Purr: Gutenberg WordPress and how they decided to launch a Sister Brand

Published on April 13, 2022 by Alex Eade

Purr have been a partner agency of ours for around five years now, and we love collaborating with them on projects – as well as on content (in fact, stay tuned to hear us on their podcast very soon!) We wanted to find out more about what they’ve been working on recently – most specifically we picked their brains on Gutenberg, and asked them to fill us in on their new sister brand, Shape Works. Read on to see what Bailey asked Nick – or check out the video for the full interview. 


Nick: Purr is a digital technology consultancy, focused on the development aspects of websites, apps, mobile apps. We do this with a large number of partners in design, branding agencies, people like that, who partner with us to do the design elements for those sites and apps. And we also do a variety of consulting projects. So, a whole host of technical services to do with web! 

 

Bailey: We’ve partnered on a number of webinars and recently, digital sustainability has been a big thing for us. Has it for you? Are people looking for greener websites? 

Nick: I suppose part of the reason that the answer is a ‘no’ to that question is that people are coming to us with quite specific technical responses. So people might be coming to us to say we’re really, really focused on performance. We won’t necessarily be told the focus is on sustainability. 

Often sustainability is a nice by-product of the fact that they’re looking for better search performance and passing core web vitals and things like that. Sustainability does enter the conversation, but generally people come to us because they’ve been told by their SEO agency or other advisors, you really need to work on performance. 

The most environmentally damaging thing you can do with the website is have to rebuild it from scratch, like the average lifetime of a site, an enterprise site, is something like 2.7 years, not very long at all. If we all had a methodology for building sites that meant they were maintainable for longer, easier to support, more flexible for end users, then clients won’t get as frustrated with the site that they’ve got. They won’t constantly go back to their developers for changes and then one day have enough of it and start from scratch. 

If you could go to a site in blocks of five or six years and maintain its quality and ensure it maintains a performance that would be, to an extent, a unique position in the market.

 

Bailey: So is this how you’re finding your new niche, which is Gutenberg within WordPress?

Nick: Exactly. So Gutenberg in WordPress has been a big part of our WordPress approach for a long time. So WordPress is about half of what we do. Gutenberg editor, came out a few years ago and a lot of agencies were reluctant to use it or kind of got their fingers burned to begin. This was something that WordPress released was happening, and they were encouraging people to use it as the predominant way of doing things, but it required a slightly different philosophy. 

It required more work, and it isn’t as easy to do. It requires more skills. And, you know, it requires having a WordPress developer who also understands react well enough to make custom react blocks. You’re building them something that’s really pleasurable to work with on the back end, really flexible can be easily modified or the modular level. And it works towards that philosophy of what we can build you something that’s going to last the longer.

 

Bailey: The longevity is there. This new niche you’re working in. Is there an idea for a new product or a launch? What’s happening there? 

Nick: So it’s a really good question. We did a lot of work on brand positioning – working out what the values of our business or that WordPress part of the business were, and starting to think of it as more of its own entity. 

What we found is we could have approached 20 people as a business overall and half the business was focused on WordPress. Things naturally were falling into two organic pods. 

That means that we’re launching this as a complementary sister brand. It’s called Shape Works, and we’re launching it within the next couple of weeks we’ve got really nice positioning and design for it, but we’re just really keen to feel as though we’re genuinely kind of competing in that market, demonstrating the philosophy behind our WordPress and hopefully able to find our own segment of that market alongside the other great businesses out there doing it.

 

Find out more about Gutenberg WordPress here

Find out more about Purr here