328 – What to do when you begin to think that you’re splitting up with WordPress

Interview with Arnas Donauskas and Nathan Wrigley.

Today on the podcast we have Arnas Donauskas, who is a Product Owner at Hostinger.

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He’s on the show to talk about something that I’m sure that we’ve all felt before… that feeling of not being sure that WordPress is the project that it once was, that the future is not what you’d like, and how you can move on and work on the web with something else.

This is a tough subject for a podcast called WP Builds! The name implies that we’re here come what may!

I guess that the title is a little bit of clickbait, and perhaps a better title would be more like ‘how do you get your WordPress mojo back?’

WordPress site building and growth can be challenging, and quite often people lose their motivation to continue, and this is what we address… getting back your inspiration and desire to use WordPress and be a part of the community that surrounds it.

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Having said all of that, we cover a lot of ground about this topic and a whole bunch of other topics too.

We get into how people get started with WordPress and the challenges they face.

What are some of the obstacles which people might find when using WordPress? This could a case of finding the whole onboarding process tricky. Where you turn when you’ve no idea what a particular part of your site does not work?

Is it a plugin or a theme which is the root of your troubles, or perhaps it’s a block.

Arnas explains how the team at Hostinger have tried to make it easy for people to love their WordPress by making it easy for them to get started! Their wizard walks you through the process of getting up and running and installs a version of WordPress which mimics the industry that you’re in.

It’s a pretty interesting idea and certainly one to get your off to a quick-and-easy start.

It’s 2023 and so we could not have a conversation about WordPress without dropping the AI bomb! We discuss how Hostinger are hoping to be able to use AI in the near future to make this onboarding as simple as possible. Would it be good for AI to generate text and images which reflect the industry that you selected in their onboarding wizard? Of all the uses of AI (many of which I worry about) this seems like a really interesting implementation.

Towards the end of the podcast we talk about whether or not the coalition of WordPress plugins under the auspices of just a few WordPress companies is a good thing.

Some major brands have really bolstered their offerings over the last few years. Some call this maturation of the WordPress space. Others see it as more of a thinning out of the options available and a shift from the FOSS nature of the software.

One thing is for sure, it’s happening, whether we agree with it or not, so it’s interesting to get a take from a growing hosting company.

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Transcript (if available)

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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 Warms, Nathan Wrigley.

Hello there and welcome once again to the WP Builds podcast. You've reached episode number 328 entitled What to Do when you Begin to Think that you are splitting up with WordPress. It was published on Thursday, the 25th of May, 2023. My name's Nathan Wrigley, and I'll be joined by our interview guest in a few short moments.

Before that, a little bit of housekeeping. The first thing to mention is that we are continuing our six part mini webinar series with Mark Westguard from WS Form. We're doing that every Wednesday at 3:00 PM UK time. You can find that show live on our page, WP Builds.com/live. But if you would like to find some calendar links for that, head over to our homepage and scroll down just a little bit.

You'll see a little white card and on there are some buttons that you can press with calendar links to make sure that you don't miss it. We're having a really interesting time. We're getting more and more complex about what WS form can do, so if you are in the market for a new form solution, please do come check it out.

I have a list of those posts that we've done so far on the WP Builds website. Another thing to mention is that we have our deals page, WP Builds.com/deals. It's a little bit like Black Friday, but every single day of the year, searchable, filterable list of deals, go check it out. You never know. You might get yourself some money off.

And the other thing to mention, If you like what WP Builds are doing, please feel free to share it. I would really appreciate you going into your podcast player of choice and giving us a rating, apple Podcast, Spotify, or what have you. Write something I would be most grateful. Also, our subscribe page, WP Builds.com/subscribe. Over there, you're gonna find all of the ways that you can keep up to date with what we do. Our Twitter, our master on YouTube, and so on and so forth.

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 heading to go.me/wpbuilds once more go.me/wpbuilds and sincere thanks to GoDaddy Pro for their ongoing support of the WP Builds podcast.

Okay. What have we got on the show for you today? We've got an episode with Arnas Donauskas. He's from hosting, and we are here to talk. Ostensibly we're talking about what it's like when you split up with WordPress. In all honesty, the title got a bit hijacked, and maybe it's turned out to be a bit of a Click Beatty title because really we get into a whole load of other things.

