This Week in WordPress #155

“Where’s Paul Lacey?”

This week’s WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 15th March 2021

With Nathan Wrigley, Ronald Gijsel, Christina Hawkins (@globalspex) and Iain Poulson.

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High level feedback from the FSE Program (March 2021)

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Gutenberg 10.2 Adds Spacers To Navigation Lists, Lets Users Categorize Template Parts, and Introduces Scoped Patterns

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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] It's time for this week in WordPress episode number 155 entitled where's Paul Lacey. It was recorded on Monday the 22nd of March, 2021. As the title might suggest I am not joined by my regular co-host this week, Paul Lacey, because he's doing some other things. So this week I bring you Christina Hawkins, Iain Paulson, and Ronald gage sell.
We talk about the WordPress news from this week. And as always, there's rather a lot going on. There's been some feedback given for the full site editor program. And we talk about what's happened. What's new and updated, whether we like it or not. We also talk about Guttenberg 10.2, some new features added there.
So for example, you can now add spaces to navigation lists, which just in Tagalog is not happy about. We also talk about why Lee Matthew Jackson is moving on, not in every case, but in some cases from WordPress, we also get into the subject of an article recently put on the hero press website about Ronald.
And it's a great coincidence that he was on the show this week also. Element or has added form submissions and they're straying very close to the e-commerce space with their PayPal button widget. And finally, we talk about the fact that there's a new search engine in town built by ex Googlers. It's got a subscription fee, but is it worth it?
It's all coming up next on this weekend, WordPress, this week in WordPress is brought to you by Cloudways. Cloudways 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 its intuitive platform.
Some of the features include 24 seven support free migrations. And dedicated firewalls. Check it out at and buy 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 Welcome to another week in WordPress. I am joined this week. I write on top of WordPress experts. It's very, not very long. You may, of course, on the screen we are missing.
Like it's almost like my left or right leg. As a sadly had to drop out of this week's episode, which is a bit of a shame. But as you can see, they're surrounded by some veritable expert. I'm going to talk about the WordPress news for the last week. I'm going to go around in the order in which I've got them in my show notes.
I'm going to introduce you, not in the order that you're on the screen, but in the order that I felt them written down. But first of all, we're joined by Christina Hawkins. How are you doing Christina? Hello now, Christina Hawkins is a digital marketing agents. Sorry. She is the founder of global specs, which is a digital marketing agency serving home service markets.
Christine has been working in this industry for 20 years. Her first website was for a small Arizona Metro agency in 1999. And you still manage it. Yes. Yeah.
Christina Hawkins: [00:03:30] Yeah. 20
Nathan Wrigley: [00:03:32] years later. Yeah. I'm hoping it doesn't look the same now.
That's quite a bit. And we're also joined by Iain now in, I don't want to butcher your name, but we've not really met before. So I'm going to say Iain Paulson, please forgive me if I've got that wrong. No, that's fine. Yeah, that's good. Oh, great. Okay. So Iain is the project manager at the WordPress product company, delicious brains.
So you may have heard of notable plugins, like WP migrate DB pro and spin up WP. And he runs his own WordPress plugins like WP, user manager, and more recently plugin rank a SaaS app to help WordPress plugin developers rank higher on searches. He runs the WP content community, WordPress news sites.
Co-hosts the pressing matters podcast and has recently started a newsletter called WP trends, which I've just signed up for providing WordPress marketing insights, trends, and acquisition opportunities. You are very welcome. Thank you for joining us. Thank you. Thanks for the long intro. Okay. That's absolutely fine.
And finally, over there confidently, I pointed in the right direction. We have Ronald now, sadly. Ronald joined us at the very last minute. So I'm just going to say that Ronald works for yes. And he's dead. Good.
Ronald Gijsel: [00:04:51] I don't want to add any more on the ship manager. That's a whole lot of WooCommerce plugins, but okay.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:04:59] yeah. Yes, of course. I'm sure everybody has heard of, yes, we're very famous in the WordPress will commerce space. If you're joining us, please feel free to add some comments. If you would go over to WP forward slash live, then you'll be able to comment, but you'll have to be logged into Google.
You should be able to watch it over there. And if you're in our Facebook group, you can find that WP forward slash Facebook. Find the thread, and you'll be able to comment it's an either or kind of thing. You can't really do both, but if you make a comment, we'll try to put it up on the screen.
If it's on message. So just quickly going to go through all of the bits and pieces that we normally do at the start of the show. Not about elemental. We're going to start here. This is our WP website, where we produce all of our content. We produce this, which is this week and WordPress recorded on a Monday shackled to come out on a Tuesday morning.
You can keep in touch with all that we do over on our subscribed page. WP forward slash subscribe. And if you want to catch episodes of this show from the past, you can see my ugly face. And Paul Lacey's delightful face many times on the [email protected] forward slash news dash. Oh yeah.
Okay. Enough self promotional nonsense. Let's get on with the actual show. We've got a variety of things to talk about. Normally it's a bit of me and Paul talking things through, but because Paul's not with us today, I think I will introduce most of the items and then hand it over to you guys. If that's all right, to have a little bit of a discussion about the first one comes from actually last week's panelist, we had we had an on and McCarthy was on from automatic and she was talking about the fact that she was trying to get as much feedback about the full site editing program as she possibly could.
And and I'm featuring this as always, the links will be in the show notes when we publish them. But this is some sort of high-level feedback, all about the bits and pieces that are going on. It was all really the question here was about giving feedback about the UI and about whether things worked in the way that you were expecting.
And some of the. Initial feedback was things like people weren't entirely sure that they were clicking on the right UI elements. So an example for that would be the saving process. And she says, while safe, while the saving experience was reliable, technically in generally intuitive, it has left a lot to be desired and resulted in a fair bit of confusion around, around expected behavior.
In other words, quite a few people who submitted feedback were struggling to decide whether or not they were clicking on the right things to save things. There was problems with the alignment and the width. As well, actually I really had problems this week with the Gothenburg editor, but that's nothing to do with this.
It decided to go full left for me instead of floating in the middle. But have any of you played with full site editing? Do you embark upon these sort of like things that people I am McCarthy puts out user testing and so on and you just hope that other people will do that for you, anybody chime in I'm guilty to that
Ronald Gijsel: [00:07:59] too, to let other people solve all the initial books first.
I also have to say, I wish I had a bit more time to play around. That would be, that would have been really nice as well. But I, looking at that article, I think the key thing that stands out for me and that's based on also your feedback is that the. User experience is different. Again, there, there's some confusing things, where when and where to press.
And when you look at WordPress and also for me, a WooCommerce is really important and working versus moving to a slightly different layout with menus. And then you have Gutenberg, almost seems like you, you need all these different skillsets in order to create something. And I noticed the same way with with themes and if you're still using part, theme park full site at a time, wow.
That's a lot of stuff to learn before you can actually produce something. So I hope they get it right. And really focus on that initial user interface research of what they're doing here. Yeah. To make it look
Nathan Wrigley: [00:08:56] credible. What about you, Christina? Rory. And do you play with this sort of stuff, knowing that this is coming down the pipe, do you worry about it now and, get in there so that your clients if clients are a worry for you?

Christina Hawkins: [00:09:09] Yeah. I do get in there as much as I can. I have, I don't use yet for a full site editing. It's really like I'm sticking with the blog posts. So that's typically where I use the Gutenberg blocks is just because my feeling is. Posts should not be designed. And so I just but I struggle because my clients get really confused about the updating.
