WP Mainline Episode 17 – Animated Plugin Icons, Plugin Machine, and OptinMonster

In this episode, Malcom Peralty and I were joined by Liam Dempsey to cover the news of the week. We shared our views on whether animated plugin icons should be allowed on the plugin directory or not. Spoiler: We all agreed that they shouldn’t.

Josh Pollock is working on a new project and like many in the WordPress community, we’re excited to see it launch. Props to Josh for naming his product for exactly what it does. We then discussed Theme.json and the possibilities it opens up for theme developers.

After encouraging folks to upgrade OptinMonster to the latest version to patch security vulnerabilities, we wrapped up the show by discussing WebDevStudios accepting Etherum as a form of payment for a client project. It worked for them but is accepting cryptocurrency the thing to do for every other agency?

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Speaker 1 00:00:19 Welcome everybody to episode 17 of the WP mainline podcasts for Saturday, October 30th, 2021. I’m your host, Jeff Chandler joined by Malcolm Peralta. How you doing sir? Doing well and yourself? I’m, uh, I’m doing pretty well. I, I reasonable. Yeah, we’re recording on a Saturday. Usually we record it on a Friday, but I had an anxiety issue yesterday. And, uh, when I have those, sometimes they’re bad. Sometimes they’re manageable, but yesterday it just took me all day to recover and uh, couldn’t quite get back into the groove kind of a waste of a day. It sucks. But, uh, I was actually have been doing pretty well, you know, in terms of anxiety and anxiety attacks and stuff like that. So I don’t know, it just kind of crept up. I don’t know where, but I took my medicine and I was AOK by the time the evening came.
Speaker 1 00:01:14 So I wanna thank you Malcolm for, uh, spending some of your Saturday with it. You know, folks out there, they say, uh, they say weekend, you know, there’s no such thing as weekends anymore. The week is never ending. It never ends. Um, so good to have you here. And, uh, we also have a special guest with us. That’s going to help us dissect the news of the week. Uh, Liam Dempsey, sir. Thank you very much for spending some of your Saturday with us. Hey, my pleasure. Thanks so much for the invite and for the opportunity to join you and Malcolm and excited to be here. All right. So let’s talk about our first story of the week and, uh, this is, uh, referring to animated plugin icons. Now that’s something that’s new to you. Uh, you’re not the only one. There are new to me.
Speaker 1 00:02:02 Um, in recent weeks I’ve seen people, um, mostly on Twitter, uh, bring these up about animated icons about how they hate them and they should burn and no good. And we shouldn’t have them on, uh, Scott Kingsley, Clarke published a poll on Twitter, asking folks, what do they think about, uh, more plugin icons becoming animated in his two, uh, poll options where yay, animated plug-in icons or, or, or to burn them on. Not surprisingly, most people have voted to bring them on. I’ve never seen, I don’t really browse to plugin directory that much I’m looking for. I’m looking for something, you know, but, uh, Scott shared a few examples of, um, uh, of some plugins that are doing this, like give, give WP is doing that a lot of plugins by WPM. You Def, uh, have plugin animated, animated plugin icons, and, um, some of them are flashy and others are, uh, you know, kind of subtle, you know, you really got to like stare at the icon to see it, but nevertheless, uh, more and more plugins are taking advantage of, uh, being able to, uh, to animate their icon.
Speaker 1 00:03:14 So I, I did some research on this and it turns out that within the past, uh, year or so on the plugin review and the made us slack channels and the WordPress slack instance, the notion of trying to get, uh, animated plug-in icons banned from the directory has been a, uh, has been brought up a few times. And, um, basically what it comes down to is, uh, the, the team, there were folks suggesting that there’d be a guideline added to the detailed plugin review guidelines that said that would ban, uh, animated icons. But the team basically said, you know, as long as the file size is kept down and it’s not, uh, egregious that they’re going to allow it. Um, but, but now it seems that some folks have brought up the accessibility concerns related to animated plug-in icons. I think those are legitimate. Uh, like for instance, um, uh, in terms of, uh, accessibility, one of the guidelines for WCG 21 says that moving blinking and scrolling refers to content, which the visible content can easily sense of motion.
Speaker 1 00:04:19 Common examples include motion, pictures, synchronize media presentations, animations real-time games, and scrolling stock tickers. And, uh, basically folks should have the ability to stop or pause them, which you cannot do on the plugin directory. So there’s accessibility concerns there. Um, but the reason why they haven’t added a guideline is because it’s practically unenforceable. It, it, it, it, it adds too much work to the plugin review team. There are technical hurdles that have to be overcome in order to detect an animated image. Uh, but there is a ticket on track. Uh, we’re there working on some solutions on how to detect, uh, animated images and pre, uh, prevent them from even getting to the plugin directory, which would save the review team a whole lot of trouble to automate this process. And based on everything I’ve read, uh, plugin animated plug icons eventually will be banned or blocked, or just won’t be allowed on the plugin directory.
Speaker 1 00:05:23 And, uh, I, I don’t mind that at all. I, I, I kinda, I kinda cringe thinking about doing a search for plugins, and then on the plugin page seeing about, you know, I don’t know, 6, 7, 8 different icons dancing, being flashy, doing all these weird things. I’m more of a, just keep it static, a static image. You don’t need to be animated, but I understand why developers would, would, uh, participate in having an animated icon because it’s a point of differentiation or point of difference in terms of all the search results. And if you’re as animated, it could stand out. It can garner the eyes of a potential user versus one that’s static. And I don’t know, but, uh, eventually animated pulling in icons. It’s going to be a no go.
