[00:00:00] Nathan Wrigley: Welcome. So the WP Builds podcast, bringing you the latest news from the WordPress community. Welcome your hosts, David Waumsley and Nathan Wrigley.
Hello there. And welcome once again to the WP Builds podcast, you've reached episode number 283 entitled the web designers tech stack. It was published on Thursday, the 16th of June, 2022. My name's Nathan Wrigley. And in a few moments, I'll be joined by my good friend David Waumsley, so that we can have our fortnightly chat about WordPress.
But before that one piece of house. And that is to say that the page builder summit 4.0 is finally starting next week, we have over 35 fabulous presenters giving you expert tips and tricks all about how to put your WordPress websites together on, although it's called the page builder summit, there are a variety of topics we stray into different areas.
So things like marketing and design and so on and so forth. You're going to find out about it by going to the website, which is a page builder, summit.com or more time page builder, summit.com. It kicks. On Monday, the 20th of June. And it goes til Friday, the 24th of June, you can obviously dip in and out, but we'd love to have you there.
We've got a Facebook group and the way you're going to find out about all of the good stuff that we've got on during the week is to go to the website and get your free ticket subscribe. And we'll keep you updated each day as the things occur. So one last time Pagebuilder summit.com. I really hope that we'll see you there.
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What have we got on the podcast today? It's David Waumsley and I talking all about the kind of things that we might have in our tech stack.
Now we've done conversations before where we talk about the different things that we need on the WordPress side. This is just a little bit of a side topic, really, because we thought, wouldn't it be curious to talk about all the things that we need that are not to do with WordPress. So literally, what are the things that you would have in your office?
What are the essential things that you would have to run a WordPress web design business? So it gets as ridiculous as well. You need a computer and then obviously some software running on it, and then we get into, what do you need an ID? Do you need a phone? Do you need a fax machine? And all sorts of things.
We go down a real rabbit hole and there's loads and loads of things. And honestly, I was really surprised by how many different things you need to have such a busy. Anyway, it's an interesting chat. I hope that you enjoy it.
[00:03:35] David Waumsley: Welcome to another in the business bootcamp series, where we relearn everything we know about building WordPress sites and running a web design business from start to finish.
We are on the second episode of season three, where we are looking at the technical build. And today we are discussing the web designers, tech stacks. So Nathan and I are taking contrast in approaches to get our new business running. And our first client site built she's a new lawyer with no previous site.
She's called miss a Nathan. Shall we recap again? Yeah, I just occurred
[00:04:10] Nathan Wrigley: to me actually. David I'll tell you what if it took this long to build. Miss A's website by now really like week 10 or something like that. And we haven't actually done anything, but yeah the the principle is I'm doing the old fashioned.
If you like the waterfall traditional fixed pricing approach, I talked to the client, scope it all out, send a proposal, get a contract signed, and then I'm off and I build it. And then I come back a little bit later and say, there you go, it's done. And hopefully get in under a deadline. So that's the way I'm doing.
And you are doing. I'm
[00:04:49] David Waumsley: trying to go for a new agile approach where we try and get a minimal viable website out and do ongoing iterative changes in collaboration with the client. So essentially we're going results-based improvements over a longer period or as long as
[00:05:04] Nathan Wrigley: I'm needed. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Okay.
So what are we talking about?
[00:05:09] David Waumsley: Yeah tech stack. Now you mentioned, because we talked about the building tools that we used and we, and you pointed out that we haven't talked about other stuff because we're assuming we're starting right from the beginning. So we need to think what kind of hardware and software we might need to start up as a web design business.
[00:05:27] Nathan Wrigley: really what I guess, in a way you're imagining an empty desk, you've decided you wanted to become a web developer. You want to build WordPress websites, but you've literally got an empty room. There's nothing in there may need. And we're going to fill up the desk and then talk about the things which may which may actually be software as well.
There's definitely no right or wrong here. And this is simply going to be an an elucidation of what David and I actually use. I think some of it would be across the board, but there's definitely going to be bits that perhaps you think are not required, but I do and vice versa. So we'll see where.
[00:06:05] David Waumsley: Yeah, even though we're taking contrast in approaches with this agile and traditional, and I think this has an impact on what you pick, but we're so similar to agree. But I, we always start with some kind of problem. And for me that is that WordPress is quite commercial is so popular now. So big and, I follow or use to follow lots of Facebook groups and I'm always hearing about something new all the time.
And I've certainly, and I know you have bought stuff that we really didn't need at all. And I think, so we're going to start really with what we think are the essentials and then add on. But what I really wanted to say just about the agile approaches, because it's a people first working with them rather than.
Going through a set system, which has a process and an end deliverable, there's more kind of a need on the agile side to go with perhaps what the client might have. So you might not need so many tools. So when it comes to project management,
[00:07:09] Nathan Wrigley: but we'll talk about that. That's a really good point.
If they are wedded to a particular tool. I think in the case of the the lawyer were probably on safe ground, it will be ongoing with all the tools, but if they're, like a CRM that they already use or something like that, who knows, but let's explore it then. So we're going to block it into sections, essential tools, design tools, project management, and counseling and communication tools, billing and CRM storage.
And then just at the end to talk about stuff which we want to use, but now we've gotten rid of we've realized over the years that we didn't make any use of it.
[00:07:45] David Waumsley: So the essentials, a computer.
[00:07:48] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. It's a good place to start. Really if you don't have a computer, honestly, get out of web development and web design you really, to struggle having said that we didn't go into this, but I, we could the software which runs to the computer, the O S that's a real point of contention.
There's a lot of people who use windows, cause they've always used windows. And a lot of people that use Mac, that's the one that I'm using. I know that you've, you're preferring windows these days, but also, if cost is a real factor, it may be that you just want to go with something like a Linux distribution that pretty much comes with everything that you're ever going to need.
But at the very bare bones, you need a computer. Now here's a question. Do you need a new flashy computer? Does it need to be up to date or could you get into this industry with a pretty old, clunky laptop that you were handed down years and years? I
[00:08:44] David Waumsley: think so. There's not, it depends on the kind of sites you're doing, but we're dealing with some very basic stuff in terms of HTML aren't we, it's not the most complex stuff and building websites.
