196 – Coding v non-coding

Debate with Nathan Wrigley and David Waumsley

Setting up the Debate

When setting up this debate series we naturally got asked to compare one page builder against another. A great topic, but tricky for us as we both use the same page builder and know it best. As people are passionate about their brands and we don’t want to fuel divisions because of our ignorance.

GoDaddy Pro

Instead, we thought we would probably talk about the major players within this debate… about whether we as generalists (who deliver whole sites alone – mostly)  are better off learning some basic code skills or not. This could have an influence over which tools we prefer in WordPress.

We might disagree which software falls into which category, but..

Some lean more toward being an all-in-one solution for the wider non-coder market

Others have a coding audience in mind, or at least people who want to put their solution together with their own choice of plugins

Coding – David

  • I am going to claim the Genesis Theme Framework, Beaver Builder and Oxygen Builder as some well known platforms which may be geared to those who don’t mind touching code.
  • You can build impressive sites with these tools without code, but I believe these aim to serve those who prefer to add their own touches and will want to pick their own plugins for contact forms and pop-ups.
  • You cheat yourself long term if you try to avoid code. How many wasted days searching the plugin repository for simple effects like a hide and reveal. Perhaps installing a very heavyweight plugin for things that a few lines of code could have sorted.
  • Bloat is the usual argument against Megathemes and all-in-one solutions, but I think it means different things to different people. Some say it refers to too much code output, some for backend intrusions. My concern is more with technical debt when things are not modularised, resources used (which is both a cost and Green issue) and also stability.
  • I don’t think code free will ever exist. Browser, CSS and HTML specifications have always changed over time. Relying on any one tool to do it all means you’re relying on something that will go out of date, and you have to learn a new one.
  • I like that it gives me the edge over clients!
  • I rely on making money from hosting. So the lighter the solution the better.

No coding – Nathan

  • Divi, Brizy, Elementor, Toolset are more all-in-one tools. You simply need not code if what they can offer is enough for what you need.
  • Code free is the way it is all going – not perfect today, but that is not a reason to look back.
  • All-in-one is better for user experience and more integrated.
  • Design is important. I find it hard enough just to get the design right, let alone doing all the coding! Better to leave the code to the tools that can handle that so I can concentrate on the getting the site shipped quickly.
  • With design skills, you are above your client’s level.
  • It does not matter that tools which pack everything in them will end up with deprecated code, because clients should rebuild their sites every few years anyway!

Final thoughts

Want to get your product or service on our 'viewed quite a lot' Black Friday Page? Fill out the form...

On the whole, we’re lucky with the tools we’ve picked. We took wrong turns, looking at Megathemes to do things quickly. It was a false economy for us when we wanted one thing different to the scores of options they gave us. It took twice as long! Since then, we have preferred simple layouts that we can add to.

Mentioned in this episode…


Beaver Builder



The WP Builds podcast is brought to you this week by…

GoDaddy Pro

The home of Managed WordPress hosting that includes free domain, SSL, and 24/7 support. Bundle that with the Hub by GoDaddy Pro to unlock more free benefits to manage multiple sites in one place, invoice clients, and get 30% off new purchases! Find out more at go.me/wpbuilds.

The WP Builds Deals Page

It’s like Black Friday, but everyday of the year! Search and Filter WordPress Deals! Check out the deals now

Transcript (if available)

These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.