Speaker 2 00:06:07 What do you think about that, Liam?
Speaker 3 00:06:09 Well, I’m, I’m with Jeff on a it’s new to me, the, the WP mainline article was where I first heard about it, saw it on Twitter and read up on it. And, uh, equally blessed from us. I don’t surf the plugin library, all that, often I to go for what I want, uh, or what Ray recommended, but what the recommendations are for this project or that task. Um, and I think Jeff kind of covered it nicely that from a marketing standpoint, the animation makes sense, as long as the files aren’t huge and the animation is, I don’t know what cost, you know, what, what their definition of ridiculous or over the top or too much is. But I think the, the real stop, the real no-go for me is accessibility. And if we’re as a project, I’d love to see WordPress demonstrate best practices around accessibility. And if that’s something that we can do, then I think that’s something that we should do. And therefore then I think the, the animation sounds like it has to be,
Speaker 2 00:07:11 But isn’t that kind of like, um, like a false argument in a way relating to this. Like, it seems like they’re trying to figure out how can we make it so that this whole thing seems a little bit more important, um, versus like, how do we address, like why this is happening and how we can deal with it. The idea of it being a technical hurdle to like detect animations and stuff like that. That is so outrageous to me. And so silly to me, like these are some of the best developers in the world, and they can’t like force people to use a static JPEG and make sure that it’s just a JPEG and not, uh, a gift that’s been like given a JPEG extension. Like, I don’t know. I just, I look at this and I kind of laugh because it should be a simple matter in my, in my opinion.
Speaker 2 00:07:53 And I’m leaving it up to the reviewer to determine whether or not an animated GIF is good or bad. It seems like a really bad idea to me because someone might think it’s good and another person thinks it’s bad. Like where do you kind of draw those lines? And how do you really define that? Um, and then the whole accessibility argument, like I said, I just, it’s kind of silly to me. Like, it’s I get that, they’re there, you know, we, we want to be more accessible and we want to be more approachable in that respect, but I don’t think that that is the argument that should make or break this specific thing. Um, I think that accessibility in terms of, you know, animated content on web pages has come a long way, especially over the last like three to five years. Um, and so if we’re going to go down that direction, that doesn’t necessarily ban animations, it just makes it more of a complicated process that only the wealthy plugin companies can really afford to have someone work on. Um, I think just, just ban it outright, um, block PNGs, block gifts, make it, make us, and that’s, what’s going to happen. That’s what’s going to,
Speaker 2 00:08:55 Because it’s just, it’s another opportunity for marketing opportunity to kind of grab attention. Um, and it’s going to make the whole thing look ridiculous. Like the next time you searched for a form plugin and everything’s moving all over your screen, raising
Speaker 1 00:09:09 Like
Speaker 2 00:09:10 Exactly what I’m
Speaker 1 00:09:11 Looking at the repository makes me cringe.
Speaker 2 00:09:14 We’d make fun of Invitae sometimes for like theme forest and stuff like that, but they also have a, um, a plugin area as well, and they don’t allow animated pictures for their plugin repository. So like if themed, like, if Enbato, doesn’t like, why the heck would WordPress? I don’t know. It’s just silly to me.
Speaker 1 00:09:31 Well, they are working on the technical aspects of it. And, uh, what you said it will be black. It will be done. And it will be in a way to where it does not, uh, create more of a backlog for the plug-in review team because that’s, that’s, uh, that’s really what we’re aiming here for. And then there’s also, uh, there’s also suggesting here by Alan Fuller about, um, maybe, uh, because developers would use them to stand out in the search list. What if the plugin search algorithm could be tech, animations and very animated icons at the bottom? So plug-in downs would quickly revert to static, but then That, that, that means that animated icons would be allowed that like, it’s a thing, but we don’t want it to be a thing. I don’t want it to be a failure.
Speaker 2 00:10:17 And I mean, what issue are we truly trying to address here? Like if we’re trying to address the fact that people spending a lot of time and effort creating plugins and themes for WordPress are not feeling that this little icon is giving them the marketing that they need. And maybe we should try to figure out that, like, addressing that specific problem, rather than like this amusing, like stupid side quest of like, should we allow animations or not, like, let’s look at the real problem here and try to address that.
Speaker 1 00:10:46 Uh, speaking of plugins, Josh Pollack, who is the co-founder of Qadira WordPress, which was acquired in 2019, my Saturday drive, uh, he’s announced a new project he’s working on called plugin machine. Uh, and it’s aimed at making WordPress plugin developers lives easier. Um, so what plugin machine does it lays the foundation for developers to add new features, to existing plugins. It, uh, it’ll help you create new plugins and packaging plugins for release, and there’s going to be a web web application that developers can use to create and modify plugins. In addition to a command line interface and API, and a quote, and talking about the project just says, quote, I am very interested in helping WordPress developers build more stable plugins and helping solve ecosystem level problems. For example, performance issues caused by commercial plug-in updates, developer tooling, like I’m interested in building aimed to engineers.
Speaker 1 00:11:43 And that site builders is under invested in it’s a smaller market. I believe the downstream effects are huge for those who serve site builders and spend too much time on bugs conflicts and words that eats up valuable time and resources that could be spent, um, inviting and working on your plugin and quilt. So a lot of people are excited by I’ve seen, ah, the notion on Twitter. He’s got a lot of enthusiasm. A lot of people are chomping at the bit to use this tool and what he’s working on. So, uh, for him to have this kind of, uh, excitement before even releasing anything, I think he might be onto something.
