Skip to content

Smart Marketing Show is no longer in production

Play Video

What do technical dependencies have to do with marketing in WordPress? Everything. Technical debt is a thing — almost worse than student debt. But hey, you got that bachelor’s degree, right?

This week, Jason and Bridget are joined by Devin Walker, the CEO, and co-founder of We’ll have a discussion on how your dependency choices can affect your user experience. And that’s marketing, baby!

This Week’s Panel

Jason Tucker @jasontucker
Bridget Willard @bridgetmwillard
Devin Walker @innerwebs

Show Sponsors


Thank you to ServerPress makers of DesktopServer and WPsitesync for sponsoring our show.


Cloudways is a managed WordPress hosting provider that offers 5 best-in-class cloud providers, giving you freedom of choice and flexibility to build amazing WordPress websites. It comes with an intuitive platform that lets you manage your server and applications within a few clicks. All this is backed by 24/7 professional support that acts as your extended team as you grow your business.

How Are You Spending Your Marketing Budget?

You could be a show sponsor. Supporting podcasts is a smart use of your marketing budget. We have been sponsored by big brands such as Kinsta, Adobe, and Beaver Builder. Why not get your audience in front of the thousands of people who download this show every month?

Tool Or Tip Of The Week

This week’s Tool or Tip of the Week is brought to you by The Definitive Guide to Twitter Marketing.

Devin recommends PHP Scoper built by Delicious Brains.

Jason recommends Clubhouse, a mobile app for Apple.

Bridget recommends Stripe Atlas for starting your business.

Show Timestamps

00:03:51 What is a technical dependency?

00:04:51 “There’s no real core, bakedin dependency manager with WordPress. So it can make things a little bit interesting for developer and ultimately, when it comes down to marketing is like, you know, you want to have the best user experience possible.” Devin Walker

00:07:10 “In this calendar year of 2021, WordPress is gonna have four major release candidates that have a 14 day period between the release candidate and the launch.” Bridget Willard

00:08:27 “Well, and the thing is, is you also have stability issues as well. So maybe just because they put something out doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s as stable as you’re expecting it to be.” Jason Tucker

00:09:37 Uncertainty with Plugin versus Core Updates

00:12:37 Node Package Manager — Packages within Packages

00:13:36 How does manage ideal hosts for their plugin?

00:16:21 “It’s like the Wild West with WordPress when you build a SaaS you control everything, you know, but in WordPress, you have to check for a zillion environments. It’s very difficult.” Devin Walker

00:17:19 Plugin shops start as one-person shops.

00:18:48 “And growth in the internet industry is the number of users.” Bridget Willard

00:19:38 GiveWP and SaaS for User Experience

00:21:11 “But if you’re non-technical, you want something more turnkey. That’s where SaaS can really shine.” Devin Walker 

00:23:46 The good and bad of Saas.

00:25:53 “You listen to enough podcasts, you’ll want to use Squarespace.” Jason Tucker

00:26:35 “You just want to sell baked goods on Saturdays. Okay, Shopify, or Squarespace.” Devin Walker

00:27:19 “How do we touch the marketing side of this when it comes to those technical dependencies?” Jason Tucker

00:27:33 Devin brings up

00:29:22 How do you explain to your user base that your plugin won’t break?

00:30:15 Reach out to other plugin developers to work together.

00:31:57 Jason talks about getting pitched products on our podcast.

00:33:39 Bridget talks about

00:34:39 Market While You Build

00:36:13 How do you have intimate conversation without WordCamps and after parties and lunches?

00:40:17 Give Sneak Peaks in Your Facebook Group 

00:45:17 “A plugin that chooses to be dependent upon you might be one of your biggest advocates.” Bridget Willard





Become a Patron and support us on Patreon!

Become a Patron!

Editor’s Note: Transcriptions of episodes are created with a mix of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain some grammatical errors or slight deviations from the audio.

Jason Tucker 0:14
This is smart Marketing Show Episode Number 182 technical dependencies and marketing in WordPress

brought to you by our friends over at ServerPress, makers of DesktopServer. They make local WordPress development easy. Check them out at

And Cloudways web hosting Cloudways handles all your hosting complexity so you can focus on building amazing WordPress websites without any hassle. Check them out over at

check out Bridget’s new book, The Definitive Guide to Twitter marketing. You can find it over on Amazon.

You can support us over on Patreon go to slash wp WPwatercooler. We’d really appreciate that and you help us out over there.

I’m Jason Tucker. I’m an IT director and web developer. You can find me at Jason Tucker on Twitter.

And this is my friend and co host Bridget Willard. She’s a marketing consultant. She can be found as Bridget Willard on Twitter.

Subscribe to this podcast on wherever it is you can find a podcast. For instance, if you want to look over on Apple podcasts or Google podcasts or even Spotify.

Unknown Speaker 1:32

Bridget Willard 1:35

Devin Walker 1:37
Yeah, my cat loves podcast unless you might hear something that you got selected. Okay.

Bridget Willard 1:44
On this episode, we have Devin Walker, co founder and CEO of The most robust online plugin for WordPress, you can find out more See you still in there, Devin, but what is Cat’s your name? They were the first to speak.

Devin Walker 2:02
Her name’s Cleo. But yeah, you almost got it. We are the most robust and powerful WordPress plugin but for fundraising slash donations. You left that part out.

Bridget Willard 2:14
That was an iteration. That was a post-Bridget iteration.

Devin Walker 2:18
Yeah. But it was good. Thank

you. Great to be back.

Jason Tucker 2:21
Good to have you. Good to have you.

Bridget Willard 2:23
Yeah, because Devin, you were a regular on some our very first episodes in 2015.

Devin Walker 2:29
I remember that I think is maybe even before then, cuz Yeah, I remember some old episodes been on there.

Bridget Willard 2:36
Right? When it was actually on Blab and actually call it WPblab.

Devin Walker 2:40
Jason’s beard was a little less gray back then.

Jason Tucker 2:45
It’s totally true.

Bridget Willard 2:46
He didn’t wear glasses. And I did. Like this wow we… My beard’s gray, too, but I shaved. So

We’re gonna talk about technical dependencies on this episode, because it’s so important to marketing. And you’ll get those nuances of course, but you know, having that 5.6 rollout jQuery having all their deprecated code with 3.0 being the blessed child. And by now most people probably know the jQuery manager plugin.

installed. Every minute here the talks you gave that you’re like 2015 I think actually in Miami and LA for some reason LA is isn’t on WordPress TV. But my advice is, and it’s actually been quoted in my book that’s with my editor, “How To Market Your Plugin Dot Com.” nonmarket your plugin calm,

as well as other Devino quotes. You gotta buy it to find out.