I've I'm really late to upgrade. Always have been and I go for cheap all the time. So definitely I think, yeah, some hand-me-down computer would get you
[00:09:05] Nathan Wrigley: started. Yeah. I completely agree that you could easily run a 5, 6, 8 year old computer. It may not be perhaps a secure and it certainly wouldn't have the most flashy UI and the latest features, but a computer of a certain age would probably work.
Basically you need a browser, don't you? That's the thing that you need probably more than anything else is a computer with a browser and all types of computers. Whether it be, I dunno, like I said, Linux, windows, Mac, they will all run the latest version of the latest browser. I would be very surprised if even a really old windows computer didn't run.
[00:09:45] David Waumsley: And you, you've put down mouse hair, which isn't a given, but the next one you've put down, which was screen is quite interesting. Cause a bit of an argument. Do you need a certain size screen to do this job?
[00:09:55] Nathan Wrigley: Do you know what? I think that if in your case, I'm assuming that you've got a laptop that you're with today.
Cause I know that you're out on the road a little bit and that's totally fine, but I, when I'm at home, I have a larger screen. So gigantic, it's not ridiculous, but it's wider than any laptop ever could be. And the thing, the reason that I use that is because it allows me to have two, two windows open at once and both of them are reasonably full, solid used, and that's totally not necessary.
Given that I'm sitting in my office, which is in my house, given that I'm sitting there and nothing's coming in and out of this office, I decided I would get a slightly bigger one and it works really well. And it does save me a lot of time. Is it essential? No, probably not. Is it nice? Yes, it is. I wouldn't be partied with it.
It, from this office, I wouldn't want to go back to just using the laptop, but you, when you're at home and not on the road another screen. Yeah.
[00:11:01] David Waumsley: Yeah, I do. I have, so I have to squeeze out of the desk, the laptop water, and then I've got a separate screen there, but I've not got it now. Cause we're traveling.
One of the interesting things, I, for a long time, I was running an old laptop, which was what is it? 1366. Is it something like that? Yeah. So one of the most common viewed, although 1920 I think is there and I thought, oh, I'm not getting an appreciation of what it would be on 1920 screens.
But, I used to just basically make the browser small or bigger to replicate what that is. So I think you can get away with really old stuff, for ages years on the sailors, on the very small
[00:11:44] Nathan Wrigley: screen, that's a really interesting point in that. I think screens are only going to get bigger, the resolution is going to get better.
And so maybe there is. Size that you really ought to have, because it's quite likely that lots of your clients will be viewing it at this. So if you were really we're on a very old laptop and this screen resolution was teeny tiny, that may be an impediment. I hadn't really thought about that, but it may be that you simply can't get to any kind of resolution, which approximates what most people will be looking at.
And that might come back to bite you at some point,
[00:12:18] David Waumsley: zoom works quite well. I don't have a 4k, a monitor, a lot of the time with sites that I've been building, I've had to put a media I've really needed to box up anything over 1920, because with full width it looks kind of rubbish.
But anyway, We can talk about this forever, this guy.
[00:12:40] Nathan Wrigley: We did do an episode on screens way back in the day. I think it was S is for screens or something like that. We did. Yeah. So let's not dwell on that too much. Next one you've got there is storage. Now, what do you mean in here? You meaning like offline storage, like Google drive and Dropbox, or are you meaning a physical hard disc bounce to the computer or connected with.
[00:13:03] David Waumsley: Yeah it's for my, I like to keep my stuff on something I can carry around. So it is hard drive, but I was talking about all of that and I know you have something set up, but I think it's interesting now I don't need storage as much as I used to do it. And GDPR means that we probably should not be keeping more stuff than we need to anyway.
So no, I could only manage without storage. I
[00:13:26] Nathan Wrigley: probably could. I think it's, if you've got the wallet to get some Dropbox storage or, for Dropbox read any or the equivalent thing, then that seems to me a really sensible way of doing it. The reason I like that is because I'm not bound to any thing, which is so curious, because basically I always sit in this.
And I could easily have a box like a USB draw and it would be exactly the same thing, but I have this fantasy that I'm going to go off to India or someplace like that. And how need my online storage. Of course, you're actually doing that and you carry a USB cable tray around with you. So it's exactly the opposite, but I just love the idea of it being held somewhere else.
And should push come to shove. I can get to it from anywhere.
[00:14:16] David Waumsley: Your solution, you save almost everything. So your stuff, which you'll probably never revisit in your lifetime. So melting those ice caps on
[00:14:25] Nathan Wrigley: it is building up and building up. And I've got this storage solution, which allows me to have basically infinite backup.
And so I just keep backing it up and it's fine, but yes, you're right. I am largely responsible for global warming okay. So we definitely need some kind of storage and then we're onto more kind of ordinary things, which I know is so obvious, but we're going to say it anyway. You need a chair, a desk, and a roof over your head.
Actually. Do you know what? I don't think you need any of those things really near.
[00:14:59] David Waumsley: You're well, I can't disagree with you cause I'm traveling at the moment. So I'm bothered chair a makeshift desk, actually, I'm using it at the moment. I do have a roof over my head, but it's only as long as I keep paying for it and I'm on a daily basis and even electricity, which is presently.
Another thing that we added as is slightly optional because there's a power cut now and it'll probably be off for the next six hours.
[00:15:23] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Obviously in an ideal world, you definitely would have a chair, a nice, comfortable orthopedic chair or whatever it's called, the ones that make you sit in a good posture, a roof over your head and electricity.
Yeah. Depending on whether you've got a laptop, you may not need to be plugged in. So you could be sitting on the beach, nowhere near a power source and still doing your work. But yeah, an internet connection would go with that and that at some point is essential, but we can do all of our work without being connected to the.
At some point you will clearly have to connect to the internet and you could tether to a phone or have a landline or whatever it may be, but you would need all of those things as well. Pretty obvious.
[00:16:06] David Waumsley: Yeah, I think it can get lost in all of these sites like this. I was talking to my wife the other day about the stand-up desk, which I've never got.
Nope. Either. No, I just think isn't that a good opportunity to get off your seat and walk around and let things mull over in your brain? Yeah. Yup. Yup.
[00:16:24] Nathan Wrigley: Okay. So here's some other things I'll just rattle these off because we probably don't need to dwell on them. So you need hosting. You need to put the website somewhere and that may be yours, or it may be somebody else's, but you need that.
I feel that you need an email account nowadays. I don't think you could really be taken particularly seriously without an email.
[00:16:45] David Waumsley: Yeah.
[00:16:46] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Going along with that, I would say that you would need a telephone line that kind of comes a bit later. We'll come back to that. But also I think these days, you also need a camera, a webcam, which, could be expensive and brilliant or cheap and cheerful and some kind of microphone.
You don't necessarily have to have a plug-in microphone, but I think it's a good thing to have. So there's some extras.
[00:17:11] David Waumsley: Yeah. And I think these are essential dependent on who or how you've run your business. So even like the storage, so most of my sites have been built in on the site itself. So that is the storage you got saved up anywhere.
I don't need much separately. And it's an ongoing process with the agile approach. So why do I need to store old stuff? We're moving constantly forward with it. So that reduces that. And it's the same. I need now more a webcam and the microphone because distant from my clients, but I need to communicate with them more than ever.
So I need some quality
[00:17:44] Nathan Wrigley: there. Yeah. Yeah. That's a good point. Here's another one then I think you've got to be reading things, so that could be consuming blogs. It could be finding things from a search engine. It, couldn't not necessarily be reading. You might be watching videos on YouTube and maybe listening to podcasts and things like that.
But I think you need to be doing that. I think that's an essential tool as well. The ability to learn things that could be books, of course, physical books. But I think it's important. If you want to stay up to date, you need some mechanism for keeping up to date.
[00:18:20] David Waumsley: Yeah, absolutely. You do need that
[00:18:23] Nathan Wrigley: that's essentials done?
Yeah, I think so. I'd had got some other things in there, but I don't think they're essential. Oh, no one other thing, which I think is essential, but I know you probably going to disagree is I need an accountant because my ability to add things up correctly is prodigious really bad. And I would mess that up and I'm so pleased that's a business which exists and I'm happy to contribute to their funds so that they can take that burden away from me.
So to me, that's essential. Although I think you just manage it yourself, don't you, or between you and your wife, get that done. Yeah.
[00:18:57] David Waumsley: Yeah. There's no between, it's just my wife.
[00:19:02] Nathan Wrigley: I I can get an accountant to do that. So anyway, there's the essentials. I'm sure you could probably add a whole bunch of things to that right now.
We're onto design tools. This is where we might start to digress a little bit.
[00:19:12] David Waumsley: Yeah. So it'll, we'll probably need some graphic software, but arguably there's lots of free stuff out there. Isn't that? Things like giving an ink space, our free open source things that do in space. We'll do vectors. So if you need
[00:19:28] Nathan Wrigley: good, by the way, just
[00:19:29] David Waumsley: Inkscape
[00:19:30] Nathan Wrigley: did that.
What did I just say? You said ink space, but that's fine. I
[00:19:33] David Waumsley: know I'm stupid. Yeah, no, it's written here as well. And again, as well as the kind of Photoshop alternative, but you and I have done the same thing haven't we've bought at the afinity suite V cheap alternative to Adobe products with the photo and
[00:19:52] Nathan Wrigley: designer in our Roundup at the end.
We'll talk about Adobe and what have you. But it really, it was that subscription model, which flipped me. And I just started to look for a. Similar app that could achieve basically the same stuff, but I just paid once and op popped affinity. So I've got several of their products. I think I've got three, the publisher designer and photos.
And whilst I make hardly any use of the features that they've got I'm pretty sure that it could do most of what needs to be done. I don't know it. I think it depends. I think if you're a designer and you are really into design and that's a big part of your business, my guess is that Adobe still has that cornered.
And if you're exchanging files with other people, they're going to be using Photoshop formats and illustrator formats, and pretty sure sketch and things like that can convert those. But you may need to have a different set of tools with with a creative cloud subscription or something.
[00:20:52] David Waumsley: Yeah, it seems to change. We'd sketch Figma and we talked about this, I think on another episode, Adobe XD, isn't it there where you can mock up. And I know it's clever stuff. You can mock up the whole website, the mobile responsive view as well, and make changes and have it generate to all the different versions of those.
I've never once got into that, because I think, again, this is where if you were going the agile approach, like I am, it's probably less useful because the idea is that we'll be trying to get something out, just probably designing in the browser to see how it works and then design in an ongoing basis, based on some data that might come back.
Whereas if you were trying to you pointed out to me earlier when we were talking that it could be used for both, but if, do you know what I mean? I think these tools are set up for. Coming to a final conclusion. That's what you need building, this is the design. Do you agree it right. The developer comes in and builds out exactly what you've agreed there, which is the
[00:21:53] Nathan Wrigley: opposite to agile.
Yeah. Certain tools, things like Figma. My understanding I don't actually use Figma is that it's really interactive. I can see on my screen what you can see on your screen. And if I move something, you watch it move. And if I change the color of something, it's akin to Google docs, isn't it.
It's all, everybody's looking at the same thing at the same time. So I thought that maybe that could drop into your agile workflow pretty well in that you could be showing things to the client whilst they're on a call with you, rather than doing something, saving it, sending it to them, waiting, getting some feedback and the cycle goes.
[00:22:29] David Waumsley: Yeah, but I would still do it in the browser. I think cause Figma would be another tool to bring in
[00:22:35] Nathan Wrigley: another thing, which I make use of extensively now. And it may be that we are at a tipping point are use quite a lot of online design tools. Don't get me wrong. They are nowhere near as good as the photo shops and the affinity products, but for simple, quick creation of blog, post images and that kind of thing.
There's loads of tools, things like Sten sole and Canva. And I use one called Pix teller, which is a really and these do 99% of everything that I like these days, they've got the layers like Photoshop does. They don't have all the whizzbang features, but for many things they're suffering.
[00:23:17] David Waumsley: Yeah, I think, some of the hour we've talked about AppSumo and we probably don't buy so much from there, but most of those kinds of tools came from AppSumo and what value they were. And, they're grateful that particular thing, I think, if you were managing a client's social media efforts, you would probably need something like CAMBA and extensor wouldn't you, because they really designed to do that
[00:23:41] Nathan Wrigley: Stencils particularly good, because it's got a WordPress plugin, which allows you to view it and create the images inside the media library and then click a button and they go into the media library and there they are.
So the whole creation process is happening inside a WordPress. It's fabulous. Yeah, it's really good.
