This Week in WordPress #154

“Full steam ahead with Full Site Editing”

This week’s WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing Monday 8th March 2021

With Nathan Wrigley, Paul Lacey (@wp_paullacey), Anne McCarthy and Joe Casabona (@jcasabona).

You can find the Newsletter here which has all the links mentioned in this episode:

We focus on the following stories:

What’s new in 5.7 (Joe did a great video)
and there’s this article from iThemes with 21 nice new features to nerd out on! 

GoDaddy Pro

First Look – Full Site Editing, a course by Carrie Dils 

New Full Site Editing Testing Challenge: Create a Custom 404 Page 
even more:

3 Reasons to Use an Activity Log on Your Website 

OVH Data Center Fire Darkens Popular Sites Worldwide 

Tips on how to reduce the carbon emissions of your WordPress website 
Might be worth pointing to this as well:

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

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Transcript (if available)

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

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Nathan Wrigley: [00:00:00] Time for this week in WordPress episode, number 154 entitled full steam ahead for full site editing. It was recorded on Monday the 15th of March, 2021 and today as always, I'm joined by Paul Lacey, my co-host, but also by Anne McCarthy and Joe Casabona. There's an awful lot to talk about most notably things concerning WordPress 5.7 and the fact that it has been updated.
There's a lot of improvements that have come down the wire this time. And there's an themes article, which we linked to, including 21 notable improvements. Joe Casabona has actually made a video all about his favorite parts. And so we talk about that as well. There's a new course, looking at full site editing by Carrie dills and also Anne McCarthy self is heavily involved with the full site editing process.
And she's got something she'd like you to take part in customizing and creating your own four Oh four pages and then even curse some feedback so that the team can improve full site editing in the future. Sure. We also talk about whether or not you're keeping activity logs and how important those can be.
And also OVH a giant hosting company based in Europe, had a fire this week and took out some notable WordPress properties. We'll talk about that. And then finally we talk about the environmental yeah. Impact of your WordPress website and what we can do to make it smaller. It's all coming up next on this weekend.
WordPress, this week in WordPress is brought to you by Cloudways. Cloudways. This is a managed cloud hosting platform that ensures simplicity, performance and security. It offers cloud service from five different cloud providers that you can manage through it's intuitive platform. Some of the features include 24 seven support free migrations and dedicated firewalls.
Check it out at and by AB split test. Do you want to set up your AB split tests 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 it works with element or Beaver builder and the WordPress block editor.
You can check it out and get a free demo at AB split. Hello? Hello. Hello. I'm going to say hello. Hello, several months times, because I've noticed the stream yard takes about eight or nine seconds somehow configure the right level for the audio and the first hello always comes out like that.
Paul Lacey: [00:02:39] That's just how
Nathan Wrigley: [00:02:40] you speak. Yeah, that's right. I'll pick a bit probably people this week in WordPress, once more, every Monday, 2:00 PM, UK time, we are joined by a fantastic panel this week. And I'm going to get Paul Lacey, who is my cohost to introduce them to you. So I'm going to hand straight over to you, Paul.
Paul Lacey: [00:03:00] Yeah, thanks. Yeah, we do have some really good stories this week to cover. And like you said, we've got an pretty amazing panel. I'm really excited to to have these two people on with us today. So first of all, we've got Anne McCarthy who is developer relations Wrangler. Working for automatic. And she's focused on the space and leading the full site editing outreach program, which is something we've been talking about a lot over the last few weeks.
And it's the big, exciting thing that's going on in the [email protected]. And we've also got the legend Joe Casabona, who is a podcaster educator and developer who helps people launch podcasts and create content. Before we move on and I just wanted to ask this title Wrangler seems to be something that you always hear about people in automatic, and I don't really know too much what this word means in relation to a job role.
So could you explain to us what automatic Wranglers are?
Anne McCarthy: [00:03:58] I think it's, Automatic's way of having a position be a catchall. So it's like you're wrangling, whatever comes at you. And it's automatic, just creativity with job titles and team names. But it basically covers everything from high-level communication, project management type stuff creating educational resources, talking one-on-one with devs, doing things like this, the outreach program.
And it's just a way to have a catch all role where you're just wrangling developer relations. I think if it is almost like herding cats so just see it as automatic creativity.
Paul Lacey: [00:04:31] That's cool. In the UK, we have a situation with a lot of people I know who are in regular jobs are always complaining and they say, that's not in my job description and how dare my employee make me do that.
So I think if we just start calling everyone Wranglers from now on, it would be perfect.
Anne McCarthy: [00:04:47] It's in our tree too. That's the other part is, I won't just work on the things that are assigned to me. And it's one of the things I love most about working at automatic action. So
Paul Lacey: [00:04:55] yeah. Yeah.
Brilliant. Thanks for clearing that up. That's brilliant. Yeah, so we're going to go straight into our first article. Aren't we, Nathan, I'm just going to
Nathan Wrigley: [00:05:04] share my screen because I refreshed Dreamyard and failed to put my screen back on. So there we go. Let's just move away from that and go straight to this little lovely piece, which is it me introducing this one or is it you.
Paul Lacey: [00:05:18] I can do it, yes. So yeah, there's a lot of articles around at the moment about WordPress 5.7, which is just being released and it's really a good release. I think most people are pretty unanimous in that because there's some really good stuff for everyone in there. There's a bunch of different articles going through it.
There's a good one on the themes website, if you'd like to read it, but if you want to just have someone talk you through the full details of everything, then Joe has got a video on his YouTube channel that you can see. And it's called what's new with WordPress 5.7 and Joe, what's what are you enjoying about WordPress 5.7?

Joe Casabona: [00:05:53] There's a few things I ramble on about. Things I didn't expect to like the admin color scheme that has changed. It's been more simplified. It's a, WCAB a double a compliant. And I just think there's like a bunch of subtle changes there that make it look so much nicer.
And I was really pleased with that. And the thing with my what's new with WordPress videos is they're always my first look at it. I never go through and rehearse anything. I just want first impressions. And so I'll read a few of those great write-ups that come out before I'll check out the field guide and about 24 hours after we're the new version drops, my video will come out.
And so these are mostly my first impressions, but so I love the admin color scheme. It was my first time seeing it, I compared it to 5.6 and I just think that the subtle changes are really fantastic. The, I think the. My favorite change and this is going to sound super weird is I can change the font size for the block, just cause it's it, is it solved a problem?
I was having like five days prior where I was sizing up some of the paragraphs on my, about page and I wanted to size up the the list items too, but I couldn't without an extra CSS class or whatever. Just seeing that and all the block editor changes are really nice. The ability to drag and drop from the block from the block inserter is something I've tried to do multiple times before that.
And just the ability to do that now is great. I think perhaps the change that is going to be. The biggest impact, but like least intrusive is the HTTPS migration. As a matter of fact, if you watch that video, you'll see. I w when I change something during the edit, I'll say editor, Joe.
So like editor Joe coming in here to let you know that I spent like 20 minutes trying to figure out how to do the HTTPS migration before realizing it just happens. So I think that is going to be just a fantastic change. It's something that I would most of us probably relied on the same plugin for and it's nice that we will not need an extra plugin to do that now.
So those are the three things that, that I was most excited to showcase lazy loading I frames just like with lazy loading images. I think it was in 5.5 where that came out is going to be pretty impactful on performance. I think, especially because YouTube videos are loaded with eye frames.
And the fact that we're not loading those straight away is going to be really good. And this also wrapped up the three version jQuery migration. If you're going to jump on 5.7, make sure if you rely heavily on jQuery, which if you are not technically savvy, that might mean you have some slider somewhere or a big accordion somewhere that might that might use jQuery.
Just make sure you test that first. There's a jQuery update plugin in the repository, and then there's a J query migrate plugin in the repository that will help you do that.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:08:53] Thank you, Joe. So we, if we were to search for your YouTube channel, would we be looking for just YouTube Joe, Casa Banos, or has it got a different name?

