WP Mainline Episode 16 – Dealing With the Growing Pains of WordPress’ Huge Transition

In this episode, Malcom Peralty and I start the show by discussing some weird things that have been happening in our sleep. I share my experience attending the WordCamp Philly meetup group. It was nice to be able to watch a presentation and casually hang out with others in a chatroom.

We then discussed two recent blog posts that describe WordPress as not being an excellent writing tool. We dove into this topic and I think it has a lot to do with the major transition that’s going on with WordPress. We talk about Ben Pines stepping down from his role at Elementor and the impact he’s had on that ecosystem.

We round out the show by sharing our ideas on what to rename “Reusable Blocks” to and how to make it easier for casual users to learn what’s new in WordPress.

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Speaker 1 00:00:19 Welcome everybody to episode 16 of the WP mainline podcast for Friday, October 22nd, 2021. I am your host, Jeff Chandler joined, uh, by the one and only Malcolm pearls of press Titan and Cambridge creative. Ooh, got that right off the top of the show. Very nice. How you doing, sir? I’m tired, but I’m doing, doing well. Yeah. Feeling a bit sleepy. I’m feeling a little punchy. Actually. I didn’t get much sleep. So I’m like on that verge of like being kind of silly. So I actually got some sleep and I feel sleepy. You didn’t get much sleep at all and you feel the opposite. Yeah, apparently. Yeah. So I wanted to, it says nothing to do with WordPress. I thought we were talking a little bit before the show here about what was going on, but I’ve, I’ve had some, something weird going on with me lately when it comes to sleeping and it is I’ll be sleeping and I will have what I perceive to be a dream.
Speaker 1 00:01:15 I think I’m dreaming and there’ll be a time where, um, I can see myself in the dream. I can see myself sleeping and there comes a point where someone, it feels like someone has coming up beside me next to my bed and is getting ready to either touch me, to hit me to do something. And five or six times now I have woken up while swinging my right hand to the left side of me. You know, as if I’m trying to knock this person out only to wake up and realize there’s no one there, and this has happened about five or six times in a row. And my wife has even commented that she has seen me like kicking and fighting people in bed, you know, in my sleep. I don’t know what’s going on. I joining medication. Do I do I need to, it’s not even like I’m dreaming of being in a fight, defending myself.
Speaker 1 00:02:09 There’s just this one instance where I could see, I could see myself sleeping as if I’m defenseless and someone just, I could just feel the pressure and everything that comes along with it, where someone is just about ready to touch me or do whatever it is I think you’re going to do. And I just, just swing my right arm as hard as I can. And, um, I just, I keep whipping, I keep hitting Aaron. And when I wake up, I’m taking deep breaths. I’m wondering what the hell is going on. You know, that’s not good for you, the anxiety. So I don’t, I don’t know what’s been going on, but it’s happened five or six times now. And I’m starting to get a little bit concerned. Sounds like more doctor time in man. I don’t know. Maybe it, I can’t explain it. I don’t even, you know, if I was my dream, I’m pretty good at remembering my dreams.
Speaker 1 00:02:58 And if was, if I was defending myself or I was in a fight or something like that, like I remember that like you would make sense, but it’s just all of the times now I just envisioned myself and I thought maybe it could be like sleep paralysis, but it’s not that because I can eventually I could fight through it. I can get out of that. Maybe it’s a form of sleep paralysis. I don’t know. Uh, but, uh, I don’t know. Maybe you’re right. Maybe I need some more doctor time. Geez. I don’t know. Uh, but that’s, that’s why I’ve been kind of feeling sleepy and sleep some kind of whack and thank God my wife sleeps on the other side of the bed or else I could have been in jail for domestic violence. And I didn’t even mean it.
Speaker 2 00:03:37 I actually have a story kind of related to that. And hopefully people won’t take that the wrong way. But, um, I, uh, when I, apparently, when I was slipping one time, um, I moved my arms and I hit my wife in the face while she was sleeping and she kind of woke up and was like, what the heck? And apparently I said to her that I was conducting a symphony and it was going to be epic and
Speaker 2 00:04:01 Conducting a symphony in my dreams. And, uh, yeah. And she was just like, you know, just completely shocked. And like I rubbed her face and was like, go back to sleep, go back to sleep. And then I was, apparently I was asleep the entire time, but I have no recollection of this whatsoever. And flight didn’t leave a mark, but it was one of those funny things where it’s like, no idea. And she’s like, you did, you, did you hit me in the face? Cause you were, you were dealing with a symphony or conducting a symphony. So
Speaker 1 00:04:27 Sleep is weird, man. I’ve, I’ve had dreams where, you know, that feeling you get when you’re on a plane in the turbulence and you have a sudden drop in altitude. I have felt that in my dreams, even though I’m just laying in there, right. I’m just laying in bed sleeping. How can I possibly feel the dropping of altitude when I’m not moving? Right. It makes no sense to me, but I can feel it. It feels real in my dream. Uh, what a, what a wacky world, the state of dreams are, speaking
Speaker 2 00:04:57 Of dreams. I mean WordPress, right?
