WordPress News, WooCommerce, WordCamps and Community

Do the Woo - A Podcast for WooCommerce Builders
Do the Woo - A Podcast for WooCommerce Builders
WordPress News, WooCommerce, WordCamps and Community

Jeff started the well-known WordPress news site, WPTavern many years ago. A bit ago he took a break from the WordPress space, re-evaluated, pondered and discovered it never really went away.

I have been friends with Jeff Chandler for many years. It was great to chat about WordPress, WooCommerce and, yes, trains. Jeff gives us a look into his transition that leads up to his current project, WPMainline.com. No matter what expectations you have for this show, I’m sure you will walk away with a smile.

Jeff Chandler, WPMainline – Show Highlights

  • WPMainline and Trains (1:40)
  • Taking a break from WordPress and catching up (8:20)
  • The biggest hurdles that I had to overcome that I was struggling with was just writing (11:10)
  • A bit of perspective on WooCommerce, now and in the future (15:00)
  • Does WooCommerce need a big competitor (20:30)
  • Coupon fields at checkout and what that inspires in a customer (25:40)
  • The WordPress community, business as usual (28:20)
  • WordCamps really weren’t for me (30:50)
  • Seriously, another WordPress news site (35:30)
  • What Jeff won’t buy online (39:40)

Where to find Jeff

Thanks to Our Pod Friends


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Bob: Hey everyone, BobWP here. Do the Woo Episode 148. This is an off. I must say we have an extra week this month. I am flying solo as far as hosting. But I'm not flying solo completely because, well, it was time. It was time to bring in a longtime friend, a WordPress veteran I couldn't easily say, and someone that just down. I'm sure a lot of you know him. Maybe some of you don't.

But you will know him by the end of this podcast. I have Jeff Chandler. Jeff, my buddy, how you doing?

Jeff: Hey, thank you very much for having me on the show. Man, I woke up today and I was ready to do the Woo. You're the first thing I'm doing today.

Bob: Now, I think that's the first anybody's ever said that, too. Yeah. Anyway, we'll talk a little bit WooCommerce, we'll talk about WordPress, all that good stuff. I'm going to start out. I want you to just set the stage. Tell people where you are at now, what you're doing, because a lot of what we're talking about, I think, will reflect around that.

WPMainline and Trains (1:40)

Jeff: Well, right now I'm currently the manager, owner of the WordPress website, WPMainline.com. It's a combination of my knowledge and pursuit of WordPress news, and news bits going around the WordPress community. My love of trains I had this passion for ... I don't know if it's a passion, but I had this deep interest in trains, end up going to where I know a couple of mainlines come together. I'll just sit there all day, and I just enjoyed seeing the trains that come through.

I mean, at night, especially living on a warm summer night because you'll have these trains come by and there's nothing like having thousands of horsepower rush past you at about 65 miles an hour at night. It's exhilarating. Then I'm always wondering about the cargo, it's coming from somewhere, it's going to somewhere and you never know what you're going to see in the trains going by, and there's different types of ventures and all that stuff.

But WPMainline, it's all about what's going on in the WordPress community. It's my platform to be able to have it my way. No. It's Burger King ask. No. I can have it my way and I can write about things the way I want. I have the freedom to cover what's going on in the WordPress community in the way that I feel most comfortable with. It's pretty much a subscriber site now.

It's a membership. Well, it's not really a membership site. But I do have the ability for people to subscribe, and to support my ability to create content.

Bob: Cool. Alrighty. Yeah. We'll definitely mention that again at the end. Before I get into WordPress, this train thing, when I was reading something from you the other day, I thought of when I was a kid growing up, we had these tracks about a mile from us. I swear. I don't know how many hours we all spent down there going through cars, because they would leave cars parked there. I don't know why because it wasn't a place you would normally park. But they obviously it was. They would leave cars.

We would go inside the car. Some of those ones that were the closed ones that you'd only have a hatch on the top, we actually went in some of those.

Jeff: Oh, the grainers.

Bob: Yeah. We just were infatuated with going around and hanging around there. We actually did experience almost the movie the Stand by Me, the Stephen King movie, where they're on the train bridge.

Jeff: Yes. It's a classic.

Bob: There was this big one that went over the river was in Spokane, Washington. It was the Spokane River and this big bridge. We were on it and basically a train came and we had to run off. When we got towards the end, we dove into the rocks there alongside the track and stuff. When I saw that movie, I thought, "Man, I can relate to that." It's scary because you can't really move real quick on those bridges.