Read Full Transcript

Welcome to the WP Builds podcast, bringing you the latest news was from the WordPress community. Welcome your host, David Walmsley, Nathan Wrigley.
Hello there and welcome to the WP Builds podcast. This is episode number 196 entitled coding versus non-coding. It was published on the 10th of September, 2020, my name's Nathan Wrigley, and just a few little bits and pieces before we begin. The first thing is to mention that we are a WordPress specific podcast.
Most of our content is entirely focused on WordPress. You can find it all [email protected] and please feel free to share it any which way. You like, if you're on Twitter at WP Builds is very helpful. Anywhere else, just be creative. If there are some black buttons underneath each of the podcast players on the website, and you can use those, but we certainly appreciate your time rating us on your podcast.
Player of choice, Apple podcasts, or Spotify, Google podcasts, whichever it may be a rating is most appreciated. Speaking of WP Builds.com. There's a few pages I always mentioned. The first one is WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe. That page will enable us to keep in touch with you about all the content that we produce.
We produce quite a lot each and every week we produce a podcast episode. That is what you're listening to. Now on a Monday, I write to the WP Builds a weekly WordPress news, which has a summation of the previous word, WordPress news from the week that's just gone by and also at 2:00 PM UK time, we do a live version of that news and I'm joined by some notable WordPress guests.
You can find that at wpbuilds.com forward slash live. But back to the subscribe page, there are forms which allow you to subscribe to our updates. So we produce new episodes and so on. There's also ways to subscribe to us on your favorite podcast player and join our very polite and well-mannered Facebook group.
It certainly is a really good place to be. If you're a word presser, some help and other good pages, WP Builds.com forward slash deals. If you're in the market sweet for a product or service around the WordPress space, you never know. We might have a coupon code over there. It keeps growing. I've got lots and lots on there for you to check out.
It's a bit like black Friday, but every day of the week, also, if you know about a job in the WordPress space, head over to our website, find the jobs link in the main menu and then click post the job underneath that. And that will take you to a form it's completely free. It's just a service to help people find jobs in this difficult time.
Also. WP Builds.com forward slash advertise. If you have a product or service, and we'd like to get it in front of a WordPress specific audience, that page enables you to do that. We do banner ads and audio insert a little bit like this. Do you want to set up your AB split test in record time? Like in a couple of minutes, use your existing pages and test anything against anything else.
Buttons, images, headers, rows, anything. And the best part is that it works with element or Beaver builder on the WordPress block editor. You can check out AB split [email protected] and get a free demo over there as well. And we do think AB split tests for their support of the WP Builds podcast. Okay, let's get stuck into today's main event.
It is David Walmsley and I haven't a debate about whether we should be coders or non coders these days. It's so easy to have websites and built with the tools that you can just lift off the shelf. There are page builders, there are tools to create custom views of everything. There are so many amazing themes out there which will make the job of making your WordPress websites so much more straightforward.
We could do that, or we could learn how to code and build everything ourselves. Obviously there's a time burden and there are constraints about what we're able to manage to learn, but that way you'll be in complete control of everything. And you won't be subservient to the whims of a plugin, whether it stays around or whether it is able to do the exact thing that you want.
So we discussed this today, obviously as always. It's a very interesting debate with David Wamsley and I hope that you enjoy it. Hello, today's debate is wealth debate, number 14, and we're calling it coding versus non-coding, which is not the best title. So when we started to set up this series of debates, we naturally got asked to compare.
Page builders against each other, which is a great topic. And, obviously sensible because people do need to compare these things, but tricky for us because we use the same page below which we know best, and we know that people are passionate about their brands, so we didn't want to fuel any divisions.
So instead we thought we would try and talk about the major players within a debate. From the position of as generalists who have to deliver a whole site and whether we are better off learning some basic code skills or not . So in that I'm hoping we might be able to if you like maybe put the, some of the tools that are out there into kind of one camp or the other, whether they're aimed at.
Being for non coders, Pat's more for designers rather than people who are see themselves as developers. And just genuinely ask the question. Isn't it about whether we think, learning those coding skills today as a generalist, creating websites is really needed. Yeah. So it's definitely done in the frame of using tools that you already use.
So page builders and so on, it's not about whether you should be, I don't know, building your own CMS or doing everything from scratch. It's really not that it's just whether there's a benefit adding on top of what you already use. Would that be fair to say. Yeah. And I think, because most of us, I think most of our audience would use a page builder these days.
