Each month the Genesis Shapers meets for one hour to discuss the evolving WordPress landscape and how it relates to the Genesis community.
If you missed any updates, they can be found in the YouTube channel here.
Don’t have time for the video? Enjoy the TL;DW:
- Question: Are your non-technical customers finding the block editor helpful (Genesis Blocks or otherwise), or are page builders still the DIY tool of choice for content creation / editing?
- Answer: Surprisingly the answer was that most users prefer Gutenberg / the block editor. Bill Erickson of CultivateWP said “Our clients definitely prefer the block editor. While there was a bit of a learning curve, they find it more powerful and easier to use than the classic editor or page builder plugins.”. The consensus from the group is that the block editor is easier to use, provides better optionality, and is more performant than other page builders.
- Question: Is anyone building headless WordPress sites? If so, what are your favorite theme or build tools for headless?
- Answer: Ryan Murray of 3200 Creative, Jonathan Jeter of Click Here Labs, and Nick Croft (aka Nick the Geek) of Reaktiv Studios all said they were building headless WordPress sites. Their favorite headless WordPress tools are WPGraphQL, Gatsby-Source-WordPress, YoastSEO.JS, next.js, Vue.js.
- Question: Are you managing lots of client sites? If so, what do you wish were better about managing lots of sites running Genesis or otherwise?
- Answer: Several shapers managed lots of sites. The number one feedback people gave relative to themes was Nick Croft’s suggestion around automating visual regression testing to make sure theme / plugin updates don’t cause styling issues.
- Question: Who would like to join a Shapers live q&a and learning session for GCB with a couple of the product leads (Rob & Ryan)? Give everyone a chance to deep dive and explore things not yet thought of.
- Answer: The answer was a resounding YES! Rob Stinson and Ryan Kienstra are planning the session and will record key parts which we’ll publish on the StudioPress blog for the benefit of all.
- Question: Who here is working on new premium block-based Genesis themes or knows someone who is?
- Answer: The answers included Nahuai Badiola‘s Uprising & Dakota themes, 17th Avenue’s Clover theme, and Wes Straham‘s Follow Me & Aspire themes.
- Question: Will you join us in testing Genesis Framework 3.3.4 with WordPress 5.8? Have feedback already? The main changes in 3.3.4 are related to preventing 5.8 from changing the widget screen and causing regressions for
- Answer: The answer was yes and several people had already tested the updates and everything was working well. You can learn more here.
David Vogelpohl: Hello everyone and welcome to the genesis Community live cast this is our genesis shapers recap episode for July 2021.
David Vogelpohl: The title of this shapers meeting was warping wordpress widgets which will make sense later.
David Vogelpohl: For those unfamiliar my name is David mobile Pole and been a proud member of the genesis Community for over eight years.
David Vogelpohl: And I love helping the genesis Community get better, together with my friends from the shapers joining me for this shapers recap.
David Vogelpohl: Are our two gentlemen that join us every month for the shapers meeting first off i’d like to welcome back the Co creator of Genesis Mr Nathan rice Nathan welcome.
Nathan Rice: Hello good to be here.
David Vogelpohl: glad to have you how’s your summer going we’re like mid July right about now like.
David Vogelpohl: You know, getting a lot of time outside or.
Nathan Rice: not yet we’re built where we’re screening in our back deck so right now it’s a work in progress we’re not able to spend too much time out there, but yeah can’t wait.
David Vogelpohl: that’ll be fun gotta keep the critters at bay, but good luck with that project.
Nathan Rice: yeah those are the worst.
David Vogelpohl: Of the worst oh I.
David Vogelpohl: also like to welcome phil Johnston senior software engineer within the genesis product suite phil welcome back.
Phil Johnston: thanks for having me.
David Vogelpohl: awesome phil and I, like the music ensemble in the background, there talking a little bit before like what’s your what’s your your instrument of choice again.
Phil Johnston: I played the drums have since I was about four years old, so.
Phil Johnston: I now have an office dedicated to it and and dedicated to working so.
David Vogelpohl: You have any like videos a four year old phil like.
Phil Johnston: jam yeah they exist.
Phil Johnston: yeah they do I don’t have them, but my parents have them somewhere.
David Vogelpohl: My goodness.
David Vogelpohl: We must have you back just to show one of those videos.
Phil Johnston: i’ll see what I can find.
David Vogelpohl: Like I have to watch this now, but we’ll go ahead and jump right into the content i’m sure everyone would love to hear about your musical interests to fill but they probably want to hear more about your.
David Vogelpohl: Block knowledge but let’s go ahead and dive in So the first question we ask every you know meeting is obviously, who is here roll call come to order.
David Vogelpohl: it’s always funny like people show the emerging mo geez but then people are late and like we always talk about like who’s there and then we mentioned someone else’s name later, but.
David Vogelpohl: right here, what we have is Mike hamburger of biz budding my themes, you might be familiar with that Jen baumann studio press ag on the genesis engineering team.
David Vogelpohl: Nick craft of the book genesis explained Jonathan jeter of click here labs carry deals okay does calm.
David Vogelpohl: The y by dolla have awesome press or going to talk about a couple of his themes here a little bit layer
David Vogelpohl: Ryan ken’s draft from the engineering team and genesis love love love Ryan, he has a bunch of great comments in this meeting i’m here okay yep that’s right.
