How to Become a WordPress YouTube Influencer In 2024 Special Guest Christian Taylor


Unlock the secrets to becoming a successful WordPress YouTube influencer in 2024. Elevate your content and soar to stardom.

We are calling all aspiring influencers. Unleash your potential and become a sought-after WordPress expert on YouTube by tuning into our exclusive tutorial for 2024. Gain valuable insights on creating engaging content, optimizing videos for search engines, and fostering community engagement. Elevate your online presence today with our step-by-step guidance.

Special Guest Christian Taylor.

#1—Christian, Can you give us a couple of critical insights into your journey connected to trying to build a personal brand in 2024?

#2 – What are some critical things you have learned about building an audience on YouTube?

#3—Why do you still prefer WordPress over other website builders?

#4 – Can you tell us what common challenges the general public faces using WordPress in 2024?

#5 -Can you give us some info about your new Craylor Academy course (building a free WordPress site with Kadence)?

This Week Show’s Sponsors

LifterLMS: LifterLMS

Convesio: Convesio

Omnisend: Omnisend

The Show’s Main Transcript And Links

[00:00:01.200] – Jonathan Denwood

 Welcome back, folks, to the WP-Tonic show. This week in WordPress and tech, it’s episode 914. We’ve got a great guest, got an excellent discussion. We’re going to be discussing all things WordPress and YouTube. How to build an audience on YouTube in the WordPress web design and training space. We’ve got somebody that’s built a significant audience themselves. Christian Taylor is with us. He’s going to share his knowledge about how he did it, what have been some of the challenges, and how he sees the world of WordPress. It should be all great stuff. So Christian, would you like to quickly give the tribe a quick intro about yourself?

[00:00:54.760] – Christian Taylor

Absolutely. Well, first of all, thanks for having me. So, I always tell people I make videos on online tech and a lot of SaaS products. So I’m kind of in this in half of my content is focused on WordPress web platforms, the other half is maybe other SaaS tools, some privacy and security like VPN’s, password managers, and data removal services. So, um, that’s usually how I describe myself. I say make content on online tech. And then people ask, what does that mean? And I tell them a bit more because I’m kind of all over the place. But I do make a good amount of content in the WordPress niche and have been using WordPress myself for probably at least the last eight years. So yeah, that’s a quick rundown of what I do.

[00:01:45.680] – Jonathan Denwood

That’s great. I’ve got my co-host, Kurt. Kurt, would you like to introduce yourself to the new listeners and viewers?

[00:01:53.670] – Kurt von Ahnen

Absolutely, Jonathan. Thank you. My name is Kurt. I own a company called Manana no Mas. I focus largely on membership and learning websites. I also work directly with WP-Tonic and the great folks at Lifter LMS.

[00:02:05.190] – Jonathan Denwood

That’s fantastic. And before we go into the meat and potatoes of this great show, I’ve got a couple of messages from our major sponsors. We will be back in a few moments, folks. Three, two, one. We’re coming back, folks. I just want to point out we’ve got some great special offers from the sponsors, plus a great curated list of the best WordPress plugins and services. You can get all these goodies that will save you a ton of time as a WordPress professional by going over to wPH deals and you find all the goodies there. What more could you ask for? I say, what more could you ask for? Probably a lot, but that’s all you’re going to get from that bloody page. It’s a great page, though, folks. It will save you a bag of time. So, Christian, let’s go straight into it. So what’s been a couple of the critical insights on this windy journey? Connected, building your personal brand and I imagine with a big emphasis on YouTube. What are some of the things that you feel that you like to share with our beloved tribe?

[00:03:20.660] – Christian Taylor

Yeah, it’s a great question. I think some of the most valuable insights I’ve learned would be consistency, probably. Number one. You know, it takes, if you’re trying to build an audience, whether it’s on YouTube or any other social platform, you’ve got to be consistent. You got to post. Whether that’s weekly or daily, there’s no right or wrong answer necessarily as far as the interval, but whatever interval you choose, you have to pick some level of consistency. So there are creators out there that make these just spectacle videos that take a month to produce, so they only post one video a month. And then there are creators that post every day because they’re able to kind of just sit in front of their computer, start screen recording, and make a quick little video. So there’s no necessarily defined interval of how often you have to post, but you do need to pick something to be consistent. And I’d say the other thing that’s really helped me throughout my journey is actually getting to know my audience. That’s something that I haven’t done for many years, but I’ve done that in recent years by running polls on my social media and asking questions.

[00:04:37.460] – Christian Taylor

It’s interesting how much people love to give anonymous feedback. I always thought, oh, if I run these polls, people are going to think it’s invasive or weird; they’re not going to want to answer them. But because social media polls tend to be anonymous and the platforms don’t tell you who said what, they just tell you the numbers and percentages. People love answering them. So getting to know your audience that way. I also launched a discord server, and that’s been wonderful to just chat with people and ask them, like, hey, what do you do? Why do you watch my content? What do you like about it? What do you not like about it? And when you really learn who your audience is, as you grow and start making content for them, and you’re not just throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks, that’s, that’s really kind of the key to starting to see some growth and success. But I mean, there’s a lot of ways we could go. Things we could drill down on. But those are probably, like, two takeaways that I’ve learned over the years.

