Summer of Live: Mediavine Summer Updates with Amber Bracegirdle and Eric Hochberger

eric (left) and amber (right) of Mediavine Headshots

The temperature is rising, just like your traffic, pagespeed and revenue with everything Mediavine’s got coming your way!

From video playlists to Grow.me and, yes, Trellis, Mediavine Co-Founders Amber Bracegirdle and Eric Hochberger are sitting down with Mediavine’s Director of Marketing Jenny Guy to dish about all our coming attractions and share their best optimization tips.

Don’t miss this episode, sponsored by the lovely folks at Agathon! (Originally aired 7/16/20)

Watch the video here or check out the transcript below.

Mediavine Summer Updates with Amber Bracegirdle and Eric Hochberger

JENNY GUY: Hey, everybody. It is Thursday, July 16th. And you are watching the Mediavine Summer of Live, which as of today, is at the midpoint of our season. I’m Jenny Guy. I’m your host and Mediavine’s Director of Marketing. Welcome and thanks for watching, y’all.

How’s everybody doing out there? I’m kidding. I watch the news. I know how we’re doing. But for the next hour, we are going to forget about the dumpster fire in the world around us. We’re going to attempt to do that. And we’re going to talk about our businesses.

And I would like to kick things off with the audience. Please comment with one thing that is making you happy or getting you through this tough season of life. It can be a recipe. It can be a news story. It can be a GIF– I love GIFs– or a meme, a meditation routine, or practice that’s working for you right now. Whatever you’ve got that might help us all get into this better mind space, share and share alike. That would be amazing.

Things that are getting me through today, one, RBG is out of the hospital. I’m pretty excited about that. And also working with businesses that have similar values to Mediavine as well as the strong base of commitment to their customers– that makes me happy.

And the company that our episode today is brought to you by checks all of those boxes. Agathon— what up– provides WordPress hosting with a focus on speed and stability plus the expert support you need as a professional blogger so you can focus on growing your sites.

Working closely with our Mediavine engineers, Agathon has optimized their new high speed hosting platform for the Trellis framework. We’re going to talk about Trellis today. The power of Trellis combined with the speed of Agathon’s next gen hosting offers the performance you’ve been waiting for.

Join the wait list today and be the first in line when Agathon’s Trellis-optimized hosting becomes available publicly. That is so exciting. We are putting the link into the comments right now. So you can sign up for that and be ready to go. We are going to talk about Trellis later. We have been friends with Agathon for a long time. So for more information on them, check that in the comments.

Another thing that’s making me super happy today is a little help from my friends and colleagues. And that means the two people I have a guest today. I have Mediavine co-founders, Amber Bracegirdle and Eric Hochberger. They’re here. We’re going to do a State of the Summer Vine. We’re going to talk about everything that’s been happening and that will be happening around these parts, and taking your questions for them.

For anyone who doesn’t know who these two are, Eric is not only a co-founder, he’s also the CEO of Mediavine, which is definitely a shout-out to the HairClub president– also a client, which Eric is not a member of that, if you cannot tell by his quarantine hair. He is a computer programmer who leads all of our technical initiatives and is the architect of our ad tech. He’s also known for his Go for Teal and SEO like a CEO blog posting video series. And he’s crazy about Shih Tzus. Hi, Eric.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Not too much cats, but hello.

JENNY GUY: No, we don’t love cats. Amber is also a Co-Founder and our Chief Brand Officer. She’s a longtime blogger at her site, Bluebonnet Baker. And she initially came on board Mediavine to run Food Fanatic, which is one of our owned and operated sites. Bottom line, they smart.

If you’ve got questions for Amber or Eric, drop them in the comments, please. And welcome to you guys. I don’t think I’ve ever had all of us, all three on, at one time together.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: No, I think we’re going to do it– where were we? Chicago, maybe?

JENNY GUY: A year ago, probably.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah. And you were out sick.

JENNY GUY: I was sick, yeah.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: So Eric and I ended up doing it on our own. And it was–

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Not quite the same.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: –sad.

JENNY GUY: Well, I’m sure it was great. I watched it. It was great. I also forgot today what year I had a surgery. I’m like, was that last year? Was that two years? I don’t even know what– I don’t know what time it is or what time is at all.

But let’s do this. There is a lot happening at Mediavine these past months. And we’ve got so much exciting stuff to discuss. But first, let’s just get this out of the way.

Last week was a busy week for all of us, partially because a paid version of one of our WordPress plugins had a less than awesome thing happen, which was a bug in Grow Social Pro. Eric, will you please tell us what happened, and how we fixed it, and also how we’re making sure that never happens again?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, so first off, huge apology to all of our publishers and non-Mediavine publishers that are running the paid version of Grow Social Pro.

We had two bad versions of the plugin that basically conflicted with certain settings if you had on in Yoast and you had those other settings on in Grow Social Pro. The combination of the two of those over certain versions of these two versions of these plugins would basically undo the other one’s ability to output meta tags onto the page.

And certain plugins, such as WPRM and Tasty Output, recipe card metadata through the Yoast plugin, what ended up happening is that stuff was accidentally being removed if you had basically our plugin instead of Yoast outputting that.

So what did that mean? As a result, a lot of, unfortunately, recipe bloggers lost their rankings inside of their carousels. So they no longer had rich snippets. Or they no longer had recipe results. This was temporary. It was a quick fix that we were able to release within a day, actually that same day. We sent out an email to all of the people affected.

And hopefully everybody was able to update in time. I know a lot of people were seriously impacted by this. And we’re sorry. But going forward, we have a lot of checks in place to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
We’re spinning up all new testing environments to make sure that every version. And we already have a very intense QA, or quality assurance process, but it’s going to be more intense as a result of this.

We’re going to make sure that we are running every version of Yoast that we can, at least recent versions– WPRM, various themes, various frameworks, various settings, most importantly. And we’re going to make sure that we’re not impacting other plugins going forward, at least the most popular ones that our publishers will be running.

So the best we can do is say we’re sorry. We will make sure this will not happen again. And I can assure you from both quality assurance and from the engineering side, we’re taking this very seriously. And this will definitely not happen again.

JENNY GUY: Our QA department has been working behind the scenes for a long time. But now they’re actually an official QA department. Eric, who’s in our QA department?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: It’s a great question.
[LAUGHTER]
So it’s led by Doug, who is actually a former Support Engineer over here who has a QA background. He’s taken over our QA department. And on his team, he has– I should know their names because that’s what you do when you have an 80-person company, right? You know every person’s name.

JENNY GUY: No, you shouldn’t. That was my fault. Guys, I ambushed him.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Ambushed.

JENNY GUY: That’s what happens now. It was an ambush. Also, he’s kind of sick if you’re wondering why he sounds a little Bea Arthur-ish. He’s also in a basement in another state.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Surrounded by cats– as much as I love cats, I’m allergic to cats and they do this to me.

