The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 20th February 2023
Another week, and we’re bringing you the latest WordPress news from the last seven days, including…
- WordPress 6.2 Beta 3, contributors to host a live product demo.
- MemberMouse has been bought by MemberPress.
- Do you feel betrayed by WordPress’s move away from PHP?
- WordCamp London is back in 2023, and the organisers want your opinions.
- Accessibility is in the news a lot this week with a variety of articles.
- Kadence Blocks 3.0 is out and brings a ton of new features.
- and Nathan should have discovered a dinosaur, but did not, and he’s annoyed!
There’s a whole lot more than this, as there is each and every week, and you can find all that by scrolling down and clicking on the links!
This Week in WordPress #242 – “Nathan did NOT find a dinosaur”
With Nathan Wrigley, Jess Frick, Paul Halfpenny and Samantha Mueller.
Recorded on Monday 27th February 2023.
If you ever want to join us live you can do that every Monday at 2pm UK time on the WP Builds LIVE page.
Plugins / Themes / Blocks
Not WordPress, but useful anyway…
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Transcript (if available)
These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.
[00:00:00] Nathan Wrigley: It is time for this week in WordPress, episode number 243 entitled. Nathan did not find a dinosaur. It was recorded on Monday, the 27th of February, 2023. My name's Nathan Wrigley and I will be joined as wise by some notable WordPress guests. I'm joined this week by Paul Halfpenny, but also by Samantha Miller.
It's a WordPress podcast. So what do we talk about? WordPress, mainly WordPress 6.2. BTA three is just around the corner, and I'm going to be hosting a walkthrough with Anne McCarthy and Rich Table. Find out how you can get involved in that. It's all gonna be held on Zoom this coming Thursday. We also talk about the fact that Member Mouse, the plugin has been bought by Member Press.
There's an interesting article by somebody who I couldn't identify called Betrayed by WordPress. Are you clinging on like they are to P H P? We also get into the whole topic of tech layoffs and whether it's affecting you and what you can do about it, where you can go and find support and so on.
WordPress, London is coming back. Word camp London, I should say. It's coming back this year, 2023 in September. Hopefully the organizers will get some survey details out of you to make that show as good as possible. Meet up.com have bowed to the accessibility pressure that the WordPress community put on them.
Go and see what that's about. We also talk about the fact that you can flatten your WordPress websites, and Patrick Posner did a podcast episode with me discussing all about that, and we talk about Cadence 3.0, the big update. It's all coming up next on this week in WordPress.
This episode of the WP Builds podcast is brought to you by GoDaddy Pro, the home of manage WordPress hosting that includes free domain SSL, and 24 7 support. Bundle that with The Hub by GoDaddy Pro to unlock more free benefits to manage multiple sites in one place, invoice clients and get 30% off new purchases. Find out more at go.me/WPBuilds.
Hello there. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening. Welcome. Depending on where you are in the world, very nice to have you with us.
Really appreciate it. This is this week in WordPress 242. Goodness me. It's like we should have run out of things to say about WordPress hundreds of episodes ago, but there you go. It's the c m s that keeps on giving. We are joined this week by two people, neither of whom have been on this show before. Sadly, the marketing materials that we were putting out had Jess Frick's name on get Soon.
Jess is all I need to say. She's not feeling very well, and so she's pulled out today's show, but we've got these two fine people joining us. First of all, Samantha. Now Samantha, I do apologize. I never asked in advance, is it Mueller? It's Miller. Oh, for goodness sake. I do apologize, Miller. That's interesting cuz it's got that look to it.
[00:03:21] Samantha Mueller: At my wedding, my maid of honor mispronounced it as well, so it's totally fine. ,
[00:03:27] Nathan Wrigley: I feel less bad. That's not quite so bad. Anyway, thank you so much for joining us. Hopefully this won't be the first and angry time. Samantha is the content marketer at Nexus. We've gotten, we've had lots of people from Nexus on before.
She's a WordPress dabbler and a word, a world class pet namer. I've got a drill down on those. Firstly, what is a WordPress dabbler?
[00:03:53] Samantha Mueller: I have been using it since I was in high school. Oh. I wouldn't consider myself an expert, but I know enough to get around and I've had many accounts .
[00:04:02] Nathan Wrigley: Yes. Yeah.
That'll do. It's always nice to get a different perspective. So I appreciate you coming on, but what's this pet naming thing all about? Have you got many pets?
[00:04:11] Samantha Mueller: Not currently, but I give them the best names, .
[00:04:15] Nathan Wrigley: Oh, nice. Gone give them. I
[00:04:17] Samantha Mueller: have I have two min pins. The older of the two is Ziggy Woof Dust , and our younger one whose spirit matches, her name is Stevie Licks.
[00:04:28] Nathan Wrigley: Oh, that's, yeah, as in licks. Okay, got it. Yeah. Oh, that's marvelous. I really appreciate you comment on today. Hopefully. Absolutely. Hopefully, like I said, it won't be the first and only time. Also joining us today, we have got Paul Halfpenny. How you doing?
[00:04:43] Paul Halfpenny: Very well. Thank you. You pronounced it
[00:04:45] Nathan Wrigley: right?
Yes. Yours is more straight unless it's Powell or something like that. Yeah. Paul, how Bernie? Quite a lot. Oh, oh, Haney is,
[00:04:56] Paul Halfpenny: yeah.
[00:04:57] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, of course. Yeah. Paul is joining us. He was actually on a podcast episode that I did recently add. I was just saying to Paul prior to pressing record, his voice is totally in my head at the minute cuz he's been in my ears for the last little while.
But Paul is the c t o at Filter, which is a remote first digital agency that specializes in open source tech such as WordPress, Laravel, react, react Native, un Ionic. The team there works on WordPress sites for clients, including, check this out, this is cool. Crystal Palace fc, which is a major football club over here.
Medi Vet, Enmore Thistle, and major clients were not even allowed to mention. Ooh. In 2022, he taught secret at. Come on, you were gonna say? No. They're all secret. Oh, okay. Yes. You must kill the messenger if that. If we mentioned in 2022 he talked at Porto at Word Camp Eu. He also was there at Word Camp US in San Diego.
He's also a massive, and I've got this on Good Authority, a massive fan of Depeche Mode, and apparently they've got a new album coming out. He also likes to dabble in Star Wars in Disney, and he's just returned from an Epic two and a half week Christmas stay over there. Okay. If Depeche Mode played in Disneyland, is that
Haven't even considered that . No, I bet they haven't either. Somehow. What's the fascination with Depeche?
[00:06:26] Paul Halfpenny: Enjoy the silence. 1990 came out, I was 15. Perfect. Time wasn't really into music until that point. That hit, that was it. Since then, it's just got worse and worse,
[00:06:38] Nathan Wrigley: to be honest. It's interesting cuz I, I was a massive music fan and much less so since I got older, but I never coalesced on one band as the thing.
It was always like a bit of this and a bit of that. And it's interesting when you meet people who just it's like the Elvis fan. When you see people going to those sort of Elvis shows, you think, have we moved on? Do we all have to keep listening to Elvis? And I would, I'm not leveling that charge at you, but is there ever a moment where you go, do you know what maximum Depeche Mode has now been?
Frankly not. It just
[00:07:10] Paul Halfpenny: worse as I get older. and I think just somebody in the comments just said they're touring. They are. They start tour next week next month. That is peach. We got our tickets booked and albums out. And the most exciting thing I think was they released a new single a couple of weeks ago and we listened to it and we went.
These guys are 60 and that's really good. And so I'm happy, you know that they released something that was still great and I can keep
[00:07:38] Nathan Wrigley: loving them for Oh, that's so nice. It's like a, it's like a comfortable pair of shoes or something like that. Very much, yes.
[00:07:47] Paul Halfpenny: cost a lot in box sets.
[00:07:48] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you. Thank you for joining us on the Depeche Mode podcast. We're not gonna talk about WordPress today. It's all gonna be about music, right? No, the person in the comments there is Peach. She's been on the podcast several times. I do a week, a monthly show with her all about UI and ux. So thought that she might.
Comment on that cuz she likes, seems to like her music. We've got a few comments that have come in. Really appreciate it when people do that. Thank you very much. Lana is saying good evening from rainy Ukraine. It's 4:00 PM it's rainy here in the uk and as if to keep the weather report thing going.
Peter Ingersol every single week drops in a weather report about where he is in Connecticut. So it's 9:00 AM mostly sunny in Connecticut. It's 32 degrees Fahrenheit on North degrees Centigrade. The weather hasn't changed much has it, Peter, in the last two months. Tonight we are expecting our first winter storm of the year with upwards of 8 0 0 8 inches of snow.
Peter, go and hide. Thank you though for leaving us a comment. I really appreciate it. And we've also got Courtney joining us who says, good day with a nice morning coffee. Really appreciate that. If you wanna make any comments, there are several caveats. The first thing is the easiest way to make comments is to go to this page, WP Builds.com/live.
