This week’s WordPress news for the week commencing 24th January 2021
Another week, and we’re bringing you the latest WordPress news from the last seven days, including…
- There’s a whole new version of WordPress… 5.9 and it brings some ground breaking new options.
- What is a Block Theme and how can you start to work with them?
- If you’re offering your clients Care Packages, what do you include in them? MainWP might have some thoughts for you with their 2021 survey.
- There’s a real Groundhogg day, and it’s later this week. A one day event to help you get inspiration for your agency.
- Google has abandoned FLoC, but is the replacement any better?
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 #194 – “Groundhog’s are real!”
With Nathan Wrigley, Kathy Zant, Tiffany Bridge and Bet Hannon.
Recorded on Monday 31st January 2022.
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.
[00:00:00] Nathan Wrigley: It's time for this week in WordPress episode, number 194, entitled groundhogs are real. It was recorded on Monday the 31st of January, 2022. My name's Nathan Wrigley, and I will be joined by my three guests today. We have Michelle Frechette, Tiffany bridge, and Bet Hannon as a waist. We're going to be talking about the WordPress news and as always, there's quite a lot to talk about the notable items that came up in this show where the features that are in WordPress 5.9, we've got a shiny new version of WordPress and it's called Josephine.
What has come around? There's things like full site editing and a new block theme. So lots to talk about that. Todd Jones over at main WP has done a survey, which you might be interested in. It's all about the kind of things that we're professionals much like yourself maybe are doing when they offer care plans.
What are the popular choices? What are the things that people are wishing to use and willing to pay? We look ahead to WordPress 6.0, there's an awful lot of exciting stuff on the roadmap Groundhog day. It's not just a film, apparently. Not only is it a real thing, but it's happening this week. It's a WordPress event and five for the future.
Can it actually save open source projects? It's all coming up next on this weekend world. Hello? Hello? Hello? Hello? Hello. I've gotten the habit of saying hello a lot. Cause it takes a while for the audio to settle down. Very nice. If you're joining us, thank you so much. But most people who consume the show actually don't join us live, but it is very nice that some of you take your time out of your day.
Maybe you've just got us on in there kind of background, but you're listening in any way. I really appreciate it. If you if you would like to share the show, probably this is the easiest way to do that. If you go to WP Builds.com forward slash live. You could share that URL. I'd really appreciate that.
In fact, goodness me, I'm going to say it, just put down what you're doing and go and find that URL, WP Builds.com forward slash live and share it with your friends. We'd really appreciate that. If you are here and you would like to make a comment, we endeavor to put as many of them on the screen, as we possibly can.
It's not always the case that we can get them all on, but where we can, we will. Sadly the the vagaries of the internet means that we've got to, you've got to go through a little step if you want to do that. So for example, if you're [email protected] forward slash of live, you'll need to be logged into Google because it's not like we're showing the YouTube feed over there.
And obviously Google owns YouTube, but if you're on Facebook, you have to go through an additional step because goodness me, they actually protect your privacy. In some way. Shouldn't have said that lawyers on the phone right now they prevent us from seeing your avatar and username. Unless you go through this little step of going to chat.restream.io.
Forward slash F B. So if you want to do that, then we can see who you are. You can of course remain anonymous. Some people get over the fact of doing that, but just by adding their name as the first part of their little comment, either way, let's hope that some people join us today and make a little comment.
That would be really nice. We are joined by my cohost today. Michelle Frechette, how are you doing Michelle?
[00:03:30] Michelle Frechette: I'm good. How are you?
[00:03:31] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, Michelle was telling us about what it's like, where she is at the moment where I am, the weather is typically gray and a bit chilly, but where you are, it's fun if that's, so
[00:03:43] Michelle Frechette: there's a church in the building behind us.
So you can see that window. That's really bright behind me over here. And they plow everything towards the end where our window is. And if you just. The, even if you stand and look at it, it's reminiscent of game of Thrones wall. Like the wall, you can't see the building behind me, it's plowed so high.
It's probably six or seven feet high full of snow. So it does make you feel a little, like a little overwhelmed, but yeah,
[00:04:10] Nathan Wrigley: We're talking about snow, of course, the fact that it's miles and miles of snow. So anyway, Michelle, lovely to have you, do you want to do your own introduction considering that the older cohost tell us who you are and
[00:04:23] Michelle Frechette: what I am the director of community engagement at stellar WP, where I get to work with all the stellar brands and that's over at liquid web.
And then I also I'm, co-host here every so often. I have a podcast called WP coffee talk and another with Allie Nimmons [email protected] And I am also the director of community relations at post status, as well as the president of the board at the gorgeous.
[00:04:52] Bet Hannon: Oh,
[00:04:53] Nathan Wrigley: I know exactly every time I go through that process and Michelle explains what she does.
I honestly think honestly, if I tried to do a quarter of that, I would be totally overwhelmed. Michelle, I don't know where you find the time for all of this, but I very much appreciate you. You've been with us all the time. Yeah, it's all,
[00:05:16] Michelle Frechette: I've never ordered a small coffee in my entire life
[00:05:19] Nathan Wrigley: conveyor belt, the conveyor belt of coffee that
[00:05:21] Bet Hannon: keeps thinking there's a reason.
Superwoman is heard.
[00:05:26] Nathan Wrigley: We're also joined by two other guests. We've got bet, Hannah. Now I'm going to do bet first, just because I can see her name on my show notes right there, but has worked with businesses and nonprofits for over 15 years, helping them build WordPress websites, integrate all the communication channels and learn how to use digital marketing tools more effectively.
She's the owner and CEO of BH business websites that design build and maintain accessible websites more on that later, including membership in e-commerce sites. She lives in bend Oregon. And is the co-organizer of the WP meetup there bend Oregon. It sounds like you must be near.
[00:06:06] Bet Hannon: Yes, the Deschutes river is there, but I'm actually not there today.
Today. I'm in Southern Illinois where we had a grand baby born on Friday, and I we've been helping out with all of that. So I look a little sleepy. Oh, there's nothing that beats holding tiny humans.
You're not on the hook for 18 to 25 years
[00:06:30] Nathan Wrigley: back when it's time to eat. Yeah. Something remarkable about that. Oh, that's such a nice news. Congratulations to you and everybody that needs to be congratulated there. That's brilliant. Oh, lovely. Lovely. I'm staggered that you've managed to find time in your position.
[00:06:45] Bet Hannon: It's a cool thing. When you have a word where you can just pick up and move to anywhere in the world to be with family and for whatever
[00:06:53] Nathan Wrigley: reason you are so right. We should count ourselves incredibly lucky. Shouldn't we? Yeah, you're right. And last, but by absolute, no means least we have a, we've got Tiffany bridge.
Tiffany is the product manager for WordPress. E-commerce at nexus. That's all she's written, but it's, I don't know if there's more to add to that, Tiffany, but very nice to have you with.
[00:07:14] Tiffany Bridge: I, I that's all the time I spend thinking about WordPress, as opposed to Michelle, who I think maybe dreams about WordPress.
[00:07:22] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you so much to all three of you for coming on. This is probably one of the how to describe it. There's a real focus to this week because normally there's like a hodgepodge of different stories, which we will cover, but there was a, a great big event that happened during the last week.
And of course, we're talking about last week. Do you know what, in some senses, because of the giant buildup that I've been thinking about for such a long time, we are of course talking about WordPress 5.9 common along it almost happened without a great deal of FunFair for me, because I've been expecting it for so long.
And then I was quite, I almost forgot that it was going to happen because I've been waiting for it to happen. It was supposed to happen last year and then it didn't and the date came and went and anyway, but there's lots to talk about. So let's get on with that. This is our website, WP Builds.com.
I don't know why I put that up first, but I will move along. So there's two or three different pieces covering broadly the same thing. I, I'm assuming that the pronunciation of WordPress 5.9 is Josephine, but I have seen variants of Josephine, some with French accents on it, which means that maybe I'm butchering the name and it ought to be set in some sort of slightly more clever way.
But that's what I'm going to call it. 5.9 Josephine. I hope that everything that you clicked update. Updated with a warrior and nothing balked and died. And certainly that was the case for me just before we get stuck into what's in it. Do you guys click the update button like right away or do you have a, like a two day, three day, five hour, little waiting period before you dare?
[00:09:09] Bet Hannon: So we manage over 150 sites. I never click the update button right away. But I often will wait and see at least a few hours to see what's popping up in the support tickets and the wordpress.org support forums and what kinds of issues are coming up. And then we start very slowly updating our sandbox sites and then updating some client sites that are very simple.
And and then as we don't see problems, we gradually roll things out to every.
[00:09:40] Nathan Wrigley: Okay. So it's a very considered approach. Yeah. My, my technique was always to have a local website with a few of my chosen plugins that seem to get on every website. And I would update that locally and see if anything looked a mess.