Speaker 1 00:04:59 Oh yeah. Yeah. Well, I woke up in a dream come true. I’m writing about WordPress living up the WordPress dream. You’re exactly right. Uh, so I actually attended my first WordPress meetup yesterday. This is the first meetup I’ve attended in a long, long time. No, I did not physically go there. I actually attended the word camp Philly, WordPress meetup group. They did a, um, Liam Dempsey did a presentation on, uh, his thoughts from, uh, their first client site built on the black editor. So I was kind of watching that presentation, trying to get the, get a feel for how it went and sort of the feedback they had regarding the black editor. And, uh, one of the surprising things from his presentation that I took away from it was that when they trained the, their clients on how to use the black editor, uh, it actually went fairly smoothly.
Speaker 1 00:05:55 Um, the, the training process was fine and they actually put up on the black Eder rather quickly, which was surprising to me because I’ve heard a bunch of horror stories, but a lot of the stories I’ve heard were from developers, not from the actual clients. Uh, so, so there was that, and they also talked about their experience of limiting blacks and the core blacks versus blacks from, or a black library and how they’re kind of hoping that in the future, there’s more of a, uh, there’s more ways or maybe an easier way for developers or consultants to limit the amount of, of blacks or at least the blocks that, uh, the client can access because the client is probably most of the time when they’re going to use a certain set of blocks. So there’s no sense in providing them access to all the other blacks that exists.
Speaker 1 00:06:46 And there’s a lot of blocks. So, you know, so they were talking about that and, uh, there was a couple other things there, but it just, it was great to actually now, now, now I’ve said that I’m not really big on online presentations and some, but I haven’t done any one of these in a long, long time. And it was again an admit, it felt great. It felt great to chat with other people there, as he’s doing his presentation to ask questions, part of a meetup group, uh, I had a good time and, uh, congrats and a nice job by the people who organize and run the WordCamp Philly meetup group. I had a good time in those. It was pretty cool to attend from Ohio.
Speaker 1 00:07:26 And so, I mean, when you say that you attended, like, I mean, the first question that comes to my mind is, um, did anyone know you were there and who you were? Yes. Yes. A micro-celebrity Nope. I was not a, uh, I was not a micro celebrity. I mean, I, it’s not, like I said, you were a full celebrity. That’s amazing. I, I, uh, yeah, yeah. It’s not like those days where I’d go to work camp, San Francisco. I have a whole group group section from Japan that wants to take my picture. You know, it’s not like, it’s not like, it’s not like that point. Those were the days. But, um, but I announced, Hey, you know, this is Jeff from Ohio. And, you know, I run WP mainline and, you know, some folks said high, but it wasn’t like a big deal. So it was fine.
Speaker 1 00:08:07 It was nice. We all know each other. And I asked a lot of good questions. I, you know, it’s no surprise that I was, I was the most active commenter in the chat because that’s usually when I am just asking questions and sharing some knowledge, stuff like that. But overall it was a pretty good time. Kind of had me yearning for sort of a physical in-person where camp. And then I’m like, Nope, not ready yet. Not ready for that. Or meet ups, I’ll stick with the, with the hybrid or, uh, the online approach for now. And by the way, speaking of work camps, uh, I don’t know if we’ve mentioned this on the show yet, but there is a, uh, there is some work going on now for word camp Porto. I don’t, I think that might be where camp EDU or it might be something separate, but, uh, there there’s there’s work underway, organizing underway for a work camp in Porto, or can’t be you to clarify that and look it up.
Speaker 1 00:09:03 But there’s some things afoot now in terms of organizing and getting some in-person word camps, uh, going on, uh, with that said, there has been some, some articles that have come out this week that have led to some thinking and some discussions. And one of those was published by Justin Fairman, who you might know from LearnDash a plugging that was recently acquired by a stellar WP over there at liquid web. And his post is about Gutenberg with a black editor, and he talks about it as a mats page builder. And he says that he remembers Gutenberg being announced as the, uh, as a, as a, as a, as a page builder. Like it was going to be a great way to, to a front end page builder, but it turns out it hasn’t really turned out to be that way at all. And it’s sort of has transitioned into the same that we call full site editing.
Speaker 1 00:10:01 Now that has kind of taken on it’s a buzzword. And a lot of people are excited about that, but basically the basis of his article is that Gutenberg or what we now see as the black editor, uh, has been advertised as, as a page builder. But then it was advertised as a new revolutionary way of creating content. And at this point he doesn’t see it as being good at either and he doesn’t think a Gutenberg can be, can be good at both at least, or he doesn’t think it’s good at both now. Um, and I, and I tend to, uh, agree with him now. He says that he’ll always recommend WordPress to people looking to build a business that relies upon organic traffic from Google. And as a CMS, WordPress can’t be beat. But when it comes to writing content, he doesn’t even bother with the editor.
