The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 13th November 2023
Another week, and we’re bringing you the latest WordPress news from the last seven days, including…
- What’s on your list for Black Friday. We’ve got a HUGE page of WordPress related deals for you.
- WordPress 2024 Roadmap is out and gives us some insight into the releases which might land in 2024.
- What happening in Gutenberg now that it’s reached version 17?
- Alex Stein becomes the first recipient of a WPCC fellowship.
- What is the ActivityPub protocol and how does it make your WordPress site a 1st class citizen on Mastodon and other (Fediverse) platforms?
- Elementor has brought in some changes which take features away from users.
There’s a lot more than this, so scroll down and take a look…
This Week in WordPress #276 – “20 Katies here”
With Nathan Wrigley, Remkus de Vries, Katie Keith, Matt Batchelder.
Recorded on Monday 20th November 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…
Omnisend is the top-rated email and SMS marketing platform for WordPress. More than a hundred thousand merchants use Omnisend every day to grow their audience and sales. Ready to start building campaigns that really sell? Find out more at www.omnisend.com
The home of Managed WordPress hosting that includes free domain, SSL, and 24/7 support. Bundle that with the Hub by GoDaddy Pro to unlock more free benefits to manage multiple sites in one place, invoice clients, and get 30% off new purchases! Find out more at go.me/wpbuilds.
It’s like Black Friday, but everyday of the year! Search and Filter WordPress Deals! Check out the deals now…
Transcript (if available)
These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.
[00:00:04] Nathan Wrigley: It's time for this week in WordPress episode number 276 entitled 20 Katie's here. It was recorded on Monday the 20th of November, 2023. My name's Nathan Wrigley. And I'll be joined by three fine guests. I'm joined by Remkus de Vries, by Katie Keith and by Matt Batchelder, we are of course a WordPress podcast. So what do we talk about? lots and lots of WordPress.
We talk about the roadmap for 2024 and the three releases scheduled for that year. 17 is the version of Gutenberg. What is in the latest release? We say a very sad farewell to Sarah Gooding from the WP Tavern, as she bids adieu to that publication, and wish her well for the future.
Nine years, the HeroPress network has been going, and we give a little bit of a hat tip to that. Hat tips also to Yoast for giving somebody an award of a sponsorship this week, but also to the WPCC, who have got Alex out in the wild, working in accessibility in the WordPress space.
We also talk about block themes and whether or not they are being taken on. ActivityPub, Mastodon, Pixelfed all of those things. Are they something that you're using? And also we talk about Remkus' blog and what is on it.
It's all coming up next on this week in WordPress.
This episode of the WP Builds podcast is brought to you today by Omnisend, the top rated email and SMS marketing platform for WordPress. More than 100,000 merchants use Omnisend every day to grow their audience and sales. Ready to start building campaigns that really sell? Find out more at www.omnisend.Com.
And by GoDaddy Pro, the home of managed WordPress hosting that includes free domain, SSL, and 24x7 support. Bundle that with the Hub by GoDaddy Pro to unlock more free benefits to manage multiple sites in one place, invoice clients and get 30 percent off new purchases. You can find out more at go.me forward slash WP Builds.
Hello. Hello. Hello. Hi there. Episode number 273 of this week in WordPress. I look like I'm in Hades or something. I'm really quite in a dark place, but not emotionally. I might add, I'm feeling pretty good, but, yeah, I don't know what's gone on in the time it's taken for that video to play. It's got all dark in the UK.
How's everybody doing? We're joined today by three fabulous guests over there. We've got Remkus De Vries, how are you doing Remkus? I'm well, how are you? Yeah, good. Oh, you've got the best gear, like your voice sounds so good with that mic. What is that mic? Just tell everybody so we can all get jealous.
[00:03:16] Remkus de Vries: It's the Shure, SMB7.
[00:03:18] Nathan Wrigley: It's the good one, right? It's the one all the pros use. Yeah, it really does the job. Yeah, exactly. He's a total... Yeah, and the thing is, Remkus really wasn't, I don't think Remkus had all the gear, a year ago. And then he just got into it, and it was like, he got all the good stuff.
[00:03:34] Remkus de Vries: I got advice from somebody very, knowledgeable.
[00:03:37] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, who doesn't have any of the good stuff.
[00:03:39] Remkus de Vries: Stop doesn't have any good stuff, but I still appreciate the information
[00:03:42] Nathan Wrigley: you shared. Yeah. Yeah. You're much more professional than me. Remkus, let's just do his proper bio. Remkus is a WordPress performance specialist, focuses scaling and growing your WordPress at Truer.
Then North, Remkus runs a weekly WordPress newsletter called inside WordPress, as well as the within WordPress podcast. Don't be bashful Remkus. Where can we find those? What's the URL for both the podcast and the newsletter?
[00:04:10] Remkus de Vries: Remk. us.
[00:04:13] Nathan Wrigley: even that's good. It's just. Nothing about it. And I bet he's drinking like 17th century wine or something.
There's no, Okay. Okay. but we're also joined not just by one person. We've got Katie Keith as well. Katie's over there. How are you Katie?
[00:04:32] Katie Keith: Yeah, great. Thanks. Thanks for
[00:04:33] Nathan Wrigley: having me back. Oh, you're so welcome. Katie is, she's from the UK, but no longer living in the UK. Where are you these days?
[00:04:41] Katie Keith: Mallorca, Spain. So hopefully that's warmer than UK at the
[00:04:45] Nathan Wrigley: moment. He's got all the gear. You've got the location. When we get to Matt, there's going to be something impressive, I'm sure. Katie is... The co founder and CEO at Barn 2 Plugins. You must've heard of them by now. she's also the co host of the WP Product Talk podcast, plus Woo Biz Chat at Do The Woo.
Katie loves helping people get the most out of WordPress. Woo. It says here WooCommerce, but do I say that word WooCommerce and their WP product business?
[00:05:14] Katie Keith: Yes, you do. Woo is the brand and the company. WooCommerce is the software which I build plugins for. Before
[00:05:21] Nathan Wrigley: we get into Matt's introduction, just a quick one on that.
So a couple of weeks ago, WooCommerce rebranded as Woo in certain regards. How was that? Did you, was that a complete curveball to you? Did it, in any way modify what you had to do with your business or is it all just? plane sailing, just nothing to see here.
[00:05:41] Katie Keith: It didn't really, because, I did a search and replace on our website, all the links, although they redirected anyway, so it didn't matter.
But because that's more that their company is called Woo and they've got Woo Express, their website is Woo. It's not the name of the plugin, so if we have a product table plugin for WooCommerce, it's still for WooCommerce, it's not for Woo, so it took me a while to understand, and a few people pointed me in the right direction on Twitter, but ultimately it's not that significant for people building for WooCommerce.
[00:06:16] Nathan Wrigley: I got an email this morning and the subject line just said, woo. I don't think it was the subject line. It was the sender, literally three letters woo. And I thought that, I wonder how many times that's going to freak me out. But okay. That's good to hear. So it wasn't too much of a weird PR thing going on.
We're also joined first time by Matt Batchelder. How are you doing Matt? I'm
[00:06:39] Matt Batchelder: doing just fine. Where are you? Where are you? I am in New Hampshire in the U
[00:06:45] Nathan Wrigley: S okay. Very nice to have you with us. hopefully by the end of the show, you won't think I'm never doing that again. hopefully you'll come back, like these fine people.
Matt is a WordPress developer. He's been doing that since 2005. Gosh, wow. 2005 is also the senior director of engineering and infrastructure at Stella WP, where he gets the pleasure of working with an amazing group of talented folks, many of whom have been on the show. He loves designing approachable APIs, architecting systems, debating product direction and slinging code.
When the opportunity arises, like on the solid WP website. During the rebrand of iThemes to solid WP. Yeah. That's been the latest thing, hasn't it? There's probably been keeping you very busy. what's a lot of work that must've been.
[00:07:32] Matt Batchelder: Oh, yeah, it was a long journey and a lot of people had their hands in it.
And it was nice to have it land. Yeah. that's
[00:07:39] Nathan Wrigley: great. anyway, thank you for joining us. Hopefully we'll get onto the news in a minute. First of all, few bits of, fairly mundane housekeeping, but we have to do it before the show starts. If you, depending on where you are coming from, probably the easiest way to get to the show is just wpbuilds.
com forward slash live. If you go there, you've got two options. To make a comment, you can either be logged into some kind of Google accounts because it's YouTube comments. Alternatively, this podcast is now getting embedded via the platform that we use, not via YouTube. And there's a little comment box inside the video.
And if you don't like Google and you don't like Facebook, in fact, if you just don't like any of those social channels, you can comment in there and. Neria count is needed. So you can just click, it says live chat or something. It's right in the top, right? Little black icon. And you can comment in there if you'd like to.
alternatively, WP Builds. com forward slash live. That's probably another way to do it. But like I said, you need to be logged into YouTube. The other option is to be in one of our Facebook locations, and then you need to give us your permission. Otherwise Facebook, don't let us know who you are. You just come through us.
Unknown. which is fine. You can do that if you prefer, but sometimes it's a good idea to share your name. And also just to say, we've got a few people joining us in the comments. If you would like to join us in the comments, we would love that. It's probably that one of the highlights of the show is to get all those comments coming in.
I absolutely love it. Courtney Robertson joining us from the U S saying, hi friends, Matt, do you have any cool mascots? Oh, okay. See, I knew there'd be something. What's the deal with cool mascots, Matt?
