The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 9th October 2023
Another week, and we’re bringing you the latest WordPress news from the last seven days, including…
- The upcoming default WordPress theme “Twenty Twenty-Four” has some huge speed improvements.
- What’s new in the security update of WordPress to 6.3.2?
- Silly Award For a Good Cause – The WP Builds WordPress Awards 2023 – Donate, Vote, Win!
- WordPress Reverts Live Preview Button on Plugins After Developer Backlash.
- The king is dead. Long live the king. iThemes is now SolidWP.
- Kinsta Static Site. A major WordPress host, offering free hosting?
- WooCommerce posts some enormous install / adoption figures.
- There’s some deals coming to the WP Builds Black Friday page, and out and about more generally.
There’s a lot more than this, so scroll down and take a look…
This Week in WordPress #271 – “Cat falls into volcano”
With Nathan Wrigley, Paul Halfpenny, Davinder Singh Kainth, Dave Grey.
Recorded on Monday 16th October 2023.
If you ever want to join us live you can do that every Monday at 2pm UK time on the WP Builds LIVE page.
Plugins / Themes / Blocks / Code
Not WordPress, but useful anyway…
The WP Builds podcast is brought to you this week by…
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Transcript (if available)
These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.
[00:00:05] Nathan Wrigley: It's time for This Week in WordPress, episode number 271, entitled Cat Falls Into Volcano. It was recorded on Monday, the 16th of October, 2023. My name's Nathan Wrigley, and I'll be joined by three fabulous guests today to talk about all the WordPress news from this week. I'm joined by Paul Halfpenny and Dave Gray.
And also by Devinder Sinkaint. As I said, it's a WordPress podcast. So let's talk about what we talk about. We talk about the fact that the 2024 theme for WordPress has gained some significant speed improvements. It had a bit of a slow start, but now it's definitely speeding up. We talk about the month.
For developers, October 2023, what's been happening over on the developer blog for WordPress? We also talk about the security update 6. 3. 2, what has been patched and why you might need to switch on automatic updates. Then we get into some WordPressy stuff. A bit silly. We have got an award system over at WPBuilds.
We've got our fun award for this year, WPBuilds. com forward slash awards. Over there you can donate to the WPCC, the community collective, and you will win a guaranteed win in a category of your choice. Solid WP lives. iThemes has gone away. What's that all about? Exploring the WordPress playground. It's been taken off the repo.
How and why did that happen? And was it a bit of a storm in a teacup? Kathy Zant is stepping away from Cadence and we'll talk about that and wish her adieu. Kinsta is stepping into the static site game. Why are they doing that? That seems like a bit of a strange pitch for them.
Oli no longer has a onboarding wizard. WooCommerce stats are through the roof. Black Friday deals are just around the corner and we've got some nice new plug in deals coming up as well. It's all coming up next on this week in WordPress.
This episode of the WP Builds podcast is brought to you by GoDaddy Pro, the home of managed WordPress hosting that includes free domain, SSL, and 24 7 support. Bundle that with the The Hub by GoDaddy Pro to unlock more free benefits to manage multiple sites in one place, invoice clients, and get 30 percent off new purchases. Find out more at go dot me forward slash WP Builds.
Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Just saying hello a lot so that the audio platform gets an idea of what's going on. Hi there. Episode number 271, 271. And we're already going to call this loud sniffing. That's going to be the name of this episode. And it's not, it's probably not. We are joined today by three fabulous guests over there.
We have Dave Gray, who is a first time contributor to this podcast. Thank you for joining us today, Dave. How are you doing? Thank you for having us. Yeah, very good, thank you. Long time listener, first time hodder. Yeah I really appreciate you doing both of those things, particularly coming on the show.
That's really amazing. Dave is a part time side hustler, part time side hustler. That's like part time of a part time. Yeah, that's right. Yeah. He's a part time side hustler and full time dad joker. Hopefully we'll get some of those during the show. That would be great. He's a one man band behind Heads Up WP heads as in plural heads.
Oh yeah. Look, there you go. Heads up WP. com, a new service that's aiming to find the missing link between WordPress maintenance plans and dedicated SEO tools. You can go check that out whilst this podcast is working, but thank you for joining us today. He is from the UK. Three of us are today. It's pretty rare.
Where in the UK are you Dave? Down South near Reading. Oh, okay. Yeah. And in that part of the UK that, it's fine if you want to live there, that's fine. All I can recommend is moving up to the sunny North where it's never sunny, but it is the North. We're UK. There he is. It's Paul halfpenny.
How you doing, Paul? Hello, I'm responsible for the loud sniffing. Yeah. If that continues, I will ask you to put yourself on mute. But it will probably be quite funny, especially if you're listening to it on audio only. Who the heck who's doing that? He is the. CTO of filter a remote first WordPress digital agency.
He's also the founder of personalize WP. What's that? We've rebranded our plugin. That was WP DXP. It's a personalization plugin for WordPress. Yeah. WP DXP didn't really roll off. tongue so much, did it? Not really, whereas personalized WP, yeah, gets to the root of the problem. Oh, that's lovely.
Thanks for joining us today. And where are you in the UK? I'm in Letchworth, which is just above London and just to the east of Dave in Reading. What I really need to do is only have people from the north of England on there. Have a high quality show. I did. I did realize I saw some holiday last week and we were on it.
We were on a tour touring the grand Canyon and be whenever anybody asks you from America, where you're from in the UK, just best to say London. I'm from London. I yeah. Yeah, there's some quite interesting pronunciations of of UK places, isn't there? Leicester always gets a, always gets spoken as Ceer.
'cause that's Yeah. Kinda how it's written. Ceer. Yeah. Ceer and various others. Bier. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Or reading. Have you ever read the book by Douglas Adams who wrote The Hitchhiker's Guy to the Galaxy? It's called, oh my Goodness. I've forgotten what it's called, but it's basically a dictionary and he's taken place names off the map of the uk Oh.
It's called The Meaning of Life. L I double F. And he's taken place names in the UK and given them what he thinks their real meaning should be. So for example, not far from where I live, about, I don't know, 70 miles away or something, is Grimsby. And Grimsby apparently is a small piece of gristle that you can't get out of your teeth.
That's what a Grimsby is. And so the book goes on like that. Anyway, we haven't finished our introductions because there he is. Is Davinda Sinkanes. How you doing Davinda? I'm doing good. And where are you based in the UK? I'm not from north of England. I'm from north of India where actually it's sunny.
Is there like a north south India thing going on in the same way there is? Oh yeah. India has north south, east west. India is huge. Yeah, no, is there like a, cause the people in the north of England always complain about the people in the south of England and the people in the south of England, it just.
If a North Indian wants to talk to a South Indian, you should thanks British, because we can only talk in English because we don't know each other's local languages. Wow. That's absolutely fascinating. Anyway, thank you. Most people know four or five languages. They can still don't. They still won't know the language is spoken in the south of India.
Yeah, that's amazing. That is amazing. We just have dialect, which can in some cases, render somebody from say Liverpool on, what did they say? But it is in the same language. It's just different dialect and a very thick accent. Devinder Sinkane is all into WordPress. He likes writing about new WordPress things at the wpweekly.
com. Go and check it out. The. WP Weekly, all as one word, dot com, and he likes a work he likes writing about all those things, plus a world of new WordPress plugins, and he does that at Pluginsly. Plugins. Lee. com, L Y. com, go and check it out, it's very valuable. And we'll get into awards Devinder can can talk about that, because we've got our silly awards up and running for this year, which should be fun.
It's WordPress, so we're going to talk about WordPress in a moment, but first of all, let's see if anybody's joined us in the chat. Yes, they have, just a few people. Hi, says Tina Cook. Hello, Tina. We've also got Elliot Sowersby, who's behind the Turnstile plugin, who actually got featured in. Davinder's newsletter this week, which was quite nice.
So there he is. Hi Elliot. How are you doing? We've also got Courtney Robertson joining us from chilly Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, U. S. Where the leaves are turning many colors. Yeah, same here. They've either fallen or they're in the process of falling Hello from unusually rainy, grey day in South Africa. Oh, Tina, I'm sorry to hear that.
Good morning, fellas. Watching from, but still stuck on a landed, oh no, a landed plane on my way home from work. Are you actually stuck on a plane, Marcus? Oh, bless you. Thanks for joining in. Awesome. And then Peter Ingersoll, who always gives us a weather update. Here he is. Hello from Connecticut in the northeast U.
S. of A. It's 9 a. m. It's 11 degrees centigrade, 52 degrees Fahrenheit under mostly sunny skies Joining in the chat I'd be really appreciative if you did probably the best way to do that is to head to this URL go to WPbuilds. com forward slash live WPbuilds. com Forward slash live or live, whichever way you want to do it.
And also, why don't you just pause this for a moment or at least put it onto a different tab, then go to your social media platform of choice and share it with your cats, dogs, aunties, uncles, people in the North, people in the South and East and West, share it all over the place and hopefully we'll get a conversation going.
And there we go, that's it. We're off. Let's get started out. No, very quickly. Marcus is still with us. Yes. Having trouble getting the gangway to the plane. Oh, I doubt Marcus will be with us for very long in that case. Typically that enterprise doesn't take too long. Let's get stuck into what we're doing today.
