Future-Proofing Client Builds for Your Agency with Gatsby WP Themes – A Recap of the Press This Podcast
David Vogelpohl took the time to sit down, virtually of course, with our founder Alexandra Spalato recently to talk about the future of WordPress, Headless WordPress and, specifically, Gatsby WP Themes. We believe that the real lesson here is that you’re never too old to learn to code and you shouldn’t be afraid of a code editor.
Let’s dive into some of the questions from David, answers from Alexandra, and some poignant quotes. For your convenience, a link to the YouTube version of the podcast is available below along with a full transcript.
Could you briefly tell me your WordPress origin story? When did you first use WordPress?
As a creative, I had no previous experience with the web or coding. I began using WordPress ten years ago. My entry point was using WordPress themes. Then, little by little, I began to use CSS and create custom themes. I learned this through Zac Gordon’s courses. Many years later, we began Gatsby WP Themes with Zac – though at the time he was only my online teacher.
After that, I specialized in coding themes from scratch. People sent me the design and I created high-end WordPress themes. We collaborated back then with a lot of Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) and things like that.
One day I wanted to do more things since I am quickly bored. I always need to explore new territories. I attended a full-stack boot camp in Barcelona in 2019. That’s where I learned React. That caused me to search for new things to do and I discovered Gatsby. Then Zac proposed we build free themes from WordPress to Gatsby in 2019. We did that with child themes and I specialized in that niche: WordPress, Gatsby, Headless WordPress. Naturally, the idea came for making premium themes.
What was the reason, why did you use WordPress for the first time?
I was searching and began with HTML templates. Since I am creative, I really liked that. Though I never thought I would end up coding, to be honest. It wasn’t my plan. A friend showed me what could be done with WordPress themes and then I discovered builders. I don’t like working with page builders now, but when I was a beginner it was magical. Beginning with that allowed me to stretch myself.
I wanted to be a freelancer; I didn’t need to be an employee. So I took to building themes for clients, first at an agency, and then on my own. It was a great time to discover WordPress.
Tell me a little bit about what you have going on with Gatsby WP Themes.
Right now we offer Gatsby themes with the back end in WordPress – basically the meaning of headless. The back end is still WordPress which powers 40% of the web. But with our product, the frontend is decoupled and built with Gatsby.
In the future we may do it with Next.js; I don’t know. But for the moment I will focus on Gatsby. And also, we extend to all of the platforms with WordPress at the backend and Gatsby – basically React – in the front. This gives us the advantages of speed, security, and many more.
Why should a traditional WordPress developer make that leap and learn how to build with headless?
Okay. So, yes, the advantage is speed. These websites are super fast and the pages change instantaneously. From there, we have SEO benefits because of Google’s Core Vitals. Basically “speed” is the new “responsive” when it comes to Google. Back then, they penalized sites that were not responsive; they now penalize sites that aren’t fast enough.
We have more flexibility because we can take the data from WordPress and build different things. And, of course, that’s the security. The database isn’t in the front, so hackers cannot hack your database. At worse, it can deface the website; but you can fix it right away. Your WordPress instance could be down but the front of the website will still be up. So that’s a big advantage.
From there, Jamstack, in general, is the future. I think in WPEngine that there was a report that 64% (or something like that) of enterprise websites are already decouples – on Jamstack, headless.
53% of enterprises are currently using a headless approach.
80% of enterprises that do not currently use a headless approach said they would be evaluating the use of headless technology within the next 12 months.
Among respondents whose organizations use WordPress, one in four (25%) point to headless applications as one of its primary benefits.
So, I think there are growth opportunities, especially for freelancers and agencies. Those are our target audiences since our themes are more oriented to agencies and freelancers than do-it-yourself people – even if do-it-yourself people can use it. But I think our clients are more of this type of person.
I think there are more and more websites that are now in traditional WordPress that will want to go headless. And then these developers will be able to take those websites and transfer them. The client will not have to learn a new backend for their teams. That is why Jamstack is a big advantage.
“It sounded like kind of the traditional benefits of headless, right? Speed, performance, security, the SEO implications, and other implications of that kind of benefits, but also the future. You kind of pointed out that the enterprise is the study from WPEngine, illustrating that many enterprises had already adopted this type of technology. And, of course, they will often be the early adopters. So it sounds like the idea is to get ahead of that, but it also sounds like there, there is a demand today from companies building headless experiences.” David Vogelpohl
Okay, so WPGraphQL, of course, is the center of all of that. And all of the plugins that are built around it – and will be built – is because the community is very active. We have new plugins all of the time. That number will increase because people are building plugins on WPGraphQL making adoption easier.