And I've been honestly, no problems for my WordPress updating. I've been incredibly. And a big
[00:10:02] Bet Hannon: piece of that is preparing for us and, knowing what's coming out in the update and what's might be likely to break and doing staging sites, if we need to, for some sites that might need themselves
[00:10:16] Nathan Wrigley: on the hosting side of things, Tiffany, is that, do you know, is there like a great deal of work that goes into preparing things for that inevitable support burden that may or may not arise?
If there's a lot of activity, we definitely
[00:10:30] Tiffany Bridge: do test ahead of time and see if there's anything obvious. But our platform, it's a managed platform, so we roll out the updates fairly promptly. Everyone doesn't get it at once I think, but everyone gets it within 48 hours unless they have, for some reason, like delayed updates, like at an account level.
[00:10:48] Bet Hannon: Okay. Sure. Okay. And do they, is there some kind of mechanism Tiffany for if you roll it, start rolling that out and then it's up here suddenly realize that there are problems. Is there a mechanism for stopping that or.
[00:11:01] Tiffany Bridge: So you'd have to I am still relatively new at nexus and don't know all the ins and outs of like the specifics of how those things roll out.
That's a different team. Oh yeah. So I could not tell you, Jess might be able to tell you she's in the chat.
[00:11:17] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you. I should actually mention the church should know. Cause normally I do right at the beginning because I just do, and I forgot this time. So let's quickly show a few faces. Courtney Robertson is saying good day.
She's got the coffee icon putting to good use Daniel Daniel, Sean Smith. Good morning from chili, Florida, chili, Florida. What is that? That's true, right? Or is that, oh,
[00:11:44] Bet Hannon: a new record, low of 45 degrees or something like that.
[00:11:53] Nathan Wrigley: Oh, isn't it. In Florida where I read something like the iguanas die or something,
[00:12:00] Michelle Frechette: they stand up, fall out of the cheese
[00:12:02] Nathan Wrigley: so they know.
[00:12:06] Tiffany Bridge: Oh,
[00:12:07] Nathan Wrigley: okay. All
[00:12:08] Tiffany Bridge: Yes. There was a story going around about a guy who would panicked about the iguanas and was like trying to save them. And so gathered up a bunch of them and put them in his car, but then they, they. And then he had a bunch of leg awake, pissed off at Guan as in his car, then it's really
[00:12:23] Michelle Frechette: not a good
[00:12:24] Tiffany Bridge: idea.
Don't do that.
[00:12:27] Nathan Wrigley: Oh, that's brilliant. I love the way we digress all the show. It's absolutely wonderful. But yes. It's Chili's says, Jess what else have we got? Daniel says, did you see the water? Okay. So yes, there we go. This is obviously in reference to Michelle being a superhero told. Peter Ingersoll.
Good morning from really cold Connecticut. Okay. He's got his credentials. I guess Connecticut is significantly colder, frozen egg slapped, literally frozen and Elliot lives just down the road from me. I think you forgive me Elliott. You're in Bridlington. Is that right? Am I call that right?
If that's the case? It's so nice to have somebody local on the show. Cause there's like a nobody'd local dyno, but that's brilliant. Thank you so much. Okay. Let's get back to it. 5.9, Josephine. The headline features in our, in this article, obviously full site editing. We've been expecting this for the longest period of time.
Play over many months and then had a play with it during the other day. I've got to say, if you are coming from like a third party page builder or something like that, it may be that it doesn't meet all of the things that you would hope it to meet out of the gate. But it does do an awful lot more than, any version of WordPress has ever done.
And it draws a line in the sun, but yeah. Not being able to do this stuff, unless you are fairly technical and were willing to become some sort of theme developer to having this inside of a UI. So full site editing is here. We've also got 20, 22, which I actually re. Like the look of it's the new theme in WordPress.
And if you've actually enabled it, you'll notice that it destroys the customizer. And what I mean by that is the customizer menus. Just go away because you've no need for that anymore. But just so that, if you don't wish to that, for that to happen, you can just carry on using, your good, old, regular themes that you've been using forever and ever, and the customizable stay.
But if you do enable it, you get the option now to go and modify all the things. And I think it says something like editor with Bita written next to it is my impression. So that's also happened. We've also got some type of graphy settings. We've got the navigation blocks so that you can now create your primary menus and all the other different menus inside of the UI.
You don't have to actually go to a separate menu section. Now there's also, where was the other one that I really liked? Block patterns was quite nice, but this one I thought was really good as well. They've made quite a lot of effort with the list view. I didn't remember that it was even called this, but if you've been inside of Guttenberg and you click the three little lines, which are at the top, you got a list of all the blocks in order.
And I found it really troublesome to position things. I've tried dragging a paragraph that I wish to go, and, you can do that within the UI itself, but that apparently has been made to work a lot better as well. And a better gallery block. So the gallery block has been updated. So they're the kind of headline features.
It's easy for me to say that. Two minutes, but it really is a transformational release. This, I think we are on the cusp of a very different WordPress experience for a lot of people. So all that being said, I'm going to hand it over and ask for your impressions of 5.9 after just just under a week playing.
So anybody that wants to button please do
[00:16:13] Tiffany Bridge: we're all so stunned. I've been using the beta for a while. Like I've had it, I've had the beta enabled on my personal site for awhile and it, it takes a little bit getting used to, because I've been using WordPress since before there were plugins. So every new, like generational change to WordPress it's like that, that newbie feeling again, which I did, but maybe not everybody does.
And, but I it's very cool. I've been able to do a lot, just messing around with the Tov theme on my personal site and rearranging, like where does the site title live and what's under it and what are the sort of global site look and feel like it's very exciting. I know that, in my previous role, we were doing a lot of like custom bespoke sites for people.
And just this idea of, on one hand, it's terrifying that we can give them this and then they can just go mess it up. But that's, I think that's part of the democratizing publishing, is that some people are just like, everyone can do whatever they want with their site, whether it's a good idea or not.
And I think I think that's ultimately for the best, but I think that's going to be a real challenge for like freelancers people who get paid to make design decisions.
[00:17:31] Bet Hannon: Yeah. It's actually. For our enterprise clients, for example they have a design, they have branding guidelines.
They have to, so there are ways to lock these things down so that people don't really get all the bells and whistles in the same way. But you want to give, be sure that we're giving them as much choices possible within some of those branding guidelines. And
[00:17:55] Nathan Wrigley: I think if you're somebody that's brand new to WordPress, As with all of these things, the new UI will just become your home.
And you'll be really familiar with it within a few short weeks, you'll know where to go. I think the difficulty is going to be for us lot, who were used to going to the different parts of the website and we've compartmentalized. Okay. That piece of functionality that always happens over here.
So I must remember. And probably, maybe you're the same as me. If you, when you've been building WordPress websites, you've constantly have three or four tabs open of the exact same website, because you've got the menus in one tab, you've got the theme in another tab. You've maybe got some sort of, I don't know, you may be fiddling with the CSS and that's held somewhere else.
And that is opening in a further tab. And then you might actually have the page that you're working on opening a fourth tab. But all of that's hopefully going to go away and it will all just be right there in front of you. I played and tweeted out cause. I installed 5.9 when it came out and had another play.
And I was, I thought it may be quite confusing. The amount of things which come in to the list view. When you, for example, put a menu in, or you put a headline block, or what have you, because it seemed like quite a long laundry list of three or four different five or six in some cases, different things that were put in.
And there was a, there's a bit of an understanding of what you've got to do there because each thing is a separate block and that separate block is just achieving one thing. Like it might be a paragraph and it actually installs spaces as opposed to using padding. There was spaces used, which seemed quite, quite a curious thing to do.
And so it's a again, It takes a little bit of getting used to, but I'm sure once people do get used to it, they'll, there'll be fine. Yeah, as always,
[00:19:43] Bet Hannon: my challenge is always, I don't do a lot with content and client sites anymore. My role is doing other things. And so when I do get in to play, it's always who moved my cheese.
How do I find this again? And and I think that's true for a lot of folks who have long histories with WordPress, but I really feel like this is going to be opened up so many doors for WordPress. So it's the first time I tried to
[00:20:09] Tiffany Bridge: use it. I was trying to rebuild my homepage into a static homepage and you know how like the customizer disappears.
And I was looking for that setting that determines whether your homepage is the blog posts or a static homepage. And I like for 20 minutes, just like enraged, where's the customizer, why can't all, they had taken that one setting. And they had moved it into the reading settings area, but I didn't know that.
So yeah, for those of us who've been at it for awhile. Like I was like, like red face. Like I have been working with this for 16 years. Why can't I find
[00:20:46] Michelle Frechette: that we have road rage that we have 5.9 range. I
[00:20:50] Tiffany Bridge: did have a little bit of, I had a FSE rage, that I've called it. That was like,
[00:20:57] Nathan Wrigley: th this, the problem I suppose, is is that.
We'll be going on a million times wanting to, and in order to improve things have got to be broken and taken to pieces. We can't of course we can, we could keep everything exactly as it is that would be possible. But something says that in 10 years time we'd regret that decision.
So things have been
[00:21:23] Michelle Frechette: two things to add. So first. I don't update my own sites. I host with people like nexus and let them do it for me, which is always important. Like I got out of that business for a real reason because I've not running all of those sites anymore. And I am, but I'm not, and I don't want to be in the business of having to go through and update.
