WordPress Planet

January 30, 2023

WPTavern: WordPress Contributors Work Towards Removing Site Editor Beta Label for 6.2 Release

Will WordPress be ready to remove the Beta label from the Site Editor in the upcoming 6.2 release? The project’s Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy addressed this question in her latest WP Briefing podcast episode titled “What Does Concluding a Gutenberg Phase Really Mean?

“All of the projects, with the exception of two, I believe, in the Phase 2 scoping ticket, will be shipped in the Gutenberg plugin before [the] WordPress 6.2 release comes out,” Haden Chomphosy said. “Barring any major breaking issues, those will then land in that major release in WordPress 6.2. So 99% of the features we considered in scope for Phase 2 will be in core by April.”

Haden Chomphosy also mentioned the possibility of removing the Beta label from the Site Editor, if a specific set of conditions are met. She referenced the tracking issue created in March 2022, that outlines the most critical remaining items in Phase 2 that must be completed before removing the label, as well as a few other follow-up items that are related but less critical to resolve before taking it out of Beta.

“We’ve been discussing that possibility with the input of the community over the course of the last few major releases, and we’ll do the same as we get ready for the 6.2 release as well,” she said.

“Fingers crossed that we get to remove that label this time around, but also, the acceptance criteria on it are pretty clear. So it’s really a matter of yes or no on all of the columns all the way down.”

Contributors have been aiming to get the Beta label removed since 6.1 but the criteria had not yet been met. The current blockers include a ticket to improve the Site Editor loading state so that everything is fully loaded before users start interacting, removing the jumpiness of half-rendered states. This item was added to the Todo column of the remaining WordPress 6.2 Editor Tasks project board.

Haden Chomphosy assured podcast listeners that the conclusion of Phase 2 does not mean that WordPress will stop accepting user feedback or bug reports on customization features.

“It definitely does not mean that we will stop shipping refinements to the user experience,” she said. “As much as I’d like to say this isn’t true, I think all open source contributors know that no matter how much you test a solution, you can’t actually account for all possible use cases when you work on a project this size.

“So as we find things that we didn’t realize were a little rough to use, we will, of course, make the effort to smooth those workflows as quickly as possible.”

by Sarah Gooding at January 30, 2023 10:50 PM under News

WPTavern: WordPress Launches Old Tickets Trac Triage Sessions

As part of the big picture goals for WordPress in 2023, the project is embarking on an effort to work through old tickets that are stuck due to no consensus, missing decisions, or multiple possible solutions. WordPress Core Committer Jb Audras has organized Trac triage sessions dedicated to moving these tickets forward or closing the ones that are no longer relevant.

Audras’ audit shows that there are 19 tickets that are more than 15 years old, 688 that are 10 years old, but the largest chunk of 3,484 tickets falls into the 5-10 year old category.

The first kickoff session was held on January 26 in the #core Slack channel. Contributors started with a small selection of very old tickets with the goal of identifying a path towards resolution and an owner for the ticket. This generated some renewed discussion, for example, on a 17-year-old ticket where “HTML comments in posts aren’t handled properly” and another of the same age regarding an unwanted slash in get_pagenum_link()

In some cases tickets were closed and in others contributors are working on reproducing the issue, testing, and refreshing patches where possible. One 13-year-old ticket, which fixes the wp_get_attachment_url() function not returning a valid URL if the filename contains unescaped URL characters, was added to the 6.2 milestone with a PR awaiting review. Some tickets require deep historical knowledge of WordPress and will benefit from having participation from veteran contributors.

The next “Classic” triage session will happen in the #core Slack channel on Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 10:00 AM EST. Anyone who wants to be part of finding a resolution for some of these old tickets is invited to join. Participants in the kickoff session also discussed alternating between very old and very new tickets, which are often easier for getting newer contributors involved.

by Sarah Gooding at January 30, 2023 06:06 PM under News

WordPress.org blog: WP Briefing: Episode 48: What Does Concluding a Gutenberg Phase Really Mean?

On episode forty-eight of the WordPress Briefing podcast, Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy reflects on the closing of Gutenberg phase two, and what that means in the larger context of the project.

Have a question you’d like answered? You can submit them to wpbriefing@wordpress.org, either written or as a voice recording.

Credits

Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Javier Arce
Production: Santana Inniss
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

Show Notes

Removing Block Editor Beta Label GitHub Issue
Reporting Bugs
make.wordpress.org/design
Contribution Conversations: Improving the Contributor Journey
Contribution Conversations: Ending the Eternal September
Contribution Conversations: WordCamp Mentorship
WordCamp Asia Livestream Info

Transcript

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:00:00] 

Hello everyone, and welcome to the WordPress Briefing, the podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it, and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks.

I’m your host, Jospeha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:00:40] 

We’ve barely gotten moving here in 2023, but even so, WordPress is already working toward its next major release– coming to us at the end of March. You’ve probably heard by now that with this release comes the “end of Phase 2.” But for a lot of folks, that’s raising some questions about what to expect.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:01:00]  

So I’m gonna spend a little time today sharing what I currently know. Let’s start with what that phrase does mean. Firstly, all of the projects, with the exception of two, I believe, in the Phase 2 scoping ticket, will be shipped in the Gutenberg plugin before WordPress 6.2 release comes out. Barring any major breaking issues, those will then land in that major release in WordPress 6.2.

So, like, 99% of the features we considered in scope for Phase 2 will be in core by April. It also means the block editor may finally shed its beta label. We’ve been discussing that possibility with the input of the community over the course of the last few major releases, and we’ll do the same as we get ready for the 6.2 release as well. That discussion is tracked over in GitHub, and I can share a link to that in the show notes. For anyone who is a little super nerd, like me, the ticket number is 39293. 

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:02:00] 

So not only if you’re going to memorize it and be one of those cool WordPressers who can call tickets to mind based on the numbers. This is a good one because not only is it an important topic, to be able to recall, but also it’s a palindrome, so you get to be fancy and know that forever. 

But anyway, I’ll put a link to it in the show notes for all the rest of us. Fingers crossed that we get to remove that label this time around, but also, the acceptance criteria on it are pretty clear. So it’s really a matter of yes or no on all of the columns all the way down.

So what does that phase not mean? Firstly, it does not mean that we will stop accepting user feedback or bug reports on any features up to this point. It is always encouraged to file a ticket on track or GitHub detailing any bugs that you’ve encountered. If you’ve never reported a bug before, don’t worry. We have all been there. I’ll gather a link or two with some information for first-timers. 

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:03:00] 

If you ever run into me at a WordCamp, feel free to ask me about my first bug-reporting experience. And after you’ve heard that, you will immediately go and file that bug that has been sitting screenshotted on your desk for six months because it honestly cannot get any worse than my first one.

Secondly, it definitely does not mean that we will stop shipping refinements to the user experience. As much as I’d like to say this isn’t true, I think all open source contributors know that no matter how much you test a solution, you can’t actually account for all possible use cases when you work on a project this size.

So as we find things that we didn’t realize were a little rough to use, we will, of course, make the effort to smooth those workflows as quickly as possible. So that’s my little reassuring tl;dr for what that phrase means. If you are listening to this and haven’t spent much time in the block editor as it exists today, I encourage you to do so.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:04:00] 

It has really changed substantially since it was first merged in 2018, and it represents thousands of hours of research and problem-solving and creation, and outreach. If you know someone who has contributed to the project or whose content helped you make sense of some inscrutable part of it, also maybe, drop them a line and let them know you appreciate their hard work.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:04:26] 

That brings us now to our small list of big things. Firstly, we are thinking a lot right now about the paths to contribution. Both at the start of your contribution journey and as you grow into a long-term, seasoned contributor. There are a couple of different discussions related to that right now. So there are actually two project-wide discussions that are on make.wordpress.org/project.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:05:00] 

And then there’s one that is specific to WordCamp membership, and that is on make.wordpress.org/community. You can head over to any of those and share your experiences, thoughts, and any wild ideas that you have. 

The second thing on my small list is that there are a lot of pages across wordpress.org that are getting shiny new designs.

If you want to get involved in those discussions, or you just wanna catch early previews of what’s coming to the site, you can hop over to make.wordpress.org/design or join the design team meetings in Slack. 

And the last thing is that WordCamp Asia is coming quickly, my friends. This event is near and dear to my heart. I hope to see a lot of you in person, but if you won’t be able to make it in person, we still have you covered. There will be a live stream, and the schedule for that is already on the site. It shows the times for each session in your local time zone so you can easily decide which presentations you absolutely must see right in the moment.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:06:00] 

And that, my friends, is your small list of big things. Thanks for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks.

by Santana Inniss at January 30, 2023 12:00 PM under wp-briefing

January 28, 2023

Gutenberg Times: Advanced Query Loop , WordPress 6.2, Find Your Style and Gutenberg 15.0—Weekend Edition 242

Howdy,

The Winter came to Bavaria just in time for me to enjoy it. Or Not. It took me week, to not be cold all the time. How are you doing with Winter in your area?

Today’s round-up includes the schedule and the release squad for the next major WordPress release, planned for March 28, version 6.2. Beta 1 and Feature Freeze is next week (Feb 7th) with Gutenberg plugin release version 15.1.

Next Friday, February 3rd, Nick Diego and I will record episode 79 of the Gutenberg Changelog. We will chat about the latest two releases of the Gutenberg plugin and also what’s in-store for WordPress 6.2 in broader strokes. If you have questions, send them to us at changelog@gutenbergtimes.com and we will answer them in the show, and if you are ok with it, we’ll mention you by name, too.

And now without further Ado, the news around the block editor from the last two weeks.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Yours, 💕
Birgit

Developing Gutenberg and WordPress

In her article: WordPress Project Aims to Complete Customization Phase and Begin Exploring Collaboration in 2023, Sarah Gooding discusses the Big Goals for 2023, Josepha Haden Chomsphosy posted on the Make Blog earlier this month.


Michael Burridge was the lead for the Gutenberg 15.0 plugin release. He highlighted in the release post What’s new in Gutenberg 15.0? (18 January)


Sarah Gooding wrote Gutenberg 15.0 Introduces “Sticky” Position Block Support, Adds “Paste Styles” Option. The release also marks the end of the block inspector tabs experiment, which is now stabilized in the plugin.

🎙️ New episode: Gutenberg Changelog #78 -State of the Word, WordPress 6.2, Gutenberg 14.8 and 14.9 with Birgit Pauli-Haack and special guest Hector Prieto

Anne McCarthy published FSE Program Running Through Refinements Summary, with the outcomes from the 19th call for testing. “Feedback for all the tested features was generally positive with folks able to see how what’s being worked on unites and moves forward the Site Editor experience. As always, there were also noted bugs, feature requests, and areas of refinement that mostly matched either current priorities or previously reported items, underscoring where the experience needs to move towards. ” she wrote.


Hector Prieto finalized the schedule and the release squad for WordPress 6.2 in his post WordPress 6.2 Planning Roundup.

  • Beta 1 is scheduled to be released February 7th, 2023
  • Release candidate 1 will escape into the world on March 7, 2023
  • Final release is scheduled of March 28, 2023.

if you want to follow along on the release squad communication you can lurk in their public channel on the WordPress Make Slack #6-2-release-leads


Dave Smith published a behind-the-scenes view on the new editing experience for the Navigation block. Watch how this all came about and how the list view experience will solve previous problems. Easier Nav block Editing for WordPress 6.2.

Plugins, Themes, and Tools for #nocode site builders and owners

Munir Kamal wrote a tutorial on How to Create Google Web Stories on WordPress Website. AMP Stories were all the rave in 2019. Three year’s later AMP is no more, but you can still take advantage of the incredible mobile interface for Web stories. Kamal showed you how using the Google Web stories plugin.


Patterns, Reusable Blocks and Block Locking is the title of Wes Theron‘s workshop to Learn WordPress. He explored using block patterns, creating and editing reusable blocks and utilizing the block locking features.


In his post 8 Best WordPress Gutenberg Blocks (And How to Use Them), Nick Schäferhoff, show you first how to add blocks to your post pages and work with the Inserter. Then he takes a deeper dive on eight powerful WordPress core blocks, the query loop block and the fairly new post template blocks.


Carolina Nymark shows you the tutorial How to add a background image or background video with full site editing in 4 steps. “Adding a background image using the Customizer was a single step process. In the Site Editor you have more options to choose from, for example duotone and opacity.” Nymark wrote.

Theme Development for Full Site Editing and Blocks

The 20th Call for testing via the FSE Outreach program takes you through the latest features of the Gutenberg plugin (15.0). This time you come from a classic theme and switch to Twenty-Twenty Three theme, and test the migration of widgets and menus with the new features. Anne McCarthy will collect all your feedback and summarize the outcome. Deadline is February 1st, 2023.

If you are a bit unsure if you can do it, follow along with Courtney Robertson and Sarah Snow, who did a walk through the call for testing in this video: Courtney Robertson, Sarah Snow: Call For Testing: Find Your Style


WPEngine Builders tweeted: The WordPress Developer Blog is a treasure chest of knowledge for those who want to build block themes and leverage new settings for the editor. Here’s an example that’s super useful and can result in beautiful things. Using the box shadow feature for themes by Justin Tadlock.


 “Keeping up with Gutenberg – Index 2022” 
A chronological list of the WordPress Make Blog posts from various teams involved in Gutenberg development: Design, Theme Review Team, Core Editor, Core JS, Core CSS, Test and Meta team from Jan. 2021 on. Updated by yours truly. The index 2020 is here

Nick Schäferhoff took the latest WordPress default theme for a spin and published his review in Twenty Twenty-Three Theme Review: Flexible and Community Driven. The difference between previous default themes and Twenty-Twenty Three is ‘an intense focus on community involvement.’ Schäferhoff took a closer look at some key features of this theme.


In this video, Jonathan Bossenger talks you through using theme.json with classic themes. The theme.json is a file that allows block theme developers to control the settings and styles of the blocks in the Editor. In this video, you’re going to learn what happens when you add a theme.json file to a classic theme.


During this week’s Twitch livestream, Daisy Olsen covered the fourth part of Building a Starter Block Theme series: Presets in theme.json. “In this video, we have many technical difficulties and a look at how to add Theme Supports to control which block style controls are available for content creators and site editors.” Olsen wrote. Hey it’s a live stream!

The previous parts of the series “Building a Starter Block Theme” are:

Building Blocks and Tools for the Block editor.

Ryan Welcher covered a myriad of topics in his latest livestream recording. Gutenberg 14.9 | Advanced Query Loop | WordPress Tutorial. He looked at some WordPress developer-focused changes in the Gutenberg 14.9 release. Welcher also added the ability to query multiple post types in his Advance Query Loop plugin.


Carlo Daniele wrote a tutorial to teach developers How To Add Meta Boxes and Custom Fields To Posts in Gutenberg. “If you’re a developer and want to get more out of WordPress custom fields, integrate them seamlessly into the block editor, and display them on the frontend of your WordPress website using a custom Gutenberg block, then you’re in the right place.” Daniele wrote.

Need a plugin .zip from Gutenberg’s master branch?
Gutenberg Times provides daily build for testing and review.
Have you been using it? Hit reply and let me know.

GitHub all releases


Dean Sas, JavaScript wrangler at Automattic, invites developers to learn about “Some very cool things can happen when you hit Enter in a block. You’re writing a list in the editor, and you hit Enter and automatically, you get another bullet point! If you’d like to make your own blocks to do something like that, Sas’ article helps you with. It will probably make more sense to you if you’ve written some blocks before.

To get started developing with blocks, see the Learn WordPress course: Introduction to Block Development: Build your first custom block


WordPress blocks have come a long way since Gutenberg was first released as part of WordPress 5.0 in 2018. Special guest: Nick Diego fills you in on the latest episode of Delicious Brain Waves Episode 16 – Unlocking the Power of WordPress Blocks.


Kristin Falkner is a freelance web developer specializing in fully custom WordPress sites. In her article, Utilizing Patterns vs. Building Custom ACF Blocks, Falkner describes her journey from ACF blocks to creating block patterns with WordPress core blocks.

Upcoming WordPress events

February 4 + 5, 2023
WordCamp Birmingham, AL

February 17 – 19, 2023
WordCamp Asia 2023 

March 21, 2023
WP Engine is hosting DE{CODE}

Check the schedule of WordCamp Central of upcoming WordCamps near you.

Learn WordPress Online Meetups

January 31, 2023 – 3pm ET / 20:00 UTC
Creating a photography website with the block editor

February 3, 2023 – 3 am ET / 8am UTC
Let’s make custom templates in the Site Editor!

February 3, 2023 – 10:30 ET / 15:30 UTC
Block Themes and WordPress: Live Stream

February 7, 2023 – 22:00 ET / 3 am UTC
APAC: Creating a photography website with the block editor

February 7, 2023 – 15:00 ET / 20:00 UTC
Builder Basics: Adding Custom CSS to Block Themes

More events are scheduled via the Meetup group


Featured Image: Colorful Candy Dispensers by Chris Edwards found on WordPress.org/photos


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by Birgit Pauli-Haack at January 28, 2023 08:08 AM under Weekend Edition

January 27, 2023

WPTavern: Open Source Initiative and OpenLogic Release 2023 State of Open Source Report

OpenLogic, a company that provides technical support for enterprise open source infrastructure, and the Open Source Initiative (OSI), the nonprofit stewards of the Open Source Definition (OSD) have published the 2023 State of Open Source Report.

The annual vender-neutral survey received 872 qualified responses from people in more than 20 major industries. Responses indicate that open source adoption continues to grow, as 80% of organizations reported increasing the use of OSS over the past year. The industries where open source adoption increased significantly include oil and gas, telecommunications, and energy.

When asked which categories of open source are being used or evaluated in their organizations, more than 32% of respondents said they are using open source software development life cycle tools, containers and container orchestration tech, and databases. Open source content management systems, a new category this year, have been adopted by more than 21% of respondents. One interesting finding is that usage of open source security tools has declined from 22% last year to 15.94%.

One question of the survey aimed to identify the reasons why organizations choose open source software and respondents could select more than one answer. The variety of reasons with no particular standouts indicates that organizations have many diverse and important factors that drive them to using open source software, which may not be easy to predict based on industry or organization size.

The top four challenges organizations reported in supporting open source software include maintaining security policies or compliance (41.97%), lack of skills, experience, or proficiency (37.50%), keeping up with updates and patches (36.70%), and lack of low level technical support (36.47%).

Download the free report to get a more detailed look at the top open source infrastructure technologies, frameworks, and data technologies.

Perforce OSS Evangelist Javier Perez and OSI Executive Director Stefano Maffulli will be discussing the findings on February 16th in a live webinar. They will be highlighting the most popular OSS used today, key challenges, how it varies by industry, region, and company size, and the latest trends for this year. Registration is free.

by Sarah Gooding at January 27, 2023 04:12 AM under open source

January 26, 2023

Post Status: The WP Agency Journey With Mario Peshev Of DevriX — Post Status Draft 138

In this episode, Mario Peshev, founder of DevriX, joins Cory Miller to discuss WordPress retainers, entrepreneurship, and the future of WordPress. Mario encourages agency owners to chase recurring revenue to build in the freedom to do quality work with the capacity to lead into your future vision for your business.

Estimated reading time: 40 minutes

Transcript

Mario Peshev had an interest in technology from childhood. After working as a software developer, he transitioned into WordPress and founded his own agency, DevriX. They coined the term “WordPress retainer.” It is the mantra fueling their operations and one they hope other agencies will adopt. He joins Cory Miller to dive deep into the how and why of WordPress retainers, sharing his experience and his hopes for the future of WordPress.

Top Takeaways:

  • WordPress Retainers: Business doesn’t have to be feast or famine. Several other industries utilize retainers because they provide consistent revenue and secure client commitment for ongoing work. The entire world is living around monthly costs. Not aligning your service-based business with that model is counterintuitive. Essentially it is just selling hours in bulk, turning services into products. Allotting 10% for project management while using the rest to prioritize and execute projects. The longevity and security enable you to plan, diversify, hire well and grow.
  • Learn How the Sausage is Made: If you want to start your own business, work in a similar business for a few years. Learn what it takes to operate, what roles are needed, and how the pipeline works. Work with bosses, teams, and clients to learn how you want to build and operate once you’re on your own.
  • Increase Adoption by Building Simplification: Many of us started in WordPress because of the famous 5-minute install, and any design could become a theme. It was easy, but now building on other platforms is actually easier. WP needs to create tools to solve for this in order to increase adoption by younger generations.

🔗 Mentioned in the show:

🐦 You can follow Post Status and our guests on Twitter:

The Post Status Draft podcast is geared toward WordPress professionals, with interviews, news, and deep analysis. 📝

Browse our archives, and don’t forget to subscribe via iTunes, Google Podcasts, YouTube, Stitcher, Simplecast, or RSS. 🎧

Transcript

Hey everybody. Welcome back to Post Tennis Draft. This is another interview in our series of agency journeys, and I'm talking to my friend Mario, uh, who lives over in Europe. I've got to meet him a couple times in person, but you probably have seen his work online. He's very active and vocal and does great work in the WordPress land.

Um, passionate contributor. Um, and Ward Preser. So, Mario, thanks for coming on and, and, uh, sharing your journey of, uh, Debs and your personal journey related to that. Hey, Corey, thanks for having me. Anto, uh, you know, having a great time joining you and everyone else on post status. Um, okay. So tell us, tell us, uh, who, how you got started with WordPress.

Tell us a little bit about your work, not just your agency, but like your work and your start with WordPress. Yeah, absolutely. So I've been, I've been toying with computers ever since I was probably nine. I actually built, [00:01:00] well, maybe since I was six. I built my first website, uh, back in 1999. It was still a static website.

I was a fan of Pokemon, so I built a Pocket X, which was kind of the, the main thing that kept me busy with H C Ss. Uh, then fast forward, it spent a few just trying to kind of, you know, freelance as a kid, pretty much just in my teen years or so. Uh, and. And I'm kind of just moving towards this digital, uh, field of like software development and web development and everything else.

It was kind of back on the market, my trajectory and kind of my, uh, you know, background and career in college and so forth were also related to software engineering, like high school and college. Like university were kind of in that same realm of informatics. Uh, so it wasn't, it didn't come as, uh, surprise to me that WordPress is pretty aligned with kind of what I want to do.

It was still a cms. We're kind of a. Web application framework or anything along those lines. Uh, so unlike other people that I've, I've been working with back in the day, most of them were, uh, either writers using [00:02:00] WordPress just as kind of bloggers, uh, you know, uh, or let's say designers who needed kind of a software infrastructure to start building websites on.

And kind of the reason I got passionate about WordPress was I was actually coming from the other side of the fence. I was coming from the perspective of, uh, enterprise grade software. Right back in the day, I was already spending, uh, you know, several years building Java software and.net. I was certified, uh, son afterwards, Oracle, Java, uh, software developer.

And, and kind of most of what I was doing, uh, at my day job was actually building enterprise projects for, uh, telecoms, for banks, for kind of multinational stores like, you know, the Walmart of the world, uh, which. Pretty hardcore, pretty complicated, but at the same time, things were moving really, really, really slow, right?

To build a feature, you need four months and a team of 40 people, usually in kind of three different offices, just kind of building specifications and nowy and stuff, and, and honestly, I was getting bored, [00:03:00] right? It, it, it just didn't move fast enough. I'm more of a startup person. It's about velocity. It's about moving fast, uh, and, and kind of, WordPress was a software I stumbled upon that was pretty, pretty quick to get started with and, and then start building on top of that.

So, uh, kind of to sum it up, it's probably moving from the enterprise world to how can we build rapid applications? How can we stop reinventing the wheel and going through several different phases of that. Like, I, you know, moved from Java to P H P, then from different frameworks like Coding Nire and K P H P and other frameworks in different languages.

Two, WordPress as kind of a side builder. Again, application framework and then building on top of that, uh, this kind of went through different iterations, right? It was more like, Hey, you have a touchpoint to, for press ones like a couple months later, another one, a couple months later, another one. And then at some point it just starts pulling you in, like due to the community, the flexibility, the, the, the promise of better platform, [00:04:00] uh, and everything else.

So, um, yeah, that's, that's probably more or less kind of how I got put in, in terms of a timeline. Um, backing maybe. 2006, I was working in a media group and they were building their own blogging network. Um, and, and I was also part of the research team of other alternatives like, um, you know, blogger and WordPress of course, and live journal.

And there were a few other platforms living out there. And WordPress has always been standing as the kind of, the two that was most promising, had. Famous, uh, five Minute in Install. And, uh, the, the massive flexibility compared to say, Jumo and dpo, other competitors on the market, the ability to, to turn ev any single design into a living breeding website, uh, winning lots of awards like c s s awards and so forth due to all of that flexibility.

So just, just kind of the system that's really headed. All right. Uh, and, you know, starting with that, spending some time as a boger and. [00:05:00] Couple websites for clients as a, you know, freelancer. Uh, then, you know, working for myself and using different systems until eventually I decided to drop everything else I was doing and just, uh, spend a hundred percent of my time and effort into WordPress itself.

Excellent. So thank you for that background. That's awesome. Going through enterprise software and then I love the stories I hear all the time about. Being six years old, 10 years old, whatever it is, you know, and doing cool stuff. Um, okay, so that brought us to WordPress and, um, so today, where are you, uh, at Devex?

Tell us a little bit about devex, the agency, um, and your work there. And then after that we're gonna talk about your journey to get, to get where you are today. But right now I just wanna talk about where are you at today with DevX and what are you doing with WordPress and. Yeah, absolutely. So first off, as disclaimer, I do run [00:06:00] different initiatives right now and you know, dev is the main one, but I also kind of participate in other businesses which do acquire media website to work on SaaS solutions and so forth.

So it's kind of a broader suite in itself. Uh, but it started Dev, I think 13 years ago, and it was kind of the natural continuation of my, uh, first of. Career as a software engineer, then full-time freelancing, then growing full-time freelancing into the type of business that, that actually makes sense as an agency business.

Right? Uh, so we started right at the beginning of the recession, by the way, which is another, uh, probably interesting fact simply, To the time we are living in right now. Uh, and for, for anyone who happens to be just starting right now, I actually think the translations are the best possible time to start a business, right?

It's the crappiest possible moment. You get no support, no funding, no clients. Everyone else is like, nobody's opening your door. Nobody has free cash and stuff. If you, if you can survive. [00:07:00] For the next like six to eight to 10 years. Uh, it, it's only going to get easier. Like there's no harder moment than starting your recession.

So like literally the best possible time to start right now if you just wanna survive the next 10 years. Uh, so again, right now we are around, I dunno, 50 people or so. Our main focus is, uh, WordPress retainers, which we completely turned to in 20 14, 20 15. We actually coined the term WordPress retainers, and this is kind of our main, uh, mantra.

My, our main, our main way of living, this is what we believe in this, is we believe that we provide the highest possible quality as retainers has possible attention to detail and, and everything else for our clients. Um, I've, you know, spent a lot of. You know, talking about retainers, even at Word camps and other events, I'm more than happy to just, you know, offload that model to everyone else in the market because I believe that this model in itself is the future and everyone else has to adopt retainers.

So that's kind of just, uh, more or less a side [00:08:00] note. So yeah, we are about 50 people right now. Uh, we have our portfolio retainer clients. Some of them started back when we initially launched retainers 20 14, 20 15, like seven, eight years with. Uh, pretty happy. We are growing with them. They're growing with us.

Uh, so, so it's a pretty sustainable way for us to keep learning more and keep investing in growing existing businesses, not just providing development services, but helping them, uh, scale and accelerate and go through different business challenges. So, okay, let's talk about the retainers. What kind of work and what kind of.

Uh, are we talking about with this? So I get the, uh, idea of a retainer, um, being able to retain your services on an ongoing basis. I think there's a bunch of benefits obviously around that, but what kinda work are you doing with those re retainers? Well, and that's a great question, and our retain. Vary due to the fact that different clients look for [00:09:00] different things.

And interestingly enough, even though development like design development is kind of the main thing that we do, uh, we do provide a broader range of services and we have added or evolved some of them over time due to client needs. For instance, we do have a marketing department in-house. We have writers, we have people helping out with seo.

We do have a design team. Uh, we were offering adopt services for several years for publishers, scaling their ad stacks and so forth. Um, speaking of marketing, we used to be a HubSpot agency partner for a while, simply because we had that much demand for marketing, uh, solutions. And kind of when you take a look at the broader suit of this, we keep adding on different things, right?

Either on the technical side, like let's say. React, which we don't actively sell, but we still do. Or, uh, you know, DevOps or kind of other activities in terms of monitoring, alerting, integration with third party systems, uh, you know, building with earpieces or anything else on the market or the, the pure.

Business, uh, side of [00:10:00] things, which is, um, uh, again, marketing, building funnels, helping out with business models, even kind of price gauging or, or kind of other activities from the marketing segment. And then there's purely business where in some cases we literally just get inside of a business and, and help out with, uh, the, the actual kind of product line.

The, the, the production line from, hey, like for example, your e-commerce, let's build out. Uh, let's make sure you have the right dashboards. Let's set up the right KPIs. Let's build out your OKRs, right? Like, just make sure we participate in your quarter planning. Let's make sure we build out scorecards and then, you know, try to evolve with them.

Let's try to, you know, do some data and analytics, data engineering, which we do for some of our plans, right? Uh, to, to make sure we identify needs to, uh, identify new markets, new opportunities, new target audiences, or anything like that. So, so it's more of a consultancy than, you know. You know, offloading a one-off offer development due to the fact that we keep working with our [00:11:00] clients for years, years to come, and we spend enough time to understand their business models and just say, Hey, let's try to be as helpful as possible in as many areas of work as possible.

And, and this oftentimes it just explores different ways to be helpful for, for our. Excellent. What's a wide range of op of services, which is incredible. To really come alongside business or an organization, you can help out in a ton of ways. Um, so how does, how does it work? A new client comes to you all, um, and you, you're talking through h how does it they present, okay.

They're coming to you for something and then how, how does it work? You, you, you're talking about, okay, this is how we work. We're breast retainers. Can you. You know, just that. Mm-hmm. , how that works. Yeah. Uh, to, to oversimplify that, you know, our retainers come at a price tag, right? So, uh, you know, public one is 180 per hour, and to go, of course we have discounts depending on how many [00:12:00] kind of monthly package and so forth.

But at the end of the day, we say, Hey, like, based on your budget, we can offer a bulk of ours. And then make sure, like, let's say you, you, you buy a 50 hour retainer or a hundred hour retainer, let's say 50 hour, right? 10% is project management. You end up with, uh, 45 hours, which is a little bit over 10 hours a week, right?

So we make sure we develop our sprints on a week-to-week basis. Uh, we work with you. We try to have flexibility for stuff that comes up last moment. Uh, and based on kind of your long-term goal, we try to split it into, again, milestones, split that into sprints, and then just work on this one, uh, one piece at a time.

So this is kind of a K D R essentially. You know, depending on how much you're willing to pay ahead of time, that's how much time we can invest. And, you know, depending on that, we can figure out what sort of resources are suitable for kind of what you need. Uh, again, that's not how we sell it , but this is the simplified explanation of kind of how it works.

Uh, and, and then it really depends on kind of what sort, what sort of plan, what sort of project and kind of what sort of initiative, uh, for. [00:13:00] Part due, due to kind of the way we're working and we structure our, uh, kind of business. Most clients coming to us are existing businesses generating like 7, 8, 9 figures.

We have Fortune one thousands and kind of larger businesses as well. We work with Meta, uh, and so forth. But, uh, in most cases it's like at least, you know, seven figure business, uh, with an existing business. That's kind of based on digital, right? They're, uh, a publisher, a SaaS, uh, B2B leg, a website, a e-commerce, anything that's actually making money off of, off of the business is built out, uh, with a kind of crappy code base.

You know, let's say, um, I know, uh, DV plus five sliders plus something crappy on a, you know, $10 per month host or something like that. You know, just, just, uh, several non-ideal compromise. Bundle up together and, and, and, and they understand that they're losing money, right? They have a pain point in place. So they started themselves, or they started a freelancer, then they went to a kind of mid tier [00:14:00] agency, uh, that didn't really quite help them.

And then they know they have to pay premium and go to. Really people who profile in that solving complex problems are willing to just retain them for a bunch of different things. And oftentimes while we are doing kind of the initial reviews, assessment, d conversations, whatever it is, we just end up identifying lots of different things that need attention as kind of separate swim lanes, separate verticals, right?

User experience. We see that, you know, like, uh, in terms of accessibility, in terms of user experience, in terms of conversion rate optimization, there's a lot of work needed. Performance for various reasons. You know, again, US usability or a c or anything else, it is a problem. We do profiling, you know, improving core web vitals.

We do partner up with vendors like Nitro Pack, which are kind of turnkey. Uh, get your core web vitals fixed. We have the, the quick solution to stop the bleeding, and we have the, the permanent solution to, to fix the underlying cause, right? Uh, then it goes, you know, uh, Just functional development, then we have design, then we have, [00:15:00] could be different things sometimes against EO analysis.

It's restricting content, lots of different areas. So we try to analyze this segment, then figure out what's the pain point that the client's willing to, or has prioritized, figure out if there are other vendors in the field, like an SEO agency, creative branch agency, anything else. And we try to play in the same kind of playing field, um, in a fair and consistent manner.

Love it, you know. With all that you do and your technical expertise in your team, it, you know, it's such a, to me it's a risk and it's a hard thing to hire somebody full-time to come in to do any of the things that you mentioned. It's the workforce we're seeing at Post in particular. Um, we're hearing it's, it's a tight workforce.

There's talented people are always in demand, and I think if I'm a business and I don't focus on doing what you. I'm trying to run my business over here. I wanna pull in experts that, that worry about that [00:16:00] acquiring talent, training talent, you know, getting them in a process and stuff like that. So I, I love that aspect and I see it more and more with WordPress or agencies of post status.

Well, okay, before we get to the journey to where you are now, Now I gotta talk about WordPress retainers. I gotta let you go on this because I mean, from a business model standpoint. So the first part was for prospective clients, if you are looking for a great partner in Devex is awesome. Um, and you can see how they work.

But now I kinda wanna talk about for our other fellow agencies out there and freelancers, um, when you say retainer, I instantly perk it, perk up because it's consistent revenue. It allows you to work with good clients. See, you know, committed value, what you're doing. And I mean, so many times I talk to agencies and it's the feas famine, it's up and down.

And from a pure business standpoint, I go retainers all the way, subscriptions all the way. Um, but tell me about WordPress retainers. [00:17:00] I wanna let you go on this. Just see, get your thoughts and I'll chime in and ask questions. Oh man, I'm pretty sure I have so much to, to say about retainers. Again, I'm so passionate about that.

Like, a lot of people just call me crazy, like, do, like, that's not the only way, right? People still do one off projects. People still want a fixed food, still look for just, uh, you know, um, $99 maintenance or something like that. Like, so many other opportunities. I'm like, Nope, everything's a retainer. That, that's just how my head works, right?

