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About Jessica:

Jess Frick is absolutely one of the kindest, most uplifting people in the WordPress community. All one has to do is spend time in her presence and immediately you feel like you belong, you’re heard, and you’ve got a new best friend. She also rocks at her job.

Wie lautet Ihre Berufsbezeichnung?Betriebsleiter
Wie lautet Ihr Firmenname?Pressable
Was machen Sie mit WordPress?Product innovation and development
Beschreiben Sie die WordPress-Community in wenigen Worten.Welcoming, vibrant, and diverse

Episode Transkription

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Welcome to WPCoffeeTalk with your podcast Barista, Michelle Frechette. Special thanks to our sponsors, WS Form and Beaver Builder. If you’re interested in joining WPCoffeeTalk as a guest or a sponsor, please visit our site and now on with the show.

Welcome to WPCoffeeTalk. I’m your podcast Barista, Michelle Frechette, serving up the WordPress stories from around the globe. And today I say this a lot. Today my guest is also my friend, which I love that about WordPress that I have so many wonderful friends, but my friend, my guest today is Jessica Frick, who is the director of operations at Pressable. Jess, welcome.

[00:00:42] Speaker B: Thank you for having me.

Longtime listener, first time caller.

[00:00:48] Speaker A: I love that. That’s great. And I love that you’ve listened to the show before too, so that’s awesome.

[00:00:54] Speaker B: Oh yeah.

[00:00:54] Speaker A: Fantastic. So for those of you who aren’t good friends with Jess like I am, why don’t you tell them a little bit about yourself and what you do?

[00:01:02] Speaker B: Well, I’m a non smoking Pisces.

[00:01:06] Speaker A: Do you like Long walks on the beach?

[00:01:08] Speaker B: Long walks on the beach?

Sorry, boys, I’m married.

What’s there to know about me?

I love working at pressable, which a lot of people don’t know is part of the automatic family.

In my role, I get to work on operations, product and marketing.

I have been in WordPress for well over a decade. I’ve been a user for longer than that.

I thought I was going to be a marine biologist when I grew up and then I found out that that’s actually mostly math.

I didn’t start loving math until later on in life.

[00:01:48] Speaker A: Gotcha.

[00:01:49] Speaker B: Beyond that, I love coffee and tea so you never know what’s going on in my mug.

And I live in Florida, but I’m not that kind of Floridian.

[00:01:59] Speaker A: There you go. You’re not like Florida woman.

[00:02:03] Speaker B: Not yet, but I aspire to be.

[00:02:06] Speaker A: We haven’t read a headline yet that makes you go, oh yeah, she must live in Florida.

[00:02:11] Speaker B: Not yet. But I did read about a local roofing company that is giving away free AR fifteen S and turkeys with a new roof. So they give me a lot to aspire.

[00:02:23] Speaker A: To be honest, that sounds like a cross between Florida and Texas. But I try not to get into politics too much on the show.

[00:02:34] Speaker B: No politics. It’s just so bizarre that you’re like, okay, so the weirdness scale is at a twelve, not an eleven. A twelve.

[00:02:42] Speaker A: At least they’re not giving you snow shovels. In Florida.

[00:02:45] Speaker B: No, we wouldn’t know what to do with that sand, I guess.

[00:02:50] Speaker A: Yeah, well, it is for anybody who is listening to this later on. It’s November 1 of 2023, and we had snow last night on Halloween, so it didn’t stick, thank goodness, but snow shovel on the rain today. So anyway, I ask everybody to have a mug, and you have a mug. So tell us about your mug and what you’re drinking.

[00:03:10] Speaker B: So it was really hard to decide which mug I wanted to bring on the show, but something a lot of people don’t know about me. I love gnomes. And so my mug today says, hanging with my gnomes.

[00:03:22] Speaker A: Awesome.

[00:03:24] Speaker B: It speaks to my love of gnome culture.

[00:03:28] Speaker A: I did not know this about you.

[00:03:30] Speaker B: Yeah. If you came to my house, you might think I’m just a little nutty because literally everywhere I have random gnomes throughout the whole house, and it makes me happy. And then for what’s in it, I am one of those basic bees that drink pumpkin spice coffee year round. And I’ve got in my mug today.

[00:03:51] Speaker A: You got to stock up on it this time of year so that you have it for the rest of the year. Right?

[00:03:55] Speaker B: It’s cheaper right now for.

[00:03:56] Speaker A: Yes, yes. Well, my mug today is. I don’t know if you can see it. There you go. Wsform. So not only are they a sponsor of the show, WSForm, but Mark Westgard is one of my besties in WordPress, and so it’s always a pleasure to get to use the mug he sent me. And I’m drinking water. It’s carbonated water, but it’s a little too late in the day for me to be doing coffee because I’ve already had two cups today, and I actually want to sleep tonight. So there you go.

[00:04:23] Speaker B: Good for, you know your limits.

