The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 19th November 2023.
On the podcast today we're straying into the world of AI. Not in the way that everybody else does, with an intelligent analysis of the use of AI and tools to make your life easier. No that's too difficult for us. We've decided to pollute your podcast listening experience today with an episode made (almost) entirely with AI tools. Honestly, I'd give up here if I were you, but if you fancy a laugh, please feel free to continue. Do not write in complaining about the "hour of your life that you're never going to get back". We know, we had to make this thing! We input some fairly boilerplate text prompts into a variety of AI tools (you can find out which in the recording) and read out what they told us to say. No edits, no modifications, it's exactly what the AI thought would make a good podcast. Somewhat alarmingly, they're way better than usual (they're not I hope, I just added that in to be self deprecating). It's early days for AI, and so it's somewhat expected that the output of the AI models was going to be generic, and a little over-the-top, but in some cases it's impressive; the text often stays on-message and adds a certain je ne sais quoi.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 13th November 2023.
In today's episode, we're talking about serverless WordPress with our guest, Carl Alexander, founder and developer of Ymir. As you will hear, Carl is very clever, and I'm out-to-sea with the topic under discussion! Carl is passionate about the concept of serverless technology, and is fully embracing it as a way to simplify server management for WordPress users. With serverless technology, Carl believes that users can upload their WordPress sites without having to worry about managing servers, updates, or security concerns. He views serverless technology as a game-changer, allowing users to focus on their content without the hassle of server management. As always, if you enjoyed the conversation leave a comment, and share it all over the place!!!
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 6th November 2023.
It’s the 19th episode of our "Thinking the Unthinkable" series and today's (ambiguous) topic is... "Is 20 years too long in web tech?". Full of our usual British cheerfulness, we are celebrating WordPress’s 20th birthday year with a title implying its potential demise. This episode is not about predicting the future of WordPress. It’s because we have never had a chat dedicated to why some web tech flourishes (as WordPress certainly did), and some die. We cover the following: The last 30 years of the web (gosh, it's a real adult now). Is growth and demise in tech a matter of luck and unpredictable? The fundamental web languages, and how they lasted. HTML and CSS are safe, aren't they? But... frameworks and CMS's are vulnerable. There's a lot more in this episode as well, so check it out...
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 30th October 2023.
Today on the podcast we have Leonardo Losoviz. Leonardo is an experienced developer and the creator of the Gato GraphQL plugin for WordPress. We'll be exploring the power of Gato GraphQL, its features, and how it could change the way we use WordPress. Leonardo highlights the power of GraphQL, a technology for retrieving data from a server. It can be used in WordPress to fetch data from the server and render HTML in the editor for interactive content creation. GraphQL offers advantages over the REST API, providing flexible querying and manipulating of data, such as retrieving metadata for personalised emails or duplicating and modifying blog posts. He also explains how his plugin builds on top of this foundation to enable WordPress to make use of this powerful technology. To help users get started and unlock the full potential of Gato GraphQL, Leonardo has created a section called "recipes" within the plugin and on the website. These pre-coded GraphQL queries serve as a learning tool, explaining how GraphQL works and providing tips for more complex tasks like translating posts. The recipes gradually increase in complexity, allowing users to grasp the full capabilities of the plugin over time. So, whether you're a WordPress developer looking to enhance your website's capabilities or a content creator searching for more efficient ways to manage and distribute your content, this episode is for you. Get ready to tap into the power of Gato GraphQL and unlock a new world of possibilities within WordPress.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 23rd October 2023.
It’s the 18th episode of our “Thinking the Unthinkable” series and our topic is "Who needs a Content Management System (CMS) anyway?" Have you noticed how you obsess about all the amazing things that you can do with your client websites? Imagine if they did this, or, you know what would double your revenue... you could do this. A few months after launch you realise that they're using none of the functionality that you painstakingly built! WordPress is a truly capable Content Management System (CMS), but do most of our clients really need it? Can they make use of all that's possible, or should we be pointing them towards other options, like static sites. We talk about our history with CMS's as well as when we think that WordPress is the 'best fit' for clients.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 16th October 2023.