I'm, I'm so brainwashed at this point. So we can just start a separate, like, uh, you know, post retainers post or whatever, and, and you know, I have. At least a hundred episodes prerecorded for you. Uh, but, but, but really, I mean, we do as an agency and like, not just my agency, but, but like other businesses as well, we do have a legal formal retainer, right.

Retainers are fairly popular in the low, uh, kind of field, you know, reviewing contracts and kind of, you know, sending, I know letter of intent or NDAs or whatever. We do have a legal formal retainer. We can't get access to a lawyer on time unless you have that. [00:18:00] Uh, we have a c p A, we're an accounting firm retainer, and like we work with other business, like a PPC firm retainer or like , gen, DemandGen, whatever it is, right?

It's, it's really not unpopular, right? What I'm trying to say is we haven't reinvented the wheel. We haven't kind of invented, like, I know traveling, uh, flying to Mars and then actually flying back to Earth. We haven't quite done that. Uh, so it's popular in different fields, is what I'm trying to say.

Marketing right. Copywriting, Azure reviews, like even brand work, it is essentially retainer. So what, what I saying is most other indu industries have figured it out already. Why haven't we, you mentioned the feast and feminists as a very common problem, right? I hate that. I hate the fact that if you don't have business close by, let's say December 15, you have to wait up until, let's say February 1st to start getting some leads.

That sucks. Or December is your busiest way of the month of the year period, simply because everyone wants [00:19:00] everything done by the end of the year. That's so common. In the industry that's burning people out and making their lives miserable, simply because it's based on that seasonality that everyone's looking for, right?

So I firmly believe in diversification. I firmly believe in recurring revenue, right? Uh, if I had to start all over, the first thing I would do in a business is just chase recurring revenue as the holy Grail period to rather rise, and probably not even going to get there, just recurring revenue that. Uh, and diversification, like building a business model that's not as expensive.

Like it's not, you have an agency of five people and then you have to get a project with three people full-time, and then you can take another project, or you can only take one or two. And when this project is done, you have no idea what to do after, right? So retainers so. Both the fifth and timing thing due to that recurring plan and long-term planning and the diversification thing.

And of course it's recurring revenue that you can plan around, figure out if there is kind of a payroll to be tackled. It actually helps you out and kind of define [00:20:00] a proper financial modeling of like revenue and profit margins. And again, hiring plans like can you afford to go to an event or sponsor something out does make sense to do PR or like, like lots of opportunities when you know kind of what you're making more or less on a monthly basis.

So, Yeah, again, probably oversimplifying, but like again, in my head it's just retainers and like everything else is, um, like a . Yeah, I totally agree. Um, it, it's just better for business when you have that consistent revenue and you're not trying to continually go out and allows the business, your business to, to hire good people, retain good people.

So like in that scenario, when you're hiring a firm like Devex, Um, you've done all the recruiting for that technical talent. You've done all that time and expense that it takes to find good people. And so they don't have to do that. They can co concentrate on their core expertise, and it's a huge benefit.

And I, I would [00:21:00] say this too, like I'm on the bandwagon with you. Um, I, I would say like you should want to. Businesses that have retainers because, you know, there's a long, they, it's, it's better for the business. Growth that, that you're using with a vital vendor. Um, yeah, so, okay, love that. We'll be talking more, we'll come back to WordPress retainers cuz I, I agree.

I think if more agencies went to that, it could be a net effect to say like, this is how you get consistent quality work. Um, from an agency you can depend on, just like you hire a full-time person, you pay them salary or whatever it is on a consistent basis, it frees them up to focus on what they do best.

I mean, your life is, as you said, like you're hiring people. It, it, you know, you pay them on a, like every couple weeks, every month or whatever it is. You pay rent, you pay, you know, electricity bill or like, like most things that you pay in life are just schedules, right? Every couple weeks, every month or so.

So that's [00:22:00] how life works. So not trying to invest in. Kind of recurring revenue is just counterintuitive. That said, product businesses, especially SaaS and subscription based, they know that and that's why they're successful. That's why unicorns are normally SaaS businesses, they're scalable, they have better ROI and so forth.

So like in most cases when you have a successful product business, you know, that like that's the only way forward, right? Uh, but, but I think that kind of the biggest obstacle, like the biggest reason why people. In kind of the WordPress space are not spending time thinking about retainers is due to the fact that service-based businesses are traditionally not structured as retainers.

Right? You, like you, when you call a home board, it's not a retainer service when you call a I know hairdresser. It's not a retainer service unless you turn it into an, unless you turn it into a package, unless you turn it into something else. And, uh, I was just looking, uh, just a couple months ago. Well, couple months ago I was speaking with Brian Castel from Zipes.

He has a great service for ay and ay kind of [00:23:00] ambassador, but back like maybe a, I dunno, 10 years ago or so, he had a, a, a website, I think it was productized and scale and she was teaching people. Yeah. You know, wow. I I was, I was a student. Yeah. I mean, you know, you know that like he was literally teaching people how to stop changing every single project and turn whatever series they.

Into a product, right? Um, Naval, you know, the AngelList guru, like, oh, ominous investor, you know, like the, the tweet rockstar and so forth. He also has a productized type of service, uh, and, and book as well, just preaching about that, right? So like a lot of smart people, a lot of people smarter than me, Have figured out that services have to be productized.

And again, you, you have been a student of brand. You know what, he preaches it. It's really the, it, it's just a mantra. It's just a way of thinking. Like the entire world is living around monthly costs, monthly fees, you know, your bank takes a monthly whatever, uh, or annual. Create [00:24:00] card fee taxes or anything else, like you file annual taxes as an individual and like everything else, right?

Everything is recurring. So turning, adapting and adjusting to that one way or another is going to make your life easier so that you have that spare time actually thinking of strategy and bigger picture things. Well, in particular in web, web work, it's someone to rely on, someone to go to and trust and know they're gonna be there to help you with your technical needs in particular.

Hmm. Okay, we can geek out on this for the rest of the time, but I wanted to talk about your journey. So we'll have to follow up, uh, Mario, and, and talk more about retainers, cuz I think it's something that we need to talk about in, in the ecosystem so that there's more sustainable businesses with outcomes that products that clients can, can rely on.

Absolutely. Okay. So I'm curious. Devex and all the other things you have going, you have several projects [00:25:00] you talked about, like SAS and different things of your own. Um, in addition to helping your clients with that, um, 50 people, all this work. That's crazy. Congratulations on your journey to get here. Oh, thank you.

But how'd you get here? So I know we got back, you got a computer technical background, you found WordPress. What was that first step when you started, um, getting paid to do what you're doing that eventually led to and grew to what you're doing now? Um, Yeah, good question again. So considering the fact that my background was in software engineering, I already had, um, idea and exposure to different businesses doing that, right?

Uh, I worked for two different, It's development shops. It's not quite an agency, but it kind of works similarly. Uh, but you know, I still, I was still working on, on proposals. I was still working on kind of functional analysis and lots of different like, uh, time and material type [00:26:00] of projects going through me for just for more complex projects or rather, Projects that were taking more time due to the tech stack, right?

Uh, so what I'm saying is, and, and that's kind of also a piece of advice I often kind of recommend to my, you know, followers and people just kind of, uh, working with me. If, if you wanna start your kind of own business, just don't start with no experience whatsoever. Spend at least a few years working in a business kind of similar business, especially a service-based business, which is fairly dynamic.

To understand how, uh, you know, the, the, the bread and butter, how sausage is made, as they say, right? Uh, and, and takes to figure out what the business looks like, like who's in charge, like who's, you know, generating revenue, what's kind of the pipeline like, and, and, and just go through that process a few times to figure out how it works.

It's a lot easier than, yeah, go ahead. Get? No. I wanted to say yes, a hundred percent. A hundred thousand percent. Most entrepreneurs I've known over my career didn't go in high school or [00:27:00] school go, I'm gonna be an entrepreneur. I'm gonna be a startup founder. That's a whole startup. Founder's a whole other thing over here, but most entrepreneurs will talk about.

Including this one stumbled into it, fell into it. And what you said there is so relevant. I've got friends that own construction companies, um, ma big manufacturing companies, and what you said right there, so vital because you didn't just, we weren't just perhaps born with all of this knowledge about how do I.

How do I do a client proposal or anything? And I, so I think if there's someone that has that interest in buildings having their own business, that is critical because you can watch, I look back at my career, Mario, and I'm like, oh, I learned leadership from these people. This one I learned leadership. Not to do the opposite, but like that collection of experiences is so vital.

So I just wanted to say, heck yes, because then you get a feel for. How you wanna operate [00:28:00] and see as a model for someone else. So that experience, I just wanna say, heck yeah. Okay. Keep going. And, and and, yeah. I love it. And you mentioned leadership and learning leadership from people how to do or how not to do.

Yeah. And, and the ability to actually work in a, you know, real business. Gives you the opportunity to work with bosses or majors or clients and just understand what you like and what you don't like, and actually develop your style before you've had the chance to start and have no idea what you're doing.

And like, not even get an opportunity to build your own style. Right. So that's why I also think it's, it's so damn critical. Uh, but, but kind of back to the original topic of kind of WordPress, like working for a few years, I already knew kind of what the process was like. I was already building proposal, I was already talking to clients like, you know, kind of a, a.

Uh, business intelligence person or whatever role I had back in the day. Uh, and, and it wasn't really. Uncharted territory. However, I, I also spent probably a year just reading freelance resource, right? Uh, there were a bunch of these, like one of them actually got, got acquired by Envado several years [00:29:00] ago.

Uh, but like several kind of freelance. I just, you know, talking about estimates and kind of how you do pricing and taxes and proposals and contracts, like all. Just the, the operational part of the, the work, right? You can get a brief and develop it one way or another, regardless of whether you're a developer, designer or something.

You, you can get a fun, you know, functional list of features and build it, right? You can go to even weeks and we and squares and all the others and just draft it out one way or another. Right? But there's so much to lending a project and completing a project to that, right. Uh, First off, lead generation and marketing.

How you do that, how, how you position yourself pr, branding. Then you have sales and negotiations. Then you have again, pricing and estimates. Then you have budgeting for all the horror stories. Then you have gathering requirements. Then you have, uh, time slash resource location. What do you do with multiple projects at a time?

How do you hire, how do you manage projects? How do you report, how do you communicate? [00:30:00] And again, tax and legal. There's so much in running a business. And again, I'm not saying that to discourage people even though I don't. Everyone has to deal with all that shit. Uh, but, but there's just a lot to that. So again, it's important to be in a business to figure out what the business looks like.

And it's also important to read and, and kind of figure out how it looks. So after spending several years working for people and learning extensively, and also building small lance projects, I turned into full-time freelancing and almost went bankrupt simply because it was still not. It was just still not enough.

Right? My negotiation skills sucked. Uh, I was really bad into that. I was great at allowing scope creep to happen, right? A month long project, easily turned into a five month project to the same fee. Cause clients wanted everything and anything in the world, and I was a good guy and letting that. And this was absolutely terrible and a horrible way to just run a business.

Right? Uh, luckily I had other ways to make money, which is essentially my technical [00:31:00] training and kind of other capabilities, kind of charging high profile consulting rates, working for companies like S A P and VMware and, uh, a bunch of other Jans, including cern, the Hadron Collider Company, uh, and so forth.

Like they were literally paying all my expenses like several months ahead so that I can. Go to realizing. Um, and, and I mean, it was funny. I really wanted to do that. I said like, I was okay at development, right? And like I was building my brand and stuff, but negotiations just, just terrible. Just, just horrible, right?

Uh, so, so this was a pretty slippery thing up until we got our first pro. Well, it was I and. Like one person, my kind of co-founder, uh, who's our CTO right now, um, we were kind of working on one of projects really hard to, to just compensate financially. But we got the first project paying a monthly retainer, right?

And it was absolutely eye-opening, right? So, so this way we [00:32:00] kind of. Kept working with them, allocating enough time, uh, getting some breeding room, not arguing on scope, like whether you're getting paid or not. Getting a solid monthly paycheck, and then allocating resource for the team. Growing a small team, it was really great in like, all right, like that's how it's supposed to be done.

It's really efficient. We are delivering more. We are not spending time marketing, and so everyone's happy. Uh, so like this was the way to, to get it done. Um, now this was a horror story in itself in the sense of, um, one day that plan that was literally generating 90% of our 85% came to us and said, look guys, this software is so great.

It can run on autopilot for a year. We're just going to take the next four months off, just like literally doing nothing and keep it, you know, on autopilot for another four or five months and then sell it. Because like we literally, it's absolutely brilliant. Doesn't require maintenance. Thank you so much for helping us out, [00:33:00] but we are not going to pay anymore.

Right? So we were, as you know, people say we were victims. Our of our own. . Um, so the reason that failed is the, the second reason I like retainers, which is divers. It's just being smart enough not to work with Longwell and, and kind of going bankrupt. So anyways, I, I had this followed a couple months when I was working, probably 18 hours a day.

Just, you know, calling, waking up in the morning, uh, sales coach with Australia in the evening, sales calls with the States daytime, trying to chase local league in Europe. So it was, uh, uh, a horrible part of my life. But even. Did close some projects to help us persevere over the next four or five months, and we tried to turn all of them into retainers and we converted maybe two or three of them as retainers.

So this got us back into the recurring revenue game and gave us a solid start and, and just, you know, Allowed us to be grateful and thankful to these clients. And also keep chasing even [00:34:00] small projects or other deals or kind of maintenance or steroids or support jobs or whatever it is, and just add to that retainer portfolio.

So I'd say this is the kind of the high level of how it worked out and some of the obvious horror stories of why it was this close to not working out if it wasn't for. I think that's part of the gig with being an entrepreneur is start, start going on something, see when something's not working, and try to refine the process.

You know, looking at a business as a product itself and going, we're having a bug here, we need to, you know, patch that bug. We want a new feature release, new version release. Okay. And I see that with your. Is I, I resonate too, by the way, with it. I don't like sales . I don't like the back and forth contract stuff.

Um, I've done all that, but I don't like it. And then going, it seems like there was this big version release with your journey where you're like, this is not working. We're gonna go to this new [00:35:00] model, and why it helped. Were there other things along the way that were catalysts to where you are? Uh, perhaps, I mean, there are a bunch of these, but I'm going to try to synthesize them in a short term manner.

So one of them was just rediscovering corporate. Um, again, I had exposure to different systems and different platforms at, at some point in time. At the same time, um, I had a. I had a c plus plus project going on for, for mining, you know, gold mines and all those cards pulling, mines c plus plus. I was building, uh, a similar software for, for set up boxes for hotels.

Uh, I was working on a UNICEF project in Jango, which is Python. I had a couple of PhD projects and I still had like, uh, my Java job, like some remaining projects that I was completing. Right. So it was, and I was also working on Android. By the way, but that's still kind of Java. So very diverse, very, you know, [00:36:00] inconsistent and focused kind of way of, of doing development.

But it was working out, right. The problem is you can't really kind of specialize in one thing or the other. So one of my. Clients for the Jango app. Uh, he was starting a theme framework business, right? For, for kind of one of the big, uh, team marketplaces. So I joined as a Ct O right? Just kind of technical reviews and stuff.

We had a lead developer, so I spent maybe three months working day-to-day on WordPress, actually trying to extend it towards a powerful theme framework. Now, whether this was a great idea of providing the monstrous premium multipurpose theme, experie. That's a different story, but it really opened my eyes as to how flexible WordPress is besides design, right?

Custom posts, custom taxonomy settings, API options, API transients, lots of different things happening behind the scenes. That was pre rests API and. Pretty guttenberg and stuff, but it really told me, all right, like this is actually extensible, right? [00:37:00] You can build an e-commerce from scratch, you can build a mo, you know, a marketplace from scratch or whatever.

You can build an OMS from scratch. It's not a hacky way. It's not something that you're patching on top of that, because you know, It has to be in WordPress, it's actually thought out, right? You do have APIs and and SDK and stuff to do stuff. And if it doesn't make sense, for example, like stable or so for the general ui, it works out right away.

You can register postop in 20 lines of code. Great. If it works out, great. If not, just register a custom table and then wrap it up without P d B or so and then it still works out, right? So this was kind of my, uh, you know, Revelation of, alright, you can start real quick. If you know what you're doing, you can scale indefinitely and just grow it to infinity because you say, alright, 95% of the products still working.

This one is, is kind of not working out. Let's say notifications are in, I know, post me. Stupid idea, [00:38:00] right? Just lead them, move them to a custom table or whatever, or like lead them, move them to Rabbit 10 q, delete them, move them to a NoSQL table, whatever. Regardless, build a micro SA or whatever, microservices.

Go, go to Amazon Lambda, right? Just extract that thing. Co a jack there, rest api. You are done. Right? You can the, the compare decompartmentalize or so the, the project in a way that you actually allows you to tap into different pieces and only. Extract the piece that is outgrown the platform. Everything else remains and stays the same.

Um, I think this was one of the key moments that really made a difference because just picking WordPress is, alright, this is worth investing in for the next 20 years. Uh, in itself is, is kind of a tough choice, okay? You. Segued into my next question. So thank you for sharing your story, some of your experiences that so many people can learn from, and then what you all do in WordPress.

[00:39:00] Um, now I wanna switch gears to the last couple of minutes we have left, Mario, and, and you've been through a long journey with WordPress and you just said it, you're like, where I wanna work with the tool for the next 20 years. I'm curious your perspectives on WordPress in the future. What, what, what do you see the good, bad, and bad and ugly in the future for WordPress?

We love this open, open source software that's enabled so many of us to live our dreams, um, in business. Um, click publish, like that's how my journey started, uh, with WordPress and. So I'm just curious, and I keep asking this question of our members, cuz I think it's something we need to keep an eye on and I want to hear from talented people that know what they're talking about.

So what are your thoughts on the future of WordPress? Uh, yeah, great question. Definitely a thoughtful question that's hard to kind of sum up in a academia. I do. I still believe in the future of WordPress, I believe that powering 44% of the weapons show it's really [00:40:00] hard to beat and really hard to compete with.

Right. Uh, what I think is there are several segments that are eating up. WordPress's market share right now. For instance, e-commerce, Shopify, uh, basic side builders weeks, really, uh, webflow and that kind of stuff, or Squarespace or whatever, right? There are several aspects that are kind of trying to eat that up.

Uh, and I think that WordPress has to, to, as a community, as an ecosystem, as just future feature, just trying to work on, uh, more power. More resilient way to make it happen, right. Uh, again, historically World has got famous with the famous five Minute in install and the ability to turn any design into a theme.

I think that we've kind of moved away from that right now. It's easier to start a site in one of the site builders and it's easier to turn a Figma into your. Outside WordPress, right? So I think we need to strengthen down and get back to the basics and make that possible and either turn Gutenberg into something that makes it [00:41:00] possible or like, I don't know, acquire Elementor or something like that, or build builder or whatever, and just just actually make it possible in-house.

So I think this is kind of one area that just WordPress needs to double down. The second thing is WordPress became popular because, Businesses are wo, like successful businesses are using WordPress and they're using WordPress primarily because they used to be bloggers and, and writers and journalists using WordPress.

So they, you know, turn into marketing majors, marketing directors, VP of marketing, CMOs, and they say, Nope, we are using WordPress. Like, everyone's going to use WordPress. We know how to, like, this is the, the defacto platform. And right now that disconnect that, you know, the latest generation is. As much of an adapt of WordPress is also lightly slightly concerning.

And I think that we just need to, uh, pay attention to that. And then just thinking of the next generations, you know, gen Zs and, uh, Jane Alpha, what, uh, Matt said at State of the World right, was, Hey, that's why we are building. Tum to WordPress so that this is a [00:42:00] social media slash social networking experience that kids use and then they move to WordPress.

So I'm not sure how exactly it's going to, uh, plan out, but I think that the moment we finalize and just improve the editing experience of Guttenberg and WordPress, the moment we turn tumble into WordPress and just kind know, get more adoption, get. Kids back into the WordPress field, uh, we are pretty much good to go for the next 10 years.

We just need to not forget about our competitors and make sure we, uh, we really stand our way. I totally agree. You, you nailed it. You know, Squarespace, wick and Wesley have eaten the bottom of the market. Um, I knew this from my themes with themes. I mean, quickly, they, they got on the scene. Um, and, and I think about my kids in the future is like, there's WordPress needs to exist.

Open source needs to exist. Web publishing in this manner needs to exist for the future because there's this tendency, we just had a billion. By Twitter, rock the Boat, right? Or there's another change in Facebook [00:43:00] or Instagram that affects a lot of businesses, and the flag we've always flown at WordPress is freedom.

The ability to do whatever you want with it, including fork, it, , ghost is getting the news again today and WordPress. So I, I love that. I think, um, your vision about the Gutenberg and the publishing experience is so critical. I just talked to someone, um, uh, a couple weeks ago about, uh, the Fed averse and understanding that little and thinking there's an opportunity there for WordPress to.

The, the Fed averse, um, whatever that is, WordPress needs to make these changes, these little, little direction things that come back and go. It was a, it is and has been a powerhouse for democratized in publishing as we know it. But like you pointed out all these things, technology continues to accelerate and we gotta keep pace.

We gotta keep ahead to keep that core mission alive in the [00:44:00] world. Yeah, I couldn't agree more. Mario, thank you so much for being on podcast, uh, post status draft. Thanks for being a member of Post Status. You've been, been with us for a long time, and thanks for sharing your experiences and your journey with others.

I appreciate you so much. Where can people learn more about you? Uh, well, thanks, uh, once again for having me. It's, uh, definitely a great crew and, uh, you know, kudos, kudos to brand for also starting all that at, uh, eight years ago or so. Uh, and I've been a member for like, I know back then, maybe seven, eight years or so.

Uh, people can, uh, look me up, Mario patch dot coms, my website when I'm, uh, building. Kind of a portfolio like my online m MBA book of source. Also, also I'm on, uh, Twitter noia with underscores or LinkedIn, Mario Pasu. These are kind of the main networks most on the other socials. But definitely, uh, make sure you, you touch base and of course on postal Slack, which is, uh, you know, kind of the, the cool kids place for WordPress tips.

Absolutely. I love it. Thanks Mario. You [00:45:00] have a great day and I hope to see you soon, my friend. Likewise. Have a good one and chat soon. Bye.

This article was published at Post Status — the community for WordPress professionals.

by Olivia Bisset at January 26, 2023 02:30 PM under Yoast

WPTavern: WordPress Project to Evaluate Replacing Slack with Matrix Open Source Chat

WordPress and Matrix contributors are proposing a new Meta team subproject that would explore replacing Slack communication with Matrix, an open source federated chat system. Matrix already powers a variety of communication tools, including Element, the most mature Matrix client – a universal chat app that is often described as “a Slack alternative.”

In 2020, Automattic invested $4.6M in New Vector, creators of the Matrix open standard for decentralized communication. At that time, Mullenweg indicated his intention for Automattic to adopt Matrix-based tools and build bridges to WordPress.

The contributors proposing this new exploration outlined a few of the major benefits of Matrix over Slack for the WordPress community’s official real-time communication tool. They contend that the Slack onboarding experience is difficult because it requires an invitation email to a WordPress-hosted email address and users have to identify the correct Slack workspace to join.

The Slack client is also not the best communication tool for some local communities where users are more active on their mobile devices than desktops.

“One of the benefits of Matrix is it supports free choice of clients, one of them being a client that is very similar to Telegram, called FluffyChat,” Automattic-sponsored contributor Alex Kirk said. “There are also particularly lightweight clients (called Hydrogen), a full featured client called Element (previously known as Riot), a client that is more like Discord called Cinny, CLI clients, and many more.”

Kirk’s team has done some preliminary legwork in an effort to make a compelling case for the switch from Slack, including a Single-Sign On flow where OpenID Connect is used with WordPress as an authentication provider. New users would only need to authorize wordPress.org to send their username to the Matrix server.

Kirk’s team has also made it possible to embed a Matrix chat into a Gutenberg block, powered by a plugin called Chatrix. It adds a Matrix client to WordPress pages through the Block Editor or as a popup.


“This could even be set to a particular room, so that users can be asked to join a specific room or Make team by giving them a link to a particular WordPress(.org) page.,” Kirk said. “This could make taking part in Make WordPress teams much easier and possibly encourage more contributions.” 

Should an open source project use an open source chat system if problems like onboarding can be fixed? Is Matrix a good fit for the WordPress project? Will it be able to provide the same or better reliability as Slack with third-party integrations that speed up contributors’ communication workflows? Are there other benefits like cost savings or features that Slack cannot accommodate? Can all the previous Slack content be migrated? These are important questions the newly formed meta sub-team aims to discuss by beginning bi-weekly meetings. Kirk is encouraging anyone who wants to take part in the meetings to comment on the Make.WordPress.org/Meta post.

“In particular, we’d like to contribute our projects Chatrix and OpenID Connect Server to the WordPress project,” Kirk said. “Additionally, work with people of the community interested in Matrix to see which Slack integrations would need to be ported and how that could be done, as well as understand through testing with other WordPress teams how good or bad the experience is, either on its own, or comparing it to Slack.”

by Sarah Gooding at January 26, 2023 01:36 PM under slack

Do The Woo Community: Supporting WooCommerce Communities in Bangladesh – Part 1

Abha Thakor is joined by two guests from the WooCommerce community to share their stories of learning and working in the global ecosystem.

>> The post Supporting WooCommerce Communities in Bangladesh – Part 1 appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce Builder Community .

by BobWP at January 26, 2023 10:00 AM under Site Builders

January 25, 2023

WPTavern: SQLite Database Integration Now Available as a Plugin for Testing

WordPress’ Performance Team is working on unbundling the Performance Lab plugin after feedback from Matt Mullenweg who requested large features become their own community plugins with the possibility of becoming canonical plugins. As part of this effort, the new SQLite database integration is now available for testing as a standalone plugin.

Yoast-sponsored contributor Ari Stathopoulos, who is leading the initiative to develop the SQLite implementation, requests that hosting companies, plugin developers, and theme authors test the plugin. Contributors are aiming to put it on track to become a canonical plugin and eventually merge the SQLite implementation into WordPress Core in a future release.

Stathopoulos updated the call for testing with instructions for how to test the standalone plugin. This is not something that should be tested in production. After activating the plugin, users can just follow the instructions on the screen to install the SQLite database.

When testing I found that I had to delete the wp-content/db.php file in order to get the plugin to install, because it displayed the following error:

The SQLite plugin cannot be activated because a different wp-content/db.php drop-in already exists.

After clicking the Install button, the plugin takes you to the familiar WordPress install screen where you select the language and enter the site name and password.

In the testing instructions, Stathopoulos noted that the plugin will create a fresh database and no content will be migrated from the original database. The old database will remain and if the plugin is deactivated the site will go back to using MySQL. Stathopoulos explained why users will not see content from their old database when the new one is active:

The SQLite implementation does not include a way to migrate data from one database to another. Since this is a proposal for an implementation to be merged in WordPress Core, we need to follow the WordPress Core principles. Data migration is not something that Core should do; it is clearly plugin territory. Your data remains safely in your previous database, and you can access it again by disabling the SQLite module.

When SQLite gets merged in Core, migration and backup plugins will add support for it.

The repository for the SQLite Database Integration plugin has been moved to the WordPress organization on GitHub and testers can offer feedback there.

Results of the vote on the best approach to unbundling the Performance Lab plugin indicate that contributors are more in favor of keeping the Performance Lab plugin as is, but additionally deploying modules as individual plugins (32 votes) versus the alternative of making PL a wrapper focused on central infrastructure and recommendation of individual plugins (10 votes).

It’s possible the SQLite Integration Plugin may accessed as an independent module or recommended through the Performance Lab plugin in some way in the future, but it’s not yet been decided. Once a path forward is formalized, it will be more clear how the Performance Lab’s new structure will affect the standalone SQLite integration plugin.

by Sarah Gooding at January 25, 2023 10:43 PM under News

Post Status: WP Community Support (Central) vs WP Foundation • Old Trac Tickets • Themes & Support Docs Redesign

This Week at WordPress.org (January 23, 2023)

Can you explain the difference between Central and the Foundation? They are not one in the same, so check out what each area handles.

More teams across WordPress are using GitHub Projects for project management. The Community Team is considering this addition as well.

Let's review some very old tickets for bugs and feature requests in WordPress and admire the new things coming to Documentation and Themes sites.

News


Accessibility

Central

CLI

Community

Core

WordPress 6.2

Meetings

Developer Blog

Design

Docs

Hosting

Marketing

Meta

Mobile

Openverse

Performance

Polyglots

Plugins

Project

Support

Test

Themes

Training

Lesson Plans

Online Workshops

Tutorials

WPTV


Thanks for reading our WP dot .org roundup! Each week we are highlighting the news and discussions coming from the good folks making WordPress possible. If you or your company create products or services that use WordPress, you need to be engaged with them and their work. Be sure to share this resource with your product and project managers.

Are you interested in giving back and contributing your time and skills to WordPress.org? 🙏 Start Here ›

Get our weekly WordPress community news digest — Post Status' Week in Review — covering the WP/Woo news plus significant writing and podcasts. It's also available in our newsletter. 💌

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You — and your whole team can Join Post Status too!

Build your network. Learn with others. Find your next job — or your next hire. Read the Post Status newsletter. ✉ Listen to podcasts. 🎙 Follow @Post_Status 🐦 and LinkedIn. 💼

This article was published at Post Status — the community for WordPress professionals.

by Courtney Robertson at January 25, 2023 08:17 PM under WordPress.org

WPTavern: #60 – Mike Demo, Tracy Apps and david wolfpaw on LGBTQ and WordPress

Transcript

[00:00:00] Nathan Wrigley: Welcome to the Jukebox podcast from WP Tavern. My name is Nathan Wrigley.

Jukebox is a podcast which is dedicated to all things WordPress. The people, the events, the plugins, the blocks, the themes, and in this case, a discussion of WordPress and LGBTQ.

If you’d like to subscribe to the podcast, you can do that by searching for WP Tavern in your podcast player of choice, or by going to WPTavern.com forward slash feed forward slash podcast. And you can copy and paste that URL into most podcast players.

If you have a topic that you’d like us to feature on the podcast, I’m keen to hear from you, and hopefully get you, or your idea, featured on the show. Do that by heading to WPTavern.com forward slash contact forward slash jukebox, and use the form there.

So on the podcast today we have Mike Demo, Tracy Apps and david wolfpaw. Usually, it’s less of an interview and more of a round table discussion about their experiences in the WordPress community.

A few weeks ago, I put out a call for anyone who might be interested in coming on the podcast. Mike Demo reached out to me and said that it would be good to discuss how the WordPress community deals with LGBTQ matters. We agreed on a date and two other people were invited to join us on the call, Tracy Apps and david wolfpaw.

We start things off with each of the guests introducing themselves and telling us how they ended up working in tech and, more specifically, WordPress. This leads into a discussion of how the job market can be different for people with different identities.

We then move on to WordPress, and talk through some of the ways that the community has responded to underrepresented groups. There are certainly areas where the guests think that there’s been positive change, but we also spend time thinking about the ways that some things could still be improved. In-person events like WordCamps get plenty of attention here.

We also get into the open source nature of the WordPress project, and whether this makes it more or less difficult for change to take place, given that authority is structured differently from most for-profit entities.

Towards the end of the podcast, each of the guests shares a story about some specific thing that they wish could happen. Something that’s within reach, but as yet, not achieved.

And we round it all off with the sharing of resources and websites, which listeners may find useful.

If you’re interested in finding out more, you can find all of the links in the show notes by heading to WPTavern.com forward slash podcast, where you’ll find all the other episodes as well.

And so without further delay, I bring you Mike Demo, Tracey Apps and david wolfpaw.

I am joined on the podcast today by three guests. We’ve got Mike Demo. We have Tracy Apps and david wolfpaw. Thank you very much for joining us on the podcast today because there’s three of us. I’m going to ask us in a round robin fashion to introduce ourselves, and then we’ll get into the nature of the topic itself. So first off, let’s start with Mike.

[00:03:59] Mike Demo: I am Mike Demo. I go by Demo. Pronouns, he, him, they, them. And I am the head of partners at Codeable.

[00:04:09] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you very much, Mike and Tracy.

[00:04:12] Tracy Apps: Yes, I’m Tracy Apps. Apps is really my last name. My pronouns are she, her. I do a lot of things. I am a UX designer, front end developer. So basically I call myself a creative problem solver and educator. Both work for myself, and different contracts.

[00:04:32] Nathan Wrigley: Okay, thank you very much. And finally, David.

[00:04:36] david wolfpaw: Hello. My name is david wolfpaw. My pronouns are they, them. I also do a variety of different things. I call myself a website mechanic for my WordPress maintenance company, FixUpFox. I also do some education as well, and am trying to describe myself more as a web creator these days.

[00:04:56] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you very much indeed. Now, the podcast came about because I put out a message on social media, several months ago now, asking for people to volunteer their time to have a podcast chat with me. And I believe of the three of you, it was Mike that reached out to me and he said that he would like to talk about the subject of WP Pride and then in brackets LGBT, or out in tech.

And it transpires that the three of us well, the four of us, the three guests plus myself, have managed to get on the call today. So unlike most interviews where it’s Q and A, I ask a question, the guest responds. This is going to be more of a round table discussion. I’m not entirely sure what the direction of travel will be, but we’re just going to talk around this subject, probably about 45 minutes or so.

So I’m going to kick off, and you, the three of you, feel free to interrupt each other. Feel free to crosstalk or make me be quiet if I am rambling on. But I’d like to get into this subject first of all. And the first thing is, under the brackets in the show notes, we had this idea of life experience, was one of the topics we were going to talk about.

And professional experience, how you got here. So to introduce the subject, why this matters in tech, why this is important. It may be that there’s a whole bunch of people listening to this who can identify with what we’re going to talk about. We may be introducing this topic for the very first time. So let’s go back to basics and introduce how this topic has come around and whichever of you wants to take that on, how it’s been affected in your life, and so on.

[00:06:26] Tracy Apps: I can start with this one. So because my, just my professional experience is very tied into my queer identity, especially as I have been professionally running my own company. And one of those interesting things is, you know, with most people in the tech industry has taken a winding turn.

I officially have an art degree. But then I also was in engineering, and I started teaching myself, or I found the internet basically and these homepages back in 1996 and started teaching myself html. But because of all that, and then the WordPress community especially having that kind of, that open source, not only the open source software, but the open source knowledge, everyone is collaborative, has allowed me to create my own company.

Because in many States in the United States, it is still legal to be fired for being gay. So that job security is not necessarily there for some people, but having the skills and the community in WordPress and in the tech world, being able to kind of create and forge my own path, that has become my job security.

So it ties into my professional, how did I get here, in a really interesting way and gotten, just some hilarious stories through this journey. But I wouldn’t have that if it wasn’t for having that, being able to make my own company and make my own work and forge my own path.

