Footnotes #397

BRIAN'S NOTES ✏️

At this stage of the global shutdown, we're seeing many online products, particularly those related to eCommerce, sustain and even increase sales, as stores get themselves in better shape online. While some of the economy is slowly opening up, it's obvious many historically in-person businesses that need to change, and it's keeping sales up for part of the ecosystem. It does not appear to be an equitable distribution for the consulting space, which anecdotally from my observation looks like it's slowing in most cases.


I hope you'll read Justin Tadlock‘s excellent article on where Gutenberg went wrong, at least for theme developers. Philip Arthur Moore's follow-up is also a must-read. I think a drastic change in the developer ecosystem for themes is an unavoidable sacrifice from Gutenberg. Like I mentioned in a recent video, there is still an opportunity, but not the same opportunities.


Envato is embracing this shift from theme to block / page builder with its brand new template kits category. Don't underestimate this! Envato throwing their weight behind Elementor for an entire marketplace category helps cement Elementor as a top-tier participant in the presentation layer wars of WordPress.

I foresee significant market share adjustments for former big players in page building if Elementor keeps up this momentum — perhaps to the degree of making it a two-player game between Elementor and Gutenberg. Where does that leave Divi, Beaver Builder, and others?


Envira Gallery acquired the juggernaut of WordPress and photography — Imagely. Imagely is the owner of NextGEN Gallery. I learned that while NextGEN is still significantly larger in terms of active websites, Envira counts nearly two-thirds of its installs as paying customers, whereas NextGEN has fewer than 15% of its active sites are using the paid product. It'll be interesting to see how Envira does with this huge opportunity to convert those non-paying customers.

Finally, I hope you'll check out my latest on YouTube where I talk about the need for an improved new user experience in WordPress.


WP Engine has announced Genesis Pro, a product that provides professional-quality blocks and page layout tools for Gutenberg. It has been released first as an add-on for WP Engine customers but is coming to all StudioPress customers later this year.

According to David Vogelpohl on the StudioPress blog, this release “doesn't affect existing Genesis customers and does not require that your site be hosted on WP Engine … to use” it. 🛠️

Genesis Pro is an impressive new offering for WordPress, but there has been some talk in Post Status‘ #club Slack channel about the potential impact on independent developers who are trying to build and release blocks of their own.


Cody Landefeld shares some tips to help increase your mobile conversion rate for eCommerce. Cody dives into the details of speeding up your mobile site — including your product videos — building trust, and having a clear call to action. 📣


Oyetoke Tobi Emmanuel demonstrates how to automate front-end application testing with Selenium, a popular testing tool for web apps. As an example, Oyetoke takes you through the steps to automate testing for a simple Svelte to-do app using Node and Selenium. Even if you're more familiar with different tools and techniques, you will get the gist with this guide. 🧪


In a recent interview, Michele Butcher-Jones talked with Katie Richards, a Community Coordinator at Pantheon, about how she got involved with WordPress and what open source means to her.


Mark Jaquith wrote a WordPress/Jetpack Driver for Laravel Valet.


An article from AdAge asks some business leaders what brands should be doing in such uncertain times, especially when many organizations are struggling to stay profitable. Syed Balkhi had this to say:

“In these times, it's important to lead by example — offer work-from-home, spread medically correct information, and stay indoors. Your brand will be remembered as a responsible and flexible one, and you will build goodwill for the future.”


Felix Arntz, a WordPress core contributor, moved to San Francisco just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Some readers of Post Status will be able to relate to Felix's story. 😷


Alex Denning noticed searches for “WordPress” went up 52% in April, compared to the previous month.” Alex also notes there's been about a 20% “bump in WordPress searches with high purchase intent in the last month.” 📈


Chris Lema shares his evaluation of WordPress caching plugins. He lists his top three after a close look at this crowded field, including Cache Enabler, Comet Cache, Hyper Cache, W3 Total Cache, WP Rocket, and WP Super Cache. 🔌


Carl Alexander is building a serverless DevOps platform for WordPress, which he is calling Ymir — you can watch a video explaining it further.

Carl compares his project to Laravel Vapor because “Ymir isn’t a WordPress host. You will have full access and control over everything. You’ll also be responsible for your AWS bill.”

There's no release timeline yet, but this does sound promising. 👍


The Google Podcasts Manager was released last week — a new tool to help podcasters gain insights into the evolving habits of podcast listeners “so they can better understand their audiences and reach them across Google products.”

I am not deep in the Google ecosystem, but if you are in the podcast space this might be worth a look. 🎤


DAVID'S PICKS 📬

Podcast Picks

🎙️ Here are some podcasts I've listened to recently that I enjoyed: