The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 3rd July 2023
Another week, and we’re bringing you the latest WordPress news from the last seven days, including…
- What’s coming up in WordPress 6.3?
- Have we got too many names for all-the-new-things in WordPress?
- WordCamp Europe is looking for organisers.
- What’s happening with WordPress and AI, there’s a podcast about that.
- WooCommerce get into the SaaS business with Woo Express.
- Are WordPress malware scanners a waste of time?
- And is it a good idea to put your kids pictures on the internet?
There’s a lot more than this, so scroll down and take a look…
This Week in WordPress #259 – “The week of glitches”
With Nathan Wrigley, Remkus de Vries, Cameron Jones, Rob Cairns.
Recorded on Monday 3rd July 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.
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Transcript (if available)
These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.
[00:00:04] Nathan Wrigley: It's time for this week in WordPress episode number 259. This episode is entitled the week of glitches. It was recorded on Monday, the 3rd of July, 2023. My name's Nathan Wrigley. And today I'm joined and then not joined. And then joined again by some guests. We've got Rob Cairns. We've got Remkus de Vries and we've got Cameron Jones. It's a WordPress podcast. So what do we talk about? WordPress, mainly we start off talking about WordPress 6.3 and what's in there. Then we go on to talk about the command palette and how it's been changing in name over the last few weeks. Also, if you're into WordPress notifications or probably more likely, you want to make them go away, there's a feature request out and you can help design how notifications will be handled.
In the future, WordCamp Europe are looking for organizers for 2024. We talk a lot about AI largely off the back of a podcast episode I did with James Domini over at WP Tavern. We also look at a fairly boring, curated pattern directory. And we also talk about reusable blocks and how they've been renamed.
And then we get onto kids and whether or not you should be posting their images onto social media. There's all that plus a whole lot more on this week in WordPress.
This episode of the WP Builds podcast is brought to you by 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% of new purchases. Find out more at go.me forward slash WP builds.
Oh there's a surprise. We've totally lost somebody. During the introductory music, we had four of us, and then during that little video, one of us has disappeared. We'll introduce the fourth person. Anyway he did say that he had a terrible op speed for his internet connection. So anyway, this is the second time that's happened to Cameron.
So anyway, we'll do the introduction time with me as well. Yeah, it's going well. I'm just, we're we do the introductions for everybody else. First of all, we have Rems dev race joining us today. How are you doing, Remkus?
[00:02:30] Remkus de Vries: I'm well, thank you. How are you?
[00:02:32] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah good. Really good. Remkus has a very short bio.
It simply says, Remkus is a WordPress performance specialist podcaster and content, let me start that again. And content creator with a podcast newsletter and YouTube channel. You can check out all that he does at the world's coolest u rl. It's rem. Us basically. It's his name with the US at the end, r e mk us.
That's very nice. That's pretty handy to have. I'm quite jealous. Thank you. How's the podcast going?
[00:03:09] Remkus de Vries: Pretty good. Nice. Is I think eight published now, and there's about that amount and still need to do to publish, but the the reception has been great and the feedback has been very positive yeah, it's going good.
[00:03:25] Nathan Wrigley: congratulations. Well done. I know it's a lot of effort, isn't it? All three of us on the screen at the moment are are podcasters and you get to realize on the backend if you wanna do it, Like really poorly. You could probably just knock it out really quickly. But if you want to make a decent stab at it, there is quite a little bit of background work.
[00:03:44] Remkus de Vries: It's, if it's a few hours work around what you didn't think that would going to be anyway.
[00:03:49] Nathan Wrigley: Exactly. Every single episode. So yeah. Bravo and well done for that. A again, Remkus is the url, RMK us. We're also joined by Rob Cairns. How are you doing Rob? Doing
[00:04:02] Rob Cairns: well. Thanks for having me now.
[00:04:04] Nathan Wrigley: Rob is extremely quiet at the moment. Still fine. Yeah, basically Rob, it's Unusably quiet. Is like super, super quiet. So I've got a little volume control here, so I will pan that up and down as fit as fitting. And if I can draw you into the conversation and it's working we'll go for it.
If not, I'll just interrupt and say we can't hear you, but I've ramped your volume right up, so we'll have to see how you do. But quick introduction to Rob. Rob is the founder and c e o of stunning digital marketing. He's a WordPress security expert. We'll get to a bit of that later. Rob, co-managers, the WordPress Global Community Group on LinkedIn with Courtney Robertson.
He's the creator of the S D M Show podcast, and his mission is to have Ws forms automatically send him a pizza in Toronto in his spare time. He likes touring around Ontario with his partner. Sports music and reading what you like. Touring around Ontario with sports, music and reading. I like it the way the comma was in that sentence.
Gave me a bad joke in. Oh and here he is. Cameron Jones is back in the building. Do you know what Cameron? Honestly you arrived at the exact correct second cuz I was just about to say, we'll just press on without Cameron. But here, there he is, Cameron Jones all the way from Australia. But now living in the UK for goodness knows how long.
How are you doing Cameron? Oh, it's not gonna go well. This is, it Cameron's internet. It's frozen. It's a bit like Tim last week, whose internet kept freezing. Cameron, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna introduce you and then I will keep letting you in and if you oh, this is, this could be interesting.
Cameron. I'm gonna introduce you and if you, if we can get you work in Bravo. If not, then this will be the second time you've had to kick yourself out of the conversation cuz your Internet's failed. Cameron Jones is a professional WordPress developer from the little beach town of Victor Harbor Australia.
He's the founder of the Premium plugin store, mongoose Marketplace. Best known for the Mongoose page plugin, which is used by over 30,000 WordPress sites. He's the maintainer of the official WordPress plugin for the free donation platform, COFI, which is dead cool, by the way. He's also contributed patches to several popular plugins such as a c, f and Jet Pack, and as well as spending nearly a decade building sites with products for WordPress.
Cameron has spent a little time as a meetup organizer. He's contributed to WordPress core, and when he doesn't sit in front of his laptop, you can find him on the sports field at a dance class or in the mosh pit. Yay. With heavy metal bands, mosh Pit. Can you? Oh my goodness. Oh, it's it brings back memories of that conversation you and I had.
That was 1996 calling. Let's see how he goes. I'll just crack on and if if Cameron can join in Bravo. If not, then we'll see where we go. First of all, if you're joining us in the chat, thank you. This is a brand new platform to me. I've never used it before. I am actually over the last month or so, I've been trying a different platform, more or less every week.
This, I think, is where I'm gonna settle down. But there are a few quirks to it. Much like the last platform, if you want to make your comments visible, especially if you're in the Facebook group, there is a little thing that you've got to do and that is to grant the streaming platform permission to see your name.
And in order to do that, you've gotta go to Wave Video slash Lives slash Facebook. So if you've done anything in the past to allow us to access your name and video on Facebook, I presume it will now not work. You'll have to do it again. Wave. Video slash lives slash Facebook. Here comes Cameron again.
Let's see if it works. Cameron, I'm just gonna keep on trucking and if you can, we'll let you in at some point. If not you call it yourself, but so far it seems to be working as of this exact moment. If you want to if you want to give us a phone, it's fine until you press the go Live button. Yeah, it wasn't it?
That's so strange. We'll keep going. You'll be fine. He had he said hopefully if you wanna share the URL for this show, please do. WP Builds.com. Slash live is the way to go. Okay. And because I'm getting used to this, it's gonna be interesting to me to see how these comments work.
So Michelle, for example, is joining us. She says, from Rochester, New York. Ah, she got in first with the weather comment, 68 degrees Fahrenheit, 20 degrees centigrade. Thank you very much. Elliot, from just down the road is saying, hi. Thank you, Peter. Beaten to it, mate. I'm sorry about that. You're gonna have to have words with Michelle because where he is, oh, he's in Southern New England.
He's not in Kinetica. What the hell is happening? Peter? The world. It's like the Matrix. It's sunny skies, thunderstorms expected later in the day. And then we've got Liam joining us from Philadelphia. Marcus Burnett is joining us from Orlando, Florida, and Peacher is joining us from Italy. And then we've got Ross, who's joining us from the UK where.
We were better not talking about the UK weather, frankly. Let's go on with the show, shall we? Let's talk about WordPress because that's what we're here for. It's episode number 259. Just a couple of quick things. First of all, let me get rid of that little bit of nonsense. This is our website, WP Builds.com.
You can see that we are supported by GoDaddy. Thank you to GoDaddy Pro for supporting us for such a long time. Really appreciate it. If you like what we do, fill out that form. Boom, you'll start getting any emails and there's a big fat on the subscribe link at the bottom. If we annoy you, hopefully we won't.
Just quick thing, if you are in a product company you're in the WordPress space, we have a summit that we do. I do this with A fine person called Anshan LA Room, and we're running version six of the Page Builder Summit. It's gonna probably happen in September, later this year. So there's a few months out and we're looking for sponsors to make the event happen.