We get into what is it that makes the community work well? What is it that. Disables people from starting on their WordPress journey. What challenges do new people face and how are companies like hosting a, trying to make it easier with onboarding wizards and AI goodness to try and make people's first forays into WordPress a little bit easier to manage.

It's an interesting chat and I hope that you enjoy it. I'm joined on the podcast today by Arnas Donauskas. Hello, Arnas. Hi, Nathan.

[00:03:48] Arnas Donauskas: Glad to be here and thanks for inviting me today.

[00:03:50] Nathan Wrigley: Oh, you're very welcome. Arnas is joining us from hosting actually, which is a company, if you've attended Word Camps.

They've been really pulling out all the stops in terms of getting the sponsorships going on over there. I confess Arnas that until probably about 16 to 18 months ago. I hadn't really heard. Of hosting. So before we get onto the subject of today's podcast, which is about splitting up with WordPress, I wonder if you wouldn't mind just giving us a bit of background, firstly about you and what you've been doing in the world of tech, whether that was always WordPress or web development or marketing or whatever it may be.

But then also if you could spend a moment telling us about what you do at hosting, that'd be great.

[00:04:32] Arnas Donauskas: Yeah, of course. So at hosting I've been for. A little bit more than three years. Throughout these years, I've worked in a different positions. My current one is a product owner of web hosting product itself.

And we, the first position that I worked was a customer support specialist. So I help directly with the requests from the clients their questions Anything that's related to the website or their development or setting it up. And then I moved on to the UX research. So UX research, basically I try to find, locate things where clients are struggle and how we can improve them to provide them better flow with our pro.

So they would be able, to Set up their websites with us more easily and they wouldn't have to worry about, any technical issues with us. And then before moving to the product owner, I became a product associate of the double hosting product itself. And this is where my current journey started.

And yeah, I got more accustomed with the product itself deepened my knowledge with the workers and yeah. That's about it. This is where I currently stand, and that's a small overview of my journey.

[00:06:02] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, thank you. In terms of hosting her itself though, for those people who haven't heard of it, there, there are some fairly big incumbents names of hosting companies who roll off the tongue.

They've been around for decades and decades. Can you just give us a bit of backstory about hosting her? How long have they been around and has there been more interest recently in WordPress? Are they as a company, are you pivoting into the WordPress space in a big way? And if so, when did that journey all begin?

[00:06:32] Arnas Donauskas: Yeah. Hosting first was like officially founded in 2004 and from that point there were a lot of changes. I know myself, I've been in hosting air for a little bit, three, three more years, but throughout their time you. We kept innovating making new stuff that would, bring more efficiency to, to customers, not only from the, what we have to offer, but from the eh hardware part as well.

So our, servers would be stable. We we ship, and build our parts in the data centers itself. So yeah, all those years we innovated, tried new things, offered new things. And it at the start of the podcast, you mentioned that like in 18 or 16 months, you never really heard about the hosting error itself.

And I get what you're coming from because like we just recently started participating in the ward camps itself, and maybe that's where first, where you could have heard about us. Yeah. In the WordPress word itself, and I'm really. Happy and pleased to say that I was in, in those first board camps where I participated.

I, I wasn't in the name of the hosting or there, and I could meet, all the WordPress people there.

[00:08:01] Nathan Wrigley: I I initially saw hostings booth at, work Camp Europe in Portugal in 2022, so yeah. We're coming onto a year or something like that. Yeah. And I remember thinking to myself, yeah, it's curious because all of the major sponsors in this room I've heard of before, frequent the WordPress space quite a lot. And then there. Their hosting a was with a really giant booth, one of the bigger ones. And I thought that's interesting because I have not heard of them before. So anyway, and nice to have you Pivot into the WordPress community. The more eyeballs that are on it, the better.

And thanks for telling us about hosting her in your journey with WordPress. Curious little subject that we're gonna cover today. And and I was really taken by this when you contacted me and we were touring and throwing about a subject that you thought would be of interest, you suggested the idea of.

What do you do when you are considering splitting up with WordPress and how do you get your, you wrote mojo back, which I thought was quite interesting. And the reason I find this subject so fascinating is I really do think that there are a proportion of people who are using WordPress who are getting a little bit fatigued.