[00:05:40.420] – Jonathan Denwood

So how long have you been really serious about your YouTube channel? How long have you been concentrating quite a bit of your time and energy on it?

[00:05:51.990] – Christian Taylor

I’ve been full-time on YouTube for the past four years, and it’s been. I’d say it’s been like a serious hobby for eight years. So, about four years of consistent weekly uploads, really desiring to build an audience, and then another four years of being full-time since then.

[00:06:13.460] – Jonathan Denwood

Right, so full-time. So how many videos per week do you produce then, on average?

[00:06:19.710] – Christian Taylor

Then, I do one full-length video a week, and my goal has been to do one short video a week that I would put on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. I’ve not succeeded in hitting that metric like I want to, but I do at least one full video a week.

[00:06:37.460] – Jonathan Denwood

Now, we’ve got to get real here. You know, you’re in a very compute, a very competitive sector. It’s a niche, but it’s a reasonably broad niche. How do you think you’ve managed to get any traction in this area where many haven’t?

[00:06:57.580] – Christian Taylor

Yeah, a lot of my content is heavily search based, so I do a lot of comparison videos. That’s kind of my bread and butter. And how I’ve built a lot of my following is I just put myself in the shoes of the consumer and think, what tools are they looking for? What are they using, and what are they thinking when they’re considering? Do I use this web host or this web host? So I think by being able to put myself in the shoes of the consumer with my testing and research, that keeps people watching once they click, and actually getting people to click, comparisons help a lot because you’re able to cover many brands or tools in one video. So that way, if I do a comparison on web hosting and someone’s maybe thinking of using Dreamhost, well, if I did a review video on Hostinger, then I’m narrowing my audience to just people that are interested in Hostinger. But if I do a comparison video on Dreamhost, Bluehost, you know, just different web hosts. I don’t know why the guys are.

[00:08:12.120] – Jonathan Denwood

Cracking up here, but I forgive you, Christian. We all got to do what we got to do. We all have to do what we have to do to make a living. You seem a very pleasant individual. I’m sorry. That’s some of my English humor. You’re smiling so over to you, Kurt.

[00:08:30.270] – Kurt von Ahnen

I just want to drop the hint that WP Tonic is a hosting company.

[00:08:35.070] – Christian Taylor

Yes, yes, yes. Okay.


[00:08:37.690] – Jonathan Denwood

We only specialized in a niche.


[00:08:40.630] – Christian Taylor

Yeah, I’ve not taken a look at WP tonic yet, but I would absolutely love to, especially because I have an LMS site now which is brand new. So. Yeah, love to take a look. Try it out.


[00:08:53.460] – Jonathan Denwood

Yeah, but I was going to, if you don’t mind, Kurt, before I throw over to you. Just go on. Yeah, we’ve been kidding, but we’ve touched how do you keep authentic and keep any, and how do you guard your credibility? Because obviously you’re there to make a living. We all are. And you get a lot of that living by affiliate income and placement. But how, in your own mind, where have you put the barriers? Where have you put the guardrails? Where you won’t step over because you know that it’s a greasy pole to losing any credibility. How have you worked this out yourself? Only a small question.


[00:09:44.020] – Christian Taylor

Yeah, there’s a couple ways I’ve done that. One is I will never do a sponsored review. You would be surprised how many companies email me and say, hey, can we pay you to do a review? I’m like, no, you can’t. Like, I, I, I might organically do a review, but I’m not going to take money from you to do a review. If I do a sponsored video, it could be a tutorial, it could be an overview. But I’m never going to make a firm recommendation in a sponsored video. I’m never going to say, this is the best web host that I’ve ever used. You have to sign up for it. By the way, they sponsored the video. It’s going to be, these are the features of the web host or this is how you set up the web hosting. But I’m not going to say like they’re the best, you have to use them. If it’s a comparison video where everything’s organic, then I will make those kind of statements because that’s my honest, genuine opinion. And one thing that I have committed to early on is that I’m never going to let the level of commission sway what I say in a comparison.


[00:10:57.940] – Christian Taylor

Like there was one year where I did a comparison video and the tool that I ended up recommending is the winner, just so happened to be the highest paying as far as the affiliate program. So that was a really nice year. Starting to see a lot of conversions from that affiliate program. But the next year I did it again. The tool fell behind and there was another one that was better and the commission was way lower and I think anyone would be tempted to just keep recommending the tool that pays the best. But I said no. You know, I’m, I, I’m not going to do that. So just keeping it 100% honest, even if that means I go from recommending one tool that has a really high commission to another that has a lower one or even no commission. Sometimes I’ll see comments on my channel that say, oh, you’re only recommending this tool because you have an affiliate link and you’re getting paid.


[00:11:57.020] – Jonathan Denwood

And I always, what a terrible thing. What an act of treachery. You know how you can live with yourself. That was english sarcasm.


[00:12:10.060] – Christian Taylor

Yeah, well, I chuckle, too, because half the time when people say that it’s a tool that doesn’t have an affiliate program, I’m like, you do realize that? I tell you.