[00:04:26] Speaker A: I mean, it’s still probably 03:00 a.m. If I finally fall asleep, because I am just not a sleeper. But that’s the way it goes.

[00:04:32] Speaker B: So I know you’re the one that asks all the questions on here, but I do have one for you.

[00:04:36] Speaker A: Sure.

[00:04:36] Speaker B: Does Mark WestgaRD know that his product is already good and he doesn’t need to keep shipping more and more features?

[00:04:42] Speaker A: I don’t know. We should ask him that, though, because, right, like, every time I turn around, he’s like, he sends me a text, hey, look what I just did with WS form. I’m like, this is why I can’t ever log into a WordPress site without having to update your plugin, because you keep. So many good things are there and they’re cool things.

[00:04:58] Speaker B: It’s not just like random, like, oh gee, you put a double after a period. Think. No, it’s like really cool smart stuff.

[00:05:06] Speaker A: Yeah. I actually generated a form through AI because he’s got that AI generator on there now. Just typed what I wanted it to be and boom, it thought of things I didn’t think of that I should have thought of, and there it was in the form and I was like mind blown. Absolutely.

[00:05:21] Speaker B: Yeah.

[00:05:22] Speaker A: Sponsor men. Shout out, shout out, shout out to WS forum. Absolutely. Well, here’s a question. I know a lot of things about you. We’ve been friends for a little while, but I don’t know all the answers that I ask everybody on the show, including the first one, which is, how did you get started in WordPress?

[00:05:39] Speaker B: I got started in WordPress because I was building websites the long and hard way.

So the first website I ever built was through an old page builder. And then there were some in straight HTML, there were the angel fire and the Geocities and stuff like that.

But then I was dating a guy who kind of taught me the basics of HTML.

Funny side story, I remember CSS being discussed and I was like, oh, that’s just a fad. I’m going to learn Flash instead.

[00:06:21] Speaker A: I remember Flash. I remember Flash too.

[00:06:27] Speaker B: But I was doing all these things the hard way and then there was this really cool tool called Macromedia Dreamweaver. And that was my know when I was making stuff that other people were going to have to do, I would sometimes later use IWeb. Remember when Apple was doing that?

But then I heard about WordPress and I heard know I had a blog that I built with Dreamwaver and my idea of a blog was I just kept adding content to the top of the page and the rest of it would just go down. So you were just scrolling on one.

[00:07:00] Speaker A: Big page, one giant post?

[00:07:04] Speaker B: Well, I didn’t have a concept of post versus page back then. It wasn’t really a thing. And so I heard about blogger and then this WordPress thing. And so I tried it and the separation of page and post blew my freaking mind.

And then I understood the position of plugins as like this code box that you just stack onto a website and it does new things.

And that was it. It was game over. I love it. I built my first WordPress website, I want to say, in 2007, and I’ve been working professionally in WordPress since 2010. I was with Studio Press.

[00:07:53] Speaker A: I love that. That’s awesome. My first website I ever built was on the Genesis framework.

[00:07:59] Speaker B: I am a huge fan, even to this day, it is my default. I understand, Kathy, because obviously there are other options that are just as good.

[00:08:10] Speaker A: There are, and I happen to use them all the time. Not just because I get it, because I work there either, but yeah, for sure.

Well, when you look out and you’ve been in web long enough that you should have lots of good examples, but when you look out across the vast web universe, what are some things that you think that we as web designers, developers, web builders, don’t focus enough attention on that would make the experience better for our end users.

[00:08:36] Speaker B: So when you say end user, do you mean the people that are consuming our content on the website or the people that are going to be managing the back end of the site?

[00:08:45] Speaker A: Usually I mean the end user, the person coming to the website. But you can answer either way. I mean, it’s my show. I could change the rules.

[00:08:52] Speaker B: Yeah, there’s ease of use. Well, because we were talking about all these product people, end user could be the people that are going to use your tool to make their website, and ease of use is paramount. And that is similar for people coming to your website.

As far as what I think, we are kind of missing out on futurist thinking for content.

I would really love to see just better ways to filter content. There’s so much noise and so little signal and not to get all biblical, but it kind of reminds me of the Tower of Babel. The more everybody’s going together and it gets so high that you can’t do anything and it just explodes. And honest to goodness, I feel so much overwhelmed when I’m looking on the internet. Some days I don’t even know where to go anymore and I’m finding myself going back to reading emails.

[00:09:53] Speaker A: Oh.

[00:09:58] Speaker B: The newsletter Emails.

I’m not saying that I’m pro medium or Substac or anything like that, but people that have their emails going through things like that I’m finding are more interesting to me.

I’ll pay $5 for an author I really like because it also kind of makes me say, okay, you paid $5, you better read that email.

[00:10:20] Speaker A: Right, exactly.

I’ve invested in this email.