[00:23:59] David Waumsley: Yeah, you just reminded me of something. We didn't talk about whether we needed as design tools, access to icon libraries and things. Cause stencil has,
[00:24:08] Nathan Wrigley: yeah. There's hundreds. Unfortunately you always find that they haven't got the one that you exactly want.
That's my experience. And so having an icon library would be pretty cool. You get a lot, don't you get a fair amount with WordPress, with dash icons and things, you could definitely spend loads of money and get loads of icon sets. And I imagine one of those wouldn't go astray, but whether or not you need more than one, I don't really know.
[00:24:36] David Waumsley: So we have a good chat about this with yeah.
[00:24:40] Nathan Wrigley: CSS. Yeah. So I don't know. I'm really torn on this. My process pretty much has always been. Create a styles dot CSS file and Chuck everything in there. And then I know where it is and I try my hardest to comment it and put things in some kind of logical order.
So if there's a whole bunch of styles occurring for one page, put them all together and, give nice comments and label them. And so that, that did require me to have a CSS editor, but I've noticed more and more that I'm never opening that up these days. There's online tools like instant IDE, which enables you to have something, but in the browser and there's ways inside of page builders to add the CSS and you've got an interesting kind of optimization thought on that.
Why that's a.
[00:25:36] David Waumsley: Just, yeah, people are frowned at me. They have done before because there's a little project for beaver builder where I put code in the modules themselves really for demonstration. But some people get annoyed with me for doing that because it encourages people to not have this central place.
So if you were to hand over the site to someone, they wouldn't know where to go find it. I think they could, because they could use any tool to find it. It's fairly easy for me to find it. But yeah, my idea is for optimization because of what Google has taught us about what they need for performance, then it's going to be best.
Probably not to have that central. It depends, I guess ha cause obviously it gets cashed and if you'll move in from pages, once that's central CSS has downloaded as you go through the other pages, then it's obviously going to speed that up. But I still think there are. You just use on a particular page on a particular module.
And if it's later in the document, if you can put it there, that might be a better place to put it, because then it's going to be quicker to load the head of your document. Yeah. So far largest Contentful paint, that's the thing we're looking for. So yeah, that's my thought on it. So now I'm giving up this idea of this one central location.
You've just got to have a system that you're going to stick to.
[00:26:46] Nathan Wrigley: That's the only, yeah. And be aware that there might be some explaining if the client does go away and wants it to be modified by somebody else. But yeah. That, with the tools that we've got, that's certainly possible. But yeah, my IDE is hardly getting opened these days.
I tend to be not really dabbling in that kind of thing, but I would say that if you're serious, it wouldn't, it would definitely be worthwhile exploring an IDE. And there's so many, and everybody's got their preferred one. I don't want to get into that debate, there's all sorts of clever things that they can do, but I just don't seem to be finding myself in that position.
Yeah. Okay. Editing software. Now I do a podcast. You do this podcast. It needs to be edited, but that's not really the job of a web designer, but there is still maybe a purpose for it because I think these days clients want to be putting stuff on YouTube and they want to be creating marketing materials.
And so having the ability to edit is quite a good one. I think.
[00:27:50] David Waumsley: I think so. I need Camtasia. I use that all the time because I'm always making videos to communicate, to video or to communicate with them what I've done so far, when they can't make a meeting. So that's always been key. And yeah, and for w we both bought this and quite like it where you've dot video which is out there, which has been an app Sumo deal absolute bargain.
It's a little bit like Canva, isn't it in the sense that you've got these templates and you can quickly make your own version of video and they're slightly cheesy, I think, but sometimes, and I'm doing this for. And in the next couple of days, in fact, she needs a page where she's renting rooms on a business, but it's not really in keeping with our business.
How are we going to find on the same site? How's Google going to pick up on it. And one way might be just to put this simple show, the rooms on YouTube made with that, and perhaps it will give a competitive advantage. Yeah.
[00:28:53] Nathan Wrigley: So that's an SEO piece. Is it the idea of that being that if there's a video on a page, Google favor that yeah.
[00:29:00] David Waumsley: Yeah. I think anecdotally people say, and I've, I think I've noticed it myself, that if you've got a YouTube video embedded on your page, that Google might index that quicker and being, and that Google seemed to favor showing YouTube videos don't they on a search oh yeah. Without a doubt. I have real difficulty competing against a couple of key words on a site, which is a separate business renting rooms to what she primarily does.
So we're giving that stab. So I think it's, having those video tools can be really,
[00:29:34] Nathan Wrigley: really useful, I think, yeah, it's not really an essential set of skills, is it, but it's nice to have, and I guess maybe our client, depending on how she wants to approach it, and if she wants to use social media, there may be something in this, just creating simple little videos, maybe just a bit of music and some text and what have you to grab the attention.
It's certainly not going to hurt, but these online things, they're amazing nowadays, like the one that you mentioned where you've got video, it just, it doesn't do anything like as much as Camtasia, which is a pretty straightforward editing app, but you've got things like final cotton, all the Adobe things, and they're amazing, but probably a bit overkill right at the.
[00:30:16] David Waumsley: Yeah, I established, but I can see now that particularly if you're going down my route where you're trying to, if you like smaller clients and be everything to them, unless you've got, they've got the budget is quite, I think it's quite useful to have some of these tools and basic skills particularly.
I don't know. Cause I probably, I can imagine in a few years I might be talking about using video. Everybody says, you must have video now on your websites. And the, some of those videos are just terrible, lonely.
[00:30:44] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. That they really, they're not there for any length of time. Other they're just there to capture attention in the brief moment that somebody scrolls past you on Facebook.
But but still, I think it's an increasingly large and important part of messaging on the internet. So not necessary, but maybe good to have right now. Then we're on to project management, accountancy and communication tools. This is the exciting stuff.
[00:31:09] David Waumsley: Yeah. You talked about counters this because we dealt with it.
So project management. Yeah. Do you need tools now? I think this splits us assuming we're going this traditional and agile, because although agile has very complex management tools, project management tools, I think with my kind of setup, I don't need them so much, I can get away. I've really slimmed this down.
So let me just tell you, I used to use things like fail early on. I paid money to use base camp and I've moved to a few Santa I'm still using with one client, but now I just think, wow, what I can do is about communication with the client. A Google document is all I need and the clients can load most of their media to WordPress.