So like, here’s the thing. Can let’s just like do the baseline. Like most of our people are WordPress developers. But sometimes they’re designers too. Right. So can you like give us a definition of what a technical dependency is?

Devin Walker 4:10
Yeah, so in your core plugin or theme, even WordPress, they all depend on typically a third party code set. Right? So jQuery, you mentioned that ,that’s one of the most popular dependencies for doing all sorts of things. Now that WordPress has gone more with React, there’s a whole bunch of other dependencies there. Each language can kind of have its own dependency. With PHP, you can install packages with composer, those have a whole lot of dependencies as well. And each can potentially conflict with each other.

There’s no real core-baked in dependency manager with WordPress. So it can make things a little bit interesting for developer and ultimately, when it comes down to marketing is like, you know, you want to have the best user experience possible. Think in the pre show you’re talking about, I clicked a button, nothing happened. And it’s like, that’s, you know, if you send out a tweet, I think you’ve got, I don’t know, gobs and gobs of followers. I know that. I don’t know if it’s 20,000 plus now, but yeah, yeah, well, if you sent a little tweet out and tagged whoever’s button, that was, it’s bad marketing or bad publicity for them. Right? And you might not do that. But a lot of people would, or they’d go and leave a one star review or what have you, right? Yeah.

Jason Tucker 5:36
Yeah, I’m talking about like, dependency management, you know, having something like NPM, which would be that that sort of thing, just having the ability to have those packages kind of installed correctly, making sure everything kind of works the way it’s supposed to, and all that sort of thing. But for, for WordPress itself, it’s like, there really isn’t, and you’re kind of, you’re kind of stuck with, you know, okay, install this plugin. And hopefully, you installed this other plugin that you need. And that’s it. But outside of that, you could have multiple versions of JavaScript, multiple versions of jQuery, multiple versions of JavaScript libraries, it could be a whole gamut. And it, it stinks. Like, we wish it would be better. But we’re just not really sure how to make that all all work when you have people writing different plugins all the time and stuff.

Devin Walker 6:23
Yeah, I know, there’s been a lot of a lot of discussion on it. And I haven’t seen a whole bunch of action on it, there’s a couple of tools that some of the larger plugins use, we’ve looked into it that like scope, your dependencies specific to your plugin, those kind of mixed and varying results, but then you know that it goes beyond just packages that you install to, like, you can have a dependency on a certain version of another plugin. So if you update, you know, an add on before you update the core, add on might not be ready for the version of the quarter that you’re using. We know this with WooCommerce. It’s not any different with our plugin and a lot of the, you know, the freemium model plugins. Yeah.

Bridget Willard 7:10
Plus, like you have the whole schedule, like that’s what I think of, you know, PHP, eight, dropped off Thanksgiving, American Thanksgiving. And like, a week later, we had 5.6. So in my brain, I would be like, no software should ever have an update after October 15. Nobody gives a crap. Right? That so so now, in this year, in this calendar year of 2021, WordPress is gonna have four major release candidates that have a 14 day period between the release candidate and the launch. Hmm, I mean, core updates, right. So that’s 14 calendar days, not 14 business days, right. So like, when it comes to things like that? I mean, do you plan your production around the bigger calendar? Or, like, I wish that kind of WordPress had planned around PHP?

Devin Walker 8:19
Right, right. Right.

Unknown Speaker 8:21
That’s right running target do you do?

Jason Tucker 8:27
Well, and the thing is, is you also have stability issues as well. So maybe just because they put something out doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s as stable as you’re expecting it to be. Or it could be some new technology that’s being added in that’s just not 100% baked yet. And maybe it made it in or they’re gonna have to put it, you know, a patch in later or something. So, there’s, there’s a bunch of those things.

I even look at Apple, for instance, like apple, they’ve been pushing out their updates faster, but the or they’ll push it out, they’ll do an event, and then they’ll push out the update. And then all the developers go like, Oh, crap, like, there’s this new technology that people are looking for. And I need to get this built, for instance, like widgets, which like a thing, and you know, on iPhones, they’re all freaking out trying to get these things in there, because it makes them look attractive to the people that are wanting to download those things. So yeah, that having that schedule, it almost sounds like I mean, if Steve Zehngut was on the show, right now, he would say he just waits. He’s like, cool. I’m glad that you guys came up with the new update, but we’re just gonna have to wait. You know,

Bridget Willard 9:29
I want to build websites versus when you build plugins, though. And themes. Yeah,

Jason Tucker 9:36
yeah. Yeah.

Devin Walker 9:37
I mean, we definitely on and some are higher traffic sites we’re on Pagely and they force you to wait typically for core updates. You just can’t click update on your own, I think it’s multi tenant environment. So they they’re gonna be darn sure and thankfully, they you know, they watch out for us. So they alleviate a lot of the pain we have. But it’s still, you know, a bit hairy sometimes when you go to update plugins, and they hold back the core version, and you want to get on this newer plugin version, and there’s a little bit of uncertainty there sometimes.

Jason Tucker 10:18

Bridget Willard 10:20
Yeah, it’s tricky.

Devin Walker 10:21
Yeah, from a plugin developer standpoint, one is like, you want to be always making sure that when your plugins in the repository, it says WordPress tested up to the latest version. I think that’s a little bit of SEO thing too, for the plugin repository, they will, you know, if you’re tested up to the latest version, or generally get a higher ranking in there, right. And then as well as, and that can be difficult for if you have 20 plugins, you have to go into each individual one and update it somehow. You got to do that four times a year four times 20. 80 times. So you see how so a free plugin that’s just a helper tool, like WProllback’s got 100,000 active installs, but we don’t spend much time on it. I have to make a conscious, like effort to remember to do that.

Bridget Willard 11:08
Yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s what I’m thinking. Like, there’s all these plugins, and there are a lot of them are, aren’t as big as y’all and they’re just trying to go, there’s trying, they just did something, because it’s open source. And you know, here’s some love for y’all. Right? Now, it’s like that, right? It’s not it’s not updated fast enough, and all that stuff. So, you know, it’s kind of tricky, because, on the one hand, it’s all about the open source. But on the other hand, how much does it matter? Like we’ve had this discussion before? And plugin developers will say, Well, if there are no changes to my plugin from that Update, I’m not going to bother. Hmm. Right. But then again, there’s that doubt, right?

