255 – ‘XYZ’ is for disappointing series ending for the ‘A- Z of WordPress’

‘A-Z of WordPress’ with Nathan Wrigley and David Waumsley


We could have tried to eke this one out. According to one online crossword solver there are 378 Words Starting With X, but I imagine X for xeroxed – how to copy your WP website, might be going too far! So we just decided to end with a pathetic whimper!

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(We should have had a Family Fortunes styled game show thing. “Let’s see if it’s on the board! You said, flush your permalinks. Our survey of 100 WordPress experts said’ Uh – Urrr! I’m afraid you’ll not be going home with the Goblin TeasMaid and bone china cup and saucer set). You have to be British and of a certain age to understand that!


X is for what not to do with WordPress (according to the fine people of the interwebs) as in X for cross out / delete.

Y for why we should still use WordPress (seems more relevant with such changes going on).

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

Finally lots of Zzzz’s is for, got to sleep… it’s time to put this series to bed.

X – Never ever, under pain of death, do this!

Y – Why use WordPress?

  • GPL – it’s FREE and yours to own
  • Choice of options
  • SEO benefits of the default WordPress
  • You can make a living maintaining WordPress sites
  • Easy to sell to clients as they’ve likely heard or and / or used WordPress
  • Easy to find WordPress sites in need of some love

Z – Zzzzzz!

There’s nothing more to say really. Just go to sleep, which you’ve likely done already and forget that this series ever happened, which you’ve likely already done!

Mentioned in this episode…

Happy Files

LH Zero Spam plugin by Peter Shaw – David Walsh’s idea first though, we think.

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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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[00:00:00] Nathan Wrigley: Welcome to the WP Builds podcast, bringing you the latest news from the WordPress community. Welcome your hosts, David Waumsley, and Nathan Wrigley.

Hello there and welcome to the WP Builds podcast. This is episode number 255 entitled X Y Zed is for disappointing series ending for the eight is out of WordPress. It was published on Thursday, the 18th of November, 2021. My name's Nathan Wrigley, and I'll be joined by David Walmsley in just a few short moments so that we can have this discussion.

But before that a very short piece of housekeeping, you would have to have your head buried in the sand. If you didn't know that black Friday was just around the corner, not long. Now, there are loads of WordPress deals out there, but wouldn't it be nice if there was one single source where you could. All of those deals.

One page one searchable filterable page. We've done it for you. Head over to WP Builds.com forward slash black that's WP Builds.com forward slash black and there's loads on there. I keep adding more every day as they arrive. But you can search and filter your black Friday deals all on that page.

It's really easy to use and it does help keep the lights on with WP Builds. So I'd be most appreciative if you could bookmark that page and make some use of it. Once more, WP Builds.com forward slash black. Okay, let's get stuck into the main event of the podcast show. We today we've been going for just about a year at the eight, is that of WordPress series.

And this is the final episode where rolling three letters into one for the first time, frankly, because it was too difficult to do them separately. X, Y, and Zed are all being rolled today. X is for crossing things out. It's how not to do things. The things that you shouldn't do. Why is that? Why the word, why should you do certain things?

And Zed is for zoos sleeping the end of the series. I know it's a bit contrived. I hope you can bear it. I hope that you enjoy the podcast. Hello.

[00:02:23] David Waumsley: It's another A-Z of WordPress, the series, where we attempt to cover all the major aspects of building and maintaining sites with WordPress today is X wise head for a disappointed series ended.

So we really thought we could try and eat this one out where, I went to the crossword solver to see what words began with X. So I came up with Xerox, which could be how to copy your WordPress website. I think it might just be pushing things a little bit too far

[00:02:55] Nathan Wrigley: plumbing, new depths cops.

[00:02:59] David Waumsley: Yeah. So I think it's probably time to wrap this one up.

So instead X's going to stand for what we wouldn't do with WordPress. According to the fine people that have the interwebs and Y is going to stand for why we should still use WordPress or why we use. And finally the Zed is going to stand for Zed for sleep. He buys for his. Okay.


[00:03:23] Nathan Wrigley: we've done.

I think we've done quite well. We've got 22 letters of the alphabet. Each one we tried hard to do and these last three. So let me just get this straight X stands for be a cross, like as in don't do that. Press the delete button. That's what the X stands for. The Y stands for the word. Y w H Y and Zed started this with nothing.

It just starts it. We can't think of anything for that. So we'll use the sleep metaphor. I

[00:03:51] David Waumsley: love it. Desperate. Okay. Should we start with the first one, which is the X, what we never, ever underpainted Def should do with WordPress and I checked a few posts, really. There's quite a lot of. But that's pretty much the same stuff.

So there's a cross section here. The first one I came across was WP beginners, which said never upload videos to WordPress.

[00:04:19] Nathan Wrigley: That's really interesting when I think the very first time I ever used a CMS was for a. For a video site where we were putting up videos and I did, I put it and it was really cheap posting.

I had no idea really what I was doing and and a very quickly learned, no, don't do that. Put the video somewhere else. And so I learned that one quite quickly. It's just a massive hog, isn't it? The bandwidth that's coming out, plus the actual storage that it's using. Yeah. Don't do that. That is a definite.

