What an honour! We have for you the Beaver Builder Team, the creators of the amazing visual builder for WordPress. Welcome Robby McCullough, Justin Busa and Billy Young who share with us their incredible journey.
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Lee: Hi and welcome to the WP Innovator Podcast. The WordPress Podcast for design and Web agencies. Let's make WordPress work for your business. Hi and welcome to the WP Innovator podcast. This is your host, Ali Jackson. Now we've got an epic episode in store for you today. We've got not one, not two, but three Legends of the High Sea, otherwise termed as WordPress demigods from the mystical Land of Beaver Builder. Yep, that's right. We are talking with the team behind the amazing visual builder for WordPress and we had an absolute blast. So you're in for a treat, guys. So before we crack on, I just want to encourage you to head over to the WP Innovator Facebook group. It's a private group for us all to connect and to support each other. And you can find that on Lee Jackson dev.com/group that's leejacksondev.com/group it's totally free to be a part of and it's great fun and also if you haven't already grabbed my secret plugin list then there's only a few days left to get that and you can grab that on leejacksondev.com/secret list. That's the plugins that have completely transformed my agency. So go ahead and check those out as well. Again, for totally free. All right then on with the show. Welcome to the show. This is Lee, and I am absolutely bursting with excitement to announce three amazing guests. We have with us here, Billy, Justin and Robby from the esteemed Beaver Builder.
Beaver builder team: Oh, hey, Lee. How's it going? Hey, Lee. I was kind of.
Lee: I was kind of hoping as well that my amazing sound effects were going to play, which had applause and everything. And I'm looking at this loading icon saying, Why, damn it.That would have been amazing. It's a nice loading icon.
Lee: In fact, I think it's probably going to start, like in a minute and make us all jump. So I apologize in advance. But guys, thank you so much for being on the show. I'm really excited. People who listen to the WP Innovator podcast will know how much I personally love the product you guys have developed, so I just want to thank you on behalf of the world for creating Beaver Builder. So there you go. It's out there now. Yeah, This feels it feels emotional already, doesn't it? So, yeah.
Beaver builder team: Thanks so much for having us. I was going to say we could do a little applause. It might be self-serving, but..
Lee: That would be so good. But anyway, that's awesome. So if you're not aware of what Beaver Builder is, then Beaver Builder is a visual builder for WordPress. It's a very, very advanced design. It's easy to use, but it's also advanced in ways such as you can create things like modules for it. You can work with pretty much any theme. In fact, 100% of themes I've used it with. It has a worked a dream and it essentially makes the creating of complex layouts super easy for designers and developers. And also the average Joe on the street who just wants to create a site or a whole series of landing pages. So that's what Beaver Builder is and you can check that out at WPBeaverbuilder.com. So guys thank you so much again and I'm intrigued to know how did you all meet.
Beaver builder team: Well, yeah. Hey, thanks for having us. Excited to be here. I met. I met Justin and Billy through a Craigslist ad, actually. Oh, wow. Actually, they have a great story about how they met. I'm sure one of you guys might want to jump in and tell that one. You always do it better than I do.
Lee: Well, yeah, We mean, Billy met before. Either of us were doing web work. He was managing like, a local music venue in town, and I played in a band. And so we used to play there and we met through the venue. And then all that kind of went away eventually. And we both had our different jobs and whatnot, and I was freelancing and Billy wanted to get out of the corporate world and I was looking for someone to kind of help take on the workload that I had. And so we ended up partnering up and starting Fastlane Media, the agency. And then few years later, we found Robby, like you said, through the Craigslist ad.
Beaver builder team: And the rest is history. So the rest is history. It was it was birthed out of a band, more or less.
Beaver builder team: Music. Music and technology brought us together.
Lee: Yeah, that's amazing. Music and technology. I just kind of I mean, I don't know how old you guys are, but I just kind of had 80 seconds movies in my head of young guys starting a band. I guess you guys are more 90 seconds kids. Would that be right?
Beaver builder team: Yeah. I mean, 80s, 90s. Yeah. Children for sure. Yeah.
Beaver builder team: Yeah.
Beaver builder team: Yeah. I caught about half of the 80 seconds.
Lee: Mate. Yeah, so did I. Good times. Good times. So. And just quickly, what sort of music were you guys into?
Beaver builder team: Um, it was like a kind of a mix between, like, punk rock and roll and metal. Um, it wasn't, you know, like, you're, you're straight up 80s punk band, but it wasn't like a straight up metal band either. It's kind of like a hybrid. That's what my band was playing at the time. But I mean, we have a very eclectic taste in music. We listen to all kinds of stuff. Yeah.
