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The Saga Continues…


WordPress was borne of initial idea seeding via B2 (Cafelog) in 2001, which was launched by Michael Valdrighi. In 2003, cofounders Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little forked B2 and created WordPress, an Open Source blogging and now content management system estimated to power the largest number of websites of any individual product (20%). Through the largest thriving community of any website management system, WordPress has grown to include theme designers, plugin developers, webmasters and site developers. With the power of participants, WP now can power anything from small individual blogs to large multi-user social communities to business websites. Core contributing developers include Ryan Boren, Mark Jaquith, Matt Mullenweg, Andrew Ozz, Peter Westwood and Andrew Nacin. WordPress has just recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary.

WPCommunity was started as an extension of Web Developer Tom Ford who found WordPress in the early days looking for a solution to power a group of large websites that had outgrown their flat HTML infrastructure. Needing more features, WordPress was chosen based on another user who was kind enough to put together a comparison chart of several platforms, with detailed information. The way this individual was able to present this side by side comparison using WordPress ultimately led to giving it a shot...which led to massive experimentation to the different things it could do. The heavy and growing demand for assistance led to offering such, bringing us to today. Tom Ford has contributed to various other development agencies including TC Websites, and WPML. (as well as solving countless technical issues and working through many full website builds).

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To the Future...

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      • ~Highlights~

      • JUL 23, 2014
        MATT: ATTENTION MINUTES, the environmental journalism non-profit I’m on the board of, has received a Knight Foundation grant to “allow newsrooms to better measure audience engagement, beyond clicks and page views, by creating an open-source WordPress plugin that will measure ‘attention minutes’ to determine how long users are interacting with content.” I’m excited to see what they come up with, and that it will be open source, perhaps it’s something we can incorporate into Jetpack down the line. If hacking on that sort of thing and saving the planet is interesting to you, Grist is hiring WordPress developers.

        JUL 23, 2014

        Oli Dale has an article on WPLift that describes what subject matter he’d focus on if he started a site devoted to WordPress today. Throughout the article, he mentions niches that are already well covered such as WordPress news and tutorials. He concludes the article suggesting that new sites about WordPress be narrowly focused on a niche, such as Church blogs or freelancing/product owners.

        I’d Still Write About Whatever Interests Me

        After reading his post, I started thinking about what I would write about if I started a WordPress site today. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I wouldn’t be able to limit myself to just one topic of interest. Writing about whatever interests me is what makes the process of blogging enjoyable. Over the years, I’ve learned that one of the hardest things to do is write about something I have no interest in.

        Repeat Banannaphoto credit: Sister72cc

        Before deciding on whether to start a new site about WordPress, consider whether you’ll be doing it for fun or for profit. This decision will help determine which types of content you write. It’s also easier to monetize a site up front rather than making the change at the height of the site’s success.

        When I launched the Tavern, it was a labor of love more so than an opportunity to make a buck. However, there came a time when the light bulb went off and I discovered I could combine my love for writing about WordPress and make money doing it. It also helped that I had the support of my audience to make that decision.

        People Want To Know About The Business Of WordPress

        For my day job, I read a lot of material about WordPress from all over the web. One of the topics I’ve noticed that people have an insatiable appetite for is the business of WordPress. Five to six years ago, there were fewer businesses and consultancy agencies around WordPress.

        Today, it feels like there are a ton of 1-5 person shops ready to grow their business and are looking for mentors to provide the information they need to make informed decisions. The business of WordPress is definitely an area that could use more content written by experienced and professional consultants, agencies, and enterprise level companies.

        Showcase Sites and Products That Give WordPress That WOW Factor

        A very narrow niche that could be tapped into is showcasing websites or products that give WordPress that WOW factor. There are so many sites built with WordPress, that it would be nice to see a site devoted to the cream of the crop. Sure, there is the WordPress showcase but it doesn’t tell you all of the juicy details that were involved in the making of the site. A site in this niche could focus on case studies, interviews with decision makers, etc.

        One of the reasons I think a site devoted to this niche could be successful is this feeling that WordPress has reached a point where it’s boring. We know that WordPress is used to build websites, large and small, and that it’s capable of doing much more.

        But there is not one site that I know of acting as a living archive that showcases how people are pushing the boundaries of the software. Common terms being used today to describe WordPress are, platform, application framework, and development framework. What does any of that mean and what are some concrete examples that define those terms?

        Using WordPress For eCommerce Is Growing In Popularity

        eCommerce is a WordPress vertical that continues to grow in popularity. I almost feel as though you could do no wrong by starting a website devoted to the eCommerce space. Although I haven’t come across one just yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are sites dedicated to the WooCommerce ecosystem. WooCommerce has turned into a cottage industry and there are always interesting things happening in the space. Not to mention there are plenty of affiliate program opportunities with several of the popular eCommerce systems.

        Three Pieces Of Advice

        WordPress as an open source software project is 11 years old. It’s used on nearly 23% of the web. There are plenty of podcasts, watering holes, and sites devoted to it. Don’t be discouraged by the fact that there may be one or more people covering a niche. Determine what sets you apart from everyone else and go for it. It’s possible to make a dent in the WordPress sphere of influence, Chris Lema is living proof. In early 2012, Lema was an unknown in the WordPress community. Thanks to his hard work, consistency, and ability to educate readers using the power of story telling, he’s become an influential voice. This is why I jokingly say he “came out of nowhere“.

        If you decide to start your journey today, I have three pieces of advice. Be yourself, share your experiences so others can learn, and try to help others. It’s amazing how far these three things can take you.

        What other verticals or topics are under exposed in the WordPress community? What additional types of content would you like to see on the Tavern?