Can you explain to the audience what WPGraphQL does?
Okay, so WordPress has a REST API and WPGraphQL is built on GraphQL’s API on WordPress. And that has been built by Jason Bahl who was working at Gatsby at the time. Of course, he works at WPEngine now. Basically, it helps connect – in a really nice way – WordPress with Gatsby, Next, Svelte, Vue, or any other headless, Jamstack framework, or even pure React.
WPGraphQL is getting better and better thanks to Jason and it’s open source, so many developers are building plugins around it. One that I use a lot is WPGraphQL ACF because it allows me to use ACF. That was my number one plugin in traditional WordPress. So, now I can use all ACF and flexible content in Gatsby – in headless – and that’s great!
There is also the WPGraphQL plugin for Yoast. And we have made a Gatsby plugin that takes the data from the WPGraphQL Yoast extension to implement SEO directly into our Gatsby theme. So that’s super handy because everything is SEO-ready and well done.
How do Gatsby WP Themes differ from traditional WordPress Themes?
Gatsby themes are very different because naming the themes isn’t the same in WordPress or Gatsby. In WordPress, a theme is mostly presentational and the functionality of a website is meant to be in plugins. In Gatsby, it’s different. A theme can be a set of plugins. It can be a configuration. And now, we put the functionality of things we want to reuse in what we call “starters.”
So the project is a starter and that is where we bring in the styling, the presentation. In the first version of Gatsby WP Themes, we were putting the components and styles, but quickly realized it wasn’t a good idea because if we wanted to change it we would have to pass in what is called shadowing.
Basically, you have to copy the component and change it. In the themes we keep only what needs to be updated – comments, search. From there you can import the search bar or comments into a starter. For example, I create themes and plugins with ACF elements. Some ACF blocks will not be styled. And they will be styled by shadowing inside the starter, so they can be reused across many themes.
Isn’t this part of the root basis for what headless is where more of that functionality is handled on the front end? And it’s more of an API relationship to those back ends?
Yes, I think so. It’s more API style. Yes. We can take a theme and import this component of this functionality from this theme. We can mix several themes together. Plugins and themes in Gatsby are quite similar in a way.
Themes in WordPress are not the Same as Themes in Gatsby
There are two different things. Putting functionality in themes in WordPress is not a good practice. You have to have it in plugins. As in the naming, themes are two different things. When I talk to WordPress users, they have to think of “Gatsby Themes” as plugins. We are going to create an eCommerce theme, for example. But basically, it will bring eCommerce functionality in new components. And we style these components in the starter.
It’s more useful to think of starters as themes. But the starter does not have to be updated like child themes, for example. This is why the naming is confusing because they don’t represent the same thing. They are more similar to plugins than to themes. You can put a presentational element and you can put in functionalities or you can group configurations in Gatsby themes. So this is shadowing them.
“But I think that’s a really, really good point of distinction and thank you for kind of detailing that. That was actually quite helpful.” David Vogelpohl
Who do you think the ideal user is, or the lowest level tech person you think might be a good fit for Gatsby WP Themes?
Okay, well. First, it doesn’t require very advanced technical skills. I think it’s more psychological. Because if you follow the documentation, step-by-step, the most complicated part is installing Node and Gatsby on your computer.
It’s a little bit more complicated on a Windows machine because there isn’t a console. I’m a Mac user, but it’s not too complicated. And then don’t be afraid of opening a code editor or console. Apart from that, it’s just copy/paste.
I made a show with Learn With Jason – in ten minutes you can have everything up. But I think some people are afraid of seeing code and the console. Many people think it’s complicated, but it’s not.
“So if you’ve overcome your fear of SFTP, you can overcome your fear of setting up an environment with a Gatsby install.If you’ve opened up a code editor and used code snippets, you’re probably okay with walking through those setup instructions. So like most WordPress freelancers would probably be okay leveraging those.” David Vogelpohl
StudioPress and Genesis were my inspiration. I was a Genesis developer before and it was nice. I realized that people from Genesis were used to recipes. I had planned to do tutorials and make recipes myself for people who are not code experts but were willing to get their hands dirty, pull up their sleeves, and do things.