Firstly, a few bits of self promotion, please forgive me. This is our website. You GoDaddy Pro. Thank you to them. They're ongoing support of the WP Builds podcast. If you scroll down a little bit, we've got a few new things coming up. We've got a webinar series starting actually on Wednesday with Leo, Leonardo Lozovich, he's got a really cool plugin called Gato graph QL.
And what you can do with this plugin is utterly. Utterly phenomenal. And I am not mincing my words. It is truly amazing. It's a bit of a tinfoil hat episode in that the complexity comes with, you've got to put in the legwork. And so Leo is coming on five episodes to show us what you can do.
And it is. Sublime what he is built. So hat tip to him. That's happening at 3 PM at the same URL, WP Builds. com forward slash life. That's going to be on Wednesday. And then the day after that was starting a brand show with Sabrina Zidane. Sabrina is going to be doing a show with us. For a, on a weekly basis.
We'll see how long that goes, but initially we're just going to go for several weeks and it's called speed it up. And the idea is that you submit your sites and she with her professional performance expert eye, we'll have a look and see if she can spot any ways that you can improve the site speed of your site, it's not going to be.
A, I'll fix it for you, Enterprise, because she won't, in most cases, have admin access, or, she won't have root access to your server, or whatever it may be, but she's going to just suggest a few things which come to mind, and if you want to submit your site, you can click that button there, it says submit your site, and guess what that does?
That takes you can submit your site. That's how clever that is. And we'll be doing those for the next few weeks. You can see episode two of the webinar series with Leo is the week after. And episode two of the Speed It Up show the week after that. So that's exciting. And also this last plug, sorry guys, sorry.
We've got our Black Friday. No, it isn't. I've got one more after this. We've got our Black Friday deals page. I know Devinder's got his own as well, which he can plug in a moment. We've got our Black Friday deals page where we are listing out all of the submitted. We don't go in search of them.
We get developers to come out and reach out to us. If you've developer of a plugin, you've got a theme or a hosting company or something, just click this button, add a deal, and you can send us that. And then we will add it to our page and then people can come along and click this big yellow thing and, filter it by, I don't know, I just want to look at e commercey things.
And look, e commercey things come up. Oh, you could say, I want to look at, Oh, I dunno, WordPressy plugins and they come up. Anyway, you get the idea. You can search and filter for stuff, but also we've got some little advertising spots at the top. So if you fancy getting on one of those, as the old gravity forms have done and WS form, you can you can bag one of those by clicking on that button.
Go and check it out. It'll cost you 10 billion. It won't. You need a pinky for that. Yeah, that's for yeah, 10 I haven't got the bald head. Okay, and last plug is, again, Davinda can speak to this. This is our Silly Awards that we do each year. It's silly because it's silly, but also there's a serious point to it.
Each year, we try to raise money for a charity. In this case, it is the WP Community Collective. And the WP Community Collective are an organization which are trying to fund all sorts. Of initiatives in the WordPress space. So for example, accessibility, they're trying to fund Alex Stein. In fact, they have funded Alex Stein, but there's also loads of other things like contributing to PHP and things like that.
And if you give us 20, you don't give it to me. If you give 20 or more to the WPCC and send me the receipt, then you can win an award. You will be guaranteed to win in a category of your choosing. So for example, let's have a look. The third. I put one in myself. The third, possibly fourth best podcast called WP Builds.
That's that's won by WP Builds the Supreme WordPress Span Slayer plugin by O P Spam, the second best geek bond on the 30th of September, 1971. That's Lawrence Laie. And and so it goes. So if you wanna win an award, donate 20 bucks to a charity at your choice. That is at WP Builds dot. Forward slash award, right?
The show's over. Thanks for joining us guys. Really appreciate it. It's been absolutely lovely. Let's get into the work, pressy stuff, shall we? Okay, here we go. Let's do it properly. WordPress contributors speed up 2020 for default theme. Performance by 40%. So this is on the tavern. This was published a few days ago, 11th of October.
And this is to say that hopefully, by now WordPress 6. 4 is mooted to come a little bit later in the year and it's shipping with a really different theme it's called, as you might expect 2024 or TT4. As is written here and we've had a few problems along the way with this, and it's not really received much attention, but if you compared it to TT three or 2023 a few months ago, it was considerably slower in almost every single metric.
So overall load time. Was 58 percent slower on TT4, TT3. It was 93 percent slower on client side performance. So that's largest content for paint. And so on time to first byte server timing 78, 71. 8 percent slower. And we could go on single posts were also that was on the homepage. All of that single posts were.
Broadly the same. However, Felix Arntz and the performance team, various people from there have contributed time and they've managed to shave off quite a lot. So essentially where it was really lagging behind TT3, it's now just slagging behind a little bit and not being a theme developer. I don't really understand the ins and outs of why, but my understanding is that TT4 does a lot more heavy lifting.
So it was always expected that it would be slower. But I guess if you're going to shift to a brand new theme, you don't want it to be like 80 percent slower. So anyway, this all seems good. I don't know if you guys want to chip in at this point and talk about TT4, but over to you guys, interrupt each other as you see fit, I think the most important thing is just to point out how fast it is anyway, like the numbers are big in terms of the percentage changes, the speed at which.
Certain pages load is incredibly fast compared to most pages on the internet. I, even though it looks like it might be slightly slower, by the time they do release 6. 4, overall it's incredibly quick. And that should be welcomed. Yeah, if you do, it's been such a long time since I actually deployed a vanilla WordPress website.
But if you do deploy a vanilla WordPress website, honestly, I reckon you could do one pound a month hosting and it would still be blazing fast. Vanilla WordPress is Blimey, excellent. It's all the bits you throw on the top which make it less than excellent. But thank you Paul for that. Anybody else?
Dave? I think more than speed, it looks really good. It looks like a proper theme that you would actually pay a premium price to buy, if you compare it with Genesis times, right? So yeah, it is one of those default theme that A lot of people will actually use it. Yeah, I feel like the 2023 theme is, especially the default homepage was, I actually looked at it when I first saw it and I thought, is that actually what it is?
It's got some words and then a big gap and then some more words at the bottom. Is that what we're getting? And we did, but this is such a departure. Yeah. It's a good surprise this time around, I agree. Thank you, Devend. Less is more in this time. Yeah, I guess it does do a lot more.
Obviously, people are probably not going to have played with it yet because it's not production ready. But if you do go and have a look at screenshots of it in its development state, It really is doing a lot of heavy lifting. You'll be able to click, just basically click buttons and change the way it looks entirely, and it's leveraging a lot of the new tools that WordPress 6.
3 bought along with site editing and all of that. So anyway, as always, we're so glad that we've got a performance team now. Rewind two years, no such thing existed. And people like Felix, who is a Googler. They're doing great work. So thank you for putting in the time and speeding these things up. Cause obviously it could have shipped as a bit of a Leviathan.
Yeah, I think the other thing just to note it in that article, it's just one line there and it says the theme only includes a single function of PHP logic. Seems to stand out to me. Did not even see that. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. The changing face of WordPress themes. Indeed. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Indeed. Okay. So let's just move on to the world of WordPress in the month of August.
This is the developer blog newly launched, newly launched. The look of it, at least anyway. So I just wanted to raise this in case you hadn't seen it before. It's developer. wordpress. org and then forward slash news. And then you can go from there. But this was Birgit Pauliak laying out some of the bits and pieces that are coming for the ride in, or at least have been worked on during the last few days and will be worked on over the next few weeks.
So if you haven't spotted these already, you're going to have. Background image for group blocks. If you're looking at this, probably not the best example of how to overlay text, but there we go, black on a background like that, but nevermind. It still looks really nice. So we're going to be able to do that natively in WordPress.
You'll be able to rename your group blocks. This is super handy and it sounds like such a little thing, but when you've got like group block, and all of a sudden you don't know where you are. You have to click in the interface with the mouse and then go up and figure out where it is.
Now you'd be able to name it something, clever, something apropos of what it is like Brian or Saul or Beatrice or something like that, or group block one, which is probably what most people posted. Yeah. Group block. Number two and so on. But that's really nice. Also for plugin developers, despairing at the queue I think we're at about nine months or something now for plugins to be reviewed by the review team, which is growing by the way.
So have hope there hopefully will be more eyeballs cast on that. We now have the plugin check plugin, which sounds a bit like an oxymoron, but there you go you'll be able to use this plugin to help do some of the work. That the theme review, sorry, the plugin review team might have had to have done. So it will give you some guidance as to whether your plugin will be approved or not.
So if you've made some to, to use the phrase school boy errors, then hopefully the plugin will catch those for you rather than you having to wait for an actual human to catch them. So hopefully speed things up. Bottons block will show buttons box. That's not easy to say. Bottons block. I want you all to try this.
Buttons block shows but I can't do it. Buttons block shows button block variations in the inserter. Oh, he's so good. Oh, all right. That whatever Dave just said if you register custom variations to the block. The button block, I've really have a mental hang up there. They will now appear in the inserter, which is nice.