[00:09:13] Matt Batchelder: So I joined, the events calendar in 2012, maybe. Oh no, I don't know. I 2015. And, I started drawing mascots with the feature releases, and these are a couple of them.
and I just continued doing that with every major feature release. there's no new ones this week. We, oh. but it's a, nice little artistic
[00:09:39] Nathan Wrigley: So those things above your head, you, you made those? Yeah.
[00:09:43] Matt Batchelder: Yeah. Oh. these are maybe the more detailed ones. I've, these were taking too long. So I have more illustrative style now, that goes out with each release.
Yeah. Yeah. Oh,
[00:09:54] Nathan Wrigley: that's funny. Yeah. Oh, thank you. Anyway. Courtney, appreciate your comment. Peter Ingersoll joins us every week and gives us a weather report from Connecticut. Don't ask Matt. It's not worth asking. Nobody knows. but it's 9 a. m. It's two degrees centigrade, 35 degrees Fahrenheit under sunny skies here in Connecticut.
And it makes my week every week when I read the weather, especially when it's colder in Connecticut than it is in the UK, which it is this one time. And Marcus joining us. As well, Marcus, always happy to see such wonderful faces on Monday morning. I'm off this way. Oh, crikey. Marcus, you are dedicated, but I still can't keep away with, from hanging out with the community.
That's lovely. Yeah. Feel free to drop us a comment anytime you like. I would really appreciate that. Matt says it's minus one. Matt as in that Matt there. Yeah. it says it's minus one in NH. Oh, go on. New Hampshire. New Hampshire. Yeah, that's right. Yeah. Okay. We win. The UK wins. no, it doesn't. Katie's going to get that award every single day of the year.
[00:10:57] Katie Keith: Yep. It's over 20 degrees C here.
[00:11:03] Nathan Wrigley: That was MCUs. I didn't say that. . that's exactly. Oh man. That's why you moved down onto a lovely Mediterranean island, isn't it though? To get all of that wonderful stuff. Perfect. Okay, let's get stuck into the stuff of this week. obviously, it's a WordPress podcast so hopefully we're gonna talk about word pressy things.
We'll just kick off if it's okay with you guys. I'm just gonna do a bit little bit of self-promotion just 'cause that's what. first thing to say is if you fancy listening to more of the stuff that we create, just stick your email address in here and we'll send you two emails a week, typically for this show, when it comes out, which will be tomorrow and for the podcast, which comes out Thursday, I'd like to extend my thanks to both GoDaddyPro and OmniSend who are sponsoring the podcast.
For this week, appreciate all of the stuff that they do. also to say that I am having a show this coming Thursday with Sabrina Zidan will be on episode five of our weekly speed it up show. I don't quite know what we're going to be talking about, but Sabrina and I have just started on this little adventure and she's taking one topic at a time.
A simple. actionable thing that you can do. It's either figuring out how to speak, speed, your WordPress site up or some sort of tooling to help you do that. so we'll be there 3 PM UK time, and it will be this coming Thursday. WP Builds. com forward slash live. I had a chat with Carl Alexander. Alexander Carl, I think a moment ago, all about EMEA, his new product.
And so if you fancy finding out about serverless WordPress, this is a really interesting listen. That's on the podcast episode three 50. And then finally I created a white screen. No, I didn't. It was slightly more than that. WP Builds black Friday deals page. it's been sponsored this year by WS form gravity form and WC checkout over three hundred and.
30, I think things in there at the moment is quite a lot. And so if you're in the market for black Friday stuff, go to wpbuilds. com forward slash black, you can search and filter, but this is the week. We're all going bonkers for black Friday. My email inbox is literally unreadable. BF black Friday. It's just one after another.
So before we get into the podcast. Proper, and I'm throwing this as a bit of a curve ball. Cause none of the guests knew this was coming. What's on your laundry list. Do not tell me you have got nothing that you're going to get on black Friday. Cause I simply don't believe it. It might be non wordpressy. I don't care.
I might get a calendar plugin. That's all I'm saying. Just get myself one calendar plugin. And despite the fact that I always rail against AI, I might get myself some podcasting, AI, SAS apps. Cause they're getting pretty clever. So you can throw your audio file at it and it'll do things like make sensible beginnings on show notes and timestamp important moments in the podcast.
typically when I feed it my podcast, I'll just get this white screen of death and it says nothing to see here, but. I understand that other people get significantly better results. So I might invest in some of that sort of stuff as well. So let's go round the table. let's start with Remkus.
What are you after this Black Friday?
[00:14:22] Remkus de Vries: I already purchased my first one. Oh, but that was entirely, It was a pair of undershirts.
[00:14:32] Nathan Wrigley: Okay, yeah. No, but that's fine, that's okay. We can share that. Share the love. Some
[00:14:37] Remkus de Vries: apparel. Some apparel, yeah. There are two job board solutions. I'm looking at that. If they have, If they end up doing a Black Friday, I, I will purchase either one of them or perhaps
[00:14:52] Nathan Wrigley: both. That's to create some sort of job listing on your properties for other people or something. Yeah, nice. that's a good idea. Yeah. That's
[00:15:00] Remkus de Vries: probably the only things I'm actively looking at. Having said that, there are a few things that if they're, if they come my way.
Might do one or two things more, but nope, specific plans.
[00:15:10] Nathan Wrigley: Okay. Thank you very much. Katie, maybe tell us about your stuff first. Tell us about the Barn 2 offer. Yeah, we're
[00:15:17] Katie Keith: doing, at the moment it's our early bird sale, which is 30 percent off everything. And that's going to increase on Friday to 40 percent for the main weekend.
so that's already going on. personally, I've got some Christmas shopping to do. I need to order it. To my parents house in England, which is all a bit complicated. I fly there on Christmas Eve and wrap everything that I ordered on Black Friday. It's all a bit weird these days. professionally, I have a long list which I keep all year of.
things to buy. I am my own worst customer in that I will buy things on Black Friday, immediately cancel my subscription and then buy it the next Black Friday. So things like easy digital downloads, affiliate WP, things we use on our own site, I do that. And we also have some historical clients whose websites we designed years ago and I buy their plugins on Black Friday as well.
So I have a whole list of plugins to
[00:16:17] Nathan Wrigley: buy. Do not do what Katie just said. Yeah, do not do it with the Barn2 plugin. That's right, yeah.
[00:16:23] Katie Keith: Pay full price next year.
[00:16:25] Nathan Wrigley: Do you know, that is a really interesting conversation to have because I bet you, a lot of us have just got into the utter predictableness of Black Friday WordPress stuff, be it blocks, themes, plugins, whatever.
And I bet that's totally normal. Just buy it 364 days later. Do it, cancel it, do it again. So you actually literally buy it, then almost immediately log in, cancel the subscription, and then just calendar it for next year. Yeah. Depending
[00:16:51] Katie Keith: on the plugin, there is some where I feel they might do a big price increase in the next year.
Sometimes it's worth keeping your subscription active because for example, I've got, a LearnDash license from many years ago, and they've increased their prices over the years. So that it's cheaper for me to keep my annual subscription than to pay with their Black Friday discount off the current price.
So sometimes if you feel that might happen, I leave it active until near the time when I know if their base price has gone up. So you got to work it out. Yeah.
[00:17:26] Nathan Wrigley: I always think it's interesting when companies prioritize existing. Customers. So some examples of pricing that I've seen, which works really well for me.
And just, speaks to thinking about it is like you buy a plugin and then immediately in the onboarding, it says. If you renew next year, it's 40 percent off. Our best of a deal will be 30 percent off. And in that way, they give you that little reason to stick around and then you should know that you're getting the best deal and they make the comparison, like the black Friday deal will be 30 percent will never go higher than that, and you're going to get 40 percent off by sticking around.
I always think that's quite a powerful message right at the beginning, but yeah, guilty as charged. I. Have done exactly the same thing. and Matt, what about you? I don't
[00:18:19] Matt Batchelder: have anything super interesting on the professional standpoint in terms of queuing up Black Friday purchases, but This is the first year that I am trying to get all my holiday shopping done early.
I'm usually up until the last week before the holiday. Yeah. so I, Couple, couple electronic purchases that I've been jonesing for, maybe a new TV. but other than that
[00:18:44] Nathan Wrigley: Nothing else. Amazon have got this great, this so clever marketing strategy this year. And I don't know if it's new, but I've never seen it before.
They're offering a limited number of TVs and I actually do need a new TV. This is not some sort of impulse by my TV is I have to wind it up. they're offering invite only. deal and it's 90 percent off. So you've got to subscribe for this one deal and they don't say how many, but they tell you that there's limited supply.
My guess is this is one or something like that, but it's so compelling. It is totally holding me off. Buying anything else for that in that kind of sphere and I'll probably be disappointed and the clock as soon as I realize it's too late It'll be Black Friday's over and I'll have to buy a normal TV, but it's such a clever little gimmick It is it
[00:19:37] Matt Batchelder: really is.
I have not thrown my hat in the
[00:19:40] Nathan Wrigley: ring on there and I should have No, it's interesting. okay. So we've got a few more comments. Thank you for that, by the way. That was all really cool. Michelle Frechette's joining us from sunny Rochester in New York. Zach's saying, good morning. He's also saying, I wonder which calendar again, I'm saying nothing.
