Episode 21 – Kadence WordPress Theme Review

What is Kadence WP?

Why do we like Kadence?

-Fast performance in comparison to most WordPress themes.

-WP customizer is used for the majority of theme settings and customizations.

-Properly leverages WordPress

-block editor first (google can easily render / understand content)

-global styling (color palette / font)

-Quick + quality support

Theme + blocks as one ecosystem with a consistent interface

Not trying to be fancy/cute… controls and styling feel like they belong in WordPress

Free theme includes more than many other premium themes

What problems did it solve? 

Gutenberg, scary! 

Messy third party theme customization UI’s

Pagespeed Insights / Core Web Vitals issues with many themes

What could be improved?

More blocks should be AMP valid
I’d love to see a “Kadence Lite” that doesn’t get any new features as the community grows

Its confusing AF to know if you need pro or the membership

More starter sites

Slight tweaks in UI to make things more intuitive (need example)

Better defaults for when you first install the theme

A few Favorite Kadence photography sites:

https://larsenphoto.co/https://beatrizveray.com/
https://www.tirvingphoto.com/https://inloveandadventure.com/
https://lavendermoonphotography.com/https://www.cliveblair.co.uk/
https://flitphotography.com/https://theoutlovers.com/
https://briannaparksphoto.com/https://www.alexbucklandphotography.co.uk/
https://carissalyn.com/https://www.shellcreekphoto.com/
https://www.davefullerphotography.com/https://www.jenndispirito.com/
https://nelya.net/https://www.matthewlimphotography.com/
https://wasabiphotography.com/https://www.rochellehepworth.com/
https://www.allisoncorinne.com/https://166photography.co.uk/
https://www.thesmythcollective.com/https://www.danielsmyth.com/
https://danielmclean.co.uk/https://www.kevinheslinphoto.com/
https://www.autumnlynnephotography.com/https://dawnbyhamphotography.com/
https://lemonsandantslifestyle.com/https://olgakuzminskaya.de/

Professionally Designed Templates / Child Themes for Photographers:

There are a handful of designers that are currently selling templates and themes based on Kadence. This number should be growing in the near future, as Kadence releases their cloud based design library.

Larsen Design Co
The Design Space
Summerlyn Studios
Restored 316 Designs

(more coming very soon)

Podcast Transcript

Corey: Hello and welcome to episode 21. Welcome to the SEO for photographers podcast by fuel your photos. It's your boys, Dylan and Corey here today. We're going to be talking about our current favorite WordPress theme.

Dylan: Which one is that?

Corey: Why? I don't know was your

Dylan: favorite? I mean, my site, well, I say it's currently on a cadence and it's on there.

They're free WordPress theme. That's kind of blown up. Uh, it finally got listed in the WordPress repository a few months back and I think I saw the past 30,000 installs or something like that. That's a lot.

Corey: Yeah. For, uh, for up and coming thing.

Dylan: An upstart WordPress theme in 2020.

Corey: Interesting. It's interesting to think about like what the current ecosystem of WordPress themes is and kind of where it's come over the years.

That might be a good way to start this episode. So you have some context about why we're talking about cadence specifically and tows. Typically what I mean is how has WordPress theme development changed since WordPress 5.0,

Dylan: okay. Interesting. Yes. So. I would even, I would even start maybe before 5.0 slightly.

And I would just say that in the beginning, uh, WordPress was very basic and the, the theme would kind of dictate your design and you'd have plugins to kind of bring in some functionality. Um, and people wanted that platform, but kind of, they, they all urged for more. Designed abilities, like do it yourself, drag and drop you design

Corey: stuff.

Right? So like, even so clarifying what you're saying even more, uh, these early themes were designed to the point where when you install the theme, that's basically what you got. You didn't have the ability to edit much other than the text and the colors. Um, but maybe the options were pretty basic. Yeah.

Dylan: Yeah. When you bought that theme, you were, you looked at the demo and you wanted that site.

Corey: Man. That's funny thinking of that far back. I mean, it's not that long ago, but it's so, I mean, I remember doing it between like seven and 11, somewhere in that range is kind of that early adoption of WordPress. I think.

I mean, obviously it's earlier than that. If, if you're talking about the very, very early adoption, but I'm talking about when it really started becoming for photographers in the photography world, I didn't really see much of WordPress before 2007. Yeah.

Dylan: Yep. And then you had the, kind of the era of the page builders starting to come in, and a lot of them were tied to specific themes.