Why am I making it so complex?
[00:31:56] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah, I get it. You've slimmed it down. It's basically Google docs shared with the client and you just go create a document and modify it as, and when it's needed, I suppose it depends what you, as a startup web developer, web designer, web builder, whatever you want to call yourself, what you want to become.
And if you want to be that person, that's going to go out and cold call people will come to onto that a little bit later, or you expect to have lots and lots of clients. And you expect to have complicated websites where there's loads of moving parts and all that kind of stuff. Maybe those base camp things are useful for my part.
Although we're trying to come at this from different angles from my part, I'm totally in agreement with you. I never needed any of that stuff. Any of that stuff quickly became a noose around my neck that I didn't want to use because I just wasted time trying to. How the tool worked and I always ended up back on the phone or sending a simple document or something.
I'm actually in agreement with you there. That's all you need. I think you starting out just sick, go with Google docs. See what you can do from.
[00:33:05] David Waumsley: Yeah, good communication is probably key, I think, to business relationships. And I think, it's the tools get in the way of that. And I think some of that, some of these can, and they did for me, because it was my approach to try and do things.
I wanted them to go for base camp. It was fairly easy for people to use, but, and the center, but they've meant training them to do something where I didn't need to do it. And I it just depends on your approach. If you've got listening to colleagues of ours, they have a different view on that, particularly if they've got a traditional end thing and they want to make sure that the projects went in on time with lots of different people involved, I, lots of people think these tools like base camp or rubbish, because I don't know if it's still the case, but they didn't have Gantt charts, and for these are really complex things. Yeah. Yeah. Last century. I think that the Gantt chart for military purposes. Yes.
[00:34:00] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. I know what you mean. I am I'm with you though. I think that the time that I wasted exploring these tools and explaining these tools definitely didn't work out for me.
And I was always better off just throwing something in a document. And it was just a breath of fresh air when Google docs came along. And suddenly I knew that what they saw was what I saw, so that rather than sending over a word document and then realizing that you've made a mistake. So you then set some subsequent, you send another one and hope that they got the memo and read the second one, not the first one.
Google docs was brilliant because it was like a source of truth. Whatever's in that doc, we can version control it. We can rewind. See who typed what, when it's brilliant. And everybody, I think now could use Google doc. So yeah, I'm totally in agreement.
[00:34:50] David Waumsley: Yeah, exactly. So keep it simple if you were starting. We're trying to put ourselves in the shoes of started up, but that's definitely where I, whether I've explored too many things, unfortunately for the same, I think we've discussed this before.
It's that a lack of confidence. Sometimes you buy their tools hoping to look professional when you know, actually probably didn't need to, it just needed to talk more. Yeah.
[00:35:11] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. So we're talking about communication tools under this banner and communication, all ways for me starts and ends with the telephone.
And so I guess you need a telephone, right? Whether or not that's a landline, we'll come onto that later. But whether you've got yourself, a landline or a mobile, you need a telephone, you need a number on the internet. We talked about email addresses earlier. I think having a number is. And I, it was the best way for me to communicate always was, and I suspect always will be.
I'm very happy to talk to strangers. I'm very happy to explain things because I believe it's quicker on a phone call than it ever is. When you try to type it all out, obviously it would be good if the client could be with you on the phone call and looking at things, and that's your agile approach, but the phone you've got to have a phone,
[00:36:06] David Waumsley: since Jason I agree you do, but I think maybe for the marketing side of things, so I have the phone number one that's online and not real for just lucky, like where, yeah. It's only five days really with this looking like real legitimate, but in reality, I really hate the phone.
I think it's a little bit like emails, how you can miscommunicate with email. There's something like seeing someone's face cause you can judge. You can't always judge it with people, new people. To me. I really hate having a conversation with them because if I could see their face, I will know their emotions where I can't do that so easily on telephone.
[00:36:48] Nathan Wrigley: All right. All right. Scratch telephone then for telephone, would you be happy saying Xu? Google means you use whereby and I know that you can do things like this with slack and messenger and WhatsApp. If I substitute telephone for any of those apps, you would see that as, okay.
[00:37:08] David Waumsley: Yeah. Yeah. I'm on board.
It's interesting. There's only one client who never put their face up. They've been a long-term client, but I've never seen them talk. I've had a couple of beatings, they've put the video cam on and I always find them the hardest of all to judge. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:37:26] Nathan Wrigley: That's curious. Yeah. Yeah. I get that.
I've had lots of calls where people don't put the camera on and obviously I'm off often recording a podcast. It doesn't really matter too much, but yeah. It's some people choose not to do it. Yeah. I am going to push back on that. I think that we're still in the era where the actual telephone number.
Gives us lends a certain cue dos and we'll talk later about whether that needs to be a landline number or just a mobile phone number, but okay. We need some kind of communication tool, which might allow you to have video, but certainly would allow you to have audio. All right.
[00:38:04] David Waumsley: Yeah. I'm actually on a headline.
We had the counselors who we've covered that and we don't know much about accountancy software. Do you know? Oh my
[00:38:12] Nathan Wrigley: goodness. No the Le the less I know about accountants. The better. I feel my life is I I just can't cope with accounting and numbers and all that kind of stuff. No, I'm sure they've got software, but I have no idea what they're using so long as they send me the stuff and I can click the button to say, I confirm this is a true representation of my tax for this year.
I'm happy with that. Yeah. What about, sorry.
[00:38:42] David Waumsley: Oh yeah, no, I was going to say on accountancy and I partly got dragged in with one client too. They decided to use this accountancy software. They have a shop which I've managed and they've now been wanting to link up woo commerce with this accountancy system there.
And now I'm completely lost. I'm going to say, I just, I have no understanding of this at all. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Clients
[00:39:03] Nathan Wrigley: might want it. Yeah. Booking software. I love booking software to the point where I've got more booking software than anybody could ever need. I've got so many platforms I've ended up for, I don't really know why, but I've ended up using one called book, like a boss.
I got it on a lifetime deal years ago. And you could substitute that for Calendly or a myriad of other tools. But I think that's pretty essential, especially in a global market where you might be taking on clients who need to book you for times at times, I should say, when you're not available to talk to them and actually come to a negotiation of what time you're available.