Speaker 1 00:10:51 He doesn’t even bother using the classic editor or classic press. He actually uses a, uh, program or service called write freely. So that’s what he uses. And, um, so, so there you go. And he, and he talks about how elementary has been crushing it. And he says that he’ll continue to pull for, for Gutenberg. Uh, he knows it will grow as a page loader, but he’s hopeful that along the way it become, it can become a decent writing tool. Now, Joe, Casabona he read, he published an article in response to Justin’s article and kind of agreed with him that, you know, WordPress really isn’t the editor, or really isn’t the place to go to, to write your content. And he actually lists out, uh, some different tools and things you could use, uh, using a separate writing app. And he actually has a couple of convincing arguments as to why you’d want to do this anyways, such as keeping your content locally.
Speaker 1 00:11:44 And it acts as a backup. You don’t have to worry about losing your internet connection and maybe losing that content that’s in the editor. And all of those are actually really good points, even though WordPress kind of has things built into that to take care of those, but as I’ve experienced in the past, there’s still ways to where you could lose content. If you’re relying on the, uh, on the editor, no hope, hoping that things are saving. And, and what have you all of this to say that seeing these types of articles, it makes me sad because WordPress to me, when I use the editor and well, you know, I’ve said it here multiple times when, when Gutenberg works, it’s great. I can see it as being the future of managing and creating content, but when it breaks, it breaks bad. When you have an invalid Jason response, what do you do?
Speaker 1 00:12:36 That things are broken. You have no idea what to do. You have no idea where to go, what even the first step is to take, to get yourself back to a point where the editor works and, uh, you know, you can get back to writing and there’s still actually some weird things like, like I was reading a bug report the other day, where if you’re using a, a single apostrophe to do something or to write something within, within the editor, it’s it doesn’t work, it’s broken. And there’s also something that really annoys me. In fact, we’re, if you try and copy multiple paragraphs from a, from a blog post and post those into one quote block, it doesn’t work. It ends up your quote block turns into three separate paragraph likes, and you have to finagle the texts to get it all, to fit into a quote block.
Speaker 1 00:13:23 So like, I’m kind of in agreement with these guys and it makes me sad that, and I feel like one of the reasons why we’re kind of in this state right now, where the editors in this state is because it’s in flux, it’s in development where WordPress is in this transitional phase, where the working on all these different facets that requires the editors, the page building the full site, editing the content, authorship and creation is there, but it’s not quite there. I mean, there’s still a lot of work left to be done. And I feel like we’re at this point where we’re just going to have to go through the growing pains until we get to the point where I hope there’s a point where we look back and said, man, this was all worth it. And that’s both on the content creation side and the theme development side and the full site editing experience and all that. I want to get to that point where we look back and say, Matt was right. Everything that we got now today, it was painful to get to this point, but he was right. And WordPress is at, uh, where it needs to be, and it was all worth it. But, you know, until we get to that point where we’re going through these growing pains and man, it sucks. Yep.
Speaker 2 00:14:31 It does. I think one of the issues here, and one of the issues that has always existed is that the block editor is trying to serve too many masters in.
Speaker 1 00:14:41 Right. Right now, right now it certainly feels and looks that way.
Speaker 2 00:14:45 Yeah. It’s, it’s trying to make it so that you can design pages. Um, and then it’s also trying to let you add content to pages. And I think that that’s kind of a mistake when I think about element or for example, I think about using that as a tool to lay out my page, right. Specific pages. Um, if I want to blog with Elementor, I’m laying out like a header and a sidebar and a footer, and then I’m just blogging in normal WordPress where I think Gutenberg is trying to do all of those things and it’s doing none of them perfectly. And it’s leaning more on designing layouts of pages through using blocks as the tool for that, and not enough about how we deal with content. And I’m my biggest concern is we’re going to have a, uh, an issue kind of like what Drupal has, where, you know, the, the understanding or the onboarding of new users to the platform and understanding how to be proficient in it is going to take longer and longer because they’re giving too much power, too many tools too quickly to users.
Speaker 2 00:15:44 I kind of miss the times where we had like, you know, post types or like you could like select that, you know, this one’s going to be a podcast and this one’s just going to be an image gallery and this one’s going to be, um, a quote, right. And you could just select those. And it really kind of simplified the experience and separated out the design from the content management. And I know that, you know, some people want the ability to lay things out, but I kind of see the future as you know, for 99% of us and 99% of the time, I’m not going to create a new custom layout for an individual post or page. Right. Sometimes I might do that, but most of the time, I just want to be able to publish my content, give it a featured image, have it, have it, have some links in some, some quotes in it and get it out there to the world.
