This Week in WordPress #164

“A lively debate”

This week’s WordPress news – Covering The Week Commencing 17th May 2021

With Nathan Wrigley, Birgit Pauli-Haack (@bph) and Spencer Forman.

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

We focus on the following stories:

Social Image Generator is a WordPress plugin

GoDaddy Pro

Stellar WP launches – the brand to that enompasses all the liquidweb and iThemes product offerings

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

ProfilePress Rebrands and Repurposes WP User Avatar, Now a Membership Plugin, Users Revolt via the WordPress Review System

Benjamin Intal on Why He’s Betting His Business on Blocks

Changelog #44 – Gutenberg 10.6 Release, Features Coming to WordPress 5.8, and Theme Settings in Theme.json

Automattic – tonnes of jobs

WordSesh & WP Engine Summit

Advertisers flee to Android as majority of iOS users opt out of ad tracking

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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 164 recorded on Monday the 24th of May, 2021. It's entitled a lively debate. I'm not joined this week by Paul Lacey. He's got some other things to do. So I've just got two guests on the show. This week, we've got bigot, Paulie hack and Spencer foreman, and we do have a lively debate.
We start off talking about the social image generator plugin. Then we move on to stellar WP, which is a new amalgamation of brands on the liquid web. We then talk about profile press and how the plugin this week updated and went from being a simple avatar plugin to being a whole membership suite and how the community have reacted with then one star voting.
We then get onto the fact that I did a podcast this week with Benjamin Intel over on the WP Tavern side of things. And then the magic starts to happen. We talk about the Guttenberg and Gutenberg times and how there's a ton of jobs over at automatic. We finish talking about word session and the WP engine summit, but it's a lively debate centering around Guttenberg whether it's fit for purpose or not.
Well, I hope that you enjoy it
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Go check it out and get a free [email protected]. I've got very little to say about Spencer because he didn't care a lot, like a lot written. So I'm just going to hurt him when it's time. But for beer, get, I have something. So I'm over. There is a, is big at Paulie hack and it says IVF. She is the publisher of the Gutenberg times a site with news around work, the WordPress block editor and beyond bare get hosts, regular Gutenberg live Q and a on YouTube.
And co-hosts the podcast and the Gutenberg changelog with Greg Zs Koski. I am so sorry that I've butchered that person's name.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:03:13] Well, he goes by Craig because he gets a lot I'd call ski. Yeah. I had to practice that as well. So
Nathan Wrigley: [00:03:23] I'm sorry. I should have, I should have spotted that beforehand. And, um, anyway, thank you.
I really appreciate Jeff. Well, thanks for having me. And, uh, and obviously we have, uh, just there, there is, um, is Spencer foreman and all I've got here is that Spencer foreman is from WP launch. If, but maybe you want to tell us a bit more.
Spencer Forman: [00:03:46] Uh, yes. Uh, WP launch fire is my primary property, and I'm also [email protected] and they're both somewhat related.
I've been around WordPress literally since the beginning. But, uh, what I like to say I'm responsible for is, uh, helping people understand WordPress as a platform specifically, I work with the authors of all of the major plugins and other components, as well as the end-users to help them understand how, if you really came into it from a different angle, WordPress is better than almost every other SAS platform.
We just help you to understand which plugins to use and how to put them together into a system. And so WP launch Phi is a free service that leads to consultancy launch flows is just another plugin that turns woo commerce into the sales funnel powerhouse that it can be. And, uh, I really enjoyed the fact you had me on your show recently, and we talked about that a little bit.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:04:34] It just on the screen by pure coincidence. Look at that, um, episode 229. If you want to go and check it out, just go to WP and look for episode two, two nine. Um,
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:04:48] it's an excellent service actually, because it's a really hard time. Um, for someone who hasn't been online as a business owner to get this funnel part, uh, really right.
And that they actually have to produce some. Um, ideas about, um, okay. In which situation is your visitor and what can you offer them in that stage? So, uh, really happy that this is around. So
Spencer Forman: [00:05:10] thank you. We're, we're, we're pleased as well. And it's by the way, not to talk too long, but we service both the professionals in this space, the WordPress implementers, as well as the end-users, because many of the professionals are forced to Wade through a lot of legacy stuff.
And if you have maybe one or two services or plugins that are out of date, you can end up trying to recommend or do something that can take you 10 times longer and gets you one 10th, the results. So that's where it works on both ends.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:05:36] Yeah, well that's thank you. Thank you for that. Two, two nine. You mentioned mentioned that again in a second, but, um, quick message from, uh, this, this, I will always talk about comments at the beginning, but Cameron Jones in Australia saying, I guess Paul Lee has been, has Paul Lacey has been fired.
Those of you. Who've got a who aren't watching, but are just listening. May have noticed Paul hasn't said a word yet. Sadly, Paul is unable to join us today. He'll be back I'm hoping next week. So he's got other things which he needs to tend to, shall we say, but if he's listening in which he may be, then hello, Paul.
I hope that I hope to see you in a few days time, the, um, the, the normal stuff, the normal stuff, which I've got to get on with is, um, if you've got any questions, drop them into the comments while you're watching this. And hopefully there'll be a bit of time as we go. Um, and also just to say that if you are watching [email protected] forward slash live.
You can just use Google. You can be logged into Google because it's YouTube, but if you're in the Facebook group, then you need to click on the link in the, in the description, which is streaming forward slash Facebook. And then we can see who you are. And it doesn't just say anonymous, Facebook user.
Which is very helpful. Um, okay. What are we doing here this week? As always, we are here to talk about the WordPress news. WP builds is where we dump all of our stuff each and every week, podcast episodes, things like this. So you can go and check that out at your leisure. If you've un-see clicking the subscribe button hop there, then you'll be taken to a page where you can, you can, you can be notified when we produce stuff each and every week.
But, um, rather than droning on about that, let's get stuck into the actual content for this week. And we got maybe eight or nine different items depending on how the pace of the, of the session goes. But the first one that I wanted to mention was this one. Now I think typically something like this, wouldn't make it onto the show.
Not because it's not interesting. I just, I don't know. It just wouldn't, but something about this caught my attention this week. I just really like it. This is the idea that you can, I should probably just. Put the URL up as well. It's social image, And as you can see on the actual page itself is a social image generated is a WordPress blog, and that automatically creates social share images for your content.
Sadly, if you're listening to this on audio, you won't get an impression of how good this is, but basically you just, it just automatically creates those social images that you want to put out there with all the, all of the bits and pieces aligned and created perfectly. I do this manually each and every time that we produce a piece of content, I go into our little online, something like Canva or something like that.
I basically just rewrite what I did before, but I just love the fact that this can now be done. In a plugin without you having to think too hard, you just kind of pick a template that you want for this particular one and you're off, that's it. And I just thought that was a really nice one to start with.
So if you guys want to comment on that, I'm just giving the developer a shout out. Well done. I think this is a great idea, but if they get or spend some want to talk about it, go for it.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:08:40] Well, yeah. Do you want to go Spencer? Go ahead. We're
Spencer Forman: [00:08:44] good.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:08:45] Well, I, I wish that was around when I have my social media agency a few years back.
Yeah. Ever really did. Um, a lot of hand, uh, building of those social, uh, images. It's really nice. And I found, um, I tested a little bit. And I looked at the video and, uh, it's quite comprehensive what you really want to do as a social media marketer. Yeah. So, um, and you, you get all the things from your website and that's always a win when you can do, you don't have to change tools and all that, um, with the switching costs.
So, um, I really like it. I'm glad you pointed it out.
Spencer Forman: [00:09:22] Hmm. I mean, I could see the value of this for sure, because I was just addressing this. I had originally used Canva when it first came out and thought it was a neat tool, but, you know, there were like tools at the time that were, you know, the standby stuff that we had all used.
And then I recently went back and visited Canva again, primarily, uh, this being one of the reasons, because I realized that the time involved, the cost of my own time of going and fixing every post for this, uh, was time-consuming beyond its worth. So Canva has some tools in it, but as a comparative. This actually, I think would in many ways improve upon that because Canva, you still have to make the images in advance.
And even though you can do a pretty good drama, but without much time, uh, this does it on the fly. It's shocking to me. But then again, as a developer, I sometimes see this, how many. Big pain points. They're still remained in the core process of WordPress posting. And I would say, this is one of them, you know, so kudos to the developer price seems reasonable $39 a year.
I mean, you would definitely save that kind of time.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:10:28] Yeah. Yeah. I reckon like you only need to produce two images and you've saved that amount of time. Right? So the options are, the options are pretty straightforward, but basically imagine that you're in a post, you, uh, you, you kind of have some options to pick a template, change some colors, type, some texts that would be image.