I've seen some fairly. High profile people leave the community. If you've been following WordPress for any length of time, quite a few major solo plug-in developers have decided to sell their product on and move onto pastures new. I don't know what many of them are doing now, but it's certainly got nothing to do with WordPress, but also, Since the advent of Gutenberg in WordPress 5.0, a lot of people have become a little bit disgruntled.

They thought maybe that was the wrong direction for the c m s to move in. So yeah, let's get into that. What were you thinking when you came up with this subject for me?

[00:10:00] Arnas Donauskas: So this subject came from, the root cause of it is like, When you first get idea to build a website, you always think would be the most comfortable way or for me to build it.

And I know a lot of people, majority of people would select BPU based on its functionality and interface of it, the usability of it, scalability, and but there is also a challenge, to build that whole website. And when you think of it from a bigger perspective, you have to cover that many places and.

You are a single person that doing it at the start, and you have to cover so many places. And at some point it could get you like frustrating and overwhelming and you could just like in terms of motivation may drop out. But I personally had this as well when I was making small projects for my bachelor for a few friends of mine.

And it does get overwhelming and. I just wanted share my view, what did help me out in those cases and how could I keep like a progressive path where I would be able to see the actual results of the fork inputted into the site. So I would still get motivated a little by little.

[00:11:24] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah.

It's interesting because it's quite difficult for me now to really understand what the problems for new users to WordPress are because I'm so familiar with it. I've just spent the last. Eight or nine years just completely obsessing about WordPress. And so I know what all the things are that you need to achieve to get a website out of the door.

But I've gotta think that if you've got some specific functionality that's outside of core, and let's be honest, most websites these days, we'll definitely have some third party. Plugin dropped into them for one reason or another. But I'm guessing that if you are an inexperienced user, the fact that you've got documentation for this plugin over here, you've got documentation for this theme over the, here, you don't know how to achieve the functionality for this particular thing that you know that you need.

And so you're browsing on the internet for possible solutions. Whereas if you were to. To go with a proprietary solution. Something along the lines of Wicks or Squarespace. All of that documentation and tutorials and everything live in that one place. And so it's a little bit more straightforward onboarding.

I understand what you mean. WordPress is a difficult, it is quite a difficult ask at the beginning.

[00:12:47] Arnas Donauskas: Yeah. Yeah, that's totally correct. But like how, from my point of view, how. This thing could be approached is let's say you have a simple goal. Have a website one of the, and to have that website working and like gathering traffic, get more engagement.

All of these all goals look like more of a big picture view, but who say that you can't split them into smaller milestones personally for yourself. And you would be achieving them little by little over time, and all of them would contribute to your bigger goal. What I have in mind with this let's say you have your website up and rolling.

Everything is ready. You have a simple block site about your hobby, in this case listed photography, and you. Of course what motivates a lot of people is getting traffic to it. So why not making your first milestone is to cover all of your block website with cell friendly tags throughout the website, throughout all of your articles, which is like significantly boost your site when it's appearing online.

That gives you a better perspective on your online and getting more traffic. Splitting into the smaller task. When you achieve, you get that, feeling of Accomplishment. Yeah, I did this. And then you can monitor your results along the way.

[00:14:18] Nathan Wrigley: So rather than having the approach that, you want your website to be the Ferrari of websites immediately before you launch it, the approach would be, okay, start with a, let's just get the wheels on the ground first and then we can build the rest of the Ferrari around it.

So start simple. Set yourself some goals. Have an idea of. The order in which those dominoes need to fall and then follow that through. So in your case, yeah, that may be tagging things or maybe email marketing or whatever it is, but that, yeah that's how you are suggesting you can achieve greatness more realistically.

Don't expect it to be brilliant. And Ferrari from day one.

[00:15:02] Arnas Donauskas: Yeah. Yeah. This is like exactly what I have in mind because like when you think I'm sure before every, everyone who creates a website, they do some research. Research online checks, similar websites. And when they see a fully working website, let's say a big blog like a VP beginner, and they will say, they would think one day I would like to have a website like this myself.

But it's a really big task. But so what you do in this case, you work little by little and don't get overwhelmed. With how much you will have to do by splitting into the smaller tasks. After a certain period of time, you will be able to contribute to your website in the long run and have it steadily growing.