[00:08:16] Nathan Wrigley: Do you feel, Tracy, that the fact that you have done all of that and you’ve done it yourself for yourself by yourself without the need to have an employer. Has that made your life easier to manage, shall we say? Do you imagine that if you had have gone for the employed employee route through life. Do you think you would’ve had a different experience?

[00:08:38] Tracy Apps: I definitely would’ve had a different experience. But the one thing that I have learned, and it’s one of those, what’s the cause, what’s the effect? Is it because I have been running my own company and, just even since I was a kid, when someone was like, oh, drums, that’s something that boys do.

And I was like, I want to play drums. And so I started taking drum lessons in grade school. So I was kind of always that rebel. Be like you say I can’t do something. Well, that’s going to make me do it now. And so that doesn’t always, unless you have the right employer, that doesn’t always jive well when it’s like, especially in corporate where it’s, oh, you have to do all of these things and not rock the boat. And I’ve always been one to rock the boat.

So that has kind of both ruined me from being an employee. Except for in places where that is actually really needed. Things like startups and where you need to disrupt an industry. But again, I don’t know if I would’ve just, the recession hadn’t happened, I hadn’t had to start my own company back in 2009. Would I be in a different place? Probably, but would I have a different personality? So it’s always a interesting self-evaluation of, that.

[00:10:04] Nathan Wrigley: So a nice anecdote there from Tracy about an aspect of the last few years that’s led to the job that she’s now working in. I wonder if Mike or David want to interrupt at this point and give us an anecdote about their own lives that they think is important.

[00:10:19] david wolfpaw: This is David. I just want to jump in and say I can agree with some of the things that Tracy said, and expand upon that. I’ve had some professional web development jobs in the past where I felt that my work there was in part hindered by my identity. As Tracy said, there’s a lot of places, including Florida where I live, where, well, okay, it’s a little bit complicated now, I’ll say. But basically, yes, you could still fire anyone for any reason, including, you know, their sexual orientation or gender identity.

I’ve had places where I’ve felt unsafe being out. Or having to hide parts of my identity that I might otherwise not, because I’ve been in work environments where you could certainly tell that it was frowned upon, or that there was a certain type of, I’ll say company culture that existed that made it not feel like the best environment to be out and be fully myself.

[00:11:11] Nathan Wrigley: Do you mind if I just butt in there and ask you a question about that? So the first thing I want to ask is A, did you in those scenarios, feel that the quickest solution was to step away from that job and therefore have to go on a job hunt yet again? Or did you feel that you wanted to tackle these things head on? I’m just getting some sort of orientation for what the easiest thing to do is in those scenarios, not necessarily the best thing to do. But typically have you stood down and said, look, this is not for me. It’s going to be easier for me on a personal level if I just make this problem go away by quitting? Or have you taken on the challenge of changing company culture and so on?

[00:11:50] david wolfpaw: Well, thankfully I’ve had other reasons to leave jobs that, you know, I didn’t feel that was the main reason for it. I am as well self-employed now, just for context. Unfortunately, a lot of times it feels easier to be quiet, quite honestly. Like sure, looking for another job, but that’s not always, I would not say that’s the quickest way to go. But you know, I would say in certain places, feeling excluded from your job or feeling othered is a lot more likely to happen, a lot quicker.

[00:12:19] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you. Mike, any anecdotes to throw in our direction?

[00:12:23] Mike Demo: Yeah, so there’s a big, kind of standard thing that a lot of employers say, right? Which is, we don’t care, right? We don’t care if you are purple, gay, whatever. But that is not really enough. Because if you look at the numbers or like, we don’t care if you’re, you know, man or a woman. We just want the best developers. But if you look at the data, it does matter.

So, it is easier to be quiet in a lot of cases, because I would say most companies are probably not actively trying to force out LGBT people. But I would say that a lot of companies are actively trying to keep the status quo and not have that be brought to work. Which means you can’t really bring your whole self to work.

So I have a habit, a pretty strong habit, and it’s gotten me in trouble in the past, of pushing against that multiple times, and being like, no, we should do something for pride month. We should do something here, do something there. And I’ve gotten answers through some larger organizations be like, well we don’t want to do anything public that might upset people. And I’m like, yeah, okay, thanks.

[00:13:32] Tracy Apps: But instead, you’re going to upset that community. But that’s a smaller, right. That’s in fact what’s really happening.

[00:13:39] Mike Demo: So like it’s funny, like we look at every pride month, right? In every June, at least in the US I think, I’m not sure about international. And we always make fun of those companies that be like, oh look, just changing your logo, blah, blah blah, rainbow washing. But I kind of appreciate that because at least they’re willing to put their money where their mouth is.

GoDaddy’s a great example. GoDaddy, it was like five years ago, they did something for Pride month. And they responded with every hateful comment in Twitter and Facebook, sorry to say that, support person will email you to help you transfer your account out of us. And they owned it. And that’s kind of cool.

Yeah, so I’ve pushed a lot and tried to get more representation, and it’s worked out eventually. At Codeable, for example we brought back, at WordCamp Europe this year, . And that was very successful. And we did that again at WordCamp US, and now we’re co-hosting it at WordCamp Asia next month.

Well it’s going to be in February, so, with Yoast. And so those came back and those kind of took a hiatus. And so getting budget for things like that also helps.

[00:14:45] david wolfpaw: I also want to just jump in before the next question, to comment on something that Demo said. Which was when companies say something like, we don’t care if you’re gay, straight, purple, whatever, we want to find the best people. That is sending another message. Let alone the fact that, I take issue with people saying, oh, I’m colorblind, I don’t see purple people, for instance. As far as I know, there are no purple people. But there’s also the issue of when you say, we don’t care, that’s not saying we’re not racist, we’re not prejudiced. That’s saying that, as Demo said, we’re going to protect the status quo, because we’re not going to consider that you have potentially different needs, different life experiences to look at.

[00:15:26] Nathan Wrigley: So do you regard that then as merely just ignoring the issue? Basically just saying what we are going to do here is bury our heads in the sand and not take any affirmative action or any action at all. But just pretend like there’s nothing to be done, no conversation here. Let’s move along and wait for a couple of weeks to pass and then we can all get back to normal.

[00:15:44] david wolfpaw: Um, not necessarily. I mean, I could say certainly in some cases that would be the case. But honestly, if someone answers like that, certainly it’s better than someone answering negatively. But I always see that kind of answer as somebody who is right for education of some sort. And I don’t try to force that onto other people. Certainly there’s not always the best time and place for it. But I found that that is more likely to be the person who is willing to listen to you. You know, when you say, that’s not okay, that’s not enough. They’re not doing it to avoid any sort of responsibility.

In general I found that’s the person who’s doing it because it sounds right, and it sounds, like a smart thing, until you point out what it really means, what the differences are. You know, that’s like I could say, I’m trying to think of another example that maybe fits my identity better. But the most probably well known one here in the United States would be saying black lives matter, versus all lives matter. And it’s really easy to take something like that, that sounds positive, but turn it toxic. Make it politicized in a way that honestly shows more about the person saying it.

[00:16:51] Mike Demo: Bringing it back to WordPress just for a second. WordCamp US had the diversity scholarship to help with the travel fund. And I love the idea of it, but it also was interesting because the speaker applications didn’t ask for, besides pronouns, didn’t ask for any identifying information.

Are they people of color, non-binary, LGBT. I love the fact that WordCamp US is focusing and working with outside companies to help sponsor underrepresented groups to be able to travel. However, I felt like this year, WordCamp US, that the way that they did it was weird because, they were using the Underrepresented in Tech requirements, which are good, but how do you know, how can you support underrepresented speakers if you don’t know what minorities the speaker falls into?

Unless there’s somebody like the three of us who are public. And so I’m curious on Tracy and David’s thoughts on, how events and conferences can be more accepting. But also, on the other hand, asking for people to have to identify that data when they apply to speak also might be a negative to some people. But on the other hand, it’s really hard to be more diverse in your speaker selection if you don’t know someone’s non-binary, for example.

[00:18:14] Nathan Wrigley: So the form that you mentioned, it simply had no input. There was no fields to supply that information? There was just a black hole there. The assumptions had to be made apart from, I think you said pronouns were one of the fields available. But you’re also making the point that maybe some people would see that as something that they don’t wish to supply. But then again, I guess if you put the fields in, but don’t make them necessary. Yeah. It’s hard, isn’t it? It’s difficult to know where the boundaries there lie.

[00:18:40] Mike Demo: The Community Leadership Summit, they on their speaker applications, they have a whole bunch of minority questions, from disabilities, to gender, to lots of different things. And it’s all optional data. They anonymize it for the speaker selection, but they at least report what their numbers are.

It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot because we have been seeing more diverse speaker selection in WordCamps, but then again, I feel like we have the token gay people in the WordPress community that keep getting selected, and we feel like that’s good enough, and I don’t think it is.

[00:19:16] Nathan Wrigley: Is that a product of people raising their head above the parapet, if you like? Just that some people are comfortable speaking about those things in public and talking about it on social media so people get to know who they are? Whereas other people keep more quiet and keep their cards close to their chest, if you like.

[00:19:33] david wolfpaw: I certainly think I could be part of it. I want to give space for Tracy first before I respond to the question of what Demo said though.

[00:19:40] Nathan Wrigley: Okay.

[00:19:40] Tracy Apps: Oh yeah. So I’ve been to some really great conferences that, the speaker list does more accurately represent a diverse swath instead of just like, here’s the token person of color. Here is this. And those things, from hearing those organizers, it takes a lot of intentionality. Physically going and inviting people. Because one of the things, so I am one of the hosts of the Women in WP Podcast. We focus on stories of women and non-binary, people in the WordPress community.

And if you look at most of the podcasts, and it was started because Amy, one of our hosts said she was loading up podcasts and she was noticing it was all mostly straight men, which is fine. They were great. And some of our good friends of ours, and do great work and are basically self, self-described feminists. And, it’s not like a bad thing, it’s just that some people, especially women, and those in kind of marginalized communities, are kind of always told, women especially, anyone who has been raised as a woman.

So even trans men that I know and non-binary folks, that upbringing of, women have to be softer and quieter. And don’t brag about things and all of those kinds of things. Just that culture, even if it’s subtle, it permeates just your whole attitude about yourself. Mostly subconscious. So when it’s like, hey, we’re looking for speakers that are experts at blank. And a lot of women, non-binary, trans men and just minorities. Anyone that’s on the margins doesn’t think of themselves as this expert.

Because we see the experts are, we have that vision of who those, those experts are. And, oh, we don’t fit that. And we’ve been kind of told our whole life subconsciously, indirectly that we don’t fit that. And so unless you physically go and say, hey, you are valuable, and your, your knowledge is something. We need that at the table.

We need that as a speaker. People are like, really. And most of the, most of the guests that we’ve had, it’s almost humorous where we have women and non-binary guests that say, oh yeah, you know, I just did this. Oh, you just created the most robust and largest and most successful plugin in the WordPress community.

Just because you couldn’t find something that, you needed to do something, and you just created this company that now has 10 employees. You know, I was like, that’s amazing. It’s amazing but that culture of suppressing one’s self is what shows up, and why people don’t apply to speak, or to go to something, or to apply for a job. All of that is all connected to that.

[00:23:09] Nathan Wrigley: Do you have a sense Tracy then, that there is a reservoir, for want of a better word, a reservoir of people who are essentially there? They’re out there, but they’re just not being tapped. They’re being put off. There are impediments in the way. Intentional or non-intentional?

[00:23:25] Tracy Apps: Yeah, absolutely. And one of the things, we’re almost to a hundred episodes of Women in WordPress, which is amazing. We did not expect to be going that long and having that much. But we’ve interviewed people from all over the world, and I’m like, if these people weren’t in the WordPress community and working and doing whatever they’re doing, the whole WordPress ecosystem would crumble.

But they don’t realize that because they’re not out in front. Or they’re like, oh, I’d prefer being in the background. Those are some of the most crucial roles, and the reasons why the WordPress community and project is where it is, is because of so many people behind the scenes that don’t step forward and say, oh yeah, no, I’m a part of this, but they really are.

[00:24:17] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you. And David, you mentioned that you had something in response.

[00:24:22] david wolfpaw: Well one anecdotally, so for context, I organized the WordPress Orlando Meetup and WordCamp Orlando for close to a decade, before the pandemic. And I would reach out to people specifically. I would reach out to minorities, but I would reach out to women and say, I know that you know about this. We’ve discussed it. Would you be interested in giving a presentation on it? Or would you like to help with something?

And, I am much more likely to get a response, oh no, I, you know, I couldn’t do that. Or, I don’t know enough about that, or I don’t feel confident enough about that. And, you know, I don’t try to push people too much, but there are, thankfully, since there are resources now to help people improve their speaking abilities and, you know, start training for it, uh, that I can direct them to those.

But I would always hear that from women when I didn’t hear from men, if I asked, you know, men to be involved. Yet when we put on our events, the people who are much more likely to ask to volunteer for the event are women. People who are going to be doing those behind the scenes roles, and the things that are equally as important.

But, it’s not the same of, I’m going to help with registration, versus I’m going to give a presentation on something that I fully know well about, but don’t feel confident enough. I do think it is part of how people are acculturated.

And I also want to circle back, we were talking about the WordPress Community Summit. Years ago, I applied for one of the community summits and I attended. Somebody who worked for the WordPress project did ask me when I indicated at the time that, I fit some intersectional minority status. And, this is somebody who I’d met in person several times and they asked me in what ways that I fit in there. And I told them, but I realized so that this person who I’d met multiple times and talked with both in person and online, didn’t really know me very well and couldn’t really, you know, there’s a lot of things that you can’t just see by looking at someone.

[00:26:09] Mike Demo: I will say that to give credit to WordCamp US specifically, I know that they reached out to multiple speakers and they did their best. And there was the fund that multiple companies donated to, to help people with fiscal issues. So all that’s great. It’s all going into good direction, but we can always get a little better every year.

But even like David, when I was a sponsor, I asked, hey, before I sponsor WordCamp Orlando, will it be an all gender bathroom? And they were like, huh, I don’t know, maybe. And then there was that year. And I know of a few attendees who were very thankful for that, that opportunity, and that option.

So, sometimes you just take what you have and you can ask the question. And sometimes if you’re in the position to, like for me as a sponsor, I was a global sponsor for WordPress, the company I was at, we were a sponsor, I should say. I’m proud to say a few WordCamps started offering some accommodations and thinking about things they never thought about. So, sometimes it just takes one person and it can make a difference.

[00:27:11] david wolfpaw: I just want to add to that, I would, well, first of all, I want to thank Demo again now. But I would like to call that a success story for so much more than just that one event. So Demo did reach out to me years ago concerning gender inclusive restrooms at our event, which was a college campus.

And, you know, myself as a queer person, I had not given that any thought. It was admittedly a blind spot for me. I just didn’t think about it and I should have. But thankfully someone else brought it to my attention. We approached the college and, they did set it up for our event. We’d had gender inclusive restrooms at events after. But the part that I find more successful, again, I’m going to credit Demo for raising this as an issue, is that we were able to go to the college and say, a sponsor for our event requested this. They host a lot of events at this college.

And the person who works for the events department have really helped us. Basically she spearheaded an initiative to get gender inclusive restrooms just as part of the campus full-time. So that was something that did not exist before. Somebody in the WordPress community, again give Demo the credit for that, brought it up as something and we were able to go look, somebody specifically asked for it, and it’s somebody who’s giving us money.

[00:28:20] Nathan Wrigley: Given that that could be labeled as a success and it’s a real world event, and maybe WordCamps and WordPress events are, are the easiest target for this next question. What other, things do you wish to achieve? What are the things that in your minds would qualify under the umbrella of success?

You know, in other words if, we were to change just one, maybe you’ve got a whole laundry list written down somewhere, but if there were one or two things that you would like to see changed in the short, medium term, and it could be about WordCamps, but if you want to talk about WordPress as a software project, feel free to delve into that. What are the things that you would like to see changed? Things that you think are not right yet.

[00:29:03] Tracy Apps: Well, some of the things, especially as a user experience designer. Some things can be fairly easy. You know, how many job applications, registration forms et cetera, say your gender, and they only give you two options? There’s dozens if not hundreds. So that’s very limiting, and especially now if you’re saying, all right, hi, I’m a company and I’m trying to hire diversely. And I now just presented a form for you to fill out that you aren’t included in that automatically says, well no, you really don’t want me. You’re looking for something else.

And people just stop filling it out. And that’s just a really easy change, so different plugins. Now Yoast updates with the inclusive language. I actually also I was using Teams for one of my contracts and they have a speaker, they monitor your speech and they tell you if your language is inclusive, they give you like a report afterwards.

So there’s lots of these tools we can lean on to see, especially because you don’t know what you don’t know. Yes, there’s queer people all over the world and probably everyone has them in their family. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re out and they know that they have queer members of their family or neighbors, et cetera.

Because some places we do not always have the privilege of safety, of being out and being completely who we are. But there’s all these tools that we can now look at to help us with that education. And start to learning, start opening our eyes. There’s tons of organizations out there too that have just video stories. So you can find a wealth of information and personal testimonies and learn and just develop more of that empathy of something that you don’t know just by using the internet, which we’re, most of us are on all the time anyway.

[00:31:18] Nathan Wrigley: Tracy, can I just interrupt you there, before I carry on and ask Mike and David about what success for them looks like? You said the phrase there, you don’t know what you don’t know. Do you think that is increasingly less and less watertight, as a thing to be able to say?

So as an example, if in five years, let’s say five or 10 years from now. If somebody was to turn around and say that back to you? Well, I don’t know. Yes, we didn’t accommodate any of these things. But you know what? I don’t know. Forgive me. Do you think that’s going to carry water in the future, or do you think we’re getting to a point where those kind of utterances are just, well, no longer acceptable?

[00:31:54] Tracy Apps: Well, I think that’ll always have some, because the paradox of choice. Kind of the same thing with the paradox of having so much information, and then literally almost just being overwhelmed and to not know where you start. I think that’ll always be an issue.

So I do think that some people will, that is a genuine ex excuse. Now with that said, you’re right, there is much more, kind of spotlights put on these issues. Now, it’s almost, especially in certain areas in the US, like you kind of have to, really try to not see it.

Because it’s on the news, it’s everywhere. So I think it, it will be kind of both. But I also think that even as someone in the LGBTQ community, I still am learning things and having to change things. So being in the Midwest, we have our Midwestern y’all, which is, you guys.

So I have been in the past, you know, whatever, five years or so, very intentional of changing that language and actually using y’all, because that is a gender inclusive, that is a gender neutral phrase to be able to include all. And if I go up to a mic and say, ladies and gentlemen, now what happens? I’ve excluded many people. So all of those things. I am even continuing learning and it’s a journey, I think it’ll be a lifelong journey, but it’s just a, a matter of wanting to keep learning and improving. And that’s the difference. If it’s, oh, I just don’t know what I don’t know, is a excuse to not learn and want to be learning.

[00:33:41] Nathan Wrigley: Okay, yeah. Thank you. I understand the structure of your thoughts there. That’s great. Okay, so let’s go to Mike and ask the question. You obviously have an example already with the bathrooms that you mentioned at the WordCamp.

[00:33:52] Mike Demo: I didn’t know that, by the way.

[00:33:53] Nathan Wrigley: Did you have any other examples of things that you would like to see? In other words, what does success for you look like in the near term?

[00:34:00] Mike Demo: Yeah. Quick question for Tracy. Tracy, are you saying in the Midwest, we live in the same state by the way, that you’re trying to say y’all all instead of you guys? Or y’all is our Midwest saying? Because I wasn’t clear.

[00:34:11] Tracy Apps: Yeah, no. So you guys is kind of the Midwest version of y’all.

[00:34:17] Mike Demo: I was like, I don’t know anyone that says y’all up here. So I agree with your statement.

[00:34:22] Tracy Apps: Yep. I do now. And so y’all. Some other ones, you’uns, youse, that’s another good one. Yeah, yinz or whatever it is. I don’t know how Pittsburgh pronounce it. Those are all very great gender neutral, inclusive terms for a group of people. For a multiple you.

[00:34:40] Nathan Wrigley: It really is interesting how the language is littered with tripwires, isn’t it? They’re all over the place and obviously if you’ve been having to modify your own speech and consciously apply thought to that, I imagine there’s countless examples in my own life where I’m doing that and there’s no intention there. It’s just a legacy of what I learned and what have you. It needs examining.

[00:35:00] david wolfpaw: Of course.

[00:35:01] Mike Demo: Yeah, I mean, in school we’re taught that you can’t use they as a singular, as a singular word. So I still, when I read they talking about a single person, it confuses me to this day.

[00:35:13] david wolfpaw: And then you have some people who will counteract with, oh, but you know, Shakespeare used a singular they, or singular they was the common until, you know, the 1800’s or things like that. And this is not to discredit what, Demo’s saying because I was also taught the same. But I think I want to make a point of saying here for the audience listening that, you know, as Tracy said, all of us have things that we need to unlearn and change.

Um and I’ll end, as you said Nathan, there are so many different trip wires there. Things that, you know, we don’t know, that we don’t know. No one is ever going to be able to perfectly address everybody and be inclusive of everybody when they speak and when they act. But there’s a big difference between someone refusing to use they, them pronouns because, you know, quote, it’s not grammatically correct.

Sorry, it’s a bit of a tangent for me. It’s a bit of a stretch that I don’t like the argument that, oh, well technically people used to say it like this, so yeah, you should use it. Really, it’s as a sign of respect. As a sign that you want to participate and engage with conversation with this person on terms that you know, and put you on equal footing. Not that lets you have some power imbalance there.

[00:36:26] Nathan Wrigley: I have this feeling that language in our own tiny span of life, 80, 60, 70, whatever years we get it. It feels like it’s a concrete thing, which was set in stone when I was born and will be immutable until the day I die. But of course, if you look back into history and you were probably to just plonk yourself down in the era of Shakespeare, I’m pretty sure that you wouldn’t understand a single thing that anybody was saying. It’d just be a soup of nonsense. And so the idea that language cannot be changed does seem to be just bound to the small little lifetime that we have.

Whereas if you look at it over many years. A great example is my children. My children say things to me and I have no idea what it means, but to them it’s complete common sense. This is just the meaning behind slang and things like that. But the broader point I’m trying to make is that give it time, language can change. And just because it was like that when we were children doesn’t mean it will be like that or ought to be like that when we’re older. Sorry, a complete aside.

[00:37:29] david wolfpaw: No, no, that’s, I completely understand and agree with that. Language changes very rapidly, but I also find that, I guess I want to say like, history it rhymes. You know, you say that language feels set from when you were born, you know, look at like the, the word of the year that the different dictionaries put out every year.

And a good portion of those are words that did not exist, just a few years prior. But at the same time, some of those words, and I’m blanking on any specific examples right now, but some words that you’ve only started hearing like in the past year or so, it turns out we’re common slang a hundred years ago and then went out of fashion and suddenly you’re getting used again now. And we think like, oh, this word is of course new. It only got, started getting used on Twitter or something. And it’s like, no, this has actually been around for quite a long time.

Well, so many things are a product of whatever culture we’re trying to have. So, you have that stereotypical old timey radio reporter voice, which no one ever spoke like that, but it’s the voice you hear when you think of old time radio reports. Because it worked better for the technology at the time. Or say the mid-atlantic accent that was used in early film, early US film, which is not an accent that anyone uses in the real world, but it let the actors sound a bit smarter, a bit more British, without fully being unintelligible to the US audience.

[00:38:53] Tracy Apps: Wasn’t there like a presidential candidate, some woman that had that accent and everyone was just like, what is she saying?

[00:39:02] Nathan Wrigley: So Mike, sorry, we’ve digressed a little bit there, but getting back to that question of what you would like to see in terms of what you feel success would look like in the near future.

[00:39:10] Mike Demo: So I am on a crusade to try to get this done, and I don’t have the ability to do it all myself, but I’ve sketched it out a little bit. So I’m on a crusade. Everyone uses Slack. However, did you know there’s no way in Slack to report a message to an admin besides sending a DM to the admin of forwarding the message? There’s not an a anonymization, code of conduct, reporting tool. It doesn’t exist. And that just seems crazy to me because, you know, we have code of conduct, but it still relies on someone reporting it. But imagine let’s take the WordPress Learn Slack.

If there was a single button people could, like an emoji that would click, that would be anonymized and looked at by the code of conduct team, I think we would, especially in DMs find a, a lot of educational opportunities. Now, there is a GitHub repo of somebody who’s kind of built it, but it’s broken, and it’s also not a SaaS, one click Slack app.

There’s apps like Donut, which we use at Codeable, which we pay 1500 a month for to help people get matched up on calls and do onboarding. But yet there’s no reporting tool for the most common business communication platform on the internet. And I just find it mind boggling. I think it’s a business waiting to happen.

I think it’d be great for open source projects, and I really want code of conducts to be expanded beyond just physical events. We’re really good with code of conduct face-to-face. We’re not really good with code of conduct online. Good example of that is the Joomla project. Open Source Matters just unpublished a magazine article that was written by an author who shared some very, very disgusting public views about LGBT people. And that’s good, but we’re so focused on face-to-face code of conduct and online workshop code of conduct that I think we need to find a way to, in our online communities, have an easy button to be able to say, hey, I want this to be looked at by somebody. We can do it in forums, but not in Slack. I don’t get it.

[00:41:15] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, that’s interesting. Did you feel that, do you feel that the in-person side, the code of conduct on the in-person side, specifically on the WordPress events, do you feel that that’s broadly where it should be at the moment? Do you feel that we have enough codified there?

[00:41:30] Mike Demo: I feel the written code of conduct is decent. I still hear stories and there’s amazing deputies doing work and organizers, and I’m sure organizers can share multiple stories, but they wouldn’t for privacy reasons. But I’ve heard of multiple people being sexually harassed and either first or second person accounts.

And that’s just the ones that get reported. And so I still think that’s an issue. I don’t experience that as someone who presents male. But I think the written code of conduct is good. And I think we’re doing a lot more than we did a decade ago. But there’s always room for improvements.

I’ve heard some very horrific stories from open source conferences. I’m including all open source, not just WordPress in this, of a speaker that was in college, what was said to them or offered, you know, and things. And that’s just sad. But I think the written code of conduct’s pretty good.

It can always get better. I know the WordPress one was forked from the opensource.org code of conduct, if I remember correctly. But I think we can always do better to make safe spaces physically. I think something we need to figure out in WordCamps is alcohol, because there’s many WordCamps where after parties are in bars and that’s just not great.

I’m under the opinion that the project shouldn’t pay for alcohol. That’s my point. I don’t think the project should pay for alcohol. If a sponsor wants to do it independently, fine. But I think it just opens up issues, and it adds a lot of money that could be better spent. You know, helping get in voices, and working on sponsoring contributors. But that’s just my opinion. And I know it’s not a popular one.

But I know multiple Camps that have not had speakers be able to attend a speaker dinner because it was at a bar. I even think in Orlando you had to get special permission, if I remember David, for that one kid speaker when he was like in middle school, because you guys did it at Ice. Although Ice might be family friendly, I could be wrong on that. But, I definitely have heard of people that were 20 that couldn’t attend the speaker dinner because it happened to be at a nightclub, for example.

[00:43:40] Nathan Wrigley: Interesting. So the broadly speaking, apart from the few little paper cuts there I might describe them as, you think the in-person code of conduct is more or less hitting the target? But the online things, particularly the Slack and the way of reporting problems, there’s definitely room for improvement there? So that’s your success story for the next few years. What about you, David? Have you got anything that you wish could happen?

[00:44:04] david wolfpaw: Yeah. again, I keep wanting to build off of what other people are saying as well. So first I’ll mention, you know, Mike mentioned that on forums we can report. But funny enough, bring it back to WordPress, I don’t believe that feature is built into BuddyPress still. About a decade ago I built a plugin, one off for a client who was using BuddyPress for their forums.

And, they wanted a way for their forum members to be able to report a post that they saw. And it didn’t exist, and I wrote something. It was very, it was very hacky in a way that, you know, I didn’t feel comfortable releasing it, but I did share with a BuddyPress dev. But as far as I’m aware, you still need to use third party tools. That’s not something built core into the product. I’m not trying to pick on them. I’m just trying to point out, since it’s a WordPress forum tool that doesn’t have report features built in.

Additionally, while the in-person code of conduct I would agree is strong. Having a code of conduct and having a reporting feature is unfortunately not enough, because that’s the first step of a multi-step process. Somebody reports something, like somebody would go into, let’s say they go into Slack and report that message. There has to be someone on the other end who can adequately respond to that report. So I’m going to do a, a tiny self plug since we’re talking about LGBT folks and tech.

I run a Mastodon community that I’ve run for six years now. Well before Twitter got purchased. That is at the domain tech.lgbt. Anyone’s welcome to join. You do not have to be LGBTQ to join. And we get reports there daily. We have thousands of members and there’re, you know, millions of members across Mastodon. So we get reports daily that we have to act on, and it requires a lot of work, It’s not something that’s just a simple, honestly, I like the times that it’s simple enough that I can see someone just posting a hateful slur, and I can go, okay, great, block or suspend, whatever we need to do. But a lot of times there’s a lot of nuance there, when it comes to reporting.

And so having those reporting features would be great, but we also need to pair that with support for the people, for the communities that manage it. That also goes with what I would say for in-person events, which is while the in-person code of conduct is strong, we have had issues in the past that have required some intervention.

And myself, as an organizer, I’m actually not always the best person to do that intervention. You can send people to the WordCamp group. Or you can, you know, send them to other people in the project that can reach out to them.

But again, it’s more work. Like I can’t go, okay, this person here is breaking our code of conduct. One of us needs to go over there and either reprimand them or tell them to leave. But, you know, I’m a volunteer. I’m an individual. I’m not always safe doing that.

[00:46:39] Tracy Apps: One of the things that I would also say is, I mean, there’s a lot of intersectionality here. There’s lots of different anti-racism trainings, which I think are just required for anyone that’s going to be doing some sort of moderating. And because again that, you don’t know what you don’t know, but you also don’t know what you don’t set out to learn.

And so I don’t know of if there’s any sort of, like the anti-racism training, but inclusivity training, I’m sure there’s gotta be something out there. But those kinds of preparedness is really required for that monitoring. Because we’ve got, if we’ve got the reporting, we actually need the follow up.

And I know that when you report something on some of these other large social networks. TikTok is getting a lot of heat because of some of their moderation. And it still requires a human to go in there, even if there is automated systems. And if that person is, oh, nope, this isn’t appropriate, but this is. It’s taking their own bias and using that in the moderation process.

[00:47:55] Nathan Wrigley: Do we have a problem of the fact that WordPress is open source? And what I mean by that is, let’s say I work for a, a large corporation, and there’s a pyramid structure to who’s got the authority and so on. And there’s policies written by people above my pay grade. And if I breach those policies, if I say, say something which is indefensible, then I can be brought to task. There are things that can be done to me let’s say, to make my life different if I choose to go down that path.

Whereas in the open source, it’s all voluntary, isn’t it? Everybody’s doing what they can, when they can. And I guess it’s, well, I don’t really want to use the word police, but I’m going to have to use that word because I can’t think of anything else. It’s hard to police these things given the fact that, on the whole, everything is done by volunteers who by definition don’t really have the authority to say, no, that’s disallowed. I’m sorry.

[00:48:47] david wolfpaw: Yes, I can in part see that. Although that would be, hopefully a good code of conduct can help ameliorate that issue. But I think in a volunteer space, people have the ability and certainly I think it’s easier than in a job where you, you leaving that job affects so many other things. You have the ability to vote with your feet and vote with your wallet.

We see in WordPress hateful organizations use the WordPress software to run their websites. And we can’t stop people from doing that. But we also see hosting companies who, while pressured by WordPress users and developers and the Core team, you know, whoever in the WordPress space will drop those people as clients. Or we will see people who don’t make a stance or don’t make a stance that we agree with, and we’ll just move to a new provider. I do think that there still is room for repercussions both through activism and through changing of our behaviors.

[00:49:41] Mike Demo: I will give one quick success story. So when I was in the Joomla project, somebody that was on the board, I think he was on the board at the time, said some pretty negative things about gay people. And he lived in a country where they had a very different, culture. And this was almost 15 years ago.

And he was saying that, oh, well we don’t have those problems here, things like that. It wasn’t hateful, but it was ignorant. And instead of people going against him, people that, like myself and other people in the community that did identify, just talked to him. And then he did some research and then six months later when Obama did the gay rights amendment, I’m sure I’m messing up the verbiage on that.

You know, he posted a rainbow on his thing and now he lives in Brazil, a very diverse country. And he just didn’t know what he didn’t know as Tracy said. There’s somebody else in the WordPress community that I’ve seen have said very negative things against gay people in the past, but that person came out as LGBT on pride this year, which I’m pretty shocked about.

So, we also have to, as David also mentioned, look for opportunities to educate if there’s nuance there. If someone’s just being hateful and bigoted, we don’t need that in our space. But if someone just doesn’t know what they don’t know, there’s some opportunities there that we can make the world a better place one person at a time. And it does happen over time.

[00:51:06] Nathan Wrigley: The phrase of this podcast seems to be, you don’t know what you don’t know. And in order to redress the balance of that, let’s try and inject the opposite. You don’t know, but you can find out. Let’s go for that. I’m interested to plumb your expertise about places where you can go online if this podcast has piqued your interest, or you want to explore a bit more. And you would like to, I don’t know, modify your event or update your company policy or whatever it may be. Let’s go through, we’ll begin with Tracy, if that’s okay. We’ll just go through one at a time. Are there any places that you would direct people toward and you can, as many as you like, one or a dozen? I don’t mind.

[00:51:44] Tracy Apps: Okay. Well, how much time do you got? No, just kidding.

[00:51:48] Nathan Wrigley: Okay, let’s go for, maximum of three.

[00:51:51] Tracy Apps: Okay, no. Actually, one project that I am doing some work for, so is the it gets better project, itgetsbetter.org. It’s geared towards, the audience is mostly queer youth, but the stuff that they produce is really, they just released a queer sex ed. Which, you know, is one of those things where you don’t necessarily get that information. Or if you’re trying to search that information, probably getting it from not great sources, or not very reliable or not very healthy sources. And they did, they also released a thing about industry, so about LGBTQ people in the STEM industry. Because again, it’s about visibility. So those kinds of things. And they have great, great content in that way.

So there’s a bunch of different organizations like that. They do also live streams and a lot of that. So they produce a lot of content that you can learn and gain some of that empathy, just by seeing someone’s story. Just that in itself. Hearing someone’s story and seeing what they’ve gone through is one way to really challenge your, what you don’t know and to grow your knowledge and your acceptance and view of the world.

[00:53:11] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you, Tracy. Is that the only one you wish to mention?

