? I am a personal user I love auto optimise plugin. I’ve been using it for a long time. And I also I also use short pixel sometime now because I’m a Photoshop nerd so I usually optimise my images in Photoshop itself before uploading on WordPress but for client sites shortpixel is really good WP compresses equally good option, the plugin that having maximum attention this time around was prep matters and I’m sure it works I’ve not tried it out the only plugin out of these that have tried is WP Rocket very good auto optimise WP Super Cache again a vintage plugin that still works and because they’ve been keeping it updated and you know yeah I mean W WT W three total catch in initially as I tried it like it also when is that is liable to scratch my head like how to configure this but people who can configure this it works with them


yeah, a lot of it is learning how to configure those plugins and using them to the best of their ability instead of getting into what we call the shiny object syndrome and just buying a new plugin because as the vendor rolls his eyes because you can you know so moving forward you just see one of these categories is going to take a big shake up next year page builders maybe


I think Gutenberg add ons would see more I think Gutenberg Adams will see more nominees next year because there will be lot of surprises coming like now it’s like holiday time so no one is doing any announcements. There’s no point doing them so expect a lot of things to you know tumble up or tumble down in February or March. So yeah. And in themes I don’t see any new entrants because themes is more like stable ecosystem and page builders I doubt there will be a new page builder it’s even if it New Page Builder comes they will mark it as a block page builder because that’s how the world is rolling these days at least the WordPress world so that would make more sense form plugins test a lot of the a lot of options already there but even if somewhat something good comes out it would work well because forms is something that’s required for almost every WordPress user because if you see the these nominees fluence if you take out the fluid form certain form came out from nowhere and it’s number two right so it just you have to build a solid product and market it really well.


Thanks to vendor let’s give those four sponsors here’s one last shadow cuz they really deserve it to want to please


shower and they get sponsor again next year. I would more happy about that but keeping things sane, GoDaddy Pro hosting the I 20 AI and cloudways and stellar WP


and if somebody wants to talk to you about something for the WP awards for next year has the best way to get older.


There’s a contact form on the web https://thewpweekly.com/ website.


Thanks you Davinder. have an amazing day. Bye bye and happy holidays.



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