I’ve got to be honest – I tried the Block Editor for WordPress when it first came out and again more recently and just plain don’t like it.

Having been using Divi since 2014 and seeing how the page builder experience has evolved to be so user friendly, zippy and engaging, I found the block editor to feel dated, clunky and cumbersome.

However, there is a growing number of folks in the WordPress community who actually really enjoy the block editor and who are being very patient with it’s development as WordPress tried to move it to the forefront of being a native WP building experience.

One of those folks is Nathan Wrigly who’s the co-host of both the WPBuilds Podcast and the uber popular Page Builder Summit.

In this podcast chat, Nathan shares his enthusiasm and hopefulness for the much maligned WordPress Block Editor and really opened my eyes to a different perspective of thinking about how potentially useful a native WP building block experience can be, particularly when bouncing between different themes and page builders.

If you’re like me and have not been impressed by the block editor, I hope this convo gives you a different perspective about it as well!

In this episode:

00:00 – Future of WordPress Block Editor
03:32 – Changes and Evolution of Web Design
12:01 – The Popularity of Web Design Platforms
18:27 – WordPress Block’s Excitement and Future
31:37 – WordPress Tools
43:13 – Feedback and Cheers for WordPress

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Connect with Nathan:

Episode #303 Full Transcription

Nathan: 0:00
Because if you try to move the timeline module to Divi or Elementor, you can’t. It’s locked into that page builder. The promise of the block editor is that you’ll be able to take that anywhere. Take it to any other WordPress website and you’ll literally highlight with your mouse command C, go to your other website, command V, you just paste in the block and everything just works out of the game. I nearly said out of the block. But the point is it can do all of that and with a little bit of practice you can build those things yourself.

Josh: 0:52
Welcome, friends, in episode three hundred and three. We’ve been talking a lot recently on the podcast about WordPress and where it’s at in relation to other platforms, other website builders, and there’s definitely a lot going on as far as changes go in the landscape of web design and where WordPress is. And a question that I see a lot and that I honestly kind of wonder myself is is WordPress on the decline and how are people who are getting into web design now viewing WordPress? Is WordPress going to be going to be able to continue to combat other platforms such as Wix, squarespace, webflow and others that are really taking off? Where does it fit in the DIY crowd versus the designer and developer crowd? So many questions I’ve had about WordPress myself, so I wanted to bring some on the on the podcast, who is a big time WordPress proponent and knows a lot about WordPress because he’s been in the industry for a very long time and he’s been in the WordPress community for a very long time. In fact, he actually has a podcast about WordPress. This is Nathan Wrigley, who is the co-host of the WP builds podcast, and one thing I really appreciate about Nathan, among many things, apart from also being the co-host of the page builder summit, which is one of the top summits for WordPress and web design. But he is also a big fan of the block editor. And the block editor for WordPress has not gone over well for a lot of people, including myself, but I got some hope with it after hearing Nathan and his perspective on this. You know we recently had Dave Foyon on the podcast, who is all about Bricks, and Bricks is one of the newest and most popular page builders for WordPress and he was even talking about not jiving with the block editor for WordPress, but for anyone who does, it’s really interesting to hear their perspective on it and that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about more with Nathan Wrigley here. So I’m going to bring Nathan on again, go to WPBuildscom to connect with Nathan and to subscribe to the WP builds podcast. Really, really fun chatting with somebody who is not a different mindset with WordPress but has a different perspective on WordPress from what I’ve had and really kind of set me at ease with what he’s seen in the landscape and where things are headed. So I hope for you who are a WordPress supporter and don’t want it to go anywhere and don’t want it to go on the decline. I think you’ll have some hope in life after this conversation. So, without further ado, here is Nathan Wrigley of the WP builds podcast. But yeah, nathan, it’s great to have you on the show. Man, I figured today we’ll dive into kind of maybe the state of WordPress and just web design general, because there’s a lot of changes afoot. Is that kind of what you’ve seen in the industry?

Nathan: 3:43
Yeah, there is a lot, there’s tons going on in the WordPress space at the moment, in fact, more so, I would say, than at any point in the past. I mean, I’ve not been using it since right at the beginning. I probably began my WordPress journey in about 2014. Okay, and although there was a lot of new, innovative things coming along, they were basically in the plug-in and theme space and that was very interesting. But at the moment, the WordPress core itself, the actual software that you would download from the repository WordPressorg, the software that you use, that you then throw plugins and themes on top of that itself has been undergoing a dramatic change over the last three, four, five years.

Josh: 4:20
And just for some context, what were you using leading up to that? I think I heard in a recent episode that you were using Drupal at one point. Yeah, that’s right.