[00:53:13] Tracy Apps: There’s probably many other ones out there, but that one I, I’ve really have been excited about lately, so.

[00:53:21] Nathan Wrigley: Let’s go to David, any fine resources that you can let the audience know about.

[00:53:27] david wolfpaw: I don’t want to say a specific resource, I want to say like more of a mindset. The reason is I feel there is a lot that you can learn by, you know, researching online and educating yourself, and certainly that should be a baseline. But since, you know, as you said the through line has been, we don’t know what we don’t know. Speaking to people in person. Getting to meet people who are unlike you can be very beneficial.

And then you can also tie that in with doing things to give back to your community. The example that I want to give is there is a local queer youth group in the Orlando area called The Zebra Coalition. They’re at zebrayouth.org. They do have a program for homeless queer youth, but they also, that’s their main program, they also have programs for like drop-in work. And among the many things that they, services that they offer, is they offer education and job training services. And prior to the pandemic, my husband and I had volunteered there, along with his sister, who’s a lawyer. We were able to put on presentations for some of the youth there about things like preparing for job interviews, building your resumes, legal concerns that you would have in this state around jobs.

And since, you know, I was in web development, one thing that they were very interested in was talking about remote jobs. Uh, now remote jobs are a lot more common in tech now than they were three years ago, which is great, because something that they pointed out that, again, I hadn’t thought of at the time was that remote work can be successful for people who are in different parts of transition.

You know, especially physical parts where being in in-person environments might not be a level playing field quite as much as being online. I enjoy working from home for a variety of reasons, but one that honestly didn’t really cross my mind until that was brought up was I don’t have quite as much stress of performing in public.

So my resource, I guess, is to suggest, if possible find somewhere that’s near you, you know, where you live, where you can offer to volunteer, give back, donate some of your time and, energy. You are going to meet a lot of people who, who you never would have, well, one you’ve never met before but, you know, I never would’ve thought of some of these things before meeting people.

[00:55:35] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you. That was a really interesting insight. And, yeah Demo, last one.

[00:55:39] Mike Demo: Sure, so I have three resources. So the first one I want to mention is outintech.com. They do lots of events. They have 32 chapters. Automattic and many WordPress companies are sponsors of Out In Tech. They build websites for LGBT non-profits. You know, on a quarterly basis with their tech core. So there’s a lot of great resources of outintech.com.

In addition, there’s Out and Equal in the Workplace, so that’s outandequal.org. That talks about very HR and very specific programs like training and resources and toolkits for HR and things like that. So there’s some good resources there.

And then the last one, this is mostly for game developers, but I really like the community and the project, which is why I wanted to share it. Gay Gaming Professionals. So that website is gaygamingpros.org, which is the leading organization for LGBT game industry professionals and enthusiasts. So, even if you just play games, you can join around the world and, uh, there’s some cool stuff happening there.

[00:56:43] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Fascinating.

[00:56:44] Tracy Apps: Okay, so I have more.

[00:56:46] Nathan Wrigley: Okay. Go. Lovely.

[00:56:49] Tracy Apps: So actually what, one of the things is most cities and communities will have an LGBTQ community center. So for someone to just look up whatever their local community center is, they always are needing volunteers and support. So that is one way to really get connected.

And one of the most inclusive conferences that I have been to other than WordCamps, is been the Lesbians Who Tech, lesbianswhotech.org. They have summits online, virtual, and in person and really intentional about diversity in all ways. So not just in sexual orientation, gender, but color, background. And it does focus a lot on tech, but there is really, really great professional resources that they have, and have partners with. So that’s another one to check out as well.

[00:57:52] Nathan Wrigley: Okay, thank you. Now, we’ve talked about resources that presumably you’re not connected with yourself necessarily, so let’s just make sure that people who’ve listened to this podcast can find you. Let’s start with David. If you’ve got a Twitter handle or a, I don’t know, an email address or a webpage that you would like to, to promote to connect the audience directly to you. If you’re comfortable doing that.

[00:58:14] david wolfpaw: Absolutely. I would say for business inquiries, go to fixupfox.com. But for myself personally, I don’t really use, uh, Twitter anymore. As I said, I’ve been pretty much all in on Mastodon for years now. My Mastodon instance is tech.lgbt, so it should be easy considering the, uh, content of this episode. My handle there is just at David. I’m really happy that I’m seeing a lot more WordPress people move into that space.

[00:58:39] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you very much and Demo.

[00:58:42] Mike Demo: Yeah, Twitter is probably the best place to reach me. Yeah, I know it’s imploding, but I’m going to hold on as long as I can. It’s been my bat phone for a very long time, and I have a blue check mark. I bought it, but I’m proud of it, so I don’t care. Twitter’s probably the best place to reach me. mpmike, so like Mouse Planet Mike is what it stood for originally.

[00:59:06] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you very much. And Tracy.

[00:59:08] Tracy Apps: Yeah, so, I capitalize on the fact that my last name is Apps, so I’m tapps most places. I do use Twitter, mostly to yell at people to get off my lawn basically. But, I’m tapps most places on the internet except for when that is taken. Like in TikTok, I am therealtaps. You can find my website, tapps.design and, just connect with me anywhere. I am happy to chat and answer questions as well.

[00:59:38] Nathan Wrigley: Well, it’s been a really interesting chat. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope that the audience, if they’ve got questions or things that they want to reach out to you about, I hope that they do that. But just for me to say thank you very much to Mike Demo, Tracy Apps and david wolfpaw, thanks for chatting to me today. I really appreciate it.

[00:59:57] david wolfpaw: Thank you so much for having us.

[00:59:58] Tracy Apps: Thank you so much.

[00:59:59] Mike Demo: Thank you.

On the podcast today we have Mike Demo, Tracy Apps and david wolfpaw.

Unusually, it’s less of an interview and more of a roundtable discussion about their experiences in the WordPress community.

A few weeks ago, I put out a call for anyone who might be interested in coming on the podcast. Mike Demo reached out to me and said that it would be good to discuss how the WordPress community deals with LGBTQ matters.

We agreed on a date, and two other people were invited to join us on the call, Tracy Apps and david wolfpaw.

We start things off with each of the guests introducing themselves and telling us how they ended up working in tech and, more specifically, WordPress. This leads to a discussion of how the job market can be different for people with different identities.

We then move onto WordPress and talk through some of the ways that the community has responded to underrepresented groups. There are certainly areas where the guests think that there’s been positive change, but we also spend time thinking about how some things could still be improved. In-person events like WordCamps get plenty of attention here.

We also get into the open source nature of the WordPress project and whether this makes it more or less difficult for change to take place, given that authority is structured differently from most for-profit entities.

Towards the end of the podcast, each of the guests shares a story about some specific thing that they wish could happen; something that’s within reach, but as yet, not achieved.

And we round it all off with the sharing of resources and websites which listeners may find useful, which you can see below.

Useful links.

Codeable

FixUpFox

WordCamp US Diversiry Scholarship

Underrepresented in Tech website

The Community Leadership Summit

Women in WordPress podcast

WordPress Community Summit

Yoast SEO Free: the inclusive language analysis

Learn WordPress

Donut App

Joomla

Open Source Matters

Code of Conduct on opensource.org

BuddyPress

tech.lgbt website

itgetsbetter.org website

zebrayouth.org website

outintech.com website

outandequal.org website

gaygamingpros.org website

lesbianswhotech.org website

by Nathan Wrigley at January 25, 2023 03:00 PM under podcast

HeroPress: Becoming A Better Me with Core Contribution – কোর কন্ট্রিবিউশন এবং জীবনের নতুন অধ্যায়

Pull Quote: WordPress Core Contribution helped me to become a better developer, a better me.

এই নিবন্ধটি বাংলায় পাওয়া যায়

Here is Robin reading his own story aloud.

Few years back, my daily life started with 10am waking up and going to the office without having breakfast (lazy me). Then doing a 9 hours job with a pretty simple routine and without any major engagement with others.

At present, I wake up with tons of Slack messages and end my day with various in person short/long meetings with my fellow colleagues / mates around the world.

I used to scroll Facebook, you know. But now WordPress Slack has become Facebook to me. How things got changed and became more enjoyable. 

Lucky Me 😊

Hello World : How it all started

I wasn’t supposed to be an engineer in the first place. I was brought up in Cumilla, Bangladesh. Finished my School and College in my hometown. Everyone wanted me to be a Doctor. It is very common here in our country that parents want their child to be a doctor. I completed my 3 months preparation for the Medical exam but later I ended up in Engineering.

I have spent 5 years in Sylhet, a heavenly place to live in. Oh! How I miss Sylhet these days. It has been a few years since I had breakfast (khichuri) in Pach Bhai restaurant (a very popular restaurant in Sylhet) and had tea in chachar tong (a famous tea stall in Modina Market, Sylhet). These days I don’t go out at night but during my Sylhet life, midnight tea was a much desired thing for us and of course that tea from a tong (small tea stall in the roads).

My five years at SUST (Shahjalal University of Science and Technology) was a blessing to me. It helped me to become a better person and better me. Sust was full of energy. Seniors and Juniors. Lal Tong (tea stall in our campus). There were almost 300 plus students in our department and we knew personally almost 90 percent of our seniors and juniors. That bond is still alive in Dhaka (most of us living here with our job). Everyone helps each other to get a job or with the recommendation for the best jobs. Almost in every software farm I see SUST CSE seniors or juniors.

Thanks God I got a chance to live those fine memorable years in SUST and Sylhet.

Hello Dolly : Meeting WordPress

My first meeting with WordPress was in my 2nd job. I was facing difficulties with my earlier professional career but as soon as I met WordPress, I just fell for her (WordPress). I found it really easy to adopt and it has a pretty huge community I must say. There were tons of documentation in Codex (but frankly I couldn’t understand at first). Now the documentation (https://developer.wordpress.org/) is much better and much more user friendly. I was amazed with the term Code is Poetry. It felt like I was writing poems instead of doing jobs.

I really enjoyed my early career with WordPress. I wanted to do all by myself (that’s what we call Full Stack these days, LOL).

I used to write markups from design (PSD to Html, that’s right). Then converting that into WordPress. And the training phase which was given to me was really a learning experience. I still keep in my mind that, “You can take unlimited divs. It won’t cost you money”, LOL. I was struggling with CSS opacity. But as soon as I started using it It became Pani(water, means easy) later.

In my earlier life with WordPress I wasn’t aware of the active community and contribution to the project. I did many theme and site customization. Fixed bugs for clients. Built features as per their needs. But I was missing something.

I was missing the large community of WordPress and the inner beauty of the Open Source project.

Code is Poetry : WordPress Core Contribution

My life at WPDeveloper was a blessing to me. It is where I started meeting the large community and the exciting activities of this wonderful community of WordPress. It feels like I truly belong to this community. Everyone is so close and so helpful to each other. 

I have started joining meetups. Taking meetups, yes that’s correct. Started networking with similar minded people. It felt great to see so many people who love the same thing that you love. Such a blessing community.

After joining WordPress slack and attending a few meetings, I found it is actually helping me to improve my skills. I saw how they manage their projects, how they think, how they fix. So many things to learn. I got addicted 😀 I started browsing channels often. 

I started attending all the meetings of almost all the Make WordPress teams (that’s funny but I did). I was enjoying my life. 

Slowly I started contributing to the Core WordPress. I do complex tasks in my regular job life but at core a simple task accomplishment gives so much pleasure. 

Everytime I see my name in the commit description it feels good.

I didn’t stop after doing my first contribution to the core. I continued and I checked almost all tickets and figured out what I can fix or help to fix. I got PR reviews from WordPress experts. Their every single suggestion helped me to know the WordPress and Coding standards better. Now I do practice those coding standards in my regular job tasks.

In WordPress 6.1 I contributed to 20 plus core tickets and that was a pretty good number in Bangladesh. These days I take online workshops in the Make Learn team, in person workshops in our Dhaka community. Also taking in house (within company) workshops to show how to join Release Parties and attend meetings and write team meeting notes. 

By the way, I am Marketing Team Representative for the year of 2023. I am excited and looking forward to it. Also a Training Team Faculty member. 

I don’t think all of these would be possible without being an active contributor to the project. Thank you everyone who helped me in this wonderful journey 😊

Life Is Beautiful : Living Success

When I was writing this essay, I became one of the Release Leads of WordPress 6.2 (Test Co-Lead).

It is unbelievable for me even after the declaration. I keep checking that P2 blog post just to make sure I am truly there, funny I know. 

Recently I took contributor days in our office and it felt like there was only one topic in the town and that is “Let’s Do Core Contribution”. It became trending here, loving it 😊

Thanks to WordPress and the community. Due to my outstanding contribution in Core, I recently got selected for the prestigious #YoastCareFund and here I am sharing my stories with our HeroPress friends.

Oh! I am living my dream life. Just one thing is missing. Ronaldo isn’t in UCL and is getting older. I know 😀

WordPress Core Contribution helped me to become a better developer, a better me. It removes your fear of losing your job and instead you will fall in love with your job and definitely you will enjoy every minute of your coding life.

Thank You WordPress.
Code is Poetry and you are the book full of Poems.
I can’t stop reading you 😊

কোর কন্ট্রিবিউশন এবং জীবনের নতুন অধ্যায়

এইতো কয়েক বছর আগেও, আমার ডেইলি রুটিন ছিল সকাল ১০ টায় ঘুম থেকে ওঠা এবং নাস্তা না করে অফিসে যাওয়া (আলসেমির কারণে দেরি হয়ে যেত এবং বাসায় নাস্তা করা হত না)। তারপর ৯ ঘণ্টার অফিস শেষ হত গতানুগতিক কাজ দিয়ে।

বর্তমানে, আমার ঘুম থেকে উঠেই দেখি স্ল্যাক ভর্তি মেসেজ এবং দিন শেষ হয় ছোট বড় বেশ কিছু টিম কোলাবোরেশান এবং মিটিং এর মাধ্যমে। 

আমি ছিলাম ফেসবুক পাগল, ইংরেজিতে এডিক্টেড 😀। কিন্তু এখন WordPress Slack হয়ে গেছে ফেসবুক আমার কাছে। কীভাবে ইন্টারেস্ট পরিবর্তিত হয় এবং পরিবর্তনটা উপভোগও করছি।

Lucky Me 😊

Hello World : যেভাবে পথচলা শুরু

প্রথমত আমার ইঞ্জিনিয়ার হবার কথাই ছিল না। আমার শৈশব কাটে কুমিল্লায়। স্কুল এবং কলেজ এলাকাতেই ছিল। সবার চাইছিল আমি যেন ডাক্তার হই।আমাদের দেশে এটা খুব কমন যে বাবা মা চায় তাদের ছেলেমেয়েরা যেন ডাক্তার হয়। আমি মেডিকেলের জন্য তিন মাস প্রিপারেশান নেয়ার পরেও ভাগ্যক্রমে চান্স পেয়ে যাই ইঞ্জিনিয়ারিং এর জন্য।

সিলেটে ছিলাম পাঁচ বছর। আহা সিলেট, Where Heaven touches the Earth <3  

সিলেট নাম শুনলেই থমকে যাই।সে কবে গেলাম।কতদিন পাঁচ ভাইয়ের খিচুরি খাই না, কতদিন মদিনা মার্কেটের চাচার টং দেখি না। কতদিন মাঝ রাতে বের হয়ে টং এর চা খাই না। 

আহা সিলেট!  

SUST (Shahjalal University of Science and Technology) এর ৫ বছর ছিল আমার জন্য ব্লেসিং। আমাকে পরিণত করেছিল সাস্ট। সাস্ট ছিল এনার্জিতে ভরপুর।সিনিয়র জুনিয়রদের সম্পর্ক। লাল টং। ৩০০ এর বেশি স্টুডেন্ট ছিল আমাদের ডিপার্টমেন্টে। যাদের মধ্যে ৯০ ভাগই ছিল আমাদের ভাই ব্রাদার। অলমোস্ট সবাইকেই চিনতাম আমরা। বর্তমানে আমরা সবাই ঢাকায় কোন না কোন জবে আছি। দেখা কম হলেও সম্পর্ক এখনও আগের মতই। সবাই সবাইকে জবে হেল্প করছে। জবের বাইরে হেল্প করছে।ঢাকার মোটামোটি সব ফার্মে গেলেই দেখা যায় SUST CSE থেকে কেউ না কেউ আছে।

আল্লাহর কাছে শুকরিয়া সিলেট এবং সাস্টে পরার সুযোগ হয়েছিল।

Hello Dolly : WordPress এর সাথে পরিচয়

WordPress এর সাথে আমার প্রথম পরিচয় যখন আমি আমার দ্বিতীয় জবে জয়েন করি। ক্যারিয়ারের শুরুতে আমার খাপ খাওয়াতে একটু সমস্যা হচ্ছিল। যখনই WordPress এর সাথে পরিচয় তখন থেকেই ফিদা হয়ে গেলাম।এটার ব্যবহার বিগিনার হিসাবে তখন আমার কাছে অনেক সহজ এবং উপকারী ছিল।অনেক বড় একটা কমিউনিটি। রিসোর্স অনেক। যদি Codex ছিল বেশ কঠিন বুঝার জন্য। কিন্তু বর্তমানে ডকুমেন্টেশান (https://developer.wordpress.org/) অনেক ভাল এবং সহজ হয়েছে। প্রথম যখন Code is Poetry শুনেছি এবং দেখেছি আমার অনেক পছন্দ হয়েছিল। মনে হচ্ছিল কোড না যেন কবিতা লিখতেসি।

ক্যারিয়ারের শুরুতে আমি WordPress বেশ উপভোগ করেছি। চাইতাম সব নিজে নিজে করব (যাকে আমরা বলি এখন Full Stack, লোল)। 

শুরু হয়েছিল PSD to Html দিয়ে যা আসলে আমাদের অনেকের ক্ষেত্রেই মিলে যাবে। তারপর তা WordPress এ কনভার্ট করতাম। শুরুতে আমাকে একটা ট্রেনিং দেয়া হয়েছিল যা ছিল খুবী কার্যকর।

আমার এখনও একটা কথা মনে আছে “যত বেশি div নিবা। div নিতে টাকা লাগে না”, লোল।  

আমার CSS opacity নিয়ে সমস্যা হচ্ছিল। কিন্তু যখনই কাজ শুরু করে দিয়েছি আস্তে আস্তে সব পানি (ইংরেজিতে Water, মানে সহজ) হয়ে গেসে। 

প্রথমদিকে আমি WordPress কমিউনিটি নিয়ে ততটা অবগত ছিলাম না। অনেক থিম কাস্টমাইজেশান এবং সাইট কাস্টমাইজেশান করেছি। Bug ফিক্স করেছি অনেক ক্লায়েন্টদের জন্য। ফিচার তৈরি করেছি তাদের চাহিদা অনুযায়ী। কিন্তু কি যেন একটা মিসিং ছিল। 

WordPress Open Source Project এবং WordPress এর বড় একটা কমিউনিটির সাথে যে তখনও আমার পরিচয় হয়ে উঠেনি। 

Code is Poetry : WordPress Core Contribution

WPDeveloper ছিল আমার জন্য ব্লেসিং। এখানে আসার পর থেকেই আমি WordPress এর বড় কমিউনিটির সাথে পরিচিত হই এবং দেখতে থাকি তাদের একের পর এক চমৎকার উদ্যোগ।

মনে হচ্ছিল যেন এটাই এতদিন মিসিং ছিল। সবাই এত আন্তরিক এবং সাহায্য করার জন্য কতটা উদগ্রীব। 

আমি meetup জয়েন করা শুরু করলাম। meetup নেয়াও শুরু করলাম, হা ঠিক শুনেছেন।লোল। 

সবার সাথে নেটওয়ার্কিং হল।দেখে খুব ভাল লাগল যে একই চিন্তা ধারার সবাই একসাথে।

Such a blessing community.

WordPress স্ল্যাক জয়েন করি এবং মিটিং এটেন্ড করা শুরু করি। দেখি যে এটা আসলেই আমাকে সাহায্য করছে আমার স্কিল বাড়াতে।দেখতে পেলাম কিভাবে তারা প্রজেক্ট মেনেজ করে, কিভাবে চিন্তা করে, কিভাবে বাগ ফিক্স করে। কত কিছু শিখার। এডিক্টেড হয়ে গেলাম 😀। চ্যানেলগুলো প্রায়ই ব্রাউজ করতে থাকতাম।

সব টিমের মিটিং জয়েন করতে শুরু করলাম (ফানি বাট সত্য)। সবকিছু ভালই লাগছিল। 

আস্তে আস্তে কোর কন্ট্রিবিউশান শুরু করলাম। যদিও অফিসে কমপ্লেক্স কাজগুলাই আমরা করতাম। কিন্তু যখন একটা ছোট খাটো কোর কন্ট্রিবিউশান করি তখন মনে অনেক আনন্দ কাজ করে। যতবার কমিটে আমার নাম দেখি ততবারই ভাল লাগে। আহা।

প্রথম কন্ট্রিবিউশানের পর আমি থেকে থাকি নাই। কন্টিনিউ করেছি। প্রতিদিন টিকেট গুলো ব্রাউজ করতাম। খুঁজে দেখতাম কোনটা করতে পারব। WordPress expert দের কাছ থেকে রিভিউ পেতে থাকলাম যখনই PR দিতাম।তাদের প্রতিটা সাজেশান আমার পরবর্তিতে বেশ কাজে দিয়েছে। নিজের অফিসের কাজেও তখন সেগুলো ব্যবহার করতে থাকলাম।

WordPress 6.1 এ আমি ২০ এর অধিক টিকেট ফিক্স করতে সাহায্য করেছি। যা বাংলাদেশের জন্য বেশ ভাল একটা নাম্বার। এখন আমি Make Learn টিমের জন্য অনলাইন ওয়ার্কশপ বানাই। ইন পারসন ওয়ার্কশপ নেই আমাদের ঢাকা কমিউনিটির জন্য। ইন হাউজ ওয়ার্কশপ নেই কলিগদের জন্য। দেখাতে সাহায্য করি কিভাবে রিলিজ পার্টিতে জয়েন করতে হয়, কিভাবে টেস্ট রিপোর্ট লিখতে হয়, কিভাবে মিটিং নোট নিতে হয়।

ভালো কথা, আমি এখন Marketing Team Representative ২০২৩ সালের জন্য। এটা আমি বেশ উপভোগ করছি। এবং সাথে আমি Training Team Faculty মেম্বারও। 

আমার মনে হয় না কোর কন্ট্রিবিউশান ছাড়া আমার এই দায়িত্বগুলো পাওয়া পসিবল হত । সবাইকে অনেক ধন্যবাদ আমাকে সাহায্য করার জন্য 😊। 

Life Is Beautiful : সফলতা

যখন আমি এটি লিখছি ততদিনে আরেকটি সুখবর পেয়ে গেছি। আমি এখন WordPress 6.2 এর একজন Release Lead (Test Co-Lead).

একদম অবিশ্বাস্য। প্রায়ই P2 blog post গিয়ে চেক করে দেখি আমার নামটা আছে কিনা, হাস্যকর শুনাবে জানি। 

কিছুদিন আগে কন্ট্রিবিউটর ডে আয়োজন করেছি। মনে হচ্ছিল যেন শহরজুড়ে একটাই ডায়লগ,

“Let’s Do Core Contribution”। ট্রেন্ডিং হতে দেখে বেশ ভালই লাগে 😊

WordPress এবং কমিউনিটিকে অনেক ধন্যবাদ। কিছুদিন আগে #YoastCareFund পাই করে আউটস্ট্যান্ডিং কন্ট্রিবিউশানের জন্য। এবং আজ HeroPress বন্ধুদের সাথে সব শেয়ার করছি।

একেই বুঝে বলে লিভিং ড্রিম লাইফ। একটা জিনিসই শুধু মিসিং। রোনাদোকে আর হয়ত ইউসিএলে দেখা যাবে না 😀

WordPress Core Contribution আমাকে ভাল ডেভেলপার হতে সাহায্য করেছে।জব হারানোর ভয় বাদ দিয়ে জবকে এঞ্জয় করা এবং কোডিং এর প্রতিটা মুহুর্ত উপভোগ করতে সাহায্য করে কোর কন্ট্রিবিউশান। 

Thank You WordPress.
Code is Poetry and you are the book full of Poems.
I can’t stop reading you 😊

The post Becoming A Better Me with Core Contribution – কোর কন্ট্রিবিউশন এবং জীবনের নতুন অধ্যায় appeared first on HeroPress.

by A H M Nazmul Hasan Monshi at January 25, 2023 02:00 AM

January 24, 2023

WPTavern: Yoast SEO 20.0 Introduces New Admin Interface

Yoast SEO version 20.0 was released today with a new admin settings interface that also reorganizes the menu to into four main sections: General, Content types, Categories and Tags, and Advanced.

In this update, the plugin did not add new features and settings but rather moved them to better match user workflows. The new sidebar menu should result in fewer clicks in accessing the most used settings.

The individual settings pages are also sporting the new design, which is lighter and brighter than the previous screens. With such a large number of settings to re-learn, Yoast SEO has also added a quick search to assist users in finding settings pages faster.

“We felt that the default WordPress admin design no longer suited us,” Yoast founder Joost de Valk said. “Our product team was itching to take our experience to the next level. WordPress’ interface was holding us back a bit, as the admin interface outside Gutenberg hasn’t progressed for years.”

The new settings UI was built with Yoast SEO’s React component library, which the company has open sourced and made available on its website.

Reaction to the new design was mostly positive, although some users are not keen on plugins building their own UI in the admin. If all plugins did this, the WordPress admin would become a wild buffet of disparate interfaces that add cognitive load to site management.

“It was… surprising so I’ll reserve real judgement until I use it a while,” WordPress developer Jon Brown said. “First impression though was ‘this needs an advanced mode that hides all the useless banner images and text and just goes back to a list with toggles.’ It’s pretty, but feels overwhelming.”

 The Yoast SEO plugin and the new settings UI work with WordPress version 6.0 or higher. Users who are struggling to adapt to the new settings pages can reference Yoast SEO’s documentation, which has a video and guide to navigating the new interface.

by Sarah Gooding at January 24, 2023 09:43 PM under News

Do The Woo Community: The WP Community Collective with Sé Reed and Courtney Robertson

Sé and Courtney share all things to do with the new WP Community Collective, a source for supporting contributions and initiatives.

>> The post The WP Community Collective with Sé Reed and Courtney Robertson appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce Builder Community .

by BobWP at January 24, 2023 10:36 AM under North America

WPTavern: Awesome Motive Acquires Thrive Themes

Awesome Motive has acquired Thrive Themes, its second acquisition of 2023 following the Duplicator plugin deal that was announced earlier this month.

Thrive’s premium plugin suite reports more than 200,000 users. This includes Thrive Architect, a visual drag and drop page builder, an LMS course builder, and other marketing-focused plugins for generating leads, creating quizzes and testimonials, and doing A/B testing.

In 2013, Thrive Themes co-founders Shane Melaugh and Paul McCarthy began their company with early products Hybrid Connect, Viral Quiz Builder, and WP Sharely. Ten years later the product suite has grown to nearly a dozen conversion-focused tools that Thrive Themes sells for $299/year.

Although the co-founders will not be joining Awesome Motive, the team that is currently maintaining and supporting the plugin is being acquired. In the Thrive Themes announcement, Melaugh said the company’s products will not be rebranded or replaced. No price hikes are planned for existing customers and Awesome Motive plans to honor legacy memberships.

“It has always been our policy to reward loyal customers and that will not change,” Melaugh said.

“I’ve been watching Thrive Themes from the sidelines for a long time anyway. So my stepping away changes nothing on that front.

“It will still be the same people building the products, and the roadmap we laid out for 2023 and beyond won’t change because of this acquisition.”

by Sarah Gooding at January 24, 2023 02:57 AM under News

January 23, 2023

WPTavern: WP Migrate 2.6 Introduces Full-Site Exports and Import to Local

WP Migrate, formerly known as WP Migrate DB and recently acquired by WP Engine, has long since expanded beyond its initial release as a database migration tool. Users may be familiar with the push/pull workflow of installing the plugin on two sites and migrating database, media, themes, and plugin changes back and forth. The most recent 2.6 release expands the plugin’s capabilities to include full-site exports for integration with Local, a popular free WordPress development tool, also owned by WP Engine.

This new remote-to-local workflow is included in both the free WP Migrate plugin and the pro version. The full-site exports bundle the database, media, themes, plugins, and other files into a ZIP archive, which can be seamlessly imported into Local.

After clicking Export inside WP Migrate, users are taken to the next screen where they can configure what is included in the export file. This ZIP archive can be dragged and dropped into the Import screen in Local.

The WP Migrate team collaborated with the Local team to match environments as closely as possible when exporting for Local import.

“Each site exported with WP Migrate includes a wpmigrate-export.json file which contains metadata such as the PHP and MySQL versions that were last used on the site,” WP Migrate Product Manager Kevin Hoffman said. “During the import, Local reads this file and attempts to match the environment to that of the exported site, so the local site works (and breaks!) just like its remote counterpart.”

In this migration scenario, the WP Migrate plugin can be included in the list of plugins so it is activated on the Local site, speeding up the workflow for setting up a local development site. Previously this required configuring plugins, add-ons, and license keys across both environments.

“In the last year, we really embraced our new identity as a full-site migration solution,” Hoffman said. “One of the goals we set for ourselves was to handle the migration of an entire site from within WP Admin without ever having to touch cPanel, phpMyAdmin, or FTP. This new workflow is the culmination of those efforts delivered as a free end-to-end solution for the WordPress community.”

Customers who have purchased the pro version may still opt for pushing and pulling directly between sites, but this new workflow makes it easier for users (both free and paid) to set up a local development environment for the first time.

“When we realized how much simpler we could make the remote-to-local workflow by embracing full-site exports, we reached out to the Local team who helped make it happen,” Hoffman said.

The WP Migrate team is looking at expanding the integration beyond matching the WordPress, PHP, and MySQL versions to give users the ability to predefine migration profiles for pushing local sites back to the remote host.

“When configuring an export, we could also let users set up one-click admin access in Local,” he said. “Imagine dropping a ZIP into Local and landing in WP Admin without ever having to log in. There are lots of possibilities, and I’m sure more will pop up as the community starts to use it.”

by Sarah Gooding at January 23, 2023 10:39 PM under Plugins

January 21, 2023

WPTavern: WordPress Community Team Proposes Adopting GitHub to Improve Collaboration

Although GitHub is primarily used for code collaboration, WordPress’ Community team is considering adopting the platform to standardize their project management tools.

Contributing to open source can already be challenging but when it requires signing up for multiple services in order to access the team’s many spreadsheets, trello boards, Slack groups, and other modes of communication, onboarding new contributors becomes needlessly difficult.

A new proposal, authored by Community team rep Leo Gopal, outlines the benefits of using GitHub as a central communication tool. These benefits include improved collaboration and communication using the platform’s commenting system and the ability to track progress and assign tasks.

Gopal contends that standardizing on GitHub would increase transparency and accountability while supporting better organization with tools like issues, labels, milestones, and project boards.

“By adopting GitHub for project management and issue tracking, the Community Team will standardize our way of working, making it easier for new team members to get up to speed and enabling more effective cross-team collaboration,” Gopal said. “This standardization also makes it easier for Community Team members to track progress, identify issues and make data-driven decisions.”

Other Make teams, such as Learn, Hosting, Meta, Marketing and more, are already successfully using GitHub to manage communication and prioritize projects. Gopal proposes the Community team learn from their efforts and adopt these tooling methods for a quarter as an experiment.

“If after the first Quarter the consensus is that this does not suit our team, we will revert back to initial project and tracking practices and explore more,” Gopal said.

A few participants in the resulting discussion have concerns about transparency and losing track of conversations, as they would not be linked to WordPress.org profiles.

“The truth is that I am unsure about it,” Weglot-sponsored Community team contributor Juan Hernando said. “I think the community team is not particularly technical, and using GitHub may pose certain barriers we didn’t have so far. Maybe for many people opening an issue, requesting a pull request, or similar is their everyday life, but for others, it can be a bit blocking.

“I’m also afraid that discussions will move from this Make site to GitHub, and we shouldn’t lose the spirit of owning our content (linked to our .org profile) and lose the use of this space for decision-making and public discussions like this one.”

Gopal addressed this concern stating that there would be no code and that users who can work with Trello boards will have no problem adopting GitHub’s tools for planning.

“Trello was used for planning and often forgotten until time for reviews or recaps,” Gopal said. “There was no way other teams would know what we are working on or add to the conversation unless they dug up our trello boards AND if we took their suggestion and weighed it in.”

Gopal said using GitHub would allow the team to incorporate advantages like automations, assignments, and inter-team collaboration with advanced reporting capabilities. Overall, GitHub has the potential to increase the visibility of their work for those collaborating across teams.

Milana Cap, who uses GitHub to help organize the Documentation team for reporting issues and automating tasks, recommended adopting the platform and shared how the Docs team is using it.

“All the other benefits: version control, precise contribution tracking, all sorts of project management tools etc., can not be found all in one tool other than GitHub, and I can not recommend it enough – for everything,” Cap said.

Discussion is still open on the proposal and Gopal has published a Proposal Poll for Community Team members to give their feedback on standardizing communications on GitHub.

by Sarah Gooding at January 21, 2023 04:32 AM under github

WPTavern: Gutenberg 15.0 Introduces “Sticky” Position Block Support, Adds “Paste Styles” Option

Gutenberg 15.0 was released this week with some exciting new features for working with blocks and an improved UI for managing controls in the inspector panel. This release marks the end of the block inspector tabs experiment, which is now stabilized in the plugin.

Users will notice that some blocks will now have separate tabs in the inspector for displaying settings and design controls, and optionally a list view tab that is included in the “off canvas navigation editor” experiment. Taking the block inspector tabs out of experimentation paves the way for the Navigation block’s off-canvas editor to become the default experience.

image credit: Gutenberg 15.0 release post

Version 15.0 introduces a new “paste styles” feature that works in a similar way to the “paste” or “paint” formatting function in Microsoft Word or Google Docs. Users can click on any block, select “Copy block” from the menu in the block settings panel and then paste those styles onto another block using the “Paste Styles” menu item.

When using this feature, users may have to give the browser additional permissions in order to read from the clipboard. If permissions are denied, Gutenberg will display a warning snackbar to notify the user.

Another major feature in this release is the ability for users to give blocks “sticky” positioning on the page. This will keep the block in the viewport even when scrolling down the page. The sticky/fixed positioning sticks the block to the top of the direct parent block. It can be previewed on the frontend and equally as well inside the editor.

video credit: Follow-up tasks for Sticky positioning

Gutenberg contributors concluded that although sticky positioning will be valuable for headers, footers, and creative instances, it is not likely to be used frequently. For this reason, it is de-emphasized in the UI. This is the first iteration of the sticky positioning feature, and contributors are tracking a list of follow-up tasks to improve it.