It's been a real great success in the past. The audience has been great. It's a recurring audience, get a lot of the same people coming back. So this page builder summit.com/sponsors, if you would like to get yourself in front of that audience, please go check out that page. If you scroll down, you'll get all the details of what it is that we're doing over there.
Okay, great. Okay, so word pressy stuff. Here we go. WordPress 6.3 beta two has been released and it's ready for testing, although I'm not quite sure what went wrong. There was a problem with the release numbers. I think it got bumped one number instead of a different number. But essentially we're at that point in the cycle where we need eyeballs on it to test the bits and pieces that are coming out.
We'll talk about the command palette in a minute, but that's needs testing, improve page management, content editing in the site editor, distraction free mode in the site editor. I'll enjoy that. Block theme previews. The style book has got a new styles view. There are gonna be some style revisions and there's gonna be some improvements to the top toolbar as well.
We've also got, I dunno what to make about this. We've got a new name for reusable blocks. They've gone from being called Reusable Blocks and now they're gonna be called Synced Patterns. Okay. That's fine. It does seem like we're I don't know, there's more flocks and more weirdness for people to get through if they're, giving these sites to different people.
But nevertheless, patterns are now going to be what reusable blocks were, I guess they are collections of patterns. They're gonna be either synced or non synced or unsynced, who knows what they're gonna be called. But that's coming as well. So I'm gonna hand it over to you, gents, all of you in this case.
And I'm gonna name Cameron when it's his turn, just because it'll be a bit weird if it's all laggy. Cameron, would you mind holding off for a me? We're good at moment. Ah, you're going for it. Go on, Cameron, you go first In that case, got anything to say about 6.3?
[00:12:23] Cameron Jones: Not really. No. Just the whole synced patterns thing seems a bit silly because yeah, like a reusable block and a pattern are very different things structurally.
I feel like renaming them synced patterns is just gonna add confusion. It's not gonna be a week in WordPress if we don't have some sort of naming controversy, so I guess that is why it's been included. That's right. They're just trying to give Nathan Wrigley content.
[00:12:55] Nathan Wrigley: So that's it.
Yeah. Thank you. Just thank you. So the WP org team, that's great. No, I agree. I think it is quite confusing. To me they are patterns, they're reusable, so why not keep that name? But you know what, it's the sort thing that in 48 hours, I'll completely gotten used to overhead
anyway, sorry, I,
and maybe he's frozen. He has, I think frozen. In which case I'll pick up the bat on and hand it to you. Remkus,
[00:13:33] Remkus de Vries: I'm here. Yeah, so 6 63 is There's a great continuation of a lot of good stuff happening on the performance side of things. So I'm as excited for that as I am for the site editor.
Improvements that are continuing naming convention. Yeah, I'm, I get it cuz it's, in a way it's the same, but it's also not the same cuz if your block is just one, like a paragraph that you reuse every now and then, it makes no sense to call it a pattern. I guess something had to happen.
I I'm not quite sure on the logic there. I find the command pallet more of a, of an issue cuz the pallet for me is I'm painting. Yeah, this has zero connection to painting to me. Maybe it's because English is my third language that it's there's a disconnect there. But,
[00:14:31] Nathan Wrigley: We had Tim Nash on last week, and he was favoring, I was suggesting all these silly names that it could be called instead of something sensible.
And he was saying that command palette, I'm sure it was command palette, he thought that was a sensible option because he's got lots of different pieces of software, which have all just settled on that word for that thing. So he thought it would be much more widely understood by people who were, I don't know, in different SAS apps and different Mac apps and wherever else you might be on the internet.
So maybe there's the reasoning behind that
[00:15:04] Remkus de Vries: I translated it in my head as Okay. I'll have to use it for my own side, but I'm also helping with translations for to Dutch and and Friesian. I'll pick a better name there. Cuz palette just I, again I'm I used to paint.
And that is to me what a palette is. You get your palette. If you type in your emoji stuff, you type in palette, you will actually see the painter, his palette. So that's how stuck it is. It doesn't make any sense to me. But other than that six three I'm again excited.
Six two was good. Six one was good. Six three is a good continuation. I like that. Menus are in the site editor now, cuz having to explain to a client where that is in the current edition is horrible. Or am I jumping the gun now? Is that Gutenberg?
[00:15:58] Nathan Wrigley: No, it's yeah. No, I think Gutenberg plugin, but Yeah.
Yeah. But I get it. That's fine. Actually let's just push your little bit because you had a tweet. That we were gonna mention much later in the show, we might as well mention. Oh, yeah. Now, given that you were talking about the performance there, so lemme just share that one on the screen.
So this is a tweet I've had to photo shop it, if you like. I've had to just take a screenshot because well, Twitter now won't allow you if you're logged out, which I am on this browser to view any tweets it turns out. So anyway, Johnny Harris wrote the following. The WordPress performance team has been working extremely hard on a 13 year old ticket.
WordPress scripts will now support async and defer attributes, giving developers more control on scripts loaded and fe performance. Massive props to everyone involved in this one. Were you referencing that when you were talking about the performance updates in 6.3?
[00:16:53] Remkus de Vries: Part of it, there's there's a few other tweets I could have referenced.
Felix Adams has has a tweet as well indicating in percentages what the performance gain is for block editor themes. Also including non block editor themes. But again, we're seeing an improvement there. So there's a very big effort into making the next version of WordPress just faster on, on many levels.
And there, there's parts of WordPress where if you look back, they would continue to grow in size and thus became slower. That has happened for, oh, I'm gonna say probably more than a decade. And it's nice to see that we're on a different path. It's, it warms my heart. It's good to see.
Yeah. But is it, cause it's not just the performance side of things, it's also the sustainability side of things. Less resources, less stuff that has to be pushed over the internet. It's nice to see that we're taking our responsibility here.
[00:17:57] Nathan Wrigley: Nice. I I have in my head that. The a vanilla version of in version of WordPress with a block-based theme.
I think Felix said something like 19% quicker or something like that. 19 17, 19, something like that. Which is significant. Quite a chunk, isn't it? It's fully a fifth, not out. It's pretty remarkable. So yeah, Bravo to the team there that have done that. Okay. And Rob, I guess we haven't heard from you yet.
Let's see how how your microphone's doing.
[00:18:28] Rob Cairns: I did a switch, so let's see
[00:18:30] Nathan Wrigley: how that goes. I think we're good.
[00:18:31] Rob Cairns: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So on the fly tech switch, but that's side the point. So I think, I don't like the renaming of the reusable box either. Like for me that's a systemic problem we need to stop doing this.
Let's decide on one thing and get used to it and just live with it. The other thing worth mentioning is the reason there was no beta one was apparently, There was some issue with the beta one release and they only released it internally and they decided to keep the beta two to keep the numbers in sync so it didn't screw up the release team.
So that's what I gather outta the beta one, oh, okay. That's why there was no beta official beta one. But I like the way it's moving generally. We, the last couple releases have been pretty good, and I would expect this one to be more the same That's
[00:19:26] Nathan Wrigley: My take. Okay, thank you. Yeah.
So you've got this new mic Rob. It's now causing this like weirdy background. Hum. When you talk I dunno if anybody else is picking on up on that. Give us a yes. The other guys are getting the same thing. So something strange as afoot. I don't know what the answer is to that, but it was very quiet previously and now we've got this sort of noisy kind of noise going on in the background.
So the gremlins are definitely with us today. Let's just do a few quick comments. Ross has got all the weathers in the uk as, okay, Roman, it's time to bring out the the 29 degrees centigrade boom, isn't it? It's about 12 here in the uk. Yeah, Roman, I'm not jealous at all. Cameron, apparently nobody thinks you're real.
Wait, Cameron is a real person. Says Courtney, not just to YouTube. Comment bot. Who knew? I knew cuz I sat next to him in WordCamp Europe. Although he did look a bit glitchy from time to time, I've gotta say. And I tried to put my hand through him, but it didn't work. Oh. And apparently Connecticut is in sorry.
Connecticut is South New England. Okay. Sorry about that. Didn't know. Then there's a comment from Alex, which I'm gonna pause as I read it. Not sure why, but Nathan is right. Anything triggered by KMD plus K is called command palette. Oh, there we go. Yes. So that was actually Tim who made that observation last week, especially B2B command center would definitely be more globally friendly.
Okay. Thanks for that Alex. We did have another piece to just corroborate a little bit of what we were talking about and that was here on WP Tavern. There's the whole piece on the 26th of June entitled reusable Blocks renamed to patterns with synced and non synced options. Essentially. Now all your reusable blocks are gonna become just patterns, but there'll be patterns that are syncable or not s syncable.
And I'm not sure exactly what the words that we're gonna settle on, if you've got yourself something which you now think is a reusable block, it'll basically be called a pattern. And some of them will be syncable and some of them won't be syncable. This article goes into the technicalities of that and how some bits may be can be overwritten in certain ways and not in certain other ways.
But go and check that one out. That's worth reading as well. And then here we go. This is a bit more information about the command palette and why it's been named that the name which was up for grabs last week was called Wayfinder. Which that's way worse. Yeah, you feel that's a bit like, you're just going down your own path, aren't you?