Speaker 2 00:16:24 And I think that, uh, you know, we’ve gone too far away from that, that initial need and that, that, you know, we talk about how often things are needed in WordPress. Um, so like, should they be core or should they be plugins? And this, you know, one of the determining factors is will you use this all the time, right? Like, is it something that you need constantly? And I’m kind of wondering, like, do we really, truly need a built-in page layout system like this? Um, maybe, but does it need to be part of the post and publishing process of creating a page or a post, maybe not. Um, I saw a thing where they were locking down blocks, where you could edit the content of the block. Like you could change the photo out, or you could change the text, but you couldn’t move the block around or like adjust certain things with it.
Speaker 1 00:17:09 That’s an amateur
Speaker 2 00:17:09 That’s coming. Yeah. And I thought, that’s, that makes some sense, right? Because you have designers who can design the page and then you have editors and authors who can post content in the page and you shouldn’t really expect the same person to be responsible for both of those things. And you should ideally have a way that the design gets out of the way for authors to publish content. And I think we’re not doing enough of that.
Speaker 1 00:17:34 Yeah. I, I, it’s just like all these years, WordPress, to me, uh, in the editor all those years, I’ve written thousands of posts within the WordPress editor. There were times where I’ve used, uh, Calypso or a different desktop app. Maybe even the mobile app I’ve used other apps, but I’ve always gone back to the editor because I liked the feature set that it has. And I had Owen bed support and I had all these other cool things that some of these others editors didn’t have, but it’s, um, it just, it just bites me as a content author, content producer, as someone who writes posts, where they involve quotes, adding an image here or there maybe a little gallery here. And there’s not things that are not complicated, not too many call to actions or anything like that. It’s just way more, it feels like it’s way more difficult than it has to be.
Speaker 1 00:18:31 And like I said, God forbid if it breaks, because if it breaks, what can I tell you Sol you know, those helpful error messages, right? Yeah. So I, I, I just, it’s just sad to me and I hope I hope sooner rather than later, I know that all of the effort and focus right now is on for say adenine, black themes, black, this and black debt that sort of the design, the look and feel of WordPress. And I really hope sooner rather than later, that a big focus can go back onto the content authorship and generation and, and writing aspects of the editor because there is still a lot of work that has to be done. And man, it just, it just sucks that, you know, that it’s to the point where, uh, you know, people are, are suggesting, Hey, use this editor or use that editor and you’ll have a much better time.
Speaker 1 00:19:29 No, but right. But that’s, that’s the way it is. But then, like I said, I also feel like we’re just kind of in this gray area of the transitional period, and these are just some of the pains that we’re going to have to go through and whether through, and hopefully come out on the other side, a better for it. Speaking of Ella mentor, uh, Ben Pines, this is actually something new is Ben Pines, who was the chief marketing officer for Elementor back in the days. And when it was only installed on about 200,000 sites, now it’s like, what, eight or 9 million. So they’ve experienced some growth over the years. He announced that he is going to be stepping down. He’ll be leaving ELA mentor at the end of this month. Basically it comes down to his, uh, he’s going to be moving on to bigger and better things.
Speaker 1 00:20:18 He feels like his work is done. There are elementary. He helped, uh, over six years span of time to record a bunch of feature release videos. He created a weekly YouTube show. He built a magazine recorded a podcast series that he was able to interview a bunch of, of his marketing heroes. You run a countless number of blog posts. Basically the guy did everything that was necessary to help Ella mentor grow into the page builder that it has become. And he says in his tweets that ELA mentor today is a stronger, more mature company than it ever was. So the time is right for me to take the step. I feel excited about the progress and trajectory trajectory of the company. And can’t wait to see how it continues to evolve and improve the lives of web creators further. And he says, he’s not completely removing himself from the element or community debt. He’s just stepping down as his role. And he will be on the sidelines as a member of participant, still participating in the community. So there’s a lot of kudos and praise that have been handed out to Ben Pines. And, you know, in thinking about it to be sort of near the ground level of a company or a product like ELA mentor and have maybe 200, 300,000 sites that are using it or customers. And then when you leave, it’s in the millions, that’s got to feel pretty damn good. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:21:46 And to stay in a tech position or a tech company for six years nearly, that’s pretty rare too. I mean, that speaks volumes to elementary as a company in making sure that they maintain a positive culture that Ben wanted to stick around for all that time.
Speaker 1 00:22:03 I’ve heard nothing but good things about ELA mentor. I’ve never used it, but when it comes to page builders, uh, there are countless agencies and developers out there that, that turned to elementary. Or like we just mentioned Justin Fairman, he sat elementary, has been killing it. So have you ever used a Elementor? Have you thought anything? Okay. What’s your, what’s your experience been like?