Speaker 2 00:12:20 It seems like it’s like an advanced boiler plate in a way.
Speaker 1 00:12:23 Yeah. I mean, it kinda, that kind of sounds that way.
Speaker 3 00:12:27 That’s how I read it. And I’m not a developer, I’m a designer, so
Speaker 2 00:12:32 Three non-developers on this call. Let’s try to dissect this development plug it, it looks cool. It doesn’t do anything for me specifically, but I mean, I’m sure there are people that can be excited about this.
Speaker 3 00:12:44 I’m super excited for it because Josh does amazing work, uh, you know, setting aside that he’s just a really nice guy and he’s very community oriented, uh, caldera forms as a plugin, filled a niche in ways that at least in my view, other plugins forms, plugins hadn’t and, uh, it’s just a different take. And it’s clear when you open up that plugin that he thinks differently about things and a lot of other, a lot of other folks. So even though it sounds at this stage that the plug-in tool that he’s making, the machine that he’s making is not going to be something that I’m going to buy a license for. Uh, cause it’s not really geared for me. I’m still excited to see what he brings out because he, he makes good products. And if he’s to just point, if this many people are really excited about it, clearly there was a void there there’s a need. And I’d love to see what Jay, how Josh approaches and how he tries to solve that.
Speaker 2 00:13:41 Do you use a boilerplate for your design? Like, do you, if you’re like in Figma or whatever, do you pull in like resources that other people have created as kind of the starting point for your design work?
Speaker 3 00:13:52 That’s a good question. And, and I don’t have a universal yes or no for that. Um, know I’ve been doing this long enough that I feel like I probably have a template in my mind that just my style, my design, what looks good to me, but no, I don’t. I’m not like, oh yeah, I always use the 1, 2, 3 library to get columns or rows or form layouts or this and that.
Speaker 1 00:14:18 Let’s get in my DeLorean, go back about six, seven years. I use a theme framework,
Speaker 2 00:14:24 But I mean, like I, the reason I bring that up is because I wonder if it’s the same thing with developers. Like while there will be an interest in a weather plate, how quickly after that does do people start going well, I mean, this is cool, but I have my specific singular needs and kind of have to build it from scratch every time anyways, because this lets me do a quick proof of concept, but then whenever I want to do my own thing, I do it from scratch. Um, and so I wonder if development is similar in that respect where a lot of developers might find this interesting, but the actual, like, um, you know, at the end of the day, will they actually want to use it, uh, and, and really kind of be part of this process.
Speaker 1 00:15:03 I mean, I guess Josh has tool, the plug-in machine has to be better than what the actual developers using for their own boilerplate. Right. You know, it has to make it more convenient in, in, in many ways for them to replace whatever tools or boiler plates they’re using now. And that, can we just give Josh props for calling it plugging machine? Cause that’s like, that’s what it does. It just helps you create and do all these cool things with plugins. I mean, it’s a perfect name, finally, finally, a great name for a great product. So, uh, everybody’s psyched about that and good luck to Josh and he’s a, he’s kind of gearing up. He’s, he’s a few people have been able to beta test it and, um, he’s getting ready to do a soft launch here in the next few weeks. Well, speaking of design and developers and whatnot, um, you publish this link here. Hey, Erica Corcovado is getting mentioned on the show yet again, second week in a row. Um, but he, uh, published a post and was a specky boy speaking the way that calm an introduction to the WordPress theme, that Jason file and this whole theme that Jason file stuff has been getting a lot of press lately. And, uh, I know Liam, you just recently, um, finished up and released a client project. Uh, what’s your take on the theme that Jason file.
Speaker 3 00:16:29 Yeah, that’s I was, I was looking at, uh, at Eric’s posts and that’s a lot more technical than I get into it. So I, I I’m thinking about that blocks are still complicated to make, from my perspective, as a designer, uh, you know, I can read a little bit of code. I can kind of make something for it, but I am, I don’t think like a developer, my, my first process is it not, let me see if I can write some code, you know, that’s probably my approach is more ultimately comes to code. Let me turn to somebody who knows how to do it, but I like the idea of something that is a bit more portable between different projects or different websites or different systems that I really like where everything isn’t at the block level or in the database. It’s a little bit easier to just grab this from one theme and pop it into another kind of getting back to that boiler plate or that starter theme.
Speaker 1 00:17:25 So basically what theme that Jason is, it’s a canonical way to define the settings of the block out of there. And what it does is it offers steam developers, granular control over how various blocks are styled and what options are available to users in the back end. So it allows for like a site-wide defaults for styling colors, fonts, even the editor itself, but it also enables developers to go deeper and manage things any per block basis. So I was kind of, I read this article and I was kind of thinking, you know, back in the day, if I saw something I liked on a website, like how something looked out, just looking use the inspector tool, maybe find the CSS that’s related to it and try and pick and choose, copy and paste some of that stuff into my own website, which I dunno, it seemed, it seemed like it would work. Usually it doesn’t, but it seems like with this, uh, kind of portable new theme that Jason filed technique for themes and styling, that I’d be able to pick and choose different bits and pieces from within the, within that theme, that Jason file, add it to my own theme that Jason file for the theme I’m using. And I think it would a kind of a little bit like plug and play. It seems like that it seems like that’s going to be possible.