JENNY GUY: That’s why he sounds like that.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: I can actually attest to that. Because the first time that Eric ever came to my house in New Jersey, my giant Maine Coons made him very ill.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Those are not cats. Those were, like, tigers, I’m pretty sure.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: I mean, yeah, they’re like my–

JENNY GUY: She’s always like, just stay at my house in San Antonio. And I’m like, I don’t want to die. So I won’t.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: No.

JENNY GUY: Thanks for the offer. So we do– and then Amber, I’m going to have you address a little bit about how we publicly respond to this.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Right.

JENNY GUY: And if somebody missed anything, that they could make sure they don’t get missed the next time. Eric, take a sip of water.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: So we immediately sent out an email once we knew that there was an impact. It’s a little bit difficult. Because some of our Grow sort of customer lists are not in our main customer service tool yet. That’s one of the things that we’re working on.

But we also sent out a blog post the next day. We held on that because I thought we were still waiting on some technical stuff. So I do want to send out an I’m sorry that we didn’t have a matching blog post to go along with the email. That was completely on me. I understood us to be waiting on some technical information and didn’t push anybody.

And so the next day, as soon as we realized that was not the case, we got one out that detailed everything that was going on. And that will not happen in future– as soon as we send out an email, we will have a matching blog post on the website.

JENNY GUY: And I think, just to let everybody know, if there’s ever something happening behind the scenes– we’re known for transparency to a fault here. That’s not a– I mean, and I say to a fault as the director of marketing. There are times I’m like, you don’t need to– and everybody’s like, we’re going to say that.

So we talk about everything always. That’s never– that’s never a thing that we’re going to keep from you. If there’s a problem, we’re going to say, we done effed up and this is how we’re fixing it in the future. So and then Amber, if they’re not on the list, talk a little bit– either one of you, whoever wants to, if Eric has a voice or whoever can talk about it– why would people not be on the list? There was a migration of the plugin, there’s a little bit of a history here with the Grow plugin to begin with, right?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Right. Eric, do you want to talk about the technical aspects of that?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, so we have the Mediavine Marketplace, which is actually we took over from Social Pug. So it’s the same place you would have purchased it before. But you have to make sure you have the right email address in there because that’s the email address we’re going to have on file for all paid users of Social Pro.

A lot of people get it through their host or through what’s called an agency license. In the case of an agency license, we’re not going to have your email because your host or the agency that has the official license key, that’s the person that should be receiving those emails and that’s the person that should be supporting you. That’s the idea behind an agency license.

So I know a ton of people that were running this didn’t get an email. And a lot of times, it’s because you weren’t the one that actually paid for the license. If you are officially the license holder, just make sure you log in to marketplace.mediavine.com and put in your latest email address to make sure you get these in the future.

JENNY GUY: OK, awesome. If you have questions though and you’re confused, you don’t know what happened, still wondering about whether this is impacting you, email us at grow@mediavine.com. We’re here to talk to you. We have specialists on-hand that are well-versed in the plugin and can give you assistance with all of those things.

Shifting to something pretty exciting and positive. We talked about this a little bit the last time you were here, Eric, and weren’t in a basement. But this is so new, it’s barely in beta Grow.me.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Mm-hmm.

JENNY GUY: Onboarding has started– oh, FedEx is here. If you hear sounds, that’s what’s happening. Eric, talk to us a little bit about– people are now on here. And if you guys are on the Grow.me and you’ve got the beta on your site, please give us a shout-out in the comments if you’re doing that.

And then we’re really excited about Grow.me. And it’s not just because of what it is now. It’s what it’s going to be in the future and what our goals are for this plugin. So will you talk a little bit about that and what the heck I’m talking about with Grow.me?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, so Grow.me is what we’re kind of calling the next evolution of Grow. And it’s basically going to be user engagement, marketing, social networking, social media, whatever you want to look at it as. It’s going to be a chance for your readers on your site to engage better with your content, and share it, and be social. It’s everything that Grow was.
And it’s going to slowly be– more and more features are going to come to Grow.me. And it is free for all Mediavine publishers, at least the initial feature set. It allows your users right now to favorite content on your site, allows them to view bookmarks across all of the sites running Grow.me. It allows them to share your content. And it has a lot more coming, including options and a search feature.

So we’re really excited about everything Grow.me is going to be. And I think we have 250 people that are going to be starting the initial beta test already. So thank you, guys. It’s also going to be using similar technology as how we do our ad management, our script wrapper. So we need people to basically help us test things. Because that’s how we’re always innovating so much on the ad side.

We have publisher sites. So we’re able to run small percentages of traffic to be able to test things on. We’re going to be able to do that with Grow.me. So what you’re seeing today is– we call it an MVP, or minimum viable product. You can think of it as version zero or version one.

And in the future, everything is going to be adding upon this. So it’s all going to be based upon your feedback. Use this thing. And I think the most exciting things is it’s going to help everyone gather first-party data, which we have– we talked about a lot in the blog post. A little complicated to go over here, but it’s basically to help you survive what’s going to be known as the cookie-pocalypse, or when third party cookies go away in Chrome. So it’s going to help you make money and help readers engage with your content more.

JENNY GUY: And I’ll just explain this in the way that I understand it. Because when Eric talks about this stuff, I’m like, what? I don’t know. Cookies are going away. Cookies are the way that you serve personalized ads. Personalized ads are the ones that pay the most.

So if you want to have good ad earnings, you have to find a way to get this personalized data. And the way that we’re going to do that is through Grow.me. So help us develop the plugin that’s going to help us down the road when the cookies die. Cookies death sound sad, and should happen in 2020 to go along with everything else that’s horrible that’s going on in this year.

Can we please post the sign-up for the beta in the comments so that people can jump in there and sign up? I’m excited about this. I think it’s going to be amazing.

So we’re going to talk about the plugins here in a second. But right now, I want to talk a little bit more about Mediavine ad management. We’ve had some pretty cool features that kind of quietly released. We’ve been talking about them for a while, though. And I want to talk about them since I’ve got you guys here.

And most of it is in our very favorite video realm that we love talking about. So let’s– where do you want to start, Eric?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Video, video, video.

JENNY GUY: Yeah, the video, video, video, video– the meta video. Eric, where do you want to start?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: I think we should go with the quickest one that we should just announce. Because I think people been waiting on this one for a while. So you’re now going to be able to include basically a default caption track if you don’t have any spoken word inside your videos. That’s going to be something you’re going to be able to enable under Video Settings.

Hopefully we turned that online. And if not, if anyone is listening from our product or engineering team, turn the flipper on, please. We want basically to offer you guys a chance– if you have music only, click one button, and that will be the default for all of your videos. And then you can upload captions for anything that needs more specific captions.

It’s going to show a little musical note at the bottom to indicate that music is playing. And that’s, again, if you have no spoken word and you want to be able to help for your ADA compliance or basically helping people with disabilities know that there’s no spoken word, this is only music playing. That’s a quick and easy one we should probably start with.