Speaker 2 00:22:24 Um, I mean, I don’t really have any graphic design skill and it makes stuff that I do look really good. So that makes me feel really empowered. Um, and I mean, it, it can feel a little bit slow and jenky sometimes when you’re doing certain actions, but the number of like secondary ad-ons for like WooCommerce and things like that, the ability to lay out pages quickly, the ability to kind of templatize your pages like we were talking about before have like custom headers for different categories, if you want. Like, there’s so many functions that are very kind of easy to do with El mentor and it’s so visually engaging and there’s so much prebuilt stuff. It, it just feels wonderful. And when you’re, when you need to kind of build out like half a dozen of like really good looking cool pages element, where does that like in such a stellar way?
Speaker 2 00:23:14 Um, I will say though, like I’m trying to move away from plugins as much as possible in, in all these different areas. So, um, you know, Elementor is also like in terms of kind of a little bit of a backend way is a bit heavy. Um, they’re really good. Like they’ve optimized the heck out of it for the front end experience. That’s not like weighing down your site as much, but it, uh, you know, it can always use more work there and it’s still not as lightweight as just kind of using a, you know, a well-designed Gutenberg theme. Um, so, but I mean, I, I’ve always been very impressed with it and it’s always made me feel very empowered.
Speaker 1 00:23:49 Speaking of page builders, one of the things and this hearkens back to the presentation I saw last night with Liam Dempsey, he was talking about one of the things that’s built into and Smokey’s making this presence. Now, my wife just got home. So there he is. That’s great. Um, but uh, these page builders, they build in one of the things when they hand the client over or hand the site over to the client is the educational aspects of the training. In this case, they didn’t use a page builder. They just use straight up Gutenberg block editor and some blacks and stuff like that. But then he mentioned that in other times, if they hit the time, they would have done training on the page builder that they use to build the site. And I was thinking all of these different page builders with all this different terminology and all these different ways of accomplishing the same thing. Now, I imagined that you could probably make a college level course of all these different paints builders that you probably have to train clients on before you actually hand the site over to them. If you’re, if you’re using one of them.
Speaker 2 00:24:50 Yeah. I mean, and that’s another reason to try to avoid a lot of these things and stick to core functions, right? Because the core stuff is going to be the easiest to find documentation for and, and typically, and the easiest to get support for. I mean, if you’ve ever gone to your web host and said, I’m having an issue, one of the first things they’re going to say is, have you deactivated all your plugins? Like, so using these third party tools, um, can kind of be a little bit difficult, especially for that learning curve, um, or for that support curve. So, you know, it’s just another reason to try to avoid them as much as possible, even though they are so empowering.
Speaker 1 00:25:23 And I think what you just said, I think that’s why a lot of people, not just agencies, but clients and just maybe everyday users, everyday users who know what’s going on, uh, probably trying to stick with full site editing or full Gutenberg based themes because that’s going to be the easiest to maintain. And like, like all the reasons you just said, and you won’t have to worry about relying on a plugin or a page builder or learning an entirely different set of terminology and the way things work, you just stick with core, speaking of core and blocks back in late August, Matiaz Ventura, the lead architect of Gutenberg, uh, creative and issue on Gutenberg started at the bay on renaming reusable blocks. And he says, and I quote, reusable, blacks have a long history. Now they started as saved blacks and went through some renaming iterations until they settled on reusable blocks.
Speaker 1 00:26:20 This worked alright at the beginning, but with the introduction of patterns, its meaning has started to become fuzzy and confusing in the end. Patterns are also reusable pieces of design. Given the nature of these blocks is to have content in sync, wherever it is displayed at once. Update everywhere. I propose that we change the name in the UI to sync blocks and adjust a black description a little bit to clarify that. So there’s been, and this has kind of come up recently in recent days and there’s been a lot more, there’s been an influx of feedback on this ticket and basically reusable blocks is just what he described. You can save a block or turn it into a reusable block. You can put it in different parts of the website. And when you update it, rev updated across the site in one place, it updates it across the entire site.
Speaker 1 00:27:10 So with that in mind, I was thinking that, uh, global blocks let’s change the name from reusable blocks to global bikes. And I was thinking of like global variables as the precedents for this, where if you use this type of black and you change it once, then the changes affect it globally, which means wherever it is across the site, I’ve seen a number of people who agree or have also suggested this, but there’s also like site-wide content block or there’s been some other terms that have, that have come up. But, but in all this, what I want to bring up is that it’s, it’s an interesting conundrum in that these blocks have names, but some of these blocks, their functionality can overlap to the point where they can do some of the same, if not all of the same things that another black can do. So the name naming them as like almost, oh, you throw your hands up in a year.