Um, you had divvy, you had, uh, gosh, what are the

Corey: other kind of, I mean like before Devi, even it really started where these themes would have more and more complex theme options, panels that would allow you to change. More colors and fonts, and then they, then they started giving you maybe some more, um, page layout options that you could choose for each page.

Uh, then you started seeing things like, like Genesis coming out and being, uh, trying to be different with the way that they were using, um, sections as a builder. Like in my mind, the early Genesis is kind of what I think of as one of the first, um, To go in this direction of kind of blocks that are editable individually.

Uh, and then, I mean, maybe I'm wrong. I don't really know that much about that, that time period of WordPress, but that's the first time I started to see it. And then you had like, I can't remember what it was called at the time, but it's currently a. What a uses the, um, he bakery or who knows what the heck we're all at this point.

Yup. Yup. But, um, anyway, that whole framework, what was it called back in the day?

Dylan: And I think of that as well. Um, I definitely remember buying a Genesis membership and then I also had whatever the theme bakery thing is

Corey: called. Yeah. Something often forest probably is where you been.

Dylan: Absolute trash. Yup.

Corey: Um, but anyways, that basically turned into a look.

We can like add sections individually to pages to start building them. And then when Devi came out, it was even, you know, more flexible and customizable, more widgets that you could add. And then they started making it a visual editor. Yeah, then, I mean, kind of going fast through this timeline, but then Elementor, and I mean, obviously even before, did he, there's more context there.

I'm not trying to like give her a perfect history. There's history. People are gonna be like, what about Beaver builder? Yes. I know there's other players in the game talking about kind of where the big trends went from Devi over to well Elementor and Devi are kind of like the big competitors for page builders, but like, okay, go back to the photography industry.

Yeah, because we also kind of, during this time, we've kind of skipped over the origins of pro photo and flow themes. Yup. Yup. So you talk about those a little

Dylan: bit. Yeah. I mean, they kind of took the ideas behind having that page builder. They, they both built their own page builders. Um, they both built their own backend customization, uh, pages and that kind of their own process for laying out the page and they.

W we're tailoring their themes strictly to photographers and what a photographer would need. So it made it a lot more easy or easier for the typical photographer to just output a decent looking photography site.

Corey: Yeah. So basically you had all these different development teams working towards this goal of creating an ecosystem that made editing WordPress websites easier, and they're all working in their own direction and their own.

Uh, ideas of how I build or should work on WordPress. And it started to get really muddy when you start talking about like what's in a theme versus a plugin, is this even really a theme anymore? And then it started to get to the point, like with element or for a theme, all you need is just a few basic files.

And then elementary has more of a theme builder than it is a page builder. Uh, and so all of these companies have been working in different directions. And then with WordPress five, it's actually happened a little bit before that with project Gutenberg, but whenever WordPress five came around, Gutenberg got rolled into WordPress core as the WordPress block editor to replace the classic editor.

Totally. This is when things really started to change.

Dylan: Yeah. And for like on the, the technical side, it, it makes it, I, in my opinion, easier for developers to build, uh, Blocks and sections of a WordPress site and give them functionality. And it, from a, from a WordPress user extent or a side, I think it, it makes the, it gives me the functionality in the WordPress backend to actually create a website.

And the way that I always had wanted. More or less

Corey: kind of, yeah, it's pretty interesting to think, like WordPress as a, uh, what do you even call it? Just like WordPress itself with all the developers working on this open source project saw that all these private companies were like, Hey, we want to build in sections for every page where we're having to create these page builders to build like this.

And then, you know, WordPress looking outside of WordPress and say, look, everything is going block-based from. You know, just things like react over to things like Squarespace, right? Like all of these things are widget slash block-based sections, but we're breasts still had this really weird clunky editor where it's like you open a page and you've got this.

Open big white box with the kitchen sink at the top of all these different options you have. And that's it. And then to add to that, you either had to take over with a page builder or you had to use advanced custom fields and things like that to add like sections and do all this custom coding. So WordPress is like, you know, if this is the direction everything is going, we've got to get ahead of, or not even get ahead of it.

We've got to catch up and create. A framework that allows developers to start creating block based themes block-based designs. Um, that should be a core element of WordPress. And so. With much, uh, friction, they made it. So, yes.

Dylan: Yeah. Uh, our developer friend talks about that being like the, the end of WordPress, like the, the fights that happened during that, uh, development process or in the ruined WordPress for him.