[00:04:49] David Waumsley: And I'm must remind myself to put in some rules to stop that happening. There is one client who I didn't realize they just uploaded a whole ton of videos onto the server and we're pushing them out. I mean, I talked to them and they decided to use YouTube in the end, but yeah,

[00:05:07] Nathan Wrigley: They wouldn't have any conception that, that was weird.

Cause it's. That's some sort of web portal where used to things like YouTube and Facebook, you just throw it on there and it consumes it and it's happy. It never tells you it's too big. Just takes it from you and displays it for the world. And why would you think that your WordPress. Couldn't do that unless you've communicated really clearly.

Look, it can't possibly cope at your price point and you're eating up your heart disrespect. Genuinely with two high quality videos, you could use up the entire disc space if they were long enough. And and you just need to communicate that, but yeah, definitely never put videos up in your WordPress install.

Speaking of that, then what's your preferred. Solution for uploading videos. Are you always throwing them into YouTube or where do you store things? Pretty

[00:05:57] David Waumsley: much. So tight, but if I, if I wasn't, I think I would look out for good player that had the functions that I wanted. And then I would probably end up putting, hosting it on the Amazon, I think as three, the,

[00:06:12] Nathan Wrigley: have you heard CloudFlare getting into this game and they're getting into this game and the, I can't remember what it's called, but maybe somebody in the comments can write it down, but the price.

Unbelievably cheap, even when compared to Amazon, like it's a fraction of the cost of storage. But anyway, yeah, I use, or I say, I, we action and I, for the page builder summit, we've used Vimeo, which is great in all sorts of respects. I'm still out there looking for the perfect solution. I like Vimeo because it's got the nice interface and it's got analytics and, it's specifically built for video.

Whereas I think if you put it onto a, some sort of CDN that's fine as well, especially if you're not getting viewed all that often.

[00:06:56] David Waumsley: You know, there was some, somebody knows a lot about video cause he does that. Content is Troy Dean. And I remember something he posted on Facebook and it was my experience too, for where he was in Australia.

He found that when you watch Fidelio videos, it was so frustrating. They were always stolen on him. And that was my own experience in India as well. So

[00:07:17] Nathan Wrigley: I didn't realize that I naively assumed that they'd got all of that taken care of, but perhaps not. Okay. Maybe I need to

[00:07:25] David Waumsley: revisit that.

Yeah. But I was fine actually on the page, middle of summit, I watched all the, I had no issues at all, so yeah. Maybe they've solved it. I don't know. But yeah. It's interesting that you might not know the experience

[00:07:38] Nathan Wrigley: of other people, right? Yeah. And the, yeah, I guess if you're looking for some sort of CDN solution, you just start to see.

Points of contact. They've got around the world and how many servers and where they are and all that. But yeah, the point remains, don't put videos into your media library unless they are literally tiny. Cause it's, cause it's just not a good idea, but I was talking to you before we hit record. One of my primary reasons for video these days is my own personal videos.

And by that, You know, literally like videoing the kids' birthday parties and things, and I've still yet to arrive at a solution. I was using Google photos and I've decided to drop that. And now I'm basically just using a hard desk in my office. It's right next to me. And that, that I use Plex P L E S.

To distribute that. And I've got it plugged into a computer that never gets switched off. And that works really well, but it would be useless for putting stuff that needs to be on a website.

[00:08:42] David Waumsley: Next Justin, next one. The next article I found, I was just looking around really for what other people said, then this was more advanced stuff.

So it's from top towel.com and then our people, I think who hire out experts, developers. They've got an article called the 12 worst mistakes that advanced WordPress developers make. And I thought it was quite interesting cause I'm not really that, but some of these things I have come to learn over time.


[00:09:12] Nathan Wrigley: there's three or four that are really useful. Aren't there. John Alyssa. Useful. I

[00:09:17] David Waumsley: thought the first one was probably something which won't be that relevant to me, which is not to place in JavaScript code into one main file, which obviously makes sense. You want to serve that up as, and when it's needed.

That was one, but one that I think for me it's something that I've only really started doing if I can find it here. So what not to do is to develop with WP underscore debug set to false. So you want it to true. So you can see PHP errors as you're developing your sites. And that's just something I've really only started doing over recent months.

[00:09:55] Nathan Wrigley: Do you have that set to true in perpetuity? In other words, do you see. When you first start out with the site and then just leave it on. Even if it meant that other people with permissions would see.

[00:10:10] David Waumsley: I think it's, the way I've got it set up, which I've taken from the documentation on WordPress itself is it comes with the full script that you put in, which actually stops it printing out.

So I think the only way I find out about my situation is to go to the debug file. Got it. Got stolen, take a look at it from there. So yeah, so I leave that running and I. Take a look. It gives into WP content the file, then you can just drag it out and take a look at what things mainly I started doing that because I've been trying to convert sites over to PHP version aim and not everything is compatible.

So I've been checking that out, but yeah, I'll probably try and turn it off at the end. I don't know. Maybe I

[00:10:53] Nathan Wrigley: should leave it on. Do you know if there's any sort of performance hit? Obviously it's writing stuff to a file that it wouldn't ordinarily be doing. Do you know. Using op CPU cycles or anything like that.