Joe Casabona: [00:09:02] The title is Joe Casabona. Yeah. So you can find that. And it's like a big cheesy, like me, like crossing my arms. Cause that's what you're supposed to do, but the URL well is like slash C slash create or courses. Cause I created it under my. My education brands, but, okay.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:09:19] Yeah.
So it was a good video. I watched it from start to finish. I actually did notice. I went, as soon as I finished watching your video, I went over and found this article, which is the sort of themes version. And I'm just going to go through them actually, if that's all right, because some of them you've highlighted already, but I'll just go through the sort of 21 things.
Cause I thought this was quite a nice way of summarizing what's happened. So yeah, as Joe said, WordPress 5.7 Esperanza, there's a sort of list of all of them. We won't dwell on them too long. This is quite handy. I've actually already deployed this already. There's now a button in the user list where you can send a password reset.
I had a client that needed that this week and I press the button and. For all intents and purposes, it seemed to work off the bat. So that was quite nice. What else have we got? This is the one that Joe was just talking about. Joe, I don't know if you saw this little video actually shows that it surfaces as a bottom in the site health penal.
Joe Casabona: [00:10:14] does. I saw this video and I couldn't get it to work on my own site and I don't know if it's just, cause I've always been using HTTPS, but like I couldn't fake it for the video.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:10:24] Oh, okay. Okay. So that was the problem, right? I got it. Yeah. So if you've got site health, if your visitors are looking at site health and that pops up, hopefully they can fix that for themselves.
And now they won't need any technical skills. This is my favorite one. This drag and drop blocks just because I'm so used to using things like Beaver builder, it's absolutely the interface that I'm used to. So yeah. Pet positioning the cursor where I want something to go. And then clicking on a block has always been a bit of a subpar thing for me.
And now the fact that I can drag it in, I actually try to get it to do things that I'm used to in. BeaverBuilder I could put it between things, but then to get it to, to go and make two columns or something like that was a little bit more tricky finicky at times. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So there's that custom icon backgrounds.
You can make the icons bigger and smaller and give them colors or take the backgrounds away and things like that. And Joe, I think found the, sort of the positioning of some of the menu items to be a bit fruity, shall we say? He was expecting things like size to be over here and it wasn't, it was over here.
And so on.
Joe Casabona: [00:11:24] Yeah. And that's a, that's something that I intended to submit to, like as feedback. Yeah. Just there's, some instances, and I understand why, and it was easy enough to find it. There was just some things that I thought would be in one place for one week walk and we're in a different place for another block.
And I'm sure over you, now that could already be fixed in the latest version of Gutenberg, because yeah. I think a 9.9 is merged into core here and we're on 10.2 or 10.3. Now
Anne McCarthy: [00:11:52] it comes out fully. Yeah.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:11:55] Okay. Jerry's favorite the full size, the sorry, the font size support for less. I do find the I dunno the nomenclature that the fact that it's called like extra large, and all of that kind of stuff.
I was just curious as to how that crept in, as opposed to just a font size, a number as opposed to work. But I like the huge at the end. Just want to show huge, select that one. Okay. Keep going. You can define the block that, sorry, the button block percentage wits. What else have we got new height alignment for the cover block, which.
Seemed to work in Joe's demo and you can go and check it out in their font size support in the code block. Again, really nice. If you want to demonstrate your code really large new vertical layout. So there's an option to transform the layout to be stacked or side-by-side, which is really nice. You can see the side-by-side there.
What else have we got the spacer block is now semi-transparent what, how did that's just so cool. Like, why did that never happen? I don't know. Now you can really see the transparency of the blocks. So it's obviously their switch to text labels in the block, toolbar and preference redesign. Do you know what I'm just not even going to go on.
I think that's probably enough of that article, but go to our themes and check it out. But I'm curious, we know what Joe's favorite is the icon size. We know what my favorite is the dragging. Yeah. What about you? What's your phone?
Anne McCarthy: [00:13:12] I probably the password reset only because I worked so much on a multi-site and with nonprofits back in the day and small businesses, that was a constant, like trying to get user permissions in place and making that easier I think is really cool, easier and safer and contained.
I think it's a great, easy thing for people who are managing sites.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:13:31] Yeah, quite a lot of, quite a lot of actual workflows involve using, plugin workflows and affiliate, signups schemes actually want you to go and reset the password. And if people don't configure the emails properly, you're supposed to know that's what you've got to do.
So that is really cool. You can just click the button and you're gone. What about you, Paul?
Paul Lacey: [00:13:48] First of all I don't know if but, and is in the list of the contributors as well. I guess you Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. Because we like this release. This is definitely a good one.
I guess in that you were supporting the, some of the other developers it's part of your role. That's how that works. Yeah.
Anne McCarthy: [00:14:08] Yeah. It's mainly more of a yeah. Support roles would be a good way to put it. It's more organizing efforts. And writing like for example, I'm doing a series that I'm calling corridor improvement posts.
So two of those things that were mentioned on there, the text icons and the drag and drop from, the inserter or things that I've written about and made sure people are it's well known. So then whenever it comes around, it's really easy to communicate. And that work can be highlighted.
Yeah it's pretty weird to see my name there. I'm not going to lie. That's very cool. Very
Paul Lacey: [00:14:35] cool. Yeah. So th the features I liked first of all, I like the color scheme thing. And because again, I just love that attention to detail that like a tiny thing that we can technically live without an all work around, gets that attention.
And then everything seems to make sense. It's just the friction for the user is just reduced so much by that. So I love that. And then the the other thing that's really cool is the drag and drop. And when Nathan and I were playing around with this, I just, it just struck me. I just thought, I just didn't even realize that wasn't a thing already.
It does
Anne McCarthy: [00:15:11] feel like one of those teachers that's already been there. It's wait, how did I not do this? This didn't exist
Paul Lacey: [00:15:15] yet, but it totally makes sense. But one of the cool things about it is I honestly think it's going to highlight. So some obvious changes that the UI could take now, because in Joe's video, he was changing one thing over here and then jumping over there to change it.
And then when Nathan and I played with this latest update, we were dragging in, for instance, a ahead header block, and then we'd hit to edit it. And the thing that at the side would suddenly jump to the back to the side. And then the thing that we're editing would get a bit bigger and it felt quite similar to something like Elementor and it felt like, Hey, is this the time where that sidebar.
Becomes a real thing and that you drag it in, like you do with Elementor, I'm a BeaverBuilder user, but the elements or interfaced felt more similar to this, that you drag something in, and then you editing the, all the settings related to that heading stay over on the left-hand side for the module that you're editing.
Exactly. Just like elemental rather than, and that it seemed to be a great move forward with the dragon in, but then it made even less sense that you drag something in from there, some of the stuff you had it over there, then some of the things you added over there and then you come back over to the other side to drag a new thing again, that goes away again.
So it feels like it's the first step in. And what will probably be a really much easier way to evolve the builder. Because it's just going to make so much more sense to have the conversation now that, so we dragged the thing in, and then we do this. So I was really pleased to see
Anne McCarthy: [00:16:44] that. There's also the block directory, which as that picks up speed, but steam, that's going to be a more used interaction and we'll see some evolution there.
Same with block pattern directory. So when patterns become more ubiquitous I think we'll see the insert or take a even bigger role. I think a lot of people have started using the slash command or just using the plus buttons that they find throughout the post. I myself sometimes forget to use the inserter.
I was trying to quickly build a homepage for previous full sighting test and, you can literally drag and drop a pattern and which is amazing. But I had forgot that you could do that. It was one of those things where I get so used to finding my own workflow. But when things like the block directory and the block patterns become.
Become bigger. And even reasonable blocks in this 5.7 release is now listed in the inserter as well. So it is becoming a more prominent interaction for users and site builders.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:17:34] Yeah, it really does feel like the biggest update that I've had in a long time, the most significant one. And there's so much to her so much to like about it.
So what were your support pole dragging and what?
Paul Lacey: [00:17:47] I just the colors. Oh yeah. And like I said, if you put those two things that are like the drag and drop on the colors, What I'd love to see is that the block editor in these tiny kind of interaction aspects about it, get the level of thought put into them the same as the the colors have, because look at the impact, a tiny little thoughtful change can have.