Speaker 2 00:18:39 Uh, maybe a little bit more. I think there’s still some complexity there in terms of like, um, how, you know, how blocks work and stuff like that. The article kind of shows, um, using like the 2019 theme and some like of the default themes, what theme dot Jason, like quote unquote options are available. Um, but yeah, when I looked at this as someone who was like a tinkerer, um, I don’t consider myself a developer either. I look at this and I’m like, Ooh, this feels empowering, like to the, you know, the quick ability to like set things as true and false to enable or disable options. Um, that’s super helpful to me because some of the sites that I help manage the like publishing staff are not tech savvy at all. And so if I can disable some of these options to make it so that they can even kind of mess up the look and feel of a site, I mean, that seems like a really good thing.
Speaker 2 00:19:26 And I kind of goes back to the discussion we’ve had previously where I liked the idea of, you know, making the publishing of content feel very simple for the people that that’s all they want to do. Right? So the idea of having blocks that are locked in position where you can change the text and the image, but you can’t like move the block or totally mess it up. The idea that now we can turn off a bunch of these options and make it very simplistic for, you know, a writer or a publisher to be able to interact with these things on your site. I just, I love this direction. I love these options that we’re being given.
Speaker 1 00:20:01 So this, sorry, go ahead, Jeff. I was just going to say that kind of branches off in a 12, a broader conversation where I’ve I’ve, um, I’ve been participating in the Twitter spaces were press Hangouts that Brad Williams has been doing on Fridays at 1:00 PM. I think it’s at 1:00 PM on Fridays and there’s a left turn. There’s a lot of people that hang out there and I was listening to a lot of, um, agency type people describe, you know, how they build sites for clients. And I asked a question. I said, you know, basically what you’re telling me is no, why don’t you just either create your own CMS or you’re practically stripping WordPress down to the bare bones. I mean, why not just create your own CMS? And they said, no. I mean, WordPress has all of these things and it wouldn’t, doesn’t make sense to recreate of that work that’s available. But, but by and large, it seems like for all these various client projects, the it’s always about slumming down WordPress to the bare nitty gritty and give the client only what they need to get the job done. That’s kinda, that’s kind of what you were describing there, Malcolm. Yeah, for sure.
Speaker 3 00:21:05 Yeah. I mean really excited by that because we’re just because we can make everything purple on a website doesn’t mean we should. And, and one of the great things about the block editor, if people can do whatever they want, but that’s also a real danger from a design consistency, you, or, you know, presentational consistency. And so if you’ve got four or five different people and somebody always makes a heading purple and somebody else makes it orange, there’s, you know, there’s, there’s some problems with that and locking that down, uh, helps visual presentation, consistency among other things. So I liked that idea and that it’s going to be a simple editable file. It’s pretty exciting to me.
Speaker 2 00:21:46 Have you had to deal with that much in your career, Liam, where a, you hand over a project and it’s beautiful and perfect. And it’s your little baby and you’re happy with it and go fly Liberty and then like, you know, six months later.
Speaker 1 00:22:00 Yeah,
Speaker 2 00:22:00 Exactly.
Speaker 3 00:22:04 Question Malcolm. Yeah, of course, of course. Um, and you know, one of the, one of the things that, that the block editor gets built, that I send out, anybody can build these things and anybody can design these things. And I think that’s something that really gets left out of the equation. A lot in talking about the block editor is that yes, you know, with a little bit of guidance and some self-training, everybody, anybody can do a page layout, or you can make a three column layout. You can make a, uh, you can use the tools that WordPress now has within them to, to make websites. But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be well-designed. It doesn’t mean that the fonts are going to be consistent. It doesn’t mean that the colors are going to work within the brand in that way. And since we’re on the conversation today, I’ll just share that as something that I think gets left out a lot, that, that just because we can doesn’t mean we should, right. I mean, technically in WordPress, we could go into the theme editor and edit our themes directly there, we shouldn’t. And there was a notice there, if you go in there, WordPress has a notice that says, don’t do this. You really don’t want to do this, only do this. If you know what you’re doing.
Speaker 1 00:23:13 And speaking to that, uh, what was one of the things that in your experience when you, cause you just recently built a, uh, a client site using the black editor, I think you use off core blocks. And one of the things you had mentioned was, uh, you you’d like to see more abilities, more like, I guess, what was it, filters and hooks to be able to lock things down more.
Speaker 3 00:23:34 Yeah. I mean, that’s exactly, it, it, it’s, again, I’ve filtered student hooks, you know, I know what those phrases mean in a WordPress sense, but I don’t know actually how to use them. And I’m looking for the plugin that has the, that I need and maybe this theme Jason’s going there. I think, and one of the times I spoke about that project, Jeff, uh, rich Tabor was on the call and talked about the various signage. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:23:56 And if there’s anyone he knows about that, Jason, it’s him.
Speaker 3 00:23:59 Yeah. He’s dialed into it. So I think that’s what we’re looking for. And it’s really to enable clients to keep and maintain what they’ve paid for. They’ve paid for design, they’ve paid for good construction and we want to help them keep them in the same way that, you know, I don’t log into my accountants, QuickBooks installation and help update my bookkeeping there. Right. That just doesn’t make any sense. Let the accountant keep that. I don’t, I don’t log on to my lawyer’s, uh, server and update the contract that I’ve asked her to update for me. Um, and that’s kind of the same things, right. All my contract and purple. Uh, so, so I think it’s, it’s really about getting the tool to the point where we can hand it off to businesses that might not be in their site everyday. They might not have a marketing team. It might not have a content team. So they’re in there once a month, two times a quarter, and they want to find the right place to update the copy and not accidentally mess the design up. And, and, you know, in the old days that was accustomed the field with advanced fields, right. A custom theme, I’m sorry, with advanced fields, advanced custom fields for my tongue to strip in left. Right. And center. Sorry guys.