[00:11:06] David Waumsley: I have no idea. And this article isn't telling me

[00:11:09] Nathan Wrigley: quite interesting to know whether. If there's any benefit in having it on, let's say you get to the point where you've developed this site and you've had it on and you absolutely satisfied that you've achieved what you want to achieve.

Is there any benefit in having it on forever and ever our men, or is there some benefit in turning that back to false WP on discord, debug segment to false? I have no idea.

[00:11:32] David Waumsley: No, but it's, I think it's quite interested and it just churn up some kind of stuff that you wouldn't know right out. So I think.

So I'm never not going to do that again. Okay. So

[00:11:44] Nathan Wrigley: negative never not going to, so you are going to do right. Okay. Got it. Got it. Okay. Anything else on that piece?

[00:11:53] David Waumsley: Did you see anything that, that

[00:11:54] Nathan Wrigley: stood out for you? There were, there were some fairly technical things about PHP and JavaScript and what have you.

But most of that, I think we can gloss over. There was a couple of nice bits and I think we've done them both.

[00:12:06] David Waumsley: Yeah. And then I looked at another article, which was from the search engine journal and it had, well, I guess that's a silly stuff, really. Mistakes to avoid. And I found this quite tricky to read because the first thing is using poorly coded themes.

And I just think, ha I think that's up for kind of debate. And one of the things to check is W3C market validation, service, and I'm pretty sure most themes out there might fail on that.

[00:12:38] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah. I'm sure you're right. To get it. Absolutely perfect. After you fiddled with it and wrestled it into what it is that you want that particular theme to do, I'm sure you're absolutely right.

Yeah. This piece is full of what feels like fairly basic advice, like excessive, Dom size. They also point to is don't use a page builder. So at that point, all grumpy and stopped reading properly really, but they mentioned things like don't install too many plugins. Don't put media into your media library.

That's not optimized. In other words, either use a service that will do that for you or optimize it before you upload it. And then there's things like, make sure you've got an XML site map, which now we have anyway. Everybody's got a site map as part of WordPress core, don't forget, it's things like update your sites, change the username and password and all that kind of stuff.

So it's fairly

[00:13:35] David Waumsley: sensible. They've got an SEO slant on things. And of course, that kind of overlaps with stuff we'll talk about because it's become very much about speed. So that's why the page builder stuff's in there because, from their perspective, Got the game with the Guttenberg is the lightest approach to build it in your site.

Yeah, it's interesting, really the overlap and where I disagree with the kind of stuff there, but yeah, there's some stuff there that's still useful.

[00:14:03] Nathan Wrigley: I'll link to it in the show notes, but anybody that's been around WordPress for any length of time and you'll probably get most of that without having to.

[00:14:12] David Waumsley: Yeah. Now we move on to things that just came off the top of my head. Oh dear. So my first thought was, I think this is the mistake I see people make with WordPress. And that's using the tagging system rather randomly. So we've got categories and we've got tags and categories. If we organize ourselves properly, we can really structure our site properly.

It's got a parent child relationship tags though. I think. As most people understand tags. It's just seems like the convenient thing. Oh yeah. That's that I'll just stick a tag on it. And I think if you do that in WordPress, you create yourself an SEO problem.

[00:14:51] Nathan Wrigley: Really? I am totally guilty of this, so I get it.

I'm an, I'm an idiot. The I've got, for example, on the WP built a website, I've got three categories. One is uncategorized. One is. Podcasts and one is news. I think I'm happy with that. That seems fine. But I go absolutely mad for tags. I love tagging things and, and yeah, I've probably just got literally hundreds of tags, which are probably muddying the SEO war.

[00:15:21] David Waumsley: It's interesting. So you leave on categories and you're quite happy with

[00:15:26] Nathan Wrigley: that. I don't ever use it. I always, I just, it's just there. I just never switch it off or delete it. I always have on WP Builds, like I say there's, news and podcasts and I just make sure I have a process of checking every time before I publish anything.

And that is one of the things, because I've actually got a template. Based upon the category selected. And so if I don't select either news or podcasts, then nothing on the front end will show apart from the main content, which is in most cases, not very much cause there's lots of customers.

[00:16:06] David Waumsley: Yeah, it's interesting because one of the things that I try and do straight away is to change the uncategorized into something. And if it's just the word genuine just so that anyone that goes and looks at the site go, they didn't bother to change

[00:16:22] Nathan Wrigley: that. I didn't really think about it from that point of view, but you're right.

And also it's a curious word to have chosen on categorized. Yeah. As opposed to. There is no category. Do we do post, have to have, they don't do that. Oh,

[00:16:38] David Waumsley: Do they know? I think it has to go under the well, you

[00:16:43] Nathan Wrigley: have to have a catch. That's what I mean, but there's no way of saying on uncategorized is literally no


[00:16:51] David Waumsley: think you're right.

Yeah, but it's certainly there by, and it's the one you can change, but you can't delete.

[00:16:56] Nathan Wrigley: That's curious. Yeah. But I, like I say, I totally over year. Categories and tags. I wonder how many people who are using WordPress not developing with WordPress with just end users of it and have no relationship with the code or any of that.

I wonder if they actually understand what the differences between category and tags and that the fact that one is hierarchical and more.

[00:17:18] David Waumsley: Yeah, I doubt it. And I just think, I think it's a terrible term, this tack, cause it just seems like the obvious thing to do. And certainly people I know who got into blogging and didn't know anything about WordPress just started.