When we're playing with it, Nathan, you were trying to drag something in between two columns and it indicated to you that was going to work, but then nothing happened thing. It wouldn't allow you to do it. And the more we were dragging when you and I were trying it out, the more we were dragging things in, we're like, wouldn't it be great to just be able to turn the plus icons off now so that we don't have them, creating space vertically for us orders or, yeah.
So it just, but immediately we were able to just have a quick conversation about wouldn't it be nice if that, but before those draggable things were coming in, we were having a conversation constantly around you press plus, and then this happens and then you press plus, and then this happens. So it's changed the, I think it's changed the direction of.
Conversation. So I really liked that it's come in.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:18:56] quickly loads of the things that we said the other day quickly listening. Can we have it so that when you click on the inserter, it doesn't push the content, left it just hovers over the content instead. Good. Should we
Paul Lacey: [00:19:10] just forget the rest of the article or just ask them, is that all right?
Anne McCarthy: [00:19:17] The sideboards, cause it is a very big accessibility issue. So as you said if you didn't, it didn't squish the content, it actually would probably hide things. That I don't know how screaming readers,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:19:26] just, if you were doing full site editing, you'd suddenly get, you would probably get a tablet view suddenly as opposed to a desktop view for, just for that brief moment you had the inserter open.
Yeah. One thing that I really noticed was that the, I don't know what this is all about. I don't know if this is just something with the theme that I'm using. I'm actually the website that I was using this week was using the Beaver builder theme, but just the experience like the typography inside the editor just looks so much nicer.
It was bound in a different way. There seem to be a different amount of pixels on either side and the shortcode. Widget for want of a better word. Now no longer consumes 90% of the screen that with a hundred pixels of padding at the top of the bottom, it's now the correct size. It's two lines, which is really nice.
I'm not having a problem with it
Paul Lacey: [00:20:12] to me over, but yeah, you're right.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:20:16] And so the audio player Vierra shortcode and it was just really big, massive just padding. Yeah. Yeah. It was massive, but now much better. Yeah. So Bravo really nice release. We're going to move on to the next piece, if that's all right.
This one's about full site editing, but it's over on, let me just find it. I think it's over on. Yeah. The first thing I want to mention is not actually about full site editing itself, but it's about, Oh, I'm going to have to share my screen again. I seem to have, do at the stream. There we go. Full site editing is around the corner.
And I just wanted to bring to everybody's attention a course, which is launching about full site editing. I don't know if you've come across Carrie dills work before, but when I began using WordPress, Carrie does seem to be absolutely everywhere. She was a tremendous resource of me learning things right at the outset.
And she continues in that vein. She's got a WordPress full site editing course. I confess I haven't. Even looked at what is contained in the course, but I just thought that this may be represented a bit of a watershed. If somebody like Carrie is prepared to put the time in and create a course around full site editing.
And presumably she feels there's some benefit to it. It's matured enough, obviously there's a long way to go. And we are lucky enough today to have an on the show. And she's been instrumental in full site editing. So very quickly, I'm going to draw your attention to this article, which is over on WP.
And it's Sarah Gooding. She writes a new piece called full site edits, full site editing testing challenge creates a custom four Oh four page now, and I could paraphrase this piece and just tell everybody what's in it. Or I could just say, what did Sarah you've you jump in and take it? Yeah.
Anne McCarthy: [00:22:02] First of all, I just wanna say Carrie dills very kindly did a video for the first round of testing for full siting and really.
Brought people together in the full sighting outreach channel and we're Pastorek Slack which was really cool. So the fact that she's doing a course, I think is excellent. I did look at it. I did peek through, I haven't purchased it yet, but I plan to I think it's such a neat thing to see people building content like this.
And I think the way she has it laid out is excellent. I highly recommend checking that out. It is meant for developers by description, but she does a really good job of setting the foundation. And one of the things that I'll talk about with the call for testing is that there's actually like a new language paradigm that for people who aren't site builders, who aren't developers, it might be an adjustment.
So things like template editing or template parts, or even reasonable blocks, like the idea of regional blocks I think are things that she goes over really well and really sets that foundation first before going through and talking about what does this mean? If I'm a female, a theme author, like how does this change the development?
Cause it does change the development in a way that I actually think frees up theme developers to focus on. Really cool user-facing things rather than the basics. If that makes sense, but I'm super excited to see her doing this and I hope to see way more of it. I know one of the things I'm working on with the outreach program is to see what people would like to have on learn WordPress, which is webisode works free learning platform.
And I've created a couple of courses there already, but I'd like to create some specifically for full site editing inspired by stuff like this. So I'm very keen to check it out in terms of the call for testing. Sarah was also very, kind enough to to write up a post on this and she did it so quickly.
Seriously made my day. I said, I respond in the comments but she jumped in and basically the challenge is just to create a custom four, four page. And for context, I come up with these challenges. I talked to designers, I talked to developers, I figure out what's ready. What's what has momentum that possibly might need testing as well as what's in a stable enough place where we can have people dig into it and get real feedback.
And I quite frankly love. Four four pages. I love when I find a good one it truly makes me happy. I think we can all remember, like the first time we saw a really creative for a four page where you sat back and you laughed or something like that, or it made you think. So this is the whole test is designed around building a custom four, four page.
And the reason for the test is that it's a very tangible way to get involved with full setting. You're editing a template directly, the four, four template. You actually create a custom template part, which can be like a header or footer. That's how you can the easiest way to think of template parts.
And it digs into specific blocks like the navigation block. And the navigation block is me. Big part of full sighting, making sure that interaction is done well, she actually, I don't think made and that used the navigation block in this test, but you don't have to but she found some great bugs.
I actually replicated one of them around the embed. I found a similar issue to the embed where actually it showed up, but it showed up really tiny. And you can't actually resize it. So that's one of those things where it's interesting as we release new blocks with the full siting experience or just with the corridor in general there are some like funny little things where, you know, Oh, I'm really used to having a setting on the image block, but why doesn't this exist with the site logo block?
That was one of the big things for the last call for testing, where we don't have the same image controls for the site logo that you might have for the image blocks. So how do you make sure there's consistency there in the interaction and kind of it touches back on. What you all were talking about with 5.7, where I was like, wait, why is the sizing showing up here?
Why is this setting here and not over there? And I think with full citing, one of the things I'm excited about with these tests is figuring out where those settings should live, what feels intuitive, what's really jarring, what things people will never find. And especially with things like global styles, that's something I'm really keen to test in the future.
And actually haven't made a big focus of any of the testing thus far. But that's like my spiel, my overview, but I'm happy to answer questions or talk about it more. I could talk about this for hours. It's all I think about
Nathan Wrigley: [00:25:56] when I talk enough. So if Joe's got a question or two, then go for it.
Joe Casabona: [00:26:00] I just want say first of all, that carry deals is one of the coolest people ever. I got to work with her at crowd favorite. And now we're both LinkedIn learning instructors and the instructors. I'm happy to be. In that group with her. And I was pretty surprised to see this until I realized it was more developer focus.
The full site editing is something I intend to cover in my Gutenberg course when it comes out next month. Hopefully I am very feverously trying to finish another course for LinkedIn learning. But I'm, I wrote about this in my WordPress here in review. I am so excited for full site editing.
I, I just tested it. It was like a super early beta, like before 5.6 came out, I think around the time 5.6 came out and I was just like blown away by some of the stuff that you can do. And like it was said here how it's going to change. And I think you said this how I was going to change, like how theme developers develop and what we can focus on.
And I think that's. Super duper. Cool. And with the challenges I'm, I was excited to see this because I'm always trying to think of content for my YouTube channel, and this is like perfect content for the YouTube channel. I'm thinking I'll probably do, I'll go back and do each of the challenges and maybe do a couple of collabs with other YouTubers
Anne McCarthy: [00:27:13] to really awesome.
Yeah, I, yeah. And that's one of the things I say with outreach program is don't let, don't wait for a call for testing to test this out. I actually have a page that I made in a handbook. That's literally just how to test full setting know depending upon if you're a theme developer, if you're just a user of your site builder, whatever it is there's jump in do it on a test site.