So I think that kind of stuff is really important. But as I said to you before we started curious. I always apologize when I send them a booking link. I always start with something like, look, I know this is really impersonal. I'm sorry to do it this way, but would you mind looking at my booking software?
I need to get out of that habit, but there's a part of me which feels it's not as good as organizing the meeting. I don't know, on the phone or in an email or something like that. It's weird. I don't get it.
[00:40:14] David Waumsley: Yeah, it's funny because on that, I'm quite happy, but I approach it in the same way. It's just cut shorter in the sense that if you don't mind, would you book a time that suits.
On this page. Yeah. She's got the same book, like a bus and I've never had the hangup with that one.
[00:40:29] Nathan Wrigley: So yeah. I don't know what it is, but I definitely would imagine you would be. So you'd miss that software. If you didn't have it, if you didn't have a system for allowing people to book you when they were available to book you that you're missing a trick there.
I think it's brilliant. I use that stuff all the time.
[00:40:50] David Waumsley: And for me, it's not just about the ongoing communication. That's the way I want to start the relationship in the first place, because I, I'm quite happy even if it does turn out to be a waste of time to have that face to face, because the way I want my business to go means that I really do want that, that chat before we go any further.
You know the say how much for blah, blah, blah, or can you do this? I just say. Yes. Book here, please. And we'll have a chat about,
[00:41:15] Nathan Wrigley: do you just have one booking link, which does all the things, or do you have a variety of different types of booking? So you might have a 15 minute booking link or half an hour, one or an hour, one or a deep dive full day booking link or something like that?
[00:41:30] David Waumsley: Yeah. I have got two bookings on my own site. That's got to change cause I've got one through woo commerce where they're booking and time for my work with me, which is booking days. And then I have this book, like a boss for just my direct communication with them, which is, I think set at half an hour.
But they often longer than that anyway, so
[00:41:49] Nathan Wrigley: yeah, I've got loads of different scenarios set up. It might be, if you're booking onto this podcast, that's one link. Or if you're looking onto the show that we do on a Monday, that's a different link because it just needs to be different.
And then I have different amounts of time set up and depending on what the client wanted me to talk about, I knew, oh, that's going to be a long one or no, that will be really short. I know I can do that in five minutes. So I just send them a 10 minute, 15 minute one instead.
[00:42:20] David Waumsley: Okay. Now you've got no hair about your back to project management.
You always want some kind of Kanban board type thing.
[00:42:27] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. I couldn't care less, which Kanban board I'm using. So that could be Trello or a sauna or get horrible, whatever. But that, the way that looks is so right for me, the ability to drop in cards, move them from left to right. Depending on how that particular task is going.
Totally works. I find that task lists. So you might have, I don't know, an app where you've just got a great long list. I dunno. What's wrong with that. It just doesn't work in my head, but the ability to move it through different stages. Pending action, backlog, Don, whatever lost is all perfect for me.
So I have I've settled on a particular Kanban board solution I love it. And I would really recommend anybody. That's wanting to carry out any kind of task if you've never tried it before, go and at least give it a go. Cause it, it may be just the same fit from you as it is for me.
[00:43:28] David Waumsley: I think, the approach itself is something I've always stuck with the three things really, to do doing and done. Let's spend the only things that are stoked. But interestingly enough, went, I've opened up Trello and I tried that with a client that confused them. And then this is the same in a center where you can do it in that view.
Or you can have it in a list view and people move around, so you have to train them. So now it's gone to Google documents using the same. Basic three things to do doing and done in a Google document instead. Sorry,
[00:44:02] Nathan Wrigley: I may have misunderstood the intention of your question here. This is, I like doing the Kanban boards for things that I need to do by myself.
Yeah. It's task that I want myself to do. So I probably wouldn't use a Kanban board for the client facing stuff, unless I knew that they were happy with it and I might have to spend some time figuring out, does this make sense to you? Can you worked through this? No, this was very much about what I would use to organize the things that I need to do for example, today or this week or whatever.
[00:44:35] David Waumsley: That's, it's interesting. Cause I'm not effectively doing the same approach now. So his client, as I've taught to them, gets a Google document and it's got that basic Kanban idea, but they're just titles and it could be for me because if it's me just doing it, but if it's also for them, I should. And this is something, like we do when we're sharing our things here, we put our initials next to something don't we?
So we know who it belongs to. So again, keeping it the same idea, the same principle, but keeping it simple without having to have another piece of software to ingest.
[00:45:07] Nathan Wrigley: Yup yup. Yup. Okay. Yeah, that's fine. So let's actually move on to billing CRM. Yes. We've put storage there, but I don't think we need to do storage cause we've already gone through that.
Haven't we? But where do you start? You want people to pay up front and you're using things like woo commerce for that.
[00:45:28] David Waumsley: Yeah. See, I just can't, I can't bear chasing invoices and all this kind of complex billing stuff. So it's just so simple. You buy a boat, a block of time on our site is basically a WooCommerce site with a book plugin.
They book their time. It's got so many hours that paid up front, that's it. I don't need to chase them. And that's what I've arrived at. I can't see a better way of doing it to be honest. Obviously it suits this agile approach, but it just cuts out all that. Automatic invoice goes to them or rather a receipt of payment goes to them.
So there's nothing else needed. Yeah,
[00:46:05] Nathan Wrigley: I do like that. And I think that the it's not particularly recent, but certainly in the last decade, the ability to buy things and sell things online has made our job or almost everybody's job so much more simple, just the idea that you can send them a link and they type in 16 numbers and a few extra numbers and you get paid.
It's a miracle. An absolute miracle because when I began that really wasn't an option and you had to get checks and you had to wait for the checks to clear. And then you had to go back to some system that you had and tick off, okay. That one's gone into the bank account. I can see where that one now and maybe reconcile it all.
Every month. I use a system which I can create an invoice in literally five seconds flat. I send them the. They pay it, it gets marked as paid. And if not, I get notifications to say this one hasn't been paid and I can follow it up really easily. So yeah, I think you'd be mad not to have some kind of system of payment, but there are so many choices.
I've used a system which we've got in the UK, but I now understand that it's gone to much bigger parts of the world I think is available in America and Canada and Australia. It's called go cardless. And you just log into GoCardless type in an amount that you want somebody to pay and copy and paste the link.