Devin Walker 12:04
For sure. And going along with that open source kind of theme there. So Jason mentioned NPM, right, node package manager. If you start an open source project and use several packages, they depend on other packages. So you have packages within packages, your node module folder can get longer than you’ve ever seen. And then let’s say a year goes by, well, now when you run NPM, install, you’ll see all these warnings that are like vulnerabilities found vulnerabilities found. And then oh, this package is deprecated. Use this Instead, use this instead. So it gives you more homework. I believe in the end, it’ll save you lots of time. But, you know, when you depend on dependencies, it’s a whole chain that goes down the line.

Bridget Willard 12:52
Basically, software development is very codependent.

Jason Tucker 12:58
Yeah. So much so that, you know, in the past, we’ve even seen with NPM, that, you know, one developer can, can essentially break the internet, they could go in and be like, you know, I just don’t want to manage this thing anymore. And then the whole thing gets, you know, shut down. You’re like, Oh, I had this one little piece of code screw everything up. But it did. So yeah. It’s tough to it’s, it’s, it’s things you need to look out for, and things that the community itself needs to kind of work through and figure out but you know, hopefully we learn from our mistakes. And so we’re able to kind of address those.

Yeah, I was thinking Devin, like, how do you guys go through and look at the look at the different web hosts that you that your customers are hosted on maybe that are running old, you know, old, old server software, or old versions of PHP, or they’re running Apache instead of nginx? or whatever? How do you guys manage that? And how do you manage like, figuring out like, this host isn’t going to work for you kind of thing? And what do you do to kind of deal with that?

Devin Walker 14:09
Well, there’s a lot of conditional checks, that’s for sure. In the plugin, we do have basic telemetry, so but that with WordPress, we can’t get 100% data, we have to ask people to opt into that. So typically, with the, you know, the $5 web hosts, what we find is that everybody knows the databases, I guess, a technical dependency, you can call that more like, you need a database in order to run it. But when we try to do database migrations move data from one table into another. That’s when things really can start breaking down, especially if they have a lot of data in there. So it’s really about trying to work with the customer in the best way possible. You know, getting a clone of their site and just making sure their environment works and then then if you No, it does in your local system, then you can kind of, you know, rule out that and look at the server from there.

Jason Tucker 15:10
I mean, I just imagine that like your your customers are, especially with with Give. They’re all over the place. It could be somebody who doesn’t have any money. So they’re going to be on file or web hosting. And they’re going to want to have this thing hosted or somebody that’s on like, you know, really, really expensive web hosting. And they’re, everything’s just kind of handled for them. It’s a managed web host or something like that. So you guys are having to probably look at everything right?

Devin Walker 15:36
Oh, yeah. If we can get Ben on here, from support on my team, he would give you a whole long spiel on this. But yeah, typically, our customers, I would say are not on the Ritz Carlton of hosts. They’re more like in the Motel 8. But it’s typical of our client base. And dealing with it can can be an up and down battle, especially for them. You know, I remember doing a lot of doing a lot of dependency checking for Microsoft IIS servers. And a lot of people were running on WordPress on Microsoft servers. I was like, that’s a whole other battle right there.

Jason Tucker 16:19
Oh, yeah.

Devin Walker 16:21
It’s like the Wild West with WordPress when you building a SaaS you control everything, you know, but in WordPress, you have to check for a zillion environments. It’s very difficult.

Bridget Willard 16:33
That reminds me of the question and answers up to the State of Word, back when they were live and had unscripted, un-pre-screened questions. In 2015 like Jason Lemieux from Vernal Creative and Postmatic asked Matt Mullenweg about this, like, pushing the release schedule so quickly. That was even before Gutenberg. And before we’re having like, four core updates in a calendar year, you know, and he was like, well, plugins shouldn’t be one-person shops. I remember, we were all like, Oh [bleep] like, this was foreseen, and that was the warning like, five, six years ago.

Devin Walker 17:19
Yeah, it’s tough. Because typically, they start at one person shops, you know, there’s an inspiration to build something. And then hopefully, if people like it, you can build a business about it. Yeah.

Jason Tucker 17:31
That kind of shows you what how Matt’s thinking about his his community, is that they may only be like, Oh, you’re just a one person shop? Well, you know, maybe I don’t care about you. I don’t know. Maybe he does. Maybe he doesn’t.

Devin Walker 17:45
But hopefully it’s evolved since then. Yeah.

Jason Tucker 17:48

Bridget Willard 17:50
Did you see the tweet that Matt responded to me about? Like is now advertising, even though they’ve been doing it, advertising that they are, will now build your site for you starting at $4,900?

Devin Walker 18:07

Bridget Willard 18:09
With “our experts,” which we now find out, can be pulled from Jetpack.Pro if you register with the same exact email address as you have with your account.

Jason Tucker 18:22
No one’s done that.

Bridget Willard 18:24
But see this thing like the ugly, horrible, evil marketer, capitalist, and WordPress, it’s like, okay, I totally have empathy for our community, which is why I get what their thing is. But at the same time, I know when you take that sweet, sweet Salesforce venture capital cash, they are going to want growth.

And growth in the internet industry is number of users. Just why bought Tumblr, blah and blah, blah, right? So Pressable — of, course your updated we have everybody up to up to the update. You can’t not have Jetpack, if you’re on Pressable. I loved Pressable, but I’m just saying like this is reality.

Unknown Speaker 19:08
when I switch,

Bridget Willard 19:09
I switch but not because I didn’t like them. I switched because for me as a human to experience other environments. This is my this right? here where I’m at. I’m at SiteDistrict, but with Matt Copola, and I love it. I was so I was migrated before I even knew what happened. I was like, Okay, I did all your thing. And I go is my site over there? He goes. Yeah, I go. That was it? He goes, Yeah, it’s like that was awesome!

Devin Walker 19:37

Bridget Willard 19:38
Yeah. Well, you know, so But the thing is, like, it’s those user bases, right, Jason, so like, he’s gonna want that number of users. And so now with you know, looking back from 2015, and looking forward now, I remember we had conversations Devin about becoming a SaaS and I was like, Oh, you can’t do that. You’re alienated. Now I’m like, oh, y’all should be a SaaS.