It’s great for the public to modify their theme with Tailwind CSS and apply some of the recipes that we build. We are preparing a lot of things right now so that people who aren’t threatened by code can take their blog and put it up in Gatsby.
Most of our clients are developers – even developers that don’t come from WordPress. I have had two cases of customers who came from WordPress and others who came from React and don’t know WordPress. People come to buy our themes and they’re more than from agencies. We even have a cook who made his website and HTML and CSS that is interested.
Listen To the Press This Episode with David Vogelpohl and Alexandra Spalato on YouTube
Welcome to Press This, the WordPress Community podcast, featuring exclusive content and interviews with leaders in the WordPress community, covering everything from development to integrating your digital marketing strategy with WordPress. Join host David Vogelpohl of WPEngine and special guests from across the community as they keep you up to speed on the latest advancements in WordPress. Let’s get started.
David Vogelpohl (00:24):
Hello everyone and welcome to Press This. The WordPress community podcast on WMR. This is your host David Vogelpohl. I support the WordPress community through my role at WPEngine. And I love to bring the best of the community to you here every week on Press This. As a reminder, you can follow me on Twitter at @WPDavidV, or you could subscribe to Press This on red circle, iTunes, Spotify, or download the latest episodes at wmr.fm. In this episode, we’re gonna be talking about something pretty exciting, and that is Gatsby WP Themes. And joining us for that conversation is creator and founder of Gatsby WP Themes. I’d like to welcome to Press This Alexandra Spalato, Alexandra. Welcome.
Alexandra Spalato (01:10):
Hello, welcome. Thanks for having me
David Vogelpohl (01:12):
So glad to have you here today. ow. You’re you’re where are you, uh, calling in here for, for the show today? I Alexandra?
Alexandra Spalato (01:20):
I’m in the Spanish island of Majorca. So it’s a Balearic Islands near Ibiza, if you’ve heard of Ibiza, I and, uh, it’s a really, really nice place.
David Vogelpohl (01:30):
Well, that’s fantastic. I hope to make it there one day. I have heard of Ibiza never been there actually myself, but, uh, I’ve heard it’s very beautiful in the area, so that’s awesome. And thank you for joining us here, uh, for everyone else listening, what we’re gonna interview, uh, Alexandra about today is her Gatsby WP themes. Um, her thoughts on the value of Headless WordPress in general, um, how WordPress developers are overcoming barriers to entry into Headless WordPress. And of course, how her Gatsby WP Themes are playing a role in helping with that. Well, Alexandra, I’m gonna ask you the same question I ask every guest to Press This. Could you briefly tell me your WordPress origin story? When did you first use WordPress?
Alexandra Spalato (02:14):
Okay. So I began with WordPress, uh, 10 years ago. Before that I had no experience in the web or coding or whatever. So that was my entry point and it was great. At this time I was using WordPress themes, not coding and then little by little begin to use little CSS and then creating, uh, custom themes. I learned custom themes, uh, with the courses of Zac Gordon. And it’s really fun because we have, uh, began Gatsby WP Themes with Zac a few years later, but it was really my, my teacher — we didn’t know each other, my teacher online. Then I integrate, um, codable themes. Uh, and, and I was really specialized in coding, um, uh, themes from scratch. So people were sending me the design and I was doing, uh, WordPress, high-end WordPress themes. We collaborate backend from then using a lot of ACF and things like that.
Alexandra Spalato (03:18):
David Vogelpohl (04:11):
Awesome. Well, it sounds like you’ve made your journey around the WordPress space. Um, if we could wind the clock back though? You said 10 years ago is the first time you used WordPress. And you said you’d never built sites or coded before. What was the reason, why did you use it for the first time?
Alexandra Spalato (04:30):
I think I was searching. I began with some, uh, HTML templates. And I’m a creative. So I was really liking that. Uh, I, I never thought I was end up coding, to be honest. It was really not my plan. And I think a friend showed me, uh, WordPress themes and I realized all what I can do with that. And I discovered builders. Now, I really don’t like working with builders, but when I was beginning, it was, it was magical. And, uh, yes, I begin. I begin with that and, and it was great because it allows me to stretch myself. I wanted to be a freelancer and I didn’t need to be employed, even if I didn’t know how to code. I was taking the theme and building themes for clients. First, I was working for an agency.