But yeah,

Corey: but it's interesting because I think a lot of that ended up. So it took a while for people to start coming around to. Okay, well, we've got to start developing for the block editor, but then especially, you know, 2020 as the pandemic was hitting, I feel like. A lot of these software companies that were now on lockdown, but could still sit there and develop and didn't really have anything else to work on.

Or maybe they were laid off their job and they had to go home and start coding or whatever. I don't know. It just seems like there was a huge wave of people who are starting from scratch, working on WordPress block. First themes. Yeah. In my mind, cadence is. Currently one of, one of the front runners in that space.

It's interesting because I would say maybe they're the first popular theme that decided to go block first, without regard for element tour, uh, and other page builders, because you had Astra, you've got. Um, page builder framework, you've got, you know, several others ocean. They were, they were all created to be easily added onto, by page builders, like Elementor and then cadence comes along and they're like, ah, that's not our priority.

We'll try to make it easy for you to use that. But actually our priority is the block editor. Yeah. And we're going to make some blocks to go along with it.

Dylan: Yeah, I agree. I feel like they were there the first or one of the, not the first, but they were one of the best underdog teams to go after that. I am surprised that Genesis was a huge early supporter. Um, a few of the main, like big theme. Companies heavily went towards block editor, but yeah, I'm just, I'm still,

Corey: I'm still wondering why did cadence break out?

Like why didn't, um, co blocks that are atomic blocks? Which one, one of them was bought by GoDaddy, you know, or. Another one was bought by one of the other big companies. GoDaddy has an amazing theme. Isn't it called? Go. Yeah, I think

Dylan: so. And it's it's, I mean, it's, it checks a lot of boxes.

Corey: I'm surprised that, you know, with that kind of funding, they weren't able to take, go and code blocks or whichever or atomic blocks of Cameron, which one, and run with it and like really get it to take off.

Yeah. I think maybe one of the things that drew me to Cannes in the first place. First heard about it from my friend Scott, they were using it at Imagely as a basis when they were trying to get rid of page builders. And he was like, listen, this is legit. It's got, you can do pretty much anything. And this was a really early days of cadence when he told me about this.

And I kind of said up, I just left it alone for six months or something. When I came back to it, I was, I was using Astra at the time. And the reason I switched over to cadence was because cadence in the free theme was making it possible to build the types of. Headers that you could only build with the pro version of any other theme out there.

Yep. And so I was pretty much set with the free option, giving me better flexibility than any of the other premium themes that I was messing with. And I was like, well, that's cool. And they had the blocks to go with it.

Dylan: Exactly. Yeah. I think it was. For me, same thing. The, the headers and footers are great.

Like the, the core of it's the, does everything I want, but then I, I checked out their, their blocks and was blown away because it replaced, I think I was running one or two, uh, aftermarket or premium block sets and this one just does it for me.

Corey: So. Okay. Let's talk a little bit about now that we kind of did a little bit of a history lesson to kind of what landed as on.

Cadence and why we're here and why it's important. Um, what, what do you like about cadence overall? What are some of the other things?

Dylan: So I would say that the lack of bloat is pretty nice. You can tell that they develop in a way that performance is, is on their mind. Um, If you're in their Facebook group, you'll see people posting their different page, speed insights, tests, and GT metrics scores.

And on, on the typical cadence site, it's like someone second loading times. It's just, it's wild in comparison to some of the other themes that you'll see out there. Uh, so, so that's great. Um, and then. I think that the, the way that they keep all of the styling decisions and layout and everything, that's typically in like your theme settings inside the WordPress customizer is like, that's like what seals the deal

Corey: for me?

I mean, it's how WordPress themes should be developed at this point. Exactly. I feel like ocean and Astra were some of the first to like, uh, take that. Concept mainstream, obviously people who are developing in WordPress for a long time have been like, listen, that's the whole reason for the customizer, but all these themes kept trying to push a separate themes panel, theme options panel.

And, uh, yeah. So we started finally saying let's put it all on the customizer. Yeah.

Dylan: I'm so used to being in the themes that, that don't use the customizer that like, I would just never open it because it would be overwritten and wouldn't work and didn't. I have the proper preview and didn't have any the

Corey: things that were useful.

Yeah. I think that's, that's an important distinction to make right. There is that a lot of the themes that photographers are used to flow themes and pro photo included are overriding. What would normally happen within the customizer and forcing you to do it through their own interface?

Dylan: Yeah. And I will say in general, the small teams decide are designing an interface.

