This week’s WordPress news for the week commencing 28th June 2021
Another week, and we’re bringing you the latest WordPress news from the last seven days, including…
- WordPress 5.8 and Full Site Editing are just around the corner
- Block Patterns are a BIG deal and there’s some new resources coming out to offer templates of well designed patterns
- Are we about to get the green light to re-start WordCamps?
- WooCommerce Payments is now available in many more countries to make your online store much easier to manage
There’s a whole lot more than this, as there is each and every week, and you can find all that by scrolling down and clicking on the links!
This Week in WordPress #170 – “Unhappy ending”
With Nathan Wrigley, Paul Lacey, Jonathan Wold and Brian Gardner.
Recorded on Monday 5th July 2021.
If you ever want to join us live you can do that every Monday at 2pm UK time on the WP Builds LIVE page.
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Transcript (if available)
These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:00:00] It's time for this week in WordPress episode, number 170 entitled on the happy ending it was recorded on Monday the 5th of July, 2021, my name's Nathan Wrigley. And as always, I'm going to be joined by my co-host Paul Lacey, but also this week, we're joined by Jonathan wold and a little bit late to the party.
Brian Gardner joins us as well. And it's a good job. He does. However, I have to apologize at the start. We had a bit of a technical malfunction. We don't quite know what happened, but the platform that we use to stream the episode just broke down on us. But fear not. We got about 58 minutes in. So most of what we wanted to say, we had a chance to say, but it does.
Suddenly cut out at the end, but stick around for what we did manage to get to. So for example, we talk about 5.8 and the fact that full site editing is just around the corner. We then move on to talk about block patterns. And Brian Gardner has a brand new product called frost, which you may be interested in hearing about.
It's a collection of amazing block patterns and you're going to be able to download them soon. So we talk about that. We talk also about the fact that. WordCamps and meetups maybe starting soon, but is it only going to be for people who have been thoroughly vaccinated, will commerce payments. What's that all about?
It's rolled out to a whole new bunch of countries. Jonathan's got the low down about that. And then as we were talking about 800 million user records for WordPress being leaked out onto the internet, that's where things went wrong. So that's what we've got for you this year. I hope that you enjoy it.
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Hello? Hello? Hello. Hello and more hallowing. How are you doing Paul Lacy. How's it going?
Paul Lacey: [00:02:24] I'm doing good, but Nathan, where's your WordPress? T-shirt what's wrong with you, dude? Oh
Nathan Wrigley: [00:02:29] yeah, come on, man. Okay, wait a minute. Reaches for a sticker that doesn't exist. There's a button somewhere. That's that? Damn. I haven't got one.
That's the title of this week's episode. Where's your WordPress t-shirt right down. Where's your WordPress t-shirt yeah. Okay. Dude, if you're listening to this on the audio, it's because I've got. Bland t-shirt on Paul Lacey's as cliche to say it, honestly, it walks itself. I'll just have to walk into it.
It's like crispy around the edges. We're straying off air aren't we slightly the reason I'm saying this is what I'm saying, because both Paul and our guests today, Jonathan weld, they're both wearing WordPress. T-shirts they're actually walking the walk and talking the talk. Speaking of speaking of Paul, Lacey, how are you?
Paul Lacey: [00:03:22] doing great. Yeah. Doing good today. Yeah. The sun is shining here, which is nice, but it's not too hot. So it's a lovely ballots for English. People like me.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:03:33] I'm definitely feeling the heat. I'm in the attic room. You can probably see the slope on the ceiling there. And we get the heat at this time of day.
Normally for nine months, 10 months, 11 months of the year. It's fine. This is the one day and I'm already starting to sweat. So forgive me if I go slightly off piece. Do you want to introduce our special guests?
Certainly. Uh, we havePaul Lacey: [00:03:53] today Jonathan Wald, who I met a couple of weeks ago, I'm actually on the WP tonic panel show, which is a bit like this week in WordPress, but imagine in a kind of bizarre twin peaks universe, where everything goes sideways and, uh, it's a lot of fun.
It's a lot of fun, Sharon. We had lot of fun together on that and You know, we've spent syringe and the over Jonathan actually on that. So go check that out if you want to have a few laughs. Probably me and Jonathan Gangan upon Spencer a little bit, I think. So yeah, we met there and what was called as well as Jonathan wrote a piece a couple of weeks ago about the concept of an a marketplace for WordPress, like a plugin marketplace for WordPress.
And he wrote an article about that and we covered that on this show. And recovered it on a diatonic, but to to actually read out Jonathan's bio here, it's moved on. So let's say Jonathan has been working in the WordPress ecosystem for 17 years and loves WordPress and the open web. And in April, he wrapped up 18 months at automatic working with WooCommerce, and now he's working towards an app store for WordPress.
It's happening. Jonathan, I don't know if you want to add anything to that. Welcome to the show. And tell us about the this, this upgrade of I'm writing about an idea to I'm working towards it actually happening.
Jonathan Wold: [00:05:19] I think the keyword there is towards written a lot of there's a lot of parts and pieces to it, and I'll just call out at this point.
From my perspective what's represented in that piece is me trying to do my best to articulate the benefits and trade-offs of WordPress, like being decentralized. And this idea that a marketplace or an app store, if you will. Can help mitigate some of those trade-offs and I'll just call out that from my perspective, there's a lot of different ways that could happen.
I've got some specific ideas about what I think is a good approach to it happening, but what I care about most is just progress in those directions. So for instance, a number of those ideas might make even more sense to just bring to.org directly without, with, or without the commercial aspects. So I'm pretty unattached to the specifics of how it comes about.
Though I do have opinions. And that's why for me, it's the word towards it's like I want to see progress happen in the ecosystem one way or the other. My hypothesis is that a quote unquote private marketplace done right, is probably a faster way to get there. But that's that's for me, the word towards it's like, all right, the focus is let's get the ideas out there.