So like, can you kind of, can you kind of address that, like, from a from a marketing perspective, from the user experience, from the perspective of the user, just going like this, click, click, click, click, and it’s done. Right? What do you think plugin developers? Do you think they’ll move that direction?

Devin Walker 20:28
Yeah, in all transparency, we’re about to launch a SaaS actually.

Jason Tucker 20:34
In my head, I was like, you know, Bridget’s gonna say something that he’s gonna be like, you know, we are gonna paint it purple.

Bridget Willard 20:40
I know but I’m supposed to say stuff; this is why I’m here.

Devin Walker 20:44
But we’re not going to GiveWP is still going to be what it is, like, there’s no connection right now. So I sort of use the analogy of GiveWP it’s, it’s more like Play Doh. And you can make whatever you want out of it. And it’s shapeable. If you know code, you can do whatever really, with you. All sorts of hooks, extensions, what have you to, to achieve the fundraising goal that you want.

But if you’re non-technical, you want something more turnkey. That’s where SaaS can really shine. It’s, it’s much easier to get up and running. Versus on WordPress, where you do have to have some of these basic skill sets to install the plug in, you know, connect your payment gateway. But if you know that it’s a really great native experience, where you control your data, you have full control of everything within your WordPress dashboard. SaaS can be integrated with dashboard. But, you know, traditionally you’re going to be going into the SaaS more than the native experience. So I definitely encourage people to do more of that. But you know, the one great thing about WordPress is it’s not like SaaS, you can kind of use the community in a way that they help you. “Use” is not probably the best word, but you can be part of the community. And if you’re interest influential if you build a good product, like, you know, the customers will find you eventually. With good marketing. Great marketing.

Bridget Willard 22:17
Yeah, of course. I mean, but yeah, Jason. So, I mean, Devin brings up a really good point. So they’re not mutually exclusive.

Jason Tucker 22:25
Huh. That’s what it sounded like.

Devin Walker 22:31
Yeah, I would say, I mean, you have the most successful WordPress plugin to SaaS where they like, suck the data out and put it into the SaaS was Monster, with no, not MonsterInsights. Like that. I guess that one kind of did it. But the his other product of OptinMonster. OptinMonster. And I remember when that rolled out, and I thought they did a pretty good job of it. But I remember seeing a lot of like issues and flack being propped up for that. But since then, it’s done pretty killer, it seems like.

Jason Tucker 23:09
Yeah, you essentially end up having an interface within an interface. I mean, I remember when I first installed disqus, which is, you know, it’s a commenting system. And you can say “discuss,” you could say “diskuss.”

Bridget Willard 23:22
I always call it discuss.

Jason Tucker 23:25
I call it JIF. So it is what it is. But the the idea is that you take this thing and it goes in it imports all of your, your your comments and puts them into its its own database stored in it, SaaS and then it says, Okay, well, I’m gonna compile these in a way that it needs to be to be displayed back onto the site. That’s great.

That’s great for people that don’t really know what they’re doing for it, they just need this thing to kind of work. Like what Devin was saying before, you know, when you have when you have a SaaS product, that SaaS product, you know, you’re responsible for it. Like when that thing goes down, it’s your company, that’s, that’s having to deal with the ups and downs and all the other stuff, where if you’re just building code, and then deploying the code and put it on somebody else’s website, as long as there’s no things like talking back to base, you’re fine.

Bridget Willard 24:17
Well, I mean, Microsoft by Slack, right?

Jason Tucker 24:20
Right. Yeah.

Bridget Willard 24:22
Slack goes down, everybody thinks they have to takes a day off. I’m like, Oh, you millennials. Just get your typewriter on the closet. You could do this, I believe in you. You know,

Jason Tucker 24:36
I feel like Wait, how do I send an email again? “Devin at what? Where’s the at sign on this thing?” You know, but yeah. I don’t know. The SaaS model. There’s, I think if you’re going to diversify the both your diversify the actual products that you’re doing and the technologies that you’re doing it with as well as diversifying the the type of customer that you’re wanting to do — super smart, I think it’s great. I think it’s cool that you guys are approaching them that way, and being up. And

Bridget Willard 25:06
I mean, that’s, that’s the thing that has as an advantage, besides the only corporation or company or person who’s allowed to use trademark “WordPress,” is that it just go on and it in that clicks, click, click, click, click, click, click, and all of a sudden is done. Right?

So like even one of my clients, they are leaving one of their websites is on upflow. And they love it. Because it’s easy for the marketing people to just get stuff done, and integrate with all their email marketing with Active Campaign or whatever. And the other website they have is on WordPress, but they’re going to move it to Squarespace because they have a better experience. That doesn’t take as much time

Jason Tucker 25:53
You listen to enough podcasts, you’ll want to use Squarespace.

Bridget Willard 25:57
I know. It’s just it’s like it’s frustrating. But I also kind of get it because it was like Morten said at WordCamp Europe, “10 years ago, WordPress is easy. I don’t know if it’s easy now because it’s easy for me, right?” So like when we’re already used to the environment. It’s simple, right? Somebody who doesn’t know, like, those of us who use WordPress are pretty, you know, technical enough or technical enough, you know, to get in there and write a post or whatever.

Devin Walker 26:35
Yeah, I always when somebody asked me they’re like, Hey, you build websites? What do you recommend? I kind of do an analysis in my head. Okay. Do they know what a host is? Can they buy a domain and point the domain? Can they spin up the hosting account and install WordPress? And then can they go to Squarespace. You just want to sell baked goods on Saturdays. Okay, Shopify, or Squarespace. Not even a point that WooCommerce. But if they’re like, you know, have lots of skews and they work on a development team. They want to a WordPress all the way, you know, over any others. Yeah,

Bridget Willard 27:14
yeah. So

Jason Tucker 27:19
How do we, how do we touch the marketing side of this when it comes to those technical dependencies? Like,

Bridget Willard 27:25
how do I was where I was going? Like, how does the customer know the difference?

Jason Tucker 27:30
Yeah, yeah. Hmm.