And if you're logged into a Google account, you're good to go cuz it's YouTube. It's a YouTube commenting system over there. But if you're in our Facebook group, there's a little step you've gotta go through because Facebook disallow us to retrieve your username and avatar unless you go through this step.
My understanding is you only have to do it once, and then if you don't clear your cookies from your browser, you're good to go. You go to chat.restream.io. That's the platform we use slash fb chat restream.io/fb. And once you've done that, click the authorize whatever button and then we can see who you are.
If you wanna remain anonymous, that's fine. Two, maybe just include your name in the post or something like that. Okay. Fine fine. We've got lots to talk about today. Firstly I should say that we didn't get here last week because we had a summit on, we had the page builder of summit going on, which is now over, so we skipped a week.
So some of these articles might not be like super brand new, shiny. They might be, 10 days or something old, but I felt that they were worth including. So let's get right to it. Let me share my screen. Let me just find the right one. Here we are. First thing, which we always do is enormous amounts of self-promotion.
This is our website, WP Builds.com. If you're fancy, keeping in touch with what we do, fill out this little box here. Include your email address, and we'll email you twice a week. That's basically it, telling you when we've got new content out. That's all I really wanna say about that. You'll notice on here though, that the podcast is supported by GoDaddy Pro.
We'll be talking about them a little bit later, but appreciate GoDaddy Pro for all of their ongoing efforts on keeping the podcast going. It's been an amazing journey. Thank you. Good morning, says Michelle Frette. Hello. Nice to have you with us, Michelle. Appreciate it. And let's get onto the first piece of WordPress News.
This is WordPress 6.2. B2 three. It's coming around and there's gonna be a live demo on the 2nd of March. It's being it's being aired on Zoom. You don't need to book for it, you just turn up and Anne McCarthy and Rich Table will be on the call. I'm actually the moderator of that and I'm a little bit nervous cuz I never use Zoom and I don't understand how to use Zoom.
But hopefully between the three of us will. , we'll somehow get through it. But if you want to go and post your questions all about WordPress 6.2, then go to this article, WP Tavern. It was on the 22nd of Feb. It's called WordPress, 6.2 beta three released contributors to host live product demo on the 2nd of March.
And there's a link in there where you can submit your questions and there's also a link directly into the Zoom call at the appropriate time. My understanding, on the second of my, I think it might be 4:00 PM UK time, it could be 5:00 PM If I look at my calendar, I could tell you. But anyway, it's about then and I'm looking forward to it.
That'll be a bit of a laugh. I've never done it before, so that will be cool. And I'm gonna ask Samantha and Paul if they're gonna attend and if not, why not? ,
[00:12:15] Paul Halfpenny: yes, of course. Gonna attend. Yeah.
[00:12:16] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, course you're absolutely, we'll never see you again.
[00:12:19] Paul Halfpenny: No. But definitely I think it's really exciting.
Is it end of phase two, isn't it, with WordPress 6.2. Yeah, there's a, if it's on the next thing
[00:12:30] Nathan Wrigley: it's onto, yeah, there's gonna be a large amount to talk about. I think Anne and Rich have got a lot in the pipeline. There's just so much going on the finishing of full site editing being one of them.
Really? Yeah. So yeah. Samantha, I was joking. You don't have to attend. It's totally fine. Oh
[00:12:48] Samantha Mueller: I'm still relatively new to WordPress. I made the switch to marketing and the WordPress sphere a little bit into the pandemic. I am not from WordPress background, so the more I can learn, the better, and I really enjoy the demos like this.
[00:13:02] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, it should be really good there. There, apparently in the last little cycle there's been 34 issues. You can see it on the page here. There's been 34 issues have been resolved. And the cumulative number of enhancements since the B2 two releases 292, which is really rather a lot, 354 bug fixes and counting.
So there will be a lot to talk about. There's genuinely quite a lot of UI changes in there as well. So if you do wanna keep up to speed it's just a good way to get ahead of the curve if you've got a bunch of clients and they are using for example, things like blocks, there's a whole load of things changing around there.
And obviously full site editing is coming to a close and the beater label is being ripped off it. Yeah, I'd I'm just, on a personal level, I'd appreciate anybody who does show up just to, mock me for being unable to answer questions. , I just
[00:13:56] Paul Halfpenny: wanna see how you use Zoom. And so just
[00:13:58] Nathan Wrigley: to make sure that you, it's gonna be a, it's not gonna be good.
Luckily enough, the WordPress team behind this, I, somebody reached out to me last week and asked if I was interested and I said, yes, this sounds great. And then I, it just suddenly occurred to me. Really, the only way that I do these kind of things typically is on the tools that I use. And I've got all that muscle memory, I know where all the buttons are.
So doing it all on a, on an unfamiliar platform is scaring me a little bit. But they've been very kind. They've given me a de we're gonna have a demo run through thing tomorrow where I can figure out how all the technology works and so that's great. I feel I've got really good, and I think it
[00:14:37] Paul Halfpenny: the way Rich talks about WordPress is really easy to understand.
I I think I've told him a couple of times after I've watched talks that he's done that actually he's great at presenting it in a really accessible way. And I think that anybody that's new to WordPress is a really good start. For them to understand
[00:14:55] Nathan Wrigley: that. Yeah. He's got a very calming way about him, hasn't he?
Very calm. And he has the cleanest house I've ever seen. I've never actually been in his house, but when you look at the background and it's whoa. I know what you mean. Yeah. Yeah. It's very nice. Courtney, who is very much involved in all of this kind of stuff says absolutely. Looking at the 6.2 post as well.
Yes. It's the 6.2 beta post is linked here. Maybe I should just crack that one open quickly. , Lauren Stein, it looks like on the 21st of February, I presume this is what you are meaning Courtney. If not, feel free to drop us a link and I'll put that one into the show notes, which go out tomorrow as well.
But yeah, please come and join us have some questions prepared and hopefully we'll get Anne McCarthy or Rich Table on the show. Yeah. And get able to answer some of those questions. That would be great. There's a link. What does she say? There's a link in there, I think, for testing. Okay. Do, excuse me, I'm making this up on the fly.
Can't, oh, a link in the piece that I just opened and then closed again? Yeah. Okay. Courtney, if you find it, let us know and I'll try and stick it on the screen. Okay. Let's move on. It seems every heartbeat almost we get somebody in WordPress buying something else in WordPress last year, 2021 and 2022 in particular seemed like you couldn't wait, another week, another.
Plugin has been acquired. This is an interesting one. I confess, I don't really get involved in membership websites too much, but I've certainly heard of both of these companies before. Because member press have bought or acquired, I don't really know what the right word is. They've bought member Mouse.
Years ago when I joined WordPress, I was actually trying to build a membership site. That was one of the reasons that drove me towards WordPress, cuz there were all these membership plugins and I did need to do something. And both of these were players. More than a going back a decade basically, but Blair has written this post saying that Member Mouse has joined the Case Proof family.
Then goes on to say that case all like all case proof products. I'm guessing Blair is the owner of Case Proof, but it also seems from what I'm reading here, because he, and to quote not only that, member Mouse, like all case proof products, is now part of the w beginner accelerator growth growth accelerator led by CYA bulky.
I dunno if that means this has been bought under the auspices of Awesome Automotive or if it's just some accelerator program that they're going under. Anyway, the two things seem to have lots and lots of overlap. So I don't really know how they're gonna fit together. I don't know if they are. It sounds from what he's writing, like they're gonna keep the two things totally separate.
Which begs the question, why buy a very similar competing product if you're gonna keep them separate? Don't really know, but just thought I'd mention it. I'll open it up to you guys. Do you to get involved in memory sites, member kind of LMS type things?
[00:18:03] Paul Halfpenny: Yeah, I we've used some either that we've built ourselves, to do simple integrations or to use more, more complex ones.
I think this one's really interesting because usually you. So more like stellar, wp, buying lots of different types of things that form to form a unit together. Whereas this feels more lucky a vertical integration doesn't it? Where you're buying almost something that exists in the same vertical unit, but in a, it offers a different niche audience.
So I think what Blair's talking about in that post is he's talking about their enterprise offering and it'd been great for enterprise and not maybe combining the products, but maybe taking the value from understanding what that team's been doing and building that into member press. And that's a bit different from the usual acquisition model, right?
[00:18:49] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. I wonder what the, cuz he does say just right here actually, he says Member Mouse is a powerful enterprise grade membership plugin. I don't actually know what that language means. I understand what enterprise is, but I dunno what the sort of killer feature or features in there. Or if it's just a happenstance of history that Member Mouse has been bought by enterprise clients and there's something in there that they appreciate.
. Yeah, I don't really know. It says it's often mistaken for an online service. Rather than a plugin, which is interesting.
[00:19:23] Paul Halfpenny: I think it's an interesting move if, even if it, just because it's that different type of acquisition that's taking place. I think it'd be really good to find out a little bit more
[00:19:32] Nathan Wrigley: actually. Yeah, it says it's our goal to optimize and expand. Eric Turnon, I'm not sure if I've said that correctly.