I've had issues of permanent links. I've had issues where people don't know where things can go. It's a little confusing, but now that I'm seeing this, it's probably something I need to start collecting these because they're not going to do it. So I probably need to take some time myself and note some issues that my clients come to me about.
And I have to do little videos to show them how to do some. It takes me a minute. Like I have to look at it myself. Like I have no idea. Let me find out what's wrong. Yeah. I'll get back with you. Especially when in the middle of a WordPress meetup. Cause I run the Houston WordPress meetups and we just get a lot of users in there and we get it's probably something I need to just start collecting their FAQ's and the issues that they have and submit them in here.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:10:09] Yeah. What about you? And do you get involved in any of this kind of stuff or do you take a back seat approach? Yeah,
Iain Poulson: [00:10:16] definitely more of a backseat approach, especially since Gutenberg's come out. I think with when Gutenberg and the block editor was, having it's the big thing around WordPress 5.0, I was more involved in trying it and seeing where it was going, but I don't know.
It's not something I do that sort of comes across in my day to day because it's not client site building. It's, the products that we work on delish sprains and my own plugins are not necessarily affected by this stuff. So it's not in the forefront of my mind, but also, I don't know, like the way that the Gutenberg the release and.
The feedback that was given, but then not taken on board. And there was a lot of uproar, I think, around the block editor, it's just left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth where I'm not, I don't feel like I want to go get involved in it again and look at it. And it's not something that I don't know, I'm not going to be rushing to use full site editing.
I still use the classic editor on a lot of my sites and yeah. It's yeah, it'll be interesting to see it play out from a wider perspective, but yeah. It's not something I've, I don't have to time as well. It's another issue. Yeah. It's
Nathan Wrigley: [00:11:27] curious. Cause I was just looking at the list of plugins that, that you delicious brains are responsible for and you are quite immune to the block editor in a way aren't migrate databases, spinning up servers and then WP user manager you're in a good space to ignore the block editor, which is quite nice.
That's if it's troubling you. Yeah.
Iain Poulson: [00:11:46] Yeah, I think the biggest crossover is the one of our plugins offload media. Yeah. Oh yeah. There's always a little bit going on with how media is offloaded via the block editor. And that's definitely the potential for more issues, but yeah, I know it's a weird situation.
It's nice because obviously a lot of companies have had to really get stuck into blocks, block development and custom stuff, and potentially pivoted to, to be building blocks or, things that are specific for the block editor. So it has been nice to be slightly. Removed from the,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:12:25] yeah, the I can't quite yet imagine giving a WordPress website with just the block editor in it and saying off you go, design a website.
We don't seem to be at that point. It was interesting. Last week we had like I said, Anne McCarthy from automatic and she's been instrumental. Obviously she wrote the piece that we've just looked at about the full site editing and the feedback that they've got. And she was talking about the numbers of people that traditionally show up and assist with that process.
And forgive me if I get this wrong end, but I think she said that, something like 30, if they get 30 pieces of feedback that would be considered like that's. Okay. And of course, 30 compared to the 40% of the web that we've got going on is a, it's a drop in the ocean. Isn't it. And the more people, I guess like Ronald, like Iain, like me, like Christina, who can drop in their feedback, but it's very much a question of.
When have you ever got time to do this? You've you know
Ronald Gijsel: [00:13:22] they need to communicate that isn't it, when you use it. I didn't come across that, going back to the WooCommerce ecosystem. It was also because I run a meetup and I joined salt in one of the meetups. So we now experimenting and working on bringing the WooCommerce on a development site and look them as a, automatic business to the user and to the plugin developers and bridging that gap a little bit.
And now looking inform a little bit from the outside. I can see that Gutenberg might have the same issue, but even a good number is not so clearly defined as WooCommerce because you had to do will commerce or you don't, you do, general WordPress, but good about affects everybody and no one.
So they must have a really hard job trying to get feedback and people involved and feel they own it.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:14:10] One of the things that I think that they're really, it's going to be such a difficult circle to square is that we're so used to things like we'll get onto elemental, things like Beaver builder and all of these products where they could design it completely in a silo, went off and built it.
And when it was built, they just shipped it and said, there it is. And it was ready. They didn't have to worry about the backward compatibility. They didn't have to worry about the 40% of the internet using it. And the fact that it has to work back to WordPress 3.6, they've got to support all of that legacy.
And you do think that task must just be so difficult when you're trying to build with volunteer help in many cases or helpless, been succonded by companies. It's not five days a week, 365 days a year. It's maybe a day here and a day there. And they're trying to build with the, all the legacy of WordPress.
They've got to make it accessible. They've got to do all of these other things and they've got to do it with the community constantly in the background because. People like me, we have an opinion when it doesn't behave, as we expect. But you're polite. Nathan. I think there are people that might not be so
Ronald Gijsel: [00:15:14] polite in the response.
And I think what the inset, when it came to WordPress five, I think that was quite a lot of
Nathan Wrigley: [00:15:21] comments. Yeah, it was interesting. I chatted to to just suffer last week. Who, I don't know if, just effort Hayden Tron posi. She's the executive director of WordPress. I was lucky enough to have a chat with her and that Iain, that, that period of 5.0, really did make her go back.
And re-examine, she said she spent six months just trying to reach out to as many people as possible and see if they can not make the same mistakes again. But whether or not you believe this is a repetition of history only you can tell, but should we move on to the next piece?
Cause the next piece is basically more bashing of WordPress. Sadly, we're going to do, we're going to bash WordPress for a bit and then we're going to stick up for WordPress after
Ronald Gijsel: [00:16:01] a little while.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:16:04] Oh really? So say some weeks it's just like that, right? It just comes out that way, but it's not intended.
We love you WordPress. Is a piece on WP Tavern. It's just in toddler writing a piece called Gothenburg 10.2, add spaces to navigation lists that use let's use as categorized template parts and introduces scope departments. The taste in my mouth the one thing that I was left with was this paragraph which I thought was quite interesting in which Justin says in one of the worst ideas in Guttenberg in the Guttenberg project, it just brought us users can now insert spacer blocks between horizontal navigation block items.
And Justin is it, Justin is very calm. It's very rarely you see Justin adopt such inflammatory language, but he's a bit, he's a bit ticked off with this here. The idea that you can get what is essentially an unordered list, and you can insert devs into the unordered list. And he he says, no, this is not Symantec.
This should not be allowed. And I think he's probably right. I haven't gone back and looked at what's allowed these days and what's not allowed, but he thinks that's a silly idea. But there's better stuff. There's more things that he thinks are actually quite nice. Like for example, the fact that you can create a two column layouts automatically, although you can't send it back to a one column layout, you mentioned that at the top.
So that's quite nice. He also mentions that you've now got these template part categories. So if you're creating little template, parts that you want to reuse later on, rather than having the default things like header and footer, you can now create your own little little category sections and things like that.
So whilst there's not a lot going on. There was quite a few nice little incremental releases and also query block patterns. And I'll quote, the query box is at the heart of full site editing. It would eventually be one of the main primary components to both developers and and as users as they interact and build their sites, the development team introduced a new concept for end users when inserting the query block in the past users source several block variations.
Now they choose between patterns that are more specific to the block out of the box. There are large, medium and small patterns and users can also opt for a blank slate. So just the idea that you can insert these query block sections and you can make them look a little bit more how you'd like them.
