This Week in WordPress #160

“The Ugly Wave”

This week’s WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 19th April 2021

With Nathan Wrigley, Paul Lacey (@wp_paullacey) and Lee Matthew Jackson (@atbcommunity).

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

We focus on the following stories:

Anne McCarthy on How Full Site Editing Will Impact WordPress

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Toolset Blocks 1.5 – Faster Sites for Better SEO Ranking

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New Form Builder – Formality

Automattic Launches Jetpack Boost: A New Performance Plugin

Widespread Attacks Continue Targeting Vulnerabilities in The Plus Addons for Elementor Pro

Companies Running Competitive Ads Against WordPress May Soon be Banned from Sponsoring WordCamps
Discussion: Companies who run competitive ads against WordPress and apply to sponsor WordCamps – Make WordPress Communities

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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 160 entitled the ugly wave it was recorded on Monday the 26th of April, 2021. My name's Nathan Wrigley and I'm joined by my cohost Paul Lacey, as I am each and every week. But also this week by just one guest Lee Matthew Jackson, we talk about the WordPress news for the week commencing last Monday.
And that includes all about how Anne McCarthy is taking on the role of giving us information about full site editing. I did a podcast over on WP Tavern about that, and we discuss it. We also talk about the new version of tool set blocks, version 1.5 and how it's speeding up your WordPress websites and what we think about it.
There's a new WordPress form builder in town. It's called formality. And whilst we don't talk about the plugin itself, we talk about their lovely new website. Automatic has also launched a new boost plugin it's called Jetpack boost, and it hopes to speed up your WordPress websites. Paul's got a bit to say about that and not all of it is good.
We've also had some targeted attacks on element or ad-ons this week, and we discuss how that may affect your WordPress websites. And last but not least, it has been discussed this week. That may be, if you put out adverts, which don't paint WordPress in a particularly positive light, should you be allowed to advertise at WordCamps?
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 simply the city performance and security. Yeah. 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? Yeah. 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 [email protected]. I think it's working. That's what this episode is going to be called. It's episode 160, I think now of the WP valves this week in WordPress show, I think it's working.
We had a bit of a, but you won't obviously know if you weren't here actually on the show, but a couple of minutes ago we made it all start, but nothing happened. So this is our second run at it this week in WordPress. Honestly, I do think this is episode number 160, but I'm not entirely sure.
Paul constraint is out as always Paul Lacey joined joining us this week. He's the co-host but he's got some kind of new gear in his room this week. What's that behind your, yeah,
Paul Lacey: [00:03:17] I've always got new gear. Number one. I swapped out one collects unit from Ikea for a different collection unit. So that was a pretty exciting moment.
And now my big space picture, which I talked about a few weeks ago, finally came in the post I've yet to stick it on the wall properly, but I couldn't resist just putting it next to the wall, but I'm going to tell you I'm do you know what, I don't know why I feel a bit nervous this week about the show. I don't know.
I've got a few state, like butterflies about Dean is, I'm not sure what that is. And the only thing I know for sure is why it didn't work as well. When we do the intro, normally I do a little dance for you, Nathan. That's the magic that makes the stream yard thing work. And the second time we tried it, both me and lead little dances for you.
You could see, and now it works. So now we know that was the problem. The
Nathan Wrigley: [00:04:11] key, the key is dancing. So joined on my ensemble this week of dancers will have polled Lacy as we've already done, but we've got Lee, Matthew Jackson. Hello, hi everyone. It's very nice to have you here. We may well be interrupted at some point during this show because we were hoping to have a another guest on as well, but they don't appear to have arrived just yet.
And that may be because poor communication on my part, but also sometimes the clocks get messed up and calendar events get missed. And so on. But we've got the, we've got the introduction at the ready Lee is going to be introduced by Paul with his breathtakingly enormous introduction. So Gopal, this is going to take hours.
Paul Lacey: [00:04:50] Okay. Yeah. So it is a big one. Lee, Matthew Jackson is the host of the agency trailblazer podcast. Also the organizer of the agency transformation live events, the co-founder of event engine and cloud raise Maverick, whereas joined by the other cloud ways, Mavericks to help freelancers and agencies get past their wellbeing and growth barriers, allowing them to move forward in business.
And these also been releasing a podcast series on a podcast about starting a podcast, which is very matter, but always, and it's totally free.
Lee Matthew Jackson: [00:05:23] Agency
Paul Lacey: [00:05:26] And can I say something else? I want to you guys need to apologize because it's pretty much the fault of the two of you in combination that people have to listen to me on podcasts and on stage and stuff like that.
Basically the two of you between you are responsible for giving me a little bit of overconfidence and making me turn up for these kinds of things all the time. Thank you for that.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:05:47] No. I take no blame. It was really that big, I think it was 20 quid to put you on the first episode. And it's all up to leave.
Paul Lacey: [00:05:57] Tell us a bit about your podcast is about a podcast. We were talking about that just before we went live. And it seems that me and Nathan could probably benefit from it as
Lee Matthew Jackson: [00:06:07] well. The agency laser podcast, if you don't know, is M arch nemesis of no, it's not really. We're all good friends. I've been running a podcast since 2015 agency
You can find it. And I'm an agency owner. I've got two of my own agencies and went through a really bad time back in the last recession. And we weathered that storm and have since had a whole load of great successes, a lot of failures as well. And what I've done since 2015 is interview people and also share personal experiences of where it's all gone wrong and how we've made it.
I have no agenda other than to help people who have essentially behind me was where I was stood, crying a few years ago. Cause I was having one of the worst days of my life. And it was that day. I thought I've got to help people when I get through this, I've got to help other people. So the podcast is all about helping other people Lift their agency and keep it.
That's essentially our mantra. We've got nothing to sell it. You will have a few courses to help keep the lights on which your by all means, feel free to buy, but we're just doing this for love. And there is a podcast series out right now, which tells you how to start your own podcast, right? From planning all the way through to delivering that podcast, editing it, monetizing it and all of that sort of stuff.
And I've got no podcast castings course to sell you. It's just my own experience over the last few years. And hopefully your agency can stand out in your niche. Okay. Was that good enough?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:07:25] That was great. I was being quite sarcastic earlier and I said to Paul, can you read out the Lee's introduction? Cause Leoni wrote the following words.
Lee is the host of the agency trailblazer podcast and night. The rest of it was up on the fly, which
Paul Lacey: [00:07:39] is quite, I know enough about, I know enough about me to that's all I tell people. I,
Lee Matthew Jackson: [00:07:44] if people ask you, I am, I'm the host of the agency trailblazers podcast. That's it. So that's usually how I get introduced.
I was quite surprised at that long introduction. I quite liked it. Yeah, it was good.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:07:55] When we get the transcript on, we'll send it over as the perfect way of introducing yourself. Get it all squeezed onto a tiny business card when you returned to the real world, right? We're not here to talk about where we are.
Let's be honest. We're here to just waste your time and hopefully give you some WordPress news along the way. Let me just say what we're doing. We're covering the WordPress news for the week. Commencing the 19th of April, basically it's the last seven days. I'm going to quickly share my screen. If I can remember how to do that.