Um, you know, and so if it's a long post, you might want to go for a particular template where the text is over the left and the images on the right, so simple options, but just gets the job job done in a completely satisfactory way. I am, I don't know if either of you two have come across an online tool called stencil.
It's a little bit like Canva, but with, with less bells and whistles, they've got a really nice implementation in WordPress in that you can, you can marry it to the media library. And you can, you can kind of interact, you have to have the SAS accounts. So it's not just You have to have a SAS account, but then you can interact and do all the complicated things that stencil does.
And then you just click save and it just dumps it straight into the media library. So that's, that's kind of like a halfway house, but this is all just so much more straightforward. So a huge loss to, um, Daniel and forgive me, Daniel, I haven't caught sight of your surname, but
Spencer Forman: [00:11:38] I would have one thing to hear too.
And this is, I think this is a pretty good example of it. One of the things I was referring to earlier with WP launch is that people don't realize the origin story of WordPress being that anybody can make anything for any purpose. You know, it was a big potluck dinner, but what we're finding today is that the developers who make products that are singularly focused.
Priced correctly and fill in a space most like a Lego block inside of an existing stack of Legos are the plugins that really serve the best purpose and are the best for their intended. You know, why do I need this kind of moment? And that is the kind of stuff that this really seems to do. Um, I like that better than the ones that we're going to talk about it.
And maybe another story that try to jam everything under the sun, into their plugin, because then what happens is you have to spend a lot of time and a lot of energy turning off or deciding whether to use something. Whereas with this, you can understand it very quickly and it's going to do what it's supposed to do, and it solves a pain point.
And that would be a perfect way to describe how all plugin should work in WordPress. In today's climate.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:12:43] Yeah. Nice, nice, nice.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:12:46] Yeah. I agree with you. Yeah. The two or three little plugins that I like very much and they do one thing only, and that do it. Well, one of them is still a public preview. Public post preview.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:12:59] Oh yeah. I use that. That's fabulous. Right.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:13:02] And it has a good number. Um, it can handle Gutenberg and then the other one is, um, uh, switched pulse type, which is when you start out as a page and said, oh, maybe that's, uh, another thought of a new series of blog posts. Then you can switch them over to. Um, just to post and don't have to copy paste at all or something like that.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:13:24] yeah. Previous public posts one is absolutely fabulous. If you just want somebody who's not on your team to just take a quick look over something, it upends, uh, uh, I dunno, eight digit code at the end of the URL and anybody with that eight digit code appended to the end of the URL can actually view the post in draft without being logged into WordPress.
It's sublimely cool. And, um, yeah. I don't know how many thousands of times I've used that. So, yeah. Good mentioned. So this one is if you want it for one site it's $39. Five sites is 99 by the looks of it. And 25 sites is one nine, nine. Anyway, go check it out. It was a social image,, right? Okay.
Uh, let's move on. This is, this is honestly, I didn't know about this until Paul Lacey put this my way. This is stellar. and the, the tagline over here is we eat, sleep and breathe. WordPress. This is, this is the, this is the coagulation of some mighty players. I kind of feel like, how did I not know this was going to happen?
Of WP is liquid web's home for the most trusted e-commerce and nonprofit plugins on WordPress. And here's the laundry list. So, so now we have the, the joining. We probably knew on some level that this was happening, but it wasn't branded under the Stella WP brand of themes. The events, calendar restrict content pro cadence WP and give WP.
And it really wasn't that long ago that give WP, it was like, oh, a couple of weeks ago announced that they'd been bought a little prior to that maybe a month or so ago, cadence, and maybe like 18 months ago or something I themes and the events, calendar and so on. I don't really know what the play is here.
Other than that, I'm guessing that maybe you'll get this stuff for free if you're on their hosts. No,
Spencer Forman: [00:15:14] no, no, no. This is, this is the, if you go to the very bottom, I had a good, I had a good talk with Chris lemma this week, the very bottom left, you'll see liquid web, and then they have two other child companies, stellar, Stella, and.
Uh, that was for old, old, the fans of
Nathan Wrigley: [00:15:32] is that an American joke? Cause I don't get that.
Spencer Forman: [00:15:35] I don't get any of that desire. That was candidly, the main character. Okay. Um, and then nexus. Okay. So stellar and nexus are basically the hosting, uh, you know, the cloud hosting part and then the companies they're buying, which I don't think I'm saying anything.
That's not public are liquid web's investment in where WordPress is going. It's a holding company for those companies. They're going to let them run themselves. They bought them, they're going to run themselves. So all this is, and that's why you never saw it. And neither did I, because when I talked to Chris, I said, I don't see any reference to give WP.
Or I think, is there anything else over on the liquid web website, where are these going to show up? Are they going to show up in a product? And so for them, yeah, they may show up in products that people buy like a hosting package, but the way they've divided out as liquid web is a family of brands. And now there's two baby brands, stellar and nexus.
And this is a recent, well, nexus has been around a little longer, but the stellar is a recent incarnation. So when they're buying these companies, the ones you see there, they all end up end up under this baby brand. And they're being operated with an incentive for the previous owners to continue to participate in the success of the companies.
I think that's a good way to say it. So rather than buy it, get rid of all the owners and kill it. Uh, they're trying to do it a different way
Nathan Wrigley: [00:17:00] because the, my recollection is that, um, obviously themes was brought by lick bought by liquid web, but in turn wasn't it was, I themes that bought cadence. So
Spencer Forman: [00:17:15] yeah, because they incorporated into the product a little bit.
Okay. But you got to also understand that it's an interesting thing. Like Corey, who was one of the, you know, the, the lead face on teams was not actually the owner entirely by himself as the best way to say it. And so there was a lot of, um, uh, team acquisition that went on and Corey now I think went on this week, they announced that he's taken over Brian Krug's guards share of, um, of that operation.
Right. And so, you know, everybody has their thing they want to do. And I was asking him specifically about give WP because, uh, I had some contact with the owners in various places, including a WP fusion. And I was curious about the buyer because that's a very large company, 23. People in that company and for WordPress, that's a pretty large size company.
So this is where I found all of this info. And I admit I was in the same position as you have. It really wasn't obvious how this was all structured, but I think it makes a little more sense. Now, when you think of it, in those terms, liquid web has a legacy of being a hosting company, but with a variety of different hosting options.
And you know, now they're breaking it out into the various things they do. Here's our software stuff. Here's our hosting stuff. Here's our, who knows what they're going to do. Next stuff. I
Nathan Wrigley: [00:18:35] to say, I really liked the idea of the whole, let's just let it all carry on as it was obviously, if it was kind of root and branch, the company was falling to pieces and you brought it up, brought it up because it was failing then.
Okay. That's fine. That's also things. But from the outside, it didn't feel like anything, but in fact, that cadence in particular and give and all of these other ones that we can see on the screen, or none of them felt like they were in that position. It's like the rolling
Spencer Forman: [00:19:00] stones in the sixties, moving to exile in France to get away from the British taxation system.
If you're a company here based in America, there's probably I'm guessing here, but there's an infinite number of reasons to structure these things in a certain way, not just for marketing, but for taxes and so forth because, uh, there's a lot of money that's available, uh, to invest in various things today.
And I think they're probably smart by dividing it up into segments and so forth. At least that's my personal guess as to what's going on here. Yeah,
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:19:31] I think it's also a branding issue. Yeah. If I give WP as a hundred thousand installations and people know about give WP and that's donation part, if that's all of a sudden an I-Team, um, add on or something like that, I think that will be really hard for people to continue having the trust in the brand that they came to trust the last five years or six years.
Spencer Forman: [00:19:55] And he and Chris said that, I mean, Chris is the deal guy there. He sets these up, he finds them is over. Then he said that, and it wasn't really a surprise, but if you compare how other software gets acquired or displayed inside of a larger space, even like one of the early acquisitions was, um, managed WP, which I knew Vladimir when he first started that thing.
And it's amazing, uh, when they got swallowed up by GoDaddy. Vladimir stayed his bare minimum. And he was out of there and I can't speak for him, but it would be clear to anybody in the businesses because they didn't give him the kind of you run the company. Like you want to run the company that liquid web is apparently wanting to do.
And that was a big point that Chris emphasized is that they want the founders to feel free, to operate their businesses in the same way. But now they have a, a financial backer and some personal security and maybe, you know, that kind of a thing that would come from selling to a larger entity.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:20:56] Interesting. Can we, although it's not in the show notes, can we touch on because it kind of came across my radar only at the weekend. When I was listening to my pod, I was doing some gardening and, uh, on a podcast, the post status podcast came on and I listened to it. Do you mind if we just segue there for a minute because, um, this week it was in fact announced that Bryan Cross guard is kind of moving on, uh, Corey in the podcast that I listened to kept referencing what Brian is going to do.