Speaker 1 00:25:16 Uh, well, Malcolm I’ve, uh, I’ve been coming to a realization lately. Do you want to know what it is? Of course, um, that when I’m in the WordPress backend in the post editor, I’m not really writing anymore. I’m building, I’m not writing posts, I’m building posts with these blocks and I don’t like it. Uh, and I, but you know, I’m, I’m trying to get to grips with the fact that, um, no, I’m trying to, I’m trying to, right. The conversation has been taking place within the past few weeks, faculty. I think we’ve talked about it now twice on the previous two episodes about the writing experience and WordPress. And it’s trying to, I don’t know, man, it’s a, it’s really bothering me. Like, like a lot of folks are telling me to use classic press or use the classic editor. And it’s like, I don’t, I don’t want to do that.
Speaker 1 00:26:12 I want to just have this, this native. I want the native experience of writing content to work. And I’m me. I don’t use columns. I don’t use this. I don’t use that. I use, uh, quotes, maybe some images, some paragraphs that’s about all I need. And it still feels like a pain because I’m not I’m. I got to manage all these little things in blacks and content areas. And it’s just, ah, I don’t know, it’s driving me nuts, but you know, I’m realizing now that this is the, this is the future. This is the way it’s going to be. I’m just going to have to deal with it with the blacks where I’m not, I don’t write anymore. I’d build.
Speaker 1 00:26:49 So that’s my realization, my little rant. Uh, so speaking of plugins, if you haven’t updated, if you’re an opt-in monster and you haven’t updated to the latest version, you, uh, you better do that, should put that on your priority list. A word friends, published details of several security vulnerabilities. They discovered in the opt-in monster in back on September 28th, 2021. Um, according to the report, OptinMonster monster released a patch the following day. However, there was additional work that needed that needed to be done. I met patch and the fully pass version was released on October 7th as 2.6 0.5. And at the time I wrote up the article, the most recent version was 2.6 0.6. Now the majority of the problem was that the rest API end points that were implemented, uh, they were, they were done so insecurely, which made it possible for unauthenticated users to access them.
Speaker 1 00:27:44 In fact, one of the end points disclosed sensitive data such as the full site path on the server and API keys needed to make requests to the opt in monster website and what that API key, um, an attacker can actually make changes to any campaign associated with the site, uh, uh, site connected sites, connected the opt in monster account and, and malicious JavaScript that would execute anytime a campaign was displayed on the exploited site, uh, very bad, bad stuff, bad way of implementing the rest API end points. However, they’ve patched it up. It should be AOK now. So make sure that you’re running up to monster 2.6 0.5 or above to, uh, protect yourself from those vulnerabilities.
Speaker 2 00:28:28 One of the issues that I have with these kinds of things. Um, so I’m dealing a lot with the client facing side of WordPress these days, and I still receive a lot of anxiety about updating key feature plugins in WordPress, right? What if opt-in monster, if I update it to latest version, it breaks and I have to like walk them through the fact that, well, if you don’t update it, like this is a security vulnerability, and it could be really bad for you. And so it’s sad that I have to help them weigh the pros and cons of that still to this day, um, to determine whether or not it’s it’s worth updating. And, uh, yeah, I don’t know if either of you have ever had that experience before, but it it’s, you know, either on like convincing someone else or, you know, needing to kind of mentally convince yourself, like, okay, I’m going to update this plugin and it’s a key feature or function on my website. And hopefully it still works after I do that.
Speaker 1 00:29:21 Well, I don’t know. I checked my email and it says some plugins have been updated automatically gravity forms is not running, blah, blah, blah. And I’m like sweet. Then I go onto the website just to make sure it’s not white screen.
Speaker 2 00:29:32 Right. Yeah. I mean, but like if your, if your payment solution for advertising died tomorrow because you updated it, I mean, now you got to choose like, do you revert? Do you like work with the developer and try to figure out why your specific instance isn’t working? Did you, you know, like all of those things kind of always come to light every time this happens. And, um, you know, I think it’s, it’s I had hoped at this point in WordPress’s development, it wouldn’t have been a conversation anymore. There’s a lot of things built in to try to help that. But I mean, it doesn’t automatically do like regression testing to make sure all the functionality still works. Um, because it can’t, and it’s, it’s kind of a difficult thing to deal with.
Speaker 1 00:30:11 So, so if you’re working on a client site and you’re, you’re, you’re working with them or you’re, you’re walking them through the upgrade process, do you first back up their site and you tell them to back up their site first before upgrading anything
Speaker 2 00:30:24 At all? Sure. I mean, when I pass off a site, I always give them the whole rigmarole of like how to do it properly and stuff like that. If we’re not just click the
Speaker 1 00:30:31 Button and say to hell with it, let’s go, let’s see what happened. Whereas you do do That’s right. Because if it breaks, when the site comes back, I got something to write about,
Speaker 2 00:30:43 Oh, you’re going to give me a anxiety attack here. Okay. So, no, I don’t want my class do that. Yeah, I know you do, but I do not let my clients do that, but it’s, it’s still a point of frustration, especially when it’s a central business function of the website. I think that, you know, one of the things I deal with sometimes is if they’re not my client, like actively my client anymore. Um, and they click update on a plugin, that’s a central feature of their thing and it breaks. I mean, they look at me going, they look at WordPress going, like, why does WordPress suck? And then they look at me going, like, why did you, why do you suck for making us use this tool as a central feature for our website? Um, and so I think like we just more needs to happen with making sure that these upgrades, especially security upgrades on the balance, you know, make sense and don’t come with any kind of game breaking changes. And, uh, I think that’s always going to be a struggle, but I just think it’s kind of worth pointing out as, as you know, probably like a million people go to update opt-in monster.