Cause I had to refresh things just before we started, which ones are going to be, I'll probably be that warm. Yes. I'm going to cut to the chase cause we've already used up quite a bit of time. WP is the website where you can find all of our content, but we've got a an event coming fairly soon called the page builder summit it's page builder summit 2.0, you can find it at page builder,
And you'll be able to see a whole bunch of different speakers. Let's see if there's anybody of interest in here. Shall we so far so good.
look at that chap. Oh, you're looking like you're from the 1930s. They're probably very black and white. You're the only one I think who submitted a black and white photo. That's cool. So anyway,
Paul Lacey: [00:09:12] there's pictures who's having a midlife crisis with their baseball caps in those pictures, who, I don't know
Nathan Wrigley: [00:09:20] for those of you that are listening rather than watching.
It's like Paul Lacey is one of the people speaking there. And so is Lee, Matthew Jackson. There's a whole bunch of people currently standing at about 37. Hopefully we've got a few surprises in store as well. Things that are not on that screen, but if you fancy joining us, it starts on the 10th of May runs for five days, six or seven speakers each day.
And we'd love to have you there. Okay. Let me take that thing away and let's get stuck into the main sort of news that we're talking about. This week. We've got five or six pieces lined up maybe six or seven, depending on how the time goes. But the first one is over here. This is a podcast I confess I didn't.
I did. I put this one in Paula. Did you put this one in.
Paul Lacey: [00:10:05] think I put it in. Oh, I hope
Nathan Wrigley: [00:10:06] Because it seems like I've got an inflated ego. If it was me it wasn't very good.
Lee Matthew Jackson: [00:10:11] Okay. You got
Nathan Wrigley: [00:10:12] it. It's a piece. It's a podcast episode. Speaking of podcasts that I recorded recently with Anne McCarthy over on, not on the WP belt side of things.
If you didn't know I've been lucky enough to do the WP Tavern podcast for two episodes now. And anybody who is interested in full site editing whilst there's a team working on it. Somebody who is very much a part of that team is am and McCarthy from automatic. And we talked for about, probably about 40 minutes, about how a full site editing came about what were the criteria that was set up to make it happen.
And probably more importantly, for everybody, we get into the topic of where it's at now and what's coming in the near future and how it's shaping up. There's a there's this seems to be, I would say even more now, perhaps not more but just like Guttenberg did this seems to be causing a lot of anxiety in the space.
People wondering whether or not this, it really deserves to be in core or whether it's something that should be a plug-in, whether it's going to disrupt their career. If you're a theme developer, what does it mean for you? If you're a plugin developer what does it mean for you? And so it's a podcast episode all about that.
I would urge you to go and listen to it. You'll I think you'll come away thinking. That it, the stewardship of it is good. There's an awful lot of people. Who've got a lot of a lot of things to consider, shall we say? And that was one of the things that came out of it when you've got 41% of the web, you can't just roll features out quickly.
You have to do it really deliberately, slowly and get as much feedback as you can along the way. And if you're used to something like, I don't know, Beaver builder or Elementor, which can iterate really much more quickly. That's not what this project is for us, for helping the entire 41% of the web that's using WordPress.
Anyway, I've probably droned on for long enough. So I'm just going to say, Paul Lee fight it out.
Paul Lacey: [00:12:02] I think we should hand over to Lee first. Especially because we actually covered an article a couple of weeks ago where Lee, you actually wrote an article saying you were more or less done with using WordPress's like your main thing.
And I wonder if you know the future and some of the things you were talking about in the article was how do you fell that the direction of WordPress was going in more of a Wix direction with no-code low-code stuff, which is obviously fine for now, if that's what people want and everything.
But it seems to me that everyone goes through a journey with this, a whole full site editing thing, and. I was, I've gone from like raging mad to really on board to in between it changes every week. So yeah, exactly where you are. So I think I still
Lee Matthew Jackson: [00:12:53] stand by the article I wrote a few weeks ago.
So what we're doing is we are, we have stopped implementing WordPress solutions for clients. It is a mainstream. We have one WordPress solution. That's multi-site, that's it's about a 10 year old product now, so that's not going anywhere soon. We can't just move overnight. So that will continue to be sold as a product.
But for all of our new products, we're moving away. We're going to a Python Django framework and for clients sites where we need to build clients sites, again, we're going Django Python framework can VC model sort of stuff now simply for the flexibility and the fact that. We need to get our hands dirty.
We don't want to be reliant on all the different updates that keep coming in from different packages and getting nasty surprises. So we want to own everything. That's the main reason why we're doing that. And WordPress in itself is constantly changing and and seems to be changing direction as well.
So what was originally 10 years ago, a framework, a development framework. It felt like it was a blogging platform, simple page CMS with a real powerful framework underneath that developers could utilize to create powerful websites. And it seems to be morphing into more of an implementer tool where people with little to no code experience whatsoever can build their own sites.
That's great, but also start up their own agencies and provide a service as such and there are people doing that amazingly well. And there's also people that are doing it terribly, which has given the industry about name, my concern for WordPress. And my concern for here for FSC is that WordPress itself is I feel like it's losing its direction a little bit.
It felt like 10 years ago, there were two very clear audiences. There were the people who needed to blog. And then there were the tech people who wanted to build sites with the framework. It was pretty clear cut. There was just two camps. I could be wrong, but I felt like that's where it's always been.
And you either bought a theme that was pretty and easy to use, which would look nice for your blog or you would. Build something and have loads of fun. And there was two kind of big communities there, and everything's diverged with the page builders, which they've been phenomenal. The page builders have et cetera, but it feels that we're pressed itself trying to do full site editing, trying to throw all of these easier tools because it has 40% of the internet.
I think that's the reason they're doing it. And they're trying to appeal to more people. I think that's actually diluting the power of WordPress itself so much so that you're seeing, I think we'll be talking about it later. You're actually seeing some companies badmouthing WordPress because they're getting a little bit scared, like Wix and Squarespace.
And actually, I don't think Squarespace had bad mode, WordPress and I quite liked Squarespace. Great. But yeah it definitely feels like for me. WordPress is probably trying to go too far. Gutenberg still feels bloated. Doesn't feel finished, feels really hard to use if we're then going to go on and give people the ability to do near on everything.
As well as somehow incorporate all of the existing plugins that are already there. I'm confused as to what direction would press is going and who the target audience is for it nowadays. Does that make sense? And I think that's why you're going from one end to the other one minute, you're thinking like a a user of WordPress going, Oh, this will be great for my website.
And when I administrator I'll be able to do this real easy. And then when you think like an agency and you'll think, Oh man, this is going to be really frustrating because how am I now going to build custom field? Or how am I not going to do this? Or what's that going to do to that a framework I've been using for the last 20 years on that plugin or et cetera.
So I think that's why people are going all over the place. Cause I'm not sure even from this episode and Ann was fantastic, but I wasn't sure who the target audience was. I was also concerned last point also concerned because she pointed out all the different things that need to be considered. And I'll echo what Nathan said about the stewardship.
Sounds great. There are so many things that need to be considered, internationalization was one of the things you mentioned, accessibility, et cetera, and how. Doing this will affect all of those core plugins that, like page builders, et cetera. It sounds like a, another huge job. It sounds like something that I could end up bloating the core, if it's all done in core and run the risk of peeing off the 40% of the internet that's currently using WordPress.