[00:12:20.620] – Jonathan Denwood

Can I tell you, my approach to this is much more simple than yours because I’m not as sophisticated as you. So my approach, a, I actually got to think the products half decent, but in a crowded, in most areas that are crowded, to find one that’s really much more superior is not usual. And secondly, it depends in the context of the end user. So one product can’t meet all end users. Number two, I’ve got actually think like the people, if they’re shitheads, I really don’t want to do business with them because if you mix with rats that got fleas, they normally will infest you. So, um, assholes, I rather not do business with. And number three, um, not as it’s go, daddy, anything goes, though, basically because I’m not dealing with the fucking elephant killers. Um, even I wouldn’t do fucking business with those bastards. Um, so there we go. Um, over to you, Kurt.


[00:13:32.990] – Kurt von Ahnen

Oh, Jonathan, thank you. I’m just going to be like, super organic here, Christian. I’ve got 800 plus videos on my YouTube channel and I’ve got 82 subscribers. Right. So obviously I’ve got some work to do and some growth to do there. But what are the critical things that you came away from when you were building kind of your YouTube audience? Like, so you’re like, I focused on this, I focused on that. But where were the real stumbling blocks where you were like, oh, crud. Or I didn’t. I can’t believe I didn’t see that earlier. Or like, what, what clicked?


[00:14:07.700] – Christian Taylor

Yeah. Um, early on, I was definitely making content that I wanted to make rather than focusing on who is my audience, what do they want to see? So I would get frustrated because occasionally, let’s say, like one in every ten videos happen to be a video that someone wanted to see in my audience, or I call them, like, my avatar. I think about, like, demographic, even down to things like income interests, where they like part of the world that they’re in. So in the beginning, I was making stuff that I cared about, and not everyone cared about it. So when I really started to understand that you make content for your audience, not for yourself, I started seeing more consistent growth. I think the other thing, it’s very basic, but just learning what there’s demand for with search traffic. So there’s a number of research tools out there. Vidiq is one that’s free. Tubebuddy is another free one for YouTube specifically. And you can just.


[00:15:17.600] – Jonathan Denwood

They’ve got paid versions, haven’t they?


[00:15:19.990] – Christian Taylor

They do, yeah. But I’ve. I’ve actually never paid for either.


[00:15:23.340] – Jonathan Denwood

All right. I paid for the paid version in Tubebuddy.


[00:15:26.920] – Christian Taylor

Okay. Yeah, I mean, they’re. They’re great tools.


[00:15:29.700] – Jonathan Denwood

There you go. There you are. There you go, folks. That’s where I went wrong. Should have stayed with the free version. There we go.


[00:15:36.660] – Christian Taylor

But, like, you know, if you have a hunch that maybe this video idea is going to do well in search, you can search it on YouTube, look at the Vidiq score, and it’ll say, like, based on the search volume and the competition out there, it’s a 70 out of 100, which I would say you should make that video. Or it might say it’s a 40 out of 100, meaning it’s either low search volume or high saturation, or some combination of both. So I think that’s been it for me, just optimizing content for search and also really putting myself in the shoes of the audience before I make a video. And there’s often videos that I really want to make, but I’m like, it’s. It’s too niche. I just know that there’s not enough people in my audience that are going to appreciate it. I could make it for myself and enjoy making it, but it’s not going to get a lot of views.


[00:16:39.140] – Kurt von Ahnen

Yeah, yeah. I was thinking in terms of, just as an example, John Maxwell, famous leadership guru, book writer, author, the whole thing. He does a thing called minute with Maxwell and then does a subject. Right, so minute with Maxwell, and then whatever the word of the day is, and it gets tons of plays. And so then my company names Manana Nomas. Then you think, oh, well, mornings with Manyana, right? And you’re like, okay, that’ll work. But then I realized quickly, that doesn’t work a. I’m not famous. I don’t have 16 million people buying my books. Right? And then I realized late in the game that mornings with Manyana, no one knows what that is by looking at that title. And so recently I started playing with titles and a little bit more descriptive in the descriptions. And then I’m starting to realize, well, that’s how people actually find the video, right? So I think there’s a lot of the setup and a lot of the stuff that just normal people on YouTube don’t even think about. They think they make the video and it should propagate based on the video’s content. But there’s all that other stuff that drives the eyes to the video, right?


[00:17:43.600] – Christian Taylor

Yeah, absolutely. I. You touched on a really good point, which is packaging the title and thumbnail. The packaging of a video is almost more important than the video itself. Not entirely, because it’s possible you could nail the packaging. You get a bunch of clicks and your retention rate is super low because the video sucks. But I’d say nine times out of ten, it’s always the other way around. You could spend a month making a masterpiece of a video. You’re super proud of it. You put so many hours and money into it and just all this effort. And because your packaging is amiss, nobody watches it. So you’re absolutely right. Packaging is important. And another thing that I thought about as you were talking is something I learned over the years, is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. When you find a piece of content that works, you can just keep riding that train and make evolutions of that content. Whether it’s like around two, some kind of series you could do, it could be both a topic itself. So like, hey, I saw success with VPN comparisons for a while, so I’m going to keep making VPN comparisons.


[00:19:00.750] – Christian Taylor

Or it could also be a format. Like, I started seeing success with the five things format. Like five things to know before you use X, or five things to know before buying y. And in that case, it’s not even really about the specific tool category. It’s more a format that’s working. And I could apply that to WordPress tools, VPN security. Like any of the things I talk about, I can kind of morph that format to.