On the podcast today we have Jason Cross. He's an experienced tech executive with a diverse background in the industry. Currently serving as the SVP of product at Bluehost / Newfold Digital, and he's been there for over a year and a half. He is responsible for overseeing their WordPress, commerce, and proprietary products across multiple global brands. Before joining Bluehost / Newfold Digital. The basic premise is this... WordPress website hosts experience quite a lot of customer churn, and so Bluehost are seeking to reduce this by delivering websites as efficiently as possible, aiming to keep users satisfied with their WordPress experience from the moment they first log in to their account. This endeavour is called WonderSuite, and later in the episode we unravel the wonders of WonderSuite (did you see what I did there!), a series of unique experiences curated to cater to the needs of agencies, professionals, and small business owners, irrespective of their WordPress familiarity.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 9th October 2023.
It’s the 17th episode of our “Thinking the Unthinkable” series and our topic is “Don’t make websites for friends and family”. Do I even need to explain this episode?!?! If, like David and I, you stumbled into working on the web, then it's likely that friends and relations played some part in getting your career off the ground. Back-in-the-day there were no 'pros' and clients were just after someone who had a pulse and knew how to turn a computer on to build their site. This was nice. Now, the industry is highly skilled and professional, so is there any space for someone to work for their friends when there's more 'legitimate' places to find work? We discuss this and more on the podcast today.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 2nd October 2023.
Today we're joined by Dan Knauss, a technical content generalist at SolidWP (formerly iThemes). The episode focuses on the importance of hardening WordPress websites for enhanced security. Dan discusses their approach to security, which includes targeted security measures rather than trying to cover every potential vulnerability. They emphasise the need for timely updates and advocate for working with a reliable host that provides hardware and software firewalls. Dan also addresses the limitations of traditional security plugins, referring to WordPress malware scanners as "fundamentally flawed" and proposing an external line of security through application firewalls. The conversation highlights the upcoming rebranding of iThemes to SolidWP and touches on their premium security product, Solid Security, which prioritises tried and tested features over added "bolt-ons".
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 25th September 2023.
This is the 16th episode of our "Thinking the Unthinkable" series and I think we have come up with our catchiest title ever... “Is browser interoperability a threat to page building?" - truly inspirational! Remember the good old days when no two browsers renders anything in the same way? You don't? You're lucky! It used to be the case that all of the browsers went their own way. The result was a spaghetti of code, with little variations for each of the browsers. This was a waste of our time, but it also held back the innovation with HTML and particularly CSS, for a decade or more. Thankfully though, that's behind us, and the browser vendors seems to be speaking the same language. This means that in the future the browsers will do so much more, with far less complexity. How much of a threat are browsers to Page Builders? Find out today on the podcast…
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 18th September 2023.
This is third of four podcast episodes related to WordPress security. It's the third of our four-part security mini series. Prior to that, the other episodes featured Calvin Alkan as well as Akshat Choudhary. This is Thomas from, we watch your website giving his impression of the state of WordPress security. I did the spiel before, but I'm going to do it again in order to not put anybody's noses out of joint and to make it as fair as possible. I recorded four episodes with Calvin, Akshat, Thomas, and in a future episode, Dan Knauss from SolidWP. They all have that chance to explain the malware madness as we'll get into a little bit later. How WordPress security plugins do or don't, depending on your point of view, protect your WordPress website. Thomas is giving his opinion today and we go into loads of ground. We talk about such subjects as security plugin, and cleanup processes, previous attacks, challenges, and vulnerabilities, security features, Thomas' expertise, protecting your WordPress by blocking IPs, the motivations of hackers, and so much more.
This in the 15th episode of our "Thinking the Unthinkable" series. Today we are asking... is the WordPress community overrated? What have we done? This could be the end of this podcast! Let’s hope nobody thinks we are trying to speak for the community, or that we even have a clue what the community truly is! We explore the diverse perspectives surrounding the WordPress community. From debates on diversity and inclusion to the avoidance of political discussions, we navigate the complexities and challenges faced by this ever-growing community. We also touch on the recent issues surrounding the handling of diversity at the European WordCamp, causing tensions to rise among community members. We begin by examining the difficulties in defining and understanding the WordPress community, recognising its immense user base in America and the UK. We share our personal experiences and observations, shedding light on the ebb and flow of community engagement, facing issues of churn, and questioning whether WordPress will maintain its relevance in the future. We also discuss the impact of online confrontations and the perception of fragmentation within the community, analysing the role of media coverage in amplifying conflicts.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 4th September 2023.