That's my old man, two pennies worth in the pub solving world peace.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:17:03] Oh, I imagine much of the days when we can actually go in the course of
Lee Matthew Jackson: [00:17:09] these
Nathan Wrigley: [00:17:09] conversations properly. Paul, it's your turn because I introduced it. Lee's had his turn. What's your, where are you at right now? I
Paul Lacey: [00:17:17] think you've heard that nail on the head in terms of why I'm flipping and why probably other people are flipping flip-flopping from one side of, happiness about the whole WordPress project to complete at times despair.
And it is, your business is reliant on WordPress, which mine is or was then you. Can definitely feel threatened by what's going on. And that's quite rightly say, because if we see new products coming out and WordPress all the time, and most of the business owners are quite happy to jump on a new product, right?
Oh, here's a new page, but also I'm going to take that out and I think it's pretty cool and I'm going to use it for my clients or whatever, or my new business idea. I'm going to use it for my own website. And I think that one of the problems is that the block editor and all of those things are seemingly replacing a system that has worked for us for so long.
But when you see what is coming out, you think that is not a good replacement for what I've got. Yeah. And then you flip to the other side and you think I guess the tools that I'm using a kind of just for me and that's my business needs and everything. And I guess there's some, other aspects in there.
And the one thing that I do agree with in terms of the there's multiple things that I agree with on what you said, Lee, and there's multiple things that I'm swinging, trying to get my head around to, to get on board of things. One of the things that I think is important at the moment with that project is that what you can see is all the hosting companies, they're all building like a platform.
Then you've got Wix and Squarespace, et cetera, having their platform. Then you've got companies, even like the page builders, like elemental building a platform where they all have a plan really to monetize and lock the end user in. And the one thing that I've heard and the rest of her team talk about a couple of times, is this anxiety about WordPress becoming a locking a locked-in system because all of the platforms and all the different people with huge amounts of millions and zillions of dollars are able to take that software and then lock the end users in.
So one of the things that I'm quite passionate about is. Trying to make sure there is always an option that you can do all the stuff you can build your whole site, et cetera, without worrying about this plugin got bought by that company. So if you want to use it now, you need to use this hosting or whatever.
So I totally onboarded that, but I also just feel equally anxiety at times when I look at the block editor, how it is and think, I really think there's more work to be like a lot more work to be done on that until they start building out the other things. And my biggest anxiety for the whole project has been that this is like a seeming.
It seems like there's a rush to move forward. And that's been my main anxiety, but I will say having spoken to Anna number of times now, and she's been on the show, listened to the podcast, I've spoken to her a number of times on Slack and email and stuff like that. I'm getting the impression that.
They are trying to build a foundation that people can then build upon. So in a way we've got to wait for a year or two to see what all the third part is built on top, but it is so difficult to see what they're going to build on top. There's one, one more point I wanna make. And none of these are answering your points in particular search.
It's just the things that were in my head. And that is about the user feedback program that I can see. And this is co you know, this is one, this is a cool thing. And like a worrying thing that I can see from the full site editing program that is running, that all the people that took part, you can almost see their influence on what the next step was.
And that's cool. I'm like, yeah, I said that point and they've taken notice of that and wow. I'm, I'm mildly in the row, in the kind of the fabric of WordPress through that comment that I made on the feedback, but then I'm like, but there was only like 20 people.
Who us. Shouldn't, we get a thousand people that then you can see that a thousand people fed back and and the roadmap shifted a little bit rather than it. I, a tiny little group of people, so it's cool. And it's also worrying. And I think that it would be really good if somehow, outside of automatic and all that, a lot more testing could be done and feeding back.
I do think that the team automatic gotta be more open on how they receive feedback. And he's talking about that a lot in the podcast actually about how she's learning, but, you can email it or you can send videos or anything like that, but there is like a Slack group and a get hub thing and it feels a little bit like a barrier.
It's not that difficult to join these things, but it's still much easier. Let's say a new tool comes out. Bricks, builder. I was in Kyle van Doosan's group the admin bar, this new bricks builder thing comes out and there's 250 comments about it in five minutes.
That's a slight exaggeration, but you know what I'm saying? Yeah. I did get your point. It is really difficult at the moment to figure out for now.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:22:23] That's quite a few comments coming in about this. I probably won't mention them all. I've been putting them on the screen. I'll just do a couple.
So for example this comment came from Lawrence Just prior after, sorry. Lee mentioned his concerns. He said the counter argument is more, that is more and more folk, even in an ecosystem becoming more messy. They're doing well with WordPress too. And there was also Charlie, who's got an interesting one, right?
The idea of a fork which needs to take it back to a framework that is totally possible. Of course, Charlie, if you wish to do that, the code is there for you to do anything. You want anything you wish Charlie press. Yeah. Charlie press. That's a noise Sophia. And then Peter, thanks for joining us yet again, Peter.
I think that Ann has done a great job communicating how FSC won't affect WordPress users, unless they specifically indelibly want to use it, but her message just needs to be shared more. And that. Speaks to Paul's point. And I get that Paul really do understand that it would appear that there's a, quite a small audience of people.
You go to any random Facebook group, which is fairly vibrant and you could put a post out. And like you said, your exaggeration is not necessarily an exaggeration. You really could genuinely have 200 comments within a 24 hour period. Whereas over on the way that they've got things set up on the WordPress side, I think I feel there's there, it is more difficult.
You have to become, you have to become interested and you have to be interested prior to making those comments. So that's a valuable point.
Paul Lacey: [00:23:51] Yeah. And I think they're missing out on feedback. That would be really valuable from certain corners. It's if I learn, if I launch a new product, some kind of widget, I don't mean like a WordPress widget, some kind of object or something that I make I can over.
And I don't know if I've got an audience yet. I can over. Create an online shop and try and sell this widget and hope people find me, or I can put it on Amazon and that's where the people are and that's where the people are searching. So sometimes I think the core team, because they're moving into this product area would really benefit from expanding the outreach, putting some more human resource to help and probably to expand and say, okay, you've got the core outreach, which is outreach in our front room.
And then an extra special outreach that was. Actual outreach, where you go out of your own property to other places and start speaking to it. And Anna's starting to do that because she's in his, on podcasts and stuff like that now. So she's spreading the word, but it feels to me that she could probably do with some more human resource to, to get, to get more voices from different corners of WordPress involved.
But the other thing as well, Lee, I totally get that. You just do you know what my business has these needs? Now I'm not interested in worrying about this or that anymore. I'm just going to go with this other platform, Django and Python, which sounds so technical. I'd love to, I wish that was an option for me, but but I totally get that.
A lot of people are going to do that. That's just me say, you know what. I don't care about this stuff. I don't care about talking about it. I just want a good software base. That one is stable. It stays good. I'm going to go with that. I think a lot of people will go in that direction. No, that's
Lee Matthew Jackson: [00:25:32] exactly.
And again it's all part. It's just the time target audiences. And in fact, Lawrence clarified his comments saying he meant a barrier to entry to get the website for hours, approaching it from a different angle. As in a lot of companies starting to provide web services with little to no experience in web design or development, or even the ability to support people.
And it's something I talk about in that podcast episode a few weeks ago, where there's, this kind of become this subgroup of implementers that are unfortunately making a bit of a bad name for themselves and for the WordPress community by not. Necessarily doing a great job, getting people online, I'm all for making it easy for new people to get online or easy for developers to create great websites.