[00:10:25] Speaker B: It gives me a way to kind of silo the streams, especially for those of us that are active on social media. It just feels like everybody yelling and throwing links at you and I don’t have time to read all of that.

[00:10:38] Speaker A: Everything is a fire hose.

[00:10:40] Speaker B: Seriously, my read later browser folder is just insane right now. I’m going to declare bankruptcy.

[00:10:48] Speaker A: Yeah, I’ve almost gotten to that point with my regular Gmail. There’s like over 2000 emails that are just sitting there. I’ve looked at them all, but they’re still sitting there. I’m about ready to just wipe them all out and start fresh.

[00:11:03] Speaker B: I would love to see us doing a better job on websites of crafting.

If I’m going to be marketing, I would say a persona path. Give me a way to tell you, like, I am interested in reading about music news.

[00:11:19] Speaker A: Yeah, I understand that. Yeah, that makes sense.

[00:11:23] Speaker B: And so that’s also why I’m also really sorry I said also like 16 times, but I’m also really interested in where AI search is going to go and what that’s going to do for content.

What do I think people in WordPress could be doing to make things better for end users? I would say give me an easy way to tell you what I want to read and then also prepare for Google to make that decision for you, because that is coming. This generative search is already taking off and God, the recommendations are getting better and better.

[00:12:04] Speaker A: Yeah, that’s crazy, isn’t it? For sure. And I’m seeing some places do that. Right. So, like, if I open Apple news, it’s not just like what’s happening in the world, but it’s feeding me things like an RSS feed and it’s curating content for me. And the same thing is true now for Google. If you open Google without searching anything and you scroll down, it’s feeding you things based on algorithms. So it’s coming. It’s coming faster than we think it is, for sure. Yeah.

[00:12:32] Speaker B: I know that wasn’t really talking about the wordpress.

[00:12:35] Speaker A: No, it’s.

No, no, I like it. That’s good. That’s really good. And you’re the first person to ever say it, so that’s nice, too. We all say, everybody says accessibility, which is good, and it’s good to have that message go out a lot. But it’s also nice to hear some fresh content, if you will.

[00:12:53] Speaker B: I think accessibility is important too. But, yeah, I’m really glad that it’s finally getting its time in the spotlight.

[00:12:59] Speaker A: Yeah, for sure.

When you think back over your WordPress journey, what is something that you wish you had learned sooner and earlier in that journey that would have made life a whole lot easier if you had only known it earlier than you did?

[00:13:19] Speaker B: I would say, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everybody is so much nicer than you think.

[00:13:27] Speaker A: I 100% agree with that. Absolutely, 100%.

[00:13:32] Speaker B: I would sometimes see forums and things like that and people would be kind of curt. But then you would go to a word camp and people were so nice on social media.

I know people who made their entire careers out of nothing, just helping people, just being helpful on social media.

And I think when you’re new, you’re afraid to say that you’re new.

[00:14:00] Speaker A: Or.

[00:14:00] Speaker B: To show that you are. Exactly. Sometimes you don’t know what would make you look bad, so you’re afraid to ask.

And I wish I knew earlier that you could just ask because I would have gotten so much more done faster.

[00:14:17] Speaker A: Yeah, I agree 100%. Because there’s a fear in asking for help, right? Because you show your hand, if you will, but everybody doesn’t know something. We all are still learning. So it’s tip your hand a little bit, it’s okay. And it actually makes us vulnerable. To be vulnerable makes us human. And to ask for help is a good thing, I think. For sure.

[00:14:39] Speaker B: I think so too. What’s your answer to that?

[00:14:42] Speaker A: Definitely the community. Right? So I had started using WordPress in 2011, and my best friend, her husband, taught me how to use WordPress. And then a couple of months later, he’s like, oh, you know, we have this thing called a meetup. You should come. And the first meetup I went to was all men. The room was dimly lit so that they could show a projector. So here I am sitting in a room with all men in a very dimly lit room, and they were talking about digital ocean, which I had literally just started building one website.

I was drowning in that digitalocean at that point in time and feeling really stupid. And so it was three years before I went back to any WordPress type event and got to know it a little bit better. But if I had stuck it out and realized that that was a one off, that wasn’t the usual way these things ran, I would have been so much better off rather than trying to YouTube things and figure it all out on my own. Because eleven years ago, YouTube was not as good as it is now for all that kind of stuff. So finding answers was not as easy to do. But yeah, finding the community for me would definitely have been a big one.

When you think back over the WordPress events you’ve been to, so meetups, Wordcamps, Wordfest, whatever, all those different kinds of things. Think of one moment that was kind of a pivotal moment to you. Maybe you learned something that really made a difference. You met somebody that inspired you. And tell us about what that experience was.