This is exactly what I'm hoping comes very soon. The query block is going to be the mainstay of just about everything that I would imagine I'll end up building. So little incremental improvements is that, is it very welcome again, over to you guys, if you want to NASA that one through.
Ronald Gijsel: [00:18:40] I've just thought of something the it's more an observation, but you have all these new terminologies, like LockPath Macquarie and full site editing. And I know we probably come to it later with Elementor as well. And there was this, I think it was last week about, the use of full site editing and in all these new terminologies that it's all changes and you need to be really quick.
I mentioned if you didn't experience this gives a book era and you you left WordPress and you jumped right into it. This is all really confusing because when we supposed to call it widgets and other shortcodes and so on. And now suddenly we have to learn all this new stuff and who owns it and what's the right terminology.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:19:23] Yeah. And there's so many little acronyms starting to be thrown around as well. Like a notice in that piece, they don't actually say full site editing. They just call it F S E it's just lots and lots of new little things, and it's all coming along at such breakneck speed as well. And I feel that somebody like me who takes the pain to try to digest it, I don't.
Trying to actually understand all of it, but I can keep up with it. But I imagine that if I was an end user of a site, one of the I'm guessing what 90% of WordPress is user basis is just people who want to site for creating blog posts and, putting out their marketing materials, all of this stuff must be very jarring.
And although they're insulated from it in the, they're not reading these Bita posts and things like that, it must be quite jarring anyway, over to Christina or Iain, if they want to interrupt
Christina Hawkins: [00:20:10] just from my, I work with end-users every day, all day long, so I'm not a developer I used to be, but I've handed it off to my developers on my team.
And so even me, I'm reading this stuff. Like I have no idea what they're talking about, honestly and I'm in there every day. I'm in, we're pressed every single day with 2030. Websites and I'm struggling to follow this. I hop on and it's moved. Things have moved around the names that were changing names.
I can't imagine from a user's endpoint, what they're seeing every time they log in. And Ronald makes a really good point about these, about this. It's just. And you too, Nathan, about things happening very quickly. So I wish that they would spend a little slow down a little bit, get the things that we're all a little struggling with.
Get that right. Then move on to the next cool thing to adjust and let us let end users get used to this, but I have to agree with them about spacers. And I'm a bit of a purist. I have a hard time when I look at code I'm like, what the hell? You're not supposed to do this, even though it makes it on the front end, it looks fine.
But on the backend, I just thinks that bloats things up makes things a little difficult for other developers to come in and going, why did you add a div to this? This doesn't make any sense. And especially if your theme developers, people like that can imagine what that's going to do for them. If you add.
The wrong place, so yeah, I think it's difficult to really keep up with all this stuff. So
Nathan Wrigley: [00:21:35] David bloom in the comments, thank you, David, for making the time to come and join us today. He said , the block of vacation of code is the quickest path to visual inconsistency and a world of bought ugly sites.
He says, WordPress is adding every spice in the rack to the dinner and it's going to taste terrible. I don't remember the
Christina Hawkins: [00:21:53] days we would just, we tables. I feel like we're going backwards. The days we had tables and we would put a spacer gifts in there to give us little spaces. The top, remember those days
Nathan Wrigley: [00:22:07] yeah. Wants being given a job by a client of trying to mimic the contents of a desk, so I've got the screen over there and the keyboard and just trying to line that up with tables. Oh,
Christina Hawkins: [00:22:18] The old code for Spain. I was like, that's what we're doing here. So it's tough. Definitely a step backward. I don't know, is this something that I'm wondering why they added that?
Why is that? Why did somebody go, Hey, let's add this in there. Is it a Wix things, a square space, allow this to add spacers and stuff? I don't,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:22:37] I honestly don't know. And Justin makes the part it's he says the space I'll prop it back on the screen. He says the space of block, they're just in this paragraph here, the space of block has never been right since it was introduced into Gothenburg, I always assumed it was an unfortunate stop gap solution for vertical spacing until we got a proper margin and putting options.
I never imagined we could find new and inventive ways for it to define a site's markup. And I do like this. You can imagine this is This is heavily Laden with sarcasm. I'm guessing fortunately there are solutions for this sort of Horace horizontal spacing that have been available to web designers for decades margin padding.
So there you go, Iain, anything to add?
Iain Poulson: [00:23:17] I was just going to say about the space and presumably if you building a, an unordered list or navigation or list in something like element, or you would have control over Oh yeah. Margins and patterns on the list items. So why not? Why not do this?
A similar type of thing? Give advanced control. If that's. If that's what we want people to do within the editor, it just seems silly to have that space.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:23:41] Yeah. Yeah. Any scenario that I can imagine is, are we talking about, let's say for example, you've got a menu on the left floated left, and a menu floated, and perhaps you want to put a logo in the middle or something and you want to do just Pat, I don't know, I'm struggling to see how this one got in, but anyway there we are. We are, our second bashing has taken place. Shall we introduce our third bash of the day? We apologize in advance, these things have to happen.
This is actually from a good. Friend of mine. I would say Lee is one of the people who has been very active in the WordPress space. He's a UK developer, he's got fantastic podcast over at agency trailblazer. And and perhaps this sort of illustrates some of the things that we've been talking.
In fact, it does because many of the things that you've all said come out of this article because Lee has decided whilst not moving away from WordPress entirely, because he feels that there are many scenarios where WordPress is still going to be important to him. Lee has a non WordPress side to his business called event engine.
And they sell there. I'm going to call it a CMS for events and people. Who've got live events and digital events use that. And I think he's been using WordPress for the longest time with that, but this article is him going through all of the pain points, all of the reasons why it's no longer working out.
And it breaks down into these subheadings that you can see. So the pace of development, she feels that it's. Been going a little bit too slow. The innovations that third party solutions have been able to come up with, and then you've got the advent of things like, Oh, what's the one that everybody's talking about, the minute the web flow.
That's the one that I keep getting, could keep hearing about, innovations like that seem to be, seems to be going at a rapid pace. He's concerned about the database structure and the way that the database is queried for the kind of things that he's been building it for. He's worried about the plugin ecosystem and the fact that there's a lot of people out there who are now creating plugins that he's become to rely on that it can be catastrophic for his business.
If those plugins aren't maintained and updated. And I think this is the biggest one that worries him because he's in the he's in the agency space and that he wants to be somebody that agency owners look up to as somebody that can give advice. And he feels that there's this implementer community of people who have, how should we say it?
No, no history with building websites who can use a UI such as Ella mentor and can set up an agency. And that kind of makes it a cheaper offering and it makes it more difficult to find the right clients which is what this targeting user base is on about. He also is critical of the WordPress leadership structure and how all of that's done.
He's got a little bit of criticism for the fact that we've obviously got a for-profit entity, a and automatic who were making the decisions. He's not entirely sure if the decisions are going in the right direction. So as Lee says, what are you think.
Iain Poulson: [00:26:38] I'm just skimming through the notes the of the podcasts and some of the points he's making about the the issues with the database structure and how things are stored. I think it really does depend on what you're building, what type of site, like if you're building apps and sites, that aren't just the typical kind of a brochure site, or, things that are going above and beyond then perhaps WordPress isn't the right tool.
And I think it sounds like he's coming to that conclusion and therefore moving off it to something else. And that's probably the right call because if you're building something and you've used WordPress as the kind of quick and dirty, let's get this working on a system that we know, and it has all of this other infrastructure for free, like the users and authentication then.