But my massive concern is just this big, massive blob in the middle of gray area. That sounds confusing. And I was concerned that WordPress may be trying to just please too many people and not specifying. These are our two. You can have more than one target user. That's fine, but it's like sticking their stake in the ground and saying, these are the people we are supporting and reaching out to.
Or that we're pressing is for, because if a brand gets diluted it's really hard to work out what it stands for. And Salesforce had the same problem many years ago, and they were trying to do all things for all people and then stuck their stake in the ground with sales and then created their marketplace, et cetera, which made it very obvious that they were, it's, it can get really messy
Nathan Wrigley: [00:26:52] otherwise.
Thank you. That was quite a long time on that one. Yeah.
Paul Lacey: [00:26:56] One more question. Just sorry, just before we move on to the other one. Cause first of all, everyone makes sure you're going to listen to the podcast. Cause that was actually what the news item was about, but it was difficult to not get pushed onto the bigger picture things.
Whenever there is anything about full site editing. But I was just gonna say from your perspective, what if you were, Matt Mullenweg or or some, someone else senior in in what could they do, in, in a nutshell, what could they do to win hearts and minds and help people understand what they're doing a bit better?
Lee Matthew Jackson: [00:27:26] They could promote an, to be the global communicator of this if she hasn't already. Cause she's a great speaker and she's great at describing what's going on. But also I think it's difficult. One, because you've got automatic being one of the big companies with many millions owning, many facets of WordPress, like Jetpack and WooCommerce and other products that they've purchased.
And then you've got all these other big brands as well. Haven't you, which was the thing you were talking about earlier, this concern of all of these big corporate brands, WordPress at its heart is an open source community. People contributing to core for the betterment of mankind, et cetera. And it's always hard to separate Matt and the team at automatic from WordPress core itself, hence all the big problems they have with Gutenberg, et cetera of people saying you're only building it because you want to compete with Wix for
That was the opinion that was going around in the comments of WTP Tavern and other websites. People just felt cross. So I know there is the WordPress foundation, but I do wonder whether people from outside automatic should be able to. I dunno, communications could or should come from some other committee outside of automatic itself.
Cause I do think people always assume the, how everyone slags off Google for being evil or any other big corporate company. I said in a comment a few weeks ago, and one of these shows it's fashionable to not like certain brands as they get bigger. And I think that's usually the Achilles heels of most projects.
There's a big brand behind it. And people become, it becomes fashionable to dislike and to hate on them. So if there's any way they can start to separate the two, I think that would help.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:28:58] The one of the things that I think Paul highlighted earlier, which would be quite, I don't know what the constraints are on this, but you were saying, Paul, you'd put your product on Amazon because it's where the audience are.
That feels too would be quite a good idea. And Peter's making the point here. He says, I find it surprising that the number of people responding to Ann's FSE tests are as low as they are, hence the need to eventually move to corporate, not forced. And if they were allowed and I don't know that they're disallowed, but it would seem that a lot of those conversations happen in get hub and Slack and what have you.
And if they could be moved to somewhere where the audience are. In a way, which was, I don't know, threaded in some sense, so that you could actually follow along with what people were talking about. So Twitter probably wouldn't be the right place, but dare I say it, Facebook groups could be a possible place to capture an audience.
I'm trying as hard as possible not to use Facebook, but it does appear to be where every man and his dog are at or already there. Maybe, but not for me to decide. Okay, should we move on? Shall we move on? Okay. Indeed. Let me put this back on the screen. So that was the piece anyway, this w yeah, the next step we've
Paul Lacey: [00:30:06] got the tool set
tool set 1.5. And so we've covered toolset quite regularly on this show. It also is probably leading the way in real innovation, I think. And they're definitely one of the trailblazers for want of a better word leading the way with the block editor and how you can actually create.
Full sites with the block editor archive used such as search and search results, single post templates, that kind of stuff that we're used to seeing in tools like Beaver, Thema and Elementor and those kinds of tools. They've just released 1.5. And what is, there's not too much to say about this other than they're doing something quite interesting, which is they're focused.
They're focusing a little bit now on performance. What they're doing is they're building performance optimization into the blocks themselves. So let's say that they're putting a YouTube video block in there or something, or you've got a YouTube video in there. Then the block itself, or the tool set system is automatically knowing that has got a YouTube video and it's already stripping out the junk that it needs to strip out so that it can differ the correct scripts that are already knows are going to be there because it knows what YouTube brings with it.
And as a result gives you. A much more faster loading website, especially for all this core web vital stuff, without you having to, just produce a load of junk and then add a caching plugin on the top of it at the end and hope that clears everything up, but further down the page, Nathan, and obviously there's no, there's no verification of this this chart that they show, but Oh actually, do you know what I think is this is the, is this the Tavern podcast?
Yeah, this is, this
Nathan Wrigley: [00:31:43] is comparing here, WP beginner. And they're just trying to make the point that's, if you run these tests, some sites do well, some sites don't so on. Yeah, that's
Paul Lacey: [00:31:51] right. If you go a little bit further down, they show the kind of keep going for those listening. Sorry about this part somewhere down there, there's a nice chart that kind of shows the huge difference it's made to one page and another.
Without here it is without any caching plugins at all. And you can see that if you're watching this, the performance is significantly improved. But just the optimization they've done on their own blocks. And what I like about that, and it's something similar to what I've seen. We have a company called SEO plugin called SEO prestige is that they're using blocks to do specifically very cool things.
So SEO press, for instance, has got an FAQ block. And as part of that FAQ block, instead of it just being the typical accordion, it's also putting the schema tags in there to help that particular FAQ rank better for being an FAQ, for instance. So I do like some of the innovation that's coming out of this and it does give me a tool set.
It's giving me a little bit of hope about if you're an agency and you saw what tool set are doing. You could, you may definitely be thinking I'm going to take a look at Tulsa because. It's it's it's offering what I need for agencies. The good thing about
Lee Matthew Jackson: [00:33:02] that.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:33:02] Sorry. No, Leah, please. You go.
Lee Matthew Jackson: [00:33:04] The thing about that is Eutelsat are putting the importance on performance at the plugin level.
As we were transferring over to Django and Python, we were absolutely amazed at how little code we would need to output to create some gorgeous looking websites and how fast they would load. And we've been able to achieve 99% and then, Oh, 0.1 millisecond load time. Cause it's ridiculous.
Cause it's, you've not got all of the extra stuff that WordPress itself loads in. But when you then add in all of the other plugins, let's use Elementor or Beaver with Beaver Thema. As an example, if you then look at the source code, there are countless amounts of HTML, CSS, just the third party, JavaScripts ad-ons, everything that all needs to load to make that website load.
If you then throw in caching into the mix that obviously. Does help. I like the toolset. Actually I love the toolset. I'm going down. This approach only calling what's needed when it needed. There's all sorts of frameworks out there that do things like outputting outputting the static rather than automatically, ultimately providing stuff from a database every time and slow loading sites.
And that's the sort of direction I'd love to see WordPress or the plugins go into is focusing more on the performance. So I like the way they're leading.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:34:12] I'm this just feels like the new frontier of advertising to me at the moment, which is a good thing, because for the longest time we've had advertising based upon aesthetics and the way that, things look and so on.