[00:16:11] Speaker B: Oh, goodness. I would have to say the most pivotal moment for me would have been the event where I got to meet the copy blogger team and I got to meet Brian Gardner and Tony Clark and Brian Clark. And that got me involved in studio press, and that was by far the best on ramp to WordPress I could have possibly imagined. And through it, I got to sponsor a lot of cool people to go to Wordcamps and things like that, even when I couldn’t go from a purely selfish standpoint. Beyond that, I would say getting to go to word camp us in Nashville, that was the first time I was ever in the room for the state of the.

[00:17:10] Speaker A: Oh, OK. Yeah.

[00:17:12] Speaker B: And I was not prepared for just, yeah, I was not prepared for the feeling in the room, and that was pretty pivotal for me, too. And of course, now we’re not doing that anymore.

I just had to be there.

[00:17:29] Speaker A: You did. But you’re right, it was, it was one of those feelings of expectation and being there in the, like, to a lesser degree of things. Like, wow, if I’d only been there when the Berlin Wall came down or those kinds of things that were like, it felt like that kind of excitement for me anyway. So I completely understand.

I always try to think, how would I answer this question? Because I’ve had so many different things happen in my career of a WordPress. And I honestly think if I had to point to something, it would be meeting people in WordPress that I thought of as celebrities and realizing they’re just normal human beings with a know.

[00:18:11] Speaker B: It’s true.

[00:18:12] Speaker A: Yeah. Like, I sat next to Josh Pollock at Wordcamp, Montreal, feeling like, oh, my gosh, he owns a. Like, to me, it was like, mind blown that I’m just having lunch with this, right? So. And then he’s like, hey, did you know that you could send money through Facebook Messenger? So we started sending, like two cent back and forth just to show me he could do it. And I was like, this is so cool. And so for me, it was just like, yeah, we’re just all people, which I love. Absolutely love.

[00:18:39] Speaker B: Yeah. Matt Mullenweg poops.

[00:18:42] Speaker A: He does. He probably gets dysentery like the rest of us, too. You know what I mean? Just a normal guy.


[00:18:51] Speaker B: He’s my ultimate boss, so that’s going to be wonderful. That’s my takeaway. Can you put that on the card?

[00:18:59] Speaker A: Yeah, I’m going to do that.

I’m pretty sure he thinks nobody knows that he does that. So you just completely, like, you just opened that story up. Talk about headliners. Exactly. Oh, my goodness.

[00:19:11] Speaker B: Sorry, Matt.

[00:19:14] Speaker A: So you and I, I know we’ve met each other before, but we really got to start knowing each other when we worked together at the same company. I should say we didn’t work together on the same projects, but we both were together at Liquid Web, and you’ve since gone from Liquid Web over to pressable. So I want to hear about what you do at pressable and what you enjoy about the work there, because you always seem happy. I know that you’re, like, buried under work, like a lot of us are a lot of the time, but you never show up without a smile on your face. So I want to know what makes you tick over there. Tell us a little bit about pressable.

[00:19:46] Speaker B: Well, pressable is unintentionally the best kept secret in WordPress.

We’re working on that secret part.

[00:19:56] Speaker A: We want to tell everybody about it.

[00:19:58] Speaker B: We really, you know, people find out about us and they’re like, oh, my God, how did I not know? In the beginning, there know three managed WordPress hosts. There was WP engine, there was Paigely, and there was Zippy Kid. And Zippy Kid became pressable.

[00:20:13] Speaker A: Gotcha. I’m like, I never heard of that. Zippy.

[00:20:17] Speaker B: Yeah, Zippy kid became, you know, automatic or Matt was an early investor and then eventually ended up owning it. And so we’re part of the automatic family, but we’re kind know, the black sheep of the family.

We don’t get to live on the family compound.

[00:20:35] Speaker A: I hear we’re nearby.

[00:20:37] Speaker B: They invite us over for the holidays, and so we kind of get to run like our own little startup, which is awesome.

That also speaks to my role, which I wear a lot of hats.

[00:20:52] Speaker A: Yes, you always have, though.

[00:20:54] Speaker B: I have, but that’s kind of like the ops chick way to live.

I’ve worked in product and operations and marketing adjacent roles my entire career, and so I love just kind of doing whatever comes that day.

I would say that my secret power is ruthless prioritization.

[00:21:17] Speaker A: I like that.

[00:21:18] Speaker B: I think that right now I’m kind of obsessing about OKRS objectives and key results and trying to kind of map out where I would love for us to be.

We continue to get high ranks on all of these third party performance tests. It’s a really incredible product. We just need to do a better job of telling the story. And so day to day, that’s ultimately where I’m living, figuring out how to continue to deliver the best product possible and how to let people know that it’s a thing.

[00:21:53] Speaker A: Yeah, no, I understand that. It makes sense for sure.

I will give a plug in. I do work for a hosting company, so we’re all competitors in the marketplace. But I want to say that first of all, you very graciously have given me hosting for a couple of different projects that I have. One of them is WP motivate, which is the podcast that I do with Kathy Zant. And just 100%, absolutely.

