290 – Using no code solutions as your superpower

290 – Using no code solutions as your superpower

Interview with Raitis Sevelis and Nathan Wrigley

On the podcast today we have Raitis Sevelis from Visual Composer, and he’s here today to talk about the how you should use your WordPress page builder with pride and explain to your clients the many benefits that it brings to your workflow.


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There was a time when page builders first came around that they were somewhat spurned in the community. Not by all, and not for long. They were doing things in a new way, and sometimes new hurts. Gone were many of the technical barriers to creating sites. No more need to be wrangling template files and inserting shortcodes here there and everywhere.

Page builders allowed a whole new audience to come to WordPress and build site for themselves as well as for their clients.

Raitis thinks that sometimes we hide our page builder skills a little; assume that clients will think that less of us for using them. He has the opinion that we ought to be talking about how we use them more with our clients, and explaining how their use us making websites faster, cheaper and more easy for non-technical users to maintain and amend.


We talked firstly about the fact that we met at the recent WordCamp Europe, and what a lovely event it was. Raitis explains that he’s one of the developers over at Visual Composer, which many people, inaccurately assume is the same product as WP Bakery. We get into a conversation about the difference between WP Bakery and Visual Composer. The fact that WP Bakery is what used to be Visual Composer, and how the company decided to carry on using the name of the original product when they switched over to the new one, which is a WYSIWYG, drag and drop page builder. Perhaps this was a little confusing, but it made sense to the team at the time.

We then talk about the state of WordPress page builders, and how they can be useful. How they can help people to cut their development time. how they can be used as a way to market yourself in the increasingly competitive WordPress website building space.


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Raitis speaks about how you can perhaps claim that, armed with a page builder, you’re going to build things more quickly, and more affordably.

The time that you’re going to save on the website build could be repurposed into other website tasks such as SEO, or speed optimisation. It’s an interesting idea, and perhaps not one that you typically talk about with your clients.

Do you ever really discuss the tools that you’re using? Think about it, you’d be somewhat dismayed to visit a car mechanic to learn that they’re going to be charging you by the hour, but are not willing to user power tools. They claim that they’re going to do a better job with spanners and screwdrivers. You’d find that a little odd right?

We all know the kind of tools that mechanics use, and so that conversation is moot, but your clients don’t know about what tools are available to build websites and so you can add value to your offering if you explain the benefits of your page builder proudly.

Towards the end we have a little bit of a chat about the roadmap for Visual Composer as well, and it’s good to see that product being updated and continually worked on.

Here’s some of the questions that we chatted about on the podcast today:

  • Why do you think that people are hung up about page builders not being the ‘correct’ way of doing things? Surely this is now officially ‘dead’, now that we have Gutenberg in Core?
  • How do you suggest you communicate an ‘easy’ website builder without decreasing your value to the client?
  • What is the way to pitch page builders?
  • What’s your solution and why do you like it?
  • What’s its UVP?
  • Are there skills that we ought to be using to earn ‘over’ the use of a page builder? So, SEO, Page Speed Optimisation, knowledge of some SaaS apps?
  • Do you have any thoughts on how the web is becoming a little generic in the way that it looks? Is it all page builder rows these days and no new design ideas?
  • How can you stand out from the crowd of other page builder users?

Mentioned in this podcast:

visualcomposer.com

wpbakery.com

Visual Composer Facebook Group

Please leave a comment...

Nathan Wrigley

Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group.

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Transcript (if available)

These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.

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

Hello there. And welcome once again to the WP Builds podcast, you've reached episode 290 entitled using no code solutions as your superpower. It was published on Thursday, the 4th of August, 2022. My name's Nathan Wrigley, and we'll get to the interview in just a few short minutes, but first, a very short amount of housekeeping.

If you enjoy WP Builds, I would really appreciate it. If you could go to your podcast player of choice and leave as a review that may be apple or PocketCasts or Google be really helpful, it really does help promote the podcast. And obviously for me, at least that's a really good thing. I'd really appreciate.

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And so this is just an open source word, Pressy alternative. And the very last thing to mention is the deals page. It's a bit like black Friday, but every single day of the week, WP Builds.com/deals. Head over there. And find loads of coupon codes for WordPress products that might be themes, hosting blocks, all of that kind of stuff. WP Builds.com/deals, go and search and filter to your heart's content.

The WP Builds podcast is brought to you today by GoDaddy Pro. GoDaddy Pro 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. You can find out more by going to go.me/WPBuilds. That's go dot me forward slash WPBuilds. And we really do thank GoDaddy Pro for helping us really helping us put on the WP Builds podcast each and every.