Nexus is one of my hosting companies and yeah, I leave it to the lovely people over there to make sure that my sites work the second is, and I put it in the chat. So if you wanted to look at it, you could later Nathan, I do a WordPress talk at word camps called how to empower your clients to use their sites, but client proof them at the same time.
And the bottom line is. I made a little meme of Bob Ross, the happy little treaties guy that says, it says there are no accidents, just happy, little, whatever he says. So I have there aren't a axes as happy little opportunities to make more money from your clients because the more.
That your client has access to their own site. The more money you have an opportunity to make, because you have contracted to do certain things and then when they break them, that's outside of your contract. Usually if you're smart, right? And so now you're into an hourly rate and those hourly rates can really add up now that whether you have time to do them or not, that's another story, but every time there's a huge update and WordPress huge opportunity to make money if your clients have access to their own sites.
So just to make sure
[00:22:52] Bet Hannon: you have good backups for everybody,
[00:22:55] Michelle Frechette: Always,
[00:22:56] Nathan Wrigley: I was gonna
[00:23:00] Tiffany Bridge: say related, just related to that, and also like to the bathroom, to the update conversation, like in my previous role, we were looking after 250 sites and we were a team of about 10 people. And rather than cause a lot of like small agencies and solo printers do this thing where they like as part of their like monthly maintenance fee or whatever they'll go through.
And the like. Update the plugins on a staging site and they'll check them and they'll like, do it. We didn't have time for that. Because we were like, we had 250 sites and we had 80 more in flight. Like we were just constantly like a hair on fire trying to turn out more work. What we ended up doing was we just set everything to auto update everything.
The second it came out and updated, set everything, and we hosted on principle. So jet pack, WordPress core and WooCommerce were sibling to everybody, got those updates at the same time. And we just figured that the chance of things breaking was from an update was smaller than the chance of things breaking because you didn't update.
And so we would just set everything to update and then fix it as it broke. And it's really it's a cost benefit calculation. Like we found that like what we were fixing, because and when things broke, it was almost always because Gutenberg changes. Yeah. And that happens right when, cause Gutenberg's like a beta plugin, but we were the special projects team at automatic.
So like Gutenberg was a thing we were using. And that's so when I was tell people like you can do it both ways, right? Like you can do that very deliberate. That's a good way to do it. If that's too much, like you could do it this other way, it just depends on where your resources are and what we had was development resources.
What we didn't have was a lot of time for clicking the buttons. So if something broke and we couldn't fix it right away, we use the Jetpack rollback button. For the backups and just rolled it back and fixed it on staging and, enrolled out a fix. And that was, I don't necessarily suggest that for everybody, but it worked for us.
[00:24:58] Nathan Wrigley: My update process in WordPress is that I do everything with a managed solution. So in my case, I'm using main WP, which funnily enough, we'll talk about in a minute. But I go in every single day. Even when I'm on holiday, actually, because it's so trivial easy to do. And I basically just scout scan through what's going to happen and then click update.
And I have a bunch of tools which are looking at a variety of pages on all of those sites for pixel level changes. So not downtime is one thing. That would be slightly alarming, some great section of black has suddenly been introduced on the homepage or something like that.
And it alerts me, but I still do it every single day. Now history would show that if I had taken your approach to. I would have been absolutely fine because I've never had something come back and bite me. I've been updating these sites now for well over 10 years in some cases, and nothing has ever gone wrong.
Touch, no, not once. In that sense, I've been incredibly lucky, but I use a very narrow range of plugins. And I'm very confident in the people that are behind those. And when I see an update come through, I'm more or less. So things are going to be fine. I say that I've had maintenance mode balk on me.
That's about as bad as it's got where the maintenance file just didn't delete itself for some reason. So the site goes down and I just need to delete that, but I haven't though, but I still continue to work on the basis that I should do it manually. So I do, and I've probably wasted weeks of my life doing that.
If I had done what Tiffany has done, but caveat emptor, don't blame me. Yeah.
[00:26:48] Tiffany Bridge: definitely don't recommend it. If you don't have the resources to fix things that go wrong. Cause we have gotten bitten. We'll get gotten bitten by that a few times. We've had incidents where an update to very large and well-respected plugins like introduced a bug screwed up.
Somebody's. Ticketing or something like that. Like it, it does happen from time to time. Yeah. And so you do need to be ready to deal with whatever it is. And so it really does depend on like your team composition, but like I think we've had this received wisdom that like there's only one right way to do this and that is manually.
And I think that's a good way to do it. There's just other good ways to do it, especially if you have, and this is so key. Really good. Ideally real time backups.
[00:27:33] Nathan Wrigley: Yes. Yes. And beautiful that you've got the option in Jetpack to just hit it and go actually just go back. We'll figure it out later.
That's really nice. Rob Cairns has said that he he thinks that the 5.9 upgrade path was very stable. It sounds like he's on a par doing a similar service to you, but he's got. 29 sites. So now a hundred and twenty, seventy seven, he's gone through all of those and they've been absolutely fine.
So far, Rob curious, do you hit the button right away or do you wait two or three days? Like many people seem to just to be a little bit more cautious. And then Courtney was saying we're working on a lesson plan for learn with a capital L about the static front page settings. The menus would be settings and then reading was available long before the customizer was created.
But where it isn't, where is it in a block theme training coming. Yeah. Documentation that needs to probably
[00:28:33] Bet Hannon: learn that. I learned that wordpress.org. Thank you,
[00:28:37] Nathan Wrigley: Michelle. Yeah, I believe so. I just said it with a capital L, which is which wasn't very helpful at all. Is it okay? But there we go. So lots and lots and lots of interesting things happening.
I'll just put this up. Cause I thought it was curious and I had almost forgotten. Part of the story. This is Sarah Gooding's paragraph on the WP Tavern. When she went through and talked about a very similar set of things she says for many years, non-technical WordPress users were told to stay away from the theme editor menu and were warned that changes made there could make their sites inoperable.
A new era in WordPress theme. Editing has dawned with the w of the new template. Editor allows users to manipulate templates, home, single post, et cetera, and templates parts with a visual interface. It's quite a big change when you word it like that, the idea that you've been telling your clients forever, don't go there.
Don't touch that. Just leave it alone because you can't now it's maybe get. I have a fiddle, so I'll have to see how this goes. Okay. A is another piece I just wanted to mention. We probably won't go into it in great detail, but if you're into block based themes, obviously that's the new thing in 5.9, there's 40 something.
I think in the repo at the moment this piece by Marcus Kazmir CA it's actually a little bit old. It's the 4th of January. So it's not current to this week, but I thought it'd be worth mentioning. If you are curious about what block-based themes can do, this is probably the place to begin your journey.
I'll quote, it says, if you aren't ready for a block theme yet. No worries. Classic things continue to exist and work as always keep in mind though, that's to use the latest, greatest full site editing. You'll need a block theme, which is tailored to the newest features coming to WordPress. And you just explained.
Block-based theme is and why it's different and what's going to be missing in the UI and so on and so forth. So I thought that would be interesting in reply. Rob, Ken says he did them all right away. You are brave Rob. All 127 just wallet. Wow. Okay. That's a. We spoke about main WP just a minute ago. I thought this was lovely.
It's a piece. Todd told E Jones who's been on the show and hopefully will come on again. Soon he carried out a survey. Oh yes. Is that right?
[00:30:59] Michelle Frechette: Today's is definitely 15 again.
[00:31:04] Nathan Wrigley: Happy happy birthday. Todd, that's lovely, but we're going to celebrate it without singing to you. We're going to just go through your little survey.
He created a survey. I think he's done it a few years in a row now where he asked people main WP. We should probably emphasize it's in their wheelhouse. They they ha they offer a self hosted update service. So you can have your own website, which basically links to all your other websites and you can do things like backup and you can do things like update plugins and themes and all of that kind of stuff.
So that's what this is all about. And he carried out this web care survey. I suspect that if you are in. Building WordPress websites. You're going to be interested in trying to generate as much revenue out of that business as possible. And over the last period decade or so web care plans have become like a real linchpin of most people's businesses.
I would've thought, long gone are the days where you build a website and then give it to your client and say, buy you now want to build those relationships. And so that's what this survey is all about. Todd goes through what it is that people are offering and what their businesses are. And there's some curious stuff that came out of it.
And I wondered what you guys think about it charging in terms of money. Most people charge for their care plans. 60%, almost monthly. Yearly is 17. Nearly 18% and quarterly is just down at 7%. I always did it monthly. That just made the most sense to me because it's easy for them to buy into that because they get that kind of, they can cancel at any time feeling, but what are you doing?
[00:32:39] Bet Hannon: We have historically done a annually, but I'm shifting a little bit, partly as we're bumping pricing up. Some, it makes it a little more palatable to folks to not have as big an outlay. But and I also just in the last year, ha actually in preparation for being here out away from home, I stopped taking to.