So command, come on. So Wayfinder was worse than Command Palette. You're happier with that. Are you Remkus?
[00:22:07] Remkus de Vries: Oh, at least the word command is in there. So that's a win
[00:22:11] Nathan Wrigley: finding. What about Wayfinder Palette? How about that? Nope. Nope. No. Anyways, it's like a spaceship or something. Yeah. Yeah. The Wayfinder Palette, it's a really colorful spaceship.
It's common, and to be honest with you, I think it's gonna be one of the coolest innovations I've seen in word pressing quite a long time. I am forever. Using keyboard shortcuts and forever going from one menu to another menu needlessly trying to find a particular spot. Rob has now disappeared. Hopefully he'll come back.
This is just hysterical. This, oh, there, he's someone's playing weapon. It's it's great. This, everybody's gone in a minute. I'm just gonna go for five and then come back and we'll see how that goes. Anyway, there's, there you go. Another piece, 6.3 command palette. Go and check that out on the WP Tavern website.
Okay. This is a bit of, not really news that you need to respond to necessarily panelists, but here it is, WP feature notifications. There is now a request for features on admin notices. So quite some time ago. In fact, for a very long time people have been complaining about the variety of ways that people have been putting notifications, ads all sorts of different UIs for how they want you to be.
Told about various things with their plugins or themes or what have you. And the idea is to come up with a, like a command center, if you like, for notifications. And they really want a bit of feedback on this. The article says, in order to ensure that our solution solves the right problems and to steer the future direction of the WP feature notifications team looking for feedback, and I will link to this in the show notes and you can then go and give your feedback and hopefully improve the project that way maybe one of you three has something to say about that.
If you do say it now. If not, I'll just move on.
Awkward silences. Okay, I will move on in that case. But I took the opportunity to take a nice s slug of water. All right, go and check that out. This will be something close to Rem Kass's heart, I would've thought. It's WordCamp eu. Nothing to do with the one that we've just had. This is the call for organizers for 2024.
It's taking place. Is it Toda? No. Begins with a Tino. Torino, thank you. I won't say Toledo, which is so very similar. It's taking place in Torino next year, and the teams are looking obviously as they do every year for a, for some new blood or possibly some r old blood that wants to go for it again.
The organizers work in different teams and here are the names of those teams. If you fancy doing something, you don't need to be a coder. You don't need to necessarily be into any of that sort of stuff. You don't even, really need to be a user of WordPress. You can just go and contribute your time in whichever way you like.
But attendee services, budget, contributing communications, community events, content design, local photography, public relations, sales and sponsors. And volunteers. And basically you can apply by clicking this button. I will link in the show notes. Remkus, how much work is it? You should know you were the one of the founders of WordCamp Europe.
[00:25:27] Remkus de Vries: Yeah As with Mo that most answers, it depends. It depends on what you do, but certainly leading up to the event is it is going to be quite significant. And it also depends on what team how much you are adding to your workload. It's relatively flexible, but it's not something that is like a low maintenance thing you do on the side.
It, that's not what it is. I think in the beginning you'll spend a couple of hours a week and certainly in the last couple of months you'll spend probably more than a day per week in various things. There's a lot of stuff that needs to be written. Yeah, not to, but yeah, it's it
[00:26:23] Nathan Wrigley: is work.
It's a full on commitment, isn't it? The yeah. Just the idea that because it's a live event and it's got a deadline, which is utterly immutable, so the tasks have to happen. Yeah. I know that Cameron I'm guessing, Cameron, maybe I'm wrong, was that your first word? Camp Europe this year? Had you been to one of those before?
[00:26:42] Cameron Jones: What was your my, my first word, camp Europe. I've been to half a dozen or so in Australia, but that's my first one outside of Australia I've been to and it's quite wild, just the scale of it. Like I was an organizer for Word Camp Brisbane, 2017. We had five or six organizers. There are more organizer teams for WordCamp Europe than we had organizers.
Yeah. In total. So it, it's just, we probably had 15 or 20 volunteers who helped out here and there. But yeah, there, there was like, About a hundred organizers for Word Camp Europe this year? I would guess. Yeah, just the scale of it is just ridiculous, especially when you're not used to it.
I think the most we've had at a Word camp in Australia is like 400
[00:27:34] Nathan Wrigley: people, oh, really? Okay. That's interesting. Yeah, I think Word Camp Europe and Word Camp, what is now Word Camp US are just a little bit different, aren't they? Massive. Yeah. But Word Camp Europe I believe is the biggest one. And yeah, I have a good friend who is a volunteer and they were very they really enjoyed their experience, but they were on no illusions that if you are volunteering for this, there is a sizable amount of work to be done, especially.
In the final few weeks where the proverbial hits the fan and suddenly all the jobs, which you, oh, I'll put those off until till next week or what have you. No, not anymore. Rob, any plans for attending Word camps this year?
[00:28:18] Rob Cairns: Yeah. This year, no, just because the big word camp don't align with my vacation schedule lately.
But Italy next year is a good possibility because my partner is Italian, so that could be happening down the road and combine some business and pleasure and all of that.
[00:28:39] Nathan Wrigley: Nice. Yeah, I confess I have never been to that part of Italy, and so I thoroughly, I'm looking forward to that one.
Remkus for the last couple of years is actually driven, which is pretty impressive. How how long did Remkus did it take to drive from your house to Athens?
[00:29:00] Remkus de Vries: So it's about 26 hours. And I did that in two and a half days.
[00:29:06] Nathan Wrigley: Oh. But quality time with your son, right? You? Yep. If that's okay to mention, you drove there, your son came with you?
He was doing, I saw him with cameras. I think he was on the photography team. He was doing the photography team stuff. Yeah. And Yeah. And you're still on speaking terms? We
[00:29:27] Remkus de Vries: are yeah. Yeah.
[00:29:30] Nathan Wrigley: 20, 29 hours in a car with my father. I don't know how that would go down, but, oh, bravo.
Well done. So
[00:29:37] Remkus de Vries: there's been discussions, obviously. Yeah. Especially at the moment. He started driving. I, I have opinions
[00:29:49] Nathan Wrigley: and I, he drove a proportion. Did he
[00:29:51] Remkus de Vries: as well? He did. He did for about three hours and Let's just say the moment I started more glancing, more at my phone versus how he was driving he started improving in his driving.
So we're good. We're good.
[00:30:05] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Typical dad left of it. No. You're too close to the curb. Yep. I can well
[00:30:12] Remkus de Vries: imagine. No, but it's it's a wonderful thing to be able to do that with your son. He he works with WebPress, but very low key. He's mostly focused on finishing his college degree, which is in the realm of culture and music and photography.
And filmography is cinematography, I should say is is part of that. So for him it was a perfect thing to practice in on real life people in a real life event.
[00:30:40] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Oh, nice. That really does alive perfectly, doesn't it? That's amazing. Yeah. Yep. Yeah. Oh, lovely. We're gonna be talking about children a little bit later in a very different context, but we'll come to that a little bit later.
Anyway the bottom line is if you have attended a Word camp before, or indeed you're just curious, this is the big one that you could volunteer for. But as the panelists have described, don't be under any illusions, especially as you get a little bit closer. There will be some work involved, but it does make that pretty clear.
There is an actual time commitment, but boy is it a fun event and there's lots and lots of, you get a lot back from it as well. Yeah, you make some new friends, you get a sense of that, camaraderie that's going on. So yeah, go to that page. It'll be linked in the show notes, which will come out tomorrow.
If you subscribe to our newsletter thing, then you'll just automatically get that. Okie doke. The next one is just, I want to mention the fact that whilst I was at Word Camp Europe, I did, I carried out a bunch of podcast interviews and the most recent one that I've released, this is so worth listening to.
Excuse me, that sounds like I'm blowing my own trumpet. You can basically fast forward my bits and just listen to James. James Domini works for WP Engine, and whilst AI is not strictly what he does, he is a. He's a full on computer scientist and he's got a degree, a master's degree here in something called bioinformatics, which is just a great collision of exactly what AI is trying to get to, if you think about it.
And he talks about just ai. We spend about half the conversation just nattering about AI in general, whether you know what it can do, how it can do it. And that's the piece that I learned in this. He was actually able to explain to me how an l M works, and it was fascinating because I hadn't really worked out how it was able to get to the end of the sentence just embarking on word number one.
How does it know that the, but at the beginning that the sentence is gonna make sense? And so he explains that this kinda like shuttle process that it goes through, where it's constantly rereading what it's written just to check back, and then we go on to applications in the WordPress space and whether or not it's basically gonna kill us all.
And whether we've got any hope of having jobs in the future. Sorry, I had to put that in. Just because let's do the AI conversation quickly, cuz I've never, I haven't had you three on the line at one particular time. In the WordPress space in particular, if we can keep the conversation to that.
What how are you feeling one year into chat, G P T? Are you still pretty bullish about this? Are you starting to use it? And then we might throw in this BBC article, which has nothing to do with WordPress, but all to do with how AI is being used. So anybody that wants to kick in with the AI conversation, go for it.