And now there's a real, there's a real easy way to get the sort of technicalities across. I remember when I was a child, like really young, if you watched a car up vote, it would describe the features of the car. They would explain like the engine size and they would explain that it had power steering and a little bit perhaps about how that worked and then fast forward.
20 years. And then suddenly they don't say anything about the car. They just show you like cool pictures of it, driving down a road and midnight or something like that. And completely no context about what the car is actually good at. And it feels to me like pieces like this are getting us, drawing us back into the technicalities and hanging everything off the back of speed is a really good way to set your company apart.
We're not far now another month or so before Google start to, to rank everybody, I've just seen Pete Everett dropping some comments. He's probably got an awful lot to say about this. And and so the fact that toolset are making a big pitch about, look, if you use our blocks, we're going to go out of our way to one example is we're not going to load any unnecessary bits and pieces.
They mentioned CSS. We're only going to load the CSS that's required for the actual stuff that's on the page and anything that is not needed on the page will be deferred and good for them. I think this is great.
Paul Lacey: [00:35:40] Yeah, they're doing good. And I'll tell you what, you've raised an interesting point, and it goes back to something you said earlier as well back to the full size thing, which I won't let us get us triggered back into that again.
But the point is knowing your audience and because you said Nathan, about the car adverts and basically my previous business partner, Peter was doing lots of consulting work in user experience design in the automotive industry specifically. And he actually told me that the way that the products, these cars are marketed in, for instance, Europe versus Japan is completely different.
So in Europe now and the UK and the States it's the lifestyle it's I want the car that makes me feel. I feel like that I don't care about this stat or that stat or how, if it's a camera, I don't care how many megapixels it's got, I want to be a YouTuber. So I want that camera or something like that.
Whereas he was telling me that specifically in the Japanese market for cars, it is all about the statistics. It's all about, this many liters of this, I don't even know. We're. So out of touch with car, stuff like that, I don't even know what a cool thing to say about a car would be these days, but it does go back to WordPress knowing here its audiences.
And I do think briefly back into the full site editing thing, if they do what Lee suggested, promote an, pay us some more money, allow us to be the global feedback person or something like that. Make our presence more people I'll vote president. Then then they could do more outreach and figure out.
What you know who their different audiences are, and it is tricky because their audiences 40% of the web, but if they could define them a little bit more tighter, They could probably figure out a better strategy that would win those hearts and minds and stop people, getting too upset about things.
And thinking it's the big, bad, big brand. And I'm like, guess at that time is nice.
Lee Matthew Jackson: [00:37:36] She's a great communicator. She gets it. So she's not scared of saying things either. And she is, she feels like someone's, who's approachable and absolutely in touch. I feel like if I met Matt in a room, I'd feel a little bit overwrought and a little bit fan boyish and wouldn't know what to say.
And these a little unapproachable and all that stuff
Paul Lacey: [00:37:55] probably say, sorry, you wouldn't, you'd be like, sorry. I said some mean things. Thank you for
Lee Matthew Jackson: [00:38:01] everything you've done. I watched them GI podcast SBI, and I just blurt it out, how much I loved him and that, and then walked away read Oh my gosh, I've not even listened to the show for two years. What did I do?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:38:16] Lawrence makes the point that it's a bit like Apple's think different campaign.
They, my, my memory, if memory serves, that was a real sort of watershed moment in advertising. When they, they suddenly made a product call based upon all sorts of criteria, which weren't the technical details, like how many gigabytes and megahertz, and to hard this size and all that. I'm just old school.
I really want the hard disc size data. I want the automatic joke. What would be best for me is a split screen with the CoolBot going on one side and the data happening on the other side that would work for me perfectly. But anyway, Tool set, doing a great job. I think it's nice. Shouting out to them, like on a, at least once every month aren't we mentioning them if they aren't already.
Thank you. But we are, we're giving them loads of positive praise because they're coming out with lots of nice stuff, basically. I think it's just because they're in the block space and they're just pushing it hard. Aren't they? And doing really
Paul Lacey: [00:39:11] well. Yeah. But think about it like this as well.
So toolset was quiet for it. It seemed anyway for a couple of years and now we're getting onto a new form plugin that's coming out and this is relevant as well. But think about tool sets, competitors, pods, ACF Metta box. Yeah. And a few others as well. All of those other products tend to be aimed at people like us, that, the people who are creating websites for clients with toolset.
He's pivoting going with the flow with the the whole WordPress core direction. And it's, it started to market towards end users as well. If you can buy shares and tool set maybe we should, I don't know. That'd be a good thing to do.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:39:52] Okay. Yeah. Honestly, don't blame me if
Lee Matthew Jackson: [00:39:58] I take all of it all back.
All right. Let's move on to some constitutes advice.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:40:04] How is it possible that we have a nother form builder coming into the WordPress space? And I've got to say, okay. The reason that this is on the page is just because of the reaction that I had when I saw this website. I have no idea what this product is like.
It's called formality. The URL is I did a quick lighthouse test on it and it didn't do that bad except on one criteria. It just failed it. Like literally there was just a question Mark. We don't even know what score to give this. You can go and check that out yourself. But I just, everything about this webpage, I love, I have no idea.
Like I said if it's to your taste or not, but it's just glorious. I absolutely love it. Everything that they've done here. And I know we shouldn't be doing this like animations, and I know that there's a ton of stuff on here, which core web vitals probably will stick it, stick its nose up. But I just loved it.
Goodness knows what the actual project is going to be like, but it seems like it's available on GitHub. So you can go and focus called Did you like this website
Paul Lacey: [00:41:19] guys? I did. Let's for those people listening. Imagine when Ryan tells you what they want from a website and they just use words like awesome Snick this on different, cool words.
And then, what they're imagining is something actually quite poor. But imagine that they came up with some really good ideas in their head for cool stuff. And that's what this website is. It's just a, it is a. Showcase of some serious front-end coding skill. Yeah. Apart from it does fail the core where vitals tests said, I run it through the, I run it through the test and the test to is error.
It's cannot, I cannot process this website. What is it? Flash? I don't know. But yeah, it sends to the website. I think it's call if I'd made that website, I'd be so proud of myself. But the the only downside to the website is you, it's very difficult to figure out what are you actually getting or what where's this really super undesigned forms somewhere.
But I know why point, it is yet another form plugin. And I listened to a podcast just the other day on you gurus your colleague from the Mavericks Lee, Brent Weaver. And he interviewed Brian Gardner, who was the, he was previously the founder of studio press and he sold studio press to Dirk engine.
And he was saying that, if you're starting a plugin, like a major plugin at the moment. And when I say a major plugin, a plugin that is designed for business solutions. So a form plugin is that because a business needs to send forms as forms completed versus a plugin that is for us tech is something like pods or something like that.
Then you're probably, you're probably creating this plugin to sell it. To one of the big hosting companies who wants to create a platform. So it makes me wonder, I wonder if this plugin is, has got that in mind, it makes sense because it's brand new, it's going with the whole concept of the block editor.
You use the block editor to build it. I'm trying to reframe from share buying price, share borrowing advice here again. So block editor
Nathan Wrigley: [00:43:27] is blindly good interface for building folders. Once they once all of the drag and drop stuff has been ironed out. And I just think it's such a good interface for that kind of thing.