Aren't going to have the results that a, uh, large, more or less open source project like WordPress is going to do. Like the WordPress customizer, I think is a much better experience than the typical third-party theme

Corey: settings. Yeah. Panel. And you have to, I mean, like, I understand why. These specifically for photographer, websites were trying to make their own theme options.

They're listening to the feedback that they're getting from their specific customer base and saying, here's the options they want to edit. And let's make that all in one place for them within our theme, instead of like trying to figure out how to make it more intuitive to use WordPress is in that time, somewhat clunky customizer.

Yeah, that's true, but I mean, we're, we're there now, right? Like now it just makes sense to use the customizer. It's, it's become pretty much standard procedure for theme development. Um, what I love about it, like to take it a step further is that the customizer options are congruent with the block options.

They seamlessly work together so you can set defaults in the customizer and then they carry through to the pages and the blocks. Um, and that you can, you know, once you select your defaults within the customizer, you can override those defaults in the right places within blocks, but it will recognize that there was already a default set, like this kind of communication from customizer to block options is exactly how I feel it should work.

Dylan: Right. And like taking that, like even further, just the fact that it has global styling, like, uh, so often on the. Other kinds of photography platforms, tr try changing all of your headings or changing your color palette. Like if you wanted to try a dark theme or dark mode or something, it would be a nightmare.

Like you're probably gonna have to go into individual pages and start changing some stuff you're gonna have to track down. Like probably do these custom CSS. Like cadence just makes that like, Hey, here's three clicks and you can. See what like a green theme for your site looks like, or here's Navy blue.

Um, it's, it's an admits. Amazing.

Corey: Yeah. I mean, I think that's, that's definitely in my opinion, that's how, if you're going to be using WordPress, if you're gonna be developing for WordPress, this is the direction that the future of WordPress needs to go. And, and I think cadence is even still staying ahead of it.

Or maybe not ahead of it. They're sticking with where things are going very. Uh, very well. I think that the, the release of the cloud, um, was it just called cadence cloud? The idea is that they're seeing that developers want to create, they don't, they don't need to create themes anymore. They need to create layouts and like people who are trying to sell designs to businesses like photographers don't really need to start with a theme, says like, let us handle that for you.

Here, you just create the layouts and the design assets, and then you can deliver them directly through a plugin. This is how I think it should work. And it makes a lot of sense. And I think they're just very current with how things should be done within WordPress development.

Dylan: Yeah,

Corey: they've been super agile.

It's funny. I bet that someone who's listening to this who knows way more about WordPress is going to be like, so not how it should be. There's different opinions to me, it works well with the way that I think about WordPress. Let's put it that

Dylan: way. Yep. I agree. Um, and then I think the last, uh, Bullet points that I have about what I like about cadence would be their, their support has been both in their Facebook group.

And I saw that they have a forum that we both commented. We haven't even had to use because we've had no issues. Um, The, I think I posted two different questions in their Facebook group. And I received answers from either the owner or his wife within maybe 15 or 20 minutes. Uh, one of them required some custom development work to solve my issue, which was their menu.

Wasn't working if you enabled amp. Um, and it was kind of a complex fringe issue that most people. Don't use amp and won't need that. And he still agreed that that was something that they should solve. And I think it was in their next update, like a week or so later. Um,

Corey: it'll be interesting to see how that continues now that I theme says acquired them.

Dylan: That's the problem with all things on the internet? Is there. They Al any, anything that's like working out really well in the young days of a company, uh, they get bought out and there's always that risk of it sliding.

Corey: Right. So, I mean, this is something that I feel like we should have started the episode with this, but I, I like cadence right now.

It doesn't mean that I think Hayden's will be the number one WordPress theme of all time. Next year, we could have a different option out there. And I'll say I'm switching everything from cadence over to this new option next month. That could happen. I don't know. I'm kind of trying to follow, you know, who is, who is trying to move WordPress in the right direction, uh, for making it easy for users and designers and all this stuff.

So I, I think kids is on that path whenever they get. Acquired it, it takes the decision-making potentially out of the hands of, you know, a smart developer who had a vision for a product and started implementing it whenever that becomes successful. There's kind of something magical there, you know, like. A small agile team that just is working on what they believe should be done.

And then they get money and lots of users and community feedback, and people nagging them about feature requests. And what do you do with that? Right? Like, do you, do you stick to your guns and say, Nope, we're doing it our way. Or do you start to kind of morph to the ecosystem that I themes needs to support their products and the customer base that.

You know, we'll make more money for the investors. I just don't, I don't know where it's going to go.