Very bullish. Go on convince me. Ah,
[00:33:33] Remkus de Vries: so if you have subscribed to my newsletter, there is a good blog. Nice. There's a referenced link in there in the last edition. You can find them on my published on my website by the way. There's a link to a Twitter thread. Where the person goes into great depth, into, you can see AI as a threat, but there's actually more reason to assume it's not a threat and indeed helping us without the doom and gloom.
If you take that away and you gen then you look at what AI is doing and what it has been able to do in the last six months yes, it comes with a lot of caveats and a lot of things to be careful about and all of that. But ultimately it's here to assist. And I'd like to stress that the I part, the intelligence, it's not really intelligence, it's predictive language.
If you have that. Perspective from not just, oh, it's going to come here and kill us, and this is cyber dying, waiting to happen. There, there is actually we just got started. It's just a small thing, huge, but a small blip that it has been up until this point. It's going to get really interesting in the next 18 months.
[00:34:51] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, I do. You know what I think I am getting more convinced that the current implementation of what we've got is not really a it's nothing to be scared of. And b, it's really badly named it really ought to be called something more along the lines of artificial prediction or finishing engine or something like that.
You give it something and it, it basically hasn't the faintest idea, it's like a baby. It's just guessing what the next word should be and hoping that occasionally it stumbles across something and is, it's not doing any fact checking. It doesn't know anything about anything. And so that bit of it, I am becoming much more sanguine about.
But but the fact that it's been called intelligence all this time has led me to have these apocalyptic dreams. But equally,
[00:35:36] Remkus de Vries: harder to look at the the thing that's behind it. And that's an l m. So look at what LLM means, and then it makes a lot more sense to what
[00:35:43] Nathan Wrigley: it actually does.
Yeah, this podcast is really good for that because James does a really interesting explanation. And like I said I asked him the question how does it know? How does it get to the end of the sentence if it's just let's say that it begins on the word, the how does it know that the next word should be this, and the next word should be that.
In other words, how does it get to the end of a sentence at a full stop and go that one's done. Let's move on. And it's interesting, he describes this process, and he calls it a markoff model, I believe, was the words where it's constantly just going backwards and forwards as it's writing things, examining what it wrote previously and what it might do next, and then going back and checking what we see.
Is it just adding the next word all the time? Next word. But it's not, it's going backwards and forwards the entire time. So it's really interesting. Go and check it out. Rob Cameron. Anything on ai, and, oh
[00:36:33] Rob Cairns: I have watched that there. I think we need to get off this. Moving forward.
We all work in WordPress. A lot of people are not coding in html. They're moving forward with page builders or blocks these days. That's the way we do sites. So there's an example. Look at the world and look what tools have done for us. And we have to recognize AI is a tool. I'm already full blown with AI for generating content for clients and things like that, so I'm like, reus, I'm all in and I'm there.
Okay. And Cameron?
[00:37:15] Cameron Jones: I'll be honest, I haven't really done much with it. Yeah I think some of us can get a bit mis misguided by growing up with films like Terminator, where, that's our impression of what AI is, where, I, and like I know the different terms, but like you've got artificial intelligence and you've got machine learning.
And a lot of what's being called artificial intelligence is really just machine learning. Like chat, G P T is a language construct model. It interprets words that you send in and spits out more words like chat GPT is never gonna take over the world. It might be able to tell you how to take over the world if you ask it, but, yeah.
It's never gonna be able to do that because that's
[00:37:59] Nathan Wrigley: not, it won't actually built to do. No, it's, I tried,
[00:38:03] Cameron Jones: it won't, I know there are some safeguards in it, but just for example in, in a lot of these things that are being called ai, it's, it's more just machine learning than actual intelligence.
Yeah I'm not sure what its place is in WordPress. I haven't really done much with it. Like there's things like, Gmail will try and predict, the rest of your sentence and stuff like that, which I can see in WordPress. But then there's also like the performance implications of, adding AI to WordPress.
Chat gpt is not cheap to run. Like I've seen some of the figures and the, it's costing them millions of dollars a day in, processing power just to run it. So if we're wanting to put that into people's websites and a lot of people aren't gonna need or want ai what's the trade offs gonna be like, is this feasible?
Are we going to need to have a hosted solution that, WordPress sites connect to via an api? Yeah, there's. A whole range of different things that we'd need to think about before we start thinking about putting AI into people's words. Press websites like in core, plugins go for your life.
But we have 43% of the web or whatever, there's a lot of factors that we need to consider before we start jumping in and saying, let's put AI in everyone's website.
[00:39:39] Nathan Wrigley: Do you know, it was interesting. I asked a, I asked this is going back a couple of months ago.
I asked that question. I said, should we have anything of AI in core? And I got a, not exactly a deluge, but I must've got about 20 replies, and every single one of them was like, no, leave. We don't want any of that stuff in core. That has to be the, so I think you're right, Cameron. Agreed. It feels like the domain of plugins.
If you want any AI go elsewhere, obviously Jet Packer doing it. One of the things that I thought would be quite interesting in terms of ai, let's say that you had written a post but you, or you had a website, let's say you've got a website, and clearly if some AI were to scrape that website or the text that you gave a particular page, it was able to determine that you are a plumber.
You live in this geographic location and so on and so forth, that it would be able to throw patterns back at you and say, these would be highly suitable for what we think your content is about. Look, here's some plumbing imagery, here's the way you've got it aligned, and so on. So that's what
[00:40:44] Remkus de Vries: Joe Joe Hoyle from human made demonstrated in his demo.
Yeah. Yes, that's essentially that.
[00:40:50] Nathan Wrigley: And it's brilliant, isn't it? Because you could have two or 300 of those patterns quickly put together. You can just scroll through them, but they're highly customized to what you're doing based upon what the ai has learned from the minimal that you gave it.
Just as a, an experiment last week I've never done this before and I didn't use it, but I'll tell you what I did, cuz it, it really did blow my mind. I took a transcript of James's podcast, this James Domini podcast. It was about 12,000, no it wasn't. It was about 9,000 words and I gave it to chat, g p t, just ex just the raw text.
But before that, I said, summarize this text in 500 words for a podcast in serious language. And it consumed that 10,000 ish words in a heartbeat. And it immediately started to write and it nailed it. It completely got the points, like the main points it brought out perfectly. It wasn't my voice, but I did think, wow, that is just staggering.
I expected it to have to go through some kind of thinking process for a, just a matter of seconds even. But it just started in instantly and somehow got the exact points perfectly aligned. So yeah, I can't, I don't suppose forever I can be quite pessimistic about it or scared is the
[00:42:17] Remkus de Vries: You'll have to come to the bright light into the bright light one at one moment in time it's gonna
[00:42:22] Nathan Wrigley: happen. I think I'm already in the bright light. Yeah. I need sunglasses. Yeah. That's really, there's nothing I can do about it. It's just the position of that window. I really need to move house or something.
Thank you Ross. Ross Wintel, who has posted, by the way, Ross has really. We'll talk, we were talking about the command pallet earlier. Ross has got a great tool to turbo admin, which you can download. We talk about it quite a bit. It's great extension or a plugin depending on which way you wanna take it.
But he's saying that really AI ought to be renamed as applied statistics. So yes, that seems to make sense. And he also said he, yeah, he also said he enjoyed the the podcast interview, so thank you. That's great. Amber Hines. Hello. Amber says it's probably the only way to cover the cost. I wonder what she's meaning by that.
Maybe that comment came in a little I'm sorry. Any of you guys, do you know what she might have been meaning there? Cover the cost? No. Okay. Anyway, something ai, anyway. Yeah, something to do there. Sorry, Amber. It strikes me that a lot of the platforms are about 12, 15, 30 seconds behind in the audience.
So sometimes the. It can be a little bit disjointed what we are saying. We've moved on a little bit, so apologies for that. Anyway, that was that AI worth checking out. Go and have a listen and next stop. Is this. Okay, so this is fascinating. I was lucky enough to meet Jamie, who's not actually called Jamie Poodle Press, although hes not.
He is. No. Yes, he's now, yeah, he's got, that'd be such a call, sir. Name wouldn't it? On your passport. What's your name? Poodle Press. No, really? What's your name? No, it is. I Press Poodle. It's Poodle Press. Jamie Marland is his name. It was lovely to meet him on a couple of days. That's his middle name.
Yeah, the Jamie Marland Poodle Press. Yeah, we're gonna get in such trouble here. He was the, was one of the people that got Sarah Gooding writing on the tavern this week. All about the pattern directory. I dunno if you've been following the pattern directory, but they've applied a bunch of filters.
To the patent directory. And really this is an observation about could you have done something a little bit differently to surface things a little bit better? The curated patents as they're called now, are ones which are made by dot org if you like. They're the ones which are official. And so they're called Curated.