Beaver builder team: That's awesome. These guys, they really turned me on to some of the kind of harder stuff I came in with. Like, I was a big fan of some of the jam bands, you know, Grateful Dead and all that and a little bit of reggae and of course, like, you know, all the 90s kind of pop music and whatnot. Sublime rock. But, but yeah, we definitely have some eclectic, um, you know, music days in the office with all the differing tastes.
Lee: So I hope you guys have got a busy Spotify subscription in the office then.
Beaver builder team: Yeah, we did.
Beaver builder team: Yeah, we yeah, we did. We did Pandora. But yeah, the list of like our Pandora stations is pretty good. It's pretty, there's a lot, a lot of, a lot of range.
Lee: Yeah. And I'm wondering, I'm wondering if there's any embarrassing pictures of the guys in a band kind of all those years ago with the sideburns and flares. No, No. Okay.
Beaver builder team: There might be 1 or 2 of me. Yeah.
Beaver builder team: I'm sure there's plenty of.
Beaver builder team: Yeah, plenty of embarrassing pictures, period.
Lee: Oh, mate, I hope there's going to be a leakage on the Internet of them at some point.
Beaver builder team: I don't think you do, Lee.
Lee: April. April the 1st is coming up soon, guys. You know? So if you need an idea on tricks to play each other, you know, embarrassing photos, sharing with the world.
Beaver builder team: Funny stuff out. Well, we have been making memes of Billy recently, so.
Lee: Really? Oh, cool. I've got to see some of those.
Beaver builder team: Yeah, we started. So we. We were distributed. We started off working together in an office. Billy and Justin recently moved a couple hours away. So for the last few months, we've been, you know, transitioning to going distributed and and we've been trying these, trying to do like Slack meetings with all of our team and getting everyone. It's something that we're kind of exploring right now. But we all kind of went off the other day and just started making making Billy memes and we had a couple of good ones, I'm sure. I'm sure we're next, though. I know he's like hard at work behind the scenes, like.
Lee: So. So do you guys have a physical office then, or are you distributed in your own home offices?
Beaver builder team: Yeah, home offices.
Lee: That's great. That's such a cool way to be. We interviewed Matt from Freelance Transformation and he's transferred his entire agency into the exact same sort of setup. So he's got a distributed network of staff across the world, actually. And you guys have just taken on someone in Manchester, I believe, UK. So yeah, it's such a great way of working and takes away that kind of stress of a physical building. Yeah. So..
Beaver builder team: Yeah, we had the office for a number of years, three or 3 or 4 years, but I think we were kind of lucky too, because we always like, we had clients like all over the place. Like, I mean, very few of our clients are actually like in the city that we were working in their different states or different countries. So I think that kind of helped us transition a little bit too, since we were already kind of used to working over the Internet, you know, and then some of the Beaver Builder people too, that like Ben, who had been working with us. But it was definitely a sad time to see the office go. But Silicon Valley house prices kind of pushed us out. So here we are.
Lee: Well, I can't relate there because I live nowhere near Silicon Valley, but I do understand the rents are just astronomical. Yeah, So we're actually getting an office built here in the back garden so that my commute will be down the stairs, out the back door with a coffee down the path at the back of the garden and then in the office at the back. So currently, currently I'm in the utility room which is all kitted out with desks, but still, that's good. Yeah. So the agency started then, was it? Sorry. Billy and Justin started that up originally as freelancers and then kind of transferred into kind of full time agency status. Was it just producing websites or were you doing design as well for print, etcetera?
Beaver builder team: We did actually do a little bit of print design in the beginning. I had done some print design for like clients, like freelancing, and my my job I had before doing the agency and freelancing. I did a lot of print work, but we slowly transitioned out of that and eventually just mostly did web and odd print project here and there, but not something we specialized in.
Lee: Yeah. So essentially you're bread and butter was building websites. Yeah. And when did you get into WordPress? At what point did you kind of realize WordPress was your your jam?
Beaver builder team: Oh man, we did that kind of early actually. We, we started with Joomla. Um, but it was, yeah, it was pretty, it was pretty terrible. Um, so yeah, WordPress, yeah. We started off pretty early with WordPress actually.
