This week’s WordPress news for the week commencing Monday 4th April 2022
Another week, and we’re bringing you the latest WordPress news from the last seven days, including…
- WordPress 5.9.3 has been released, so go get updated.
- WordPress contributors host a live 6.0 walkthrough.
- #WPDrama – WordPress.com changes their pricing / allowances, then changes them again after public outcry.
- Elementor now has Flexbox support.
- JetPack adds the ability to create QR codes and add Openverse images.
- Google says that A.I. generated content is going to be marked as spam, IF they can find it.
- Crypto hacks leads to $1.3 of losses in Q1 of 2022 alone.
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 #204 – “Tin foil hats”
With Nathan Wrigley, Jess Frick, Robert Rowley and Bernhard Gronau.
Recorded on Monday 11th April 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.
WordPress 5.9.3 is now available! This maintenance release features 9 bug fixes in Core and 9 bug fixes in the block editor..
WordPress hosted a “first-of-its-kind event” via Zoom this week where members of the 6.0 release squad and core contributors conducted a live walkthrough of the major features coming in the next release. The event was recorded and is now available on WordPress.tv and embedded below…
Query loops can be used to showcase blog posts, pages, categories, tags and more! You can have automatically updated lists on your homepage and other web pages without requiring any coding…
WordPress.com Increases Traffic and Storage Limits on New Plans After Overwhelmingly Negative Feedback on Initial Rollout
WordPress.com officially announced its new pricing yesterday, after rolling it out on April 1. The lack of communication about the changes, and the free plan’s severely pared back storage and traffic limits, alarmed and frustrated many users who for years have considered WordPress.com their go-to platform for simple blogging…
On the podcast today we have Chris Coyier. Chris has been a user and educator in the WordPress and web development space for many years. Find out why he sold it to Digital Ocean…
People have been asking if QR codes are dead for the past decade, but their relevancy has only increased as digital life becomes more vibrant. eMarketer forecasts that the number of US smartphone users scanning QR codes will increase from 83.4 million in 2022 to 99.5 million in 2025…
Anne McCarthy announced round #13 of the FSE Outreach Program on March 31. This call for testing focuses on creating an author template via the site editor. Several of the new features used during this round were only added in Gutenberg 12.9 last week…
Plugins / Themes / Blocks
Flex your creative muscles with Flexbox – Elementor’s new building block that empowers you to efficiently lay out, align and distribute items in a Container.
On its face, Grigora Blocks by Latracal Solutions seems almost pedestrian. It feels like a theme you would use as a starting point to build your own thing. It will not have enough personality for everyone to give it a shot…
WordPress Block Themes were formally introduced in WordPress 5.9. This article is a deep dive introduction to block themes and full-site editing…
Find a deal in our searchable / filterable list. It’s like Black Friday, but every day of the year!
On March 10, 2022 the Wordfence Threat Intelligence team initiated the responsible disclosure process for a vulnerability we discovered in “SiteGround Security”, a WordPress plugin that is installed on over 400,000 sites…
Each week, we report the latest vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins and themes. Vulnerable WordPress plugins and themes are the #1 reason WordPress sites get hacked…
We’ve been documenting #MageCart style attacks on eCommerce websites for a long time. According to our SiteCheck data, WordPress environments outpaced Magento for credit card theft malware in the summer…
Advanced Custom Fields plugin patched a Missing Authorization vulnerability that allows an attacker to view database information…
Over the last year we’ve seen an ongoing malware infection which redirects website visitors to scam sites. So far this year our monitoring has detected over 3,000 websites infected…
On the podcast today we continue our WordPress Business Bootcamp series. Now we’re trying to figure out “How do we get our website copy?”…
Post a Job If you know of a job in the WordPress community, please feel free to post it here…
Not WordPress, but useful anyway…
Experts say that as more people and capital flood into crypto, there will subsequently be more losses…
The team hope the slime could one day be used to collect accidentally-swallowed objects…
A handwritten receipt, which represents ownership of empty space imagined by conceptual artist Yves Klein in the 1950s, fetched $1.16 million at a Paris auction…
Content generated automatically using AI writing tools is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, says Search Advocate John Mueller…
It’s not a ranking factor, so why is word count important for SEO? Here’s what you need to know about when, why, and how much word count matters…
Devs For Ukraine is a free online charity conference organized by the lovely people at Remote. Two days filled with talks from engineering leaders around the globe, in support of Ukraine. April 25–26…
A long awaited edit button is coming to Twitter, the company confirms, but first it will go through a round of testing with premium users…
The WP Builds podcast is brought to you this week by…
The home of Managed WordPress hosting that includes free domain, SSL, and 24/7 support. Bundle that with the Hub by GoDaddy Pro to unlock more free benefits to manage multiple sites in one place, invoice clients, and get 30% off new purchases! Find out more at go.me/wpbuilds.
The WP Builds Deals Page
It’s like Black Friday, but everyday of the year! Search and Filter WordPress Deals! Check out the deals now…
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 204. This episode is entitled. Tin, foil hat. It was recorded on Monday the 11th of April, 2022, my name's Nathan Wrigley. And this week I will be joined by Jess Frick and Rob Rowley. We're going to talk about a whole load of WordPress things, for example.
What presses now rolled onto 5.9 0.3. It's a maintenance release. So there's not much to see there. We also talk about the fact that the contributor panel has released a video as zoom link, which they did for over 120 guests during the week, last week, showing what WordPress six will be like. It's a new initiative and it seems to have been fairly well received.
There's also some WP drama that we spend some time on wordpress.com change their pricing and tier structures during last week. And there was some flack from the community because things seem to go down into. The amount of resources that you could get. So they address that later in the week we get into that Flexbox containers are now available in elemental.
If you're an element or user, you'll be delighted about that. Some lovely additions to jet pack. You can now get QR codes and free images from the open vers, right inside of Jetpack. We also talk about AI generated content, and the fact that Google are now saying if they. They're going to mark it as spam.
And then finally, couple of pieces, right? At the end, we talk about crypto and all of the losses that have been experienced over the last year. And it isn't are you watering the large amount of money that has been lost just in the last three months. And then we wrap up with a story about VR. Very expensive.
Non-existent art. It's all coming up next on this weekend, WordPress. Hello? Hello? Hello? Hello. Hello. Once again, I'm going to do the David Frost introduction. Hello, good evening. And welcome. This is WP Builds. It's episode number 204. Can you believe it? 204. We're going to talk more or less endlessly for 90 minutes about WordPress and then dropping some silliness at the end.
But I'm joined today by two people where we are supposed to be joined by third, but they don't seem to have made it. So if they do, we will be joined by a third person, but for now we've got two. We've got Jess Frick. Who's joined us many times before. How are you doing Jess?
[00:02:36] Jessica Frick: I am fantastic. How are
[00:02:38] Nathan Wrigley: you, Nathan?
I, yes, I was just saying before I hit go, I'm in a bit of a silly mood today. I don't quite know why, but I'm in a bit of a silly mood. So it was how this guy, that kind of feeling where you just want to giggle more than usual I'm in that kind of a mood. So let's, I do like that as
[00:02:54] Jessica Frick: the perfect mood for WP Builds.
[00:02:56] Nathan Wrigley: Okay. Okay. I'm going to, I'm going to make, taken that mood in that case, but I'm going to introduce you properly first. Jess Sprig Jess is the director of operations for pressable and iced tea connoisseur, and a proud member of the w post status, community ice tea connoisseur. Yeah, I,
[00:03:17] Jessica Frick: oh yeah. I love.
Greens. And I will occasionally do some fruity ones, but yeah, I know that you guys are all about the English tea. It's a bit much for me, but I do like it when it's got that lavender undertone.
[00:03:32] Nathan Wrigley: I can't say that I've ever had ice tea. The, I got to admit the idea it makes me feel a bit queasy, but oh yeah.
It's got to have milk and be hot basically. Wow.
[00:03:45] Jessica Frick: Okay. If Ted lasts us to be believed, it's all garbage. Anyway.
[00:03:51] Nathan Wrigley: Tell us about pressable though. I know that you've been there for I don't know exactly how long, but certainly it hasn't been years and years. It's relatively recent. How's the experience going at principal unit?
[00:04:01] Jessica Frick: I will say switching teams is always a strange experience. I'm like a new girl in a new land. But this is my second month at pressable and I am absolutely loving it. I will say getting to be a part of the larger automatic team has been amazing. For those who don't know pressable is owned by automatic and we're the same people that, bring you wordpress.com and WordPress, VIP.
So learning to navigate in the larger automatic. World with this small little startup company has just been a really cool experience.
[00:04:41] Nathan Wrigley: Oh, that's really nice. Two months in and you're still smiling. That's cool, indeed. Yeah. So let's move on. Let's introduce our second guests. This is somebody that we've not had on the show before.
This is Robert Rowley. Is it? I forgive me, Robert. I didn't establish it at the beginning. Is it Rowley or Rowley? Cause you know what? Heard
[00:05:00] Robert Rowley: it both ways. My entire life. I've never corrected.
[00:05:02] Nathan Wrigley: Oh, okay. In which case I'm going to call you Robert Rowley. Robert is the security advocate for patch stack, which is a company committed to helping secure websites, running source software.