[00:19:32.430] – Jonathan Denwood



[00:19:33.030] – Kurt von Ahnen

Thanks, man. Jonathan, over to you.


[00:19:35.670] – Jonathan Denwood

How much, before we go for a break, how much do you spend on the analytical data? Because some of the gurus in this area, you know, have courses about how to become successful on YouTube. And I’ve had a couple of them on the show, some of the biggest names, a couple of them, they’ve all got courses and they seem to look at a certain group of metrics and they’re looking at those analytics or that. I don’t. That’s probably why, I’m afraid. Yeah, you know, but how much do you, how much do you spend on the analyticals? Or do you do it kind of middle? Ray, you watch a bit of it, but you don’t obsess by it?


[00:20:25.930] – Christian Taylor

I would say I look at it a little bit, but I try not to obsess. I won’t say don’t obsess. I’m watching a video very closely initially after I release it. So probably the first two days, I am closely monitoring the click through rate, the retention, because that just kind of helps me know if I should try different packaging. So I’ll usually have maybe two to three thumbnail options that I make before the video launches. And I start with one, I watch the click through rate. If I feel like it’s too low, I swap it out, see what that change did. But once a video is more than two days old, I kind of forget about it and, you know, maybe come back to it one month, three months, six months.


[00:21:15.150] – Jonathan Denwood

You’ve got to give it a bit of time to see how the.


[00:21:18.380] – Christian Taylor

Yeah. Especially search based content is evergreen. It often can have a really slow start, but you come back to it six months later and it’s got a lot more views. So on a per video level, I watch it closely for probably the first two days, and then my channel as a whole, I probably look at my channel analytics once a week and really drill down into it once a month because I plan my videos in batches of four, basically, like a month’s worth of content at one time. So every month when I sit down and plan that next month of content, then I really do a deep dive on what’s working on the channel right now, what’s not working, what are some content gaps or opportunities for expanding on what’s working? Um, but honestly, I try not to look at my analytics too much or obsess about it because I have done that in the past. And it’s no fun looking at the day to day views because they, they fluctuate. So sometimes you have a video that starts to take off and your overall channel views go up and then the video kind of chills out and it turns the other way and it’s going down.


[00:22:32.710] – Christian Taylor

And, you know, if you’re watching it every day, you’re just stressing yourself out with oh, today it’s lower than yesterday and oh no, I thought it bottomed out, but it went even lower. So yeah, it’s, it’s a slippery slope to go down.


[00:22:48.100] – Jonathan Denwood

So, um, this isn’t only my observation and I’ll be interested to see if you think there’s anything to it. I’ve noticed a lot the hosting providers in the WordPress space that are trying up their game on video. Um, every Tom Dick, every hosting provider, the major ones, and a lot of it’s a total snooze fest. It’s bloody awful shit that they’re bunnying out. Um, but you must have noticed that, um, the only people is like elegant fiends. They’re animal. They’re animals, you know, but they’re, they’re on all their online marketing, their animals, aren’t they? They seem to be doing a reasonable job. Most of its turd, isn’t it? Why do you think they’re, why do you think they’re so fucking bad at it? Got any insights?


[00:23:42.880] – Christian Taylor

That’s an interesting question. I think it’s a number of things. One, it takes a lot of time to master how to make good content. I think a lot of web hosts see it as they often have a great blogging strategy and that’s what they’ve done for years. They have a blog, they make helpful articles, they know how to do SEO on Google. So they sort of approach it from the mindset of if we take a blog post and record it as a video and throw it out there, it’s going to do well. That’s really not true. There’s so much more to video. I even, well, not me, but like there’s a term in YouTube called retention editing, which is like, if anyone’s ever watched a mrbeast video, just the super flashy, fast moving, attention grabbing style. You don’t have to do that to that extreme with resource content or education content, but you still have to be entertaining and engaging and have cuts going and not just like sit in front of the camera and read a blog post as a script.


[00:24:54.560] – Jonathan Denwood

We are talking to the camera, our corporate speech, we will dominate. You will watch this video.


[00:25:03.920] – Christian Taylor

Yeah. And the second thing I’ll say on that is, I know for sure, because I’ve seen this a lot with companies that want to sponsor content on my channel is they don’t, they actually supply scripts.


[00:25:17.680] – Jonathan Denwood

I’ve had, I’ve had a couple. Sometimes maggots actually try and provide a script for me. Can you imagine the response that they’ve got for me.


[00:25:27.150] – Christian Taylor

Yeah. Oh, yeah. And it’s, some of these companies don’t understand that you, you can’t make content that you want to make. And I said this earlier already, but it’s, it’s proving the point is that they don’t want to see that they have to make content for their audience or their customer base. They’re more interested in pushing and promoting their own initiatives. And it’s like, oh, okay, great, make those videos do that. But if you wonder why it’s not performing, that’s why.


[00:25:57.200] – Jonathan Denwood

It’s because people, you know, the other thing I’m on, I’m on a roll now. So, you know, the other thing that fucks me up is that these fuckers will easily cough up a hundred thousand for a word count, right? And they come to you and they’re fucking say. They start asking questions over a couple thousand and you just want to say to them, go fuck yourself. Go fuck yourself. You know, they got the audacity, the audacity to start questioning you about, you know, whether, you know, regularly they cough up a hundred thousand plus and you just want to tend to go and fuck themselves, don’t you?