Who is the founder built it in 2009. Their goal is to optimize and expand that legacy, and we've got a passion to pull it off. I guess if a membership plugin is going to be bought by somebody, then I guess if you are a member mouse user, at least it's been bought by a company that, have got skin in the game and interested in carrying those kind of solutions forward.
Yeah. Yeah. Samantha, anything about this? Or should we move on?
[00:20:06] Samantha Mueller: No, you can move on. I don't have a lot. Experience.
[00:20:09] Nathan Wrigley: Okay. I thought this piece was really interesting, although I am struggling to find out who it is. I love it when somebody implements a theme on WordPress, which is so minimal that you can barely get an impression of who they are.
The piece, I can't remember how it came to me, probably on Master On or something like that, but it's, the u r URL is hero, h i r z, sorry, h i r o z e d or z e d me. And this just really struck me because it seems to be something that I hear occasionally, but not necessarily written down. The post is called Betrayed by WordPress, and if you're listening to this, whether it's today or in subsequent days, I'd be really interested to know what your thoughts are.
They're obviously a developer, PHP developer going back in the day because they've, they mentioned right at the outset of this very short article how much they enjoyed using WordPress as a C M S, particularly because it was. The foundation of it was built on php. And I just love this. There's this three, three points to why php and WordPress are, call.
Have you? You've got into the new hotness and you've got React and all of that written in your written in your little testimonial at the beginning, which I read out, not testimonial, your little bio . And and so I'm imagining that you are gonna disagree with this. Maybe there's a maybe, I don't know.
There's loads of different frameworks, there's loads of different ways of doing things. Things move very quickly. I can see how that's a problem. I think there were betrayed in interesting phrase, , like I would maybe piece it as maybe feeling left behind, perhaps in terms of the direction that WebPress might be taking and some of the things that are happening.
And it may be easier to do that with, I know it's been a contagious issue in the community the last couple of years, but, I, we recognize the signs pretty early on and when actually this is the way it's going and then we've tried to upscale. Our team to help them achieve that.
I'm not suggesting that they leave WordPress, I think that there's room for all of those technologies and those frameworks there. But I think technology moves on, right? We're not, we're not using HTML one anymore. . Oh. And CSS has moved forward a little bit in, in those times as well.
So I think stuff does move on, and I think you. You probably want to adapt. I know that there's lots of people still earning loads of money by writing Cobalt for, because nobody understands Cobalt anymore cuz they're the last few cobalt programmers. Yeah. Isn't that left in the world?
Yeah. Yes. But they're earning loads of money, so maybe. Stick with it as long as you can. And then in,
[00:24:38] Nathan Wrigley: 10 years, yeah, your earnings will probably drop, but then in a decade or something, I'll shoot right up cause nothing, nobody left get, it's fascinating to me actually that it, that WordPress has maintained its pH p roots for so long in an unwavering, backwards, compatible way.
Prior to using WordPress I was a big fan of Droople and one of the reasons that I got really a bit tired of Droople was that every time they came out with a point release, so the equivalent of WordPress 3, 4, 5, and so on, they would they would not honor backwards compatibility. They would just hop to the next technology, which they felt was gonna do the.
Couple of years. And whilst that was great, it did mean that every time a major version of DPL dropped, so every 18 months, two years, you had to begin again. New templating engine they dropped Symphony in there at one point. And for me it was just a little bit too much to keep going. So I can understand where the person from this article comes from.
Yeah, we've had a lot.
[00:26:03] Paul Halfpenny: But I'm interested in what Samantha thinks, actually. Yeah. Because WordPress just isn't all about, not all WordPress users are developers. WordPress users are content creators. So from a content marketing perspective, I dunno if you see some of this development stuff under the hood, but what do you think about the interface and how it works.
[00:26:21] Samantha Mueller: come across this particular argument before, and I, as someone that doesn't work in the backend, I don't think I can fully appreciate the impact of what this change means. But, I get annoyed when things change as well. Like every time there's a subtle font change on my phone, I'm just like, ugh.
Yeah. I'm not sure how it impacts me as someone that uses it primarily for content creation. But in, in a more philosophical, way of thinking about it, I think it is important to continue to learn and adapt to a new style of working. Cuz I'm doing that in a different way now, so I get it and I agree to a point that it sucks , but at the same time there's room to.
[00:27:16] Nathan Wrigley: yeah. Personal growth. Yeah, it would be, I guess it would be akin to, I don't know, going to school in English or something. All the teachers are speaking English and suddenly you show up one day and the curriculum's now all taught in French. You've suddenly gotta get your, get a grip of French before you can start to, to move on with your education.
They've got enough, enough on their plate just dealing with the client work. They've got. The idea of finding tons of time to, to learn something new like that is is hard. Paul, in your agency, have you, did you self-educate yourselves one at a time or did you guys put like a program together or buy a course or how did you even manage it?
It's really interesting cuz.
[00:28:25] Paul Halfpenny: Developers, some developers learn different ways, so I'm very much a learner by doing to sink or swim or find something to do. And we certainly have a couple of developers that already ha have the ability to learn as they do something. So it's more like finding the right project or task, doing an introduction.
[00:29:07] Nathan Wrigley: From a business point of view, there must be quite a lot of dead time is really the wrong phrase. And it's not the phrase I'm looking for , but it'll do time because that sounds like quite a lot of fun.
Oh, let's figure out a project where we can, but also it's not necessarily turning the cog of profitability is not printing the money at those moments. No. So that must be quite hard.
[00:29:29] Paul Halfpenny: It is, it's, it agency is a bit peak trough to be honest. So you have those really high busy periods and then actually you just suddenly find, oh, we've got, oh God, almost a week free.
This is fantastic but what are we gonna do in that week? So yeah, I think the value of agency and the best thing about agency is you get to work on a number of different project. all you would all get thrown at you with all different requirements and different solutions. And that allows us to experiment a bit more.
And what we do is we kind build in some of our timelines when we are developing work to go, actually we'll add another two weeks to this project, not cuz we want to get it done. Not obviously just take a longer to get done. But what we'll do is we'll spend some time learning as part of that project and we'll accept that we will be develop.
This additional thing that we've never done before and will give ourselves a bit of extra grace to do that.
[00:30:24] Nathan Wrigley: Nice. In, really interesting. I just thought it was quite a nice a nice piece. Yeah. Maybe betrayal is the is the wrong word, but it's what they chose. So if you are in fact the person who wrote that blog piece, I'd love to, I'd love to know who you are.
That'd be great. Thank you so much. Okay, let's move on. Okay. This is the topic of our time. At the minute I. two years ago it was Covid, right? Everybody, nothing was nothing about covid. Everybody talking about Covid now, it's layoffs and the cost of living crisis and all of that kind of stuff. So this is a piece, we've got quite a few today from the WP Tavern. So we'll just say one great big thank you to Sarah Gooding for putting so many good pieces out in the last little little while. But yeah, she's basically drawing attention to the fact that during really up until pretty recently lots of the big tech companies that we've all heard of, the Googles and the Pelotons she mentioned here, Stripe and various others have been shedding staff, and the numbers have been pretty eye watering actually.
When you get to the level of Google who lay off, literally a small towns worth of people in one hit it's catastrophic. But WordPress itself and the wider WordPress ecosystem really did seem to be. Immune to that. And of course, time and tide and all that, we now seem to be in a period where that is happening.
GoDaddy amongst others, announced a few layoffs, and then as this article says quite a few different companies were laying people off as well, digital lotion and cloud ways laying people off. And I just wondered firstly from Samantha's point of view, I don't know how s how it is for you, the sort of content marketing side that seems to be one of the, one of the pieces of the jigsaw, which gets called into this conversation.
It seems to be a lot of the content marketing side of things that seem to get the first wave of the layoffs. And I don't know from where you are on the Nexus side, if you've experienced any of that or if you've been, you guys have been completely immune to it.
[00:32:34] Samantha Mueller: So far we've been immune. . I've seen a lot of it on Twitter.
I'm following the many people that are expressing their feelings on it. It's bad. To some degree I guess I would've expected it because, they, a lot of companies ramped up at the beginning of the pandemic to meet demand and like seasonal workers in retail, when that boom isn't there, stuff like this happens.
But you mentioned the cost of living crisis and in America, the the poverty line, the federal poverty line has not actually changed. Like the formula for determining what is in poverty hasn't changed since the sixties. When stuff like this happens, I think that the people that are hit for the first time in experiences like this it's almost more than dev devastating and, sorry.
And I would like to think that with how WordPress works in general, there's a lot of opportunity to recapture opportunities on your own. But it's so hard when it seems like so many people are doing that. And when the industry is getting hit like this and so many different larger companies, it feels like the end of the.com boom.
It's just depressing. And I'm gonna go off on a
[00:34:16] Nathan Wrigley: rant. If you don't stop me, , you're welcome to go off on a rant if you like. Yeah, I know what you mean. That whole kind of bobble thing. Yeah. During Covid, I didn't really get a sense that people were over hiring. I just got a sense that the world has changed, everything's gone online and is gonna stay online from now on.