And, and I think I kind of gathered what he was going to do, but I'm not sure if that's been publicly announced. It probably has, but, um, I really. Really liked listening to what Corey was saying about what they're going to do with that community. Uh, you know, the fact that he wants to do everything with other people, instead of trying to be a solo preneur, he wants to carry on the community, improve it in some ways that he feels, uh, uh, worthwhile.
And we don't really mention post status all that much. But if you go over to post, it's the most vibrant of a WordPress communities. And, uh, you know, you've got the likes of Matt Mullenweg hanging out in there, but Corey's taken the hell. And I think he think he went from, uh, Let's say it was 50% and he was a partner and now he's, he seems to be the man.
So I don't know if Cory's watching this or will ever hear about it, but congratulations. Um, I hope Brian, I hope whatever he's moving on to is meaningful and enjoyable, but Corey, good luck with all that. Yeah.
Spencer Forman: [00:22:19] Something with crypto sounds like. Yes.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:22:22] Yep. Yeah. Yeah, that was what I kind of had in my head as well.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:22:27] Uh, great job. Um, making that business community really very, um, a safe space for people to discuss things, um, around businesses. And, um, yeah, I, I was at his, uh, at the conference, the post status conference in 2017. It was so long ago, but it's really still, um, all the connections that are made there are still very, um, uh, prominent in my life.
So it's, uh, I like that community. And if you, you want to join, it's only $99 a year. Yeah. And you get to hang out with a lot of cool people from the WordPress community professional community. Um,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:23:03] I do a great job of curating the news and editorializing it so that it's, you know, really, really easy to understand what's been going on each and every week.
Um, Paul Lacey I'll bless you, Paul he's dropped in C. Sorry. He couldn't be there today. Catch up later. Yes, indeed. Good luck with this weekend. Yeah, we'll catch up later. And uh, Cameron says, is this the longest time we've ever been without a WP Tavern article? Well, Cameron, you don't have to wait too much longer because here we are.
We've got the first WP Tavern article of the week. Yeah, we, we plumb into WP tab each and every week. So this story kind of seemed to break and then keep breaking and then keep breaking. I can, I honestly think that every single WordPress anywhere that produces any kind of word person use picked up on this one, this is just such an interesting story.
And it really speaks to me at least of it. Complete disconnect between the developer and the users of a plugin. So quick backstory profile press. Um, during the course of last week, at some point released an update. And seemingly I confess that I didn't have the previous plugin, but it, it was an avatar plugin.
It was called WP user avatar. And it did one thing. He did one thing well, which we we've already discussed is exactly what we want from a plugin. It allowed you to amend the user avatar so that you could have like more customization and choice about what the avatar did. So basically it did a tiny thing during the course of the week it got updated and it would appear that a full membership plugin got bolted into it, uh, including a bunch of upsells and advertising.
Now I haven't gone and looked at this plugin to any great extent, but really what were they thinking. Um, I don't know. It just seems like such an odd one. I mean, fine. Put that in after two, two months of sending messaging to your email list that this is about, sorry, happen. But if you've got an avatar plugin and that's all you want a plugin for it, you don't want a membership plugin with all the potential breaks and code problems that may exist.
So I feel that I feel that they really, really misstepped. I don't know what what's happened. The guy that is behind the plugin actually came into our group. I feel that it was an exercise that he was doing around the community, trying to shore up the damage and try to explain, you know, that the, you know, they're listening and that either, but it feels like, okay, I'm, I'm sorry.
I think you might've burned some bridges there. And the, uh, the WordPress community reacts as they do when they get cross, they click the one button. So they go over to WordPress, to Oregon instead of having the five, honestly, it's swung. I don't know if anybody can see it on the repo at the moment, what level they were at, but it went from very positive.
This previous plugin to a complete tidal wave of ones with, you know, just one or two words. So, anyway, what are your thoughts on this big? It let's start with you. Yeah,
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:26:10] it's definitely a bait and switch, um, scenario that somebody is really abusing the system, um, quite extensively. And it's not something that, uh, okay.
Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's okay. Um, or just because you can, you should, um, I don't um, so if the, if somebody got burned with it, then it's still looking for a nice user WP user avatar. I would point them to. John James Jacoby's, um, um, plugin pages. And it's also called WP user avatars with an S and it still does exactly what it's supposed to do in that.
And we use it on some of the, uh, Cisco, um, some of the sites that we have where communities come together. Um, and that's also tells you, it's still, I'm still waiting for that list of trusted plugin resources, um, or, um, trusted plugin developers, but of course, that always can change. Yeah. So, um, having a plan B for any of your, uh, plugins, uh, is definitely something as a breakfast user, um, that you have to definitely have to, um, um, come to
Nathan Wrigley: [00:27:31] any thoughts on this.
I bet you do. Yeah. This
Spencer Forman: [00:27:33] is textbook example of what not to do. Um, the, the twofold problem, of course. Is, uh, if you are putting a free plugin into the repository, you need to understand. And this is saying it politely that your audience is a bunch of freeloaders. So if you take a bunch of freeloaders, there was a, a graph at one time on YouTube, a video that it was about dating, but it applies.
It was, you know, like hot versus crazy somebody you're dating well in WordPress. It's how much they pay versus how crazy they are. If you are putting a plugin in the repository, that's a popular plugin, you've got thousands upon thousands of psychotically, crazy people, and you had to plug in the dead one thing.
Great. It literally just put, you know, four choices, pick what your default avatar is, which by the way. Perfect example of what we were just referring to at the beginning of this show about how that's a solution that WordPress should have had sorted out by now. Can you imagine any other platform, SAS platform where putting an avatar by default is like not an option yet after 15 years?
Well welcome.
So the number one problem is complete, absolutely misunderstanding the nature of your client. You've got crazy people that expect everything under the sun versus heady been charging a hundred dollars for the plugin. He probably would have gotten away with it as like a genius move, because hundred dollar people would have been that's amazing value.
You've added the free people are like, you took away my toy and I'm going to punish you. But the second problem is instead of coming in with a complete Mia culpa, Which should have been the only thing that this fella did. I'm not going to mention him. You can see his name in there. He came in with guns, blazing, like Rambo.
Like I'm going to show all you guys that you're all wrong and look at all this thing, because what they really did is Bergen rightly pointed out is they had a big audience for free plugin. They acquired some software or develop themselves that they wanted to charge money. They thought, oh, let's just shove that entire, you know, Turkey inside of the chicken, inside of the duck and call it a turducken.
And when they did that and everybody freaked out, rightly so then he decided to tell everybody that they're wrong. And, uh, you know, hilarity ensues. Um, this developer basically toasted his future in WordPress. If he asked me, um, there was a fella back in the early days called Chris Pearson. In the early days.
I mean, like back when we were all sitting around a campfire making, uh, you know, s'mores with, with the, you know, the original automatic team, there was, you know, very few people and he had a theme called thesis and this was before Matt decided to drop the hammer on anything, not being a GPL license. And Chris Pearson at the time was like myself, maybe.
I mean, I could see parts of myself in his behavior. It was like, who's this Matt Mullenweg character. Cause Matt was just a, you know, a civilian at the time. And he decided to take on man. And this is legendary. I mean, it's in the records. He took on Matt and then he saw the Matt Mullenweg, but none of us see these days cause he, he remains very nicely hidden behind his, you know, uh, the, the mask or the, the wall.
Uh, Matt took Crip, Chris Pearson and did a Tony soprano on him in public and Chris disappeared. He's never been seen since or heard from since, and while this is a smaller example of it. It is still an example of if you're going to play in this ecosystem, a you have to lay on the ground to please people.
And sometimes that actually works in your favor, taking one for the team, but you also have to realize that nobody forgets anything here because it's just a chit-chatty little, you know, coffee house. And everybody remembers all the stories and all the people. And I can't believe it because it's so many years now it's 15 plus years, but those of us who are still around, I mean, there's a few stories that are legendary and this isn't like gonna last very long as far as people's memory, but it'll be very hard for this person to come out with any product in the future and get the kind of trust that they need after having made this mistake.
And it's too mad because the product itself was a great product, but. I want to use a metaphor to not to bring me into it, but I bring this up as a metaphor. One of the things that I taught in my early days of WordPress, when we were teaching freelance web designers, how to sell into this very weird space where everything is free.
Okay. Or presumably free is to realize that if you ask people for money, you have to, at all costs to your own wallet, protect your early adopters. So recently, and shortly after being on your show, Nathan, uh, I made a decision to shift the positioning of that launch flows plugin and do two things I wouldn't have normally done.