[00:26:40.360] – Christian Taylor

It’s, yeah, it’s interesting when sometimes companies are very fixated on conversions with sponsorships and they’ll say things like, oh, we don’t spend money on brand awareness or oh, we can’t justify an ROI without x amount of conversions. And they treat it purely as a math problem on lifetime value of the customer, the cost of the campaign and, okay, we need to get x amount of.


[00:27:10.580] – Jonathan Denwood

I wouldn’t even mind that. But how can they. Are you saying that they, if they get a certain size booth in a certain position, they really see a difference and that’s why they cough up the hundred thousand, is it that linked the position, the booth, the size of its placement in a Pacific word camp?


[00:27:30.110] – Christian Taylor

No, I mean, I, I think conference booths are purely about brand awareness. I’m.


[00:27:35.300] – Jonathan Denwood

No, that’s what annoys me because I could understand it if they could show that. Because business is business, but I don’t even believe it’s that. That’s why I started ranting about it, because I don’t even think it is driven by that. Do you think there’s anything to what I say? Or am I, I got to the age where I’m just losing the plot, really.


[00:27:54.960] – Christian Taylor

So are you saying you, you don’t think brand awareness is an aspect of conference booths?


[00:28:02.160] – Jonathan Denwood

Well, totally. But what I’m saying is when they do come to you. And they say they treat it like for paid for click or it’s just a pure mathematical thing. I say there’s an element to it but you’ve got to be more sophisticated than that. But the only area that I know that does that is paid for click, either on Facebook to some extent or on Google. And you, when you’re dealing with YouTube or podcasts and, or a number of different avenues, it’s a more jumbled up platform. So they’re trying to impose something that has no real linkage to the, to the platform, to the influencer that’s on a particular platform. If I. My, am I making any sense?


[00:28:57.330] – Christian Taylor

Yeah. Oh, absolutely. And that, that’s a point in frustration.


[00:29:00.960] – Jonathan Denwood

Thank God for that because I think I was losing it.


[00:29:03.620] – Christian Taylor

No, no, no, I, that’s a point of frustration that I’ve had with potential sponsors and I think the best thing to do in that case is find a new sponsor because if a company is so fixated on clicks and conversions and that’s all they care about, they’re kind of skipping past the fact that they’re hiring a one man show or at least a small team who can brainstorm, ideate, film the content, edit the content. Oftentimes there’s the ability for them to license it if they want. So you’re, you’re not just putting an ad on a website, you’re hiring someone to come up with the ad, produce the ad, publish the ad to their platform and the brand could, if they want, license that ad from you and run it on other platforms as well. But so many brands just skip past that and say, yeah, but how many clicks are we going to get or how many views? It’s like, well it, you know, that’s a part of it, but that’s not the whole story.


[00:30:11.980] – Jonathan Denwood

Yeah, we’re going to go for our break folks. We will be back in a few moments. It’s been a great discussion. I’m losing the plot, I need to drink some more coffee. I’ll be back in a few moments, folks. Three, two, one. Poor old Christine. He’s just been sitting there wondering what the hell have I gone on? You know, his eyes are getting wider. My co host just wants to get away quick. I don’t know, I can’t blame him. Back over. But before we go into the second half of the show, I just wanted to say we got a great newsletter. A great newsletter which I write every week with the latest WordPress and text stories. With a little bit of my sarcasm thrown in. What more could you ask for tribe and it’s free. Free what I say, what value? And you can get this goodie by going over to wp newsletter. Wp newsletter. Can you imagine what it’s like, folks? That’s why you want to sign up. So over to you, Kurt.


[00:31:29.100] – Kurt von Ahnen

Well, I want to make ground pets happy, and I want to change the direction of the conversation and get on to WordPress.


[00:31:34.010] – Jonathan Denwood

Grumpy Inn. He is a grumpy. Yo, get me. There we go.


[00:31:39.520] – Kurt von Ahnen

So first off, first time I saw Christian, I thought I had lost will middleton at Wordcamp. Us. And Christian’s walking around and I’m like, dang it, there’s will. And I chase him down and I’m like, you’re not will. So that’s the first time I met Christian. Beyond that, beyond meeting you at Wordcamp and, and obviously, you know, talking to the guys at lifter LMS and stuff, you use WordPress, right? So what is it about WordPress that kind of draws you to the product and to the community?


[00:32:13.220] – Christian Taylor

There’s a couple of things about WordPress.


[00:32:15.090] – Jonathan Denwood

Early on, the affiliates.


[00:32:18.980] – Christian Taylor

Yeah. So many different ways that I can upsell people. No, early on it was, I think, mostly a cost thing. Like when I was, I’m going to show my age, or lack thereof here. But when I was a kid, I would play around with Wix and Weebly squarespace, all these different platforms, and I was really getting interested in web development, but I didn’t want to pay like $15 a month or whatever the price was at the time, just to remove the obnoxious made on banner and connected custom domain and all that. So I discovered WordPress and I was like, oh, this is so affordable, so powerful. All I need is a $2 a month web hosting account. And, you know, we’ve seen inflation since then, so now it’s. Now it’s probably more like $8 a month at least. But, you know, for Jonathan, to be clear here, I’m talking about like, your super simple shared hosting account for like a personal. Oh, hostgator.