Jeff: See, this is why I love you, Bob. You always have great stories to tell.

Bob: Yeah.

Jeff: How many coins have end up getting smushed on the tracks? That's always cool.

Bob: Oh man, tons. We'd go down there and of course you'd lose them.

Jeff: Pennies, nickels, quarters?

Bob: Yeah. Yeah. You'd lose them all the time, too, because they'd flip off and you'd have to look around and all the rock that they would put around the tracks and stuff. Yeah. If you're lucky, you found it. But a lot of times they just would fly off somewhere and disappear and you can never find them.

Jeff: I'm a bit excited because it just came through the area, it's getting set up. But I live near Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and they have a train, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. In September, they have the big steam engines 765 come from Indiana, and it makes its way over to here and then they do various steam engine excursions and rides and things you could pay for, and then there's photo opportunities.

But I know where it's going to be on a couple of days during next month. I'm going to go down there and I'm going to take some pictures. I took pictures a few years back, but I'm going to take some more pictures. I got an updated phone. I'm going to take some video. I think I'm going to post it up on WPMainline. I got to keep that relationship together, trains, WordPress, WordPress, trains.

I've actually, some of the subscribers to WPMainline have said, "I love trains, too. I can't wait. I love this idea of mixing trains and WordPress." They don't mind actually seeing train stuff intermixed with the WordPress stuff I publish. That's pretty cool.

Bob: Yeah. Interesting.

Jeff: But I love steam engines are so awesome. There's such wonderful, awesome machines, every little part, piston, rod, you name it has a purpose on a steam engine. I've actually, 765, I've stood next to the wheels and the wheels are as about as tall as me. You're talking about six foot tall wheels, man, those machines are awesome. I wish there was more of them, and I wish more there was more of an emphasis on steam passenger excursion throughout the US, but the steams gone the way of the diesel.

Bob: Yeah and I don't to talk all about trains. But just over the years, I mean, trains have been trains. I mean, sure, they changed some. But they're one mode of transportation and commerce and everything that just has survived forever. It's not really something you can say, "Okay. Let's do this instead. The tracks are laid."

Bob: Yeah. Yeah. It's fascinating, obviously, like I said, as a kid we were intrigued with them.

Jeff: Well, you know what? It's all inspiring here. Sometimes I'm taken aback in all, because when a train goes by that's loaded, who knows how many millions of dollars worth of the product it's going past me and through all those boxcars. I'm always wondering. Boy, I wonder how many of these products were purchased or sold on websites using WooCommerce?

Bob: Yeah. That's it. That was a great segue. You are good.

Jeff: Man. It's almost like I do podcasting for a living or something. I don't know.

Taking a break from WordPress and catching up (8:20)

Bob: We will talk about your podcast a little bit at the end there. But, okay, first I'm going to talk a little bit about WordPress. You had your time and for people that don't know you, you started WPTavern many years ago, and you spent many years running that site and then you took a break from WordPress. You had stuff going on. We don't need to get into that. I know you've talked about that on lots of different podcasts.

You came back and kind of, "Okay. I'm gearing up to go this direction." How was it taking that break? When you came back was it like, "Wow. WordPress is still WordPress." Did you feel like you missed a lot? Was there a lot of catching up to do just to kind of turn your brain off for a while?

Jeff: Well, I'm glad you asked this question because there's multiple facets to it. Well, let's start off with the break. I took about a two-year break. I think it was 2019 might have been a little bit before that where I ended my tenure with WPTavern and I was a bit sad about that. Thank you to everyone who sent me well wishes and told me how much they've enjoyed my writing and my podcast over the years, WPTavern. That was so cool at the time.

But I took a two year break and as I was taking that break, I get to say it was nice. After being so involved with WordPress for so long, just not having to care about what was going on, or having to write about it, or having to check my email, or do any of that stuff, it was great. It was fantastic. I mean, this is exactly what I needed, a two-year break.

But I will say during that time, I did keep one eye on the WordPress community and what was going on in the space. There were times I was like, "I wish that I was still writing about something." A lot of times what I end up doing is writing the post about something in my head. But getting that post from my head to inside the post editor, that's a difficult process most of the time.

But there are times I was like, "Man, I wish I was still writing about this, because this is interesting. I got something to say about it." But I took a two-year hiatus. The thing about WordPress is, its development still, even though it's over 10 years old now, the project. But between Gutenberg and blocks, what's going on with the software project itself? That if you take a break for one year, let alone two years, you come back and it's almost starting over.