Let's make progress. Let's figure out what's at the heart of this. And then wherever it leads is where I want to see it go.
Paul Lacey: [00:06:40] Are you working on. Cool. Cool.
Jonathan Wold: [00:06:45] I guess more something like this alone, like there's no,
Paul Lacey: [00:06:49] No. And you used to work for automatic 18 months ago. I think you'd have to, or you work there for 18.
Jonathan Wold: [00:06:56] I wrapped up in April. I wrapped up 18 months, which was fantastic.
Paul Lacey: [00:07:00] What'd you think? They'll think about the idea.
It's uh, yeah, it's,
Jonathan Wold: [00:07:06] I've talked to quite a few folks at automatic about it and lots of positive feedback details matter, right? Like in terms of how something like that would work.
And, and I think the general sentiment, both that I picked up both with. From inside and outside of automatic is it's very complex as a thing, or the ecosystem is complex. Like you can't, this isn't something that you just wake up and say, okay, we're going to do a, it requires at least from my perspective, a really careful understanding of the different parties that are affected by it.
And ultimately what you're trying to do is find the most wins for the most people affected by it. So automatic in my mind is an important. Like important aspect of how you'd pull something like this off. And to me it would be ideal for them to be involved. The question is what's the best way for all, all considered.
Paul Lacey: [00:08:03] Cool. So you actually think automatic would potentially even entertain the idea of getting involved in something like that? Yeah. Yeah, I believe so. Yep. One last question, Jonathan, before we move on to Nathan's housekeeping stuff. Are you aren't you involved in a couple of podcasts as well? Am I right?
Yes. Yep. Which one'sJonathan Wold: [00:08:26]
this up. So I will I'll come on WP tonic when they invite me Jonathan invited me on for a couple of coming episodes. So we'll cause some more trouble there in the future. I I do some work with Bob Dunn on the WooCommerce podcasts. Yeah, that's a lot of fun. I'm a, I cohost like once a month or whenever Bob wants me on and, uh, that's, that's a lot of fun.
And then I have another podcast with a good friend of mine, Luke carpus crossword. And that's, that's been fun. We've done that for a couple of years now. And Yeah, I do podcasting as a medium. So
Nathan Wrigley: [00:09:06] I love podcasting. I have an exciting piece of news and that is just arrived.
Everybody can you guysBrian Gardner: [00:09:20] hear me? I'm trying to use the right mic here. I am extremely sorry. I, for some reason I headed in my head and it was nine o'clock local time and I saw. Damn. And I went and checked my kale and I was like, oh my God. Oh my God. So
Nathan Wrigley: [00:09:36] I suspect Brian that you're not using that microphone.
We can hear you, but I would imagine you're not. If you click on the little cog wheel beneath the screen and click lbs, Shure, SM V seven, I'm guessing is what it looks. Is this how much better? That's better. Yeah. That's a consequence of you arriving is that Paul Lacey's just decided to leave. His screen is gone completely dark and where Southern let know his battery often runs out.
So he has to go and do some jiggery pokery and unhealthy black. He's got a really posh SLR camera areas, and sometimes the battery needs to be swapped as a physical battery. You can't play like
Paul Lacey: [00:10:14] a USP. It wasn't that my dog just went nuts. Oh, yeah. So I just start to get assaulted. Brian, great to meet you.
I'm so glad that you're are you here? Sorry if we've messed up the calendar things for you there, mate, but no,
Brian Gardner: [00:10:28] that was all me. That was all me.
Paul Lacey: [00:10:30] No, you've made it much easier. Cause our first couple of items would have been really tricky without you here because I hadn't researched them, to not just pass it over straight to you.
So desperately reading the articles properly before you came on. So that's a great relief.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:10:45] Do you want to give up, do you want to give Brian a proper introduction?
Paul Lacey: [00:10:48] I'll try. I don't miss out a whole bunch of stuff. So here we have Brian Gardner who is a living piece of WordPress history. Really? I'll probably get some of this wrong.
But I'm pretty sure you more or less kicked off the concept of premium WordPress plugins or WordPress themes. You were definitely right there at the beginning of that whole thing. And then you founded your company studio press, which is the company that created the legendary theme framework Genesis.
You sold that about two years ago to dopey engine. And since then you did some different side projects. As far as I understand, you went to Starbucks, quite a lot to drink a lot of coffee there and think about life. Then you became a DVD recommender to me. And so thank you. You recommended me Aspen extreme and.
Which, sorry, I haven't watched yet, but I will we'll watch those and get back to them. And but then more recently you started a new project called frost WP, which we're going to come on to straight after the the first piece. We're going to segue straight into that because it seems to fit perfectly with what we're talking about there.
So I missed a lot of stuff there, but anything else you want to add to the mix there? Brian?
Brian Gardner: [00:12:04] Mo most everything is right. If I am the pioneer of the premium WordPress theme market, but I was certainly one of the first to be there. So that was all right. A studio press, genesis framework is right.
Legendary, as it pertains to some of those things, definitely rights. The. Acquisition of WP engine, believe it or not. And this might just be, because it doesn't feel like it's been this long, but we just celebrated the three-year anniversary. So it's been three years, which is mind-blowing to me given, just given how fast time goes and how almost yesterday it feels right.
It also reminds me that for three years, I've basically been doing nothing, which is a little bit scary. Hence hence the move towards some sort of monetize it, the whole situation. Cause I realized I didn't want to do the agency thing. I was doing a little bit of agency work with some friends through a line of business called authentic.
Since then, I've picked up some freelance design projects here and there just cause I like to do that kind of thing. And people hit me up once in a while for stuff like that. Agent engine was probably a little piece that you missed. This is sort the precursor to frost, Jonathan, you and I talked about that probably what, six to seven, nine months, something like that.