[00:15:49] Nathan Wrigley: I think it's quite a difficult thing to do, isn't it? Because if you are new to the web space, not just WordPress but if you really have only been consuming websites for the whole of the previous 10 years and you haven't built anything, just the idea of knowing how to break the website up into different components, is really hard.

In other words, do you tackle. Let's assume, of course, that you've managed at some point to get a website running. You've got WordPress in there, it's vanilla WordPress. It does. Very basic things, posts and pages and that's about it. And it's very difficult to know what comes next.

Do you tackle the theme next and, make it look online, sorry up to date with your brand, you figuring out how to do the colors and to make the headers and the footers look nice, or do you concentrate on getting the content out there? And don't worry too much about what it looks like because Google doesn't.

Particularly care what it looks like. So long as it's performant and there's text all over the place, it's difficult to know, isn't it? In the same way that, if I wandered into a mechanics with my broken car, I wouldn't know which piece to take off to get to the faulty piece. I just wouldn't know what to do.

I'd have to spend quite a lot of time learning about it.

[00:17:07] Arnas Donauskas: Yeah. True on that part. But it also comes to your personal goals or let's say commitments, what you wanna do with the website. Let's say you have a, as you mentioned the previous example you have a really basic website. It's up and running, it's online.

People can view it, but what's your next goal with it? I believe this would have to be decided, by the ones who initially created the website. Perhaps I'm not satisfied how this looks to my eye and. Change the design or goal is to get, profit from the website as fast as possible.

So you would have some, incoming billings from it. So perhaps we'll like some affiliate integration to it with some plugin. So I believe it all depends what's the goal of the website and what are your priorities on this, because that without having priorities and a clear plan you could get Quite lost and mixed.

What to do next for yourself and what would be best to, achieve your goal? I don't know

[00:18:21] Nathan Wrigley: what your, sorry. I don't know whether the position that you have on hosting, in hosting, allows you to reveal this to me or not, but I'd be fascinated to know. As people are onboarding at your platform, is there quite a lot of drop off?

You get people signing up and there's, there's tons of that, but then it looks two months later they stop fiddling with it. There's no more updates. Do, and somebody like me I can't, I don't have access to any of that data. I only know about the things that I do, but obviously working for a hosting company would be relatively easy to see.

Yes. Loads of people sign up, but only 10, 15, 20, 40, whatever percent actually manage to keep the whole thing going. And if they do give up, is that the fault of WordPress? The fact that it's complicated and difficult to use potentially, and there's not enough documentation out there.

So let's talk about that for a minute. Do you see this trend from the hosting side?

[00:19:22] Arnas Donauskas: Yeah. So it's not a secret that there are of people who are not. Able, let's say, activate themselves to have their website up and running. But I also believe that this is, this could be taken at a responsibility on the hosting itself.

Cause we, as a hosting company a, provide help to the client as well. In, in one particular case, it could be the onboarding, but who says that throughout the onboarding, a hosting provider can't assist Fully create a simple website itself. So I'm working in one, one of those teams who, make some small guidance changes to the client when it comes to creating their website through onboarding.

And one of the more recent changes, not like a really recent, but like a few months ago we released the plugin that helps clients to edit their most, Like edit. Did your first image, upload your first image, add your new page to your first website. It's like an onboarding plugin inside the WordPress admin panel.

And with this, we aimed, to boost those clients' motivation to not drop out of the website's creation. So

[00:20:46] Nathan Wrigley: do you have that as like a must use plugin? Is that a, is that something which comes with the hosting WordPress install that, that, if you go through the process, submit your credit card details, blah, blah, blah, all of that.

And then get the website going that's installed. And it activates itself when you first log in. Yeah.

[00:21:10] Arnas Donauskas: Yeah. So what you basically described is correct and If clients, let's say not all of them, some of them already experienced with WordPress, they can just one click and deactivate it, either from the WordPress panel or from the our control panel.


[00:21:25] Nathan Wrigley: how has that been received? Do you have any telemetry about whether people follow that through and use it, or do you find that most people ignore it?

[00:21:34] Arnas Donauskas: Yeah. There's always a group of people who are more, more motivated by those steps and they tend to Complete all of those steps that I would like further issues.