We're all gonna be doing Zoom calls forever in a day, and even if office is open, We'll still be doing the Zoom calls cuz it's, the economics of offices have shifted and so on and it really seems that everybody's belts have tightened. Lots of people getting laid off, but also lots of people getting laid off at more or less the, on the exact same week.
Does make that puzzle really difficult, isn't it? Because if you've got a, I don't know, let's say a thousand WordPress, people suddenly all looking for what is probably a dwindling number of jobs that makes the competition and the fear much greater. Six months ago there were so many people vying for the one job, and now it must be so many people times X vying for the same number of jobs.
So it must be, yeah, it must be really disappointing. I know Michelle is on this call, oh look as if by magic, she literally put , the comment in she, she actually posed this question to Matt during Word Camp Asia. You can find that on the q and a section. But also, Michelle, I think it's right in, am I right in saying that you are posting.
I know you've got your WP Career pages, but is there a place where you would guide people, Michelle, if they are facing redundancy? Because I know you do a lot of work in this space, so how's it going over at Filter Paul?
[00:36:00] Paul Halfpenny: Yeah, , we haven't made any redundancies and we're not looking, you don't need to, which is amazing for us.
We're very lucky. We've experienced quite period of growth last year, but we tend to high quite slowly and we tend to be quite sure and want to be quite sure before we take people on for that is the case. I think it's, I think there's a couple things going on isn't, there's obviously a rebounding back.
It's like with Covid you have that elastic band and it's coming back a bit and suddenly, people are tightening their belts. I think it's interesting that so many companies are doing it all at the same time and they all seem to be getting rid of 7% . It's a strange figure, isn't it?
You're picking off a certain amount of people and obviously those. They're not doing it for this earnings call. They're doing it for the earnings call in a year's time, when that actually filters down through their p and l because a lot of people, fortunately, have been getting decent severance packages and I think that's the most important point.
But you look forward three months when their severance packages have ended, and that's the job. Isn't it? If people haven't found jobs by then, they, they might be in a bit more trouble.
[00:37:10] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah. The run the runway is not that long, is it? I think in the article it mentions a typical severance package being something like six weeks plus a week for every, I don't know, year or two years or whatever it is that you have been involved in.
So that does quickly dwindle. Michelle is out getting a link. She's gonna try and find the link to that. That would be great. Thank you for that. But also, Peter, I confess I didn't see the comment that was made by Matt, but it sounds like you. Didn't regard it favorably. So this is in response to Michelle saying that she asked Matt about this problem, and she says, you did ask that Michelle and his reply was disappointing to say the least.
Peter, if you're able to tell us what you know in a few words what was it that he said and why was it? Of disappointment. I imagine it was something along the sort of open source side of things, but yeah, lots of companies cutting jobs, lots of companies cutting jobs at the same time, especially companies.
It mentions organizations like X, WP, and Human Made who I don't think have had this experience in the past. Paul, in your bio at the beginning your agency filter, the first words that you say about it were, was that you are a remote first digital agency. Now that speaks volumes to what we were just talking about, like Zoom calls and things.
But have you always been that way or did you shift and stay shifted?
[00:38:38] Paul Halfpenny: No, we shifted during covid, so right. I think it was literally April, March, 2020 when we were all told to go home. I think we were shifting that way anyway, to be honest, I was going into the office less and. Because I wanted to spend more time with the family.
I wanted to spend more time at home. And that commuting time, whilst very useful to watch films, was,
And catch up on, and I've done less of that since, was just, it just seemed like a waste of time having to go out so early and come back so late at night. And the pressure you put on your partners to deal with the kids when you're doing that kind of thing.
And I just felt less and less need to be in the office. So we remote, we went remote first. And it's tough. It's as tough as having an office in some ways. You, the people that you can hire are, you've got a wider pool of people you can talk to. And I think that's absolutely fantastic and that's helped us because we now have people, in Edinburgh, in Poland, in Turkey, as well as people that live around London in the uk.
But, commuting into London is expensive and I think having the ability to give people time. To look after the kids. Did he drop offs? Did he pick ups when they're ill at school? To be able to drop all that stuff at the last minute when you are working remotely is so important. But I think I think it's really sort go back to the transparency of some of the posts around layoffs because I don't think I've seen that before.
So I know like the last recession was probably, what, 2008 maybe with the banking crisis. We had a bit of social media
[00:40:15] Nathan Wrigley: back then. I remember I was on Facebook
[00:40:17] Paul Halfpenny: back then. But I think the transparency is something that's really surprised me in terms of people talking about that kind of thing.
And I think you know what, Michelle Stern with her list and what they're doing on post status cuz they're given free membership to people that Yes. Have lost their jobs. And I think that's amazing. Because I think there are people still hiring out there and it might be that the, there's really great opportunities that may not realize.
Because you weren't necessarily looking. So I think I think there's it's a terrible time. I'm not sure it ends quickly either. But hopefully the recession is shallow. And we can get back to some sort of sense of normality instead of seeing these headlines every week.
[00:41:03] Nathan Wrigley: Your move to going digital sorry.
Remote first. Remote call remote. Did that do you think that saved you enough money to whe whether the current storm you lose all the offices and all of the high rent that you probably would've been paying for that. And everybody's combined pockets is shelling out for rail travel and all of this kind of stuff.
Do you, I'm guessing, given the fact that you haven't laid anybody off so far, that really proves to have been a very clever decision with hindsight, , nothing's
[00:41:35] Paul Halfpenny: done cleverly. You take a decision and you works, you look great. And if it doesn't, you look terrible , it's oh, we made the right choice.
I wouldn't say, I wouldn't say that it had that much impact in terms of money saving, to be honest. Okay. What I would say is that it's allowed us to be more productive and I think that's the key. And I think we've been able to get. Better people. Because I think there's people in our business now who wouldn't work for us if we were still in London because they wouldn't be commuting all that way into London.
Yeah. And they wouldn't even be looking for jobs in London. And I think that's the best thing for me is being able to look elsewhere outside of. That kind of small, narrow, soho, which is where we were based, which is lovely by the way. I'm not like, we had brilliant times. We worked in Common Garden, we've worked in soho.
That is really we always look back and say, we, at the time we were saying, we're gonna look back on this and find it amazing to our kids. Were used to work in Soho, in Ward Street, and it was buzzy, and you're going out after work and things like that. But actually I think it almost, you get to an age as well where , you're not out drinking every night and if you do go out drinking every night, you're probably not gonna do it for another week because that's how long it takes you to recover. Yeah. But we're going back in on Friday this week. We've got an all company social down in down in the middle of soho on Barrack Street. We're all going out for dinner, which would be great to see people in the flesh, we see them on screens all the time.
[00:43:09] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. But in the first, it makes those events, it makes those events a bit more interesting, doesn't it? I guess it does. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I'm really looking forward to it. Yeah. Nice. Samantha I'm guessing that you are at home just judging by the sort of backdrop. Oh, yeah. I like has that always been the way with you and Nexus?
Have you always been at home?
[00:43:29] Samantha Mueller: Yes. The primary motivator for me looking for a job is that I wanted to work remotely. And this worked out really nicely. And I've not met any of my coworkers in person, which is weird to me, but at the same time, pretty cool and like you said if not for this shift, we wouldn't have some of the people working with us.
And I'm 100% one of those people. I worked in office for five years as a grant writer a couple of blocks from my house. And this was just the right move. And I'm in a much more interesting job where I get to flex the skills I have.
[00:44:09] Nathan Wrigley: Michelle's giving you the thumbs up there. Ah, she says We love Samantha, which is really nice.
I'm gonna, I'm gonna get to the comments about what Matt Mulliner said. So there's two comments of commenting. One is from Michelle herself who asked the question. He said he basically encouraged everyone who'd been laid off to sharpen their WordPress skills, market themselves as freelancers to build a portfolio and into, and encourage local businesses to get on WordPress.
Okay? And then Peach, who I asked to respond, said it was advice that felt so out of touch with the real world situation where people are at the top of their profession. Game top WP Pros were laid off anyway, nothing to do with their skills. Yeah, it's tough, isn't it? If you were caught up in that 7%, Michelle.
If you do find that link to where you've been posting WordPress jobs that'd be great. Thank you. But don't worry too much. It's not the end of the world, but thank you for that. Okay. Wow. What an interesting. What an interesting topic that was. That kept us going for a bit, didn't it? Let's move on and we'll talk about accessibility.
A little while ago, meet top.com, which is the website's. It's a service. And I don't actually think it's directly got anything to do with automatic or anything like that, but it's the service that all Word camps and WordPress meet ups are basically required to use in order to to organize their meet ups and so on, and all of that ticketing and stuff.
It was it was figured out that they basically put an overlay on onto their website and given the commitment from the WordPress project to make things as accessible as possible. I won't go into. Debate about it, but essentially if you believe that sticking an overlay on your website is going to make you entirely compliant with all laws, then you probably need to rethink that.