I lowered the price overall, but I also made a lifetime offer on the product in doing so. I took the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of already existing paid customers. And I made them all lifetime people for free. No, why. Because that was the only logical thing that I could do to prevent sticking my thumb in the eye of all the people who agreed, whether even if it was $97, the product was $300 when I did this.
But like I did it because this exact situation could have gone the other way had I decided to go, oh, lifetime deal is $300. Then everybody who paid me $300 for a year would be completely ripped off. Right. And then, you know, maybe it costs me up front this year. But I guarantee you, the comments are different about who protected their customers or who protected the interest.
And I think especially for a free plugin costs you nothing, he could have come out and just put a banner that said, Hey, check out this free product. And here's a 50% off discount coupon. If you want to give it a try,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:33:39] that's the thing I just don't get. Why not just make a, you know, I mean, everybody hates ads, you know, when, when, when ads go into the WP admin, there's a furor about that.
But he, maybe that was, uh, you know, there, would've been a bit of controversy about that, but not, not quite on the scale of this. And I think you're right. I, I, I don't really know. I don't wish somebody ill at all, but I think you may be right in that perhaps bridges have been burned, which will be difficult to rebuild.
And, um, And, you know, let's hope that, you know, they can come round.
Spencer Forman: [00:34:14] People are very forgiving by the way, if you mess up and you come clean, people are very willing to come to your defense. The problem was he came in guns, ablazing, and then continued guns ablazing. And as soon as somebody does that, they've kind of sealed their fate a
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:34:31] little bit.
Everybody digs in. Yeah. It's not that you make mistakes. It's what you do next that defines you.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:34:37] Yeah. Um, well, Lacey, honestly, why don't you just click on the stream yard link in the show notes and come on, um, had this plugin on two sites, he said, I just disabled. It didn't want the hassle, um, Eva, even to look through and see the impact.
He then goes on to say, I think this is a really bad thing to do, but I think they will make money in sales from this year, maybe you're right. Um, so I wouldn't be surprised if you weighed the trade offs up and down. Yep, yep, yep. Sorry. Yeah, just one last thing quickly. Uh, and then he says, good move, Spencer, lifetime advocates.
Even if they no longer use your product, don't often see this with a lifetime deal. So he's applauding you for that big it. Sorry.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:35:15] I forgot what I wanted to say. Okay,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:35:18] well, anyway, we often get these little dramas, but this one seemed of a different fashion. I've yet to see people completely upend what their plugin does and Ram a load of stuff in.
So be warned if you, uh, if you're thinking about doing this exhibit and it
Spencer Forman: [00:35:34] really wasn't, if you look at the interface, because this was such a simple plugin in shot, there were literally, all you saw was just five choices for picking an avatar. Yeah. You can go in now. And it was a multilevel dynamic Ajax dashboard.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:35:48] That's like a tapped interface, multiple layers of different settings. And, and you know, maybe you want that, but probably you just want it. I've got to
Spencer Forman: [00:35:58] be a freak out. That's when you come in your dashboard and you're like, what the hell is. Let I want to bring it something else. Cause I don't want to pick on them particularly, but they seem to be continuing to do this.
So I did a screenshot and uh, we didn't talk about it over the other podcast of mine, but so one of the worst offenders is Yoast and what Yoast did this week. And I don't know if anybody else noticed this, but Yoast now has invented a new way to be obnoxious beyond belief. If you have a plugin install of Yoast and I'm not sure if it's on the free of the pro, they now create a dynamic footer across your entire admin interface to market upsells of other hosts, connectivity plugins, which I did not see that.
Yeah. So I, I, again, I want to get into the details of this, but I did inspect it with my inspector and I saw it was coming from Yoast because I freaked out that all of a sudden I have an entire and not just like, like one line, I mean a solid two and a half inches, high gray. Dynamic footer. It thankfully could be dismissed that says, oh, blah, blah, blah.
I see you're using the whatever plugin you should get the Yost connectivity to this plugin. And it was in particular with Elementor. So I wasn't sure if it was coming from Elementor or Yost, when I inspected it, it was coming from the Yoast plugin, um, shame on them. Shame, shame, shame, shame. I think when Jetpack does this and says do, as we say, not as I do, but like when independent plugins feel that they can just stick their thumb in everybody's eye, that's exactly what we're talking about, where you have a simple little, five avatar little section in one party website and you wake up the next morning, by the way, using auto updates, because that's what we're supposed to do.
Right. And next thing you know, you've got this four inch banner across all your client's sites, trying to get them to buy other plugins. Right. Okay. Can I
Nathan Wrigley: [00:37:51] ask, was it an overlay or was it buried at the bottom of the content? Was, it was a
Spencer Forman: [00:37:55] dynamic. I think it was a div, in other words, it was part of the markup of the admin interface.
Right. It wasn't even, it wasn't a modal. It was literally, they changed the markup. It was dismissal, dismissal. Um, the picture of it, even here.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:38:10] Hold on. Have you, have you actually thought that it might be you're part of the testing group?
Spencer Forman: [00:38:17] No, I mean, I was very concerned when I saw it to make sure I didn't point fingers wrongfully and I haven't fully flushed it out because
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:38:24] I have not seen that on any of our sites.
So it might be a connection with, um,
Spencer Forman: [00:38:30] I think if you have notes to Elementor
Nathan Wrigley: [00:38:33] it shows though, yeah. Elemental combo or maybe they've got this, um, maybe there's this conditional logic. If user equals Spencer foreman show,
Spencer Forman: [00:38:45] I'll tell you this, which anybody who knows me. Knows that I'll be the first one to scream to the world.
And everybody listens to me about what you did. That was great, but nobody would want to do that to me. And I was going to write a plugin. Here we go.
Let, let me, let me do a quick screen grab. You have to
Nathan Wrigley: [00:39:08] click the
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:39:11] move
Spencer Forman: [00:39:13] if I can just drag this in with the thing, because it's just, it says new Yoast SEO for Elementor get started with Yoast.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:39:21] Yeah, I feel that we are, we are at, like you were saying earlier, Spencer, I feel that we are a community that, that don't enjoy this kind of stuff on a, on a level that perhaps we would, we would probably be more, more accepting of it if it was in our Android phone.
I know that on the iPhone side of things, that's a bit different, but you know, you, you install an app and maybe it's, I don't know, Evernote or something. And occasionally Evernote stick something in your notifications UI that says, have you thought about upgrading or we've got this new feature and you sort of seem to be able to cope with that a little bit.
I guess the problem here is that you don't quite know. So in the case that you're highlighting Spencer, you're not entirely sure. Is this just me that seeing this or my clients that I've spent absolutely ages, just getting them to figure out WordPress suddenly they see this thing and they think something's broken.
It's broken before somebody hacked my site. Yeah. Yeah, exactly.
Spencer Forman: [00:40:14] I mean, they, they relate to each other in so far as, when you talk about the accessibility issues, when you talk about the. Things like with the auto-updates. Right. Um, whenever you have that scenario, you're trying to give people trust that the system won't allow things like this to happen.
And then if you have a plugin author who is automatic sure. You know, everybody knows Jetpack is breaking all,
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:40:36] do the same
Spencer Forman: [00:40:36] thing. Right. But when you get one or two of the big name, plugin authors, to think that they can do stuff that a regular plugin author would get completely banned for doing that's where I start to have big problems, because again, Yoast is a multiple offender here.
This is not the first time they've done this. I'm trying to post this to my Diazo.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:40:56] The planning guidelines actually. Allow that. So it's kind of the expectation that people should kind of retrain restrain themselves. Um, I don't know. Yeah.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:41:07] I often thought that in the same way that if you log into something like, oh, I'm trying to think of a good example.
Let's say that you log in something like base camp or a Sarner or something like that. There's a little bell icon, always isn't there. And the bell icon is you have notifications. There's stuff that you need to deal with over here until you go there. You don't know what it is, so it could be anything. And sometimes it is advertising from them.
But usually it's things like, I don't know, you've got a reminder for something that you need to take care of. I've often thought that including a notifications, you are in WordPress, where, where people can push that stuff and you can, you can go there if you like, or you completely dismiss it. So, you know, the notifications could be advertising and it gives them people a legitimate channel to push that stuff.
But we don't. So
Spencer Forman: [00:41:50] check that image out if you want and you can pop in.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:41:52] So John Joe. Uh, is actually spearheading an, um, a unified notification system for the WordPress core. And, um, if you really feel so strongly about, and, uh, it would be really helpful if you could share the, um, stop by at the slack channel and give your input there.
And if you have, um, developer skills, um, and chops for repres Kwan, do you feel strongly about it? Um, go there because they need help. Yeah. It's something that, um, not everybody is, it's not a cool thing, but it's also dealing with legacy code. So it's a real technical challenge that you will come up about and also the political side of it.