[00:33:32.430] – Jonathan Denwood

Oh, hostgator.


[00:33:33.640] – Christian Taylor



[00:33:34.420] – Jonathan Denwood

They’re supposed to be sponsors. Are they, Christine?


[00:33:37.880] – Christian Taylor

What, of my channel?


[00:33:38.970] – Jonathan Denwood



[00:33:39.570] – Christian Taylor

Oh, no, no. I know.


[00:33:41.720] – Jonathan Denwood

You would even go that far, would you?


[00:33:43.610] – Christian Taylor
  1. Let’s just say I’m not a fan of their parent company who also owns many other.


[00:33:52.000] – Jonathan Denwood

Worse than the chocolate factory. That’s possible. There we go. Sorry.


[00:33:56.770] – Christian Taylor

Yeah, no, no. All good. But, yeah, so it started for affordability, and then when I started to see how powerful it was, I really started to appreciate the platform. Now I would say I’ve stuck with WordPress because I’m more and more aware of a platform’s ability to control you. I hate to say cancel you but you know, and I’m not necessarily worried that would be a problem for me and what I’m doing, but I just don’t like that we’re seeing more and more platforms, like social platforms say hey, we’re going to suspend your account for whatever reason. And with WordPress there’s much more of that control where the worst thing that could happen is a web host cancels you and says we’re dropping you as a customer. Then I take my site, go over to wptonic and say hey, Jonathan’s been spicy enough on this episode so I doubt he’s going to cancel me for whatever my site.


[00:34:58.860] – Jonathan Denwood

You gotta be a real nut, you gotta be a real fucking nut for me to cancel. Me and my crew are more, more patient than most but we have, we have had to say goodbye to some real lunatics but what can you do?


[00:35:14.900] – Christian Taylor

But hey, you know those people, if they really wanted they could get their own server infrastructure and keep running their WordPress site. So it’s not like with shop.


[00:35:26.160] – Jonathan Denwood

Well the thing is they were lunatics but they had big communities and they were making a ton of money but they didn’t want to pay anything for decent hosting so they had to go.


[00:35:36.910] – Christian Taylor

Yeah, oh yeah, yeah for sure. But yeah, I just like having that full control over where I think you’re making it.


[00:35:45.270] – Jonathan Denwood

I’ll give you an example. A couple of days ago I use a UL shortener called bitly. I’ve been using it for donkeys years. I just utilize the free account because it’s quite generous and I don’t get anywhere near it. And they sent me email and it was in the normal pr speak of 1984 that we have to put up with. We are increasing the quality of your account, Jonathan. We believe in our users so what we’re going to do is fucking shaft you. So basically instead of giving you 100 free ul shortenings per month we’re reducing it to ten and we want $99 a year. So I’m off to the next free plan. And I thought myself, are you that desperate to get money out of your users that you won’t even grandfather them in or anything? Is that it’s the VC world got so freaking tight that you got to go around doing that. But obviously so many people do. Coffee? I don’t know but it’s just a perfect example, isn’t it?


[00:36:59.830] – Christian Taylor

Yeah, it’s exactly like, you never know. I think with, with LMS platforms, I considered Kajabi, I considered teachable, and I’m like, you know, I don’t want these platforms to be able to just raise the price one day and say, hey, we’re doubling the price or whatever. The price increases, either pay up or get out. You know, I just don’t want to have to deal with that. And that could happen with WordPress to some degree.


[00:37:30.230] – Jonathan Denwood

Oh, definitely. If you’re hosting with us, I do explain you’re making a ton of money and you want top surface. I do expect you to give me a little bit of the gravy.


[00:37:39.550] – Christian Taylor

Yeah, well, absolutely, yes. And like the, yeah, your costs can and will go up with WordPress, but you still have so much more control. If one host wants to forex your price and you feel that’s unfair, take your business elsewhere.


[00:37:55.620] – Jonathan Denwood

Back over to you, Kurt.


[00:37:58.140] – Kurt von Ahnen

Oh, my goodness.


[00:37:59.500] – Jonathan Denwood



[00:38:04.810] – Kurt von Ahnen

That all said, if you think about your experience in WordPress and the years with WordPress, what do you see as being the general challenge? 2024, because you got your finger on the pulse and you get these surveys from people and you know what people are asking. So from your perspective, what do you think people are facing as the challenge or the issue with WordPress?


[00:38:29.610] – Christian Taylor

Now, number one challenge and issue is perhaps a challenge that I don’t know if it can ever be solved because of the whole concept of WordPress being open source, but it’s. People are way too confused by all the fragmentation in page builders and themes. I can’t tell you how many comments I get from people saying, oh, I bought Divi and I bought Elementor and like, yeah, exactly.


[00:39:03.840] – Jonathan Denwood

My blood supply. Such a conversation that’s got my blood supply going up for a long time and I’m old, geezer, I’m gonna die on this study show. You keep doing that. Yeah, sorry I interrupted.