New Speaker (05:18):
And from there I have been able to stretch myself, alone, which is not possible I think if you start by coding, uh, from scratch. It can be much more complicated. So it was really, really a good time to discover WordPress this time.
David Vogelpohl (05:33):
Awesome. So you’re, you’re scratching that creative itch by getting into the web there 10 years ago, which opened up all these other adventures. Now, you mentioned though that you’ve started, um, this new company, I guess, Gatsby WP Themes, and you’re, you’re offering WordPress themes built for Headless WordPress. Is that, is that the gist of what you you offer? I mean, tell me a little bit about what you have going on with Gatsby WP Themes.
Alexandra Spalato (05:56):
Okay. So for this moment we are offering WordPress, Gatsby themes with backend in WordPress. So basically it’s a meaning of headless. It’s the back office is still WordPress. So the back office that everybody loves and, and we have 40% of the web on WordPress. But, uh, front end is decoupled and built in Gatsby. For in the future we do with Next.js. I don’t know. For the moment I, I focus on Gatsby. And also, we will extend to all the platforms and WordPress for the backend. Um, but that’s the thing. Uh, back office, uh, in WordPress and the, front in Gatsby –basically in React in order to have all these, uh, advantages of speed security and, and, uh, and many, many, many advantages.
David Vogelpohl (06:49):
Yeah. So like on the advantages side, um, you know, I think people have kind of gotten the message, you know, there’s speed and security benefit it’s with headless architecture. Um, and I know that there’s still the majority of developers in the WordPress space anyways, that aren’t building with headless right now. Um, in your view, why should a traditional WordPress developer make that leap and learning how to build, uh, with headless? And then I guess the second part of that question is, do you think if you’re a freelancer or agency there’s, there’s clients out there to sell these types of builds to today? Um, so again, like why should someone, you know, bother making the leap and learning it, and then how do you think that might impact someone with a freelancer agency business?
Alexandra Spalato (07:34):
Okay. So yes, the advantages are speeds. The website are really super fast. We change pages instantaneous. Uh, from there we have SEO because now it’s a new Google rules about the Core vVtals. Uh, the SEO is directly depending on speed. So speed is basically the new responsive.
Alexandra Spalato (07:58):
Uh, like, uh, Google, you know, at the moment it was penalizing sites that are not responsive. Now it’s penalizing sites that are not fast enough. Um, flex. We have more flexibility because we can take the data from WordPress and build, uh, different things. And of course, security. The database it’s not in the front, so hackers can, cannot, cannot hack your database. It can, at worst , it can deface the, the website. But you can fix it the minute after. Your WordPress website can be, can be down and, uh, and the front of your website can be up.
Alexandra Spalato (08:41):
So that’s a big advantage. So from, from there, I really think that this stack,, uh, the Jamstack in general is the future. And it’s becoming very, very hard. So a lot of, I think, in, in WPEngine that there was a report that 64% or something like that of enterprise website are already on, on, on decoupled, on, on Jamstack, headless.
Alexandra Spalato (09:07):
So I think, uh, yes, there is especially growth opportunity for freelancer and agencies that are basically our target. Our themes are more oriented to agencies and freelancers than to do-it-yourself people, even if doi-it-yourself people can, can use it. But I think our clients are more this, this type of people. Uh, because I think there will be more and more websites, which are, in traditional WordPress that will want to go headless. And then these developers will be able to take this website and, and to transfer it because for people, they will not have to learn a new back office to their teams. They will not have to transfer the data. So it will be a big advantage to use.
David Vogelpohl (09:56):
Alexandra Spalato (11:01):
Yes. I, I, I think so. It’s, we are just at the beginning of the headless a and so yes, entrepreneurs are showing the way, but positioning ourselves now is a good moment because you say, oh, yes, there is no, no work now. Yes. But when it will be working, the market will be crowded and
David Vogelpohl (11:23):
That’s a forward leaning position then for
Alexandra Spalato (11:25):
Somebody looking. Exactly.
David Vogelpohl (11:26):
Okay. So I wanna talk you about that forward leaning part though. Um, but we’re gonna take our first break and we’ll be right back
Time to plug into a commercial break. Stay tuned for more Press This in just a moment.