It's almost you have to learn all these new things. You don't know what's going on. You get to try and catch up. But it's like riding a bike. Once you learn how to ride a bike, if you don't do it for a long time, you just got to do it a few more times and get involved in it again, and things start coming back to you naturally. That's what happened with me, WordPress, and WPMainline.

The biggest hurdles that I had to overcome that I was struggling with was just writing (11:10)

But when I first started WPMainline, and I wanted to get back into WordPress, one of the biggest hurdles that I had to overcome that I was struggling with was just writing. What do I write about? Do I really need to get back into this? Should I really be getting back involved in the WordPress space? What is it? What do I write about? How do I write about it?

I struggled with just doing it. Do the Woo, just do the Woo. That's all you need to do is just start. I had such a hard time just doing WPMainline, just writing the first bit of articles and getting that monkey off my back. I struggled with that for two weeks or so. Then eventually I found something to write about. I wrote about something and it felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. Then from that point on, it's all about consistency and continuing to write.

Because I've noticed, and I don't know if this is what it's like for you, but for me writing, if I go a couple of days without writing something and publishing it, it just goes away. It's very difficult to get right back into the swing of things to write about something or to publish something. To make it an everyday thing, to make it consistent is something I'm working on.

Bob: Right. Yeah. I can totally relate. Because if I say, "Okay. I'm going to do all the different things for the next two, three days, I'm not going to create any content." Even that there's this bit of pause, and it's like, "Whoa. Okay. I've got this idea. I guess start to post here or this podcast or whatever." There is that, "I got to push myself into it again." Even with the short break, I can imagine the time you stayed away from.

Jeff: It almost makes vacations painful, because it's so difficult to come back and get into the flow of things.

Bob: Right. Right. I'm thinking that whole point you had where you were starting WPMainline and trying to make that first step. That is true. I've done a lot of transitions. They always seem so smooth, because, "Hey. Bob did this and then boom." But sometimes those transitions, I'm working on them for several months, and I have maybe a good slot of that time where I'm just at that point where you are, where you're saying, "Okay. I just got to do this. No. I'm going to step back. I'm still thinking this through or I'm still struggling with this part."

Jeff: Based on what I've seen over the years, you're a transition master.

Bob: The key is I've always had something going and it's like, "Okay. When do I make that move and how long have I been working on this other thing in the background to do it and stuff?" Yeah. It's interesting. Sometimes like I said, it's like, "Okay. I've been working on this six months. Now, I'm ready to make it on that."

Jeff: I'm just hanging out on Twitter. Then Bob makes an announcement. I go, "There's that BobWP over there doing something different. He's changed things up again. I never know what that guy is doing."

Bob: Yeah. I think I remember at a WordCamp I think it was US that we saw each other. I said something and you said something to the effect of, "I can't keep up with you, Bob. I don't know what the hell you're doing half the time."

Jeff: That's probably exactly what I said.

A bit of perspective on WooCommerce, now and in the future (15:00)

Bob: Well, I want to talk about WooCommerce and I know you're not immersed in it. You don't work on it. You don't build sites on it. But I think also you have an interesting perspective, because we've had a lot of people on that. Yeah. They know of WooCommerce. They see people talk about it. They hear what they're saying. But they bring in a different view of it versus somebody that's, like I said, immersed in it.

Moving into the back into the WordPress space really diving in and doing what you're doing, especially reporting the news, trying to keep your eyes out on everything? What are your initial thoughts on WooCommerce here and now? Do you have, from your perspective, any thoughts on where you think it might be headed, or even some crystal ball moment that you might have?

Jeff: I got to tell you, it's sort of a difficult question to answer because I've never used WooCommerce for anything, for personally or professionally. I have come across websites where I'm purchasing something, and I just somehow realize, "Oh, this is powered by WordPress." They're actually using WooCommerce. Some of those websites I've purchased things from, the checkout process was rather smooth. It works at least on a few of those different websites.

I know enough about Woo to know that it's a cash cow for automatic or it's one of their cash cows. It's one of their products and businesses that is going to require and take up a lot more effort and focus from automatics perspective. Everything we see about WooCommerce and market share and how big they are, it still shocks me at how the market valuation and the size of Shopify, and how WooCommerce still at this point is seems nothing compared to what Shopify is out there in the market. It's fascinating.