Speaker 1 00:31:41 Yeah. It’s been a long time since I’ve upgraded anything on the website and it just burns, it comes back as a white screen. It’s been awhile.
Speaker 3 00:31:51 Yeah, sure. I think a big part of our job in coordinating and working with and in guiding clients is really to educate them and to speak in ways that relate to what they’re used to day-to-day and, you know, makes perfect sense for us that when we update a single plugin, you know, made by a company, even like opt-in monster a solid company, great code, but you know, they’re making it for how many millions of sites and they can’t possibly test on every unique configuration. And even if we’re using a good host and a reputable provider, and we’ve got other quality plugins on there and a quality theme, things can still break, right? I mean, their code is written by humans and it runs on machines made by humans. Inevitably things can break. And I, I, I find that if over time, if we can teach our clients to understand that things break, you know, even their car breaks or computers break the stakes as lawyers or accountants or plumbers or whatever there is, and we just can’t control everything.
Speaker 3 00:32:51 And so it’s, we try to put as much in place as we can, like quality hosting, regular backups back up before you update things, all the kind of best practices that we hear so much about in the WordPress community. Those have come a long way. I mean, if you thought about updating websites 10 years ago, it’s, I mean, now it’s a click of a button, but you used to have to do all this stuff by hand and drag things and SFTP and all the other things that, that, that used to be much more laborious, but now companies have, have made that so much easier. Um, and I wonder if it’s almost like, like, you know, if would be great to get some kind of stat, like, you know, like opt-in monster opt-in monster updated in of the 4 million installs 17 broke the site or something like that. So like, statistically, it’s just, it’s just not really a concern, uh, day to day. I mean, it’s, yes, it’s a real problem. And for the 17 people who cite it, the white screen of death, it’s, it’s huge problem, but that doesn’t mean that we should stop updating plugins because statistically it’s, it’s not,
Speaker 1 00:33:56 It’s a real concern. No, one’s been educated me cause I still use password is my password on the site.
Speaker 3 00:34:01 Oh my goodness.
Speaker 1 00:34:03 Killing me. Uh, so let’s see here, um, by the way, uh, GoDaddy has been, uh, if anybody has been looking for, um, like webinars to, to educate yourself on how to create a black and WordPress or, or what’s going on with Gutenberg or even full site editing, if you go to, I think it’s events that go to eddie.com or GoDaddy pro I have a link or URL in the show notes, but th they they’ve been doing a great job lately with a bunch of webinars. Um, Alex has been a great series on how to build a block and how to manipulate it and, uh, assigned colors and things like that to it. So definitely check that out. And, uh, by the way, speaking of go, daddy, uh, if you’re looking to increase your productivity, one tool that helps thousands, maybe even millions of what developers and designers do every day is go to Eddie pro.
Speaker 1 00:34:58 And what GoDaddy pro does that combined site client and project management all under one roof. So, uh, 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 your clients. Uh, so you can manage clients, you can do all that stuff real easy, real convenient, all from a single place. And who, uh, if you, if you manage a multiple clients, you know, it’s got to be real nice. Now you don’t have to worry about keeping everything in a Excel spreadsheet or anything of that nature. You can have everything right there in one place. So for more information, check it out@godaddy.com forward slash pro. And thank you very much folks for helping me pay the bills.
Speaker 3 00:35:39 I caught. Alex’s a webinar on what was it? Thursday afternoon, Friday?
Speaker 1 00:35:43 Did you see, as it was, was a part three, I think it was three on how to build a block
Speaker 3 00:35:48 And I’ve, I’ve never met him before. I’ve never seen a webinar with him. I’ve never watched a WordPress TV video, and I was only about two thirds paying attention to it. Cause I was trying to get a couple other things done, but my gosh, he’s a fantastic presenter. Has his tone, his approach, his process of walking through it. Uh, I was, I was really impressed. I, I made a mental note to have to come back and actually give it the full attention. Cause I was, I was really impressed by his teaching style.
Speaker 1 00:36:22 Yeah, I agree. I watched about half of it. Uh, I agree. I, his teaching style was on point and, uh, I was actually like understanding kind of what the heck was going
Speaker 2 00:36:33 On. So wait, does that mean Jessica to make a block?
Speaker 1 00:36:36 No, I’m sick of blocks.
Speaker 2 00:36:39 Jeff’s going to make one
Speaker 1 00:36:40 I’m blanking on soft block. Yeah. It’s going to
Speaker 3 00:36:42 Make it live on its production site. Yeah, of course he
Speaker 2 00:36:45 Will.
Speaker 1 00:36:46 Yes. Yes I will. Uh, so how about this, the first WordPress, maybe the first WordPress agency to accept cryptocurrency payments, uh, you linked to this, uh, Malcolm, what do you think about this?