Devin Walker 27:33
I think one thing that comes to mind as far as like marketing goes, I don’t know if this is like 100% traditional, but like, have you seen waas.Pro? Website as a Service. So it’s basically like, you can spin up your own. Do whatever if you want, like wedding photographer, website builder, it lets you use WordPress to build a service out of it. And then you can make that kind of like Squarespace. If you wanted to, you can install Gutenberg or Elementor and white, label it with full site editing and create your own experience. So if we’re talking about marketing, like you can get your product out there, use these core tools. kind of put a fresh coat of paint on it. Yeah. And then, and then it’s up to you to start marketing it after that,

Bridget Willard 28:26
right? No, but and that is awesome. Yes, and that is awesome. But, but from a plugin marketing standpoint, marketing, your actual product, Devin. What would you recommend to these? Yeah, I mean, you’re a veteran now. Right? Like, you’re, you’re this generation’s Pippin?

Devin Walker 28:51
Am I?

Bridget Willard 28:53
You’re awesome. There’s no

I know nobody better API than you. Nobody. I mean, this is like, I could have chosen a lots of people, I chose you because you’re the best. That’s it. That’s just is what it is. And you have a generous heart at teaching people. And so what i what i what i want to get out of you is like there’s so many people still building plugins, because WordPress isn’t dead yet and you know, and it’s probably not going to die for a while. Right?

So this is an ecosystem that’s legit. So like, when how does how does a plugin company right market themselves as like, how do they like market that experience? Like how do they explain to to their user base that we care about this this not gonna fucking break?

Unknown Speaker 29:51
For sure.

Devin Walker 29:53
All right, so a couple of things come to mind. They’re like you obviously have WordPress core. Most people install a single seat theme and then there’s a couple popular ones out, right? Astra, Devi, Elementor is more page builder. You can use whatever blank theme with that, like Astra. But those are dependencies, right? WordPress core set.

So what we do is, Yoast, of course, All in One SEO, we mark it, that we’re compatible with these top plugins. And then we get, we have relationships because we’ve been in the community for a long time with Yoast with, with Suja from Astra. And, you know, we did things like Oh, hey, you have this great starter template functionality, and you’re creating it for all these. Nice, let’s do some nonprofit ones. How can we help? How can we work together? Or with Yoast? Hey, you know, SEO is great, you know, can we collaborate on ebook together to do WordPress for nonprofits, specifically, SEO for nonprofits? And, you know, judging on your idea, how your relationship is, how credible you are, that’s you get your foot in the door. And then you spend lots of money on Facebook and Google and run ads towards it. Right.

Bridget Willard 31:14
Yeah, because that’s, I mean, that’s an excellent point. Yeah. No, I


Devin Walker 31:18
But just starting out, like, right, people don’t make the mistake of coming out as a newbie, nobody knows you, and trying to reach out to these folks. Right? That’s, you gotta get some street cred first, right? Yeah. It’s kind of hard now without, with no WordCamps, and no hallway tracks. That was, that was my home base right there just hanging out. And if you sponsor WordCamps, create the foot traffic, meeting new people is great. But it’s getting that additional street cred. Like the those developers see you. You’re next to Yoast? Oh, wow, this company spent 5000 bucks to get this. We know how much this is. I’ve got 10 employees here. We want to talk to them. Right?

Jason Tucker 31:57
Yeah. We get pitched all the time first for four different products and services that I’ve never heard of. And it’s like, oh, how do I? How do I do? am I ever gonna be the first one to you know, to run an ad for these folks? Or do they do other people know who they are? And kind of, you know, it? It’s a funny situation of reading and talking about this? Because it’s just like, how do you how do you even manage this? Because sometimes it’s just like, you know, we’re three guys that work in, you know, an office someplace, and we build websites, and we want to, you know, advertise with you. It’s like, oh, okay, well, I don’t know, maybe this might work. Let’s see, can you build a website like, I don’t know, it’s just, it’s, it’s a, it’s a difficult one to to look at. But when you have that, that hallway track piece that you’re just talking about, you can kind of build that relationship and be able to make those things work or, and like you were saying, you may be looking for a company that is a little bit larger than you that already has that street cred. So they’re able to go to them and be like, you essentially get credit just by, you know, just by knowing them and have worked with them with, you know, a small, a small little thing or something like that, like, for instance for us, like we had Adobe advertise on our show. Hmm, it’s like, Okay, well, you know, you could be just like Adobe, and you can, you can advertise on our show as well. So it’s like, it’s a, it’s a it’s an interesting one to navigate because you’re trying to figure out like, what’s the best way to get the word out about your product? And then also, how do I make my product work with the other ones that that go along with it? Mm hmm.

Unknown Speaker 33:38

Bridget Willard 33:39
I have a friend on Twitter who just came out with EatsWP? Yes. for, you know, creating accessible mobile responsive websites for restaurants, which is like, Hello, it’s been a problem for a whole year. And because they’re so Instagram dependent, like restaurants are so dependent upon Instagram, it’s, it’s sad. They’re, like, Rhonda, and I didn’t go to a restaurant because we couldn’t find their hours on their website, like basic information, you know. Anyway, so Jack was building it. He was marketing as he builds which is something that I advocate heavily was with my client base.

And that there are a lot of times they’re afraid, but if you’re already have a following on Twitter, and you’re talking about what you’re doing, you’re building the new term, I guess, is “building a public,” whatever, just market while you build it. And like, everybody’s like, “oh, you’re gonna steal my idea.” I’m like, “it’s open source.” So like, you guys don’t want anybody to steal your idea. Then don’t be okay, go forca plugin right now. Hello Is this thing on, you know, with that building, and putting Click along with his website and Google ads. Yeah. He like got, you know, a lot of adoption on that first day.

Devin Walker 35:10
Wow. All right.

Bridget Willard 35:12
It was like a need plus like talking about you have to tell people.

Jason Tucker 35:17
Yeah, yeah.

Bridget Willard 35:20
I don’t know how you get around not telling people. And especially because there are no WordCamps there’s no in person meetups. And even if you go to the ones that are online, it’s not the same as like, Hey, I’m gonna like we’re walking out to the car to the parking lot. And we’re having a conversation is private. You don’t have like, I private conversations on it.

Devin Walker 35:42
Yeah, or lunches or not to mention after parties, right? Surprisingly, like it’s done at those after

Bridget Willard 35:49
the after party of the after party.

Devin Walker 35:51
All night long.

Bridget Willard 35:54
Yeah, that was the last WordCamp I went to was of Seattle. And that was what we did. We ended up at a vegan, heavy metal bar. So like, talk about niching out in a niche?