That is the new thing. Isn't it? I think when you went into WordPress, Earlier you, there was a lot of plugins which would deal with everything, but I think most people who were building sites for people needed to use some kind of coding skills and that's disappeared. And whether it's a good thing or a bad thing is what we can debate.
But I think it also what falls under that is yeah. Which kind of tools you likely to pick depending on which way your business is going to go with this. I think. Yeah. Yeah. Do you think this is missing from the debate? when people are talking about tools for WordPress on what you're going to use?
I think so much depends on what's going to be best is not necessarily a feature set, but it could be, but it depends on. W what your, what you're prepared to spend your time on. So you're going to pick some tools if you're think coding is the way to go forward again, on some level you might just think, no, I need to do more on the marketing.
I need to do more on the design. So I'm going to get the tools that will just take care of the coding for me. Yeah. If you're a freelancer like me and you, this is a, this is just a nightmare position to be in isn't it? Because there's constantly a slew of new things coming along, not just within WordPress, but in tech, in general, which you feel like a pull towards learning, but it was many years ago that I.
Probably not intentionally, but seemed to accidentally make the decision that I really didn't have a lot of space for learning brand new things anymore. I just had to get good at the things that I was already interested in. And when I began working with the web goodness was how many years ago that was, but quite a few.
there was this urge in me. I was a lot younger and I had a lot more energy, this urge to learn everything. CSS came along and I consumed book after book. It was terribly boring, but I really enjoyed it at the time, HTML and then Java script books. And I found that really difficult at the time, but I.
Penetrated through these books and got to be reasonably skillful in what it was that I needed to do. there were definitely chapters that I just flicked completely over because I couldn't be bothered. And then. It just CMS is took over because it became obvious to me that most of my clients needed something to literally to manage content.
That was the purpose of the website, whether that was a brochure, bits of content that didn't really change or something more dynamic. The CMS was what took over. And so I got to learn the CMS. So the CMS learning. completely eclipsed, the CSS, the JavaScript, the react to the, whatever I know that's newer and I haven't really touched it, but you get the point.
So the CMS became the important thing to learn, and that's clearly where both of us have spent most of our time getting good at the CMS. I decided was a better way to circumvent the time that was required to build a website. And that has I think, a good choice. But, currently I'm working with a developer who is helping me to put something together, which I literally couldn't do.
By myself, he's just helping me to build an app and more on that later. but yeah, there's no way, not even, I'm not even close to being able to pull off what he's done, but then, show him WordPress and say, create some custom fields and make it appear on this page, in that slot. he, he wouldn't know how to do that.
The thing is I'm suspect. He could learn how to do that. Rather more quickly. I could learn how to code it out, but that's a point for another day. So anyway, I ended up concentrating on the CMS. So does that lean you in this? I'm going to take the side of, it's good to have some coding skills and you're going to take the position of they're not needed.
Noncoding is perhaps the way forward. Yeah. maybe I should give my little. Bit of background because you've just given yours in the sense that when I started building the site, sorry, I also had to hand code some of the HTML and CSS. So we're very simple sites in there. And then when I moved to WordPress to CMS, I abandoned it, all of that and just, grabbed all the themes and tried them out.
And then I thought I'd try and learn a little bit of the CSS to move things around. And it got completely lost, led me down the path of really picking plugins and themes and not touching the code. And then I hit. A problem because when I wanted, what was available, I always found that was something that.
I was missing and then I wanted to get back to the code. So I ended up going full circle. So then I ended up, if you like being more attracted to simple frameworks, she gave me a layout tool in the CMS. So I could still do my kind of CSS code in over the top, but still understand, the basic stuff there.
So I went for simple frameworks. Genesis framework was one of the things I settled on mainly rather than a. A big mega theme or purpose thing that did everything can have millions of options. This was something we had to take snippets and then put your own CSS on the top. And it's interesting now because I've got Slack again, because of the fact that page builders come along and they've done a lot of that CSS work for me.
Yeah. Yeah. I fully get it. if I look back on my journey since. The advent of page builders. I wonder how many of my gray cells in my head that had anything connected to CSS or HTML or JavaScript in them have just given up just gone and gone away just so we're not needed anymore. You there's no point in us.
And, and you, I know Mo over the last week or so have been fiddling with some, JavaScript in order to solve a problem that you've gotten. It'd be interesting to know whether or not you believe you could have done that off. It just by hand, if you like, without needing to go on Google or open a book or anything in previous years, whereas now you've forgot most details cause you just haven't needed them.
Cause the page builder did it all for you. It mostly did what you wanted and certainly you could steer the client in the direction of saying, look, this is just the best way to do it. Let's present it this way, knowing that probably there is a better way to present it, but it's not easy and it would require some actual.