Okay. On the podcast today, we have right CHS from visual composer and we're having a talk all about WordPress page builders, although right, is from visual composer. This conversation is about WordPress page builders in general, and about whether we are proud of their use, whether we are explaining to our clients exactly how it is. Us and therefore them time that could be repurposed into doing other jobs, for example, SEO or page speed optimization. And if we do get into a conversation with our clients, how do we frame it now?

A long time ago, it felt like WordPress users. Were just getting into page builders. There was a bit of a schism in the community about whether this was the right way to do things in WordPress. I think we can safely say the numbers. Now tell us that conversation has probably gone the way of the Dodo, lots of people using page builders now, but are we getting that information over to our clients and making them understand the benefits to them?

Not only in the build process that we've got, but also how they can amend and maintain their own website. It's a fun conversation and I hope that you enjoy it. Hello there. Welcome to the WP Builds podcast. Nice to have you with us. Once again, we're on an interview episode today and I am very pleased to bring to you, shovels. How are you doing right?

[00:04:23] Raitis Sevelis: Hey, Nathan, it's awesome to be here. Thanks for having me. Things are

[00:04:28] Nathan Wrigley: great. Yeah, you are so welcome. And what's really nice about this is that I actually met writers the other day, typically over the last few years. Certainly the last. Three years, COVID and all that.

I haven't been able to say that I've met anybody, but this recording just happens to be after the word camp Europe. And you were there. I was there. We met, it was lovely. It was very cool. How was word camp Europe? Did you have a nice time? Did you enjoy it?

[00:04:58] Raitis Sevelis: It's like for everyone being there after COVID meeting everyone, people.

you saw that people were hungry to communicate, to meet everyone contributors day, the biggest contributors day ever. Usually it was 200, maybe 300 people at work camp Europe attending contribu day. And but this year we hit the right record it's it was almost 800. Yeah. And that actually shows.

that people really want to meet others. They want to do stuff together. And that

[00:05:39] Nathan Wrigley: was awesome. Yeah, it was interesting because they were so surprised that many people had shown up because typically you have to check a box to say that you're gonna come. So they have some idea of how many people are gonna show up.

So they bought that much food and they had to actually tell everybody, can you eat just a little bit less because there's way more of us here. Then we had anticipated. Yeah, it was great for the first few hours on that contributor today. And for the first few hours on the main day one, which was the Friday, the first thing that came out of more or less everybody's mouths was something along the lines of it's so nice to be back in person until everybody had got that out of their system and then normal conversation resume.

[00:06:21] Raitis Sevelis: Yeah. And yeah you usually communicate with people in the COVID times , let's call it that way. And everyone was talking okay. When the work camps are coming back, when are we going to meet? And I think everyone was a little bit suspicious if it's really gonna happen. And I'm sure that plenty of people were not sure until, Boarded the plane or entered the venue okay.

Yes, it is happening. And yeah, here we are. Yeah. I

[00:06:57] Nathan Wrigley: must admit I was pretty nervous right up until the moment that that the plane actually took off, I was a bit nervous thinking, oh, what's gonna go wrong. And and I was also nervous in the days running up to it. You know that I would be infection free and actually be allowed to get on the plane.

But thankfully me and about 3000 other people all managed to check that box and it was an absolutely fabulous event and it really was a pleasure to meet so many people your good self included We're on the we're on the podcast today. We're always talking about WordPress. So let's get this a little bit out the way, is just tell us what your background story is with WordPress. Maybe tell us a little bit about the software that you're working on at the moment, just so that we've got some context for today's conversation.

[00:07:40] Raitis Sevelis: Yes. Sure. I've been in WordPress for 10 years and for me it was.

WordPress and WP bakery. This is what I discovered on the same day. It happened that the wife of our CEO, Michael, was studying in the university together with me. And I was thinking about, say career switch and told her, and she just told me, Hey, you should talk to my husband. And basically we met.

We shared the ideas. He showed me WP baker. He showed me WordPress itself and we just look at it. Okay. This is how I see things are developing from now on. And this is where we came to agreement and I joined WP bakery page builder. And at that time it was a first ever commercial drag and drop page builder for WordPress.

And it was only backend editor there. So the first thing actually, what we did, we introduced the front end editor because I remember Michael was showing me, so here are the blocks and then you click a preview button and you see how it. There was obvious question. Why should I click preview button? Why can't I instantly see the site that I'm working on.

And we managed to create first prototype of the front end editor in something like two months. And then of course continue working on that. and yeah, back then it was actually known as visual composer page builder. This is where we will get to some con confusing part then of course it was all based on shorts.

That's how things work in WordPress. And when you of course need to make some large layout, it was plenty of S so this is. People like page builders and yeah, shortcuts slowly became thing of the past. And we thought, okay, we should go with something new. And this is where we introduced visual composer website builder.

And we were the first ones in WordPress to actually start working with react. I think WordPress itself was only looking into that direction. Yes, we introduced visual composer website builder on react. No S it's components and it produces HTML. So this is the, this was a huge shift for us a few years back.