Beaver builder team: Yeah. I think probably like we built our first website in 2010 for Fast Lane Media on Joomla. I really liked Joomla as a. Developer back in the day because it was so object oriented and had all the MVC stuff. And I mean architecturally, it was really nice compared to what I had seen in WordPress that looked like a bunch of spaghetti code at the time. But then when we redid our website at the end of 2010, we built it on WordPress because in the span of that year, you know, just for multiple reasons, one of the big reasons at the time was the WordPress editor was just like light years ahead of Joomla. And I think Joomla back end was just too complicated. I mean, it makes sense from a developer standpoint, but from, you know, trying to get a client in there and make edits and whatnot is a nightmare. So yeah, by the end of 2010, I think we were fully migrating everything over to WordPress.
Lee: I'm thinking as well, that was probably about the time. I'm not sure when custom post types came out. I feel like it was around that time. The the first iteration of custom post types in version 3.0 because that was, I mean, I'd used WordPress myself multiple times since really since it was, it was originally called B2. So I'd originally trialled that and then not long after Matt took over and developed WordPress. But it wasn't really until the custom post type post, I can't speak custom post types came out that that kind of really transformed it for me for the business because being able to create different sections for people to manage different data sets was just a biggie for me because post some pages just didn't do it kind of for what our clients needed. Needed a lot more complicated things. That's why people were hurrying towards things like Drupal, which already had post types. So yeah, there you go. True story. Yeah.
Beaver builder team: I didn't realize that that back from the B2 days, I've only read up on that kind of stuff. I definitely didn't have any experience with it myself. I think my first real experience using WordPress as a blog was probably like 2008 or something like that, had done a couple of blogs, 2008, 2009, but never a website. And until 2010.
Lee: If I had a pound for every blog I started originally, I'd probably be a millionaire, right? In fact, leejacksondev is the only blog I've managed to maintain permanently, so I feel quite proud of that. So what what led really to the idea then of Building Beaver Builder? You'd run, you're running this agency, you're producing websites, etcetera. How did you get from that to creating this product?
Beaver builder team: Uh, Robby, you want to take that one? You tell that pretty well.
Beaver builder team: Yeah. Yeah, we we had. We had a couple of clients that came to us. Coincidentally, it was it was right around the same time. But both of them had requirements that they wanted to, to have us build their website and they wanted to be able to take it over and make changes excuse me, changes to it themselves. Um, so yeah, one one client had came to us with a theme that had an, like a page builder include a theme for his theme and said, Hey, I want you guys to use this theme so that I can use the page builder to, to edit it. And then we had another client that we kind of developed a bit of a custom system for them using advanced custom fields so that all of the headings and text and copy and images on their, their main pages were advanced custom fields that they could edit from the back end. And we were working with these clients and we kind of, we just kind of saw the benefit of, of delivering an editable site. And I forget, I forget which page builder it was that we were using, but we had a really bad experience, you know, actually developing the site with the page builder. But after we delivered the site, the client was thrilled with it and sure enough, they didn't come back to us with little changes and edits. And we kind of we had this like, you know, like the light or the sun popping through the clouds moment where we were just like, ah, you know, ha, this is, this is the future. This is what we need to be doing. Yeah. So we went on this kind of like exhaustive search to find, to find, you know, a good front end page builder. And we tried just about everything out there and we just couldn't find one that had the kind of power and simplicity and, you know, front end editing. There was a couple key things that we were looking for and we just couldn't find one. So Justin started hacking away on one. You know, Beaver Builder really started as a side project, and I think he came in one day and he was all, you know, like big old smile saying, Hey guys, check this out. And pulled it up and and you know, had the kind of, you know, foundation or groundwork of of Beaver Builder going. And we were all just, you know, shocked and amazed. And this is amazing. And we kind of kept we kept working on it. And but yeah, it was always the intention from the beginning was it was going to be something we would use internally. And it wasn't until a good deal later on that we were like, Hey, maybe we should try and create a product out of this.
Lee: And we're really glad you did. So little. Did you realize that there was a moment of history in the making when he came in and showed you that on that, you know, on that day? Amazing.
Beaver builder team: Yeah. I mean, it could have really been anything too, because like, you know, I'm a little less these days since I'm so focused on Beaver Builder. But I have been known to hack something together over the weekend and be really excited about it and then it goes nowhere. It just went somewhere.
Lee: I'm guilty of that. I've done so many different plug in ideas. ET cetera, but never then really followed it up. It's just for me, it's more been like, Can I do it? Yeah. Yeah, I can do it. Cool. All right. What's next? Yeah, yeah.
Beaver builder team: Proof of concept.
Lee: Exactly. It's a challenge. Something to challenge you. So we're really get. I'm really glad. Obviously you carried that on. So I'm writing thinking that you used it kind of for a few client projects and then realized, hey, this, this is nuts. We need to we need to productize this.