And he's passionate when it comes to sharing knowledge of web application and open source security concerns. Anybody who's been following the WordPress security space for any length of time will probably remember that patch stack rebranded. Ooh, I'm going to say 12 months ago or something like that from web box.
And if you're interested, I did a podcast with Oliver settled at which Robert actually featured in, because we talked about non rebuttal article that you wrote, which was quite good. That's over on the WP Tavern website. Anyway, Robert real pleasure to have you with us. Anything else you want to share before we begin about patch?
[00:05:52] Robert Rowley: No, you covered most of it. Obviously check out the earlier episode to get the more detailed details by bypass tech runs a, the patch tech Alliance, which collects a, it's basically a bug bounty program, which gave him a Fise reports for vulnerabilities in open source software. Right now we're focused on the WordPress ecosystem because we see a need and it's the biggest market.
And yeah, we've been wildly successful in the last year to collect a lot of vulnerabilities, but it's not about the vulnerabilities. It's about getting that information to the developers. So the developers can patch their code. We're committed to, to actually securing the infrastructure and the ecosystem that run AC everything works.
[00:06:30] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you very much. Thanks for joining us. And hopefully after this experience, you won't feel, you won't feel so bad and you'll want to come on again. That would be lovely. A couple of things just before we begin a few bits of housekeeping, if you like the first one is I'd really appreciate it. If you've got this on a sec, second monitor or something, and you've got Twitter or Facebook open, why not spend four seconds of your life copying and pasting a URL.
Go to WP Builds.com forward slash live. Copy. Buying it in Twitter with something along the lines of I'm watching WP Builds, it's the best thing ever, or, some submit any form of exaggeration into that sentence and hit return. And let's see if we can swell the audience a little bit, really appreciate that.
If you want to make comments, feel free to do that. Just one little caveat. If you're on the Facebook side of things, then you will need to go to a particular URL. Let me show it for you. It's chat.restream.io forward slash F B. Otherwise you come through all anonymous, which you might want, but then again, you might not.
But if you don't want to be de-anonymize yeah. Maybe you could write your name in the comment or something like that. It just helps out a little bit. That would be lovely. Write your questions and what have, you can see a few of you have posted some comments already. Courtney's tea plus sunshine equals flowers, something like that.
Rob Cannes fellow podcast. Good morning, everyone. Hello? Happy Monday. He's sending some coffee Elliot. Sorry. It was just down. The sours is B I should say, sorry. Earlier is just down the road from me, actually. He's saying hello and Lorna. Lorna's a new name to me. Lorna Miro. My row, I apologize if we got that wrong, he says, she says, he says, don't know how you guys and.
Here's the score have I said shout here, right? It's just saying hello. Oh, nice. We have members of the festival crowd and the audience is that because you went and copied and pasted that URL took four
[00:08:32] Nathan Wrigley: Four seconds. Just see how easy it is. That's no excuse and a Paul Bedford greetings from the slightly damp South Africa.
Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Yeah. I live in great Britain. I'm well, accustomed to the word slightly and damp. We know exactly what that feels like, but thank you for joining us. That's really cool, Paul. Thanks. Let's share the screen. First things first. This is us WP Builds.com. Let's not waste any more time on that, but that's our website.
They've got, we've got menus at the top and all sorts. And if you click on the menus, you go to other pages and there's things on those pages, but you can figure that out for yourself. I am just going to start off with the fact that WordPress 5.9 0.3 maintenance release came around this sort of snuck in over the last week or so hopefully with these maintenance releases, you have enabled your WordPress websites to update themselves automatically.
So you didn't have to go in and do anything. I typically get the prompt email. That's very often the first sign that I know it's happening and then I get one. And then a few minutes later, I get another and on it goes for a couple of hours. And 5.9 0.3 came around this week. It was a maintenance release, meaning it's space, any bug fixes.
And there are nine of them. I didn't know Robert with your security hat on. I didn't know if there was anything of great interest in there from a security point of view. I just wanted to mention it in case anybody had not bothered to update their sites, but Robert, was there anything meeting.
[00:09:57] Robert Rowley: It didn't I did not see anything security related and they normally make it pretty clear when there's a security release.
They don't word, press core. Doesn't hide those things. Yeah,
[00:10:04] Nathan Wrigley: yeah. Yeah. So that's me basically, just letting you know that has happened, but hopefully you knew that already. So let's move on to the next one. This is over on the WP Tavern, Sarah Gooding. We're gonna feature a few bits from the Tavern as we most often do.
It's very often a podcast where we just talk about things that are on the Tavern, and there'll be a bit of that today. I'm afraid Sarah Gooding wrote a piece on the 7th of April. She called it WordPress contributors. How 6.0 walked through now? I don't know if this is a first or if they've been, or if they've done this before, I feel like it's a first.
It feels to me ever since WordPress 5.0, came around and let's rewind the clock. We're back in. Whoa, what was it? 20 something. And WordPress 5.0, came around and in, into that release of WordPress was snuck Gutenberg, but it wasn't snuck, but you get the point. Gothenburg came along and a lot of people at that point points felt that the communication had been poor from the team who were releasing these core updates, especially the point releases 5.0 6.9.
And there was quite a lot of soul searching. I think people like Josepha, Haden, John posy, who's the executive director. She made it very public that she wanted you to know how things could be improved. Off the back of that over the last few years, we've had people like Anna McCarthy during the full site editing outreach program and what have you.
And then this popped up, which I just thought was a really curious, and Bravo actually is what I'd say to this. It looks like we had a zoom call last week. And it does actually say that, but there it is, it says right at the top first of a kind event, and basically anybody was invited to show up and get a bit of an eye, a bit of an eye insights I should say, into what's coming around in WordPress 6.0, now we could go into what all the features are there listed on the page.
It says WordPress 6.0 is set to include approximately 400 updates. Including 500 bug fixes. There's going to be a style switcher. There's going to be there's going to be templates for author date, category tag taxonomy. There's a whole load of stuffing during the web fonts API and more, but my, the reason I've raised this is I just wondered what you guys thought about this.
Do you think this stuff is just shouting into the wind or does this help? If 129, I think was the number of people show up, obviously compared to the user base of WordPress, that's a fairly small number, but I think for an initiative like this that's a pretty decent number. So I'm just going to throw this out to both of you and see what you think about something like this.
Basically the.org side, trying to tell you what they're doing in advance, not just put it into your WordPress update.
Nobody, no one
[00:12:50] Robert Rowley: I can say,
[00:12:52] Nathan Wrigley: yeah, the problem is one of these things, isn't it? It's so easy to be polite and everybody, sometimes it's better if I just say isn't it and I'll just, okay, so Jess, you go first.
[00:13:03] Jessica Frick: Oh, goodness. At the risk of sounding controversial, I will say people hate it when we don't tell them in advance.
And then they get frustrated when we do. Courtney just mentioned detailed notes for the recap outline and just transcription. It's a great way to ask folks to test out the things coming. I completely agree. I'm a big fan of advanced communication. I think that wordpress.org did a great thing. Shout out to everybody that is involved with make, because make WordPress is super important.
And I think the team did a really good job of capturing everything in advance because this is a collaborative approach and the community is what makes it, so I guess,
[00:13:51] Nathan Wrigley: Ken. Nice. We need a little puddle. Each of us should have had a puddle. I've
[00:13:57] Jessica Frick: got a, I got a flag.
[00:14:03] Nathan Wrigley: yeah, I'll just get ahold of Ted as well. Yeah. Thank you for that. That's an interesting insight. And Robert, what's your thoughts on this? Yeah
[00:14:11] Robert Rowley: Security is where I come from and communication with security is key. When anybody I've met in the past that has tried to handle security issues in the, like in the dark it comes up, it comes back much worse, almost always.
So in this case, obviously this has nothing to do with security. This has all features and things like that, but I think it's is so critically important to to communicate what the changes are. And I know the WordPress team has done that in the past. I've seen it with 5.0 and the releases prior, but to do it, you get to go even more and try to push further, like having zoom meetings, having people there, you had allows a, a time in.
We can have this chat right now and then we're going to move on with the six point over these.
[00:14:52] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, I've got to say that's the point. Isn't it? It was an interactive call where people could watch what was happening on the screen and obviously in joining the chat and what have you it would seem according to Sarah's re terrorists reporting anyway, that they think it was a success because I just put the quote back up.
I can't remember who said it, it looks like it was done. said that they're considering making these types of loans. Product demonstrations, more frequent and I'll quote, based on the positive experience among the panelists and attendees, I believe it is feasible that another walkthrough could take place close to the release date, as well as become a regular part of the communication cycle for feature releases.
I've got to say, I would far rather watch something than be a part of a difficult to follow slack channel that I was personally unable to be in 24 7. So this type of approach, I'm not denigrating anything by the way. I'm just saying this just works for me. Obviously. I like doing video. I like consuming audio.
Those kinds of that kind of makeup works for me. Yeah. Thank you. Courtney said in the comments here, she said detailed notes for the recap, outline and transcription. Okay. Thank you. It's a great way to ask folks to test out the things coming. That's good. And then she's responding to you. That Jess, she says so true about how people receive the news.
Let's keep telling folk and directing them through testing and where, how to log feedback proactively. Yeah. I also feel that like it taps into the younger generation a bit better, the YouTube generation who certainly my children would rather watch than read. I don't know if that's ubiquitous across the planet, but it feels like they're really into watching tutorials, not necessarily reading tutors, but that could just be my little enclave of the world.