Last year and that no, because of the mail service, getting the mail to you when well, the mail service was having problems, but then also if you're trying to move, located yourself around, it's harder to get the mail forwarded reliably. And so we've been switching to that and I'm thinking that actually putting them on cards now, it's just like.
Step into switching everybody to monthly. Eventually
[00:33:36] Nathan Wrigley: we we have a service in the UK and I'm sure it's replicated elsewhere. It's called it's called go cardless. And it's a it uses the banking system. So it doesn't go through Stripe or PayPal. It but it's essentially, it's the same thing, but the fees are so small.
I've been using that for many years and anything which is recurring on a monthly or annual basis. You set up what's called a direct debit. So rather than having an agreement with Stripe, you have an agreement with directly with that customer and they signed something which authorizes you to basically take money out of their bank account on a regular basis and gives you the flexibility to change that amount as well.
You could op it with their authorization, which is quite nice, but the, pricing for WordPress plugins is often Don. Monthly pro-rata if you know what I mean, not monthly, but they say what it would cost you monthly if you pay for the whole year. Do you know what I mean? They pretend that it's a monthly fee, but it never quite is.
I just thought that was interesting. 60%, 60% of people doing it that way. This is interesting. How much money do you get in return for what you offer? And I, it looks like the low end of the market is winning. Anything between 25 and a hundred dollars is 62%, a hundred to 200 is 28%, 200 pluses, 11%.
I found it very hard to get the higher fees for this. I think it's a service, which is you'd have to be a very good sales person. It depends
[00:35:16] Bet Hannon: on what your w what the client, who the client is, and then what you're providing. Yeah. And so for instance, we, we've just been talking about updates and we do have some clients who.
What they consider to be mission critical websites, where they never want things updates done, unless it's been done on a staging site first, so fine. You're going to pay more than $200 a month for that. Do you,
[00:35:42] Nathan Wrigley: do you have that all figured out is there a plan that you have ready to go that has those components in it, or do you have to make them up on a bespoke basis?
[00:35:53] Bet Hannon: Yes. We have some ballparks. We have clients in all three of these ranges and some of it is just been having an idea about what we're providing this client, but then we're, they're adding a few more things and we're just subtracting. So I'm doing it. Yeah. A little bit of it is bespoke.
[00:36:13] Nathan Wrigley: Okay. This is to your point then, but I guess it depends on what you offer seems that obviously, there's the probably uptime time and all of that kind of stuff, but the biggest thing by far as an ancillary service is se. Six 57% of the people survey. I should say this survey was about 131.
I think people participate. So it's a fairly decent set of data. 57% of people offered SEO content creation, 47% pay per click. I thought that'd be higher. That's only at 26% email marketing. That was something I always enjoyed offering. That was something that I actually like to doing. But the SEO side of things I never really wanted to touch because it always seemed like the goalposts were going to move.
I'd figure everything out. And then two weeks later I'd be told by Google that she has to let her rubbish hosting 1.5%. That's curious. Anyway, there we go.
[00:37:13] Bet Hannon: But the one thing that I don't see on that list that maybe Todd has put into content creation is content management. We ended up doing that a lot for clients they'll provide content, a blog post or something that they just don't want to get in the backend.
And they want us to put this content they have created into
[00:37:31] Nathan Wrigley: the website. How do you do that? Do you have a Google doc shared or do they get into WordPress and create a draft or do you just, do they just tell you, we need a piece about the. We use,
[00:37:42] Bet Hannon: An email based ticketing system. So we're using Freshdesk and they'll just send it, sometimes they send it as a doc or a PDF file, or sometimes it's just right in the email
[00:37:50] Nathan Wrigley: itself.
Let's just do a couple more other services, website development and design 90% as you might expect private. Oh yeah. This was interesting. Privacy policies came out as like number two, I think. Yeah. Privacy policies along with digital marketing campaigns was 34% of people. I just thought that was absolutely fascinating.
Privacy policies is all the rage.
[00:38:18] Bet Hannon: Yeah, so they do some really great things for providing resources for people to resell Terma mageddon. And get a good kickback in terms of you can purchase multiple policies at a discount and then sell them onto the clients and they provide some great resources for educating clients about privacy spots.
[00:38:37] Nathan Wrigley: I wonder actually, I wonder if most of the majority of that is done through services, like term again, because you are getting into fairly complicated, potentially legal things, but I know that the goal is again, is it hands, skill road, isn't it? Yeah. They will take care of you if you're in north America, Canada, Europe, and Australia, and I think various other jurisdictions, but yeah.
[00:39:01] Bet Hannon: And at cons has mentioned it now in public more than once I think. So they're coming out with a cookie consent policy that will be rolled into their.
[00:39:13] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, that is nice. And then the rest of it, you can explore at your leisure. I think we've gone through the sort of highlights of that, but I just thought that was curious key Dukie.
What have we got now? Ah, yay. Okay, so we're all talking about 5.9 5.9 is old news. Now 5.9. It's old hat. This is genuinely interesting to me though. This is Justin Tatlock. I'm talking about six WordPress six. Okay. It's like it's got to happen. And I dunno why don't we go to five point 10? Did we ever do that?
We've done that. Have we gone to a four point 10 ever? Or is it always gone from now? No, is it? No. Okay. Okay. So just in title IX pieces called looking ahead to WordPress six, the early roadmap, I'm going to quote a few things here. There is some cool stuff coming in. The WordPress space version six is expected to be a conceptual wrap of phase two of the Gothenburg project.
What he means by that is Gothenburg came in four phases, finished number one, which was the. Plain simple editing experience, which Gutenberg is then customization, which we're knee deep in at the moment. So that's things like full site editing, block patterns, block directory, block themes, and global styles.
There's a lot of work still to be done. We'll look at that in just a moment. And then phase three, after that is collaboration. So think Google docs inside of WordPress that's, I've probably just totally oversold it there, but the idea is you won't get that somebody locked this post, you can't go anywhere near it, unless you yank it out of their control.
The idea with the you'd be able to go in and asynchronously edit things, which, oh, please. That would be so just the show notes. So the show would be so much nicer. If I could do some sort of asynchronous posts, that'd be great. Yeah. And then finally multilingual, but that's obviously going to be a little while away.
This is so nice. I apologize for people who are not watching this, if you're listening to this, it can be difficult to explain, but in the next release of WordPress, it is hoped that we'll have theme global style variations and imagine a website where you've finessed absolutely everything. And you've got it exactly what, how you would like.
But you'd be able to just swap out all the colors for all the things, but with the click of a button. So I don't know all the headings will change to something else. And I can just imagine if you were an agency and you had this all wrapped up, you could easily sell, you can have the red version or the blue version, or how about this nice creamy version.
So that's going to be nice. Go and have a look on the post. You'll get a better idea. Navigation structures, a dedicated UI template creation. I'm switching. That will all be easier partners. Sorry, say, go on you interrupt me. Gone. Go for it.
[00:42:13] Tiffany Bridge: I'm excited about the theme switching. I feel like it has been entirely too long where you would switch themes on a WordPress site.
Your homepage would completely fall apart and you'd have to redo it. The idea that you'll be able to switch themes and actually retain at least some of what you've already done.
[00:42:31] Nathan Wrigley: Yes, as opposed to just a complete mess. Yeah.
[00:42:36] Tiffany Bridge: Yeah. That's, 'cause, I'm just thinking about these, like people who have like one or two person sites that just don't have a whole big, like they're not enterprise clients who have a style guide and things like that.
There are people who want to change up the look of their site periodically. Like they, the idea of like you swap a theme and then suddenly you've got to completely rebuild your homepage is that's what a major deterrent for people. And it's a huge source of like support requests as well. It's like I switched themes and like suddenly everything broke.
So I'm really, I'm excited about this. I'm annoyed that it has taken until version 6.0, to get.
[00:43:11] Nathan Wrigley: That, that will be a really nice moment. Won't it? Where it broadly speaking, you'll be able to flick through a whole variety of different block-based themes in the most part, it will look the same because everything's contained within the block, as opposed to the theme, the styling for the headings and what have you, that's all taken care of in the block.
And so there's nothing going to be overwritten. Yeah. Good point. I've forgotten how that was. I've been using the same thing for so long that it does. It doesn't really affect me too much block patterns as a first-class creation tool. Just Justin is I'm going to quote him. Cause he obviously likes this since their introduction alongside WordPress 5.5 patterns have been one of the most powerful tools available to users.
I've been telling anyone who will listen, that they will be a game changer for at least two years, WordPress 6.0 might deliver on that promise. I I use patterns a bit for like the newsletters and things like that, but I haven't really made a great deal of use of them in all honesty. But the idea of having pre-configured bits of websites that you can just throw up, I think will be great.
I love the idea of installing a theme and then just being presented with a whole laundry list of what about this? Wouldn't this be a nice way to make your website look, let's chop this row in or this pattern, then it seems like a good way.
[00:44:33] Tiffany Bridge: Let's throw in a newsletter subscription. And at the end of, in the middle of the blog posts, instead of, building it into the theme to always show up at the end, what if you could determine where that is because you've got a pattern for it.