They just start with millions of tasks. So I just

[00:17:32] Nathan Wrigley: think, I remember the tag clouds back in the day flash-based tag clouds that would move around big and big words would come to the front. And then it was like a globe of words showing my age.

[00:17:46] David Waumsley: I know it seems so cool. It

[00:17:48] Nathan Wrigley: was cool. It was really, that's why people got into tagging things cause they want the cloud to look better is in a way that, that, that meant you had a bigger site, you've got, oh look, this site's got a big cloud of tags.

Busy making content. They're very reputable, but I think you're right. I think it's a bit silly and having a taxonomy system laid out right from the beginning, and I bet that's something nobody ever talks about with their clients. Having that all figured out right at the get-go would be quite useful, sinks. And what have you, there's probably a really small amount of tags that would be useful. And to categorize things correctly, much as you would with a sort of WooCommerce product or something like that is quite.

[00:18:34] David Waumsley: Yeah. I think the, the idea of category, it makes you think of a system, just the word itself, you go categories.

Then I really have to have a system. When you think tags, you just think, oh, just stick that on. And I just think this, I just tell clients to avoid tax until there's a good reason.

Do you

[00:18:50] Nathan Wrigley: remote, do you try to remove that from the site then? I don't mean remove it. I was in make it a hundred percent go hide it.

[00:18:57] David Waumsley: Yeah. If there's a custom post type which I've created, then now just have categories and not tags there. Yeah, definitely. Next, I guess, related is don't forget to delete the sample post and page. Yep. And you re you raised something about this, I guess that needs, you talked about the other page that comes with it, the privacy page.

[00:19:19] Nathan Wrigley: I you, you I'm sure. But maybe your clients don't know you when you install WordPress. I can't remember what version it was. Was it. 5.0, something like that. You now get the privacy page, don't you, which you can set in settings to be the privacy page, but you got a default one, which I don't know how many people ever use it, but it's fairly boilerplate text.

And we were talking about, we didn't know whether that was translated, so the American English version, or perhaps even the Japanese version or whatever it might be, I've no idea, but that potentially is one to either delete. Or go and sort out properly right at the outset, but yeah. Get rid of the sample page.

Do you get rid of I don't know, hello, Dolly and a kismet or any of those? What are you doing?

[00:20:06] David Waumsley: Yes, they get deleted. If I'm starting from scratch, which we've talked about this before, you like to do that. I've now been converted a little bit to starting from scratch every so often, because I think it makes you look at stuff, particularly the privacy page, which when that came out I started every project with my own setup where I've got my own page for that.

So I just got the hump about it. How dare you stick the sentence, but now I've looked at it. I thought, Ooh, actually this actually some good things in there. Things I hadn't thought about such as. The kind of privacy that applies to comments on posts, things that I haven't covered yet in my own privacy policy.


[00:20:48] Nathan Wrigley: got to look, I think my advice, I just like to go and install WordPress every time from scratch. I just do it. I don't know why, but I think. If you were to do that wanting 10 times, it might be useful, maybe one in five, just to see if anything's changed. Just about also, it gives you that clarity of, do I really need this?

Like we were talking about whether you really need, if it's a really lightweight site and the end users, probably not going to be too involved in the backend, do you really need something like Metta box or advanced custom fields? If you've only got one custom field. Make due with the WordPress custom fields, which comes installed.

So things like that, it might make you revisit it. Whereas if you've got a template site, which you always use as your base layer, this is, this is what I do every time I just install this. There might be stuff that you really don't need, but you're just a bit addicted to, and you're wedded to it for no reason.

[00:21:49] David Waumsley: Yeah, exactly. You've I've converted to your way of thinking because of that's exactly what happened to me. I, for the first time, in a long time, I thought I'm just going to use the default. I've only got a couple of fields that I need. I'm going to use the default, but before, if I'd gone with my starter site, that would have been ACF sit in there for me and I'll just come with that.

Yeah, I, it's a good idea. I think, to re refresh yourself on these things now

[00:22:13] Nathan Wrigley: converted me. So things like just changes in WordPress, things that are different. Like the privacy page, you would never have known that was even there probably would have just stuck itself in amongst all the other pages that you have.

You would never know. So once in a while is all I'm saying what's

[00:22:30] David Waumsley: next, sitting pretty links, I guess most people will know. That's an important thing to do rather than have the default IDs. Yep, yep, yep. And a media library as well. Now I think we might do this differently. I always go, we'll make sure that all the media goes into the one file.

So I take it away from the default. Have it in the month, but the years, that's

[00:22:55] Nathan Wrigley: how I generally do it. And I can't really think that has ever really helped me, but that's just the way I do it. Just, I think on some level, I like that I'm used to categorizing my. Like on my Mac, for example, I'm used to putting things into folders and often it will be by month.

If it's photographs, I'll put them in month folders, just because I want to be able to go back and have some recollection of when things are taken, but also, so that the file itself, doesn't sorry, the folder itself doesn't get too big with literally 10,000 items in it. So I think there's some something to be said.

Have you ever used plugins, like happy files to organize that on the back of the.