340 – Akshat Choudhary on the utility of WordPress firewalls and malware scanners. Security mini series 2/4
This is second of four podcast episodes related to WordPress security. For the first time ever (well second time I suppose!) I feel like I need to add some context to the show notes so that you understand the context of what I'm doing here. A little while ago there was some news in the WordPress space about the merits of using plugins for securing your WordPress website. Researchers (see the previous episode for more on this) had discovered ways in which the effectiveness of the plugins might be compromised. There were several posts on social media which amplified the issue, making it harder to gain an understanding of what happened, and when. I decided to reach out to a number of people to get 'their side of the story'. Today you're going to hear from Akshat Choudhary from Blogvault and Malcare putting his case for why WordPress firewalls and scanners are useful.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 28th August 2023.
It is the 14th episode of our “Thinking the Unthinkable” series. The idea for today's topic came from our last episode in which we were talking about the pros and cons of no code builders. Here we’re asking "Are web design clients only interested in what they can see?", but it could have been "Are web designers responsible for the growth in DIY sites?". We explore the evolving landscape of web design and the growing trend of clients taking a more active role in designing their own websites. We discuss the challenges of balancing client expectations, user experience, performance, and accessibility. We also touch on the rise of page builders and DIY website building, examining the potential consequences and legal implications for those who lack the necessary knowledge and skills in areas such as accessibility. On a side note, we're looking for sponsors for the upcoming Page Builder Summit in September, so if you're interested, be sure to reach out. Also, please note that there will be a week off next week, but rest assured, we'll be back with episode two of our security mini series then. As always, we invite you to subscribe to the WP Builds podcast and leave your comments on our website.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 14th August 2023.
his is first of four podcast episodes related to WordPress security. For the first time ever, I feel like I need to add some context to the show notes so that you understand the context of what I'm doing here. A little while ago there was some news in the WordPress space about the merits of using plugins for securing your WordPress website. Researchers (Calvin being one of them) had discovered ways in which the effectiveness of the plugins might be compromised. I'll leave the audio (and transcript) of the podcast to explain the technicalities here, but there were several posts on social media which amplified the issue, making it harder to gain an understanding of what happened, and when. I decided to reach out to a number of people to get 'their side of the story'. Also a first for this podcast, I set some ground rules for the interviews to take place: Each participant (there are four in total, one per episode) was told who the other guests were Each participant was told that their episode would not be published until all four recordings had taken place Each participant was told that their episode would be published in a random order What you're listening to today is the first of that random publishing schedule. The other three episodes will come out in the following weeks. This was done to ensure that the guests did not have. a chance to listen to the other participants episode, and therefore had. a chance to 'better prepare'. With hindsight, which was likely overkill as all the guests were very thoughtful and polite. They do in some cases mention rival products and describe areas where they think that errors were made in code and communication. That being said, there was no general sense of mud slinging that I detected. The guests are (in random order): Calvin Alkan - Snicco Akshat Choudhary - Malcare Dan Knauss - iThemes (now SolidWP) Thomas J Raef - We Watch Your Website I'm going to keep my commentary here to a minimum to avoid getting embroiled in the debate, but there's some additional information about what we cover in the show notes of the post.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 7th August 2023.
So you've been building websites for a while now and you've got really good at it. You don't really touch the code, but that's okay, because the tool that you're using promised that you would never have to. Erm... how's that working out in reality? I'm guessing that if this question resonates with you, you'll be interested in the podcast today. Is it possible to have tools which really allow you to create good, working websites with none, zero, nada, ziltch, no code at all? We talk about whether true no code is possible, if it's something to be desired and the reliance you develop for a specific tool. Oh, and of course there's AI coming for your job as well! If you're creating WordPress websites with the assistance of tools, this podcast is for you.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 24th July 2023.
On the podcast today we have Roman Axelrod, a web developer from Israel. Roman joins us to share his experience running a web development agency, and his journey into the world of WordPress. He discusses the challenges his agency faced when working with third-party freelancers who created inconsistent designs; the frustrations he felt and what he did about it. To tackle this issue, Roman and his team developed a dev tool that allows them to share style guidelines with freelancers and ensure consistency in design elements. The tool includes features for testing and ensuring accurate designs. We talk about what this tool can do, as well as the fact that Roman is open to having discussions with other like-minded people about the direction the tool might take. It's an interesting chat and you can leave a comment on the post as well as finding the links mentioned in the show.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 17th July 2023.