Speaker 2 00:28:05 Well, I mean the good news about something like global blocks is that it’s, you know, it’s not too dissimilar from what Elementor calls their things. They use, um, global things as well. So I think one of the issues is not necessarily the naming, it’s the understanding, right? So,
Speaker 1 00:28:21 Oh, so, so you brought this up, but there’s actually a comment by Zeblun Stanfield. He actually said, because there’s a question in the issues is what do the major page builders call them? Because they all have had them for years before Gutenberg. So I’ll quickly run down the list, a Vita global elements, BeaverBuilder global modules, columns, rows, uh, Brizzy global blocks, divvy, global modules, rows sections, Ella mentor, global widgets, oxygen builder, reasonable parts, and visual composer, global templates. So we see all these global use pretty much in all the different page builders in one way or another. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:29:02 Um, but I think, I think the bigger thing is to just make sure that it’s visually distinct, um, you know, we haven’t seen much kind of color in terms of determination for block types or block things in, um, Gutenberg or in the block editor yet. Um, you will, when you’re looking at like the block pattern library of the block library, you’ll see that sometimes people will have their icons in like green or purple or orange or whatever. Um, but when I embed a block into my page and that maybe it’d be called the global block, let’s say we put a global block in it should maybe be highlighted in some way that I know that if I change that it will be changed everywhere.
Speaker 1 00:29:40 Yeah. It should have a little bike
Speaker 2 00:29:43 Visual indicator, right. Because it’s not just about what we call it. It’s about making sure that people understand visually that this ha this change is important to know about. Because if you change it, it will be changed everywhere.
Speaker 1 00:29:58 Yeah. And I can, I can certainly see where you’ve had. You have all these black spread across your website, and then if you use something like the, uh, uh, uh, what’s it called? What’s it called? Uh, the man, the plugin by Nick Diego, where you can do contextually, uh, control where and when, and schedule content or widgets or not, we’ll just put blocks, show up widget your blacks through all the same thing nowadays. Anyways, look at me. I don’t even know what the hell I’m talking about anymore, but
Speaker 2 00:30:28 His block
Speaker 1 00:30:28 Visibility plugins. Yes, yes, yes. That allows you to contextually control when and where black show up. You can even schedule content using that plugin when a blight shows up. But I can actually see where if you’ve got a pretty large site and all these different pages, and let’s say you update a specific block for that page and it’s a global block. Well, now you’ve just updated it. And you might’ve added information that’s specific to that page, but now it shows up on a different page, which is wrong. And what if you end up in this, this would be me, I’d end up in a loop where I’d go to this page, change it, go back to that page, change it. And it’d probably take like four or five times before I realized, oh, that’s a global block. What am I doing? Doing this to myself? Yes, exactly.
Speaker 2 00:31:10 I don’t. I, and I haven’t used this functionality yet, but is there actually any way to like disconnect them? So let’s say I pull a global block into my page and I’m, I want it to be, I want to use the exact same look and feel, but now I want to change the information, but I don’t want to change it everywhere. Is there a way to like separate it or like disconnect it? So it’s no longer,
Speaker 1 00:31:26 Oh man, I haven’t been to those other ones. I haven’t used the, I haven’t used those blacks extensively, but I want to say that you can click on the transform tool and transform it into a different block. I hope so, but, but I can’t confirm that. Right. All right. So now we’ve got black groups or group blocks. We’ve got black patterns. We have reusable blocks, which are like, you said more, more like global blocks. So, oh man, we have all these different blocks. Naming is hard. I’m glad I’m not in the Mamie business. I got, you know, and Facebook’s going to find out the hard way that naming things are hard.
Speaker 2 00:32:08 Yeah,
Speaker 1 00:32:08 Seriously. Uh, I wanted to give a shout out to Mr. Sean, Andrew. Sean Andrews is a digital designer at, on a medic. He actually has been one of my favorite Twitter accounts to follow as of late because he’s been working on various ideas and he’s just been throwing them out there on Twitter. Like he’s, he’s got this little video where he’s been working on some designs for the, uh, black pen and browser, just kind of his take on things he’s also been working on. Um, like what if student Berg had a way change colors for the selected black and all its inner blocks, which has been kind of neat and has been working on, uh, different like navs and tools and, uh, black controls in the, uh, black toolbar is he also has this concept of what, if you could see your relevant black patterns when adding a WordPress black, which I thought was neat.
Speaker 1 00:32:58 Um, so he’s just posting all these different concept concepts and ideas out there. And it gave me a sense of nostalgia because I remember back in the day, um, this is what it was like in WordPress. He had all these different people with all these different concepts and ideas publishing them on their blog and it was fun. I’m like, okay, you know, that’s, that’s a neat idea. And you know, everything wasn’t hidden or tied into a tweet or an issue or deepened attract ticket somewhere, but people were actually kind of publishing to the world, their ideas, no matter how crazy they might’ve been, you know, it was, it was just fun. And I would like to see, uh, more people in the WordPress community do what Sean Andrews is doing. And just, if you have a concept or an idea, I don’t care how wacky you think it might be.