Nathan: 4:30
I began making Word Sorry Web site so synonymous in my head with WordPress and websites that I often say the wrong word. I began making websites before the year 2000. And it was all tables based layouts and it was in that era where you had to open up a text editor or something. There was a Microsoft product called Front Page, which was awful but fairly good at the time.

Josh: 4:52
That was the trickier thing to Dreamweaver right. Dreamweaver was like brilliant. I was dreaming of a Dreamweaver, a real game changer.

Nathan: 4:59
Yeah, that was amazing. So I used those kind of things, but mainly it was a text editor. And then CSS came along and that made a lot of things a lot easier. And then I discovered CMSs, so content management systems, so, yeah, things like Drupal and Magento, and I did for a long, long time well, not quite as long as WordPress, but probably for four years or something I used Drupal and I have absolutely no axe to grind with Drupal at all. I really enjoyed it. It was absolutely fascinating Different environment in that more or less everything in the Drupal ecosystem was completely free. There hadn’t been a flip over to commercial pro modules so they use the word module instead of plug-in and literally everything was free. Now, what that meant was that the community didn’t kind of grow in the same way, because you had to really commit a lot of time for the benefit of the project and there was no opportunity to sort of commercialize that. So at some point I just thought, okay, time to change. Drupal, moved over to version eight and when they did a major update from six to seven, seven to eight and so on, they break compatibility largely with previous versions, whereas WordPress, for good reason, has decided not to break compatibility. That’s not always the case, but broadly speaking. So when it came to Drupal eight, I swapped over and just looked towards WordPress, and I’ve never looked back.

Josh: 6:27
Never looked back. Well, I love talking with folks who have been in the industry for over 10 to 15 years, because there’s so many changes that have happened recently, but also back then. But I’m kind of curious. So how long have you been in the industry of web design? 20 plus year.

Nathan: 6:43
Yeah, but basically I mean, I don’t run a big agency. I never had. I’ve never had pretensions at that, but also I don’t think I would have been very good at that. I’m not very good at managing my time. Compared to people who seem to be successful in the agency space, I think they’ve got a much better grip of their time. For me it was all about building local websites for local people, or at least you know sites that are reasonably local to me, and so it has. It’s been about 20 years, Like most people who have been doing it for as long as I have. It was a case of just doing something that interested me. There really wasn’t a career back then in web design. You just sort of fell into it because some relation or friend said that they needed a website and you know, you’re the guy that knows how to switch the printer on, so you can be the guy that tells the website, and so that’s kind of how it grew. And back then it was so much more straightforward that the end results were less good than they are now, but the required knowledge was so much simpler.

Josh: 7:44
You basically got to learn a bunch of.

Nathan: 7:47
Sorry, you go on.

Josh: 7:48
I was just gonna say this is such a great point. I started to interrupt, I, but you’re hitting on an interesting point right up front, which is, like I feel like the barrier to entry. While it was a lot harder to build websites, it’s probably fair to say they were so much less overwhelmed back then, right, just because now, can you imagine getting into web design today? I mean, the people that I help early on, their biggest overwhelm is just so many choices. They’re like I don’t know, you know what platform to use with WordPress. There’s a ton of different themes and builders and there’s, like you know, there’s almost like information and optionality Overwhelm right now, yeah whereas back when I began, you literally had to learn a handful certainly less than a hundred Things about HTML.

Nathan: 8:32
So you had to learn that you could nest things inside of divs and that there was a p-tag and that there was an h-tag and things like that. And then you you had to learn a little bit later CSS, but the but, the, the things that you could do with CSS were far less sophisticated than they are now. But then again the expectations were far less. You weren’t trying to do a whole bunch of things and there was a little bit of JavaScript being thrown around, and then things like JQuery came along and made that slightly easier. But what I’m trying to say is you didn’t, you didn’t really have to have to spend too much time it with a book because it was a book. You were literally buying a book from a local bookstore because Amazon didn’t exist. You had to go into a bookstore and buy something like I don’t know HTML, primer, and you could read the thing in an afternoon or in a couple of days or something like that, and you you basically know Enough to get yourself started. There was no Google, so there was no obsession about SEO. There was no performance speed optimization. Nobody gave that a thought, so so long as the pixels appeared on the page and it looked half decent, then people would pay.

Josh: 9:39
Responsive design. No accessibility talk. No, no iPhone.

