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:

The following was posted by Adam Preiser inside his FB group.

Get Ready! It’s Coming, Its Amazing!

Earlier this year I had posted a few teasers about a new e-commerce platform that I have been working on since 2020.

It’s been a massive journey, and now I am able to start sharing more of it with you.

Ecommerce has changed, yet the options available to WordPress users hasn’t really changed with it.

But what is e-commerce to you?

Is it a big store like Amazon or Walmart?
Is it selling a digital course?
Is it selling a digital download?
Is it selling an event ticket?
Is it selling a service?
Is it collecting a payment on an invoice?
Is it selling a monthly subscription to a membership website?

Ecommerce means something different to each user.

We already have a dominant option for the first use, a big store like Amazon, but what about all the other types of e-commerce?

Many of us have been using the wrong tool for the job, and with it comes lots of negatives, lots of moving parts, lots of many things you don’t want.

But what if there was a platform made for you? Made for WordPress? Made for the modern way we transact on our websites?

Zero performance impact on your website! YES REALLY!

Less moving parts because it was made for this specific purpose!

It works with everything you already use!

An elegant, modern interface and workflow!

Easily customizable to get exactly what you want!

This is what we spent 18 months building, and you are soon going to have access to.

Maybe you are thinking, gee that sounds expensive bruh! While I would agree with you because it has been very expensive to build, but everything I have described is going to be completely free with no catches!

Bottom line, I want to modernize the way EVERY WordPress website takes payment / sells things and the only way I can do that is to make things free. So everyone has access regardless of their situation. No catch and no added fees.

Sure, there will be a Pro plan that has “nice to haves” not “must haves”. And many of these nice to haves, other platforms don’t even have. For example, we will have a “subscription saver” feature in the plan which will try to reduce the number of people that cancel their subscriptions with you (go try to cancel Hulu or similar for an example). Nice to have, but not a must-have.

What’s Next

Tomorrow I will post a link to a beta signup form. We will ask you a few questions.

On Friday, we will have our first small batch of beta testers, this will be a very small group. A few weeks later we will have a wider beta release. Then make it available to all late next month.

Next week we will reveal the name of the platform and invite you to sign up for our notification list. This way, we can keep you in the loop outside this Facebook Group.

There will be many perks and advantages of signing up for the platform early.

Starting next week, I will have regular sneak peeks here in the group so you can better understand everything the platform offers. So stay tuned for that.

Some FAQ’s

Out of that list above, this new e-commerce platform is perfect for all but the first one, but that’s mostly because we are not launching with support for physical products. You can still sell a physical product, but on launch we won’t have variation support, shipping calculations, shipping tracking, and country restrictions. But if you offer free shipping, you can certainly do it!!

Right now you can plugin your Stripe account in, and we are working on PayPal. You can also use express checkout options that Stripe offers, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. We do want to go worldwide, and we know that means we need a payment processor in Africa, Latin America, Asia, etc.

We do have real-time sales and EU VAT tax calculations. This is a big expense for us, we don’t pass it off to you like other platforms requiring you to have your own Taxjar account. The free plan will have a fair-use amount of these real-time calculations. Our paid plan will have unlimited calculations.

Will it work with XYZ tool/service? Yes, we have built an amazing automation platform to go with this which will allow you to complexly replace the payment system in your favorite plugins. It will also allow you to have additional after purchase actions like passing info into CRM’s. And a lot more. This may go live 2 - 3 weeks after the platform though. This platform is going to be a massive upgrade to whatever you are using to take payments right now.

Wrap Up

That’s all for now. I really appreciate those of you that have been supportive to me personally, you guys are always front of the line with everything I do, VIP's. The ones I want to pay back for all you do for me.I can’t wait to reveal everything soon.

Update: the platform has now been officially announced. You can read my full review of SureCart here.

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.