A few other important changes in this release include the following:

  • Edit block style variations from global styles (46343)
  • Constrain image sizing to the width of the container (45775)
  • Allow resizing the Site Editor’s sidebar and frame (46903)
  • Activate copy/cut shortcut in the site editor (45752)

If you want to take advantage of these new features before they land in WordPress core, you will need to have the Gutenberg plugin installed. Check out the 15.0 release post to visually explore the highlights with more videos and links to all the pull requests for the release.


by Sarah Gooding at January 21, 2023 12:37 AM under Plugins

January 20, 2023

Post Status: Launching a WordPress Product in Public: Session 1

Corey Maass and Cory Miller go live to discuss the creation and launch of a WordPress product they have partnered to build. Crop.Express originated as a solution to a common problem Maass experienced. Miller loved the idea and wondered how to build this into a plugin to solve problems within the WordPress workflow. This is a candid conversation about the evolution of partnering to develop a WordPress product.

Estimated reading time: 40 minutes

Transcript

In this episode, Corey Maass and Cory Miller discuss the origin of the WordPress product they are creating. Together they explore the benefits of partnership, the challenges of being a creator, and what it takes to build viable solutions. This is only the beginning of their process and partnership, but it’s loaded with experience and insight from the journeys they have had within WordPress that brought them to this moment, as well as takeaways they’ve discovered with their new undertaking.

Top Takeaways:

  • The Power of Partnering: Many entrepreneurs aren’t interested in partnership. But they create an opportunity to own and contribute the things you do well alongside someone who has other skill sets, strengths, and experiences. Partnerships offer space to practice open dialogue while showing respect and gaining perspective. They are a great solution for all the things you can’t do, don’t want to do, or shouldn’t do. 
  • Build for a Need: Sometimes we create things believing we have brilliant ideas that will attract an audience. But where problems exist, so do the needs for solutions. You can trust if you have a problem, other people likely have the same problem and need a solution.
  • Look to Make Things Easier: When you have to go out of your workflow to do a task, things feel frustrating and clunky. Finding ways to integrate tools within our natural workflow adds tremendous value to the user experience.
  • Products Require Passion and Capacity: Yes, you may have the ability to create really cool, helpful things. But if you lack a sincere passion for the products you build or truly don’t have the time they require, they tend to fall flat somewhere along the way. You tap out at the end of your skillset or energy, and even though there may be real potential, the passion and time to carry things forward are missing.

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🔗 Mentioned in the show:

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The Post Status Draft podcast is geared toward WordPress professionals, with interviews, news, and deep analysis. 📝

Browse our archives, and don’t forget to subscribe via iTunes, Google Podcasts, YouTube, Stitcher, Simplecast, or RSS. 🎧

Transcript

Cory and Corey Episode 1
Cory Miller: [00:00:00] Hey everybody. Welcome to a cool series. Uh, my friend Corey and I have been talking about it for a couple months, a project, and we said, Hey, why don't we just broadcast this out, do it in public. And so this series is kind of called Launching a WordPress product in Public. This is session one we're gonna talk about.
First. I'm gonna let Corey introduce himself in just a second, but we're gonna talk about the agenda is, um, kind of where we've been, just to catch everybody up. And then second part, we're gonna talk about next steps for what we're doing. And we'll of course describe the project, uh, as we go. So, Corey, I think people know you, but let's, let's, uh, go ahead and share it.
Tell us more about, uh, who you are, what you've done with WordPress.
Corey Maass: Of course. Uh, so I'm Corey Moss, currently [00:01:00] residing in the northeast of the United States. Um, I've been a developer and an entrepreneur for 25 years or so, and largely locked into the WordPress space for 10 years or more. It was the day job for a very long time, and I was pushing SaaS apps or BU building and pushing SaaS apps, uh, in evenings and weekends.
And then, I don't know, years ago at this point, I went to, uh, WordCamp in Atlanta, Georgia, and met a few WordPress entrepreneurs, including the, um, specifically the Ninja Forms guys down there. And suddenly a light bulb went off of like, oh, there's, you know, there's a lot more to WordPress products and the WordPress ecosystem than I realized.
And. It can be used to build SaaS apps, which I also do. Um, but [00:02:00] also these plugins that can be grown and built into pot, you know, sometimes, or potentially into, into businesses under themselves. So that really kind of got me started. And so, uh, around that time, I, I learned about the Post Status community.
Uh, I'm, I am wearing the Post Status t-shirt underneath. It's just too cold. Um, being up here in the northeast. But, um, yeah, so it's been, you know, fun to be part of the community and fun to grow. Uh, I've now grown and sold a couple of businesses or a couple of WordPress plugins. Um, and here we are about to launch.
Cory Miller: Yeah, I, I'm trying to remember back when we actually met Corey, but I knew you were like this developer who loved to like launch stuff and you had the kbo, uh, plugin at that time. Mm-hmm. , and I remember talking through that and how passionate you were, you were about it. Um, so, and then we chatted the last year or so comparing notes and I'm like, man,[00:03:00]
Corey and Cor, sorry, the broadcast system went off on my ears. Excuse me. Just one second. Okay. Whew. That was weird. I've got hearing aids and my phone comes through and I was like, emergency broadcast system. Mm-hmm. Um, but anyway, um, so it was fun. We've gotten to kind of get to know each other over the last year or so and member huddles and you shared this thing you were doing and I've followed up and I was like, I need this, I want this.
Um, and it's funny too in parallel is how much stuff that we've got in common or things were stages of life we're, we're going through. And so I think it was a couple months ago you mentioned on the huddle or, and then we started talking about it in Post Status dms, the project that we're launching in public today called Crop Express.
But um, you wanna share a little bit about that, how you came to it? And I can add a little, my perspective on it. Yeah, of course. This was your idea. Um, and I was like, oh my God, this has [00:04:00] to exist in the WordPress. Um, I need it because I need it. And that's a typically if I try to keep at the user level and I'm like, if I like something and use something, I'm like, maybe there's more people out there that would need it too.
But talk about the start of Crop Express.
Corey Maass: Well, before that, I want to fill in a couple of blanks. One, yeah. Uh, you and I met when you were the keynote speaker at, uh, what was it? Word? WordCamp, y'all. The, the WordCamp in Bur Birmingham, Alabama. I have lots of friends in. Birmingham, England spelled the same, but pronounced very different.
So I have a hard time pronouncing Birmingham . Um, but anyway, um, I was living in Nashville at the time and drove down and uh, that's you And I went to lunch with a couple of other people and I, I, I must have had too much of the free coffee, cuz I remember talking your ear off while we were waiting for like barbecue or something [00:05:00] and then, You turned to me at one point you were being a very good listener, I have to say.
And then at one point you turned to me and are like, aren't you speaking in like four minutes ? And I looked down and realized that yes, indeed, my session was starting in minutes and I still hadn't gotten my food. Um, and so you and the folks we were with were nice enough to bring me my food halfway through the session.
Oh, chicken and waffles. I got chicken and waffles, the weird things you remember. Anyway, . Um, but yeah, I, you and I have, uh, kept in touch over the years and then, um, I think mostly caught up over on the huddles. Um, but I, I mean, I tell that cuz it's sort of a fun story and a little background, but I also, I think it's.
It's a great ex, uh, example of the longevity of a lot of the relationships that I've had in WordPress, in the WordPress ecosystem, the [00:06:00] WordPress community. Um, you know, once in a while I, I get approached, I know you do too, of people who are like, you know, let's partner, or, I see you're doing a thing, let's do a thing together with no background, no context.
Um, and I, I'm definitely not saying that people shouldn't reach out, always reach out. You know, you never know what good is gonna come from, from reaching out. Um, I love that people messaged me directly on Twitter and um, and in Post Status and stuff like that, but also, you know, the long-term. Being part of any, uh, any, uh, being part of the WordPress community and culminating these relationships and staying in touch with people over years.
Cuz at this point, I lived in Nashville like eight years ago, so you and I met eight years ago and I don't think talked really for five years Anyway, so that was one of the things that jumped out at me. So getting onto Crop Express. So yeah, I. I built a, [00:07:00] a conbon plug in a few years ago, sold that, um, have launched and been running a couple of others.
One I'm about to sell. Um, and, and that might actually be something to talk about at another time because I, I built it because I could, um, very typical developer. I built it because I could, but I was never really passionate about it. And so at this point, I'm, I'm talking to some folks about, um, selling it because I've just never been able to, man, I've never been able to market it, meaning I've never been able to make myself market it.
Um, and plugins and these businesses, to me are still side hustles. I've never been able to grow them large enough to be the, you know, my primary source of income. And so I have clients and. Right now, I've, I've got clients who run, uh, a couple of pretty big sort of magazine style, pretty traditional blogs, but they're, you know, magazine style, full, beautiful, well-written, professionally written articles and [00:08:00] stuff like that.
And they are not technical at all. So they're, they're entrepreneurs, they're writers, they're content people. Um, but they. It's not that they don't understand, they're very smart people, but they're not experienced with, or they don't think in terms of like, oh, all images need to be squares, or all images need to be 16, nine, so that the site looks uniform and consistently good.
Um, and no matter what I did, I, I couldn't make it easy enough for them to crop their images consistently. I didn't want to get them into Photoshop, you know, other, and that cost of Fortune. Other free editors cost money, da, da da. So anyway, um, almost on a whim, over a weekend, I bought crop.express, the domain.
Um, Here's a industry secret. One of, one of my best kept secrets is the.express, um, what is it? Top level domain, [00:09:00] TLD. Um, there's so many words that have not been bought yet, so I actually own poll.express, crop.express reply.express. Um, screenshot.express is another project I'm building out. Um, so if you, anybody listening, if you're looking for a good domain, I, I highly recommend it.
I keep wondering what I'm doing wrong or like, are there companies that can't access this or something, you know? Yeah. But
Cory Miller: anyway, um, I think it's a hallmark of any, uh, tech entrepreneur in particular is to have like a too big of a. Portfolio that you have. That's very continuing. Well, that's too, yes. Um, I, I've got way too many, um, my wife is always like, you should put some parking pages on this.
And I go, yeah, but it's a cool domain. What happens? I think there's two things. Uh, we definitely should, and we'll be talking about partnership along this whole way. Um, I've had a good amount of experience with partners and like having [00:10:00] partners. Um, it's an anomaly in, in, I in a lot of the entrepreneurs I've talked to is a lot of successful entrepreneurs go, no way.
I'm not gonna partner with anybody. And I go, well, I kind of need to and want to. Um, but then, so I know we're gonna be. Some thoughts about the partnership and that's another thing is partnering in public is probably the subtext to this too on. Um, but as we've talked, just real quick before we get back to the product, is, um, I'm not a developer.
I should get the shirt. I'm not a developer. Um, but I love products and I've had a product business. Um, tried a bunch of products. I told you, I think yesterday I was like, my, my win rate is probably like in the one hundreds, uh, percentile. Um, we talked about baseball and I was like, you know, I'm probably a strikeout king because I feel like I failed quite a bit.
But coming to someone, like it's an ideal match for me because I can, [00:11:00] you know, business and marketing, but it's not one you have to own in this partnership. I can own that and you contribute and obviously I can't even try to write code. Um, but I can contribute with product and, and experience and thoughts like that.
So now to the crop express. . Um, so when you shared this, I was like, yes. Because my experience in just talking about the user profile, I'm so keen to the user profile cuz sometimes I think we come at it artificially and go, I have an idea. Let's go find a person for it. And I think some of the best ones come out of just, there's a need, and we talked about this, it's like, um, you hear the story is build it for your own itch or build it for yourself and all that kind of stuff.
We talked about Pi, PIP and Williamson yesterday, like he's a, he's the one I think of it's like, build it, build something for a need. Mm-hmm. for himself and grew into this great, uh, business called [00:12:00] EDD. Um, what struck me about this is I go, I have a. Like trying to find software that will crop, you know, I used to use, I was an early user of Photoshop, but I don't have Photoshop on my computer.
And I'm like, well, I go to Mac preview and crop and export it out and then try to upload it to WordPress. So instantly I go, I need this. And then I thought, and we started having these discussions. I think other people do too. You know, the classic example I have just like your clients is my mom built a her own site about 10 years ago or so.
And we had a theme, don't cringe too much, but a theme that had rotating images in it at the top. Sure. And I tried to load the site . It was like, oh my God. She had 15 images all at like hop resolution. And this is something real quick. Uh, we both were like, this isn't something easy. It may be in WordPress, but it's not easy in WordPress.
And [00:13:00] my natural question was, If I have this problem, I bet you a lot of people have this problem. We talked, talked about images, we talked about agencies that turn sites over to clients and end up, why is this so slow? Or why isn't, you know, why doesn't this work? Right? And it's like, well, you loaded it native from your phone, , uh, the pick.
And so that was the thesis for me, for the, for the product is you already had the SaaS solution. I was like, yes. My question was, can I get it into a plugin where it's inside WordPress in my workflow?
Corey Maass: Yeah. And, and you helped, helped me turn that corner, honestly, cuz I, in a weekend I built. crop.express, which right now the website is the website.
It's exactly the first version that I built. Um, it's, it's not complicated. It's not well thought out, too well thought out. Like I have a, I've been also working in product for years, and so I, I do [00:14:00] okay with going, oh, well, this, this will be intuitive enough that somebody could muddle through it. Um, but I really wanted to just solve the problem initially for my clients and yeah, threw it online.
I love doing this anyway. Start showing it to people, showed it to you, um, and you kept, you, you nudged me a couple of times in Post Status, like, how can we make this easier? And originally I was not thinking WordPress plugin, surprisingly. Um, I was thinking more. This is just a, a great little tool that people will use and it will hopefully, you know, maybe I could throw some ads on it or I, it will refer them to my other products.
Um, and so I was building a little Chrome extension and, and you're like, okay, that's a start. But you know what, if we really start to explore this and yeah, the conversations kind of flowed from there.
Cory Miller: And my premise with products, [00:15:00] particularly with WordPress or any tool is this, there's a workflow we all kind of have and you get in this system and when you have to veer out of that workflow, cropping an image, finding, cropping an image.
Yeah. So clunky within WordPress, and you have to go outside of that experience. You just added unnecessary time and energy for something frustration. When most times when I'm creating content, I go, I want to get this out and edit it and press publish and put it out in the world. And anything that slows me down is a problem.
Um, So, you know, there's , our featured image on Post Status. I'm not happy with it. We're still working on, on some of our design on the Post Status website. Uh, my personal side, I don't typically use images because of this. And so I think that was some of the, my, my perspective is like, there's enough use case here to say let's try it.
And I think what you and I go is like, we want to have, we wanna do something that is practical and useful [00:16:00] and then see where it goes. Um, we're not looking to get like mega rich on this or anything, but like, it's something we both have an interest in. Let's see where it, I'm counting on it, man. . Hey, it would be nice to get me wrong.
Corey Maass: We, uh, we bought the Mega Millions ticket last night. You know, it's over a billion, but, uh, it hasn't been announced that we won this morning. So, you know, this is, this is the, the next best
Cory Miller: thing. Right. Yet, you haven't won yet. When we get some of that, carve off a little bit of that lottery money and we'll throw some, we'll do some cool, cool products.
Um, yeah. I, I'm really addicted to products. I've loved it for the longest time. Um, you said something earlier, you said I could build this and you did build things. Mm-hmm. , but the second part I wrote down was so interesting because it's, my experience too is I wasn't passionate about it. And I know when I've gotten, um, those, that equation wrong is where I've really failed miserably.
Um, the project I think about at Ithe was [00:17:00] called Exchange. It was e-commerce. I was passionate about a user experience that anybody could use, but I wasn't as passionate about the field. We just saw a big. I saw a big market potential there. WooCommerce was out there. It was the big, still is, the big behemoth.
And I go, man, it's really tough to like just create a new product in WordPress or, or in WooCommerce. Let's create an easier path to do that. Um, that didn't work. We didn't do it. And I think part of it was, I wasn't supremely passionate about the, the domain we're in. When we talk about this, I go, I have a, I have a lot of experience with images and cropping and content that's bulk of my career before I, themes and Post Status was, and communications work and newspapers, journalism.
And I'm like, you know, it's a factor. Everybody wants an image on the site. And so what we decided was to start with the featured image [00:18:00] cropping, that making that experience, um, really smooth and easy.
Corey Maass: So that's the, yeah, I think the other thing to talk about here is as a developer, as a human being, I've learned this lesson.
It's, it's just cuz you can doesn't mean you should. Um, and for I think people like you and I, I'm speaking for you, but I, I hope I'm right. We, we get excited about a lot of things. It's easy to, to dip a toe into a lot of things. Um, but then we end up taking on too much and we get overwhelmed and everything is, you know, what is it?
Do two things and you're doing two things half-assed instead of one thing, whole ass. Or, you know, and we're never gonna limit ourselves to one thing, let's be honest. But having, definitely having too many things. Um, and like I've. Epic trips, um, you know, which is, I, [00:19:00] I was lucky enough to do, but I came home and people were like, was this amazing?
And I was like, I don't know why, but it wasn't. And I realized that it was like, just because I had the opportunity to take the trip, like I didn't, I, I wasn't in the right mindset. All I wanted to do was be home, you know? And so just cuz I could, um, doesn't mean I should have. And I, I keep trying, I try to think about that when I'm taking classes or, you know, reading books or things like that.
Um, because time is precious, right? And, um, and we can only experience so much. So anyway, all that to say, um, yeah, with other products, I've definitely built them, um, just because I could. And as a developer it's really dangerous because like, I look at that and I'm like, oh, that'd be really interesting to solve those problems.
Um, and then, uh, even as soon as you mentioned a WordPress plugin, uh, I was like, okay, well we need. X, y, z we need, you know, big da da da, and, [00:20:00] and that's great. Like a year from now, let's have all those bells and whistles and let's have all those features and, and, you know, and expand. Um, but of course, I'm, again, I, I, I work, I have client work and w client work and family and obligations and stuff just as you do.
Um, and so you did a really good thing where we were chatting, we scratched our heads, and you were like, well, what if we, you know, what is the MVP here? And, and even that, I couldn't, I was like, well, da, da, da. And you were like, okay, featured image, one thing. Let's just start with that. Can we, and I, as soon as you said it, it clicked for me.
I was like, that's, that's the place to start. It's the one simple feature that, but it will solve the problem for a lot of people, and it will exemplify the problem we are trying to solve. . And so, and, and again, for me, it, it is tough at times as a developer, all [00:21:00] things are possible. Mm-hmm. , I mean, not literally, but, um, and that's, it's powerful but dangerous and I'm, I'm trying, you're, you are being, uh, non a not a developer and having a history of using this kind of thing is immensely valuable.
Um, keeping my feet grounded. And I'm trying to do the same with thinking from the perspective of my clients, because again, they were the ones that inspired this, so what's gonna solve the problem for them? And that's where we, that's kind of where we've landed and what we're getting pretty close to being able to launch.
Cory Miller: I, I think, um, the experience you talked about is like, everything is when , another shirt we should do, when everything is possible, everything sucks. Because when you have, when you're in the experience, I know this and I've been. Uh, led teams of developers. I get it. Like, and I have the, I guess I'll say a gift in this sense of going, I don't know what all [00:22:00] is possible and it helps focus, but I think that's where, again, a partner comes in.
I struggle with this in different areas, um, where I'm like, well, everything is possible. Everything sucks. And I, I lose focus in that. Um, and that's something I really enjoy being able to do is like, you worry about everything is possible and I can help just to ask questions. Um, and when we're, we talked about the MVP, I think about that iconic, um, like cartoon of this, the stages of an v mvp, how, how you start with an MVP and grow it.
And the one I like best, it feels a lot of theory and cool, like to try to plan this out like this, but it's like, what's the skateboard version of the. Bike or whatever, you know, the product becomes and it's not, uh, a skateboard. And then you add a seat and then you add handle bars to the skateboard and you try to build out.
And I'm like, that's cool in theory. But [00:23:00] I think what this does is, the way we thought about this was what is a, a toe in the market that does solve that problem that can grow? Um, and, you know, marketing and technical and business questions come out of this. And I just saw one yesterday, uh, I can't remember his name on Twitter, but I replied to him.
He was trying to think like, where does this thing go? You know, like you start with the skateboard, but well, what if we want to do this with Crop Express and that with crop, you know? And, um, a lot of times, I think some of the best products have been part of grew organically instead of trying to say this is the end product, it was responding to customer needs and opportunities and grow out.
And sometimes maybe it grew into a little bit of a mess out here that we kind of had to make some hard decisions, um, with our ITM security product there for sure. And then backup Buddy over time. Um, we saw that, but it, I think it stays close to the customer [00:24:00] when somebody goes, I will pay money for this.
You go, oh, there's magic there because we, we might have something here. Um, and I, we decided, and we should talk about this decision too, we decided to release Crop Express as a free plug in first on the.org repo. We'll be talking about that experience as we go. We're not there yet, but we're really close to releasing the v mvp V1 in the repo.
Uh, and then, but what I like Corey, is we've done this in a way to give us options or paths to go. We're not, we didn't try to build the bicycle and launch that as a premium product. We said, what time resources do we have? And that mvp all that went into this conversation you and I had of like this.
Okay, let's come down to if we can get this point, and that's in the stream of people's workflow. You know, you're firing and proposed headline, okay, I need my future. You're gonna go over here, click feature damage. And that's where [00:25:00] Crop Crop Express is gonna help you. And I don't, you know, you've been great to navigate us technically, where we're not gonna hit a dead end on something.
Um, but that's the part of this adventure. You never know where you're gonna go with it. Right.
Corey Maass: And I've, uh, you know, we've already touched on a, a bunch of things that I see questions about all the time, like part of the MVP. Uh, I'm, I'm a, I'm a good developer, but I have very limited experience with Gutenberg, um, excuse me, the block editor.
Um, and even, and so we, we are looking at doing a custom block down the road, version 1.2 or whatever. Um, but even to get, uh, just the, to, to work with just the featured image. Like I didn't have experience with the panels, uh, inside the block editor. And so I looked at it, I hacked at it for a [00:26:00] little while, and then I said, okay, you know what, I've got a buddy who can help me out with this.
So, hired him for a couple of hours to get me over the hump. Um, you know, and so. There's that, there's again, the partnering, uh, you and I working together, um, which we haven't really flushed out, but we're kind of excited to do, um, launching something, putting something in, in the plugin directory is, is its own experience.
Um, and so yeah, I think there's, there's a lot of different things here that if nothing else, just getting that, you know, the tip of the iceberg. Um, or I'm mixing metaphors here. But anyway, you know, just getting this thing out the door and, and starting, um, is, is where a lot of, uh, a lot of questions arise and there's, there's a lot of hurdles, you know, unto itself.
But, um, you know, I think the, one of the things that I really like about WordPress is that. It does require, or [00:27:00] WordPress plugins, WordPress products, it does require development, no question. Um, I don't think there's a big overlap yet enough of an overlap yet with like, no code products, um, services out there that, you know, people are building products against to then somehow get that into WordPress.
Um, but it doesn't have to be a huge lift. It doesn't have to be like, some of the best, um, plugins out. There are one single feature or, you know, single file, um, the, the plugin that we have so far that, that gets the featured image. Cropped and, and injected into a post is, is still basically just two files.
You know, it's not complicated. It's not this big convoluted thing. Um, I've got, uh, from, you know, from a nerd perspective, like there's a couple of developer patterns that I'm using, but there, there [00:28:00] aren't frameworks. We're using a library that, you know, does the cropping for us, cuz there's no way I'm stepping into that quagmire.
Um, you know, but we'll grow from there. I mean, and I think that that's, that's the big difference. It's like, yes, we wanna launch something that is useful, um, and complete unto itself, but it can be, it can start as a feature and grow.
Cory Miller: How, how has this experience differed from your past product experiences?
Um, you know, you, you released, let's say the CommonBond different plugins on your own. I think, um, were, were similar problems and questions. That we've talked about just in this, I don't know, month or so we've actually gotten real serious about it. No, it's probably what, three, four weeks I think. . Yeah. Um, but like did you have similar things like that as a developer when you were doing like the combine?
Or did you just go, okay, this is what I want to build and you knew like the N V P V one V two kind of sorted [00:29:00] it out. How did those experience go in comparison to this one?
Corey Maass: Yeah, the con bond, I really, I wanted the name space. That's the thing that sticks in my mind. This was, you know, eight years ago now.
Um, so I don't, I don't remember everything, but we, same sort of experience. I was working at a startup and we needed a conbon solution. Um, Trello has. Rubbed me the wrong way. I don't know why. Um, and, and it was then that I was first starting to look at, so another, I'll give away another one of my secrets here is honestly, I often look for a, um, blue o, well, red Ocean SaaS solution or SaaS app that I can put into WordPress.
Um, and so with something like Trello, I was like, you know, we are, we are working in [00:30:00] WordPress, um, but we have to go over to Trello and, and do stuff. And for whatever reason, I didn't like Trello anyway. Um, and so that's part of what made me go, oh yes, if we had a CONBON board built into WordPress, so like posts were your cards or whatever, like, this makes sense anyway.
And so I cranked out a first version, very clunky and. Mostly just because I, I wanted to, I'm trying to think if I had actually put a plugin in the repo before that. I don't, no. I had, I had, but years before. And so it was, it was really a new experience for me. Um, and I made all sorts of mistakes and I was listening to, like, one of the biggest ones was, um, I kept going back and forth.
Coming from, coming from a tra a, um, a, an a developer perspective outside of WordPress, [00:31:00] I wanted to do custom tables. And I was like, no. The word pressy way is you have to use the post tables. And I swear, the week after I released it, I heard an episode of, um, back when Pippin and Brad Ard had their podcast pippin's, like one of the greatest regrets of my life was using the post post table for e d D.
And that was like the beginning of when they were trying to release version three, which took them years to, to untangle, basically. I was like, crap. So right away I had to untangle my own thing, which thankfully only had 50 users or something, but I had to, you know, build a migration there and stuff like that.
Um, and then I think there's Go ahead. Go ahead, go ahead. Well just, you know, and, but there were, I I think maybe part of your question is like, There was, there were, I was solving bigger problems, you know? Um, whereas this, I think is like, I, I like, I mean, part of why [00:32:00] the, the light bulb went off when you were like, no, just featured image to start with.
So it just, it kept it focused, you know? And that's so much easier. Again, like I, I hacked away for a month or two months, you know, to get a working Now conbon board is a more complicated problem than, than what we're talking about. But, um, you know, but it, it, it was a much bigger lift to get it out the door, which I don't, I don't think is the right thing to do.
You know, you, you need, you need, especially talking about customers and clients and users, you need something. You need to get people using it as fast as possible.
Cory Miller: I, I think they're, I'm seeing two paths that when you're launching a product, there's the technical path and the business path. Um, particularly if you want to monetize from it.
Um, but technical, I saw my teams for years. It was like, I, I always describe development as a, uh, an adventure and territory. You don't always know like, what's, what's gonna [00:33:00] come over the next hill. You could hit a swamp and end up drudging through a swamp or get sidetracked totally off on a minor bug. And so some of the things I started watching over the years is like, it, it's, it's a tough gig with the technical cuz you got a roadmap for potential.
You don't know where all the terrain's going cause you don't know where the business case is gonna come from, the use case. Um, and I just think it's like a blind expedition oftentimes. Like, so what we would do is, and we're doing this now too, is just kind of check in and see how we're going. And I valued having someone else external watching to at least kind of keep track.
And then I'll say this on the business side. Same thing. There's potential here. I see potential here from a business, business case. I don't know what it is. I'm not even gonna be foolish enough to try to predict, but there's something here, I think. And um, because I don't predict anymore, by the way, Corey, because I'm wrong most of the times when I try to predict, [00:34:00] oh, this is gonna be $20,000 a month, you know, MRR kind of product.
Yeah. I go, there's maybe a hope for those things, but I never predict or promise because if I get too mired in that, I start to get too f a little bit off of focus. Because some of the questions we've talked about is, okay, free plugin, what do we do there? We felt it was, at least for our collaboration here, partnership, we want to do this.
We want this in the world, you know? Um, we think though putting it in the world has the potential for something that could grow into. Something We don't even, but I, I say this cuz we, we said, I love every time you say something like, Hey, I think we should do this. I'm like, right on. We should be honest. We should be authentic and share the experience.
I think too, oftentimes in business and stuff, it's like, this is the way I felt when I left eye themes is like the pressure real or unreal. Hey, [00:35:00] Corey did this, oh, what's his next thing gonna be? And I was like, she, uh, let's see here. Um, I don't know. I followed the trail, um, and kept following that trail and trying to keep going on that trail for as long as we could.
Um, th this, I just like the fact that. One of the questions I try to ask myself before I begin any new venture or partnership is, what if it fails? What's the worst that can happen? You know? And what's great is we've been talking about those things along where we manage it. I know when you hired the, the friend to help with some of that stuff, I was like, well, how much is that?
And, you know, do you need me to share it? And you're like, Hey, for now, let's just, I'm gonna keep track of it. But, uh, to see where it goes and, um, I think that's healthy. That open dialogue and conversation where you respect each other, what each other knows. And know just because you're a developer doesn't mean you, you have a ton of insight and feedback [00:36:00] and perspectives to share on both business and marketing.
And, but it, it, it, I don't know. I see those two pasts. This is the one I'll tell you ahead of time, Corey is I'll struggle with, is when we get to the point we're like, okay, how much should we charge for? , it's oftentimes feels like this meandering thing of like, okay, and I'll need the same for you to go.
Sure. Hey, what if we do this? Um, because if everything's an option, everything sucks. .
Corey Maass: Yeah. I, so a couple of things that you touched on, like, it, this needs to exist in the world. I haven't found a better solution. So hiring somebody to get us over the hill immediately was worth it. And just like you said, if it, if it fails, if it never makes, uh, A dollar if you and I af after this call are like, yeah, I don't like you in the end it turns out, let's just call it, it's like, no, it was still money well spent.
You know, and I, I understand that I, I am in [00:37:00] the very fortunate position to have a, a little money that I can throw towards a project like this, but it's, it's very limited. And I, I think of this type of stuff as a hobby. Um, and there's been a lot of life choices that have gone into inclu, especially with, with my, my wife talking about like, okay, what is, if, if this is a hobby, what is an appropriate amount of money to spend on it?
Cuz there were times 20 years ago when I first started building SaaS apps that I was like, every spare dollar that I have is gonna go back into this without thinking about it. Um, because everything I ever think of is brilliant and every product I launch is undoubtedly gonna make me millions. Um, Spoiler alert.
None of it has yet, yet. Um, but uh, you know, yeah, we, we, we gotta start somewhere. Um, and, uh, I'm with you. So I, I'm also looking [00:38:00] forward to, like, I've been, I met, it was, it was at a, it wasn't a WordCamp, it was like, um, what are they called? Free camp, or there's, there's conferences where it's like anybody can sign up to talk about anything.
Um, and it's sort of tech specific. But anyway, I met a young woman, uh, who was a developer and she had lucked onto a client who became a partner, um, who was an older guy who ran, I don't remember, an advertising agency, but he had access to an, a pool of customers, basically. And so he would tell her what to build.
and then he would sell it to his audience and they just kept cranking out products. And I was like, okay. Despite being an only child, and despite my first instinct being to do everything by myself, you know, there are things that I can't do. There [00:39:00] are things that I don't wanna do. and, and things that I shouldn't do.
So I'm happy to weigh in on, you know, as, as your owning, marketing and your owning business, I, I want to weigh in, I want to have opinions, I want to make suggestions. And, you know, I think you and I have established that we, the expectation is that, you know, we, there's, there's going to be quite a bit of overlap in our concentric circles.
Um, but we, we each are gonna own a lane, which I think makes a huge difference. Um, and we're also able to sort of look over the cubicle wall to the other person and say, Hey, you know, like I, I touched on earlier, just cuz I can, doesn't mean I shouldn't, I'm. Not going to want. There's going to be times where I, I'm going, I'm not going to want to build what I need to build.
Like there's a feature that every client is clamoring for. You are finally confident. You're like, they will all pay X number of dollars if you [00:40:00] just add this. And I'm gonna be like, yeah, but we need a dark mode or some ridiculous thing that's just gonna be more fun to build. Um, and I think there's definitely going to be points where, you know, I, we're essentially going to need to be each other's bosses.
Um, and that's going to be interesting and going to be difficult at times. But I, but I think good, you know, you, you, you need other people. There are people out there that are, there are exceptions to this of course, but you know, I, I think we've pretty well established that both you and I do better if nothing else.
Having a sounding board, having somebody else who's as invested, um, you know, and helps keeps us, keep us on the line we're supposed to be on.
Cory Miller: Yeah. On that note too, um, the partnership side of things where I, I've been in circumstances where, okay, this is Mon Lane, that's your lane. [00:41:00] And sometimes, like you were really good to ask me what part of the development do you want to contribute to?
And I said, my strengths through trial and error. By the way, I think my contribution strengths are u UI experience, like how things flow. Um, I obsess over there cuz I want them to be as fast as possible. Mm-hmm. intuitive as possible. Knowing some of my, probably I'm gonna have to freshen up on some things.
And the other is I said, you gotta be careful with me because I will share all of these things that I would love to see, but we've like, But we gotta put 'em on a, a feature roadmap, A backlog somewhere. Because I said, and I told you this, I said, be careful cuz I'll come in and go, what about this, what about that?
And what I had to tell my team too, and I told you is like, please don't unless I go, can we get this in the next release? Please don't think that. Let's do this right now. And that's the [00:42:00] idea Fairy in me is mm-hmm. . Uh, but, and so an example of that was we have a square coop cropper. And I was like, okay, I'm introducing the new customer story here, which is my own, every, the Posts newsletter has those little circles in them for all the, and I'm like, that is a pain in the butt to do.
Now I flag that because I go, if I'm the, uh, kind of a typical user, I don. Know how, how to crop that, you know, there's tools out there, right? But like I go, there's an experience if, if someone has that and I go, Hey, what about a circle cropper? And then I knew you were going to like chase it , and I was like, Hey, hey, hey.
Not for this one unless it's an easy thing. This was that back and forth I did with Right. All the developers I've worked with too is just like, please don't say, please don't interpret that as, can we do this right now? Um, sometimes I'll be like, can we do this right now? Because I'll, I'll feel [00:43:00] like we got something here.
Um, but then you're like, okay. I was like, well,
Corey Maass: it's just cuz you can doesn't mean you should. Yeah. But there's also, you know, you and I, I, I also get the sense, we haven't talked about this, but I get the sense that we both trust our instincts pretty well, um, when it comes to product. You know, and I've, I've been, I.
Studying product, looking at product. Um, for years and years and years, I've got, you know, books on architecture. And, uh, the, one of my favorite books about, about the Bowhouse School is sitting next to me. I mean, things like this and like, I nerd out about this stuff. And so, um, I'm not saying I'm an expert, I'm not trained in any way, but like, I think I like a lot of people we know, you know, I, I, I love putting, I love loading an app and putting it in front of my mom.
You know, who's, who's not trained in any way. She has [00:44:00] a little bit of an artistic background. Um, but she is a power user. I mean, she, at this point, she doesn't even have a computer. She does everything on her iPad. Bless her heart, honestly, because. Trying to book tickets or, you know, I mean, things that she does on her iPad, I, I didn't think possible, um, even, which really is just in a browser and, and her fingertip, you know, but gets an unbelievable amount of stuff done.
But I love putting things in front of her and saying, you know, show me how you would muddle through this. Um, and, and anyway, so all of this to say that I, I trust my instinct a lot of the time, um, when, when somebody mentions a feature to me of like, oh, this is worth doing right now. Even if it, yes, it's not mission critical, you know, we haven't released yet, so technically any feature other than one feature is, is enough.
But I was like, not only [00:45:00] do, is there not a image cropper for WordPress the way that we want. Out there, but I really don't think any of 'em do circles. And again, my clients for most of their stories featured images are 16, nine or square. But for whatever reason, there's that, that now that browser pattern where avatars people are circles.
And so, you know, let me see if I can, I can crank this out and it's, and it's fun. Um, and sure enough, like, like you said, it, it wasn't a big lift, but yeah, I think, I think you and I will, we're just gonna have to figure that stuff out. Like everything, everything goes on a backlog. Everything gets discussed at least a little bit.
Um, but I also, you know, I don't, I don't think that there's harm in, you know, there's low hanging fruit, there's return on investment. There's lots of different ways to put it. [00:46:00] It's like, oh, well if we, you know, if we make all the buttons green, you know, is it, does the user benefit? No. You know, so just cuz it takes a minute isn't worth it.
But, you know, we're, we're just gonna have to, and, and I liked what you said too, of like, we, we are gonna have to, I guess this is the other, the other benefit of trying to get this thing out the door is like, get people using it, talk to people using it. Um, you know, being part of a, a community like Post Status, um, there's the great, um, advanced WordPress Facebook group.
Like there's, there's places that. You and I have been involved for a long time, kind of regardless of, of our actual position within those communities. But, you know, trying to add value or trying to Twitter to trying to just, you reply to tweets for months and then you hope that when you, you do something and you need somebody else to reply that, they will.
So it's like, let's get this thing out there. Let's see what people think. [00:47:00] Give it a try. Um, you know, and, and follow, follow our.
Cory Miller: This is where I struggle back and forth with product. But my typical mo, what I feel instinct is you, uh, there's product people that are just genius and gifted. They're like, here, you know?
And you're like, God, okay, cool. Uh, but for mere mortals, um, for me it's been put something enough out there, check some boxes. Okay, is this something you think we need? Like, does anybody even need it? Because I put those things out there, I'm like, put 'em out there. Not necessarily products, but other things.
I'm like, nobody's even asking for this. And a lot of the entrepreneurial books and stuff, it's like, okay, how you scientifically go down it? And I go, it's art and science. Yeah, it's a blend. It's this alchemy and magic of like, but I know the power of like putting something out there and that creates enough a ripple where you get a feedback loop and, um, [00:48:00] That was so helpful along the way when you get feedback like, I, I, we feel this is a good, this is a good V one, solve somebody's problem, that laser beam, you know, thing of what we're doing for it.
Um, but what I'm most looking forward to the product is how people react when you hear those. Like, um, backup buddy was in development, uh, and then, I can't remember, 2009, 2010, and I, we were at, we had a little group thing where, and this, these two twin brothers ran an agency and I just, this wasn't something somebody told me.
I was just like, Hey. We're doing this thing and this plugin, and it helps you do, um, basically, uh, backup, restore, and migrate websites. By the way, those were not things that came from me. They came from Dustin Bolton and Christine and I themes, they're like, no, a backup needs to do these three things. Okay, okay, let's do it.
Sounds good to me. But I mentioned to them [00:49:00] the migrate, or what was it? The migrate side and just in passing, and they, their eyes lit up and they go, we pay somebody $300 to do, to do that now. Wow. Consider the time and everything. This is back in the day. And I was like, okay, I think we got something.
Because, you know, and then we just try to, okay, I think we're gonna keep going, keep doing, we obviously launch it, we're gonna launch it no matter what. But um, that's where I was like those moments where someone lights up and they're. Can I pay you now? The shut up pay, shut up. Let me pay you thing. Right? I was like, shut up.
You can take my money. Shut up and take my money. That's a magical moment. Um, I think times I've tried to force it, um, and it's just, it's not, or create a category you hear that's not, and I'm like, cool. Yeah. For those a hundred people out there that have that insane genius to create a category, most of us stumble into it.
Right. You know, um, the garage stories for startup [00:50:00] stories are always make me laugh. Cause I'm like, what was the background? What was the context? I'm like, that's a sexy headline. We started in a garage and here we are, apple. I'm like, that's a sexy headline. Don't, and I like it. Don't get me wrong, but I'm like, what Were all the actual moments, the places you got phenomenally lucky.
I know there's a big part of mine luck and every time I've tried to time it and like, okay, I'm gonna ride this thing, it just hasn't worked. And that's why I really like her direction with this. Um, Because we kind of had a fleeting thought of like, I think as I recall, like this could be a paid product.
Um, you know, I don't even know if we entertained much of starting with a paid, we're like, let's just do the free plugin. And I will say, remember actually, um, give you credit for this too, is I think I said, what about a Gutenberg block? Put it in editor. So upload image crop, boom, I'm there. My workflow's fast, efficient.
And, [00:51:00] um, you, you looked into that, you chased a little bit of it and I said, Hey, there's some roadblocks here. And that's that collaboration of how we go, okay, featured image, what if we started right here? We want to grow potentially into that. You know, I think the idea in this, and we're, I think we're both verbal processors, but is the thesis is start here and it'll grow into.
Block, like the inline process where you're in the thing and you're having the same problem, I need to crop it, figure out right. Dimensions and all that. Um, so I don't know where I was going with that other than to say that was some of the background too of decisions and knowing like you could hit a dead end.
And I'm waiting for that. I think we're putting ourselves out there with this to see if there's magic in this. Yeah. Journey.
Corey Maass: Yeah. A couple of things you said, um, stuck out to me. One is [00:52:00] like a lot, everybody builds products differently. Everybody b builds UI differently. WordPress has very soft wall, has a lot of walls, but they're very soft and there's a lot of discussion, often negative, often complaints about, um, The, the experience that a plugin provides.
And I think what's different about WordPress, right, is like often you'll, you'll go to Trello and you interact with Trello, and you go to Slack and you interact with Slack in WordPress, you're essentially interacting with numerous apps, really numerous UIs, side by side. Um, and the tolerance for terrible ui.
I mean, let's be honest, even WordPress is not great anymore. Um, the tolerance is high for what you can [00:53:00] get done. Uh, and so I think that that's, that's an, that's something that I hadn't really thought about, but it's like things you can get away with in WordPress as long as you can solve the problem. And so there's, there's a lot to be said for, bless you.
There's a lot to be said for. Solving the problem, um, and not getting caught up in the genius of a product. You know, cuz like you said, people, people wanna get it done and get out, you know, get on with their lives. Um, the other thing that I've had a lot of luck with, so I think we should do this here, is talking about that feedback loop.
Um, with Conbon, I put myself on the homepage and had a, and, and had a nice. Response. Um, with, uh, there's an online game that I built during the pandemic that, that I've told you about, um, called Mexican Train [00:54:00] in the web websites, Mexican train.online. So if anybody out there wants to play Mexican train, which is a Domino's game, but I built an online version, um, I put myself on the homepage and it's a game that is played by a lot of seniors and especially during the pandemic when everybody was really locked down.
And then even now a lot of seniors are still trying to stay inside, stay safe, stay more isolated than they were before. Um, and isolated being the word. They use the game to keep interacting with their friends, um, which is just amazing. Um, but they. Not only does every email that come in start with, Hey Corey, because I am on the homepage.
Um, but apparently when, like, there, there are groups of people that play every week and even every day and uh, they curse me when they get bad dominoes. They praise my name when they get good dominoes. Um, the picture is of me [00:55:00] eating cheezits cuz it's sort of as a joke, like, Cheezits are a guilty pleasure for me.
So a number of them actually like, go and buy Cheezits and eat Cheezits while they're playing because it's become a, you know, uh, a thing. Um, inside joke I guess is the, you know, uh, or whatever. Um, but there's the, that feedback loop is definitely there. Like, they talk to Corey, you know, and then even with.
Subsequent products that I've built, me being on the homepage with a blurb about like why I started the Solve the Problem and stuff like that, has made a huge difference. And so I think as, at least early on, that's something that you and I should definitely replicate is, you know, as we're se I mean, we'll we'll send this to our friends and family.
Okay, that's easy, that's obvious. But, um, you know, maybe even building in a mechanism that's like, you know, Hey, it's your favorite. Corey and Corey, like, tell us what you think. What do you, you know, um, does this work for [00:56:00] you? Does this not work for you? That kind of thing. I usually don't think about explicitly collecting feedback until further down the road.
Um, usually wanting to focus on like paid customers and that kind of thing, but, you know, maybe it's something we start with sooner than later.
Cory Miller: I definitely think so, because, you know, so many times I've put products out there and not really made that splash. Like, you know, they're like, okay, there's practical, they're doing this thing, um, that we set out to do, but I think you wanna have push, push it to have an opinion.
Mm-hmm. , you know, like the user to have a reaction to it, enough to say it sucks or it's awesome. Um, some, some way of that to see where you're at. I think both if you get it sucks and it's awesome. You've got some validation there, you've got something. Um, but putting things out there, that's [00:57:00] how I, my mo with products.
So 2006 or seven I think I, I launched, I did launch, I guess, uh, this is way back in Word Press was different, but I launched a theme and put my zip file. Uploaded it to.org. People downloaded it and I was like, this is crazy. I got a response from them, which I had a contact form up , you know, my website linked in the theme and stuff, and they're like, will you build blog for me?
And I was like, whoa. I'm learning. I did this too because I wanted to do it and I'm learning. But that's the magic that when you put something out there. Yeah. But I think there's this case for put something out there that kind of pushes a reaction. You know,
Corey Maass: and I think this will be an interesting point of conflict potentially, is uh, there's going to be a point where.
We're, we're going to see different paths and we're gonna want different features too. And so I think this is, that'll be an [00:58:00] interesting, you know, let's try to have that conversation on camera because it's there. There's points where I'm dogmatic, like I've got my, one of my other plugins is like, like I said, I, I often look at products that are out, out on, out in the wild and I repurposed them inside WordPress.
And so I've, I've got a plugin that's kind of like a link tree or a card or an About me where it builds very simple social focused landing pages. Like the link bio pages is kind of the, the phrase most people think of. And uh, and even like when I submitted it, the, the people reviewing the plugin were like, um, you've kind of built WordPress inside WordPress.
And so I still get a lot of requests for features that are beyond. The point of the product, because it is within, like WordPress using the right theme or page builder, you can do literally anything. [00:59:00] So this is supposed to be very focused and people come in, come, come in and are like, well make it do this.
And I'm like, that makes no sense. Like, go use WordPress. Um, and so I have found myself being more and more dogmatic about like, my own vision or, you know, certain vision for a product. Um, you know, and right now, like you and I have it easy, like we know it, it it's a one trick pony or one and a half if we do circles.
Um, you know, so what's, what's the next thing that I think that'll, and, and, you know, in a year down the road, I think that'll be interesting. Um, again, that, that backlog, you're probably gonna end up hearing more feedback than I am. Um, you know, uh, Product ownership might ha end up being a thing that we, we actually have to sort out.
So, and it'll be an interesting ride.
Cory Miller: Well, that's been a lot of the background, um, that we wanted to share and kind of catch you all up since we were, were launching [01:00:00] this live or in public. Um, but catching you up on some of the background, some of those key conversations. I hope people can use some of this to, uh, inform their own product journey.
Um, where we are today, where are we today, Corey, with the actual product? Sure. Um,
Corey Maass: yeah, and I just to add to what you just said, like as people watch this, there are a few people watching live. Um, my expectation, like most things recorded is, you know, more people are going to watch it on the playback. Um, but we are going to.
Looking at comments, and I think both of us are pretty easy to find. Um, you know, so, so as, as the, as the conversation gets started, you know, I encourage anybody listening, please ask us questions, you know, give including hard questions. You know, what do you want us to talk about? What do you want? What questions do you want our answers to?[01:01:00]
Um, not that we have the answers to all these problems, but you know, this is, we're doing this out loud, recorded on the internet, you know, so we're happy to talk about it. Um, and we're both pretty candid out, outspoken kind of people. So we're, we're happy to talk about prayer, pretty much anything. Um, but anyway, where are we at now?
Um, so I, with, again, with the, the help of a freelancer built, uh, a first version, I did the p h P. Um, he helped get the. JavaScript and React part of the, um, panel inside of the block editor integrated. Um, and then I took the, the cropping library that we're using, stuck that in. Um, and we've, we've gotten pretty far with that.
The, what, what we had been limited to for the last couple of weeks [01:02:00] is the selecting of an image. So, you know, nobody's, nobody's seen this yet. So talking through the flow real quick, you're opening up a, a new post in WordPress. There's, you know, the built-in featured image panel on the right. Um, we're essentially replacing.
It looks very similar to the built-in one intentionally, but when you click on it, instead of it opening the media library where you upload an image or select an image, it uploads a, uh, or excuse me, it opens a modal where it says What shape do you want a crop? Um, it does say, do you want a circle? Um, you select an image from your hard drive, it then opens the crop.
And one of the nice things about this kind of tech is that that image is not uploaded yet. And so it's all just in the browser until you say, okay, set this, you know, I've moved the crop. I want it this part. Set that as the featured image and that's what gets uploaded. [01:03:00] Um, as of today, I got a poll request again from my freelancer who helped me get started with the media library, cuz this is the one thing.
I'm, I'm undermining you here, but you said, I really want circles. To me, I was like, that's a differentiator. We need circles. Um, to, from my perspective, I'm saying also we need very basic media library integration. I think you originally suggested this as a nice to have, and I was like, no, you're right like this.
To launch with, you need to be able to select an image that has already been uploaded or select an image from your hard drive, crop it and set it. Um, and so we're, we're pretty much there. The media library is opening and you can select an image. Um, so I need to do a, a couple more hours of development, I think, to get it so that it'll save that essentially re cropped version of what is in your media library.
Um, [01:04:00] and then from a d a product standpoint, we're pretty much ready to go, um, on, on your list. Um, I know we have the readme.
Cory Miller: That's, it was like, Hey, Corey, you have 15 minutes of work to do. .
Corey Maass: That's not true. I mean, it, it is to get it in the repo because it's one of those, you know, no, nobody does it if a tree falls in the wo if a plugin gets committed to the repo and there's nobody there to hear it. Yeah. Um, you know, or, or security by obfuscation kind of thing.
But, you know, there's, it's the beginning of the marketing. How do we describe this thing? What do we even really, what do we call it? You know, is it, is it crop express? Is it crop express image cropper? Is it image, crop express, da da da da da. Like, just, we have the domain, but that's it. So there's,
Cory Miller: uh, it presents a lot of questions.
[01:05:00] Um, and I know we've run outta time, um, but it presents a lot of questions because you go, there's wordpress.org plugin search that is, Pretty big, right? Um, the, these are some of the things coming outta my mind with the readme because it does turn into that plug-in repo section. Um, I've seen a bunch throughout the years how people like, enough there to go.
Here it is. And then my balancing act is, let's get enough to show this is the value proposition, this is what it can do for you. Uh, and then just like everything iterate over time. Um, but I can't help but tell and admit to you. I think, oh, it's gotta be like side bki put a plugin on the repo. Like he knows he's a marketer, he's got all these talents, but he, he understands how to put a plugin, um, and showcase it, right?
And so I'm battling that a little bit, but I go, okay, get enough to, so here's the value prop and that this is an active development and we want that [01:06:00] feedback loop back about what's next. But I think the read me is showing. Telling enough of what we're trying to do where someone goes, that is a problem. I have this plugin, will will solve it.
Now getting to that is gonna be, is gonna be fun, but I started on the Readme file from the Generate WP site you gave me. And um, that's where I'll honestly spin some wheels a little bit, cuz I'll try to be perfect. But I think the two outcomes there really are, you know, clearly understanding what this does.
So someone, mm-hmm can go, oh, I've got this problem, or my client's got this problem. And then second is, we need a loop. We need to know these things. Even the things you go, we're never gonna do. I still want to have 'em up there. I still want to have 'em in our visibility because it just allows us to make better informed decisions as we over time hone in on, you know, A lot of the products we [01:07:00] released at I themes, it was years before we go, oh, that group right there, because you get enough of big sample size and you go, okay, convert Kit had a very similar, uh, fault, Nathan Berry.
He started out with one thought in mine, and then he saw it was this creators, you know, um, economy. And then he just, when he got that bead, he just, you know, doubled down on that. And I, I see, I see that similar here. I think we have pretty good profiles, like anyone that wants to make image cropping easier, um, and faster from a blogger to an agency doing work for clients, um, that's a big use case for me.
And I'm like, there's, that's why I have some faith that there's something here that we can do in an advanced case, but it's just discovery to me, you know, so.
Corey Maass: Yeah. Well, and I think that's part of, I, I think you should take notes on your experience and then tell me about it. The next time we have a call, like [01:08:00] mm-hmm.
you are a, apparently you launched a pro a theme many years ago, , uh, but have it since. And so when I was like, okay, you go, go and do the read me. You were like, uh, I need some guidance. Like I, yes, I can write words, but tell me more about the Read me and what are the consequences of, you know, the, what I put in the read Me.
Um, and I think that that's, you know, you, here's a prime example of your experiencing something for the first time. You know, tell us about that experience and, and, and the thinking, some of the thinking that goes into it, like, it is, it is something that gets iterated on often, but there are consequences of, uh, you know, when we submit the plugin, the slug, the u r l is going to be locked.
You can. ask them to change it [01:09:00] once within, I don't know, the first couple of days or something. But then that's it. So, you know, cuz and you'll, and you'll see that with plugins on the repo that the U R L is W P S E O, but the product is Yost, you know? Right. Or things like that. Um, things that they've had to change over time, but you can't change the slug.
Cory Miller: I know that firsthand too . Right. I sure think security was better WP security and, and it still is. I think. I don't think we That's right. Get there's, yeah. So that's right. Yeah. There are some foundational things that can't change over time, which is tough when you're doing new products as you don't.
Always know where it's gonna go or what the right, you know, do we need to say image cropping, you know, kind of thing. Whatever the, the kind of keywords are.
Corey Maass: Yep. So, yep. So, but I, I definitely think that's, that'll be a great experience for you to talk about and, and also a lot of the, the thinking that, that it makes you do will subsequently guide at least some of our early work [01:10:00] when we do put up a marketing site.
Cory Miller: Absolutely. Well, okay, so last question. We'll wrap this up since we, since we got over time. Um, but it's hard not to stop talking with you. I enjoyed this. Um, so by next Wednesday, um, what do you think is realistic for us to make progress on and we can start talking about that next. Because we're gonna be doing this, by the way, for the next five, six weeks, I think.
Um, there's a webinar, um, that was in the newsletter, the link to that. And then of course, if you're watching on YouTube, you can just come back to Post Status on YouTube. But Corey, what do you think, um, our next steps are, the progress we wanna make in this week interval?
Corey Maass: Yeah. I think the goal should be either we get this across the first finish line or past the first milestone or whatever of it.
Either we submit it to the [01:11:00] plug-in repo or it's, or it's ready to go and we can talk about that. But, you know, feature, feature complete as far as version one is concerned, um, and, and that, that read me, basically it's the whole zip file ready to go and be submitted and then we can either, Maybe we even, we could even submit it while we're on the, uh, you know, on the call and kind of talk about like that.
And then I think we'll end up talking about like, you know, whenever I've submitted plugins, um, I've, I've never just had one like stamp done. Like there were questions asked or there were, um, code revisions that I needed to make based on, I know that they use a programmatic, um, I can't think of what it's called, but basically code sniffer, um, to, you [01:12:00] know, it basically some little AI that, that will flag variables that aren't escaped or things like that.
And, um, and then I've also usually wound up having a conversation with a human being who's like, you know, what are your intents? What, what's your intention of this? Or, you know, why do you think we need this? Or whatever. And so if, you know, I think that'll be worth talking about too.
Cory Miller: Because the submission to the repo takes some time because it's gotta go in the review and all that stuff too.
So, um, I think about timing wise as well as like, once it's there, it's, we're gonna have just by nature of the review process, which is good. I, I, I get it. Um, it's gonna push us out some to actual, to actual launch. That's something to consider too.
Corey Maass: So, you know, so we can, I think let's, you know, let's regroup, um, today's Wednesday, you know, end of the week, beginning of the week kind of thing.
Um, and we can. basically just hit submit. Um, and [01:13:00] I th the last I heard the review process takes a couple of days and I, that, that fits with my experience. Mm-hmm. , um, you know, so maybe we've heard if we submit Friday or Monday, we might have heard by Wednesday. Um, and then we'll have that to talk about, you know, or we can just submit on Wednesday and then the following week we definitely should have something to talk about.
We might not be live in the repo, but um, you know, we should have heard back. I know we'll hear back within a week. Yeah.
Cory Miller: Okay. Well, my intention is to carve out some time today. I think I've got some buckets of time to finish, to read me at least get a draft that you can review and we can go back and forth, um, to have that, at least you not be waiting on that or me, so that sounds great.
Corey Maass: Yeah, I'm.
Cory Miller: All right, Corey. Thanks, man. It's always fun talking through this stuff. Yeah, having a partner and a collaborator. And, uh, thanks everybody else for, uh, joining in as you can. Um, we're gonna be here Wednesdays 11:00 AM Central Standard time, um, [01:14:00] for the next five, six weeks throughout January and February.
As we talk, just share the progress we're making for this WordPress product called Crop Express. Thanks everybody. Thanks Corey. See ya. See ya.