Not saying anything. I might've begun my foray into DelRev while helping devs and customers with communications that particular calendar plugin change. Okay. All right. We're all talking about the same plugin here, possibly. I don't know. I suspect that we are right. Let's carry on. So that's our black Friday deals.
Now let's talk about just regular stuff in the WordPress space. Here we go. if you're a close follower of the WordPress project, you'll know that we have several major releases each year and quite a lot of minor ones. We had, I think probably the shortest release of, over the last couple of weeks, my, my clock told me it was about 18 minutes between WordPress 4 and WordPress quite that bad, but it was along those lines.
And Joseph, the executive director of the WordPress project has said that. She would hope, obviously it's just a, notional idea. She would like to have three major releases during the course of next year. So that would be WordPress. 6. 5, 6. 6, and 6. 7 rounding off the year in November. there's going to be a load of phase three changes, which is all about collaboration features.
Think about, think Google docs. And, she says that she'd like to put those, the bulk of those, I think at either end of the year. So 6. 5 toward the beginning, 6. 7 towards the end, and then the 6. 6, which will be in the middle of the year is just a sort of polish and maintenance update. And, yeah, hopefully some of the stuff which was punted, supposed to be in 6.
4, but never quite made it. So things like font management, font library, all that kind of stuff. Hopefully that'll drop in this year. I don't know if there's much you guys want to say about that, if you're excited about anything, but feel free now, if you want to just drop in. If not, we'll move on. I think it's
[00:21:48] Matt Batchelder: a pretty, I love the idea of phase three.
It's pretty exciting. I feel that, the first release of collaboration stuff in the early part of the year is, pretty aggressive. So it will be interesting to see if they land that, uh, they were talking about potentially swapping that, care and feeding release of. 6. 6 with 6. 5 potentially, that feels way more attainable, um, just as an outside
[00:22:16] Nathan Wrigley: observer.
I was giving some thought to the whole collaboration thing the other day, and I was thinking, like in my particular case, because I do a lot of the stuff that I do is just me, the, collaboration feature, I really can't imagine myself getting too, much use out of it. But I was wondering where you can see that kind of, the whole collaboration of posts.
I can see posts, text on a screen, but are we working towards like collaborative editing of, I don't know, site editing and things like that? Does that hold any promise or is it, are we really just after text? I think there's
[00:22:51] Remkus de Vries: some promise there, but I'm not convinced either. I haven't seen the, so there's teams working together on content on sites, and I'm sure those teams would love to see a more collaborative version of WordPress.
And I'm guessing the amount of sites that fit that description are way bigger than what we think. But, to me, the, collaboration phase is, a weird one because at phase three, I would have loved to seen the phase four instead for the multilingual, translations, all that sort of thing. makes way more sense because in my mind that touches way more people, but,
[00:23:33] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Interesting. I can see a replacement for Google Docs, in a WordPress space, if you have a content editing team, that does make sense, but I'm, struggling to see how you would edit themes together at the same time, but then, again, along comes Figma and tools like that. And you think, Oh, actually you can edit things in design.
[00:23:54] Remkus de Vries: If you, now look at what the site editor has, there's a, small version of a system in there where you make some changes and those changes are. presented as, do you accept these now? If, we're building on top of that, so the client, you build a site for the client wants to make some changes, but you want to lock it down.
So you're the one approving changes. So you actually know the consequence and all of that. So if that's part of the collaborative, I guess that kind of makes sense. But from a content collaborative, I don't see the pull in towards, what I just said, multilingual would have been. I think pleasing way more people.
[00:24:36] Katie Keith: Matt said, it was one of the questions at probably WordCamp Europe that the reason they're doing multilingual after is because they need the infrastructure in place for everything first, which includes the collaborative stuff. So apparently that's the reason architecturally why they haven't, but I totally agree that's what people are crying out for, not the ability to edit stuff at the same time, which nobody really wants and there are issues in WordPress, like being able to say, And live update of the posts without your changes going live yet.
make changes, let somebody review them and then push it live. That's not a workflow in WordPress. But I don't think it's proposed to do that. So I think we'll have
[00:25:18] Remkus de Vries: some information. So you need that solution? So there's a great plugin already doing that.
[00:25:22] Nathan Wrigley: What's that? Publish press. Okay. That's what I think.
[00:25:28] Matt Batchelder: I've been bitten by the lack of collaborative editing quite a few times this month and last night. Actually, it's frustrating whenever you're working on a post. That's timely. like we had some black friday stuff going out last night. and you've got multiple people that are well equipped to help adjust content, adjust images, yeah.
Fixed tagging and various pieces of metadata. and someone is locking the post. So I'm just like, okay, refreshing, refreshing, or like pinging. Oh, they're not answering in Slack. It's a real thing in, like critical moments of content, probably not, the, for the entire life of a post, but, those last stages before something significant goes live.
[00:26:17] Nathan Wrigley: interesting point, isn't it? Because you never know at that takeover moment, do you click the button and take over and knowing that there's a possibility that you're going to destroy hours of their work. But I do think Google Docs, which is the model, right? that beautiful. Oh. Thank My goodness, how cool is Google Docs?
I'd still remember the day I saw it for the first time and freaking out that was even possible. But, yeah, that's right. Yeah, I think it's still in the URL somewhere, isn't it? the, but the point about that is. Usually it's not a public anything. It's just a, a thing that you're sharing internally.
Maybe it's visible to the entire internet, but it's not something that you're pushing. Whereas the collaborative nature of a WordPress post, presumably the end result of that in most cases is to get it onto the internet so that people can see it and the idea that there might be four or five people editing at the same time and you go away and, like I said, have a coffee, come back, who gets to push.
The publish button ultimately, and where do all of those bits of spaghetti, okay, person X over there who has this role, they, were in it a little while ago and they wanted some stuff to go live, but person Y who's got this other role, they also were in there. I'm the person with ultimate responsibility for checking everything.
I just think there's a lot of spaghetti to untangle. And so we'll see. But, anyway, so lots of that coming in the next year of WordPress, hopefully by, November will be lots clearer on that. Okay. If there's nothing else to say about that, let's quickly move on. this is WordPress, sorry. This is Gutenberg 17.
0. This is almost a. A little bit older than a week, but I didn't cover it last year. Just a couple of things to mention inside the WordPress plugin. I've highlighted just a couple of things. If you're using the sort of bleeding edge of Gutenberg, it's quite nice to know what's coming down the line. So the command palette, which is the sort of invocable search bar, has some improved.
Contextual suggestions when editing patterns. the contextual nature of this, I think is the bedrock of it. If it doesn't give me like the results that I want based upon where I'm at that moment, I will stop using it. It's, if I see a list of 400 different things that I type, I don't know,
[00:28:26] Remkus de Vries: I wouldn't call
[00:28:27] Nathan Wrigley: it a search bar.
No. Okay. You're right. It's way, way, more than that. Do you want to elucidate on that? Cause you're right. There's much more to it.
[00:28:35] Remkus de Vries: So it, I think search for me is one of the last things it does, but it's, if you're familiar with, Alfred as a service for on your Mac, for instance, it allows you a shortcut to certain demands.
You get to go to settings and screens faster. it's a type your way faster to different pages within WordPress.
[00:28:58] Nathan Wrigley: But it also can get you to the point where you would carry out actions as well, right? you could, begin a post by going through the command palette.
So yeah, first of all, good point. But the, contextual nature of that is going to be really important. So in other words, the. thing that you're doing at the moment, the screen, which you're currently on. Wouldn't it be helpful if the options available to you were somewhat curated? So the things that rose to the top were related to that.
And that's going to be the case in terms of patterns, the idea of a better context for, I don't know, presenting things like, do you want to rename this? Do you want to duplicate this? All of that is coming down. What do you make of this? So this is, I think this is big. This is the, the first sort of.
Possible implementation of the dropdown menu component. and I don't know quite what you think about that. I'm presuming that from this UI, and again, I should probably describe it for people that are listening on the audio. when we've got something where there's a child menu, we see that there's an arrow pointing to the right and it feels like this UI is telling us, okay, then we'll show you the next menu based upon you hovering or clicking at that point, and then we'll show you what the.
Menu items in that way. What do you make of this? I personally feel that the current system that we've got for WordPress menus, I know we don't necessarily want to take over the whole screen, but I do like the idea of just something being indented a tiny bit, which is indicative of a child is preferable to this, but I probably going to get called out for that.
I don't know. What do you guys think? I think, there's
[00:30:33] Matt Batchelder: something. Nice about, like if you select a top level menu item and you know that's the menu item that you want to go to and say it presents five things, the distance your mouse has to go to get to those things is lower if it's nested in, but if someone's exploring a menu system, having links appear below and then to get out of that top level to the next top level is, Okay.
You have to do more movement on the mouse to, to explore the interface. So I, this approach better in terms of exploration. But if you're a power user, I guess that's when the command palette comes in.
[00:31:15] Remkus de Vries: Yeah. I was going to say, if the command palette is for the power user, then this is a huge improvement in what I think is one of the fairest critiques of, the block editor or the side editor there.
You have to click too much. Like in general, it's too much already. So any place where that's improved is a good one.
[00:31:35] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you. All right. Oh, I can't remember if there's anything else in that article. there was something about the link control and then there'd been some, important improvements on accessibility.
I'll just quote it. it says on accessibility, the side of things it's worth noting that the autocomplete voiceover now announces suggestions among other ally. a one, one Y enhancements to the navigation block and the query loop block regarding performance. some controls like duotone layout and alignment have been optimized.