Our site is so freaking fast that I can’t say enough good things about what you all do there, for sure.

But also, you are hosting, which is another one of my projects, proudly, might I add.

Super grateful for that as well. And that came out of a conversation that you and I had when I was like, hey, have you ever thought about doing this? And you’re like, oh, I don’t have the bandwidth right now to do that. I’m like, well, then do you mind if I take that project that I just told you about back for myself? You’re like, yes, and I’ll even give you the hosting. I’m like, cool. And that’s what it grew into be. So that was pretty awesome that you were able to sponsor that for me and put that we were able to give you top billing, as it were, for both of those sites, and appreciate that so much that you were able to do hosting for things that I think of as gifts back to the community. So ultimately through you. So thank you for that.

[00:23:19] Speaker B: I remain in awe of your contributions to the community, and I don’t think anybody, even myself, fully understand how much you do.

But I know that it’s a tremendous gift that you give us all.

[00:23:34] Speaker A: Well, it’s my passion, so I love it and I love this community. So thank yOu. And thank you for making it easier for me to do those things. For sure.

[00:23:42] Speaker B: Always.

One of the content series that I wanted to introduce is called Hosting for good. And through that, we kind of asked ourselves, well, nobody really likes to hear hosting companies talk about themselves, right? So if we didn’t tell our story, whose story would we tell?

And so we started sharing the stories of some of these incredible organizations that we host.

[00:24:06] Speaker A: Yeah.

[00:24:08] Speaker B: And I have been blown away just hearing about the effect that these businesses are having on the communities that they serve. And the website acts as a hub. And so hosting is really not a very sexy thing. Everybody wants to play with their iPhone, they don’t want to play with the cell phone service. They just want the iPhone to work. I kind of think of hosting like the cell phone service, you just need it to work. But when you consider what you’re powering, it really gives you a lot of pride in the work that you do, and it makes you excited to provide that service.

[00:24:47] Speaker A: I think that’s wonderful. And I think that to have that as one of the tenets that you hold is to be able to talk about those organizations and be proud of not just the work that you all do, but the work that you do makes it possible for them to do the work they do because they’re not worried about their hosting and they don’t have their sites crashing, they’re not getting hacked and all of those other things. And so I think that that’s very commendable.

[00:25:14] Speaker B: Well, thank you. And I would be doing injustice to not note that I ran that idea by you and you helped make it better and you gave me the title hosting. Thank you for that.

[00:25:27] Speaker A: My pleasure. I actually had forgotten that. So happy to help.

There you go. Oh, let me move into our friends.

[00:25:36] Speaker B: Right?

[00:25:37] Speaker A: I know, right?

We talk, we text. I’m like, hey, can I call you? I want to tell you something. You’re like, sure, we’re just going.

I know, exactly.

There was this one time I posted something really silly on Twitter.

I would like to own a cowbell or something dumb like that. I come home and not only did they’re in the other room. Not only did you send me a cowbell, you sent me like, top of the line. Two cowbells, one for every hand. Yeah, babe. Yeah, she’s listening. And I have Cowbell’s vows.

[00:26:13] Speaker B: I’m not sending you no half rate cowbell.

[00:26:16] Speaker A: No, this is top rate cowbell. Right there. Right there.

[00:26:20] Speaker B: Well, only the best.

[00:26:22] Speaker A: Absolutely. So, yes. I love you, Jess. You are the best.

[00:26:25] Speaker B: You know I love you, too.

[00:26:26] Speaker A: It’s mutual. People are going to be like, oh, stop being gooey. Just get to the questions. Okay, let me move into the rapid. Fire them. I don’t really ask them rapidly, but that’s just like the shoot from the hip. They should be shorter, easier for you to get through.

Ready? Here we go. What are two or three must have plugins that you would recommend to somebody building their own website?

[00:26:49] Speaker B: Well, I have to say, I mean, yeah, for sure.

[00:26:53] Speaker A: Right.

[00:26:56] Speaker B: But if you didn’t want to use WSForm, I also like ninja forms.

[00:27:01] Speaker A: They are also another great product.

[00:27:04] Speaker B: I personally have grown to love. Love Jetpack. Controversial statement. I know. But now that they’ve broken it up, I really love using Jetpack on a variety of websites. And I would also say minifi.

[00:27:23] Speaker A: Okay. Yeah.

Can we just tell people, can we make the statement right now to stop saying that Jetpack bloats your website because it doesn’t anymore.

[00:27:34] Speaker B: That is correct. 100% correct.

You know what, though? It used to do.

[00:27:39] Speaker A: It did.


[00:27:41] Speaker B: But you should take another look. It’s been a minute.

[00:27:45] Speaker A: It is not the jetpack of seven years ago.

[00:27:48] Speaker B: This ain’t your mama’s jetpack.

[00:27:50] Speaker A: That’s right.


[00:27:52] Speaker B: That should be a tagline.