Yeah. It's going to be really interesting. Um, so if you want a challenge, that's definitely, I challenge you. Is Spencer
part of that? Uh, because on the other hand, if you don't give those outlets, like the advertising for used or yeah. Um, awesome. Uh, awesome. Um, what's her, what's her name? Awesome. Or, uh, the, uh, seatbelt blockies outfit. Uh, some motive. Yeah. They, they have some advertising as well, and they even hijack the menu items for that.
So, um, but on the other hand, you want a people to sustain their work in the ecosystem. You need to have that allowed in some way or other. And so you cannot kind of just write about it and then the ecosystem is not sustainable because if you don't pay the developer or some people, and for Yoast, it worked out.
Yeah. They have over 5 million, um, users. Um, and I think they are, their conversion rate is about 1%, but that's kind of builds their, um, company and they have been very good in, um, keeping the brand on, on that SEO. They sold all the others plugin that they had 10 years ago. So, um, I think, um, There is a case to made for.
So profiled press does not happen all the time because people all kind of, okay, I know how this works. So I get my outlets in my admin screens in my own admin screen, not in other people's. And I, I, I, I understand though, being upset about the Fooda. I totally understand that. Yeah. Um, and I don't like it.
Um, but I also not use element too, so I'm kind of, yeah. It's ah, I'm glad I didn't suffer that, but, um, I think having, um, there is no, you, you don't know these things from the start. Yeah. So, and there's a lot of legacy going on and, um, I've, a lot of, um, patients and a lot of oomph to their persistence to, to get this going and get, uh, get somewhere to, uh, um, yeah.
Uh, first, uh, iteration to be published. So, uh, the larger community can comment on it. I think,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:44:51] yeah, we spoke about, we actually featured the screenshots of the proposed thing. It was months and months and months ago. So I don't know how that project is going on, but I do like the idea of like a defined color palette, a defined place.
Um, you know, so basically what the normal notifications that we get, you know, there's little tiny colored strip down the side and you get text on a gray background with a little border and so on. All of that feels really like a sensible place to put it. But I do, I do think. I do think it's a good idea to have a notifications area where the advertising could go.
What about this? I've mentioned this before. What about freemium versions of plugins where you allow advertising in, but you get it cheaper? Um,
Spencer Forman: [00:45:35] you know, I mean the, the whole problem boils down to. Placement and expectation. Okay. And it's metaphorically to me a lot, like what we're talking about now with, uh, if you use any of like apple news or an Android on your phone, how the various publishers, for some reason, in 2021, hasn't have not figured out how to consolidate with one service.
If I could pay one service 25 or $50 a month. And then if I read any article from the Atlantic versus this or that they would get a percentage of that, that would be so much better than what happens now, which is I see a link, I click it. And then I can't see the ad, the article because I have to pay the New York times a dollar a month, which I'm not going to do.
It's a pain in the rear end to pay 20 publishers, a dollar each. I don't want to manage that. Similarly in WordPress. Bergen's point is well taken. And I think as well, Nathan, that there's a reason that the freemium people have to have a mechanism. Now there's a great plugin like freemium, right? Volva Feldman.
A colleague of mine has done a great job with building a business around that. Where if you have a plugin, that's a freemium plugin. There's an interface that kicks in specific to that plugin. The offense that I take is that we've got a hypocritical scenario where it's graffiti on the public buildings wall.
All right, you've got this admin interface and that certain plugins feel it's their right to go in and do like, I'm going to go ahead and put the F the three foot advertisement for my product at the bottom of your admin interface. When at the same time you're trying to give a consistent. Experienced to your client, your client now has to see the spam of that.
First of all, that's wrong. Second of all, is that you've got other offenders that do things I bitched and moaned about where you install the plugin and it takes you away from the actual place you were in the admin interface to their introductory, whatever screen, which I find also offensive because it's like, look, if you want to just teach me, let me go to your name in the admin menu.
And there'll be like, you know, get started. That would be a good way to do it, but to keep moving people around and spray painting here, there, and everywhere, it becomes a free for all, but it doesn't because automatic comes in and they will kill any plugin that does that except for jet pack or Yoast or in the case of Elementor, which I find it.
Incredibly offensive, but I also feel like they're going to ultimately fork it Elementor went one step further. And by the way, I love Elementor. They are the only freemium. They're the only GPL plugin that requires you to have a phone home validation of their pro plugin. Every other pro plugin that I can think of at least mainstream allows you to continue using the pro plugin.
When you have the software without registering it, Elementor requires you to do an authentication every time, which is a huge leap of, uh, you know, hutzpah.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:48:40] And it's
Spencer Forman: [00:48:40] not UPL, it's not GPL because of that, but they get away with it because this is where it's going to go. Elementor may be the first plugin to do kind of like liquid web was with nexus and silver.
They may be the first ones to say, you know what? We're just going to fork WordPress. And we'll make the element or platform. And I see one of the first people to go over there,
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:49:01] to be honest, dilemma, mentor is going to do more cloud hosting because there's so much more money in that than in software development.
Spencer Forman: [00:49:10] Isn't it like suddenly the, the tail chasing the dog. Like if you have all the hassles of automatic doing crazy stuff and they haven't fixed the accessibility and they haven't fixed the avatar and it's 2021 and there's the job board that has 8 million engineer jobs for, for whereas elementary money hand over foot.
Wouldn't it make more sense for them to just grab WordPress core and then they start managing it themselves.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:49:36] Absolutely. But on the other hand, I have not seen any element of a contributor doing anything for worshipers except, um, advertising against it. So
Spencer Forman: [00:49:45] why, why waste their time? They can just go, you know,
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:49:50] it's a community, you know, they're a community of, um, people who, who build it and it's not only automatic and they only 70, um, um, positions on the core.
None of cool on the whole rippers, um, system that are done by automatic. There are about a hundred other businesses who contribute to, to WordPress and just, yeah,
Spencer Forman: [00:50:14] but it doesn't work. I mean, you know, having a personal relationship with many of the core. Uh, contributors and in various capacities, the environment, there is schizophrenia.
In other words, it's reached the point of maturity, like go back to the Linux red hat days, right? Where you had open source software as a operating system. And at some point the community got lost to the corporate interests. The companies that took it on as a corporate project applied the logic of a corporation, the profitability logic, they put the right people on the job and the product went hands and feet above the open source one.
I think we see a similar thing here is that. You can claim they're not playing nice or contributing, but if you ask anybody, who's tried to contribute to the core project. Who's a mature developer. Who's been there for years. No, but I mean, like, as part of your regular endeavor, not just like banging your head against the wall, versus if you went over to like an element or, and you said, well, how can I contribute?
They would pay you fairly for what you're doing. They would give you benefits. They would give you an incentive to go towards a common goal. Things would get fixed. Whereas in WordPress
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:51:24] it's a free belt. You know what I mean? Like, I don't think that I'm a software that only caters for 4 million. Yeah. Uh, has a much more freedom than a software that caters for 40 400 million, um, websites.
And there is legacy there. Elementor had the good advantage to start out when WordPress was mature. There was a mature system that wasn't mature ecosystem and then the built on top of it. Yeah. Um, and that's solely. Yeah, that's kind of, it's just like they made it, you go the Wick's way. They will go the way.
They will become a closed system. And that's not what preppers about. It's not a closed system and you can rile up the automatic as you want. They build on the core first and then build it into their SAS program. So, um, yeah. I don't know. Who's contributing more to the ecosystem. Those who build the co-system or those who kind of a tier two, the open system.
Spencer Forman: [00:52:31] I don't think it's going to be that way though. I think what's going to happen is it's not closed or open. I think what it's going to be is that. You have a live by the sword, die by the sword problem for automatic because it's opensource, unless they fork their own thing and make it a completely closed version.
You can tell that their venture capitalists are pushing them through Jetpack Jetpack is the Trojan horse to try to get everybody into a pay as you play system that is completely controlled and contained even inside of their open source, their Achilles heel here. The thing that they've made that they can't undo is that anybody can fork the core.
And I think whether they actually make you pay to get in or not at Elementor, they can do a better job of adding features and smoothing out the rough spots. And even with Gutenberg, finally fixed Gutenberg is part of the core offering if that's what they wanted to, so that a compliments element, or instead of this.
You know, banging your head against each other phenomenon right
Nathan Wrigley: [00:53:24] now. Um, I'm going to have to ring the bell on this one, cause we're gonna, we're gonna kinda be rocking and rolling. Yeah. Yeah. Why, how, when it all started off from a, from like a plugin, a plugin updating avatars, the, the only thing that I would add is that.