It's something that we tried and, COVID really screwed up a lot of things. The real estate technology space kind of is one of them just given the market and how busy real estate agents are. None of them think they need a website because all they're doing is spending time, getting people into houses and reviewing offers.
When things come around, I think things will come around. And I think people will realize especially now, right? Cause a lot of people lost their jobs. And so maybe they jumped into real estate because it was so hot. So there's actually going to be an over abundance of agents and there's going to be very little inventory and that market's going to completely I think flip-flop very soon.
Uh, and then yes, for us, that's the big elephant in the room at least in my life now. We will,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:14:09] we will say a big hello to that elephant in just a minute. But before we do just a few bits of housekeeping, pretty boring stuff, but good for us. If you can manage to do it, firstly, if you're watching this the easiest way to watch this is WP builds.com forward slash live.
That gives you YouTube comments that you need to. Google if you want to comment, the other option is if you're in the Facebook group, by any chance, then you would need to go to that URL. There, it's a chat.restream.io forward slash Facebook. Otherwise you remain anonymous to us. That's fine. If you wish to remain anonymous, that's totally fine.
But just to let you know that if you want to not be anonymous, you'll need to click on a link when you get to there. There is one little chat. So this is an example of it. This person, we don't know who you are, cause you didn't click that link, but good. To you and Cameron all the way in Australia.
Hello? Again, Cameron. Nice to see you. Yeah, Cameron Jones. And another one. Hey guys, Facebook user, I've got a sneaky suspicion. It's going to be Lee Jackson. Cause last week it was Lee Jackson just, and it was always Lee who was coveting in that way. Okay. Let's get stuck into it properly then. Good to have you, Jonathan and Brian, we've got a fairly large amount to get through, so we'll crack straight.
This is our website. WP builds.com in offer that let's get to the actual good stuff. So 5.8 is just around the corner. We're really close. Now there's a whole, this is a massive release. Really, really, really shaping up to be one of the bigger releases in the time that I've been fretting about WordPress releases.
And we're at that stage where really, if things are going. On time and ship in a way that works and doesn't break everything and disappoint everybody. We need to get as many people eyeballing the test environment. And so basically I'm going to link to a post on the newsletter that I put out tomorrow.
So to get as many people involved as well. There is, there's some work to be done on the block, widgets editor. I'm just going to basically paraphrase it onto the good stuff, template, editing mode and theme blocks. There's things to be worked on. NuTone we talked about that extensively the other week and how that's a really an interesting addition to core, shall we say?
And we've now got what was the query block, but was now the query loop block. That's probably the most exciting bit that I'm interested in because. Trying to build something the other day and realize this is probably what we needed cause it wasn't available. So anyway, there's a boatload of stuff coming, but we need testing to be done.
And if you go to the link which I'll put in the show notes, then you'll be able to go and help. And McCarthy and colleagues around there. Jonathan. Yeah, having just finished a stint at automatic. How does this stuff go? Does it get really tense and, get fractious around the automatic?
I was gonna say offices, but that's a complete misnomer. Cause you don't do offices. Does it get tense amongst the ultimate tuitions at this time?
Jonathan Wold: [00:17:10] I wouldn't say. So the, one of the things that automatic, I think does really well is that the.org team is completely separate from the rest of automatic as a business.
So for things like this, like Anne McCarthy, we did an episode with an, on a do the woo back a couple episodes ago, June 10th, I think is when it aired and where we got into full site editing and as part of the.org team. And yeah, as far as your question about automatic. Yeah. It's just, it's another release for the.org team and they do a good job.
Keeping it separate. If anything, they, you get less favors as
Nathan Wrigley: [00:17:46] deliberately
Jonathan Wold: [00:17:47] stay in a way. Yeah. They make a point of that. I remember asking for something pretty basic for the WooCommerce plugin and. No names will be named, but I was like, oh man, okay. What's going to kill you. Can't even answer some basic questions about that.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:18:04] Yeah. No names. One of the full site editing though. There's very exciting. We've got a piece actually. The next piece that I want to just quickly come to Paul, did you want to say anything on that or Brian before I move on? Cause I want to get onto the block pattern there. Yeah.
Paul Lacey: [00:18:21] The, to be honest, we've talked so much about 5.0.
Over the last couple of weeks and months, the one, the main reason we put that one in there is because we're interested to quiz you Brian, a little bit about your sort of buy in with the the whole block editor experience. So the other, the article that was really partnered with that one, there's one on therapy Tavern, which is just talking about the new.
Wider and foot per block patterns coming to WordPress and how those will all work and everything. And again, we, weren't going to really go into much detail with this article as well, other than, it's sort a case of how are they going to deploy it? Justin's pretty optimistic about it. He was pretty.
Deflated a bit, I think about the full site editing release when that came out, but just in overall, just in Tadlock is a big fan of the block editor, for sure. Me personally, I'm totally on the fence. Depends what day of the week it is, but you can see on, on the, the future of these headers and footers that as, as I understand it, I don't think you can ship patterns with CSS, which I could be wrong about that.
But my assumption on that is that. If there was like some really popular blog patterns and theme offers would probably have to make their themes compatible with that block pattern, which totally makes sense to me, or that some of the block pattern office would have websites with little CSS snippets that you could customize to, to get them to work or partner plugins, perhaps that's what I can see happening.
But unless there's anything anyone wants to say particularly about that, The thing, now that you're on the show today, Brian, that we're super interested in is you're releasing this new product called frost WP. I know what it is and Nathan knows what it is, but I'd like to introduce you in a minute to tell everyone else what it is all about.
But the intriguing thing for me, Brian, is like you created Genesis. And to me, like Genesis was almost like the most artists and way that you could make a website. In fact, there was, it was so artistic. If you were a Genesis user and you'd nailed your hooks and filters, you almost wore a t-shirt about it.