skill in coding and making a bespoke solution just for them. So I'm going to make my case then really the key points about why I think, having some coding skills is a good thing or not to try and avoid that with just, trying to get an all in one package basically. So in a way I'm more likely to, I think we could dispute this one, which ones are better suited to me, but I'm more likely to go for things like the Genesis.
A theme framework where they have to do, perhaps, if I'm not using the templated themes already, I have some CSS skills, Beaver builder, I believe is one of those that also, because it sets out to gear itself towards the developers who perhaps wouldn't want an all in one. It comes. Although people can build perfectly good sites with it without any coding, but I think it is still aimed at people who would like to do that, or at least choose their own plugins if you like, it's not going for all in one and maybe oxygen builder.
So I think those are the kinds of platforms gearing towards the people who don't mind touching a bit of code once in a while. Okay. So I think why I like those, the key things for my business is that some of the money that I make is through hosting the clients. So the lighter weight solution that I've got, the one that isn't going to grow big means that I can put more of my clients on the same server and make them more profitable.
So that's one of the key things about keeping. Code to the minimum to do the job that it needs to do. So that's why I liked the idea of doing code. You only, instead of add, adding in a big hefty plugin, do a very small thing on a site. Or have an all in one solution that does everything, but I only use it for a few things.
If I have a simple framework and I add it in myself, it uses less server resources. And I'm going to even claim that this is a green issue, Ah, okay. This is a bit off the wall I was in Thailand. I don't know if I mentioned this before. There was a big ad campaign there about. And I've never seen it anywhere else in the world about not storing so much stuff on the cloud to save the planet because these servers all need cooling and it's an energy suck.
That's how, I mean you're there is no denying it. That is completely true. Yeah. yeah, it did, regardless of where this debate goes. Oh, percent behind that specific point. Yeah, absolutely. yeah, so that kind of, so by learning a little bit code, keep the sites very simple means that I believe as well.
The other argument for the simple frameworks where you code on top, or you add in your own specific plugins is that you've got a. Framework. If you'd like a layout tool for your CMS, that might go longer. The one that is constantly being built and change to be all in one. So that's my argument for going for that because a lot of the clients that I deal with may not change their website for 10 years, where I think if you go for, in my experience, the more all in one.
Mega themes, big page builders. They probably play we'll have to deprecate lot more Cove. Or change it, or there'll be a new one that will replace them a new all in one. And your clients may have to be on board with the idea that they might need to change their sites more regularly. Yeah, it's interesting.
I'm not, and never really was a user of Genesis. So I'm just going to have to put that one on the shelf because I can't speak about it, but in sort of disagreement, with. With some of the things you just said and oxygen, as an example, and Beaver builder, as an example, it feels to me as if they do enough out of the box.
Now, whether that's, you upgrade Beaver builder to a pro license and you get a few more bells and whistles attached. I feel that you could really build websites with both of those tools without having to ever. Touch coat, you could install it, click on things, type in some numbers, drag, a few sliders, so hex values for colors and padding and margin.
You know what I'm talking about, import some images and those solutions are. Totally code free. In fact, I'd be staggered. If the majority of Beaver builder and oxygen users are not using it for just that purpose, never come into contact with CSS, never come into contact with Java script, never come into contact with the file structure of WordPress and any of that.
that would be, a counter argument to that those page builders feel like whilst people like you can extend them because your probably fussier than fussy. I didn't mean that. you've got more exacting requirements. You want it, you want to push it more? I would say that they're probably equally good food for DIY as who just want to get something half decent out there and, never touch the code at all.
You see my argument, but I know the counter argument is why the kind of solutions, which I've always attracted me at some point, particularly with the mega themes, which have some really wonderful, modern things added to them, designs that are ready for you, animations and those kinds of things that are really, On the Mark for now.
And some of these boring frameworks don't have them. w the big problem I have with those is that usually when a client wants something, it's something that isn't included in the millions of options that I've already got. however much I try and avoid it. I still either go back to the, having to learn how to.
Adding what is often very simple code, or I have to go through the perhaps even longer search of trying to find her plugin to put in, to do this one tasks. yeah. So I think it doesn't matter. What I feel is with kind of all in one and why I like simple frameworks where you do code is that for the, you can never tick all the boxes for all time.
At some point, things that were relevant now might not be later and it might not be needed. Yeah, I suppose it speaks to what your business, how your business is structured. if your business is all about getting a high turnover of website business and pushing them out reasonably cheaply, then.