And then there's various other things like you'd be able to enable the light box for the image block. You'd be able to actually add buttons into the navigation block, which is really cool because who doesn't want a button in their navigation? Honestly, I think that's really great font library manager is coming as well.
So it'll be a bit like the media library, but for fonts, which will also be really cool. And a bunch of other things. I am now going to have a small lie down and try to say buttons block 50 times. I'm going to hand it over to you. Anything catches your interest in that little lot. I think from a plugin side, having the plugin check plugin is going to be a useful thing.
If it does, if you say get rid of some of those schoolboy errors, because there's nothing worse than putting something forward, oh, I've not done something on that one little bit. It's one line that you can just automate and go through. I love that you call it the check plug in. It's actually the plug in check plug in.
Come on, Dave! I can't get everything right. Ha! I did that on purpose, honestly. That's right, yeah. Sorry I interrupted. I was just so annoyed that you were able to say block. Oh, I can't even do it now! Anyway, sorry. Carry on, Dave. Anything that helps speed up the team's review process on there can't be a bad thing, because I'm basically waiting for the queue to get down to a more manageable bit before I decide to do a free version on there.
So yeah, anything that helps on the queues is a good thing. You're waiting. That's curious. You're actually waiting. I'm just using that as an excuse not to do the free version yet. I was going to say, because wouldn't waiting just inevitably make it further into the distance, no matter how much you waited, it's not going to, it's never going to come forward by waiting more.
Actually, someone asked me I've made a plugin, but I'm going to wait for three, four months for to get it reviewed. So what do I do? I said, release it on your website. Have fun. Yeah, that's right. Yeah. Just do it that way. Three or four months. We'll probably get you about halfway through the queue at the moment, so it's probably worth it.
And one more thing I noticed like yesterday or day before yesterday in the Gutenberg plugin, they've added a very small but yet smart feature. If you use a cover image, so it automatically adds the dominant color as an overlay color gradient over the image automatically. So if you change, if you use an image with orange as the dominant color, it will add the orange, overlay.
Oh, I see. So it takes a, it just scans the entire image, figures out that mostly that's orange, or at least there's a lot of orange. Obviously you can change it to a different color if you want to, but automatically it will, so that I guess it's good from accessibility point of view because images and you put text over image, it won't be visible, but if you have a little color on it, it's still be more visible.
Yeah, that's really nice. Oh, thank you. That's great. Paul anything on that? Yeah, I love that feature because We use these kind of blocks on our website right now and now we can do them natively. Rather than the The rubbish way that ipo did it We had to deliver it a few years ago I think just the develop blog for me is it's just amazing because it looks pretty and when I get I subscribe to The develop and blog email and when I get in the email in my inbox, I actually read it Because it's actually is pretty and I'm so shallow, but clearly that's what I'm going to do.
The thing that I really like in this is font library. That for me, I know it's been punted to 6. 5, the full functionality, but I think that's so important. I think the I'm curious. I think that's a really great feature. The idea of, being able to just interact with fonts in a completely separate UI is brilliant, but I do wonder about the media library and the attention that I think it needs, because if you're running a site, so just an example, I think WP Builds now has probably got about two and a half thousand images with cover art and images for.
All sorts of different things. Some little, some big, it is, it's pretty much unmanageable. The search works if you obviously put the effort into categorizing things and putting in, descriptions and things like that, but that, that for me is a piece that really does need attention and it feels like that's coming.
But yeah, okay. Hold on that one. Should we move on? Yeah. Okey doke. The next one is a security piece. And because I am no security expert, if either of you three want to chip in on this, you can. But it was just to say that I'm sure you've done it by now. Hopefully, if you are a WordPress enthusiast, you've enabled the option to update non major releases automatically.
Because these are... These are not released without some degree of necessity, basically. 6. 3. 2 is a security release. And I'm just highlighting the WordFence blog which goes through what was done. And they do go to the point. Of saying some of the vulnerabilities are of medium severity. I'm not entirely sure what that means, but it does say that it could, that some of the problems in the previous versions of WordPress do mean that it was enough to potentially allow and I quote site takeover.
So 6. 3. 2 is significant. You should probably get that done if you haven't done already. And then it goes into the technical analysis of what all of those were. And because I don't have the mental capacity to deal with all of that. I'm just going to let you do it instead. So I will link to that in the show notes, but do you I'm hoping that you've all got that enabled that there's no reason why that in the morning and suddenly you've got like 1950 emails or something saying your site's just been updated to WordPress 6.
3. 2. And I can't see a reason not to do that. Maybe one day it'll backfire, but for now I've had no problems with that. Anything on this, because you're all cleverer than me. Security is never a bad thing just to get automated and just like the two people on the camp of either hold off and test things, or if it's security stuff, I'd rather have a secure site that might need a bit of a kick to get something working then, oh, I left that for a week and someone's just taken over the entire thing.
Yeah. Yeah. Especially some of the complexity on some of the media thing for your. Scripts injection on that side. I feel sorry in a way for the people trying to find all these bits because it's such a big footprint of code to try and go through all these different bits on there. But it's also a good thing that someone's found it to fix it, which means there's one less thing out there for someone else to try and take over.
Yeah. When you get to a major release, so when 6. 4 comes along, do you click the button right away? Or do you do what I typically do, wait a week? And... If there's nothing glaringly security related, I typically wait a few days at least anyway, a week's probably a bit of an exaggeration.
And then I have a bunch of sites which are just my own personal projects, which I then update those. And then I wait another day or so to see if anything untoward happens and then finally get serious and start to the other ones. The reason I, the reason that I've got this in my head is because I recently updated my Mac.
Mac has rolled over to a new version of Mac called Sonoma. It killed my Mac. It absolutely bricked it. I had to take it to the Mac store and get it fixed. And they did, and it was fine, but basically I had a DOM box. And also now the finder doesn't work. So even with the fixed Mac, a lot of things won't the browser won't open the finder correctly.
I have to wait for about a minute for things, anyway, the point being that things can go wrong. And if you've got WordPress websites that are updating, this one is a bit of a no brainer. But how do you cope with the the big ones? So I'm gonna, I'm gonna throw that one at Paul, who's got some big fat clients to worry about.
Yeah, sometimes we have contracts that say you are going to manually test this before you upgrade. And we don't do an upgrade. We host a decent amount of our websites with WP Engine. And they will do automated updates for us. That's really helpful for the ones that we don't do manually ourselves, and that will be on a timed basis.
So it won't be immediately. But we see when those emails come in and they've upgraded on our behalf and then the others we do manually. VIP is slightly different again, but but those are the Two main hosts really, I mean anything that's a patch fix, it's my views to upgrade as soon as possible I'm quite kamikaze when it comes to Mac OS updates.
I'm the same as you Nathan I'm just like whoo new version of Mac OS do what happens. I don't think I've ever bricked my laptop though I don't know what how you had configured it so that it massively breaks it well, there was a toggle in the system preferences which said do you want this update to brick your Oh, I can't turn it off.
I ticked that box accidentally. Yeah it's a user error. Basically, yeah. Good one. Good one. Yeah, it was out, I was out action for about three days. And it was really concerning 'cause I've got quite a lot of stuff. Stuff. How did you live on? How did live? Yeah. I had quite a lot of stuff on there that I thought I might have lost because my backup hadn't switched it on for a day or so anyway, it was all fine.
Yeah. Most annoying thing for me is Google Drive desktop didn't work in the base release of Sonoma, so you go to 14.1 and it does work. Yeah, and then look what Apple have rolled in on Mac OS Sonoma, right? If you do this, look what the heck? And then let's just let that go away. And then if you just do one, see what happens.
Is it going to come? Yeah. Look what? I like the first one though. Cause it reminds me of Disney. So I'm cool with that. That reminds me of the fireworks at Disney. Does that belong in an operating system is all I'm saying. That feels like plug in territory to me, yeah. Throwing in some, music or something like that, because let's Here we go, you ready? Let's go for, oh, no, let me try this one. It's
like that, isn't it? It's got that sort of same feel. Or. This week in WordPress, we bring you these topics. It's so bad. This lift this week on AppSumo, there was a there was a AI song generating platform called Tuni and I bought it and. It is exactly what I wanted, because it creates absolutely diabolically bad music.
Which is exactly what I want for the end of my podcast. But AI and music, it's not quite figured it out yet. Anyway, has anybody got anything else to say about WordPress before we move on? I suspect not. Make it okay let us move on in that case. Let's talk about this one. So this was a big controversy.
An actual proper mis... basically a few weeks ago. If you haven't been following this story maybe it was two weeks ago, week and a half, something like that. If you were on the wordpress. org repository, then you can, as you can always do, you can scroll around and have a look at the plugin and so on.
But this little button here appeared, it was called live preview. And if you were to click that button and it appeared for all plugins, then playground. Which is a phenomenally clever tool. It's a browser based version of WordPress. It's not going off to any server. It's literally starting up a version of WordPress in your browser.
I truly don't understand how that works, but it's amazing. And it appeared for all the plugins. And that was great if you had a plugin which, for which everything worked. But quite a lot of plugins. didn't work. And the community, there was a bit of a backlash. It was a bit of a WP drama kind of moment. A lot of plugin developers saying my plugin was never going to work because it's got this range of dependencies.