Yeah, there's a lot. It is going to be Jim game-changer. He is correct.
[00:44:49] Nathan Wrigley: He's he's usually correct. It's what I've found if he's listening to this or that. So he takes that in the spirit. This is nice featured images with super powers. He goes on to say, there's probably not as much in this as he thinks, but I do like the idea of featured images having supervised at the moment.
Apparently this will only take. The small post thumbnail for backgrounds and things like that line tokens, this'll be a huge thing. I actually tried to do this the other day. I was trying to put in exactly what he said, actually, which is curious the, I was trying to grab the URL. No, I was trying to grab like the date or something and put it in as a dynamic field.
And there was a whole load of things that I couldn't do basically at the moment, if you want to put in custom data, you, you are really limited in what you can do. There's a little icon, which appears, it looks like three sort of concentric circles, three stacked circles, like an old database kind of thing.
And and that's going to be improved massively, which is quite nice. That'll be really useful
[00:45:54] Tiffany Bridge: getting all the way to 6.0, before they put in the ability to put in your car. Date and the footer without either writing it and PHP and your theme, or like registering a whole widget area so that you can edit it every January 1st is I want to take us alone.
[00:46:09] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. It's going to take literally two, two days just to go through the 130 websites changing the one to a two. Yeah. There has to be a better way. A few more blocks coming out in the near future as well. So for example, he mentioned here this table of contents block, which, that's a very good use case.
I won't be making use of that one, but I can certainly see a lot of people. But boatloads of interesting stuff, comment in 6.0. Anybody want to add anything in so that before I move on,
[00:46:40] Bet Hannon: no, I'm really excited to see some of these things. Yeah, exactly.
[00:46:46] Nathan Wrigley: I didn't catch that comment. What was that? I
[00:46:48] Michelle Frechette: said, just make sure you do your backups
[00:46:50] Nathan Wrigley: first.
That's right? Yeah. Or you can be Rob Cairns and just go for it. Just click that button and go for it. Okie dokie. Sheriffs. We have we have the guys from Groundhog there. He is looking at Adrian. Adrian Toby was on a few weeks ago on this particular show and Adrian is in a company called Groundhog.
And, whenever you hear the word Groundhog, I bet more or less, everybody follows that up in their head with. Day because of the film I certainly did. When I first heard that there was a WordPress plugin called Groundhog, they've got a lovely little day coming up. And in fact, it's in two or three days time, is it Wednesday?
He was home
[00:47:35] Michelle Frechette: on the actual
[00:47:36] Tiffany Bridge: day. There
[00:47:37] Bet Hannon: is a
[00:47:37] Nathan Wrigley: Groundhog
[00:47:38] Bet Hannon: day. Yes,
[00:47:41] Nathan Wrigley: no. I just thought made it up for them. What do they do on ground? I know that obviously now it's been totally usurped to be like the idea that everything just repeats itself. What on earth is great.
[00:47:54] Bet Hannon: So on February to the Le the, the legend is the Groundhog comes up.
If he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn't see his shadow spring will come.
[00:48:08] Nathan Wrigley: I have two dudes in
[00:48:10] Tiffany Bridge: a top hat, pull this poor rodent out of his like temporary burrow because the rest of the year he lives in like the public library.
[00:48:18] Michelle Frechette: He has a name. His name is Phil.
[00:48:23] Nathan Wrigley: Yep. Okay. So it's a particular Groundhog say
[00:48:27] Bet Hannon: particular grout, but Pennsylvania, which is like a little town.
[00:48:33] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. What if forgive me? What if the Groundhog passes away?
[00:48:39] Bet Hannon: They get a new one.
[00:48:46] Tiffany Bridge: the goldfish. Like they just get another, fill
[00:48:50] Michelle Frechette: the other ones. The other ones have gone off to live on the farm,
[00:48:55] Tiffany Bridge: the original fill. This is like going on for years.
[00:48:59] Nathan Wrigley: Okay. I'm totally going off topic here, but I've got to, I've got to drill into this cause I love this stuff. So the Groundhog is a particular Groundhog and it is pulled more or less from a hole and, okay.
So who decides whether it's seen its shadow or not?
[00:49:16] Michelle Frechette: And there's so much media, it's a huge media event every year, but how do the
[00:49:21] Nathan Wrigley: news it's a bit like me talking to my cat and the saying, I dunno, did you enjoy that biscuit expecting a response
[00:49:29] Michelle Frechette: out of that? And it really has to do with how sunny the day is.
So if the day is sunny, then he would see a shadow and it was scare him back into his burrow. And therefore six more weeks of winter.
[00:49:40] Nathan Wrigley: This is genius. I have to learn more sadly. The event that we're talking about features no actual groundhogs being pulled out of holes by men with topics. You could not make that up.
Honestly, if men in top house pulling a creature out of the ground. Brilliant. But this one will also be brilliant. He's got this day Wednesday, the actual Groundhog day. I think he's going to be doing it every year or every day. And it's for agencies. And really, I just want to show you the little list of who's coming on.
So is Leslie SIM behind newsletter glute. She's going to be talking about launching marketing and scaling a new product, which obviously she has done in the last year or so with newsletter glue. And she did it very well in the open Jack Arturo who has WP fusion. He's going to be showing you how that all works.
Paul Toby I think is, I think it might even be Adrian's father leveraging YouTube. As a growth channel then is Adrian himself. He's got something about the CRM that they offer, which is Groundhog Chris Britton, 10 tips in 10 minutes to grow and share pipeline. And then I'll just scroll through plugins, integrate your WordPress plugin stack to save time and money.
Vito Paluch, regular on the show he's talking about at a rim and how to get clients to. To deliver things without the FOSS Chris budget. Who's obviously with lifter LMS talking about scaling up revenue in any business with courses and memberships, Michael shorts grow your agency by outsourcing content creation, the fabulous Robert Jacobi, 10 questions to ask your host before you commit, Bridget, is your agency taking advantage of client SEO budget and Hopi bridge.
You'll come on the show at some point and mark, who was on just a couple of weeks ago from Ws form creating user-friendly and high-converting forms. And then the day rounds off with Colin Longworth Robbie Adair, and more. There he is. So there we go. I did not know that Groundhog was a real thing.
Groundhog day was a real thing. And I have, we have so many weird traditions like that in the UK. We have the the annual put it up on YouTube, but I'll probably get in trouble. We have the annual cheese rolling ceremony, which is brutal. They get a big cheese, a big
cheese, and they take it to this muddy hill, which is basically it's about 45 degrees and they roll the cheese and the cheese because it's really heavy, accelerates unbelievably quickly. And the idea is that a bunch of people throw themselves toward the cheese and try to catch it before it gets to the bottom.
Just Google. And it's you just looking at people like getting broken legs and bashing, it's just like, why would you do that? You
[00:52:44] Bet Hannon: never did it as a young person,
[00:52:47] Nathan Wrigley: but it's quite a popular thing. We've got lots of things like that.
[00:52:50] Bet Hannon: Rob Karen's in the chat says that in Canada, they have Wharton Wiley.
[00:52:57] Nathan Wrigley: I don't
[00:52:57] Bet Hannon: know the Groundhog thing. Is it.
[00:53:01] Nathan Wrigley: T tell us more, Rob. I want to know what Worton Wiley
[00:53:06] Michelle Frechette: Wiley is their version of Punxsutawney Phil.
[00:53:09] Nathan Wrigley: There you go. Look, you see I'm sticking with good for you. He's a, like I said, he lives near me. He's never heard of Groundhog day before, apart from the film and then, oh, where's he gone?
Daniel says where weird or some Africans. I'm not saying it. Okay. So it is your Groundhog. Yeah, but why Worton Wiley what's that got to do with
[00:53:29] Tiffany Bridge: w Tony, Phil is named after the town. His name is Phil and he lives in Punxsutawney.
[00:53:39] Nathan Wrigley: Okay. What we should, the four of us should invent a weird WordPress tradition and carry it out.
Keep your thinking caps on, see what we can do the hole in the
[00:53:49] Tiffany Bridge: ground and sees its shadow. And how long will it be the next page?
[00:53:54] Nathan Wrigley: I think we should have, I think we should put a Groundhog in a wheel of cheese. No, I'm not. I'm going to get done by the other people. Okay. Michelle, let's put this one up.
I'm going to do your two bits, if that's all right, I'll come back to your bit in a minute. Is this is a piece which came out on the 20th of January. It's called Confie for the future fund WordPress research. I feel like this is the new story, which is going to break in 2022. It feels like the, how is WordPress funding?
Discussion is going to get more and more interesting, because it seems that quite a few people are putting their heads above the parapet at the minute, and saying saying things which I've not really heard before and questioning how the governance of WordPress works, how the people who volunteer perhaps need to be remunerated.
Maybe that's not financial, but they need to be remunerated in some way. And five for the future is obviously some way of doing this. The idea being that you, your company, whatever it might be give give 5% of the. Time, let's say and contribute that towards the project. So obviously if you've got a big agency that could be a considerable amount of finance or people's time, and some companies do this, other companies stay well away from it and they just for want of a better word, they just take and they don't necessarily give.