JENNY GUY: That’s an exciting thing to bring in. And then the next thing, which I know you’ve been very excited about discussing for a long time, is playlists. So let’s talk about that.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: All right, so after– I think, two years ago when I first started announcing this.

JENNY GUY: It’s been a while.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: And we kind of launched a preliminary version, the Up Next, which basically shows videos after your video continues– finishes. So that’s the first version of playlists we could release and it was the quickest. Now we’re allowing you to create your own custom playlist right on the Dashboard.

So that’s going into beta testing– actually right now, it’s already in beta testing by what we call our internal publications, or our poor Support Team that runs their own blogs also has to test everything and also people on the brand team. Sorry, guys. Thank you– I mean, thank you guys for helping with the initial round of testers.

And then after that, we’re going to release it to more of the public beta. So you should start getting invites or hearing more about playlists probably in the next couple weeks. Because we’re finding all the initial bugs on our own sites. And then we move on to our publishers. And that should be coming very soon. You’ll be able to create your own playlists, which are– yes, your own, not just up next. They’re really here.

JENNY GUY: Super exciting. We’ve been waiting on that for a while. And I want you Sue to know– Sue asked a question about Create. We’re going to come back to Create in just a little bit. And I’ve got your question. So do not worry, I will get that.

And then finally, Outstream, talk about that.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: All right, so this is still in the year of video. We want to make sure that all our publishers– or sorry, decade– what are we calling it now, century?

JENNY GUY: It was the year of video, then the decade of video. Now we’re the new decade of video–

ERIC HOCHBERGER: The new decade.

JENNY GUY: –the roaring 20s of video, yeah.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: OK, in the roaring 20s of video, we want to make sure that even if you’re not producing video content, you’re able to monetize the high earning video CPM. So we developed our own, what’s called Outstream player, and the idea of Outstream is– it’s called in-stream if it’s a pre-roll ad or a mid-ad. So the ad plays in-roll, or in-stream. It plays alongside the stream, the stream being your video content in this case.

Outstream means there is no stream, so it’s outside of the stream. It’s a terrible, gross name. But Outstream just means that it’s a video ad without video content. It gives video advertisers a chance to still get the reach they would have gotten. It’s going to appear inside of your content as if it were an ad, but now it’s going to be animated.

Because we built the player ourselves, it’s optimized for pagespeed. Do not worry. It pauses when it’s out of view. It only plays when it’s in view. So it’s not going to be a very disruptive user experience. It’s not going to earn quite the same as in-stream. So please still continue to upload your videos. It’s going to be the best earning potential you have. But these are a great way for content creators to be able to monetize basically text–

JENNY GUY: How do I–

ERIC HOCHBERGER: –on the same levels.

JENNY GUY: –get those?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Good news, on this one we actually went opt-in for everyone on this one. You can opt out if you want email in or change your settings. But I don’t think most people are going to have complaints with this. It’s already boosted CPM significantly since it’s been live the past, I believe, month or so. So it’s doing very well. Unfortunately, we do not offer different reporting on it. It’s just going to be blended in with your in-content ads.

JENNY GUY: Michelle Palin just said what I think all of us are thinking. So it’s out, but it’s in, and it’s video, but it’s not. Got it, exactly. And then throw in Eric saying stream like 75 times. And that’s basically a synopsis of our last few minutes.

She also said making custom seasonal playlists will be awesome for fall and really any season. That’s– do you guys see other ways that this will be great for user experience and revenue, moving up with playlists or any of our new video features?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah, I mean, Sam, one of our lovely Publisher Support people, the other day was talking about like a custom list specifically for her cocktails I think. That was going to be really cool to sort of specify on her cocktail posts that that gets the playlist, the cocktails playlist.

And then you can basically think about it in the same way that you think about categories. You can provide a venue for a category or an event, like fall, you know? I think there are lots of ways to creatively think about this. And I would encourage everybody to also think outside the box, like what’s going to be most useful for your reader? And that’s how you should create playlists.

JENNY GUY: Kylie says, will the captions be available on already updated videos, uploaded videos, or just new ones? Like can we go flip a switch?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: So you’re going to flip the switch and it’s going to be the new default. So any video you did not upload a caption to, existing or new, is going to get those automatic captions. So existing videos will be captioned for you with one click.

JENNY GUY: Yes.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: That’s going to be awesome.

JENNY GUY: One click, quarantini playlist.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Technically two, you’ve got to click it and I think hit Save. But yeah.

JENNY GUY: I mean, Save is important. Save is always– although Google Docs has broken everyone of the save. I used to be like a spastic saver. Every 30 seconds, I would save to make sure everything was backed up. And then Google Docs–

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: I have so many Google Docs thoughts right now. They’ve changed everything.

JENNY GUY: I know. It’s awful. Is anyone else– Google Docs, like was this supposed to be better? Because it is not better, whoever did that.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: And also, could have maybe not done it in 2020? We’ve got enough going on.

JENNY GUY: It’s also with Facebook that keeps updating. And people are like, where’s my button? I can’t push anything– just irrational anger. Michelle Hall says, will that be in Video Settings? So she’s not seeing the captions yet. Eric?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: I went ahead and I turned the flipper on. Engineers, come on.

JENNY GUY: Oh.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah. So if you go into Video Settings now and just refresh it, you should see. You might have to do– it’s called a hard refresh. Hold on the Shift button as you refresh. That will clear out your cache. And then you should be able to get access to the setting under Video Settings.

JENNY GUY: Awesome, it’s there you, guys. It’s on. It’s live. Whoo.
Another headline feature that is relatively new at Mediavine are our PSA campaigns. We started with a COVID-19 option. We’ve since added the We Stand With You. And I have heard rumors that there are additional campaigns and feature causes in the works. Amber, will you tell us a little bit about how these started, why they’re so important to us, and how people can still get involved?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Sure. Yeah, so they started with a wonderful idea by Laurence Norah, who is one of our travel publishers, wanting to give back with regards to information around COVID-19. And once we had built it, it was just kind of like, oh, we can do a lot more with this.

And so the PSAs, the idea behind them is that instead of the ad collapsing if there’s not an ad to fill, we will send out a PSA instead and fill that spot so instead of it not being there at all, you’ve got one of our designed PSAs for whichever cause you’ve opted into. So we’ve got the COVID-19, we’ve now got We Stand With You in support of Black Lives Matter.

And so enrollment there, we’ve got 1,307 for COVID and 644 for We Stand With You. It’s a quick opt-in on your Dashboard. You can do one, you can do both. You can actually– if you opt into both, the engineers are so clever they’ve made it so that you get an equal distribution of them. So you don’t have to worry about, oh, I’m only going to see this one kind. In fact, I was Food Fanatic the other day and I got both.

JENNY GUY: That’s cool.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Because I’d been there for a while. And it was Susannah’s beautiful artwork. And then it was the UN artwork that we– we worked with the United Nations. They have an entire database of artwork that can be used. And so we’ve– they’re just so pretty. And I love that we’re able to give back in that way.

