WordPress for Expression

Modern platform of expression

It’s been a pleasure to dip into WordPress again by moving this blog back onto it.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

Theodore Roosevelt

WordPress has always been a blogging platform. Its weak point always was that you’d build web pages that looked more like blog posts than pages. Just think about an About page, Contact page, or indeed product landing page.

Page Builders

I think the corner WordPress has turned is a subtle one: page builders.

Probably inspired by Wix, Squarespace, and such out-of-the-box web site builders.

A page builder in WordPress is essentially the idea of visually building up your page out of blocks (and this has been basically made possible with modern CSS models including flexbox and grid layouts).

Page BuilderProsConsConclusion
WordPress’s GutenbergGreat for building up a blog post.Doesn’t seem to have the bells and whistles you’d need to build a landing page.With its “blocks” there’s a good chance that the Gutenberg ecosystem will strive. It’s a huge change to WordPress. At the time of writing, use to build good blog posts.
Divi Page BuilderYou visually build a page from scratch.It uses shortcodes, so if you want to delete the plugin your site will break!!To the best of my understanding, don’t use.
Elementor Page BuilderYou visually build a page from scratch. It outputs HTML, so is future-compatible. It has complete page templates, but better yet, blocks that you can use to build up your own custom page.I have used this, not Divi. Elementor has “blocks” like template hero sections, and an ecosystem of plugins for more blocks. Use for marketing pages.

After years of WordPress relying on themes that have developer-coded pages layouts (e.g. “Contact Us” page layout), the page builders have git home. You can build a snazzy site quickly enough, and more importantly not rely on a develop to fix your marketing copy.

Page builders in WordPress have to play along with a base theme all the same. I’ve gone for the Astra theme for Bitesize Irish. Astra plays well with page builders, including Divi and Elementor.

Now go forth and spread your word, whatever that is, page by page and post by post.

All you have to decide now is what to share with the world.

Is being a Pro being “inauthentic”?

On the case against the concept of writer’s block, Seth Godin gave an example of a barber (full interview). Do you want your barber to complain how they’re having a bad day, saying they don’t feel like cutting your hair? No, you’re paying them to have a good day right now.

He continued to point to the fact that you should be a pro (repeating what his friend Steven Pressfield says). A pro shows up and does their job (what they’re paid to do that they otherwise would not do). He encourages you to also take a step past your job and do your work (help those around you, create something that would not otherwise have existed).

He said that you can “brainwash” yourself into loving what you do. You can choose to love the daily cycle of life.

So I wondered to myself: Is that being inauthentic, untrue to yourself? Isn’t that the lack of integrity, fooling yourself into something that’s not?

I think the point, though, is you can shape reality.

What convinced me that Seth is probably right here is a look at what the big religions understood. In Christianity, they pointed at one being born with “sin”. I take the view that “sin” means “living by default”. They understood that you can’t just live by default.

Putting in effort is not being inauthentic. Rather, it’s worthwhile.

P.S. Here’s another interview from Seth, on the same topic:

Jump to 42:00 for talk about loving what you do.

How many days old are you?

My nephew is eight days old.

In I didn’t eat yesterday, I calculated that I’ve been on 13,000 spins on the Earth, and it was the first spin of the Earth that I had the courage not to eat.

That number was eye-opening for me. If I’ve had that many spins already, and assuming I can get at least the same amount again all over again, then what will I do with that time?

What habits do I have, good and bad, that will add up to being reinforced another 13,000 times more? Since 13,000 more instances of a daily habit can get me to a very different future, which habits can I tweak for the better now? And beyond habits, what do I want to do with that time?

Over to you, how many days old are you?