Welcome to the 12th episode of our 'Thinking the Unthinkable' series. Today we shall be squirming in our seats as we talk about whether 'Affiliate marketing is disingenuous'. Affiliate marketing has never been our thing, but with making content there has to be some way to pay for the time. Certainly we have earned some commissions from it via our individual content. I think it fair to say we have struggled with it and here we are questioning whether it is a necessary or unnecessary evil. Is it a useful way for WordPress product owners to make some additional income? Perhaps you think that it's a sleazy way for marketers to hype products which they don't believe in? Maybe it's both, or neither! Have a listen to the podcast, and then leave is a comment.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 10th July 2023.
On the podcast today we have Vova Feldman, the founder of Freemius. Vova is an entrepreneur with a passion for software development. He was introduced to WordPress by accident. While working as a software developer in the Israeli intelligence and doing startups on the side, Vova created a SaaS product as a hobby. People started requesting a WordPress plugin for his product, which sparked his curiosity about the platform. Vova delved into WordPress and created his first plugin, realising the potential of turning his side project into a WooCommerce solution. This led to building a platform to help developers easily commercialise their own passion projects - Freemius, a platform that simplifies the process of bringing products to market. The conversation is varied, covering two quite different subjects, podcasting (Vova's new podcast) and Freemius. If you're interested in selling your WordPress product, this podcast is worth a listen.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 3rd July 2023.
It is the 11th episode of our “Thinking the Unthinkable” series, and today's thought provoking title is “No one cares what your website looks like!”. There’s a number of articles with this title and similar sentiment expressed by many UX designers and SEO’s. With limited ways to judge the abilities of a web agency, many clients are likely to approach websites as if they were a piece of work in an art gallery. This can see them getting ripped off. It is hard for us not to do the same. We know first impressions matter, and we are always searching for visual inspiration too. We get into how UX, SEO, branding, call to actions (and more) can influence the route that you might take when creating a website. Check out the episode...
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 3rd July 2023.
On the podcast today we have a lovely conversation with Derek Ashauer. He's been working with WordPress for many years, and has gone through a few changes during that time. I suspect that many of you will really identify with this podcast. The idea that you're a web developer, plugin / theme / block author, content creator etc. might suit you for a while, but perhaps you've had itchy feet from time to time. Derek certainly has! He started out building websites in decades ago, but for a variety of reasons this did not seem to be 'the thing' that he wanted to do year after year. And so, in 2013 he decided to turn his attention into plugin development. Success (whatever that means) always seemed to be a little further into the future. Although his Sunshine Photocart plugin was doing fine, it was not the end of the road. You'll hear Derek explain that he's not that comfortable with marketing, having a more self deprecating demeanour (he fits right in here). So this podcast is all about listening to a nice person talking about how to transition from being an agency, dealing with clients, to being a product owner. Just lovely!
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 19th June 2023.
This is the 10th episode of our "Thinking the Unthinkable" series and today's thoroughly unsavoury thought is “Why pay full price when we have GPL clubs?”. I think to put things in perspective we need a bit of history. We tend to think of GPL clubs as a bit shady, but you could also argue that they serve as an essential consumer rights movement within WordPress. Let's start in the year 0. In the beginning was the Word. A few millennia later in the year 2003 WordPress comes along. It would not exist without the freedoms of the General Public Licence as it was a folk of b2/cafelog. It's build on the GPL and this allows for free use of code which sits on top of WordPress. But is this fair to the developers? Is it fair your clients? Are we all going to end up with malware infected plugins and themes which will wreak havoc on our site, or should we just talk a breath, calm down, and realise that this is all just fine? Find out what we think on the podcast today.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 12th June 2023.
On the podcast we have Christiaan Pieterse from Maxi Blocks. If you've ever dug into WordPress block packs / suites then it's quite likely that what you're going to hear about Maxi Blocks today will be quite familiar, except one important thing - the pricing model. More on that in a minute. Maxi Blocks has all the blocks that you typical website needs. I could list them all here, but just click the link above and you'll find them. There's containers, headings, images, maps, groups, icons, sliders, all-the-things so to speak. The thing that's different here is that way that they're pitching the product. Maxi Blocks is free. There is no feature that is locked away. You have access to every block, every setting inside those blocks, no functionality is hidden behind a pro option. So, you're thinking, well this product won't last long. They'll go through their cash, give away everything and run out of road. Not so fast! They do have a pro version, but you're going to be paying only for pre-built designs and patterns. If you're curious about blocks, take a listen to the podcast, check out the Maxi Blocks site, and tell us what you think of the product in the comments.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 5th June 2023.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 29th May 2023.