David Vogelpohl (11:40):
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to Press This, the WordPress community podcast on WMR. This is your host David Vogelpohl. I’m interviewing Alexandra of Gatsby WP Themes about her headless focused WordPress themes. Alexandra, before the break, we were talking a little bit about your thoughts around why developers should think about starting to build with headless, talking about the kind of core benefits of headless, but also that kind of future leaning aspect, um, of kind of getting ahead of the curve and taking advantage of opportunities for brands already adopting headless, particularly in enterprise.
David Vogelpohl (12:14):
Alexandra Spalato (12:58):
Okay. So, WPGraphQL, of course, is a center of, of all that, uh, and all the plugins that are built around it and that will be built. Because the community is very active and we have new plugins all the time and, and more there would be people building plugins on WPGraphQL, and more adoption would be easier.
David Vogelpohl (13:22):
Can you explain to the audience for those I unfamiliar, like what WPGraphQL does? Just, just super high level.
Alexandra Spalato (13:29):
Okay. So WP. WordPress as a REST API and WPGraphQL as build, uh, GraphQL API on WordPress. And that’s been built by Jason Bahl that was working at Gatsby at the time, and that works at WPEngine now. And basically it helps to connect in a really nice way, WordPress with, uh, Gatsby, Next, uh, Svelte, to Vue, any other headless, uh, Jamstack framework, or simply, or even pure React. Um, and so it’s this WPGraphQL it’s getting better and better thanks to Jason. And it’s open source and many developers are building plugins around it. One that I use a lot it’s WPGraphQL ACF, because it is, it allows me to use ACF. That was my number one plugin in the traditional WordPress. And so now I can use all ACF and flexible content in, uh, in Gatsby in headless. And that is great.
David Vogelpohl (14:37):
So that’s such a, I’ve, I’ve asked this question of a few people over the years, you know, as headless has started to come on the scene, and I’ve never, that’s kind of a nice like pathway. Right?. Is like I’m building these kind of traditional ACF base word press sites, and then I’m gonna use something like GraphQL for ACF or, or, you know, in general, um, to, to, as a bridge. as part of my bridge to start building with headless, I’m not sure. I know there are tons of developers out there who are probably either undergoing that same journey or thinking about the same kind of steps that was really helpful. Um, so I wanna kind of shift gears now, uh, unless there, like, is there some other killer tool or framework you find helpful for the transition you wanna mention before I move on?
Alexandra Spalato (15:19):
There is, uh, again, WPGraphQL plugin for Yoast. So Yoast is. And we have made Gatsby plugins that takes the data from the WPGraphQL Yoast to implement SEO directly in the, in the Gatsby theme. So that’s super handy because everything is prepared to, to be SEO-ready and well done.
David Vogelpohl (15:43):
Yeah, I know Yoast.
Alexandra Spalato (15:43):
There is certainly others, but it’s. I don’t have everything in mind. We stay wind a lot. So 10 minutes is great in WordPress and it’s great in Gatsby so, but that’s.
David Vogelpohl (15:56):
Yeah, it’s interesting to see more and more plugin developers, uh, you know, adopting the headless use case and seeing, you know, that investment there from Yoast is I think a good thing. Um, I know they’re, uh, on my recommended list for headless SEO, for sure.
David Vogelpohl (16:10):
Um, so, uh, let’s kinda shift gears a little bit and talk about your Gatsby WP Themes. Um, help me understand how they’re different than a traditional WordPress theme. Like what, what, um, you know, obviously I think the listeners of the show are largely familiar with how traditional WordPress themes work, but how does the Gatsby WP Themes differ?
Alexandra Spalato (16:32):
Okay, it’s very different because, uh, the naming themes is not the same thing with WordPress and Gatsby. WordPress, a theme is mostly presentational and the functionality are meant to be more in plugins. In Gatsby it’s different. A theme can be a set of plugins. It can be a configuration. Uh, and, and now, especially we have what we have done in a, in a theme we put, for example, uh, set of, uh, we put the functionalities of things we want to reuse across different, uh, different, uh, what we call starters. So the project is, it’s a starter, and that’s where we bring the styling, the, the presentation finally. Uh, in the, in the first version of the theme, we were doing the theme also with, uh, all the, the components and style, but we realize it’s not a good idea, because if you want to change it, you have to pass.