Devin Walker 36:06
Because that one or no, I missed? That’s 2019. I went to 18. Yeah.

Bridget Willard 36:13
Yeah. It was crazy. Because like, you know, that’s, but that was where you have those conversations. And so how do you have? Like, how do you have? Okay, I know what my answer is. And most people that know me know my answers, but how do you have those conversations? When we don’t have those? It looks like we’re not going to even have that this this year. It looks like normal. Whatever normal is gonna be, is it gonna be till 2022?

Devin Walker 36:42
Yeah, I’m with you on that. Yeah.

Bridget Willard 36:45
What’s the what’s the approach for new or struggling? know that that’s,

Devin Walker 36:54
I really like what you said with building in public, it can be very scary, for sure. Especially if you’re running into roadblocks things push the timeline, you get an anticipated crowd following your content, and they want to use it. And if you don’t make sense, deadlines are theirs. And for me, I’m somewhat of a perfectionist, I want to roll out something that looks and feels and works really great. And we all know version 1.0 can definitely have some bugs.

Bridget Willard 37:25
So you know, when you get your first checking account, and you can start at check 100 but a lot of times people say you should start it, check 2000 it there’s been some scuttlebutt on Twitter, Devin of like, not calling your plugin version one as you

Unknown Speaker 37:45
thought about it.

Unknown Speaker 37:46
No, I haven’t.

Bridget Willard 37:51
Words, version 5.0. You missed the first four.

Devin Walker 37:56
Where have I been? It goes against, like everything semantic. versioning stands for. But I guess, hey, I don’t know how many more people are here.

Unknown Speaker 38:10

Bridget Willard 38:11
don’t backfill your GitHub, just give

Devin Walker 38:13
it a cool name and drop the version.

Jason Tucker 38:18
Businesses used to do that where they would acquire another company just so they could show up in the stock exchange. It’s the same sort of situation with that. It’s just like, you’re essentially buying credibility at that point, or buying the ability to try to gain credibility. I don’t know I that’s a weird one. That’s a very weird way of just like starting on some arbitrary number. But I don’t know what that actually does for anyone. Because it’s like,

Bridget Willard 38:43
Well, if you’re if you don’t want to, like if the psychology of who I don’t want the first one, I never buy the first iPhone. Like I’m not, no, not spending $800 in something that might break. And I you know, like, with everything else, I’m like, yeah, that’s fine. Because it’s not a piece of machine. It’s not a machine. Like, I’m not worried about the internet, like, what’s the worst that can happen? You know, whatever, it’s already happened. Right? But like, you can have that situation and I like so for me. I am building a plugin with my friend Ronald, who Orca. And it’s called launch with words. And there’s a nice as soon as he agreed, I made a landing page bought a domain, boom, it’s up. And now there’s a drip, because I’m gonna nurture those people on what it is. I don’t know when it’s gonna be out. I’m not even finished writing the copy for it. Like, it will be out and when it’s out. If you don’t know about it, then it’s because you weren’t paying attention. Right? So like, that kind of like FOMO situation. You know, like, what? Like, how do you capitalize on that?

Devin Walker 40:00
The FOMO situation?

Bridget Willard 40:02

Unknown Speaker 40:04
I mean,

Bridget Willard 40:08
Launch deal first, like be the first to know, do you like do that with product? new products?

Devin Walker 40:17
Yeah, I mean, we definitely give sneak peeks in our Facebook group be like, Hey, you know, you’re part of the community with our larger community, you get to see some of what we’re working on. And we also have, you know, a public feedback area now where we can, people can go and upvote there’s bug fixes, feature requests and documentation. So, you know, we can kind of see which is getting the most updates, then you can change the status of the particular feature. So if somebody wants, you know, one add on we came out with recently, it was called funds, and we change it from planned to in progress. And that, and then you can leave a note when you update it, and that sends an email to all the folks. And so they they’re like, Oh, here we go, we’re gonna go visit the site, see what’s going on comment on it, and you kind of get this anticipation, rolling.

Bridget Willard 41:12
That’s what I was. That’s what I was trying to get you to talk about. I know that, like back in the day, when I was over with you all that we always had, that we always had those feature requests. And it seemed to be really great. It feels like because once you build, you build it for the itch, right. And then once the users start using it, sometimes they use it in ways you, you were like, might think about that. Right? So how do you weigh? The, you know, feedback?

Devin Walker 41:48
Yeah, I mean, most of it, let’s say you get a high level idea, like, peer to peer fundraising, everybody has a different idea of like, how that should work. And you have to sort of pare down the scope, they’re all valid feature requests, kind of related to this high level item. But you want what you’re building in the first version and VP, to at least satisfy as much of the need as it’s been requested. So I’d say it’s delicate in nature, and you can definitely screw up easily, if you’re not really paying attention to what the people want.

Bridget Willard 42:28
Yeah, I mean, cuz it might be bullet for what if like, an eight? Or what if what are your? What if one of your current clients, a big agency client as a feature request?

Unknown Speaker 42:40
Mm hmm.

Bridget Willard 42:41
The what’s the Do you partner with them? I mean, what, what do you developers do?

Devin Walker 42:49
I would say, don’t do it for free, the hard thing is, is with the large, larger color customers, smaller customers, like, we have to treat it as a level playing field as much as we can. Unless they’re willing to, you know, put some money up for us, like PayPal recently reached out to us. And they wanted us to build an integration with their new API that they’re that they recently came out with. And they put up some big bucks to get that done. And everybody benefited in the end.

Unknown Speaker 43:21
Yeah, yeah.

Devin Walker 43:24
My cat gone crazy.

Bridget Willard 43:25
Oh, you know, she’s probably jealous.

Unknown Speaker 43:30
Or jealous? Yeah,

Jason Tucker 43:36
I can, I can see we’re having a partnership with that. Or maybe even like, the company already has the majority of the code already written for something that then they realize, Oh, well, like, Give does this as well, we should definitely make sure that we can interact with give and give can interact with us as well. It’s kind of put those pieces together. I mean, that even gives you a marketing opportunity. Because now both of you are able to say that you’re compatible with one another. I mean, I was gonna be like, check this out. We’re supposed to, we work with give, check this out. I mean, you would love it if they were to do that.

Devin Walker 44:13
You’re working on that.