These are constraints that you've really got to think about. you've got to worry about whether or not you've got time or budget to offer them anything bespoke or from the very outset you explained, look, it's gonna, it's gonna be able to achieve these things if you wish it to do more, you're just, we just can't do it at this price point, all of those kinds of things.
But the other thing I would say is. I suppose in a sense, you've got to follow the market a little bit. And if you look at the breathtaking success of, the two that come to mind, and I don't know the numbers at the moment, and I don't know the percentages at the moment, but Ella mentor and Devi, I'm not a divvy user, never have been, but my understand, and I don't really follow it, but my understanding is that it is phenomenally successful.
And then there's other things, breezy and so on as well in there, they, they're just massive, simply successful, which speaks to the fact that. this is what the community of WordPress users want. It might not be on the community of WordPress professionals want, but it's what the community of WordPress users want.
And I always find it interesting, cause I forget so easily that the vast majority of WordPress users don't care, jot about anything to do with WordPress. They just view it as a system to log in, create a page. Press publish or save or whatever your page builder of choice is telling you to do, and then clear off and do something else which actually makes your business.
It's just a tool, just want to publish stuff. and that's where they're going, and you look at the one that Springs to mind constantly in my head anyway, at the minute is the great success of element or, sure enough, it does pack a load of bells and whistles, which I'm imagining.
On 95% were hard making that number up. I don't know, on a significant proportion of sites, the vast majority of it sits on the shelf and never gets used, but it's been tremendously successful selling itself because I guess human nature is a bit like what I might use that. that looks fascinating and it's there, right?
It's there just sitting and waiting and people don't care about, that's going to add another quarter of a second onto your website, but it's okay. I just want my website to be seen by the customers who already know it exists. And by my friends and family or people who are interested in my travel blog or whatever, SEO, whatever.
page load van, whatever time to first bite, blah, whatever, just gimme nice tools. I'll happily use them. This is what I want. And that's where the market is. Categorically. I would say leading us. Yeah, I think it is in our own little bubble. And this is where it's interesting. certainly WordPress is like that.
And even before that, even before, Beaver builder, which we use, came along, we had visual composer, which I think was almost up to 2 million installs at that point before the tool that we started using was there because it was popular. Now it's less popular. One of the things, just the things about, no deny in element as popularity and how useful it's been to a lot of people who are doing this professionally.
That the thing that's always interesting for me is will it go the way of many mega themes, which have got so big because they've added. As they need to for such a wide audience that it becomes problematic. And I think, a lot of people might say the same about visual composer. There's still people who really love that tool, but it lost its popularity over time as it got bigger.
but it was accommodate in everything that everybody knew he did. And that's my issue with it. If you've got such a big wide audience. Then you've really got to pack into the code, everything for everybody. Yeah. It's got to be some downside. Yeah. Yeah. It must be a very difficult path for them to tread, constantly, wishing to gain new customers.
And I presume the easiest way to get to new customers is with features. demonstrate that you've got a new thing, same with any business, if you sell running shoes, you've got to constantly be innovating and coming up with new ways of doing running shoes. the problem with creating a page builder, is that you then have to support that legacy running shoes.
You can just forget about last year stock it's gone. Whereas if you put all these tools into a page builder, You've got to support those going forwards or as appears to be happening. You were mentioning earlier that deprecating certain features that are no longer needed, but at the cost of aggravating your existing users.
But, yeah. Yeah. It's interesting that however you play this there's going to be some pushback. Isn't there. There's going to be people who jumped on the tool that you're selling right at the beginning, because it did exactly what they needed. That's what I want. Just leave it there. Just update it, keep it.
And then you push out features and then that can be, you're going to be dissatisfied because there's bloat in there. And so on. I can't see it. Can't see a perfect solution for that. I was trying to think of an analogy though, and this one came to my mind, but it's not a very good one. We to do it anyway, you're driving a car in the 1970s and you want to go left and if I put you in a 1970s car and said, just go around this corner, you're going to be staggered.
By how difficult it is to turn the steering wheel because there's no power steering. And just, it's just hysterically difficult to turn a car. That's enough power steering. it's not the easy I can do it between my thing, index finger and thumb, but along comes power steering and a, and it's dead.
Cool. Everybody wants it now it's in cars. And I think it's, I just think that's the analogy for. For, for the no-code way of doing things, you just can't go back. Nobody wants a power powerless, a power free steering lists, whatever the expression is for that, a car with no power steering. There we go.