Nathan: 9:44
Right, there was just a desktop and but, but with with that you had yet all sorts of really thorny problems. Like you had a whole variety of different browsers which display things in different ways, were in a very lucky position now where the browser vendors seem to seem to speak to each other. So Mozilla talked to the chromium team and chromium talked to the Safari team and, broadly speaking, the pixels on the page look the same. But back back in the day, things like Internet Explorer 6, that was fun. Make a website, then show it in Internet Explorer 6, and that doesn’t even look vaguely sure.

Josh: 10:20
If you were starting today, nathan, what would what would make it easier for you? What would your process be to choose the right tool, because I mean, we’re gonna talk about WordPress and where it’s at in the market today and trends and everything but what. What would help you decide what tool to use? What would be the metrics that you measure that on?

Nathan: 10:39
Yeah, I guess it really does depend on what, what it is that you’re trying to do. So if you are trying to put pixels on a page and you’re trying to be a web Designer we don’t really use that term much anymore but if you’re trying to be an implement or of web pages, so you’re speaking to the end client I still think that WordPress is a Fantastic option, especially if you bundle into that the the suite of tools which go on top of it. And you know, we could argue until the cows come home Whether element or is preferable to beaver builder, or whether beaver builders better than Divi or the block editor aka Gutenberg. But that seems to me a really credible choice. It gets you up and running. There’s boat loads of YouTube tutorials which will guide you through almost every problem you could possibly imagine. I mean literally. I would imagine there’s a YouTube tutorial for every single problem that you would encounter. So I think WordPress bundled with a page builder Is probably a really, really credible way to go, because you could start and within a month, I would say, you could be up and running. You know, would you be brilliant at everything? No, would you be. You know good enough to put commercial things out. Yeah, you, you probably would. It’s a lifelong learning experience, but that would be a good way to get yourself off to the races. I think.

Josh: 12:01
What are your thoughts on tools like webflow, square space and some of these others, because they are gaining popularity, I found not even with just the DIY crowd, but there are a lot of web designers who like particularly webflow. I see Outside of, because my previous mindset was that a web designer is going to either do a custom coded site or WordPress, like even five years ago. No web does like true web designers Not many that I knew, at least. We’re using square space or wicks or things like that, but webflow in particular Seems to be a platform that I see a lot of web designers gravitating towards. I know a lot of my students are using it now. Yeah, that’s on some of those that are kind of the the ancillary options to work.

Nathan: 12:43
I think? I think they’re really credible Because, well, the internet has more or less eaten everything up, isn’t it? It’s, it’s made a commodity about just about everything. You know you can order your food through the internet, you can order your, the things that you consume, you know your ebooks or whatever, over the internet, and I think they’re really credible. You know, if you’re, if you’re owning a bricks and mortar store, you’ve got limited turnover, you’ve got a small budget and you’re happy to go with something like square space. That seems like a really credible thing. One of the things that I’ve always been keen on is owning your own data, because, allah Malti Although that is a that’s kind of like a hard problem to get hold of why that’s important, I think. Let’s imagine a scenario where square space fell out of favor and their bottom line just fell through the floor and they went out of business. Well then, so does your blog, so does all of the hardware you put into it, and although that doesn’t seem like it’s possible, there are the. You know the history of the internet is littered with companies that look like they would be around forever. You know, my space would be a perfect example. Look like it couldn’t fail and then Facebook ate its launch. So the the argument that I’ve always thought is I think you’re better off with a platform that you own and you run on. That data is yours and so I. I personally wouldn’t Touch those other platforms. I’m completely embedded in WordPress and committed to WordPress, but I can see how, at $19 a month whatever the price point is for those services, you know, $240 a year or something like that they’re pretty credible. Yeah, but I do think that the the problem that WordPress has faced is one of onboarding as much as anything else. You know that confusion when you first log in. I think the square spaces and the wicks have handled that really well. You pay it 20 bucks and within minutes you’ve got something that looks credible. You know we could talk about what the code is like and whether it passes call with vitals and things like that, but it looks great out of the box. You click a button, you got a template. But I think that a lot of the WordPress plug in landscape, the theme landscape and also the hosting Landscape quickly. Well, they already have for years. They’re waking up to the fact that this churn that WordPress has can be kind of gotten rid of by having onboarding wizards. There’s a load of hosting companies at the moment that you know. You pay something similar $20 a month, something like that and in the olden days you then be hit with C panel. Okay, now you got to install WordPress. Okay, now you? Where is? Now you’ll be hit with a. Okay, what kind of website do you want? What kind of business you in? What’s your preferred color scheme? Let’s press the AI button and you’ve got yourself a website in the same amount of time it would with wicks and square space, but they using it with with WordPress, and all of these endeavors are making WordPress More and more, more and more usable. I guess you get.