WordPress is great. Start out, but if you outgrow it and WordPress is, the database structure, the the way it works from post Mehta and all of the issues around performance and stuff, then if you found it, you've outgrown it. And that's not a fault of the system as such. But I do get what he's saying with some other things.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:27:46] Do you ever eat delicious brains? Maybe you've got a sort of like parent company or something. I don't know. Do you, are you all about WordPress is everything that you do in your daily life to do with WordPress, or do you foray into other things and not use WordPress for certain specific tasks that your business requires?
Iain Poulson: [00:28:03] Yeah. It's very WordPress flavor, definitely. And we're building WordPress plugins, but in terms of the company, because we're building spin up WP. Which is course hosting control panel. We've got, that's not, the infrastructure around that is not WordPress. We run all of our marketing sites on WordPress, but we've got it.
The app itself is Laravel, we've got Laravel developers. We've got people who are familiar with CIS admin stuff because it's doing a lot of server work. So yeah it's an interesting point though, because there's definitely like a, maybe like a 70, 30 split in a company that is still WordPress focused.
And then the other people are very much in that building with Laravel that they're outside quite happily of the WordPress development world. And they're, I don't know that they have their own challenges for sure, but they don't have the workforce challenges. But yeah, overall the company is WordPress focused
Nathan Wrigley: [00:28:58] and because you've got such a.
Such a back history of building WordPress products. Has it, have you discovered in the same way that we're always being told that the curve just keeps going up for WordPress? When I joined WordPress in the community, I think we were on like 24% or something like that. And now we're on slowly, the numbers went into the thirties and then the mid thirties.
Now we're into the something beginning with a Z for, 40 something wherever we're at now. Does that reflect how your businesses grown? Do do you see that WordPress has a bright future? Because at some point that curve just, it can't just keep going up, but at some point it's got to tail off, but I don't know if we're at that point now.
Iain Poulson: [00:29:36] Yeah. I think for the company it's certainly tracked the success in terms of, we're still around, we're still hiring, we're still growing. We're still pumping out products and improve in the existing features. But I think there's also, we don't, you don't have that same sort of hockey stick.
As as the company, because as the marketplace has grown and as WordPress is growing there's competitors, that more competitors, like there was not many migration plugins back in the day when it first, when WP migrate DB first released in 2014, early 2014. Whereas there's now, hundreds of those types of plugins alone.
And yeah, there's, you you do see the success, but you can, it's not runaway because there's so many other people in the ecosystem doing the same thing and the part is big, but there's lots of people having slices.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:30:29] Yeah. Yeah. Good point. Ronald Christina, Go
Ronald Gijsel: [00:30:33] ahead. Rolling. I think Iain made some very good points as well about the big Polly.
It's very true. It's the pie is big, but everybody wants a slice and you can do that by undercutting, or you can do that by making something better. And I think what Lee also, with regard to the plugin market, you have a lot of maybe developers that sort of undercut and cut corners and therefore put out worse quality.
And overall the experience of WordPress could be greatly affected. And if you're working with clients might just install any random plugin because it's free and they're really not quite sure what they're doing, why you can just imagine. And I think everybody has experienced that anyway, they, the chaos that can cause to your install or to your WordPress on their own, WordPress is great on it, like to see it grow, but I don't want it to be the tool for everything because I think it's also sometimes nice to know what its limitations are. And I wouldn't want WordPress to power a hundred percent of the web because that's, I don't think that's what WordPress is designed to do for, and, it's like when everything has a sort of pros and cons, but I think if you know where you are, what you're comfortable with your market use it.
And I think, speak, maybe speak to too soon in one of my quotes was I use WordPress as a tool in the toolbox. And if you know what it can be useful then great use it. Don't, there are certain things you can't use it for.
Christina Hawkins: [00:32:02] Yeah. And I think for me on the flip side, when it comes to like agency building, so I'm also the coach for WP elevation and we're seeing this huge growth coming in from folks that are just getting into.
Becoming WordPress freelancers or running an agency. And there is a lot of talk using other tools other than WordPress, even WP elevation is starting to, Hey, we're not just WordPress freelancers, it's getting because it's a broad spectrum of people and we just don't want to be tied to a specific platform, especially when there's so many different tools that are out there.
But there, I can see Lee's point, I listened to his podcasts just going to talk about it this morning. I was just like, Ooh, this is good. But he, his points about just anybody coming in and on YouTube and saying, these little gurus, Hey, you too can run, make $10,000 websites, and it's just not true.
That's a very false narrative that it's easy just to build a 10,000 and charge somebody $10,000. And it can, if you're not careful cheapen the industry. And I think what Ronald was saying too about, it just depends. The direction you can say to do $500 websites that's fine.
But are you profitable at it? That's the question. And then on the flip side is I wouldn't compete with that. That's not what I would ever compete with. And I know why, because the processes that I built into it, it's not just the website that I build, the processes, the performance, all of that stuff is what ends up.
What I'm trying to deliver as an agency owner. And I do see that and it's just something that we watch. We all, we also see that it's not just WordPress people come in and say, Hey, run an agency. You have a PPC, do SEO build websites. Oh yeah, you have to be super careful of too. And they just want to white label everything without any inclination of how any of this works.
And it just applies to WordPress in the sense that they have no idea of the backend, the development side of WordPress. So I think like you were guys saying earlier, they just pick a template. They go to. A theme shop, pick a template, looks good, stick it on there without really understanding the user about the market, about the who the target market is for the company.
And so I do see his point on that. When it comes to the development side, I do worry about that. Cause there's like we were talking about with Gutenberg blocks. I do fear that we're trying to compete with the wrong people. Like Wix. We're trying to be another Wix. It's, that's not how that's not worth West to supposed to be.
And I don't think we should be competing with Wix or Squarespace. I've often had people come to me and I'm like, this isn't the right tool for you right now. You're literally just starting, just go to Squarespace, put something together. They've got some nice tools, highly recommend it. And when you're ready, come back, we'll build you something pretty amazing.
But right now you just need a nice tool. I don't want WordPress to be that though. maybe. But and that's the other thing is education educating users between the difference. And I do wish there was a little bit more education on that side when is marketing themselves versus automatic.
And what they're trying to. Promote.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:35:10] Yeah, really interesting to see how the next couple of years brings, because if they do manage to pull it out of the bag and they do have this amazing edit to the Kundu headers and footers, and what have you, it'd be interesting to see how the market shifts will we see.
People coming with zero expertise and cutting out agencies, just saying, I'll do it myself. I'll take the Squarespace idea and I'll just run that through WordPress or will it be that, it'll still be fraught with difficulty enough difficulty that we've still got a job,
Christina Hawkins: [00:35:40] even not so much the difficulty is from a developer standpoint, but difficulty from a point of being building a website properly instances where people throw in a photo and I think it's perfect and it turns out there's a big portajohn behind them.
That's really, that's just us. It's just how we know how to build sites, what to do, what not to do. And so I'm not, that's something that you. You just don't pick up. That's not something you're like, I'm gonna start an agency right now and now you have to understand there's nuance to all this too.

Nathan Wrigley: [00:36:09] Yeah. We're onto the last the, I promise. No, probably not. But anyway, we're onto almost the last bit of bashing Cameron is in, is it? He was in the chat earlier and we thought we throw this one in, just because it felt like it changed a little bit with with what's with what Lee was saying.
This is a talk that Cameron did over at word word Fest live back in. I want to say January. Yes, January the 22nd. It says on the caption there, it's basically just Cameron stake. He's very often in here. He's been very good to us making comments on many. Posts that we put out and what have you.