Paul Lacey: [00:43:39] different as well. Isn't it? This is a different form building plugin than what we've seen before. So it's. It's funnily enough, it is, there is space for a new form plugin in the market, as long as it's different. And that's what we've got with this one. We've got a different form plugin.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:43:55] Yeah. This number that goes from honestly it went from 23% of the web, I think when I started using WordPress and now we're up to 41.
It genuinely goes up at an astronomical rate that must equate to millions of users. Every few. I don't know. Period of time. Let's back out of that one. That they need something like this. They want a four plugin, right? They're going to come to WordPress. They don't know what the incumbents, what the big players are.
They're going to do a quick Google search. Maybe this will crop up if they do their SEO, who knows. Just out of interest, everything is on an angle. Everything's on about a, what I would say about a five degree angle is also on an angle on mobile. And I hadn't noticed Lawrence's point yet.
The website is brilliant. She could actually click and everything goes the right way around, which is just absolutely brilliant. And Pete Everett in the comments makes the point that if he was building this site, he'd literally have to twist his monitor on one side to get the angles straight. But it's just a breathtaking piece of what is possible.
I know it fails all of the tests and everything, but, and I know also it probably makes you seasick. And for those people who really don't like consuming this kind of content, it's probably the worst thing that you're going to see all week, but there's just, I just think they pulled it off so well. I really like it.
Lee Matthew Jackson: [00:45:11] I can't stand the diagonal, which is what I hated about it. But I had noticed the nausea and was able to quickly change that very early on when I was looking at the side of the other day and just enjoy normal content. Funnily enough when it's straight, I got what it was about. And the best bit is if you go to native, the native bits are not designed lists.
That's less important to me. What I was interested was the native element of it. So it's a native Gutenberg based form builder. And when Gutenberg first came out, I started building my own form builder because we recognize that internally as an agency, Gutenberg is great for building out forms or for building out layout, layouts and designs, but not so great for handing over to our clients who really just didn't get it.
And every time you press control a wasn't going to slate everything in the block, or was it going to select everything on the page and everything that they were not used to doing in the old days? Kind of old school classic editor. But we at back then were thinking, Oh, we could build all sorts.
And we even bought a domain. Can't remember what it was called. It's like Guten forms or something like, cause we thought maybe we could build our own form builder and stuff like that and then realized it was just a massive distraction because building anything like this is complicated, Gutenberg though is here to stay.
This is a form builder. Based on something that is native to WordPress, which is very exciting. If you look at, say something old like gravity forms, obviously it's a mature product, been out for many a year, but if you can have something that works within the interface of of WordPress, are you getting bug, et cetera?
I think that is rather exciting. The only integration I've seen from say gravity forms or formidable forms so far is a block that allows you to put a shortcode into gravity forms. That's about it through Gutenberg. So this I think is a very clever idea. I lived the button at the bottom, because I couldn't cope with the diagonal. It was really hurting. I actually wear glasses, but I'm too vain to wear them on camera. Actually that I just cheaped out and I didn't get the anti-reflective, so you'd see all my lights. But yeah, so I switched to flat and I got excited over the native element of it.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:47:10] If it was me, just my computer, not keeping up, but I noticed that when you are, if you actually, if you could put it on the wonky, I don't know, maybe this won't even come over, but if you put it on the wonky angle and you actually scroll up and down the entire page, sort of it.
Lee Matthew Jackson: [00:47:27] Can you see us using skew CSA wing?
Nathan Wrigley: [00:47:31] I know, but it's just such a beautiful rendered, but it hurts my eyes. Yes. Quite the Cameron Jones makes the point that gravity forms has got a beater for 2.5. I don't know Cameron, if it's quite, it's very close. Isn't it. I got the email this week. I was going to put it in, but then we've covered it a few times, but it's got a much more dragon drop Gutenberg type.
Although it's all on the right. Not on the left. Maybe you can move that. I don't know, but it's, it looks a bit like element or for gravity forms kind of thing. Yeah. Have a look. To point fingers,
Lee Matthew Jackson: [00:48:01] we actually use gravity forms in our big platform on okay. And multi-site so
Nathan Wrigley: [00:48:05] it's a lot, it's a lot prettier.
It looks really nice. And they've dominated.
Lee Matthew Jackson: [00:48:09] Yeah. We didn't have to do
Nathan Wrigley: [00:48:10] anything yet. Chris Hughes makes the point that there's something called native, which also launched recently, which I missed. It's not WP, it's a SAS, but it's got lots of great integrations. Okay. I will make sure to look at that the form.
And then Lauren says the form itself on the front end is very much like a type of, yes, that's it's this conversational style of form where you type one answer in and then it scrolls to the next one and he just keeps you fixed on that one thing. Anyway, there you go. That was Nathan's pick of nausea, dating websites, which he really likes for the week.
That ought to be a section Paul each week with the jingle, with the here I'm liking that jingle, which is . Yeah. Okay. Let's go. It's Paul. Again, Paul is going to tell us about automatic and jet pack boost.
Paul Lacey: [00:48:59] Yeah. So everyone is jumping on the core Google core web vitals bandwagon at the moment, including myself, because I'm doing a little talk about that at the page builders summit, where are you doing at the page builder summit?
The page called summit or is it page builder,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:49:16] It's page builder,
Paul Lacey: [00:49:18] Yeah. That's builder Watch Chris Hughes. Now he'll go and buy the page builder summit, trying to sell you that tonight because this guy Chris uses addicted to buying domains. Chris, I love you. I mind I'm only winding you up.
So back to the actual piece pack boost is a new performance plugin, which is free in the repo and you can install it and I gave it a try. Here it is. What it does is it does a couple of small, simple performance tweaks, like load critical CSS, defer non essential JavaScript, lazy load based on image editing.
I think that's pretty much it actually, although their plan needs to do some more things on the Derby Tavern article, they made a kind of some people involved in the project it's got quite into the comments actually. There were very aware that there were being talked about there and they were saying that they, this plugin was developed side by side with the VIP company or agency or something that is part of automatic to so I don't know why I'm laughing.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:50:15] Sorry. I'll fucking come in. Something getting in the
Paul Lacey: [00:50:17] way I did it in a, they did it alongside the VIP team who work with huge websites. So apparently this has been really hard and battle tested on some huge websites. So it's pretty stable out of the out of the. Whatever the star in line or whatever the metaphor that I'm looking for is, and but here's the thing.
I tried it on my website, but the thing is, my website already does really well. We've no caching plugins because I specifically made it for page builder, talk. And I made a lot of effort to build it in the right way from the ground up. So my, my page scores, generally 95 and a hundred on the page, be scores and passes, all the things, et cetera.
I put the plugin on and it got worse. It didn't, so in my case, it didn't really help, but the fact is most websites on bill, the way that I've academically built a website specifically for a talk as to, to prove a point. So I think for most cases, as we've most performance plug-ins, you'll install it and it will do some good stuff there, but I can tell you something absolutely irritating about this plugin, and that is that. I installed it. And it says on the repo page, this is totally separate than Jetpack, et cetera. So I'm like, cool. I'll install it. So I install it straight away. They're like connect it to jet pack on flight. Oh man. It said a minute ago. This was nothing too okay. Okay. I'll put my details in or connect it up to my automatic or account, whatever.