Dylan: Yeah. Yeah. I think the history of this sort of project would point slightly downward trajectory, but who knows

Corey: at this point, everything seems fine. We don't have any reason to exactly. Like that's going to be the end of cadence.

It's only see me, like things are ramping up so far. Yeah. But I've just

Dylan: more development

Corey: resources and, yep. I just worry that it will get. But we'll get bloated or too far off this path. The reason I first wanted to get on it, I was trying to run amp on my entire site and I needed a WordPress theme that was amp, uh, friendly.

And, you know, just by default with adding the amp, plugin and cadence, when I installed it and made some stuff with cadence blocks and then turn on yet, everything looked exactly the same. And I was like, wait, what? This never happens. Everything was just automatically amp valid. Um, That's not true of all of their blocks even now, but I worry about seeing patterns.

It's like, they're the table of contents block was amp valid, and now it's not, why is that? It's probably because they had to add some features or make it look a certain way because people were asking for those features, how many other blocks are going to not be valid in the future. But then now my question is.

Does that even matter, as long as the, you know, the core web vitals scores are passed, do we even care if it's amp valid?

Dylan: Exactly. Probably not. Not as much. Yeah. That's, it's a

Corey: weird time to be thinking through these issues. Yeah. Um, let's see here, we got off track a little bit there, but a little bit.

Dylan: Yeah, a little bit.

Um, we kind of covered what problems cadence solved. Uh, briefly just that Gutenberg was kind of this scary idea to most WordPress developers and users and cadence showed that it's possible to completely build based around the block editor and have an easy to use, uh, website experience for both developers and users.

Uh, I think that it's been. Pretty, in my opinion, I've seen a lot of designers start working with cadence. And at first they're like, Oh, this is really limiting. And then they realize, wait, no, this is extremely powerful because once you do build on this platform, uh, I dunno, it solves so many problems. Like, I, I just, I'm trying to, I don't know how to say that, but, um,

Corey: I mean, I think it is interesting if you've worked with Gutenberg at all, or the block editor at all on any kind of default, like let's say you installed 2020, and you just start building something, try and use only the block editor, no builders whatsoever.

No extended extension plugins for the block editor, just plain block. It's painful. You, you have to know CSS to get it, to do anything other than. Maybe, I think there's a default, like font size control, and then there's some blocks. That'll let you kind of hack your way around things like dropping in a spacer block because you don't have any padding and margin controls.

Yeah. It's just like weird. It's very, very limiting and that's on purpose. Right? WordPress is true to develop something that can sit at the core of any theme, any. It should work with anything out there. Right. It's the default editor. So it has to work with everything. And so they have to make it simple.

And what they're there labeling is companies like cadence blocks or plugins, like Keens blocks, code blocks, atomic blocks. Uh, I've already said those three. There's like dozens of these, um, They're they're making it possible for these companies to say, okay, now we're going to take that default. And we're going to add the options for you.

Here's our opinion of how options should be. And it, it lets WordPress be what WordPress should be, which is the ability for developers to add all kinds of different customization options for all different kinds of audiences. So, anyway, that's yes. Gutenberg by itself is. Very limiting. And I think a lot of times when people first start using cadence and they're like, Oh, this is just the block editor it's limiting.

And then you start to play with like the, um, the row layout block and the advanced heading block. And you're like, Oh, I see how I can use this to make the design exactly. Like I want, now the options are there and they're still simple and they're not overwhelming. And it just, yeah, it works.

Dylan: Yep. Uh, and I think the last little thing I have here is.

It, it gets rid of most of the page speed or CORBA vitals or page experience, uh, issues that a lot of photography themes are going to see. Um, I'm looking at my site now. Mine's going to be a bit different cause it's amp, but there's just so little, uh, CSS or JavaScript required. It's just absolutely minimal.

Yeah. Um, Yeah. And I'm, I'm just thinking back to other frameworks, uh, Squarespace show it, uh, flow themes per photo. You're going to have a hard time competing with this performance Devi, any page builder.

Corey: Yeah, exactly. And I've already kind of said this about how the, the customizer is congruent with the block editor, but I think it's important to state this again.

I like the fact that cadence has been very minimal with their design of the interface for the, for the, you know, while you're editing the editing experience. They're not trying to create some new. Block builder. Like if you use Devi and then go try to use Elementor and then go try to use, uh, flow themes, especially, you know, whether that's the flex builder or the older themes, tradies pro photo seven or whatever they're on now.