Beaver builder team: Yeah, definitely.
Lee: So when you got to that stage of productizing it, there's an important thing you have to do with a product and that's give it a name. So who the hell thought up Beaver Builder? Because I'll tell you.
Beaver builder team: What it was. It was a process. We actually didn't. We launched we launched as the Fast Line page builder. And for the first couple of months, we were. We were on the market. Yeah. Fast line media being our being our agency. Yeah. We thought that, you know, it made sense. And one of our, one of our initial customers was a, you know, it was a marketing specialist and he kind of nicely told us or not so nicely, maybe looking back on it. But he was saying, Hey, you guys, your name kind of sucks. And, you know, you guys could really do better if you did this, this and that. And he was the one that kind of prompted us to start thinking about a rebrand and a name change. And then, yeah, it was like a miserable process. I think it took weeks and weeks and we were like writing names on the board and we had all these potential ideas. We just it's so hard to choose a name. And then, you know, you like find a good one and you go over to whatever fast domain search or GoDaddy or whoever you like to do for that. And then it's taken, you know, like trying to find a good name with a.com. Oh, man.
Lee: Well I'm guessing beaver builder.com was taken because you guys did WP beaver builder.com.
Beaver builder team: Yeah Yeah I think it was although I think it came up recently I saw someone pinged me with with a link but but yeah yeah we went for WP Beaver builder at that point. Yeah. We you know got the name and we really liked it. We have a logo guy that we worked with for years through our agency and we sent it over to him and, and he was the one that did the actual logo and the caricature and, and, you know, once we kind of saw that come through, we're like, oh, yeah, this is it. We got to do it. That's great.
Beaver builder team: We love the logo instantly.
Lee: Yeah, Yeah, he's great. The guy are you are you thinking of kind of evolving that brand any further to create a persona around him?
Beaver builder team: That's a good question. I think we you know.
Lee: I'm guessing I'm thinking of the sumo, you know, the way the sumo is, right? So you've got the sumo and then they kind of talk in that language and it's quite appealing. And kind of creates a narrative. I don't know perhaps, whether there was any thought process around that at any point.
Beaver builder team: Yeah, it's definitely something we want to do and we kind of gave ourselves this really playful, you know, we have a we have a lot of room to kind of explore those really fun, you know, like, um, you know, the beaver colonies and all, you know, all the beaver references and names and all that. So yeah, it's definitely something we want to explore and leverage more. I think it's a really fun, it's a really fun logo in there. Yeah, I think we could do a lot more in that in that regard to, to kind of, yeah, play on the whole the whole beaver thing, although that's on one hand. On the other hand, it's a little bit, it's a little bit sensitive depending on, on who you're talking to. Right.
Lee: Yeah. Well I think I put a comment a while back in on Facebook saying, is it am I the only one who gets a fits of giggle like a teenage boy? But I've got several clients because I essentially bake beaver builder into anything I do now. It's just a given. And whenever clients find out what the name is, you know, I just get fits of giggles and I'll get random pictures of of a beaver from the internet or a beaver meme, an animal version and or every now and again, you know, the dramatic beaver clip. Have you guys seen that one?
Beaver builder team: I don't think so. Yeah. That's the one where he does that turns around. Yeah but yeah. Oh yeah, yeah, I know which one you're talking about, apparently. Is that a beaver? Yeah, no kidding. Oh, man. Okay, we need to use that then.
Lee: In your next email campaign. Dramatic beaver when you're announcing your next version. Oh, yeah, 1.7 is released. So. Yeah, so it's actually been quite cool. And it's a great name, easy to remember, and I'm just excited to see where things go really, you know, with you guys with the brand as well. And yeah, no, fantastic. So again, kudos. Now here's a question. One of the things I absolutely love about Beaver Builder is, is the flexibility in I can disable. Modules I don't want people to use, which is amazing, especially because I don't want a client to butcher the site. So if I give them everything, they've got kind of a license to create terrible things. But also it allows me to create custom modules. You've got a really good example script that allows me to create multiple modules so I can essentially build blocks or modules that look exactly like the designer has designed, but then also still give them the fields to fill in and they can then drag it on the page and edit things like colors, etcetera. But we're still keeping them kind of in a structure that the designer intended. Now I love that. I think it's a stroke of genius. Um, who and kind of who came up with that idea and how or what did you imagine the advantages would have been with those modules?