Of course it is beta. Oh, I always say that my dad called me the other day saying he wanted to test it on one of his sites. And I was like no. Don't do that. But it is amazing to jump into aspects of WordPress that we've never been able to. To touch before and do it is something that I think will really be a paradigm shift.
And one thing I love is that it's not an all or nothing shift. I think that's one thing that with the 5.0 release that really left a lot of what I'll call cultural debt in the community around how these major releases happen. And it's something that the outreach program is designed to help Not have happened again, quite honestly.
And I'm really keen to show people how, if you're not ready before, the second emerges in the, into core, whatever that is, it's okay. There's going to be so many pathways and it allows for people to, to join when they can, as they want to. And that might mean for example, I think my favorite example right now is you could use a classic theme, but you could use a specific blocks that have been created for the site editing experience.
So that way you're getting benefits from the full site editing work. That's gone into play for the last couple of years without needing to all of a sudden switch your entire site over, or, if you upgrade to WordPress, your site's not going to be taken over a full siding. That's not going to happen.
You'd have to very carefully often switch to a theme that allows it, all that sort, and the theme would have to support all these things. I'm really excited to see more content get out there. It makes me really stoked that you're thinking about that already because. I do think we're in that place to show people the excitement.
And before I think like even a year ago, you couldn't really put your hands on it and something shifts this like second, you can put your hands on it. And I hope these calls for testing allow that excitement to build cause it allows you to explore it safely.
Joe Casabona: [00:29:11] Yeah, absolutely. I would group like the four Oh four page and with the the woo commerce, like order confirmation page as like something everybody wants to customize, but it's like very hard to do.
And you need to find a third party solution or you need to dig into the code and just seeing this, seeing this come to a right to the dashboard so people can do it. I think it's really, it's going it's like a Renaissance for WordPress themes and WordPress theme design. Is there anything
Anne McCarthy: [00:29:40] that worries you?
Joe Casabona: [00:29:42] I try. So the first thing that came to mind is you give users more control and they'll break everything. But I've never really subscribed to that. Cause it would be like a car dealer telling you, you can't paint your car. Like you drive the car off the lot and it's yours, do whatever you want to it.
And if you break it, take it back to the mechanic and they'll fix it. I know that there's going to be that concern like, Oh, users, you're gonna, they're gonna do a red text on a black background or whatever. And like it's their site and their prerogative. And if they break something, they can go back to you.
There's going to be some growing pains, but I think overall it's going to be, it's going to enable a lot more and a lot better stuff than it's going to probably create headache for people.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:30:23] Yeah. I think one of my, one of my, it's not a frustration I have, but I think it's a frustration, which is widespread is that the comparison is always being made with the incumbent page builders.
The Beaver builders, the element, or the, these things that reach the market in a pretty mature state on day one in most cases, excuse me. And they did things in their own way. They had no legacy, they didn't have to cope with 40% of the internet and not breaking 40% of the internet.
They just came along. And if something broke well, that was something that you needed to fix, or you could work with their support. And I think the expectation is that the full site editing. Should be what they've already done, if so people come and look at it and say it's not there yet.
I'll come back to it in a year's time. And you were explaining to me before we pressed record on the show that it's much more of an iterative process. There's an awful lot of legacy, a lot of things that have, that are going on in the background that need to be achieved, which these other page builders don't need to worry too much about because it's their proprietary stuff.
They can just decide what to do regardless of what the community bonds. And so I think we've become well spoiled. These tools are just so fabulous. Th these page builders, they're so amazing and have allowed us to do so much stuff. And so we work on the basis that full site editing in core should be that yesterday.
And it isn't.
Anne McCarthy: [00:31:42] Yeah. And I think one of the things right now, too, that I've heard from folks is going merging both of your points of view where Oh my gosh, it's just so open. You can do so much. This is going to confuse the user. There's just not enough. And then at the same time it's so open.
There's so much you can do, but it's not the same as page builders. There's both of those complaints, which I think is really interesting. And one of the things that I know Matiaz talked about in an update in December and Mathias is the project architect of the project. And he's basically said we're starting on purpose really wide right now, customization as well, wide open, and then we'll refine.
And right now we're just about entering that refinement period. Now that the milestones are slowly being checked off. So that feeling of things being like, where are the settings? Why is it this way? How do you build like that kind of stuff will start to get more and more refined which I think will help with that feeling of it being so wide open.
And at the same time, yeah, the page builder question I think is going to be really tricky. And my hope is that the experience is good enough where you may not necessarily need a page builder or you can use it with it somehow. I think when, whenever you see like this gradual adoption phase, I think there will be a lot of like Frankenstein, like contraptions hooked up.
I also do think there is a role for plugins to play and possibly page, but like page builders could be building on top of full siding for example. And I wish they would, I could encourage you to encourage them to do especially when you look at the performance enhancements that the.
Corridor has compared to a lot of these page builders. It's really impressive. And it gives you a great foundation to build on. But yeah, I'm very curious to see going forward how that kind of the sentiment might shift and the role that these plugins can play to create unique experiences. Like for example, you could have a plugin or a layer that puts it on top of the full siting experience that locks it down even more, or you can have another layer that opens it up more.
So I think you can have this dance and pool depending upon what you want. And I think there is a role for plugins to play in the future when it comes to full siding, rather than full siting, being everything to everyone. I think there's this middle ground to reach. And then from there people can customize their experiences how we always have them.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:33:42] Do you go, I'm sorry, Joe. Him,
Joe Casabona: [00:33:44] Oh yeah. I just wanna, I just wanted to say I love my page builder of choice and everything, but the. When I do something in Gutenberg or the block editor, and it doesn't create like 14 nested devs. Like I get very happy every time. Like I don't have to write some crazy long selector to target whatever I'm trying to target.
So I think you're absolutely right. That there could be a dance, right? If you need a really complex landing page right now, a page builder is probably better, but if you just want to build like nicer looking content, like the block editor can totally do that. And as far as your access goes, that was one of the that was an early question that Zach Gordon and I answered.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, he's so cool. I like don't talk to him enough anymore. But when we were doing our like early Gutenberg education, we worked with VIP and that was a question that came up a lot. Like how do we make it so that only certain roles for example, can change. Certain blocks and we were able to answer that question with code and I thought it was not, I'm not the best coder, I'm like pretty good.
But I think that the fact that we were able to find a solution to that is indicative of the fact that you can do what you need to do. Like WordPress is has been around for a long time and there's a lot of stuff built in right to core.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:34:59] Agreed view. And do you, is there enough feedback, you put these exercises out and so where we've just been discussing the one about four Oh four pages, obviously too, prior to that, do you are you in on data with too many responses?
Is there basically not enough? Is it somewhere in between? Are you worried about in the right place? But my feeling is that I don't know. I have no idea.
Anne McCarthy: [00:35:20] I struggle with this because I have a very high standard for this program. I would take hundreds of responses and I would spend as much time as it took to respond to each of them.
So in terms of, is it too much feedback? No. I will always take more the first call for testing. We had 12 people respond, the second call protesting. We had 14 people. It, you could count it as 22 because someone very kindly Courtney, very kindly ran through the testing with a group of her students group, eight of her students recorded it, send it to me.
It was amazing really good feedback there. But yeah, I would love to see my ideal. Is to have 20 to 30 engaged people with each call for testing mind you, I've also gotten feedback from my team members saying, and that is unrealistic. It is too many people. You getting even just five to 10 for when it comes to testing like this usability testing is great.
But I'm still gonna aim for that 20 to 30 people. And we have about 240 people, I think, as of this morning in the FSC outreach experiment channel, which is where I organize logistics for things. So yeah, I, if anyone, even if it's you spend five minutes with it and give me feedback, that's super valuable.
And I think that's the whole point of these tests is I want them to be both quick. So if you have a lot of time your slave to contribute or Justin's Tadlock spent two hours or the, yeah. The first call for testing or might've been the second. Yeah. And that was amazing. I love that. I was like, yeah, this is the whole point is I want them to be extensible.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:36:45] Chris Hughes and the comment I think probably makes the point that I sometimes think needs to be made more, which is where so it's obviously, if you're in the, if you're in the WordPress Slack, then you can go and find that. But trying to find that locating that, having the, the gumption to go out and do all of that, is there another quicker way in other many parts to this, could you just contribute directly to you?