So I just want it to highlight his grievances, probably the best way, because we've dwelled on bashing WordPress a lot already is if you just want to have a high level approach, this is it here. Just go through the transcript here and probably an awful lot of the things that you've bashed your head against with WordPress.
Cameron's been there before you, he's a plugin developer. And and he's fed off, shall we say so more bashing, but that's it. We're going to stop because this is so coincidental now, occasionally we have some good synchronicity on the show, and this is one of those pieces because we're joined, as you can see by look, whether you look fairly similar, you've got glasses, there's slight differences.
And also look at this there's tofa. In the comments tofa runs hero press, and we've got we've got Ronald on, who's put a piece on hero, press all about your sort of struggle and journey over the last few years, nine years. I think it is hero press. If you don't know, as a site, which I would really recommend anybody subscribes to because it's just relentlessly great.
There's just, they just feature the nice personal stories of WordPress personalities. And you coincidentally, even though we didn't know you were going to be on the show, you were in our list of things to talk about. Do you want to just run through why you decided to put this piece up and what the backstory is?
Ronald Gijsel: [00:38:06] It's an interesting cause. My story started well before joining, the WordPress community and this, the struggles before that. And, I was stuck in life with being, doing a job of, we owned the restaurant and the, making the transformation or something, I'm really, you're stuck in that and you want to change the career and I've spoken to so many people that struggled to change that career complete change.
And how did you do it? And, you, cause you have an income. And I, we had kids, we, lots of outgoings. So how do you do that? How do you manage that? So I wanted to share that side of the story. And then of course the other side is the, the strategy whereby you know, we lost our daughter.
Using some of the nuggets they experienced. Turning that into positive. So I have sort of two sides to the story and added to that. Tofa who was a key person. I knew he didn't know that at the time for me to make that transformation into what I was doing into sort of WordPress and making a living with WordPress.
He was one of the trainers on our S educates on OSTP training. And I've binge watched his videos to get myself into good enough level migrating from Joomla knowledge into WordPress knowledge and to apply for that job. And I think that's a two week window where I can binge watch that. Anyway, I told him this story a few years ago at the worst camp and yeah, it was a really nice meeting to, you didn't realize of course.
So it was a nice nice occasion. And since then we've crossed paths a few times and here we are, again, way crossing paths totally coincidental. Yeah. Yeah, that's how it came about
Nathan Wrigley: [00:39:39] really lovely piece. And it speaks to me because this is going to sound really quirky. And I don't know if Iain, Christina, if any of this will mean anything to you maybe not.
I don't know, but the fact that I've been stuck at home for the night last year, I'm really glad that I had Axel pre-built stock at home community to keep in touch with, because we were all doing zoom anyway. I was as I was sitting here, Doing this. And I built this phalanx of people that I wanted to talk to on a regular basis and they were just there.
And so in many ways during the last year, the WordPress community has just, it's just it's on autopilot still. I've got the same thing that I had 18 months ago that I've got now a lot of my friends who had jobs, where they needed to leave and go to an office and they've had crises the like of which I haven't had to go through.
So I've, I feel really blessed by that. And the piece that you wrote just big in up the WordPress community, which is of course the job of hero press, I feel really pleased that bit was in my life. And those Lego bricks were already assembled before the crisis that we're all undergoing.
So I'll just throw that out there. If anybody wants to concur or disagree,
Ronald Gijsel: [00:40:57] I think the community part is a really big, and hopefully that came across in, in what I wrote as well, that, how I first met Paul Polisi, in part of the WordPress Birmingham meetup and how we connect it. And certainly that platform, WordPress, all the tool, they certainly have faces and people and connections.
And that, that feeling, I don't know if you've been to, a WordCamp and, the day after the days after the week after you're so inspired and you've met people you've talked to them and hear our appraisers are the stories that you. He share one or two, a bit more intimate because of the after party or, the hallway track, but you get to know each other a little bit better.
And then you have this sort of, this bus after WordCamp where you feel quite good. You're not quite sure what it is, but you're inspired to, to carry on and to, to maybe follow somebody else's footstep or example. And I think her process is probably feels that space for me, where you have these real connections in a timely karmic connection, so build up a community.
But yeah, that, that community, although I wouldn't go as far as Oh, if it wasn't for the community, but it definitely played a big part in, in my story, Christina neon.
Iain Poulson: [00:42:13] Yeah. I was going to say the community is just such a big thing and same as you Nathan, the last sort of year or so, just knowing that we've got this. This group of people that are all doing the same thing, but part of the WordPress world, it's just made it easier to get through. I think because you can fall back on chatting to people on Twitter or Slack or having zoom meetings and even just having the remote team that, you're gonna speak to day in, day out anyway, because it's all set up and yeah.
On a smaller scale, the podcasts that I do speaking to my co-host every other week, or every couple of weeks, it's just so good because I'm not getting to see my friends as normal or family and it just makes yeah, it makes it a bit easier, but also I think community, and I've said it before, if there wasn't the WordPress community and Twitter and people in that space who are just.
Very friendly. I don't think I would be in the position. I am doing the job that I do because it's all made possible by people in the community and having access to things like Twitter and Slack. And that's just mind blowing because that, where else does that sort of happen? So yeah, thankful as well, deed.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:43:27] Yeah, I think
Christina Hawkins: [00:43:27] for me, it was also, big into the WP elevation community. So we're always, there's just constantly talking constantly having, we have a coaching calls every Thursday with the community. So my co my partner, Pete, and I just have constant conversations all week long and through zoom.
But I have to say years ago when I started, I had done a Drupal site and the developer disappeared and it was. I moved into WordPress because I could find people, there were this big community of people that would help me. And it's funny going just a little bit back to liquid Lee was saying about people jumping on Facebook and hoping to get free, help from everybody in a way that's why we all move into WordPress is because there's so many people willing to help.
And I think that's the beauty of WordPress, the community of itself. And then when I first, my very first work camp, I was just like, Oh my God, I found my peeps. So is it people, and it was just so much it's fun. And it just like you guys were saying it's that once the pandemic hit, we were already.
Doing this. So I ended up working with my local community, doing pop-up webinars to show them how to do it, I wrote a blog post on how to set up your zoom. It's still my, now a year later, the number one post people find me on. But yeah, it's just, we're used to this. Now. My fear though, is I'm getting a little too used to this was that WordPress meetups that Houston and it everyone's, I'm not sure when to start, cause it's been really convenient to find speakers and to have just to just run upstairs, sit at my desk and start a meetup.
Whereas before I've got Oh, I got to try five and I got to get the equipment set up and I gotta go that's local. And so I'm a little I don't know if I want
Nathan Wrigley: [00:45:11] to go back or not, but to organize the venue.
Christina Hawkins: [00:45:16] Camaraderie that builds from it. And it has affected working. We were supposed to have work camp in April of 2020 course that got nixed. We kept postponing it and postponing it. And now the community is not quite there anymore because we don't see each other in person as much. And so I'm not sure if when we can have a WordPress CA work camp this year, next year, I don't know.
So I'm hoping something happens.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:45:42] I am. Despite the fact that I said, I'm really glad that I've been sitting in this chair and it's all worked out. I'm also very hopeful that at some point soon I'll be able to get out of this chair and do some of the live stuff. But yeah, honestly, I think it's so easy to forget how unbelievably hard it is.