And on this piece is exploring all of that. They're trying to figure out what that model looks like going forward. I feel that in the beginning, when open source software started, the kind of volunteer mentality was totally sustainable forever, more or less, but I'm just curious now that we've got these great big almost enterprise level open source software projects like WordPress is the perfect.
How is that sustainable based upon volunteers time? I know that there's plenty of succonded time from other companies automatic Yoast come to mind, but this is just a piece really tackling that question. How are we gonna, how are we gonna figure it out? What even are the questions that we need to be asking, how do we onboard new members?
It says, what should we be? What should we be worried about? How can we keep new members and help them to grow? And then it goes on to that'll, that's probably summing it up nicely. I don't have the answer to this. I wish that everybody got paid fabulously large amounts of money for every single minute that they put into the project.
But I guess it just doesn't work that way. Any thoughts?
[00:56:38] Michelle Frechette: Yeah. One of the things that Allie and I have talked about on the underrepresented in tech podcast is that the more. Underrepresented you are the harder it is to give your time because you're you're most likely being paid less and earning less than other people.
And if you have a family and you have all these things that other people have donating your time to be able to participate in something like the development of WordPress becomes a larger tax than it is for somebody who's in a more privileged situation. So I think that's definitely one one of the one of the things we struggled with the other thing, and I did bring this up at state of the word as well, is that we tend to be seeing WordPress age as we go.
And we're not bringing as many younger folks into the fold. We've mentioned this when I, when Ann was on the show with us about a month ago and McCarthy about how their. It's a different marketing to today's 20 and, younger thirties than it is to people like me in my fifties. So that, to me, it's you own your own site, you have complete autonomy.
And then, but Ann said, but that it's more it's everybody contributes and this is something that's owned by everybody. And so there's a different it's a different marketing ploy that you have to bring into account. And then you pair that with the fact that the entire marketing team is also volunteers.
And that wheel moves very slowly because it's all just like contributing ideas and doing a lot of writing, but very few people at the top of that, that are actually doing the tweeting and putting things on a blog and those kinds of things. So I don't know what the overhaul for that looks like. We did try having.
Head of the marketing with USDA, about two years ago, maybe that was a, and that was, that didn't work out at that particular time. That's not to say that it wouldn't work with somebody different whose only job it was to participate in and head up that department. I don't know what the right answer is to be able to move all things forward all the time, but it's clear that we need to do something.
And I think, I have an MBA in marketing every, whatever, wherever your silo is like, that's the answer, right? Like my solution is we have to do better marketing to get people in. But then on the other hand, we need to make sure that somehow. It's accessible for people to do that, whether it's monetary time, whatever it is, what I was freelancing, it was a lot more difficult to give up my time to all the projects that I do because I was struggling for every dollar.
I made developing sites and doing my care plans and all those other things, as opposed to now that I have a steady income. Through stellar. I can do those other side projects that I want because I have the time to do that because the income that I have is, between nine and five, so to speak. So there's just, there's a whole lot of play more than I think we tend to think about when we look at these things, because we're not also looking at geographic locations and associated economic divides.
[00:59:49] Nathan Wrigley: Do you think that WordPress is is an interesting subject for 18 year olds? Balding developers, they're coming out of university. I get the feeling that if we rewind the clock 15 or 16 years, because CMS is just didn't exist. Really. You were that you were groundbreaking, you were doing something and there was probably a lot of novelty in it.
And you were building the future of what is the internet? What even is that going to look like? Okay. Let's get involved with building something which is going to help people for the first time in the history of the universe to create their own content from their own bedroom and publish it to the entire world.
It's exciting. It's really interesting. And now fast forward to now, It's been done, that's been achieved and we were finessing it a bit. Aren't we? And we're worrying about whether we've got a block for this and a block for that. And, but the project broadly exists or you could go and, work for Squarespace and maybe earn a decent salary.
I'm just fascinated to know what, I dunno what the younger people would make of a software project. WordPress.
[01:00:58] Tiffany Bridge: I think there's still that kind of place sitting in, there's still that tinkering and teaching yourself to do stuff. But like, when I was teaching myself to do this, like the state of the web was like blogger was a big deal and then movable type and then WordPress, right?
Like why was Ken coding? My first website on geo cities back when like the URLs still, like we're supposed to correspond to an address, right? So that's how old I am, but pour one out for geo cities, now, what if you're sitting at home and you're like learning to code something and you're alert, like you're like hacking together.
It's going to be like a mobile app. It's not going to be a website. And so I think like the energy around WordPress has moved out of this. Like I'm going to build myself a blog and moved more into like business. And how do we make money? And and how do we like advance a brand on the internet versus something that like you might do for fun might be more of a mobile app.
And I think that's in some ways an inevitable shift, but then WordPress has to figure out how they're going to get new interest in.
[01:02:12] Bet Hannon: And I think that whole piece of how do we onboard volunteers and how do we help people come into an existing process? It's always easier to get people in on something new and that's just getting started, right?
Because then everybody is on the same level playing field. And it's a lot harder to bring volunteers into an existing project where there are already people who have long histories, some in some cases, really long histories of leadership and particular ways of doing things. And it's really hard to feel like you can make a difference when you're there.
Sometimes so you know how we can do that in some ways that will draw people in and make them interested in participating is a challenge.
[01:02:58] Nathan Wrigley: I obviously, all four of us are just really into publishing and WordPress. And I imagine we've got a great relationship with the community and we like it.
And we've seen the benefits of all of that. I do. I do wonder if. Like the 21 year old version of myself, again, if the drawer to things like IOT or, making, like Tiffany said, a mobile app, or just getting involved in some sort of SAS company might be more desirable. And also just like basic things like the cost of living, it feels like the cost of living now is hard, is higher than it was 15 or so years ago.
And just making money might be more important. But I guess it seems like a great endeavor. If we can persuade, I don't know, 30, 40, 20% of the WordPress of people who benefit from WordPress. To give 5% in some way, shape or form, whether that's to the documentation or to the code or events or whatever it might be, the project would be in in in much better shape, but that conversation needs to be opened up.
And that's what this piece is about. But come 20, 22, I feel that there's, I feel that a lot more people are gonna start putting their heads up above the parapet and saying, look, I can't do this unless I'm paid for it. Is there a mechanism to be paid for it? Because I just can't put in the time that it's needed.
[01:04:25] Bet Hannon: So there was a, an interesting thing that came up. I think it was last week. I saw someone had tweeted out that a particular developer, I dunno to say his name, but that get hub offers opportunities now for sponsoring developers. And Joel Dolson from the WordPress accessibility team. Talk about, I'm a freelancer, I've got earn a living and I do these things for the community.
Would you be interested in sponsoring me? And so people can make one-time gifts. People could make recurring gifts. And he, his goal was I think, three or $500 a month or something, he had a small goal that was a part of that would help fund his continued work. And, that may be an interesting way that we can democratize even bye for the future. We can sponsor some things that we have interests in. I have, Joe does some amazing things for the accessibility team. And if that helps free up his anxiety and burnout around earning a living too, then maybe there's some ways that other people can, we can sponsor people to do things.
[01:05:36] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, really interesting. And also just the discoverability of that. So as an example, it may be that like that you are, if you're really into accessibility, you'd be keen to put your hand in your pocket for somebody who was working on that particular initiative. But I guess if it, I guess just discovering who these people are and forbid, forgive me for saying this, because this is, it's the most blunt thing I can say.
And it's not what I'm intending to say, but some sort of ranking of people's contribution. So it may be for example, that somebody is incredibly committed, but very quiet about it. And in some way, raising their profile and saying, look, actually, we all know the gigantic amount that you do.
And we also know that you're humble and don't wish to mention it, but look, we would, in some way, Le like to raise you on a pedestal. And one of those, one of the benefits of that is that you make it. Reward for that financial,
[01:06:34] Bet Hannon: I don't know. There's a lot of slippery slope and they're careful about, and I think, again, some not in this conversation, but in other places people have meant, contributing to WordPress is not just putting in code writing code or putting code in right.
Contributing to WordPress is the marketing team and the support team and the, all the community, all the things that people are doing for communities all over. So our agency tries to do a little bit. We don't, I don't know, it's probably not five, we do a little bit of, could you buy by compensating our staff at for some of the work that they do, primarily what they do currently.
Meetups sponsoring meetups and giving talks. And so w we want to make sure that people feel like they can do that and not have it impact their income or their time.
[01:07:26] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, really interesting conversation. Anyway, it's been opened up and I'm sure it will continue to be talked about in 2022, you can find it [email protected] and you want to be looking for the article can fight for the future fund word.
Research, so worth looking at, okay. Let me put the screen back up. There it is. You can see it now and okay. I just wanted little mention for this one. This is just slightly over a week old, but Angela gin who hopefully will have on the podcast at some point, thanks to Michelle's introduction is She she mentioned that she would like people to get their work into the new photo directory.