You would obviously have to click into the, bits and pieces down here in order to find out what they were, but anyway. Some progress in Gutenberg 17. 0. Katie, anything, or should we move on? nothing on that one. Okay. sad news, for me and I think for quite a lot of people. So a long, long, long, time ago, Jeff Chandler started the WP Tavern.
It was then joined. really quite a long time ago. I think it was 2013. Oh yeah. It says it on the screen in 2013. Sarah Gooding was brought on. Justin Tadlock, joined as well. And, then I did, but in a completely different role, not related to this. Justin left, I'm going to say about 18 months ago, leaving Sarah at the helm.
and she has decided that she's going to embrace, I'm going to quote, embrace new challenges. In the word of tech. And so I just want to, commiserate WordPress as well. Sarah's gain is WordPress is loss. I don't know if she's going to carry on in the WordPress space. She just says tech space, but what's really nice about this article is firstly, she, lists out the 10 favorite pieces that, or at least 10 pieces that she's enjoyed over the year.
She goes on to say that she's produced during this time. I can't remember the number, but I think it was 3000 and something. Pieces for the tavern. Can anybody see that? 3, 021. 3, 021. When she started, she had no, no sort of intuition that it would become a thing that she would have as muscle memory.
In other words, she would log in and right at the beginning, and it was probably a bit more of a chore and then it just became a real habit forming thing, which I guess if you're a journalist, it has to be daily. grinding it out. She makes the point that in some cases it's not always been a, it's always been an excellent enterprise because in some cases, there's a, because everything's in public, you get a lot of, what's the word?
You get a lot of critical comments coming your way, put it that way. but yeah, I just wanted to point out that, I'm really sad that Sarah's going. Because that leaves a great big hole. I think she's done a tremendous job, just like Justin before her. So really that's me just saying, Bravo. Thank you so much, Sarah, for everything that you've done.
And, in some kind of remarkably crazy news as of this moment, I'm the only person publishing on the Tavern and that makes no sense. but the good news, there's good news over on the, I think it was post status slack, it began, but now there is a piece on the actual tavern. If you go to the tavern, just the website in general, the most recent piece is written by Matt Mullenweg.
And he says that they're going to take a, take on, two. New people. So if you think that writing journalism in the WordPress space is your bag, there are some things that you need to be able to demonstrate, but then, this is very much a question of learning on the job a bit as well, then go and look at the post called what's next.
It's probably going to be the last post on the tavern until somebody is employed. So anyway, there's my. There's my little sorrowful post. Thank you, Sarah. I really appreciate it. The world will be, the WordPress world will be lesser without you in it. Thank you. Over to you, if you want to make something of that as well.
[00:35:44] Remkus de Vries: 100 percent agree. Do
[00:35:46] Katie Keith: you know what she's doing next? What she's moving on
[00:35:48] Remkus de Vries: to? So he hasn't responded to any questions
[00:35:51] Nathan Wrigley: about that. I was going to say, I hope it's a nice bottle of Chardonnay or something like that. I don't know. I don't know. A decade is something to celebrate.
[00:36:00] Matt Batchelder: Yeah. That's a lot of contributions.
Props to her.
[00:36:03] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. How many people, 3000. That's amazing. But also I could see because I have access to the back end of that particular WordPress site. It's quite a bit that. That never made it there was a lot of work done on posts, which never got published for one reason or the, maybe, it got stale over time, but not lots and lots and lots but there were obviously things that were being worked on.
That never made it made the light of day as well. So a lot of work, really a full time job. So hopefully the new, people who step into the breach there will be able to, to make, to keep the publication going, few bits and pieces, few, Oh, quite a few comments coming in, let's see what we.
Got people saying afternoon. Hello to everybody. That's really nice. Thank you. collaboration is the reason I'm going back to block theme building in 2024. It's nice to hear. Thank you, Sinan. I write that Remcus is pendant looks like drop press, which feels like it might be techno EDM. Jess, what's this pendant?
[00:37:06] Katie Keith: the blue thing in the background behind his shoulder?
[00:37:11] Nathan Wrigley: Oh, is that a pendant? Is that what a pendant is? Is that what they call those? And so not the necklace
[00:37:15] Katie Keith: type, but like the flag type? What, the little
[00:37:17] Nathan Wrigley: triangle thing? The little pendant, yeah. Oh, the orpheus thing. Ah, okay, there we go. It does look like drop press from here.
[00:37:24] Matt Batchelder: does. Which,
[00:37:26] Nathan Wrigley: fits as it's facing down. Oh, I see, because the W is, yeah, that's right. Yeah, there you go. Now wear it with pride. Yes, look, there's the original.
Longleaf Google Wave. Yes, indeed, Courtney. I remember it well. Google Wave was the product which launched all of that. I remember using that for the first time and literally having kittens. It was far too exciting for somebody like me. Raising glass to Sarah Gooding says Jess. Michelle says the same.
Best wishes to Sarah says Mark. Okay. Anyway. Sarah, good luck. another nice thing in the WordPress space, this is more community related, but it's to, it's Topher who has been producing the hero press publication for the last nine years. In this, he just goes over some of the nice bits and pieces that have happened, over the years.
It's the anniversary. How nice is this? Imagine this happened to you. I don't. really know the backstory, but I'm just going to quote. It says this week is the anniversary. When I woke up one morning to an email from the owner of the company I worked for, and it was Dave Rosen from XWP. He said he was taking, me off the XWP team.
At that point, I'd be freaking out. Thinking I've got no job. because he wanted me to do something special for WordPress. I asked him what, and he said, that's your journey to discover. Nice email. how lovely. And it's been going for nine years since. They have produced a total of 260 articles in 28 languages, 125 by men, 128 by women, three non binary in 59 different countries.
you can see a laundry list of the different people here. And I just think it's one of those nice projects in the WordPress space. And all I'm doing here is just calling out to it and saying, thank you, Topher. Thank you to, anybody that's been touching that project. it's nice. It's a feel good thing.
And when I'm feeling a little bit blue, that is one thing that I can open and start to feel nice again. I don't know if anybody's got anything they want to say about that. It was a bit of a personal thing.
[00:39:33] Matt Batchelder: It's lovely to have a site like that with, the stories of, experience with WordPress and how it changes that it, makes me feel old knowing that it's been nine years.
Yeah. yeah, another huge accomplishment. That's great.
[00:39:49] Nathan Wrigley: It's a, it's just one of those nice things because usually I open up a blog and it's, about often technical things, most of which goes over my head, but you get the point. It's technical stuff. This is just nice things about the community.
And I, I really enjoy reading things like that very often about the way that WordPress has unexpectedly catapulted somebody's life into a totally different direction, enabled the most. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Isn't it nice? You read a story about somebody who, they weren't doing anything particularly, and then all of a sudden discovered WordPress and it was like, Ooh, okay, make a career out of this.
And yeah, it's really nice. So thank you. Tofa et al. Alrighty, let's move on. WP Community Collective, more nice community news. Great. We haven't had some of this for a while. The WP Community Collective, that's quite hard to say, has launched their first accessibility fellowship. They have managed to gain enough funding to put Alex Stein into a paid position for, I believe it's six months.
Yeah, there it is. over the next six months, Stein will dedicate his sponsored contribution time to deepening his already impactful work in the WordPress accessibility sphere, addressing key issues, key accessibility issues, and fostering where awareness and inclusion throughout WordPress. I dunno what the, I've, or at least I've forgotten what the target is, but, clearly to put somebody on the payroll for six months, that sum of money wouldn't have been.
a small amount. So bravo to anybody who in one way or another helped Alex to do this. So hopefully it's the first of many such initiatives. You can obviously go to the wpcommunitycollective. com. And if you click on this fellowships link, I think you'll see other projects, which are awaiting the, the necessary funds to get the whole project.
[00:41:50] Remkus de Vries: That's bravo to you as well, Nathan. What's that? That's bravo to you as well. Oh
[00:41:56] Nathan Wrigley: yeah, I actually did. I put this here because this is a silly thing that we do. each year we, we do this silly WordPress award thing and each year we dedicate the money that's given to the award, over to a charity.
And this year the charity is the WP Community Collective. I just made up this target of 2, 000. Wouldn't it be nice to get to that much? and we, got this far. And it's not closed yet. You can see we've got nine days, so I'm hoping for some philanthropic person who's got approximately, do quick maths, 1, 229.
50, burning a hole in their pocket, to come over here and submit yourself, to this poll. You'll join the, the likes of, Jeff Chandler. and Lawrence Loamy and David McCann and Carl Van Dusen and Elliot Sby and various other people, and win an award. You're guaranteed if you donate $20 to the WPCC, I will guarantee that you win an award.
Do you get an award? No, of course not. It's just for fun. You doing it? 'cause you're a nice person. I might send you an email or something. Who knows? . What? What more could there be? But yeah, so that was just. Hopefully in a small way that did help towards this, but I imagine the total that was needed was a lot more anything on that.
These whole community initiatives. Lovely, right? Oh yeah.
[00:43:18] Matt Batchelder: Yeah. And, honestly, anything that helps, accessibility in our space is.
[00:43:26] Nathan Wrigley: it's probably apropos to explain a little bit about Alex. Alex, I don't know the, level of what's going on with Alex, but I, know that Alex, has impaired sight.