David Vogelpohl: Ryan Murray Murray from 3200 creative Ryan had some really interesting thoughts on headless in this meeting.
David Vogelpohl: phil Johnston phil you did, like the waving hands emoji other people have like you know, like like voodoo heads and other things like this physical very like playing emerging is that.
Phil Johnston: You know it’s I just i’m not a great slacker.
David Vogelpohl: The default emoji I.
Phil Johnston: Like yeah I like to roll with the default emojis.
David Vogelpohl: Whenever bucks the trend entirely doesn’t know emoji and just as here exclamation point so got 11 years.
David Vogelpohl: Later I points john Brown, of course, of nine seeds bill Ericsson and bill has a new agency and I keep forgetting the name of it it’s actually got a really clever name.
David Vogelpohl: Nathan or fill out maybe we all try to Google bill erickson’s agency names and can reference it correctly, now I keep wanting to references bill ericsson.net site.
David Vogelpohl: But he’s here today, if you find out the name of that just feel free to interject it travis Smith love to see travis there.
David Vogelpohl: So we had a good crew, here we had some other folks join us in later you’ll probably hear us quote some of them as we kind of get along here.
David Vogelpohl: The first question, though, for the group, and I was really interested to hear this was are your non technical customers finding the block editor helpful.
David Vogelpohl: Using genesis blocks, or otherwise, or our page builders still the DIY tool of choice for content creation and editing.
David Vogelpohl: Now i’ve been asking this question since the dawn of the block editor in 2018 in December, obviously the adoption rate, I guess, on that day was very low, but.
David Vogelpohl: I would, I would say, every time i’d asked this The answer has been i’m playing around with it, but it’s not quite there yet i’d still rather use the page builder and I feel like every time i’ve asked that question that was the answer until this time.
David Vogelpohl: phil and Nathan, had a job or, let me start he wanted a time to not confuse it like phil What was your interpretation of folks responses like that’s kind of surprising like people were actually saying they were kind of.
David Vogelpohl: Easy default.
Phil Johnston: mm hmm I know if I was surprised by that too I generally I find when I watch people use it still there they’re still struggling a lot so.
Phil Johnston: I am surprised to see people saying that their users are preferring to use the block editor over some of the more established page builders and things so yeah pretty interesting.
Phil Johnston: I also looked at bill erickson’s.
Phil Johnston: agency, I think it’s called cultivate wp.
David Vogelpohl: That is correct yeah yeah I just did the same for your entire area because, like bills, the next me bill is the first responder here, and he goes.
David Vogelpohl: Our clients definitely prefer the block editor well there was a bit of a learning curve they find it more powerful and easier to use.
David Vogelpohl: than the classic editor or page build their plugins now bills business is focused on publisher so bloggers and content creators, a lot of people in like the food blogging space and things like that, so he has very successful clients.
David Vogelpohl: But not necessarily very technical clients and so like it was really interesting to hear his point of view and we opened a sub thread on this.
David Vogelpohl: And i’m trying to remember, exactly, so I was like I was like more powerful as like that’s kind of shocking to hear why it was shocking to me because.
David Vogelpohl: You know, page builders are just chock full of like all of these features that they’ve been building on for years and incredible ways and like.
David Vogelpohl: The block editors only been in existence since December 2018 like they just don’t have so like that was shocking to me.
David Vogelpohl: And then bill says, I should have clarified more powerful than the classic editors who’s kind of meaning in comparison to the classic classic editor.
David Vogelpohl: And then, more an easier to use than page builder plugins which again is shocking to me because i’m like aren’t they supposed to be the easiest thing to us.
David Vogelpohl: And it seemed like in the bread bill really tells it I think really eloquently here, he says it threads the needle very well with regards to power versus usability page builders are Max power.
David Vogelpohl: But low on visibility so it’s almost like he felt like not being overloaded with those features made it almost in a sense, more usable.
David Vogelpohl: Nathan, what are your thoughts on all that.
Nathan Rice: I mean, I was, I was listening to some of the I guess it was a.
Nathan Rice: matt and Mathias on, I think the word camp Bu video a couple of weeks ago, and one of the things that I don’t remember who exactly said it, but one of them said that.
Nathan Rice: That the block editor his clinic is going to kind of become.
Nathan Rice: A tool in its own right sort of sort of.
Nathan Rice: You would be akin to like a.
Nathan Rice: A photoshop kind of tool and it does it just because anything is possible doesn’t mean it’s necessarily always going to be.
Nathan Rice: The easiest like there’s a learning curve that’s gonna that’s going to come with a new tool to create this stuff but, hopefully, like the idea of like photoshop easier than.
Nathan Rice: I don’t know whatever came before photoshop you know, like and certainly doing it like on paper and that kind of thing so um I would think that that the block editor is kind of that same in that same sense.
Nathan Rice: And it does look like they are trying to go the route of we’re going to take longer we’re going to take our time in developing this so that we, maybe not specifically, but it seems to me like so that we avoid some of the.
Nathan Rice: usability pitfalls, and maybe even the performance pitfalls of some of the more popular page builder plugins because.
Nathan Rice: Those things do come with lots and lots of options, but they’re not necessarily optimizing their output, not necessarily very performant they’re not necessarily.
Nathan Rice: When you do throw that many options that users.