Jason Tucker 44:14
But you know, if they did that, that’d be sweet. You know, it’s like, and that that’s where even like the that that SaaS product may be the the ticket to that is to kind of pull off that sort of thing. So that’s where that diversification ends up being pretty handy. Because it’s like, we not only do this, you know, we don’t only make parts for Honda’s, but we also make them for Ford’s, you know, it’s like, that’s, that’s great. That’s a great way of kind of making it all work together.

Bridget Willard 44:44
Yeah, I mean, that’s, I mean, it’s so Wow, so much great information. And it’s true because like some of the my clients work with beaver builders their dependency so like, first year like PHP, MySQL and all that right then WordPress

Devin Walker 45:11
for sure, like Beaver Builder add ons on top of it.

Bridget Willard 45:17
So like that could be a whole thing you know, and they they would love to like, you know have a voice with Robbie and those guys right. Like I get that camaraderie. So it’s you know, it’s important to understand that sometimes a plugin that chooses to be dependent upon you might be one of your biggest advocates for a new blue ocean as Josh Stebel would say, you know? New territoy that oh, this is interesting the way this is going in everything.

Before we get to the Tool Tip of the Week, though. Next week, we’re going to have Tess Wittler on talking about newsletter content and writing content that actually works. She is one of my friends back when we all worked in construction. She was a construction writer and she is amazing. And it was her newsletter. It said she really wanted to be on podcasts. I was like, what you wanted to be on a podcast. I might no one on the email. So she’s super excited. And I’m really glad for our audience to have her because as far as I’m concerned construction and website same is all engineering. It’s the same thing. Exactly. Say you still have the crappy clients at the low end. You still have stuff that’s way out of scope.

Jason Tucker 46:54
Every product you install in the in the building is a tendency. Oh you’re using Kohler, huh? Yeah. This other product you’d be way better off you know, like whatever. Yeah,

Bridget Willard 47:08
I want to start air conditioner. Oh, wait my electrical panels already full.

Jason Tucker 47:15
Exactly. Let’s get into the Tool Tip of the Week. Bridget, you want to kick us off with her with your Tool Tip of the Week?

Bridget Willard 47:23
Yes, this week. My Tool Tip of the Week is stripe Atlas. So stripe comm slash Atlas is a business community that does not have a membership fee with stripe. Another one of our favorite payment gateways, developers love stripe, because of all their hooks. So if you want to form a LLC, or a corporation in the state of Delaware, then stripe Atlas is for you. I did it on Friday, it cost $500 I became an LLC, and promoted myself to CEO passed away, the best way to become a CEO is to start your own company. Because it’s just me and I decided to be an LLC with the option of upgrading to a corporation or converting. It only costs $500 which is less than Legal Zoom, which is 750. Last time I checked. And they have connections and discounts. Once you become part of the community, there’s discounts on slack and all these other great services and banks, they recommend all kinds of stuff. It’s really fast. I was really surprised. Of course, it was I got my Ei n faster than I got the letter from the IRS which I’m still waiting for a second open a bank account. Hello. But yeah, they have a lot of they have some guides, actually from tax attorneys. If you’re concerned about that. You sign up with DocuSign so there’s no COVID issues. Like you don’t you don’t even need to get dressed up. You can do it in your pajamas with stripe Atlas. And I loved it. I got the recommendation from my friend, Eric. From peepso wp and fast fast. Awesome. Love it.

Devin Walker 49:27
Nice. Which bank did you go with?

Bridget Willard 49:29
I have not chosen but I’m thinking of a Mercury.

Devin Walker 49:35
Yeah, they used to set it up with like Silicon Valley Bank or something. Yeah, I thought that was the only one they’ve done quite a bit.

Bridget Willard 49:43
They automatically integrate with but I could also just go to chase if I want to. It’s up to me.

Unknown Speaker 49:49
That’s cool.

Bridget Willard 49:51
I mean, they’re it’s FDI. You know, it’s FDIC insured. Like definitely don’t go to a bank that isn’t insured with the federal participate, you know, you don’t want it’s only 250,000. So if you’re gonna be some awesome millionaire with a ton of money, then talk to a tax attorney. And, you know, move your money around, like don’t have more than $250,000 in one bank,

Devin Walker 50:18
take it off shore, you know?

Bridget Willard 50:23
I mean, there’s an Instagram lady I follow. That’s her whole business is helping you like, move to places that are tax shelters. I’m not trying to be a tax shelter. I’m just trying to like, you know, move my personal life away from my

Devin Walker 50:40
sound smart. Smart, for sure.

Jason Tucker 50:42
Yeah. What about you, Devin? What do you got? What’s your what’s your Tool Tip of the Week? What do you what do you got? Alright, so

Devin Walker 50:48
since we’re talking technical dependencies, I’ve got a GitHub repo for you to check out. It’s called PHP scoper. If you just Google GitHub, PHP scoper, it basically allows you to prefix all your namespaces and your dependency bundles. And it works pretty well. It’s the best one that I’ve seen. If you want to have a good write up on how this works with WordPress, check out an article on this. Over at our friends delicious brains com article is titled, PHP scoper, how to avoid namespace issues in your composer dependencies and the great article just like they always write. And there’s a really funny image in it that shows the heaviest objects in the universe. The sun, a neutron star, a black hole, and then node modules. That’s great. That’s hilarious. So yeah, check that out. Scroll down.

Jason Tucker 52:00
That’s fun.

Bridget Willard 52:01
Like I don’t I all I know about NPM is that it’s constantly being tweeted out is like I, I started NPM. And then I went to the bank, and then I went to the grocery store. Yeah, I went to sleep. I woke up it was fine.

Devin Walker 52:18
Yeah, now there’s like NPM, no yarn, gulp grunt, of course, still, you can use a variety of things. Webpack. Nice. Well, web pack is checked out. But

Jason Tucker 52:29
that’s cool. Let’s see here. So I sometimes I have something already lined up. And then other times I don’t. This one in particular, I do have something lined up. So I sent over. I don’t have an invite for everyone. I’m sorry. But I sent it over an invite to Bridget for her to go and take a look at it. But it’s a it’s a new app called clubhouse. And what clubhouse does is they have a way of making these rooms available that you’re able to go in there and kind of listen to smart people talk about stuff. They’re taught that it’s literally

Bridget Willard 53:09
they have an IQ test, or No, I

Jason Tucker 53:12
mean, maybe smart I don’t know that sometimes it’s just music. So you can go in there and listen to people talk, you know, listen to music, or listen to spoken word stuff, or business folks that are that are answering questions like this one that says like a 2pm. There’s a Flipboard for business and education. They have an expert tips on startup success. In cannabis. They have the two best rooms and or the second best room and clubhouse. What’s up with that? But what it is, is it shows you it’s almost like a podcast in a way. But it’s like a it’s like an open it’s like a I don’t know, it actually sounds more like a like a talk at a word camp. You know, you just kind of you can get in there and you can you know, listen to people talk. And then you can raise your hand and ask a question. And

Unknown Speaker 53:57
maybe that’s a good way to have a hallway track.