I don't know if that's a hundred percent sight loss or what, but it certainly will make a difference. I guess the intuition of somebody like me trying to do accessibility. On, when it comes to vision impairment and things like that would be really quite different from somebody like Alex doing it, who would be able to inject real authentic topics of conversation and things that needed to be improved.
So hopefully that will be the case. Great. Courtney, who is a big part of the WPC actually said it would be fantastic to keep Alex going after six months as well. Thanks to all the folks who've made it possible. Yeah. So go to WPBuilds. com forward slash awards and 100 percent of everything that you contribute goes to the WPCC because you don't give it to me.
You give it to them and send me a copy of your receipt. I stay out of it all. It's the easiest way to do it. Don't forget donations to the WPCC are tax deductible. US folks get in that end of year contribution. Indeed. Thank you, Jess. That's great to point out. Okay. Shall we move on? I think we're going to miss that one for now.
And I'm going to go to this one. My favorite topic of the last two years has been mastodon and activity pub. I just, I totally love all of this. I think that. For me, if I suddenly became dictator of the universe, I would make it so that you had to use the decentralized network, social network instead of proprietary platforms.
I just see so much addiction. My children are of a certain age and I feel that like they're going through a whole different life than the one I went through. And the tug to be pulled to the screen is something which is. Completely irresistible and whilst ActivityPub doesn't solve those problems, it could easily be addictive.
It is at least not injecting into your feed a ton of incredibly sophisticated advertising and incredibly sophisticated algorithms, which are fine tuned to just keep you engaged and sucked into that screen. And so I had Matthias Remkus. You're not doing it, are you? You're not gonna, no, look, he's turning away.
I can't say Matthias name, so Remkus told me what it was, and then I said, Can you say his name? He said, That's above my pay grade. So he's not doing it. it's Matthias Feffele, I want to say. I'm sorry, Matthias. But he came on the, He came on the podcast this week to tell us about some endeavors that he's doing with the ActivityPub protocol.
This is such a nice story. So Matthias created the ActivityPub plugin. ActivityPub is the protocol which sits beneath Mastodon, PixelFed, and a bunch of other decentralized networks, and he built the plugin. Because he wanted to build a plugin. Then it suddenly went crazy over on Mastodon because of various things that were happening elsewhere, particularly Twitter and Automatic approached him and said, do you fancy doing this full time?
Ha! It's yeah, all right, I'll do that full time. And so how cool is that? Suddenly taking a pet project to a full time gig and he talks about what the plugin can do, how it works and all of that kind of stuff. So go check it out. All right. So round robin then. Do you, do any of you use that kind of stuff?
I know, you do. at least Remkus I know does, cause I see him in my feed, but I don't know if the rest of you do, or if you're engaged or, or if you are clinging desperately to things like Twitter and Facebook in the hope, and there certainly is hope that they'll carry on. What are your thoughts?
Let's start with Remkus.
[00:47:25] Remkus de Vries: yeah, I'm using activity pub, on my own site as well as, my, Self hosted Mastodon account. I think it is the future. I just don't know how fast it will be the future. my, like what you said, if, if you were made Master of the Universe for, however long it was needed, A minute?
I think a minute would do because, first, first thing you order is I need 60 more minutes. No. but, Having that protocol be part of every single social media type of... Company out there platform, I think. That's where we need to move to because the, whole, disconnected thing we have going on.
So let's say I publish an article and that article publishes on my own site. Now somebody shares that link on their X or Mastodon or Facebook or threads or wherever and somebody comments on that. Nobody's going to see that when they. Enter my site and see that URL. So the whole, everything happening everywhere, I think is a huge loss for, what, content, in my opinion, should be.
I think when we lost people commenting on post because. I'm old enough to remember when people actually would comment on posts. when we started losing that is essentially the rise of other social media platforms. and I think we should have never allowed that to happen in the fashion where it would break the canonical, the centralized slash decentralized, component of it.
So I'm a big fan of, of this plugin getting all the attention it needs. Cause it needs a
[00:49:13] Nathan Wrigley: lot more even it's such a desirable outcome. So just to explain what it can do at the moment, cause it's got a limited subset of things that it really, you would really want it to do, but it's getting there. So you install the plugin, activate the plugin, and then your WordPress site is a first class citizen on the Fediverse.
So you publish a post on WordPress. And it's not cross posting it to Mastodon, it's a post on Mastodon. people who are following you, so it'd be, let's say, Nathan at WPBuilds. social. It's, the URL is slightly different, but you get the point. If I publish something instantly, it's in the people who follow me, social feed.
It's not posted. We'd have to wait for anything to happen. It's there. And in increasingly in the future, there's going to be an endeavor to, okay. If somebody replies over on pixel fed or mastodon or blue sky. Oh, or threads, which is using it, then the comments will get dragged in. In other words, that promise that WordPress has had for so long, own your own content, you are now in charge of your social feed as well.
And I just think that's so great. We need that back. Anyway, sorry, I hijacked the conversation once again, but Remkus, thank you for, massaging my thing there. That's great. Katie, Matt, anything on that? Maybe you don't use it. Maybe you do. I
[00:50:42] Katie Keith: think that's super important for like kind of the sorts of posts that are maybe time limited and people are debating.
Quickly when they happen, it's funny because with my own blog posts, which are generally long tutorials about how to do something with our plugins, people never comment on social. It's always on our site because they're reading it on our site. They're not sharing an opinion to their network. They're asking a question about how to do something like, or does it work with, whatever calendar plugin, apparently we don't name and things like that.
so for me, The comments are still on my site, but I totally get that for general discussion type posts. That's not the case. And this is a really good step forward.
[00:51:27] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. So I guess maybe, can I just see what your workflow looks like? So you would post to social that you had posted a blog post and then.
Anybody that wants to comment
[00:51:40] Katie Keith: to auto post, but to be honest, our company level social is not very sophisticated and nobody ever responds on the social. It's always like they'll find us on Google and then they'll comment on the post. So it's a different way that we're found really. But imagine
[00:51:58] Nathan Wrigley: though, imagine that, in a future where people commented on the post, that would be a thread then on Mastodon.
So it works in all directions. So if 20 people comment on your blog, those immediately, and it's not like they're going up to Mastodon, it, that's, where it is, your WordPress site is the account. And so all of that would appear. So anybody else who did happen to stumble across it on the social side, they would be able to contribute.
It would appear on your blog posts. We're not quite there yet, but we're getting there. and. And then, do you know what, do you see what I mean? So it's the one thing, and I think everybody confuses it as this cross posting thing, which it's not, it's a little bit hard to get your head. The promise of
[00:52:41] Matt Batchelder: all of this is wonderful, but I think Mastodon has the problem of it's everywhere and everything, and not something people can just like point to and say, this is the way I communicate, this is the way I read things, and it's got this huge hurdle to go over for.
People to be familiar with it because it's, you have to be familiar with the concept and that's. An innately technical feeling thing.
[00:53:08] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, I totally
[00:53:09] Remkus de Vries: agree. I don't think that's necessarily true. There are services that are not Mestadon, but that are using the ActivityPub protocol. a good example is micro.
blog, which is essentially, um, micro blog, but it holds whatever you put in it, But what it does, it just has, gives you one place to post your content and where it's being dispersed to is then made irrelevant. because everything is fed back to it wherever it is shared.
That also shares that particle protocol. so mastodon may seem more technical. It technically isn't. It's just, that's a shell for the protocol and the protocol itself is agnostic in terms of where you would use it. Just as long as the, platform that you're using to share your content is using it.
[00:53:58] Nathan Wrigley: The, one thing which I think, whoops, excuse me. The one thing which I think people find weird is when they land and they make a decision that they want to create an account like a Mastodon account, there's this slightly weird thing where you at some point have to pick where you want that stuff to reside.
And there were a couple of big players out there. I don't mean that sounds like they're a major corporate entity. They're not, they just happen to have the more user accounts than anybody else. And therefore they're. Bearing the burden of the cost of it, but things like mastodon dot social, seems to have the lion's share of mastodon accounts.
Remkus has got his own server. I've got my own server. And in my case, it's a handful of, I think it's a couple of hundred people on there. So it's really cheap to keep that going because mostly it's, five or six posts a day. But the point is if I decided to stop funding that. Those accounts would die.
You can export. So that's another nice thing. You can say, take my stuff and take it elsewhere with mastodon. You can't take your posts, but you can take your followers. So you wouldn't lose the 3000 people who were following you, but, you wouldn't be able to, obviously you can't take your content because the other server that you go to might not want.
Your content because, maybe if the type of content you're writing, but you do take your followers. So as soon as you start posting and everybody gets to see it in the same way. anyway, it's just such an interesting thing.
[00:55:27] Remkus de Vries: Yeah. I think the, most important thing here is that the protocol, the activity protocol, sorry, activity pub protocol is the thing to.
To see as the central thing and whatever thing you wrap around it is, it's not irrelevant, but it's less relevant because WordPress can be that wrap around it, I think with
[00:55:48] Nathan Wrigley: a plugin. Yeah. I think my intuition, the thing that bothers me is that we seem to be, we seem to have carried out an experiment upon ourselves because it was so great.
remember when WhatsApp came out and you suddenly realized that there was this alternative to SMS and everybody was on it and you could send pictures and videos. It was like, wow. What the heck? Why hasn't this been around forever? But then... Go forwards several years, you may have intuitions that are aligned against, let's say Facebook, but also it just bothers me that could go away, that whole thing could go away and all of that wonderful content that you posted over there could go away and also.
