Remkus’ Ramblings – #038 Hello & A/B Testing

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Well, here it is. My first official newsletter, as promised. Writing it up presented the question of “FFS, how should I title this?!”, but I ended up going for the name of the newsletter, the week and the year. Ambitious, I know, but that’s how I roll.

Anyway, here we go.

WordPress News 🗞

Seventeen and a half years ago I started using a quirky, super lightweight and new blog CMS. At that time just a couple of months old. Yes, you guessed it, this is a reference to WordPress becoming 18 years old. It’s pretty amazing to see how WordPress has grown, what industry it birthed and the amount of leverage is has garnered with its well of 40% marketshare now.

Is was more than a little sad to see Mike Little, the co-founder of WordPress not being mentioned in the excellent post with the timeline as expressed on Twitter. Frankly, I think it’s a disgrace and I don’t think the edit that has been made since is doing Mike justice as it should. The responses to my tweet are quite worth the read as well, by the way.

As you may or may not know, every single time your WordPress site produces a 404, the entirety of WordPress needs to load. That’s waisting valuable resources and something you should avoid. However, that’s not always an option or you may need more time to fix those 404s properly. If that’s you, then Brad Parbs has written a wonderful little plugin for you that essentially bypasses WordPress to serve those 404s. Check it out, it’s called Static 404.

WP Hosting Benchmarks, which is essentially Review Signal rebranded, by Kevin Ohashi published his the result of all his performance test of about 50 WordPress hosting companies. I enjoy these types of independent tests tremendously as in my book, this actually adds value as apposed to these “best hosting for WordPress” listicles that are just there to cash in affiliate commissions. Kevin actually, properly tests hosts and compares apples with apples.

And of course, I also mention this as I’m very happy to see Servebolt’s coming up on top in every single tier. Here’s a short Twitter thread Servebolt’s Thomas did on it. And, if you’re curious on Servebolt’s own analysis of the results, head here to learn more.

A/B Testing for WordPress, a seriously underrated plugin I’ve mentioned before, built by Gaya Kessler, has exchanged ownership. It is now in the very capable hands of John James Jacoby. Gaya recently published the news on Twitter. If you’ve never heard about this plugin, it’s an absolute gem for easily adding A/B testing to the Block Editor. Check out the dedicated site explaining what the plugin does.

Interesting finds 💡

There are two interesting finds I’d like to share with you today.

  1. Calendso, an open-source alternative to Calendly. Most calendar booking tools are very limited in terms of control and customizations. And that’s where Calendso comes in. Pretty nifty tool.
  2. Chris Wiegman shared an interesting solution to enhance your privacy on the internet. And that’s NextDNS. NextDNS protects you from all kinds of security threats, it blocks ads and all those pesky trackers on websites and in apps and provides a safe and supervised Internet for kids on all devices and on all networks. Parts of it you can solve by starting to use the Brave browser (works just like Chrome, but comes with Privacy out of the box), but NextDNS solves your privacy for your entire network as you can configure your main router with its settings.

What I am reading 📖

My reading time is devoured by one book at the moment (I usually read multiple books at the same time) . Outliers – The Story of Success. Incredibly interesting book that almost certainly is not going in the direction the title suggests. Go check it out.

Bonus 🎁

For my first newsletter I only have two bonus link. And it’s a shameless self promotion as well. Well, sorta.

  1. I was on WP Builds‘ This Week in WordPress podcast today and I had a lot of fun doing so. If you’re into podcasts, I highly recommend you check out the podcast in general and the episode I was in in particular.
  2. Here’s a bunch of IFs. If you like watching Formula 1. And if you have an AppleTV. And if you’d like to watch Formula 1 on an AppleTV, there’s a solution for that. On Github, of course. Enjoy.

That’s it for this week. Hope you enjoyed it and do share it with your friends and help them find their way to my newsletter subscribe page.

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