Not you, but the users of Genesis were so proud that they made the websites in such a clean, coded way. That was something to be quite proud of. And people would look for Genesis developers specifically because they knew that websites would be really solid if they went for that. So I wonder what your feeling is on the whole full site editing thing.
Do I, are you a very optimistic about where this is going and how we've for instance, for us to repeat. Are you trying to bring in some of that clean artists and way of doing things, but with the new things that are coming, because these new things that are coming can create absolute chaos. In my opinion, they could, it could be.
You could be doing it really well, or you could literally make the biggest mess in WordPress, but someone wants to try and make when they're creating a website, somewhere in, there was a question. So maybe just talk about, yeah. Foster repay in your philosophy and what you think about full site editing and patterns and all this stuff.
We'd love to, we'd love to know a bit more about that.
Brian Gardner: [00:21:32] Okay let me know when you need to do like a commercial break. Cause there's a lot I can say about all of this. Just do a heads up and we'll do a word from our sponsor. Yeah, all loaded, um, stuff in questions and ideas and comments and to be perfectly honest, let me just back up just a bit and just give context to the studio, press sale and acquisition for that we did with WPS.
And a lot of it had to do. This Gutenberg thing that was getting ready to be released. We had several lines of business and we were all over the place. We had this thing called Rainmaker, which was a very resource, heavy line of business that we had. And so we just decided we, we couldn't give a Genesis sort of what it deserved.
We, we had had it for so long. The partners were starting to want to start to do our own things, myself included. And I was like, look, there's a big thing coming in WordPress. And either we need. Double down and invest into it ourselves, or we need to do something with X. I'm not going to just watch Genesis die on its own.
And so we decided that it was in the best interest of the community, the product, the brand, all people included, to go ahead and try to find someone who could Uh, if you will to come in and take over and reinvest and take it and run like a Baton we did find that with WP engine, I'm thrilled with the decision we made.
They've gone above and beyond. Again, I can't believe it's been three years since since that acquisition and a lot has changed and it's taken WordPress itself a long time to get to where we're at, because that was three years ago when we saw the sort of on the horizon, the waves coming and here we are in full site editing still isn't completely a thing.
Fast forwarding to us now, like over the last three years, I've paid attention to all of what was going on with WordPress. I, as an older mentality kind of guide the old-school thing is like, I don't know if I have the energy to look into what's coming. I don't know what that meant for me at the time.
But I was like, so I kinda purposely did an arm's length, like observation of what was going on. I never stopped building on WordPress. All of my side projects are, and always will be on WordPress. And, and then I was like, okay. The agent engine thing I alluded to earlier, the real estate thing.
Yeah. Quite what we had hoped for. And I was like I really do need to figure out a way to make money because that's part of what we need to take care of here in our family. Uh, right around that time, I was like, I love design. I love WordPress. So let me see if there's something back in that realm.
At that time I read the article. I think it was Justin deadlock who by the way, was also one of the, the pioneers in theme space way back in the day. So I have huge respect for him. He wrote an article, covering the block pattern library and linked to the, what was instill is the beta version of this pattern library.
And like I had heard about patterns in blocks and there's a lot of vernacular kind of running around and I'm like, yeah, there's so many words been used around. Some theme companies are plugging. WordPress companies are using their own sort of terminology was really, yeah. I was like, okay, let me just click this and see what happens.
And I went to the block pattern library and I'm like, okay, this is what I expected. It would be what, how does this work? And so I clicked copy. I went into a theme. I had to open or a website. I, I went into the dashboard, I hit paste and then like the black pattern to showed up relatively presented.
And I was like, I was like, okay, now I understand what a pattern is and functions in the ease of use. For me to do that. Now I have a lot of thoughts around. Sort of Feme agnostic repository for black patterns and then libraries that are specific for for certain themes we can get to that later.
But when I saw that article and I just, I spent probably maybe 20 minutes just clicking around and copying and pasting and seeing some things. And what it really did was it I called this like the epiphany of where we're at now or what I'm doing. It made sense to me now, all of where WordPress was heading and all of the steps that it's taken.
And I know we're not quite there yet, and things will still pay us. Because there's huge difference between where we're at today and what's going to happen in 5.9. But when I, when I grasped con philosophically and how it just came together, I was like, okay, I think I now know what I can do with this.
And I don't think there ever needs to be A reason to have multiple themes anymore, at least sold by or produced by one, one company. And so I took it as a challenge and I'm like, I think I can create not a framework cause it's certainly not a framework. Like I think I can create a theme and very creatively.
With the use of patterns and layouts and blocks and all these things do some cool things. And so I just started exploring and playing and sandboxing and creating ideas and taking inspiration from things I saw on the internet. And uh, when I realized that I think, obviously I have a little bit of a following on WordPress and people on an email list.
And I was like, this is sort a unfair advantage that I have, that I get to potentially do. Yeah. And then of course, it's right now, it's built on genocide. It's a Genesis child beam. And so just really excited to I guess, reenter from a product standpoint the WordPress space and kind of do it on my own terms and in a way that I, am comfortable and, we'll see what happens.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:27:07] So frost to be clear, it's built on top of Genesis, but it's a collection of block patterns for glow, like a whole bunch of scenarios. So you've got more categorized into different things that you might deploy on a typical website. But the intention is that you could build out, let's say a landing page by just picking out the things that you, you see it, you like the look of it.
You want to use that one, you click a button, it's there on the page. You move on, do the next one and so on. And so you've done all the design work in the background and made everything look fabulous. Is that correct?
Brian Gardner: [00:27:42] Yeah, that's really what it is. I just uh, Rafal tamale, who was a designer with us at studio press, he has a product for Figma, which most of us know is a design prototyping tool used to build wire frames and stuff like that.