Okay. That was the first. Next piece coming up. Okay. This, where do we go with this? This is going to be, but yeah,
that's how it was the view. Not watching this. Jessica, literally just head. This is in fact I've got four stories covering the exact same story. We won't dwell on them all, this is just part of a growing business, right? I am genuinely not here to bash anybody, but it's a story. It came out this week and it's definitely newsworthy.
So four pieces. First one is over on wordpress.com. So this is not about your.org, nothing for the next 10 minutes or whatever it about the.org side of things. This is all about some, probably let's say that there were some missteps last week in terms of communicating the pricing of.com website. I do not have any.com websites.
That's just my thing. I would rather spin up a server and plunk some dot or goodness on there, but lots of people do many millions in fact, and on certain levels you can have wordpress.com website absolutely free. You don't have to pay a single penny and then you might pay a little bit more and you get more features and you pay a little bit more and you get more features and a little bit more and you get more features.
At least that was the way it was always. Until last week when the pricing basically went to one plan and they describe it in this article is introducing WordPress pro one plan, infinite possibilities, and I'll just quote says hello, pro one thing heard over the years was how hard it can be to choose the right upgrade plan when you're ready to scale up from free WordPress pro radically simplifies that decision by rolling the very best of managed WordPress hosting into a single affordable plan at just $15 per.
Paid annually. Okay. That sounds great. But what wasn't really necessarily communicated here was that in, if you if you didn't, if you previously had a WordPress plan, you could pay significantly less. I think it was around the five, $4 mark, and you could get three gigs of storage. And as far as memory serves you had no caps on bandwidth.
Whereas what this new Tia does. It's $15, which, in terms of WordPress hosting, isn't astronomical. I can certainly point you to lots of things, which would be more expensive, but your allowance on the free plan has now gone from three gigabytes down to 500 megabytes. So that has been six months try saying that after you've had a couple of drinks that has been six, maybe made a sixth bigger, and they've also put in some constraints on how many page views you can have.
10,000 visits was what was communicated. Now you can imagine how well this went down and it was quickly rolled back. It looks like lots of press in lots of different parts of the WordPress ecosystem got hold of this and, WP drama, it all got fled. Sarah Gooding wrote a piece about it on WP Tavern about the fact that the limits have changed and so on and so forth and pulled apart the pricing and the way it had been messaged.
The fact that lots and lots of different plans have now been rolled into one plan. And the fact that it's all very well saying that $15 a month is an affordable plan. I guess that depends where you live and how much money you've got in your back pocket. So fast forward a couple of days, and this is what you'd hope, right?
If there was a furor from the community, rather than isolating yourself from it and saying, Nope, that's what we're doing. They decided to modify things. So they've doubled or thirded depending on which way you look at it, they doubled the storage from 500 Meg to a gig bear in mind. That's still a third of the size that it was previously.
If memory serves, they've taken away all the constraints in terms of page views. But anyway, it looks like this was a bit of a PR cluster, shall we say last week? And I think that's about as much as it as I can say. So I'm going to hand it over. And did you, were you insulated from this, Robert, did this affect you where you in any way affect me in any way?
No. Aside from reading a
[00:21:16] Robert Rowley: few articles, all the points you made were exactly what I read and I agree with. Yeah. A lot of it comes down to where you are is $15 too much or
[00:21:23] Nathan Wrigley: not. Yeah. Because if you are on the $5 plan and you were very happy over there oh massive caveat. Sorry. I should have said this right at the beginning.
This is not for older. This is this. You are grandfathered into what you had, which is very important that I should have said that at the start. This is if you are now making a new website, so anything that you've already got, you can stop worrying. You're not going to have to dig into it, make your pocket slightly deeper.
You'll find, but if you want to make a new website, then you will need to dig a little bit deeper. Possibly Jessica, I don't know how you've been riding this during the week. I don't know if this has been a news feature in your cycle. I expect it has possibly more than Robert and me.
[00:22:07] Jessica Frick: Again, pressable is a different brand than automatic.
And so principal plans haven't changed, but I can tell you that we obviously support our family [email protected] Rather than make my statement to repeat. We've hosted countless millions of freaks and traffic for 17 years and we want to do so for 17 more. And that means it needs to be sustainable.
I've had you not made the point. I was going to make it as well. People on legacy plans are free to stay there. I think a lot of people got frustrated. And how do I say this nicely? I think a lot of people with opinions weren't even using wordpress.com.
[00:22:53] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, here's me right talking about it. And I, all I'm doing is like blowing more hotter
[00:22:59] Jessica Frick: again, though.
This is me speaking, not my company's thoughts in any way that was 100% just for XO, let send all your hate mail to me. I think it's great for people to have opinions, but I just think that, the people that are actually using wordpress.com love it. People are using the free plan.
They log in there every single day. They blog every single day. And again, with, at the risk of sounding like I'm going to do an infomercial principal.com. If you don't like the $15 plan, there are other options available for you in the.
[00:23:36] Nathan Wrigley: The thing which I found most interesting was just the range of opinions, because, you put out a blog post and typically you're lucky to get one or two comments, over on the Tavern, which has got a big audience.
Sometimes the comment thread can stretch for multiple and very often there'll be one or two, this this got sort of six pages of comments and lots and lots of different people. And I think the big. There were some people who are putting a very, nuanced opinion saying, it's fine.
I'm okay with that. It's completely fine. There were other people who were really talking about reputational damage though, and they were saying that they felt this was the Mo the moment where they were going to go and look for other solutions. And in fact, I can't find it now because the six pages of these comments and blow me, I'm never going to find it.
But I did see instances where people said, I am throwing in the towel and I'm going to go and move my site to two weeks. For example, that was one comment that I remembered. And I guess that's the bit that hurts.
[00:24:41] Jessica Frick: I think at the risk of, undercutting my employer I will say that the technology that wordpress.com is built on is superior to a lot of other solutions.
It's fantastic. It's rock solid, automatic fail over, and it can scale with you. And I think that. Having to pay $15 a month is extremely reasonable for what you're getting. It would be a shame for someone to leave the entire WordPress ecosystem because they have to pay a little bit more to get something that's worth.
[00:25:16] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah.
[00:25:16] Robert Rowley: Yeah. I think if they go to Wix, they're going to be back. One of the changes to on this $15 a month account is that they get all of the plugins. Now, unlike before with the $4 $8 accounts, they were limited on the plugins that you could install. This is now it's in my room security related. So it's going to open up a lot of people to get extendability on their website a lot.
And also the responsibility of keeping your plugins up to
[00:25:39] Nathan Wrigley: date. Do you know that's a really, that's a really fascinating point and we. We did address that a couple of weeks ago, or the fact that the repository of.org plugins is going over. Yeah, that's interesting. And I didn't see that as part of the messaging, or at least I didn't catch that anywhere as a part of the here's a feature that you're getting.
And it's a great big benefit, but with a few people making the opposite point, actually, and just in the comments saying, I don't want all of that. I just want a basic website and I don't care for the 50,000 plugins or whatever, but yeah. I just thought it was quite interesting, yeah.
So there we go. If you are getting a new wordpress.com website, this will affect you, but nice to see at least the people listening and maybe. Making an alterations, we'll see where that goes. But I got four pieces here. I'll link to them all in the show notes. There's one on WP Tavern.
There's another one [email protected] And there's a couple more on WP tapping, but basically this sort of say the same thing, but the story changed over the week which is quite right where rare in the WordPress space. He's normally just a story. And then another story, and then a different story.
This one actually had two or three, two or three day news cycle, which was quite nice as things got updated. Okay.
[00:26:58] Jessica Frick: And before we go, though, I just like to point out that shows that wordpress.com has listed.
[00:27:03] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah. The sorry you carry on. I apologize.
[00:27:07] Jessica Frick: No, I was just going to say they're listening and they're receptive to feedback, which is not something that you see everywhere
[00:27:12] Nathan Wrigley: else.
Yeah. In fact, now let me get the person's name. Who was it? Who put out the statement I forgotten. Was it Dave? Somebody, I forget. Apologies to whoever it was. Yeah they stepped in fairly quickly and said, Basically Dave Martin. Thank you. Dave Martin said that has been their tactic on the wordpress.com site for a period of time, they would release a new thing and then wait for a few days, see how it had gone get some feedback and then publicly comment about it.
And that seems to have worked, when you're fiddling with pricing and plans, maybe that was something that they need to address. So it sounds like they're not going to do that in the future. They're going to possibly communicate those changes, which kind of links back to what we saw a second ago over on the.org side with the release of 6.0, I know I've got all the hands going on this week.
Just look at me. Yeah. Yeah, I'm waving my hands a lot for those who are listening and maybe the.com side can do more of these videos. This is what we're thinking of doing and so on, but I guess it's different. It's a commercial entity, so it can do what it likes. Any of you use elements.
Elemental uses either of you.
[00:28:36] Robert Rowley: I
[00:28:37] Jessica Frick: nine active. Yeah. I don't actively use it, but I've used it to test it, learn it. And I've used it in
[00:28:43] Nathan Wrigley: the past. Okay. This is our next piece. The elemental guys have got a fairly sizeable thing coming. This is really cool. So cool. In fact, it's not just a blog post, it's an entire sub domain.