There's a whole subset of things which would never have worked. Anyway, the long and the short of it is this has now been gotten rid of. The community, their voice has been heard. This has been gotten rid of. And now the suggestion is, why don't we replace that with, let's say a button or a link somewhere, which would link to something in the readme file for the plugin.
The readme file would say something like, I have a demo at this URL. And then you could set up your own demo with everything that your plugin needs. An example would be, for example, here's some of the scenarios that it wouldn't work in. This came from Mika Epstein, who was the the plugin team rep.
It won't work for add on plugins. For example, anything that's built on top of Woo, because Woo wouldn't come inside the Playground install. It wouldn't work for anything which requires a lot of customization. For example, WooCommerce itself wouldn't really work, because you need to get into the...
Settings and all that, and it wouldn't work at all for anything that needs a server integration like memcached, redis, and so on. And it wouldn't work at all for anything regarding multisite. Bit of a snafu, begs the question, how did this happen? But, given that it did happen the person who clicked the button that made it go live apologized and said I really didn't think that it would have the impact that it did and it's now been pulled.
In the end. The right choice prevailed over to, I'm going to throw this one at Dave because he's got a plug in coming up. Would yours work with Playground? No. No, because it's WooCommerce related, right? It's not a direct Woo add on for that. Part of the plug in part would be sending data to a remote service.
So unless that bit was set up to listen for that thing oh, I've been sent some information. Yeah, I think the whole plug it, the playground idea is good, but it's the same as some of the other bits. It's not been overly thought out for all those different situations. And part of me from the developer background thinks Oh, we've got this brilliant good idea.
And someone said. Or you could just link to someone else's site that's got the demo data and things in that site. No, this is a lot better because you've got access to this wonderful technology and show it off and then not think about, oh, what about plugins with extensions and all those things, or even seed data on that side to go a different plugin that would work, if you just go to the admin area with no instructions, like What am I supposed to do now?
Whereas if you had a proper demo site with your products and things in there to go across to, yeah, it saves people clicking on that link from their phone and plugin doesn't, Playground doesn't work on that. As I tried that the other day to see what happens, just get a big empty sort of window.
Yeah, it's a nice idea, but the execution didn't quite follow through. Yeah, so I'm going to put something on the screen. Okay, so it seems like a bit of a storm in a teacup really, doesn't it? For somebody like me, who doesn't develop plugins and never has, it seems oh, it came and it went away, but I think Leslie Sim sums it up really well.
She was quoted on the Tavern article and she's I'm going to quote. It says, Newsletter Glue co founder Leslie Sim requested the feature be opt in. So that's another option, right? You could say, I wish to have playground access on the repository page for my plugin. She contends that the average user won't have patience if something appears broken and here's the kicker.
I hadn't really thought about it like this and we'll assume that there is a problem with the plugin. Not the directory or the playground. And I think that's true. That would be my assumption is the plugin's broken. Move on, find something else. So it ends up reflecting badly on the plugin developer, which can be really stressful for them, as it may mean a loss in potential installs or revenue.
And I haven't really thought about it from that point of view, but she makes a really good point that it does make bad. And who knows that might been.
VIN or Paul, anything? Yeah. Average user doesn't know what is broken, that they are there to just to see if plugin works and if the first introduction is like a broken layout. That's the end of the story. And I think the idea is good and it's glad it's been taken off. I think the more thought process has to be done, how it can be implemented and one way to do, it's use a service like instead WP and a lot of plugin users are already using it, and guess what?
Automatic is. Investor in InstaWP, maybe they can launch something like Jetpack preview something and, add in there. There's so many ways to do it. Even your idea of having a button that opens a pop up which says, okay, here is the link to see the demo or read more information. Even that is a good idea because that will give more flexibility.
No opt in required. Any plugin author can just put additional information where a person can see the preview. Yeah, it does seem to make more sense to have the developer in control of what the demo would look like because obviously you really want to put your best foot forward and it might be that you want to optimize the server or have some other thing configured correctly at that time.
Ben, who's introducing himself as from the Philippines, where it's a. It's 9. 30 at night, and it's 27 degrees. Thanks, Ben. He says that the block editor itself didn't work properly in some browsers with the live preview button. That's curious. I wonder which, I wonder what things failed. That's interesting.
And Courtney says that Mika, who we just mentioned, estimated that 30 to 40% Of plugins didn't work. So I guess the person who pushed the button and I'm going to struggle to find their name, it was Steve Dufresne. Sorry, Steve, if I've butchered your name maybe he did have a poke around, but just coincidentally landed on the 60 percent of the plugins, which did work.
And so thought. It's okay to move forward. Anyway, it's been fixed. Paul, anything on that? No, it's somebody trying to do the right thing, isn't it? And I think it's a feature that needs to happen so that you can do the developers in control and you've got to give them the tools to decide whether they want to enable it or not.
I think in the plugin directory, there's not a lot of tools that actually, as a developer, you're launching a plugin. I don't have that many options. There's not a lot of control within there. I don't think, I think there's probably more that could be done. This is an example of that. And maybe it will help lead to that in the future.
Yeah, let's hope so. Okay. Let's move on. So yeah, sorry, Dave, carry on. But they've hidden all the plug in metrics. It's a good thing they're not there. Cause if you had someone just clicking on the playground link on that, be like, wow, I had 10, 000 installs this week. It's Oh, it's just some bit of bot hitting the playground and speeding them up each time.
Eeeh, I hadn't even thought about that. Yeah, that's a good point. Literally So I'm like, nothing's happening on there, but yeah. But that's a really good example of something that's missing from the plug in directory, right? When I talk about tools for the developers. So actually you don't see those metrics and nobody sees those metrics.
And it, that's something that, that does need to be fixed in my opinion. Okie doke. Thank you for that. Just, we're going to do some sort of community based stuff. So I loosely call it community, but it's kind of anything that isn't. WordPress core or directly related to a plugin. So here we go.
Here's a few bits and pieces coming up. The first one is to say that GoDaddy, who, as I mentioned, is a sponsor, but that's not the reason I'm mentioning it, it's because they've got a nice event coming up and it fits with the previous story. So they have a, an online workshop called Exploring WordPress Playground.
So if you want to know how that. It may be useful to you. It's actually a really great thing and probably could be used for demos and things like that if you've got it set up correctly, anyway, in a couple of days time, so Wednesday, the 18th of October from six to seven GMT they've got that and they're going to demonstrate some of the amazing things that you can do with playground, you'll be able to find that events.
godaddy. com. Another piece is to say that iThemes is no more. iThemes is a real like stalwart of the WordPress space ever since I joined. I Themes was one of the few commercial companies that seemed to be ripping it up. They were just great, very successful bought lots of their products at the outset and was very happy with everything that they did.
The time has come to move on and they've been doing this for a little while, and here it is finally, no more I Themes anything. Now you've got solid W. So you can find it solid WP. I'm sure that maybe it has already, but if you've got an iThemes account, you'll probably be notified about it.
If you try to go to the old URLs, I'm sure at some point they'll be forwarded to this. But anyway, it's the end of an era, no longer. Tied to the word themes, which really didn't make sense. No, the products line that they had and so on. Yeah, there's this nice new website featuring lots of cool graphics.
I'm sure it's probably built using cadence. Let's scroll to the bottom and see. Doesn't say, but it's an excess property. So I expect it is Devinder. I saw you nodding your head when I said I've been using, I think stuff right from the beginning. I guess you and I probably Yeah. I still remember the first lifetime deal I bought was for backup buddy.
Yes. The license they were not the time they were used license So i'm yet to log in again into solid w and see what happened to that The I think that was probably the first commercial thing I ever bought to do with a cms because I came from drupal And you couldn't buy anything for Drupal and came over to WordPress and immediately realized that backups were, that's something that you're going to need almost all the time.
And that was the leading thing in the time. That was the only solution that was thrown at, during those times now things have changed They didn't I guess they didn't innovate with the changing times like other Smaller players have gone a little far ahead with the ease of backing up compared to backup buddy But I guess with the rebranding and more resources courtesy of stellar wp They will get into the game back as far as backups are concerned.
Obviously their security plugin is also really good Yeah, I should probably mention that so that they're bringing over the most, probably the most long lasting and successful of the itheams products. I'm sure that quite a few of the itheams things over time have gone away. But if you are looking at the screen, you can see in the sort of like little mini mega menu itheams security is now being rebranded as solid.
Security. So expect that to appear at some point soon. Solid backups, obviously the, is the replacement for backup body and solid central will I'm presuming be the replacement for iTheme sync. The place where you would go, something similar to manage WP or main WP or something like that, where you can go and sync all of your WordPress websites.
And yeah, it looks like at the moment you can get 25 percent off that suite. You get all three. You can see the pricing there if you want. So don't know if Dave and Paul were into their products, but it is the ending of an era, but looks like the beginning of quite a nice new, bright one. Yeah, I've never directly used any of their ones, but the whole company called iTheme Selling Security Things is they're a theme company.