Anyway. So he had and I forgot to tell this part of the story because it's important. He has a product called design kit and essentially what that is the Figma version of these light block patterns. Sample headers sample hero area sample called the actions. And he's got it in Figma so that, people who are designing websites for people, just grab these sections and build a very quick sort of top to bottom wireframe for a landing page.
And I, when I saw that, I was like, like that's when I saw the pattern thing from Tatlock, and then I was thinking about refalling and I bet if I build it. A library of these things, but in WordPress now that I know you can copy and paste code, it's literally that simple, it's almost stupid, simple.
You can't believe that it actually works as easy as it does. I'm like if you just build these little layers, do it in a way and then export the code to make it, you could build what we're looking at right now on the screen and send it to a client and, literally. Three minutes.
And then of course you just customize the colors and photos and you know, expand on it to bring their brand into it. But it's a really easy way to prototype live on the internet. This is, these are all like, it's responsive, all of that stuff. And so you could on a call, build a wire frame with your client and do it within, 20 clicks.
And uh, so this is the, the, what I call the wire frame version, the flat version of what do. And of course from here we're doing things like started, oh, that's the new one. I just put that in there that yesterday
We're going to do a thing called starter sites also, which is basically these demos, these sort of one-off demos of, different, ideas of things. If you go up like to the the menu it's frost, wp.com/um, I don't know. What's a good one. We can just showcase really quickly. That, uh, that's a good one, a small dash of business.
Let's just do that. This is, uh, an example of a starter site. That basically with one click, it's just a creative way to display patterns. That's at the full false, full width image to the some texts there in a column three, call to action. Two columns and you know, people do and don't need that there's edge cases, right?
Where, people really need comprehensive, robust, website solutions. But most people, especially with COVID, they just want a quick and easy website just to put up really quickly.
Paul Lacey: [00:30:39] If you go to the foreman as well and to be fast and super, this is classic Gardner design here.
That's for anyone who's only listening. You probably heard that. Ooh, noises as we brought that up because it does look beautiful. And so D will it always be built on Genesis? Cause Jay isn't Genesis. For free now, is that, did I hear that right? I'm sure I heard something. Yeah. Which makes it perfect for somebody like you to actually, whether or not you were involved in it in the beginning obviously, and created it to take that and use it as your and other people could do it, use it as their basis.
Great. Almost like this hybrid scenario where you can still have all the benefits of the hooks and filters and the child theme and the CSS file and whatever you ever do on SAS and everything, but embrace the whole block experience as well. I mean, that's like a nice balance.
Brian Gardner: [00:31:38] Yeah. Th that's where we're at today, because the full site editing when it's shipped completely. Alters the path, right? Because a lot of the Genesis benefits, markup and hooks and filters and things like that, get cannibalized by the true full site editing experience. Um, you know, post title, entry, Mehta, all that kind of stuff.
And so at some point in Genesis, the studio press team itself is building a. Like a, what do they call it? The Genesis block theme, which is agnostic from the framework. So it's basically a standalone theme and they're switching over to the library, concept. But yeah, for now, there's so many people and now the point you made Paul about Genesis being free, used to be the biggest point of contention for people who sold Genesis themes is that there was always the can't package Genesis.
And so I got to tell people they got to go buy it over at studio press, but I'm afraid if I do that, people will go over there and buy a theme instead of the one from my shop. There was a little bit of a disconnect and there was really never a good method for us solving for that. And so for years and I don't know how many times in conversations or meetings that we had, I was like, guys, let's just do Genesis for free.
It'll solve a lot of problems. Maybe it can even go on the repo, maybe there's distribution piece here that we can go. And we just never got there or agree to it. And so I'm thrilled to see WP engine embraced that. In fact, they. Also made local by flywheel free. So there's a real, like open source thing happening here.
And of course there's strategy behind it, because a lot of it's built around, we'll give this, it's like the freemium model too, to some extent something we never did with Genesis. But I'm thrilled now to be able to package Genesis with this in you know, emulate what they're doing right now with blocks and patterns and layouts and collections and things like that.
And so, uh, yeah, that that's a accurate sort of assessment of where we're at.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:33:31] It's just to be clear, this is all built in, you build these things inside of the block editor. What is, what is the interface like? Have you built anything proprietary or is it just you sort of click find reusable blocks, you just get the little kind of extended thumbnail if you like, and you just drop it in and if you like it, you keep going with it.
It's nothing. Or if you've got like an overlay where it shows up at the, a more complete layout, anything.
Brian Gardner: [00:33:57] Yeah. Working through that. Now, as a proof of concept, I just built a very simple plugin to literally just import patterns into the editor. Like when you go to add a block, you have the option to add, I can't remember if it's like add all or something like that, which then takes it to a little side panel, which has tabs between blocks and patterns where you can, it's the same sort of interaction that when WordPress core patterns are shipped, you can go in and search for a pattern to drop it.
That's sort the very first iteration just to see if things work as I expected them to. But we're working on the development now for a bigger experience, more in line with like a screen modal where you can, browse. Bigger from a bigger, real screen, real estate perspective.
You can see more. It's not just in a little customizer side panel, but you know, you can search for black patterns. There'll be a tab for like starter sites where you can, if you just want to go in and import the whole starter site you can do that. And there may even be a sort of an intermediary idea or concept called layouts, which is just like a single page.
You know, group of patterns, for like, Hey, maybe I need to build just a landing page. You know, I don't need a whole starter site, but maybe I maybe there's, some, some layout one page layout things. And so that'll be the interaction, where you will literally just go into the editor and say, Hey, I want to build this layout.
This icon, which pops up in the modal and I want to select the one and then it'll just drop it all in there and then you can tweak it from there. Yeah.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:35:28] If you've if you're not played with block patterns and I'm sure that there's quite a few people holding out against the the whole Guttenberg thing, it's such a great initiative.