I don't actually know why that is or what it is. Because Shopify is a service, and I guess it's great at allowing people to just sign up and create a store and they take care of a lot of things for you. But I mean, then when you get to the part of, "Well, I want to be able to do this and add this and edit this." All you see is brick walls at Shopify. You can't really do anything. You don't own your own content. Shopify could shut you down at any point, because it's a service.

If your business relies on eCommerce, the keys to your building, you've just given them a Shopify, boy, you really got to know what you're doing if you're going to set up your business that way. But I don't know. I'm glad that WooCommerce has embraced Gutenberg. I think they had no choice, obviously. But now you get your WooCommerce blocks, and they've got all kinds of different things going on over there. I mean, I'm most thankful for the fact that WooCommerce exists, because without it, we would not be able to do the Woo.

Bob: Right.

Jeff: This is a drinking game. Every time I say do the Woo doing the show, I want people to take a drink. It can be water. It doesn't have to be alcohol.

Bob: Yeah. Right. That's true. Yeah. Because especially this time in the morning, some people just woke up.

BobWP: Hey, BobWP here. I'd like to take a moment to thank two of our pod friends for their support of Do the Woo.

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And now, let's head back to the show.

Does WooCommerce need a big competitor (20:30)

Bob: Over the last year or two, a lot of different platforms tried to get a piece of the Woo action or WordPress action, I should say. I've talked with a couple of them that actually confessed to me that it's been quite the challenge to get into the space. I know there's some that have ... I mean, I've come up across some that I didn't even know existed. They're obviously trying that.

Nobody's really created a plugin, standalone plugin like WooCommerce is versus a service. I have my own thoughts. But you just having so much familiarity with the WordPress space, what do you think it'll take for some plugin to even take a small chunk of the WooCommerce users?

Jeff: Well, I think there's still the WP eCommerce plugin. I think it's still being worked on and it's out there for WordPress and I think the Shopp plugin is still out there doing its thing. If we look at the economy and was a $597 billion estimated WordPress economy and you look at the market share 40 some percent with WordPress.

I think that for plugins out there, even in eCommerce that you don't need the market share of a Shopify or WooCommerce to be successful and to be able to get by and pay your bills, and maybe at some point build a successful business that could possibly get acquired. But yeah, I have to imagine that starting from scratch is rather difficult in the eCommerce space, as it is with pretty much any space in the WordPress economy these days, whether it's a forms plugin, or SEO plugin, name any other plug in, we've gone through a rash of acquisitions this year.

It seems all the big players are getting few and far between in terms of who's available to acquire. But yeah, looking back on it, I think we can easily say this now that the acquisition of WooCommerce from way back in the day, WooThemes, I think the acquisition of WooCommerce is probably the best thing that automatic has done over the years, because it really propelled them forward and really solidify them as a company as a whole. They've done a great job with WooCommerce.

Bob: Right. I think a lot of what you were saying, I noticed that there's some coming in and they are literally trying to ... They think the only way they're going to succeed is to steal some market share from WooCommerce. They're coming in with, "Hey. We can do this better than WooCommerce. We can do this better. We can do this better."

I don't know if that's a necessarily the best approach, because they're spending more time comparing themselves and trying to be a standalone solution and say, "We can do this for you," rather than "We can do this for you because we don't feel WooCommerce can do this or something." There's a lot of comparisons. Some of them that are trying to slip in.

Jeff: Even though I don't use WooCommerce, I haven't built any sites with WooCommerce, I think there's probably a lot of areas that potential competitors could tap into to improve upon the checkout flow. That's always a huge one that everybody's probably always focused on maybe the most important thing. Cart abandonment, the flow of purchasing something, the way that web pages react in the backend or the frontend, how many the clutter. I'm sure there's probably a myriad of various little thing said that people could work on to improve upon, to maybe set themselves apart.

But other than that, I mean, I don't know. It just comes down to payment processors and making it as easy as possible to list your products, take care of things related to your products, and make it as easy as possible for people to purchase your products.

Bob: Right. There's been a huge influx of checkout solutions. Over the last 12 months, it seems more and more of them, because you hit it right on. That's a huge piece of it. Something that people are building on top of WooCommerce saying, "We want to make this even smoother, quicker, faster, et cetera, et cetera." That's a good point.