Nathan Rice: All on one screen and like it doesn’t matter how you organize it it’s just it’s just a lot to have to deal with, so I like the I like the approach that the block editor team is taking the Gutenberg team is taking.
Nathan Rice: To creating this and I also do like the sort of the upfront acknowledgement, the fact that it’s not going to be.
Nathan Rice: necessarily like a cakewalk to understand this, but hopefully at some point we can get better and like get up to at least feature parity, but also more performant easier to use more user friendly.
Nathan Rice: interface, then.
Nathan Rice: Then some of these page builders.
David Vogelpohl: I like the platform kind of analogy, and not sure if that’s the exact word you use that kind of this this notion of.
David Vogelpohl: The tool in and of itself, and you know travis Smith here, he he says, you know also, I think there is a bit more pick and choose with the block editor.
David Vogelpohl: Instead of being forced to be all in one so like you know as you think of the block editor and you know I mean ultimately we’ll see how it evolves but like.
David Vogelpohl: For it from any particular page builder into the block editor itself, or rather to give you know, a content building experience, upon which you can iterate and create.
David Vogelpohl: Products for and so on and so forth, it is an interesting dynamic, I think that might be different than like say a page builder.
Nathan Rice: yeah and it is cool because I mean and phil’s been talking about this a little bit I think in some of our private channels.
Nathan Rice: For our team our engineering team, but you know the it’s interesting you have several different ways that you can choose to use the block editor.
Nathan Rice: Even in the even like fast forwarding six months into the future, when full site editing or block based themes whatever they’re calling it now.
Nathan Rice: Is becomes more of the standard way of building an entire theme that doesn’t mean that’s, the only way to build a theme like you can still build a theme and have it pulling content that was developed in the block editor.
Nathan Rice: You can still use the block editor as a pure text editor I I blog on my website.
Nathan Rice: And I use it as a pure text editor it’s amazing at just writing blog posts it’s it’s great that way, but it also you can see, as you’re building these blog posts.
Nathan Rice: How powerful of a design tool, it can potentially be as well, so yeah I like the fact that you can sort of use it, however, you want, you can build a site traditionally.
Nathan Rice: But CSS like in its own separate sheet and its own separate file, or you can kind of use the design controls built into the editor there’s really no limit into how they’re kind of making you, whereas with the builders debate the page builders.
Nathan Rice: Sometimes there is, I think, to travis points travis’s point there’s a sort of lock in they want you to use their whole system or none of it and that’s not what it’s all about it seems to me at least.
David Vogelpohl: yeah it’s an interesting part of that dynamic and you know I love page builders for for a lot of reasons, and then a lot of use cases and I think there’s a lot of performing ways to go about using them.
David Vogelpohl: You know i’m kind of a right tool for the right job type person, but it is interesting to see you know how this is evolving.
David Vogelpohl: I think the edit this other point of view here, which I think is really interesting comes from and needed Carter.
David Vogelpohl: needed Carter essentially runs a freelance business and she actually works with a lot of different areas and wordpress in genesis and works with different theme companies and things.
David Vogelpohl: And she often works with non technical users, I don’t think there’s anyone on the face of the planet, that gets closer to someone that needs help and then needed Carter I mean this the kind of person who.
David Vogelpohl: Will like drive you to the doctor I mean she’s doing this for you know people that live near her that you know not not super close with and she’s just like that kind of person.
David Vogelpohl: But she does this with people learning wordpress like whether their client or not, and she writes here, well, it depends on the niche of clients that I work with personally some.
David Vogelpohl: hate it like authors or people who write straight content and do not require lots of graphics i’m not going to read the whole statement here but, like the the comment was really around like kind of bringing back the classic editor for these more just like document type content creators.
David Vogelpohl: and Nathan, you, you said you enjoyed writing it as a text editor do you have like almost the opposite experience as an individual, why did you like it versus say the kind of roll it back to the classic editor approach.
Nathan Rice: I felt like the the way it looks as you’re writing has is a more.
Nathan Rice: accurate representation of what it’s going to look like on the front end.
Nathan Rice: Even if it’s just a matter of.
Nathan Rice: The fact that it doesn’t like if you go into full screen mode in say tiny MC.
Nathan Rice: Like it’s literally full screen like you just you’re typing I mean, I know that there’s probably like styles and stuff that you can apply to kind of restraint it, but it just doesn’t look to me the way it looks on the front end.
Nathan Rice: Also, you know going in and as you’re editing content and stuff.
Nathan Rice: Being able to select a paragraph and apply a specific style to it to maybe highlight a paragraph or two you know, create a cta versus you know just or you know, putting a button in there, or just whatever it might be.
Phil Johnston: Quote or something like that.
Phil Johnston: yeah exactly a.
Nathan Rice: good example yet, but.
David Vogelpohl: kind of styling it all really behind yeah text editing.
Nathan Rice: Exactly you’re not writing something in like.
Nathan Rice: Almost book format.
Nathan Rice: Where it’s like there is no stylistic differences, then yeah I to me there’s no difference between writing, even in a book format like it’s still.
Nathan Rice: A pleasant experience in the block editor it may not be any better than tiny MC but it but it’s no worse, so I don’t really know why people wouldn’t necessarily want to have.
David Vogelpohl: Well, I mean workflows is a big part of it right like i’ve been married in my blog for the last 10 years, and this is how I do it, and like i’ve got blog posts to get out so.