But yeah, there's a part of the people who let's say aim to drop out in the middle, but we're trying to guide the clients that those steps could help you to build a basic website. And have your content read online or something similar

[00:22:07] Nathan Wrigley: to that? Yeah, I guess the old adage of, you can bring a water, a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

I suppose. There's only so much you can do if you go out of your way to install a plugin, which will help you upload your first image and so on and so forth, then, but then people just dismiss it. It's quite interesting actually. I am the kind of user that given. So let's say that I've logged into some SaaS service for the first time.

If I see. An onboarding wizard. I always finish it. There's just, there's no way that I'm not finishing that. I just go through every single step because I think to myself I wanna get the best out of this. They've got me this far. I might as well keep going until the end. So I'm I would be your perfect user.

I would finish, yeah, I would finish that onboarding, but I know. Certainly that, it's not for everybody, is it? They wanna figure it out themselves, and when they get the flat pack IKEA furniture, they never look at the manual. They just try to build it. See, that's a challenge as well. Let's see what happens.

I'm curious though, aside from the. Let me go back a step. Yeah. So what you've just described is a successful install of WordPress. You've typed in a database name, you've got a username, you've got your account, you've logged into WordPress. Do you hosting a do anything prior to getting the website up and running?

In other words, do you have like a. An onboarding wizard inside of hosting a, which will customize the type of site that you'll end up with. So log into hosting a say I want a WordPress site. Here's some options for you. Would you like a, I don't know, would you like this kind of theme? Do you have a business orientated website?

We'll create some posts and pages for you to get you started. Do you do any of that before the install happens?

[00:24:02] Arnas Donauskas: You explain all of this, and this is like a upcoming feature, future plans of ours, and it's not yet released to the clients, but it is planned on our public roadmap. And what at hosting we will do is that we create our own custom WordPress templates and throughout the onboarding process, we will allow clients to Minorly customize that, the template, and they, after the onboarding, they will have a small up and running website with

[00:24:41] Nathan Wrigley: that template.

So that, that's really interesting. And it seems to be an approach which a lot of the, the managed WordPress hosting companies are taking. Because you are just driving people towards success or at least a greater chance of success, aren't you? Because for the best will in the world, the, I was looking on Twitter the other day and there were a few people saying about how plain.

The new 2023 default theme is I dunno if you've spent any time looking at that, but if you install WordPress by default and you open it, it is ultra minimal. The theme is very powerful. There's lots of features in there. It's block based and you can alter the navigation and headers and footers and in the site editing interface and all of that.

But the, what you get. When you first begin is very minimal indeed. It's a, there's a heading. There's a few lines, there's a little comment in, in. It's one of the most bare bones themes that I've seen in ages. And being confronted with that as an end user probably is a bit off-put if you've never used WordPress before.

So I do like the idea of being taken through a wizard. Prior to doing that, and I'm, yeah I wonder if we could go into that a little bit more. What kind of, and I know you said it's not yet available for customers, but what kind of questions are you asking to give a little bit more insight into what you are going to install for them?

[00:26:09] Arnas Donauskas: Yeah also when you create a post let's say, or a text, we will help clients to fill out their description. With a little better little help of ai. Oh, nice. Yeah. It's also an upcoming feature and all of this will be coming, simultaneously one after another, so it's just a little bit sneak peek.

So the ideal goal is here, like clients will enter a description, their title, not the title. It'd be the brand. So it'll go, as as identification for the website. And what we will use the description as basically the ai, we will generate the content of the website. So let's say you, I'm a artist, I'm a photographer.

I make pictures of animals and so on. And at first we will generate, the text with the ei and we will place it in the website and then we will iterate or. Receive, gather feedback from the clients and if with further, if the iterations, we will also would like to add, images based on the text.

So client in the end would get a site with ready, template ready text. So they would be able to either customized based on their needs. If they find something not up to their likeness, likeliness, or they could just like, Go with the already, finalized the product and go live with it.

Yeah. So that's the idea. Yeah. That's

[00:27:51] Nathan Wrigley: really interesting because I think. There, there's this notion of writer's block where, you know you are trying to write a book, but you are staring at a white piece of paper and for reasons unknown. You just can't get yourself going. There's, the ideas don't go, occasionally you might sit down and write for ages and it just all flows perfectly.

But I think building a website, especially for non. Technical people who've never used WordPress before. The idea of having a bunch of blank pages and not knowing where to start. That's really interesting. So if you're gonna fill them out, and I'm guessing, the chances of you actually using that text are fairly small, but at least it gives you some starting point.