Coupon fields at checkout and what that inspires in a customer (25:40)

Jeff: When you're checking out on a page and you see the coupon field, do you open up a new tab and you start looking up a coupon code for whatever it is that service a product you ran and you don't find it and you still purchase the product? Or do you just ignore that and go through the checkout process? I'm just curious on how people react when they see that coupon field and they don't have one.

Bob: Yeah. That's interesting, because I used to do it. Then I realized I ended up going down the rabbit hole of coupon sites that just started a nightmare.

Jeff: Oh. They're all terrible now.

Bob: Yeah. They are. I gave up. Because I would occasionally do that, "Oh, wonder if there's a coupon floating out there." That's interesting. I mean, they probably get a heck of a lot of traffic just by ... Especially people are, "Coupon. I wonder if there's a coupon. There must be a coupon." That's it. There must be a coupon out there. If there's a coupon spot. That's an interesting thing to think about.

Jeff: Yeah. Then I open. We do tab. I go to RetailMeNot or some other website. The coupon codes used to work. The coupon sites used to be good. But now you click on them, and they always want you to click on a button that automatically puts the referral URL or activates the coupon code, most of them don't even work. Most of these sites now are spam. It's almost as bad as looking for free themes on Google, to be honest.

Bob: Yeah. It really is. Yeah. Yeah. We've talked about this with a couple people on a cart abandonment is the people that will leave something in a cart for a day or two, hoping they'll get an email with a discount, because they play that system as well. Because often a lot of people or a lot of online stores have that set up, "Oh, we see you haven't made the decision to buy this. But if we offer you 10% off?"

People are getting used to that. From what I understand with some of the people that are doing the plugins for that, they're cool with that. The stores are cool with that, because still, they're eventually getting a sale.

Jeff: Know what, I'm not cool with it? You want to know why?

Bob: Why?

Jeff: Because it works on my wife. She's browsing around for something, and she'll actually get a text message or an email saying, "Hey, we noticed your browsing around here. If you make a purchase within a certain amount of time, this coupon code, you could save 10% to 20%." Works every time. I hate it. The next thing you know, we got a visit from Mr. Amazon.

The WordPress community, business as usual (28:20)

Bob: Yeah. That's Amazon for you. Always there for you. Spend money. I want to talk a little bit about community and just in the sense of after you got back into the WordPress base community, did you feel okay? Here we are. Things are rolling right along as they were always in community, of course, changes with how it's been the last few months. But what's your thoughts around that?

Jeff: I would say that from what I've seen is it's pretty much the norm. Like you said, you got the people who are the criticism group over here, the always positive over here, you've got the people who contact you and think there's conspiracies going on over here, and you've got the people who, I don't know, it's a whole mixed bag. The community, ebbs and flows, and you get your clicks, and you've got your groups, and you get your segments. But we're all in this together.

That can make things interesting. "Hey, I'm glad that we're in a community, not full of wild one, one purpose, one mindset, because things would be very boring. I mean, come on, a world without the WP drama, who wants to live in that world? Come on. That'd be very bad. Because then nothing to write about. No. I'm just kidding. WP drama is lain most of the time. Some things that are labeled as WP drama aren't WP drama at all. It's one of the things that gets me.

But I'd say the community is right now at a point where because of COVID, because of restrictions, because of what's happened to WordCamps, I think the community right now is just yearning to get together for those physical in-person, face-to-face meetings and conversations. No. We're talking about WordPress. This is a community of people who live through the facet of working from home. This is what they know. This is what they do. This is what they do on everyday basis.

Those physical in-person meetings, they mean a lot. Those are things that people rely on. They rely on those meetings and those conversations. I think that's the biggest thing right now in the community is we can't wait to get to a point where we can actually have meet-ups and in-person conversations and meet-ups again. I think that's what we're all waiting for right now.

WordCamps really weren't for me (30:50)

Bob: Right. Yeah. Yeah. That's for sure. I think there's a lot of people that are getting very anxious for that. It's interesting, because I know you and I are not the big travelers to WordCamps. I mean, neither one of us, even when they were going on, I mean, we're not hitting them up every other month, and stuff.

Jeff: But the thing about me with WordCamps, and I wrote about this, about two or three ... Well, back when I was doing WordPress stuff full-time for WPTavern. I had the luxury of traveling to various WordCamps. But what I encountered at WordCamps, and this was something I think that was unique to me is that I would get there and I would attend to WordCamp. I would miss being at home. I would feel like that WordCamps really weren't for me.