It's called flex introducing Flexbox containers. Now I'm going to butcher what flex box does. I know in principle what it does and I fiddled with it, but I fiddled with other people's implementations of it. I haven't really explored the guts of how it all works, but If you've been using a variety of different building tools and you've ever come across Flexbox you'll know that it allows you to have really customizable highly complex designs, and you can create them much more easily than traditional ways of doing it.
And up until this point page builders. For example element or everything has been done in kind of rows and grids and so on, which means that they've been constrained, but now they have this new implementation of Flexbox. And like I said, you can find it [email protected] flexbox.elemental.com.
Yes, I did get that right. It's an element of 3.6 and essentially you can go and have a play. You can go to their little playground and start to fiddle and see if it's for you. I don't know, in terms of when it's going to be released or any of that, or if you're going to be able to just one click import your old designs, or if you're just going to have to suddenly move everything over to this, I don't really know.
But anyway, there it is. I just thought I'd raise the awareness for the community that Flexbox has come to element or a no doubt. If you're a hardcore element or user, this will be of great interest, but maturation of a bloomin' massive tool. 10% of WordPress. Last time I looked so it's 4 million websites, sorry.
4% of the web allegedly is using Elementor, which is a pretty astonishing claim. So again let's go with Robert. If he's got anything to add, perhaps. No I'm
[00:30:52] Robert Rowley: not a designer, but I did go through this page. And I think when you scroll down with it, it was pretty cool. I have no idea if that's what the,
[00:31:01] Nathan Wrigley: that's, what they're actually doing.
Just the videos, th if there's one company in the WordPress space and maybe Robert, you don't go to the elements or press releases. If there's one company in the WordPress space who absolutely kill PR is element, or they just do such a brilliant job whenever they produce a video, and I'd like a video explaining their latest updates.
It's done, like in a studio, they've obviously paid to have pros and all the lighting and the proper cameras and everything like that. They don't muck around, but obviously I would imagine if they've got 10, 10% of WordPress, 4% of the web, they've probably got fairly deep pockets, but Jess, anything.
[00:31:46] Jessica Frick: I just think it's cool to see how all of these page builders are advancing. I think when Gutenberg came out, everybody said it was going to be the death of ELA mentor and beaver builder, and Devi. And that has not been what has happened. In fact, they're continuing to flourish. People are adopting Gutenberg and they're loving it finally.
But I think that we're seeing a real revolution with this kind of stuff. Going back to the person you mentioned who wants to go to Wix? I think the future of WordPress is going to include more page builders like this, that rival and exceed.
[00:32:27] Nathan Wrigley: It just looks so nice. This, I've no idea what the sort of page load sizes or anything, but it is, it's like you say, it's just beautifully done.
Isn't it as so many little or little things happening on the page. Lots of little scrolls and failure within the scrolls and then images, which get overlayed by other images you scroll up. It's just beautiful, but I think they've done a really good job. Anyway. Shout out to elemental. Flexbox dot element or.com is where you need to be going to look into it all.
Speaking of which I should, I didn't mention, but I'm going to, I'm just going to quickly type in a URL as we were, Jess was just saying about page builders and all that. If you are into page builders For you it's called the page builder summit. And if you know me you'll know that I'm organizing it with Anshan LaRue, it's happening.
As you can see there from the 20th to the 24th of June. So in a couple of months from now, and we'll probably have, as we have done before we finalize in the speakers list at the minute, but there's usually about 40 speakers, something along those lines. And if you are into it, come and join this page.
It's page builder, summit.com. Click on this button here joined the waitlist and all that does, is it sticks you on our wait list, mailing list. And we'll tell you when we've got some more information, we firmed up the speaker list and so on. If you're watching this.
[00:33:53] Jessica Frick: Yeah, it sounds amazing. How much do I need to save up to a
[00:33:56] Nathan Wrigley: 10?
Oh my goodness. Jess, it's a good job. You should ask it. It all comes at the price of free nothing, no dot that was beautifully done. We have a system where it's completely free to join. If you want to watch for, we're going to do it 48 hours this time. If you want to watch the content, you have 48 hours to consume that content completely dry artists.
And then the, after that we have an upsell called the power pack. And if you want to buy that. Probably starts low and goes up towards the event. So you have to get in early kind of thing, early bird type stuff. But yeah, if you're interested in that, go to page builder, summit.com and if you fancy sponsoring it, there's a little sponsor link down here.
If you're from one of those great big companies like pressable or patch stack, or that was it companies, then there's a little link here. It says interested in sponsoring the summit, find out more and you can find out more if you do that, and that's not free. It's totally not free, but there we go.
Page builder, summit.com. Let's move on. I don't know if this is just me. I think probably if I'd have done this on another week with different guests, maybe nobody would have thought this was interesting, but I find this fascinating. This is to say that Jetpack, if you're a Jetpack user, you've got all those extra features that they keep throwing in.
There's a couple of features which have been added to jet pack this week. One of them, which I think is dead call, actually, I think they're both dead cool, but maybe you'll have a different opinion. I am finding QR codes. Everywhere in my world at the minute. Literally everywhere. I went to a shop the other day and I got a receipt and there was a QR code on the bottom of the receipt.
I didn't do anything with it, but I'm presuming that, that receipt links back to a copy of my receipt online or something so that if I dunno, I could somehow photograph it and take my phone in and say, look, I need to return these items. I'm seeing it on like tags of clothes. I'm seeing it on a street lamps caveat.
Emptor don't ever click on a QR code on a street lamp because while Robert can tell us more about that. But I just see them everywhere. They're ubiquitous. And even my parents can use QR codes and it's just such a simple way of condensing. Everybody's got a phone, put a really fat, long URL, stick it in an image and take a photograph of it and get people to.
To come to your online properties. So they've added that little feature in look, that's what it looks like. You basically create some content, you click a button, you create a QR code, then you go print it out and put it on a street lamp, and people like Robert come along and say, stop to have a think before.
Take a photograph of that image. So that's thing let's deal with that first. And then we'll talk about the other bit Robert, why shouldn't we be taking photos of QR codes in streets? You
[00:36:54] Robert Rowley: should, but I think at first check first trust, but verify the QR code is just a, it's like a bar code.
It has data within it, and it doesn't necessarily have to be a usual. But normally it's just a URL and it'll send you to a webpage. It tested out with your phone first and make sure your phone, you do a safe QR code. First, test it out, scan it with your app on your phone. Mini camera apps. We'll scan QR codes for you and make sure you can read the URL or read the data before you actually start doing something on your phone.
That's the big danger is that if you're using a QR code app that will automatically open up your browser and start going to a web page. Who knows what webpage that is, who knows what the purpose is? Malicious webpages unfortunately do exist. And people posting, QR codes online, or sorry on lampposts would be a very strange, but technically a way to spread.
Malware, but I don't think that there's been many public cases of this. So I should clarify. It certainly has happened because I think I've done it in the past. Just having fun at conferences, security conferences, I should say, not word camps, having fun at conferences where I trick people to do to go to various webpages and or high data within those my favorite was adding.
I at a conference, they had a QR code for my badge information. So my email address and my name and et cetera. Of course I went through and I found out that's just the data blob. So I added my own data and possibly corrupted, a lot of marketing people's CSVs, but that's just the security conferences I consider this fair
[00:38:32] Nathan Wrigley: game.
That's right. Yeah. If you go to a secret
[00:38:35] Robert Rowley: trap tables, I'm Bobby also Bobby, and it was the name. I had the Bobby drop tables badge.
[00:38:47] Nathan Wrigley: Oh, yeah. Can I just dwell on that? I listened to a security podcast every week on the twit network called security. Now I don't know if you've come across it. Robert it's with Steve
[00:38:57] Nathan Wrigley: is very good. And he was saying that there's a bit of a spike in, so imagine for example, you go to a conference like the one that you've just mentioned and you spot a legitimate use of the QR code.
What, see what seems to be happening? Not a lot, but is going on. Is that people just literally printed. A QR code of exactly the same size as the legit. One bit of sticky tape on the buttons, whack it over the top. And all of a sudden you've hijacked what looks like a totally authentic it was underneath the dodgy QR code is your, you've put yours on top basically.
And you've subverted that advert. You can't do that online. But if I was to go into a shop and start sticking it on their things, there would be nothing to stop me. And I am, I'm almost certain we're going to see that kind of stuff happening, especially in like high profile areas. If you could get into some major department store in the UK and stick a QR code on something at the till or something like that, even if you only get 20 minutes of traffic going through and clicking on your link, that might well be in inverted commerce worth it.
But anyway, just QR codes. You're a big fan.
[00:40:11] Jessica Frick: My husband's in food and beverage. My son works at a smoothie shop. I think QR codes had a wonderful year in 20, 20 and 2021 because everybody started going to paperless menus. And all of a sudden, everybody had to learn how to do a QR code on their phone if they wanted to figure out what to eat.
And my son works at a smoothie shop and they they don't have an app to order ahead, but they have a QR code at the exit saying order ahead next time. And if you scan the QR code, it adds an entry to your address book with their phone number and their website. So I think people are using it in cool and interesting ways.
And I think it's smart for jet pack to incorporate it because, I don't know if my son's smoothie shop is using jet pack, but now I have to check. But I will say that how easy is it to have something built by your website that you could just go and put anywhere and have all of that controlled from the same place?