Josh: 15:42
Yeah, and a little bit maybe, but seems like WordPress in the hosting companies, in the in the sphere out like all the companies around it, are trying to make the UX and just the experience of getting things going and particularly the setting up phase, which used to be really cumbersome yeah just like you’re trying to take a book out of the page, out of the square space book or web flow book.

Nathan: 16:06
Yeah, I mean it wasn’t pleasant, was it? I mean, if you’re a non technical person, the idea that you paid your hosting company and then you’re introduced to see panel, it’s kind of old lord what I mean what do I do? now you know the facts of the beginning. But these, these hosting companies, you know you can name them all. We won’t name them individually, but you can name them right. You know who they are. They’re investing millions of dollars into the big problem that they’ve got, which is churn. They have thousands of people that come through their, their systems on a monthly basis and a proportion of them they can see the metrics. The telemetry says after a certain period of time, x percent fall off. We had them, we had them and then they just went away because they looked at WordPress and thought I don’t even know what to do with this. It’s taking care of that yeah, you mentioned.

Josh: 16:55
I feel like you almost called me out there without realizing it because you said you’re committed to WordPress and I have been for years and I still am. As far as my site, I still am a total WordPress guy through and through have been since 2012 when I got into it. But my community, my membership, which is called Web Designer Pro, is actually built on a platform called Circle and it is the only all in one self hosted style platform that I’ve ever committed to using and is freaking awesome. Like I am now a like 50 percent WordPress guy and in 50 percent Circle guy and I never thought that I would ever move from WordPress as far as another platform, because I could have created a membership in WordPress for sure. But when I heard about Circle and I had some mentors and colleagues of mine start using it once I got into it for the need of having my membership, which includes live calls, events and Community and courses and everything all included it ended up just. I still, to this day, think it was one of the best decisions for me in my business and it’s the reason I say that is because it’s like I’m not, I’m not, I’m not fully committing to any other platforms or anything. But it did change my mindset around like what is possible with an all-in-one solution like that, and before I would have never, even, you know, been tempted or been baited by a Buy something other than WordPress. But now, after seeing that, it does make me think like I wonder if that’s going to Impact WordPress over the next five to ten years.

Nathan: 18:27
Yeah, so I think it’s you know, you only have to cast your eyes around on on the web to realize that there are sass apps for everything, right, and they’re just. They’re just brilliant because they do this thing they do. They’ve zeroed in on Whatever the niche is. My understanding with circle I could be completely wrong, because I don’t use it, but my understanding with circle it’s like a, it’s like a community building platform, right, you, you can put courses in there and it’s like your own Facebook or something like that. You, you’ve just got all the things for people to talk to each other and you can put your courses in there and people can pay. Yeah, you can do that in WordPress. But if you’ve settled on this thing and it’s it’s, you know, there’s less design work to be done by you. There’s less I don’t know updates of software, less unexpected things. You can rely on it. Well, why not? I use, I use all sorts of sass platforms. There’s probably a WordPress equivalent for more or less every one of them, but it just, it’s quick, it’s easy, I know it. It’s not always the perfect solution, but I think in many cases it can be. But, yeah, I, I, I would imagine that WordPress is Reaches probably not going to be affected by these little things which do this one niche well.

Josh: 19:35
That’s well. That’s well said. I think there is a really Exciting time right now on web design where you can use both, depending on the situation in my. My situation currently is the perfect example Of that. I still love using Divi and having my WordPress site for my site, because I have full control of all the pages, all the design Elements, all the layouts, all everything that I want to do on my site that I couldn’t customize with circle, but circle in the way of, like the, the functionality of running a membership, doing calls, doing coaching. I don’t want to worry about that stuff on that side of things, I just want to do what I’m doing there. But I’m right, it’s a bit of a different, it’s almost a different Usability case for me. Like, I use my site at joshallco differently than I use my membership site. So yeah, it’s a good.

Nathan: 20:25
Yeah, I think there’s always gonna be a. There’s always gonna be a big place for sass. So, as an example, we’re recording this on a, on a like a Platform which allows you to record audio and video and it puts it up into the cloud and then later on you can download it that. Is there an alternative for this in WordPress? I actually don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there is. But this just works, right, you rely on it. There’s people, there’s bodies on the ground. If something goes wrong, you’ve got support over there. It just works. Yeah, I think the classification of the internet will not slow down. Yeah, I can’t see. I can’t see WordPress eating all of it.