And of course we, there was we had to do something with the. so instead actually like giving our new product, a new name, we decided to keep it as visual composer and renamed the old page builder into WP bakery. And this is where the confusion started. We are still fighting. Who is the confusion.

Yeah. But yeah, maybe, it's a bit too late to do another rebranding. So it's easier to probably constantly explain everyone. This kind of situation this case, but yeah now we are focusing on visual composer. And actually, since we were the first one with the react there were not that much of a documentation back then.

So we are now actually redoing stuff again to introduce. Even better solutions, react hooks, for example, it's they show, they look really promising. So this is something we are working on currently and the type script sync. So basically the goal is to keep our tech stack at the top level.

Just to make sure that performance is there and everything works smoothly. Yeah. Because people demand performance and it's obvious you expect things to work

[00:12:02] Nathan Wrigley: fast. So right. Let's just re let's just rehash that confusion bit because I reckon if somebody's listening to this and they haven't been given it their full attention, it's quite likely that they miss the piece that you've just talked about because visual composer was the name of the original product.

You then. Changed the product and, but continued with the name, presumably, because you had some sort of brand allegiance at that point and, you could bring people along and they were already customers of yours. And so on the old product, the one that people were at that time familiar with became WP bakery.

And so there's now amongst in the world, out in the world, there's now a bit of confusion because people are associating visual composer. With WP bakery incorrectly.

[00:12:50] Raitis Sevelis: Yes. And I sometimes hear that, oh, visual composer it's, short codes, short based product which is not true. It's there, there are no shorts.

It's completely different solution. We wanted to keep a visual composer for both brands. Just to, have visual composer, page builder and visual composer website builder. Probably a bit less confusion, but the problem was with Envato. We were on Envato market exclusively back then with WP bakery.

And they even introduced new points in their agreement related to product families and so on just to make sure that. We need to do something about the

[00:13:40] Nathan Wrigley: branding. So do you still sell over on Invato anything or is it all now sold on your own your own.

[00:13:49] Raitis Sevelis: Yeah, our main channels is of course our own sites.

Probably the difference is yes for WP bakery, it's WP bakery.com for a visual composer it's visual composer.com and also of WordPress official plugin repository. Yeah. One of the huge differences is that there is a free version for visual composer. There is also copy available on on the code canyon for WP bakery.

We haven't removed that yet because of the reason that there are customers that are used to use code canyon to purchase plugins and. It's just for sake. So they don't have to, search WP bakery all over the. Maybe I don't, I'll find some hack solutions and then run into some security issues.

Yeah.

[00:14:48] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Do you you mentioned that still is a point of confusion for your customers or anybody, in fact, do you, and also you mentioned that you may, at some point need a rebrand. Is that something you would actually, or have actually talked about, in other words, getting rid of the visual composer name completely and just starting over just to get over that, presumably the conversation that you have over and over.

[00:15:13] Raitis Sevelis: We go back and forth with it. Sometimes we do have an idea about rebranding and then we drop it because visual composer as the brand it's there, it's recognizable and It's just probably makes sense to be more and more explanatory about the differences now, rather than, introduce.

another page builder. That's right. Yeah. Or website builder. The market is really saturated now, so we know,

[00:15:49] Nathan Wrigley: and you'd have three things to talk about. It used to be called visual composer, then it, then that became WP bakery. Then we carried on with visual composer. And now we've got this new name.

Yeah. Yeah. I can see how that would be yet. Another conversation. How's it going over there though? Let's talk, let's just concentrate on the visual composer thing, cuz the sort of the page builders that we talk about these days are less and less the sort of short codes and they're the drag and drop.

And the, what is really what you get kind of thing. How's the how's the product going? Have you, has it been popular? Received? Have you got some recent updates? Anything you wanna say before we get into our main convers?

[00:16:27] Raitis Sevelis: Yeah, from the feature perspective of course it covers all the needs for the webs.

You can build a layout there without using a theme. Actually. The font manager is there the responsive settings role manager option to lock elements and so on. And. Yeah, but the interesting part is that we actually rely on the cloud and this is where things are getting interesting.

You can download elements and templates from the cloud, so you don't receive a huge pack. You don't have to install some add-ons more and more. So you just download. Whatever you need. Is it a template? Is it a block? Is it an element? We also have Unsplash integration for stuck images. And this actually allows to keep your site clean.

So apparently the less elements you have, the less things you have to load, and you can control that you can remove any element from your library, and then when you need that, you can easily redownload it again. Whenever you want to use it.

[00:17:53] Nathan Wrigley: So it's a bit like in, let's say alternative different page builders, they may all come along for the ride at the moment that you install it.

You're saying it's a bit more I need this. I don't need this. I don't need this. I don't need this. And so they never get involved. They never really touching your site.

