Welcome back to another edition of The Lab Report!

I know it’s been a few weeks since the last one. Summer is very short-lived here in Canada, so I’ve been trying to enjoy what’s left of it.

That and there hasn’t been a ton going on in the web design world lately.

(I mean there’s been no shortage of WordPress political drama, but that ain’t why I started this newsletter).

We all know that’s about to change in Q4 though.

Speaking of Q4… I wanted to share a little tip with you that’s really helped me with goal-setting.

I think the concept of New Year’s Resolutions is broken.

You set a big hairy goal and give yourself a whole year to try an accomplish it.

But it’s October, and most of us probably don’t even remember what our goals were.

Instead, try this:

Set a goal now that you’d like to accomplish BY January 1st.

Seriously, you’ll be surprised at how much better this works.

Want to add an extra layer accountability?

Give yourself 5 minutes to think, and then reply back with what your goal(s) are.

I’ll personally follow up with you in January!

🦾 Build high-end, custom websites in half the time?

Relume AI Site Builder

Look ma, ya boi is back on TV!

I just published a walk-through of the Relume AI Site Builder over on YouTube.

Tbh, I don’t build a ton of brand new websites these days, but this has become my starting point whenever I do.

It’s not one of those AI tools that’s going to spit out a fully designed website for you in one click.

Those definitely have their use-cases, but when you’re building high-end, custom sites, having control in the process is a good thing.

This AI site builder is meant to be used as a tool to improve your workflow.

Instead of building your layouts from scratch, you have a great starting point which you can basically just add your styling to.

You can check out my video on it here, or read the blog post review here.

P.S. I’d love to get in the habit of putting out more videos this year. What are some topics you’d like to see me cover? Hit reply and let me know 🙂

🧰 Cwicly releases the best CSS grid builder for WordPress

This week Cwicly released their latest iteration of their CSS grid builder, and mmm is it buttery smooth.

This is the first time a page builder has been able to bring a Webflow-like grid builder over to WordPress.

Most other page builders have CSS grid incorporated in one way or another, but they usually either require manual input or limit how much you can actually do with it.

Cwicly’s does a great job of allowing you to build visually, and pairing it with manual controls for any fine-tuning.

If you’re curious, you can play around with it in a sandbox install here.

(Add a new page > add a section > click on the container element in the navigator > click on Design in the right panel > click on the Layout icon > grid > Grid Builder).

Cwicly grid builder

Along with the Components feature that they just recently released, Cwicly has been crushing it lately.

💬 A new lightweight, anti-spam comments plugin

Fluent Comments

The team at WPManageNinja (known for Fluent Forms, FluentCRM, Fluent Support, NinjaTables, WP Social Ninja etc), just released a lightweight comments plugin called Fluent Comments that they’ve been using internally for the last couple months.

I have long felt that comments in WP have been pretty overlooked.

It’s hard to find something that’s lightweight, looks good, and doesn’t track your user’s data.

wpDiscuz is what I’ve been using and it’s worked well for me, but I’m not sure I’d put it in the ‘lightweight’ category. It also requires jQuery.

I haven’t had a chance to try Fluent Comments yet – so this isn’t an official recommendation – but it’s good to at least see another option available.

You can try it out from the WP repo here.

👨‍💻 Closing Comments

That’s all for this week.

If you ever want to discuss any of the topics in this newsletter, I usually post a dedicated thread each week inside of the NewPulse Labs Facebook group.

You can also find previous issues of The Lab Report over at https://newpulselabs.com/newsletter.

Talk soon!