Just the idea of being able to squirrel stuff away and download it from somewhere else. And it's so fast, you just click the button and boom, there it is. It's, this is such a neat idea. I keep stumbling across things that I didn't expect to come out of Gothenburg and like reusable patterns as a business.
I didn't see that coming. And yet here we are. People of people have got these great ideas selling, selling these packs. Where do we find it? Let's just get the URL in people's heads for us. WP.
Brian Gardner: [00:36:12] Yeah. For us wp.com, and I'm slowly and iteratively moving out the website as like progressive things happen that allow me to open the website, like the whole landing page that you see there now rolled out, I think, early last week.
And you know, keep checking back at the bottom of that as an option. From which allows you to sign up for frost news and also to get access to the very soon to be released a special introductory pricing that we're going to have. We're going to introduce uh, uh, a bailiff beta pilot group, you know, early adopters, help flesh out some things and work through some things.
And that'll be like an early. Lock-in you know, substantially lower rate than it will be normally, but,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:37:00] okay. So we're on the, we're on the 5th of July now, not to put you on the spot or anything, or do you see that being a week, two weeks a month, or?
Brian Gardner: [00:37:07] I know for a fact that frost 1.0 yeah. Ready state won't be ready until 5.8, just because as we talked about and can continue to talk about, there's a lot of things in there that I think I want to account for it.
And I want that to release. I want to make sure that a little bit of time to make sure things that we take advantage of are there but in the meantime, so like probably within a week or two I would think that the sort of early adopter will be able to go in and, sign up and start really accessing things.
We're just tightening up the bits of. The plugin right now, the library plugins. Um,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:37:44] okay, so go check it out. It's, uh, frost, wp.com and keep checking back a week or so from now, you'll be able to, I should
Paul Lacey: [00:37:53] have some nice compliments as well. I
Brian Gardner: [00:37:55] know we thank you very much. Yeah, let's
Nathan Wrigley: [00:37:59] Let's make use of this button.
We, Jackson, Brian is royalty all in capital letters. I might be fanboying right now. He says that's really cool. Nice to see David Vaughn grease. David is the the, the, the guy behind the page builder framework. So really nice to have you on, Hey guys. Oh, I see you were the, one of the anonymous ones earlier as it was Rick.
So nice to have you with us as well. And Lee helpfully post in the. For people in the comments. Jonathan and Paul, I don't want to pass up the opportunity for you to give commentary on what what Brian's just told us. So floor is yours. If you want to talk.
Paul Lacey: [00:38:39] Yeah, I got a couple of
Jonathan Wold: [00:38:40] thoughts on this first.
I want to just call back to the full site editing and testing. One of the things I loved about your narrative there, Brian, was that you got in and began to play with it. And that's where you saw the opportunity. And I just want to encourage folks in general, if you haven't gone yet, And played with some of these things.
Like for your example, being a good one, you never know what ideas might come to mind. The other thing I want to point out is that it's sometimes easy to assume, like with the call for testing that oh, lots of other people are doing it. No, that's not the case. There is a fantastic opportunity right now at this sort of stage.
And WordPress is evolving. To give input and feedback and have quite a bit of influence. Yeah. And I, and this is something that I guess I just see this, I've seen this as a thread over the years in WordPress. Yeah. WordPress is huge. There's a lot of people that are involved yet. It's still a relatively small group of people that are giving the input.
And what I love about what Anne and the rest of the folks are doing there is that they are going out and they're working hard to bring in as much input and perspective as possible to represent. The, the majority using WordPress and even as they do that, there's so much opportunity right now to help shape the future of what's happening.
So I'm super excited with what you're doing here, Brian, and it's, it's going to be interesting because initiatives like this to me are examples of what bring together the best of like it's it's The work, a lot of the work that's going into Gutenberg. It's let's get the technology, right?
Let's get some key pieces of this. We don't really know where this is going to go. I'm being a little ungenerous in that. There's I think there's this degree to which we don't know what the applications are going to be yet. And it's things like frost that become a great examples of what brings it all together.
Brian I'm really curious to hear your thoughts. If there's anything that you can say at this point on business model, like, how are you thinking about. The business model for frost?
Brian Gardner: [00:40:38] Yeah, I'm, I'm always a authentic and full transparency guy and we're going to have two licenses. We, I don't, I believe in simplicity, I don't believe in a tiered system of one through five, six through 10.
I feel like it's an administrative nightmare and it really defeats the purpose of a product being served for two different types of people. So we're going to have a single site license, and there's going to be an unlimited site, we assume people will see starter sites.
Maybe they're a food blogger and they're like, Hey, I just want it for my one site and that's it. So then we shouldn't charge them $300 a year for something like that. And then there's the other set of people who are building WordPress sites, whether it's a person who has, a handful of their own personal sites or they use it as a bit.
And at that point, whether it's 2, 5, 6, 10, a hundred, I'm like, okay, just it's unlimited. You know, and it's going to be something, around $300 a year, which is peanuts. It sounds like a lot of money, but it's peanuts. If frost saves one, two, maybe three hours, depending on what your rate is, per year, The ROI is insane.
And, we've heard for a decade now, how many people who I still get on shows and they're like, man, I bought pro plus at studio press when it was $199 or, I donated to your breast cancer walk and I've used it and built 800 sites with it. And it costs me nothing. Like I feel very secure in what we're building and how it's going to help people.
And I feel like our pricing models. So we're going to do, and this is the one difference between studio press back in the day. And I remember. And the acquisition the acquisition article I was asked, what is the one regret you had over the years? And it wasn't really a regret. I have regretted that we never changed in the decision back in the day to do transactional pricing was what it was.
And then of course, plugins came around and WooCommerce and everyone was like, oh, Hey, we're going to make money every year on safe people. And I was like, wow, that's a really smart thing to do. I think it was elegant themes. I think Nick did some $9 a year thing, but he had 100,000 people and I started doing the math.