And with the We Stand With You, we’ve now got– I was getting there. We’ve now got art that we commissioned specifically from Black artists because we really felt like that was the way we could support the Black community right now, is by displaying art from Black artists. And so you’ll now see those instead of our original designs. Or, I can’t remember– are we doing both, Jen?

JENNY GUY: We’re emphasizing the work by Black artists. That’s what we wanted to do. And it’s really incredible. If you guys look– and if you visit our landing page for the We Stand With You, you can then go check out all of those artists.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: The artists, yeah. Yeah, so that’s really, really lovely. And then on social, we are doing Amplify Melanated Voices. We’re making sure that we are amplifying our bloggers of color. And we also have a new social giving campaign internally that started with all of this, realizing that we really should be providing our employees with more ways to give back to the things that are important to them.

And so now we’ve got a matching program internally so that employees can choose charities that are important to them. And we will match– I forget the exact numbers of how much we match per employee. But I know it’s pretty awesome.

And then the other thing that we’re doing is we’re looking for more charities and causes to amplify, including things like childhood cancer research, maybe childhood hunger. We really want to give people a lot of ways to opt in.

And as happens with so much of our technology, we don’t realize always the other positive effects that these things are happening. And I’m going to hand it over to Eric to talk about that because the PSAs have actually solved an additional problem that we weren’t even thinking about.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, so there is a new web vital statistic called Cumulative Layout Shift, CLS. Probably have gotten some notices of it in your–

JENNY GUY: Flies right off the tongue.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Exactly, right in your inbox and you have no idea what it is. But basically, it’s does your content shift and move around as you’re scrolling through the page? That can happen if you’re lazy loading images, or as ads load, or in our case, as they collapse if we didn’t have an ad to serve.

So that can, if a user is scrolling super fast, have kind of a layout shift as it goes to collapse. So we’ve done, instead now, we’ve served a house ad, it never has to collapse. So it actually helps you solve for CLS. So that’s why, as Amber mentioned, we’re going to have a lot more PSA options coming to make sure that everyone has a cause they can hopefully want running on their site. And if not, we’ll eventually be bringing the ability to upload your own house campaigns as well.

JENNY GUY: So lots of– yeah, Brenda just said I love this idea of helping other causes too. I have some ideas. And Michelle Palin said yes on childhood cancer. So there’s a lot. We’re uploading, and getting more ideas, and talking with different groups that have been impacted by COVID-19 and their fundraising efforts in ways that we can continue to give visibility to these really worthy causes.

Going back, sorry, Michelle was saying a kid– a kid made me miss the answer to the question of whether flipping that switch affects only new videos or if we already have to do something to apply it to uploaded videos. No, the switch does all of it.

And then Zona said– Zona told her– sorry, and then Sue said, where do you set– where do you set that all your videos are just music?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: So once you turn that on, it’s just going to assume everything is music unless you–

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Unless you–

ERIC HOCHBERGER: –upload it– right, unless you upload a caption track to it. So it’s just going to be under Settings under your video player, which will be basically a default closed caption. They’re just going to enable.

JENNY GUY: Fantastic. Luke is excited about our own house campaigns. We’re excited about that too. Noreen just said, this is just another reason for Gary to ignore those other guys. Which, Noreen– for those that don’t know, while the lives are happening, my team, the Marketing Team, is putting all of the awesome comments into a channel that we have. And every time you type Gary now in Slack, something happens. And it made me crack up.
But Eric, just Gary– does Gary have anything to say today?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: No, I think we should leave my alter ego to the couple of Facebook posts. And the problem is, I honestly prefer not to waste our on-air time talking about the competition’s dubious tactics. I prefer to focus on all the awesome stuff we’re doing here at Mediavine. So Gary will occasionally pop up on a Facebook post. But that’s about it.

JENNY GUY: OK, Gary. Well–

ERIC HOCHBERGER: It’s because I don’t have a mustache right now.

JENNY GUY: I mean, if we had a disguise, maybe we could talk about it. But without it– no.

OK, I want to talk– I promised Sue we would talk about Create. It is our OG Mediavine plugin. It’s our flagship, our most valuable content plugin. And we actually just put out a long-awaited feature. And users are pretty pumped about it. Talk to us about Indexes, Eric?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, so Indexes are also now in beta testing again, only amongst our internal publications. We don’t want to do this to our publishers just yet. And those are basically going to allow you to create custom recipe index pages. But more than that, you can use them for custom home pages, custom category landing pages.

You can basically build what we’re calling Indexes. And they are a list of either your most popular posts, your most popular cards. You can hand-select them. You can do them based upon category. And if you’re using Create, you can do them based upon even things like cook time. So you can say, like, here are my five-minute recipes. I don’t know if we have five-minute recipes. That’s very fast, sorry. Here are my 20-minute recipes.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: There you go.

JENNY GUY: Well, it makes more– I mean, like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: That’s my only five-minute recipe. Perfect, so it’ll be an index of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

JENNY GUY: Just all the different variations.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: It makes my heart go pitter-patter. I love it so much.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: So Indexes are going to be absolutely beautiful and super flexible. We’re going to use Gutenberg, basically, as the page builder it’s meant to be, and allow you to build beautiful-looking landing pages.

JENNY GUY: That’s exciting. I’m going to pause for a second because Noreen said, could we pair up with Operation Underground Railroad? I think that’s an amazing idea. Let’s have– if you guys have suggestions for charities that you’d like to see us maybe reach out to for potential PSA campaigns, give us a email at sponsored@mediavine.com. We can take that, and reach out, and see if they’re open to working with us. We just shared Gary’s recent post–

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Especially if you have a contact there, include that in your email.

JENNY GUY: Super helpful. If you’ve done work with them, if it’s like St. Jude’s, or something like that– if you have a name that will help us a lot cut through the red tape and get the ads rolling.

OK, Sue’s question– I’m going to go back to that now on– going back to–

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Amazon– something about Amazon.

JENNY GUY: Yes, she is having problems with Create Lists not working right with Amazon affiliates. Is this getting fixed? I add the link, and then after saving, it is gone.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: I would definitely email create@mediavine.com with that issue. I haven’t heard of that issue right now.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah, I haven’t heard about that. So it might not be widespread. And so definitely, the team should take a look for you at the email Eric said.

JENNY GUY: Fantastic. We can take a look at that. OK, so let us move forward a little bit. Eric, is there anything else going on for Create though, coming up that we should be on the lookout for?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: No, I think a big part about Create is similar to what we’re doing right now with Grow. And that’s making sure that we’re going to tie everything into our support portal a little bit better to make sure that if, you know, heaven forbid something does happen again, we’re able to notify everyone as quickly as possible.