The other ones are called, I can't remember, is it Contributed or con Community contributed? Something along those lines. And if you go into the pattern directory now, and we'll show Jamie's thoughts on this. It automatically defaults to the curated ones. In other words, the core ones, if you like, and this is.
This is what and apologies if you're listening to this on audio. Basically there's a grid of nine nine patterns which you can choose from, all of which are really boring to look at. Now, they might be really useful. They might be you really utilitarian, but if you are gonna raise a grid of things, it's obviously got to be visual.
You're trying to give away some information about it. And I think Jamie's point really is hang on a minute. Can, could we not have chosen a better either, a better selection of ones to, to pick yes or possibly not gone for curated, sorry, REM cuz you were gonna say,
[00:45:51] Remkus de Vries: No, I was gonna I'm you asking question?
I'm answering yes. Yeah.
[00:45:54] Nathan Wrigley: Oh, sorry. Apologies. Yeah, so essentially he's saying that Rich came in back and said the top ones are the best. There's still a lot to do though. And yeah, it's just a really cart before the horse thing. Should you be filtering them at this point if the ones that you are going to apply as the default filter just doesn't look all that exciting, really.
Obviously, we're trying to get people into patterns and make them excited by it. And what we're showing on the screen now is largely white space with a few gray boxes, a little bit of black text or a little bit of black boxing. So really, it's a kind of the screen now, possibly a large foot in mouth moment.
Yeah, I'll hand it over to you guys if you've got anything about this.
[00:46:34] Remkus de Vries: Only to add that I think Jamie's spot on Mr. Poodle Press is is calling out a behavior inside of WordPress that just doesn't deliver what it. Can or possibly should. I I helped my cousin with his new website over the weekend.
And I actually played with this, and it's just, there's nothing there. There's nothing there that helps him like nothing.
[00:47:01] Nathan Wrigley: What's the level of experience of your cousin?
[00:47:03] Remkus de Vries: He's smart enough to understand ins and outs of he, he knows inspect elements, so he understands that there's code doing certain things.
He knows how to play around with it, but obviously not a developer. But he's like literally asking me, what does this do? Okay. The, these introduce patterns that you don't have on your site or in your theme. These are some others available and he clicks on it and there's nothing there.
[00:47:28] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, that's, that is the problem. You're just basically introducing a big blank space. Oh,
[00:47:34] Remkus de Vries: there's stuff there, but there's, it's, there's nothing usable. And then there's also no way to filter, no, no way to search, no way to turn that initial disappointment into a better experience. It's just, Yeah,
[00:47:47] Nathan Wrigley: ai.
That's the answer. Yeah. AI created patterns. What we need in that screen there that I was showing a moment ago is animated gifts. That's my solution. We need animated gifts, and the more unicorns you can shove in that animated gif, the better. The
[00:48:06] Remkus de Vries: unicorns are not a solution for every problem, I think.
No. I know you'd like it to be, but,
[00:48:13] Nathan Wrigley: Clearly not. Anyway like I say, a little bit of a foot in mouth moment. Anything there, Cameron or Rob, or shall we move on?
[00:48:20] Cameron Jones: Okey doke. Not really. I've never really used patterns.
[00:48:28] Nathan Wrigley: Shock admission from Cameron Live on the podcast. They've been around
[00:48:32] Cameron Jones: for so long and I've.
Had no real reason to use them.
[00:48:36] Nathan Wrigley: Just tell me that, come on. Let's tease this out of you a little bit cuz I'm curious about what not even one you've not thought that would be useful. Oh, that's fascinating. Are you relying on basically headers and footers from themes just to do, and you just do the content yourself?
[00:48:53] Cameron Jones: have not really built many websites in the last couple years since they've been out. And if I need to do something custom, I will make my own block if I have to. Yeah. But just on the whole curated thing, I, yeah, like when you have individuals curating things, you have individual bias, you have company bias and whatnot, like the featured plugins when hit plugins, add new, it's all automatic plugins, and when you have individual people doing, Curation, there's room for interpretation and whatnot, and seems to be the consensus is that what's being curated isn't overly useful. Like, why don't we just have the most popular, if it's being used a lot, then people are probably gonna find it more useful.
Then what someone's opinion of something being useful
[00:49:51] Nathan Wrigley: is, I think we should have an icon of Jamie Poodle Press doing that, like cheery smile like that. And that should be a filter. And then the ones that he's picked would be there. Or maybe that could even be the default. He should be the curator.
I much trouble now he's gonna get such a pasting. Rob's Rob was shaking his head. What are you doing, Nathan? Yeah, that's fa That is fascinating though, Cameron, the fact that you've not used them. I started using them right out of the gate and I found them immediately massively usable. And so I've been using them all the time.
And actually a few of the plugins that I've used, I use this one called Newsletter Glue, which is a collection of five or six blocks to do newsletters and it's just sublimely Cool. It's really cool. But yeah. Anyway Rob, anything on that? Nope. Sorry, Cameron, you go on
[00:50:46] Cameron Jones: it. It's not that I can't see the use for them.
It's just I I haven't built a lot of websites, done a lot with you layouts and stuff in the last few years. And plus, If I'm, building a layer, I generally know what I want. It's okay, I'm gonna have this block here and then I'm gonna have that block inside of it that's doing this.
It's when I'm in the editor, I. Less trying to design and like on the fly. And I've more got an idea already of what I want to put on the page. So you know, I'm not looking for inspiration from the patterns.
[00:51:24] Nathan Wrigley: Got it. I'll tell you what, if you were looking, if looking for inspiration, this little default set of curated patterns is not necessarily gonna do that for you.
Anyway, thank you, Jamie, for prompting that article and thank you, Sarah, for writing it. Let's go back and crack on with the next piece. Okie doke. I dunno what you make of this. Really, this isn't me mentioning this. This is just, I want your thoughts on this. Really. This is WooCommerce and they've got a new product called Woo Express.
It's not brand new. Now, I think we've been looking at this for a couple of weeks, but this article came out this week, so I thought I'd highlight it. Woo Express is, as they call it, a new way to start a woo start a store with WooCommerce. Obviously, in the past, if you wanted to use WooCommerce, you've been able to download that plugin for free.
Typically you'd need some kind of hosting package. You might want to buy extensions for it, but you can get up to the, you can get to the races fairly quickly if you are. If you are reasonably technical, or of course you could probably find a hosting company that will take this burden on for you and spin up a a version of WordPress with Woo installed.
However, WooCommerce have jumped into the space now. And Woo, ex Woo Express basically is a pre-made WordPress instance with WooCommerce already good to go. You can basically think about it as a sas, really. I honestly can't really see much of a difference except that the product that they're shipping inside of that SAS is obviously WooCommerce, which is open source.
It's this curious halfway house between, yeah, it's open source, but it's on this, this presser button. Pay some money, spin up a service, and yeah I don't really know what to make of this. It on the one hand it, I find it curious that WooCommerce haven't done this years ago.
But on the other hand, I'm wondering where it fits into the market and whether existing hosting companies are gonna be a little bit worried about it eating their lunch and all of that kind of thing. So yeah, this article explains what it is, how it works, and so on. But yeah what are your thoughts?
Woo. WooCommerce on a one click install. I guess GoDaddy in places have had this for a while, but Yep. Now that Woo have jumped into the space officially, it seems, is there a conflict of interest there? Is this a bit weird? Go for it, Rob.
[00:53:57] Rob Cairns: So let me jump in there. GoDaddy already has managed woo WooCommerce hosting that sits on the Pagely infrastructure.
I know, I hate to mention, blue Host is already there with a managed WooCommerce platform and so on. I think. WooCommerce needs to stay outta the space and let the hosting companies take it and stay out of it. I also think they're late to the party because if they were gonna do this, they should have done it months ago, not waiting till now.
So I think they're really wait late. I think what makes the WordPress hosts entry into a managed woo different is they offer not just managed WooCommerce hosting, but they also offer a suite of plugins to go with that. So one of the problems with WOO is if you wanna do A, B, and C, you have to pay for extensions or plugins to do A, B, and C.
And if you go to a managed host that has WooCommerce hosting, they give you usually a suite of plugins to help do what you need to do. So I think that's the big difference there.
[00:55:07] Nathan Wrigley: The the pricing is, it's in line I guess with what you'd be expecting to pay if you had your own host and what have, it's $39 for what they're calling the essential plan, 50 gig of storage for product images and so on.
And then if you pay $70, they're not quite $70 a month if you do it and monthly something called the Essential plan, which quadruples that limit, and then there's a link which shows you exactly what you're getting in there and so on. But, okay. That's interesting. Your opinion, Rob, that ought to be staying out of it.
That, that was the impression that I was hearing on Twitter in places. It felt like it was strange for them to be in this space after such a long time having it as just a plugin. But I don't know. Remkus Cameron, what do you reckon?
[00:56:01] Cameron Jones: Yeah, like I'm not surprised at all. It's to me it's no different to, there being wordpress.com, that serves the market. That's slightly different to what, the open source software itself, serves. You've got places like Shopify that are growing at the moment, and, it's no different to that in terms of the market really.