Josh: 21:05
So that leads me to another question I was curious about from your perspective, because you you have the W, are a co-showrunner of the WP builds podcast, and I’m curious. One reason I was excited to talk to you, to Nathan, is you also? I talked to your partner in crime, anshin, who’s a part of my membership now. No, and she’s she’s gonna be on the podcast, I think, before this one will go out. Oh nice, she has a really interesting journey in the WordPress and everything too. But you do have a unique perspective, I think, because you’re you’re pretty far into the weeds with WordPress. Yeah, what, what excites you about WordPress?

Nathan: 21:38
Yeah, there’s an awful lot that excites me about WordPress. I think the most exciting thing at the moment is that what? So up until about three or four years ago, if you, if you’d logged into what? If you haven’t logged into WordPress for a long time, it’s really really changed the, the, the If you log in, you won’t immediately notice the difference. But if you in the past, if you wanted to create a post or a page or any content that would go on the front end, you, you use this little text editor and if you wanted to add in features, you would throw plugins in and then maybe you’d use short codes to put what that plugin did onto the page. Now we have this thing called the, the block editor, and the block editor Comes from a project called the Gutenberg project, and Gutenberg, if you know, he was the, the originator of the printing press all those years ago, and the block editor kind of atomizes the, the, the idea of a post or a page, so you can throw in. If you want to write text, you can throw in a paragraph block and that sits on the page and you start typing and Text magically appears there. If you want to chuck in an image, you can chuck in an image block and you can imagine what that does video, literally any kind of content that you can imagine. There’s a block for that, and if there isn’t a block in the version of WordPress that ships we call that WordPress core then there’s probably a Plug-in which will, you know, fill that gap. So there might be I don’t know some sort of countdown timer or something like that. There’s, there’s not a core block for that, but you can certainly find alternatives out there that will do all of the countdown time a thing. The thing is because it’s made of blocks and those blocks fit onto the canvas of the page. With a little bit of pulling and dragging and page builder type scenario, you can. You can move them anywhere. So the experience of editing things has become significantly better. Is it brilliant? I like it. Is it perfect? No, is it easy to learn? There’s a bit of a learning curve, but once you get over that hump, it’s great. But the promise of the block is the block is like a little app. It’s not like, it’s not just so. When I said it’s paragraphs and things like that, it doesn’t have to be just that. You could get somebody. You could do it yourself if you’re skilled enough, but you could get somebody to build. Let’s say you’re doing a real estate website and you want to sell houses. You could drop in a house block and the house block would then pester you and say what’s the address, what’s the price, upload at least 10 images Now find on a map where that house is, and that one block will do that all of that heavy lifting and you just chuck it onto the page, boom, and you’ve got yourself a real estate website. You can imagine that in just about any scenario. These blocks are like little mini apps and in the future. It’s beginning, but it’s not fully fleshed out yet. It’s the beginning. In the future, wordpress will become significantly more powerful because of these amazing blocks. The technology is very complicated, but it’s brilliant.

Josh: 24:46
Do you find the blocks scalable and maintainable and able to build on a more scalable level for something like a real estate site? Then, yeah, they really do.

Nathan: 24:57
Yeah, they’re incredible and most of the things load really quickly. Obviously, caveat emptor, if you try to chuck three trillion things into a block, you are going to make things slower, but typically it can be a very, very quick way of doing it. Like I said, it’s not that straightforward to set up. Well, it’s not straightforward, it’s just not as easy as perhaps I’m describing it, but anybody who wants to spend a bit of time, there’s an increasingly copious body of work being created by what we call the Learn Team, the WordPress Learn Team, and they’re creating tutorials around all of the new bits and pieces that are coming out and, yeah, it’s very exciting. It’s a bit nerdy, but it is very exciting and it will make WordPress significantly more powerful.

Josh: 25:44
So this is a different conversation I’m used to having, because most people, at least from my vantage point, and this is my personal experience do not care for the block editor, and I think for me personally, it’s because I’ve come from the world of Divi, where I’ve been using Divi since 2014. So back then it kind of reminded me of the block editor. Now it’s like it was in its infancy and had some bugs and some issues, but it evolves so fastly that now, and so quickly, when I tried out the block editor, I’m like this feels like where Divi was 10 years ago, like Divi is so far advanced with I don’t know. Not everyone loves Divi and that’s fine, but any page builder, whether it’s Bricks or whether it’s Elementor or whatever, like some of these platforms, some of these themes and builders have been working on this for so many years that to me, I just wonder how could the team with blocks catch up to something like Divi, who’s been working on the builder for 10 years?

