Thanks Norman (graphics), Jacinta (consultant), Ramadhan (photographer), Manuell (developer), Julius (developer) and Stefan (project-management) for attending.
Advantages of pagebuilders
A brief survey if one of our participants uses or have experiences one or more pagebuilders showed that a clear preference is with Divi and there’s not much liking by anyone ever touching WP-Bakery.
The main reason for using pagebuilders is the ease of use. Even with no or less knowledge about it, everyone felt comfortable with Divi and could work on existing pages using it. Manuell highlighted the ease of adding Custom CSS to single elements as another advantage. Stefan showcased two existing pages of his customers made with Elementor and one with WP-Bakery.
Disadvantages of pagebuilders
Some of the disadvantages that can come with the use of pagebuilders:
- the code they produce (DOM) can be quite large, which has a negative effect on page speed, which itself can harm the Google ranking (SEO)
- switching off the plugins for the pagebuilder leaves a site unusable (vendor-lock-in)
- WP-Bakery leaves a trail of shortcodes within the content
- Elementor mixes content and styling and some content get’s completely lost when switching it off
- exisiting methods and resources that are build into WordPress Core are duplicated
- potential security issues (about 2/3 of all security issues in WordPress are connected to plugins)
We also took a look into a site that was build using just Gutenberg. The site is based on WP-Astra using both core Gutenberg Blocks as well as the Spectra Plugin which adds some more blocks and is developed by the same guys as Astra. Main advantage is that the normal Gutenberg Editor is used always and even if the optional Spectra plugin is removed the content will stay unharmed, just not fully/easily editable.
The discussion shifted from there to have a website at all, to make sure your content is kept where you’re in control. To do so the first step is to identify a proper (perferably) local webhost. Three recommendations were given and discussed. As to expect the experiences differed a lot (in no particular order):
Feel free to add other recommendations in the comments.
In terms of speed we did a quick assessment of the above three by GTMetrix to get an idea about the TTFB (time to first byte), which is the time it takes until the server itself answers the request and starts delivering the content of the page. Please find the reports from GTMetrix linked above as well.
To attach various social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and others the recommendation for Blog2Social was given. A missing piece is still to connect WhatsApp Groups, where Manuell is currently looking into.
We had to figure out that the user experience of wp.com had changed that much (mainly due to full site editing) that it no longer serves a starter tool from where to migrate a site to ones own wordpress.org selfhosted instance. The recommendation now is rather to download and install local development tools like LocalWP and migrate the finalized site from there to the live server.
Thanks Ramadhan for covering the evening with the camera. A shared drive was created to upload photos and additional info resources: https://stefankremer.cloud/index.php/s/JBSMFz4BxigDLg8
We also created a WhatsApp Group to continue any discussion and information exchange beyond the monthly in-person meeting: https://chat.whatsapp.com/GDhx2gelKu0FnrNYmtQSXs
Next meetup June
The next event is going to happen on June, 22nd – 4th Thursday of the month, as usual. Manuell will take the lead and share some ideas and experiences about “Remote Work”, platforms to use, strategies to market services there and how to determine prices for the services.