I think it's super smart and love him, or don't love him. I think you, our codes are here to stay for a little bit.
[00:41:17] Nathan Wrigley: I saw a really nice implementation of it and it was just, I don't know what it's like in the U S but basically when a house goes on for sale here, they stick a wooden post in the ground, outside that house.
And then there's this big sign that we just call it a for sale sign. And it basically says for sale, typically, it's got the number of the real realtor you call it, we call them estate agents. And the idea is that you phone back and you make an appointment to go and say some clever person is now printing those boards with the QR code embedded in it.
So it's not a sticker. It's actually in the print process for that board somehow. And so you can then just as you're walking past the house, You can see what's on the inside. You can get directly to the photos. And I thought that's genius because how many times have I walked past properties and thought, do you know I'm really?
And then I forget, I'm really, I like that. I want to know more about it. And then I just wander on and forget. Whereas if I'd had the chance to see inside and what is it like, what are the rooms like? What's the garden like and so on. So I thought that was cool. And I saw quite a few people doing it as well.
And the Def.
[00:42:26] Robert Rowley: Did that replace the pamphlets that were there before, like before QR codes, pamphlets in the scientists? Yes. We're always gone look at a house they're always gone, but a QR code that can't get used up so that,
[00:42:39] Nathan Wrigley: but we never used that strategy in the UK. And I would imagine that the word precipitation, this is why we never had conflicts because it would within 24 hours just to be a soggy, completely soggy mess of pamphlets.
So yeah, we never did do that, but okay. That was point number one, QR codes, dead call. I can imagine they're going to just grow and grow, but this one, I love this. This is open verse, which is the freely available resource of images, which
[00:43:09] Nathan Wrigley: being uploaded by people, such as Michelle for shit. Who's in the comments.
So essentially we've talked about this a few times, open verse, if you wish to make your. Available on open verse, you cam, and then they will be available to anybody. And now if you've got the Jetpack plugin previously, you had the option to do things like your media library, obviously, and Google photos was in there as well, but now the open versus going to be in there.
So the ability to get completely free images, where for a fact that there's no constraints on the licensing, whatever you put in there is yours to do with, as you'd that's now in there. So essentially it's, there it is. It's just a button. You can see it on the screen, select an image, pick open verse browse the resource, a little modal pops up with a search box, do a bit of searching, click a button, and you're in.
And I think this is absolutely brilliant. We talked on the show a few weeks ago about this, and we were thinking that maybe in the future, hopefully in the future, you will be able to make your own images in your own media library. Available on the open versus some point in the future. So basically if you own a website, any image that you throw in there, you could toggle a button and say, can we make this one available against my name in the open verse?
So that's cool. So again, I'll throw that out. Maybe we'll go Jess first this time.
[00:44:33] Jessica Frick: I just think it's a brilliant idea. I love it. And I love I love seeing photos from friends that I know, they don't make a big deal out of who uploaded them, Michelle's are in there, like you said, I have a couple other friends who've submitted photos and it's just exciting.
And I think it's, it speaks to the heart of WordPress. Sharon, like y'all
[00:44:56] Nathan Wrigley: yeah. Yeah. That's it. That's it. That should become the slogan democratizing publishing. If you go share and share a lot, I like that. Yeah. Robert, your thoughts. I
[00:45:10] Robert Rowley: mean, it's the same. I really do enjoy the fact that they found they made, they built a platform, right?
This wasn't designed, it was built. They're running the servers to maintain this network of these images are, creative comments. Anybody can use it share and share like and I think that's that, that tikis into something that makes WordPress.
[00:45:31] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah. And the fact that it's totally free and your dashboard is, yeah, sublimely cool.
So yeah, jet pack. If you're a user of that, you've got two new fabulous features right inside your WordPress dashboard. Okay. Let's move on. I just want to talk a conversation around this. This is just in Tagalog on the Tavern. Once again he's talking about the fact that he's stumbled across this block based theme called Grigor.
I presume you've pronounced that as Greek aura. And he talks about the benefits of it. He talks about things that he likes. Like he's got a built in sidebar, which he thinks is cool. Cause most block-based themes don't have this, even though, it's looks like most designers these days do away with the sidebar pretty early on, but nevertheless, and he's managed to build himself a nice thing.
But his point in this article is that he likes themes, which don't do very much. He, I think he calls it like a starter theme and essentially all it does is it provides you with the groundwork and then it's up to you. So it doesn't come with bells and whistles. It doesn't come with, you can do portfolios and we've already taken care of the CSS to give all your images, rounded corners and all of that.
It's just bare bones. It's on you to make it feel nice. So that was the conversation that I had to have around this. Do you guys, when you create your WordPress websites, do you go for like a starter theme like this, which is really bad, or do you go out and hunt for a theme which closely matches the bit that let's say the industry or whatever it is that you, you want to do?
Ah, Do what Justin does. I pick a bare bones theme, something like generate press works beautifully for me. It's got very little in terms of styling at the beginning. And but I have to do the work to make it look nice. Yeah. I'm just curious as to which model you go down fully featured theme or something bad like this, I start with Robert this time.
[00:47:23] Robert Rowley: Yeah, I'm definitely one of the bare bones. Like I don't need the bells and whistles. In fact, sometimes the bells and whistles caused some problems and I'd like to have to update a theme for a security issue or something of the such. But the big one that, that I do is my favorite theme is the 2020s or the 20 series.
I'd hate to say the stuff with the real basics. And I forgot, which I think is 2019 is like my favorite or 2018, which, because it's already simple and it's just every, it's all the basics, what you need. And I start with that. And then if I are, the site gets bigger, then I'll consider a more mature theme.
[00:47:55] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah. That's interesting. Yeah, Jess,
[00:48:00] Jessica Frick: so mines. Mine's a little interesting because I worked for studio press for so long. I am a believer and a lifelong lover of Genesis and all of its themes. As far as this black stuff goes, I love frost WP. It's another Brian Gardner release and I think it's absolutely brilliant.
Do I go hunting? Yeah. To the Genesis library or to frost? My website has a non Genesis theme, but that's just because I saw somebody else have it on their website and I liked it. Yeah.
[00:48:41] Nathan Wrigley: That could sometimes be the best way to stumble across things. Isn't it? You just, you find somebody something that somebody has done.
And I confess that I did that. Not that long ago, I just saw something that somebody, a domino quick inspection figured out what the theme was and thought, yep. That'll do for this little simple thing is the frost WP thing. If memory serves that's a selection of block patterns, isn't it? Which you can then just Chuck into whichever theme you like, but in your case it would most likely be a Genesis based theme.
[00:49:08] Jessica Frick: That's right. It's a full site editing theme. And I think it's absolutely brilliant. It's clean, it's fast and it's everything that you would want it to be. I don't know that it's exactly like you're saying a starter bare bones. But I'm okay with that because I. I like easy.
[00:49:26] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah. It's, you were saying that you've been in Genesis right?
From the beginning. I feel like if we were having, if we were doing this podcast eight, 10 years ago maybe not as much as 10, quite a lot of years ago we would be talking every single week about Genesis. It would a bit just been what everybody was talking about. The a significant proportion of the people would have been using does the Genesis community and that theme, does it still have that same strengths behind it?
Are there still people who are as passionate about it and if you need problem solving with it, you can still find answers over there. Yes.
[00:50:04] Jessica Frick: But I will say that since WP engine acquired it along, the studio press hosting back when some years ago I think that it changed its role in the market, but there are absolutely still people that are devoted to Genesis.
It absolutely still has the support and the innovation Because, quite frankly it has the WP engine money behind it, so they can afford to continue doing awesome things with it. And the work that they're doing now with blocks, they're really moving with the industry as opposed to just continuing.
And I think it's really smart.
[00:50:43] Nathan Wrigley: When I came into WordPress, it was about the time when Genesis I failed was probably at its peak. And so all of the people were talking about Genesis all of the time, but then really soon after I came into the space, these page builders came along and all of a sudden I was pretty much hooked on those and thought, this is just such a great tool for making my job easier.
And I'll accept the limitations of the fact that everything's constrained in a row and all of that. But it, so that whole Genesis thing passed me by, I think if I'd come in six months earlier, I probably would have gone all in on Genesis and maybe not quite so much with the page builders, but anyway, there we go.
Yeah. Okay. So that's the result of that one. Where is my toggle there? It's right. Great. Okay. Let's flip out of WordPress for a bit. We've got about roughly half an hour. I don't know if we'll stretch the episode out this week to half an hour. We've got a few stories left. This one I just think is really interesting.
And I don't know what people are going to make of this because over the last period of time lots and lots of SAS platforms have come out. You can probably name two or two or three. I would imagine things like what was it called, Jarvis and things like that, where you could use GP T3, which is like an AI language model.
And you could essentially tell it, I would like you to create some content for me around this topic and you'd supply it with some basic information and it would go off and. Unbelievably would come back with something that wasn't drivel. How have we got to the point where you can even do that, but you can.
Now the obvious problem is if you can create long pieces of content and all you need to do is supply it with a little seed of knowledge and get it started what's to stop people from simply abusing the system and constantly churning out content, which is human readable feels like it's been written by a human but never really touched to humans.
