Welcome back to the 19th edition of The Lab Report!
I missed last week's newsletter while out in Nashville for a friend's bachelor weekend, so there's lots to catch up on in this one.
But before we dive in, I wanted to give you a heads up that I'm currently working on my first downloadable template for NewPulse Labs.
I'm building out a simple 'link in bio' page that you can use on your Instagram, TikTok etc. to get more clients.
It will be free for all subscribers, and available for Oxygen and probably Elementor to start.
I'll let you know once it's out in the next few days.
If it's something you think you'd use, reply back with a 🔥 emoji so I know!
Now let's get into this week's newsletter.
🛍 A new e-commerce platform coming to WordPress
This week Adam Preiser from WPCrafter teased a new e-commerce platform him and his team have been working on since 2020.
Personally, I'm really excited about this one.
While WooCommerce works well for stores with a large catalogue of products, I've never really warmed up to the idea of using it to sell digital products or services.
It can take a toll on your website's performance - especially if you're not on a hosting plan designed for e-commerce.
Not to mention it makes working with staging sites more tricky since you can't easily migrate transactions.
The best alternative up to this point has been ThriveCart.
Overall I really like ThriveCart, but it comes with its downsides as well.
Since most people build their checkouts & upsells directly in ThriveCart, it can feel a little disjointed from your main site.
And they still don't have a way to change your customers' subscription plans.
Adam's new product (name TBD) looks like it could bridge the gap.
It's native to WordPress, is apparently going to be super-well integrated with other WordPress plugins, and comes with a clean looking design out of the box.
He's opening it up to a small batch of beta testers this week, followed by a larger beta release, and then a public launch possibly by the end of April.
You can read his full launch post below:
Update: the platform has now been officially announced. You can read my full review of SureCart here.
📚 Selecting text across blocks in Gutenberg
This one is SO needed.
How many times have you found yourself in Gutenberg trying to select multiple paragraphs at once, only for it to select the first block you clicked on?
I like that WordPress moved towards a block-based editor, but as a result it made editing content a lot more clunky.
You need to work one block at a time, or use shift on your keyboard and modify all the text within those blocks.
With the new update coming soon, you'll finally be able to to edit text in a more fluid manner.
🦖 Is WordPress dying?
With all the talk of Webflow and Shopify over the past few years, I've started wondering about the future of WordPress.
Is WordPress the dinosaur of the web dev industry?
As it turns out, WordPress is apparently actually the monster of the web dev industry.
According to this W3Techs chart, WordPress gains 3-4% market share of the *entire web* every year.
That means WordPress adds one Shopify **every year**.
Elementor also has more users than Squarespace or Wix 😶.
Not gonna lie, those numbers feel pretty shocking.
If you ever feel like you're working in a saturated market, just remember that this is one helluva market.
🦁 Elementor and Zion Builder release major new versions
Elementor released v3.6 last week, which as I've mentioned in this newsletter a couple times before, is a big update for them with the Container element.
As with most major Elementor releases, I'll probably be waiting a few weeks before updating any sites I've built with it.
(Release stability is one of the things I've really come to love about Oxygen).
Zion Builder also recently launched v3.0.
Given how highly I spoke of their beta in my 2022 page builder ranking video, I should probably give this more coverage.
At this point, it might be the most under-rated builder out there. And I say that because... no one really seems to be talking about it.
You need community support to build momentum and confidence in a product.
It's exactly why Bricks Builder became so popular so quickly.
Above any new features, building a strong marketing plan should probably be Zion's next play.
💬 Closing Comments
That's all for this week. Hopefully you enjoyed the newsletter.
If you ever want to discuss any of these topics, I post a dedicated thread each week inside of the NewPulse Labs Facebook group.
You can also suggest any topics you think I should cover there, so be sure to join 🙂
Stay safe and talk soon.