I was like, I screwed that one up. So yeah, so this will be an annual thing as it should be as everything in our world is now. Uh, except for Jen Genesis is now too, but so yeah, so that's this specific around frost. It's going to be, access to the library of patterns and starter sites and stuff like that.
So the value for sure is going to be there.
Paul Lacey: [00:43:00] Cool. The last thing I'd just got to say on this is the segue nicely and stylishly into the next one. Brian is back, but there's something else that's back and it is going to be in-person meetups. Nathan, I don't know if we just want to say that they're coming back and there's some new roles and skip to the next one.
For time and stuff, I don't
Nathan Wrigley: [00:43:22] want, I don't want this to not happen, but I just also don't want to what's the expression, when you sort of say something about carts and horses and it kind of feel like I don't really want to announce to the rest of the world that we're thinking about going back in person.
I really, really miss. Going to word camps and events. And I want it to happen with every fiber of my being, but I also don't want people to be put in in jeopardy. And I also don't want organizers to take the weight of putting any of this stuff on and then feeling like it's their responsibility.
If I don't know, things have to be canceled or people get sick or whatever, but. Andrea Middleton has put this piece together in person meetups events for vaccinated community members course this, we never get into health or politics or anything, but here we are, this is what we're going to talk about for the next moment or two.
This is a very peculiar situation because we are asking people to be truly honest. What, you show up to her word camp normally it's did you pay? Yes. What's your name? Okay. Here's the Tabard. Now it's. Did you pay? Yes. Did you have two vaccines? Yes. Did you really have two vaccines? You're not allowed to ask that
Paul Lacey: [00:44:44] This is the thing they've probably got to work out because, and it's a difficult thing for them to work out.
Isn't it like we're aware from a few organizers who've spoken to us and said, this is all great. But basically it turns out that. The, to go to one of the events, you need to be double vaccinated, but the organizers have been told you mustn't ask the people for official proof of that. It needs to just be an honor system, which is yeah, that's really nice.
And as long as everyone is obeying the rules, but if you are someone who is, vulnerable to something like COVID and you are going to an event on the basis that you have to trust everyone there, read the rules. Cause some people just don't even read this stuff. They're just like, I want to get to that event.
I'm not going to read any of this stuff. I'm just turning up. And so they might be in complete good faith. Just turning up. No one asks them anything. And someone else there who had read all the rules and was like, okay, hopefully everyone is playing by the rules is unnecessarily at risk for instance now, so that's the thing.
I don't think it's a massive story. I think that basically that this comes out in the wash, that all the organizers are going to go hang on. This is difficult and it will get sorted out some way, but I'll be interested to see what the outcome is about the rules. I don't know if you guys, Jonathan and Brian went to a lot of word camps.
Me and Nathan went to a few and a few meetups and stuff like that. And so we're definitely missing them.
Jonathan Wold: [00:46:21] I'll jump in on this. I've got a, so having worked at WooCommerce and focused on community, I have a lot of recent context for meetups and events. One of the I started. A new WooCommerce meetup shortly after I had joined a few months in and it was like on a Monday or something. And then by the end of that week, I had published the announcement that we were switching away from all in person meetups.
So it was like in that March timeframe where it was like, oh, we weren't sure. And. The, so this this is complex. Um, I love Andrea. She does fantastic work and I really appreciate how she handles situations like this. And part of the complexity is early on. She alludes to like the local guidelines, right?
And WordPress, we can forget this. Sometimes we'll have our own context and perspective from our own local community. It can be very different and it is in fact, very different all around the world. Yeah, this is tricky. I find it fascinating. I like the approach that she's taking. And when I say she, obviously a lot of folks who've gone on into this, there's a lot of input and feedback.
A lot of folks are involved and yeah, it's a, it's a challenging thing. There's a tension there about trust. And and then there's what? I would be comfortable with what you're comfortable with. It's
Nathan Wrigley: [00:47:48] and I want is for anybody in a position of organizing this stuff to feel like, yeah, Up to them, if right.
You just want people to in good faith show up, if they're the rules, please stick to the rules. But also you can just imagine how anxious that would be if you are organizing this, just let's just pray that nobody has a problem past they're here
Paul Lacey: [00:48:10] because yeah, I think those guidelines need just a bit of clarification on you have option one or option B and how you can be completely transparent about that.
And I think then that'd be okay. And we've had a couple of comments that, Cameron is saying it should be down to the local governing bodies and the local laws and that kind of stuff. But yeah. It's just a, all I've got to say about it, I'm looking forward for them to come back personally.
I'm not generally classed as an at-risk person and I will be double vaccinated as of this coming Saturday. So I'm just on a personal level, just looking forward to going and making some new friends again in the real world and sharing knowledge and listening to what other people have got to say again.
Yeah. So Brian, any thoughts?
Brian Gardner: [00:49:01] I just basically echo what everybody said. I, I started to resume attending word camps within the last couple of years just because I hate to fly. So it's always been tough to go to the ones I want to go to just cause I don't like to fly. And so like the work camp, us ones being in Nashville and St.
Louis. Awesome. Cause I was able to drive time to those. I'm looking forward to them, again, I, a little on the camp of Cameron as it comes to, the local governing bodies and that we're all adults and that people just need to, make their own decisions. And I guess.
Jonathan Wold: [00:49:40] The challenge with the job that Andrea has here is that she's, I feel fairly certain that she's getting the input from folks who are very concerned about this.
Right. Like all they want to get back to this. Oh, what do we do about this? What do we do about that? Should we require? And so part of the ICS, strongness, and the message is no, you know, yes, this is our recommendation that if that, this is for fully vaccinated folks and no, you can't require anyone to tell you whether they were or not.