So in a sense, from being an outsider on that whole product range, I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner to be a bit more away from just doing the themes that they started with. But it's not going to go down well, but when you're scrolling down the little animations, I thought, Oh, perfect.
I built it with Webflow. Yeah, it's got that kind of feel, hasn't it? It's very modern feel to it. I've got to say that website really. Feels like it's of the moment, like lots of scrolling graphics and fading fonts and blurring and all that kind of stuff. We need to stick it through PageSpeed later on to see what score it gets.
Ah, okay. You could do that now. I'm upset that we've lost an eye. It feels you know how things used to be branded? Yes. Everything used to be branded with an eye or media at the end. We're moving, it feels like skeuomorphic. Era of iPhone design back in 2006 or yeah, anything beginning with the letter R is firmly in the, yeah, that's right.
Apple will come after you. There was the dad joke, the first one. Yeah, that was good. That was a good one. Anyway, well done. And it's been done in the open. They've been doing this over many weeks and finally it's here. They pulled the trigger and it's all gone over. You can check it out.
Solid. WP. com as you would expect. Okay. This is just apropos of nothing really. It's again, it's community related, but the WordPress photos directory, Michelle Frechette, who's often on this podcast, she contributes quite a lot of her photography to this. It's now surpassed 10, 000.
Images. So if you are in the lookout on the lookout for free images or indeed you just want to donate some of your images, then, you could do that to all sorts of corporations and what have you, or try to sell them on Getty images or what have you. But if you are interested in giving them away, CC zero license photography is what they're after.
So basically anybody can use it without any kind of attribution is my understanding of CC zero. Then there's 10, 000 in there now. So I guess at some point you reach a sweet spot where maybe it's 10, 000. I don't know. Maybe it's a hundred thousand where more or less any search that you go for. There'll be something obviously if you type in cats.
Falling into volcano. I don't know why I said that because that's particularly bad, isn't it? I'm going to be cancelled for that. Yeah, that's what this episode is called. What have you got against volcanoes? Yeah, you're probably unlikely to find that specific image. Go to AI for that. But anything else, I don't know red flowers or mountain scenery or something It's probably going to be there.
I should shut up. And step away from the catastrophe I've just created for all cat lovers hand it over to you. Do you ever use this anybody? No, but actually
And if openverse website where this wordpress photo project is part of openverse plus few other sources Yeah, I'd forgotten about that. Yeah, of course. It's a sort of an umbrella thing. Openverse is a much bigger initiative. I don't exactly know where the photos in the photo directory are stored, because I know that in Openverse, they're not stored on any automatic property.
They're stored where... They're originally created and then they're linked to from open verse. So it's more of a kind of place, it's a foundation project. Yeah. But it's not actually the images are not actually held there. Paul, sorry, I think we talked. No, it's fine. I did.
It's good reason to do but I think moderation, I was gonna say attribution is really important. Every now and then we'll get like a letter, we scan the website and you're using this legally. And then we have to go and prove that we've gone and got it from creative cloud or somewhere like that.
One of the things you do, but the people are out there scanning these photos, looking for duplicates where you're, you should not be using an image and it's licensed. And it's really important that you do get your images from the right place. And you can back that up because it's not worth it financially if you can't.
No, it really isn't. It's a very large amount of money. Those Getty lawyers need to be paid their impressive salaries, yeah, you're just paying for them to do what they've sent to you. If they just didn't send out those letters, they wouldn't need to be paid, right? Yeah, that's right. It's like some kind of self fulfilling prophecy.
Yeah. My job exists to send out letters. Why are you sending out the letters? So that my job can exist. So it goes. Yeah. Anyway, 10, 000 seems like a bit of a milestone. Obviously it would be nice to get it up into the many more, but it re it requires people like Michelle to bother to upload them.
I've got loads of images. My, my proclivity around that would be as automatic is for open verse. You can't put people in it, basically, if you can detect somebody's face. Then don't bother with that one. So really it's more like scenery or, where you can't detect an individual. So animals, scenery, that kind of thing.
And obviously it's got to be a unique unique piece of work that you created. And then you can upload it and give it away, let the world use it in whichever way you. May feel or they may feel fit be interesting to run up against one of your photos on the web sometime No, that must be quite a curious experience where you browsing some famous websites.
I hang on in it That's my garden. That's weird. There it is on the New York Times. Yeah, anyway, but I didn't take the picture. That's right. Yeah, AI did that photo? We'll get to AI later. The other thing that I wanted to mention in the community side of things was this is just a sort of farewell. I don't know what's happening here, but this is just a tweet that Kathy Zant, who is a often contributor on this show.
She's been on loads of times. And so we have a high regard for Kathy. She's she posted this to say that she was having her last full time day as an employee of liquid web, stellar WP. She goes on to say it won't be my last day working with cadence because she's definitely been focused on cadence, making videos, putting blog posts out and all of that kind of thing.
But she's taking time out to do some necessary family things. So I just wanted to, if she's listening, maybe she is, maybe she's not, I don't know, but maybe somebody can pass it on. I hope that whatever comes Kathy is is works well for you. And it would be great if we can still have you on the show.
So there you go. Well done, Kathy. Thank you for your contributions. I don't know if any of you have. I've run into Kathy over the years, but if you have now's the time to say thank you, Kathy. She's amazing. Oh, actually she messaged me today in the morning when I covered this in the newsletter, and she said, I wasn't expecting you to cover that, but I said, I know Cadence.
You are the face of cadence for me and many other people. Like even though she is Like normally, this happens like all big products, the CEOs owners, they sit in the background and you have one person who you recognize as the face of the product. And for cadence, it's Kathy.
Definitely Kathy, she is the face of cadence. And also I noticed, I know she's been into security, not just WordPress security, but security more broadly. And I noticed that she's been putting out not lots and lots and lots, but a little bit of Security related stuff. And again, not in the WordPress space.
So she put quite a few videos out about LastPass, for example, when LastPass had their breach probably about 18 months ago or something now. She put out some content around that and about some possible options to jump onto and then some follow up content. Yeah, she's producing really good content. And she also has a newsletter now on her website, personal website, which is really good.
Oh, Devinder, just to say you, your mic has suddenly got loads better. Did anybody else spot that? Yeah yeah Davinda, just it was audible, it's just, I imagine the audio setting got balked at some point, so whatever you were on just then, stick with that, because that's significantly nicer.
Okay, cool. Dave, Paul, anything? I think I've seen a couple of her blog posts more recently on different security bits and pieces. Yeah, I've not directly had any interactions with her, but wish her all the best for whatever's coming up next. Thank you. Nice. Yeah. No, I've not met Cathy and not spoken to her, but you get the email in from Cadence and it's got Cathy's name on it.
It really feels like a friend. Yeah. And I think that's so important, like the face of the product. Is important. That's the person who you lean into and you associate with that product. So if somebody goes, it's quite a tough challenge, I think to bring somebody forward and take that over.
Yeah. Big shoes to fill, but also it just demonstrates that. You she was the face of word fence for a while. And then became the face of some of these stellar products, particularly cadence and, to do that two times in a row is not an accident. She's definitely got a whole set of skills, including content creation and explaining tricky things in an easy way.
It's not easy. It's not easy. I I know how hard that can be when I have to talk to my children and they just look at me like, What? This is why you need to clean your teeth. Yeah, that's right. Yeah. Or no, this is how you use wordpress during covid on the first day of lockdown during covid I sat all my children down and thought this will be the project We're going to learn i'm going to teach my children how to use wordpress This will go on for months and it'll keep them busy for what looks like an extended period of time home 20 minutes, I reckon, is about as far as I got.
It's Dad, can we stop? It's so boring. It's not. It's beautiful. It's WordPress. Dad, it's boring. Shut up. A secure password is important. That's right. Exactly. I feel that wasn't the best way for me to start, David. Now that I look back, it's explaining the SHA algorithm for encrypting passwords.
Probably, the SHA wasn't a great way for me to start. Should have just... Chucked a page builder in. Anyway, that's an aside. Well done, Kathy, and hopefully whatever comes your way will be fulfilling, and hopefully we'll have you back on the show. Okay we spoke about WP Engine earlier, being a host of choice for Paul.
Another host, which is very popular, is Kinsta. Really popular managed WordPress hosting company. This has taken me by surprise. I did not see this coming. Kinsta static site hosting is fast and free. So just to quickly talk about it a static site is a flattened HTML site. Basically, there's no database particularly involved.
And it's probably the fastest way that you could serve up a website, obviously. Forms, out the question. Not quite, but mostly out the question. Interactivity, dynamic data, forget it. But if you've just got a brochure site or something which you just want to be super, super fast, then a static site would be good for that.
And here we are, Kinsta has decided to offer this this option for free. Now, given that they're a WordPress company, I thought no WordPress host is going to go in this direction. But they have. And you feel, in a way, I wonder what... The agenda here is that they're trying to upsell you when you know, your forms suddenly realized you need a form.
I don't know. But the static site basics I've just explained, but here's the sort of caveats around it. You get the following. You get a hundred static sites per company. You get one concurrent build per site and Dave. Thankfully explained that to me. So you can build one site at a time.