Like these are all very, very different editing experiences with lots of design in the interface and. Cadence is like, Nope, we're going to try to keep it basically just looking like default WordPress layout, you know, it looks like WordPress and that I like that.

Dylan: Yeah, I do too. What do you think could be improved about cadence?

Corey: Yeah. Um, well, first of all, like I said, I feel like more, I wish they made all of the blocks or at least the majority of the blocks. Yep. Valid out of the box, at least I think I wish that I don't get it.

Dylan: I know. Right. I know saying, but I, I agree. I mean, the atomic blocks is fully amp valid. Um, I think there are a few other fully validated blocks, but you're right.

It's, it's an interesting. It was kind of a bummer to have my site fully amp valid, and then to check back a few weeks later and like, Oh no, this is no flagged. And this is now flagged. And

Corey: you can't either, you can't use your table of contents or you've got it. You

Dylan: can't hide it. It's a mess.

Corey: Yeah, yeah,

Dylan: yeah.

Um, I think that the pricing is extremely, uh, hard to figure out. Um, do you need, Pro-D like, should you just buy specific plugins?

Corey: What does it mean? Cadence membership versus cadence pro versus cadence blocks pro

Dylan: it's really? Uh, hopefully I hope I've I theme streamlines that without just. Raising prices or doing something silly, but, um, that, that needs to be kind of straightened out.

It feels like a weird mess of tangled offerings that they've completely like thought out

Corey: separately. Yeah. Whenever I knew that I was going to build probably at least a dozen sites on cadence and I was going to at least use it for a couple years. I didn't mind paying the one 69 a year, um, membership price, but to me that's just a fair price.

And when I'm using it on. Dozens of sites potentially. Um, it's it's negligible for each site, for sure.

Dylan: Yeah. If you're a single photographer that might be, I mean, that's like buying a brand new pro photo or flow theme or something every year, which I guess a lot of people do. Um, I think, I I'd say it's fair that most people design their site or redesign it every few years, but I've seen photographers do it once a year.

Corey: Yeah. But I mean, you could get a. Just the free cadence theme and then go cadence blocks pro if you wanted, like, I use cadence blocks pro because I like the, um, posts grid block. And there's maybe a couple of other blocks that only work on pro that I use a pretty authentic game changer. So 60 bucks a year is much more reasonable if you're just planning on using some of the few pro blocks that you need.

And honestly, A lot of people could probably just get away with the free blocks too. Yeah. That's the thing I was trying to say earlier about like they're offering more for free than most things do in their premium offering. I agree.

Dylan: I mean, I, I think I've seen a few sites that are just the free theme and the free blocks that were completely fully built out.

Yep. I definitely have. Yeah. Um, I think you definitely have some more starter sites, so they, they have a plugin where you can just like. Import complete, uh, fully built out starter templates. Um, and you can, you can do the whole site, you can do single pages, um, and then tweak from there. And I think they only have like what six or 10 or, or something

Corey: only a handful of decent ones.

Yeah.

Dylan: Yeah. I agree. They could, they could keep building that out a little bit more.

Corey: I think they will and they are, and there's also the cloud now. And I think more and more designers are gonna start jumping on the cadence bandwagon. I think that's honestly, that's, what's going to really propel this forward.

I mean, we're at, you know, 40,000 installs over six or eight months or something like that, um, of being in the repository. And I think it's probably going to kind of grow exponentially to some extent whenever. Some of the bigger, more popular designers start releasing industry specific themes or not themes, but layout packs or whatever they call them.

It's going to grow fast. Yeah.

Dylan: Yeah. I I'm really excited for the, the cloud. Um, just giving designers the ability to create those like single page layouts, a single section layouts and sell those. It's going to be amazing.

Corey: Um, let's see here.

Dylan: We definitely are going to list a bunch of our favorite cadence photography sites, uh, in the show notes.

Um, we did a post in our course group and I was kind of blown away with how many people have switched over to cadence.

Corey: I've been surprised most people have given me the feedback that they really enjoy building with cadence and that they found it intuitive. I probably. Sent at least, you know, 50 or 60 people to cadence who have actually gone with it.

And out of those, I'd say less than 10 have gotten back to me and said, I feel I find this is overwhelming. It's not going to be for everyone. But I'm surprised by the number of people who are like, Oh yeah, this it's easy.

Dylan: For sure. Yeah. It's been great to see. I can't remember how many times, but at least a handful of people where I've had to call that council call and I'll be like, yeah, maybe consider a theme change.