So I think you’re going to see Create right now focus on Indexes, getting everything integrated a little bit better with our support portal, working on any bugs such as Amazon issues you might have with the list. But then the next round of features, we’re going to be very excited to announce soon. But basically, they’re going to focus a lot around recipe cards. And in particular, bringing things like better nutrition calculation, imperial metric conversions, all the kind of stuff that I think people have been asking for, we’re going to give recipe cards a little bit of love after kind of house cleanup and indexes.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: So Diane Herrera, I believe, just made me think about what might be the issue with the Amazon API. And that is– and I had this problem myself– if you don’t have at least three sales through your Amazon affiliate account–

JENNY GUY: Diane said, I had this issue with Amazon and it was the API issue with Amazon.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Right, right, right. So this is what I’m saying, is I had the same problem with the API. And basically, you lose your account, your specific affiliate account loses API privileges if you don’t have at least three sales a month, is what Seth explained to me, one of our engineers.

And sure enough, I had a few friends buy through my affiliate link and then API access came back. So if you haven’t had sales for a while, that may be the thing that’s happening. But if you have had sales, definitely email us.

JENNY GUY: Or email anyway. We can tell you that via email. Whatever you want to do, we’re here. Yeah, if you guys have suggestions for anything, e-mail sponsored@mediavine.com. That’s great for the landing page.
Brenda was asking– she said her dog was barking because he’s sick of Zoom calls and webinars. Which, like, same, dog. So yes, email. And it’s sponsored@–

OK, even though we’ve decided to largely ignore the corona, the ‘Rona, for this live, and talk more about upcoming things with our business, we can’t talk about the current state of things without acknowledging all of the pretty seismic changes that have been happening as a result of COVID-19 this year.

And one of them is absolutely the cancellation of almost every in-person event for all of 2020, all conferences, including our own conference in Baltimore that was supposed to be last month. So a lot of– we all have the sads. Everyone has it. We all have cabin fever. But we are working a lot on ways that we can continue learning, and community, and all of those things, building those virtually for content creators.

So Amber, would you give us a little teaser, please?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah, we’ve been talking about ways that we can support folks that want to try and pull together learning opportunities. As you know, we, over the past few years, have sponsored people who are planning retreats. And we, as a company, have decided we should probably pull back from encouraging in-person events, even when we’re not the one pulling them together, at least right now.

And so– I mean, I live in Texas. So COVID is definitely an impact on in-person events right now. And so what we’re thinking is we’re going to do some updates to our retreat form. And then if you are potentially planning a virtual retreat and looking for sponsorship, that we might be able to help out.

So we don’t have everything in place yet. But we will make an announcement and probably do a blog post and all of that once we’ve figured out all the particulars.

JENNY GUY: So yes, please be thinking. We’ll make sure everyone has the information. And we will open up the form again to– since we had a lot of things that we’re not able to do right now, we’re trying to think of what we could do.

And what we can do is support– yes, for you guys, and give you guys the opportunity to– it’s not the same. But at least you can choose your Zoom background. That’s kind of cool. We do that every time we have our monthly Mediavine call. It’s always a fun adventure to see what terrifying and wonderful backgrounds people have put on their Zooms.
So at least you’re talking to other humans. That’s good conversation.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: We have some special souls that work for us.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yes, we

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: They make my heart melt everytime.

JENNY GUY: It takes a special, special– I mean, it’s a competition. It’s definitely a competition voted on by emojis on the favorite.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Mine is always the Ferris wheel at Disneyland, now that I’ve finally been, thanks to some lovely travel bloggers back in February.

JENNY GUY: Doesn’t that seem like that was a different life?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: That was like nine years ago, is what it feels like.

JENNY GUY: I mean, Eric and I were sitting in a pub in Dublin listening to live music. And we were crowded in this tiny, little room. And it was all these people. And they’re all just breathing and talking.

JENNY GUY: No, it’s horrible. It’s scary.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Think about it now and you’re like, nope. Mm-hmm.

JENNY GUY: No. I have visceral reactions looking at pictures from past things that I did. Like, it’ll pop up and I’m like, they’re too close. Don’t breathe.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: When you watch movies now that were recorded. And you’re–

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Obviously pre-COVID, right?

JENNY GUY: Unsafe. Diane says the other issue with the API is the key codes not syncing up on Amazon. So deleting the old keys and getting new ones fixed for me the access key and secret key. So maybe try getting new keys and entering in Settings. This thing happened when Amazon change their API.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yep. That’s another good idea.

JENNY GUY: Aw, thanks, Michelle. Michelle I just just want to say that I appreciate these live sessions you do. I can watch while folding laundry right now. And I feel like I’m not only learning some things, but having adult interaction outside of my fam. I mean, the adult part is a little bit dubious. But–

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Interaction.

JENNY GUY: But it’s a social interaction, for sure– for sure. OK, Jordan Cauley is trying to reach me even though I have my notifications muted. And then said never mind. So that’s fun. I thought he was trying to call me because we’d said something tragically wrong. No, he said never mind.
OK, let’s pivot to last but not least, what do you think we saved to our last prepared topic for the live? It could only be the one thing– Trellis.

OK, Eric, we talked about this a lot the last time we were together. But there’s always room for more. So tell us, do you have a update on how many sites we have now that are uploaded that are running Trellis?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: That’s probably why Jordan was messaging you. He probably launched another two of them. He wrote, “no, never mind.” So– [LAUGHTER]

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Oh, the live is happening right now. I guarantee it.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Honestly, the blog post that we posted during my last live is probably the best place to go and get updates on everything that happened with Trellis. I actually don’t have a recent count. I think like 70-plus was the number we had before, right?

We basically launch like five to 10 of them a week of beta sites right now. New stuff I can talk about that’s happening to Trellis that I think are pretty exciting– so we already have one plugin called Trellis Images that helps you kind of optimize images for you automatically so you don’t need something like Short Pixel. And that will be included in your Trellis monthly fee. So it’ll be basically free if you’re already running Trellis. You now get all of your image optimization done for you. No need to pay for another service.

In Addition, to that, we’re going to be working on other plugins to help supplement all the cool things that Trellis does for you, including making things prettier. So one of the next things we’re working on is a category landing page plugin for Trellis, so to help you make a custom category landing pages, add content to your category pages. If you follow my SEO like a CEO series, this is awesome for keystone or cornerstone content when using Yoast term. Don’t worry.

JENNY GUY: Better than Outstream.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Better than Outstream, exactly. Though– OK, we’re not going to go in the architectural nerding.

JENNY GUY: No.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: OK, so cornerstone content categories are sometimes very key for that. So that plugin is going to be awesome for Trellis. In addition to that, we’re bringing in all the hook functionality that people come to expect from Genesis. So we’re working on that next for Trellis.
So if you’re wondering if anything is happening during this beta from now until likely September when you’re running it, yes. It will be only better by the time you get to launch this thing in September.

JENNY GUY: For anyone that missed, why are you saying September, Eric, in case they haven’t read that blog post?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Oh, the big news. OK, so we are going to officially open up the beta in September to anyone. So right now, the way we’re doing it is that everyone who applied to the beta– and there’s like almost 1,000 people that have– we are just going down the list and sending out invites in small batches as we try to test out various different scenarios to different hosts, different plugin combinations.