[00:18:09] Raitis Sevelis: Yes, exactly. Okay. Okay. And plus I think that most of the page builders have two versions, so the free and the premium, for us, it's one zip file. You install it, you activate the license and all the premium stuff is just getting downloaded automatically. Oh, okay. And that's handy. Yeah. So you, there is no confusion. Which zip should I take? You just take one. you activate activate the license and voila. Everything is there.

So

[00:18:45] Nathan Wrigley: all of the bits and pieces when you first install the zip they're not there you install it, activate it, activate the license key, and then you can cherry pick the bits and pieces that you want and download them at that moment. Exactly. Ah, that's fascinating. Okay. Actually, hadn't made that connect.

And the

[00:19:03] Raitis Sevelis: updates. That's also a good thing. So you don't have to always update the plugging because then you have to wait while people update the plugging to receive new features. And so on. Instead we update the extensions, the add-ons within our cloud, the elements and so on, and they just receive it and whatever we introduce, for example, a new template or new.

People will see that within 24 hours, depending on, the Jason update. Yep. And that's also cool, so they can get things on their site faster.

[00:19:44] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, that's amazing. Let's progress slightly and get into the main topic that we're gonna talk about today because we're gonna be talking about how well to summarize no code solutions can be the competitive advantage.

And if we were to rewind the clock, let's go 10 years. Maybe that's not quite enough, but let's go about 10 years. So more or less a decade, it felt that. These solutions weren't really there yet. If you wanted to modify a WordPress website, you had to understand PHP and the template hierarchy and how all of that works.

And then along came things like WP bakery, and we had a window into what it might be like. You had a, you had some sort of visual scaffolding. You could build a brick wall of different components that would make up the site and you save it and go and preview it. There it is. And then a little bit later, along from the, what is truly what you get page builders of which will include visual composer into that amongst others.

And it felt that there was a moment in time where the community was a bit divided. We were straying away from the WordPress way of doing it. Lots of people viewed it as if you're using a page builder. Cheating in a way, you're taking too many shortcuts. It's not the right way of doing things and so on and so forth.

So that's gonna be the tenor of our conversation. I'm guessing that you are firmly on the side of, forget all the template, files and stuff. You don't need to be involved in all of that. Just get yourself a decent page builder and you're off to the races, right?

[00:21:19] Raitis Sevelis: There are actually, yes as you said, there are mixed feelings.

People are usually afraid of something. Back then, people were afraid of having page builders. Some developers saw that, okay. They are trying to put us out of the job. And we know that same is now happening with AI solutions. There are plenty copywriting tools using AI and copywriters and marketing people are telling.

Robots are there to replace us, but that's not true. Those things are there to help. And if you look on the page builders, you can think of them in two ways. There is no code solutions and low code no code where actually no code is involved apparently. And low code is where you mix the best part that you can get from the.

Page builder together with your own expertise together with your own code. And I'm a more of a fan of a low code. This is how you use the product, not what the product is because if we look on the agencies of web creators, they have their own custom solutions. They use some custom CSS, custom JavaScript, and the ability to combine it with with the page builder of their website builder.

This is where it really helps you because you put away your reduced time working probably on the structure. Yeah. On some other minor syncs. This is where you use website builder for that the page builder. And for the rest, you just add your own, know how your expertise make the design look unique and so on.

I guess people shouldn't be actually afraid, but we still see the pattern that even now it's we talked a bit that, okay. Now people think of page builders differently, but according to data I think, yes it was something something just wait a minute. I have it somewhere written down.

Okay. 47% of the web agencies are still not using no code or local development platforms. Interesting. So that's 47%. That's almost. Are still not really into website builders and page builders, which is also a good scene. There is a market for that, just

[00:24:03] Nathan Wrigley: literally about to say those words. That's great for you.

You only tapped into half of the market. That's brilliant.

[00:24:10] Raitis Sevelis: yeah, but that's that just shows that people are still a bit suspicious and

[00:24:16] Nathan Wrigley: I've got a couple of points on that and the first one would be that I wonder if the tool. That they've got is just something that they're super quick with.

They've been doing it for decades. They know exactly how to deploy things and actually the downtime for them to learn the intricacies of let's say visual composer or one of your commercial rivals is maybe just something that they just. Aren't willing to do at the moment. What we know is our expertise and we can do it with our eyes shot.

Also. I'm guessing that they can probably do significantly more because of the way that they've built things over time. So I think. I can see why that is. But like I say, I think the fact that you've still got 53% of the agencies not wanting to go anywhere near page builders is great because, I assume the number would be higher than that by now.