So it did that and then I've got, I actually printed it out because I just didn't want the email in my inbox anymore. They sent me an email, sorry for printing out and destroying the planet. So does that mean email here? It is printed out a couple of different sides and I'll tell you what it says.
It's like lazy load is lazy load images, activate it. Great. Okay. Thanks for that. But first of all, did you have to send me another email manage your site on the, go download the desktop app and then apparently. I've got brute force attack protection activated. So I wasn't aware that I was getting that, but I didn't ask for it.
I've got site activity activated and also it's upselling me backups and automated malware. So I just, it's, there's all this stuff from Jetpack gets criticized for this a lot. And then they release a plugin that says, this is don't worry. This is nothing to do with WordPress. This is number two of Jetpack guys.
Just install it. It will. And it even says on the page, it will always be separate. So install it. And apparently it's installed a bunch of Jetpack modules in the background and I'm getting emails from them. So I was a little bit annoyed about that because I was really led to believe this time that this was just an independent plugin.
I install it. I press the button and no one asked for my email and no one sends me any more emails. And I think that, Jetpack. Just stop. Just stop please stop doing that. It's not helping the big picture. It's not helping the conspiracy theorists about what's going on here and stuff, but it seems to work quite well for some websites.
Like I say, for mine, it didn't really do anything, but it was, it seemed very easy to use. That was one thing I installed it, it showed me my scores. I pressed a button, some kind of cogs moved and stuff. And some, some generating CSS buttons happened. I wondered what that was doing in the background.
Cause it took a good five minutes and then it gave me a new score, which like I said, it was worse than it was at the beginning. But I think I'm an edge case in
Nathan Wrigley: [00:53:43] that one. Yeah. You really had kind of soup to nuts making that website. Yeah, I am. I am really curious about this. Sorry, total segue. I'm really curious about this.
This I'm going to print it out, so it's not in my inbox anymore. It's just,
Paul Lacey: [00:53:59] I might've been new game this morning. Which was, how do I get my inbox clear? And I made a little thing on, put it on the back. You can see these little sticks there and what the first one says is gone, which means I've dealt with an email and it will never come back.
But there's another one that says snooze for another time. I'm trying to avoid that. And everyone is snoozed for good reason. So there was a really good reason, like I need to deal with this next week specifically. And then another one was snooze personal. So th the Jetpack email that I didn't ask for was messing with my inbox zero game for the day.
I want to refer to this in the podcast state, but I want to put another stick against gone. So it was like a print gone solution. I know I need mental health. No.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:54:44] It's good. There's a red, do you use do you use Gmail or one of the, I don't know if you've come across it, it's called active inbox.
It's a Chrome extension, and it allows you to label things in that way and you can make them go away for a period of time. You could say disappear for eight days or what have you, and tag them and do all that. It's really good. I like it. You
Paul Lacey: [00:55:05] can also break a one email down into multiple tasks.
Can't you can say, when you get an email from someone you like, there's the 17 things in that. And you can
Nathan Wrigley: [00:55:13] replace the title of the subject line of the email was something of your choosing and you
Paul Lacey: [00:55:18] can remove the word urgent if it stresses
Nathan Wrigley: [00:55:20] you out. Just, I don't want to read, this might be what you want to replace it with.
And anyway, there you go. This says Chris has thinks you're over-complicating email money.
Paul Lacey: [00:55:32] Yeah. I was having a bit of a funny morning. It was one of those days.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:55:35] Okay. Lee, anything on the boost? Plugin from automatic, Jeff? Nothing. Paul hasn't already said fair enough. Okay. In which case let's press on.
We've got, sorry. I just occurred to me, Paul. Maybe that was one I should have been introducing. So I apologize about that, but I know you've done a load of legwork on it anyway. Oh yeah. Your name appears next to it somewhere. Or I was just looking at the wrong one in mind. Here we go. We're back to you, Paul, for the Wordfence article, the security piece.
Paul Lacey: [00:56:05] I've, talked myself out of energy now, can, I don't know if I can handle this one, but let's give it a go. So anyway this is, we covered the other week, I think element or had a an issue with what'd you call it's you know, where it's a, got a vulnerability. So there you go.
Told you I've said too many words ready. I've run it. I've run out of quota. They had a vulnerability and that affected all of the other elemental add-ons as well, because it spread in that way. Yeah, I don't know my words today, but anyway, the point is elementary was hugely successful hugely used on millions of websites.
And what fence has noticed, how much traffic has been attacking all these Ella element or add-ons. And you can combine it. Also, we have another article by patch stack, is it called patch doc who used to be web barks? I never security company who did a white paper from their stats, from their firewall that showed that over 96% of malware attacks are aimed at plugins and themes as opposed to WordPress core itself.
And I think the thing about this is number one Take care of your security for your website. That's especially if you're using lots of plugins and stuff like that. Number two, it's difficult to see where the responsibility lies with this is it, element or should they be working harder to make their system more secure or should they be working harder to make it perform better or more accessible?
Or is this just how it is? And there's nothing much that we can do about that. You do see element or constantly creating re almost re reinventing itself every couple of months it comes out. And even though last time you heard about element, or it was all the most amazing things that you could ever want a few months later, they've got another bunch of the most amazing things that you could ever want and yeah, and they are getting criticism.
I know if are you in the, if you're in the WordPress community, is the Facebook groups or Twitter and stuff like that, you do see element or taking a lot of. A lot of stick these days, which is I have mixed feelings about, because number one, they allowed people to create a lot of, income and move forward faster with their businesses and everything.
And now those same people are complaining about it, but also rightly say those people are complaining because maybe element or needs to put more, I more focus on these stability issues on these security issues and stuff like that. Because if you've got a plugin that big, and it has a security issue, a 96% of attacks are on plugins rather than core, then perhaps you've got a responsibility to help stop huge attacks of bandwidth and destroying the planet with wasteful bots, trying to find things that are there and everything.
So I've got an all sorts of strange directions there, but yeah, elemental victim of their own success. Sometimes I thing.
Lee Matthew Jackson: [00:58:59] That's the same argument for WordPress though, isn't it? You could say that we've used WordPress for 15 years and we shouldn't be moaning about it. I think people do have a right to have a good old moan.
If the company you're working with led you down one path and then continued to change their mind, and you raised the point early ELA mentor has continued to change. Its mind has gone from being the small competitor against something as big as being a builder, to being one of the biggest providers or one of the biggest platforms.
And like you said, it has become a victim of its own success. What I didn't understand was it third party plugins that were the ones that were getting most of the attacks or was it elemental tours only?
Paul Lacey: [00:59:39] It was a, that is basically the WebEx or the patch stack report was basically saying that what they can see is that.
Almost all the exploits that get attacked are throw from the third party plugins that aren't necessarily just element or just, that is where the problem tends to lie. That we all install plugins and we go and check them out in the repo, or we buy them from a marketplace or something like that. And a lot of the times those add-ons to the core software.
Have these one or relatives in them that constant
Lee Matthew Jackson: [01:00:13] as it were, it would be that ELA mentor should, if they haven't already, because I haven't used it for so long now having some sort of just standard marketplace, it doesn't have to sell this stuff, Ella mentor approved ad-ons would.