[00:39:19.540] – Christian Taylor

Yeah, no, but I mean, you guys got it right away. But you’d be surprised at how many people don’t understand what the different products do, how they work together. So, because I’ve made content before explaining the difference between a WordPress theme and a page builder, many themes include page builders, but they’re not necessarily a page builder. Many page builders have an official theme, but you could also use it with a different theme. So I’ve had a comment say, like, well, I bought Divi because you said that Divi was a theme and elementary.


[00:39:57.900] – Jonathan Denwood

I feel sorry. The divvy people, such lovely people. I always. It’s a. I never know what to say, really, because there’s such. There’s some of the nicest people I’ve met at word camps, and. But I never know what to say about it, you know? But I do think you’re really spot on. But I suppose there’s fragmentation, and there’s fragmentation, isn’t there? And I just think it’s gone on steroids. So I think, and I think when I had the great leader on the show telling us that Gutenberg was a freaking ten year plan, he kind of produced that out of his fucking backside, and he. Ten year plan? Give me a break. We will be the way the world’s going. We will be bloody dead and buried before they get that fucking finished. Uh. Um. I don’t think that’s helped, is it?


[00:40:54.580] – Christian Taylor

I I think it’s helped a little bit in that we’re seeing more and more companies make blocks for Gutenberg, and it. It does feel a little bit unified more than it did, because it’s like, okay, you could have three different blocks packs that you use with Gutenberg, and they all work on the same page, they all work on the same website, rather than, oh, I bought some templates for elementor, and I also bought some for Divi, but I can’t use them together, so I think they’re making slow.


[00:41:27.830] – Jonathan Denwood

Oh, you care? We got clients that got different full page builders, and then they complied to us that their hosted isn’t working very well.


[00:41:36.170] – Christian Taylor

I mean, I suppose technically you could, but I would highly advise against that. I’m sure you would, too.


[00:41:43.760] – Jonathan Denwood

Let’s go. Let’s go somewhere nice, because we’re big pushers of it, and you’ve got your new course coming out, or it is out, and it’s a great course, and you’ve gone all in with Cadence, and so have we. So what’s some of the main things you love about Cadence, and why did you decide that you’re going to do a course about it, apart from the affiliate money, actually?


[00:42:12.510] – Christian Taylor

So the course itself, I show people exclusively the free version, and that’s kind of my cell, is I. I picked cadence for that course because you don’t have to pay for it. You can upgrade. I’m sure many people do and will. But in that course, I like, if there was a feature that you had to upgrade cadence for, I found a plugin that could do it for free, just to say you can upgrade if you want, and it’s going to be more convenient. But let me show you how to still accomplish this for free, just to get that knowledge out there for people who are starting out don’t have a big budget to build their website. So that was attractive for me, the amount of stuff you can do for free. The second thing is probably the emphasis on the blocks editor, eventually full site editing. But the fact that they still give you the power to decide whether you want to use Gutenberg or Elementor, I’m really attracted to that because I can still invest in teaching people how to set up the header and the footer and the styling and, like, kind of the basics of the theme.


[00:43:24.650] – Christian Taylor

But then from there, that person could decide they want to use Gutenberg, which is a bit simpler, more straightforward, or they have advanced needs, they want to use Elementor. It’s still going to work with the theme. And for me, a huge sell for my own site was the deep integration with lifter LMS, because there’s not many themes out there that have that level of control. So, yeah, big, big win for lifter LMS, but I was really attracted to it for that as well.


[00:43:57.740] – Jonathan Denwood

And I do like Ben and his team at Cadence. Now, I’ve known Ben for a few years, great developer, and he’s got, he’s got a great insight, and he seems to know where he’s taking Cadence and where he wants it to be. Would you agree with that?


[00:44:16.460] – Christian Taylor

Yeah, I’ve seen them evolve over the years and have a lot of respect for how they’ve stayed as one of the top themes that people choose. And I’ve seen some of these other mega themes. I mean, I won’t name anyone in particular.


[00:44:31.250] – Jonathan Denwood

Oh, please do. That’s what you know well, please.


[00:44:35.900] – Christian Taylor

In general, I’ve seen mega themes that they seem like they’re doing really well, and then three years later, they’re still doing well because of the name. But if you actually evaluate the theme and what it can do, it’s gotten really stale. So I don’t think that’s true with Cadence, they seem pretty dedicated to making updates, like, with Cadence AI, that still has got some work to do. It’s rough right now, but I like that they’re thinking in that direction, innovating, adding stuff. So, yeah, I think they know where they’re going.


[00:45:13.310] – Jonathan Denwood

What about full site editing? What was your thoughts about that? Because I could see all the benefits, but it was initially, and some of the people that are part of the core of Gutenberg are some really quality people, and I would never personally go and criticize them because I know these people and they’re much brighter and better people than me. I’m just a poor sinner with a potty mouth, which I’ve showed into this episode. I don’t know, I’ve had too much coffee. Something’s pumped me up, I don’t know. But you get, you kept mentioning I was just getting more not bothered, you saying about this host and that host, and it’s just, I’ll just get more hot and bothered as the show was going. You’ve already got my blood supply going. But what’s your faults about false sighted? I could understand it. I think it’s going back. On the other hand, I thought, why have you gone down this path? Why did you go down here? What was your feelings about it?