Nathan: 26:39
I confess, I’m not really a Divi user so I can’t really speak to that. So one of the page builders that I’ve used quite a lot is called Beaver Builder. Great product, well worth checking out, Really great in fact, and the team behind it are fabulous. There you go, there’s a free advert for Beaver Builder, and they have these modules, and so you begin a page or a post or whatever it may be, with Beaver Builder and you give it your title and what have you. And then you enter the Beaver Builder interface and you drag in these modules, and these modules typically come with settings. So it might be, let’s say, I don’t know, a timeline module and you add a thing and it puts a date at the top, and you add another one and it puts another date below it, and you get this sort of like feed of things. That was probably a bad example. The point is that module handles something which you probably couldn’t make yourself, and so it throws that onto the page and you fill out a bunch of settings. Now, with the block editor, the promise is that you’ll be able to do exactly that kind of thing, but it won’t be locked into Beaver Builder, because if you try to move the timeline module to Divi or Elementor. You can’t. It’s locked into that page builder. The promise of the block editor is that you’ll be able to take that anywhere. Take it to any other WordPress website and you’ll literally highlight with your mouse command C, go to your other website, command V. You just paste in the block and everything just works out of the gate. I nearly said out of the block, but the point is it can do all of that and with a little bit of practice you can build those things yourself.

Josh: 28:23
That is a great distinction as far as a benefit of that. I didn’t really think about it in that regard, but it is a good point as far as something being scalable and being able to be reused even with different themes, to have, like the core of the website or the pages be native to WordPress. That way, maybe you’ll use a theme for the header and the pointer, but then use the block editor for the page.

Nathan: 28:46
Right. So when the block editor came out it really didn’t ship with the necessary things that you would want. That Divi just gave you right out of the gate. But it’s getting much better. So a lot of the key components of things, like laying things out, like grouping things and all of that we’ve got that group block now and all of these things, a lot of those necessary pieces, are now in place. So you can scaffold and you can make your website and you can make your page and you can make it pixel perfect. It’s a bit janky. It isn’t quite like Divi in that every pixel will map on the back end to every pixel. In the front end. There’s a few little UI quirks that mean certain things look a bit bigger than they should, but broadly speaking it works. And in the future, well, now, in fact, we have these things called block based themes or block themes, and you can do whatever you want for the header and the footer inside the block editor. So you can just start, you chuck in the navigation block and you can just add posts and pages and it’s all happening inside the editor. And now we’ve got templates as well, so you can say I want everything with a category of I don’t know pets to show this template and you just make that template. But I want everything with I don’t know Christmas to show this template and you save those templates. But it’s all done inside the block editor and it’s great, it’s easy, is it good? Yay?

Josh: 30:16
Yeah, well, I appreciate it. I enjoy seeing your enthusiasm for it because, again, it’s just, it wasn’t my personal experience, but I came from probably a different starting point with the block editor when I tried it out. But I do see the value in that and I think you’re also probably maybe because of your background up to this point. I imagine you’re pretty patient with this type of technology and you it seems like you are not necessarily as excited about where it’s at right now, about where it’s going to be in the next little while.

Nathan: 30:48
Really think it’s going to be very, very powerful in the future. Yeah, I really do. And I think couple that with things like headless technology, which isn’t for everybody, but if you couple it with that kind of technology, you can have WordPress as the you know, the backend, and then you could have a different front end. You could do all sorts of things with that. Yeah, I am very, very bullish about it. I think it just gets better and better and better. But patience is the right word. I think a lot of the things that we’ve got now it would have been great to have three years ago, because then we wouldn’t have had people, you know, like you, just looking at it and thinking what? This is nowhere near what I can do with Divi. I can do with Divi in an hour. What will take me 15 hours with the Block Editor. I think that landscape is changing a little bit and we’re more likely to be able to do things in the same amount of time.

Josh: 31:37
What were you using prior to the Block Editor? Did you have a page builder, of any? Yeah, did you use anything that you used before? That that’s right?

Nathan: 31:45
Yeah, I did. I used Beaver Builder. Oh, that’s right. The reason I chose Beaver Builder is, I don’t know, it just looked like the right one to me. I played with it, I got familiar with it and then I just enjoyed it. Then they came out with this really great, groundbreaking product called BeaverThema, which now doesn’t seem like a big deal because all the other I could be wrong. Maybe they didn’t innovate that, but I think they did. But I could be wrong. It enabled you to do things like the headers and the footers and all of that kind of stuff. You could do all of that in the page builder. It just sat in that sweet spot. I have no axe to grind against them. We were talking about them earlier with the free advert, but I’ve just decided that for me, the block editor is the way. I’m now quicker in the block editor than I’ve been in any other tool at all.