So the argument went something like this we're all forced to use meet up. , it's got this horrific accessibility problem. Can we force them to do something about it through the arena of public pressure? And it looks like the answer is a verified yes, which is great. So again, Sarah Gooding writing on wp tavern meetup.com follows through on commitment to improve website accessibility.
So rather than just announcing that they were going to do something and then go quiet in the hope that nothing would happen, seems like that's not the case they employed. Now, it was a company, I believe it was dq, but I could be wrong about that. That's what's in my head. Which, oh yeah, there we go.
Perfect. They had a complete audit done and the, that, that audit identified 732 issues that needed to be resolved. I don't really have any insight into, how fine grained they were. In other words, were 10 of those. Super serious and 690 odd. Were just, little things that needed to tweak.
I don't know. But approximately 40 of those are to do with color and contrast and design. And the remaining are things which need to be addressed more urgently, and they're going to get on and do it. They've got two phases designed to complete this work. And so hopefully within the next period of time, I don't remember if any period of time was mentioned.
WordPress will have had a bit of a difference on meetup.com. And so people who are using, I don't know, assistive technologies and screen readers and things like that will be able to access WordPress events, which is like super important. So I'm just gonna open this up to either Samantha or Paul if they want to comment on this.
I think this is all good news.
[00:47:56] Paul Halfpenny: Yeah. I think accessibility's so important. We are doing some work on accessibility right now. We've got The guy that handbook going out on about it that we've co-authored with a, an agency called Web Usability. They're one of our partner accessibility agencies that we, referring to our clients and work with.
We also work with abled docs as well, from a document management point of view, making sure their stuff works. And we see it's a, it is a real growing subject. A lot of people talking about it. Obviously in the US there's there's laws and you can be sued if you don't have this in place. And, we're not the experts in this, but we're aware of this.
In the UK it's more of a tap on the wrist right now. I think it's a can you go on and improve that? Please, but we can't see you about it. But I think it's becoming so much more important and I think it's really important to talk about this. It, websites have become so complicated and.
And difficult to use in some ways with lots of interactivity, lots of designs going on. And actually I think I'm really lucky I don't have any particular accessibility needs. Although my eyes are getting much worse and maybe Ill yes. And in a couple of years. Cause, you hit mid forties and it's all downhill.
Right. . But I think it's, I think it's a, it is a subject we should be spending more time on. I know when Gibo came out, there was a big discussion of accessibility within the block. How maybe that hadn't been at the forefront as they were developing things out. And I think that I think if my memory serves me correct they address some of those concerns and we improve things, and I think it's incredibly important.
[00:49:49] Nathan Wrigley: When we began the call, I mentioned we, just so that, we typically just run through very quickly what all the articles that we're gonna talk about are. And by pure coincidence and genuinely coincidence, this isn't some sort of contrived coincidence. Your agency filter released this marketer's Guide to Web Access Sounds right up your street.
Samantha. This marketers Guide to Web Accessibility. This is hot off the press. This is today. Do you have any insight, Paul, into what this document is for or who it's intended? ,
[00:50:21] Paul Halfpenny: it's, it is for businesses to, to help them understand what they need to put in place and how to address that. Si and Joy from our end have been working with WebEx Usability, the agency that we partner with to cover off of that guide.
So it's from both of us. But I, recommend people just go have a look at it and if you don't want to fill in the form and give us your details, that's fine. Just let me know and I'll send you a copy without you having to give us any details. Yeah. Thank you. I'm just interested in having a conversation about it.
[00:50:53] Nathan Wrigley: brilliant. We'll be doing
[00:50:54] Paul Halfpenny: more work on more, we'll be sending out some more blog posts, I'm sure over the next quarter about
[00:50:59] Nathan Wrigley: it. I will short up, I'll add that into the notes surrounding the meetup.com piece as well. Samantha, was there anything you wanted to add in there
[00:51:10] Samantha Mueller: I agree with all of Paul's sentiments. I think it's super important that we continue improving accessibility because I think many people that are not affected by an issue that would require assistance. We don't really think of it as something important sometimes. And, it's so easy to just not put in an alt text on a tweet for an image or whatever for featured image images.
And a lot of it gets overlooked. And I'm so happy to see. Any improvement. .
[00:51:43] Nathan Wrigley: Paul, you were mentioning that the teeth, if you like in the law in the UK maybe are not quite as long and sharp as they are in the us. And this next piece, which will just bump up the queue a little bit, this is on the Ithe website.
It's called website accessible accessibility. Lawsuits are growing how WordPress sites can become a d a compliant. A d A. For those of us in the UK and elsewhere is Americans with Disabilities Act, and I'm guessing it's the legislation which governs whether or not you are going to be. Chased by lawyers or not.
This is a really long piece, so I can't possibly cover it. So long is this piece, in fact that it's got a a table of contents at the beginning, which is always a bit of a warning, caveat or get into it, your, at your leisure. But it's a really good piece. I read it from start to finish and it really does lay out all of the bits and pieces that you need to be mindful of.
Some of it, may come down the road slightly later. You've got work to do before that. And then there's bits about the low hanging fruit. But this is a topic that I think is gonna become more important as time goes on. Paul, from your point of view, you mentioned that in the uk the teeth on those law laws are probably less.
They're not quite as serrated, shall we say. They're a little bit more blunt. But if you are building clients that filter for I dunno, companies, institutions, nonprofits, whatever, all over the globe, presumably, that these questions are now getting asked of you. Before that contract gets anywhere near you, these kind of discussions are happening and they wanna know what, look, we don't wanna be chased by the ambulance chasing lawyer.
Forgive me for using that phrase. It's probably a little bit out of place, but you understand the sentiment of it. , we wanna make sure that we've done everything that we can fight off a case. I'm guessing this is now as important as something like seo, maybe more so even, I don't know.
[00:53:50] Paul Halfpenny: I would totally put it in the same level as something like core web vitals, right? Which is, you know what? We've got people coming to us going, we need to hit green on all these metrics. And SEOs just as important as that. And I think it's not just about. , it's not nec necessarily just about the content, but on a webpage.
A really key area for us is documents and PDFs and whether they're accessible. We've been doing some stuff I said with able docs and we've been looking at one of our clients who do a lot of work in PDFs for their employees. So they use, like they do operating procedures and things like that in their PDFs and making sure that they're compliant.
But then also we, cuz we don't just build websites, we build apps as well. So we look at, how an app might be accessible, which is, it's very similar because, it's a website on a phone ultimately, isn't it? But there are things that we have been learning more about and we are say, we are on a journey as much as everybody else in this industry as to what's right.
But I don't think we've ever, we've not been in the situation, I don't think they have in the US with companies in the US where it is so importantly, absolutely needs to be addressed. I don't think it's just the e uk I think it's the you as well, where there's a slightly softer, less litigious approach.
To these things. But
[00:55:23] Paul Halfpenny: From a personal perspective it, it just makes sense. It's I can remember when I used to walk into, to work from the train station to soho, Royal National Institute of the Blind. And, at one point in their life outside their building, they had to step down from the door, I think, to the office, and then they put a ramp there and it was like of course they need a ramp.
Like, why would they not need a ramp? How is somebody in a wheelchair supposed to get up those steps? It's absolutely ridiculous. And it frustrates me when people are alone. Why are you spending money on ramps? But I, it's you've got to treat everybody. It gives them the same, no barriers to entry.
And give them the same access, accessibility as anybody else,
[00:56:10] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah it's definitely more important. I'll just run through some of the top level items on this piece. Essentially, what does it mean to have a WordPress ADA complaint website? And given that, I don't know the name of the acronyms for the UK equivalence, I'll just stick with those.
What are the possible consequences of not having one? I suppose that's the bit that maybe should come right at the top, because that's the bit that's gonna put the fire in your belly. Then they give some examples of companies who really have had to. They got in there at the beginning, if you like, target a US company, which I believe is a bit like a Walmart or something like that.
It's a sort of grocery shopping supermarket kind of thing. They got caught out and really got told off, and since 12, since 2016, have been pushing the forefront of this. And it turns out that, it was one of the best things that they ever did. And then how to fiddle with your WordPress website to make these things possible.
And there's some quick wins in there as well. Like I said, the article goes on for ages, loads of tools. If you're interested, there's always people in the WordPress accessibility make slack. Channel. I know that Michelle, who's listening to this and Peach both are very interested in this. There's always people to reach out to if you're not familiar, especially if you're a freelancer and don't really feel like you've got the bandwidth to take a lot of this stuff on, there are channels that can help you.
So just go into the make slack for that. Yeah, Samantha, I think
[00:57:41] Paul Halfpenny: That helped us. I think just finding somebody else who was more specialist than we were to enable us to help understand what we needed to do better. Yeah.
[00:57:50] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Anything to add in here, Samantha?
[00:57:54] Samantha Mueller: Not that I can think of. My experience with adas, I helped write the civil rights compliance documents for previous jobs, and to be honest, I don't think we ever had anything outlined for websites.