David Vogelpohl: I think you get people getting time to try it out it’s probably a lot to do with that, but I know there’s a lot of options, I mean you can use the classic editor plugin.
David Vogelpohl: travis shared a little snippet that will turn the classic enter your back on a purpose basis he’s going to share that in a blog post on the studio press blog here soon, but.
David Vogelpohl: won’t go too deep on that, but there’s a lot of choices, of course, for people that want to use the classic editor approach, although you know I don’t think necessarily thinking future proof.
David Vogelpohl: Speaking of future proof, I thought bills comment here, he says a lot of my clients have been burned in the past by page builders.
David Vogelpohl: Even if they work well now in two years, when they redesign their site, they have to redo all their content, by providing them a core page builder aka Gutenberg.
David Vogelpohl: They are more secure and the fact that their content is feature period, so I think like that notion of like being Korea Jason and I don’t think like DIY users, probably think about that a whole lot and I know obviously builders and developers think about that quite a bit.
David Vogelpohl: let’s move on to the next question if we could we got more of the agenda here to roll through but next one is Is anyone building headless wordpress sites.
David Vogelpohl: If so, what are your favorite theme or build tools for headless and it looked like Jonathan jeter Nick croft.
David Vogelpohl: And Ryan Murray, were the only folks in this group that said they were building headless now phil and Nathan, I know y’all kind of went through the responses there.
David Vogelpohl: i’ve never made a headless side of my life, and I know very little about these frameworks, so why don’t you run through some of the kind of fan favorites here and any observations you have on the threads phil why don’t we start with you this time.
Phil Johnston: Sure, like running through the fan favorites like some of the stuff that.
David Vogelpohl: People are using today like Ryan Murray here says he’s using wp graph que El gatsby source where and gatsby source wordpress are pretty essential now he didn’t really cover like a.
David Vogelpohl: styling or theme type okay yeah so like in the thread kind of further goes on there, but maybe you could walk people through just very shortly, what you know headless is, I guess, and then some of these fan favorites and.
David Vogelpohl: Very or thoughts are on using them in the headless context.
Phil Johnston: yeah I mean for what it’s worth I I have not built a headless site for like a real world.
Phil Johnston: client church myself.
Phil Johnston: I have, I do love writing in react, and I have built a lot of stuff in react, and the idea of writing in react to make websites, but still to use wordpress on the back end is pretty appealing to me.
David Vogelpohl: you’ve never actually built that with decoupled headless site.
David Vogelpohl: we’re not wordpress is the store data.
Phil Johnston: Not in the real world, I monkey around with it just to learn it, but I haven’t actually there isn’t a site out there, that I could show you that I.
David Vogelpohl: Did you use.
David Vogelpohl: w P graph que El and your.
Phil Johnston: I did yeah basically grass well is.
Phil Johnston: it’s sort of like one piece of the puzzle you’ve got because you need to communicate your your back and your wordpress where your data is living, it needs to come communicate with your front end which is going to be either gatsby or next js or some other framework for your front end.
Phil Johnston: graph que El is like a communication link between the two it’s how you talk back and forth it’s uh yeah.
Phil Johnston: it’s really enjoy cleans up and simplifies the API responses.
Phil Johnston: Right right yeah.
David Vogelpohl: yeah exactly.
David Vogelpohl: So, like.
David Vogelpohl: Right and so for Ryan, though he’s building with wp graph which I think is like the go to for headless wordpress, of course, and then gatsby source wordpress which i’m not familiar with that, but then he gets into the styling pieces and he talks about gadsby next js sub.
Phil Johnston: sell sell.
David Vogelpohl: emotion theme ui and tailwinds yes CSS so from your view and I get that you’re not building real world.
Phil Johnston: You know.
David Vogelpohl: From I mean headless is just there’s so many ways, you can do it.
Phil Johnston: i’ve started playing with tailwind a lot myself recently tailwind is basically a whole bunch of pre made styles for you and they you can instead of writing any CSS you just use class names and put them onto your html so you don’t even have to actually write any CSS.
Phil Johnston: Which is kind of interesting it’s a totally flipped way of looking at CSS to what i’m used to but i’ve used tailwind outside of headless to to make wordpress plugins or other little projects so.
Phil Johnston: These something like tailwind or other ways of doing styles isn’t necessarily headless specific, but I think there’s yeah I mean there’s so many ways to do it it’s it’s hard for me to say that one is better than the other it’s kind of comes down to preference but.
David Vogelpohl: Nathan, and he observations from you, I have like a million thoughts or advice, but go ahead.
Nathan Rice: I don’t have a lot of thoughts on headless, so I will i’ll defer the only thing I can say is that from you know from a performance perspective.
Nathan Rice: It does seem to be significantly better than then sort of the monolithic stuff, but it is, it is significantly more complicated to set up so it’s a you know it’s it’s a it’s a question of priorities, I guess, for most people it’s going to be a question of priorities.
David Vogelpohl: yeah i’m not I don’t think now is the time when most brands will jump into considering it or even agencies there’s there’s a lot of road to go, I feel, before the lion’s share folks jump on most folks adopting now are very large companies or companies.
David Vogelpohl: with very specific types of technology teams.