But to echo what Rob said I've never set up a WooCommerce site and only had to use WooCommerce, right? Like it's, it would be very few stores that would be getting set up that. Can, just use WooCommerce out of the box, I feel so, yeah. A lot of these hosting companies with their managed platforms, they include the plugins that they own.
Like Stellar WP owns like a million plugins now. If they've got a, a WooCommerce platform, then you know, they would get access to those plugins that they, the company owns. I'm just saying then, for example, I'm not sure who does or doesn't offer managed twin commerce hosting.
But yeah, so I'm not sure how feasible it would be to use if, you don't have all these add-ons that, most sites are really gonna need to actually have a fully fledged store when, Shopify is gonna do most of that already. And, the managed work commerce hosts are gonna, have most of those plugins already.
So Yeah, I'm not, I do think they're very late to the party too, yeah. I'm not surprised by it at all, and I think it's fair game, just not sure how it's gonna work out for them when there are better offerings
[00:57:52] Nathan Wrigley: already. I've just been, whilst you've been talking, Cameron Rob, I've been trying to scrape around on their site, trying to figure out which extensions come bundled in.
I can't seem to find anything straight off the bat on the page. I'm looking at the pricing page and maybe I'm in the wrong location, but they're touting, not that they're touting the, all of the other bits and pieces like customer support, the number of staff accounts, the fact that they've got some premium themes and all of that kind of stuff.
All the interesting stuff for really pushing the boundaries seems to be in the more expensive package cuz automated delivery discounted shipping rates back in stock, notifications, all of the bells and whistle stuff, which seems to be the domain of plugins. But they don't seem to mention extension specifically.
Maybe that's, cuz it's, I don't know, it's a bit confusing. Different market. Somebody's Yeah.
[00:58:46] Cameron Jones: Yeah. If you're not looking for WordPress plugins and we're WooCommerce add-ons, you're not gonna be looking for those specific things. That's not the market they're targeting.
They're not targeting people who know WooCommerce and WordPress. They're targeting the people that Shopify are targeting.
[00:59:02] Nathan Wrigley: It'll just be features that you can add when you're actually on the inside into the ui. Okay. Yeah. Okay. Interesting. Rems, anything to add? You've muted. You've either muted or you have no mic.
Still muted. Did I mute you? No, I didn't mute you. Oh, wow. Anybody hear? Can anybody hear Remkus? No, I can't hear Remkus either. This is what this episode's gonna be called. Remkus was silent. No burps had to do it. No, you've gone completely silent. Rems if in doubt. Refresh the browser and we'll see you just in a minute and we'll we'll come back to you.
But there's little settings, cog. We'll see if anything's gone booked in there. But we'll hold that topic, but I'll move on to the next one. And if you've got something that you want to add, Remco we'll bring you back in on that one in a moment. Okay. This is an interesting piece. Let me pop it on the screen.
I really don't know what to make about this because this is such a kind of interesting piece of news, which kind of came a little bit left field to me. So there's two pieces which are en entirely linked. One is on the O website, S N I C O which I confess I had not heard of before. And then repurposing that content was ithe, which I've definitely heard of before.
So the short version can be found by Dan Kous on the Ithe website is called Why WordPress Malware Scanners. Are worthless. It's quite a it's quite a title that isn't it, given that for the longest period of time, there's been loads of malware products in the WordPress space, but the the one on sneaker, which started all of this let me just get Remkus back in.
There we go. Hopefully his camera will come back on any moment. Was the sneaker website, malware Madness? Why? Everything you know about your WordPress malware scanner is wrong. So just to put this into some kind of context, sneaker this website in collaboration with we watch your website in collaboration with grid pain and also in collaboration with Patch Stack, who they got to double check their analysis.
They're essentially saying that it is, More and more not really worth having any malware scanning on your website. And basically it can be boiled down to the following things. If you are installing some kind of malware solution, let's say, as a plugin then it's using p h p, it's, it is, if you like, inside the same thing that it's scanning for.
Exactly. So what they're basically saying is, if you are a clever malware creator, you'll invent some malware, which determines, okay, there's a scanner here. We're gonna doctor the results or just disable entirely whatever the scanner does. So therefore making that null and pointless. But then they go on to talk about other options like a SaaS option.
Think about SA SaaS platforms where essentially you, you link your WordPress website to their infrastructure and the scanning maybe happens over there. But basically they're saying the same thing applies because all that the malware scanners need to do, sorry, all that the malware creators need to do is to intercept the payloads that are getting sent off to the SaaS platform, interfere with those to just basically prove no nothing to see here.
The long and the short of it is they believe that it's pointless. Scanning for malware now. Ithe, I guess caveat mTOR here. Ithe obviously have a SE security solution, which doesn't have that kind of malware scanner as it's as anywhere near its core feature. So very much plays into their hands, all of this.
But nevertheless, they're making the point that we told you so if you like, really the enterprise on a WordPress website is to harden it. Harden the website, do what you can to mitigate the things that you can. But malware scanning in the way that it's been designed for WordPress at the moment is they use the words worthless.
So I'm gonna hand this over to Rob cuz of his credentials, insecurity. What do you make of all this? Rob? I
[01:03:27] Rob Cairns: tend to agree with this Siri, and part of the problem becomes is if you have an infected website and you're scanning within an infected website, you're scanning internally to where the problem already is.
So I think that's the biggest problem. And I don't think We need to be scanning internally on a website. I don't think it has any value. I really believe that. I think if you wanna harden your website, there's other things you can do locking it down, working with a proper host and so on.
Without getting into a whole two hour discussion to harden that website than running an internal scanner. I don't think it buys you anything. I think it's a false sense of security for a site owner, and it just looks good, really when it comes down to it. So that's my take on it. I don't believe in them at
[01:04:25] Nathan Wrigley: all.
Okay. That's interesting. Obviously it's there's quite a few products in the WordPress space which offer this. That's the sort of core offering. So I imagine this may very well be the first salvo in a two and fro conversation that we're gonna get over the weeks to come. Okay. Yeah.
Interesting. Remkus, any take on this? I know you've got a. History working with hosting companies and all of that. Yeah. Yeah. Can you hear me? I can. Yes. Yeah. That's weird. I dunno what happened there, but it's the week of glitches. It
[01:04:56] Remkus de Vries: I know there's a lot of stuff that is glitching today.
Yes. So I think the I think the article is in, in, in essence it's correct. Technically there's ways of if malware does know how to find its way on your server and it's, and it can then do whatever it wants to do and therefore hide itself perfectly. I think the discussion that I am looking at is probably from a different point of view, saying that you should not want to have security type stuff inside WebPress period.
I think everything should need to be caught in front of it. Or and or and it's not really an, and it's an or it's an, and Not an or,
[01:05:44] Nathan Wrigley: Not easy for you to say.
[01:05:45] Remkus de Vries: Yeah. Whatever you end up not being able to catch in front, like from a web application firewall and for instance, then whatever else needs to happen on server level needs to happen on server level, but not inside WebExpress.
And I, what, whatever that discussion is or whatever the goal of that discussion is, and the two andro that's happening, it's, it, if you have a product that serves this space inside WordPress, you have a position to defend. But that's not to say that you have the right position. The position is from a architectural standpoint of view, you solve stuff before it hits your server if you can, and you can CloudFlare web application is a perfect example.
Security and there's others as well. So that's where you start. If you then hit the server, Then the server itself is still in front of WordPress. So that's the second layer where you start solving other stuff. So for instance an app inside the, on top of the server is called Fail to Ban.
That's a perfect example of something that helps you ban something that you want to ban. So all your bad actors are stopped at least two levels before it actually hits WordPress. Then when you are looking at WordPress, the thing to take care of is to make sure you have your hardening of WordPress as well done as you humanly can do.
So that's partly on the hosting providers part, right? So they have to harden the server. They have to harden the file system and make sure that whatever is happening there is locked down to the highest level. Then the rest is WordPress and that is your authentication.
If you can find a way to add two-factor authentication and a strong password, then that's a way smarter thing to do. All these security plugins that are there they sell themselves, right? Cause the moment you turn 'em on, they get, you get all these email notifications inside.
Oh boy do even all, yeah. And they tell you how many attempts have been made trying to get into your site. That's not to say that anything, any of them was remotely successful. It's also not to say that really, that nobody could pass through. There's ways, if you're hacking and you're really adamant about finding a way, you'll find a way.
So the it is just this whole scene of workers insecurity, I think is is meddled by money. If you're making money with security and WordPress, then there's a few ways that are the absolute correct ones, and there's a few ways where it really doesn't make a lot of sense.
And yeah, thank
[01:08:32] Nathan Wrigley: you.
[01:08:33] Remkus de Vries: a hard standpoint. People can fight me over it. That's fine. Just be polite about it. But you wanna solve stuff before it hits WordPress. That is your main priority. If you do that right, you catch absolutely what you need to catch. Bad actors shouldn't even be on your network,
[01:08:50] Nathan Wrigley: period.