And we'd be well into the sort of 70%, but I can see why they. Why they might be doing that? The reason I think they're so great. And you know me, right? I've got the page builder summit, I'm all over page builders. I really like them. Is I just see them as a total time saver, regardless of whether one's better than the other or what things one can do on another one, can't do at the end of the.

every one of them is gonna save me a boatload of time, whether that's just because it's taken care of some kind of CSS that I'd have to worry about, or whether it's got templates that I can just drop in because they're good enough as a starting point. Anything which saves me time is a total win. And that's what these tools do.

[00:25:58] Raitis Sevelis: Exactly. And I totally agree with you. It's about where the tool is applicable. There are projects that you can't really use page builders in and that's completely okay. Not everything can be built with page builders. And there are projects that you can build completely with page builders.

And there are projects where you combine sync, and this is how you use the product, not if you use it if you know how to use the product. What you told before that people have their, flow and all the technologies in place then probably it's easier, but it is also important to experiment with sync because if we wouldn't then probably a lot of solutions would be still developed using Jaguar.

Yes. And that's the same here. We have to play around, see where the tool is applicable and. Know how to use it. There is another one interesting situation about the organizations that it's outside of it, but only 12% of the organizations that. Purchase page builders were website builders actually use them after buying.

I'm talking now about businesses out, outside WordPress, not agencies and so on. Just yeah, small and medium that decided, okay, I will buy website builder, and I'm going to develop site using it. And that's the problem that people don't know how to use it. Got it. Yeah. And they can't really find an agency because agencies are like, half of the agencies are suspicious.

And that's that's actually where demand is also yeah,

[00:27:43] Nathan Wrigley: a really interesting point about that is if you just do it, the old fashioned way, listen to me, if you do it that way the way with templates and what have you. In other words, if you're not using a page builder, there's loads of documentation around that, and also you find your feet with the way WordPress is doing things.

Whereas if you are thrown straight into the page builder, There's this disconnect between, okay. Now why can't I edit the slog in here? Why do I have to go to some other weird looking interface with a load of boxes in it? Do you know what I mean? So there's this sort of disconnect between what the page builder's doing and the way that WordPress did it.

And I guess if you just do it the WordPress way, if you like the old way that bit, at least taught you how it was all built and how the, like I say, the template hierarchy worked and.

[00:28:32] Raitis Sevelis: Yeah you need to understand things and you need to look into, in, into changing your workflow or how things can be integrated in your workflow.

And even now we see like people were suspicious and still are suspicious about the Gutenberg. A lot of people prefer classic editor because within the Gutenberg, there are some windows. Oh, and as you said, I have to go in there and understand why I'm doing that here. And the same is for the menus.

Now, there is a new way to manage manuals and people. Crazy about it. Like why the old one and how it's gonna work. That's right.

[00:29:13] Nathan Wrigley: I must admit I'm a bit confused by the new menu system. I gotta say

[00:29:20] Raitis Sevelis: Yes plenty of questions there, but and. For the page builders, we know that attracting the attracting developers it's hard sync for an agency to attract and then retain developers.

Yeah. And what page builders actually allowed? They allowed the first of all designers probably to jump into Web development field a little bit. I'm not talking about, very advanced solutions, but landing pages, business sites, sometimes eCommerce stores. Yep. This is what page builders can do.

Yep. And also for the agencies they can hire there is this term citizen developer. This is a person with a bit of a technical skills, enough to use a page builder enough that, understand the concepts of web design, web development, but not really a techy, not really a coder, but this person can now work within an agency on a independent project and basically to deliver it.

So that's that's a huge opportunity for agencies to look for a people. Outside. Developers group and scale their agencies.

[00:30:40] Nathan Wrigley: That's a good point. So the whole notion of building websites was traditionally the domain of developers. And you had to be a pretty consistent, it had to be a pretty consistent study to get to the point where you were capable of doing all the things now that the tooling page builders and so on, have taken a lot of.

Away and stripped away that complexity and made it possible with click point drag saved technologies. Then you suddenly open up the field to people who would never have strayed in be before. So like you say, people with a more design. Bent people who are more familiar with working in Photoshop a decade ago, they're now bringing their Photoshop skills, that layout, F they've just got that beautiful design brain that can work in that way.

And they can now start to implement some of these things. And the developers can worry about the more complicated stuff on the back end. That's a really good.

[00:31:38] Raitis Sevelis: And I am actually the person that worked with the Photoshop a decade ago, a decade, because last 10 years, I spent in the, in WordPress, in, in page builders, website builders, before I spent 10 years in agencies working as a designer.

So Photoshop was my main tool. And now I'm at actually the perfect split where half of my career is spent at the agency and half of my career, I. Working for the tools for the agencies. And I definitely understand the pain points where develop where designers want to develop syncs, but just lack some deep technical skills to do that.

But there's also another side of the coin. When I talk to developers, they, many of them appreciate page builders because they don't have to think about. If you don't have design skills, you can still pick a template. And we know that all major page builders have templates, so they pick a template.