David Vogelpohl: And you know I think the other thing to think about with headless is you know we are seeing a shift and how.
David Vogelpohl: or php and majority of developers by like a lot.
David Vogelpohl: Are php and so like to me Those are some of the.
David Vogelpohl: biggest barriers and people adopting were.
David Vogelpohl: You had php in in you know before you had content management systems built with php and so wordpress and other cms is.
David Vogelpohl: took that that very complicated layer of content and site creation.
David Vogelpohl: And dumb down a lot of it, but still left those those endpoints, if you will, for developers to go in and do custom functionality and custom styles and custom experiences.
David Vogelpohl: and still have a non developer, be able to edit the site and create a site even.
David Vogelpohl: You can’t build one unless you’re a developer, and you really can’t edit or change one like the styles, even on a site, I feel, in a lot of cases.
David Vogelpohl: Without a heavy developer involvement for most things, and I know that starting to change but it’s like well why isn’t headless adoption going faster and to me that’s why like what wordpress did for php and other you know drupal and Duma and everything else.
Nathan Rice: completely agree because I actually built websites before the advent of the cms and and I know exactly what you’re.
David Vogelpohl: talking to me.
Nathan Rice: yeah like.
Nathan Rice: I mean, I was building stuff in raw html, but when I started learning oh there’s this database thing.
Nathan Rice: And then you don’t have to necessarily have a page for it, you have to have a physical html page for every page that’s on your web I was like that’s cool but I don’t know how to write.
Nathan Rice: My sequel queries and and even if I did, looking back on it now it’s like I would be writing super insecure ones and i’d probably have gotten hacked 10 times by now.
Nathan Rice: So when wordpress comes along and they’re like hey we’ve we’ve abstracted all that stuff like we’ve just got a system like that to me was okay boom game changer mysql.
Nathan Rice: php and a little bit of knowledge of how to build a theme and I had a business like that was that it just completely revolutionize things.
David Vogelpohl: which you know there’s again, to my mind there’s still a lot of road left to go but.
David Vogelpohl: You know, obviously, a lot of advantages as well from going that route alright well enough future talk let’s move on to the next agenda item here, are you managing lots of client sites and if so.
David Vogelpohl: What do you wish were better about managing lots of sites running genesis or otherwise, Nick craft says he has to bounce for a client call which, of course, was a great great way to go, Nick have you close that client.
David Vogelpohl: let’s move on to this.
David Vogelpohl: We talked about the genesis pro license issue for both plus customers, which we talked about last time here on the recap let’s see what else we have.
David Vogelpohl: Jonathan jeter wanting to get some better accessibility, out of some of the child themes on studio press.
David Vogelpohl: let’s see.
David Vogelpohl: Oh, Nick craft, this is a great one, I think, as it relates to themes there they have managed over 2000 sites running genesis child themes, with dozens of plugins you know, and obviously theme updates as well.
David Vogelpohl: and basically they’re trying to solve for automating their visual regression testing with theme updates.
David Vogelpohl: I imagine that’s I mean, I know, obviously, from different kind of direct experience, but you know that that’s a lot of variance to try to optimize for him, he looks like he’s using backstop js.
David Vogelpohl: Nathan, do you have any experience with backstop or like extensive VRT testing.
Nathan Rice: know we I know we did we looked into some back before we were acquired by wp engine.
Nathan Rice: And at the time they weren’t they weren’t mature enough to really start using i’ve been really impressed with the technology that we have in House here wp engine with with our smart plugin manager and their ability to sort of.
Nathan Rice: You know sort of run the updates take snapshots compare the two, and if it’s beyond a certain level of beyond a certain threshold of difference.
Nathan Rice: To basically roll that that update back I think that’s brilliant I think that’s exactly what people need in order to feel confident hitting update on 2000 sites and not immediately going like okay my weekend is ruined now like.
Nathan Rice: I cannot, I just can’t make plans anymore if there’s a wordpress update.
Nathan Rice: or even just a plugin update, I mean a single plugin can make your site break, so you know.
Nathan Rice: it’s it’s extremely high stakes, and having something there you know I think to nick’s point, having something there that can give you a little bit of confidence.
Nathan Rice: or a lot of confidence would be even better, but a little bit of confidence that you can hit update and not worry about getting emergency phone calls at all hours of the morning, that would be I get I get what he’s saying I get it.
David Vogelpohl: yeah so the product different for those listening wp engine has a product called smart plugin manager that does auto updates, but it also runs visual regression tests on the site.
David Vogelpohl: And if it fails the visual regression tests it’ll roll it back, and you can do this in production or staging so you don’t actually have to still you know kind of automatically cowboy code in that way, so this is your choice.
David Vogelpohl: But it actually doesn’t do theme updates yet Nathan that’s coming in the next few months, but it will check the front end of your site which, of course, your theme is using to.
David Vogelpohl: Help style or two to style as plugins are updated now it’s really interesting because i’ve actually.
David Vogelpohl: kind of dove deep with them and i’ve done this before as well and other kind of web teams i’ve led you know.
David Vogelpohl: dealt with well how do we do, how do we deal with automated VRT across a wide range of sites and the problem ultimately becomes false positives.
David Vogelpohl: Meaning that you’ll say like oh these 23 sites failed, and then they fail because you have a slider on the homepage and the before and after snapshot.