And you put out a 10,000 word article one day and another one the next day and another one the next day, you're basically trying to gain SEO now, not saying that's the way that everybody uses. We'll come to that in a minute, but here we go, Google and have now taken a posture on this.
This is search engine journal, Google SAIS. Wow. This is big. Google says that AI generated content is against its guidelines. I'll quote, content generated automatically using AI. Writing tools is against Google's webmaster guidelines, say search advocate, John Mueller. And if you know anything about search engines, he's the guy really isn't he he said that automatic generating content generated with a writing tools is considered spam.
According to the search engines, webmaster guides, the content written in this way falls under the category of auto-generated content, which could lead to a manual penalty. I don't really know what that means. And there's essentially, there's lots more descriptions of the same thing, but here's the role.
It would appear that Google doesn't really yet know how to spot also generated content. And so here's the question it says, can Google understand the difference between content written by humans and content written by machines? Mueller makes no claims about Google's detecting AI written content automatically.
He says, I can't claim for them, but for us, if we something that is automatically generated, then web the web spun team can definitely take action on that. I don't know how the future will evolve, but I imagine like any other with these technologies, there will be a little bit of cat and mouse. Don't, it, this is going to be the story going on for years.
Isn't it? Where sometimes people will do something and they'll get away with it. And then the web steps I'm team catches up and solves the issue on a broader scale. And there's more, but basically that encapsulates it perfectly. So now you need to be mindful if you are using these tools to literally create content.
You need to be careful. I had a conversation on the podcast with Andrew Palmer and Vito Paluch who have a product, a plugin called Bertha AI, which uses GED, a GP T3. And they were at great pains during that conversation to say the best way to use, oh, sorry, Vito and under if I'm misquoting you, but you did go to great lengths to say the best way to use it is to seed content and then write it based upon the ideas that are given to you.
So there's no indication that if you do that, if it's, if you are literally just getting ideas for how paragraphs might be structured or pieces of, ideas for the content flow or the different topic, ideas, things that you hadn't thought about before and ways of phrasing things, there's no sense of that, but it would appear now that Google definitely want you to go in and at the very least edit.
The bits and pieces that you're doing. So with that in mind, it feels like a whole industry has grown up over the last year or two, trying to sell this like snake oil as the solution to all of your content creation needs. Now we might find that was folly. I don't know either of you doing this, tried this, played with this regretting, this let's start with.
[00:56:16] Jessica Frick: I think Robert and the chat made a really good point. AI is okay to do show notes for a podcast, but not for the blog post. And I think that there are good uses for AI. For example, when it comes to transcriptions, I use a service called Simon that I think is brilliant and it's AI driven and it gets most of it.
And so the fact that I can feed in something and have it spit out the content is fantastic. But what I use that to write a whole blog post it's based on somebody's words Simon didn't come up with them. A different situation. I think when it comes to using computers to write entire blog posts, you're taking the heart out of it.
And yeah, I think that, could you sure would they know? I don't know, but it takes away the whole point of doing this, we're writing to share ideas. We're writing to educate, we're writing to make a case for something having a computer, do your work for you.
[00:57:29] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Do you think so in your case, I don't know how frequently you blog or anything like that, but in your case, that's obviously holding true for you and your writing things, because you have something that you wish to say.
I'm just wondering on the sort of slightly darker side of the web. If you like, where people are literally writing to gain SEO in order to drive traffic in order to then show you a banner ad for something, how it goes, this, that concern doesn't even exist. And I guess my concern is that if this stuff is being pumped out a rate, which only a computer can pump things out.
It's the internet just going to be sub come. So deluged with content that it's going to become almost impossible in the years to come for Google, to give us anything meaningful, because really all that we've, rewind 10 years when all you had to do was click right in the footer of your website, tons of keywords, make it the same color as the back.
The background color was the same as the text color. So it was in that was enough. You could do it. And Google being like, look lugs or content there. That's great. And rank you now. They've gotten much more clever. But now you're pitting the Google's AI to spot the fraud, the AI content against the AI content writing machines.
So you've just got AI content being read by Google being created. And it's just this tennis of all look more hands. It's just this tennis. It's just this tennis of AI gets better. Google has to catch up. Hey, but, and in the meantime, the entire enterprise of the internet gets flooded with stuff that really nobody wants potentially to read because there's been no human in it at all.
[00:59:12] Jessica Frick: A couple of thoughts on what you just said. Number one, Google is not the only search engine. But number two, I For me, it's a moral thing. Yeah. Not everybody lives by morals. That's why they call it black hat SEO. But number three, their entire teams dedicated at Google and some of these other places to ensure the best experience possible.
And I guarantee you, they're going to figure out a way to find out how they're doing this.
[00:59:42] Nathan Wrigley: How are they going to figure that out? That must be such an interesting puzzle to unlock
[00:59:47] Jessica Frick: probably some Bobby trap tape drop tables, friends over there. I dunno.
[00:59:54] Robert Rowley: Don't
[00:59:55] Jessica Frick: transcribe that.
[01:00:00] Robert Rowley: It's really interesting. The yeah, what they're doing with what Jess mentioned earlier, it's like the heart of it, and I've gone to, and I've actually searched Google or other search engines in my life. But the other day I actually searched and I came across an article and the article was useless because to me, when I use a search engine, I have a problem.
I'm trying to research information and I'm trying to find solutions. And when the article is just telling me, it's just regurgitating this basic information, it's just, it's useless to me. Maybe we see this mostly on the recipe websites, right? Like I want the recipe and the good recipe websites give me the link right away.
They don't force the ads on me, but the bad recipe websites, maybe, if that's all AI generated content it was just there. Or if it wasn't even AI generated content, I didn't not need to know about that person's day and about how they spent the day at a Boba shop or something in order to get my recipe for a pumpkin puree pie.
So it's that thing is like in the end, it w who had harms is Google's product, right? Because when I search a thing and I know in the little search bar at the Google or Bing, or what the other one's duck go, I should mention, since I'm a security guy you need to get the results that are relative relevant for what you're looking for.
And I think that's what Google was protecting here. And we saw what they're doing now, what they admitted in the article is they're doing human or manual. That's what they mean. They're painting humans against AI. And maybe this will be the great story of a, of our generation of humans fighting off AI bots of bad content.
[01:01:34] Nathan Wrigley: That's beautifully put isn't it because maybe this is an act, maybe this is a moment where. The real quality stuff can start to rise to the top because rather than just automating everything on Google insert name of search engine, the there's a job for humans to do. And they're going to notice that boy this blog has been doing this wonderful stuff for years.
Let's give it the extra credential that it needs, because it really does look like a humans done that. And I would imagine that over time their technology will pick up. Maybe it's the way that the sentences are passed or, the use of certain grammatical phrases or something like that, that they can figure out what the AI based content is.
But yeah, maybe it's an opportunity for the human to get involved again and give an extra bit of ranking push to the websites that actually are obviously doing the real work behind the scenes, by the way. Don't, if you've come across this one before new search engine for. Which I've now flipped over to, I've been using.dot go exclusively for about two years.
And then the other day I came across a new one. I think I mentioned it on last week's episode. And it's a search engine created by the guy who created managed WP. And it's called and you spell it. K a G R e.com. At the minute you have to join a wait list, but I joined the wait list and it took about two weeks and it is in beta and it's going to be paid for search.
You're going to have to pay them every year to be able to use their search engine. Do you know what on the basis of what I've seen so far, I'm going to pay. Because there's no commercial interest apart from the ability to make the search better and better, they're not going to be, they've got no thoughts about advertising.
They're just going to work on a paid for model. And I just think that's really ingenious and I'm a heavy user of the internet. I imagine that for the vast majority of people, that would be really the kind of money that it's no way are people going to pay for search, but if they can get 10,000, a hundred thousand people like me who are heavy users of the internet and see the benefit in paying who don't, who don't want to see the ads and who don't want something that's designed just for you on a Wednesday, because last week you looked for, I dunno, soap or whatever it might be.
Just the search is what we give everybody else. That one anyway, K. G i.com. I don't know if it started, if either of you two are looking at that page. Is it still on a wait list or, yeah. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, it took about two weeks and so far. Brilliant. The only downside is the image search.
Isn't quite as good yet. You get, you got a few, maybe two dozen images instead of the more or less endless amount of images that you get with with something like Google, but yeah. Paid for when your
[01:04:52] Robert Rowley: partner first,
[01:04:55] Nathan Wrigley: he's got a WordPress background, doesn't it? He knows his WordPress stuff.
Would you guys pay for search
that's roughly right.
[01:05:06] Robert Rowley: I think I would definitely sign up for it like you did and see what the quality is because like I said, I've searched Google and the results have been not quality. So if I've seen quality, I don't mind paying a couple of bucks. I don't know what the price is, but I'm sure after I sign up
[01:05:21] Nathan Wrigley: for the beta.
Yeah they're not even at that point yet. They're still, I think they're just basically seeing what, what people are up to and how it works and they're trying to optimize it. So at the minute, if you get through the beater hurdle you basically have it completely free. And as far as I can tell, it's lightening fast, it gives me exactly what I want, for the typical arrangement of searches that I do questions and so on.
And also just searching for particular websites. It gives me them in more or less the exact same order that Google would do slight variation, but usually what I want rises to the top. But maybe if I was asking it complex questions or asking you to translate, I dunno, one currency into another, or figure out what the weather is in Colorado on the 24th of June or something like that.