nobody wants everybody wants power steering, cause it's just better. And I just feel that the market is telling us that we want code free, easy to manage, easy to use by non-skilled people. Page builders. CMS. Yeah. Systems you, yeah, you win that. But I think there is a something to be wary of. when you're looking at everybody now that enjoys the technology and the changes and the new stuff, the new competition ways of doing things better, every cell there's only every so often, whether it's a genuine innovation that suddenly makes everything.
Easier to do. That's good. Now what can often happen is that there's no real innovation. You're just trying to push forward to do more, but it's comes at a cost. I wish I could find an analogy for this. So do you see what I mean? I think when somebody realized the, like the page builders, when you suddenly realized you could, take the WordPress.
Editor and just take over that. So the early page builders, they did it in quite a clumsy way. Now there's still yeah. Out there and they're still working fine. Cause David's one of those and visuals composer is, but it did advise shortcuts within the kind of editor then came along and that's the new yeah.
Wave of M Beaver builder decided yeah. To separate that out and separate out the editor itself and elemental and all the ones that followed of Done the similar thing that was a genuine innovation about the way that you might do it, which would reduce the code, but the way we're moving towards a completely code free environment, I don't think there's been any major new, developments if you like that leads it there.
So there's still always the danger of bloat to someone. yeah. So I think there's still a kind of downside to, I think we're still at the point where if we want to have the kind of features that we want, we still might be better off learning a little bit of code. So my example is I was using the, had to put some JS.
Earlier on a site, because all I wanted was a simple thing, something that you see all the time, but I didn't have it available. And it was just that I needed a row below a section to open up on a little toggle. And, so I went because I couldn't be bothered to do the code, which is literally a couple of lines of JavaScript that I can need to put in a little bit of CSS to make my toggle.
I went around going through all of the options and there was the option of putting in a huge big add on pack for me and all the way to that. Or there was a simple. Simple one, which has standalone plugin that would do the same. But even that standalone plugin was introducing, I don't know, maybe 60 scripts or something and lines out of cloud.
Do you still want, it's like that has some kind of impact too, even if not the front end and the speed, but the server resources that might be used or the space that I'm using on my server. Yeah. it's the whole find a plugin. that's the problem, right? We love WordPress, but it's problem potentially is that there's a plugin for everything.
And you just don't know what enormous bloat is being created by you installing that one plugin one hopes. The good stuff rises to the top and that the community itself votes for things which are done well. and you and I have talked many times about the fact that we like plugins that do one thing and do it as leanly as possible, as opposed to one plugin, which does everything.
I'm going to change. I'm going to change. Oh, sorry. Could you please finish? No, I was just going to add that point. I think it's, why that becomes important is it's again, it's your model, isn't it? it becomes important to me because key to me surviving is this longterm maintenance of people who won't change their sites very often.
So the less code I've got, the less plugins there are generally on bulk. The less likely things are going to break on it. Yeah, it means, I can afford to run their plans at an affordable cost and still make a profit. Yeah. Yeah. That's always got to be in the back of everybody's mind if you're a, if you're a WordPress freelancer, isn't it is this debate of cost code bloat, updating and things going wrong and so on.
And it's just something that, from my perspective, I think I'm coming at it from the inexperience, nontechnical user. I think that's probably where I'm coming from, which brings me to a change of. Tack a little bit in the that. let me use the example of my,
one of my children. this scenario has not happened. I'm just imagining it. So 14 year old walks up to a computer in 2010 and is instructed to build a web page and he has no prior experience. And it's got to have these features, basic stuff, but it's got to have some messaging at the top and some images put on and things to go on the right and things to go on the left and perhaps, or a footer and so on and just give him.
The tools from pre prior the page builder era, or indeed no CMS at all. And just watch him fail time and time again, just banging his little head against the wall, what an awful image that is, but then put him in the same scenario. Now install some of these fabulous tools that we've got and. Just watch him play his way into getting it right.
Watch him drag things over and realize that isn't what was intended and then just click a button and which is clearly a, like a delete button and away it goes. And. Try something else. And within, let's say two hours, the job is finished. It's not perfect, but it's pretty good. And this is a person who has no familiarity with, with the internet or building by pages at all.
I think that's the point. Yeah. You, things can be so easily now. And I know that the skill that you've described of like it realizing that the UX would be better. If there was this Java script toggle for most people, that's just immaterial. They just want something that works and, and they would you say, and wouldn't it be good if there was a toggle there?
Yeah. But I don't know how to do that. Been on. And it's just, passing thing to you and me, it's important not to these people. The ability for anybody to create something which looks pretty good. Maybe not, it's not going to win any awards, but it's all right. that's amazing. Yeah.