So you can operate on a hundred sites, but you can only be building one and then you have to move on and build another one, you get one gigabyte of image size, you get one gigabyte build image sizes per site, 600 build minutes per month, which I presume is the amount of time it takes to actually throw the thing together and a hundred gigabytes bandwidth per month.
Per company. So interesting offer. I'm confused as to why a WordPress host want to do this, given that it's eating into what their sort of primary offering is, but you got any wisdom on this, any of you three? It's a bit like giving away a free sample in the supermarket to hope they come along and start getting more stuff from you.
Because as you say, if you've got a few limitations on there, then if you start with something simple, and I think further down the page it says, Oh, you might be able to have your headless WordPress and then use their application services for your backend and things. So it's more a case of get a few more products out there that might fill up some other niches.
And then when they want to start, Oh, I need to do something else. Oh, what do you with this provider? I can get a. VPS or something else from them to go through or advance up because frankly, unless you start paying them to host a site with you, you can't really be free for getting a taster in there.
But then also I think from the devil in the detail, if you've got to have your Website up in GitHub or somewhere else on there to go through, it's going to rule out your mum and pop. I've just thrown something together. I want to FTP it up because that's too old school on there. Yeah, I think it's probably part of a bigger play for getting some other people that don't want the security issues of WordPress on that side, for example, but want to have a front end and something else on there.
It's an interesting sideways pitch though, isn't it? Because you'd have thought that the main enterprise of the Kinsta marketing team would be directly marketing to those exact people and saying we've got your security sourced, we can take your website, don't worry about WordPress, we'll deal with all that, we'll update it.
And yet, what they're essentially saying is, you don't need WordPress, you just you might occasionally need WordPress. It just seems curious to me. I just wonder how many people are going to be... Convinced to convert, but here we are talking about Kinsta. So it's done something right, but whether or not it's going to eat into their profit margin, I don't know.
It seems like a curious if they're not charging for it, it can't eat into the margin more that people will who may have gone with Kinsta. And paid them 50 bucks a month will now say, Ah, I'll be satisfied with the free version. If so in that sense, it might be eating into a margin.
But maybe they've just spotted that this is now a hot topic. We've been featuring it for a little while. Patrick Posner. We had him on the podcast doing a webinar series about his Simply Static plugin. And it's, it is so fast. It's like you blink and the site, literally blink and the site is loaded.
It is really worth doing. If you. If you fall within the bounds of what's possible with static sites unless I heard about his web to zip project as well So if you have your main site running with them on something else and then you get your backup Copy running on there if that one blows up for some reason just point them over across to your static one And that could take iOS.
Oh, this is patrick's new It's not really a plugin is it's more of a sort of service where you point a url at his Landing page. Is it what is it? It's web to zip. com or something like that. And it will scrape your site for you, which is great. Well done, Patrick, you're beating the likes of Kinstra and it.
Paul, anything, Davinder, anything? I think it's super clever. From a marketing perspective, actually, sorry. So it's not going to cost them anything, right? So you build a pipeline, you probably built the pipeline in the background, it's probably not going to require much to keep that up and going and up and running.
And it's not going to cost them much to serve those resources over their CDN, because they're just serving static files. And actually, I think it's aimed at Developers of WordPress. So static sites, a lot of static sites out there, but a lot of those static sites are, Ruby or, one of the next JS or something like that.
It's actually a bit of a bit painful to get going. If you're a WordPress developer and you're making WordPress sites for clients, but you've got your own little blog that you keep running, it's just pretty static. You don't do much with it. Then getting this, getting you onto their platform. because you've got a free place to host your website will gradually trickle your you're going to start suggesting that for your other clients and for other websites that are hosted because you want everything in the same place.
So I think it's a bit of a pull effect for developers. I get it. Yeah. So it's a bit like the offers with the bank. They get you into these sweet little deals. And then once you're in, you're never going to change bank. You've hooked. It's not worth the effort. Just like Dave said it's a teaser, right?
It's just teasing you in. It's a genius marketing, thing to offer because people will talk about it. See, even we are talking about it and 10 people will know now today, what is Kinsta. Yeah. Yeah, that's true. So it possibly from just from marketing perspective. Yeah, it's interesting because I don't know if any of the other the other major WordPress managed hosting companies have gone for anything like this.
This is certainly the first one that I've seen, but I guess you can watch Domino's Fall. Because now Kinsta's done it, I guess the others are going to have to do it as well, but it's free. And if you do have a, if you're where I am in my part of the world, and you've got like a local business website, one of those resources will you ever bot up against, it's just, there's no chance.
So obviously you've got to understand how to use GitHub or something like that. But in terms of the bandwidth and all of that, you'll be fine. Maybe we can get it. It's a bit techy. It's quite nice. Yeah. For developers it's a bit techy. It's a nice little thing. It's an easy way to do something that you probably want to do and probably wanna check out, , it's a good tease. Okie, do WordPress to GitHub plugin to push your into our site across there in a few weeks times. That's what Patrick's site does. You can link it to GitHub. So he's got a site called sorry, a plugin called Simply Static. And no, it doesn't, I've forgotten how it works.
Patrick, if you are watching this, forgive me. But essentially you can consume what the WordPress static site that's created. It can be consumed by GitHub and then GitHub can obviously be connected to something that Netlify or something like that. And so with a click of a button in his plugin, you can do that on to hop and within five or 10 seconds, your WordPress website is on Netlify and it's basically free as well.
Anyway, it's an aside. Kinster are doing it. Let's see how that goes. See if the other. See if the other companies join and begin making static websites available as well. We had another little drama a few weeks ago. We've mentioned one of them already. Here's the next one. The Ollie theme. Oh look, here's Patrick Kozner again.
Bloomin heck! He's getting a bit of mindshare today, isn't he? Patrick Posner in collaboration, or the other way around Mike McAllister in collaboration with Patrick Posner. I think it was Mike that it certainly was Mike that started it all off, has this great block based theme called Ollie really nice.
A ton of really attractive patterns completely free available for free. And a few weeks ago, Mike felt that things weren't going his way and was a little bit. Ticked off, I guess is the right word, because the people at the theme review team had said we will not allow your theme to be in the repo because of this onboarding wizard that he had in the theme.
Now, that would have been one thing, but then people such of the caliber of people like Matt Mullenweg and Josepha Hayden Chomposie who's the executive director of the WordPress project. They stepped in along with other people like Justin Tadlock to say the guidelines are just that. They are guidelines.
This doesn't really, this doesn't really merit being kicked out because it's really innovative. It might be pushing the boundaries. And so it seemed, will they, won't they? In the end, Mike made the decision for them and he has pulled his onboarding wizard. So here's the kicker. Firstly, It was a really nice idea.
I thought to get people who are not typically at the moment, that the project of getting block based themes out there and widely used really isn't panning out. As well as everybody had hoped. I think by this point, it was hoped that more or less all of us would be using block based themes.
And from where I'm sitting, more or less all of us are not using block based themes. So this wizard would get you through setting up the Oli theme, and they reckoned it would take... Like whole half hours at what would have taken 30 to 40 minutes would have been taking more like a couple of minutes to get through by using this wizard.
Obviously also you've got some buy in from the operations of WordPress, Matt and Josepha. But yeah, it's been pulled. So now the theme is available, but it's not got the onboarding wizard. All of the bits and pieces in the theme are there, but you are going to have to go through the documentation to figure out how that works.
So this seems like a bit of a shame really, because something innovative and new was added in, which probably everybody could have looked at and thought, that's the way I'm going to do it to get these themes across the wire. But no. It isn't going to work that way. So again, over to you guys. Got any thoughts on this?
Seems a shame to me. I think this is massively disappointing. I think that WordPress has an onboarding problem. When you start up WordPress and you're presented with that home screen, there's not enough there to get a new user up and running. And if you look around at what other products are doing, what other.
Even a SaaS services are doing mobile apps are doing onboarding is the number one thing that you have to have in your app or your application to get people to understand. How to use things and I think that the start screen for WordPress when you log in and it's hello that's great, but it doesn't tell you what you need to do next.
And actually, it can be quite challenging and, plugins do this all the time. You. You add a new plugin, you go through the onboarding process, it helps you set up the basics, and then you learn along the way. So I can't understand why there's a difference between a plugin and I know that there are guidelines to say that, but I think it was a really important step.
To get to that point and I hope that that decision is rethought about and that the guidelines maybe are updated to allow this to happen in the future because I think that this is this is what's needed. And I think I, maybe there's a higher level of onboarding required with WordPress as a whole and core when you log into WordPress you install for the first time.
It's here's how we do this. And here's how you do that. But I think that. That process needs to happen to make it a simpler and easier process for people to use. So Courtney's joining us in the chat. Thank you, Courtney. She says there are several track tickets to create onboarding in the dashboard, utilizing LEARN resources, LEARN WP resources.
I hope to partner with the folks at OLLI eventually to get this in. Yeah, one idea, thank you, Courtney, by the way. One idea, of course, was that The layer of onboarding ought to have been abstracted away into a plugin that then you would then have to somehow, be prompted to go and then click a button to install it and so on.