Beaver builder team: Well, I think, um, I guess I could take credit for it, but definitely I don't think anyone actually came up with the idea. It just kind of happened that way because the way that the modules that we have bundled with it are built and how they're registered and how all the logic works for that. I'm trying to think back. I can't remember exactly, but I believe when we launched we didn't have any kind of like documentation on creating modules. So it wasn't until like I created the custom module documentation in the example plugin that it became like, you know, a thing that you could do. I mean, it was always in there from the beginning because we were registering modules that way. Yeah. And there were some other things though that came later. Um, a lot of what we do is based on customer feedback. So once we saw people how they were using it or things they were requesting and whatnot, we added things like the ability to like override a module on a theme, um, and the ability to disable modules. That was an early feature that we implemented from some customer feedback. Um, so a lot of stuff like that. But yeah, just, just kind of happened naturally. I'm really glad. I'm really glad. I think it, it takes a lot of stuff off of our shoulders, you know, if we didn't have that ability then people I think would be expecting more from us in terms of what's available, in terms of content building. But so it allows us in some way to just focus on, you know, the platform itself rather than having, you know, 100 modules available because people can't create their own.
Lee: It's exciting as well because we're seeing kind of the birth of new businesses that are building up as well. So you've got Beaver lodge HQ who are creating. They've created a couple of plugins now. John Um, you know which bundles, a whole load of modules together in two different packages, which adds a whole load of value, especially I think he's focusing on photography, businesses, etcetera. But it's definitely a stroke of genius and like I said, for agencies. So a lot of design agencies will be listening to this and keeping a client on brand or, you know, giving them flexibility, but at the same time giving them the feel of sorry, kind of keeping control of the design whilst giving them flexibility is super important. You know, we don't want red centered comic sans text. Um, but at the same time we want to give that client that that freedom. So it is a brilliant way and actually I guess testament as well to the way you built it, the fact that you've got all those nice, pretty easy to use and easy to understand arrays that you can just fill in and then that, you know, outputs a text box in your options panel. It's just brilliant. So as a developer, as a developer, I love that. So yeah.
Beaver builder team: That's good to hear. I mean, the it's, it is cool seeing what everyone's doing with it. And I mean, when we were doing agency work too, I, I loved that ability. There would be times where like I would just create like a custom, like a header module that had like settings. So um, the client, you know, their hero, they could drop in a hero and it could, they could design it the way they wanted to, you know, within the way we built the website or design, you know, for that particular site. So yeah, custom modules are fun to spin up real quick, ones that are client specific for sure. And also too, I wanted to touch on I know you've mentioned, you know, kind of limiting what the client can do. That's a that's a hot subject that we're we always see out there and we've been talking about more recently, I think I think we can do better in that area. Um, so be on the lookout for, for us exploring that eventually.
Lee: Yeah. No, that's awesome. I do have a question actually, um, for I was Googling the other day, you guys have launched a free version of Beaver Builder. What are the limitations on that? On the. So that's on the WordPress theme. Sorry, the WordPress plugin Codex. What's the what are the limitations there?
Beaver builder team: Yeah, the the free version just it doesn't include very many modules. It just has like basic, like text editing and editing and it doesn't have any of the template stuff. So you can't like save templates or do global rows and, and that kind of stuff. So it's, it's a stripped down version, but it still has all the rows and columns stuff. So I mean if you need to build a page that has any kind of structure, you still have, you know, that whole capability. Um, so they're probably. Go ahead. Oh, yeah. No, sorry. Go ahead.
Lee: No, please. After you.
Beaver builder team: Um, so, yeah, it's probably I was going to say this probably got a couple of other little things that it doesn't have, but I think for the most part, you know, the actual structural editing is there. And then of course you can use WordPress widgets and shortcodes. So if you really wanted to go that route, you wouldn't have to buy the premium version. But I think still a lot of people, you know, like the community and the support and things like that. So we'll see people convert for that reason.
Lee: Yeah, and it's a great way because you're giving people pretty much most of the deal. But the missing part, and I as a developer, as an agency as well, I'd always want to have some sort of paid support. So I know that I've got someone to contact. But equally in the the pro version, we've got the agency license. We, we love the fact that you added in the ability to save rows, save blocks, etcetera so we can use them, we can edit something globally which is pretty cool. And you can also, you know, save specific blocks and just drag them in whenever you need to, which is absolutely fantastic. And we've actually for the, you know, quick budget turnaround sites, instead of doing any WordPress code, we've essentially built the entire site and all the templates and saved them within Beaver Builder so that the client can just drag them onto a page they need to and then just fill in the blanks. It's insanely flexible. So kudos. And then the free presumably though in the free version you can still then add your own modules as well. So if someone was just baking in the free version and then maybe, you know, with some sort of incentive to their clients to upgrade and buy a beaver builder license or something, they could, they could also do that and add their own modules in.