Jason Tucker 53:59
Yeah, it’s pretty neat. Cool. So I was playing with it last night and kind of listening to a whole bunch of different ones of these. And just, you know, trying to figure out what’s the best way of, of using this, using this in the marketing folks that I follow on social are all using this thing. Like they just they just love this thing. And they love being able to go in there and talk to each other about different things that are happening within their within their different communities or something like that. But yeah, you just go in here, you can look and see like what conversations are happening. So for instance, if we want to go into tech, we can see that there’s a club for women founders club, there’s black crypto talks, there’s investments, startup clubs, all sorts of different ones of these and then when you go into one of these, it will it will give you more information about who this particular club is. And then at the very bottom on some of them, it’ll show you like what events they have scheduled so that way you can put it on your calendar. So what’s really neat about about these things is that each one of these events when you go and click on one of them or tap one of them, down the bottom here, there’s a share button, there’s a tweet, you can copy the link or add it to your calendar. So it’s, it has a business focus. Anytime I see add to calendar, I always think this is a business focus type thing, like there’s, there’s a way where someone who isn’t just going to, like, show up on this app start, you know, hop into one of these things, but rather, they want you to plan it out and be like, hey, you can actually join this, you know, join this discussion. So I was playing with it last night. And it depends on the time of day two, because like the all the Indian folks were awake, and they were all using it. And there was like all these Indian business talks, and I was like, wow, this is really cool. I’m gonna listen to some of these. And, you know, just being able to jump between the different rooms and kind of listening in as to what’s going on. I really, I really enjoyed it. So Bridget, take a look at it, and then find two people that you’re interested in, inviting, and you can invite them to it. Each person that has an account, it’s two free invites, so they can send

Devin Walker 56:06
their web interface to it, or is it strictly mobile,

Jason Tucker 56:09
it’s strictly mobile. And currently, if I remember correctly, it’s strictly iPhone, ah, you know, just you know, it’s

Bridget Willard 56:19
kind of C’s, right? We’re not doing this for Android.

Jason Tucker 56:25
This is their VP. So it’s just like, you know, we needed to build something, they built it, they’re gonna play with it and kind of, you know, start working with it. So take a look at it and see how it goes and go from there, they made it really difficult to get to get like a random person to invite you, like this person. So for me to get invited, somebody had to add me as a contact in their phone, and it only looks at the contacts in your phone. So you can’t just go and be like, oh, here’s a link here, click on this link to go and enjoying this, this community. Now they actually want someone who you know, and have their phone number. And that you can invite them via text message in it. And they’re only looking at your contacts.

Bridget Willard 57:09
Except I didn’t have to upload my driver’s license.

Jason Tucker 57:14
Yeah, there’s nothing like that on here. And it’s, it’s nice, because it’s just it’s only voice. So when you join it, those people are just talking, there’s no there’s no video or anything like that. Just audio. And if you want to say something, you can raise your hand and ask your question. There. If I remember correctly, there wasn’t a there wasn’t a Yeah, there’s no chat or anything like that. So it’s it’s only it’s only the the people like listening to one another. So it’s, it’s almost like if you’re in a work camp, you know, or any type of talk like that, where you just can’t, you can’t interact with a person unless the person wants you to. And you can there’s no side chat. There’s no like, anything that’s gonna like, you know, pissed anybody off or anything like that. There’s nothing distracting. It’s just listening to these people talk. No, mansplaining No, that stuff. I mean, it looks like there’s a lot of women that are on there. So women business owner, and you want to really learn some stuff. There’s some great resources in there.

Bridget Willard 58:16
No, I mean, I say that because on Twitter, I was like, Hey, I started an LLC. And everyone was like, Yay. And then some people were like, Hey, this is the CPA use. And I did it on Facebook, and they’re like, don’t forget to talk to a tax attorney. Why didn’t you become an S corp? Why aren’t you a regular Corporation? It’s like,

Jason Tucker 58:40
it’s quicker to knock people down than it is to rise up.

Bridget Willard 58:45
I don’t know, do I have to explain all of my decisions to y’all.

Unknown Speaker 58:52
I just telling you,

Jason Tucker 58:54
if you’re looking for what, you know, Rogers to do look at a credit union.

Bridget Willard 58:57
Yeah. That’s why I started my bank account with credit human here in downtown in downtown San Antonio. I can walk to it.

Unknown Speaker 59:08

Bridget Willard 59:10
Well, I got plans. I’m more than just a pretty face.

Devin Walker 59:15
I’ve known that for years now.

Jason Tucker 59:19
Hey, Devin, I want to say thank you so much for taking the time to come and hang out with us and to to share some of your wisdom. We really appreciate it. Can you tell people where they can find you and where they can find the products that you’re creating?

Devin Walker 59:32
Absolutely. You can find me on Twitter at interwebs. I have to start tweeting more. But you can also go to my website which is under construction currently. But if you want to know more about my company, give definitely check that out. We that’s where I spend most of my time.

Jason Tucker 59:52
Awesome. Well, hey, thank you very much. I appreciate it. Bridget. I know that she was super happy when you said yes to joining us on the show. today and thank you very much for that. So awesome. Thank

Devin Walker 1:00:03
you guys.

Bridget Willard 1:00:08
I’m tired.

Jason Tucker 1:00:10
Here’s our outro. Folks, thank you

guys support us for the slash wp WPwatercooler. The fine folks that are helping us out over there really appreciate that.

If you like this content, we’d love it if you were to go in to share this content. And you can also listen to us as a podcast by phone number slash subscribe. That’s where you can learn how to subscribe to this content, all the other stuff that we have going on over there. talk to y’all later you have a good rest of your day.


Episode Info

Podchaser - Smart Marketing Show
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Scroll To Top