We’re trying to get right now as many testers as we can but in as many different unique combinations as possible. And so it’s going out in kind of small waves. But the plan is by, September just to open it up. If you want to help us beta test or basically Trellis on your site, it’s going to be open for anyone.

JENNY GUY: OK, so much exciting and so many comments. And I’m also finding out why Jordan is messaging me. So standby on that. OK, people are so excited to be in the Trellis plug-in, in the Trellis beta.

Luke Ward says, I love Trellis Images as a standalone plugin. Will that be happening?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Oh, sorry. When I say standalone plugin, I mean it is a plugin that you can run in addition to Trellis. So both that and the category landing pages are going to be built specifically for Trellis. They will not run with non-Trellis themes. I don’t think we’re working on standalone versions at this time.

JENNY GUY: OK, give me a second. I’m going to go back. I’m going to scroll back through to Sue’s comment. Sue said, she does have sales– we’re talking about Amazon’s API from Create, just to refresh everyone’s memory.
She does have sales with Amazon last month. She e-mailed to someone. She said they’re working on a fix. But she said she was worried that we do not know it is a problem. We do know that it’s a problem. Jordan was messaging me– Sue, I know, like, this is a thing that I am always shocked to learn, but Eric doesn’t know everything at every moment, which is such BS. I’m like, it’s a let-down every time.

We are working on it. That’s why Jordan was messaging me. And that will be with the next er-release of Create. The next update will be addressing your particular issue. So someone is dealing with it, Sue. We love you. And we would not not deal with you.

OK, the other thing– so many questions. OK, Diane said, will Trellis be compatible with Element and will it work OK with Rank Math for SEO?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: So I can tell you Element, or really any page builder, we are not going to be optimizing Trellis for. And we have no intention of. Those basically go against the idea of page feed.

JENNY GUY: Whomp-whomp.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: I’m sorry. They may work, which will be great. But we’re never going to make sure those are optimized. We’d rather– like, we’re going to work with plugin traders like WPRM and Tasty, right, we know that you’re going to want to have a recipe card that maybe is not Create. So those will be optimized hopefully for Trellis.

But something like a page builder that goes against the idea of pagespeed, that’s not something– it goes fundamentally against what we’re trying to do with Trellis. Gutenberg is what we’re going to be recommending. We’ll be releasing styles, and additional blocks, and things that can help you turn Gutenberg into what you want it to be, a page builder built for page feed, built for SEO, and built for ads.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Well, and also, other page builders aren’t great for ads, right, Eric?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Right. So we’ve developed insane amounts of technology to get around the issues caused by page builders over the years to make sure that it disrupts your ad earnings as little as possible. But at the end of the day, they don’t produce good quality HTML. You know who loves good quality HTML? Google.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Google.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: So if you’re not doing it for our script wrapper, do it for Google, where they tell you to use proper HTML in their SEO starter guide and everywhere across Google. It makes your pages load faster. And yes, it’s easier for our script wrapper to find where to insert ads if it’s easier to read your HTML. Good, clean HTML helps everyone.

JENNY GUY: OK. So with Trellis, the point of it is to make it easy to create those beautiful-looking pages the way a page builder would without using a page builder that’s going to fork up all your HTML. Eric, will you please talk about– someone talk about that in English. Thank you.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Amber, you’re better at English. You want to try it?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Well, I haven’t played with that part of it yet. So I feel like–

JENNY GUY: Eric, you talk about it.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: –I’m not great at it.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: All right, I’ll do my best to speak in English.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: I can translate him once he says things.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: So yeah, the idea is going to be basically turning Gutenberg into a page builder. That is the idea behind Trellis. That was the idea originally behind Gutenberg. But Trellis was built after Gutenberg. We had that awesome advantage. That’s the idea behind what we’re doing with Trellis.

So you’ll be able to create all the beautiful home pages that you’ve seen on the internet, using combinations of basically Create, which gives you Gutenberg blocks, Trellis core stuff, and things that are going to be available in the child theme you’re running. You should be able to build a home page, category landing pages, regular pages that you want. Let’s say you’re selling an e-book, whatever it may be. You should be able to build that without needing a third party page builder. You’re just going to use the built-in stuff in WordPress.

JENNY GUY: OK, that being sense to me in English. It worked.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah.

JENNY GUY: So that was good.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Good job. Good job, Eric.

JENNY GUY: OK.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: I didn’t need Amber to translate. Good.

JENNY GUY: All right. Hold on.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: I’ve trained you well.

JENNY GUY: Michelle, what are you asking? If we are on Trellis, will we need to go in and activate the plugin?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Oh, for Trellis Images.

JENNY GUY: Trellis Images.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: No.

JENNY GUY: No, right?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: So Trellis Images is going to be a separate plugin, yes. It’s not actually– it doesn’t work with all host yet. So as much as we wish everyone would build a Trellis-optimized plan like Agathon– shameless plug– not everyone’s going to have support for Trellis Images as it currently was. We’re working on a new version that’s in beta testing now that should work across a wider range of hosts.

So chances are, if we did the install for you, one of our support engineers already tried it. And if it worked, its on and running on your site. If it didn’t work, it’s deactivated.

So it’s best, if you’re in the beta, to email trellis@mediavine.com. Work with our support engineers. This is what they’re here to help you do right now. And we will get Trellis Images configured for you. Come September, obviously we have to have all these kinks worked out so that anyone can just go and install it if you’re running Trellis.

JENNY GUY: No pressure, engineers. Also, this episode is brought to you by Agathon.

[LAUGHTER]
Good job, guys. Diane–

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Random question– random question before you go any further.

JENNY GUY: Yeah, what’s up?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Can you hear the music that is blaring from behind me or not? No?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: No. Is it good?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: I have a four-year-old that’s decided to jack up the Car’s playlist behind me.

JENNY GUY: Oh.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: And I can hear it. But if you can’t–

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Life is a Highway– what do we have right now?

JENNY GUY: Yes.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah, it’s like the wall is shaking, guys. I’m so proud that this microphone is not picking it up. Yeah.

JENNY GUY: I missed that. OK, Diana says, what if your information has changed since we applied for the Trellis beta? I am sure I have changes that would make you pick me before September.
[LAUGHTER]

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Email trellis@mediavine.com with your great– I don’t know, reason why we should run you. I don’t know the best way to do it, honestly.

JENNY GUY: Can you talk a little– give us a little insight– first of all, how many sites are running it, like 70-something? And how many applications, over 1,000? So this is not a personal affront.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Right.

JENNY GUY: Why are we choosing the sites that we’re choosing for the beta?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: I mean, it’s literally going down to I think one group we did were hosts. So we wanted to test all the different hosts out there. So if you are on Agathon, we love you. But, you know, we didn’t need 100 Agatha people or 70 Agatha people. We needed 10 from Agathon, 10 from Big Scoots, 10 from WPOpt, wherever they may be. We’re basically going through the hosting companies.