Alexandra Spalato (17:39):
But what is called shallowing. Basically you have to copy the component and change it. So say, okay, that’s complicated. So we have keeping the theme only what, uh, needs to be updated and share across different things. For example, comments, uh, search. We have a, a theme comments, a theme search. And from there, you can, in, in the starter, we import the search bar, or we import the comment. Um, so it’s a different concept in, in Gatsby. We have theme and plugins, uh, or I will create now with, for example, with, uh, ACF, uh, uh, elements. Uh, some ACF blocks that will not be styled. And there will be styled by shadowing inside the starter, so I can reuse it, them across many themes
David Vogelpohl (18:35):
Is this construct of themes containing functionality, isn’t this part of like the, the, the root basis for what headless is where more of that functionality is handled on the front end. And it’s, it’s more of an API relationship to those back ends?
Alexandra Spalato (18:50):
Yes, I think so. Yes. It’s more API style. Yes. We, we take a theme. Okay. And import this, this component of this functionality from this theme, and I can mix. Yes. Also we can mix several themes together. So, uh, there is plugin and themes in Gatsby are quite similar in a way. Uh, so I think for, um, WordPress.
David Vogelpohl (19:14):
Like one of the big battles in WordPress, like you said it earlier, is like themes are supposed to be the frontend and plugins are supposed to be the functionality. And of course, tons of theme developers incorporate functionality into their themes without any plugins. So, um, this feels like it like a path, a lot of theme designers probably wanted to take, um, but you know, may or maybe did take, um, but really weren’t quite quote-unquote supposed to in the traditional WordPress tense. Is that a fair assessment?
Alexandra Spalato (19:43):
Mm. Can you repeat the question? I have, I have been lost.
David Vogelpohl (19:46):
Yeah. So you mentioned earlier how in the WordPress construct functionality in themes is not really what you’re supposed to do, but of course, we know theme developers will add functionality to their themes directly to the theme files and not in helper plugins. And so what I’m I’m curious about is with Gatsby WP Themes, if that desire to include more functionality in your theme as a theme developer, is, is kind of in a way realized with the architecture of Gatsby WP Themes versus traditional themes.
Alexandra Spalato (20:19):
Mm. I think there are two different things. So yes, putting functionality in themes in the WordPress is not a good practice. I think you have to put it in plugins. And I think as naming themes, it’s, they are two different things. I, in what to talk to WordPress users, uh, they have more to think about Gatsby themes as plugins. We are going, for example, to do an eCommerce theme, but basically you will bring the eCommerce functionality and we’ll make new components. And we style them in the starter and thinking about the starters are themes. But the starter we would not be updated like or child themes, for example. So I think it’s a naming is confusing because they don’t represent the same thing, but they, they are more similar to plugins than to themes. You can put presentational element and you can put functionalities, or you can group configurations, um, in, in the, in the Gatsby themes. And you can, yeah. So this is shadow them.
David Vogelpohl (21:25):
That’s very helpful description ’cause I, I think a lot of people would assume it may be more, you know — coming from the WordPress space anyways — that it may more inclined to, to operate like a, like a WordPress theme does today. Um, but I think that’s a really, really good point of distinction and thank you for kind of detailing that. That was actually quite helpful. We’re gonna take our second break and we’ll be right back
Speaker 1 (21:47):
Time to plug into a commercial break. Stay tuned for more, press this in just a moment,
David Vogelpohl (21:55):
Hello veryone. Welcome back to press this, the word press community podcast on WMR. This is your host David Vogelpohl Poll. I’m interviewing Alexandra Spalato of Gatsby WP Themes about her Gatsby WP themes. Alex, right before the break, we were talking a little bit around the differences, uh, between the Gatsby WP Themes and kind of a traditional WordPress theme. Um, now I was doing a little research before this interview and I saw on your site, um, for those interested GatsbyWPThemes.com, um, that you kind of mentioned that the themes don’t really require coding skills. But as I started to look through some of the implementation details, it seemed like it did require some advanced technical skills to get up and going.
David Vogelpohl (22:39):
So I’m just curious, like who you think the ideal user is, or like the lowest level tech person you think might be a good fit for Gatsby WP Themes? Uh, and then if you think like in general, if this notion of like a symbol or DIY headless will really be a thing in the future, cuz it feels like it’s not that right now. But what are your thoughts on that?
Alexandra Spalato (23:00):
Okay. Well, first it doesn’t require very advanced, uh, technical skills, but I think it’s more psychological. Because if you follow the documentation step-by-step, uh, the most complicated part it’s installing node, and Gatsby on your computer.