[00:23:40] David Waumsley: I've tried it out and I really like it. But. I haven't gone with it because of the fact that I've adopted a system, which allows me to tag the media, but I haven't really got into the habit of doing that. One of the things that bugs me about WordPress is the fact that, if you start, if you started 18 years ago and you've put all, like I do put them all in one place, how do you delete these old images, which are no longer relevant, any longer on post.

I don't know, you may have deleted or something. You just don't have to clear.

[00:24:13] Nathan Wrigley: Right. That's a good reason. Put things into months and whatever.

[00:24:20] David Waumsley: Yeah, but the, the, the reason I don't is because of this strange SEO idea that I've got, where it's extending the URL before you get to maybe keyword rich image labeling.

So that's why I went the other

[00:24:33] Nathan Wrigley: way. Yeah. If you've got a site where it's a brochure site there's no point if it's never going to change, then don't bother. But if it's something. I dunno, I'm huge blog. It would make sense to expunge those. I don't know, every five years or something, the content stale, nobody's going to be reading it.

You could be getting rid of things. And if you can just go to a folder that was, I don't know, let's say January, 2016 and just click, delete and happily get rid of all that stuff then why not?

[00:25:02] David Waumsley: So basically our point on this one is never. Ever, basically don't have the angle to say, this is my negatives for you to say, basically have a checklist.

Don't not have a check. The

[00:25:18] Nathan Wrigley: tone that I'll do it for you. Don't not have. Easier than that.

Have a checklist.

[00:25:27] David Waumsley: We're trying to go with an X though.

[00:25:30] Nathan Wrigley: So don't not have a checklist. There you go. Perfect.

Now we missed out the one that I threw in there, which was what do you, what do you do about common? Do you leave those on the default settings? Or do you switch them off by default or do you have them so that I don't know. So that it sends you an email each time? My, my position now, it feels like comments.

Because of the spam involved. And as soon as you start to receive spam, I know that there's ways of avoiding like a kismet and what have you. But as soon as you start receiving the spam, that's just a Torrance is probably going to come your way. So I took a page out of Kevin quirks book and on a site that I recently put together, I got rid of comments altogether, and actually just had a reply by email button at the end of each.

[00:26:25] David Waumsley: Yeah. Sounds good. Yep. Do you know what we're comments though? There is a good little, this is completely off the point here, but there is a nice little plug-in, which has hardly anybody's installed, which I think is called El haitch zero space. Cool. I got that wrong. And what it does is it's an old technique that's been around.

David Walsh has this, got the JavaScript, basically where anybody who turns off their JavaScript going to WordPress will get blocked from being able to submit any forms. And it works for. For that, there used to be a zero spam WordPress, zero spam, but they've changed how they do it, but actually it works.

I mean, assuming that none of the people who are genuinely going into your site have turned off JavaScript for a reason, it gets rid of most of the bots.


[00:27:13] Nathan Wrigley: hang on, let me just get that straight. So it's detecting if this JavaScript disabled. Yeah. And if it is disabled, then it assumes that it's.

[00:27:26] David Waumsley: Yeah, and it just doesn't let you complete anything. You can't, you can't log in or register or fill in a form or add in a comment if you've turned it off. So it blocks you from that way. And it's a really, so lightweight, it literally. KPS for this plugin and the gods so

[00:27:45] Nathan Wrigley: much.

The assumption then is that the, the bots won't be exhibiting behavior of using JavaScript in any way. That's interesting.

[00:27:57] David Waumsley: Yeah. Yeah. It seems to work. It works on form submissions anyway, that's off the point, but yeah, interesting. We were having, we might as well share what I was talking about earlier with the comments.

Cause your idea about being able to submit a message, but you can't interact with people. So recently I'm trying to put together a blog and I thought, why don't I just, at the end of this blog, post link it to a. Identical article, which is going to be on Facebooks and their group so that people could talk about it there.

And I just thought, yeah, it might be the way forward because I'm the same with you. I don't, you have to manage comments. You have to allow a system for people to be notified if they've made a comment, which is another. And so I don't quite, it's not really the best place I think, to have that kind of engagement.

I wonder

[00:28:46] Nathan Wrigley: these days, obviously back in the day you go back 10 or so years when websites were really the place where people hung out, you'd go to a particular website and the comment threads would often be quite long. I feel that people's attention has been diverted and that. The interaction online.

He is now done on these different platforms. So if they're going to be typing a thought about something related to a piece of content, there, they're more likely to do that in something like Facebook or pick whatever platform, Twitter or whatever. And I just, I wonder if comments on individual websites are dying.

In that, that they're basically going to be ghost towns, but also you're advertising the lack of interest in your content. If you've got posts, sorry. If you've got. Comments switched on and post after post after post there's no comments on some level, it feels like a bit of a ghost town.

Having said that we WP Builds. We never get comments. We used to get quite a few, but we never get comments any more because everybody now knows that if they want to comment on it, there is a, there is somewhere in the fate in the Facebook group and they do all of that talking over.

[00:30:02] David Waumsley: Yeah, it does seem like they're dead now.

And it's really, sometimes they enjoy looking at, when there's something particularly controversial and everybody jumps on for their opinions. I will go through all of those one by one, but it's really hard in the same way. It is on Facebook to not lose the thread of the conversation. You know, Yeah, I think

[00:30:26] Nathan Wrigley: I do think that's an interesting development though.