Speaker 2 00:37:04 So I thought it was interesting that WebDevStudios recently completed a project that they were compensated for in Ethereum. I thought that was super interesting. Um, I’m not surprised, uh, you know, the founders like the executive team in that company are very progressive, um, very interested in what’s happening with, you know, uh, NFTs and, uh, cryptocurrencies and blockchain and all those kinds of technologies and how it could potentially, you know, um, work its way into kind of WordPress and publishing and things like that. Um, the, the fact that it was, you know, potentially, uh, you know, multiple thousands of dollars for taking payments in Ethereum. Like I just, I dunno something tickled me about that. And will we see other agencies do these
Speaker 1 00:37:50 It’s a transaction. I mean, I thought it was interesting that when they sold the project for one app, one app was worth 30, a hundred dollars, but now it’s worth $4,447. So they, they made bank on. I met what it is, it’s an investment. Uh, I mean, it could’ve went the other way. So still could have the pick that they received a payment of $3,800 with one app, but that $3,800 turned into $4,447 without having to do anything that’s related to the project. The project was already sold already done, but you know, it could’ve went the other way to worth AF would have dropped in value then, you know, bonus to, I guess, the, uh, the client and what have you. But, so I mean, they, that they’re willing to accept the risk involved with, with ETH and that, uh, if anybody else who’s going to get involved in accept cryptocurrency should also know and respect the risk involved.
Speaker 2 00:38:50 And that’s just, it, isn’t it like, is it worth taking on that risk? I mean, if it’s the difference between getting the client and not getting the client, maybe, but outside of that, I don’t know that I would take on that, that, um, I’m, you know, I am invested in cryptocurrencies, but I’m not like one of those Polish to the moon going to make me a million dollars kind of people about cryptocurrency. So I don’t know that I would take the risk that how
Speaker 1 00:39:15 Much, how much are you gonna charge me in doge coin Coin or whatever? I don’t
Speaker 2 00:39:21 Know. Yeah. And I mean, we’ve seen periods of time where the, it has gone up or down by as much as like 30% over the course of a week. Um, you know, in, in terms of major coins, uh, decentral land, which is a, the coin name, uh, for Manoj, M a N a um, you know, recently over the last week has gone up 221%. Right. So if you’d put in a thousand dollars in that you would have, you know, a $2,000 worth of that coin today in us dollars. So you have no idea and that’s over a week, so you have no idea what these cryptocurrencies are going to do. Um, you might think you do, but you don’t. Uh, and I think it’s, it’s interesting and it’s fun and it’s a gamble. And I mean, I, a lot of people can’t help, but gamble. Um, I guess, you know, the, the risk was probably fairly low when you’re looking at something like, you know, um, Bitcoin or Ethereum or some of those other main coins, but I don’t know. I thought it was kinda neat, but also, I don’t know that I would take that. Bet. What about your land? Would you get paid in a cryptocurrency
Speaker 3 00:40:26 Currently? No. Cause I know almost nothing about it, you know, beyond Twitter scrolling, um, you know, I understand the concept, but in terms of, of, of how to actually trade it. No, I, I wouldn’t, but like you I’m really interested in that and I’d be interested in knowing the size of the project that a web dev took on, because I could see, you know, if it’s 10,000 and, and, and I’m not saying it was, and I don’t, you know, Brad and I are good friends and, but, you know, I don’t ask him about his numbers. So I know nothing about project sizes that they handle. I know they do very big, but I also know they do some smaller ones, uh, that I could see if it was 10,000, I could see like, you know, even my business I’ll take it in that it might be a complete wash.
Speaker 3 00:41:06 I might not get nothing, but for 10,000, I really get to learn about, get the inside scoop. I get, if I was progressed to the point where Brad is in his knowledge, I think it’s a really interesting way to see how that might work. Right. You know, if we think about, well, I don’t really do this kind of, I don’t know, web design, I don’t really build a net system, but let me, let me take that on as a, I want to get into it. I want to learn, I want to know more, so I’ll take more risks knowing that, you know, I might walk away with nothing or, you know, the number of hours that I put into it. Uh, don’t don’t come back to me, but, but I like it. And I would be interested to know, like, how does, how does that work into like bookkeeping and accounting?
Speaker 3 00:41:47 Right. You know, we made taxes thousands and 2.5 F like, well, I don’t know. Um, I’m so bad at bookkeeping and accounting as it is, but I, I was interested to see that and I expect that if it worked out for them, that it could be the kind of thing that I dunno, some Silicon valley backed VC might be inclined to, to come and look for them because they know that the leaders of that company are open and understand it and want to engage with it. And therefore there might be other work there as well. So not just taking it from a kind of novelty money standpoint, I don’t mean novelty in a silly way, but, you know, in a cutting edge way, but also like this could be a differentiator that we’re one of the leading agencies that knows how to build with the biggest or most well-known most popular content management systems. And we understand an Ft
Speaker 2 00:42:45 Or cryptocurrencies or whatever. Yeah. So Jeff, how long, how long until WP mainline allows donations and, uh, you know, doge coin or Shiva, you know, or, you know, Bitcoin or,
Speaker 1 00:42:55 Well, I mean, I do have a metal mask wallet set up, so I do, I do have an NFC Allahu NFT.
Speaker 2 00:43:02 So you got to put your wallet address on your site so everyone can donate, uh, you know, the, like, you know, a sh you know, a singular Sheba, you know, which would be worth like 0.0006 reserves.
Speaker 1 00:43:12 But at least I own it. Yeah, you don’t it easily, I guess. And by the, and by the way, speaking about all this crypto coin and all this stuff, you know, I went to a place last night where it’s a cash, only their systems are down. I said, what the hell is cash? So I had to go run over a discount drug Mart, go to the ATM and in my wallet right now for the first time, in like two years there’s cash in my wallet. And it’s weird. I don’t know. I thought I’d share that story,
Speaker 2 00:43:40 Funnily enough, to kind of go on top of that. Um, I went to the Philippines over a year ago and the only cash in my wallet is money from the Philippines. And I, I never converted it back. And so now I just have this Filipino money in my wallet, and I don’t have any like local Canadian cash or anything like that. It’s just a couple of bills that Filipino money probably worth like the equivalent of like five bucks American or whatever. But yeah, it’s just kinda funny.