This article was published at Post Status — the community for WordPress professionals.

by Emilee at January 20, 2023 08:00 PM under Yoast

Do The Woo Community: AI Text, Art, and Code with Guest Co-Host Mark Westguard

I chat with Mark Westguard from WS Form about how we have both used AI with content, art and even WordPress. With some added thoughts of AI and WooCommerce.

>> The post AI Text, Art, and Code with Guest Co-Host Mark Westguard appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce Builder Community .

by BobWP at January 20, 2023 12:12 PM under WooBits

WPTavern: WooCommerce Seeks to Improve Cart and Checkout Blocks Performance

WooCommerce Blocks maintainers are asking the developer community to share feedback on any performance issues they are experiencing with the Cart and Checkout blocks.

“We’re aware there is work to be done in this area and we want to improve,” WooCommerce developer Alex Florisca said.

“We’re specifically interested in any performance related issues that may be stopping merchants or developers from adopting the Cart and Checkout blocks over the shortcode version.”

The plugin’s repository has nine open issues categorized as related to performance. Most of them are not straight forward and require more research and testing. For example, an issue with running multiple blocks of product grids was reported as having increased response times of 4+ seconds. Contributors have proposed a few different ideas to address performance issues, such as experimenting with useSuspenseSelect to improve the perceived loading experience for various blocks and finding a way to track the performance of the Cart and Checkout blocks. Neither of these tickets have seen much movement yet.

Store owners will not be eager to switch over to a checkout experience that is slower, so the WooCommerce team is seeking feedback that will help them make the cart and checkout blocks faster. So far, one user reported that due to a bug in a third-party plugin, he got a glimpse of what the block-based checkout adds to the JS asset payload.

“I think this adds at least ~300 kB (compressed) JS payload (initial numbers, my measurement process is still ongoing),” Leho Kraav said.

“We don’t plan to convert our classic theme to a block theme any time soon, but still, I feel uneasy about this direction.”

Florisca followed up on this feedback with a few cursory benchmarks comparing the legacy shortcode checkout with blocks checkout and Shopify:

Blocks CheckoutShortcode CheckoutShopify
Total Payload2.9MB935kb6.1MB
Total Transferred2.1MB1.3MB*3MB
Number of requests14477146

“The number of requests has almost doubled for Blocks, which isn’t great so this is something that we can look into,” Florisca said. “I suspect the reason is because we rely on a few layers of abstraction on top – WooCommerce and WordPress, each with their packages and set ways of doing certain things. We can investigate if we can simply this.”

The discussion on how to improve cart and checkout block performance is still open for more developers to give feedback, and investigations are ongoing. The good news is that WooCommerce maintainers are aware of how much weight the block-based checkout adds and are actively looking for ways to improve it for users.

by Sarah Gooding at January 20, 2023 03:53 AM under woocommerce

January 19, 2023

WPTavern: WordCamp Europe 2023 Tickets Now on Sale

WordCamp Europe announced the first batch of tickets on sale for the 2023 event that will be hosted in Athens, Greece, June 8-10. General tickets are € 50.00, a fraction of their true cost, which is heavily subsidized by sponsors. It includes admission to the two-day event, lunches, coffee, snacks, Contributor Day, a commemorative t-shirt, and an invitation to the After Party.

WCEU is also offering micro-sponsorship tickets at € 150.00, which organizers say is closer to the real cost of attendance.

Speaker applications are still open but will close soon in the first week of February. Applicants will be notified by the second week of March and organizers will announce the lineup in mid-April.

WCEU is also seeking a host city for 2024. The minimum requirements are considerably less stringent than in previous years. Hosting the event is open to any team that has organized at least one successful in-person WordCamp in a European city in the last four years with a community that has been active during 2022. Organizers have also published an update to the selection process:

For this year, we have tweaked the selection process to concentrate more on the local community and the city instead of deep knowledge about how to organise a successful WordCamp Europe.

The selection of the WordCamp Europe 2024 host city will be based on the overall evaluation of the application, instead of ranking different parts of it. We don’t ask your team to prepare a budget for the whole event, but estimated costs for the proposed venue(s) should be available.

Contributor Day registration for this year’s event is not yet open but will be free with the purchase of a conference ticket.

At the time of publishing, only 257 tickets remain in this first round, but more batches will be released in the future. Register now to lock in your spot or sign up for email updates on the registration page to be notified of future ticket releases.

by Sarah Gooding at January 19, 2023 07:37 PM under News

Post Status: Interview With Product Lead Tiffany Bridge Of Nexcess — Post Status Draft 137

In this episode, Tiffany Bridge joins Cory Miller to talk about the latest innovations she and her team at Nexcess have created for beginner online store owners, simplifying WordPress for users, and the ongoing battles between centralization and decentralization.

Estimated reading time: 40 minutes

Transcript

Tiffany Bridge has been working in WordPress almost since the beginning of WordPress. She is the Product Manager for WordPress eCommerce at Nexcess and talks with Cory Miller about their hosting services and products, specifically highlighting the benefits and capabilities of Store Builder. They dive into optimizing UX in WordPress, the benefits of open source, and more.

Top Takeaways:

  • WooCommerce Simplified with Store Builder. As you know, WordPress and WooCommerce love to hide settings in layers of menus. Nexcess saw the struggles people had in trying to set up eCommerce sites and created StoreBuilder as an easy tool to go from zero to having an online store. This removes the initial learning curve required to get started in Woo and sets up a DIY tool for merchants.
  • A Platform to Grow with You: One of the great things about setting people up on WordPress and Woo as they start businesses is the flexibility available for future growth. If their model totally shifts, they can just uninstall a plugin and add another to obtain the functionality they need to sustain their business growth without the hassle of migration or the increased fees of a platform.
  • Solving for What Users Shouldn’t Have to Know. Kadence and so many WordPress and WooCommerce plugins are designed for WordPress professionals. We are working to leverage the power of Kadence by creating a top-notch user experience for people who don’t know what things like a border radius or gutter are. These tools enhance and expand the power of WordPress, so creating solutions that lower the knowledge barrier to entry is the kind of work that moves WordPress forward.
  • You Can Own Your Own Platform. Often people aren’t aware that this is an option. From Etsy to Twitter, controversies tend to increase demand for alternatives. Bringing more awareness to individual ownership on the web-for blogs, stores, or anything else-empowers people to show up online and conduct business on their terms.

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🔗 Mentioned in the show:

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The Post Status Draft podcast is geared toward WordPress professionals, with interviews, news, and deep analysis. 📝

Browse our archives, and don’t forget to subscribe via iTunes, Google Podcasts, YouTube, Stitcher, Simplecast, or RSS. 🎧

Transcript

Cory Miller: [00:00:00] Hey everybody. Welcome to back to Post Status Draft. This is an interview in the series of product people that we're doing with some of the great product companies in WordPress. And today I have my new friend Tiffany. Um, we get to talk a couple weeks back and I love her energy, her experience, her approach to WordPress overall. She's very distinguished, uh, experienced person in WordPress having done some cool stuff that I'm gonna let her talk about. But we're gonna be talking about Nexus and Store builder today I think So, um, Tiffany, welcome to Draft podcast. Thanks Corey. You tell us what you do, what, what you do in WordPress now, and where, where you got to this.

Tiffany Bridge: Okay. Well, so right now I am the product manager for WordPress e-commerce at Nexus, which is, uh, basically I kind of, uh, I have my hands in the entire experience [00:01:00] of using WordPress on our platform as a, as an e-commerce focused host. Um, that's a pretty wide swim lane, so I do a lot, a lot of different things.

Um, the thing that I've been focusing on is our store builder. Um, before Nexus I was, uh, I was at Automatic for a while doing, uh, I was on their special projects team, um, which works with, um, you know, interesting people and organizations to try and make sure they have a great experience on WordPress. So I did a lot of, sort of very bespoke projects there.

Um, before that I freelanced. You know, was kind of doing what a lot of, uh, my colleagues are doing is just trying to, you know, help my clients have, um, you know, with by setting up like WordPress sites for them and things like that. And before that I was doing a lot of WordPress just kind of in personal projects.

I started teaching myself WordPress in 2004. So, um, I've been with WordPress almost as long as WordPress has been WordPress, which is, um, which is fun, like to see how far we've. As a, as a community and as a, and as a piece of software. Right?

Cory Miller: We're gonna have to [00:02:00] talk about that later. I'm gonna come back to that cuz you, you predate me. I was just a blogger in 2006 on, on this cool thing called WordPress . Um, but you said this, uh, as part of you, I know you're so, you're so humble, but I want to act accentuate a part of this, like that special projects team you did at Automatic is known for doing. Big, glamorous, cool sites with potential big problems attached to them.

And I can't remember what the code name for the team has called, but I knew about it for years. And then when we met a couple weeks ago, months ago, um, and you told me your background, I was like, you were on that team. Cuz it's very, um, I, I would say like, You know, a celebrity status in my sense, because I know I'd go, I'd go to this blog site of this cool site and realize it was on WordPress, or somebody would say, now this is on WordPress, and you kind of dig into the details and you go, it's that team at Automatic that was doing it, that you were a part of for such a long time.

Tiffany Bridge: Yeah, I was there for, uh, well, it was just like, [00:03:00] it was a couple of years and, um, yeah, I mean I worked on some very, very cool projects and it's kind of like WordPress bootcamp, right? Like if you don't, whatever you think you know about WordPress, you will know more after, after like six months on that team.

Um, because we solved like, Like every WordPress problem there is, right? Like you're, sometimes you're rescuing a site from a developer that maybe didn't do a great job. Sometimes you're converting a site that isn't on WordPress to WordPress. Um, like a, a project that I worked on that is very close to my heart that I can talk about is, um, I worked on the conversion of a list part from Expression Engine to WordPress, which was just an incredible experience.

Um, I learned so much, and the a list part team was super great. So, um, yeah, like that was a, that was an intense couple of years. Like there's a lot, there's a lot that goes into those projects and our job was to kind of make it, it was like, you know, like the metaphor of the duck, right? Like you're, you're swimming seren except underneath, you're like furiously paddling

And like that's, uh, [00:04:00] that's the special projects team.

Cory Miller: Can you say this special code name for it? I wanna say stiff.

Tiffany Bridge: Um, the, so, I mean, every team at Automatic has like an internal nickname, right? Like the, the, the name. Because the names of teams at Automatic have historically not been, um, they have, there, there isn't just like, oh, that's accounts payable.

Like there's, that's not what any of the teams are called, right? They all have like clever names, , um, special projects team is, uh, the overarching team is called Team 51. There are a lot of, there are a lot of rumors about why that was chosen. Um, none of them are, all of them are more glamorous and interesting than the real reason it was chosen

Um, but now team 51 is actually, like, when I was there it was like 13 people, but it's now like 40 some people and so there's lots of subteams and those subteams all have names and things like that as well. So, but the overarching team internally is called Team 51.

Cory Miller: This is why I wanted to do these set of interviews cuz there's people behind, oftentimes behind the scenes with these vast experie.[00:05:00]

Building the cool products that so many people use and why? I wanted to highlight your background. When we got to talk, I was like, oh, I've gotta share this, because I think it's so compelling to see one, you've been doing WordPress for a very long time. Two, you did it for with this like, very, uh, interesting team doing some cool projects that really put a great face on WordPress.

Um, like a list apart. You know, so many people in our community know that like the back of their hands. Um, I wanna share that. Cause I think that that all formulates these compelling stories into today in your role at Nexus and what you're doing and formulates all this background. Like I remember at I themes, there's so many times we're building cool stuff, but people don't see inside the workshop, they don't see all this stuff.

They don't know all the history and background, the care and passion that goes into this. And so that's one of the reasons I was doing this and why I wanted to like point it out, you know, , um, So, um, okay, so that brings us to [00:06:00] today, and now you're at Nexus doing store builder of many things. But I really wanna talk about store builder because I think it's really interesting.

I know you've been focusing on it, um, at Nexus and it, there's a big problem that I think it solves for my own work. , I shouldn't even say work, trying to use w this thing called WooCommerce, which is incredible. one I, I think I, I've said at least, and you correct me, kept, but I'm like WooCommerce is the default e-commerce software on the planet because it's used so broadly.

I think it's growing faster still than WordPress and for good reason, but you can do anything and everything with it. And that presents a lot of complexity. Absolutely. Absolutely. What is the problem you're trying to solve with store builder?

Tiffany Bridge: Sure. Oh, well. So as you say, like the more flexible and powerful something is, the more complicated it is.

And you know, something that I learned, and this I think, especially I learned at, um, on special projects is that, [00:07:00] you know, setting up WordPress and WooCommerce, that's a different set of skills than just using them day-to-day. And the problem is that people who, like once you, once the, the site is set up right, people can learn to use it.

It's not, it's not that hard to use, but getting to that point where you can just use it and run your business on it requires a ton of knowledge. And you know how WordPress. Is like, it likes to hide all of the settings, like in all of these different menus. And you have to, you have to kind of know what you're looking for in order to find it.