Whatsapp's not a good example because as far as I'm aware, Facebook do not inject ads into Whatsapp and they don't inject, like sponsored bits here and there, but certainly on their other products they do, and it's just so nice when you're going to Mastodon, it's just chronological, you just get stuff as it appeared.
I miss that so much, yeah. Yeah. And that's all you get. there's no algorithm, there's no gaming your attention and so often you'll log in and I, I don't know if the same is true for you. I keep banging this gong but I am, I was a sucker, still am to some extent, of logging into Facebook with the promise of I'll just see if anybody's messaged me and then you find yourself X number of minutes later, still there and you think, what happened?
How did that occur? And that, that really can't happen on Mastodon because you literally have to keep scrolling. You're not being sent off in any weird directions. So anyway, there you go. So Matthias Feffele, and I'm pleased to say that Matthias and I are going to be doing a little webinar series. Nice in a new year.
Nice. All about how it works, what it can do, what it can't do, what the roadmap is and all of that. So there we go. Thank you Mattias for coming onto the Oh the Tavern podcast. with me talking about that. So there we go. Michelle Ette is in the, is in the chat, or at least she was. Maybe she still is.
And I thought it would be a really nice thing to mention that to the under repre, excuse me. The underrepresented in tech webinar series. There are season one, six episodes, and they've all been curated and made available for your delectation. You're going to find them at underrepresentedintech. com forward slash webinars, and you can see them all there.
And obviously they center around the topic at hand. And, maybe as more come online in different seasons, they'll be available, but everything's there as of right now. So thank you, Michelle, for making the. The endeavor to do that. We talked a little while ago about Alex winning, a scholarship or whatever the right word is from the WPCC.
I don't really have any intuitions on this, but there is such a thing as the Yoast Care Fund and the Yoast Care Fund is offered to people who have contributed. over, I think it's an annual basis over the previous year in important ways to the WordPress community. I don't know what the caveats are around that, whether it's gotta be code or, events.
Oh, really? So anything at all? That's good to know. and he has, won this award. I don't know. I don't know what that means financially. But anyway, bravo to him, for his contributions, it says here to the polyglots and core teams. It says above all, he's a cherished asset to the Indian WordPress community.
His contributions hold great importance, which is why he was nominated by Yogesh. so anyway, that's that just mentioning that as a nice thing. So if anybody. fancies, nominating me for the Yoast CareFund Award.
No, don't. Please don't. okay. All right. Anything on that before I move on?
[00:59:45] Matt Batchelder: I just think it's a wonderful thing that Yoast does that. And helps out people that are pillars and in WordPress and it's just a wonderful thing.
[00:59:55] Nathan Wrigley: These are the things that I mean to say when I put this article in the show notes.
I think that's the, that was the endeavor there. I wanted to say thank you to Yoast as much as anything else. So yeah, you're quite right. Thank you Matt for pointing that out. Thank you Yoast for, bothering to, to find that kind of money. Having been
[01:00:12] Remkus de Vries: part of the team that, Approves these. It's also nice to know from the inside the sort of impact that it has.
Oh, it's way more. I would need to go into detail, which I don't
[01:00:25] Nathan Wrigley: think I should share. But no, but roughly, you give us just life changing possibly. Yeah. So
[01:00:32] Remkus de Vries: for some folks, it's the just the fact that you get recognition for something that you don't necessarily do to get recognition that in itself is already beautiful.
but it's, also, a sort of a badge of honor. I don't, I, know for a fact that's not why it was invented. it's just a, way for, Yoast as a company to give back to the community. And I think that this is a wonderful, wonderful thing that they're doing.
[01:01:05] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, that's a really nice way of putting it, life changing stuff.
I don't know, I have no intuitions as to how this is going to affect that person's life. Alex Gounder, I'm going to say is the way to pronounce it. But congratulations to you. And yeah, bravo to Yoast for bothering to put something like that together. It's like their own WPCC all by themselves.
[01:01:30] Katie Keith: It's nice to see that Yoast have continued to do these sorts of things after all the changes because they were acquired, their founders have moved on. And they still feel like the same kind of company within the community, don't they? So that's quite
[01:01:44] Nathan Wrigley: nice. Yeah, good point. Yeah, that's a good point. Okay, let's move on.
We've got a few more bits and pieces. I just, so we were talking earlier about 2024, what's coming up in WordPress and this piece. It's not about this theme, but it's about this topic more generally. So this piece came up and, and here it is. This is Sarah Gooding. This is one of our final pieces before she left the top.
There's a couple more, but this is one of the final ones. a new block based theme has come out for blogs. It's called Elmer studios. Now I don't really want to get into the nuts and the bolts of this particular theme, but it's just interesting to me that it's still newsworthy. When a block based theme comes out, whereas you can't imagine.
Anybody taking any interest when a theme, a classic theme comes out. And so this leads to this discussion is, are block based themes failing? And I don't mean that in the sense of, nobody's ever going to use them or anything like that. But are we, getting. Anything like the traction that we were hoping to, and if not, why not?
And I know that there were conversations with Anna McCarthy and a variety of other people over the last week about why that might be, but I just wondered what your intuitions were, whether you're using them, whether this is something that you stay clear of, whether you think it's all really confusing.
Over the last few weeks, we had things like the Ollie theme. Putting itself into the repo and then getting bits of that onboarding process pulled out voluntarily, it turned out in the end, but at the time it felt like it was being demanded that it got pulled out. I don't know whether this is working in the way it was hoped.
I think Matt had hoped, Matt Mullenweg had hoped that we'd have 50, 000 plus themes in the repo that were labeled as block based. I think we've got a fraction, a teeny tiny fraction of that. So it's a, they're great if you can use them, but does anybody actually. Actually bother using them. So let's go little round robin.
Are you using them? If so, what do you think of it all the whole process?
[01:03:50] Remkus de Vries: I'm using them a lot, have been for, almost 18 months now. so also the versions where they were just not that good yet. I think, in one of my newsletters in the beginning of the year, I wrote that there were 200, block based themes at the time.
I know that's quite a bit more now. are they failing? No, I don't think so. I think it's just a slow thing to adapt to. in the beginning of this year, I did a poll on then still Twitter about, any of the page builders you use. And I also listed, site editor, the, or, blocks or whatever.
Some were using a site editor. When 6. 3 came out, I did the poll again, just, and obviously this is not scientific, but, I, did the same question, and the number of folks that indicated they would, going, they were going to use the site editor for their next project was incredibly increased. Huh! I think...
I think folks are just slow to adapt because we're, when we, when, you think of the functionality that the site builder or block based themes now offer, that starts to overlap a lot with what theme, I'm sorry, page builders have been doing. And, in a lot of cases. page builders have a, they're adding a level of complexity that is not, isn't necessarily needed.
There are some designs that maybe work better if you are having them inside a... page builder, maybe, the site editor for sure is not mature yet, but it's mature enough to handle a lot of different types of sites already. yeah, I think we have a skewed view of what is actually happening.
[01:05:53] Nathan Wrigley: The idea then, would be that it was always going to be steady away, but... As with many things that happen in the WordPress space, maybe there was a hope that it would be this avalanche and it would just dramatically, a huge upswing to block based themes over time. But it's more of a, trickle turning into a stream, turning into a big river later on.
But that's interesting. You carrying out some kind of poll, this gives you some evidence that the people who are responding to that are moving towards it. I think for me, it's a question of, is it just worth the time? put into it. And I think as more time goes by, it's less time to figure out what's going on.
So the sort of, the seesaw of should I bother, but it's just getting weighed down on one side and the block based themes are just getting so much more straightforward, to use the, only bit that really holds me back is the navigation aspect, but obviously we've looked at a little bit of how that might get improved, but the navigation stuff I, I feel is still handled a lot better in the, in the classic theme for my use, at least anyway.
Okay, Katie, Matt, anything on that? Yeah, I
[01:06:58] Katie Keith: think we need to differentiate between different types of people that are building websites with themes. You've got the agencies and developers who probably have a favored tool, which originally would probably Either ACF or a specific page builder like Elementor or something and more of those will be beginning to move to blocks And embracing that and once they do they'll probably stick with it.
and then they'll learn it and be really good but then we've got the other side which is the individual website owners who are building sites and Do they care if it's a block theme or not? They want a website, they want it to look good, they want a no code way of creating page layouts, but they're probably not searching specifically for block themes, are they?
And some of the terminology would probably confuse them. There is no distinction in that case. It's just, this is a good looking theme or not.
[01:07:56] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, I think the ability to hand it over to your clients in a meaningful way, where there's documentation lying around, that is being tackled en masse at the moment in the Learn project, learn.
wordpress. org. There's an awful lot of tutorials going in, but the state of flux doesn't help, does it? It's hard to, it's hard to keep up and things which were looking in a particular way a week ago can often look different a week from now. Yeah, thank you for that, Katie. Matt, anything? I think,
[01:08:23] Matt Batchelder: the block theme world is going to get...
More active and exciting. We just finished phase two. So while blocks have been around for a while in wordpress now for years, like the full capabilities of all of that is, it's, we understand it because we are living in that world as. Producers and developers and, it hasn't been a solid foundation completely, over the past couple of years.
and now we're getting to that point and people are going to start feeling confident to producing these. Themes more frequently as the user experience changes drastically. So I think it's exciting and We'll definitely see more Than a small fraction
[01:09:15] Nathan Wrigley: as time marches forward. I think so too.