Speaker 1 00:44:03 No, wait a minute, have you tried to buy anything? Like, do you just whip it out on the counter and you try and buy something and they just look at you going, what is that? Yeah,
Speaker 2 00:44:11 No, I haven’t done that yet, but I probably should. It’d be
Speaker 1 00:44:12 Funny, but one of the pieces of advice that, and this was an interview that Matt Madeiros of WP minute did with Lisa Sabin Wilson. And I think this was good advice. She says, make it easier on yourself and deal with what you know, to be true at the time of the agreement or transaction. If Beth is worth 4,000 USD, then use that as your metric for pricing. Don’t try to speculate on its worth tomorrow or next week. Crypto carries with it a certain amount of risk. So come to terms with that first and then work with what you know, to be true in the moment. And I thought that was good advice. Well, once you start speculating or started thinking about it going up or down and having that kind of speculation involved with the pricing of the project, I think you could get real muddy real fast. So you just, you just, you just pick a point in time and just go with it. I agree. And let the chips fall where they may. Uh, so let’s see that’s about it for stories of the week. Is there anything else really
Speaker 2 00:45:15 Well? I mean, I mean, the, the big thing in my opinion is, oh, here we go. If you’re listening to this podcast and you’re not supporting WP main line, Jeff has created a whole bunch of ways to do it, and we will get him to put his metal mask wallet address out there. So you can start sending them money on that way, too. But, um, if you haven’t seen the really cool advertising, like the custom box car things, you definitely gotta go check out WP mainline.com and see those advertisements. He also has a system where you can become a member of the website, and basically that supports this podcast, other content creation, other things that we will eventually get Jeff to do, maybe including even making his own block. Um, so go ahead and check out W2 main line and check out all the different advertising and sponsorship options that are available today.
Speaker 1 00:45:56 Uh, my own block or Jeff will build you a block. It’s kind of funny in between where the signals are on the train and, uh, the railroad, uh, the different sections are called blocks. So there you go. Just, I can’t get away with it, even if I tried even my fast and then my passion for trains blocks, I’ve gotta do a blocks and trains.
Speaker 2 00:46:23 When’s the new box are coming out by the way.
Speaker 1 00:46:25 Uh, if there’s no delay and he launches on Monday, then we will, everyone will see the, do the woo fresh rebranded Mike’s car on Monday. Perfect. Bob WP. And, uh, yeah, I w I would very much like anybody out there. If you’ve got a plug in, if you’ve got a service, you’ve got an agency. I mean, don’t rely on me. Get rid of me bypass the moment, AKA me just buy the box car. You get something really cool made. You can keep it, you could share it. It’ll be on the website. It’ll advertise a point and link to whatever it is you want to advertise. Then you don’t have to worry about me and hope that I write about your flagging product or service. It could be bad review could be good review, but now you just pay me 500 bucks to get something nice and cool on a reputable WordPress site. And then that’s it easy peasy, easy marketing, very sound investment.
Speaker 2 00:47:21 Let me tell you, I mean, yes, of course sounds right.
Speaker 1 00:47:24 Yes, very, very much sound. Uh, so, um, that’s going to do it for this episode of a WP mainline podcast is Saturday edition. You can find show notes for this episode and all other episodes on WP mainline.com, just click the podcast link, and you can follow me on Twitter at Jeffery J E F F R zero, where you can see me rant and rave about how I hate writing in WordPress, because I’m building, I’m not writing anymore. It’s sad and Malcolm, where can we find,
Speaker 2 00:48:01 I mean, you can find me at, uh, find purpose on Twitter and always you can reach out to me through Canberra creative, um, where I’m a product owner and Preston, where I am the co-founder
Speaker 1 00:48:13 And Liam, thank you very much for being a part of, uh, being a part of this crew. And, uh, tell us a little bit about you and where can people follow you?
Speaker 3 00:48:22 Yeah, no, thanks for the invite to be here. And I’m going to take just amendment Jeff to thank you. You started the show by talking about some of the challenges you’re facing in your own life around anxiety and, and that’s not easy to face, and it’s certainly, I would expect not easy to talk about. So thank you that you are talking about that, uh, that helps normalize the challenges that others face. And I’m very grateful to you for, for doing that. And I’ll even go so far as to say, I’ll invite you to think about how you said Friday was kind of a wasted day, but maybe it was a day that was well spent in that you were taking care of yourself. It was not how you intended to spend it. You did not get through your to-do list, but had you tried to get through your to-do list, you might not be in a position to record and get this done today. So thank you very much for, for your putting yourself out there in such a public way. I really appreciate it. That you’re
Speaker 1 00:49:23 Welcome.
Speaker 3 00:49:24 And if you’re looking for me online, you can find me at Liam Dempsey on Twitter, Liam, dempsey.com. And I work with, uh, my own business called lb design, and we’re on a few different outlets and, uh, wow. That’s not really rough. Clearly I’m getting Friday or Saturday afternoon brain, and there’ll be designed that TV like television.
Speaker 1 00:49:47 Nice. Okie dokie. So that’s going to do it for this episode. And, uh, I don’t know, based on some of the things I was talking about earlier, uh, Malcolm may be taking some anxiety meds. I don’t know. We’ll see. Keep you updated. We’ll talk to you again next Friday afternoon. So long everybody

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