As you’ve likely seen Matt Mullenweg has announced the creation of a new WordPress Growth Council, a group of people and organizations that will focus on accelerating WordPress’ growth in the next months. To apply you have to fill a survey and answer a number of questions. I want to share some of my answers here:
What do you think is responsible for WordPress’ success so far?
Beautiful software does things you don’t expect and reduce the effort for the task in mind. I think WordPress is in this category.
Also its open-source model and its architecture based on core+plugins+themes and the capacity to update, etc. It makes an excellent base to develop websites, online stores and web-based applications.
What could accelerate WordPress’ growth in the next 18 months?
A strong focus in the following key areas:
1) Productivity: there is a ton of data we as a community need to gather, analyze and use to improve the way people interact with WordPress.
2) Neutralization: as a community we need to look at what / how competitors are doing things, draw conclusions about what they are doing well and.. you guess it: copy them.
3) Differentiation: invest in the development of new features, products and services for new customer segments that are currently being neglected with WordPress.
4) Education/Training/Certification/Masterclasses: More focus on professional training events and developer/user education;
5) Events that foster the development of new WordPress based products and services;
What do you think is the best response to the $300M+/yr Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, et al are spending in advertising?
As important as advertising is.. a lot of businesses struggle and fail, not because they aren’t adding new users, but because they are lousy at keeping the ones they’ve got. We have to look at ourselves and see where we are loosing users rather than just deseperately try to reach new ones. Most people use things based on referrals.
While coming out of a WordCamp with thousands of WordPress geeks it’s easy to forget most people don’t know about WordPress and for the ones that do there is a huge percentage that can’t tell the difference between .com vs .org or the 3 main benefits of going with a self-hosted WordPress.