Oh, okay. This is my about page and there's some text, which is at least text. It's not Lauren. And Okay. There's where a picture might go, and I can fiddle with the blocks. And move it around. And if you're doing that, For different kinds of statements. So let's, for example, say that I'm a plumber and I get plumbing texts and plumbing pictures, or if I'm a car salesman and I get car salesman text and car salesman pictures, that seems like a really useful.

Implementation of ai. I've gotta say, I'm I have my reservations about AI in, in the way that it, I hope it doesn't replace all sorts of useful jobs, but that does seem like a genuinely practical application of it. You're just putting something in there to get people started that they can delete and override as they choose.


[00:29:22] Arnas Donauskas: Right now at a hosting there, we do already have AI implemented in our builder, but I'm con, I'm like, It's very understandable that not all of clients would like to use builders and they prefer WordPress, but the idea is really similar create a basic template that would give at least a view that client would be able to edit.

Because as you mentioned earlier, it's really difficult to start when you just only see a blank page and you say to yourself, okay, what's the next step? Do I import a blog post? Do I write something up? And when all of that will be prefilled, at least with some text up to your already entered description and some images placed up, you will know that here I can change the image if I would like to or else change the description if I need to.

[00:30:17] Nathan Wrigley: Does your little wizard, you mentioned the wizard that guides you through the process, the plugin that you install, which helps people to get through. Is that something that kind of keeps coming back to you? In other words, if you've been, if you dismiss it and say, okay, enough, does it come back and say, in a week's time, look, how are you doing?

Is there any help that we can give you? And do you have documentation on your side to. Assist with this whole thing. Okay, you're two weeks into your website, let's have a check-in. Let's see how we're doing. You may do that with humans rather than documentation. It may be that people reach out to you via email sequences or whatever and try to keep that motivation going.

I don't know how you do it.

[00:30:58] Arnas Donauskas: So like right now, directly through the worker's admin panel, the plug in itself does not like, being the Pearson. Let's say if you've been, if you have been inactive but planning, to release. In our control panel, we have a section that's called like Tips to Improve, and that's Tips to Improve.

Section will basically tell the clients what's up with their website. If they have a, let's say, WordPress vulnerability with plugin our theme, we immediately inform them. And in that section we aim to. We are creating a new tip that will inform the clients Hey, we see some of the changes that could be done to your website, and if you are up to it, you can directly jump to the WordPress and make those changes.

Or you can. We were like, if you're not up to it, you can just dismiss that notification.

[00:31:48] Nathan Wrigley: It's interesting because e everything that we've mentioned so far has been a problem. In other words, I can't get this to work, so I need some help with that. Or, you haven't done this yet, so go ahead and do it.

Make a post, put some images in, what have you. I'm just wondering if you do the flip side of things, is there any information that you provide to say, pat on the back, you've done really well. You've had 300 views in the last couple of days. That's really good.

Let's see if we can get it to 600. In other words is congratulations and backs slapping and clapping part of this whole process for keeping the motivation going? Or is it all about No, you're doing this wrong. That's a good

[00:32:30] Arnas Donauskas: aspect. Yeah, so we do have So this, pattern back and congratulations.

Emails does come from the emails perspective. So the client will see it on their cell phone that something good has happened. And I know that like at first it all starts like, Hey, you added your domain. Congratulations. You can start build your website. And then we have an upcoming milestone emails they're called, yeah they're called milestone.

The milestone emails will be sent to the clients when they reach certain miles. Let's say, and as an example, hey, congratulations. During past seven days, you've had 10 unique visitors visiting your website. Good job with the traffic.

[00:33:18] Nathan Wrigley: It's interesting cuz I, I would, I'd really enjoy getting those because that, that would help me get an understanding that, You can't run before you can walk.

10, 10 visitors is better than two visitors. But I'm guessing there's an expectation that, oh, I'll put my website up and a thousand people will come within the next five minutes because, it's the internet and everybody's on the internet. So the idea of doing that is interesting. And I'm wondering if.

Let's say for example, so just thinking about hosting a, the bigger picture if you detect that a website is stagnant or the opposite, if a website is doing really well, do you get in touch with those customers in any way to say, look, we've noticed that you really are nailing it.