Beaver builder team: Yep. Yeah. The light version has custom module support and we actually have a handful of themes, third party themes that are, you know, use the that activation plugin to recommend the light version. And then they have their own modules that are specific to their theme. And we're going to look at allowing some third party themes to bundle in templates. So that way it's a little nicer for them to actually be able to build like, you know, their theme layouts with Beaver Builder, but at the same time still like limiting the capability to like save templates and things like that, just saving that for the premium versions.
Lee: Well, that's a really good point because I did do a search on Theme forest, which is one of the main sources for WordPress templates, and there are literally two so far that are using Beaver Builder. One is a legal template and I can't remember what the other one was. I think it was a hosting template which allows for the use of Beaver Builder, you know, kind of baked in presumably with a free version. So it'd be really fascinating to see if you guys can kind of tap into that as well, because there's a huge market. I was looking at one theme that's got a leading visual composer builder, we shall call it. I can't remember what his exact name is, had something like 46,000 purchases, which is absolutely insane. So if Beaver Builder could become the visual builder of choice, I know I'd be a happier guy. And I'm sure you guys would be very happy.
Beaver builder team: Yeah, it's an interesting market because, I mean, on one end, you know, mean being everywhere is like, you know, obviously who wouldn't want to be? But at the same time, we also want to like protect our brand. And I think being everywhere has kind of led to some of the negative, you know, talk on some of the other builders that are, you know, that popular in every theme because, you know, if they're you know, if we get into a bad theme with bad support that has Beaver Builder, then it reflects negatively on us. So definitely something we want to explore but also at the same time try and kind of protect our brand as much as we can as well.
Lee: That is a really, really valuable point. Um, so yeah, no, that's true. Just being careful because, you know, yeah, there's at least two composers I can think of that have, have definitely got a negative press because they're prevalent throughout Theme forest. And you know, there was a couple of minor issues, maybe a bad theme, etcetera, and then that just spread, doesn't it, especially through social media. And then people have a preconceived bias against whatever that product is. So that's a really good point. Something I had not even thought of. You know, there's me going for world domination for you guys and boom, you just pointed out a flaw in my plan.
Beaver builder team: Well, we do want world domination. We just want to care about it. Yeah.
Beaver builder team: We're taking it slow. Yeah.
Lee: Yeah. That's the thing I need to learn to do. I think so. I read in your so essentially I'm a an avid reader of the the email you send out. So you're sending in theory to newsletters out a month from memory. It feels like it's two, maybe it's one, but you're sending out a regular newsletter and you announced that you guys are going full time on Beaver Builder. So you're essentially quitting the day job. You're moving away from being a kind of agency that produces websites and you are now, you know, the Beaver Builder team. What kind of made you realize you needed to quit the day job, as it were, and, and, and make that move?
Beaver builder team: Yeah. Yeah. Well, first. Yeah. Thanks for reading those. That's really nice. Really appreciate it. Um, I think Justin and I had the opportunity to go to an event called Cabo Press, which was hosted and put together by Chris Lima. And Chris was was one of the first kind of bloggers and folks to to write about us. And he really kind of put us on the map and then invited us to Cabo Press and has become like a really great mentor for us and for the company. And I forget I forget the exact wording, but it came up in Cabo Press that, you know, it's really hard to have a business that's optimized well for two things. And, you know, we'd always been really reluctant to let the agency work go, even though over the last year, year and a half, beaver builder had been growing and the time requirements of Beaver Builder have been growing and it was getting really hard to juggle the two things. You know, we've we've have we have clients that we've been working with for years and years and years that we all have personal relationships with. And, you know, the thought of of not being there for them was was really kind of scary. And so we were really reluctant to make that that jump. But I think Cabo Press was really the defining, defining moment where we were hearing from multiple people, not just Chris, but, you know, a lot of people were saying, you know, it's it's it's really good if you can just focus on one thing. And we started to pick up enough momentum that, you know, it was it was a possibility. So that was probably the defining, the defining moment. But, you know, it's still a process. Like I still get some emails from from my clients here and there and we're still kind of getting emails from those clients that we haven't heard from in, you know, five years or whatever that are coming back and they need a change or an update. And we're kind of having we're going out of our way to to make sure that they find someone that can take over where we left off. But yeah, it was a little bit of a sad, a sad process in that sense. But it's also it's also really exciting. Like being able to focus full time on Beaver Builder has been has been amazing from what we're able to produce with it now. And you know, kind of the way we've been able to to grow it with that extra time.