They build on top of that. So may, maybe it's changed some things, but they don't have to think about design, so they don't have this creativity probably other don't have time. So this is where it actually helps developers, not just to bring designers into the

[00:33:02] Nathan Wrigley: developers. That's a really good point.

I'm thinking of when I was at school and I had to, I was told by the teacher to write a story and there in front of me was a blank piece of paper. It was just totally blank. And that, that blank piece of paper just freaked me out. It was just, ah, I've got no idea. I can't begin. But then the teacher would come over and say, you look like you're stuck.

Here's an idea. Why don't you write about this thing? And all of a sudden you're like, ah, okay, got it. And the story comes because you've got something to hang it on. Somebody came and gave you an idea. And it's the same here. You've got some templates. They're probably not exactly what you need, but they're enough to hang your coat on and to get you started.

And it may be that you want to tweak it and fiddle with it. But the beauty is it's a bit like it's a bit like Spotify with music. Now. I have all the songs. Whereas when I was a child, I could have the only, I had only the collection, small collection of songs I could afford. If you go with a page builder, you've got all the templates and you can throw them in, have a quick look.

No, don't like that. Throw them in. No, don't like that. Ah, yes, that's the closest I'm there. Now I've got a beginning and in that way again, you can just save yourself a whole bunch of.

[00:34:13] Raitis Sevelis: Yeah, exactly. And the point that you mentioned about the school is just a push that can help you.

It's actually one way of using page builders is for prototyping. Good point. Yeah. A lot of people are using that. And if you're, for example, if you're even pitching a potential client, It brings a lot more value because if you are competing with other agencies, they are coming with their wire frames, like static images and so on.

Good point. Yeah. But here you are with actually more or less working site where your potential customer can click on this stuff. You can explain things, maybe even change things on the go. And yeah, you can use that for sales. It's a The impression is a lot better.

[00:35:11] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah. So this is an interesting point and I never really charted the development of it for me over time, but I definitely remember a decade ago I would go into client meetings and I had literally nothing to show them.

It would be a conversation. I would talk about what was possible. And I may show them other sites that I build that I had built in the past, but there was no bit where I could suddenly whip out a this could be your site. It was just, here's a bunch of stuff I've done in the past. So that brings now the possibility to sit in front of a potential client and begin to show them how easy it is to build this stuff.

And that leads to my next question. I, is that where you think the future of these technologies are in other words, rather than. Build it for them. It's more of a, will build it with you approach because we would like you as the client to share what this tool can do to learn. Maybe we'll even go as far as sitting you down and give you a demo about how in your case, visual composer works.

And dare I say it, you could maybe leave some of the content editing to them and the page creation to them down the road.

[00:36:24] Raitis Sevelis: This is actually already happening. Yeah. Regular business use page builders to adjust their content, to manage their content because they not always ask agency, to do the small things, adjust image, change the color of the button, add a block post.

They usually refer to agencies for a bit of more advanced custom work, but the small. As a business, I don't want to wait for an agency to handle my request within two or three days. I want to things happen instantly. And this is where tools help me. What is important is how it is configured for example element lock that was introduced in WordPress in 6.0 yeah.

We actually have a element lock in visual compos. For a while where an admin can actually lock all the elements on the page and leave, for example, only the text block or single image open for editing. And when the customer access visual composer specific page, there is no option to ruin the layout.

Yeah. That, yeah, that. Some sometimes happened in the past with clients getting their hands on the page builders and like starting, oh,

[00:37:54] Nathan Wrigley: getting all happy and just moving things around now I can do those conversations. Yeah.

[00:38:00] Raitis Sevelis: Yeah as a developer, you secure your work there you still can have that site in your portfolio after a year or so.

And. For clients it's easier. You enter the page builder, you just have two things to change. For example, you know how to operate with them, you can't break anything. Yeah. And this is the huge benefit and where it can go of course assistance. What what I love about. Potential future for the page builders is that we need to educate people on other syncs rather than just how to build a site.

It's about how to maintain site. And from also the quality perspective analysis of SEO on the go of the, accessibility and and these kind of things. People a actually about accessibility. People often think that accessibility is something for people with disabilities, but that's completely not true because for example, we are getting older, so our vision becomes worse.

when we work on the accessibility, we actually work for our future. If even if we, break the arm or. Even then it's tough to, to navigate across some sites and so on. So yes some analysis and suggestions about the accessibility optimizations and so on. This is where we see the future at visual composer, we actually introduced what we call insights.

It's a panel that constantly monitors the page and gives you the information about. Contrast ratio about the image, sizes, dimensions file sizes weight and so on. So actually we try to help people to optimize their site on the go, because sometimes there is a case, people build a site with page builder, and then it's not optimized.