It is interesting when you install one of these plugins, and I would imagine there's almost no property on the internet, which isn't being hit by bots the minute the domain is registered and correct. So you get these emails from, saying, I don't know you, you've had 3000 blocked attempt.
It's yeah, but that's just, that's the internet. It's nothing, there's nothing particularly weird about that. But yeah, I think you're right. There is an incentive to put those emails out and to upsell things. But yeah, really good point about the responsibility of a host let's say host to catch things before they even get to your WordPress website.
Yeah. Thank you. And Cameron, anything to add there? Yeah,
[01:09:37] Cameron Jones: I agree with the premise of the article, more or less prevention is better than a cure. I've cleaned up a number of hacked websites in my time, none of which that I've actually built, thankfully. It when, like when you're cleaning up a website, it's easiest to just delete everything and try and find a backup or files that you have locally and put 'em up from there.
It is so hard to, go through WordPress and try and remove all the different Places where the hacking's gotten into. So yeah, absolutely agree. Like I haven't seen any hacking that's sophisticated enough to, try and meddle with scanners. But yeah, absolutely. The if you are trying to fix things within WordPress and use WordPress itself to, tell you where the hacking is and the hacking is within WordPress itself, there's always a risk that it's not gonna come up.
Yeah, I've used security plugins in the past that, they've told me that there's a hack, but they haven't told me where all the files are. They've told me where some of them are, and then it gets hacked again the next day. It's what happened? I thought I cleaned them all. I cleaned all the ones that the tool found, but I didn't find everything.
Yeah. Yeah I do think it's also a little bit of an exaggeration. I. I don't think security plugins are entirely worthless. Like just for example, like the agency I work for back in Australia we use Wordfence on all our sites. And what we only really get emails for two things. One, if it picks up that there's a vulnerability in a plugin.
So obviously we will, assess that immediately. And obviously that's important. You don't wanna get emails for every single vulnerability that ever gets reported. You only want the ones that are specific to the sites that you have. And, if there's you an increase in attacks it's and that's mainly just so that, if there's downtime because they've crashed the server by dossing it, then we know why.
So yeah, I, I don't think it's, they're quite as useless as they're trying to say, but yes, absolutely prevention is better than a cure and yeah I've never seen a hack that's sophisticated enough to. Get around scanners, but it's certainly possible and you should avoid taking that risk if you can.
And yeah, harden your work press website. There's lots of different ways you can do that. Yeah. If you don't let them get onto your site in the first place, then it's better than trying to have to clean it up later.
[01:12:28] Nathan Wrigley: Do you ever, do any of you ever consume the news from things like the poem to own?
Festival that they put on each year, that is just, that is so staggering what people can do. So every year, all of the major vendors of software, including the os, apple and Microsoft and Cisco and all of that they chip in money and they have these bug bounties and hackers turn up to, to try and, I don't know, escape the confines of Chrome, for example.
And you get a certain amount of money if you can get to the OS from Chrome and it can add up really quickly. The things that these guys can do. So they sit at a terminal, they sit at a computer, which is brand new, so they can't bring in their. Pre-configured laptop, and they just begin and man alive, it's just breathtaking.
They, in order to get out of the Chrome sandbox, they have to exploit this particular bog, which then leverages something in another bog, and then they delve deep into a third bug and a fourth bug. And sometimes they're going like six and seven levels deep. But the man, it's a career. Some of these guys walk away with like quarter of a million, $400,000 from the one
[01:13:41] Remkus de Vries: event.
I know an ethical hacker who is making like the ridiculous amounts of money. And when he explains what he does, I'm like, I'm so glad you're on the right side of things.
[01:13:55] Nathan Wrigley: That's right. Yeah,
[01:13:56] Remkus de Vries: because I, yeah I just wanna say that in terms of what Cameron just said there is a time and place for a security plugin, but the whole problem with it.
You're doing it in the wrong place in the stack. So if the argument of it, it's doing something is worthwhile for you to start adding it to your stack, then you need to be aware that there's stuff where you should really want to have it in a different place. But the amount of resource hogging that a security plugin does is just staggering.
That's at least another thing to consider. Yeah, it doesn't scale in, in, in no version of a scaling website, is there a place for a security plan period.
[01:14:40] Rob Cairns: Interesting. Can I jump back in for a sec too? Cameron was talking about backups and I agree with you, Cameron, 100%. But I have to put a caveat up there is I just went through one with a side owner who didn't know where the backup was.
So guys, manager, digital assets. Cameron smiling at me as we speak and know where you put stuff. And also test to restore before you actually need it. Test it ahead of time because too many times I've seen, coming from a large enterprise environment before backups that don't work properly.
So test to restores people ahead.
[01:15:17] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Thank you. And just exact moment. Some weird comment has come on Facebook, which I dunno whether, I just don't know, given the nature of the conversation that we're having, if somebody's being clever and writing something that could be paused by some kind of I don't dunno.
Engine as some sort of hacking thing? I don't think so. I just think it's spam, which is the perfect time to to have a sort of spammy comment. Thanks. Anyway, Andy, for the useful comment, whatever that means. I don't suppose it's real. Okay. Let us move on. If I can find my screen.
There is an event, we were talking about AI earlier. If like me, you are curious and you wanna find out a little bit more GoDaddy have got a, an AI event. It's being held on the 5th of July. So couple of days from now Wednesday. It's at it's a virtual event. It's an online thing and it's being run by Marcus Burnett and Adam Warner.
And it says, get ready to supercharge your web creation skills with Marcus Burnett's session on levering artificial intelligence for building WordPress websites. So maybe there's some other questions that we were talking about will be mentioned in there. I'll leave the link in the show notes and you can go and register.
For that if you like. Okay. The, this is the last piece of word pressy stuff. This dropped on my doorstep cuz Cameron wanted to mention it. WP Campus website they've announced that they are terminating their partnership with Pantheon. I read it ever So briefly, Cameron, so I suspect that you are the best person to intro it.
What's going on here? Yeah,
[01:16:57] Cameron Jones: so there are some allegations that Pantheon are that, that hate groups are hosting their websites on Pantheon and WP Campus said, Hey we don't like that. We don't want to, if, unless get rid of these guys we don't want to associate with you.
And and I'm not bringing this article up to try and say that, WP Campus should do this or that Pantheon should or shouldn't host these Sites, there are reasonable ar arguments you could probably make either way if you want to look into it. But I do wanna point out just how professionally this was handled.
There's been lots of ag aggressive comments and stuff thrown around. Like the, there was a lot of stuff that flad up again over the weekend about Word Camp Europe and I, if you don't like the way certain things are done or That sort of thing. Thi this is a good example of how to handle it, not throwing hate around it at people, like I've seen some of, unfortunately in the community lately.
So yeah just an example of how to handle political differences in a professional
[01:18:23] Nathan Wrigley: manner. Do you mean something mean it's handle, we can look well from both ends. You felt it was, it appears so, yes. Oh, nice. Interesting. What so WP campuses, rather than just going in and throwing mod. Which is, yeah, I just, outside of WordPress, that it seems to be like the modus operandi now, doesn't it?
You can just, yeah, you can cancel people very quickly, especially if you have some kind of following just by saying a few words. And so in theory, WP Campus could have leveraged the following that they've got and gone and done that. But rather than that, they got into a dialogue. And the dialogue led to Pantheon basically saying, look, we've heard your concerns, but we, this is what we're doing, and also this is the end of the conversation we're we won't be able to take it any further.
And so at that point, W B P campus was able to draw a line and say, okay, that we know what we're doing. You are doing your thing. We'll do us and we'll go elsewhere to find our hosting. So yeah, interesting points. Certainly what it
[01:19:19] Cameron Jones: Appeared to turn out like to me. Yeah. That's nice. Just a good example of how
[01:19:23] Nathan Wrigley: to behave Nice.
Oh, so if only the article serves that purpose, then that's been worthwhile, hasn't it? Here's how to. Here's how to handle a difference of opinion. Yeah. I feel that the internet and social media in particular has really conspired against us as a species to, to be able to hold conversations does appear that it's so easy to just throw mud all over the place and make it stick as much as possible.
Because that article got thrown in right at the last minute, I don't suppose Rob or Rems have had a chance to look at it. So you can comment now if you want. If not, we'll, I did not. We'll crack on. Okay, we'll crack on. Okay, so this is a personal thing. Apologies. But this I don't often tweet to be honest.
And what I do, tweet tends to be on a more automated nature. I've got a service set up, so I produce a new podcast episode out goes a tweet, and sometimes I tweet, but not all that often. But I did do a tweet this week, which got a surprising amount of interest for me at least. It wasn't lots and lots, but for my channel, it was a bit.
And I, I wrote the following and I'm just wondering what you think. Nothing to do with WordPress. I wrote, I have kids, several in fact, and I made it a policy years ago to never share their images, thoughts, achievements, et cetera. Last night I came close to breaking that rule, but I'm glad that I didn't, and I then went on to say, I love that my kids get to make their own way without a legacy of my proud moments.