Lee: Yeah, it's incredible, isn't it, how much time is freed up and what you can achieve with that as well? Um, I'm just having a quick snapshot here as well. You know, you're starting to put your roadmap out here on Trello. You know, people got more visibility. You can see you guys are just, you know, working on this flat out looking in the support forums as well. You know, I'm seeing really prompt answers, etcetera. I mean, even three months ago or four months ago when you were maybe a bit longer, I was still getting pretty rapid support responses even when you were juggling the two, which was pretty impressive. So you guys are obviously you're you're on it, as it were. I think. Thank you. On it like a car bonnet. I think that's what they say over here. Cool, man. So here's a big question. Maybe you can't tell me a few things, but what are the plans for the future with Beaver Builder? Are there some things that you can tell us that you can tease us with that are going to happen in the next few months or years?
Beaver builder team: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. We got some stuff. Let's see here. Well, we already tapped into one of them, which is the theme bundling idea. That's something that we're. We're working on some some features there, like Justin mentioned, the, the template idea. So we think that's going to be a big one is kind of trying to to shop around and find, you know, find like theme shops that we we support and that put out good quality products and trying to get Beaver builder and more and more themes. We also are working we're just about to roll out We've been working on this behind the scenes for a couple months now, but we're just about to roll out a whole new set of of layout templates. So, you know, when you open Beaver Builder, you have the there's about two dozen pre-built layout templates that you can pop onto your page with the click of a button. And I guess it's probably what, three months ago now we hired a professional designer to start working on more of those and we've got a good arsenal of, of they're, they're phenomenal. I can't wait to get them out the door because we're working with a guy named Thomas and he's so creative and so talented and he's just producing these amazing templates. So those are going to be coming out here soon. Um, I know Justin's working on some really big picture stuff behind the scenes. I don't know if I don't know if that's something we're ready to share yet, but we do have some kind of promise.
Lee: To keep it a secret if you want to tell.
Beaver builder team: Oh, yeah.
Beaver builder team: I've talked about it a little bit. It's. It revolves around the ability to edit or create templates for something like your your blog post or your archive page or even 404 page and that kind of stuff. Oh, sweet. But it's it's, you know, it's in the works right now. I'm actually working with another beaver builder user that does UI work and he's helping. I do some mock ups and concepts for that so we can kind of get really start thinking about how that's going to work because it's going to be such a big piece that obviously we don't want to do a bad job and just rush it out. So we're spending some time kind of figuring that one out right now. But coming, coming, eventually.
Lee: Coming eventually.
Beaver builder team: Yeah, coming soon.
Lee: It's got a ring to it.
Beaver builder team: This this week to actually probably this week there's a chance that we might have to push it off till next week. But we're coming out we're going to launch a new beta version of our theme. We've put a bunch of work into the theme over the last couple of months, and if you look at our change logs, you know, the majority of of our development has been on the page builder. This is going to be a really, really big update and that's coming out. I think it's coming out any day now. So that's going to be available to beta test and then we'll hopefully launch out the actual theme update within a few weeks after that.
Lee: Well, I'm very excited.
Lee: I'd love to be on that simply because my site is actually running. You may have noticed the Beaver Builder template with the child theme, and then I've just added some post types and a bit of override CSS in there. But yeah, essentially it was able to use that out of the box, which was incredible.
Beaver builder team: That's awesome. That's awesome. Thanks for that.
Beaver builder team: Yeah, beautiful.
Lee: Well, I'm excited. I'm excited to take a look at that. That'd be great. Crazy.
Beaver builder team: Um.
Lee: Well, essentially, I've probably got, like, millions of questions. I've got you guys on the phone. I'd love to sit and talk to you for absolutely hours, but we kind of promised when we started the podcast that we were going to keep it to about 30 to 40 minutes to give people kind of a taste of, you know, or an insight into whomever it is we're interviewing, etcetera, and some sort of parting piece of guidance as well that people could go away with to feel like, yeah, I've got something from this that I can go and apply to my business or apply to an idea, etcetera. So as much as I hate to, I'm going to kind of have to slowly bring this to a close. So obviously, thank you for being here. Is there, though, some sort of piece of advice that you would give to an agency who may have a great product idea?
Beaver builder team: Let's see. That's a good that's a good question, I think. This is going to be one of those where as soon as we hang up the phone, I'm going to think of the perfect answer for this question
Lee: Which we could then have another call. There we go. Give me the Answer. Pretending that it was all part of this and then I'll stitch it together and everyone will be like, Whoa!
