Welcome back to the 29th edition of The Lab Report!
Believe it or not, tomorrow will officially be one year since I started this newsletter.
I guess that means I published an issue 29 out of 52 weeks the past year.
It's far from perfect, but definitely 100x better than any other time I’ve tried launching a newsletter in the past.
I used to literally have to start every email by saying “hey, so uhh you might not remember me, but…”
With The Lab Report, I actually sent out a newsletter every single week for the first few few months.
My girlfriend even said “this is the longest I’ve ever seen you stick with something.” 😅😬
Eventually I came to accept more of a bi-weekly schedule, as some weeks it felt like I was forcing it.
I’ve been trying to be more intentional this year about having my work not feel like a chore, so that means sometimes it’s OK to skip a week.
Even if you still feel just as guilty about it…
Anyways, lots to talk about in this one, so let’s get into the newsletter!
SureMembers Officially Launches (and has an LTD launch offer ending Saturday)
Last week Adam Preiser released his latest product - SureMembers.
He’s been on quite the roll this year, releasing SureCart, SureMembers, and SureTriggers (closed beta) - with a couple more on the way.
It’s pretty cool to see how he’s parlayed his YouTube/Facebook audiences into building a legitimate software company.
I’ve had a chance to test all of them so far, and I’m honestly really impressed.
Adam has done a great job of listening to the market and building a product that people actually enjoy using.
SureMembers itself is a lightweight membership plugin that is simple to use but still has all the features you need to build a membership site.
It integrates with Gutenberg at the block-level (so you can show/hide individual Gutenberg blocks based on membership level), which is something that most other membership platforms don't let you do yet.
It also has a direct Elementor integration, and then works well for any page builder that has display conditions.
It basically just syncs with WordPress User Roles, so you can show/hide content in Bricks or Oxygen with a User Role display condition.
If you want to learn more about how it works, you can read my full review here.
*Time sensitive: They are also having a special LTD launch offer that ends Saturday if it sounds like something you could use.
🤖 Jasper raises $125 million
Maybe the biggest news in the tech world this week was Jasper (an AI content platform) raising a $125 million Series A round.
There are two things in particular that are crazy about this.
1) It was raised at a $1.5bil valuation.
2) Jasper launched in January 2021.
A $1.5bil company in less than two years??
That’s absolutely wild.
They only had 9 employees until earlier this year, so if any of them had stock options… they probably went out for a nice dinner this week.
Dave Rogenmoser (the CEO) mentioned in the live stream that all the money is going back into the business.
It’ll be interesting to see what they can build with all that firepower, but they did get off to a good start this week by releasing a Chrome extension (meaning you can use Jasper anywhere) and Workflows.
You can read the full event recap here.
📚 Cwicly's new design library is awesome
Cwicly - a page builder for Gutenberg - released its new design library feature yesterday and it's awesome.
It looks like it could become everything I've ever wanted in a design library. It could probably be a whole product on its own.
There's an overview video here if you want to check it out, but what I like most:
- The library is hosted in the cloud, so you don't need to worry about setting anything up or maintaining your own library site
- You can export your library to a zip file if you want a local backup
- You can have multiple libraries. That means you can have a library for your site, a library for each of your clients, a library for starter sections etc.
- You get a public & private key for each library, so you can control who can use or contribute to it
- It has real-time previews. I'm not even sure what kind of sorcery is behind this. But you don't need to upload a thumbnail of your section when uploading to the cloud, and when importing it'll show you a preview of what it will actually look like on your site.
- There's a moderated community library that anyone can contribute to
- You can upload your global styling, global classes, stylesheets, and external classes (ie. frameworks) to your library
I don't like how often people use the word "game changer", but I think this could easily be a game changer for Cwicly.
🚀 Google refreshed their Webmaster Guidelines
Apparently the last time Google updated their Webmaster Guidelines was in 2002?
That's crazy lol.
But they just updated their guidelines to account for websites no longer looking like Wikipedia articles.
"In 2002 we launched a page with a set of guidelines for site owners that gave an overview of best practices when it came to building a site. We called this page "Webmaster Guidelines" and it's been with us ever since. Since then we added a lot of information to these guidelines to help site owners build the site that's right for their users who visit through Google Search."
Here's the full Google Search Essentials doc. Could be worth checking out if you want to see what they're telling us all to do in 2022 and beyond (maybe till 2042?).
- Technical requirements: What Google needs from a web page to show it in Google Search.
- Spam policies: The behaviors and tactics that can lead to lower ranking or being completely omitted from Google Search results.
- Key best practices: The main things that can help improve how your site appears in Google Search results.
💬 Closing Comments
That's all for this week.
If you've been here for a full year now - well, I couldn't be any more appreciative!
And if you're new to The Lab Report - I hope you'll stick around 'a while.
If you ever want to discuss any of the topics in this newsletter, 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 warm and talk soon!