Speaker 1 00:33:45 Just toss it out there, throw it out there, write about it, publish the blog, post about it. I want to see that stuff. And if you have already done that or you do that on a regular basis, please tell me at me on Twitter or contact me through the WP mainline contact form. I want to follow you. I want to read that kind of stuff. Cause, cause that’s where, you know, ideas are generated. That’s where new things can be developed new features or just, just different takes on different ways to go about things. And, uh, I, I, boy, I’d like to see this, uh, come back or multitudes of people were just throwing their ideas out there.
Speaker 2 00:34:20 That’s actually like to, I’d like to unpack your feelings on that because, um, so do you feel like there’s just not as much kind of like play or exploration in WordPress these days?
Speaker 1 00:34:30 I, I feel like there is for, for like Justin Tadlock, he, he’s done a great job of exploring Gutenberg and the editor and writing about his thoughts and feelings and Sharon knows like on the Tavern. But I, I feel like, I felt like if there is, or if there are that it’s not public, it’s not as public as, uh, or I’m just not seeing it.
Speaker 2 00:34:56 Do you think that’s in part because of how commercialized WordPress has become? Like if you, if you’re a developer and your experimenting with something you don’t necessarily want your next employer to see, you know, potentially writing crummy code or like playing around with something that is kind of silly or awkward or weird, do you think maybe the commercialization of WordPress is kind of slowing that aspect down a little bit, making it yeah.
Speaker 1 00:35:20 And less fun? Nah, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t think that’s that big of an issue. I think it’s just more of a, just people were not willing to share or just throw it out there because it could be wacky or it could take someone off or it could, it could, you know, it could affect their employer. It could affect not in fact, but it couldn’t affect their appointment employment. I, you know, it’s, it’s kind of stupid as something like a concept or idea for WordPress would, would do that would affect your negatively impact you in that way, but I can see how it could happen. And that’s just really ridiculous. Yeah. I agree. Come on, man, man. Yeah. That’s what I’m saying. Like, like w if, if, if you’re just do an experiment or you write about it, or you’re saying, Hey, I was playing in the editor and I came up with this and I, and I was kind of, I came up with the concept or an idea of what if it did this, or what if you could do this and then it’d be great to just read that post and have one of those.
Speaker 1 00:36:18 Ah, yeah, that is a good idea. And, but, but I think nowadays those experimentations are like behind the scenes are hidden or they’re deep in a, in an issue somewhere on get hub or still on track. And they’re just not, people are just not blogging to winning. That’s what it is. Yeah. All right. So, um, are you or anybody else out there who are listening, looking to increase your productivity? Well, one of the tools that helps thousands of what developers and designers do more every day is GoDaddy pro combining site client and project management. GoDaddy pro is an all-in-one solution made by and for web professionals, whether you’re new to web design or looking to grow your business, you’ll find free tools, products, guidance, and support to help you deliver results for clients, manage and monitor all of your client’s WordPress sites from a single place, no matter where they’re hosted with a single click, you could perform bulk updates, backups, security checks, and more to save time and free up your day.
Speaker 1 00:37:24 And time is a precious commodity. And boy, could we all use a little more time, right? So for more information, visit godaddy.com or it’s less pro that’ll take you to the hub dashboard where you can learn more about it, or visit WP mainline.com where I’ll have more information and links to go daddy.com/pro, and go to these been like they’ve been doing webinars and hosting conferences, and they’re all over the WordPress space lately and doing all kinds of things contributing back to the project. Uh, so they’re, they’re, they’ve been very active. It’s amazing that you can do that whole ad without needing to read a script. I mean, I’m super impressed. Wow. Thank you very much. You boy, I almost, I almost conscious something I did. I would’ve had to edit that out, but what the, Hey, I do what I gotta do to pay the bills and thank you very much GoDaddy for him.
Speaker 1 00:38:16 That’s awesome. Uh, because of GoDaddy, I don’t have people showing up in an unmarked van with baseball bats. There you go yet. They’ve they’ve delayed the well, they delayed the baseball game. I, yeah, I was going to say inevitable, but that’d be bad. We can prevent that with all of your guys, with all of your people, listeners help all of your folks. We can, we can prevent that from happening. So one of the last things I wanted to talk about in today’s episode was an article by Eric Clark Novak. I bet you, I got that right in the first try. Uh, he, he wrote an article on specky boy where he talks about for casual users. Information I knew were press features can be hard to find. So it goes on and describes what it’s like for a new user these days to figure out what’s new in WordPress.