Um, and that's a real, that's a real challenge for people. So the problem that we're trying to solve with store builder is this idea of like, okay, there's like five or six things you have to do in order to go from zero to a store. And we wanna like gather those all up in one place and just walk you through them in a very logical way.

So, okay, first we're doing like what we call first time. Consider. You're setting like the name and address of the store and the name of the site. And then we wanna do look and feel. Um, so let's just get some pages into your site. Let's get some content into your site that you can edit and make your own.[00:08:00]

Then we wanna, like, let's add a domain. We've got this very cool, like we call it the Go Live wizard, where you just, um, where it like walks you through the process of, of connecting a domain right there from inside WP admin. And then we've got, okay, great. Now it's time to add your products. Products we don't have a wizard for.

We're just sort of surfacing a lot of help content to just help people make good choices as they're configuring their product, their products. And then it's like, great. Now let's connect your payment. Now let's set up your shipping. Hey, congratulations, you have a store. Is there more work to do on the site?

Of course there is. There's always more work to do. But now we have gotten to a point where you have products and you can take payment and you can ship them, and your site has a domain name and therefore an SSL certificate. So here you are, now you're in business on the. And that's the problem that we're really trying to solve is just like, let's just get p get all of these, like things that you have to configure in front of people so they don't have to go hunting for.

Cory Miller: And that's a huge problem I see that firsthand, um, is, you know, WordPress enabled me [00:09:00] to start a business, start a blog first, and then it evolved into a business. And that's the beauty of it. And I see that with, with commerce. Nearly any, uh, nuance thing you want to do, you can probably do it with WooCommerce.

There's so many extensions, plug ons and addons and stuff. It from my experience, it seems like, you know, you get in and, and e-commerce just set aside from e-commerce is just complex because, okay, well you're selling in Europe and you need that and you need invoices or something like that. You're selling, you know, a digital good with a physical product and you want a free trial.

I was just talking to somebody about that yesterday. The whole thing on e-commerce. And then you get to WooCommerce, great tool, awesome ecosystem and stuff. And I see this problem that you're trying to tackle over and over, uh, and I think it provides a huge need for those trying to build stores on the web.

Um, tell me about who the product is really for. [00:10:00]

Tiffany Bridge: So you know, this product is really for that sort of like merchant who is either setting up the site themselves or maybe they're working with somebody to set up, but they're not like hiring an agency to build them a site, right? Like they might have, they might have a buddy who's good with computers, or they might even have paid a freelancer, but it's really meant to be kind of, Right at that like level of the person who is actually gonna be running the business should be able to set up the store.

That's always the goal that we're after, right? Is if you decide, if you're like knitting hats and selling them on Etsy and you decide you wanna get off of Etsy, like you should be able to do this. So it's, it's meant for people whose skill is whatever it is that their business is. Not building websites, and that's who we're really targeting with this.

Now, that is a very complicated problem and there's a lot of layers to it. And so we are always in the process of trying to solve for that use case. I think, um, I don't know if you can ever be, you can never say. We've solved it, right? Like there's always gonna be more to do. [00:11:00] Um, and that's what we're doing with Store Builder right now, but that's who, that's for.

Like a lot of our other products, like we host, we have Manageable commerce hosting, manage WordPress hosting. What we like to say about those products is that we're the hosts that you graduate to, right? If you're coming to us, you've probably already been somewhere else. Um, but with Store Builder, we're really focusing on people who probably don't already have a website, and that's, uh, that's who the product's for.

Cory Miller: That's unique with Nexus, but I know Nexus is a brand company, has extensive experience with e-commerce too. And this offering is really interesting because one, you're tackling a big problem. Um, but two, you've got a lot of experience on your team and the company that has really dealt with this, um, the e-commerce question for a long time.

So.

Tiffany Bridge: Yeah well, and it's such a privilege to be able to work with people who like really think about e-commerce, right? Like Nexus got its start doing Magento. And so like we have a lot of like all of our, you know, engineering and our operations, like, they understand like what an e-commerce site [00:12:00] needs. And so it's, it's been great to watch them kind of apply that knowledge to WordPress and w as well.

Cory Miller: Excuse me. And I think this is. It's one thing to have a blog, you don't wanna have blog. Mm-hmm. , I didn't worry too much about downtime. Sure. When you have downtime or something happens and you can't get things done with your story, you're probably likely losing money. So Absolutely. I think that experience is, is key to highlight Mato Gun back to the, the days, you know, this big, big behemoth of an e-commerce platform that switched hands and

.

hear that background. Next is, So you, you said this, uh, just a second ago, but you talked about some of the things, like what you're trying to do, and you mentioned some, some key things in the last year or so, as you've b led this project. Um, what are some of the things that, that stand out that you're, um, excited about, proud about that uh, you can share.

Tiffany Bridge: You know, I think in terms of like actual product features, you know, I'm so proud of that Go Live Wizard. Um, because like, [00:13:00] you know, what's this saying? Like it's always d n s, right? D n s is hard and that's. and that's such, and there's no way to talk about it in a way that isn't like technical, right? How do you connect a, a domain name to your site?

Well, you've gotta go change your name servers. Well, what's a name server? What's a cname? What's an a record? Um, people shouldn't have to know that, right? Like people shouldn't have to know that in order to get online, I think. Um, so it's been really fun to kind of build this cool tool that just walks people kind of through a decision tree.

The first thing it asks you is, , do you have a domain name or do you need one? If you need one, it'll send you out to the Nexus checkout, or we're working on this feature where it'll send you out to the, the Nexus checkout. We're working on the feature where it brings you back, back into your store. Like right now, we can, we can send you out to our domain registration, but we, we have to rely on you to come back.

We're working on a feature where we can move you out and then just bring you right back to where you left off. But you know, so that's the first question. And then like once you have it, it like it will actually validate whether your domain is ready to connect, right? It'll do all the queries to see like, [00:14:00] are your name servers set or do you have the C name set up?

And it'll tell you. If not, it'll tell you what it is that you need to do. Um, And then, you know, you, as you proceed with it, it'll like set up the DNS zone in your portal and it will like do the, um, the find and replace on your database to make sure that like WordPress knows what domain it's supposed to be using and that all of your internal links are now referring to the correct domain.

So like it does all of those like little things that, like on special projects, we have a whole checklist for, to make sure that a human does them well. Now we've got like a. Um, so that, that does that, and that's, I actually tease my former coworkers sometimes and I'm like, Hey, I'm over here trying to replace special projects with a series of onboarding wizards.

And they're like, yeah, good luck with that . I'm like, Hey, look, I never said I like small problems. Right? . So, um, but so that, like, that feature is something that I'm really, really proud of and, um, and excited about. And I'm always telling people it's like the best single piece of store builder

Cory Miller: is, is this different [00:15:00] from the wizard?

You mentioned a bit ago.

Tiffany Bridge: It's the same one. Okay. I mean, it's like the, like that's the, that's the one that I'm most excited about. And, and I think it's the reason that I may, that we're able to do that one so beautifully is because you don't have to, like, there isn't like a third party that we're having to connect with.

Um, you know, when you start getting into like payments and shipping, like suddenly you're dealing with other people's APIs and so there's a limit to what you can do. Um, but like where we're able to kind of control the experience, we're able to make it like really beautiful and functional.

Cory Miller: I know I've, I've helped people.

You know how it is, I'm sure you get this too. It's like if they know you do WordPress or websites, you know, everybody has some kind of idea. And, um, there's platforms out there, but again, the power of WooCommerce and, and WordPress particularly to, to grow your business. But there's complexity that happens that, that I know you're wiring in as you think about and build, continue to build the.

For that experience. Um, it's kind of [00:16:00] going back for a second. I know Nexus does. Okay. You graduate to us. Uh, store builder specifically, I think is for a different kind of, um, problem. And you might have said this, but I want to come back to it cause I, I think I might have missed sharing this part of it. So, store builder, if you, you know, want to start a store and here are, you know, 15 options.

This is the option if you want to, um, start a store and grow it.

Tiffany Bridge: Is that right? Yeah, I think so. I mean, I think there's a no better platform than WordPress and Woo for something that's gonna grow with your business and be flexible to your business. Like maybe you get farther down the road and you decide, you know what?

I don't actually want to sell merchandise anymore. What I would rather do is do courses or events. I mean, all right, well just install another plugin. You can uninstall WooCommerce. , off you go. Um, and so, you know, having that option always available to people as well is really important. Like you can, [00:17:00] because as you know, it's so flexible and you can just swap in the pieces you need and take out the pieces you don't.

Um, I think it's, it's really great to just get people, like, just, just get on the platform that's going to grow with you at the beginning instead of having. Migrate later, right? Like, nobody likes migrations, nobody likes, you know, having to convert their data and carry their, carry their orders from like their Shopify store and their commerce.

Just start with WooCommerce. It's fine.

Cory Miller: I know. Um, so we talked about in that experience, like really making that initial experience where you're like, I've got something I want to sell. Um, you mentioned when we were talking before this too, like particularly you're on another platform, like an Etsy or some other platform.

This is when, um, you're ready to go and there's this, there's this learning curve with WordPress WooCommerce that you're trying to sort out. Um, I think you said it when we were, um, prepping for this like idea to selling [00:18:00] is, is kind of that key, which I think is so awesome because I know from experience.

People, you know, non-word, pressure related. Go, I'm ready to do this. Lindsay and I, my wife have a, a partner, great founder who does physical products. And, and that was the question I was like, okay, well you have a couple of options. , they all have pros and cons, they have some things. Um, but having an experience like this, I think is so key because of that initial learning curve going live online.

But there, I know there's other things too. Nexus happens to be in the family of LiquidWeb, which is Own, has a number of WordPress specific company outside of the Nexus brand of families that you all, um, leverage within the platform too.

Tiffany Bridge: Yes, absolutely. Um, the biggest, uh, so you know, the liquid web family of brands is large and growing, right?

And, and, and as our post status friends know, there are quite a lot of like WordPress plug-in businesses that are now part of the family of brands. And the one that we are leveraging most right now in store builder is [00:19:00] cadence. And cadence. For those who don't know, is this really great? I don't wanna call.

I mean, it's a theme, but it's like so much more than a theme, right? Um, it, it is a theme. It is blocks, it is starter templates. It's this whole package and it's really geared around people who are like web designers, but just need a great, um, like way to build and customize a site that doesn't necessarily rely on like a third party page builder.

Right? Something I appreciate about Cadence is the way it sort of embraces. Extends the WordPress Block editor rather than trying to replace it. Um, cadence is there, there's so much great stuff, right? Like right now, store Builder really leverages this Cadence starter template. So you pick one of the starter templates around, uh, around e-commerce, and we import a site for you, basically.

Um, and then you just have to edit it and make it your own. Replace the images, replace the text. But, you know, the, the feedback that we're getting from our customers is that that's still a lot of work and it. Their feedback is that because it is, they are correct. [00:20:00] That is still a lot of work to do. And so something that we're kind of, the next problem we're trying to tackle in store builder is this idea of editing all the not store parts of your site, making sure that you have a homepage and an about page and you know, all of your policy pages and things like that.

And making it as easy as possible for people. Because you know, cadence was kind of designed around people who are already web designers and that isn't who our audience is. So we've been working very closely with the ca cadence team on, you know, what's a, how can we leverage cadence and the power and the, the, the experience that they have, but create like a really great experience for, um, people who aren't.

Who aren't already savvy with web design, right? Who don't know, like, what is a gutter, what's a border radius like, you know, no one should have to know that. Um, so we're, that's the next problem that we're trying to solve and um, and it's been a real privilege to work with my colleagues over on that side of the house on that.

Cory Miller: I, That's you just kind of like [00:21:00] highlighted one of, one of the benefits why we, our partner and, and the founder of that physical products company. Like why not just to use, let's say a Shopify site or something is like mm-hmm. , the stuff you said that the non-store stuff is so awesome and attractive.

Mm-hmm. and helpful for store owners where you can blog and. NCO and different things like that. And I happen to have some inside knowledge as far as . Um, having been at Lake Web a couple years ago, sold, sold our themes to, uh, lake Web, that there's a suite of tools That's awesome. And to see, you know, post status by the way, also runs cadence and such a powerful framework, whatever we call it, you know, word critical.

Tiffany Bridge: Yeah. It's a, it's a sweet a package. I don't know, it's like, it's a theme. It's a lot. It's a lot of stuff. Um, and it's, it's just great. And, um, I've been really, it's been really nice to be able to, to work with, um, something that both kind of embraces kind of the WordPress way of doing things, but also really [00:22:00] enhances and expands it.

Cory Miller: Okay. So help me complete this sentence. As for product lead for this, this particular. Um, there's probably all these things that your, your team knows in sudden and out cuz you built them and you built them based on these customer, this journey of these problems with obstacles people ran into. I wish people knew or did about what?

As part of store builder. Is there things from like, you know, your team just goes, gosh, they're not taking advantage of the school teacher. They're not doing this one thing that would make their life easier, the business would grow better. What are, what are some of those things, part of the platform that's come to mind?

Tiffany Bridge: Oh, that's a hard one. I mean, I think the thing that I find is that the thing that I always want customers to know is usually it's bec, usually they don't know it cuz I haven't adequately conveyed it to them. So it seems a little bit almost self-serving. Right. To be like, oh, I wish [00:23:00] they knew. Like, one thing that I always find myself wishing that people knew is that e-commerce is really complicated.

Right. Um, cuz I think sometimes we get people who come to. To store builder and expect us to solve all of the complexity of the e-commerce when what we're really able to solve is like the complexity of the website part. Like I read our, um, One of the things I do as a product manager is I read all of our cancellation reasons.

Um, so like anytime somebody has left the product and they wanna tell me why it's hard reading, sometimes , it's very bad for the ego, but it's very good for the product. And somebody once said, well, I, I can't believe how many things I have to log into to use this. Like, okay. Well if you're talking about like our Nexus portal, like I agree with you.

I would love to reduce the need for people to have to log into a web hosting portal. Right? But if you're talking about payments shipping, like was there ever a future where you weren't gonna need a Stripe account? I know some people are [00:24:00] tackling that by like building their own payments, but then I feel like that's another form of lock-in that I don't love.

Right. Um, so, you know, so a thing that I, I want people to know is that, um, the system ha the, this, we're trying to, we're trying to balance like that like. Opinionated versus like freedom thing, right? Like, can we be very opinionated? Like, look, you're just gonna use, this is the payment system you're gonna use.

Just, just, you know, while also still giving people that freedom of w of, of WooCommerce, um, I think that's always like when I'm reading stuff, that's always what I'm wishing people knew. And so now it's just a question of like, well, how do I then, like how do I teach 'em that it's not their fault? They don't know that I know that they don't know that.

I think about e-commerce all day. You don't, you, all you wanna do is just get online and like sell this thing you made,

Cory Miller: sell your stuff. Absolutely. Well, and, and there's platforms out there like Shopify for instance, and it, it's super fast gets [00:25:00] something going, but the complexity exists of some of these things.

Like, you gotta think through, are you selling to Europe? What do you, you know, that's just one that comes to mind for me. Exactly. Um, but I totally get it. Um, the space that you all are in, what the product you're trying to provide, um, that, that is kind of like a pro and con of the beauty of the. , you can with store builder, with WordPress, with WooCommerce, get a store up and going mm-hmm.

Um, so you can do it. And that's a great freedom that we have and enjoy for sure. But that, uh, I know from having done had, obviously businesses that run e-commerce rely on e-commerce or website was our front door to our store, but it was down. We didn't make money. Um, and then trying to help navigate some of those complexities is, is a pretty tough job.

Anything else that kind of comes out to. About what I wish people knew. Yeah.

Tiffany Bridge: Oh gosh. So many things. All the [00:26:00] things. Um, , they need anything, I guess they wouldn't need store builder

Cory Miller: anything about the product that we haven't. Mentioned that, that you want to share too? I

Tiffany Bridge: mean, I think, like, I think we've covered all the things that I'm like most passionate about.

Like I just, yeah. You know, well, we were, you remember that controversy several months ago about Etsy and like Etsy's increase in fees and people were sh closing down their Etsy stores. And, um, like I just, like, I want people to know that it doesn't have to be that. . Like, it doesn't have to be that way.

Like you can own the plat, like you can own your platform. We're seeing this now with Twitter, right? The implosion of Twitter. People are like, what are we gonna do? Where are we gonna go? And I'm like, you should have a blog is what you should do. Um, you know, I think I, it just, I want people to know that it doesn't have to be that way.

We don't have. Like our presences on the web, which is an increasingly important way of way, way that we conduct business, the way we conduct our relationships, the way we meet new people. Like we don't have to, it doesn't have to be that way, right? You [00:27:00] can own your home on the web, whether that home is a store or just a blog.

Or just a blog or, um, or anything else. Like it. Just like, it doesn't have to be this way. It can be. There are many of us who would love to help you with it. And like, I'm not saying that just as a person who wants to sell store builders, I wanna sell store builders, but I want to sell, like the reason that I care about store builder is because what it allows people to do.

Cory Miller: Mm-hmm. Absolutely. You backed into my question I was gonna ask you next was to, you've been a workforce a long time and you know when we prop. Uh, examples, like, I don't want to just poo poo Shopify, but use Shopify software is a service. There's benefits to having a SaaS Absolutely. Solution for what you're doing, but there's also,

Tiffany Bridge: there's a reason they're successful.

Cory Miller: Absolutely. There's also downside, and you mentioned earlier it's like WooCommerce, WordPress, and even store builder and Nexus grows with you. Um, but I want you to share a little bit more about that. You know, Shopify, what I was telling our partner, I said, you know, [00:28:00] Shopify's the glamorous thing people look at.

And I see, I see why. But I said, you're gonna trade some problems for a new set of problems. And one of those you've mentioned a couple times is lock in. And the beauty of, I want you to share a little bit about the, what your thoughts are around WordPress, WooCommerce, and open.

Tiffany Bridge: Yeah, I mean, I think, I mean, the number one, biggest one is that you can own it and you can go, you know, wherever you want, and you can decide the experience that you wanna have.

Um, I think that's something that a lot of us are spending a lot of time thinking about right now as like various social media platforms or like the, the downsides of like, for example, kind of lock in, uh, in social media pro. Platforms is becoming apparent, right? So that's like one thing that I think is really important.

Um, another thing that's important is that, you know, the thing about, like, there are lots of companies in WordPress and Yes, here we all are trying to sell you our solution, right? We're all trying to make money. We're all trying to, you know, everybody, we, we live in capitalism. We're all trying to make money here.

[00:29:00] But at the same time, like there is no reason. That you have to have any of that, right? Like the only thing that, that you have to pay for to use WordPress is someplace to. Right. You can download it, you can use it, it's all free, and that you can decide what you need and then you know what's worth paying for versus what's worth not paying.

Like you can, it's such a like a choose your own adventure kind of platform. And I feel like, you know, we've had so much centralization and so much, um, You know, like it's just so much centralization, so, so much like merging and like this company buys this company that we kind of forget that like we don't have to be that way.

And I think it's, it's really important. Uh, I think open source is really important to like individual autonomy in that way. Like we're starting to get a little of like philosophical here, but I think, you know, just knowing that. If nothing else, you can just go download WordPress and learn to use it. Like I started downloading WordPress and learning to use it because, um, [00:30:00] movable type was going to a pay a for pay model and it was more money than I could pay at that time to indulge my like personal blog habit.

And everybody was talking about this new system, WordPress that was open source and free. And I was like, free is good cuz I am broke. And I downloaded it and I started teaching myself to use it and it completely changed my. And I know I'm not the only one. Right. I have talked to other people who are like, great.

WordPress was free for me to learn to use, so I learned to use it. Word camp was $20 for me to go, so I slept on somebody's couch and went to a Word camp. Something that I think is, is so important is, is that kind of low financial barrier to entry. I would love to see us have a lower like knowledge barrier to.

and I think we're all working on that every day. Um, but um, that, that's just like, that barrier to entry I think is always really close to my heart because I really believe that, you know, these are things that can change people's lives if they just have what they need in order to take advantage of them.

Um, and I think that the community really [00:31:00] does care about that. And that's something that's like, makes me very proud to be involved in WordPress.

Cory Miller: Well, you, you just, there's a practical side to this too, and I love the philosophical because it has practical implications as well. It's like Absolutely. You get locked into a platform, like you're talking about, whether it's an Etsy or a Twitter or a Shopify.

Mm-hmm. , you're at kind of the whims of. What they're doing. That's a little bit different in word control,

Tiffany Bridge: like company gets bought by somebody who then does all kinds of questionable things with it, and then here you are, like, I've been on Twitter for 15 years, right? Like I've been on Twitter since, yeah, 2007.

So I've been on Twitter like 15 years and here I am. Like with my like 15 year old, like at Tiffany Twitter handle, because that's how long I've been on it. I got my first name and now somebody's over here like running it into the ground, making all kinds of questionable decisions, messing up the experience I have.

And then I'm like, well, now what? Like half the people I know I met here, like now what do I do? And like here I am like. I got locked in. I said I wasn't gonna get [00:32:00] locked in, but here I am, locked in. Um, so yeah, I mean that has like very practical considerations. There's people that I'm struggling to stay in touch with because I only knew them on Twitter and like, how do I find them now?

Cory Miller: Well, and you know, just a real direct one-to-one is, um, Shopify and Etsy platform versus this. And you, you look at a lot of entrepreneurs, e-commerce merchants start something, it blows. It. It starts to really grow and that lock in down the stream really comes into play For sure. Like you start getting taxed on your success in a sense where you, like you said, to that own and locked in feature where you go now.

Exactly. With WordPress, we built a tool to, I themes that stellar brand that you can move websites very easily with. Exactly. Including at Nexus Brands.

Tiffany Bridge: Exactly. And you know, like you, you build something, you go viral, you're like, suddenly your Etsy store's [00:33:00] going crazy. Now you have like, you know, transaction fees at Etsy.

So the bigger you are, like the more your fees grow at ets, you know, at Etsy. And um, so you have that problem, but also like maybe you never bought a domain name. So now everybody only knows where to find you on Etsy instead of getting a domain name. So now you've gotta like figure out how to teach people to go somewhere else.

Like if you wanna move, like it's, yeah, it's a real. . I see this a lot of times too with like content creators and like Instagram. They're like, oh my gosh. If, I mean, Instagram's how I reach my audience, how are people gonna find me? If inst, if Instagram goes down, y'all, that is a problem. Like you need a website and, and it just like, it makes me nuts, like a thing that is, it just makes me like pound the table cuz I get so annoyed about it.

Is so you don't have like, People, you can only have like one link on Instagram, right? It's in your bio link in bio. And so people will like pay money for a link in bio service and then like link to their website and a link in bio. And I'm like, what if I told you that you could just put a page on your website with the list of all your [00:34:00] links and then put that link in your bio.

Um, and then you wouldn't be locked into yet another service, right? You don't have to get locked into the, like, there's the lock into Instagram and then there's the lock into the, the thing that you did to like work around the limitations of Instagram. Just have websites. Y'all just have websites.

Cory Miller: It's well in this, this partner of our same thing, built a great, huge audience on Instagram.

Mm-hmm. that you gotta have an gotta have a website, gotta have an email list that you're trying, you know, things have, things have evolved. There's other marketing opportunities. But I go for me, website, email list that you can contact them that you quote own. So if something shifts, but you know, Tiffany, I'm interested too.

You see all this, you know, looking, looking around Instagram for instance. Some of the people that have got huge audiences, and I click those links and I think, okay, well maybe they're what, you know, at some point, how do they monetize that? And I go and I wanna get your thoughts on this and this whole creator [00:35:00] economy and what, I think probably 10 years ago we thought it's like bloggers and , you know, we have a new name for it now, but the creator economy, where they used the platform to get some initial buzz, but then, Okay.

What's the path to Monet monetization. I mean, we're all passionate about what we do, but at some point you also need to, you know, keep the lights on and pay the pay the bills kind of thing. Absolutely. But I'm curious too, like seeing that you've been at WordPress a long time, seen in the web, a long time, been a technologist, but like, you know, what's your thoughts on that creator economy?

Just like you said, okay, hey, here's a good point. Build your audience here. Hey, maybe not just a link tree or whatever it's called, but like, here's your website and all that. But what kind of trends and, and themes are you seeing in, in the foreseeable future, uh, that you know, you have thoughts on and ideas for as the creator economy builds?

Tiffany Bridge: I mean, I'm seeing, I'm seeing a lot of people kind of fall back to newsletters, which is very cool in like retro, right? Like this idea of [00:36:00] like email, like we've all got email. We neglected our email boxes for a while, but now it's back email's back, baby. Um, I think that's really interesting. And, and you know, and we're still seeing like some consolidation there, right?

Because then now it's like, oh, let's, let's have a CK and like, okay, but now you're like locked into ck, right? Yeah. Um, which, which is a little bit of a concern, but you can at least like export. Subscribers out from ck, like if nothing else, like you can take your list with you, which I think is really great.

CK has put together like a really easy to use stack of things that you need to run a four page newsletter. And, um, and so they're, they're popular for a reason, even if I still think people should have websites mm-hmm. , um, you know, but, but we are seeing that and even within sub, I'm starting to see people like branch out into.

Having websites like ghosts, which is another open source project. I'm seeing people do that instead. Um, I think it's, it's really interesting right now because we ha we're in this moment where like the, the platform, the [00:37:00] social media platforms are really starting to show the seams and, and it's starting to feel like maybe we're on the edge of something.

And I was just talking about this with a friend of mine the other day, and cuz he was saying like, Man, like Google Reader died and it kind of killed R Ss, right? Like, and nobody's figured that problem out since then. I'm like, well, no, because everybody just started aggregating through Twitter. Twitter's the new, your new Google reader, except now like Twitter is twittering.

And, um, because then we all, you know, we, and, and that, and again, that's like that problem of consolidation. Like even Google Reader, which was aggregating sources, it was like the dominant r s s reader. And I don't know, I don't know how to solve that problem. decent, uh, of centralization. Right. But I think it's very interesting that we're seeing people kind of move to newsletters because then they at least know that they can contact you.

Mm-hmm. , and, and you can, um, and you, and you can have more control of your audience that way. Well, and then I'm watching people like try out, like mastered on and that's interesting. [00:38:00] I don't, I don't know how that's gonna go cuz I feel like Mastodon is still. It's too difficult from like an administrative perspective.

Like it's too difficult to start an instance right. Still. Um, I was talking about this actually in post status Slack the other day. I feel like a big reason that I ever got as far as I did with WordPress is cuz they had that five minute install so early on. Yeah. Like even in 2004, it was easy enough to install that I could figure it out myself and that like, I tried to set up ma on like ju like just like on a Nexus test account and like, , we don't have a way to run that particular form of like, of SQL that it uses of S SQL L and so like, like I would immediately stop and like, well, I.

Like this, this thing doesn't even, like, it has dependencies that aren't necessarily available everywhere. And um, and then you have to, like, there's all this stuff that you have to do to set it up. And I'm like, and you all have to, and it all has to be done from the command line. Um, so I feel like, you [00:39:00] know, these kind of like federated platforms where you run under an instance are gonna have to put a lot of attention into installation and onboarding if they want to, if they really wanna take off.

I think that's gonna be a big thing.

Cory Miller: What I take from this too is really going back to if you're thinking about building a business, even if you're dancing for passion, all of a sudden you're back in. You go, oh my gosh, I'm a business owner. The thought process here to me is make sure you understand. What you own and what you're renting or borrowing for a time.

Yeah, and just like you said, like I think so much from the we, I think we so much, by the way, benefit from de decentralization, AK WordPress, . You can, yes, you can copy it, you can for it and do whatever you want with WordPress. And there's power in that. And that shift of power where another platform has the rules.

and regulations and policies that they change like Instagram, changing from more focus on [00:40:00] video to compete what's, let's say a TikTok and you go mm-hmm. Well, and, and I'm not looking at my analytics all the time, but I look at likes, right? And I go, well, my likes went down quite a bit. Well, because I don't do video, I don't want to do video.

Right. And right. Then you go, there's a way to build, it seems like build some initial audience, but make sure you have these off-ramps into something, even like an email list, you said, much less complex to export your subscriber list and go to another platform than e-commerce, but be really choosy and picky about what you're doing because.

When your business does continue to grow, you want to be able to grow with it in the right platform to do that.

Tiffany Bridge: Absolutely. Absolutely. And also, you know, as like the thing about decentralization is that there are a lot of problems that we are accustomed to having platforms solved for us. That now we have to solve on our own a decentralized situation.

And so those of us who've been working in open source a long time and and who work in tech, kind of like we already understand that like moderation is a problem and you have to think [00:41:00] about it. But you've got all these, like for example, new MA on instance, admins who've never really thought about moderation is like a problem.

They have to solve , , and, and, and you'd better. Right? And so, and that's like a, I think that's gonna be a real adjustment for people to make as we kind of like, if we're, if we're really gonna see like the beginning of a decentralization here, like there's gonna be a lot of like lessons that have to get relearned.

Cory Miller: Yes. And when you said that about the five minute install, raise my hand because I go, that's why I loved WordPress. I didn't have to, what's a command line? What's the, you know, how do I. Upload, install, extract, set up my databases. Like that kind of simple. I've seen so many tools over the years that promise some decentralization.

But it's great for the developers that know all those things. But for the everyday person, once that gets figured out, that five minute or click, click install, I, I think we're gonna see some shifts in power.

Tiffany Bridge: Yeah, I think so too. I think, um, I think if they pay a lot of, at pay more attention to that, I think you'll start to see a lot more.

Cory Miller: [00:42:00] Tiffany, thanks so much for being on, um, post draft today and sharing some of your background and obviously your vision values, and then, um, what you're doing over at Nexus with store Builder and the other products. Um, tell, tell people where they can find you.

Tiffany Bridge: Well, um, my slightly less neglected these days.

Personal blog is tiff.is so, https://tiff.is/, you can find me there as long as there's still a Twitter. You can find me on Twitter at Tiffany. And, uh, you can find me on Mastodon at, uh, Tiffany@theinternet.social social.

Cory Miller: Awesome. Thanks so much, Tiffany.

Tiffany Bridge: All right. Thank you.

This article was published at Post Status — the community for WordPress professionals.

by Olivia Bisset at January 19, 2023 06:45 PM under Yoast

WordPress.org blog: The Month in WordPress – December 2022

Last month at State of the Word, WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy shared some opening thoughts on “Why WordPress” and the Four Freedoms of open source. In this recent letter, she expands on her vision for the WordPress open source project as it prepares for the third phase of Gutenberg:

“We are now, as we ever were, securing the opportunity for those who come after us, because of the opportunity secured by those who came before us.”

Josepha Haden Chomphosy

December brought with it a time for reflection—a time to look back, celebrate, and start planning new projects. Read on to find out what 2023 holds for WordPress so far.


WordPress is turning 20!

2023 marks the 20th anniversary of WordPress’ launch. The project has come a long way since the first release as it continues to advance its mission to democratize publishing. From its beginnings as a blogging platform to a world-leading open source CMS powering over 40% of websites.

Join the WordPress community in celebrating this important milestone. As the anniversary date approaches, there will be events, commemorative swag, and more.

Stay tuned for updates.

WordPress 6.2 is scheduled for March 28, 2023

Work on WordPress 6.2, the first major release of 2023, is already underway. It is expected to launch on March 28, 2023, and will include up to Gutenberg 15.1 for a total of 10 Gutenberg releases.

The proposed schedule includes four Beta releases to accommodate the first WordCamp Asia and avoid having major release milestones very close to this event.

Read more about the 6.2 schedule and release team.

What’s new in Gutenberg

Two new versions of Gutenberg have shipped in the last month:

  • Gutenberg 14.8 was released on December 21, 2022. This version features a reorganized Site Editor interface with a Browse Mode that facilitates navigation through templates and template parts. In addition, it includes the ability to add custom CSS via the Style panel and a Style Book that provides an overview of all block styles in a centralized location.
  • Gutenberg 14.9 became available for download on January 4, 2023. It introduces a new “Push changes to Global Styles” button in the Site Editor, which allows users to apply individual block style changes to all blocks of that type across their site. Other features include typography support for the Page List block, and the ability to import sidebar widgets into a template part when transitioning from a classic theme.

Learn how Gutenberg’s latest releases are advancing the Site Editor experience to be more intuitive and scalable.

Team updates: WordPress big picture goals, new Incident Response Team, and more

Check out the 2022 State of the Word Q&A post, which answers submitted questions that Matt could not address at the live event.

Feedback & testing requests

Have thoughts for improving the Five for the Future contributor experience? This post calls for ideas on how this initiative can better support the project and the people behind it.

WordPress events updates

Would you like to be a speaker at WordCamp Europe 2023? Submit your application by the first week of February.


Have a story we should include in the next issue of The Month in WordPress? Fill out this quick form to let us know.

The following folks contributed to this edition of The Month in WordPress: @cbringmann, @laurlittle, @rmartinezduque.

by rmartinezduque at January 19, 2023 12:00 PM under month in wordpress

Do The Woo Community: Bringing WordPress Certification to the Community with Talisha Lewallen and Sophia DeRosia

Talisha Lewallen & Sophia DeRosia from CertifyWP chat with us about the importance of WordPress certification.

>> The post Bringing WordPress Certification to the Community with Talisha Lewallen and Sophia DeRosia appeared first on Do the Woo - a WooCommerce Builder Community .

by BobWP at January 19, 2023 10:57 AM under North America

WPTavern: WooCommerce Blocks 9.4.0 Adds Support for Local Pickup

WooCommerce Blocks version 9.4.0 was released with support for a new block-powered Local Pickup option under shipping settings. The feature plugin offers users early access to new blocks and improvements to existing blocks before they become available in WooCommerce core.

Local Pickups introduces two new blocks: a shipping method toggle block that allows shoppers to select between regular shipping or pickup from a specified location, and a pickup location block that displays local pickup rates.

image source: WooCommerce Blocks 9.4.0 release post

These blocks can both be enabled and configured via a new local pickup settings page. Store owners can even rename Local pickup to something else, and optionally add a price for this option.

It’s important to note that the new Local pickup blocks can only be used with the Checkout block. WooCommerce Blocks also introduces a change with this new Local Pickup experience that will support location-based taxes based on the pickup address, improving tax reporting. Previously, WooCommerce based local pickup taxes on the store address.

WooCommerce Blocks 9.4.0 includes a handful of other small enhancements and bug fixes. Check out the release post for a more detailed look at everything that’s new in the latest version of the plugin.

by Sarah Gooding at January 19, 2023 02:59 AM under woocommerce

Matt: Polls on Tumblr

We just launched polls on Tumblr, and it’s been pretty fun. Cool to bring together the Crowdsignal (née Polldaddy) technology into a new world.

by Matt at January 19, 2023 01:38 AM under tumblr

January 18, 2023

WPTavern: WordPress Project Aims to Complete Customization Phase and Begin Exploring Collaboration in 2023

WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy published a summary of the project’s “big picture” goals for 2023. The goals fall into three major categories: CMS, Community, and Ecosystem.