And she's coming down really strongly. And I would say there might even be a majority of organizers who are fine with it, or that, you are aren't too bothered. They're going to follow local guidelines. They're going to resume or they're not going to resume. Yet, all of the folks matter and there's some who are really concerned and this is laying it out Hey, this is how to approach this as what you can't do.
And I always appreciate the lengths that Andrea will go to, to make things as clear as possible. So I'm curious to see
Nathan Wrigley: [00:50:38] how, that's a, that's a really good point. Thought is being deployed because over here we have the euros football, a soccer tournament, and the Wembley stadium, which is our great big stadium.
I think there's going to be like 60, 60,000 people or just yelling and shouting and having a real break time of it. That's this Wednesday. So yeah. Maybe we can just see how that goes and not worry quite so much about 50% meetup, but yeah. Curious, curious I feel the next one is right in Jonathan's wheelhouse.
And to be honest with you, Paul and I I think we misjudged what this article actually meant when we looked at it the first time, a little while ago, this is over on the WooCommerce side of things. So we've got an article entitled, will commerce payments. As I was reading it. I was thinking, they've just they've done Stripe, but that's not it.
Um, I just, I was reading this and I was thinking they've just taken Stripe out of the equation and you've now got WooCommerce acting as a payment gateway, but I don't think that's. Jonathan. Do you know anything about that? Are you able to explain this to me? I'll tell you where I'll tell you where I'm at.
I think we're looking at you link this up to your Stripe account. You link your WooCommerce. I don't use WooCommerce just to be clear. Link will commerce up to your Stripe account and then they just take all of the friction out. Everything's done kind of for you in an easy to read way, you don't have to worry so much refunds and everything can be taken care of in a much more straightforward way.
Could be wrong.
Paul Lacey: [00:52:13] Can I play a game and see if any of us are right and say my version is that I understand is that you don't link it to your Stripe account. You get a, almost like a secret Stripe account as part of via WooCommerce. Jonathan, you said it so much better than me.
Jonathan Wold: [00:52:32] Yeah that that's that's much closer. Paul. Nice try Nathan. So WooCommerce payments has been out for a bit. It's a super interesting play. I'm a big fan of it for a few different reasons. And so what we'll commerce payments is as, as Paul described kind of, I would describe it as a bit of a wrapper over Stripe.
So Stripe, if you think about what Stripe is and what they're doing, like they're in the infrastructure, like payments, infrastructure, business, right? Like you can install Stripe directly. It's always been developer focused and a lot of folks will install Stripe themselves as end users. And that works fairly well.
But it's, that wasn't the intended experience, right? Like you're connecting API keys and doing WooCommerce payments. They will, commerce has a direct partnership with Stripe and they basically said, all right, we're going to take the infrastructure that you provide. And we're going to build an integrated experience on top of that.
That's specific for WooCommerce and So it's interesting as it is. There's a lot of cool stuff that it does. It's already has some great promise today. What I get more excited about is the future potential. I would love to see WooCommerce, to position their payments offering more and more as time goes on as their own like services layer infrastructure that others could build on top of what does it look like for developers to be able to build experiences that leverage WooCommerce payments internally?
And for instance, to build a theme that, has some great blocks focused on payments and to not anticipate that you need this whole. Monolithic like WooCommerce set up or like maybe something really simple. And to be able to just leverage WooCommerce payments as an offering that has, great infrastructure, it offers all the other things on top of it, you could offer apple pay, Android pay or Google pay, whatever they call it these days.
So it's. Yeah it's going to be interesting to see how that evolves. And then from a business model perspective, that I'm no longer at a WooCommerce Automattic is called my bias here. I don't, I don't think the market is from an ideal perspective. The current will commerce marketplace is too long for this world in terms of its model and how it approaches things.
I think there's a lot of opportunity there, but when I take a step back. From a business perspective. I think WooCommerce payments is very much the future for Wu in terms of alignment, with value for the customer and the opportunity to have it as a services layer that you could build on top of.
So it's interesting. What's there today. They've just recently expanded to a few new countries because
Nathan Wrigley: [00:55:22] that's the bit that I'm highlighting on the screen now. Not only the U S we've got Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, France, quite a lot, Italy, Spain, and Germany, all able to make use of that.
And that's really what the
Jonathan Wold: [00:55:35] piece of nuance to this, though, that for anyone curious, like this is not just a wrapper on top of it is a full like WooCommerce. Payment's like they're owning this from a customer support perspective, like the integration experience. So it's like Stripe is the backend technology.
But it is like for all intents and purposes, like it's a WooCommerce product.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:55:55] Is there any reason? Oh, Brian's left. He left. Oh, and I think he's back. There we go. Let's pop him back in. Is there any reason Jonathan or Brian or Paul? Why, why automatic would commerce? Let's say wouldn't want to. Complete control of that experience.
So instead of having to go to in a roundabout way and create a Stripe account on your behalf, if you like, is there any scope, do you think in the future automatic we'll do that all themselves and take the 1.4, 2.9, whatever it is, percent.
Jonathan Wold: [00:56:30] There's not a good reason for that. Stripe is specifically in the infrastructure business, right?
Like they're solving a lot of the tough problems, Stripe and WooCommerce from my perspective is just a fantastic partnership, Stripe and automatic working together. This is what Stripe wants to do. Like they want to be in this business of, Hey, we're gonna, we're going to build all the tools.
We're gonna solve all the hard problems at the infrastructure layer. And we want applications on top of it. There there's just no real incentive. It's for the end user. It's transparent. So what you thought, Nathan, it is, you install it, you'll see Stripe referenced, but in passing, like it's all the setup process.
Everything is within the WordPress dashboard and, once you've got it installed, like you're doing everything inside of WordPress and WooCommerce. So I think that's only going to become more prominent.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:57:21] Yes. Or if you're in one of those, I don't know. What is that 10 countries? You can, you can take advantage of it.
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