I think it's totally inevitable Yeah, the it's just once you get over the hump Which obviously Remcus has put in the effort to get over that hump. Whereas I've been a little bit more lazy. Yeah, that's it. So that's a good point. Amy saying she checked out this particular theme that we showed on the, the Tavern website a moment ago.
Perhaps previews could be improved to better display variations. Yeah. There's a, there's an interesting project, the WordPress showcase, which you can find if actually, if you go to wordpress. org, I believe it's the second menu item. They're giving it a ton of, SEO juice and it will show you a hundred sites at the moment of different, WordPress projects.
Now they're not necessarily block based and I don't even know if there's a filter for block based things, but I know that some of them are. And, and yeah, there's an awful lot of things going on. And I was talking to Nick Diego this week, and he's saying there's a hope that things like the showcase will be matched up with learn materials.
So that not only, like when you go on YouTube, you can see somebody rebuilding a famous site and they do it in two hours, just from bare bones, that kind of stuff, here's a site on the showcase, here's how we, here's how you might replicate some of the bits and pieces on there.
That'd be fun. I'd definitely follow along with all of these kinds of things. Danny says that he converted to block based themes in 28. Oh, you must have had some late nights. there were some challenges, but hybrid themes has been it for me and my teams. We aren't on board with F, a full site editing features yet.
Roots stack and ACF blocks. Yeah. So a bit of a hybrid approach going on there. using blocks as Peter Ingersoll does not have to create a block to both the editor and block thing. Yes. Good point. Presenting, presenting them as if they were the same thing causes confusion and there's this don't need a block based thing to use.
Blocks, which is confusing when you think about it, it's still not ready. it says CNN, has too many missing links for you are UX, but it's a good enough, good, base. to use it with one block premium block plugins. It is great. and Peter says he's currently checking the showcase sites for things like accessibility.
Yeah, I did actually mention that. I asked Nick if there was a, if there was some criteria for going on to that site. And there were criteria, but if memory serves, when we spoke, accessibility wasn't one, there were three criteria. It was like innovation, obviously use of WordPress. And there was one more, and I can't remember what the third one was.
And you had to be two of the three. and I can't remember what they all were, but, that's the, it is intended that will grow upwards north of a hundred sites in the near future. Okay. Great. Anyway, that was block themes. Okay. From one thing to another, this is very similar, similar sort of story.
Elementor, we've been doing the show for years. There was a period of time, probably like five years ago. Where we mentioned Elementor every single week, without fail. And every single week, it was some new thing that they'd smashed through. Some number of million users, some new thing that they were adding, some new thing.
I haven't really heard from Elementor for a long, time. Now, I don't know. If that's because people are just steady away using it. I don't know if their adoption is declining, but this certainly is something. They've changed their pricing. They have decided to strip out. And that's always a difficult thing, isn't it?
When you take away things, which you already gave in a certain tier. So they're announcing a change into their pricing, a major change, according to Sarah. Oh, tear in my eye. Probably the last time I'll say that. so some of the bits and pieces that you're familiar with, they will be pulled out of the one of the plans you have to be on the pro plan in order to get them now.
So they're basically stripping out features. My understanding is you're going to be grandfathered into the things if you have them already, if you're that, that level. But, in the future, if they introduce new things, they will go quite possibly into the more expensive pro license. So I don't know if this means that they're penny pinching, like a lot of the, the companies are in the tech space.
I don't know if it means a decline in growth. Interestingly, and I don't know if it's related, but I found a post on Twitter from Matt Mullenweg on the connection. There might be no connection here at all, but it feels like there might have been, as Gutenberg gets more capable, he says, non Gutenberg site builders will likely need to continue raising their prices as one.
is in the news for today. And the coincidence there is why I'm putting that there, to maintain revenue churn in the face of higher churn and fewer new users. I don't see this trend happening for the Gutenberg based ones. So there's the conversation. a, does it. Concern you that Elementor are changing their pricing and locking out some features from existing users.
Is that a bad thing? Katie, you've got a plugin business, you know about this. and also do you feel, do you see the likes of Elementor in decline? Certainly in terms of press minutes feels so, but. I don't know. Over to you. Anybody that wants to take it
[01:14:54] Katie Keith: on. I watch the likes of Elementor with interest because they are a fundamentally different business model to my own, which I don't have any experience of.
So huge and they've taken like millions of venture funding, huge amounts of staff, even compared to other page builder plugins. Just a completely different type of model to what I do. So I find that really interesting since we're both plugin companies. I remember they did layoffs, was it earlier in the year?
at quite a large scale, so I'm thinking that I'd be, interested to know the finances, but my speculation is that maybe they're not profitable right now after putting so much money and expanding so much, and then you've got the whole block thing going on, I'm sure it is a difficult time for page builders, but they're clearly the market leader.
I can't compare them numbers wise to blocks because that's impossible, but in terms of independent ones, they're clearly the market leader and have a clear space within the market, but that doesn't mean they're thriving with their business model.
[01:16:01] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you. Yeah,
[01:16:05] Matt Batchelder: I, know that we have a huge user base in, for our users, it's WP, but I, like Katie, I imagine that there's some economic reasons for all of this.
it making a change like this is good to, especially when you have a pretty vast portfolio of features or even, and, functionality to, to try to know which features are actually your profitable features. Because people will pay for the things that are, necessary to running their own business.
So moving those up helps you prioritize your focus if, and help pay for that focus, in a product business like that. So it, but it's always really, hard to. Remove features from a pricing level. It's really easy to add, them there, but the blowback from that is so huge. and managing the, communication strategy around that.
So people who are grandfathered in know that they are, and I imagine their support load is pretty high.
[01:17:18] Nathan Wrigley: an interesting time to announce it as well, because you're in the. You're in that preamble to the Black Friday sales, and you imagine that a significant proportion of the annual revenue is created over the next 10 days or so.
So I don't know if it's a case of, they've decided to put that there because of the timing. I don't really know. Atif says that, you don't. Doesn't think he's going to move to blocks until it's more robust. He's using Bricks, which is feels like Bricks is the new Elementor.
Everybody's talking about that page builder as opposed to Elementor these days. and then he goes on to say it may be declining, but not Gutenberg. in fact, he thinks the alternative page builders, I'm assuming you mean Bricks. Maybe you're starting to eat their lunch, adding more and you've said more meaningful features.
[01:18:09] Remkus de Vries: don't know if that's actually already happening, if Bricks is really eating, elementary lunch, but, I don't think we should underestimate the, the size of Diffie in this conversation. yeah. It's way bigger than you think. It's so massive. It's absolutely way bigger than you think.
[01:18:30] Nathan Wrigley: Hey, you look at those charts, what's that?
What's that website that you go to where it shows you built with, and that Elementor and it just goes up like this, it's inexorable rise. And then Divi's just like this layer above the whole time. It never goes anywhere. It's remarkable. Yeah. I don't know.
[01:18:48] Remkus de Vries: I had Raquel on the podcast, not too long ago, which I published last Friday.
and in it, she shares a few things about the Divi community and how large it is. And I was like, every single time she mentioned something about the size, it was like, Whoa, that's way bigger than you think.
[01:19:06] Nathan Wrigley: Cover that to what? In a few minutes, if that's all right. We'll show your post there. Yeah. Great.
so Matt, is talking about the decline of page builders and whether or not that's a, Gutenberg is a factor in that, not quite so successful is this one? very candid though. I do like this. sales, do you remember if you, I don't know, it was a couple of months ago, WordPress released their a hundred year hosting plan where you could get on board and I can't remember the numbers, but they were.
There were significant amounts of money. And for that significant amount of money, you would get dedicated hosting, of your WordPress website for a hundred years. And there was a lot of question like, wow, the internet is only 20, like 30 years old. WordPress itself is only 20 years old. Is, that a, good investment?
certainly according to this tweet, it would appear that. Not too many people have decided to jump on board. In fact, not just not too many people, a total of zero. So a hundred year plan so far sales, zero hundreds of people filled out the form. So that's curious. Maybe people are interested, but he says really think they messed up in the followup, including not making it self serve to start with.
So having a, having the ability to actually just buy it right there and then. We'll review and, try again. It's an important promise to us. Yeah, that seemed like a big ask, paying for a hundred years of anything. wow. I'm just like
[01:20:33] Katie Keith: 30, 000 or something. Wasn't it? It was expensive. Yeah.
[01:20:37] Nathan Wrigley: 38, 000.
[01:20:39] Matt Batchelder: you've got to be really confident in your, own voice on the internet to, to. be like, Oh, if I die tomorrow, that voice is what people are going to see, for a hundred years. I shudder to think about my blog from, 2005 being immortalized for all time.
[01:21:03] Remkus de Vries: I, think it's the time that is just too long.
Like a hundred years doesn't not relate to, I'm 50. So that would mean until I'm 150, but even if you're 20, 120, we're still not there. Like the average. What is the expectancy? Somewhere between 75 and 80. Yeah. But it's
[01:21:22] Katie Keith: just a trick. It's a lifetime license. They've just rebadged it. So when you buy a lifetime license, do you think, how many years have I got left?
Is it worth
[01:21:31] Nathan Wrigley: it? That's actually a good point. When you buy these lifetime licenses, you often log in and you're not freaked out when you see that it runs out, I don't know, 2062 or something. There's no bit of you which goes, hang on a minute. That's a bit weird. I paid for lifetime. It ought to say infinite there.