And the page builder is slow and. This is how they see that because they use the page builder. So the page builder made the site slow, and then you enter the site and huge images there, like one megabyte image. And there are like 10 of those, or, I don't know, 20, I've seen 50 gallery of 50 images and each was around one megabit.

Ouch. And yeah, and that person complains that, Hey, my site is slow because of the page builder. This is I guess, the future that page builders need to solve. We are trying to do that with the insights. Yeah. It's and artificial intelligence. It's

[00:41:10] Nathan Wrigley: it's really interesting because the argument.

A little while ago, let's say five or six years ago was that page builders would put people outta work. In fact, if anything, it's created just entirely new industries, because well, not industries, but different hats that you may wear inside your agency. So now that there are complicated graphical designs all over the place, Google have decided to step in and they've got their core web vitals, which we've now all got to be mindful of.

And all of a sudden. There's like another role. There's another thing which you can explain is a requirement for your clients. So yes, you may be able to build the sites quicker. The actual pages may land quicker, but there's now a whole load of other things, which you can pitch yourself as an expert on, you mentioned SEO.

It could be speed optimization. It could be accessibility. It could be, I don't know your ability to. Different SAS apps together, along with the website, all sorts of different possibilities. So the scope of our industry is growing. Even if the page building bit is getting quicker

[00:42:17] Raitis Sevelis: and yes it's also all about the speed, as you said, the site.

Yeah. The page building is quicker. So why do you actually. Should look into page builders is because of the speed . And the speed of delivering projects the market will grow in the upcoming years, dramatically. Gartner predicts. It's going to be just wait. I have numbers somewhere. It's going probably to double yeah, by 20, 26.

Yeah. It was 7 billion in 2021 and yeah, so it's going to double soon and there is more money on the table and there are like several ways how to get it. You can raise prices. You can scale your team and you can optimize your workflow. And if you want to get a piece of cake, you should actually think about.

All three of those. Yeah. I, but this is where the page builders can help. They don't have to change the workflow. They have to jump in the places where it can where your workflow can be faster. Yeah. There

[00:43:34] Nathan Wrigley: There's uses for them. There's places where not to use them, but once you've got whichever page builder you're using, once it's got muscle memory with you and you know how to do things, you really are looking at a fraction of the time.

It would've taken you to do things, but not just to build it. It's the ability to when the client comes back and says, actually, I'm not that keen on that design. Can we move that bit from there to there and make it blue? Typically that takes about four seconds with the page builder. Edits and things like that are so much quicker.

Here's a, here's an interesting thought. And this is about the Guttenberg thing, because I know that when Guttenberg came along in WordPress 5.0, lots of people were saying, you know what this is not gonna there were some people that saying in the end, this'll be a real problem for.

Proprietary page builder, such as visual composer, because it's gonna, it's gonna be a page builder. And then everybody took stock, looked at what it was capable of and said actually, no, it, it can do barely any of the things that we need to do. And any of the things that it does do are really tricky to make it do.

In other words, it was hard to use. Now we're at WordPress 6.0, we've got full site editing. We've got things like, the navigation block and the query loop block and all of these kind of things. And then you've got these projects like generate blocks and cadence and all of this, which have bits of page builders to make it easier added in and templates.

And so on. Just curious about what your th thoughts are on whether or not Gutenberg is going to start gobbling the other page builders pie, because now it feels so much more capable than it did three years.

[00:45:15] Raitis Sevelis: Yeah, of course Gutenberg is growing in terms of features. And as you said three, three years ago, it was a completely different product.

And now it's capable of doing a lot more. And of course like it, it will take part of the page builder market, but it's the same as with. With anything in the world. There, there is a choice. There, there is a market and there is a choice and there are tools. Help solve specific things and preferable tools and so on it's like with cars, some do like Mercedes, others, BMW and others, Volvo and Toyota.

And it's, it is just how it is. So there are still people that prefer certain page builders. They use that. They follow the roadmap of the development. They know what's coming up next and the developers of the page builder follow their clients. They see what they are demanding and talking to them, constant feature requests and so on.

So they are developing for a specific group of people. So that's. That's why there is an opportunity for everyone within the

[00:46:44] Nathan Wrigley: market. Yeah. And also, although we've had this tiny little hiccup recently where the market share seemed to stagnate, period, we'll see where that goes. I'm talking about the market share of WordPress 42, 40 3% of the web.

If you like, that is just such a big slice of the internet. And if it does carry on in its opera trajectory, then month on. It, you've got even more of the the market to deal with. And so even if I don't know, Gutenberg or your rivals took a 10% chunk out of the market. The market just is swelling all the time.

So it's maybe not much of a concern.

[00:47:20] Raitis Sevelis: Yeah, exactly. But. As Matt said in his talk that the numbers are there, but they're not that precise. And they are going different ways. We definitely saw the spike of in, in WordPress during the COVID, but that's probably because of the eCommerce. A lot of businesses were not prepared.