Speaker 1 00:39:05 What’s going out. What do I need to know before and after I upgrade WordPress and he talks about how there needs to be a multi-pronged approach in terms of spreading the word, getting that word amplified, creating an official source for impact impactful developments and educating users and the quest to reach those users. And I think he makes a lot of valid points. And this is something that WordPress has struggled with from the beginning is all of the things that are going out in core and getting that information kind of filtered down to the point where it reaches the users and the users can understand what’s going on. You know, if we look at the situation today, I mean, WordPress has an official podcast, they’ve got all the different make blogs. They’ve got the wordpress.org blog, which was CA, which is actually used for like releases and kind of the, the big overhead approach type of, uh, uh, information sharing place.
Speaker 1 00:40:09 But mostly you got your dev notes in the specific features related to WordPress that are published on the make blogs. And then you have to rely on sites like WP Tavern, WP, mainline, and others, and podcasts to sort of digest that information and put it into a way that’s, uh, or you’re able to soak it in as a user, even understand it, or even, you know, figure out what it is that’s important. And I think, I think it’s just a struggle that we’re pressed is still dealing with today. And it may even, I mean, if you, if you wanted someone to, uh, to do this were take the information and create a place where, uh, for all users to go to, to learn about what’s new and what you should be paying attention to. One person can’t do that. It’s too much, there’s too much going on WordPress these days to, to do that, to cram all that in, and you have your change logs and all that stuff.
Speaker 1 00:41:06 But I, I don’t know what the answer is to this particular problem. I know that it is kind of still an issue. Um, I think all of the websites and whatnot, do a good job on sort of highlighting what’s new or what’s the big, important things coming in the next release and what you should pay attention to. But again, all I, then all the information is spread amongst all the little islands in the WordPress community. And I think what, uh, Eric wants is sort of all of that stuff in one place. And he would kind of like to see it maybe on wordpress.org or something of that nature. And I think that’d be nice. That’d be fun to point all users to a, to a central source. But, um, yeah,
Speaker 2 00:41:46 It sounds like it would be a great job for someone, um, or someone’s. Uh, and I, I mean, if some companies sponsor Jeff to do it, I’m sure he would take up the mantle with other people, maybe not alone, but, uh, yeah, I could see,
Speaker 1 00:41:59 Oh, I sit on my butt all day and write about it just what’s on the next and just, just simplify things, right. Try to simplify things from an end-user perspective, not all this gobbly gook filter, boon add action book.
Speaker 2 00:42:15 Yeah. The stuff that no one understands, right?
Speaker 1 00:42:17 Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I understand it enough to where I can not understand it. Right. Yup. All right. So other than that, uh, anything you want to bring up or mention before we get outta here? No, I think I’m good. All right. So, uh, it’s Friday happy Friday, everybody. And, um, if you could, you know, uh, stop by WP mainline.com, I’ve added the link now in the, in the menu, it says ways to support me. And under that menu, you’ll see links to the donation page, the subscriber page, where you can get order a custom bikes car design, or if you’re interested in, and having me read a script about something you’re selling, or you would like to have advertised, or maybe, uh, maybe I could get you on the show. You can put, you can pay me and I’ll bring you on the show and you can read your own script, or we can do, we can talk about it. I don’t know. You can also find information for podcast advertising on the site as well. And, uh, just, those are just great ways to financially support me, to help me continue writing and publishing content on WP mainline.com. And it keeps me doing the show. So
Speaker 2 00:43:33 I love that you added the box cards to the individual single posts, as well
Speaker 1 00:43:37 As your idea. That was your idea. So
Speaker 2 00:43:39 Happy to see it because every now every time I go, and there’s like a, uh, one of the three that you currently have, but I, as an expanding group, like, it’s just so fun to see. And it just makes me smile every time
Speaker 1 00:43:49 One will you see next that’s exactly. Um, and, uh, in November, starting November 1st, there will be a new boxcar added and I’m very excited by the Bob Dunn of, uh, do the woo. We’re going to have a dealer will, and it will feature his rebrand. So I’m very excited about that. His, his, his box car is pretty cool. Nice. I’ll just, I’ll just say that. Uh, so that’s going to do it for this episode of the WP mainline podcast. You can find show notes for this episode and all other episodes@wpmainline.com, just click on the podcast link and you can follow me on Twitter at Jeffery J E F F R zero in Malcolm.
Speaker 2 00:44:26 Uh, you can find me on Twitter at, to find purpose. And I am, as Jeff
Speaker 1 00:44:31 Said@thetopoftheshowoveratpress.com and Canberra capital T dang. So that’s going to do everybody have a safe and enjoyable weekend. I know for many of us out there, there’s no such thing as a weekend, but try and find some way to, to take an hour or two to, for me, time for you time, uh, or listen to me time. I don’t whatever you want to do, but we’ll talk to you again next Friday afternoon. So long everybody

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