That comments were a real thing. And now it just feels that they're a bit of a chore because of the comment spam, but also the fact that they you know, there's an actual work to be done. The flip side of course, is that if somebody does make a comment on your website and it is clearly on message, they've read whatever you put up there.

That's so nice. It's like getting a letter in the post, an actual handwritten. Feels really lovely. When somebody bothers to say, genuinely, I'll read your content. I disagree with it or I agree with it or whatever. It's an, it's a nice thing to receive. So from that point of view, you should probably keep them on.

But my feeling is for most cases, switch them.

[00:31:12] David Waumsley: Yeah, I agree. And it is a nice thing to have, and also potentially an SEO boost because you update the content on your page as well. And if it's relevant, they people have commented and helping you with your SEO as well. So

[00:31:27] Nathan Wrigley: that's good. Okay. Next.

[00:31:30] David Waumsley: This is one just for me, really.

You know, so never forget to check your browser for console errors. This is something I never used to do. And now I realized that it's

[00:31:44] Nathan Wrigley: absolutely essential level. Are you doing this? How refined are you being? How much time are you spending in there and when do you start to check the console? At what point are you thinking?

Okay, I've done enough work now to go back and check the console. What's the criteria.

[00:32:00] David Waumsley: I dunno, I'm getting, I'm using it a lot. I was talking to you about the fact that I use the console a lot of the times to slow down my page load so I can see how it's going to be on the mobile one. I'm building the site.

So I end up going in there quite a lot more than I used to do, but it does, it alerts me to mistakes. I made that I got into load in my own fonts and thought I'd done it correctly when I hadn't. And without the console ever telling me that. That font isn't loading on certain pages. I wouldn't know because it's cashed.

So it's, one of the examples where you think everything's fine, but it's not, there are

[00:32:35] Nathan Wrigley: errors there. Do you find it quite an intimidating interface or D obviously now you've got into it and you've probably learned a few shortcuts and ways of passing the information and understanding what's in front of you, but for for somebody beginning in WordPress, would you still advise checking the console or are you yeah.

[00:32:55] David Waumsley: I think so the only problem with it sometimes is that is throwing up errors, which are related to some of the extensions that you might have not genuine for your website, but I actually think beginners should do this more often, particularly if they're in groups where they might get support, because often people are talking about their issues.

And the first thing you ask in new. Is there any console errors and this is how you find it and tell me what they are. So I think it's, yeah, I think it's a good thing to have,

[00:33:23] Nathan Wrigley: I can feel it. Video series David coming on for you here. Nice selection of videos, telling us how to use the console and in what cases it's, worthwhile and in what cases, it's not like I expect those videos to be with us by the end of.

[00:33:38] David Waumsley: Yeah, I feel, that's the thing it's new to me. I've always felt it's a developer thing. As far as I was concerned. Now I realized because it's easy to see an error, isn't it? It puts up a little red marker, little X there. Yeah.

[00:33:53] Nathan Wrigley: I'm definitely not spending as much time in there as you too.

But I would be curious my comment about you making a video. So it was not a glib one. I would be genuinely curious to. What it is that you're looking for and how you're doing it. And I expect that you could save people a lot of time because it's one of those things. It's a bit like learning a foreign language.

There's a, you've got to get over the hump of figuring out what any of it means before it starts to make, excuse me.

[00:34:20] David Waumsley: Yeah. Yeah, indeed. Okay. Let's move on to the next one, which is again, it's just my personal thing. Never buy plugins and themes from unknown authors. It's

[00:34:31] Nathan Wrigley: a good piece of advice. And you were the first person really to raise this flag.

However, just having a thought, what is. You have just released your first plugin. What then?

[00:34:46] David Waumsley: I know, I think it's just generally a point about checking out who you're buying from. I think that's really quite important to know what their values are and the fact that you might be able to find them. I think it's quite concerning.

Anyone can put up a nice landing page here and completely hide their identity and send you something that you might use in your business. I think, it's certainly when I started, I had no idea who made the plugins that I use. I just use them because they did the function that I needed it to do.

But as I realized, people depended on me and my reputation depended on it, then. I felt I needed to start to think as authors. It was almost like business

[00:35:30] Nathan Wrigley: partners. Yeah. And I suppose it's incumbent upon anybody who is starting out a plugin theme or whatever WordPress kind of business is to make efforts to.

Push things out towards your potential customers to make it clear that you're in this seriously and you've done the due diligence and you've checked that things are compatible and so on and so forth. And if I see that again, I learned this from you. If I see that and I go to their about us page and it gives me confidence, I'm far more likely to part with my dollars than I would be.

If all of that was just absent and I didn't have a clue who.

[00:36:10] David Waumsley: Yeah. I think people who are new to it are probably more honest. Anyway, they will probably go and talk about what they're doing and you'll get more about them. So I don't think it just doesn't. It doesn't mean that people can't start having never done it before, I just think you just need to check them out.

Okay. And the last point, the key one, I think, which has never listened to anything we say

[00:36:35] Nathan Wrigley: we're on like episode. Excuse me. I've got a real frog in my throat. We're on episode 200. I don't know, 59,000 or something. And I'd say we've probably said one or two things in that entire time that would correct.

And actually factual and useful. Most of it's just drivel. We've done quite well out of talking nonsense. I'd never listened to what we say.