David Vogelpohl: Had missed the slider so you have to like put in all of these exceptions when we’re 2000 sites like Oh, my goodness well there’s exceptions, so what.
David Vogelpohl: What our folks actually are able to do is they can detect when people report these false positives.
David Vogelpohl: And they actually use that to train machine learning algos.
David Vogelpohl: To get better about reducing the false positive rates so like yeah they go in and tinker with it all the time, which is essentially what Nick is saying they do to try to dial in their backstop js stuff but.
David Vogelpohl: The smart plugin thing like automatically learns as the false positives are reported and like well this wasn’t really a great like that kind of thing which I think is pretty cool.
Nathan Rice: I didn’t know I didn’t know that they were doing that I knew they had the machine learning thing, but I didn’t know in what regard it was actually being applied, but that’s that’s really cool.
David Vogelpohl: that’s really cool like always stopped when they hear the word like Ai or machine learning and like that’s how they’re doing it is.
David Vogelpohl: You know and that’s that’s the real trick with VRT is especially with lots of different kinds of sites right it’s it’s really about getting that false positive rate as low as possible.
David Vogelpohl: yeah I think Nick probably has some very interesting data on false positives.
David Vogelpohl: That with his 2000 2001.
David Vogelpohl: cool next step, who would like to join a shapers live Q amp a and learning session for genesis custom blocks with rob kids.
David Vogelpohl: Robin stinson and Ryan construct give everyone a chance to deep dive and explore things not yet thought out so looks like we have Ryan Murray, who is interested john Brown.
David Vogelpohl: See here.
Phil Johnston: carrie deals had her hand up.
David Vogelpohl: yeah I carry deals oh I forgot the emoji I was like nobody else is interested in.
David Vogelpohl: Why dolla Jonathan jeter that craft john Brown and you get Carter that’s pretty much everybody, we should just have like a set we just make the whole second shapers.
Phil Johnston: Next shapers me yeah.
Phil Johnston: yeah.
David Vogelpohl: There you go that’s cool we’re going to give that a test run with the shapers and you know kind of getting some lessons from that.
David Vogelpohl: I believe we’re going to record that one and rebroadcast parts of it for the benefit of others so.
David Vogelpohl: More to come as we kind of dive into that Ryan and rob committed to actually make this happen so i’m gonna I didn’t I didn’t like set a follow up item to confirm so i’m gonna i’m gonna i’m gonna have some faith they’ll get that done so lots of interest there.
David Vogelpohl: Who here is working on new premium block based genesis themes or know someone who is now I get to the screen share part is like my favorite part.
David Vogelpohl: let’s go check it out, so these are the themes that were mentioned in the threat first off we have uprising, which is currently available on studio press, it was recently released, this is from awesome themes and the y by dolla.
David Vogelpohl: out in Esther out of Spain, a tremendous Community for genesis out in Spain and know why and Esther are a big part of that.
David Vogelpohl: we’re going to go check out the DEMO there we go so beauty, is in the eye of the beholder I think it’s a beautiful theme Nathan you’re probably not gonna save actually don’t think it looks good, but it looks great.
David Vogelpohl: um the cool thing about uprising and Dakota and really all these themes that we’re going to show you here, as we get through this list is each one of them have a collection associated with them.
David Vogelpohl: And just so we don’t have to describe it let’s go like look at what a collection is like say a collection is this and it’s like just show people.
David Vogelpohl: So we go in, here we go to collections so collection is a group of pages and sections and pages and blocks that all follow the same design.
David Vogelpohl: pattern so as you can see here, I have all of these different parts of the site at my fingertips that all follow that pattern, so the way I personally think about it.
David Vogelpohl: is like it’s a themes DEMO content and it’s all been chopped up and you can just click on it and drop it in a page or post and, of course, is full say that it incomes will have you know header sidebar and footer so uprising, all of this content that you’re looking at here.
David Vogelpohl: You know, essentially isn’t encased in blocks and encased within the collection and so it doesn’t just load up as part of a one click theme set which right away, is like super awesome and it does do that.
David Vogelpohl: But this is really the power, I feel a collections, is it takes it one step further and puts all of that content, you know right there at my fingertips, and I can use it in any way in combination I want.
David Vogelpohl: very, very quickly, so I thought this was a really cool theme there from awesome things this is their second theme Dakota very clean themes, I would say, from know I and Esther.
David Vogelpohl: But you can check them out there on studio press, we also have westrom who’s made aspire to point O, which also includes a joke collection and block capabilities we’re going to check out the live DEMO from West here West is definitely a genesis ag there you go that’s beautiful.
David Vogelpohl: wow clean like a jelly bean I got a chance to check this out a couple of weeks ago and i’m just seeing it again.
Nathan Rice: Like I feel like people don’t really realize For those of you who use who have used genesis for a while.
Nathan Rice: you’re probably if you haven’t check things out in in the last say year year and a half.
Nathan Rice: we’ve been moving things over from what what what was before a widget is homepage which at the time was the easiest way of sort of building these custom home pages, without having to edit code.
Nathan Rice: It was just how we did things, but now that we have the ability to set a static homepage and to build that page within the block editor.
Nathan Rice: And then, then, using the technology that Mike mcallister built for atomic blocks and now in genesis blocks were able to sort of package those page designs up.
Nathan Rice: And, like the V said, you know chop them up into different sections, but then also kind of recombining them into full pages.