Certainly be awesome. That have adhered to the WordPress codex and whatever other stipulations they have. Cause I assume like WordPress, they're trying to standardize. I don't know if they are, because like you said, they do come out with a new feature all the time. To the extent that I think I said a few weeks ago that I almost imagine elemental forking into its own CMS and we're leaving WordPress behind because it's added so much stuff into itself.
It's it's definitely a tough one, isn't it? But we're pressed itself has the exact same problem. There are countless plugins that are, that create work, WordPress vulnerabilities anyway, don't they, because of what's out there and maybe there should be more education to people to, to help people understand.
How to select a plugin again, that goes underscores the implementer marketplace. Doesn't it? Where there are people that are not educated enough to understand what is good and what's bad. If something else 20 downloads, a few bad reviews and some dodgy looking code, how do people know how to. Tell
Nathan Wrigley: [01:01:25] it's also just compounded by the fact that people are not familiar with updating things often as well.
Obviously these plugins, I confess, I haven't really followed this story particularly closely, but let's make the assumption that they've updated, whatever the vulnerability was was using. Yeah. But the problem may be that the lots of the people that are using these websites simply don't have the facility or the desire to log in and go and get themselves updated.
So as always, maybe even make use do Paul, I know that Lee's perhaps may not making use of this feature anymore. Do you, have you, are you starting to use the enable auto updates option across the border? Are you still,
Paul Lacey: [01:02:01] Yeah, I do. Cause it it just, especially on the websites that I trust stable in this area anyway.
So I, I do use that, but just one thing, I think the element, or I don't state patch their plugins quite quickly, but the the Wordfence report is more about the, even with them all patched, the attacks were just ongoing. So a ton of bandwidth is use up in firewalls and stuff like that for for the, for these things, when there's such high profile vulnerabilities, But Lee's a point actually about forking we've about a fork of WordPress.
I do think leads nicely into our next and probably our final piece. Okay.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:02:42] You have to treat this with great speed, Paul, because I know that Lee Scott hard stop fairly soon, so we'll just fine.
Paul Lacey: [01:02:52] Yeah, you need to
Lee Matthew Jackson: [01:02:54] in
Paul Lacey: [01:02:54] minutes. Yep. Yep. No worries. Basically this is it's not news it's not happened or anything, but basically there is a discussion going on in the WordPress community team about banning companies from sponsoring WordCamps. If they advertise competitive against WordPress, now they haven't named, I don't think that the actual post, the original post in the community is naming who that's about, but the dopey Tavern article suspects that it's actually companies, for instance, element or beans, is there was a bit of WordPress drama recently with element or running an ad that was relatively benign in my personal in my personal opinion.
And I think further down the page. So Nathan, you can see them in the ad. It said something like frustration, less WordPress third is WordPress frustration lists. And then can you imagine how great the WordPress experience could be? If it was user-friendly and intuitive? We did, it's called elemental. So it is a bit of a deal.
I like that. And that's typical. It is typical advertising. It's not in, it's not in a commercial two spirit, but it's not supposed to be an, obviously they could have framed it a different way and said, Hey, we really improve the user experience of WordPress and make it more intuitive for people like you.
So he could have done that, but it does feel like elemental or actually having a bit of fun, poking at WordPress a little bit. And it makes you wonder, if there is, They got a plan, a elementary, I've got a plan, this smart people. They know how to make money. They know how to make a product.
They are in touch with their audience. Even with all the negative press they'd have recently, it is not affecting their growth whatsoever. That's just the thing. The thing I was going to say about the Falk is that let's say they got banned from what WordCamps number one. That's not going to affect their income.
One bit great advertisement. Yeah. And let's say they then forked it. What an amazing story they could have. We went in, we created a product, we made it better than WordPress. We got banned from the thing because we're a threat and you know what we did in the end before and made a better version for ourselves and our own products.
Now that's a conspiracy for you lead before you go. What'd you think about that?
Lee Matthew Jackson: [01:05:04] I love it. I applied terrible idea, ban people from sponsoring WordCamps. Because then you starting to think, let's go back to Apple. I think Lawrence mentioned Apple earlier and the whole 1984 thing, WordPress and us as a community should not ban free speech.
WordPress is as good at as it still is. It may not be happy with certain things, but it still is an amazing platform because of free speech. And because grumpy people like me have an opinion and I'm perfectly happy as well in business for companies to try and call me out and make me work for my money.
If they're going gonna say, Hey, don't use event engine because why would you want that dude building your website versus us? Fine. Let's. Bring it on let's have a better for competitive fun. Why not? And I like what elemental did there, because let's be honest. It's actually true in my opinion as well that there are things that really frustrate me about WordPress.
Actually. There's more things that frustrate me about elemental or anyway, but I don't think we should be controlling people's right. To speech and having fun. Heck let's poke fun at elemental or a Wix or Squarespace. Why not? I think it's healthy.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:06:15] It's an interesting one as well, because it's curious Lee, by the way, I'm going to, I'll be very quick because you would imagine that word camps and things like that, that they would benefit from the sponsorship coming from people like elemental.
So it is a curious decision and we should probably point out on the screen now is a piece over on where this whole thing came to light. And it says recently a WordPress organized organizing team raised a question and it goes on. And this is not necessarily going to happen.
It's just
Paul Lacey: [01:06:44] a curious idea. Yeah. It's just a question. And there's some great responses in there as well, actually from. Completely different angles, some, what Lee was saying and some for the idea of stopping companies that, that don't advertising the same way. I'm pretty sure it's Bob WP does a good comment in there as well, where he says, wow, this is classic advertising.
Anyway, if it's not biting the hand that feeds you, it's saying that here is a thing and an on its own, it's dull or boring or something like that.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:07:14] Yeah. It's pointing out, there's a comment underneath talking about was a good one. Yeah.
Paul Lacey: [01:07:20] Yeah. And then there is a there is an use our products and it makes this thing, that's blend very exciting.
So there's all sorts of different views on this. And I think that this is a good, way to publish this stuff on the make and get lots and lots of feedback and probably, that the decision is probably made for them, but I'd be interested to see if they do. Bond companies it'd be shocking if they did a think.

Lee Matthew Jackson: [01:07:45] Elemental are banned from a word camp then they can, by all means sponsor my podcast because I'll be available. They can sponsor the page builder summit, which I believe they already have. There's plenty of other stuff in camera and mentioned that in the comments and, If there's going to be bureaucracy, there's plenty of other spaces in our community and the,
Nathan Wrigley: [01:08:02] on that bombshell, as they say on top gear, we're going to, we're going to have to end it.
Thanks for joining us. We'll be back next week. We do it every single week. Me and Paul and maybe legal come on again. Hopefully he will. That would be really, certainly be inviting him. Did you hear what he said earlier? We'll be back next week, as I said, if you don't see us then come Thursday, podcast episode will be released.
I've no idea what it would be. I've been looking at my
Lee Matthew Jackson: [01:08:29] screen. Yes.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:08:31] I should probably clean my glasses as well. Thanks for joining us. We've now reached a point where we do the ugly way. Sorry, the ugly way. If the, unfortunately, difficult to time wave, I'm going to call this episode. Okay.

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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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