This is the 9th episode of our "Thinking the Unthinkable" series and today's unpalatable thought is… WordPress is too expensive? We can dismiss this as insane ramblings straightway? It’s free! But, it can be expensive to do anything out of the ordinary, although Site Editing is changing that! Is WordPress a trap for the naive DIYer? Cheap start, but a longer term hidden costs in hosting and maintenance? Or is it still possible to build something decent but at a low cost? What about the freedoms that the GPL provides, and (dare I say it?) the websites that sell premium plugins for knock down prices? It's an interesting chat and we hope that you enjoy it!
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 22nd May 2023.
Today on the podcast we have Arnas Donauskas, who is a Product Owner at Hostinger. He's on the show to talk about something that I'm sure that we've all felt before… that feeling of not being sure that WordPress is the project that it once was, that the future is not what you'd like, and how you can move on and work on the web with something else. This is a tough subject for a podcast called WP Builds! The name implies that we're here come what may! I guess that the title is a little bit of clickbait, and perhaps a better title would be more like 'how do you get your WordPress mojo back?' WordPress site building and growth can be challenging, and quite often people lose their motivation to continue, and this is what we address… getting back your inspiration and desire to use WordPress and be a part of the community that surrounds it. Having said all of that, we cover a lot of ground about this topic and a whole bunch of other topics too.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 15th May 2023
On this 8th episode of "Thinking the Unthinkable" we are asking “is ‘open source’ a liability? This was prompted by a 2021 incident. A zero-day attack called Log4Shell that affected major players like Microsoft and Cloudflare. It's a chat about risk assessment really. Lots of levels with WordPress’ LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, PHP and MySQL). It seems quite remarkable that WordPress has worked so well for 20 years. So how do we 'sell' free, open source solutions to our clients, when most of them are from a world in which you need to pay for all-the-things?
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 8th May 2023.
On the podcast today we have James Giroux and he's here to talk about a new project that he's set up called TeamWP. It's all about workplace culture, team dynamics and leadership in WordPress companies. We open up the conversation with a lengthy chat about the rich history that James has in the WordPress space. He's worked for lots of different companies in a multitude of different roles, some big, some small. He's had mixed experiences in these companies, feeling empowered and enabled in many roles, but also working in dysfunctional workplaces where he feels that his talents were not exploited to their fullest potential. Normally, the podcast guest's background would not be all that significant, but given the nature of the conversation today, it truly is. You see, the itch that James is trying to scratch with TeamWP is trying to figure out what a 'good' WordPress workplace looks like; what represents a 'good' company. Now James is not suggesting that he's got the answers to all these questions just yet. It's a work in progress, but TeamWP is on a mission to find out what all this means.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 1st May 2023.
It's the 7th in our “Thinking the Unthinkable” series where we attempt to rationalise controversial views on WordPress and web design? Today’s topic is… Designing in the browser is for amateurs. David thought this topic was about whether to use design software rather than jump in with a page builder or start amending a template. Nathan thought it was about how design tools are increasingly online and work in the browser leaving us not having to install software for our computer operating systems. We will cover both because more recently graphical tools that work in the browser are also capable of spitting out HTML code too. Please feel free to leave us a comment at the bottom of the post!
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 24th April 2023.
On the podcast today we have Fränk Klein, and he's here to discuss the important topic of making a career from using WordPress. Like any other career, in technology, there's really no replacement for knowledge. The more you know, the more likely you are to adapt to situations that arise. Some of those might be repetitive, but there's also the curve balls that life throws at you, and your knowledge can empower you when strange things happen. Fränk is all about acquiring new skills. Learning new things so that you can make yourself indispensable to the organisation that you work for. Fränk's premise is pretty simple… being better educated will give you a chance to earn more. We talk about how Fränk became a WordPress developer. What his framework is for moving through the software industry, what his current job market is like in the wider WordPress ecosystem. Essentially, the message from this podcast boils down to staying curious and keep learning as a priority.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 17th April 2023.
323 – Thinking the unthinkable (TTUT). Episode 6: If you use more than 10 plugins on a site, you are a cad and a scoundrel!