Nathan Rice: that are designed by our internal designers here it’s really and then obviously with the third parties, doing the exact same thing it’s really a total seismic shift in the way I mean you probably can’t show it right here, but.
Nathan Rice: To go to a theme DEMO and to click edit the edit button and to barely like barely anything changes, but now you’ve basically got the entire page there available to edit to change the content change those pictures change the titles.
Nathan Rice: drag things around if you want to reorder stuff that was impossible with digitized homepage So if you haven’t checked it out recently of how things are being built now I would highly suggest you do it because it’s gonna.
Nathan Rice: it’s it’s different and it’s in a very good way so.
David Vogelpohl: Are you mean like what i’m doing here like clicking this button that was impossible.
Nathan Rice: That was impossible, I mean everything was everything was still.
Nathan Rice: For the most part, it was still in a static location, you could edit the content, like you could change, maybe you know with a widget is homepage you can you can change the content of a paragraph or something like that.
Nathan Rice: But you couldn’t go in and move things around not without editing code so it’s a totally different system yeah.
Phil Johnston: widgets probably let you.
Phil Johnston: reorder sections like you could reorder widgets.
Nathan Rice: But as long as it was in the same.
Phil Johnston: widget area that’s yeah yeah.
Phil Johnston: But if you want to do something inside that widget.
Nathan Rice: Then.
Phil Johnston: Unless the widget enabled that through some kind of form or field and it’s not sort of what you see, is what you get editing it’s yeah totally different yeah.
Nathan Rice: And it was the the interface was like the widget interface, in the end, had no visual consistency with what we are actually seeing on the front end, this is the the absolute opposite so it’s awesome yeah.
David Vogelpohl: yeah I think it is, it is a seismic change and how content is created in the wordpress contacts, and I think like.
David Vogelpohl: kind of going back to 2018 when it was first released everybody’s like oh it’s going to turn you know wordpress in two weeks or whatever.
David Vogelpohl: I don’t know it’s like to me it’s like providing more capabilities as people build experiences, because I mean like to me the dynamic of wordpress is it’s the customization.
David Vogelpohl: But it’s the ability to customize and deliver that experience to a content editor you know, without them having to necessarily know any code to do something meaningful on the web.
David Vogelpohl: is right, this other one I like here is clover.
David Vogelpohl: This one was shared by Anita Carter and Oh, my goodness, of course I don’t remember her last name here, Kate.
David Vogelpohl: was the one who created this theme clover and it’s incredible and she also includes a design collect or collection with it, which I thought was really cool for needed to share Anita was actually helping Kate with that theme.
David Vogelpohl: You know needed like I said she works with a lot of different kinds of people.
David Vogelpohl: Okay, so let’s see what is the next question will you join us and testing genesis framework 3.34 with wordpress 5.8.
David Vogelpohl: Do you have you already done that your feedback already and Nathan, why don’t you talk us through what is in genesis 3.34 and why and then How does that relate to wordpress 5.8.
Nathan Rice: it’s a very small change um but it’s important because wordpress 5.8 is going to introduce a basically blocks in widget areas or I guess.
Nathan Rice: Is there a better way of saying that phil.
Phil Johnston: Technically, what it is, is.
Phil Johnston: widget in block areas now.
Phil Johnston: Okay yeah it’s but it’s the same idea is it what used to be just a widget area, you could put blocks there to.
Nathan Rice: Put blocks, and so you have basically an access to the entire library of Blocks core and any additional ones added by plugins and stuff.
Nathan Rice: And those can now go into the areas that used to be used to only accept widgets and the problem was that we went through and did some extensive testing with our library of 10 child genesis child themes and there were some pretty significant issues that would have taken us.
Nathan Rice: more time than we had in order to you know, to get it out before wordpress 5.8 to actually go through and address these issues, either through.
Nathan Rice: Reporting them to core which we have and then them sort of fixing them on that side or us mitigating for them within each individual child theme, but then having the problem of child themes don’t receive automatic updates so.
David Vogelpohl: You know I mean everybody else’s custom child themes to out there.
Nathan Rice: that’s exactly right, so we made the decision to within the genesis framework to wordpress allows you to actually turn off this this new type of widget screen.
Nathan Rice: And so we’ve opted to do that, within the genesis framework, when you update it to genesis 3.3 point four and.
Nathan Rice: It will show a little notice on the widget screen that if you would prefer to turn it on and sort of test it out and kind of go cowboy.
Nathan Rice: You can do that with a single line in your in your functions dot php file so it’s easy to turn off what we’ve well to turn back on what we’ve turned off in genesis 334.
Nathan Rice: With a single line but do understand that when you do turn it back on you’re probably gonna have to do a little work of like re styling some of your widgets that kind of get dropped in as classic widget blocks it’s it’s a very complicated thing but.
Nathan Rice: Basically we’re trying to save you some headaches here.
Nathan Rice: When you when it comes to you know, working with your child themes if there’s no reason that you feel like you need to move on to the block widget screen then just leave it the way we’ve we’ve gotten.
David Vogelpohl: Like there’s a lot of other themes that are using widgets in these ways than genesis type of themes are you suspecting like I mean I know core actually don’t, of course, you know, of course, put out this notice, but this post here from Robert.