If you don't, if you're not familiar with computers, how just no, there's no way I'm going on. I don't want to watch somebody on a screen. That's just too weird. But we've all got into it. And those barriers for me just evaporate years ago. So I'm, I feel very privileged to be in some sort of technology industry where we can do this.
Just a couple of comments to throw in if that's all right. First of all, a tofa who obviously was very much instrumental in what Ronald was saying. He waves and says hi, and Lee Jackson also makes the comment is obviously we were just talking about him. I don't know if you heard it. I'm guessing you did leave.
We talked a little bit about you and your podcast posts. You can't fault the WP community. W we have been faulted begin with building them off again. We're building up. I may be using the product body. Ain't going nowhere, socially. So that's nice to know. And also mayor. Just saying she agrees.
I think that was probably related to the stuff I was saying about the community and being able to use zoom and all of that kind of stuff. Okay. I know time is tight too, especially for Ronald. So we'll just very quickly move on. I don't know if Christina and Iain, are you all right to just carry on for a couple of minutes if Ronald does have to leave as on the hour, would that be all right?
Sure. Yeah. Okay. Thank you. In which case I'll still go at a fair pace, but let's just mention this one again. Here I press go and check out that Ronald's article. It was published on 17th of March, 2021.
Ronald Gijsel: [00:47:23] Learned that my stories on that as well.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:47:29] Yep. Okay. Is that Maya from Cotati? Good idea. Probably yes. Yeah, the
Ronald Gijsel: [00:47:35] European whatever I tell her it's
Nathan Wrigley: [00:47:37] okay. Let me drop it in, but thank you, Maya, for making that comment and go and search out my piece as well. Okay. So this is interesting. I'm just always curious, every single week it seems we can't go a week without element or adding something.
And just curious as to where this is going element, or I've got this piece entitled, introducing form submissions, PayPal button, widgets, and feature improvements. We won't really go into the feature improvements. They're always adding little features here and there, but you've now got the option to drop in these little PayPal buttons.
And whilst on the face of it, it doesn't seem like a lot. I think it maybe illustrates just one more brick in the wall that has been knocked out by element, or actually that's the wrong metaphor. We want to build a wall, not destroyable, they've added a brick into the wall to make it more of the, the complete solution.
Almost like the SAS that we all assume is coming down the road that they've alluded to. So they've added in this PayPal button this week, which you can do, but also, just look at this, this is the form submit submission section, which they've now added in. And so you go to elements or you go to submissions.
And to me, that just looks like. Like a gravity form or something, obviously in the past, this kind of functionality didn't exist in elemental. Again, it's just one more brick that they've added. If you needed payment while they've now got a very simple PayPal addition, but it varied as you can get paid just by dropping stuff in from elemental.
If you want forms, they've got this fabulous form builder, and now you can look at all the different forms that have been added in by your subscribers over the last year or whatever. It's getting hard to imagine that there's very move away from whether or not you agree that it offers, a sort of more bloated experience than you might wish for.
And what have you. They are cranking out updates our rate. It's very compelling.
Iain Poulson: [00:49:28] It's interesting as well. You're saying that it's a gravity forms, it's this kind of form building competitor, but. To me, it just is, it's a jet pack competitor because it's, jet pack has become the one stop shop for all of the functionality that you'd expect in a site.
And Jetpack has been adding more and now elements was doing it. And this is just, for me, it's actually just really good to see because why not have that alternate option where if people are designing their sites without a mentor, they can have all of this functionality and it's, but it is so such a it is an obvious sort of head-to-head thing going on, I think, and as you said, with this or cloud offering there, I think it's or elements, which is going to be their future thing, which is not available right now, but it's coming and that's basically for elemental sites.
And it's. Not going to be WordPress, as we know, it will be an elemental version of WordPress. So yeah, it's just super interesting from the marketplace because yeah, it just, for me makes me laugh because people would just food for years. And recently when Jetpack added forms just went, Oh, I can't believe Jetpack it forms, but then everyone just goes it's Jetpack is automatic and now elemental have done the same and it's like good on you.
Of course, if they do it. Sure. Why can't we do it kind of thing.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:50:56] Yeah. Lee in the comments is just saying he predicts. It's an interesting prediction is something that is across my mind, but I've not yet voiced it. The prediction that may be, it will become a fork of WordPress which will be successful in its own.
The figures at the minute are 7 million websites. I don't know how many of those are on the free version now. Many are not, but I'll go to Ronald. Cause I know that he's only got a roadway point, that point the right way. I know that he's only got a couple of minutes left, so anything to add here, Ronald, before we go you can
Ronald Gijsel: [00:51:26] elemental.
You just set the figure stuff, a million, it's a big group of users and. You could criticize that it's too much or it's too this as too that I think they have a very clear vision of where they want to go. And I could see this PayPal and form builder just a stepping stone into maybe digital content or paid for content, courses, LMS that type of stuff.
It's quite easy to roll that out. And, that opens up to a whole new group of users who are not really interested in what they using as long they can share the content and get paid for it. And whether it's WordPress or it's doing the wrong for that, like the maybe suggested maybe it's irrelevant to all the new users that are still onboarding in the next five years.
They really don't care so much what technology is built on. But at the same time, I do worry a little bit about where everything is heading the different directions, because I think WordPress is only as strong because we all have each other and we are. We building on this community and you have the possibility and the flexibility of using different plugins of page building, you can switch.
So once everything become disintegrated and we have our own sort of proprietary systems maybe marketplaces has becomes more and more difficult to switch from one house to another house because they can play nicely with one solution, but the other one can't, and then you turn into far maybe greater compatibility issues than you currently have.
So I'm hoping that the industry can stick, stick together. Everybody can do their own thing. It is highly competitive. There's a lot of money to be made. But yeah, it's an interesting time for sure. And what's what laser hat for all the different companies, can't say too much about it.
I hear a lot of different stories in my conversations, but it's yeah, fascinating. Yeah,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:53:19] well, Ronald, anytime you want to drop out, just click on the studio button and we'll carry on for a few moments, but thank you Ronald much obliged for you making the time for us today. Thanks so much.
Cheers. Christina, anything from you on that?
Christina Hawkins: [00:53:35] No. I think just to what you guys were talking about, just the comparison with jet pack. That's my worry is that it does become a bit bloated. And again, from a user's perspective it's their target in my mind is the users, the end user and their ability to quickly make websites and sells for me.
I'm, for me to have a forum in Ella mentor and a forum here in F in a contact form and that form it's it messes with my process, my maintenance process. And so it costs me more time and money if I've got somebody that put on a, another form. But again, that's just me as I'm not there, I'm not the person probably they're targeting for something like that.
But I do worry about bloke. I do worry about.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:54:15] Yeah. I wonder if I sat over the shoulder of it too, pickle, elemental user, let's say that we've somehow managed to scrape the screens of 7 million web WordPress websites who were logging in and interacting with WordPress. I wonder how much WordPress they actually get to see, they get the login screen.
And then is it that from that moment on, is WordPress just an inconvenience for them to get where they need to be inside of elemental? They go directly to the page, click the edit link, and they're just WordPress. That'd be that only that I just need the elemental screen.
And as soon as they finished with elements or they use WordPress to log out again it, that costs so much so many things happening. So I believe the roadmap is pretty, pretty aggressive as well. Yeah. I
Christina Hawkins: [00:54:57] think it depends on who that person is for me, my clients, we show them and we work with the dashboard in a way that they know what to do.