I'll quote, as announced in state of the word 2021. WordPress now has a photo directory. You that photo directory is both curated, a curated source of high quality images and a new submission tool for open verse, which is we've mentioned before powered by the WordPress community. It's not fully launched yet.
However, there are three ways you can help and I'll mention the first two, please contribute your photos. There's a link in this article where it says you can submit those photos. And the second way is to report issues. But yeah, fabulous endeavor that this is what it looks like currently with some 776 photos as of this moment that you can download and use.
And I, my understanding, I didn't know it when we hit record. Just before that, you've put a few on here. Haven't you.
[01:08:56] Bet Hannon: Yeah,
[01:08:56] Michelle Frechette: they they approached me because they know that I'm an avid photographer and asked me if I would prime the pump. And so I put about 200 photos out for them to use. I think I've got about 60 or 70 of my photos in there already, but there you have to scroll back very far cause they're in there chronologically.
And I was one of the earlier people to submit it. But I think if you do photos slash photo slash Michelle Ames, because that's my name and the repository, I think that you come up with my photos
[01:09:26] Bet Hannon: and while he's doing that, Michelle, can you say something about how the usage light.
[01:09:32] Michelle Frechette: Yeah. So it has to be, they have to be photos that you can, that were, that you took in a place.
It might just be photos slash I'm sorry. I keep screwing it up. But
[01:09:42] Nathan Wrigley: if you find it, oh yeah,
[01:09:46] Michelle Frechette: the but they have to be photos that you've taken and you have full rights to share in places that are legal to take those photos, et cetera, so that it, because they will become open source. So they become, I can't remember the name of C3 or something like that, but they will become open source.
You are sharing them for others to be able to use on their sites, free of copyright and all of that.
[01:10:09] Nathan Wrigley: I think CC zero, I could be wrong. And this is quite an exciting project if it links to open verse, because open verses is such a great initiative and the idea would be that it wouldn't ultimately be limited to just photos.
We mentioned before team have their eye on a directory, which could encompass other things like, obvious media video and perhaps PDFs and things like that, but also, and fantastically interesting. What about block patterns? If you could have block patterns as part of open verse and you could freely give away your designs for the community to use, and then they could be searched for within the WordPress dashboard in a future version of WordPress, that will be hopefully a little button.
And when you upload to the media library, You will be able to opt your images in. So if you've taken a photo, you obviously can't use somebody else's photo in that way, but if you've taken your own photo and I'm putting that on your own WordPress website, the idea is that would go in. Okay. I've got it there, Michelle.
I will not say have a little look here. We are. There is a
[01:11:19] Bet Hannon: roaring lion. Wow. Where'd you get that photo at the zoo?
[01:11:26] Nathan Wrigley: It's going to say you had a really interesting day. Just camera's a Groundhog. Oh, these are lovely. They're
[01:11:36] Bet Hannon: lovely.
[01:11:38] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. That, yeah. Okay. So go and upload your photos to the photo directory, the article [email protected] wars.
As I said by Angela, Jen, it's called WordPress photo directory call for volunteers. Okay. Here's something to get you. Google nothing to do with WordPress. This Google have got, oh, please Google, Google had this idea of called flock. And they were obviously getting a lot of flack. I should just coined that.
I should have thought of that earlier. They got a lot of flack for for it's basically that they, the idea would be that it would replace cookies. So instead of being able to track you everywhere on the planet, you would be pushing it into this cohort. F LOC stands for federated, federated learning of cohorts, and you would somehow get aggregated the, this, as you can imagine, met with almost universal.
I projects like WordPress and Drupal and a whole bunch of other folk decided, no, this is ridiculous. We don't want any, we don't want anything to do with that. And so Google have decided to get rid of it. However, Google. Would love to be able to know who you are and where you go on the internet.
So they've come up with this other interesting idea called topics and topics, put something in a browser. So Chrome itself will not. Okay. So I shouldn't be so hard on Google. It's not like the end of the world or anything, but it's going to be in the browser instead. And it's going to categorize you in a very, what feels like a very similar way.
And you will, it will all be stored on a device. So you, your device itself, your Chrome browser will store that information. So it's not going off Google servers, but it does feel to me a bit of a stretch for people to say, yeah, I'm going to install a browser. That's got technology in it, which is enabling Google to track me.
I don't know. What are you guys thing?
[01:13:48] Bet Hannon: Yes it's, it feels like it's very much the same sort of thing. And privacy is just becoming a huge, much bigger deal for us, right? If you are. I had conversation with some folks last week, I was part of a webinar. I wasn't a presenter, but I was part listening in on this webinar that the term mageddon folks did around the new EU.
In Austria, there was apparently a court case related to all of this, about tracking cookies that basically says you can't use Google analytics in Austria for now. They expect the rest of the EU to follow suit and and reminded again. And again, if you're if you're not paying for the tracking service, you are the product, right?
Your data is just there and the massive amounts of data that just get tracked. And
[01:14:41] Nathan Wrigley: the thing is, yeah, everybody uses Chrome, don't they? I guess it's just the default nobody's and I suppose a lot of us obsessive about the internet oh, you do, they worry about this kind of thing. Maybe it's just not a big deal, but I'll read from what Google said.
They said with topics, your browser determines a handful of topics like fitness travel that represents your top interests for that week. Based upon your browsing history topics are kept for only three weeks. And the old topics are deleted. Topics are selected entirely on your device without involving any external servers, including Google servers.
When you visit a participating sites, topics picks just three topics, one topic for each of the past three weeks to share with the site and its advertising partners. It just feels to me like if Google did manage to pull this off, they would become the only horse in town. Is that even a phrase they'd become the only Groundhog in town.
And all the advertisers would be, you'd have to use Chrome, everybody be pushing Chrome is the thing. I don't think vendors like Firefox and brave are going to have a bar of this. So it's really interesting. We've decided to shove it all in a browser.
[01:15:58] Bet Hannon: So they're collecting these things, but then they're shoving it back to the site owner as
[01:16:02] Nathan Wrigley: data.
Yeah. So if you were to go to a site they, the browser could indicate to that site that you yeah. What the three topics are. And therefore, if you were to visit a site, maybe they'll put a travel ad, for example. And but those would get purged every three weeks and apparently you can self delete them.
Or you can imagine that somebody's bound to come up with a tool to self delete everything every six minutes, I guess it depends on whether or not you want to be targeted by advertising. Is it better to have an advertising experience? Cause you need ads on the internet or otherwise a lot of it won't work because a lot of people need to be paid through that model, but it's a question of whether or not you wish to see things which.
And are indicative of what you've looked at on the internet over the last few weeks or not.
[01:16:53] Bet Hannon: Yeah, but I spend my whole day looking at a variety. I would only see technical stuff cause that's all I,
[01:16:58] Nathan Wrigley: yeah, that's right. Although I don't know. Maybe you go to that sock website or something and suddenly it's Ooh, that's a bit unusual socks now.
Bet all into socks. Is she going to socks for the next three weeks? But it's curious that it's just like on the browser three weeks at a time, I feel that they're scrambling around trying to find a solution to a problem, which. Feels like the internet is deciding we don't want to be tracked. And Google are just trying to figure out ways to,
[01:17:28] Bet Hannon: it already feels like some devices listening to me.
Cause all it just takes as mentioning to, my spouse or a family member that I'm thinking about something. And then I start seeing ads for that everywhere. I'm not without even searching.
[01:17:41] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah. I've got it. I've never had that moment where the devices are listening. There's a device right there.
That's a potentially listening device and I've got the mic. Off, but I've heard all these hearsay stories of people who have the mic switched on and they talk, they're not interacting with the device, but they talk in their house and then suddenly they are very coincidentally presented with all sorts of things about that particular subject.
The litmus test, would be to talk for like only a few short minutes about something you've never spoken about before in your life, but is incredibly lucrative and see what happened. Yeah, that's it. Oh Lord, no Groundhog or recipes or NFTs. There you go. And FTS. Oh, it's Todd. How I taught? Yes. You, we mentioned you earlier.
You'd have to go back about half an hour. We spoke about your wonderful survey. But yes we did. You please do devote your or donate. I should say your photos Peacher. That'd be really nice. And what is that Todd saying? That's an NFT Nathan flat for flock. I'm going to be rich. Rich. There's another thing I don't understand.
Okay. We're getting towards the end. I was going to mention a few things. Firstly, Michelle, you're up? What's this.
[01:19:09] Michelle Frechette: WP career summit. I already have a ha we've been lots of site a week ago. Last Friday, we have 110 people signed up to attend that ready? I'm super thrilled. I have 20 applicants for speaking.
Although some of them did not understand the assignment because they started some suggesting topics like a PHP for WordPress. And I'm like that's really not about career stuff. So
[01:19:32] Nathan Wrigley: I'll read the form. Please read the form.
[01:19:34] Michelle Frechette: Yes. Read the room or the forum, like just anything be a self-aware and we've already got some people I'm interested in sponsoring as well.