The thing was I was writing for WPTavern. My job was to write about what everybody else is doing, what everybody else is working on. I felt like I had nothing in common with anybody at these WordCamps. The only reason why I was there talking people was to find out what it was they were doing, to get the scoop, and to write about it. I wasn't talking about kids, or schools, or sports, or dogs, and pets, and things that you naturally have in common with other people that you could talk about that you can relate to.

It was just me talking to all these people, basically having a microphone in their face saying, "Tell me what you're doing, tell me what you're working on so I can write about it." I got sick of that. I think a lot of people at WordCamps were sick of me talking to them, because they knew I was the press. They knew that I was talking to them to get a scoop, or to find out what they were working on. I got to the point where I just didn't enjoy going to WordCamps anymore, because I felt out of place and I felt like I didn't have anything in common with anyone there.

If I was running a business, or I was running an agency, or I was doing development work, or I was building plugins, or ahead of the in-business, I could talk to all kinds of people at WordCamps, whether it be customers or other people in the space. We could compare notes. We could talk about what's working for them and what's working for me and what are you working on and check out this and check out that. Me, I'm over in the corner singing, "All by myself. It gets sucked after a while.

Bob: Man, that's something to think about.

Jeff: Well, what do you think about it? I wanted to say again, going back to community that I also want to thank members of the WordPress community, because without them, I probably would not have started WPMainline. I had a number of people contact me through Twitter and through email saying, "Hey. I don't know what you're doing and what you've been up to. But I really miss hearing you and Jay Tripp, John James Jacoby talk about WordPress and WordPress Weekly."

There are a few people who contact me and said, "Hey. I've been in a podcast withdraw ever since you left, I miss hearing your voice. I miss hearing you guys banter. What was going on in WordPress?" I had a number of other people contact me say, "Hey. I miss how you wrote about WordPress. I miss you're writing style." I had so many people contacted me that it made me wonder ... It made me feel missed. It was cool to be missed by all these people in the WordPress community.

Enough of them missed my content that I thought that I could come back with a new website, bring back the Jeffro of old and write about WordPress and bring the podcast back and be able to make a go of it with a subscriber type business, that there would be enough interest from the WordPress community for me to be able to generate enough revenue to do this as a full-time gig.

I'm cranking away at it. But I've gotten some subscribers now. I'm just thankful that ... One of the coolest feelings ever as a human being is to be missed and to be wanted and because of that, and for members of the community, that's primarily why I started up WPMainline. Because I was ready to just not come back into the WordPress space. I was ready to miss it and go off and do something else. But they reel me back in. So far, people have enjoyed what they've seen and what they've read and what they've heard.

Seriously, another WordPress news site (35:30)

Bob: Yeah. Yeah. I think that's what I was thinking about is leading into ... Some people might say, "Oh. Yeah. Open another news site, another WordPress news site, another WordPress podcast." But I think what we lose touch on and obviously a lot of people that reached out to you didn't lose touch on that, is that we're not asking for another news site. We're not asking for another podcast.

You have a unique way of writing. You have a unique way of reporting the news in WordPress. You had it before. You're bringing it back to this, same with the podcast. The two of you have this bantering that people loved. Okay. We can't put it as bluntly as saying, "Oh, just another site, another podcast." It's that personality. It's who's behind it. That's what's going to drive a lot of these things. I mean, when you start a WordPress news site, and nobody knows who's on it, or who's doing it, and you're just behind the scenes, and you're just pushing out post after post.

It's like, "Okay. Yeah. That is another one." But when you bring that personalized, unique voice into it, like you have and you've basically establish yourself in this space. That is what drives it. That's where the success or what's going to bring it back versus, "Oh, we just need you back into space doing something, Jeff. We liked what you did. Bring it back in some form or other and go for it."

Jeff: See. I'm glad you recognize and you said all that because you're exactly 100% correct. The reason the Tavern was successful the way it was, the reason that WordPress Weekly was as successful as it was, was because of me, because of Jeffr0, because of my personality, my approach, the way I view things, the way I say things, the way I write about things. That is me. That is what people missed, that personality, that flair I brought to the WordPress news scene, and the podcasting space.

Being heavily user-centric and being one for the user always. That's my first priority. Because I'm a user, and I'm fighting for the user all the time, and that's why I brought it back. I realized that all of my success in the WordPress space has been just me being me, and me being unique. There's no other Jeffr0 out there in WordPress. But I hope there's no other Jeffr0 out there. Please don't have to be to me. We only need one. We only need one Jeffr0. We can get by with just one.

But I'm glad you recognize that. What that also says is that even if the WordPress space is crowded, even though there may be so many solutions, or so many websites dedicated to this, or so many new sites, there is always room for uniqueness and personality so that even though the space may be crowded, or whatever it is, if you can bring something unique, something that's you, something that no one else has, that only you have, because it's you, capitalize on that.

Nobody else can have that. That's you. You got to use that to the best of your ability.

Bob: Right. That's why with this site and the podcast, I eventually decided to move to having co-hosts. I have 9 or 10 co-hosts now that do all the different shows. We all trade off. I mix and match them. I get a sense of, "Okay. This is the right person to send to this particular show, because I know these hosts, and they all have this unique personality." That makes it fun. It's not just this dry commentary or whatever. Yeah. Definitely that is one of the reasons I know we're all welcoming you back.

What Jeff won’t buy online (39:40)

I've got one last question. I used to ask this on my old podcast all the time. I thought it was really interesting because after all this, I mean, we are all buying more stuff online because we just have to. Is there anything you just refuse to buy online?

Jeff: Ooh. Well, meat, fish, anything that's perishable. I've actually noticed on Amazon throughout the last year that I bought some Trader Joe's Sauce every day. I purchased some barbecue sauce. I've purchased mostly sauces and condiments. I'm pretty good at buying. But when it comes to beef and meat and poultry and stuff like that, stuff that you need to put in the refrigerator, I will not buy that stuff online.

However, I will say that I did take advantage of a coupon, I think it was part of my birthday present, or I did purchase two frozen Lou Malnati's Pizzas from Chicago. They actually dried. They froze them. It shipped in a dry ice package. They're so expensive, but they were so good. But it's nothing like eating at Lou Malnati's in Chicago. But they were still very, very good pizzas for what they were.

Other than that, I buy toilet paper online. I buy paper towels online. I find out throughout the pandemic just how much I'm willing to buy online. I would usually buy in the store.

Bob: I'm with you there. It's like, "Wow. What's coming today? I think of some little weird thing and I think why wait till I'm somewhere where it's convenient. I can just get it delivered." Yeah. I'm totally with you. Well, this has been great catching up with you. I know we're always talking on Twitter and stuff, but don't often get the chance to just chat with you. Yeah. I think that the best way to end this would be to can revisit your site.

Anything you want to share about that? Yeah. Just some where people can connect with you on Twitter and all that good stuff.

Where to find Jeff

Jeff: Well, you can follow me on Twitter @Jeffr0, J-E-F-F-R-0 or at WPMainline. You can find pictures of Smokey the dog and flowers, and on my musings on life which I think ... I'm always trying to make people laugh. I'm trying to make myself laugh because we live in a jokeless society these days. Laughter is one of the best things you can do to make yourself feel better and to make others feel better.

You do that. Visit wpmainline.com for news and information about WordPress, get my take on things. Hot takes, cold takes, doesn't matter. Just check it out. The packet, if you visit wpmainline.com, click on the podcast link you'll find all the information, all the past episodes of the show. You can also search for WPMainline, a myriad of different podcasting hosts or hosting websites and you can find us through Spotify and Amazon Music and Apple Podcast.

All those different sites you can find it. Then if you are so inclined and want to support me and support the site and the work that I do in the WordPress space, please subscribe. Just visit wpmainline.com. Click in the subscribe link. I got a free account there. You can just hang out and participate, or I got a couple different options there, and there you have it. I'm just going to do my thing over on WPMainline, write about trains, write about WordPress, and try and get Bob to tell me more of those cool stories, about all those cool concerts he went to.

Bob: Yeah. We'll have to have a podcast about that. Yeah.

Jeff: Yeah. I wouldn't mind a short series of just Bob stories and it's just Bob telling us a story. Three to five-minute episode, it's just him telling us what he went through the experience ...

Bob: Oh, man.

Jeff: I'm giving you an idea on how to expand the BobWP brand. That's all you need is another podcast, right?

Bob: Yeah. That's what I need is another podcast, for sure. Let's wrap it up with that. I just like to give our Pod Friends, Yoast.com and Nexcell.net a shout out. You heard all about them midway through the show and do check them out.

Once again, so appreciate you joining me here on the show, Jeff.

Jeff: Thank you very much, Bob. Keep on doing the Woo. Everybody have to do the Woo, do the Woo, do the Woo.