And this is what I'm liking, and this is kind of what I would do. And then like over the weekend, they completely rebuild their site and cadence like, yeah, this is how's this look. And it's,

Corey: mind-blowing better than what you had instant. Right, totally.

Dylan: Um, I did, I did want to bring back, uh, bring up one topic where.

I think one of the benefits of cadence that from a pure SEO perspective, um, is that we've seen quite a few of the drag and drop page builders in the photography space have sizable issues with how Google renders and understands their content. Uh, we first saw this with show it where we would we'd have an SEO client and we would create some content for them that.

We were sure it was going to rank, or they already had this existing content in there. They're wondering why it's not ranking. And we look at it and that the difference between how it looks to the user and how it looks at Google when they crawl and try to decipher this page, uh, was sizable, uh, content would be out of order content.

It might be missing. Uh, it just. It wasn't laid out properly. A lot of this comes from JavaScript or just however their page builders, uh, outputting code and then changing it, uh, behind the scenes. Um, and we saw this, uh, a bit with flow themes, flex blocks as well. Um, so I was not that excited when Philippians things decided to scale flex into entire themes and sites.

Um, Because I've seen this issue and I've, I've seen the real world ranking differences that people have had when they build on that sort of platform, um, for the worst. So, uh, cadence gets rid of that and is just straight forward, HTML that's properly formatted and Google understands. Um, so that's a huge SEO benefit and my PR in my opinion.

Yep. I agree.

Corey: Good point. Um, Oh, I guess maybe one thing we can mention is that we just mentioned that there's going to be more and more designers coming on board, but we've got some people who are already developing for cadence in the photography space, or maybe not developing, but like creating designs.

We have like, Nina has made a couple of themes already or are designs already that you could buy, um, Carissa we'll link to these people in the show notes. Um, as at least one or two, um, Melissa Love has said that she's got one coming soon. Um, the person from is it restore three 16, I think has there, they are popular for, they did a lot of feminine, um, uh, Genesis themes, and now she's making a bunch of stuff on cadence.

So there's already at least, you know, five or six options you could choose from that would get, you started with a design that looks professional and designed. That would be great for a photographer. I would say within six months, you'll probably see at least a couple dozen options available. Um, but right now there's at least a handful.

So starting from a design might really save some headache. If you don't want to build something from scratch. That's awesome. We've also seen a few people in our, our course group who have had a designer create something for them, uh, just in whatever design software they like to use. And then they've gone to something like the cadence user group on Facebook and found someone to just build that design out for them on cadence.

So, yeah, that's an option as well. You know, you can always have someone build it for you if you don't want to try to learn how to use cadence from scratch.

Dylan: That's awesome. Yeah. I reached out to cadence. I think it must have been a year, almost a year ago. And I wanted to do similar where I had a design from a designer and I just wanted them or somebody to just build it for me.

And they were so busy at the time and they said that all of their designers were currently like eight plus months out. Um, But the community has grown so much and there are so many more people building a cadence. Now that it's actually something I should look at again. Yep.

Well, cool. Um, I think that's pretty much our thoughts on cadence. Uh, it's the current favorite of both of us that likely will change at some point, but for now, cadence is. Pretty good way to go if you're on WordPress. Yeah. I

Corey: mean, I think what I would end with is don't get caught up on having to be loyal to cadence, but the things that we've talked about in this episode, things about, uh, if I'm picking any WordPress theme right now, I'm going to be looking for someone who is developing for theme options to be inside of the customizer.

They're creating custom blocks for. Uh, for the block editor as probably a separate plugin, um, they're lightweight and potentially amp friendly, uh, you know, making, putting performance at the core of their development process. These are the big things I'd be looking for. And so there's a lot of players that I would imagine are probably, there's probably at least a dozen companies that neither of us have even seen yet that are.

What's going to be next. That already is out there. Right? It's just, maybe it's got a few hundred users or something. Um, that's how cadence started. So, I mean, they're out there already, if you see one of these and you're like, Oh, should I use that instead of cadence? I mean, do some research and figure out how it works for you.

If you know enough to not be happy with cadence, for any reason, you should probably know enough to know what you're looking for, but yeah, for now it's great. And I'm going, gonna keep my eye out for. What else is out there? Um, one more question for you that, sorry. I know we were trying to wrap it up, but I just thought I had one more thought too.

Okay. So my question is, what are your thoughts on stacking WordPress block plugins? Yeah,

Dylan: I was actually going to my, my, my question was similar. Um, my thought process, when you said that, like, Hey, like, this is just what we'd like for now, but there could be something else on the, uh, In the future was what, what am I Gracian from cadence look like?