and also, it's closer to that kind of WordPress may name. You mentioned it to me when we were talking earlier about, making publishing. free to everyone, that what's the term punishing democracy. Yeah. That's it. And I think, you're right. moving this.
That, if you need code to do that, then it's failing. So WordPress is very much, I think, heading towards that. And obviously, the whole block editor Gutenberg project is, is leading towards less need for code. So it's hard to argue against your on point, but there's also another thing that's in WordPress as well, which I think contributes to its success.
Is the fact that it's also has it's 80 20 rule, doesn't it about what it puts into its core. yeah. Again, what it is that CMS. And I think that's also, arguing my side of things about the fact that, you don't want to cram in too much that you probably going to need to add in plugins to that main system or code on top of that bank system.
If you make the, if you make the main system itself, an all in one, doing everything without the innovation there, you could have problems down the line. Yeah. Needing to deprecate things. Yeah, it's interesting. I think you're right. Certainly that the whole deprecation of things is important, but, what about the debate that you should be updating your sites regularly anyway, if things need to be deprecated, that's a good thing.
Yeah. But it shouldn't really matter. Anyway. honestly, I'm not one to talk about this. I drive a really old banger of a car because I just can't be bothered to update it. I know what it's like and clients I know are reluctant. If things aren't visually that outdated, they probably don't.
But now it's a point that we should be doing anyway. if things are getting outdated, it's time to update. Let's start a fresh anyway. Yeah. Do you know what I mean? I can't help, but thing, if you jump on the kind of latest tool that offers you so much extra stuff, all in one kind of package that is, tuned into what is currently trendy at the time.
And y'all prepared to, maybe rebuild a couple of years later and you'll look again at the tools that are available. You might end up with a much better situation than mine where I just think, Oh no, I have to keep it slim. And just add in the code fee, miserly as I need it, So it's a really hard one, but I think it comes down to models.
Doesn't it? I think when we often have these debates about the tools that we prefer in WordPress, I don't think you can ever answer what's the best until you know what you're trying to achieve and for who. Know. Yeah, I know what you mean. I think this is the whole thing, isn't it? how much you're going to spend in your business of, spending time.
So for me, being able to implement a little bit JavaScript, which is difficult for me, and to be able to do some custom CSS and into something is a skill over my clients who couldn't do that for themselves. So that's where they might need me. But I'm a terrible designer. if I was a great designer, not much of a coder, then I'm probably go for different books, bunch of tools.
Do you see what I mean? And my value to a client would be my designs. Skills. And so I'd probably have a whole different bunch of tools that I would use. here's another thought from the Luddites textbook. Just imagine that we have this conversation in, Oh, I don't know. Let's go for 10 years, 10 years time.
I think it's pretty inconceivable that the things that we're worrying about now will even be on the table. I don't even imagine that we'll be using page builders anymore. I imagine that there'll be all sorts of. I don't know, voice activated things that you can tell to build a website for you that, I keep saying, give me a picture of a cat on a red background.
Perfect. No, I don't want a ginger cat. Okay. That's a good ginger can make it bigger, move it to the right. And so on. I'm just guessing. But, the point is that this stuff is we're on the March. And if you are going to constrain yourself too, you must be able to use the code. And it's important that, the code, those kinds of things are just going to be totally and utterly out of your depth, out of my depth, insight into how that stuff works, but I'll know how to do it.
And I'll be able to implement it. as an example, my, I've got one of these little Google home things in the kitchen, and I can say it's name. I'm not going to say it. Otherwise, countless people's devices will probably go off in the background, but anywhere I say the trigger word and ask it questions, and I've literally no idea how that stuff works, but the utility of it is fabulous.
And I think it's the same for this. if you don't know the code, but you can build a website, all power to you. It's great. But where's our job. This is the crisis that we've got to avoid. And changing my mind. We all need to learn code and it's very important to learn code. Only a few of us will be able to learn the code.
It's terribly hard and yes, learn the code. Very good. I don't know our job. Our job will be different for sure. In the same way that. It feels like many of the freelancers over the last five years have pivoted to, care plans, selling funnels, selling all sorts of different services that bolt on because websites don't necessarily cut it any more.
We'll probably have to come up with other ways of innovating in the future that we don't anticipate just yet. Yeah, and I think it's related to this. It was something that Paul Lacey, said it to both of us, actually, when we were talking about the fact, do you think down the line, it might be one of the biggest mistakes for kind of small businesses too.
DIY their own sites. It might be seen as that because there's okay about, manipulating what we can see, on our browsers on the page. But there was so much that somebody who didn't have that experience or understand how code works, would understand how responsive is working, how browser technology is different and it things will display differently depending on the browser.