Welcome to the 6th episode of our "Thinking the Unthinkable" series where we attempt to rationalise controversial views on WordPress and web design. Today’s topic is, "If you use more than 10 plugins on a site, you are a cad and a scoundrel!" This is WP Builds humour for a chat about plugin strategy! We are sure most listeners will know plugins are only a method to deliver additional functionality to WordPress. They can be as complex as WooCommerce or as simple as the Hello Dolly plugin. As silly as it is to count the numbers, most of us are fascinated by what others use and are always reviewing the situation. So is there a sweet spot in the number of plugins you should use, and do you try to reduce plugin usage where possible? Find out what we think on the podcast...
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 3rd April 2023.
Accessibility is a topic which is getting much more attention these days, and rightly so. It's important for websites because it ensures that everyone, including people with disabilities and impairments in areas such as sight, hearing, motor difficulties, or cognitive limitations, can effectively use and engage with the website content. By making your WordPress websites more accessible, you're creating a more inclusive and welcoming online experience for all users, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. But how might you do that, and what are you looking for to improve the accessibility of the site that you're working on now? Nic Steenhout is an expert in this area and he's here to go through some things that need your attention right now.
Welcome to the 5th episode of our "Thinking the Unthinkable" series, where we attempt to rationalise controversial views on WordPress and web design. Today’s topic is… Website Clients are Impossible! This could have been called "Web Designers are Impossible", as it’s about the sometimes tense relationship between those who commission websites and those who build them. Do we correctly set the expectations for our clients, or are we opening ourselves up to criticism because they're not at all clear on how our process works? Are we working with "the client always knows best" model, and does this really give them what they need? Should we rather explain to them we're the expert and they should jolly well listen every time we speak? It's a fun conversation and no doubt there's going to be a lot of food for thought!
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 27th March 2023.
Today, it's all about WordPress security and what you can do with the WP Vulnerability API / project. In the podcast you're going to meet the wonderful Javier, and I thought that I'd let him take over the show notes, as he wrote such wonderful notes prior to our chat. So… over to Javier… Hello, I'm Javier, and I'm around the Internet since 1994. In 1997, I created my first website, and in 2005, I created my first WordPress (with WordPress 1.5). Today we are talking about WPVulnerability.com, a project focused on democratizing WordPress security information. This project is a 100% open and free API, for access by any WordPress user, with the sole purpose of improving the security of a site, thanks to this information. Although is an API, with some colleagues, we created the WPVulnerability plugin, that checks your site looking for vulnerabilities and showing them in the Site Health section. Find out more by checking out the podcast.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 20th March 2023.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 13th March 2023.
Deal Alert: Get 10% off MasterWP Workshops using the coupon code 'wpbuilds10' - it's valid until 15th April 2023. On the podcast today, we have Rob Howard. No, not the film director, but the one from MasterWP. If you've not heard of MasterWP before, then you're missing out as they're on a mission to create a heap of WordPress related content. They've got workshops, tutorials, a fast-growing blog and a podcast! The podcast today is in (more or less) two halves. First up, we chat about the community that Rob and his team are trying to build up in the WordPress space. Then we talk about the MasterWP workshops, and how they're creating workshops and courses on a very regular basis. It's an interesting chat with Rob, and I hope you enjoy it!
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 6th March 2023.
So, there's no denying that WordPress Page Builders have taken the community by storm over the last decade. Whether you use them or not, they're popular, and dare I say it, used on more WordPress sites than site not using a Page Builder? But, as the title of this episode says, are they the scourge of the internet? We chat about this topic from a whole variety of different angles. Do they typically add bloat to the HTML that we output? Do they offer clients a poor, and inconsistent, experience? Are they difficult to scale up for larger projects? Do they keep up with the technologies that modern browsers are introducing? Do they devalue our profession? There's a lot there, right? And there's a lot more in the podcast to get your teeth into. Check it out.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 27th February 2023.
Some of us love working with CSS. It's fun, pretty easy to learn, and gets the job done. Others… not so much. It's boring, hard to master, and you end up doing things incorrectly all the time! Over the years, there's been many attempts to make CSS easier to write and work with… literally dozens. Today on the show we have Kevin Geary, the founder of Automatic CSS (ACSS), which is a utility framework for WordPress page builders. Its aim is to make modern CSS available for all to use, and to implement this inside of the tools that you're already using - Page Builders, and to grow the number of page builders which they support. Currently, they cover Oxygen and Bricks, but hope to grow to cover Gutenberg, Zion Builder and Cwicly. The idea is that they do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, so that much of the regular work that you might have to create right at the start of a project is taken care of. We get into what the project can do and how it can save you time. What can it control and how 'heavy' it is, or isn't?