[00:27:56] Speaker A: You should pitch that to somebody. I don’t know who’s in charge of Jetpack over there, but you’ve got inroads, so there you go.

[00:28:01] Speaker B: I do. I don’t know that it’ll go anywhere, but it should.

[00:28:04] Speaker A: I like, it should be the unofficial at the very least. Right?

Let’s see. Next question. See, you got me all like, what was my next question? My next question is at any point in your WordPress journey, have you had a mentor, whether it was an official mentor or an unofficial mentor, maybe somebody that you looked up to, tried to emulate and learn from? And who is it?

[00:28:23] Speaker B: Oh, gosh. I’m thinking of three with my last employer, and I’ve got two here. So when I worked with you, I would say Chris Lemma, Carrie Wheeler, and David Eblin.

Chris is no longer with liquid Web, but the other two are still there. They really showed me a lot and taught me a lot and made me a better leader. And at my current role, I get to work with Vic Patel, who teaches me something every single day. He is a phenomenal leader and I really love his perspectives on product.

He challenges me to think about things differently, and I love that.

[00:29:04] Speaker A: That’s wonderful. Absolutely.

My next question. You can’t say anybody that you just said, so you got to think in a man. I know. Well, it’s not interesting if you just keep saying the same people. All right, so who is somebody that you admire in the WordPress community? And why.

[00:29:21] Speaker B: Can I say you?

[00:29:23] Speaker A: It’s more interesting if you say somebody else. But thank you.

[00:29:26] Speaker B: Okay, you know what? Then I’m going to pick on our girl Kathy. Because Kathy Zant fights battles that people do not understand. She is so smart and so strong and I don’t know how, but she is so stoic.

She will stand in front of you having dealt with things that no one wants to think about, and she will get the job done, and she will get the job done well and professionally. And my God, I respect the hell out of that woman. Plus, she’s really freaking pretty humorous and.

[00:30:07] Speaker A: She can do all that and still get her daughter to the horseback riding lessons. I mean, she really is all that in a bag of chips. Yeah.

[00:30:14] Speaker B: So I’m going to go. Cathy’s aunt, by the way, do not sleep on her technical prowess.

[00:30:21] Speaker A: Homegirl, amazing stuff. Yeah, she does.

If you have a couple hours to kill, ask her about security because she has a couple hours of fresh content she can share with you at any particular moment in time. She’s amazing. She really is. And she’s my go to for all those things. When Lastpass had their issues, I’m like, okay, Kathy, who do I go with next? And she gave me recommendations and I was like, thank you. I’m done with them. On with the next. So she’s pretty awesome.

What is something that you still want to learn in WordPress but that you haven’t tackled yet?

[00:30:58] Speaker B: I could do a better job adapting patterns.

I am slowly working my way through blocks and Gutenberg and all of that stuff. Full site editing still scares me a little bit, but I’m dabbling. But patterns I really need to do better about save me a lot of time and energy.

[00:31:22] Speaker A: I applied to Duotone once.

Does that get me anywhere near there?

[00:31:27] Speaker B: I think so.

[00:31:28] Speaker A: Why not? Baby steps. Baby steps. Yeah.

I want to do a block that ends up in the block pattern.

The online, what do you call it? Museum.

I’m forgetting words today, but yeah, sounds.

[00:31:44] Speaker B: Like a good objective to me. So let’s talk about your key results tomorrow.

[00:31:49] Speaker A: Let’s talk about that tomorrow. Next question.

What is the biggest mistake that you’ve ever made in WordPress and what did you learn from it?

[00:32:02] Speaker B: I know these are rapid fire questions. What is the biggest mistake?

[00:32:08] Speaker A: I know they’re not easy.

[00:32:10] Speaker B: Well, I’m thinking of a mistake, but nobody wants to talk about that one and nobody wants to talk about old GPL stuff.

[00:32:22] Speaker A: I hear you.

[00:32:24] Speaker B: Okay, I’ll tell the story. This is exclusive for our listeners.

[00:32:28] Speaker A: I like it.

[00:32:29] Speaker B: So back in the day there was somebody who was like, hey, I’m building a site with a whole bunch of clients on it and I want to basically share the code for the themes that you’re selling. I was like, well, GPL says that you could do that, but you can’t use our brand name, but it’s a derivative work. You’ve got this.

Well, fast forward a few months. This person was on social media talking about how they were using the whole library of themes from us. And I got into big trouble for saying that they could certainly use it all. Now, did I make a giant mistake. No, I was well within my legal rights. However, I did get slapped on the hand. And then I was told I was never allowed to offer any more advice on for the rest of my career in the company.

[00:33:27] Speaker A: I understand. Yeah, there’s legality and Then there’s best practices.

[00:33:33] Speaker B: Yeah, well, I mean, I wasn’t wrong.

[00:33:36] Speaker A: No, I understand.