For COVID and lockdown. So they had to go into e-commerce like really fast and it was either Shopify or WordPress. And apparently both are really easy to get things online, fast.

[00:48:04] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Just before we round off, cuz we've talked for good grief. We've talked for much longer than I had intended to keep you.

I'm sorry about that, but let's return it to visual composer. Let's give you a last chance to plant your flag in the sand and tell us about it. Just just tell us a little bit about what you've got coming over the remainder of 20, 22 possible roadmap items or feature requests. And then also tell us where we can find you.

Or you might just wanna drop the URL for visual composer, whatever a way of finding you or a way of communicating with your team. But let's start with roadmap features what's coming for visual composer in the near future.

[00:48:46] Raitis Sevelis: Yes from the technical side, as I already said, we are introducing type script and working constantly on optimizations to.

Make sure that the speed is always up to date. And that's a never ending story. Probably you, you have to review, you have to update frameworks constantly and so on. So it's there on the next thing is of course the insights that I mentioned like. Scenarios. We constantly add more and more scenarios for the qualitative and quantitative analysis to basically help people build better sites.

And for pros it serves as a reminder. Things like, Hey, you forgot to add the Google analytics code to your site. Or something like that. I heard from developers that they appreciate that. Oh, okay. Yes. Or one of the images is not optimized. So things like that really help people. And the third one is the user interface.

We are simplifying and refactoring user interface in terms that, to split it. Content management design and advanced stuff. So again, this comes down to how agencies operate with clients that you don't probably want to give too much freedom to. Your end customer and have a bit more control on your side.

So they're an option ability to edit just the certain parts yeah. Of the element and yeah, leave the design or, some custom CSS just for you and E even within your team, probably like designer could work like polishing sinks while you work on the structure. Basical. We don't want to change the workflow of the agencies.

We, we are now looking into how to make most out of the visual composer within the workflows of the agencies of the web creators. And, yeah,

[00:51:01] Nathan Wrigley: that's great. And so the second piece, then if we wanna reach out to you in particular and also just let us know what the URLs are for the products that.

[00:51:12] Raitis Sevelis: Yes. Let's start from the bottom up. Everyone knows WP bakery, so you can always get the information about the WP bakery on WP bakery.com on the visual composer. Again, it's visual composer.com and you can get free version of the product either on our side or straight from from the word.

Plug in repository on meeting me online or any other team member. We do have a Facebook group for visual composer users, but not limited to visual composer users so everyone can join. Everyone can get into conversations. And basically I try to be myself pretty active within a workers community.

I love meeting people. I love talking to people getting new ideas, sharing new ideas. Whatever you have, any questions just jump on Facebook, hit me up or. And I'm there can't promise 24 7, but . I try to do my best. Yeah.

[00:52:25] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. That's great writers, CHS, thank you so much for joining us today, talking about page builders and visual composer in particular.

I really appreciate it. Thank

[00:52:34] Raitis Sevelis: you, Nate. It was pleasure. And yeah, finally got on your podcast, so that's awesome.

[00:52:40] Nathan Wrigley: I hope that you enjoyed that. Very nice chatting to writers this week, all about WordPress page builders and how we might explain the benefits of using them to our clients, how it saves time and therefore, possibly some money, which can be repurposed in other ways on their WordPress website.

I do the analogy that if you went to a mechanic and you said, okay, please fix my car. And they said, yeah, we'll do that. But we're only gonna use manual tools we're gonna use spans and screwdrivers. And we don't use power tools here. I think you'd find that a little bit strange and maybe the same is true here.

Maybe doing things in the old fashioned WordPress way has its place, but for cheaper, perhaps, and more affordable, quick builds page builders seem like the obvious choice, whatever your thoughts, if it's provoked to any thoughts, head over to WP Builds.com. Search for episode number 290 and leave us a comment.

The WP Builds podcast was brought to you today by GoDaddy Pro. GoDaddy Pro 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. You can find out more by going to go dot me forward slash WPBuilds. And we really do thank GoDaddy pro for their support of the WP Builds podcast.

Okay. We will be back next week. We've got two things that we do typically. This is the Thursday podcast that you're listening to now, next week, it's very likely to be a chat between David Wamsley and myself.

And then on a Monday, WP Builds.com/live 2:00 PM. UK time. We have our, this week in WordPress show. It's very nice when people show up and leave comments. So if you've fancy doing that by all means, go to that URL and join us live and leave us some interesting comments. I'll be joined. Probably three people from the WordPress space as we chat about the WordPress news from this week, if we don't see you for any of that, I hope that you have a pleasant.

Stay safe. I'm gonna fade in some cheesy music and say, bye bye for now.

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