Maybe it would be less good at that. But for the basic web search, it seems to be fine. What about you, Jesse? Reach into your pocket for search. It's become free.
[01:06:18] Robert Rowley: it's not free.
[01:06:19] Jessica Frick: We're the product. And it reminds me of, all this AI talk reminds me of one of my favorite shows. I watched every episode, it's called person of interest now off the air, but it largely talks about what happens when AI becomes its own entity and what it can do.
And the fact that we're even talking about this right now, I wouldn't be surprised. These are things pop up on Google for me. It's I met a specific shoe and I'll add in Google on that recommended stories list shows me that specific shoe it's listening. It's watching, even if I don't type something into it.
And so what I pay to have, all of these things that are listening to me, not get the reward of me buying. I don't know. Sounds interesting. I don't have to think more about it. We've, we can vote with our money
[01:07:21] Nathan Wrigley: and I think it's just, it's like to me, the whole tracking on the. There's no big thing.
There's no big concern that I can point to, but it's like death of a thousand paper coals. It's just tiny little infringements of my privacy. Just there's one over here. And there's another one over here. And then I remember something from last week and then Facebook have now started to do this. And I can notice just as you said, that things that I casually dropped in somewhere or mentioned in a comment that was suddenly I'm dominated by it.
And I just feel this presence and I don't want to feel that presence. I just want to rock up to my computer and think, okay, I'm just going to be given unadulterated whatever the algorithm for that platform thinks. Not all the other stuff going on in the background, not adds surfacing to the top that I don't really want to scroll through and all of that.
Like I say, it's just death of a thousand paper cuts I've got no real problem with probably any one of those privacy concerns. It's just the. The big overall picture, but I probably am getting to be a bit of a broken record on this podcast talking about that, but I bet your quite privacy focused though.
Aren't you Robert, I'm going to more or less guarantee that you've got all the firewalls up and you don't click on.
[01:08:35] Robert Rowley: Do you hate to see is a huge thing. I use specialty browsers delete cookies prevent I do my best to not prevent, but did make it difficult for trackers to, to be able to track me online.
Cause it's not just the search engines, it's whole advertising networks that are trying to build profiles on people. And social media is part of the problem, but just part, the advertising networks connected to the social media connected to search engine results. So doing a good browser, which I also noticed the creator of also as a browser privacy focused
[01:09:05] Nathan Wrigley: browser, it's called a Ryan.
Yeah, Ryan I've got it. And it's re it's based upon it's a WebKit so it's, it looks and behaves like safari. But you can install Chrome and Firefox extensions into this guy he's really going for is really giving it a cut rate. What do you do in your, sorry, Jess? I'm totally hijacking the conversation here.
What do you do in your browser? Have you got something like you block origin in there or do you use it depends. I had multiple
[01:09:36] Robert Rowley: browsers for multiple purposes, cause I don't want cross-contamination. So I'll use Firefox and Chrome and brave as well, which is another privacy focused one. And I'm probably gonna start using go Ryan soon.
I like having the basics so I can do some degree of segregation. I go, but I could personally go as far as I have different computers and different devices, I had multiple cell phones. The cell phone is for this purpose, right? Yeah. This computer is for this
[01:10:00] Nathan Wrigley: full tin foil hat. You've got the whole thing.
[01:10:06] Robert Rowley: I stood outside one day. It was really sunny and just gone.
But, yeah, it's not that hard to open up different browsers for different purposes. And it's really important. Cause I used to be director of a security and privacy concerns at companies. And I would tell support representatives, especially like your support tickets and the browser you use for your support tickets and interacting with your customer's websites.
Especially if they're complaining about a compromised website, like you've got to segregate that from all of your work-related stuff, because something really bad could happen. They could, if that browser is out of date, they could break the browser or break the sandboxing the browser has and then start getting into, your other tabs do reading your cookies, right?
Your sessions or things like that. Modern browsers don't have this problem normally, but a, an OTA or really an unreleased exploit would be a big problem for a support representative to be targeted with.
[01:10:58] Nathan Wrigley: It's interesting. You say that and I'm going to keep this one going for a little while longer if that's all right.
I've got, so this is my setup on a day-to-day basis. I'm using breaks. And brave, I've got basically I've got less pus in there as an extension, and I've got you block origin and then a couple of other things which are just fairly utilitarian for the sort of things that I do. And then anything social lives over in Firefox.
And I've got the, what is that tool called? It's called, let me just say it's called multi account containers. So there's a, as an extension made by Mozilla, which sits inside a Firefox means that every time you open anything that connects to Facebook, it will open in the Facebook container. So if I right click and open in a new tab, it won't just be in a, if everything, Facebook is in a Facebook container, everything slack is in a slack container, everything Google is in a Google container and it will automatically switch those on.
Contained I hope. And then I've got a safari for other things, just like you said, my work related stuff and anything which I use for paying for stuff that's over in safari. So I'm like you, I need a tin, foil hat. I don't think it'll fit on my slightly white hair though. But yeah. Okay. Custom
[01:12:18] Robert Rowley: size is pretty easy.
You have tutorial.
[01:12:22] Nathan Wrigley: That's fascinating that you do all of that. I thought I was the only one. That's great. Are we mapped Jessica, do you do any of this or overkill? I've
[01:12:32] Jessica Frick: been a paying member of eff for years. So now on, on one hand I hear deleting cookies and I sell things. So obviously my heart's oh, not you too, but on the other hand, I'm like, yeah, you go.
Cause I know we're not using it for nefarious purposes, but yeah.
[01:12:54] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, I have a sort of hygiene thing going in which in every browser typically about once a month, I'll just clean everything. I use the destroy, everything from all time and just go for that and, hope the last pass keeps the passwords and I just log into everything once again.
And I find that to be quite useful. There's a period of time where I was using Google maps and allowed Google maps to just track me everywhere. And I went for about three years allowing Google to see. Every step that I took. And about two years ago, I went through all looked and whilst it was quite fun to look at it, I thought I don't need to know that.
And Google doesn't need to know. They really care where I was on the 14th of June in 2016, pretty much. So that all went as well. The good thing about Google though, is that you can delete it. My understanding is that on the Facebook side, trying to get Facebook's claws out of your data is a lot more difficult.
Yeah. Go through many more hoops to actually delete your stuff. Anyway, we've got lost. We went down a security rabbit hole and I am sorry for that. Okay. Let's see what
[01:13:57] Robert Rowley: I can keep going. I can keep going.
[01:13:59] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, we'll have you back. We'll have you back Robert, and we'll just drone on about security endlessly, and both of us will wear tinfoil hats throughout the entire episode.
And I promise okay, I'm going to miss the one about the Archie. I'm not, I'm just going to put it on the screen. I'm going to put this one in the show notes, but go and Google. It's a BBC article, go and Google or search. I should swap that term should not go and search for researchers in Hong Kong, create soft robot made of magnetic slime.
Anybody who's watching this live. Look how is that a robot? How, what? It's literally like slime moving itself. I don't know what to say. Very
[01:14:45] Jessica Frick: Terminator
[01:14:45] Robert Rowley: too.
[01:14:46] Nathan Wrigley: Isn't it? It is literally something out of a dystopian sci-fi film. You can imagine that stuff just multiplying and slowly taking a look at it.
Just look, it can roll itself up. And it's not mental.
[01:14:59] Jessica Frick: I think you were saying before the show that they're talking about putting this in people's bodies to take stuff
[01:15:06] Nathan Wrigley: out on the screen right now, they've literally sliced it up. They've cut it with scissors into multiple parts, and then they just push the bits back together and it became whole again.
And now it's corralling like sheep, dog style, some little ball bearings across some it's is just airy anyway, go and check it out. But don't watch it if you get queasy, because it is a bit like, Ooh, what is that? Let's go for this one next. We're still off. We're off. We're off on a tangent here.
Aren't we more security related stuff. Crypto, look at this as a grenade on the screen. Q1 crypto loses losses, spike fi 695% on year four, following massive hacks. I genuinely don't get crypto right at the very start. I bought a Bitcoin for 80 cents managed to get a Bitcoin for 80 cents. About two months after that, I used it to buy a year of VPN service and now it would be worth like, like $50,000 or something.
I got 12 months of a VPN service. Whew. I did really great there, but that was my dalliance with it. I thought it was very clever and ingenious, but it seems to me I can anybody here, is it just me? No, it's that BBC tabs. It started once it had completed the video, it started another one and I could hear it in my headphones.
It looks like everybody's getting into crypto. And I think in some cases, many people, maybe they don't quite understand it, or they don't do the due diligence and people are putting in things and assuming it's watertight and rock solid. But it would appear that lots and lots of money is getting lost into hacks people essentially compromising the network.
There's one here called ACCE Infinity's Ronin network just last week, last six. It pains me to even say this number lost $625 million of people. Money. What are your coins? But I guess the time of writing, that was what it was worth. If it could be translated, this stuff just bothers me.
You didn't do people. Do we want de-centralized money? Is that a, is that an aspiration? I know he's quite cool. But I'm just not sure I want to be involved in maintaining the sanctity of my money and making sure it's there today and tomorrow and always in the future. I don't really want a key that can be stolen to be controlling my money.