[00:37:01] David Waumsley: Should we move on to Y


[00:37:02] Nathan Wrigley: So that was all ex was it? That was all sex. Don't do this sort of thing. Okay. Now we're onto why use. Yeah.

[00:37:11] David Waumsley: Okay. This will be sure, actually, for me, it's really simple.

Why I can't leave WordPress, however frustrated I might get about certain aspects about it is the GPL license. Because. It gives me ownership and ownership. I can transfer to clients and I can build a kind of care and hosting business on the top of that. As long as I can build these kinds of sites and we have full ownership, no, one's got control over my business.

So that really is what makes me stick with WordPress. I know there were other GPL options out there, but WordPress is the only one that offers so much and so much ease

[00:37:48] Nathan Wrigley: to be able to build sites. You just like the fact that. Yeah. Almost like insurance in a way. Isn't it? You're just like the fact that when you hand it over, you are totally categorically satisfied that they are now the custodians, they own it.

It belongs to them. They can do what they want with it. And that's a good piece of.

[00:38:07] David Waumsley: Yeah, I don't, I guess it doesn't matter to a lot of people, I guess if you sell a Squarespace or Wix or even, in WordPress, we have some plugins which are not GPL where you can't necessarily handout, but maybe it doesn't matter to the clients, but yeah.

'cause I guess my background working in government, I always feel that I need to have that. I expect that the client, unless they specifically said, or I've said otherwise to them, that they expect that I'm passing on something they have full ownership for. I think that's what they expect they paid for.

Yeah, that's a big

[00:38:41] Nathan Wrigley: thing for me. Yep. Yep. That makes sense. I like that. That is a big thing. So the GPL license. Number one, that's the big reason for doing it, but there's a lot more to it. You've written down all sorts here and you like choice of options. Are you talking about like plugins and themes?

The way it's extensible? Yeah. That's as likely

[00:38:59] David Waumsley: and rarely that is because is there any of the platform that's GPL that has those number of options? No, I don't think there is.

[00:39:06] Nathan Wrigley: Even back in the day when I started using it, it was miles ahead of the. The rivals you know, Drupal and so on. It was, there was way more on the WordPress side than there was anywhere else.

And I think it continues to be the case. What are we at? Something like 60,000 plugins in the repository? Yeah. Crazy. Yeah. Crazy. And then countless thousands of premium versions or exclusively premium plugins.

[00:39:33] David Waumsley: Yeah. I mean, my point is really all the same thing which is really just the fact that you can make a kind of living out of it, which I've been able to do because it's easy to sell to clients because it's so popular.

There's always going to be work out there because there's always going to be WordPress sites that are in need of love. So I think there's always some kind of route to, to earn a living, but I don't know, One of the things we were talking about this earlier about the GPL I say this, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I think it's, we're press is always the best route for some advanced functionality like e-commerce or learning platforms or memberships and things like that.

I feel

[00:40:15] Nathan Wrigley: like WordPress is the, maybe you want to go with Shopify or something. If you're running an e-commerce store just for the hassle free nature of it, that might be a choice that you go down, but it feels to me like WordPress is. There at the beginning to be ruled out. It's this is what I will use every time, unless there's a really compelling reason to do it.

Do it.

[00:40:37] David Waumsley: Yeah, exactly. And I think the fact that, building, if you'd wanted to blog, WordPress is the place to go. If you want the simple website where clients can maintain their own sites, then probably WordPress is the way to go. Then it's arguable. I think after that point, if you need to add e-commerce to it, should that be.

I'm not so convinced whether it should be a learning management system that goes as part of your business, but most of the time, most people just need a basic website. Yeah. Yeah. I can't think of anything else that leads me away. However frustrated I might get with certain aspects of it, sort of plugin conflicts that you might have need into what data changes.

With how WordPress is developing or might be things that count against it. But I still ended up back to what else is the, yeah.

[00:41:23] Nathan Wrigley: Do you know what I would add to this list? And I didn't, and it's only just really occurred to me that the one thing which I really like about WordPress is it's the community. I know people turn on about the WordPress community and how amazing it is and all that.

But I really like it. It's full of extremely nice people who were very helpful and are willing to give up their time. You know, like all communities, that's not always going to be the case, but my experience almost a hundred percent of the time. Incredibly positive the community, the help that you can get out there.

The fact that people who might be commercial rivals will still help you out because they may not live in the same geographical location. So your rivalry is really just moot. It does not really rivalry because you're in completely different continents, but I just love the community. I love all the events.

I love all the online events, the real world events. So that's how we get those back again. It's just amazing that this has.

[00:42:24] David Waumsley: Yeah, it's I've never really understood what community is and it's maybe double-edged as well, but there is a sense of it. There is a sense of my identity is wrapped up in being WordPress because it's, I dunno, it's a way of slimming down.

Who what things I'm going to look at in terms of buy online

[00:42:44] Nathan Wrigley: journey? Yeah. Yeah. It's fast. It is. If you actually think about it, you both, you and I were really into it and we spend a lot of our time going into things like Facebook groups and trying to find things WordPress. See, whereas, maybe you were like, I dunno, top of my head, if you were an accountant, I very much doubt you're going to spend your free time going, looking into account.