First things first. It's not like I am some sort of. Paragon of virtue. I record them. I upload images to things like Google Photos and I occasionally share them with people who aren't in my immediate family, more or less. Everything gets shared with, my parents and certainly everybody within the immediate family.
And just to illustrate this, I actually sent the video in question to Remkus, cuz I just did cuz and Remkus saw the video in question. We won't go into what was in the video, but it was like a proud moment for me. But it was one of those things where I thought, oh, I could put this online. Let's see how that goes.
But then I reigned it back in and thought to myself no, this is not for me. And I'm just curious what your thoughts are. I got an avalanche of comments back basically saying, yeah, that's what we do. Or something along the lines of we ask the children, do you mind if we share this one or do you mind if we don't?
But typically my, the comments I got back were, yeah, don't share better to let the kids grow up and not have that debt. And the perfect example for me, is when I go to my parents' house, there's photographs of me on like wonky teeth and, playing tennis or something. And just this nobby need awkward kid, which I now am as an adult, but nevertheless and I, when I go into that environment, I think would, could you just take him down?
Could you just make them go away? I don't really wanna see those bits of my life. And and so I think the internet has the capacity to do that for us, people will go out there, maybe job applications will be mixed up with a search on social for things that you did. And I don't know, I, that's my thinking anyway There you go.
You chat about it.
[01:22:38] Rob Cairns: I agree with you. To share with you, there's a story in candor right now where a parent posted something embarrassing about her child. And her child is now taken the parents to court over the posting on social media. So it's gone. Oh, grief. But it's exactly, but the other thing we gotta remember is from a privacy standpoint, especially if your kids are young, because most people don't know how to turn off the expert date on their cameras, so right away you've told them where you took the picture, where you live, how you live and then they post these nice pictures while they're on vacation, which does even more of a problem.
It says, Hey guys, I have an open house at home. Go rob me. There's all kinds of problems around posting pictures of kids, and I wouldn't do it. I tell parents not to do it. I wouldn't do it myself. Okay.
[01:23:33] Nathan Wrigley: Interesting. So Remkus, you were the recipient of that video. Let's not comment on that. He's gone silent again, I think.
Oh, blooming neck Remkus. I do apologize. It's nothing to do with just click refresh. I'll go to Cameron and I'll come back. Cameron, what are your thoughts?
[01:23:50] Cameron Jones: Yeah it's a tough one, like as a parent myself, and he does not like photos being shared on social media. So I use he also doesn't have social media, so you can't yell at me if I do, but better.
Yeah, you is, you certainly do need to keep kids privacy and their wishes in mind. I know I've been guilty of doing it from time to time like not putting embarrassing stuff up and that sort of thing, but yeah, I'm lucky my kid's an adult now yeah.
[01:24:36] Nathan Wrigley: It's kinda, it makes things easier, but Cause the, yeah the prism of what's embarrassing is very subjective. Like me for, I don't know, me taking a shot of, I dunno, my kid just falling over whilst playing, let's say cricket to me was a comedy moment, just, it's fine. Yeah. He just fell over.
It's great. We all had a laugh. Maybe to them it's the most humiliating episode that they can remember. So I think with all that, my, my predilection there was just simply, I have no idea what they're gonna think of it. And I am actually that dad that failed to sign or signed in the contrary, every form that came outta school saying, can we add your children to the, the social network for, to promote the school?
Can we put them on the website? Can we use their photographs in newsletters? I was that awkward dad and sometimes I'd get a phone call from school saying, we're just about to do this team shot. Can your kid be in it? I'm like, no, they can't. And honestly, sometimes I felt, oh, you're mean and wicked. But but I thought I just let them make their own mind up when they're 16.
They'll have all the memories of it. This, yeah. Anyway, sorry, Remkus
[01:25:48] Remkus de Vries: I, I hear your sentiment. I'm a little bit in between. So what we've early on my eldest is 25. I grew up on the internet also figuring out as I was going, but the the stance I have now is that I only share what they give permission to share.
And sometimes they go that, that was funny, or That's a nice picture of me and I'll share In general I'll stick to what Rob said in terms of privacy and whatnot. So if I share more pictures, for instance, it'll be on Instagram story, it's gone in 24 hours. Nobody's gonna see,
[01:26:31] Nathan Wrigley: oh, that's curious.
[01:26:32] Remkus de Vries: And Ipe specifically for my parents and my wife's parents and a few other family members there's the best friends, whatever you call that section in Instagram stories, they'll only see it. So that's a nice workaround. But the default is I don't share. So my youngest is 16 and she still says, no, I don't like you to share stuff with me.
Yeah. I think the last exception we made was she made, she did a, we were in in Scotland near ness and She did like a ballerina dance, which we, she jumped up and it, I caught the picture of her perfect midair. It was just absolutely perfect from every single angle. And that's probably the last one where she said yeah, okay, this is a good one.
That was too nice.
[01:27:27] Nathan Wrigley: Okay, so permission, that one. Yeah. Yeah. I think that's quite a nice model, I guess they're of a certain age though, aren't they? When they get to the age of 16 and their mind is able to cope with the output of all of that. That's interesting. Courtney made a comment that she's obviously doing quite a lot for her company, GoDaddy.
So she's become more vague in her private messages. She shared more when they were much younger and then Marcus making the point that yeah. Just one or two, possibly a year. But the, he says that his wife does, but only to a close circle of friends. Another part of it for me is who owns it?
I've got this sort of vague notion that in the terms and conditions of all you do not the social networks that I never read Yeah. Is that they own it once I've uploaded it. But
[01:28:16] Remkus de Vries: do from the moment you upload it, it's out of your control.
[01:28:18] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah. True. Te technically
[01:28:20] Cameron Jones: you still own it, but they have an unlimited license to use it however they like.
[01:28:25] Nathan Wrigley: So in effect, more or less Yeah. Semantics there really. Yeah. They they can do what they like with it. Yeah. So there was that you
[01:28:33] Cameron Jones: you're still the copyright holder. Yeah. If someone else took your image and reused it, you could say, Hey, take that down. That's not, the network's responsibility, it's your responsibility, but then the network can use it however they like.
[01:28:46] Nathan Wrigley: Given Yeah. Given that all of the photos that I've got are basically digital and that I don't really want to have them online, I've tried really hard to find software, which will enable me to look at all of them online. The one that I've, the one that I've adopted is Plex. Yeah. Is that what you said?
Rimkus? Yeah. I said pl, but I meant Plex. Yeah. Yeah, Plex. And that's pretty good. And I've got that connected to the Mac, which always sit basically more or less a lot of the time sits on. But you've obviously got that bandwidth thing. If you go, if you use a service like Google Photos, I guess it's doing a lot of compression and things and it's much more immediate, but it works.
So if, like me, you want to be a Luddite and not have your children a Plex, P E L X is a pretty good host.
[01:29:31] Remkus de Vries: I have a media server that essentially runs Plex on it. It has every single photo on there. Yeah. And from there I back up. So it's also, I've I think I have my images backed up three times now.
So three extra versus just
[01:29:47] Nathan Wrigley: having em on the phone. Yeah. You're like me. I've got backups of the backups. Oh yeah. I've got the only thing wanna lose
[01:29:54] Remkus de Vries: it. It's, my first digital camera is from 2001, so go free. How long?
[01:30:01] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah. But it is nice. My, my children they do, didn't really realize actually, because they hadn't done any kind of backing up.
They swapped the phones only to realize, oh, I've lost them all. They sold a phone, erased it and what have you. Oh, what do you mean? They've got yeah. You've gotta, you gotta actually get 'em off the phone somehow. So that was a bit of a disappointment. A lesson learned there.
Just very quickly before we end, cuz I know we're running late, I'll just raise this article and I'll drop it and let you go. Just to say, I thought this was a really curious p Oh no, I did it, didn't I? I apologize. No, I didn't. This is an another ai thing. Did I do this? No, I didn't, I can't remember.
Did I do this in the show? I remember I talked about it before the show. I'll link to it in the show notes. It's a really useful, amazing consequence of ai and this is surgeons in the UK who are cutting the time it takes to treat cancer patients with radiotherapy based upon how AI is able to interpret the images that are coming through the scanners.
Although I am AI scared, stuff like this gives me pause for thought. Okay. There we go. Done. So I think I'm gonna call this episode the Week of Glitches. Yes, do apologize. I don't quite know what's going on. Maybe drops, maybe this platform which is new to me. Remkus has used it. Maybe he's had glitches with it in the past.
I do know. I have not. Not once, no. So maybe there's just something quirky about my internet connection. Having said all that, Before we go, we've gotta do the slightly humid look at, you can barely see my hands cuz it's so bright where I live. Give us a wave. Give us a wave. Yay. Perfect. Thank you so much.
Thank you for joining us. Thanks for joining us in the comments. Really appreciate it. We'll be back next week with some other guests and yeah. Thanks for joining us this week. I hope that you enjoyed it. It'll be posted tomorrow. Feel free to leave us some comments there. Take it easy. Bye.
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