That’s just one example. We want to test different PHP versions, different WordPress versions, different themes that you may have been coming from, whatever it may be. I can’t give you the exact formula behind it. But you’re welcome to email in and say why you think you have a unique case that we should run it. We’re always looking for new beta victims. So maybe you’ll be selected.

JENNY GUY: That is not the official marketing for any of that.

JENNY GUY: So let’s not– and we did a different niches, and we did different sizes, and we did different– like, we wanted as many different things, so different variations on all the stuff.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: First site, true story, to launch on Trellis was not a food blog. I know people probably think it’s built for food blogs. It was actually a gardening site, right? Which I think is the more fitting thing for Mediavine.

JENNY GUY: Yeah. OK, Lance, has a great question that wasn’t even planned, as opposed to Eric’s really awesome segue into Agathon. Lance said, do you guys have a recommend Gutenberg training? I need to get with the program. Lance, do I have good news for you?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah.

JENNY GUY: Next week on the Summer of Live, I have Lynn Woll coming on to talk about going Gutenberg.
[EXPLOSION NOISE]

You don’t even have to ask. It’s already happening. That’s how great we are. OK, Cyd, who is working on Food Fanatic and also is a blogger at the Sweetest– I think it’s the Sweetest Occasion. Yes.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah.

JENNY GUY: She says, my site was moved to Trellis– oh god, the comments moved. My site was moved to– Cyd, that was last week. And The pagespeed improvement was insane right out of the gate.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah, she went from like 50 to 97 or something on mobile within– like, before they even–

JENNY GUY: She showed us screenshots of it. It was really cool.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah, we were all really excited.

JENNY GUY: OK, Sue said– OK, Michelle, do we have to switch to Gutenberg? Can we continue using classic with Trellis? Eric, do you have to switch to Gutenberg to use Trellis?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: You don’t have to. But if you want to get all those page builder features and build custom home pages, you’re going to need to. And a great thing that I’m sure we’ll cover next week is you can also use Gutenberg on certain posts and certain pages, and not on others. So if you want to write most of your posts in the Classic Editor and just slowly work your way into Gutenberg, you’ll be able to do that. But there’s no hard rule that you have to run Gutenberg to use Trellis.

JENNY GUY: But if you want to learn more about Gutenberg, you should tune in next week to the Mediavine Summer of Live. So just saying that. Amber, did you have something to say?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Oh, I just– you know, I was scared of moving here to Gutenberg. And I watched a couple of tutorials that I think next week will be very helpful for people who haven’t delved into research yet. And now I’m a major convert. Like, on my site I’ve got Trellis, Create, and Grow, Social Pro. And it’s magic how they work together.

So I personally think once you make that dive, you won’t regret doing so. Like, it’s just a mental block right now. And I totally understand that because I was there for a long time.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, there’s so many tricks you can do with Gutenberg too that people will reveal, that you couldn’t even do it the Classic Editor. You’ll be in.

JENNY GUY: Super exciting and fun. And we’ll learn more about that next week. OK, Sue says, will I be able to use my child theme with Trellis that I’m using with Genesis? Or do I have to find a new child theme that is made for Trellis?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: You would have to use a new child theme that’s made for Trellis. One of the things that we want to work on on the next few months is working with major theme developers, including Feast Design Company, that we’re working with, to port over some of the child themes over to Trellis. But they would need to be updated to be Trellis-compatible.

JENNY GUY: Awesome, OK. Noreen says Trellis kicked up by site speed amazingly paired with Agathon’s new host server. Mind blown. Rose says, Gutenberg is definitely not as scary as it looks. I was a reluctant convert and I love it now. That’s very exciting. We’re so glad to hear–

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah, she and Palmer are also trying to get me to karaoke the car stuff on the live.

JENNY GUY: Yeah, I just wasn’t going to–

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Do it!

JENNY GUY: You brought that out. I was going to leave that where it lied– where it lay, where it lied? I don’t know. OK, any other questions about Trellis while we’re here?

And let’s do like a little preview for why people should want to switch to Gutenberg. You said there’s lots of tricks, lots of different ways you can use it as a page builder without having to use– without all the bad things that come from page builder. So why else should you want to use Gutenberg?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Why don’t you go, Amber. You’ve actually used it.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: You’re not supposed to admit stuff like that, Eric.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: I will. I will be a blogger one day, I promise.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: So the reason I like it so much is exactly what Eric was talking about, right? Like, I don’t have to go and find the individual things or go into my recipe card plugin to create my recipe, and just use a short code. Like, there’s all these different– it’s literally just building blocks.

Like, they call them blocks. And I think that’s a scary word for some folks. But literally, just think of it as your vision board. And you’re building blocks in your blog post. And some of them are text. And some of them are images. And some of them are your recipe card, or your list, or whatever the case may be.

And it’s really easy once you put that building block in to move it around and to change it. And then you can make blocks that you reuse over and over again. So you can have your Amazon affiliate disclosure that you don’t have to retype every time or you don’t have to have a separate plugin to display that.

And that’s coming from someone that has barely used it, right? Like I’ve updated Bluebonnet Baker to use Trellis and use Gutenberg in Create and Grow. But I’m not blogging everyday like so many of you guys are.

And I think that just those are just the limited things that I have found that I thought, oh, this is so smart, this is so cool. And I think once you start playing around with it, you’re just like, there’s so many little things like that come out.

And you’re just like, well, that’s a lot easier. Like even making updates to certain things where you used to have to go into the Media Center, now it’s in your sidebar. And so you don’t have to open up a separate window or anything like that. You’re just able to fix stuff much quicker as well. I think the user experience is just better.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Yeah, so I was playing with Create Indexes. And it’s a great example of you’ll be able to go into a new page, you’ll be able literally drag and drop the hero image here, and your index, then a heading, then your index.

And it’s all just going to render beautifully on the front end. And you don’t have to worry about what the HTML is under the scenes. It’s going to take care of that. And it’s going to actually output correct HTML, which I cannot stress enough how that does not happen when you use a page builder normally.

JENNY GUY: And why is it bad when your HTML is incorrect, Eric?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: You confuse Google, in short. There is something called semantic HTML. And that’s using HTML semantically, or the way it was meant to be used. So you use something like a P for a paragraph of text, a paragraph, Right? It makes sense.

When you use the built-in, either Gutenberg or even the Classic Editor, that’s what it’s putting all your text in. When you use a page builder, it’s going to insert everything into divs. Divs are just a generic container, right?
That’s a small example. But that’s the kind of stuff that you lose when you use a page builder. They’re not going to use proper HTML where it’s meant to be used. They’re going to use it to give them the customization they need. It’s going to produce also what are called a lot of Dom elements. Those are a bad thing for pagespeed. It’s one of the warnings in pagespeed insights. Dom page builders–

JENNY GUY: Divs and Doms– and I’m laughing hard. I’m sorry.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: Everywhere. You don’t want Divs and Doms

JENNY GUY: Lousy with Divs and Doms.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: You want Gutenberg.