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 20th February 2023.
We asked ChatGPT the question "could artificial intelligence (A.I.) kill the web design industry?". This is what we got back... "It is unlikely that artificial intelligence (A.I.) will completely kill the web design industry. While A.I. and automation tools may be able to handle certain aspects of web design, it is unlikely that they will be able to fully replace the creativity and problem-solving skills of human web designers. Web design involves more than just technical skills; it also requires an understanding of user experience, branding, and visual design principles. These are areas where A.I. may not be able to fully replace human designers." Did you read all of the words like 'unlikely', fully replace' in that sentence? We're doomed! Seriously though, there are going to be some pretty radical shifts in how we build websites in the years to come and some of that shifting will be to do with A.I. and the abilities it brings to bear. Find out what we think in the podcast this week.
The WordPress news from the last week which began Monday 6th February 2023.
So this is all about AI, so buckle up as it's all the hotness! It's not the usual AI hotness though, because this podcast is not about ChatGPT and how it'll likely break the world. No, this is about how you can use AI to create works of art for your WordPress website, or for any reason, in fact. I interviewed Josh Dailey and Aaron Edwards, who have a service called Imajinn. It's an AI for creating images and there's a WordPress plugin which allows you to do all the magic in the WordPress admin, which is nice. We spend some time at the start getting to know Josh and Aaron and their background in the WordPress space, which, as you'll hear, is really rather extensive. We then move onto the fascinating subject of how AI art is actually created. I've got to say that I'm pretty blown away with how it all works. It's basically guessing pixel-by-pixel what should come next. It all starts with a prompt, and then the AI tries to work out what the next layer of pixels should be, and it keeps spreading out like this until it decides that it's done enough. Think ripples on a pond. Hey presto, instant (almost) artwork! Is this scary or just the best thing ever? Listen to the podcast and leave a comment to tell us your thoughts.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 30th January 2023.
Welcome to the very first episode in our sparkling new series that we are calling "Thinking the Unthinkable", or TUTT for short, which I quite like! Here we challenge ourselves to answer (or at least rationalise) provocative statements or critical opinions of WordPress and our glorious website building profession. We are gently easing ourselves in with today’s topic, which is… "Website builders should be certified" (like - what proper professionals are)! By "certified" we mean officially recognised as possessing certain qualifications or meeting certain standards. Not legally declared insane and committed to a psychiatric institution. What might this look like? What should be included? Do we even need anything like this? Is there anything in WordPress trying to tackle this? Listen to the podcast and tell us what you think.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 23rd January 2022.
On the podcast today we have Zach Swinehart in the second of an, unexpectedly, two-part episode. We talked for so long that I decided it was best as two episodes instead of a really long single episode. You really need to listen to episode 310 of the podcast before this one, so go do that now if you have not already! We start off today where we left off last time, with my addiction to email and whether I could conquer that, then moving on to talk about Zach's framework for Deep Work which is step by step guide to helping you to get your concentration back in a world that's constantly trying to steal your attention. Zach was kind enough to write his own show notes for this episode and so rather than reinvent the wheel, you'll find them by heading to the podcast page.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 16th January 2023.
Welcome to the last episode (sigh) in our Business Bootcamp series. Over the last year, we have been attempting to question everything we know about building WordPress sites and running a web design businesses. We looked at the entire process, from meeting our first client to helping them to support their site. We’ve tried to contrast approaches by looking at the traditional project (waterfall) where we are hired to build the finished (website) "product", and an agile approach, where we will try to use online SEO and UX data gathered, to iteratively improve the site as an ongoing collaboration with the client. Here we have set ourselves a few questions in an attempt to sum up what we have learned over this series and, more generally, our time in the website building industry. It's been a fun ride!
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 9th January 2022.
On the podcast today we have Zach Swinehart in the first of an (unexpectedly) two-part episode. We talked for so long that I decided it was best as two episodes instead of a really long single episode. "Productivity hacks" feel a bit like snake oil to me at this point. We've all heard a million of them and they never seem to work. Today's episode should affect your productivity. It's not a "weird productivity tip that your doctor does not want you to know about". Instead, it's a fundamental approach that we can take to our work as designers and developers to prioritise high-quality focus on the right stuff. Zach is going to go deep on the concept of "strategic deep work" and how you can leverage it to really get meaningful results in your freelancing business. Whether you're a soloist freelancer or you're trying to scale your agency, you'll get something out of this episode.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 2nd January 2023.