What's the best way. Yeah.
Anne McCarthy: [00:37:10] If you want to, if you want to send me feedback that's totally fine. I might end up reposting it publicly cause I want to make sure everything's really transparent. So I'm just in line with it. Open source dynamic. I don't want to be this Lynch pin. Who's Oh, I have to report feedback to it.
And you can go straight to GitHub and you can drop in feedback straight there. You don't need to go through my calls for testing. I'm just there to facilitate. I'm not there to be a blocker or anything like that. So definitely keep in mind. You can go straight there. If you want to participate in the program, you do have to join, make Slack.
Most likely it's probably the easiest way to keep up, or you can follow the make test blog. That's where I post updates. I am going to post one on make core today, actually a summary post of like top issues that have come through. But yeah, in terms of different pathways, that's one of the things I've been struggling with and part of why I'm so excited to talk to people here.
It's why I reach out to AP Tavern when I can. It's why I try and work with the marketing team and we're pressed out or to share things on LinkedIn and Twitter. Cause there is a matter of getting outside the bubble which I think we're all trying to do and all ages have the technology be damned, but yeah, it's right now, it's a struggle just to get I would say it's a full-time job for me to do the calls for testing, respond to the feedback amplify everywhere.
Manage the feedback back. Like it's a, it's an intense process as it is,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:38:24] but I have a feeling also you're straying into an area of complete no-code low-code people. Who maybe you've got no experience with this at all. And they just want to say, why won't it work like that? How can I give my feedback?
And obviously there's the support button in the plugin. Usually you go there and there's your channel and you get a reply from the paid-for support person and what have you. This is a really different experience, but the level you're really aiming this at a different level, possibly aren't people who come to WordPress wants to be able to create a better footer.
What have you with just clicking a mouse and typing a few? I dunno, like typing the number 16 or something like that. So yeah, really interesting. Okay. Paul said, he, sorry, not Paul. Chris said he'd sign up and it looks like Chris is already there, so that's good. Paul, did you have anything to say.
Paul Lacey: [00:39:11] Yeah. So yeah, of course hopefully see you in there. I did, I contributed to one of, not the four I for one, but the one before that. And thanks to you. You a bigot who actually, who, because I, and so we're talking about bubbles, right? Ann's talking about the bubble that she's in and the people working over there.
And then I found myself a month or so ago, every week, just ranting about, yeah. And there was times where we would do the show and I would be prepping myself. I was prepping myself as okay, ready? Here's the story? There's the positive points. Say them. I was just telling myself and then just blah, blah.
And I just, I don't understand why they're doing this and, who's making the decision, all this sort of stuff. And and thankfully biggie came on the show and educated me to a certain extent. And also then put me in touch with Anne on the Slack group. And I was able to, because I just, I was getting annoyed with being so annoyed.
Anne McCarthy: [00:40:09] was a fantastic, by the way it was really,
Paul Lacey: [00:40:14] but the problem is with the different bubbles is that we can find ourselves being completely ignorant of what we think is going on and how we think that these decisions are being made. So one of my frustrations for a long time was the timeline for the full site editing.
And I'm starting to understand it a bit more. I'm starting to understand when I see, to surface, just put out a post about the timeline and if you can look at that timeline there, I can look at that timeline a month or so ago and say, Are you crazy? You really think we're there. There's no chance we're in that blue zone over on the right there.
And we're in the iterate and refine we're in the plan and experiment phase. But as I'm getting to understand how this is an iterative process, and I also understand that if you don't get full site editing into core, then the third party and the rest of the community you're on in the inner circle of kind of the core team and stuff like that, they can't really work on it.
So the, the ACF drones, custom fields can't really do anything. We're full site editing until it's in core. And then when this thing is in core, then other people and other third-party developers will start adding to that and start iterating it and start improving it. So I start to understand the reason why there is a rush to get this into core.
So Chris and anyone else who's listening. I do think it's really a good idea to get into that, into this Slack group and to, have a go with the full site editing because you will start to understand a little bit more about how this all works and who's working on it. And the challenges that the setup that is open source software development compared to something like BeaverBuilder or element or who are a commercial operation and can just listen to their users and respond on the basis of a little team meeting in a room or something, or in a quick zoom room.
So it's a much bigger challenge that the core team have got. And and I started to understand it, like I say, so my concerns are just becoming less and less all the time. And I'm moving more towards where Joe is, where he's excited about. What's coming and I still do get triggered from the outpost but I'm able, but I've got a framework, a mental framework.
Yeah. I've got a mental framework to work around that now and go, okay. Let's, let's look at this in a less ignorant sense. And so yeah, I really recommend anyone getting involved in it. And if you're writing a post on in the next couple of days about the major findings, then I probably won't ask you now then about what you found from the the test we can wait.
Yeah, that'd
Anne McCarthy: [00:42:52] be great preview. Cause it's been on my mind for a while and to explain basically taking all the feedback that I've gotten from the early culture testing and do a summary post of the main issues and. Some of the top ones. I can't, I'm not going to stick them all probably cause there's, I haven't even started writing this post.
I'm planning of a draft by you that today, but it's the start of mine. People want to preview their content, that previewing mechanism we're so used to it. That is something that is baked into. Ever since I'm using WordPress starting a decade ago, we really loved preview things. That was a major thing that kept coming up is people wanted to preview the changes before actually seeing it.
And it touches on some mistrust between the site editor and what you're going to see. So the Wiziwig experience, so it's really interesting cause it's a reaction to that. That was a big one. Wanting to change the width of content and alignment. Riad has an amazing post he's a core contributor rethinking a full sighting alignment right now.
That's a negotiation between the theme and the full siding experience. And so you're trying to open that up so you can actually overwrite things. So there was a lot of times where people and the editor would, Have something before with, and then you do it on the site and it didn't actually go full with, and that's because of the interaction between the theme and the full sighting experience.
So he's rethinking alignment. Another big one saving. Oh, I almost forgot that one. How could I forget it? So many things was saving. Oh my gosh. Talk about like concerns and stuff. There are so many I went on a call last week with someone who is a blind WordPress developer named Taylor. She very kindly walked me through the experience of pulsating using screen readers and the save button you had to hit update design and then hit save the save button does not have an Aria label.
So it does not announce that it's there. You would have no, she had to actually searched for the word save in order to find it and select it and would have to know that it's there to begin with. And that goes from everything like those kinds of issues to Multi entity saving, which is very new for WordPress.
What does it mean to actually update, you made these changes and wait, what is it? This, I don't know which, which changes in which place. So a lot of the interaction around saving is going to be key because the last thing you want is people to not save the changes that they want or to save the wrong thing.
And I think that's where the vocabulary around like template editing is going to be interesting. And how to explain that to users in a way that feels smooth, but has enough friction. And the design. I'm trying to think those are the top three that are coming to mind right now.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:45:08] That's good.
I can see, I could see Joe squirreling down go.
Anne McCarthy: [00:45:14] Hopefully I'll have it published by tomorrow, but we'll see how fast I can type, but that's a preview of some of the stuff that I'm going to be covering at a very high level. These are, and this is without going into things like global styles yet.
So I imagine to be doing an iterative post over the coming months as more calls for testing happen, do a high-level post more calls, we're testing, high level posts, and same goes for, I wanted to quickly mention I've been doing a call for Paul for questions previously, so people could submit any question they had about full citing, and I would find the answer to it.
It was a big effort. We got 47 46 questions, something like that. And wrote a summary post about each set of questions. I plan to do that again, likely in April or may, depending on the timeline of things, just to flush out questions. Cause I think these kinds of conversations, they can't always happen.
And I want to allow other voices to come in and ask what they. What they're concerned about to ease things and set the pathway. So hopefully that helps too in the future. That's it, this isn't like a one time you have me here and you're never going to get answers again. It's something I'm dedicated to being continually involved in.