I, I would be curious if we were to, to get into the habit of allowing adverts. I wonder how that might mean multiply. And what I mean by that is, you know, Spencer, you, you mentioned that this advert was yay high. Um, and, and then of course you can imagine that six weeks later, somebody will come out with an advert, which is yay.
Plus one high. And eventually I feel that there'll just be this dreadful clutter. Um, and so my position at least is I prefer when the companies use. All the channels, email marketing, and other techniques to put their adverts in. And, and I respond to that much more so than I do by seeing things like that.
And these, these tactics of pushing things into plugins and trying to get into existing users, that they didn't really have a business reaching out to because they, they never found them through the correct channel. If you like, that's kind of my position.
Spencer Forman: [00:54:32] And I think it would be standardized and simple if they just put a basic, every plugin gets a button that says we have a pro thing, click here to get it.
So, in other words, you, you have your plugin, you have the plugin page you even have inside of your admin dashboard. Everybody is equal. You can always have a button and it could be green or red or whatever, but the point is it's in the place it's supposed to be so that if you're on any free and you always know you can click and then go to their advertising page, as long as it doesn't show up by itself in the interface that would solve all the problems, because then you are allowing free people to market their plugins without pretending that they shouldn't.
And they could, by the way, do that on the WordPress repository. They should allow it in the repository page to just be like, here's our pro version and stop pretending like people can do this for free forever. You know,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:55:21] I think where we are, we are living in experiment and, uh, clearly there's there's as opinions and opinions on the other.
And uh, and for today, at least this remains on resolved, but that was, that was certainly, that was certainly,
we're not going to solve it in 59 minutes. That's special. You know, it is fascinating because it's nice, honestly, it is quite nice. Me sitting here listening to these country opinions because you both obviously have thought about it. You know, you haven't come to this through, well, I'm just going to make something up, but you've got, you've got opinions and they matter to you and they may differ.
But I think that was quite a nice exchange that you both just had. So thank you. That was good. These
Spencer Forman: [00:56:01] are all, these are like first world fun conversations. These are, yes. There are a billion, other more important things. That are relevant in that context, you know,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:56:11] let's move on then and talk about some other stuff, because I'm just going to mention this very briefly, because I was lucky enough this week to interview a very nice chap called Benjamin Intel, who is behind a plugin suite called stackable.
Um, I interviewed him for the WP Tavern podcast. It's about 40 minutes long. So if you're interested in his take on where he think blocks are going and the whole, the whole Guttenberg thing we get, w I mean, you can only say so much in 40 minutes, but I feel that in that 40 minutes, we covered quite a lot of ground.
Why he's, why he's betting his business on blocks as I've said in there. So you can, you can find that by going to WP forward slash podcast, and it's number three. So thank you, Ben, for, for joining me on that episode already enjoyed it. Stay very sorry.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:57:00] I enjoyed it as well. And yeah, it was good conversation about the early days of Gutenberg and now what's coming up.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:57:07] Interesting about all the kind of blind alleys that they went down, you know, developing things more or less in the absence of documentation, creating solutions to things which then Corp came back and an invented. So they, they could unpick the stuff that they did. And it was just really interesting, you know, there was a lot, a lot on the line.
Gambling on Gothenburg at that time, I feel that you're on much more steady ground. Now, if you were to launch a product like he's got, but obviously he, he takes the, um, what's the word? He, he he's in a different position because he's already got an audience there and he took the, took the early gamble.
And, uh, um, it seems to be paying off for the
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:57:46] guys quite the early adopter. Yes. Yeah. I think his plugin came out before even a Gutenberg was in core. So
Nathan Wrigley: [00:57:54] yes. Yeah. He was mentioning the fact that they didn't even know when they released the first version of whether it was going to make it into core, which really does put them into a different, a different category.
So anyway, go and have a listen to that if you're interested, but we'll stay with, we'll say we've gotten Berg because I want to talk to Becky about episode number 44 or change log number 44. First of all, big hit. Can you just, um, can you just give us a high level? I should, sorry, I should rewind a little bit and say that this is from Gutenberg times.
Uh, although I mentioned it at the beginning, you may not know that the, uh, big hit and various other people connected with the Gutenberg's time project, do an awful lot of work, trying to keep people like me. And hopefully you are up to date. Just want to give us a sort of like a 10,000 mile bird's eye view of what the purpose of Gothenburg times is, what kind of stuff you cover and all of that.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [00:58:43] Well, the, uh, good and bad times came out of the early days of Gutenberg, but it was more like curating all the voices around Gutenberg that actually work with, with, uh, with a system that, um, try new things that, um, show what would be possible. And also go a little bit beyond that was the, at the beginning.
And then now that it's in core, it actually keeps up with, uh, um, the new things that will come in the future, like full site editing. Um, we have been writing or collecting information about the full site editing since April, I think, uh, 2020 or 20, 20. Sorry, I got this. Um, and, um, have demos in between and, uh, um, yeah, talk with the developers on live Q and A's and then also, um, from the community who's doing what plugin we also talk, um, um, I write about, um, Um, yeah, there are some new courses out there for the full site editing for, uh, for instance, I was in the, uh, uh, in the newsletter, the change log, uh, podcast is more, um, talking about what was released in the plugin with a developer.
Um, Jacob Szarkowski, who is, uh, has been a developer on the infrastructure side more, um, it was, um, started out with Marcie reign who was on the design part and, uh, we switched, um, co-host um, about four. Episodes back. And every two weeks when Gutenberg comes out on a Wednesday and we will record the podcast on Friday and we talked through the, um, the change log, as it says, uh, beyond what's, um, just in the interface changes.
Yeah. So developer can catch up, um, the, um, implementers can catch up. Uh, what was, um, in the works, um, in the 44, we talk quite a bit about the theme Jason file that will come into 5.8. It has left the experimental stage and is now ready for. Theme developers to, um, start experimenting with it. It will not be in an interface at all at the moment.
Um, but it's in the plugin. Um, uh, it will come into core. So theme developers can actually start building blood-based themes and use the global settings and styles, uh, for it. Um, what comes on the interface in 5.8 is, um, pretty much the, uh, template editor that, um, right now is being tested quite a bit and should also work for classics, not only for blockbuster themes.
So you can, you get a little template, um, editing section in your sidebar and your editor said, edit template or create a new one. So you can create a separate landing page for some, um, Um, yeah, product that you want to sell over some service or some, just an event, um, that is a bit outside of the normal design of your website.
So you can kind of get rid of the site head. I get rid of the side, um, um, and, and put a cover on top of it and have that one page, be the title in the page, for instance. Yeah. That's how it works. And there's a lot of infrastructure underneath it that will, um, in 5.9 or in 6.0 become the full site editor, as we've seen in demos at the.
What can viewers, um, already. Yeah. Yeah. That was not a, uh, a 10 foot, um, saying get quite into the details, but sorry.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:02:29] And I'll ask about that for those people who are listening, who haven't come across it before, or press play on it before or gone to the website, what would you, you mentioned that it was developers tune in and part of your community and also implementers.
Is that true? I mean, could anybody literally come in and drop into the podcast or do you need a fair. A fairly decent backstory with Gothenburg or could, could I bring my, uh, I don't know, my, my mother along and say, we're going to, if we're going to listen to a podcast we need, do we need to know a
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [01:02:59] bit, it's definitely not for the beginner change.
Um, uh, on good merch it's um, the listeners are mostly, uh, developers of those that have been on the, um, on Gutenberg quite a bit, because it's really going down into the what's new. And what will, what is the team talking about? That's another section on the podcast. If you are, um, kind of a beginner or a content Raider, um, I think the newsletter and the website itself will help you much more in finding, um, additional information about what seven happening, um, around the block editor to the change log is definitely too, um, specific for those that are in, in them.
And the second I
Nathan Wrigley: [01:03:41] would say. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I feel that you've reached some kind of tipping point big it, because no matter where I go on social media, I mean, my, my social media is completely aligned to WordPress. If it's not about WordPress, it's not getting in my feed. And I just see your, your website and your podcast getting mentioned over and over again now.
So sooner or later.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [01:04:01] Thanks. Yeah. Yeah. We've, we've seen that in, uh, um, it, it kind of went into a hockey stick quite a bit.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:04:06] Yeah. Congratulations. So yeah, go to Gutenberg if you want to keep up with the latest developments in Gothenburg. And obviously we're looking at something which was featured last week, but, um, Peter Ingersoll, I don't know if you saw that.