Or do you think all of that stuff will take care of itself? Do you know, I'd love to think that it would take care of itself. And I'd love to think that standard compliant tools could be built that just made it so that all browsers showed things correctly and that all. all let's say page builders for the want of the better word, let's say all pages.
there's built things in the slimmest way possible, but no, I'm sure. You're right. I'm sure there's always going to be a niche for people who want to get an edge, people who can and make their site appear highly in Google people who can make their, page load quicker and therefore, appear well in Google people who can honestly.
Claim that they have built a site which consumes less electricity. And so they have created a niche for themselves. there's always going to be a need for that. And I suppose that's a different argument. Isn't it? It's people who wished to build a website, just to put something out there to share their thoughts, that it's not mission critical.
It's not the point of their entire existence. This is. All pointless conversation, it's just, the tools are great. Just use them and accept the limitations of them, but you are right. I think Paul's right as well. That they'll definitely, there's always going to be industry experts who will be able to push the boundaries who will be able to claim that they can do something special justifiably and we'll be able to charge for it because there's value in what they do, speeding up websites, SEO, whatever it might be.
I do find it quite scary. Now, maybe a, again, we live in a bubble, so it might not be a true representation, but I do see, a lot of the help channels and try and help people who are clearly small businesses deciding that they're doing it themselves. And I'm pretty sure it's because of the claims of page builders in WordPress, that they look and they say, I can do all these wonderful things.
And actually, the things that they ask they would like to do with the page builder are so advanced something that I think, I don't know how I would do this, that their expectation is that they bought the tools. It should just be able to do that. But you also know that it's very unlikely that they probably considered the consequences of what they want.
To do on a page, how that might impact on their load speed or create other kind of issues that they've not even thought about. Sorry. Yeah. So I am with a little bit with Paul with that. Yeah. I think we're, I think we're running to head this non-coding world doesn't exist. And I still think that, it's problematic that people think that they can't be code free.
Yeah, I think it's, yeah, it's really interesting. I wonder about that whole debate as well. Clearly the future will have code in it. Maybe it will be that most people can interact with the internet without knowing any code. And it isn't in a way, that's what the internet is for. Isn't it? You imagine that imagine the amount of people who consume stuff on the internet.
Who are in effect, interacting with code. it's 90% of the entire population of the globe. I'm imagining her in some way, interacting with the internet on a weekly basis. And it's all code. You have the faintest idea how it works, but it's the utility of it is fabulous. And, yeah, I don't know what the future holds, but it will be certainly very interesting.
And deed to be. Did we think we've done this one? I'd say we probably have let's knock it on the head. Shall we? Okay. No, it's great chat. Thanks. I hope that you enjoyed that. I hope that you managed to learn something new. I feel this debate could go on and on. And especially in the future, I feel this debate could become much more polarized.
And what I mean by that is I think the technology in the future will allow people with virtually no set of skills based around coding to build really decent websites, perhaps not as specific as those who can code, but certainly. Commendable and usable. So an interesting debate, you can let us know what you thought about this debate, whether you are on the coding side or the non-coding side, perhaps join our Facebook group WP builts.com forward slash Facebook and let us know in there, or just head over to the website and let us know what you think in the comments below.
The double GP builds podcast. This was brought to you today by AB split test. Do you want to set up your AB split test in record time, then you AB split test plugin for WordPress. We'll have you up and running in a couple of minutes. Use your existing pages and test anything against anything else.
Buttons, images, headers rows. Anything and the best part is it works with element or BeaverBuilder and the WordPress blog editor. You can check it out and get a free [email protected]. Okay, that's all we've got for you this week, but we'll be back next week for a podcast episode on Thursday, the WP Builds weekly.
WordPress news will be on Monday and of course we'll have the live [email protected] forward slash live. 2:00 PM UK time with some notable WordPress guests. The one thing I still have to do is feed in some cheesy, blues music this week and say, bye bye for now. .

Support WP Builds

We put out this content as often as we can, and we hope that you like! If you do and feel like keeping the WP Builds podcast going then...

Donate to WP Builds

Thank you!

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!

Articles: 820

Filter Deals

Filter Deals


  • Plugin (2)
  • Lifetime Deal (1)
  • SaaS (1)

% discounted

% discounted

Filter Deals

Filter Deals


  • WordPress (37)
  • Plugin (34)
  • Admin (29)
  • Content (18)
  • Design (11)
  • Blocks (6)
  • Maintenance (6)
  • Security (5)
  • Hosting (3)
  • Theme (3)
  • SaaS app (2)
  • WooCommerce (2)
  • Lifetime Deal (1)
  • Not WordPress (1)
  • Training (1)

% discounted

% discounted



WP Builds WordPress Podcast



WP Builds WordPress Podcast
%d bloggers like this: