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Alex Denning & Ben Gillbanks of the MasterWP WordPress newsletter

In this episode, Matt Medeiros interviews Alex Denning and Ben Gillbanks who have started the newsletter MasterWP.    MasterWP weekly is the newsletter for WordPress professionals. Each week you can get a collection of apps, tools, and links that will make life better and provoke thought.  The newsletter provides a good mix of web standards and best practices.

 

Listen to the episode:

Guests:

Alex Denning is the marketing piece of MasterWP and works with small and medium-sized WordPress solopreneurs, agencies and companies on their themes, plugins, and products, solving the marketing problem they don’t want to deal with.

Ben Gillbanks is the other part of MasterWP.  He is a WordPress developer, web designer, and part-time Entrepreneur who runs Pro Theme Design, a premium WordPress themes store.

What you will learn from this Episode:

  • The WordPress Industry has been shifting a bit and showing a downtrend with many WordPress podcasts ending or changing cadence. (01:00)
  • MasterWP is a high-quality newsletter that you can look forward to every week. (4:36)
  • MasterWP is completely free. You can sign up for the newsletter for the latest news in the WordPress industry. (6:18)
  • The MasterWP newsletter was not created as a marketing platform that will eventually be monetized (like Post Status). (7:40)
  • Sponsorships are currently covering the costs for MasterWP. (8:40)
  • A large Google doc is used to work collaboratively on the newsletter with links before publishing. (12:50)
  • The newsletter is copied into a MailChimp template and then sent out. (13:18)
  • Alex started very early with a Video Game review site and worked out the problems that he was encountering with WordPress as a developer. This is where WPShout started. (14:27)
  • Alex currently helps out on WPShout with their marketing.(16:16)
  • Ben runs Pro Theme Design and creates themes for WordPress.com.  (17:54)

The Three-Part Plan for MasterWP:

  • Spend at least an hour each week on the design. (9:56)
  • Make the content unique.(10:31)
  • Be consistent by sending the newsletter each week. Have an accountability partner to keep you on task.(11:27)

The Future of WordPress:

  • Most people want the best for WordPress.(34:19)
  • The community is not sure where WordPress.com is headed.
  • Tension seems to be building between Automattic (which is WordPress.com) and the opensource community.(28:17)
  • There should be clear definitions of what the direction of WordPress.com and WordPress.org is.(23:30)
  • There is not much notice to developers when things change on WordPress.com.(20:12)
  • Gutenberg is being built to meet strategic and financial objectives for WordPress.com.
  • Sales for themes seem to be increasing through JetPack through WordPress.com.(20:55)
  • Gutenberg seems to be moving to custom blocks and changing how people develop websites.(18:54)
  • The speed to which Gutenberg is being developed and supported is incredible with John Maeda becoming involved.(27:18)
  • Theme submission has stopped on WordPress.com.(30:47)
  • The premium plugin space is also really being impacted. Developers will need to look at marketing to help with sales of their themes on WordPress.com.(33:38)

Episode Resources:
Alex Denning
Ben Gillbanks
Post Status
WPShout
JetPack
Scott Bollinger
Shopify

Follow Alex:
MasterWP
AlexDenning.com
Twitter

Follow Ben:
Pro Theme Design
Binary Moon
Twitter

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