I did put it up on the screen. He says, uh, the change log is an excellent friendly podcast to stay on top of all things, Gothenburg block editor. So thank you, Peter, for your kind comments. Just curious about that. Actually, a big at, do you have a D do you foster a community. I know that you do the lives and all of those kinds of things.
Do you have a place, like, I don't know, a slack channel or like a Facebook group, you just turn up, consume the content and move on. Right. Okay.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [01:04:44] Well, you can leave comments on, on the website. That's certainly there. Um, but I have not found yet the, um, Yeah. And what's outside of the slack of wipers. I think that's the best way to, to get into the community part is if you actually participated in the WordPress community about that, then that's where I come from.
I was a community deputy for five years. So, um, I, yeah, the, the people that work on it all really nice people, very friendly.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:05:12] Have you heard of mustard on. Yes, I do. I'm sort of trying out mustard on, see how it works. I quite like the idea of having a completely federated version of Twitter, but yeah, I think it's an uphill struggle everybody's using using
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [01:05:25] Twitter with all the social networks.
The network effect is really high.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:05:30] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Anyway, thank you for that. Anything to add to that Spencer, or should we move?
Spencer Forman: [01:05:35] Uh, first of all, I, I didn't know, Birgit, uh, publishes Gutenberg times. So now this is a great resource for me. And many of the people that you've interviewed are people that have interacted with, I want to say one thing about just Gutenberg versus ELA mentor.
Um, I personally feel that once the outside intervention, like the Gutenberg times and all the participants you've interviewed get into it, the Gutenberg will be. The force to be reckoned with as far as like accomplishing things. But right now the biggest problem is that it doesn't know whether it's an editor or whether it's a page builder and the interface itself.
Although the features are there with like McNear's plugin, make it amazing. Um, the core features are also really troublesome, like the fact that you have to roll a mouse over the grab handle in order to see a pop-up that shoots out of the, the thing that now you move your mouse over, that kind of behavior is what caused people like me to just literally face Palmer, you know, at this stage of the game.
And I know you're addressing it and you're talking with people about it, but it's like, come on. It's. Like three years already get the gosh darn interface fixed so that it works like all the other six page builders, at least like everything is visible, then we can at least have a fair conversation about what it does, but the fact that we're still debating the interface and that like you can't rag a drag and drop thing without moving up and down like a cube cube is problematic because that won't happen in a private company.
That's the difference we're talking about in our last conversation. And so I have full faith that it's going to happen eventually, but along the way, they're just shooting themselves in the flood and automatic by not applying them million or $2 to bringing in people to just get this done, you know?
Nathan Wrigley: [01:07:26] It is
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [01:07:28] definitely a fair, fair point.
Yeah. Yeah. It's not a, like when you, when you get software, you want it to be finished. Yeah. And that's not how
Spencer Forman: [01:07:35] I expected for the basics is
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [01:07:37] what I mean, like the expectations are kind of, you know, um, there is, um, an idea, philosophy idea that says expectations are premeditated, resentment. And so yeah. Kind of you're responsible for your own expectations.
Yeah. But not everybody needs to meet your expectations. And, uh, you probably tell this to your kids too. Um, but it's um, so it's the, the really the, the problem is that it's developed in the open that all the mistakes are there. Everybody can see the mistakes and everybody can talk about how to do it better.
Also there is this whole legacy yeah. That nobody else had to, to deal with that. Uh, the new page, Phil is just on top of WordPress, but all the things are not integrated into core, but you need to integrate it to core. That's one thing. And of course the interface changes because we went from a, uh, um, post editor that those shows up paragraph and a listing, these kinds of things to a template editor and the interface is supposed to stay the same, but they didn't know in three years ago.
Yeah. What the, in five years the template editor would look like and nobody knows. That how, how that all evolves. So it's a, it's a constant iteration process and I'm totally, it's a fair concern that if you have the plugin installed, sometimes you get some surprises. Um, only the cool plugin editor, um, Uh, the, the cool, uh, block editor is, uh, actually the one that is released.
Everything else is young making mistakes in the public. And that is really disconcerting for a lot of people.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:09:28] It's an interesting debate as well. Cause I had this conversation, sorry to plug the. Podcast again, but the, I interviewed Dan McCarthy on number two and we addressed this point. And one of the things that came out is yes, we're opening in, we're developing in the open number two that we are, we've got 40 plus percent of the web, which we simply can't break, which is just huge.
And, and the other third point has completely gone out of my head, but it's why I started talking about it's completely gone, but it was, it was very important and it probably would have ended this debate for good.
Spencer Forman: [01:10:04] I mean, it's your point? It's fair about the, about, you know, iterating, I, myself make a point of, let's say with the things that I've produced, I say I'm flying in the airplane and we're going to work on the engines in the air.
All right. That's fair. But what I'm getting at is. From a self-interest point of view, the focus of the triage of not at least establishing that the mechanics of the visual interface do things that are by now definitive. Like for example, a drag handle is a drag handle. If you move your mouse over a drag handle, nowhere in the universe does something pop up out of it.
That is not about priorities or changing development. That is like a squares, a square, a circle is a circle. You drive on the right side of the road, in the U S and the left side of the road in the UK. And if you are having people doing the opposite, you're going to have accidents and confusion. And I'm not talking about future features.
I'm talking about that because I do believe that at the end of the day, yeah, the, the basic editor would do really well in many people would never have to leave Gutenberg and go to Elementor. But not right now, right now.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [01:11:15] No, no, no. That, that's kind of what I'm saying. Yeah. It's kind of, it's not done yet.
It's not going to be done in maybe in 2020, it's going to be 10 to one. I'm still the last year.
Spencer Forman: [01:11:29] It would be done this year if automatics, VCs through a million dollars
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [01:11:35] out of it for a moment just because what I'm arguing, doesn't work, doesn't work. It's not a closed system. It's an open system. So it will be community driven at some point. And if you ever made it to the GitHub repository, you would see how many discussions are actually about the interface.
Yeah. So, um, it's, it's really, mind-boggling what all needs to be considered. Um, so. Comparing it with Elementor in 2000 and in 2021, we're not even a first version of the template. Editor is actually visible. It's kind of something like, yeah,
have the conversation in 2020 22.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:12:23] Yeah, let's grab it. I think it wasn't that good. Anyway, it was, it was simply, but I think somebody alluded to it earlier. I think it might be new, bigger, the, um, the element or thing and the beaver builder thing and the poodle press thing. And the breezy thing is a silo thing.
So what it means is that they can, they can chop any amount of resource on it. And so long as they don't break their own. Thing all is well, and, and they can really iterate quickly on that. You know, we're going to, we're going to, like you say, we're going to put a million dollars over here and there, there there's the 20 people who are going to get on and improve that aspect of the UI that everybody's moaning about.
This is, this is, uh, it's just a different project, isn't it? And, um, like big, it says it's sort of Donna, Donna
Spencer Forman: [01:13:08] and this, I mean, Bergen your point. I respect your point, but I disagree about this. Part of it. Automatic has the resources, which they've historically spent as they wish on their own pet projects and priorities.
For example, they have spent it on Jetpack. They have spent on an accessories for Jetpack. They've spent it on woo commerce and all the accessories for WooCommerce. They've spent it on They spent it on VIP. They've spent it on all the word camps. They've spent it on paying for partying at some of the word camps.
What they have not done is paid any adults. To be the managers to be the referees. And instead with all due respect to what you're saying, cause I'm not in an argument with you. We are no longer a bunch of kids sitting around the campfire. Like we were in 2006, where you go, Hey, what do you think? Bergen? I don't know, Spence let's do this.
Okay. Let's do it. When you have 400,000 people in the GitHub repository, which I see every day arguing over stuff. And there's not one counselor in the camp, nothing gets done. And you say 20, 22, I say add 10 years onto it. Because by then the rest of us will be living on Mars with holographic interfaces for our websites.
By the time the Gutenberg team decides that a drag handle doesn't pop something up or automatic could spend a million bucks and hire a couple people to prioritize the core of what is this. How does it work? We drive in our lane like every other component in the SAS world. And then all of the other features can take time.
Sure. Whatever, you know, like let's all peace and love, peace and love. But when the basics don't work three, four years into it, you lose us. You know what I mean?
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [01:14:48] I don't think that you're right. That the basic stone work, it works very well, but
Spencer Forman: [01:14:55] my experiences drag and
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [01:14:59] drop works. Padding is coming this all coming.
It's not something about
