28 – How to stay relevant in WordPress with Eric Hamm

We’ve been thinking a lot about WordPress themes. We could have chatted ourselves, but fortunately Nathan persuaded the best person imaginable for the show – Eric Hamm from Cobalt Apps.

Beaver Extender Plugin

If you don’t know Eric (unlikely) he came to everyone’s attention on 2009 with his fully customizable Frugal theme. “Wow” we all said “Is that like even possible… themes are cool man”.

(It’s more likely we said “that’s quite nice”, but we’re trying to be a bit more “street”).

This theme then transitioned into the very popular Dynamik Website Builder (a customizable Child theme for the Genesis Framework) and Genesis Extender (a tool to help customize other Genesis Child themes). “Yeah dude now we’re talking… Frameworks are cosmic!”. Years of blissful happiness ensued.

[Nathan inserts happy music here – on the cheesy side of course… the music we mean not Nathan] Time passes…

[Abrupt scratching sound across grooved vinyl] “Hey have you seen this new Page Builder plugin? It looks really cool”

We scratch our collective heads for awhile, assess how much shame this could bring on our families and conclude it will be OK to pop it on a few pages. Cool! More time passes…

…then quite weirdly everyone harmoniously agrees these page builder plugins really should do everything. The Beaver Builder team says OK “challenge accepted”. Beaver Themer is born.

Eric along with all other theme makers take up jobs stacking shelves in budget supermarkets. The End!

No, of course not. Themes are still alive, but what is fascinating is the recent shift to plugins and how Eric has progressed his business to move with the times. He now has full suite of tools that help developers (no end) to build their sites. It’s a real privilege to hear his story and an honour to spend some time with him.

Here’s a challenge for you. Try listening to this episode at x1.5 speed!

News section:

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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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