And then everybody would have access to that plugin. And so everybody would have some sort of similar. onboarding experience, but I confess I didn't go through the onboarding process, but it does sound like he put a lot of time and effort into making it as useful as possible. Yeah, so here we go.
Courtney's back. That would land in core and alleviate theme team reviewers much of that burden avoiding pitfalls like the notification problem we have with plugins now. Yeah, good point. Good point. Dave Devender, anything? You see everybody's stuff. It's the yeah, so you got your window. I think onboarding is very important, if you remove onboarding from WooCommerce, see how people get lost in there.
And, right? And even today, if you give a newish person the dashboard view of the default WordPress, that person will be lost. Where do I go? Next, right? So there has to be a lot to be done with regard to and now with block editor, we can just make few templates and WordPress can give a option where even though there are plugins that will inject a template as a default dashboard layout and we can actually leverage actually block editor templates that can be displayed as a default dashboard and a person can customize it according to type of uses they have.
Thank you Devinder, appreciate that. Dave, anything? Yes, I was just going to say, you can see from the whole testing compatibility side why they wouldn't want a lot of extra code and things in there, because if you've got a normal theme you can install it, does it seem to work, OK, you can take off again, but if you then got to install it click, go through all those bits.
Are they then using you as a QA to make sure that the wizard works as well and it comes? Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. This extra complex complexity on the steps to approve a theme when you consider the problems that the plugin side are having on that side to go through. But yeah, whether there's some way you can bake into core, the plug or the theme can say, we want to do these steps and how.
The engine of how you could do this bit could be in core but the theme still need to say I want to show a thing on this DOM element and that bit to go across so that be like Formula One they've got the set playing fields that everyone plays the same so you don't get some people going off and doing a Wow, bang thing on that side that then smaller theme developers then can't do and can't compete.
So it's a bit. Yeah, it's a tricky one on this one. Yeah, it's interesting. I guess I always use those wizards. If something pops up, if I buy a, like a SAS app or something and I get the onboarding wizard, I basically always go through it. Just because I think they've made the effort and they obviously think they've tailored this to the quickest way.
And I'm all about doing it quickly. However, if I buy something from Ikea,
that manual is going out the window quicker than can be. And eventually I always end up with a triangular cupboard that was supposed to be a rectangle. Also, yeah, Dave's pointing behind him. Honestly, if there's a wizard, I will use it. So I could totally see how Mike's endeavors, Mike and Patrick's endeavors there.
It must've felt like a bit of a kick in the teeth to do that. And then that whole thing to be pulled and it probably was the fastest way to do things, but anyway, it's gone. They've they've bowed to that and it has gone. So we'll see what happens in the future and whether or not there's some way of doing it.
Thank you, Cameron, for your comment. I forgot to say earlier that he says, good evening. As you well know, Cameron, it's the afternoon young man. Although he's back in Australia now, so it totally is the evening. As much as the onboarding was a great innovation and the review process was disappointingly antagonistic, I also think that if.
Core introduces an onboarding API. It will be better for the ecosystem. That's a good point. Yes. I suppose Mike was simply trying to bridge that gap. Wasn't he? He was making his own onboarding API, if you like, but yeah, interesting onboarding API. All right. Like the, like WordPress doesn't have enough to do.
I think that's a cracking idea, Cameron. Let's hope that comes around. Anything else or should we move on to talk about the ridiculous numbers of WooCommerce sites there are out there? Let's do that. Okay, here we go. This is Back on the Tavern, Sarah Gooding, 8th of October. State of the Woo 2023.
WooCommerce highlights AI powered future and continued block. Sorry, core blockification. There's a load of stuff towards the bottom of this article, and I would encourage you to go and read it if you're into AI and what's coming in WordPress, but that's not what I wanted to raise here. I just want, just wanted to raise the eye watering amounts of people who are using WooCommerce.
And so here's stats checked, just take these numbers in, right? I actually think about it for a minute, 4. 4 plus million. Live websites are currently using WooCommerce, so 4.4 million. It's pretty incredible. 33% of the top 1 million online stores are now powered by Woo. So fully one third of. All the top million, according to this, are powered by Woo.
Close to 9%, 8. 9%, near as damn it, 9 percent of the INTERNET is powered by Woo. What the actual, what? Two, 270 million. Downloads of Woo again, just take that in like over a quarter of a billion downloads. There are 908 sort of attachment products in the WordPress sorry, in the WooCommerce marketplace.
If if Dave gets his way, there'll be 909 fairly soon and 66 languages are supported. That is properly nuts. Just those numbers are eye wateringly large. And some of the trends that have been noticed is that there has been an expansion in the sort of e commerce space of using chatbots and on site search to find products.
AR is going to become a bit of a thing. The idea of what do these shoes actually look like on my own feet? Let's try them on. With a bit of AR, WooCommerce is seeing more merchants attracting non local buyers. So where you are in the world is becoming less important. You'd be able to sell cross border, which is obviously driving growth.
It depending on where you are in the world, you might be able to tap into the whole of the world in the future. And yeah, that's basically it. So those numbers are just knots. And for somebody like you, Dave. who is building on top of WordPress, those numbers must be just fabulous to see, right? Yeah, because when people have been saying for years, our WordPress is dying off and WooCommerce isn't as popular as it is.
If I could even get 0. 01 percent of the 4. 4 million installs on there, yeah, this is think of how many of that 4. 4 million kind of installed a site, mucked it up, deleted it, reinstalled again on that bit to get the downloads up for the number of staging sites. But yeah, it's it shows that it's still popular and there's such a vast ecosystem around.
That's when Mr. Devinder said the whole onboarding experience for once you start getting onto there, if you cut some of those things off, then we'd put people off. But I think the interesting bit on there would also be. To see from the install base, how many people then got the other automatic plugins, like your payments and everything else on that side, because that might prove the kind of who's running it versus who's spending a lot of money on the plugins on that bit to do multi currency or different sort of things where you stripe and the like on that side.
But clearly someone's making some money from it to have that many sort of products in the marketplace, which is also good news. And the funny thing is, like you mentioned, 4. 4 million installs for WooCommerce. I just googled how many installs does Shopify has. It's 4 million. Because I usually have clients who hop between Shopify and WooCommerce because of depending on how much they want to spend their brain and money.
This... So they're neck to neck, but then as Dave pointed out the 4. 4 million could be a lot of, installs that were done in a sandbox and went away sort of thing. Would you imagine Devinder that the, that for automatic and, the companies that are building around WooCommerce, would you imagine the autumn that WooCommerce is more, Of a profitable place.
So you mentioned that shopify has four million installs and I don't really know shopify Maybe dave or jovinder can help me out here But is shopify more of a pay your once a month fee and your dom or is there like an add on? Marketplace as well Okay. Even to show a small thing, like if you want to show an age verification pop up box on your website, you've got to pay 5 per month, something for an add on or something.
So it is a very highly profitable ecosystem compared to even WordPress is, WooCommerce is profitable. No doubt about it. But Shopify is altogether different monster because they're the kind of people who use Shopify. They are not geeky or techie. So if they want something and they see it's available, it's 5 doesn't matter.
Let's install it and get done with it because they don't have to manage their server or security. So you have to buy if you want a solution for anything, you more or less have to buy it. There's no option to build it yourself. Oh, okay. Yeah. Okay. So fairly sanguine there, Dave. That's pretty good. Do you build for WooCommerce, Paul?
Is this something your company does? Yeah, we're a WooCommerce partner. The, I think the really interesting, so obviously when COVID happened, WooCommerce spikes. Like massively, as did most e commerce platforms, to be honest, because everybody was like, I need an e commerce platform and that, that's trailed off and that's leveled out a bit, but I think the really interesting thing is how WooCommerce is changing to become like Shopify.
And it speaks back to our talk about onboarding with Ollie and making sure that people can set up easier. It's a lower monthly price and it's a much simpler product for those people that need it. So I think there are a number of use cases for complex e commerce stores with millions of SKUs and variations and integrations with back end ePoS systems and ERM systems and things like that.
That's definitely one use case for WooCommerce. I will do. Probably the more typical use case for it previously. I think now there's a lot more solopreneurs and, these, what are these people called? They airship and stuff like that. Dropshipping is it? Dropshipping. Never really got that.
You drop it and then sell it to someone else. That's right. It's broken. But, but the idea that people, that what they actually need is that they don't want the tech. They don't really need lots and lots of options. Most people just need a really simple shop to sell a few products, these really small companies and people doing it themselves.
And that's what Shopify managed to capture that part of the market. And he sensed that WooCommerce has changed with WooExpress to move towards that part of the market and that it will pay off in the future. Yeah, WooExpress is going to be, I think, like a money making engine, it feels yeah, absolutely.
It's lower cost. It's less hassle. It's probably going to be easier to support because you don't have the complexity. It's going to be quicker to do things. It's quicker to involve people and get them up and running. And that's the most important bit. And, like we were saying with themes getting up and running, that's one of the challenges that, that WordPress has, I think, particularly in something like this.
The AI stuff's quite important. Interesting as well, obviously, commerce is highly useful when it comes to AI personalization, related products, building up pictures of people and things like that. That's obviously a North star for them for the next couple of years.