Welcome to the penultimate episode in our Business Bootcamp series. Usually, this is where I write... "where we relearn everything we know about building WordPress sites and running a web design business from start to finish". But if you are joining us now, you probably need to go back a year to season one! We are on Season 5, which is the last in this Bootcamp series and is about what happens after the website build. This is episode 5. Today we are talking about Future Proofing (our tech based business and maybe our clients’ sites). We're supposed to be talking about Traditional (Waterfall) v Agile, but as you'll hear we get slightly derailed and go off piste for quite a bit of the podcast, which is fun! We cover: Reduce or embrace dependencies? Should we offer long term support? What kind of efforts do we put into making sure that we're keeping our knowledge and skills up to date? Check it out...
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 12th December 2022.
So we have Katie Keith on the podcast today to talk about what they're doing over at Barn2 plugins. First off, we tackle the history of the company, and importantly, why they have such a peculiar name! We then get into their journey into the WooCommerce space and how that's enabled them to grow into the small, but mighty team that they are today. We then list out some of their more popular plugins and Katie explains what each one does and when you might need to deploy it. Lastly, we get into acquisitions. The WordPress space has been literally full of them over the last couple of years and WooCommerce plugins have been fairly popular 'buys' for some of the bigger players. Katie talks about this and how they wish to stay the course and keep the business going nuder their own steam.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 5th December 2022.
So you're in the business of selling WordPress websites? If you are in that business, then I can guarantee you that there's more money to be made than just getting the site done and then moving on. Today it's all about the upsells that we might offer. We go through a list of things that we've tried in the past, some of which were profitable and easy to do, others of which were hard and lost us money. It's a lottery to be honest! Things that one person excels at, others might be loathed to do. Website hosting, email hosting, design, custom development, social media, content creation, SEO, optimisation... I could go on. In fact, I (we) do in the episode today. Have a listen and then head over to the post and leave us a comment.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 28th November 2022.
So in the last episode of the WP Builds podcast we were talking about how WordPress hosting has changed. Today it feels like more of the same. Kinsta has been offering managed WordPress hosting for years, and has built up a good business on top of the world's most popular CMS. Well, time and tide wait for no one, and Marcel Bootsman plus Maciek Palmowski are on the podcast today to explain about how they've got a new offering, which is not specifically about WordPress at all. So what have they got then? Application & database hosting is what they've got. Did you not see the title of the podcast?!?! What does that mean? It means that you can now host pretty much anything on the Kinsta platform; you're no longer restricted to WordPress. If you can imagine it, you can now host it with them. What does this mean for the future of the company and their current WordPress customers? Find out in the podcast.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 21st November 2022.
Welcome to another in the Business Bootcamp series where we relearn everything we know about building WP sites and running a web design business from start to finish. Today we're talking about the way that hosting has changed over the years. In much the same way that you look at a website from 1999 and wonder how that was ever allowed to exist, the same is true for the technology stack that is hosting our WordPress websites. Perhaps, back in the day, you ran servers of your own in your office or house. You then likely moved to something like shared hosting and a VPS. Now we've got managed WordPress hosting companies and cloud services which allow to spin up servers in an instant with just the resources we need. Add to that the interest in headless WordPress, and well, we've got a show on our hands and plenty to talk about.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 14th November 2022.
I love a good story, and that's what we've got for you today. It's Steve Burge from PublishPress. Steve's had a long history working with open source software, and, as you'll hear, he's not going anywhere. The conversation kicks off with a bit of background about Steve. We talk about his journey with a whole variety of FOSS tools such as Joomla, Drupal, Magento and WordPress. I know this journey well, as perhaps do many of you. There was a time when there really was a no clear 'winner' in the open source CMS market. Many of the platforms were experiencing growth and there was no hint that any one solution would grow to dominate in terms of market share. Given that the landscape had so many popular choices, Steve decided he was going to create a business around serving them all, and so OS Training began. We learn about how Steve tried to grow the business, and ultimately why he moved on to pastures new. We then get into the things that Steve's involved with now, namely PublishPress and MetaSlider, which is a new acquisition. All in all then, this is a lovely conversation with a very thoughtful developer. I hope you enjoy the podcast.
The WordPress news from the last week which commenced Monday 7th November 2022.