And that works beautifully. And it also allows for recurring payments, but, Stripe and all of that can do it. I think GoCardless was my choice because it just had less fees. It. Yes.
[00:47:36] David Waumsley: Yes. I wish I'd started with that. Actually the whole, woo commerce I have to maintain with a book is plugin to do it that way.
And you told me about GoCardless. If I was starting again, I think that's the route. I would go find a SAS solution that worked easiest for
[00:47:52] Nathan Wrigley: me, yeah. You offer up a small portion. I think for GoCardless, it might be as little as 1.4% of all your transactions. So it's, I believe it's less than Stripe.
Anyway. The point being you give away some of your money, but it's supremely convenient and and it's brilliant and that's the way everybody pays me money. Now, there's no transactions that take place that aren't in some way online.
[00:48:18] David Waumsley: So who do we think needs a CR M I forgot what it stands for.
Is it customer relations
[00:48:26] Nathan Wrigley: management? That's right. Yeah. I'll tell you what that person was never me. I never had more clients than I could hold in my tiny brain. I, it really wasn't that difficult. If a client phoned me up, their name would appear on the screen of my phone. I would instantly know who they were.
And I would instantly know if they said to me, my website is down. I would know what that domain was and I would be able to go and check it out and fix it. But I, at some point my number of clients would have got too big for me. So if you're beginning, I personally don't think you need one, but if you have grown to the point where you want to manage that, and you don't want to have it in your head, or you've got team, let's say you've grown and you needed a team to be interacted with.
I think it's such a.
[00:49:18] David Waumsley: Yeah, it strikes me that it's a tool that if you are, quite active, with sales work and your, following up leads, you really need to know the progress of each of these, whether you've had a conversation with them and everybody needs to be able to see that and you know how likely they are to convert, but it never works for you.
And I, that way does it, we just started to get people
[00:49:40] Nathan Wrigley: or don't, and I think hell will freeze over before the perfect CRM is created, which will satisfy everybody's needs. And there'll be no arguments amongst teams of people about which CRM we should use, because they've all got their nuances. Some will do one thing.
Some will do one thing badly, but ultimately I guess it's a real decision to get right for you and your team, because the moment you've committed, you're in for the long haul, because it's going to be Hackett difficult to get that data out and stick it somewhere.
[00:50:11] David Waumsley: Yeah, indeed. Okay. I think we've done that section.
And so we've only got to finish off where there, just with a bit of a chat about the things that we no longer use. Yeah.
[00:50:19] Nathan Wrigley: So this is just stuff, which over the course of the last decade and a half, however long it is for both of us that we've decided actually, you know what, I'm not making use of that anymore.
So should we just go through the list in the order that we've got that? Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So I started filling up this list first. So I'll just go through my stuff. I've already said that I basically don't really find myself in an IDE anymore, but I completely understand that's a weird thing for somebody in the web development business to say, I imagine you'd be in there quite a lot typically.
I no longer use any Adobe products. So all the Photoshopping things, we mentioned that I've moved over to different things. So here's one, we talked about having a phone earlier. I now really don't have a mobile, sorry, a landline. I am totally happy just on the mobile, but let's just get into a chat about this one quickly.
Do you think there's a stigma about not about just showing your mobile number, do you think that's weird? So specifically in the case of our client, it, would it be weird for our lawyer to not have a landline number? Cause I think that prejudice is.
[00:51:29] David Waumsley: Yes, I would agree. It seems really out to keep him for them not to have a lead line, to be a legitimate, mainly because they would probably have an office landline anyway, she would expect it.
So if it wasn't there,
[00:51:41] Nathan Wrigley: I think that would be a bit odd. Having said that I reckon that my children's generation it's quite likely that nobody will have a landline. Those people who are currently moving out of their parents' houses, I expect they're only getting none loans because they have to do that in order to get some kind of internet connection.
But given more recent advances, 4g, 5g, and so on, I think it's quite likely that those numbers won't exist. So I think the prejudice against having just a mobile number will disappear over time. And it won't be weird just to have that. It's weird that it's a prejudice anyway, but it's real.
I was saying to you if I saw her on a website for a plumber, a mobile number, I'm totally all right with that. That's fine. Cause I'm expecting my plumber to be out. But if I phone up my accountant and I see on their website, it's a mobile number. That's weird. Why have they got only a mobile number?
Don't they have an office? I don't like the look of that. And it's ridiculous, but that's the way my head works at the minute.
[00:52:41] David Waumsley: Yeah. And it's in context, isn't it? Because it's the same with a plumber. If you, in a certain area where you have a lot of migrant workers coming in, who are not from the area and you really looking for a local plumber of the area, that might be a quick telltale sign.
A lot of people put a landline number in a meta-description for SERPs. So it stands out as a conversion thing because when people see it, so it must be a real thing. People say converts if you could see a landline and I think it does, it says, this is somebody who lives in my area. Yeah.
[00:53:15] Nathan Wrigley: Really get what the, even though you clarity. Oh yeah. There are services which will bind you a landlord, you can buy a landline number for hardly any money what's up. And it totally is legit. Okay. So that's weird. Next one, I used to have a fax machine. I no longer have a fax machine.
I'm not even going to get into that. Does anybody have a fax machine stand up? The one person in Britain who still uses fax? Here's another one. This is huge. Actually. Don't need an office. I've dedicated a room at my house. Ridiculously lucky though. That is I decided a long time ago. I'd rather do that than having an office.
I had an office. I never went, it was a total sock on money. So I've stopped using an office. And we can diff we can infer from the fact that you're currently traveling around in India, that you don't have an office.
[00:54:11] David Waumsley: Yeah. I think the only way to justify an office for our type of work.
Purely for marketing, to be in the center of a town where you want to grab the work look big as a big agency, because they're really no sense to it. Look, how, automatic is organized with distributed workers, a big company like that, and many are similar because it's the same kind of work and they do much more complex.
No one needs to come into that office. So yeah,
[00:54:37] Nathan Wrigley: for me, yeah. Yeah. 1500 odd people at automatic. And obviously with the pandemic, hopefully in the rear view mirror a bit. Now the, I think a lot of businesses have decided, boy, that was, we've been wasting a lot of money on physical premises and let's change that and let's give everybody a stipend to work from home.