But if you think about it, if we go back to 1923, a hundred years ago, just pre World War One, not pre World War One, the end of World War One, what has the world done in that period of time to me, just the, I have no intuition as to what the tech landscape will look like.
The only intuition I have is it will look nothing like we have now, a screen. A keyboard? Something that's not plugged into your head. I don't know. I have literally no idea, but it does seem that gambling a hundred years seems like a long time. So maybe more like 10 years or 20 years would have been a more sense.
That would make more sense to me. Yeah. Yeah.
[01:22:28] Matt Batchelder: So aren't there, aren't they leaning into the legacy aspect of it?
[01:22:32] Nathan Wrigley: I think it was like,
[01:22:34] Matt Batchelder: More than just Oh, my business is going to be fine on the site for X number of years. It's I will last beyond my
[01:22:40] Nathan Wrigley: life. So let's, yeah. So for example, if you're somebody like, Oh, I dunno, plucking a name out of thin air, if you are, I don't know, Barack Obama or somebody like that, where there is probably going to be a decent number of people searching out his thoughts and what he did during his career during.
His lifetime. Maybe there's something there, but me? The stuff I do? but then I haven't got 38, 000 or whatever it was earning a hole in my pocket, but Coca Cola? Maybe they do. anyway, they've sold none. we'll have to see how that goes. Okay. We'll get into this one very quickly. It's going, Oh, actually.
Yeah. Okay. Very quickly. This is, this is a, a move by, Syed. from awesome motive. I should probably just say awesome motive, which is they have bought an agency and I wasn't sure about whether to run this piece, but I think Katie and Remcus between them have some interesting insights into what this story was about.
So they moved into the agency space, which is not their traditional. Forte, they normally buy up plugins and what have you, but they've now moved into the agency space and they go on to talk about that. But Katie, you had something you wanted to raise around this or did you, I don't know. Just
[01:23:56] Katie Keith: that it makes sense.
He said that people have been questioning him. Why on earth have you bought an agency? You are a product company. But, as the owner of a product company, I know that we are constantly referring customers For customizations, set up stuff, anything to, we use codable. and we have affiliate links to codable that we send people because we don't want to do that in house, but I'm not a Said.
If I had a massive empire like him, then in terms of the business, the obvious next step would be that he can own. The thing, person, the agency that he's referring to, and to me, that makes sense at his scale and it will probably be very useful for his customers. Obviously, he's referring people to another service that he owns, which is very much part of their business plan where they cross promote all their plugins and all the stuff they're famous for.
And this is just the next step of that.
[01:24:57] Nathan Wrigley: Remcus, did you have anything on that?
[01:24:58] Remkus de Vries: No, I fully agree. I think it makes, all the sense from, from, awesome motives perspective, at that size. and mind you, that's more than 200, I think it's 250 people. I don't know how many brands there are underneath that umbrella, but it's a lot.
So imagine, I think it's easily 20. So if there were 20 Katie's here. It would make sense to say, okay, all 20 KDs will want to refer to one location, which makes the most sense for all of the, interest parties. yeah, I think it's a boss move. I think it makes sense. I, think the note here that yes, technically it's an agency, but it's more of a services company.
And from that perspective, it makes even more sense to have that under the same umbrella.
[01:25:49] Nathan Wrigley: I wonder if, I wonder if he keeps, if that company also might have one, if they keep track of links going out to the agencies that they mentioned in their articles, and if they do. I wonder if that's what's driven it, they've got data to say, wow, we are referring like 400, 000 links a year over to a bunch of different agencies.
Why are we not doing this ourselves? I'm sure
[01:26:14] Remkus de Vries: that's how the, conversation started. Yeah. Yeah.
[01:26:17] Matt Batchelder: I can't imagine a world where they weren't doing that. Yeah.
[01:26:20] Nathan Wrigley: Sorry. Yeah. It's okay. Peter says, so now it will be reviewed by WBP. I can't even say it WP beginner as the best. Agency. Thank you, Peter.
This is inevitable .
[01:26:33] Remkus de Vries: Yes. Yep. That is
[01:26:35] Nathan Wrigley: also the logical next step. . It's coming. It's coming. In fact, we could all write the article now. okay. Okay. There's an article here about not measuring things from Marika Vander Act. I'm going to, no, it's not. Yes, it's is. Is it Marika? Yes. I'm gonna leave that for next week 'cause it isn't going to go stale.
But I do want to mention this 'cause REMCOs. Put it into our show notes. this, it's newsletter is podcast. You were, I think you were mentioning this exact thing a few minutes ago. So do you want to give us a little bit more information about, is this about the Divi community, this particular thing?
[01:27:11] Remkus de Vries: not. So there is a link to that, podcast, conversation, in this newsletter, but I, referenced it because of the, the, GPTs that we now have, and I think I referenced about seven, eight of them, I'm sure there are more, but it's an interesting change that, we can now have, an AI or an LLM or however you want to define it, and have that power, all types of different, documentation.
And the examples that I list here are either on, the entirety of the block based, API. The entirety of the WordPress developer, there's all these types of examples of where. What we're able to do now is have meaningful conversations with, huge buckets of data that are way more than I'm just searching in the help center or in the documentation.
[01:28:11] Nathan Wrigley: So is this tied to chat GPTs or OpenAI's move to create bespoke GPTs? Correct. It is exactly this. So is, that then basically, so we've got a GPT, which is only looking at WordPress documentation. So that might be WordPress documentation all over the place, but the point is it's not going to get polluted with man park safely or cat in tree articles from the guardian or whatever it might be.
It's just going to be honed onto that. To me, Whatever you feed it. That's the bit of ai, which it should always have been the release of open ai. Just wild, give you any kind of, what's that word they use when it, makes stuff up. There's a particular word, isn't there? hallucination. Yeah, hallucinates.
That hallucinating bit was just, that, just sent everybody off in the wrong direction. Who knows what's true. Yeah. But with the WordPress, if you're just pointing, if you're a developer.
[01:29:06] Remkus de Vries: So technically this GPT, that is, that is, an option right now, technically, I think it still can hallucinate, but, the likelihood of it is less and less, and it will continue to improve because whatever you feed it is how well it knows what it is saying.
but the rise of these, again, I listed like seven or eight of them, but the rise of this on various types of documentation or. Tooling or whatever that we have available as website builders with WordPress. It's just amazing and the accuracy and the, the stuff that it allows you to do more succinctly is just very, nice.
here's me looking inside a help center, reading through the documentation, hoping to strengthen things together so I understand what the documentation is about. and here's me having a conversation with the documentation. Now, the latter is going to produce way better results.
[01:30:10] Nathan Wrigley: I asked, I asked chat GPT.
So a generic, AI, I asked it to write me a function the other day about something, which I was a little bit unsure about and man alive, it nailed it first time in about, Three seconds. And then I was suddenly had an intuition that I wanted a little bit more out of it. So I just started to go back.
Can you just amend that? So I can't remember what it was, but there was, can you make it global and not defined with that category? And it just said, Oh yeah. And it literally starts with sure. Here's your updated code and now, and then it helpfully pointed out, okay, so you need to go and literally replace this string with whatever you want to call this string and it's online here and here.
I was like, Oh my. God, this is so amazing. it really is amazing. And these GPTs
[01:30:57] Remkus de Vries: are, will be, are already so much better.
[01:31:00] Nathan Wrigley: And we're lucky, dear WordPress listener, that you've, you're living on the back of open documentation for the last 20 years. It's all out there. There's nothing behind closed doors.
So it's going to get really good. so just apropos of nothing, David Wormsley and I, who do the WP Builds podcast, we decided that we were going to... Let AI do the entire podcast this coming Thursday. And so it does. We just read out what it told us to read out. It's dreadful and brilliant in equal measure.
Wow. The AI created the episode, the AI created the music, the AI created the show notes, all of it. And we break off once in a while. What's that? Can't it animate you? yeah. I think in the end I would reject that option. But we interdisperse it, we punctuate it with, okay, this is what we did, just so there was some context, but...
The only thing is it's hysterical, it's so American. Hi there! Welcome to another fabulous episode and all of this kind of stuff, whereas me and David are just like, Hi, we're doing this week. So anyway, have a listen, it's coming out first. No,
[01:32:10] Katie Keith: you need to take it a step further. We want Robot Nathan.
[01:32:13] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yep. Yeah. Anyway, that's, going to happen this Thursday. thank you for that. There was another few pieces that we've run out of time for, but, appreciate all the comments. I can see that they're still coming in. I apologize. Hopefully the people participating have been able to see them, even though they haven't all come onto the screen, but your comments are truly valued.
I really appreciate it. I'm sorry that I can't show them all. Matt. sadly, this is what happens at the end of every episode. We humiliate everybody by doing this ridiculous handholding thing like this. Are you game to pulling up your hands? So they can oh, look, he's totally a pro that i've got massive hands.
What's going on? How wide should my fingers? No, that's good. Yeah, we can go wide if you like. That's perfect. That's it. We're done Thank you so much to matt batch elder. Thank you very much to rehnquist Thank you very much to Katie, Keith as well. We will be back at some point in the near future, probably next week, all things being equal.
I've been Nathan Wrigley. This was This Week in WordPress
276. Had a very nice afternoon. Thanks a lot. Take it easy. Bye.
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