[00:33:39] Speaker B: That was pretty big. I can’t think of ever taking anybody’s site down. I mean, other than that it’s everybody’s. I forgot to back it up enough.

[00:33:48] Speaker A: My biggest one was putting everybody in the exact same hosting space. Like not segmenting out their hosting. And so, yeah, like back on an old siteground when you could just put as many as you wanted in one space, and when one got infected, 30 sites got infected and it took forever to clean that up. Yeah, that’s my biggest mistake. And I learned not to skimp on paying for good hosting and having everybody in their own hosting space so that they couldn’t cross contaminate like that.

I cried. I will not tell you how many.

[00:34:24] Speaker B: Hours wedding thinking of it.

[00:34:26] Speaker A: Yeah, like that sucks. I was also speaking at Wordcamp Montreal, and on my way to driving 7 hours, I got a call from one of my clients that their site was like showing some pharmaceutical site. It could have been so much worse. It could have been showing pornography or something else, right? So I went to the dinner, went back to my hotel room. I spent the entire night awake, fixing, only to realize the next day it was all infected again because I didn’t realize that they had given themselves logins. And so I literally, yeah, I learned so much that day. Anyway, moving on, what’s your proudest WordPress moment?

[00:35:09] Speaker B: My proudest WordPress moment.

This is going to be so cheesy.

[00:35:18] Speaker A: I like cheesy.

[00:35:20] Speaker B: It is pretty cheesy. I would say my proudest WordPress moment would be whenever I get to talk about pressable.

[00:35:28] Speaker A: I like that.

[00:35:29] Speaker B: Like genuinely, I absolutely love our team. I love the work that we do. Whenever I get to talk about a new release, there are people that are behind it, there’s a whole process. And you would love just getting to watch the team for a day because everybody works together and supports each other. There’s no drama and it’s really rewarding. And so whenever I get to share about the incredible work that they do, it’s a really proud moment for me.

[00:36:04] Speaker A: I love that. That’s wonderful.

[00:36:07] Speaker B: But I mean, it’s true.

[00:36:08] Speaker A: I mean, cheesy can. If Cheesy is true, cheesy is awesome. I’m not going to ever look down. Cheesy. That’s all right.

If you weren’t working in web or technology at all, take it all off the table. What’s another career that you might like to attempt?

[00:36:22] Speaker B: Oh, man, I’d be lying if I said some days I don’t think this.

[00:36:26] Speaker A: Question, don’t tell my boss, but same girl, same.

[00:36:31] Speaker B: I think we all do. We all have those days. And the honest answer is, I don’t know.

I mean, when I was in college, I ended up getting a full ride to the university that I went to and I had to deliver a business presentation on what I was going to do with my degree. And at the time I was planning on starting a record label. Earlier I made the joke about like I want to know music news. I still to this day read music industry news because it helps me make connections. If I’m not just constantly reading WordPress News and I’m reading something adjacent, I can kind of fill in the blanks for my own creative outlook when I think about my personal product area.

But I had this wonderful pitch for my record label and right after I started college, Napster hit.

[00:37:22] Speaker A: I remember Napster.

[00:37:24] Speaker B: Exactly. And so honestly, I would love to do something with music, but I don’t even know what that looks like anymore because I follow it, but I’m not involved enough.

I don’t know, but I love serving people. I really do. So whatever it is, it would just have to have that human element to it.

[00:37:48] Speaker A: I love that.

[00:37:49] Speaker B: I want to change the world, but I don’t know what to do.

[00:37:53] Speaker A: We all change it in our own spaces. We can’t change it unilaterally. One person. So you’re doing your part.

[00:38:00] Speaker B: I want to try.

[00:38:02] Speaker A: Right? I know it’s good.

What do you think, Beetle?

What’s something on your bucket list besides changing the world?

[00:38:15] Speaker B: I’m planning a trip with my family to go to London.

[00:38:19] Speaker A: Oh, exciting.

[00:38:20] Speaker B: Yeah.

[00:38:21] Speaker A: I’ve never been excited.

[00:38:24] Speaker B: I want to see an English countryside.

I want to go see a band in London.

[00:38:31] Speaker A: Yeah. Oh, gosh. Take the pictures. I want to see your pictures.

[00:38:35] Speaker B: I absolutely will. But besides that, my husband and I are working our way through a bucket list. I have a map hanging in our kitchen of all of the state parks in Florida and we are checking them off as we. Oh, that’s so finish all the state parks. I think we’ll probably pick some national.

[00:38:54] Speaker A: Nice, nice. Come to the Adirondacks in New York State. I will visit you. We will go out to dinner.

[00:39:01] Speaker B: I see your pictures. So I need to know.

[00:39:04] Speaker A: Yeah, just don’t come in the winter because it’s impassable in the.

[00:39:09] Speaker B: You don’t. I don’t go visit you in the winter, you don’t visit me in the summer. We’re good.

[00:39:13] Speaker A: Yeah, sounds good to me.