So yeah, there's that, there's a whole load of AppSumo deals. I won't even bother telling you the list, but it's mighty and long tons of wasted money on AppSumo. Here's a couple of things that I no longer use Drupal and Magento.
[00:55:09] David Waumsley: Yeah. No surprise there. Can I take you back though, ask you a quick question on the AppSumo.
Is there a type of AppSumo product, a product that you bought that you don't use any
[00:55:21] Nathan Wrigley: longer? That's a curious thought. I think I was sickly if I couldn't figure out a thought, okay, let me rewind. If I had aspirations that at some point, my business would need such and such a tool that I bought.
I never probably implemented that the tool was for something that I thought, oh, wouldn't it be exciting if my business went in that direction. Whereas if it was a tool that I could use tomorrow, then I probably didn't waste money. I probably did use it. And I've got a laundry list of ones that I'm still using maybe periodically, maybe every day.
But if I could make use of it the very same day, that was more of an indication than anything else that I wouldn't be wasting my. Okay.
[00:56:11] David Waumsley: No, just find it. Yeah, I think the tools that I just haven't used have often been along the lines of some kind of project management type thing, something that'll help me organize myself.
So they just never got used. And then I didn't do much of that, but David McCann's a friend of ours and he has a group and one of the guys in that group Michael he coined the phrase edge edge soft. Instead of shell. Shelfware and I'm meaning go look into places like that too, in case your page builder fell down tomorrow or something, he would have another one in a lifetime.
Yes. Turn to, and I wondered if you did that, I would,
[00:56:52] Nathan Wrigley: I'm going to coin a different phrase for that. I'm going to call it insurance where you it's like just-in-case BeaverBuilder stops development tomorrow. I'm going to have this other page builder sitting in the background. Yeah, no, it was more to do with whether I could implement it or not.
Anyway, so yeah, I dropped Drupal and Magento. I'm not really touching PHP anymore. That's all of that goes with the idea because, page builders and also interestingly, I've stopped using a physical bank. I no longer make use of a bank, which has bricks and mortar premises. I'm using a bank based on an app, and I'm really happy about.
[00:57:33] David Waumsley: Yeah, and that's the way it's going. And all the banks are closing down.
[00:57:36] Nathan Wrigley: I know, and I am singularly responsible and I apologize to all bank employees, but, pivot and all that. That's my list of things. I don't use whatever. Most
[00:57:46] David Waumsley: fairly short. So I've mentioned one already that I've really moved off these things like base camp and a center to Google docs and keeping it as simple as possible.
Also going forward, I stopped considering a WordPress plugins for things like e-commerce membership, LMS is events and those kinds of things. I used to be really into those. So some of my AppSumo buys these things for a rainy day. As you mentioned though, someone will come to what membership of blah, blah, blah.
But now I've decided that I'm throwing them all out because I want to do straightforward agile stuff with sites where I can monitor the SEO and conversion stuff. That's a skill in itself. And I haven't got the development skills. So in terms of managing a client, I'd rather they have a third party stuff they were responsible for, particularly if it took direct, if it had a direct impact on their sales.
Yeah. Yeah. So that's gone for me. And desktop server and ramp is something I used to use and I no longer do everything goes on,
[00:58:48] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. It was straight up into the cloud. Yeah. Got it. Yep. You do it. I do. I've got the local, I believe WP engine and now responsible for maintaining and developing that, but it's called local.
And it's got like a green, like a diamond logo and I find it to be brilliant, but the only use I make of it is when I want to try out a plugin and I don't want, and I know that I've got a use for it, but I don't want to try it on a site which is already live. So I'll just quickly spin up a local install of WordPress.
Find that plug-in upload it, see what it does, see what the options do. And then I'll just usually destroy. Server almost as quickly as I created it, but local is is a brilliant tool. I know there's alternatives, which people prefer, but I'm happy with that and I'm sticking with it. So yes, I use it, but not a lot.
[00:59:41] David Waumsley: Okay. Yeah. And finally, the last one really is that I've reduced down my Facebook groups now as a way of finding that news. So I'm going for more going back to things I used to eat before, like smashing magazine, because the good side about Facebook groups is that they are, you find people like you in those groups often, and it's nice, but it is a bit of an echo chamber in terms of, knowing how to move forward, because you're just hearing from the same people who agree with you.
[01:00:10] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah. I'm hoping David, that there's one Facebook group in particular that you haven't left, no not trying to not saying anything. No,
[01:00:23] David Waumsley: but lovely, it's not that active at the WP Builds Facebook group, but always the conversation is always interested in and the people who, I've asked a few questions recently and they're just such fabulous answers from people considered.
Yeah. So I'm not going to
[01:00:38] Nathan Wrigley: let that, in order to quieten down your life and what have you, the the Facebook group thing has dwindled. I don't know if that's a trend. I feel from the conversations that I'm having with people that, that might be a direction of travel for a lot of people, but I guess only time will tell that's it, we've done it.
There's all the things now. Yeah. If basically you've got no excuses, if you're about to launch a website, building business, and you've just walked into an empty office, if you just do everything that we've said, You're guaranteed to fail. Succeed.
[01:01:13] David Waumsley: Yeah, absolutely. We met, we miss one thing off of this which could have been there, but we're going to do it as its own episode, which is performance testing.
Can I have some tools for that kind of stuff? Yeah. Next
[01:01:24] Nathan Wrigley: episode. Okay. So that'll be in a couple of weeks, time, performance testing coming up next, but okay. That's it. We'll knock it on the head. And thank you. Thanks, David. I enjoyed that.
[01:01:33] David Waumsley: Yeah, me too. Thanks, buddy.
[01:01:36] Nathan Wrigley: I hope that you enjoyed that episode.
Always a pleasure to chat to my friend David Waumsley. And in this case all about the different bits and pieces, the accoutrements that you might need to have a WordPress website business. If you've got any thoughts on that head over to WP Builds.com. Look for episode number 283 and leave us a comment there. Alternatively, you could join our Facebook group and leave some comments there. WP Builds.com forward slash.
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Like I said at the top of the show, page builder, summit.com. That's the place to be next week. It all kicks off on Monday. The 20th of June. We hope to see you there. Hopefully you'll join the community and engage and enjoy the whole event.
We'll be there until Friday, the 24th of June. That's all for this week, I'm going to fade in some cheesy music and say, bye-bye for now.