Nathan Wrigley: [00:46:14] Wow. Thank you. That was a proper exploration of that subject. That was really great. Thank you so much. Paul, should we move on? Do you feel, I think with 50 minutes on the
Paul Lacey: [00:46:23] belt, we probably should. Definitely. So we're shifting into more of the, plugin sort of area of WordPress now, but Lee Jackson just made a comment apart from, you said digging Paul lacing glasses.
Thanks. Thanks for your weekly contributions and compliments. I always enjoy those and I'm back at ya. So also apart from that, there's another comment that he said that one he says honestly, our agency is heading away from WordPress for the next product, pace of development, couple of decisions from the top of lettuce to reevaluate.
So Lee please do a podcast episode on that. If anyone doesn't listen to the Jackson's podcast, then they definitely should. Cause it's absolutely awesome. And that's the kind of plug you get. If you say that you like my glasses, keep it up, keep it on to access that. Yeah. Yeah. The next item we've got is over on blog vol blog vault have a couple of products, which are almost all the same, but I think they're trying to figure out what they're called. And one of them is called Malka and one of them is called and it's more or less the same thing. It's a backup solution and a security solution and a dashboard as well for managing all your WordPress sites.
I have I am a customer of blog vault, and I pay them money every month. And I absolutely love this product just for managing all my sites. And it also does things like cleans up malware scans for malware takes backups of your site for, 90 days of history. And they've got a new blog post on their site called three reasons to use an activity log on your website, which is convenient because they just launched their activity log.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:47:57] So that's
Paul Lacey: [00:47:57] a good question. Wow. I know. Yeah. It's interesting how those things happen, but it is a good feature. I've checked it out. Cause I got the email about it as a customer. And then obviously we saw this article, but it is cool. In your dashboard, in, in Malka we'll blog about whichever one, you've got a full history of all the different things that have happened.
So if you're looking after client websites or even your own website, you can see who did what, who installed this plugin, who broke that, who published this post? So from it, looking at the client's perspective, it's quite good because I'm not gonna say that clients lie, but sometimes they selective, they've selective memory over the things that you ask.
If they did something and they claimed that they didn't, but you can see what they did or didn't do and help them remember and jog their memories on that. But if you've got your own website as well, and you can use the history log, you can see that someone that wasn't, you. Anonymous user or something did something.
And that is obviously alerting you to something might be wrong. It could be that you've got a dodgy thing installed on your browser and your browser is pressing buttons in the backend of WordPress or something. But you can see that total history of everything that's happened in your website. So it's just really, this post is just a great post to highlight the new feature that is coming out in blog vault.
But, and you told me that you used to work for jet pack. Yeah, I worked on Japan. They've got one as well. They have this feat, they have this functionality
Anne McCarthy: [00:49:21] they do. And one of the things that I'm actually a little bit obsessed with activity logs because I actually originally started on bolt press. So I helped with security scans restores get into the guts of the website when things went wrong.
And man, I always wanted an activity log and the users who could come in and tell us, this is exactly what happened before my site went down. It made the entire process of getting it back up so much easier. So I'm super excited to see more people in this space. I think one of the key things that I learned truly from like the ideation to the production stage with the activity log going through design integrations, all that sort of stuff, what really makes an activity log useful is being able to search, filter and act within the activity log.
It's great to just have information, but it's even better when you can go back through find the exact point, see where the last backup was, know what you're going to lose and restore from there. So I think when you can level it up in terms of giving true insights and true actions that you can intelligently make that makes an activity log like chef's kiss so good.
So it's really neat to see more of this happening in the space. Even if it's not Jetpack.
Paul Lacey: [00:50:26] Yeah, you do see I'm pretty sure I read that you do see the activity log you can drill down to, it was on this particular backup, so you can really see what you did or didn't have with you at that point.
Lee asked the question simple history was good for this. Although fill the database quickly. Are they storing on their servers? If so, that's awesome. I'm pretty sure leave that they're storing this on their servers because block vault is, their system with staging and all this kind of stuff going on.
And basically it's a kind of big, a storage solution block vault. So I'm almost certain that's going to be kept on their servers because otherwise it would be a bit naughty, I think to introduce a feature that filled your own database up. I'm sure. I'm pretty sure it's going to be the not naughty way that they've done it, to be honest,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:51:14] they're right there, that their product is now.
Really mature, isn't it's almost does absolutely everything. Now. I actually have, I think, five sites on there and I logged in just to see what it was storing and it was, it really was storing just everything, resize that image. Oh, okay. It, everything was kept like like Anne says, if something goes wrong, it's really good to go back.
We had somebody on the podcast a while ago from WP security audit log. And I don't know if that's a more well-rounded solution, but that's another option in the marketplace as well. WP security audit log. Anything on that, Joe? Or should we move on?
Joe Casabona: [00:51:51] The only thing I thought while y'all were talking was I wished that I had an activity log for my kids so that I have to ask my eight month old what did you eat?
Or like my four year old, like where did you put my wedding ring? Which is she hit it so she could find it. Which he was helping. It was very nice, but I think, having information like this is great. No matter like you all said, if it's just for you for, if it's for a client, because clients might do something, expecting some outcome and then another outcome happens, they don't understand WordPress. Like we understand WordPress and having the audit log there is a much faster way to resolve the issue.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:52:31] I feel like if you install Facebook on their phone, that's basically an audit log their entire life, including where they were at any given moment in time.
Joe Casabona: [00:52:41] Yeah.
It's funny. I I might do a sidebar here if that's okay. But I saw it when when the COVID tracing rolled out on funds. People complaining about it on Facebook. Like now they can track whatever we're doing. And I'm like, yeah. Facebook knows way more about you than the government does. I was like, I don't.
Yeah. I'm like, I don't want to start an argument here, but like here's how it all works. And Facebook knows more
Nathan Wrigley: [00:53:03] than the government does. It was quite a lot of pushback in the UK, from the government about the fact that the Apple Google solution. Was going to store less data than they wanted, but the UK government wanted the app to store bucket loads of data.
And so there was a lot of pushback from the tech community, Google and Apple in the UK declined so that the UK government, I could be getting this wrong. But if memory serves, they declined to let them use their technology because they wanted to store more data, I think. But this was right at the beginning when nobody really had a handle on COVID and everybody was scrambling to just get, make some sense of it.
I think now that we've got I think in the UK, we've spent 37 billion pounds on test and trace. It was in the paper the other day. And and they're pretty unsure what the what the benefit has been from the app. My app is permanently switched on. It's never once done anything except we're updating your settings.
It just informs me when it's updating, but I've not been alerted to anything so far. So I've either been very lucky or it's not working so well, I don't
Joe Casabona: [00:54:04] know. Likewise. And my wife works at a hospital, so I should probably get, I should get at least patients from time to time. Yeah.
Anne McCarthy: [00:54:12] Your wife, by the way, shout out.
Joe Casabona: [00:54:15] amazing. Oh, I can imagine.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:54:19] Okay, so there's security audit logs. Let's move on to this. This is a bit of a sad story actually, but for me, it's got a slight silver lining. Shall we say? It's a fire OVH, which Paul's gonna tell us about now. Paul, and you can tell us about it. So as soon as I've dismissed this annoying, pop-up hold on.
Paul Lacey: [00:54:36] It's the case on search engine journal, everything that we need to load it up a few minutes before we get ahead of all the pop-ups and yeah. OVH, I think it's a massive European. Server company hosting company, they had, yeah, huge. And this huge fire just took out all sorts of websites, including dopey, rocket and Ima Imagify, which I think is part of dopey rocket.
I think it's their image CDN. Some of the SAS based services were temporarily down. Now, obviously we were just talking about blog vault a minute ago, and then I'm sure that dopey rocket and I mentioned Imagify had something a little bit more bespoke than that in place, but they're able to get their service back up and running pretty quickly.
But if you scroll down Nathan, this picture of the fire itself somewhere, and it looks absolutely insane. And if you just imagine. The reason why you need backups. You don't want one of your clients who didn't want to find, have backups calling you and saying, Hey, Paul, I'm sure it's fine. I know the website's down at the moment as usual.
Will it come back on in a few minutes and then you have to send them this photo and say that is your website. Your
Nathan Wrigley: [00:55:47] website is literally on fire
Paul Lacey: [00:55:49] it's so yeah, let that be a warning to people who don't take backups seriously. That's why you need backups. Things like that can happen. But yeah, gosh, I don't know what happens next for over your H I'm sure they've got multiple data centers, but.
That's a lot of insurance money. They're they're actually
Nathan Wrigley: [00:56:09] excellent, huge company. They're one of those kind of companies. I think that sort of sales under the radar a little bit. But they're absolutely massive. I had a server for about five or six years in that data center and I got rid of it about six months ago and had loads of websites on it and I've managed to move it elsewhere, but it made me think more.
And Anna and I were talking about this before we pressed record that really. So many people don't know where their website is. They believe that the internet is just this abstract thing and you click buttons. And the idea that there's an actual piece of hardware somewhere, which is plugged in consuming electricity, which we'll get onto in a minute.
And is wired in, has got internet connections and can actually break and the hardware can break or it can catch fire. It's remarkable. And WP rocket, I think they were back within 12 hours. I saw that they were posting fairly quickly. So presumably they had other options elsewhere, but yeah, what a shocking thing to happen.
I, I, nobody connected with this suddenly you've had any trouble with that, but
Paul Lacey: [00:57:08] nathan I remember that server that you got, so that is the server that you always used to talk about. And, you were not sure to move to model regular hosting that we're all using and you were
Nathan Wrigley: [00:57:17] sticking with that setup.
I was sticking with it cause I thought I got a really good deal on it, but it was completely unmanaged. They would come. And if this happened, they would replace the hardware. Or if any of the hardware blew up, they would replace that. Or they would push the power button. They were the only two things.
My package. Yeah. You had
Paul Lacey: [00:57:31] all sorts of backup systems in place and everything and still it would it wouldn't have been something to bring a tear to the, to your own eyes, seeing
Nathan Wrigley: [00:57:39] your data. It was only in that physical location there wasn't, there was no way I could have I've had to manually send it all somewhere else and get it all set up.
So I'm very, I feel very blessed that I managed to manage to avoid that, but it
Paul Lacey: [00:57:52] isn't.
Joe Casabona: [00:57:54] Yeah. That's SU I got like a masterclass on this from my friend Cal when I worked at the university of Scranton. Cause we had the redundant servers and the routing. And if this went down and if level three went down, which sounded absurd at the time.
And then I remember two summers ago when level three was like down for a lot of people. And it just it's wild. Cause like I hosted my first client sites on a computer in my basement. It was like my church's website and like my friend's dad's electric electrician business. But you really don't know.
And like Paul said, like having those backups and like the three, two, one backup methodology, right? Have it three different backups, two different locations, one physical copy. Because having a backup on the server is not going to help you if the servers blow up. Great.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:58:37] So no, that wouldn't be
Paul Lacey: [00:58:39] good.
Joe Casabona: [00:58:40] Like a very memorable face. They're
Nathan Wrigley: [00:58:42] just not a good thing. Yeah. Yeah. Chris Hughes makes a comment. He's had servers there too. Yeah. They really are in shipping containers. They just stack them up. As soon as they need more space, they just whack another one on top of it with a crane and they just sit there and I guess, get hot over.