New Speaker (23:20):
So it’s, I think it’s little bit more complicated on Windows because on Windows, uh, there is not a console. Where I, I’m a Mac user, but it’s not so all complicated. And then not being afraid of opening a code editor of opening the console. But apart from that is just copy paste. And uh, I have made shown that learned with Jason and in 10 minutes you have everything up. But I think for some people, uh, psychologically, they can be afraid of seeing code and console. Many people are like that. I think it’s complicated, but it’s not, it doesn’t need skills.
David Vogelpohl (24:05):
So if you’ve overcome your fear of SFTP, you can overcome your fear of setting up an environment with a Gatsby install.
Alexandra Spalato (24:12):
Exactly. That’s a good example.
David Vogelpohl (24:15):
Yeah, I gotcha. I gotcha. If you’ve opened up a code editor and, and used code snippets, you you’re probably okay with walking through those setup instructions. So like a WordPress, most WordPress freelancers would probably be okay leveraging those.
Alexandra Spalato (24:28):
Absolutely. Uh, especially I think about, um, and it has been an inspiration, StudioPress and Genesis. I was, uh, really a Genesis developer before.
David Vogelpohl (24:39):
Oh, do you know [inaudible], from uh, Spain as well?
Alexandra Spalato (24:43):
Can you repeat?
David Vogelpohl (24:44):
[inaudible] of Awesome Themes? Are you familiar with him? He’s also located in Spain. Oh, you’ll have. Well have to talk off air and I’ll tell
Alexandra Spalato (24:53):
So yes, I have worked a lot with Genesis and it was nice. And uh, I realized that people from Genesis, there was this website with, and all these recipes and we are planning to do that, to do tutorials, to show, you can do that. You can do that and, and, and you can copy the code and, and explain how it works. So people like, like, even if they are not code experts, but they like to have they hand a little bit dirty and, and do things, they will love that. Uh, I think it’s really, really great for this public if they want to modify the theme with, uh, Tailwind, the CSS and, uh, and apply some recipes that we will build. Because that we are preparing a lot of things now, uh, that that can be really nice. And any people can, uh, if it’s not a threat, can be, take their blog and, and have it up in Gatsby, if they’re not afraid of all that.
Alexandra Spalato (25:53):
But yes, basically what I realize is most of our clients are developers. Even WordPress developers that doesn’t come from WordPress. I have, I had two cases, people that come from WordPress and people that come from React that don’t know WordPress. Um, so yes, it’s the peoples have come to buy the themes are more agencies, developers, freelancers. Uh, but we are at micro rocking space. We have a cook, but this cook has made this website in HTML and CSS and was, and is interested. So it’s, so there is a people that are not in this field and that can totally use it if they, if they like. It’s not a barrier, it’s not. It’s totally open. That’s what I mean.
David Vogelpohl (26:39):
Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. And I think that’s one of the things that, you know, Headless WordPress, or just in general, hasn’t realized yet is, you know, bringing these bridges from the technology further down the sophistication stack. Right? Starting at the very sophisticated developers coming down into less sophisticated, getting into the assembler or code snippet culture, and then maybe eventually DIY. But like, you know, WordPress fulfilled this role for PHP development and, and website and application development of since the very beginning. And so to see it now playing a role in tools like Gatsby WP Themes, playing a role and, and bridging those gaps. Um, it’s interesting to see how that will contribute, um, to the adoption of headless long-term. And I agree with you, it is the future. And luckily there’s lots of, uh, contributors that are helping to make tools to make that easier. Um, this was super interesting, Alexandra.
Alexandra Spalato (27:33):
Really, perhaps WPEngine will, will bring a solution to, to make as, uh, the entry barrier easier.
David Vogelpohl (27:42):
Uh, yes, actually. In Q1, we will be releasing some more things that’ll make that easy. Uh, we have Atlas content modeler in Faust.js right now, which are both free and open source. Um, we have some other stuff coming in Q1. We’ll talk more about that later. Uh, but, uh, thank you for mentioning that. Yes. Uh, thank you for joining us today, Alexandra. This was really interesting. Thanks
Alexandra Spalato (28:03):
David Vogelpohl (28:04):
Of course, of course. If you’d like to learn more about what Alexandra is up to please visit GatsbyWPThemes.com. Thanks everyone for listening to Press This, the WordPress community podcast on WMR. Again, this has been your host David Vogelpohl. I support the WordPress community through my role at WPEngine. And I love to bring the best of the Community to you here every week on Press This