But then again, that was like 10 years ago
[00:58:07] Nathan Wrigley: yeah. Yeah, it really does feel like it's just in the last 24 months that this has started to pick up a lot of momentum to the point where it's. It's now become a real hot button article. Two, four or five years ago, it was all core web vitals. Now it seems that accessibility is the thing which everybody is keen to get on board of, and honestly, why not?
So that is I themes, and I will link to that in the show notes. It's Dan Canals, 23rd of February. So this one was from last. . Okay. This one is for me and Paul I guess Word Camp London. Yay. Yeah, indeed. Yeah. Yes. From everything you've said, you were always right there anyway, so it wasn't like you had to go anywhere.
For me, it's a, , it's, honestly, it's like getting to Berlin or something. It's just as bad from Grimy North Yorkshire all the way to London. But I'm really excited about this. It hasn't been on for four. And the organizers are in the early planning stages of figuring out what a word Camp 2023 in London would look like.
It looks like they've settled on a date in September. I don't know the exact dates, but September is gonna be the month. But they have launched a survey, which you can find here. The URL is too long to say, so I'll just linked to it in the show notes. But needless to say, in the show notes will be a link to the survey.
And they're interested in knowing what you want from this event. Obviously having four years off, they're not caught up in that whole maelstrom of let's just do the same thing again. They've got some, they've got the capacity maybe to have some fresh ideas, different venue, different approach, different kind of talks.
Even down to some of the questions are about how many people feel like an ideal event to you. I dunno if that's around the whole covid piece, whether or not you'll feel safe if there's thousands. But last time it was wrong. There were 768 people in attendance, which is a pretty darn big event actually.
It's not massive, but it's not tiny either. And I think as far as word camps go, it was one of the bigger ones apart from the flagship Europe and what have you. So go and fill out that survey basically. But I'm, whatever happens, I'm gonna be there. , what about you, Paul?
Yeah, me too.
[01:00:29] Paul Halfpenny: I'm definitely up for it.
[01:00:31] Nathan Wrigley: I think it's been
[01:00:33] Paul Halfpenny: great going to work camp. Again, over, over the last 12 months I gutted, I didn't go to Asia. But, I went to Porto. I went to San Diego. Had a great time at both of them. Yeah. And we're off to, we've been planning for Athens at the moment.
Are you? I've taking, yes. So we are taking a bigger team to Athens this year which is fantastic. So we want to talk to people and get people, at those talks and embedded in the WordPress community really.
[01:01:09] Nathan Wrigley: Are you gonna be doing the sort of sponsorship thing or do you tend to leave that to one side?
[01:01:15] Paul Halfpenny: think we've looked at it yet. I think as an agency it's I dunno whether it suits us to do sponsorship but I, I think we, we'll have a look at it.
[01:01:27] Nathan Wrigley: And would you bring a big F force to like the London one? I, because obviously Yes. It sounds like five years ago.
You probably all, were fairly close to London, whereas now all over the place, it's probably harder to get everybody to London than it ever has been.
[01:01:43] Paul Halfpenny: It is, I'd be really interested in the venue or where it might be held. I dunno if anybody knows London, but it's quite a big city. And it's quite an expensive city as well to stay in.
I think what I really liked about Porto was the venue for Porto was just like, just off to the side. It was walkable to a certain degree and it was in the gardens and it was beautiful. And I really enjoyed that venue and. In San Diego, there was a hotel attached so you can stay in the hotel and then just
[01:02:15] Nathan Wrigley: wander down.
It was all great, wasn't it? Yeah, I don't know. I do I'm, I'd speak regularly with some of the people who are organizing Word Camp London but I don't know much in terms of the venues that they're looking at. I do know that when they were trying to keep the word press, London meet up going and the cost of venues went absolutely.
Bonkers. Yeah. And I'm not just talking, that's a bit ridiculous. I'm talking orders of 10 x what you'd imagine to hire, let's say the upstairs floor of a pub or something was Yeah. Like eye watering amounts of money. So I guess this is a big thing. I, but hopefully it can be all offset by the WordPress Foundation who tend to stomp up for these kind of events, which is really nice.
Asia was just one block says Courtney, between hotel and convention shopping mall. I so wish I'd been there. I really wish I'd been there. The National Harbor, what's this, the national harbor of the word Camp US community somewhere will be a hotel and convention has one location as well. Ah, okay. So Word camp us.
Yeah, I don't know. I'll report back. I'll speak to the organizing team and next week we'll hopefully have a bit of an update. Maybe they've got a venue in mind, but it does sound if they're asking for numbers. , what's your ideal WordPress size event? Maybe they haven't decided on the venue yet because presumably that would no, I
[01:03:43] Paul Halfpenny: guess you need to know that first, right?
So that you can, and my wife does the event. She's very good at that sort of thing. It blows my mind just the number of things that she needs to put on a checklist, on a clipboard, and walk around with. Yes. But I, it seems like a massive undertaking to me. It's it would be quite overwhelming anybody that organizes work camps.
I think my, my applause goes out to them because Yeah. Everything that I've been at so far has been incredibly well
[01:04:13] Nathan Wrigley: done. Michelle thank you Michelle and Courtney and various others who keep making comments. That's really nice. The, she, I was at Word Camp US and was with Michelle and it the event didn't go quite according to plan in terms of the accommodation and the things like showering.
And she wrote various blog pieces about that. But it sounds like from everything she's written that the word Camp Asia team really pulled it out. The pulled it out the bag, Michelle. So no, no similar experience. Michelle. It was like from start to finish, a really great exercise. And did that include all of the bits that WordPress didn't touch, like the, I don't know, the flights and the taxis to and from venues and all of that?
It sounds like it did, but that's really cool. She also says she expects Word camp us to be. also. So we're marrying a few things here, aren't here. We are talking about accessibility and now we're talking about world camp events and the two are now overlapping, which is cool. She said I showered.
Yay. Yes. flags and taxis were all good as well. Oh, this is great. And then Courtney wrote, did you see this? This was hysterical. Do you know a guy called Bob Don? He does a podcast called Do the Woo. And also there's a guy called Mark West Guard who owns WS form. They . They took a cardboard cutout of my head on a stick and and took it around various places at Word Sia.
And so there's me like, like with my head just sticking out of a potted plant or like over the top of the yo. I won't bore you with them on the scheme, but it, I literally spat my coffee out. The first one I saw , cause I had no idea they were doing it. And there must be like 20 old pictures of me just in compromising.
Places of, but just this thing here. It was really funny. You can find them on Twitter, but Yeah, I know
[01:06:07] Paul Halfpenny: Sw a favorite teddy bear that they've taken with you on holiday, isn't it?
[01:06:12] Nathan Wrigley: Very sweet. Oh, when Nathan went today. Yeah, that's right. Yeah. It was hilarious, honestly. Can you imagine if it was your face?
It would like there was mixed mixture of shock and awe like hang on, wait, what? That's what I looked at the first one and thought, oh, they've photoshopped it in. And then the more I looked it was like no. That's got shadows and everything. They caught out a picture. Sure. . But apparently Mark got it properly done from a sign writer lot.
Netflix got into it then. Like more effort. I know. Yeah. Wow. And there was one with Michelle, I was in her trolley on the front of her little. Little machine that she goes around, there's a little like basket on the front. . That's great. Very funny. Thank you Mark for doing that. And Bwe, I really appreciate it.
Okay. Okay. Okay. We're running outta time. God, we can talk The three of us, can't we? There is on the screen, there's the survey. By the way, if you do want to go and fill it out I will link to it. You can go and get that. Don. I wanted to mention this is slightly self promotional, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.
It's not really, it's not about me. I recorded a podcast episode for the Tavern with a guy called Patrick Posner. All about using WordPress to create static sites. Can I just recommend that if you've never. Ever thought about this? In other words imagine the internet of 20 years ago when if you wanted to create a website, you literally had to open up a text editor and write open bracket, p close bracket, then write some text and write open bracket forward slash p close bracket.
And there was your paragraph tagged on. Do you remember that ? Imagine that, that if you went out to find a webpage, you literally found a static H T M L file that somebody laboriously put together. There's this movement, which seems to be really getting a bit of ground swell at the moment of flattening your pages.
What Patrick's plugin does is it goes around your WordPress website after you finish creating posts and whatnot, not whatnot. And a bit like Google, it just scrapes the html, shoves it in a zip file, and then you upload it to something like Netlify. And it really does mean that you can shot WordPress down.
Obviously you can't do a lot of the dynamic stuff. You can't do forms, you have to figure out other ways of doing that. But it does mean that your site is a very secure, cuz there's. There's no PHP engine in the background or Apache or anything like that. But it also means that it's really quick.
And I would just encourage anybody who's got a ton of brochure sites that don't really need a lot of maintenance, that just need to exist and keep up and be very cheap, the hosting costs alone are absolutely low. And I am literally talking 10 US sensors a year per website for, modest traffic.