You got to imagine that the containers made of metal stacked on top of each other full of really hot equipment. At some point, isn't a good idea. There's a certain amount of stacking that that leads to.
Paul Lacey: [00:59:07] Yeah even the cloud isn't just made up of steam. It's actually, it's just a concept it's not good.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:59:16] that terminology really doesn't help. I think the cloud, I don't think, I don't think that's helpful. Cause Mike, I say things like the cloud
Paul Lacey: [00:59:27] do you mean it's up there? Yeah. It's and stuff.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:59:31] It's a femoral. It'll just always keep working. It's like the weather.
Anne McCarthy: [00:59:34] Okay. And it's also made people not very, I'm a minimalist. So I think it's made people gluttonous with data collection. Like just never deleting pictures, never addressing any sort of thing.
Cause it's Oh, I'll just store it at a store. It'll store it. And we think about what we're leaving behind. I had a really interesting discussion with someone about the idea of just physical backups. If we, had backups of our text messages sitting on our desks or something like that, like how would it change your.
Our feelings towards backups. How would it change your feelings towards what we're creating online? And how can we be better stewards? Because, as leading into this environmental piece around sustainability, we do need to start thinking about us collectively beyond just like junk in our space.
What about our online selves? Especially as we are creating more and more doubt it's we don't think about the physical nature of it, and I'd love to, I think it'd be really fascinating to have a museum or something, an exhibit that shows like this is your physical data. This is the average person's physical data that they create and carry around in the 21st century.
Because I think when you start switching our thinking to that a bit, yeah,
Nathan Wrigley: [01:00:30] I am. I recently had to rethink cause I've been using Google photos. And then recently, I don't know when it was a couple of months ago. They've they're going to in a couple of months, time switch off this infinite. Upload ability.
And it's going to go against your quota in your Google drive. So you have to pay for that storage for your photos now. And it really made me think, boy, I've been so trigger happy with my photography. I'll take 16 photos of the exact same thing and then keep them all for no good reason. And that's and if somebody said to me, please, will you put the 68,000 photo just making up a number of 68,000 photos that you've got actually put them in your house somewhere and be like, Oh really?
Why do I need to do that? And so I've started to think about other ways to keep those more locally. Okay. Taking some paper copies of ones, which I really like as well as just storing them on a hard disk in the house and not just relying on Google, which segues beautifully. Thank you. We occasionally get a good segue.
Not that often, but this is a good one. Because we're going to go and talk about this piece. Now we had a course a moment ago from Carrie dills, and we're going to just mention this one. This is happening next month in April Jenny Wong. Who's very active in the UK scene. The WordPress scene, she is running it's on
You can see it on the screen. It's called tips on how to reduce the carbon emissions of your WordPress website. It's you know, her, don't you Paul Hannah Smith. Yeah. Yeah.
Paul Lacey: [01:01:58] Yeah. We all met at Manchester one year and I think I've also, and I think we've seen her in London as well.
And I have invited her to come on the show. So hopefully at some point I need to check in with her again and and make that happen because she's doing a lot of talks now about the impact on the environment of websites and how to be more mindful about that in the websites that you're creating.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:02:23] So ties in perfectly to the whole thing that we were talking about a minute ago, siloing your photo somewhere else and whatnot. And so if you're interested in this subject, you can go to this page, I'll put the link in the show notes that you can find it. Cause the URL has got lots of numbers in it, but that made that put into mind.
This website Jack Lennox dot com one and Ellie, N O Jack This is a piece that you put together a couple of years ago. It was in 2018, 4th of June about his ability to get a WordPress website down to seven K. He took, he went to extraordinary lengths to make this happen.
But the, there was a real groundswell of interest. I remember at the time thinking this was really important and I can't remember, but the numbers that he brought to bear to this were absolutely terrifying. If you multiply the amount of energy consumed on a typical Google search. And if you multiply that by a typical user, during the course of the year, it actually adds up to real substantive amounts of electricity generated and of course, pollution created and so on.
So I was just hoping to have a little bit of a conversation around this area. I confess despite the fact that it had a deep impact on me at the time in 2018 it didn't have enough impact for me to go and address too much. I still carried on using the same tools that I do to this day. But I did notice earlier on, you were saying that the footprints that Guttenberg puts out, you were pleased that it was, you mentioned the number of dibs and so on, and I guess all of that has an impact.
And I know this is something you're interested in as
Anne McCarthy: [01:03:51] well. Yeah, this is something that you actually, I don't know if you've seen this been corridor, but core dads will talk about this. Almost like half jokingly. It's Oh, we need to pay attention to performance because we don't want to use up this much carbon, but it's a real, it's a real issue.
And so when we talk about pagers, we talk about using plugins yes. For security, don't overload your set with plugins. Yes. For performance overlay oversight, overload your site with plugins. But also when we think about the environment which to me is one of the great, it's a great unifier across a lot of divisions right now.
I think if we can have this ability to think about our planet looking back on earth, like I think that's a really powerful thing, especially in the state that we're in right now. But I actually just wrote a post I think two weeks ago now on. One of the quarter improvement posts is about performance of both will, eventually, there's gonna be one about the corridor itself.
So when you're typing in the corridor, but then also the pages that it delivers in the post that it delivers. And I can probably send you all linked to it, but it just basically talks about how it's reconfigured how. CSS stylings and block styles are bundled, so that it's more efficient. So it only loads what needs to be loaded.
I'm going, it causes really positive impact on performance, which of course there's the whole, Google's changing a lot of stuff coming come may in terms of how they deliver search results. So it helps there, but also in terms of this environmental impact, I think WordPress has a big responsibility to to do right here and to be thinking really critically about performance.
So it makes me really excited. That's actually something that stands out about the quarter right now is that there is an emphasis on performance. There's always room for improvement including how we measure performance. It's even that meta right now, there's actually open PRS, trying to improve how we even talk about performance and measure it against benchmarks.
It's something I'm personally really passionate about. Partially from, I consider myself an advocate for diversity equity and inclusion. And when you think about environmental impacts, it inherently impacts people from who are often underrepresented and under-resourced more than those of us, I'm sitting in an air conditioned department right now.
So it's like an, I think we need to take really seriously especially as the internet
Nathan Wrigley: [01:05:48] grows. So couple of statistics on this, the first one is. Back on Jack's website and he made the point back in 2018. I don't know if this needs to be updated because of probably wider adoption that the internet internet uses about the same amount of CO2 producers.
I should say about the same amounts of CO2 as the airline industry, obviously with 2019, sorry, 2020, that probably would need readdressing. But also last week on the show, we talked about the fact that Bitcoin mining for Bitcoin now consumes more electricity than the country of Argentina which is just bizarre.
And this, again, we talked about the cloud, how ephemeral that is. It just doesn't mean anything. The internet to me, despite the fact that I know this, I still see the internet as a complete zero sum. Like I use it as if it's infinite and has no impact whatsoever. There is nothing in my head going search less because you're creating carbon.
The design is not set up that
Anne McCarthy: [01:06:49] way. Like I think that's there's a book I read called. It's like when technology bites back there's I love reading books that are critical of tech, but one of the things that talks about another one is like to save it, to save everything, click here, but there's just not designs in place.
And one of the designs it references is imagine you're plugging in your computer, but imagine the cord briefed. And then imagine if once your computer's charged, it just started riding in pain. It alerted you in a, almost like an evolutionary, like primal reaction to say I'm good unplugged me.
I'm not, you're wasting electricity. So if we could have ways of, I think NASA is really good example where nest helps you modify your behavior through reward systems. There's a way to use these reward systems like streaks for good. And this addictive technology that we see on social media for good.
It's just a matter of when it's used and how it's used. And so I, I. To me, this is personally designed problem, and I just listened to addictive technology panel. So I'm like hot off the press of that. But I think this is one of those things where I'm hopeful that design can start coming into play in our physical technology.
And even on the website where, you know, Netflix rather than saying Hey, are you still watching? What question could they be asking? And we don't ask those things enough of the people who. Create the technology that we use. And of course they want it to be addictive and they want it to be your eyeballs to be on it.
But hopefully we can get to a more human centered approach with a lot of this
Nathan Wrigley: [01:08:06] stuff. Yeah. I don't even know what the questions are, let alone what the answers are genuinely. I'm puzzled by this. I really do see it as a, an infinite resource, which I know is ridiculous. Paul, Joe, anything
Paul Lacey: [01:08:18] on that? I just it just seems to be back to we summarize last week when we realized that, baby boomers and generation X have screwed it up a bit.
And we just got to hope that the kids come up with, ah, with this ingrained in them and just can think about this whole approach to things in a completely different out the box way, which I think there's a lot of evidence to say that is what the kids growing up are doing. Yeah, but you can, the internet can get turned off one day.
Yeah. And you have to watch the episode of South park where it happens to find out the disaster to find out the disaster that would happen in the apocalypse that would be set us, or if that was to happen. Yeah, there is more intellectual readings or viewings out there that Anna's talked about.
So you might want to try some of those as well, but definitely if you want a quick version, there's a set, there's an episode of South park you can watch.
Joe Casabona: [01:09:15] I think I think it's really interesting because I feel like each generation has presented with problems, right? We come up with these innovations and then we discover the problems later, right?
The industrial revolution enabled us to start to globalize thing and it really helped the American economy and the world economy. And. Just like the internet was invented to help researchers share information. And we probably wouldn't have had a COVID vaccine as quickly without it, and without some of the innovations that we have, and now it's up to our generation and the generation behind us that will maybe we're all different generations, but I'm an elder millennial and to, to figure out these new problems.
And I really think it comes down to habits, right? Old habits die hard and it makes it, the onus is on the smart people to figure out a right, like how can we make electric cars more affordable? How can we make websites consume less energy? And I'll just end with the last thing I'm wondering now is which has the worst environmental impact now Bitcoin mining, which is this digital money, or actually printing paper money.
I'm really curious about that now.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:10:19] Yeah. Yeah, that's a good question. I don't know.
Anne McCarthy: [01:10:22] Be more optimized to like that's the rate of optimization is probably higher for Bitcoin than it would be for printing paper, but I'm not. Yeah.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:10:30] Wait. Plastic money in the UK, our money is all made of plastic and I don't, I was talking to him and I was thinking, is this a good thing?
Was it good? It certainly isn't from the ability to fold it, it's literally impossible to fold. You fold it and it straight back to the shape it was prior, but I'm just thinking plastic. We've got, there's not billions of these small bits of plastic, which presumably have, I don't know, no credentials at biodegrading.
I don't know. Maybe they're built in that way, but it did strike me as a, they're obviously more permanent. They'll produce less over the years. But equally. I don't know. Yeah, that's interesting. Yeah. Yeah. Anyway, I think we're through everything. If anybody, if any of the guests or Joe want to drop something in, should we should we give them an opportunity anything that's happening to you this week that you want to mention?
I was
Anne McCarthy: [01:11:18] just going to flag the third call for testing. Otherwise stay tuned on, make a core four. Here's the post summarizing the pain points. I think it's really great to talk about how exciting full siding is, but I also am very realistic on the pain points. I think it's equally as important to talk about those in depth.