Yeah. I feel like I just can't see where AI is going to land with all of this kind of stuff, but it does feel like it's getting its tendrils in absolutely everything. Why not e commerce? I do love the idea of if I'm buying furniture, of being able to stick it in my room or buying some clothes and be able to actually see what it looks like on, what is now quite a healthy middle aged spreader.
Oh, I bet go for extra. Yeah. Look, a button just popped up in the AR version of that shirt. I think I should. Probably go for the label tone body filter. The person that builds the honest AI of what you'll actually look like in the clothes is going to get my vote. No, Nathan, it'll actually say, Nathan, you look ridiculous.
Don't buy it. Nobody wants to see you in a Hawaiian shirt. Nathan. Not again. No, not again. Exactly. We're not in the 1980s. Okay. Everything looks positive for WooCommerce at the moment. The numbers are impressive. I don't know if those numbers are up or down. They are just simply magnificent. Whether they're on now, I don't really know. A couple of bits and pieces in the plugin space. I'll quickly mention firstly, and I don't have any experience with this platform at all, but I noticed, I think this came from your newsletter, actually, Davinda, which I consumed this morning as I was getting up that quickly.
Which is a a block suite. They now have a CSS grid builder. If you've been playing around with CSS grid, you'll no doubt understand how just sublimely cool it is for doing layouts. And as far as I'm aware, and I could be wrong, I'm sure Devinder could put me straight on this. I don't know if any of the other rival plugins like this do a CSS grid implementation, but if you watch this video, I think it's about 20 minutes long, something like that, it explains.
It very carefully as well explains how to implement grid. And so there's that Davinder did this catch it was you, it was your newsletter, right? Did you, it's obviously cool. Yeah, actually, I can, a lot of other plugins are actually in the process of doing it. I know Beaver builder is in the beta version for that.
Even Elementor has. It's their developer version where they are doing the CSS grid thing. So a lot of other with this product, it was easier because they didn't have that many features to begin with. So they are basically adding features, it's still in, like the features are getting added as the product is being developed and marketed more.
So yeah, it's a good feature and it's again, a parallel universe from block editor because. There's block editor add ons versus page builder, so it's, it falls in the category of modern page builders, if not legacy page builder. So it has its own fanbase though I'm still not able to pronounce its name.
Is it not just quickly, like the word quickly, no? Yeah, but the spelling is labeled. Yeah, the spelling is unspellable. Yeah, I'm never going to get that right. So you can see here how it all happens. Basically, if you want to create any grid layout, you you highlight the, the grid block or whatever it is and then this modal pops up and you're essentially dealing with a table.
And you can stretch so that, grid Number one goes over two rows and then grid number two. You can see it on the screen and it gets fairly complicated as you might imagine. But I think in terms of the UI, it all looked fairly straightforward. I reckon you'd be up and running to the races in just a few short minutes.
So anyway, well done to them for getting that out there. gate as early as they have so that's great that'll be linked to in the show notes. And the other one I wanted to mention, again, I think this came out of your newsletter, Davinda go and check it out, wpweekly. com, in case you didn't hear it at the beginning.
Presto Player has come out with version two, so it's a skin for your videos, so you can consume YouTube. But it no longer looks like YouTube. It's got your own branding and all that. And they've got a player version two. And they've got a lifetime deal on at the moment. It looks like they're offering up to 50 percent off depending on what plan you want.
So 99 down to 49 for one site. Half price for 25 sites and then if you go for a lifetime deal, it's 2. 99 for 25 websites for life and my I've I don't I have not used it But the feedback i've got from everybody is inexorably good It's been widely regarded as a fantastic plug and again Devinder over to you.
What you like this? Yeah, it's really good Basically, it's built on So it basically brings that script to the WordPress world in the form of a plugin that's easier to use. So it makes your YouTube videos almost like it's hosted on your website itself, on your YouTube video. So it's a really good product, especially for people who are doing courses and video content on their website.
It's amazing. Divinder, just check your mic one more time, because I don't know why but sometimes it seems to revert back to the wrong one. And then I'll mention this, which is really great admin site enhancements, admin and site enhancements. They have a fully amazing repo plugin, so completely free, which just does a ton of stuff in the back end.
But they've now come up with a pro version, and they're taking on some pretty big challenges with this. They enable you to do things like change the admin area of your WordPress website, set up SMTP connections. It's all rolling to one plugin. There's literally dozens of things that you need dozens of plugins for this one lightweight little plugin we'll do it all, but now they've gone into the pro market and they're going to take on.
Places like ACF with custom content types, they're going to take on admin menu organized. So there's, admin, there's loads of plugins, which will help you organize the fields and the columns and all of that in your admin menu that they're going to take on that. They're going to take on what we mentioned earlier about organizing your media library.
They're going to enable you to put your media into folder and categorize your media library in that way. They're going to convert your images as well into WebP. They're going to have a code snippet manager with conditional logic. It's not as amazing as the conditional logic I've seen with things like wp codebox, but it's still pretty good.
You can say put this script here on this page and so on and so forth. And then a bunch of options to import and export it. And my understanding is, let's have a look, get, you can pay for a lifetime deal at the moment if you want to get it. I don't know when that runs out, but again, brilliant plugin.
Well worth checking out. We're running out of time, so I'm just gonna quickly go through the last couple of things. This is to say that Twitter is in trouble with the EU. I am not getting into politics, but I'm gonna link to that article. We really are out of time. Also, this kind of money, I don't even understand.
68. 7 billion, 68. 7 billion. That's B with a billion, billion with a B, for Activision. Microsoft have paid this much money for Activision. And my understanding is they have this sublimely popular game, is it Grand Theft Auto? Or, anyway, they've got this one... It's a Call of Duty. Thank you so much. They've got this one smash hit title.
And my kids told me the other day and check this out. And I was a bit reluctant to believe them. And I haven't done independent research. My kids told me that the online gaming space in terms of revenue is worth more than TV and sport combined. Now that's mental because but that is the generation that's growing up.
Are doing this and they're going to continue to do it into adulthood. I missed the boat on that because it was the ZX Spectrum and it was about as exciting as watching grass grow. But now with these games, you can imagine a whole generation growing up, playing on these games and just loving it throughout their adult life.
And when they've got deep pockets and willing to spend money. So that's just nuts. 68 billion dollars. And last but by no means least, this one, which I didn't put in the show notes, Paul did. Why, what's this about Paul? It, I think post status is changing. And They're aiming at a more business focused area and trying to bring business people into that community to help fund that and look at the business of WordPress.
I know that Yoast has recently invested in PostStatus and is also helping drive that forward. And I think. I think that there's going to be some changes there, but I think it's all for the positive, and we're on board with it, so I just wanted to bring it up, really. Yeah, I'd say that if you're outside of the Slack channel for WordPress, PostStatus really is the place where many of the conversations happen, and movers and shakers go there, don't they?
It's really popular. And it does seem like Corey and the team... Corey and Lindsay are now in charge of post status. It does seem like they're stepping up their game in the agency space. So I guess people like you, Paul, it's really on the money for you, isn't it? Yeah, absolutely. And it's and it's an important resource.
It's a good place to, to link and connect to people particularly on Slack remotely to have conversations and just do things like making sure people are aware where there's job. jobs available and things like that with job postings. I think it's, I think it's important. Or is it all just becoming paid?
No, I think there still will be a free version. I think there's a bit of discussion though, around. The cost of the licenses for slack for free users and I think that seems prohibitive from what I've read And that's a problem. But I don't know what the step forward is there They got a bill didn't they or at least they figured out that their bill for slack would be 75, 000 a year, which is not a it's not a small amount of money.
Yeah, that was public knowledge. That was in a and you know does make you question if you've got a Fork out for things like that. I think they've decided not to fork out for that. But these communities don't come cheap, is what I'm saying. If you want somebody to manage this sort of stuff and be the facilitator for those conversations and curate it and post regular content, it costs money and Good people to contribute to projects like that would be agencies who have deeper pockets probably than the likes of me as a freelancer.
So Paul over to you, you just sort out post status for me. And we have taken the business plan. Actually, we've got in almost too early before the price got reduced. So we paid, but happy to
do yeah. No, it's that's what we should be doing. We're there to support. Actually, it's the right thing to do. Yeah. I'm not going to go to Korea with my request for a, a credit note. For next year, that's right, but I would do is just add Nathan, please
Yeah That's it. That's all we've got time for we've actually overrun and so for that I am very sorry Thank you to anybody who participated in the comments It was a little bit quieter than normal today, but thank you for that anybody that did appreciate it thank you, obviously to dave and to paul and to davinda really appreciate your participation as well Just before we go, there is the somewhat humiliating spectacle of four people raising their hands like school children before the before the show ends so that I can make it into the album art.
So I'm going to lead the way, try to get your head in the middle and let's see if we can get a nice shot of, no, where's my other hand. There we go. Perfect. Give us a smile. Everybody wave. Thank you so much. We will be back next week. There'll be three different guests. Nobody will be sniffing. I've been Nathan, he's been Dave, that was Paul, and that was Devinder.
We'll see you next week. Take it easy. Bye. Bye. Bye.
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