David Vogelpohl: You know, talking about the the the ability to kind of filter it out or turn it off, which is essentially what we’re doing here with framework, but like you’re you thinking like a lot of themes will have this issue with five eight.
Phil Johnston: it’ll be interesting to see.
Phil Johnston: I would say, like i’ve been building wordpress sites, since about 2006 or so and widgets I can’t remember when they got introduced, but it was a long time ago and.
Phil Johnston: there’s just thousands and thousands of custom widgets out there, that people have built and all of them were built to to be inside of a widget context and.
Phil Johnston: To now not be inside of a widget context the edge cases are unknown and I think core is really jumping into the block editor with this they’re really taking a huge step towards blocks away from the past, I think, towards the future.
Phil Johnston: Almost drawing a line in the sand, with this it’s kind of an update that’s I feel like not getting maybe enough fanfare or attention but.
Phil Johnston: This is a, this is a shift, I think, in my opinion from the old way to the new way.
David Vogelpohl: And we work it’s kind of interesting because, like we can see this coming, we can apply an update to framework and, of course, not just our own child themes, but other genesis child themes can benefit from this, which I think is.
David Vogelpohl: kind of a neat benefit, of course, of using a framework to begin with.
David Vogelpohl: So.
David Vogelpohl: You know, I guess, like, I guess, we will ultimately kind of see what happens here, but like what are your thoughts on like the the approach at all like, why not just like go off in a new direction versus like place blocks into the widget context, and I know you may not know the answer but.
Phil Johnston: My My preference would have been that they introduced something maybe like block areas and that themes can then start building.
Phil Johnston: Block areas into their themes, rather than kind of mashing the old with the new that’s my personal take on it, I think that would have been less painful, I think, for people a little bit softer.
Phil Johnston: This is a bit bit harder of a tug towards the future, I think you’re pulling some something that’s older technology and kind of plugging it into the future, which you know.
Phil Johnston: there’s probably a good argument for that too it’s just not my personal preference, I would prefer it to be an opt in experience, rather than an opt out experience but.
Phil Johnston: That to me.
David Vogelpohl: that’s a desert yeah.
Nathan Rice: I agree with that.
Nathan Rice: position for what it’s worth it’s it’s we’ve we’ve made the mistake before of trying to push people in genesis into something that they weren’t coming and it’s not necessarily pushing something new.
Nathan Rice: it’s replacing something old or almost like hot swapping the old thing with a new thing and expecting you know one to have done anything custom that’s going to break.
Nathan Rice: With the news, you know when.
Nathan Rice: Considering the new system.
Nathan Rice: it’s just not yeah but I will say this, it is an unequivocal to me the move to using blocks, instead of widgets is absolutely the right move it’s just not nestle.
Nathan Rice: Agreed yeah yeah.
David Vogelpohl: it’s kind of like how the classic editor plugin like just came around like really towards the end of you know.
David Vogelpohl: kind of leading up to the release of block editor it was like oh wait with some people might not be ready Oh, should give them a path.
David Vogelpohl: yeah that’d be.
Nathan Rice: A classic widget is there, like a classic widget plugin now that turns us off.
Phil Johnston: yeah there’s another another plugin, just like the.
Phil Johnston: classic editor plugin that will so it’ll be interesting to see the install counts on that, I think, as well, whether people feel like they need it or not.
David Vogelpohl: yeah when I say the classic editor plugins like the seventh most popular plugin on wp engine it’s definitely high up there, so.
David Vogelpohl: People are definitely leveraging it now they’re leveraging it to turn it off on their whole site or not I doubt that it’s probably certain types of posts and pages.
David Vogelpohl: Again kind of like that question, we asked earlier in the shapers meeting a lot of folks are really into the the adoption side phil widgets and short codes were released in 2007.
David Vogelpohl: David, what did anything else to.
David Vogelpohl: Get released in 2007 that you remember.
Nathan Rice: 2007 uh let’s see.
Nathan Rice: No, no.
David Vogelpohl: version that was released in 2007.
Nathan Rice: say again TV.
David Vogelpohl: Was there a theme or a certain revolutionary theme that was.
Nathan Rice: Oh yeah revolution yeah that’s true revolution was oh seven yeah I thought you’re talking about genesis that was oh nine but yeah I mean.
Nathan Rice: 10 early 2010.
David Vogelpohl: yeah widgets and short codes 2007 and then revolution theme leveraging widgets and short codes in 2007 so it was a story moment in wordpress history.
David Vogelpohl: Alright cool well Thank you so much for joining us today phil was good good to have you.
Phil Johnston: yeah thanks thanks for having me again.
David Vogelpohl: As always glad to see you here, get your insights very helpful.
Nathan Rice: Thank you.
David Vogelpohl: awesome thanks everyone else for watching and listening, please stay tuned for future episodes of the genesis Community live cast again.
David Vogelpohl: i’ve been your host David bullock pole i’ve been a proud member of the genesis Community for over eight years and I love helping the genesis Community get better, together with my friends from the shapers.
David Vogelpohl: 10 and then done I didn’t record, oh no I did record it okay good there we go.
As a reminder, the Genesis Shapers are a global, hand-selected, and diverse group of people representing companies from across the community who share a representative voice for the strategic direction of Genesis, which is combined with the feedback we receive directly from customers across social channels, and through Genesis WP on Slack.