Nathan Wrigley: [01:11:35] That's all I will. Yeah. Thank you. I've just posted the link on the on the screen. But if if you're listening to this after the fact, I will make sure that they're all in the show notes. Thank you for that. And it
Anne McCarthy: [01:11:47] helps just real quick. My username in Slack is at an Zazu, a N E Z U. And I welcome pinks anytime.
So please don't be shy.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:11:57] Thank you. Thank you so much. And Joe, anything from you?
Joe Casabona: [01:12:01] In my newsletter this week, I wrote about my thoughts on time versus money. It's been a big in my mind lately because or the forefront of my mind lately, because I just launched a new community and I did it on circle instead of using something like BB press and buddy press.
And part of the reason was I was trying to figure out what's the best way to spend my time. Should I spend my time? Should I spend 40 hours building a BB press and buddy press in such a way that gets it to the way I like it to look and the way I want it to work, or can I just pay 40 bucks a month for circle set up a Zapier to send new WordPress users over there.
And it's just, it's I think it's a conversation that has more, no code, low code tools come out with people in, especially the WordPress community or people who are very own your own platform. Me are going to need to think about. So I had those thoughts in my newsletter and I just, it's something I've been thinking about a lot lately.
Where do you say I want to own my own platform versus what's a tool that will at least let me export that data when I'm sick of that tool. Yeah.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:13:00] Or when it closes down or something like that, just out of interest, I've never heard of circle. It that's like a equivalent in functionality to something like BB presses it.
Joe Casabona: [01:13:09] Yes. It's circle dot. So it's a lot I think. Peep board is another word, press plug. And I might've messed that keep so as well as the name of that. But yeah it's a community. You can create spaces for people to hang out and post in. It's it's like a mix between a buddy precedent, BB press, where it's bulletin boards and people can chat and you can give access to people based on certain criteria.
So I have a community for each of my courses. I have a community for my podcast membership, and then I have an open community for anybody who just wants to listen to the public episodes and comment on them. Again, I was setting, I was trying to set all of this up in, in BB press and I just didn't, I couldn't get it to work the way I wanted it to, within the allotted time I had set for myself.
And again, with my wife being a nurse, I'm half a half-time stay at home dad when she goes to work and I need to be more judicious with my time. And. Circle has allowed me to reclaim dozens of hours probably. Yeah. And then the other part of that is that if my community falls on its face in two months, I will, it would have cost me 80 bucks as opposed to 40 billable hours.

Nathan Wrigley: [01:14:17] Good point, Chris, using the comments, making the exact same point. Certainly it's great. Got a client. He loves it. He did exactly what you did looked at body press went for circle in the exact same way. Oh, cool. And where can we find you?
Joe Casabona: [01:14:28] Joe, you can find me [email protected].
It'll tell you exactly what I do over there and you'll, you can sign up for my newsletter, build something weekly.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:14:37] Very cool. Very cool. The the time has arrived where I'm going to say goodbye. We have this awkward thing every week where I get everybody to wave and then I click the stop button on stream yard, which has gotten it's literally, it's a, I don't know what it is.
It's some random amount of time between one and eight seconds and the video stopped. I'm going to say goodbye. I'm going to start waving and but yeah. Do jazz hands. Thanks everybody. Thanks so much, everybody. Bye.

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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 Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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