And I was thinking that changing the theme itself would probably take 15 minutes. Um, I've changed many sites over to cadence theme, and you pretty much just have to go through and set up your fonts, set up your color palette, set up your, a header and your footer and like

Corey: defaults of wits and sidebars and things like that.

Yeah.

Dylan: Yeah. Tiny, basic setup. And so that would be expected changing to a different theme, but I'd probably have to leave cadences block plugin live. Until I rebuilt in a different plugin if I was choosing to do so. Um, and so if I was going to a different platform or like a different theme and block plugin, I'd probably have to run both side by side, um, at least for some, uh, amount

Corey: of time, which is kind of what we're doing with the fuel, your photos site.

We still got a little bit on some pages

Dylan: Shereen. Okay. Yeah. Um, so yeah, I think that that. Would probably be okay in the short run. I don't think it's the best case, but, um,

Corey: the biggest concern for, for that in general is the security risks for things getting outdated as time goes by. I don't think cadence is in any trouble of that any time soon, especially since they just got acquired by a major WordPress investor.

Um, you know, they're, they've got years and years of development runway at this point. But like, I I've seen so many of these security issues, especially there's one particular company that keeps making these, uh, it's like ultimate add-ons for and there's element or, and divvy, like whatever the ultimate ad-ons suite, it just keeps having performance or not performance, uh, PR uh, security issues that keep getting hacked and creating back doors and all that.

I'm like, That's I've seen so many people who have installed element tours and then ultimate add-ons for Elementor or whatever. And they keep it running because elementary didn't have quite the widget they wanted. So they decided they would install another plugin to get this one widget, man, I just, Hmm, I,

Dylan: yeah, I almost wonder if that company is a front for like some hats, right?

Uh, Especially when you realize that like those elements or pro plugins are just like special styling to existing elements or blocks and shit, like it's nothing

Corey: complex, pretty much what anything is though now with any kind of blockage. Exactly, exactly. But I mean, I don't know. I think it goes back to this mindset that people have always talk about this.

When I talk about Squarespace compared to WordPress, where if you're trying to build something on Squarespace and they don't have the block for you to build it. At Squarespace users, don't say, Oh no, I hate this. I'm getting off of Squarespace. They say, Oh, okay. I can't build that. I'm just going to do something else.

Whereas on WordPress, people are like, Oh no, they don't have this one widget. I'm going to go find another plugin that does have that one widget. They don't say, Oh, I'm going to work within the constraints of the one ecosystem I've chosen. They say, we'll keep on adding to this with products made by different developers and different companies.

And. Uh, it just makes a mess in the end. You know,

Dylan: this plugin is six years out of date, are you sure you want to act

Corey: exactly. But anyway, I do think it's probably fine. I mean, WordPress had in mind this idea of a. Uh, block marketplace. If you go and like search for blocks, like as you're adding a block, you can actually search for blocks within that little interface.

And there there'll be results in there that are from, uh, things you don't have installed and you can install essentially you install a plugin for a single block, so WordPress set it up so that, that could be possible. I don't think that that's inherently an issue. I think it's just an issue of people not doing any vetting of these companies or whatever that that's building this software and then letting things get out of date and having more to worry about as far as security, risk and conflicts, and the more you add, the more complexity you get and the more complexity you get, the harder it is to maintain.

So for me, WordPress has to be simple. It has to be my theme, maybe a child theme. If I plan on doing customer development, uh, Block extender. So for me, cadence blocks, um, an SEO plugin, probably right now, I'm actually going back to SEO framework for some of my sites. Um, we haven't talked about that yet, but maybe that should be, uh, an episode of the podcast.

Yeah. But we definitely should anyway. Um, you know, just, and then maybe like WP rocket and, uh, some other security plugin or something it looks for, anti-spam like, I'm trying to keep it under 10 plugins and pretty much all of my sites. The more I add, the more I get anxious about, uh, when I update this, is it going to break?

And the nice thing about cadence is you could literally get away with just the cadence theme and cadence blocks and nothing else. And you could still have a nice website. Yeah. So it's amazing. Anyway.

Dylan: Well, cool. Thank you. That pretty much does it for cadence. Um, let us know in the comment section, if you have a cadence at that you've built, um, And if not check out the, uh, selection of cadence sites that we're going to feature

Corey: down below.

Sounds good. All right. See you guys. Next episode.

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