We'll walk them through it. We'll clean up the menu a bit. I don't really mess with a dashboard. Some people like to have all these custom dashboards. I don't really do that. I just try and make sure they understand where to go, but we limit what they can do on the flip side that somebody that just.
Spun up WordPress added a mentor. Yeah. That I don't know what that looks like for them. I don't know you're right. Is it a WordPress experience or as an elementary experience? I use Beaver builder, so I don't know.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:55:30] Yeah. I think it's an element or experience. I think unless you're doing the whole user management bit and I can, imagine that if you've got to a website with element or anything to anytime you see that black bar, it's get rid of that, just give me the elements or that I want.
I don't want to see any of that very true. 7 million people. Speaking of which I was
Iain Poulson: [00:55:55] going to say work for them, WordPress is the tool to get to element or so, yeah, the mentors, their destination.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:56:00] Sure. Yeah. Yeah, I think you're right. And again segue, we've got two segues in one episode, this is ridiculous because I just said 7 million and here we are, this is a 7 billion websites because with great notoriety comes great responsibility.
And I'm not going to go into the background of this, but it really is just to say that if you have a WordPress website and you've got elemental on there, Sarah Gooding wrote a piece this week amongst other places, I could have chosen a bunch of different security websites that mentioned it. There is an X S cross-site scripting vulnerability in the plugin which has been fixed.
Wordfence did a write-up about it. So you can click on the link just here. So just go and get yourself updated. That would be very important. 7 million websites. They gotta be very mindful of there. Security posture, I would imagine. Okay. And the very last piece that we've got for you today and Ronald is still here.
Thank you. You rumble. Do you ever have
Ronald Gijsel: [00:56:58] any moments?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:56:59] Okay, that's fine. That's fine. Why I ever linked to search engine journal? Because whenever I get to that page, no matter how many times I've dismissed this wretched, pop-up prior to getting to the page. It somehow manages to find its way, but just found this was curious, really peculiar little story.
I, I, about four, three or four months ago, decided I would take a break from Google. I've still got an Android phone. So they basically know everything about where I am, where I live, what I'm doing and a whole bunch of other stuff. Cause my house has all the Google home devices in it so they can hear everything I would say as well.
But I decided I would give an alternative search engine to go. I picked doc go. Because really at that time it was the only one that I knew about. I've been more than happy, literally nothing that I've searched for go has given me results that I thought were sub par. So I'm sticking with that, but interesting that a whole raft of ex Google employees have decided they're going to build a new search engine.
And that's, I think the interesting bit for me, it's X, Google employees. Now, I don't know what contracts or obligations they're under not to pilfer technology or whether they've been out of Google long enough that they can steal the technology. But they've decided that they're going to build their own privacy related search engine.
And this piece is explaining that basically, but the key message here is. If you want a more private search on go, which has advertising. These guys are going to request a few dollars out of your back pocket. And I think it was muted somewhere between the region of, I think it was five and $10 a month.
They've received a boatload of funding and obviously they've got a heck of a heritage themselves. One of them was the VP of engineering at Google, probably knows a thing or two. And coincidentally, they've set up offices just down the road from the great big Google Plex. And although I'm not trying to start a conversation about this particular search engine, I was just curious to know whether any of you guys have got a bit fed up with some of the incumbent tech companies, the Googles and the Facebooks, and it's taken steps to quieten down the noise from them and the impact that they've got in your lives.
So if anybody wants to chip in any order go,
Ronald Gijsel: [00:59:12] I think it's quite normal. Isn't it? That you have this sort of wave movement and. Big business are really powerful. It's not difficult to understand, or to name a few big companies that were very popular 10 years ago, 50 years ago, but now you don't know who they are anymore.
So maybe that's the time that that things are starting to change. But I do think Google is also very much different by advertisers because it's such a big flop platform with Google ads is a big thing, but mail and maps and, it's so integrated. It's very difficult to step away from that, because you just said to yourself, Nathan, that, even though you try to do it just from, for your searches, but you still so much connected with.
Everything Google that I did, if we can ever wean ourselves off Google. So I was even possible. Maybe I don't even want to, because this is sometimes very convenient that things do work and are integrated, with your phone, you can send it to your car and off you go drive away. Do I want to reconnect all of those pieces?
Based on, maybe they sharing some data and not just some kind of, a lot of data by a search engine. I don't know if that's going to make the big difference, but I'm open to it. I think it's only good that things are being questioned because they will also tighten up Google's way of collecting and sharing data.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:00:35] Christina,
Christina Hawkins: [01:00:37] I think for me, it's a word like you're saying, it's just, we're so ingrained in it and it's really hard to separate yourself, especially when you're out there. Like you're saying with maps, I've actually on my phone, just. Got logged off from Google maps and I swear to God, every time I get into my car Hey, you're logged off.
You sure. You shouldn't want to be logged out. I'm like, dude, yes, I don't need, you want me to log in and you want to see where I'm going. I get it. So it's constantly perpetuating. So I do use other maps, but yeah, I think when it comes to privacy I'm just so ingrained in this world of digital marketing.
I've just, I'm used to it by now, which is bad, but I have a 19 and a 13 year old. That's where my brain goes. They don't need to be honest, they don't, everything about them does not mean. And so I'm constantly on my daughters about stop sharing. You don't need to be on this stuff. You can get off of it.
So I would like an alternative, like a browser like this, where I can just cut them cut that off at the knees. But there's, it's really hard to just not use these Google. There's been some studies. I think somebody tried to do that. Actually it was Amazon. I tried to cut themselves off from Amazon and not use any Amazon possible at all.
It was an
Nathan Wrigley: [01:01:46] AWS. Every cause
Christina Hawkins: [01:01:48] everything
Nathan Wrigley: [01:01:49] give
Christina Hawkins: [01:01:50] up and she couldn't co disconnect from Amazon in any capacity. It's so hard.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:01:57] No Dropbox, no, nothing,
Christina Hawkins: [01:02:00] nothing. And so it's it permeates more than just our privacy. It's just, you've got these. And this is a whole other topic, but these conglomerates that, yeah, maybe it's time to take a deeper look into this and are you, and I think somebody posted on here earlier about I'm okay with ads, I'd rather not pay and I'll just accept the ads.
I'm on YouTube, I'm okay with the ads. They, of course they keep trying to drill me to buy every time I log on, they want me to get a family subscription, but I'm just not ready to go down that path, another subscription. And this is just, it's never going to end. We've got subscriptions for TV.
Now, every show they want a subscription, any video, any media content, a subscription, anything. So it's a mom, I'm a little on LA, do I want to pay now for search engines and, or just accept the ads? It's just this weird, but I would like to see a little bit more and I think the, you guys did on a Europe.
Just trying to protect that privacy and what can we do to just get a little bit more protection on our own data? Yeah.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:03:01] And Iain, anything to add? Yeah.
Iain Poulson: [01:03:05] Things I'm still very much a Google user and I just allow it to happen and email and all of that stuff. But from a Facebook point of view, I've not been on Facebook for years and I'm more conscious of what that means for sharing and try to be less sharing on there.
But then because you're in this sort of digital the marketplace that we're in and. Facebook for ads and Google for ads and the ability for Facebook to be able to target the right customer for you from Facebook ads is too good, an opportunity. So I see it from both sides and personally, I don't want to be anywhere near it, but from a business point of view.