So super excited about this April 8th from nine to five central time here in the states and of course anybody can register. It is free to attend and completely covered by our sponsorships. I'm super excited about it. Any questions people can DMA on slack I'm in 5 million slack channels, or you can DM me on Twitter.
My ideas are always open.
[01:20:09] Nathan Wrigley: Michelle serious question. How do you cope with so many slack channels? And I'm not being facetious. I J I genuinely, haven't got a process for, and I'm in about four and I can't figure out how to be notified if you know what I mean successfully. So I've got four tabs open all with the different slack channels.
[01:20:27] Michelle Frechette: you get the desk app? So if we use the desk app, it's all in one place. If I had to do it in the browser, I could never do it, but yeah, it's open it's in the desk. I have a Mac it's right there. I've got the, that desk app for it. And
[01:20:41] Bet Hannon: it's a lot easier phone app. Isn't too bad either.
[01:20:44] Michelle Frechette: No, I use the phone app as well.
Although I try to, I turn off most notifications so that when I am on my own personal time, I'm not constantly checking
[01:20:54] Tiffany Bridge: in the app store, by the way, that is meant for like enterprise companies that like require a different level of authentication, but you can essentially run two separate slacks on your phone.
[01:21:06] Nathan Wrigley: Oh, that is nice. So you can have the non notification and then the notification log.
[01:21:12] Tiffany Bridge: It will exactly like, so like I have a bunch of social slacks and so you have the work slacks and the personal slacks, and then you can use I use an iPhone, you can set up your personal focus to only show you the fun slacks and then like your work focus mode to only show you the work slacks.
[01:21:29] Bet Hannon: Yeah. That is good.
[01:21:31] Michelle Frechette: Every single one of my slacks is WordPress related. So there, yeah.
[01:21:37] Tiffany Bridge: There's a lot of them.
[01:21:39] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah. So I'll just got the perfect, the antidote to this whole problem. He just says he ignores them all. Ah, that's brilliant as you
[01:21:49] Michelle Frechette: are.
[01:21:51] Nathan Wrigley: Oh, maybe it's me. Yeah. That's what it is. Okay. To interpretation.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I'm going with Todd. And. Yeah. Yeah. The reason that, okay, maybe I need to do that. I have this kind of, I've got a fairly new Mac. It's about six months old and I had this epiphany that I was going to install almost nothing on it and just cause, I just wanted to keep it lean.
And what have you, and I've managed broadly to do that. So most things like slack end up in a browser. Cause I don't have another thing to install, but seemingly unsuccessfully, cause I keep having to open up multiple tabs and I don't know which ones just pinged me, but I hear the noise and oh, there you go.
Peter was thinking about exactly that today. How to avoid works like on the phone while keeping the funds slacks. Thank you, Tiffany. Perfect answer. What's it called? The enterprise version or has it got a different name?
[01:22:50] Bet Hannon: Hang on
[01:22:50] Tiffany Bridge: slack, EMM, something like that. If you search for it in the, at least the iOS store.
And I think possibly Android, like Google play as well. Yeah, there's there's just, there's a second slack app and you you can just use it to keep them.
[01:23:04] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, that's good. Good advice. Okay. WP Korea summit can be [email protected] Put it in your diary, eights of April. This year, I've
[01:23:17] Bet Hannon: built
[01:23:17] Michelle Frechette: that site in less than 24 hours.
[01:23:22] Nathan Wrigley: As I say, in the footer cadence. There you go. There you go. Very nice. Okay. And you put big orange shop in because of
[01:23:33] Michelle Frechette: we're at Fest is coming up March 4th. I believe that is speaking at that
[01:23:40] Bet Hannon: from Arkema speaking on design magazine
[01:23:42] Michelle Frechette: speaking. That's right. I remembered something. I remembered you tweeting about it.
Meg is tweeting about his participating too. And I don't know, Tiffany, are you part of that this time or not? I don't recall.
[01:23:53] Tiffany Bridge: I've been working with with the nexus marketing team to figure out exactly what we're doing. So like I'm involved.
[01:24:01] Michelle Frechette: Gotcha. No problem. And
[01:24:02] Bet Hannon: your micro sponsoring though.
Oh, there's micro sponsoring opportunities. So that's yeah, actually.
[01:24:10] Michelle Frechette: Yeah, but if you go to register now, if there you go, see, I actually micro, sponsored as underrepresented in SAC as I
[01:24:19] Nathan Wrigley: go on. If I go away, what's that? Sorry. I thought you were going to direct me to a page. No,
[01:24:26] Michelle Frechette: it's March 4th, 2022. So it's coming up and little more than a month and 24 hours.
Lots of speakers, lots of great things. And custody. We've got interviews, we've got life things happening, so it's just going to be another great event.
[01:24:43] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you. Yeah, brilliant down on maybe is is at the helm and Stella works, keeping him very busy. I know that much. 4th of March, put that one in your diary has also got eight, 8th of April.
4th of March. Yes. There we go. And to round off the show today, we're going to get into a thorny topic for five or six. Yeah, I know. This isn't probably the best page to start with. Let's go over here. This is bet's area of expertise. Betters was right at the start is very much into pushing website accessibility as a concern in the same way that I think that governance of prod the WordPress project and all the things that we talked about a little while ago feels like about the year for this.
It feels like accessibility is really hit the main stream. And it's an important topic getting discussed, like never before. But we have a bit of snake oil going on in the website communities. Tell us about this, but what's this twist.
[01:25:46] Bet Hannon: It's very interesting to me. A lot of it. So there are what are called overlay plugins that are basically on the fly trying to correct accessibility issues.
There are some of them that purport to fix all of your accessibility problems and, just install our one line of code and everything will be hunky-dory. And of course, that doesn't really work. And there are the. Link that Nathan showed us initially overlay fact sheet.com gives you a whole lot of information about what are the overlay plugins and why are they problematic part partly, if a person needs to have tools to be able to view websites, things like screen readers and magnifiers and those sorts of things, they already have them on their machine.
So really these sorts of plugins that purport to give lots of tools and widgets for doing things are really not helpful because they're not the tools that the person has selected, but they also can conflict and cause neither tool to work. So a lot of problems people with disabilities often will try to I have been in touch with people who block the IP address for the tools like accessibly so that they don't have to deal with them.
People with disabilities rarely find them. You. And but there's tons of money out there. Lots of snake oil flying around. That's not a good image. Huh. But there's in the last week been more of a public kerfuffle because the international association of accessibility professionals, I P is has received into membership.
Apparently some of them. Overlay, plugins, and now has started tweeting out. There's been a, kind of an internal discussion about whether we wanted to do that, but then they've been promoting their social media posts more recently. So it's been a little bit of an interesting kerfuffle. I think the English let's say
[01:27:53] Nathan Wrigley: I had a really good conversation this week for a podcast, which is coming out on Wednesday. It's actually the WP Tavern podcast. And with am behinds and Amber has has a very similar range of interest to you. She would like for all the websites to be accessible and she wants to educate people in order to do that.
And we got into the subject of what it is that you ought to be doing. And then finally we got into the subject of why these solutions don't really fulfill that obligation. Could you just touch on that? What is it about them that is difficult to, for you to.
[01:28:34] Bet Hannon: That they don't really work for people with disabilities, that are needing those accommodations. So the, they don't come in a good place in the tech stack. They can pre-do make things be unreliable. So for instance, they're using AI to determine a lot, figure out where the problems are and try to correct them. And as we all know, AI is only gonna make its best educated guess.
AI only finds about 30% of accessibility issues to begin with. And a lot of accessibility issues really have to be contextually driven. So Amber actually had a great post on a Facebook group that we were in this week where you can have the very same image and depending on how you have used that image in your post, you might have really different alternative texts for that.
If the image is a I think the image she posted was like in a big urban area, image is like on your, about us page, showing your office, that's going to have different alt text, just describing the bigger urban area. But if. If you're putting that image in a post that's describing urban decline of people having offices in urban areas, then you're going to emphasize that it's an empty space and there's no traffic there, right?
There are some tools that use AI to fix a limited number of things as an interim solution. And those are different, right? Know that you have accessibility issues and you've, you're in, you received a lawsuit and you need to fix things quickly you may want. Use one of those temporary solutions and you have 10,000 recipe posts that you've got to remediate, right?
That's not going to happen overnight. So you can use an interim solution to, to fix that in the meantime, nothing beats doing accessibility of.
[01:30:56] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah listen out for that blog post. I'm I'm conscious that we've probably overrun in terms of time, and I'm very sorry for you guys for a few more minutes I promised, but I think we will knock it on the head there.
I can actually hear my door my outside door going, which probably indicates to me that my son has returned and is actually stuck outside in one degree centigrade Britain. So I should probably go and rescue that poor chap. So in which case would I be able to get you all to give me a bit of a wave?
We do this thing where I get away from everybody. I don't know if Tiffany's good. Yay. There we go. We'll be back this time next week. Thank you very much. Thank you very much, Michelle. And thank you very much, Tiffany. We'll we'll post this live. We'll post this out tomorrow and I'll keep you guys updated.
Thank you so much for your time. Take it easy with you again, bye-bye.