[00:46:21.190] – Christian Taylor

I like it. I’m optimistic about it long term, but I’m really worried that the next five to ten years, maybe five years, is going to be a disaster as far as confusing people even more than they’re already confused with WordPress. Because I think we all know with WordPress, whenever they add a new UI or a new way to do something, they leave the old way for perhaps way too long. And it’s a fine line. I get that there’s people that have old methods of doing it, like the classic editor, I’m fine with the classic editor still being there as a plugin you can install, but it’s kind of that same idea of, well, okay, if we add full site editing and add this new way, we’re still going to have to have the customized screen and these, you know, like there’s. Why are there two ways to edit the menu? I still don’t understand that. You can do it in the customize screen, or there’s the menu screen, and for widgets you can do that in the customize screen, or there’s the widget screen. And I think full site editing is just going to make that problem ten times worse over the next five years where it’s like you can do this in the full site Ui or you can still edit it over here in this other UI.


[00:47:39.800] – Christian Taylor

And maybe they’re stepping on each other if you try to make changes in both areas. But once they can get through that, they can fully deprecate the old way of doing it. I think it’s ultimately going to open a lot of options for people. Especially, I would love to see WordPress get to a place where a theme is what people think a theme is, which is just a combination of colors, fonts, styles, layouts, and not this bundle of like page builder, contact form, slider janky, third party.


[00:48:19.480] – Jonathan Denwood

You gotta go, you know, you gotta make it. You gotta be a multi-millionaire on Themeforest, haven’t you? Oh. So what was your sold off now? And they. The parent company they sold off to. What’s the photo people? Shuttle. They sold off, didn’t they? They’re gone. Yeah, they sold up. Did you not know?

[00:48:42.730] – Christian Taylor

Did they? Uh uh.

[00:48:43.860] – Jonathan Denwood

No. You obviously got away from that world. Good luck to you. I wish I could do that.

[00:48:51.040] – Christian Taylor

Oh, okay. Wow. Yeah, I see that.

[00:48:54.770] – Jonathan Denwood


[00:48:55.480] – Christian Taylor

Announcement, too, huh?

[00:48:57.220] – Jonathan Denwood

Well, in. In the world of WordPress, it’s like four years ago, because Finns move so quick in this. I I’ve given up trying to keep up with it, and it’s obvious you have, which I can’t blame.

[00:49:08.050] – Christian Taylor

Yeah, I totally missed that. That was like two weeks ago.

[00:49:10.730] – Jonathan Denwood

So those two weeks just fly by, don’t I? Onto the next drama. Back over to you, Kurt. Well, this has been a total fucking mess of a podcast, and it’s all been down to me, hasn’t it? I don’t know. I apologize, Kristen. You have to come back. But you just laugh at me, don’t you, Kristen?

[00:49:30.680] – Kurt von Ahnen

It’s got to come back.

[00:49:31.630] – Jonathan Denwood

You just laugh. It’s just been a train wreck. I apologize to my co-host.

[00:49:37.160] – Christian Taylor

It’s all good. I’m happy to come back anytime.

[00:49:40.680] – Kurt von Ahnen

Well, final question. This is our fun question. If you could. If you had your own time machine, doctor who, HG Wells, whatever. You have your own time machine. You travel back to the beginning of your career. Think about when you first really started putting them into it. What essential piece of advice would you give yourself?

[00:50:01.140] – Jonathan Denwood

Don’t come on this podcast.

[00:50:03.660] – Christian Taylor

Definitely, definitely wouldn’t say that. I think I said this again earlier, so I’m sorry if anyone’s disappointed by this answer seeming unoriginal.

[00:50:14.760] – Jonathan Denwood

I’ve made a career of disappointing people, so don’t be shy.

[00:50:19.690] – Christian Taylor

I think I would tell myself to make content for your target audience. That would sum up years and years of frustration and spinning in circles. And why isn’t it working? What am I doing wrong? I think if I could time travel back and tell myself that I would. I would have grown so much quicker.

[00:50:43.210] – Jonathan Denwood

Yeah, that’s fantastic advice. I totally agree with you, Christine. Right? Right. Yeah. What’s the best way for.

[00:50:57.390] – Kurt von Ahnen

It? Ain’t over yet, Kristen.

[00:51:02.750] – Jonathan Denwood

What’s the best way for people to find out more about you, what you’re up to?

[00:51:08.550] – Christian Taylor

You can find everything at I’ll spell out it’s I always spell it because I say Craylor, and I see people’s eyes glaze over. They’re like, what? But yeah, the best way to do it. If you Google Crayolormade, you’ll probably see Crayola because it’s some big company that thinks they’re better than me. So yeah,, you’ll find my channel, links to the course, and links to my social media. Everything’s there.

[00:51:41.410] – Jonathan Denwood

My very patience was the best way for you, for people to find out more about you.

[00:51:52.700] – Kurt von Ahnen

For starters, I’m the only Kurt von Ahnen on LinkedIn, and I’m very active on LinkedIn. So connect with me there, and we’ll connect and message each other. The other way is MananaNoMas. Anything that’s online typically leads directly to me.

[00:52:06.900] – Jonathan Denwood

And if you found this interview interesting and entertaining, please share it on your social media. It’s a great way of promoting the show and we get more people that join the tribe. We will be back next week with another great interview or around-table show. We’ll be back soon, folks. See you soon. Bye.


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