And that's, yeah, that's such a terrible sort of to, that's bad, but yeah. That's just how it is. And there's the only thing I was just, sorry,
Nathan Wrigley: [01:03:50] now you, sorry you carry on. I shouldn't have interrupted.
Iain Poulson: [01:03:53] No, I was just going to say the other thing that just picking up on what Christine said about the source of the European and the privacy and the GDPR stuff.
I was on a phone call to my car garage today. And they spent 15 minutes going through my marketing preferences on the cellphone and what I would like to be contacted by them or their partners. I know it was just like, Ugh, just I can not be dealing with this. You think cookie pop-ups are bad on the web.
If you have that on a phone call, it's horrendous. So yeah. It's, that's a throwaway comment because it is it's for the right reasons, but it's a terrible implementation across the board.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:04:29] Yeah. That's absolutely fascinating about your carriage, that kind of stuff. Just really cause it's actual time lost in your actual day, you can scroll through a form in seconds.
Nope. So now next question is no
Christina Hawkins: [01:04:42] go to the stores when you actually shop, did they stop you? Cause that in the U S it's can we have your phone number and we need your name and your email and your phone number for you can buy anything. And I'm always like, why now you don't just, can I just check out?
Do they do that with you guys? Are they at the clerk? Say, Hey, is it okay if we send you an email? Is it okay if we do this, do they do that? No,
Nathan Wrigley: [01:05:02] not really because the transactional process is very much, you walk up, you put down the thing that you want to buy and you pay with your card and then you just walk off.
But the only time they try to get you with that is if you return something upon returning things, they often say, Oh, can we get your, your telephone number to it? And for me, it's just a blanket. No. No, why would you possibly
Christina Hawkins: [01:05:25] turning shop? They want your phone number and create an account with us so we can track your purchases and you get special rewards.
It's usually is, 20 bucks here and there, but everywhere you go
Ronald Gijsel: [01:05:36] across shops, But what they do when they show that they know
that you buy stuff for them, it's just
Christina Hawkins: [01:05:50] their own little loyalty
Nathan Wrigley: [01:05:52] card. No, the beginnings of it, wasn't it. I feel that like where you are, Christina, they just want to roll up your sleeves and put the chair right. In directly
Christina Hawkins: [01:06:00] 100%.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:06:02] Yeah. But did you see, so this is probably much more widespread in America, but I think in London for the first time ever, one of these little Amazon shops popped up where, there must be staff, right?
Because they've got to repack the shelves, but the processes that you just walk through, scan something on your phone, walk through this turnstile, and then the shop just myriad, this array of cameras above configure out what you've taken off a shelf. And then, probably what you've put back on the shelf and so on.
And it makes. Makes decisions about what you ought to be charged as you walk out. And so there's no actual checkout process and you just think, boy, at that point, just give up. They're just, they just know literally what you're eating. That's what they're
Christina Hawkins: [01:06:46] going to move toward with whole foods. So hopefully we'll have this process where there's no checkout.
You just. Fill it up and you use your own scanner or something as you walk out, there's no checkout process it's just done as you shop. So it's coming. They're going to, yeah. That little chip,
Nathan Wrigley: [01:07:04] I just feel that in my own tiny, yeah, in a significant way, I just want to fight back a little bit.
And I think that the catalyst for me was that movie. What was it called? The social experiment.
Christina Hawkins: [01:07:14] The social, yeah,
Nathan Wrigley: [01:07:16] It was it was a Netflix movie and they were tracking every moment that I watched it, but at the Oh, what was it called? It was like about a year ago that anyway, that film, I'm sure somebody can alert us to it.
I watched that and it had a real, I had a real epiphany halfway through it and I got for the first time what people have been bashing on about you are the product. Somehow that message never got into my head. It just didn't connect. And I watched that film and I thought, Oh my God, I'm the product.
Ah, so running around, trying to disconnect myself from as much as possible. And I've, I can't, I just can't, but where I can, I will be very slight. But I think you make a good point in about, the Facebook ad things. I don't want to be targeted by Facebook ads, but if I had a business, I'd want to put Facebook ads out, it's just so beguiling, it's brillIaint.
With the
Christina Hawkins: [01:08:08] iOS updates, that's going to make changes
Nathan Wrigley: [01:08:11] on how that's.
Christina Hawkins: [01:08:13] So that'll that we'll see what happens with that and their avatar advertising. I'm trying to understand how that's going to fit. I don't use Facebook ads myself. I've had to hire that after refer to that. So complicated.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:08:24] Yeah.
Somebody else gets together,
Christina Hawkins: [01:08:28] but speaking we'll do ad words though. So yeah,
Nathan Wrigley: [01:08:32] I recently started using the brave browser, which is a chromium fork, which ostensibly. Tries to mask a little bit of the tracking that's going on. There's this little picture of what looks like a lion's mane lion's icon in the top, right at the end of the URL bar.
And it tells you how many trackers it's blocked. So for example like you, Facebook is like 7,862 in the first four seconds. And and that's my little way of trying to block all of that's nonsense. Anyway, I've used up far too much of everybody's time. Just quickly in case anybody wants to mention something that they are involved in doing publishing, reading, enjoying whatever.
Can we just go around quickly? I'll start with Ronald who's amazingly still here. So we'll go with Ronald. Anything you want to say Twitter, handle, whatever, go for it now. Oh, no, you need to
Ronald Gijsel: [01:09:25] join the do the woo community builder meetup or events by Bob WP. Just going to evolve. We did our first event last week of a round table discussion.
I'm the host of a few panelists, and I think that's going to be a lot of fun in the coming months, but he's doing something every week. So that's, if you're in the commercial space, it's definitely something to get involved with. And of course, Mike. Usual co-host and do the work, not that we're working with London.
So get involved with that. Other than that, you can find me, Oh yeah. I read a hero press article I'm, pretty much everything about me yeah. Okay. And
Nathan Wrigley: [01:09:58] one small, tiny article. Yeah. Who doesn't love Bob, Don. Yeah. Thank you, Ronald. That's awesome. Christina,
Christina Hawkins: [01:10:06] Just Mar Houston, WordPress meetup.
I'm always looking for speakers. So if anyone's interested, just email me, [email protected]. I need some speakers. I need developer speakers. We need a mix. I need marketing developers, stuff like that. So yeah, if anyone's willing to be a speaker at a Houston working WordPress
Nathan Wrigley: [01:10:22] meetup.
Thank you. I hope somebody manages to hear this and gets in touch and finally
Christina Hawkins: [01:10:28] last week, so
Nathan Wrigley: [01:10:31] I've never shipped,
Christina Hawkins: [01:10:31] so it was really
Nathan Wrigley: [01:10:32] good. Sorry. Finally, Iain. That's all
Iain Poulson: [01:10:36] Yeah. So you can find me on Twitter, on povert web, and yeah, you mentioned it before. My new newsletter that I started a couple of weeks ago, I had the first email out it's WP trends.
And so if you're interested in hearing my WordPress market insights and information about trends and anything going on in the WordPress business side, like acquisition opportunities, please. Yeah. Feel free to subscribe and get me in your inbox. It's WP
Nathan Wrigley: [01:11:03] Very nice. Thank you. I'm going to end on camera and Joan's comment.
It's funny though. He says, cause to just today, I got a targeted that on Facebook for corIainder, because Facebook has determined. I'm interested in corIainder. They're not as smart as they think they are. And as they say on top gear on that bombshell we'll end it. So I'm going to say bye-bye thanks for joining us this week.
Really appreciate it.

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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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