You're getting 50,000 views a month. This is good, but now we need to. Take care of the hosting from a different point of view. You're on this plan, we probably need to upgrade you to this plan. And the flip side of that, it's not going so well. Can we help? Is there anything that we can do? I don't know how hands on you are.

I'm guessing some people wouldn't like that, but some people would.

[00:34:26] Arnas Donauskas: Yeah, so both sides have some form of communication. Let's say the website is stagnant and there's Not a lot of things going on with it. So we do know, like from the feedback how the websites are being created that our website builder could be a good alternative for peoples who are really beginners and would like to have a simple website.

So for the clients, let's say, You're a user and for past three days you haven't performed you haven't published a website. And perhaps there are some places you're struggling with. So we will like, offer you perhaps you would like to try out the builder. You can just select the template and have the website online.

So this is one of the side that you've mentioned. And there's an another side for, let's say, a really good performing client. And they are on the hosting plan. And, but we don't bug the client if they don't actually need that information. What I have in mind with that let's say you are a well performing client.

You have a good hosting plan, a good amount of traffic. But we will not inform you to, let's say you need to switch to this hosting plan because you have this amount of traffic. If your hosting plan can handle this, we're really happy that you're using it and it can maintain your website that you currently have and you don't need to make an upgrade.

But we will like inform that, that hey the website has started to use like 90 to 100 of your hosting resource plans. It would be good, to. We review its performance, perhaps small data plugins is causing, the higher usage or some like database requests are piling up and object cash could solve that issue.

Or in if it's really just the increased the, you have an increased usage, maybe you could, should consider an upgrade to a higher tier plan. But if nothing is like, Out of the ordinary clients don't get, get pro promotional emails yeah, do the upgrade or something like that.

[00:36:54] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, it's fascinating.

The hosting industry really has changed, doesn't it? In the last. Let's go quite far back last decade. If I was to be having this conversation with a hosting company a decade ago, basically they did hosting, that was pretty much it. You'd chuck your files over there and that was all you'd do, whereas the boundary between.

Oh, I dunno, the suite of plugins that a hosting company might bring to bear. So you've got your plugin, which assists you in the onboarding. A lot of other companies in the hosting space they've gone out there and they've bought up swathes of different types of, let's say, woo commerce plug-ins or calendar type plug-ins.

And now they're able to offer these. These different types of websites. So we specialize in e-commerce or we specialize in LMSs or we specialize in whatever it may be. So the hosting company really does have much more to do it feels like now. And what you are describing there with the hosting company, monitoring and keeping an eye on things and giving you a pat on the back if you're doing well, that's all.

That's all part of that is that whole bigger picture part of hostings plan? Do they want to grow and, have more fingers in the word press pie? So offering additional plugins, doing everything through your interface, all of that.

[00:38:16] Arnas Donauskas: I always think from that perspective let's say you're creating a website and you have a suggestions of the plugins that could. Benefit to your website, but do we always have to push something to the clients that they necessarily would need for their website, right? Let's say promoting some kind of a plugins just for clients to have it.

I always think that users would really find use of it to, to.

To install their plug plugin on the website so it bring benefit to them. And when it comes to. Creating the, perhaps you could specify that question for me. When you mentioned that the hosting company contributes to different types of websites what do you actually have in mind with that?


[00:39:14] Nathan Wrigley: so for example, there are other hosting companies out there Yeah. Who have bought up a ton of different, similar plug-ins, if they've got they've got. A ton of woo commerce options. You can install a Woo commerce optimized website. Plus, because they're the now the owners of a whole load of plug-ins in the Woo commerce space, they can bring that in as well.

So they're not just hosting anymore, they're hosting Plus, if you like. They've got the hosting, but they've, then they've also got things that can make your site more WooCommerce or more LMS or more, whatever it may be. Does that make more sense?

[00:39:53] Arnas Donauskas: Okay. Yeah. Got it. And I think I understood the question here that is, it's like par, partially true, but it also is it really good to have that many plug-ins installed on your WordPress website itself?

Where I'm leading to here is that what I really like about hosting her? Not like bragging or something like that, but the thinking on this is like we do create a lot of our products and things that would benefit to the client. Let's say object cash feature we not, we didn't use, we didn't use.

Bought any plugin, we just build that feature ourself. And like now, the WordPress users are able to use the object at each feature for their website to speed it up. Let's say. And another example like a cdn, you are looking for a better performance. The CDN will help you out. But then again, to set it up, some of the providers do.