So go and have a listen to this website, Patrick explains how his pluggin works, how it does it, it's one of many ways of doing it, but ,
[01:09:16] Paul Halfpenny: it's very Miriam. It sounds big movement in this isn't there and you can host it on s3. That's not gonna cost you any money at all. It, it seems very similar, not.
totally similar to what Miriam was doing with Strat.
[01:09:33] Nathan Wrigley: Strat. Very similar
[01:09:35] Paul Halfpenny: with Strat. Yeah. Strat has the dynamic elements, doesn't it? It gives you a static frontend, but you can still post a form.
[01:09:41] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Strat now, yeah, they were bought out by Elemental, but basically the same thing. Only in this scenario you just use.
So I was, I tried it and I used it with local, so I built the website on my Mac and then exported the file, put it into GitHub repo. That GitHub repo then got consumed by Netlify, and the whole thing took about, I don't know, 10 seconds from the time of clicking publishing in Patrick's plug into it all.
Being live is brilliant. Really great. But like you say, just like Stratec only, there's no website bit you there, there is no website, which spins up into life and then collapses itself when you shut all that down. But it's so fast.
[01:10:22] Paul Halfpenny: Really fast. Yeah, because you just sent an hdml.
[01:10:26] Nathan Wrigley: You're gonna really struggle not to get a good core web Vital Scott. You really are gonna have to work hard to screw it up. But yeah. Anyway, go and check it out. And if you want any thoughts on it, just contact me and I'll let you know what my experiment invite, I should make a little video about it cause I think it's really fun.
Okay. Moving on. So it's ai. We always talk about AI now. And this project came along it was Aaron and or Aaron and Josh from Imagine we talked about their plugin a little while ago. They have a new thing called WP Docs dot Chats, and I'll just tell you what it's intended to do. It's powered by Chat G P T, I believe.
And it says, I'm an AI chat bot that gives direct answers to your WordPress questions. I've been trained on all the official WordPress documentation, that's, I think the point, I might have missed the point earlier, and we'll do my best to answer your questions accurately and truthfully. So it's got to be a, about WordPress documentation.
In other words, what they're hoping to do is shorten the journey from you having a WordPress documentation type question to finding the answer. So rather than going out to Google and probably, you know how that journey goes, you click eight links and eventually you get onto the right one. That probably was the one you wanted to click first anyway, and it's probably on Stack Overflow or something like that and this in theory will allow you to do that more quickly. Do either of you, does that, either of you have a question that we could try on it? Feel free to say no, I don't because I tried it earlier, but I misunderstood. I thought it was to build functions and things like that. So any of you two got a question for me, Samantha?
[01:12:08] Paul Halfpenny: got.
[01:12:08] Samantha Mueller: No, I haven't, but I did the same thing that
[01:12:10] Paul Halfpenny: Nathan did. How about how do I create a block? Cause that's quite useful,
[01:12:15] Nathan Wrigley: isn't it? Wait a block, right? Let's try, oh, a block. How do I, now that's an entirely different question, isn't it? Into the realm of, I wonder It's not coming back
[01:12:24] Paul Halfpenny: with any answers,
[01:12:26] Nathan Wrigley: Okay, so here we go. We've tried Paul's question, how do I create a block? And it's obviously doing what it always does, it's spinning on chat, g p t, you get this little nice visual sort of feedback as it does each word at a time. But on here, they've obfuscated all of that. So they just give us the answer.
And it says, you can create blocks in markdown using the sy. That's not very helpful. Is it using the syntax? Quote. For example, this is a block. No, we were looking for, let's try what does theme dot js o do? Should we try that? Let's see if we get an answer to that. So that failed.
But it does say to be fair to them, it's chat g p T. It does say at the bottom, ask me full questions. I'm not a search engine. Don't ask me install plugin. Ask me how do I install a plugin. It also makes the point that it gets things wrong from time to time. , whatever the worth of this is today, I still think this is one that might be worth bookmarking because presumably the AI will only get better.
Okay. So in answer to the question, what does theme dot j s o do, we seem to have more of an answer this time. It says the theme dot j s o file allows block theme developers to control the settings and styles of the block of the blocks in the editor. It provides a central point of configuration whilst also providing a blah blah, blah.
I'm happy with that. That looks actually pretty decent, doesn't it? And then here's the killer bit, which I think is the most interesting bit. We get the sources underneath, so in this case it has. plagiarized, is that the wrong word? It's consumed three sources here, all of which appear to be from Learn, learn WordPress learn.wordpress.org, and you can click on those and find out more for yourself.
So maybe it's not, maybe not all is lost Chat. Wp I think the
[01:14:25] Paul Halfpenny: interesting thing about this is that a lot of the answers, so I was trying it out and trying different things and I think a lot of the answers could be done with a search in the documentation. So where chat, G P T. Is supposed to shine is from scraping lots of different data from lots of different places, and then understanding the context and the relevancy between them to give you the right answer and to give you that, that detail.
If you're only scraping the docs, then you know you're only gonna get answers from that docs, which might be as well served from doing a normal search. Although arguably that means the docs will need to be searchable in the same place from the search input field. And yeah, Courtney will tell us if that's the case
[01:15:10] Nathan Wrigley: or not, but, actually Courtney posed a good question, which was how do I create a navigation menu?
Unfortunately the website, I presume it's got some sort of cookie implanted in my browser now. I seem to have run out of queries. I think it's likely that I did five maybe five or six, and it's now. In effect, time me out. I don't have an open AI API key. But obviously if you were into this and it was giving you some value, you can plumb that in the background and, pay as you go with chat G p t in the same way that you can with the, chat g p T on all sorts of other services.
So unfortunately, how do I create a nav? A navigation menu is out of bounds for me, but it might not. For you, nomad Skateboarding. Hello. Says, I haven't gotten a useful answer tr yet trying it. The developer has been active and jumped in to make teams to ask for feedback. Okay, that's cool. Yeah, that's good to know and yeah, it's clearly not working for you yet.
Okay let's come back to it in a few weeks and see if we've got any got any movement. But you can contact the guys over at, imagine it's their product. Ugly Robot is the name of their company, which is great, isn't it? It certainly seems to be. It's not the name that,
[01:16:33] Paul Halfpenny: because she's good at naming, yeah. Ugly Robot, that sounds like, is that something?
[01:16:37] Nathan Wrigley: Mark outta 10 for Ugly Robot
Unfortunately it was not me. No, it's a good name though. I quite like it. The in response to the previous thing about Patrick posing this plugin, Cohen. Hello Cohen. I use Jekyll for some of my sites in combination with Gith Ho Pages. It's great for simple sight. It's insanely fast and secure.
Interesting. Yeah, I do this whole flattening webpages movement. I think that's gonna be a real thing in the weeks and Monster come, especially as people are, trying to. Shave money out of their budgets. That seems like a really good way of doing it. Okay, so that was chat wp. We got limited results, that's the way it goes.
Next stop. We have got Cadence. This is a piece of plugin news. Cadence has gone from two point whatever they were at. They've flipped over during this week to Cadence Blocks three, I believe it was Wednesday. It's a really long piece again, because they've changed so much. We often have Kathy on this show, and she's been in charge of an awful lot of this in terms of the marketing and what have you.
But Ben Ritner, the lead developer and founder of Cadence, wrote this piece and there's loads going on under the hood. The first thing I guess, is if you're a Cadence user, which I know a lot of our listeners are they've changed an awful lot in the ui. So we've got this sort of tabbed interface. Now. If you're looking at the screen, you can see that they've divided all of their settings up into three sections.
You've got general style and advanced, and you can see that working its way down on the image there, they've changed some of the ways that the yeah, just some of the styles of the buttons that you click and things like that to have a more consistent approach. New updating settings, I quite like them.
It all seems really clear. I've gotta say, where this border radius is gonna happen, looks pretty clear to me. And all of these UI things here look really clear to me. This is quite nice. Inside the block editor, they've added this visual. Cue to show you what padding you're gonna get. And again, apologies if you're listening to this on audio, but those of you watching the video, you can see that this green area here represent I say it's green, but you get the point.
So it's got a tiny bit of padding, maybe like 10 or 20 pixels on the left and the right, and then it's got, I don't know, maybe 80 or something on the top and bottom does. Oh yeah, we'll come to that in a minute. And you can see it in real time. So if you are interacting, not just with the UI and the in the block editor, but if you're interacting with the settings, it's gonna show you that.
So you're not surprised by how come the word craft in this case isn't slammed right up against the top. You can see that, okay, it's the padding and you can figure out where that padding's come from. So I think that's really nice. You can also move things around. They've in, they've started to use grid and so you can move things left, right?
Like whole blocks can move left and right. And if you've got a series of blocks within inside inner blocks, you can move those around as well. And there's just a whole bunch of stuff. You can change the text within the block editor directly in the text itself on a certain subset of blocks and a.
Load more. One of the things which I quite like is that rather than a lot of the other alternatives where they go for you, you choosing pixels or rems or whatever it is that you want to go for they've gone for this nomenclature of small, medium, large, extra large, two extra large and three extra large just across the whole site.