JENNY GUY: OK, Brenda said, I was afraid to switch. But I’ve been using Gutenberg for almost a year now and already love it. She can’t wait for the live next week to learn even more features.

Michelle said, Amber, did you go back and switch over all your old posts or just used for your new ones?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: So huge disclaimer, I used to plugin to switch all of my old posts to Gutenberg blocks. I started out just doing a post that way and playing around with it. And then there is a plugin that I used that will convert everything to Gutenberg blocks. And then I sort of spot-checked the older stuff to make sure it looked OK, which it did.

And so I will say, look, I can’t vouch for that plugin. It worked for me. But you can search for it. It’s like Gutenberg Block Converter, or Classic Converter, something like that. And that’s what I used so that it– I’m just using the same editor throughout. And then I was able to ditch a plug-in, I was able to ditch the Classic Editor plugin. I don’t even have it anymore.
And then once I had converted everything, I didn’t need the converter plugin. So I mean, with Trellis, I think I have like nine plugins now. And they’re all just like little things that I had before. Once I finished getting everything converted from– because guys, I’ve been blogging so long, so much of my old posts don’t even have a recipe card in them. They use a plugin called Print This that hasn’t been maintained for like 10 years, which is terrible. This is terrible of me.

And I need to get them all converted to Create. But because they’re just a block of text, I can’t run the importer that we have. That’s just not how it works. And so I’m slowly converting everything into Create. And then I’ll be able to ditch that plugin. And I’ll have like eight plugins. And it’s amazing. Like, the site is so fast. And it’s so pretty. And it just makes me happy. And it’s one of the things that I think is going to get me blogging again. So, exciting!

JENNY GUY: Christine Cook says, I’m finding myself constantly updating old posts to Gutenberg because it’s fun. I mean, that–

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: It is fun.

JENNY GUY: You can’t really– basically the best endorsement you can get is that I’m doing it voluntarily because I just like doing it. That’s exciting. OK, Emily says, can we create a new home page with categories even if we don’t have Create?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: If you’re running Trellis without Create, is that the–

JENNY GUY: That’s what– I think that’s the question, yes.

ERIC HOCHBERGER: So Create is going to power the Indexes, which I think you’re going to want to use for your home page and for your category pages. But it won’t be required. You’ll be able to use just regular Gutenberg blocks.

But Indexes are going to give you a lot of power to be able to do like– I think the recipe indexes and the home pages, you’d probably want to be able to generate. They’re going to look beautiful.

And it’s important to note that you can run Create alongside a different recipe card plugin if you don’t like create as your recipe card plugin or just don’t want to move everything over. And you can just try it out. You can mix and match. Create will play very nicely alongside other plugins.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah.

JENNY GUY: Megan said she’s only switching old posts are she updates for other reasons. So it’s not something that you have to go in and do right now. Like, it’s not it’s not a mandatory thing. It’s an as you have time. Plus if it’s fun, like instead of needle point like I’m doing– I’m needle pointing 700,000 things during quarantine– you can update posts to Gutenberg. Why not?
OK, Sue said, what is the plugin to convert recipe cards to Create?

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: So–

JENNY GUY: She has WP Tasty.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Yeah, so this is one of the things that I think people assume that when they install Create, they have to convert everything. Because every other recipe plugin, their converter is part of the plugin. With Create, it’s a separate importer so that we can keep Create itself nice and fast.

So if you have Create installed, there is a link to the importer in your plugin list. When you find Mediavine Create there, you’ll find a link to the importer plugin. And Tasty is one of the supported ones, I believe.
So, yeah. And then once you’re done converting, you can just uninstall the importer. One less plugin.

JENNY GUY: I love less plugins. OK, we’re almost out of time, which is a real bummer.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: I feel like Eric had something to say then.

JENNY GUY: Eric, did you have something?

ERIC HOCHBERGER: No, I was just going to say, I want to make it very clear. With Create, you can run it just to be your index builder. You could run it just to be your list builder. People do that. We at Mediavine are making a conscious effort to make sure that even our ads are optimized for WP Tasty and WPRM because we know a lot of our bloggers run those. So we’re not asking anyone to move over.

We’re even working on– we already launched it– the idea of Jump to Recipe, even optimizing for that on other cards. So by no means do you have to use Create for your recipe card plugin just to use it.

JENNY GUY: Also, it’s free. So like, you’re not going to have anything to lose. It’s not super heavy. There’s no reason to not try it. If you think it might be something that you’re into, you might as well just try it. It’s not going to hurt anything.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: That’s something that…

ERIC HOCHBERGER: I don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to use it for your recipe card plugin.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: That’s also something that’s super fun, right? You don’t have to install it, and install the importer, and import everything. You can install it, and try it on a couple of recipes, and see if you actually like it, like the UI, like how it looks on your front end. You can have different recipe card plugins running recipes in different posts. It doesn’t hurt anything.

And so you can actually give it a try before you commit to changing forever.

JENNY GUY: Nothing is forever. It’s all temporary. OK, we have two lives coming up that I’m going to talk to you guys about. And we’re almost out of time. Yes, Trista is in our Lead Launch Engineer said, free, free, free. Love the list. Can’t wait for Indexes. Thank you, Trista. Good to know you’re here.
Next Thursday, July 23rd at 2 PM, as I’ve already mentioned, Lynn Woll of the website Create Whimsy, is coming by to get everyone going Gutenberg and convince everyone who is still on the fence– yes, I am still on the fence– to jump off the fence and go. OK, so Lynn, that is your– that is the Gauntlet that has been thrown. Please come.

We also have another live in between these lives on Tuesday July 21st. It’s at 2:00 PM. It’s happening exclusively in the Mediavine Facebook group. I’m going to be talking to Jake Poses, who is the co-founder and CEO of Jumprope. I don’t know if anyone out there has heard of it. I’m using it.
We’re going to be talking about ways to rock out your stories with easy to make how-to videos, and then also using those how-to videos, uploading them to your Mediavine Dashboard, having more video– video, video, video– high CPMs, all the acronyms you could possibly want at the same time.

Sue said, I like it as Create card has a nutrition card for free. We love that too, Sue.

OK, guys, we also heard loud and clear in the Mediavine Facebook group that some of you would like transcripts of these published as blog posts. So that is the next thing we’re going to be adding to our content so you have it.
And then the other thing that everyone wanted, which Eric has commanded us to start doing, is the podcast. So we’re going to be working on a podcast as soon as we can. We’re going to keep getting this content out to you. We really appreciate having Eric and Amber here with me, guys. Thank you.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: You’re welcome.

JENNY GUY: Thanks for coming.

JENNY GUY: And I think we’ve probably slayed Eric’s voice at this point. So we’re going to end it. And you guys have a great, great rest of your afternoon. Thanks, guys. Bye.

AMBER BRACEGIRDLE: Thanks, everybody.

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