WordPress development will focus on completing the remaining tasks for Phase 2 (Customization), and will move on to begin exploring Collaboration in Phase 3.

“As we prepare for the third phase of the Gutenberg project, we are putting on our backend developer hats and working on the APIs that power our workflows,” Haden Chomphosy said in her recent Letter to WordPress.

“Releases during Phase 3 will focus on the main elements of collaborative user workflows. If that doesn’t make sense, think of built-in real-time collaboration, commenting options in drafts, easier browsing of post revisions, and programmatic editorial and pre-launch checklists.”

The vision for the first two phases was “blocks everywhere” and Haden Chomposy said this will be updated for Phase 3 to be centered on the idea of “works with the way you work.”

In addition to the Phase 3 APIs, Haden Chomphosy identified the following items as part of the CMS goals for 2023:

  • Openverse search in Core
  • Navigation block
  • Media management
  • Simplify the release process
  • PHP 8.2 compatibility (Core and Gutenberg)
  • Block theme development tools

Under the Community category, WordPress will be focusing on planning the Community Summit, which will be held at WordCamp US in 2023, contributor onboarding, improving Polyglot tools, establishing mentor programs, revamping WordPress.org designs, and keeping pace with learning content. The project is also aiming to develop a canonical plugin program, which should be helpful as some Performance team contributors recently expressed that they don’t fully understand what the process is for canonical plugins.

The Ecosystem category will focus on the WordPress Playground, an experimental project that uses WebAssembly (WASM) to run WordPress in the browser without a PHP server with many useful applications for contributors.

WordPress contributors also prevailed upon Matt Mullenweg to consider having the project devote some time to working through old tickets and fixing bugs. Mullenweg said he is amenable to tackling one long-standing ticket (the kind that are stuck because of missing decisions or multiple possible solutions) each month in 2023.

by Sarah Gooding at January 18, 2023 10:57 PM under News

Post Status: Big Picture Goals 2023 • WP 6.2 Planning • LearnWP Needs Analysis • Wrong Plugins

This Week at WordPress.org (January 16, 2023)

Where is WordPress going in 2023? Read Josepha's Big Picture Goals for the year. WordPress certifications are in the planning phases, and the foundation will include LearnWP. The Training Team is conducting a Needs Analysis. Help gather the community's input. Plugins Team is seeking intentionally wrong plugins, and Core has the 6.2 Planning Roundup.

News



Thanks for reading our WP dot .org roundup! Each week we are highlighting the news and discussions coming from the good folks making WordPress possible. If you or your company create products or services that use WordPress, you need to be engaged with them and their work. Be sure to share this resource with your product and project managers.

Are you interested in giving back and contributing your time and skills to WordPress.org? 🙏 Start Here ›

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This article was published at Post Status — the community for WordPress professionals.

by Courtney Robertson at January 18, 2023 08:57 PM under WordPress.org

WPTavern: #59 – Corey Maass on How To Use WordPress To Kickstart Your SaaS App

Transcript

[00:00:00] Nathan Wrigley: Welcome to the Jukebox podcast from WP Tavern. My name is Nathan Wrigley.

Jukebox is a podcast which is dedicated to all things WordPress. The people, the events, the plugins, the blocks, the themes, and in this case, how WordPress can be used to get your SaaS app off the ground.

If you’d like to subscribe to the podcast, you can do that by searching for WP Tavern in your podcast player of choice, or by going to WPTavern.com forward slash feed forward slash podcast. And you can copy that URL to most podcast players.

If you have a topic that you’d like us to feature on the podcast, I’m keen to hear from you and hopefully get you or your idea featured on the show. Head to WPTavern.com forward slash contact forward slash jukebox. And use the form there.

So on the podcast today, we have Corey Maass.

Corey is a full stack developer who works with agencies and businesses, large and small. He specializes in advanced WordPress functionality and building products for, and using, WordPress.

Over the last decade or so SaaS, or software as a service, apps have become more and more popular. Not only are we using our computers more, but with the rise of smartphones, we’re connected to our services all the time. There does not appear to be any corner of life where online platforms don’t have some presence. From email to taxis, fitness to food planning and delivery. You can find it all in a SaaS app somewhere.

Now that many people are comfortable using SaaS apps, there’s been a deluge of new players coming into the market, but it won’t surprise you to learn that most of them fail to make an impact and shut up shop.

Corey is on the podcast today to talk about why he thinks that building an MVP, or minimum viable product, app on top of WordPress is a good way to start your product journey.

We talk about how WordPress comes bundled with many of the features that apps require. User login, roles, permissions, and the REST API. This means that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel for the things that WordPress already does.

On top of that, the plugin ecosystem which surrounds WordPress, might enable you to short circuit the need to build all the features that your service needs. It may be that there’s an existing plugin, which does most of what you require, and is ready to go right away.

Corey talks about how using WordPress in this way might enable you to see if there’s really a market for your app. And if there’s not, you’ve used less resources finding that out. And if there is, then you might have some revenue to develop the app in other ways.

If you’ve toyed with the idea of creating a SaaS app in the past, but never quite got there, this episode is for you.

If you’re interested in finding out more, you can find all of the links in the show notes by heading to WPTavern.com forward slash podcast. Where you’ll find all the other episodes as well.

And so without further delay, I bring you Corey Maass.

I am joined on the podcast today by Corey Maass. Hello, Corey.

[00:03:58] Corey Maass: Hey there.

[00:03:58] Nathan Wrigley: Very nice to have you on. Corey, we’re going to talk today all about the capabilities of WordPress as a SaaS platform. But as we typically do on this podcast, it would be very nice if we could orientate the listeners, allow them to figure out what your credentials are, what your WordPress chops are, if you like. So would you spend a few moments just giving us a brief potted history of your relationship with tech and WordPress more specifically?

[00:04:24] Corey Maass: Absolutely. Back in the late nineties in college, a roommate of mine introduced me to this internet thing and the first websites I saw were some of my favorite bands. And I was a aspiring musician at the time, and I said, well, I want to appear as famous as they are. How do I make one of these website things, and the rest is history.

I taught myself basic web design, web development. That led to learning some programming, JavaScript and then ASP classic way back in the day. But around that time there was the new trend of SaaS apps. 37 Signals was popular talking about this. Forums like Joel Spolsky’s, Joel on Software. And I caught the bug because I’ve always had an entrepreneurial streak.

So I said, oh, this internet thing, building software, but not selling a download, but selling access to a website. So, I started going down that path, building websites for clients, but also building SaaS apps to try to sell on the side. And then WordPress took off and for a number of years, WordPress was pretty much my day job. Doing development or website setup or what have you, and then building Sass apps. Not using WordPress for a number of years.

And then suddenly the light bulb went off. One, the WordPress market was getting bigger and bigger, and I realized that there actually was money in it. So that led me to start building plugins, which I think is what had you and I talking last time. But also at some point it occurred to me that WordPress had matured enough and solved enough of the problems that I was encountering over and over building SaaS apps that I said, let me look at WordPress as a SaaS platform, and I’ve been doing it ever since. So now it’s been probably five years or something, and WordPress only continues to mature, and this conversation continues to evolve.

[00:06:27] Nathan Wrigley: So you, in the last few years, you’ve joined together the idea of a SaaS platform, but with WordPress handling some of the basic things in the background, if you like. I say basic, I just mean some of the things that we are more familiar with in WordPress. So user management, obviously if you throw some other things like WooCommerce at it, you may be able to handle billing or subscription or whatever it might be, and getting people to the right page depending on whether they’re logged in or not. Is it basically the promise of that? You can cut out a whole body of work, which you would need to build, well potentially from scratch, each time you create your own new SaaS app?

[00:07:04] Corey Maass: Yeah, I think that’s the way to think about it. So, when you’re solving problems for people online, these days it’s definitely more broad than it was five years ago and 10 or 15 years ago, of course. So if you’re building something that’s B2B, technically speaking. So if you’re trying to build an API or some sort of true service that other systems are going to talk to. WordPress is probably not the answer you want.

The REST API is, has come a long way, but it’s not really what it’s meant for, right? But if you think of most B2C apps, business to consumer, most of these apps are websites that you’re signing into. Well, WordPress accommodates that. You’re clicking through from page to page. WordPress accommodates that. You’re taking billing, you’re handling subscriptions. WordPress with WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads, or Restricted Content Pro or any number.

I’ve been paying more attention to the membership plugins lately, which are in some ways are specifically designed to handle exactly this problem. Users signing in and doing something, interacting. Interacting with the website. Interacting with each other, that kind of thing. One of the things that, an example that I pick up on a lot is, years ago when I was building apps regularly for clients, for friends, for myself. Over and over and over again, I had to implement some sort of user password reset. And it’s so mundane. Once you’ve solved it once, it’s boring to solve as a developer. But it’s crucial to every app.

And I got to the point where I was like, I just don’t want to ever think about this stupid problem again. But I had to integrate the code, again every time over and over again. It’s like with WordPress, I never have to think about that. And there’s a plugin called Theme My Login, that’s one of my favorites that you drop in and users can register for your website and immediately get access to a slash dashboard, which you can change. But arguably that’s the first huge leap, you set up a basic website.

You want users to be able to register and have exclusive access to a page that they don’t have if they haven’t signed in or haven’t paid or what have you. So, these kinds of plugins just solve all of these basic problems. The bottom of the pyramid, so to speak. So that you can get onto whatever problem, your unique problem, that your SaaS is going to solve. As opposed to spending days, weeks, months, tackling the not unique problems like user registration.

[00:09:36] Nathan Wrigley: So what you are suggesting here, let’s just lay this out. The audience that you are suggesting this to, is people who want to get something shipped quickly. And really, if you are at the beginning of your SaaS app journey, you’re not quite sure yet whether the market even exists. You’re just trying to float a solution to something that you believe might be viable in the marketplace, but you’re not sure.

So we’re creating a shortcut. We’re offsetting the billing, the user management and so on to WordPress, just as a, as a quick way of getting an MVP or a minimum viable product out there. Is that the idea? Just to sort of test the water? WordPress is a good bet for that, and then presumably at some point you would advise that if it turns out to be an out and out success, then maybe, at that point you might need to look at different tooling.

[00:10:28] Corey Maass: Not necessarily. There was a time when I would’ve said that definitively, but WordPress has come a long way. Hosting has come a long way. Optimization has come a long way. So it’s definitely the scenario that I’m using WordPress the most. I’ve got a new idea, or I’m working with somebody and they’ve got a new idea and this is how I want to get it off the ground.

But there are a number of companies, big companies, in the WordPress space that continue to work, use WordPress as the core of their SaaS app, and they’ve got plenty of customers. I think it really, when you get to that level of, if you see a, a good amount of success, then there’s going to be technical problems to overcome.

And so it’s either ramping up hosting, server power or optimizing queries or rewriting certain aspects of your app. We can talk about that. I had to do that for one of mine, about a year ago. Or again, depending on the amount of user inactivity or user, user interactivity, how much and how often your users are using your app, you may find that it handles it just fine.

[00:11:43] Nathan Wrigley: So right at the beginning you started talking about why you use WordPress. You mentioned a few plugins, which might assist you on this journey. So I think some of the ones that you mentioned were things like Easy Digital Downloads, WooCommerce, and so on. Whilst I don’t want to necessarily promote certain plugins, I’m just wondering if, given the experience that you’ve had, if you could give us some tips as to plugins that you have found to be helpful for particular problems that you’ve faced while you’ve been trying to build it. And then in a few moments we’ll get onto the subject of how you’ve had to amend WordPress to do things, let’s say more efficient.

[00:12:20] Corey Maass: Sure. So these days, I actually use Beaver Builder for building pages out. Beaver Builder’s a page builder. Elementor is another good one. But I find that doubling down and knowing these tools well, helps greatly with being able to solve a variety of problems because they’re not a theme, so they’re not locked into a certain layout or that kind of thing.

But most SaaS apps have a pattern called CRUD, create, retrieve, update, and delete. So if it’s Twitter, then you are creating tweets. You are retrieving tweets, meaning you’re viewing all of them. You can’t really update tweets, but you can update your profile, that kind of thing. And again, you can’t really delete tweets, but you could delete your account, and that kind of thing. Facebook, you can create posts, you can delete posts, your viewing posts, so your retrieving posts, that kind of thing.

So, a lot, a lot, a lot of software comes down to that pattern, and so using something like, Advanced Custom Fields and there’s a great plugin called ACF Front End, I think it’s called, that essentially puts an ACF form on the front end. So that’s how users can create and update. You could also use Gravity Forms. Or there are a couple of other plugins, form plugins, that you can then put on the front end, for again, collecting data from users or letting users post data. Essentially insert data into the database. And then using something like Beaver Builder or Elementor that have post modules.

So it’s like if I was recreating Twitter, I would create a form, and this obviously once I’m logged in, but I would create a form that said, what do you want to tweet? And that would insert it into the database as a post record. And then I would use Beaver Builder, me personally, but you could use Elementor or again, any number of page builders, with a posts module that says, okay, show all posts, meaning tweets, with the author of Corey. So then you’ve just created a way to create tweets and then for somebody else to go look at all of Corey’s tweets, that kind of thing.

So thinking, breaking it down to these kinds of patterns and then looking at these different plugins on how to solve them. A lot of the time I’m able to find ways to quickly implement. And it, again, it doesn’t have to be quick, and this doesn’t have to be forever, but a lot of the time it can be where WordPress and these plugins can solve these problems so that my SaaS offers the, again, the unique problem or solves the unique problem that I’m, the whole reason I’m building it in the first place.

To get back to your question about those other plugins in particular. If you only want users to sign in, I love the plugin called Theme My Login. Again, look at membership plugins. And then, if you want to charge, again, break down the problem. What are you actually, what do you want? Usually you want subscriptions, like that’s a SaaS pattern that most people are used to now. And what are users paying for? Usually they’re paying for access to a page or pages or content or some feature to interact with other users or something like that. And there are plenty of plugins that restrict content. Which is the way to think about that.

And so there’s literally Restricted Content Pro as a plugin. Easy Digital Downloads, which is e-commerce, but they have an add-on for restricting content. WooCommerce is really more e-commerce, but can handle this kind of stuff. And then again, membership plugins that are, as people are setting up communities, as at least some people are trying to get away from social media and get back to more private communities without relying on Facebook groups or Twitter or what have you.

Membership plug-ins have been mature for a while, but are, I’m seeing them become even more and more popular. And are designed exactly for this. So a user pays for access to features, pages, what have you. And that’s again, kind of the core of most SaaS apps.

[00:16:24] Nathan Wrigley: I suppose that if you are thinking of building a SaaS app, you must have some kind of kernel of an idea of whatever it is that you are trying to solve. So, you’ve got this fabulous idea, and the most important thing at that point is to judge whether or not this idea A, can be built, and let’s assume that after sitting down and thinking it through and mapping it out, you’ve decided, yep, yeah, this has got legs. This can be built with the technology that’s currently available on the web.

And then thinking, okay, is there an audience for this? Are there going to be enough people out there who are willing to open their wallet to make it worthwhile? And if you go down the SaaS route, you may very well be an incredibly adept developer, in which case this may be in your purview.

But if you are not and you are just trying to figure out whether the market is there and you want to do that affordably, then WordPress seems like a fairly decent bet, just because of what you said. The fact that with 60,000 plus plugins in the WordPress repository and countless more that you can purchase, in many cases for a very small amount of money.

It may be that you can get 90%, 80%, 70% of the features that you are trying to build, but without having to do much in the way of custom coding. It may be that you can’t get a hundred percent of the way there, and that would require some tweaking, which we’ll get into. But is that essentially it? You know, you might have to cut some corners or, on your roadmap, cut out some of the things that you really thought would be nice to have in and just go for the things which can be enabled quickly and affordably.

[00:17:58] Corey Maass: Yeah, I think it just depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. I have a buddy who is non-technical, knows enough CSS to be dangerous, which he’s learned over times, specifically for this scenario. He wanted to create a mentor program, and so he needed scheduling for matching mentorees to mentors.

So we found a plugin that did that, or did that well enough. And then put I think a membership plug in. I don’t remember how he handled subscriptions. But basically put WordPresses stylized user management in front of it. Limited access to features based on a user being logged in or a user paying. And then a little bit of CSS to make it look a little more integrated or little more branded or what have you.

And that was kind of all he needed. It solved the problem. He was able to charge for it. He got some customers. And then at some point he did end up hiring a developer to add a few bells and whistles or whatever features he found that were missing. But yeah, it got him 70, 80% of the way. Arguably it got him a hundred percent of the way of solving the problem enough that at least users could start using it.

[00:19:10] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, I suppose that’s it, isn’t it? If he’s got a core body of users, and he’s determined that, in this case he can use a calendar plugin or whatever it may be, and it will get him the user base that he needs. Then he can start to use the revenue that’s generated from the, let’s call it the SaaS app, to invest in having something done bespoke.

That’s really interesting. That’s kind of nice to know. I guess one concern, which I may have, and I’m sure you’ve come across this before. Is just the notion that if you did build this and you fully had the intention of it staying on WordPress for all time. Then you are of course very much dependent upon the plugins that you are using. The spaghetti of plugins being updated regularly.

In many cases that would very much be the case. It’s updated frequently. It’s made secure, and any vulnerabilities and things like that are taken care of. But there is always that chance that the developer of a key part of your SaaS app may just decide to call it quits, and then you might be left hanging a little bit.

[00:20:14] Corey Maass: And the scenario I’ve seen more often is a mature product. Meaning your own SaaS app evolves away from what the plugin that you purchased does. So I saw this with a very big company in the WordPress space, who long ago had built their platform on top of EDD, Easy Digital Downloads. But over time had hacked and slashed at it, so that they couldn’t update it anymore.

And that’s just a decision they had to make at some point of whether they were going to keep going with EDD and just lean into the features that EDD had and forego the other features. Or most good, big WordPress plugins are well documented and have hooks so you can add function extra functionality, or figure out how to sort of hack around them, to a point.

And then, yeah. They had to make the decision to just stop updating it, and there was discussion. Last I heard that they were going to maybe move to something custom altogether. But the idea being, one of my favorite phrases, we made the best decision we could with the information we had at the time, right?

So starting out early. It solves all your problems. Go for it. And then down the road you can migrate away from it. You can code around it. You could build something custom, what have you. But yes, that is certainly a risk. I mean, it’s also a problem that a lot of apps have broadly speaking. So it’s, you know, if you’ve built an app that uses the Twitter or Facebook API, you’re putting yourself in their, their hands.

Or if you are operating system dependent or even, something I’m seeing right now is, microchip dependent, right? If you build software for MacOS and it only works on Intel and, and they move to M1 or M2. So these are just risks that I think you assess over time.

But what I like is, the point you keep emphasizing, that this is a, a way to solve the technical problem. What I think that a lot of SaaS founders, small and large, real and imaginary, don’t take into account and, I struggle with, and most of us struggle with, is that these days the technical lift of building an app often pales in comparison to the marketing.

We hear about these wonderful, amazing stories, like Instagram selling for whatever it was, 8 billion after two months, and yada, yada, yada. Most SaaS apps fail. And so you, you want to build quickly with a low lift and then spend most of your time, like you said, trying to get it in front of customers, validating the idea, getting feedback from customers about what features they actually want, or now that you’ve built the features they want, does it actually solve the problem for them?

All of that is arguably way more important than the actual platform you use. But that’s what brings me back to WordPress as a platform, is in fact often a great way to get something out the door. Even if it’s just a form to collect data and then a page builder or a theme of some kind to then show the data back to the user, if that’s what solves the problem.

[00:23:36] Nathan Wrigley: It’s interesting because if there’s a body of people listening to this who are not building SaaS apps on WordPress, and they’re just building client websites, you’ve probably encountered that scenario where the client comes and they have incredibly grandiose expectations of what they want the website to do.

And because you’ve been building websites for so long, you just know, you have an instinct which says, well, we could build all of that. But how about we just start here? Because I would imagine it’s quite unlikely that your staff are actually going to start using some kind of intranet solution that we build as WordPress. Or some messaging system that we build in the app. It’s much more likely that they’ll continue to use things like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp or Slack or whatever it may be.

And so over the years you’ve become accustomed to figuring out what is plausible, what is likely to work, and I think I feel it’s the same with SaaS apps. It’s very easy to come to the table. You’ve got your blank canvas and you throw everything at it, every idea, every permutation, every possible thing that the app could do, and then decide that’s what must be built.

That’s it. Until that is all done, we’re not going to launch it. And I think history shows that you have to be much more agile than that. You have to be able to drill it down and say, okay, what’s the 10, 20, 30% of all of that, that we’ve decided upon, which is going to get us off the ground? And so that feels like where this goes. If you try to build everything, it’s probable that you’ll A run out of money, B run out of time, and nothing will be shipped.

Whereas in your scenario, offset the uninteresting jobs that probably don’t need to be tackled because they’ve already been tackled by plugins or WordPress Core. And just concentrate on the things which are going to benefit your users. And frankly, you don’t know what is going to benefit your users.

It’s always amazing to me when I open up a new SaaS app that I’ve never use before. And you think, oh, this will be perfect what I need. And you end up on support saying, does it do this? No, I wish it did that. And those companies that succeed tend to be, well in my experience, the ones who listen to their early adopters and quickly pivot their solution to satisfy them.

[00:25:45] Corey Maass: Exactly. There’s obviously no harm in thinking through what your dream app does, all the features. You make a long, long list. But one of the things that drew me to WordPress plugins, and selling WordPress plugins early on, was a rather cynical observation that I made.

I was building blogs for customers. I was building e-commerce websites for customers. And instead of writing another article, which is hard and work. Or instead of inserting more products, which is hard and feels like work. A lot of my clients would get in the WordPress plugin repo where all the plugins are free and go, oh, I could use a to-do list plugin and they’d install it.

Or, it’s winter. I should install a plugin that adds snowflakes falling over my theme. And they would waste an unbelievable amount of time on what felt productive and felt free. And I was like, well, if people are people, we are all human, we are all valuable and we are all, don’t want to do the things that are hard.

But I see all these people that are spending time just digging through the plugin repo, I’m going to start building and selling plug-ins, because the discoverability is amazing. And so I think you’ve touched on that for SaaS as well, which is, we generally shy away from the things that are hard.

We also tend to skew towards our own genius. What we think is the best idea. Because we thought of it isn’t necessarily the features, or it isn’t ecessarily solving the problem that your actual paying customers have. The real strength, and the real challenge, comes more in that side of things. Marketing, sales, talking to customers, getting over your own ego, optimizing your own time, all that kind of stuff.

[00:27:48] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. It’s interesting the marketing piece you mentioned. Never ceases to amaze me how much of the overall budget needs not to be sunk into the development of the actual software, but in alerting people to its existence. A significant amount. And it’s not to be underestimated.

And obviously if at the beginning you sink a hundred percent of your finances into the code, that’s great, but I guess you better be a really good word of mouth, somebody that can spread by word of mouth incredibly successfully. Because experience at least tells me that it’s very hard to gather an audience from a standing start.

So we’re a WordPress podcast. We’re obviously very keen on WordPress, we think it’s amazing. But I’m guessing that there must be downsides to this. Let’s just talk about that for a moment. Any drawbacks to this system that you’ve encountered over time? Just some quick examples may be that, well, does it scale very well? Does WordPress tend to be doing a lot of things in the background that a leaner, more specifically custom-built solution may get you out the hole of? Just questions around that. Any drawbacks that you would alert people to if they do decide to go down this approach?

[00:28:59] Corey Maass: A few years ago, I was tasked with building a food subscription website. So think Blue Apron or Freshly kind of website, if you’re familiar with those. And for better or worse was told that I had to use WooCommerce. And so I spun up a WordPress website, installed WooCommerce, got subscriptions going, customized the choose the meals that you want, and then check out. And that all was okay.

But it turned out that, I think some of this has been changed, because this was a number of years ago but, WooCommerce was storing all of the data in a very WordPressy way, which was fine because it was a known pattern. But was not very optimal. And then for the business, because all of those meals were cooked every morning and then shipped out, all of the charges had to go through at the same time, at like two in the morning. And it turned out that WooCommerce subscriptions was built so that if you signed up for a subscription at 10:30 in the morning, it would renew at 10:30 in the morning. While we needed it to renew at two in the morning so that all of the orders went through, so then the chef knew how many dishes to make, and how many chicken dishes to make or whatever.

And that’s the kind of risk that you run into, right? So if you are using a third party piece of software, WordPress, and then with plugins. And you are essentially building it to your, or bending it to your will, so that it’s doing things that it’s not necessarily meant to do. You’re going to run into issues.

We found that our server didn’t have enough power to process all of these orders at the same time, because it’s essentially multiple threads need to be run at the same time. We wound up in that instance sticking with WooCommerce and WordPress for at least a little while longer.

But switching off of a hosting company that really was most popular for blogs and delivering content and not necessarily running process, CPU power. And moving to a custom AWS set up. And we watched the CPU go from 80% all the time, to 3% all the time. So in that instance, we just needed to throw more metal at it.

But again, we were definitely using a tool, at least slightly, in ways that it wasn’t meant to do. I also, during the pandemic, or at the beginning of the pandemic, my wife made the mistake of turning to me and saying, you know, my family plays this game called Mexican Train, in person all the time. Boy, I wish there was an online version. And she should just know better than to put that kind of idea in my head.

So within a couple of months I had spun up the only interactive online version of Mexican Train, which was great for our family, but it’s a very popular game in retirement communities. And naturally during the pandemic a lot of people in retirement communities were isolating a lot more. The game became quite popular, because it spread word of mouth. And the first Christmas, I think I built it early in the year, and, and the first Christmas it peaked at like 2,600 concurrent games or something. Which, for me, I had never built anything that needed quite that much power.

And it did eventually fall over. But initially I’d built it so that every time somebody played, all the other games, so four people are playing, basically all four games are sitting there pinging the server, looking for updates. That’s very inefficient because most of those pings don’t return anything, but the CPU still has to accommodate them. So I wound up switching to a pushing system. So I had to integrate with that. And originally I had built it so that the game itself, so when you’re signing into mexicantrain.online, that’s the website, the login screen you’re seeing is Theme My Login.

All of the delivery of content, so like when you go to the My Games page and you see all of your games, that’s just Beaver Builder. And then the actual game I had to build, so it was quite a lift as far as development goes. But that was what that SaaS needed. But I built an app in a JavaScript framework called React that then talks to the server.

Well, I built the initial version using the WordPress API. So my game talked to WordPress, functionality that was built into WordPress. And the API worked, until it didn’t. So, in that instance, again, too many people hitting the server too much. Aw, shucks, it was too successful.

I had to revisit it after a year or two and build a custom API. Now I’m a developer. I have that luxury, right? But these are things that, I got enough of a version out the door. So, thinking about it from the perspective of a non-developer. I could have set up most of it except for the game itself.

And the game is sponsored by donations. So I installed GiveWP, which is one of the bigger WordPress donation plugins. And I still used the free version. And so I got most of those sort of basic stuff using third party plugins out of the box. And then if I wasn’t a developer, I might have had to hire a developer.

And so yes, I would’ve had to put some money into it. But they wouldn’t have had to build everything. And I also could conceivably hire different developers, or I could by using WordPress. So one of the things we haven’t talked about is because of the popularity of WordPress, you also have a lot more developers to choose from if you’re going to hire somebody.

But anyway, if I wasn’t a developer, I would’ve had to hire somebody to build the game. And then down the road, presumably I would’ve proven that the platform was popular, hopefully in the form of donations, which would’ve been enough money to then hire somebody to rebuild the API, if I couldn’t have done it myself.

You know? So there’s sort of this evolution of, as you’ve said. Try things, see if it’s popular, and then maybe hire somebody if you have to, you know, if you’re going to grow parts of the platform, parts of the app beyond WordPress.

[00:35:40] Nathan Wrigley: It’s really interesting you mentioning about all of the very large number of WordPress developers. The developers I guess, go into different niches, don’t they? They might be experts in one field or another. Do you detect that there’s a lot of people doing this kind of thing? Building SaaS on top of WordPress. Or is it just you shouting into an empty room? What I’m basically saying is, is there a community, a subset of the WorldPress developer community who, like you, are interested in building SaaS apps on top of WordPress.

[00:36:10] Corey Maass: There is a book called Building Web Apps with WordPress that came out from O’Reilly. So it’s popular enough that people are writing books about it. I’ve given talks on it at a few different WordCamps as far back as I think four or five years ago or more. And I’ve come across a number of people who are doing it, or are thinking about it or have done it. But it’s definitely not, and even Mullenweg has talked about it, but it’s not the most common use case.

I think in part because people just don’t necessarily think about SaaS apps separately as much anymore. More and more websites do something. And so if they have functionality, maybe that people are paying for, and users are signing in to use the web app to do something.

It’s a SaaS app. But that’s, again, I think more and more commonly just how people view websites. So it’s not necessarily something that people are thinking about or searching for. Except for, I think, as you’ve mentioned a few times, if you’re looking for no code now means something different. But if you’re looking for a non-developery way to spin something up quickly using third party software, then it still gets some attention. But to answer your question, no, I’ve never found a community. I’ve thought about starting one, but never have. Because I just haven’t gotten a sense that enough people are talking about it.

Which is okay. Maybe at some point they will, or, you know, maybe some other better solution will come along and consistently solve the problems. But, right here, right now, I still find WordPress a great option.

[00:37:57] Nathan Wrigley: It’s really interesting because curiously, there’s a great deal of overlap with something that’s going on in my world at the moment in that I have been working with a developer on a SaaS app. I won’t go into the details, but reached a point where a couple of years ago, the interest in it, from my point of view, I think probably, is best to describe it. It waned a little bit and so it went on the back burner and it’s never been revived.

And as a couple of years have gone by, I’ve decided that, actually wouldn’t it be nice to revive this? And so with a couple of friends decided that, yeah, let’s give this another go. But actually, let’s just begin again, because I’ve noticed there’s significant things in what’s already been built that I would change.

And guess what we’ve decided to do? We’ve decided to do the MVP inside of WordPress. Basically for pretty much all the reasons that you’ve suggested. We’re familiar with it. There are sometimes free, sometimes commercially available plugins, which will do a significant amount of the lifting. Will it be exactly what we would like from our roadmap? No. Will it be close enough to get us to measure whether there’s an audience for this? Yes, I think it will. And so, curious that this is actually playing itself out in my life at this moment.

[00:39:19] Corey Maass: Nice, yeah. Depending on the problems you’re trying to solve, but I think that’s like most things, a bit of planning, sit down, design. I encourage everybody to do this. What is the all the bells and whistles version. We nerds are a big fan of what’s called the 80 20 rule.

So what’s the 20% that needs to be solved now, today to prove the idea? And then see what plugins align with that. How they can get you there. Will it solve the problem? Do you need custom development? Are there features that just don’t have solutions or aren’t solved by any of the plugins you might want to use.

And then go from there. See what you can do. The nice thing too about WordPress is you can start locally, which is free. Locally meaning on your computer, not locally in your town, although you can do that too. Most computers using software like Local WP, I’m a big fan of, and there’s a few others. Also InstaWP, which lets you spin up instances of WordPress online for free, for, you know, seven days or something, and then pay to keep them, or you can download them, I think, I don’t know.

I definitely have been guilty of getting an idea and I needed to illustrate the idea rather than just write the idea down. So I spun up an instance of WordPress real quick. Installed a couple of plugins real quick, and then said, what do I need next? Or what would the next step be? Or, if I was a user, what would I expect to see next? All that cost me was a little bit of time. There’s kind of that advantage too, where it’s, you can use it for wire framing means something specific, but conceptually you can use it for wire framing ideas, which I think is crucial. Without it costing you anything.

[00:41:04] Nathan Wrigley: Corey, if people listening to this, if they’re resonating with it and they’re thinking actually, do you know what, this is something that I’ve been doing for a while, or, I’m curious to get into the community that you said might need to exist. Where would be the best place to get in touch with you?

[00:41:20] Corey Maass: Honestly, the place that I talk about this the most is Twitter. twitter.com/coreymaass, c o r e y m a a s s. Just start a conversation with me. I’d love to hear people who are interested in this. If this resonated with them, if they’ve tried it at all. Because again, I’ve run into people who have done it. I’ve heard about people doing it. A book exists. So there must be people talking about it somewhere.

But I think it would be neat to have a community of people, or even just a network of people, helping each other out, solving some of these problems. Hey, does anybody have a good recommendation for a plugin that solves such and such a functional, or a problem that I have. Where should I start? Suggestions for hosting companies. I mean, there’s, there’s always information to be shared. And honestly, that’s one of my favorite things about the WordPress community is that it’s so open. So many people are talking to each other and willing to help each other. I definitely think there could be more conversation around using WordPress as a SaaS platform.

[00:42:21] Nathan Wrigley: Corey Maass. Thank you for chatting to us on the podcast today.

[00:42:25] Corey Maass: My pleasure.

On the podcast today we have Corey Maass.

Corey is a full-stack web developer who works with agencies and businesses, large and small. He specialises in advanced WordPress functionality and building products for, and using, WordPress.

Over the last decade or so, SaaS, or software as a service, apps have become more and more popular. Not only are we using our computers more, but with the rise of smartphones, we’re connected to our services all the time.

There does not appear to be any corner of life where online platforms don’t have some presence. From email to taxis, fitness to food planning and delivery. You can find it all in a SaaS app somewhere.

Now that many people are comfortable using SaaS apps, there’s been a deluge of new players coming into the market, but it won’t surprise you to learn that most of them fail to make an impact, and shut up shop.

Corey is on the podcast today to talk about why he thinks that building a MVP, or minimum viable product, app on top of WordPress is a good way to start your product journey.

We talk about how WordPress comes bundled with many of the features that apps require, user login, roles, permissions and the REST API. This means that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel for the things that WordPress already does.

On top of that, the plugin ecosystem which surrounds WordPress might enable you to short circuit the need to build all the features that your service needs. It may be that there’s an existing plugin which does most of what you require, and is ready to go right away.

Corey talks about how using WordPress in this way might enable you to see if there’s really a market for your app. If there’s not, you’ve used less resources finding that out. If there is, then you might have some revenue to develop the app in other ways.

If you’ve toyed with the idea of creating a SaaS app in the past, but never quite got there, this episode is for you.

Useful links.

37 Signals

Joel Spolsky’s, Joel on Software

Easy Digital Downloads

WooCommerce

Advanced Custom Fields

ACF Frontend

Gravity Forms

Beaver Builder

Elementor

Theme My Login

Restrict Content Pro

Corey’s Mexican Train website

GiveWP

Building Web Apps with WordPress book

Local WP

InstaWP

by Nathan Wrigley at January 18, 2023 03:00 PM under SaaS

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Last updated:

January 31, 2023 05:15 PM
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