You can change that. You can say I want it in pixels, but just to keep things like clutter free. Presumably for a subset of users who don't wanna know all of that, you just say, just make every paragraph small and it'll be whatever small is. So I think that's quite a nice thing. And they've introduced c s clamp so that all of you, all of your fonts look groovy no matter what you're looking at.
They'll be small on small devices and medium on medium devices and big on big devices. So a lot of work in there. And a bit of a bravo really. Congratulations. I had a play and I really liked it. Really cool. You must be proud Samantha.
[01:20:46] Samantha Mueller: I am, I wasn't gonna boast, but , they're part of our family of brands.
[01:20:51] Nathan Wrigley: Love 'em. Yeah. They've done really quite a lot of work this time around. I know the marketing has been probably in full tilt this week. Have you been involved in any of that?
[01:20:59] Samantha Mueller: Oh no. Stellar is separate from Nexus, but okay. I should know more of them. You pretty much know Michelle on that side.
[01:21:08] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Rob, thank you for joining us, Rob. Rob Cairns in Toronto says, cadence Release is amazing. Yeah. I'd be curious to know, Rob, what you've what you've done with it that you feel is amazing. I played with it. I've been, like I said, I was doing my summit last week, so I cracked it open at the weekend at a very quick play.
And then my children woke up and that was the end of that . So didn't really get a, didn't really get a long time. Oh, we're besties. Says he's Michelle. Here's an interesting comment. Noma skateboarding, we, my fear with page builder is that they all claim to be lightning fast and then made then run major updates about how they're bringing the code up to speed.
And Rob's back with a comment I held off two new sites builds for this. Oh, curious, you actually held two back. Was it features that they were gonna bring in that you thought were gonna be worthwhile or was it just that, you could postpone them so you did so that you didn't have to fiddle with, I don't know, telling clients about the new UI and what have you?
Anyway, cudos to them okay. Anything you wanna add to that, Paul, or,
[01:22:16] Paul Halfpenny: It looks like some of the stuff that they've introduced looks a bit like what Beaver Builder had. So we used to use Beaver Builder before the block letter came out, and I, we used to think it was excellent. They had some, some patterns that looked quite similar to that and it was really useful for those members of the team that, that weren't maybe doing it in code or, and but would, would do it on the front end style.
So I think that's
[01:22:45] Nathan Wrigley: great to see. Are you all about the blocks then, now? Is it always the block editor? Yeah. Yeah.
[01:22:51] Paul Halfpenny: We are all about the blocks. Yeah. We don't tend to use anything but like we, we did use Bigger Builder previously. We liked it. But we do our own custom stuff on top of that as well.
We are pretty much full in on the block editor now. We don't use any page builders because, just because we wanna be as close to core as possible, to a certain degree. And I think that suits our. pretty well. And very often, we'll often do reacting things or view things on the front end as well to interact with it.
[01:23:26] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Nice. All custom stuff. So Rob says, I think that's the great thing about
[01:23:30] Paul Halfpenny: WordPress, right? So isn't it? Yeah. Because everybody has the chance to do things in their own way that works for them. And you don't need to just follow one route and then
[01:23:38] Nathan Wrigley: that's it. That's very true. Yeah. Rob says, yeah, it's features.
So it was new things that he wanted to use. Okay. That's great. Good to know. And in reply, nomad skateboarding. Nice. Rob, your thoughts on the last podcast were really enjoyable. So Rob Cairns does a podcast. You can go and check it out, the SDM Show, and obviously there was something in there on a recent episode.
Was it about cadence by any chance? If so, maybe go and check. That's cool. Thank you. A couple of bits of erota. First one, introduce by me. This is about the most annoying piece of news I can imagine. There's a beach near my house, which I go to all the time. I've got children. We're at this beach 10 times a year at least, throwing rocks into the sea.
And somebody this week or last week or whenever it was, found a massive dinosaur footprint on that beach. There it is. It's huge. It's about the size of my weight, my torso, and I'm just appalled that I am not the person who found this giant dinosaur offering. Literally, there's a photo right at the bottom of this piece there.
That photo I have sat exactly there. Dozens and dozens of times literally there. And these two come along with their university degrees in archeology and they find so, look at it though. Look at that. There's just so obviously a footprint. Check it out. It's just so blatantly obvious. And anyway, I'm gutted.
I thought it should have been me that found it, but I think it's
[01:25:24] Paul Halfpenny: incredible. It's gotta be a fake right? Surely. No,
[01:25:28] Nathan Wrigley: it's real. It's to look at it. That's it really. That's it there. Yeah, they've dug it out. They've obviously, decided that it doesn't belong on the beach anymore, so people like me can't see it.
And dug it up brought it to some museum and look. Look at their smiley, happy faces. , than me. . I grew up
[01:25:49] Paul Halfpenny: on the olive white for a large part of my life. I often go back and the j there's a lot of Jurassic stuff on the olive white, particularly down in VNA where the cliffs have fallen down and they're always finding stuff down on the other point.
But I don't think they've ever found anything that big
[01:26:05] Nathan Wrigley: cuz that is just, if you go down to this beach I, this is no word of a lie. And you go when the tide is out, you not find fossils. If you can see, you find fossils and you find them every 10 seconds. Normally they're about the size of your fist.
Like a, one of those, what are they called? The ones that, they're a bit like a Nautilus Swirly ones. Yeah, the swirly ones. Yeah. That's swirly. Yeah, exactly. That they're everywhere. They are literally everywhere. Every two steps that you take, there's another one. But the whole dinosaur for.
I'm not happy, I'm gonna no. If I had a rewind time card, I would whip it out now and play it and I would be the person discovering the dinosaur footprint. So I'm not at all happy about that. But let's return to word pressy stuff. Just to top off today show it's 29 minutes pass. We've got one minute left.
This is not from me, this is from Paul. This is a human made piece. What's this about Paul?
[01:27:05] Paul Halfpenny: Word Camp Asia. There was a little meetup the day before Word Camp Asia, I believe. I wasn't there, but I was watching it on Twitter. Hosted by human made with x WP and Crowd favorite. I just thought it was really interesting because obviously enterprise is a part of WordPress, but it's not something necessary.
It gets talked about in like widely. I guess I think there's lots of different parts of WordPress, obviously, but I just thought it was really interesting that this took place. And the kind of conversations that are happening around collaboration on enterprise as specific niche of WordPress.
So it's something we are obviously enter interested in. It's something that, we see and do a lot of. And I think, it is, it's really interesting seeing how WordPress is used in the enterprise space. Yeah. Which is more often than people think about it as being used. It's, it is there, it is an important.
Option when people are looking at what CMS they use, particularly when you hit headwalls a recession and people are going I perhaps don't want to pay the license fees for these proprietary systems. What other options do I have? And with some of the things that WordPress is, has been on the journey for the last couple of years, and some of the things in the future, like around collaboration, around multilingual potentially going into core in future phases with the block editor being more alike, what you could see in things like Optimizly and Site Core in terms of their block editors and personalization and it, which is subject we talked about on the podcast.
Yeah. It's a thing. And I think it's just really interesting that this happened. And the kind of things that people are talking about.
[01:28:57] Nathan Wrigley: It happened on the 2nd of February, 2023, so it was called Meet the Speakers, WordPress Enterprise Gap Meetup. What I'll do is I'll add that into the show notes, which get published tomorrow along with the audio and video of this episode.
But sadly we've run outta time, so we're gonna have to, we're gonna have to knock it on the head, I'm afraid. I've got to go and collect my son . So otherwise he's gonna be, and it's actually chalking it down, so I'm gonna be a bad dad unless I go and get him. Now, neither of you know this is about to happen, but every week we do this somewhat humiliating thing where I get everybody to raise their hands just like this, and we all do it at the same time.
Yes, now go for it. Paul, can you? Yes. And that's all it takes. And you're probably feeling I'm never. Ever coming back after that? humiliation. Thank you so much, Samantha. I really appreciate it. You welcome. Thanks for contributing with this. I'm gonna be here. Yeah, thank you. Hopefully when you get the invite on your comeback.
And Paul, same to you. Really appreciate it. Look. No, there is. So I started this new bit of the show called What's Above Nathan's head, . And because I've got a shelf , but does anybody, it's so obvious this week, right? I just thought as soon as I saw it, I thought it's too obvious. Let me just make hang on.
How do I make me, yeah, there you go. What? Okay, mark, what is above Nathan's head? You've got thir 20 seconds to answer , so you've got 20 seconds to answer. Let's see if you can do it. Let me just reduce that. What is it? What's above Nathan's head? There you go. All right. And , that's the new gimmick.
He says it's a library. Yeah. I'll let you have that. It's books. It is books. Mark for extra bounty points, name me one of the . No but it is, you're right. It's a library. No bad skateboarding says I love the hands. I wonder Mark da. It was so many comments. Thank you, mark. How to use WP Books is the name apparently Yes.
It's a chat G P T thing. We will go now because I'm gonna get in trouble with my son and I will see you all very soon. Take it easy. Thank you. Take care.
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