Josh: 32:34
And that’s the thing. And I think the narrative has changed, at least from what I’ve seen over the past couple of years, because previously and I was in the div I was far entrenched in the divvy world and I struggled with this a little bit. My mindset was like, well, divvy’s the best, Everything else is second par. But now I’ve realized there are great things about Elementor, there’s great things about Beaver Builder, there’s great things about the block editor, there’s great things about Bricks. Any one of these will work. I really do think it just depends on what jives with you. And I think a lot of times too, as an educator in this space now, I’m finding that people are coming to me and a lot of people are like you know what? Whatever you use, I’ll just use that because there’s so many freaking options. I just want to make money and build my business, and you can get hung up on all the different options. Like we talked about earlier, I’ve learned to just kind of whatever works for you and whatever you like. That’s my approach to all my students, at least.

Nathan: 33:32
Yeah, I think. So long as you can Look. If you’re shipping websites to clients and they want to know how to edit it, so long as you can tell them how to edit it, shoot some videos about. Okay, this is the interface. It’s called divvy and this is how it works. If you want to change the title, this is where you go Click this, click this, blah, blah, blah. If you can make all of that and you can make it work, it’s great, isn’t it? Isn’t that wonderful about WordPress that there is all of that? Because we were talking about SAS, wix, squarespace. You don’t get a choice of the editor, you just get what Wix and Squarespace give you, whereas you know you like divvy, well, it works with WordPress. You like bricks. So does that? Beaverbuilder, don Elementor, it’s all working. Don’t want any page builder, but you’re happy with the Block Editor. It’s all there. It’s brilliant, isn’t it? Just think about that for a minute. You’ve got all these products just built on top of this free platform. That’s pretty cool, it is pretty cool.

Josh: 34:28
It is very, very cool, and I think WordPress changed the game from when I got into the industry in 2010. I was. I got into it right when WordPress was starting to really pick up steam and I mean, I had built one Drupal site, did one site in Joomla. I’ll never get that year back from my life. You know there were some of those and then WordPress came along. It was just like a night and day difference and back then it was the days of picking a theme and you would just build off of that theme that looked like a you know, a dentist’s website or whatever. So it is interesting. I mean, the landscape has changed so fast recently. I don’t know, from your perspective, nathan, do you feel like things have changed more quickly and the pace has been faster and changed the past few years compared to 20 years ago? Or has it always been this path? Because to me it seems like we’re at such a feverish pace of changing the past now. But maybe that’s just my perspective.

Nathan: 35:24
No, I think you’re right. I certainly see the pace accelerating and this kind of is, I guess, a product of the market share that WordPress has got. There was this period over the last sort of seven or eight years where the and I don’t really know what the metric is, but it’s something like this Of the top 10 million websites, how many of them use WordPress, and so it’s a broad brushstroke of what percentage of people are using WordPress on the web. And up until recently, over the last decade, that curve has just gone, and if you’re not watching this on video, my hand is going up like an exponential curve. It’s gone up and up and up and up, to the point where it was getting towards fast approaching sort of 45%, hovering around 43% of the web. So pick 100 websites at random. 43 of them will be built on top of some kind of wordpress thing, and obviously with that goes the interest in the commercial side of things. You know, boy, there’s a, there’s millions and millions of people using wordpress, so we can build things on top of it. You know we were just saying about page builders. So, yes, I think, I think it has it’s got more and more commercial. I don’t say that I probably should have rephrased that Sentences got more and more busy as more and more things of coming, and many of them are commercial, and this is a thing which the community is having to address. On the one hand, you got people who Possibly not that comfortable with the commercial side of its success, and then you’ve obviously got people who are, and you know that’s what they do for a living, and so it has got, it’s got faster and faster and faster, more and more and more buyouts, more and more commercial products in the space, but it sort of seems to have plateaued. I don’t know.

Josh: 37:17
I was just gonna say. I’ve seen mixed reports and mixed results on whether it is declining in market share or whether it’s just stayed stable and kind of stagnant. I’ve seen some things on that, but either way that happened years. Forty three percent is around what I’ve seen.

Nathan: 37:36
I couldn’t say. The word stagnate seems to be about the right one. In other words, I think it’s hovering there, maybe it’s going down, I don’t know if it’s tanking or anything like that, but it you know, it’s still a giant amount of people.

Josh: 37:50
What’s your favorite statistics site? Do you have something that you check in regularly?

Nathan: 37:55
You know I do, but I couldn’t tell you what it is because I haven’t. I have this. You remember google reader, the rss feed. I have an rss app. Okay, I use it’s. It’s not a plug in, it’s a, it’s a sass app and whenever, whatever site it is that dish out those statistics updates, I get the update reading. I wonder how I live.