Request you to do some additional steps while on, on the hosting error. The, it's an in house built solution, so I'm always thinking like when it comes to plug instead, Build up the website's functionality, is it always the best option to just offer that installation to the client and give the plugin directly to it?

Or perhaps the hosting itself can build some kind of a solution that the client wouldn't necessarily have to install an additional plugin into that website because just one of the final thought, because where it would all lead that some kind of a functionality would depend on that plugin.

[00:41:43] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, it's interesting the sort of co coalescing of lots and lots of plug-ins under the auspices of a few big companies has been the story really of the last three or four years in WordPress.

You've got some big companies who've bought up a whole sway of different things and. Their claim, I think justifiably is that they are making it so that you just have everything in one place, which is really easy to use and all of that. But there's been a little bit of pushback in the WordPress community against that, which it feels like you are more on that side of the argument of hosting or if you've represented that, or I've understood that correctly in that's not the, that's not the enterprise that you are interested in.

You can. Bring your own plugins and figure it out for yourself, which makes sense. But yeah, there's been quite a lot of concern about that. Just the idea that this free open source project is now becoming yeah. Swamped by a few big companies and all of the things that, that leads to.

Yeah, it's not like

[00:42:47] Arnas Donauskas: that I'm against, the whole plugins idea and that there are like definitely a lot of good plugins that. Do benefit for the client, for the website, for its development. But I always think won't I have too many plugins on my, that it would potentially like conflict between each other or make my website more heavily?

Because, new plugin, new processes, new actions in the background. And right now, since I'm working as a product owner in the hosting company, I'm always thinking perhaps that. If a high variety of clients are using that feature that is covered by a plugin, perhaps we somehow could assist them and do them, like directly from our services side and clients wouldn't have to, install an additional plugin part.

Yeah. It's a difficult,

[00:43:42] Nathan Wrigley: It's a difficult tightrope to tread, isn't it? Because obviously the more that you can offer. The better it is, there's no doubt about that. But from the community side, it's, I think there's some, often some pushback. Do we, do, we have to have just a few companies who've, who are ma maintaining ownership of all the things which are good in the WordPress one.

Not all the things, quite a lot of the things which have historically proven themselves to be good in the WordPress space. Eh, so interesting. Interesting to get your thoughts on that. We're running outta time onus. I know that we've b barely scratched this subject. I'm just wondering before we wrap it up, is there anything that you wanted to talk about that we missed there?

[00:44:22] Arnas Donauskas: I think Nathan, we've from our topic, we covered all of the main aspects.

[00:44:27] Nathan Wrigley: This is perfect. In which case we will, we'll knock it on the head. But before we do Anis from hosting, where are the best places for us to find you? Could be social, could be an email address, could just be a contact form, whatever works for you.

[00:44:43] Arnas Donauskas: Yeah, it's my best like approach to contact me would be my LinkedIn account. I believe it's the, my name in the surname, Martin Ska. And yeah this would be the point of contact.

[00:44:56] Nathan Wrigley: Okay. In which case I will add that to the show notes and make sure that people get to you. Anis, really appreciate it.

Thanks for coming on talking to us about, how to get your website over the finish line, but also what hosting are doing to make that happen. Really appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you

[00:45:13] Arnas Donauskas: Nain, for having me

[00:45:14] Nathan Wrigley: today. I hope that you enjoy the podcast. Forgive the Click Beatty title.

Hopefully Anis and I chatting. Didn't upset you too much. We did get a little bit off piece. The intention was to talk about what the title was, and then we went off the rails a little bit and talked about all sorts of other things. If you've got any comments about that episode, please feel free to reach out. Go to the WP Builds.com website and look for episode number 328 and leave us a comment there.

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 ub 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. And we do thank GoDaddy Pro for their support of the WP Builds podcast.

Okay. Hopefully we'll see you at some point this week. We do our, this week in WordPress Show Live every Monday. We're also doing our Wednesday Ws Forum webinar that I talked about at the start, and we'll also have a podcast episode, a chat with David Walmsley and I on Thursday.

The live shows can be found at WP Builds.com/live. Hopefully we'll see you at some point this week. But if not, have a good week. Stay safe. Bye.

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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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