Okay, next question. Show us or tell us about one of your hidden talents or something that the WordPress community might not know about you.

[00:39:27] Speaker B: A hidden talent.

I am okay at guitar, though I am admittedly rusty.

[00:39:36] Speaker A: Same.

[00:39:40] Speaker B: I am a fairly decent embroiderer.

[00:39:44] Speaker A: Oh, cool.

[00:39:46] Speaker B: And I am an absolute wizard at Puzzles.

[00:39:51] Speaker A: Oh, nice.

Jigsaw puzzles or just figuring out all kinds of puzzles.

[00:39:56] Speaker B: All of them.

[00:39:57] Speaker A: Next time I can’t figure out I don’t love. I’m texting you. Next time I can’t solve something.

[00:40:03] Speaker B: I love puzzles.

[00:40:04] Speaker A: Figure it out for me.

[00:40:05] Speaker B: Yeah, it gets me excited.

[00:40:07] Speaker A: I like crossword puzzles. I do crossword puzzles every single day. Keep my brain out.

[00:40:11] Speaker B: I have a lot of room to grow with my vocabulary for sure, but I still enjoy them.

[00:40:15] Speaker A: I grew my vocabulary through crossword puzles.

That’s how it happened.

Okay, how can we find you online? On social media, your website, anything you’d like to share? Details of how people can get touch with you if they’d like to.

[00:40:29] Speaker B: ExoJess Frick on Twitter and Jess on Blue Sky. But otherwise it’s all available and linked from

[00:40:41] Speaker A: Perfect. And if anybody is listening to this, you’re not on the website. All you have to do is go to, look for Jess’s episode, and all of the show notes, including the transcript of today’s episode, will be there for you for anything that you would.

[00:40:56] Speaker B: Like to pull from it.

[00:40:57] Speaker A: I don’t know. I didn’t know how to end that sentence. It just kind of rambled there at the end. But it’s all good.

[00:41:01] Speaker B: I was with you, though. I went the whole journey. I was there. Yeah.

[00:41:05] Speaker A: Beginning, middle and end as rambly as it got.

[00:41:09] Speaker B: No, it’s beautiful.

[00:41:10] Speaker A: It was all good.

It’s all good. Is there anything else that you want to talk about today that I haven’t asked you about?

[00:41:17] Speaker B: Yes. I keep getting teased by your cat’s butt on camera.

I see the tail, but not quite the full butt here.

[00:41:26] Speaker A: Hold on.

[00:41:27] Speaker B: Does the cat have anything to say?

[00:41:30] Speaker A: Yes, she speaks frequently. Usually when I’m watching television at night, she goes in the hallway cat her walls, because that’s the most echoey spot in the entire place. Just to hear herself meow at me.

[00:41:42] Speaker B: That is hilarious and also malicious.

[00:41:45] Speaker A: And if you’re not watching this, she’s a black tortoise shell cat with very green eyes. Maybe she could look up again. There she goes. And so if you know anything about torties, they are very talkative animals. They like to talk.

Yes. So there she is. She likes to hang out on my desk while people are talking to me. She can’t hear you because I got my headphones on. But she knows I’m talking to somebody. And she often, like, her tail will just flicker right across the middle of the screen. So she’s a little funny.

[00:42:11] Speaker B: I thought I was going to get a show a few times, and then she just kind of bolted back out of the frame.

[00:42:15] Speaker A: Yeah, she’s a little crazy, that one. But her name is Charlote.

Well, thank you, Jess. Thanks so much. I can’t believe that we’ve known each other this long and finally like, hey, you should be on my podcast. Right? Well, we were talking about it.

[00:42:27] Speaker B: I’m like, so when am I going to get an invite? You’re like, you could come on anytime you want.

[00:42:33] Speaker A: I don’t usually invite people because people find the website or they just be like, can I be on your show? And so I never think to go, hey, you want to be on my. I think there’s probably three or four people I’ve invited over, like Matt Mullenweg, definitely. He didn’t ask to be on the show. I invited him. That kind of have. He does.

I heard that my bosses, I’ve always invited my bosses know. That’s just kind of like, hey, I do this thing. Do you want to be on my show? Anyway, thank you for taking the leap and saying, when do I get invited? I’m like, right now. Hello. Here’s the information. I mean, I have a sticker. I know now I’ve earned it.

More than earned it, absolutely. But thank you. Thank you so much for taking the time.

My pleasure. For everybody else, find out more and I look forward to talking with you. I don’t remember who’s going to be next on the show, but I already have somebody. Oh, Marc Benzekein. Marc Benzekein. I’m interviewing him on Saturday, so he’ll be, I know the next episode after Jess’s will be Marc. And so unless something happens and we have to punt it down the road or who knows? But anyway, that’s the anticipation right now. So thank you again, Jess. Enjoy the rest of your evening and everybody else. We’ll see you on the next episode. Stay cool. Bye.