Beaver builder team: Off the top of my head. I think maybe it would just be to go for it. You know, we kind of touched on it early in the podcast. You know, everyone's got great ideas and everyone's got, you know, side projects that start up. But to, to really, you know, take a take something you start hacking on over a weekend and and, you know, you got to have some faith in yourself and and really you know push it out there and make it make it happen. You know, you've got to take it from idea and you've got to take it from from initial concept and MVP and really run with it. And and I guess guess that and then user feedback and customer service. You know, we listen to our to our customers from day one and, you know, implement it as much of their advice as we could. And we've always focused on providing the best support that we can. And I think that that those those two kind of philosophies of really have really paid off at this point, that it really worked well for us.
Lee: I think as well. One thing that I've really taken from you guys as well is you guys had a problem that you solved for your business. So, you know, that was this visual page editor. So you were actually solving a real life problem. You're using it within your business and building it up and then realized, Hey, this is something that we could productize So someone does have an idea, perhaps do exactly, you know, the same model as the guys at Beaver Builder. You know, this side project start creating whatever it is start And that's exactly how social press was birthed as well. Our plugin, which is a Twitter feed plugin and that was birthed out of we had a problem internally for managing social media. There was not really anything out there that we felt we could use and we just slowly but surely as a side project built this plugin, used it for our own business and then thought, Hey, you know what? We could actually do something with this and launch it. So that's, that's as well something that I have definitely drawn from this conversation. You know, solve a problem that you have and you know eventually a product will be birthed. That's awesome. Thanks, guys. So how can people connect with you? And I'm part of the Amazing Beaver Press. Sorry. Beaver builder. Um, community. So how can people connect with you guys and how can they get involved in the community?
Beaver builder team: Yeah, I think the community is really the best, the best place. We have a Facebook page for the business that you can go and like, but what that really all that really means is that you'll get our Facebook posts in your in your update feed. So if you want to like stay tuned with our our news and updates that's a good that's a good place but there's it's the beaver builders group on Facebook I think we're just getting up over 1100 members now and that's that's really the place to be. We're always in there chatting around and there's a great community of people that are there, you know, asking questions and showing off their projects and helping each other out. Of course, we're on Twitter. We're we have a you know, we have a contact form on our website. If you want to shoot us and shoot us a message. But yeah, if you're going to do any one of those, get in the Beaver Builders Facebook group. It's a really it's a really cool community.
Beaver builder team: And the Slack channel, too.
Beaver builder team: That's right. That's right.
Lee: So do you mind sending me the information for the Slack channel and then I'll make sure that that as well as the Facebook group is all in there in the show notes so that people can go ahead and check that out.
Beaver builder team: Our pleasure. Yeah, that would be great.
Lee: That would be awesome. Guys, I really appreciate your time. I wish we could talk for longer, but I appreciate you guys are all so super busy creating awesomeness, so I'm going to let you carry on doing that. Thanks so much for being on the show. I really appreciate it. And I now have absolutely no idea how to say goodbye to three people in a row.
Beaver builder team: Well, hey, thanks so much for having us and we really appreciate your support. Truly, it means it means a lot. And yeah, it's our pleasure to be here. Let's definitely do this again sooner than later.
Lee: Well, like I said. I've got a whole lot of questions that I would like. I'd love to kind of dig deeper into Beaver Builder. So if I send those over to you guys and then perhaps if you're free again in a few months time, you know, perhaps we can get together again and carry on kind of unpacking what there is and also kind of exploring those new features that you've already teased us with.
Beaver builder team: Absolutely.
Lee: Absolutely Sweet. All right, guys. Well, thank you so much. And take care of yourself.
Beaver builder team: Thanks, Lee. Thank you.
Lee: Cheerio. Bye bye.
Lee: And already it's the end of episode 16. That was so cool. And the guys from Beaver Builder told me afterwards that they had so much fun that they'd love to come on the show again. So obviously I said yes in the interim. Then please do get in touch on Lee Jackson Tv.com forward slash contact with any questions that you might have for the Beaver Builder team.
Lee: So that we can be sure to fit those in for when we have the guys back on the show in a few weeks time. All righty. Remember, go ahead and check out the WP Innovator private group on leejacksondev.com/group. If you have a Facebook account, you can take part. It would be great to connect with you over there. And again a reminder of that secret plug in list that has completely transformed my agency. You can find that over on leejacksondev.com/secret list have an amazing week.