Spencer Forman: [01:15:03] just how to make an actual layout. Like literally. I'm talking to Munir and all the other people make plugins. I can go into the interface with classic immediately. I know what to do. I go into any other page builder. When did the oxygen yesterday for the first time ever immediately knew what to do?
Cause everything performed like its icon set it. Would I go into the Gutenberg? It's amazing. I need to roll my mouse over something in order for something else to pop up. And then I got to quickly drag to the left and that kind of behavior is unacceptable. Um, I'm
Nathan Wrigley: [01:15:35] gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna maybe may be Spencer.
Maybe this is the answer. Um, moving it on slightly. I'm going to apply for those jobs, talking about automatic throwing money at the problem. So this is totally off piece. Again, this has nothing to do with the prior conversation, but it is, it was a real interest to me when I saw this, I don't even know where I saw it.
I think Joe Sephora or somebody may have posted a link saying, you know, if you're looking to work in the WordPress space, we've got some jobs. So I clicked on the link. So this is forward slash work with us work dash with DAS and I, I was right. I'm going to scroll. Okay, here we go. So each one of these lines is a, is a, is a job, an actual job, not like, um, a job which kind of is recurring.
This is just a job and job. Somebody
did some counting. What was it? 93. Yeah, there's three positions, 93, and many of them, if you look at the engineering types, you know, front end Java script will commerce e-commerce mail. Whoo. This is absolutely boatloads of very technical jobs. So I may be Spencer, maybe this is maybe this is the first sort of lapping on the shore of what you're talking about.
Spencer Forman: [01:16:49] I want to say two things, first of all. I love what Bergen's doing. And I don't want anybody who listens to this to think that I'm being argumentative with you, because like, I have nothing but love and respect for what you're doing, but we're talking about automatic here. Okay. We're talking about the product, the software and this healthy debate.
I know I'm kind of not the prim and proper usual guests on the show. I'm more antagonistic, but I'm not towards you at all. And I actually love what you're doing with the project. Just like all the people you interviewed. So I just want that on record. As far as this, I'm going to be the cynic in the room again, and say, go to and look up these jobs and you take the same problem that I was just talking about before.
And you realize why they have 93 jobs is because a. They don't have a really great environment for people. They don't pay benefits, proportional to what they ask of people. And for all the people that I've personally spoken to who have been principals and been on payroll, they find that it's not as satisfying of an outcome as if they went to a private company that had the kind of a silo you're referring to because it has certain point in time, you get into this weird, like, what am I doing and why am I doing it?
Who am I doing it for problem where the ship is going in circles? And I'm not saying that's the exact reason for this, but I will say that they've got an opportunity. Right now to do something about it, the only branch of war of automatic, that seems to be really killing it. Maybe two of them would be the Wu commerce division and would be the VIP division.
But the VIP division works because they've got salespeople that talk to the large corporations. And it's very clear what you're getting for that and the WooCommerce, because that's like the space where everybody needs to be in, but the intermediary stuff, tons of lost opportunities. And I would say that this is ironic 93 jobs open.
Really? What does that say to you guys? Who has 93 open jobs.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:18:42] Automatic.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [01:18:47] Yeah. And if you look at it, some of the projects are going to tumbler matrix. These are all acquisitions and, um, Entergy, um, CCC search, the creative comments search. Yeah. They, they, they need more engineers as well. So, uh, it's not all represented or WooCommerce or jet pack or something like that.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:19:08] I don't know if I make the connection with having a large roster of job openings with, with something that's failing.
I don't know that. That I would make that connection in that I see that if you're advertising for jobs, you've got available vacancies and that you would like people to fulfill them nothing more than that really. It's just, there's there's places available. And, and, uh, and if you've been tracking the number of employees that automatic have gone, it is on a, honestly, I couldn't tell you the exact numbers right now, but I seem to recall that when I was in WordCamp Europe in Berlin in 2019, I think they had about 900, I think I was told.
And I think they're more, more, I'm going to say this number and forgive me if it's woefully wrong. I think they're 1400 now. Um, and so it has gone up a lot in a couple of years. So it may be that these 93 are just what they can now afford to have. Right. We've got six minutes left. So I'm going to do two.
I might. Yes. I'm going to miss the last one off and I'm just going to do a couple of community bits if that's all right. The first one. Is a WordPress event, free WordPress event called word sesh. Uh, so there's two that we're going to feature today. This one is [email protected]. This one's happening very soon.
In fact, starting tomorrow, register for free. Um, I confess I do not know the details, but I'm going to just tell you to go to words, and you can examine all of the different speakers and what it is that they're speaking about. So real laundry list, there's a whole bunch going on starts three, 3:00 AM.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [01:20:44] So Austria.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:20:47] So is it the 24 hour model?
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [01:20:52] It's about three days. Yeah. So, okay.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:20:54] Okay. Thank you so much. So that helps. And the last one is WP engine have got there. Um, What is it called? It's just called summit 21, I think. Yeah. Summit 20, 21. Um, that starts on the 24th of June, but registration is now open.
So if you fancy getting yourself onto either of those words, that starts tomorrow, WP engine summit, starting in about a month's time. Oh, that was, that was a fiery episode. It was interesting
Spencer Forman: [01:21:30] though, right? Yeah. Okay. I was going to say normally, normally your show is so civilized Nathan, cause it's very, you know, very other side of the ocean, but today are yelling at each other.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:21:43] It is, it is. It's always nice to sort of like be well, it's nice to have country opinions, right? And you you've presented, you've presented some of those today and, um, you, you.
You were very careful toward the end there too. I don't think
Spencer Forman: [01:21:55] any, I don't think either one of us feel like we're at each other. We're just healthy.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:22:01] Indeed. Um, there are some comments maybe we'll just. Uh, no, no, I will just leave those for now because we really are running out of time
Spencer Forman: [01:22:14] fingering or something that all of us Americans are.
So argument of, I take, I take full responsibility for being the bumblebee. It everyone's picnic. When it comes to certain topics, Kevin
Nathan Wrigley: [01:22:25] Jones says, is this the WP built house of parliament? A curious thing. If you're, if you're in the house upon, you know, this about the British parliamentary system and it may be the case that it's the same in wherever you are.
Um, but if you're in the British parliamentary system, you're not actually allowed to talk to anybody else. You have to talk through the chair. So you literally, whenever you address any body, you have to talk to the chair. So excuse me, Mr. Champion. So, um, so, you know, I've uh, I've failed at this conversation.
Spencer Forman: [01:22:55] not complimentary procedure is not really got involved in this, brings up a point in his earlier comment about cause he seems to be very fond of the block editor. I wanted to say on record, I am so. Hopeful that they get their act together because I couldn't agree more that the native editor should be the page builder capability that it's aspiring to be.
My beef is that all the other private companies seem to have gotten their act together on the basics in a much faster time period. And if you've got 93 open jobs and millions of venture capital dollars, maybe you can just make that one little thing, move a little quicker. So that those of us who want to actually use it, don't feel like, you know, but otherwise I respect his opinion.
I think he's got a good point. I'm not against it.
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [01:23:41] Um, I'm just kind of really amazed how you this, um, missed all the volunteer work and all the other contributors from other companies by grabbing on about automatic. That's the only thing that I like. I like, I like your passion for WordPress and well, how everybody spends the time, the time and money.
I think that's yeah, kind of, I like your opinions
Spencer Forman: [01:24:08] to somebody as somebody who has had a reason to build things in WordPress, whether services or plugins and so forth. And as a person, as development skills, I understand the complexities. There is no complexity problem here. This is just a, let's make a vote and come up with one interface that doesn't do things that it's not supposed to.
I'm not talking about features. I'm talking about just the grab handles, acting like grab handles, stuff like that. In the houses
Nathan Wrigley: [01:24:35] of
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [01:24:36] parliament, they're all bugs in software,
Nathan Wrigley: [01:24:39] in the house, parliament, the, uh, the chap or lady, I shouldn't be quite so dismissive. The, uh, the person who has the control has a gavel and they get to bash it on the table and say, you know, time's up, but they also have a sort of gray wig that they have to wear.
So I feel that 50%, okay.
I have fulfilled the table, but there we go. I'm banging the table and say, thank you very much. That was a, that was a lovely conversation. Really nice, interesting, backwards and forwards. Um, big it I'd love to have you back on Spencer would be very nice to have you back on. Um, but for now, maybe
Birgit Pauli-Haack: [01:25:16] not together,
Spencer Forman: [01:25:18] I think it makes better listening.
Nathan Wrigley: [01:25:24] Totally.
Spencer Forman: [01:25:25] Right. Biggest promoter Birgit, by the way, I'm going to wave bye guys. It was great to see you.

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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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