WordPress, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they do WordPress, accountancy groups for discussions to have with people. I, those words have come out of my mouth and I've just realized that's probably not true. Maybe they do. Maybe they really do that. But I feel like our community is just so strong and vibrant and wonderful.

[00:43:28] David Waumsley: Yeah. Yeah. How have we done? Why though?

[00:43:31] Nathan Wrigley: I can't think of anything else apart from the fact that we've got to do Zed now. How Zed what even is this? What are we doing present? Is it just literally

[00:43:45] David Waumsley: it's yeah. It's time to put it. We put it to bed. The series is done. Do you know what?

[00:43:50] Nathan Wrigley: That's pretty impressive, because if you think about it, although we've done this Kluge at the end with three letters in one way, we've spent almost a year going through this song episodes better than others, obviously.

But but that's pretty impressive. However, you can't rest on your laurels. What what's coming next.

[00:44:11] David Waumsley: The next thing is what I think we're going to call WP business bootcamp. I like WordPress business bootcamp. So the idea here is that we learn everything we know about building WordPress sites and running a web design business from start to.

That's the idea for this next

[00:44:29] Nathan Wrigley: series. So we come at it from a point of tote. We're trying to come at it as if we know nothing, which in my case is going to be really straightforward because I don't have a lot to forget that here I'm nowhere near as useful. I'm not spending any length of time learning things in WordPress, like you are.

So you'll have to work a lot harder than I will because I'm coming from largely a point of ignorance on most things we're going to talk about.

[00:44:57] David Waumsley: Yeah. I mean, we've got a premise anyway for this series. So we have a potential website client called Mr. A. Well, all we know about her is that she's a lawyer in a large city.

She's asked a mutual friend, who's thought of us. We have few skills, which is true. No business or processes in place. She has no previous website and no branding or copy. So what we're going to try and do. The help of the WP Bill's group Googled and specific experts that we might call in. We'll try and work out how we can accommodate with our new business, this client, and go through the whole design process before the bill.

Right through to, after the builder, maintaining that site for and go through each of the processes, including probably starting off with how we're going to define our own business models from the very beginning. So that's the idea with it. There'll be, I think, five seasons with roughly about five to eight episodes in each of them.

So it's going to take up another year. It's going to say

[00:46:01] Nathan Wrigley: This is no small task, that's going to begin WP business boot camp. And the idea is we've got this, we've got this client, we know the name and what they do, but that's, it. That's really it. And we've got to start from scratch, complete scratch finding out how we might go about building a WordPress website and how it all goes.

What's the journey from a through to Zed. We've just invented another eight. Is that lovely? So w that's going to begin in a couple of weeks time, and you mentioned that the WP Builds Facebook. We might hook them in at some point. Is that going to be, yeah. You intending to just post things out periodically after an episode is released to get comments or how's that.

Yeah, I

[00:46:43] David Waumsley: think I'll put something out. So we think we already know what episode one is going to be, which is realistically defined in our business model. So I might put out the question there to just say, how did they come about the model that they have and what is it? So we can use that in our discussion, but there's plenty of stuff out there anywhere online.

Lots of people have different opinions about how you should write. Web agency. So you and I might go on different journeys with this. Cause the idea of this, as we learn it is that we need to keep consistent with what we've decided for our business. So our process of building sites will probably depend on those early decisions we've made about our business model.

[00:47:21] Nathan Wrigley: You and I might be different because I will have to cope. Things in my life that you don't have to do, I've got kids and things. And so there might be certain things that I simply have to decline to do because I don't have the time in my calendar. And so we'll just cross all of those bridges as we come to it.

But trying to keep it real, if and, and also do what we would genuinely try to do if it was.

[00:47:46] David Waumsley: Yeah. And it's a nice thing to go and look into some of the sort of smaller elements of building websites for a change. I think it's quite nice to look at things like copy and design and things like that, typographic and learn from some other people out there.

I think this is

[00:48:00] Nathan Wrigley: going to be fun. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So that will start in a couple of weeks. And but for this episode, our eight, as it is done finally well done. I'll see you in a couple of. I hope that you enjoyed that. It was, as I said at the top of the show, a little bit contrived, trying to get the three letters, X, Y, and Zed into something that we could talk about, but we managed it.

We got through the entire eight as ed one week nearly for every single letter of the alphabet, but I hope that you enjoyed it. If you've got any comments, please leave them on the WP Builds.com website search for episode 2, 5, 5, or go to the Facebook group. WP Builds.com forward slash face. Just a quick, last mention.

If you are shopping for WordPress things this time of year it's black Friday, after all head over WP build stock on Ford slash black for our searchable filterable list of well over a hundred WordPress plugins themes, hosting everything really to do with WordPress and websites in general, that URL once more WP Builds.com forward slash black.

Okay, I'll be back next week with an interview episode, and I hope that you're able to join us. If you can't make that. Why not subscribe to us on your favorite podcast player, WP Builds.com forward slash subscribe. That page will lead you to all of the ways that you can keep in touch with us and finally join us on Monday for this week in WordPress show.

I can't remember who the guests are this week, but it's sure to be a nice show and we'll repurpose it into your audio stream. If you do subscribe every Chu. Okay. I will be seeing you soon. Take care. Cheesy music fading in bye-bye for now.

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

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