I want there to be bricks and mortar places where gold bullion is stored behind bars and all of that kind of stuff. What are your thoughts on this? Does this stuff skate? Are you into crypto? I'm going to, I'm going to guess Robert, more about this than all of us put together. I'll let Jessica go first.
[01:17:58] Robert Rowley: she'd be like, yeah,
[01:18:01] Jessica Frick: I was just going to say. On the upside it's deregulated on the downside. It's deregulated. I just, I know that there are a lot of people who are big believers, and I think that there's an interesting future for this, but having seen firsthand what happened when my uncle died of COVID unexpectedly he had not shared his wallet, password, and everything in his bank has gone, and they will not share it with his family.
Because you have to provide certain sorts of identification and a picture of yourself and all of this. And because they can't do that because, He's passed, it's gone. So there's a lot of risk involved and it's just, do you have the appetite for that? And are you a believer in this whole blockchain concept?
[01:18:59] Nathan Wrigley: I think the blockchain concept, I think is cool, but yeah, when it's, when it starts to be money and what have you anyway, sorry, robot. And yeah, no I gotta, I
[01:19:06] Robert Rowley: gotta jump in there, but I'm just holding myself back. So you gotta differentiate blockchain from the networks that are maintaining your wallets, right?
If your uncle had a physical wallet, or if any of the users of this service that got hacked had a physical wallets, that they were protecting their own keys to themselves, then you're less of a risk part of the problem with Bitcoin. And many of these D finance networks are all this new basic money currency trading systems is, they've always been hacked.
Mt. Gox was one of the first ones. Back then it was millions of dollars nowadays. It would be billions of dollars of various cryptos being compromised, but that was not a fault of the blockchain. That was the fault of the people not securing the wallets. And I think, yeah, what Jess brought up with deaths.
That's a big thing. Cause I dealt with death with my father. I was the executor of the estate and I had to go into banks and I had a hard enough time then let alone trying to contact. Online service that has no support representatives like and what try to talk to them and convince them, please.
Like here's a death certificate. There's a talk not too long ago. I also learned this when I was the executor of the state. It's not hard to fake a death certificate. It's certainly illegal, but it's not hard. Sending a, some fraudulent documents could result in social engineering attacks again.
And the problem there, isn't the blockchain, it's the networks that are basically the banking or the website that you're using to buy and trade your cryptos. So a lot of that comes down to is make sure that, these services, if you're into that sort of thing, make sure they're really serious about security.
[01:20:41] Nathan Wrigley: The, this, again, more I dropping high dropping, is that a phrase eye popping, I think is what I want to say. Number, check this sentence out. There has been a loss in quotes of about 1.2, $3 billion across the web three ecosystem in the first quarter of 2022. Let me just read that again. 1.2, $3 billion in the first three months of this year, and yeah, I know there's crime.
There's always crime, but it seems to me and this sentence sums it up perfectly. So this is this just sums it up. So given this number and the fact that a single mistake in code could mean that hackers get immediate access to hundreds of millions of dollars. It makes sense that black cats are interested in getting a slice of that pie.
And that's the point, right? If there's an error in the code, You could have everything. It could just all disappear. Whereas I'm guessing that your bank has an obligation. If their code is in error, I'm guessing the bank has an obligation to make good, the theft of that money in some way, shape or form. So I think blockchain is incredible and I think it's got multiple uses.
I'm just worried that we're all going to go down the route of putting our money into this only to wake up one morning to discover that. Gone missing. We've got absolutely no way of getting it back. It just seems, it seems time to take stock and regulate something that's deregulated.
[01:22:10] Jessica Frick: And to be clear, I wasn't pooping on blockchain.
I personally am a believer in blockchain, but usually when people refuse to participate in this stuff, that's what they have a problem with. And I think we need to start making believers out of people if crypto is ever really going to gain the traction that it
[01:22:29] Nathan Wrigley: needs. Yeah, it does. It does seem that the people that are cheerleading crypto at the minute in all of its forms, not just to do with money, but it does seem.
The big institutions and now getting into it to the point where you do wonder, wonder if they sunk so much money into it, that they have to make it a success. It does seem to be the direction of travel. It's now no longer the little, it's not the Linux crowd anymore. It's the big corporate bank of America crowd that are starting to take ingest in it.
So as well.
[01:22:59] Robert Rowley: Yeah. Some governments are adopting and accepting payments in Bitcoin. And other berries coins. So it's really quite surprised
[01:23:05] Nathan Wrigley: official currency of Venezuela.
[01:23:08] Robert Rowley: I don't know if it is still, I hope it did for a period of
[01:23:13] Nathan Wrigley: and become, it became the official currency of a, of an international country that we've all heard of substitute Venezuela for something else.
For a period of time. I don't know if that period of time still exists, but you can imagine the chaos that must've ensued amongst the people who are just Luddites don't care about technology. What, what hang on. Dear right last one. I just wanted to raise this one. We're still miles away.
Beautiful picture. I think that's brilliant. This has got nothing to do with WordPress. I just thought I'd share this with you because I just think it's hysterical. This is called a recipe for invisible art, just sold for over $1 million. And I read it in 1958, artists, Yves Klein famously opened an exhibition called the void, which saw him place a large cabinet in an otherwise empty room.
Thousands of paying visitors turned up at a Paris gallery to catch a glimpse of nothing. Following the show success, the French artists then took the idea one step further by giving the collectors the chance to purchase a series of non-existent and entirely collect conceptual spaces in exchange for a weight of pure gold.
So basically you could give him gold, lots of gold, and in return, he would give you a conceptual empty space. Just let that sink in for a minute. Now in, in return, the exchange wasn't completely empty though, because he gave you like a receipt and on the screen, I'm showing you one of these receipts and it was eight inches wide.
And basically it says you have bought with your gold how you've bought something called a zone of immaterial pictorial sensibility. That's what you bought now as if that weren't crazy. Somebody this week purchased one of those receipts. So they purchase the eight, 18 inch square piece of paper or eight inch rectangular piece of paper for now take a breath.
What was the number of lost it? Oh my goodness. $1.16 million. What? So they bought a receipt for something that bought nothing in the past, except for empty space for $1.6 million. And I thought this was in part hysterically. Funny, really? Like just ludicrously, funny, like how can this happen? And then a bit of me kicked in and just.
Please just give it to a hospital or something. What are you doing? Spending $1 million. However, we got to the point where somebody with that amount of wealth can see the value in that. I guess they're going to argue that buying a piece of history and buying a piece of art, but I don't suppose any of you have got anything to say about that, but that was my final piece of silliness at the end of the show.
[01:26:15] Jessica Frick: My first thought is laundering. And if not laundering, call me because I have other ways to spend that
[01:26:22] Nathan Wrigley: money. Yeah, just right over here, I have a more or less empty glass of water. And if I just quickly drain it now it's empty, but it's full of conceptual water. And I'm willing to part with you. I'm willing to part with all of the conceptual water in this glass for, I dunno, $60.
That's fine. That's fine. [email protected] If you want to buy my conceptual water, but that's it. That's all we got on the show today. Thank you so much for coming Robert. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you come back. You will nerd out and wear tinfoil hats sometime. And just Fred, thank you very much for joining us as well.
Just before we go, we often drop what we're doing this week. I'm just going to be sitting here recording more podcast episodes. What are you up to Robert?
[01:27:12] Robert Rowley: Yeah, I am actually probably gonna be submitting a Toco for word camp. That's coming up in the U S and I've got a weekly podcast that I'm going to release on patch sec website.
I think this week's subject is WordPress security
[01:27:24] Nathan Wrigley: history. Nice. That's very cool. Thank you very much. And Jess, what are you.
[01:27:30] Jessica Frick: Lots of cool work. I'll give you guys WP Builds only sneak preview. We're going to be releasing my principal playground. So it's not a free trial. We're going to give you a way to actually experience a, my account without buying anything so you can see how awesome
[01:27:50] Nathan Wrigley: it is for yourself.
I'm going to interrupt you. I don't know if it was the same for you, Robert. Just broke up horribly when you were saying that. So all of the facts, so what you said was, I'm going to give you this fabulous, like scoop for WP Builds, and then just nonsense. It was just like that's. Okay. Just do it again. Just do it again.
What are you doing this week?
[01:28:13] Jessica Frick: We're working on releasing pressable playground, which is going to be a really cool way for you to experience the pressable interface. Like a real customer. You can set up sites and do all the cool things, kick, try all the buttons push the levers and you don't have to pay a thing.
So we're going to be putting that out. We're pretty excited. Oh, that is
[01:28:35] Nathan Wrigley: cool. Where do we find out about that? Is that, is, are you dropping an email somewhere or putting a webpage online at some point soon?
[01:28:41] Jessica Frick: It's going to be on principle.com. We'll have links from there and you can
[01:28:46] Nathan Wrigley: check. Thank you so much, right?
Robert, you're on aware of this a little bit, but we all have to do the jazz hands. If you're willing to do the jazz hands, we do the jazz had gone. Jess, everybody, all everybody. Yeah. And that, then I can screenshot that and use that as the album art, but that's it. We're done. We'll be back next week.
Thanks for joining us. Thanks for dropping into the comments. All, have a fabulous week and we'll see you next time on this weekend, WordPress.
Support WP Builds
We put out this content as often as we can, and we hope that you like! If you do and feel like keeping the WP Builds podcast going then...