Josh: 38:15
It was ten years ago I put that into the rss. I know w3texcom is one of the probably it okay I was just looking at that now I know that’s. That’s the one I usually go to. From what I know, that seems like it has the the healthiest metrics comparatively, yeah.

Nathan: 38:33
So yeah, I was wondering about that Does it say what we’re at the moment? Does it have a movie word forty three? So it has.

Josh: 38:39
this is for content management systems. Yeah. So I don’t know if that’s in relation to all the other technologies as well, but this also says square space, shop of five, shop of five, four percent, wix at two point five. Square space to, so that even that like that tells you that there is such. It’s nearly half internet is word press and everyone else is sharing the rest of the pie.

Nathan: 39:05
Yeah yeah, that’s true. If you just took who commerce and I read the statistic last week, so I think this is up today who commerce just will come us is nine, eight point nine, nearly nine, nine percent of the internet. Wow, so that’s a plug in on top of wordpress which allows you to have a shop. Yeah, just that is approaching nine percent. Yeah, yeah, you think about?

Josh: 39:29
Freaking that is. That is wild. So, needless to say, wordpress we’re all still in good hands as wordpress users, but I I like you know, I really appreciate your mindset on this too, which is that there really is not a right or wrong way to go about this is where it works for you, where it works for clients. Whatever you enjoy, as freeing is that is, it’s daunting and overwhelming because you gotta make that decision and of course, you know when you build a business you have to be careful and, and I thought, not too slow. But you don’t want to be quick to pull the trigger on a tool and then regret it a couple years down the road and have twenty clients on a tool you want to migrate them from, but at the same time, there’s so many options out there, which is pretty cool. Yeah, so you hear about your excitement with wordpress, because that’s refreshing after there is a bit of a mixed Reception that I saw in my circles after word camp this year went to work at word camp, us and dc and yeah, they showed off some stuff with the block editor and stuff and the. Everyone was kind of like I don’t know. I just I’m not sure about this, so I was kind of cool seeing your excitement and and yeah, yeah, I think it’s.

Nathan: 40:36
I think you just mentioned about, you know, being a different platforms and what have you. I think the idea that there’s no vendor lock in with wordpress is such a compelling thing, especially in the enterprise and things like that, where If you go with this proprietary platform and they don’t serve you right or whatever it may be, you know, you just, they just allow you to do what you need with wordpress. You can, if you fall out with the agency that you’re working with, you can just ask for a download of the database and the files and take it to another agency and begin the exact same work over there. Yeah, so that’s a that’s another good reason to use these open platforms as opposed as opposed to closed ones good point.

Josh: 41:15
Well, nathan, I know you’re on time crunch. I know it’s evening time over there in the uk for you, so I’ll let you go. Where should people go to connect with you and find out more about yeah?

Nathan: 41:24
Yeah, thank you. The best place is the wp builds website, that’s wp builds dot com. So one word Is a podcast and a bit of a wordpress nerd First, really, where we just just put loads of wordpress content out each and every week. So yeah, wp builds dot com would be the place awesome.

Josh: 41:44
Will have that like nathan. Thanks for your time and this is been a fun, fun chat with you and the page builder summit. You guys you and anchin have just been rocking that so it’s been an honor to be a part of that. The past couple rounds and I love you guys are up to so thank you for having yeah thanks. So there we are, friends. I’ve been enjoyed this conversation with nathan again. I tried the block editor for wordpress and hated it, but it’s interesting hearing somebody who enjoys it and who has a different Perspective and a little more patience with it than than perhaps I did, being a divi guy who is used to a certain level of Expectation when it comes to a page building experience. So I certainly hope you enjoyed this conversation and have just as much hope as nathan does and I do for wordpress in the future To leave your comments and feedback on this episode. Good josh hall dot co slash three zero three. And again, to connect with nathan, make sure to check out his podcast, w p builds. You can find out more by going to w p builds dot com and I believe the next page builder summit which he is a co host on Is sometime in q one, I think maybe late q one. So you can also go to page builder summit dot com to connect with them there. I highly recommend Making sure you keep eyes out for the next page builder summit, which is going to be a big one in q one and then 24. So, yeah, very, very cool. Lot of cool things coming up again, nathan, is that w p builds dot com. Thanks, friends, love to hear feedback at josh hall dot co. Slash three zero three, and I hope you enjoy this episode and look forward to some more, because we got some do’sies coming up as well. So make sure you subscribe to the podcast, leave a review If you have yet to leave your review on pie or on apple or on spotify, and I really, really value your feedback. And hey, cheers, cheers to wordpress and cheers to a hopeful future for the block editor. I’ll get behind that for a sake of nathan. So cheers to the block editor, wordpress. Alright, friends, on the next one.

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