Turning a plugin or a theme into a commercial product is way more complex than actually building the product, and it has nothing to do with your module’s features. This article depicts all of the commercial challenges in WordPress product monetization.
WordPress powers over 28 percent of the web. With that comes 150,000 plugins and themes, which adds up to over 1.3 billion downloads on WordPress.org alone. It’s truly a powerful platform that can allow for a lucrative plugin business. However, when we examine the space more thoroughly, we find that only less than 5 percent of the products have a paid offering. You may think that these 5 percent own 99 percent of the market, but it’s actually far from it. The monetized items are only 22 percent of total active items. The vast majority of installed and active plugins and themes in the WordPress market actually have no paid offering. Most WordPress Developers Can’t Jump (Do Not Monetize)
A quite interesting post from our own Josh Pollock about who owns what of WordPress.org
I don’t have a problem with paying for services with data. I use Gmail, knowing full well there is no way Google would provide me with such an amazing service if they didn’t use my data to create targeted ads. Similiarly, I use Facebook, Twitter, and other “free” services knowing that I am the product that these services offer to their customers. This is how I “pay” for these services. If they can’t sell ads, then they can’t make money and that, after all, is their objective.
Two WordPress plugins I use a lot, WordPress SEO by Yoast and Easy Digital Downloads, have an option for anonymous data tracking, and I always allow them to do so. I’m happier to be sending my usage data to them than I am to be sending it to Google — which I do without an option.
WordPress itself is a murkier business. I operate a few WordPress sites, all of which are regularly checking into the WordPress.org API, reporting usage stats, and getting update notifications. The ability to get plugin, theme, and core updates via WordPress.org is really convenient.
If installing and updating themes via the WordPress dashboard wasn’t so easy, WordPress wouldn’t be what it is today. I understand and appreciate this.
Using AngularJS for your WordPress plugin's admin screen is awesome. This is known. Roy shows you how.
Before you begin, you must determine what it is you are administering on the site specifically. To keep this simple, let’s say your plugin creates a custom post type (CPT) that is hidden from the sidebar. This use case is simple — you have a CPT to store data,
Relying on the default routes from the WordPress REST API robs you of the true power of this amazing tool and treats it as one monolithic API, not a tool for creating exactly the API you need. Learn how awesome creating custom routes and endpoints is with the WordPress REST API.
Most of the discussion around the WordPress REST API has been about querying the default routes. In that sense, we’re treating it as monolithic API—like the Twitter API, for example. The truth is, however, that the WordPress REST API is not one API, but millions of highly customizable APIs, which can also be leveraged as a tool for making APIs. Yes, it comes with default routes, but, by necessity, those routes are a compromise between tens of millions of sites, including many that haven’t been made yet.
Just like WordPress isn’t just the global WP_Query object, the REST API isn’t just the default API. Sticking to defaults is like having a traditional WordPress project without ever creating your own WP_Query object, or overwriting the default query at pre_get_posts. It’s possible, but not every job can be done with the default WordPress URL routes alone.
The same is true with the REST API.
In a recent interview with the REST API’s co-lead developer Ryan McCue, he talked about how version two of the project is split into two parts—default routes and the infrastructure for creating RESTful APIs. The default routes provide great examples of how to create your own routes.
The system used
Great article on why client-side apps, made possible by the WordPress REST API are such an exciting new development.
With the WordPress JSON REST API (or the WP-API) slated to be included in core by the end of 2015, there are lots of different ways people are planning to use it to build cool things. This article takes a closer look at client side applications using the WordPress JSON REST API, and explains exactly why you should be excited about them.
Web Applications and MVC
The difference between a web application and a traditional website is confusing as the line is often blurred. I won’t get too much into detail, but this article on Vision Mobile can help you better differentiate the two.
You can’t talk about web applications without discussing MVC (Model View Controller) frameworks. Although WordPress is not technically an MVC framework, it can come pretty close. The ability to decouple the three layers means that each layer can be independent and very powerful.
As WordPress matures towards becoming a fully-fledged application framework, the tooling surrounding the platform continues to come on in leaps and bounds. This article goes into details about Docker which enables developers and IT admins to build, ship, and run any application, anywhere.
As WordPress matures towards becoming a fully-fledged application framework, the tooling surrounding the platform continues to come on in leaps and bounds. Over the last three years in particular, developers have moved quickly to embrace best practices which have long since been standard in other platforms. A big part of that overall push has involved fine-tuning approaches to local development environments. We’ve covered classic approaches such as local LAMP installations and experimenting with Vagrant here on the blog before, but one solution, in particular, is gaining an increasing amount of ground – Docker.
In this piece, we’ll introduce Docker as a technology, explain why you might want to use it, and cover a very basic setup for getting started with local WordPress development. By the time we’re finished, you should be in great shape for further exploration on your own.
Let’s start with a general introduction.
Just What Is Docker Anyway?
The folks behind Docker aren’t backwards about coming forwards – take a quick visit to the project homepage and you’ll see it advertised as “the world’s leading software containerization
So without further ado, I present to you 10 of my favorite WordPress blogs: handpicked masterpieces that are well worth the read.
If there’s one thing I love as much as writing blog posts, it’s reading them. And learning about a topic like WordPress is conveyed much more efficiently on a blog rather than on something like a textbook. But make no mistake, I carefully select the blogs I frequent — not just any Tom, Dick, or Harry blogger makes it to my reading list. The main things I look for in blog are: a blogger (s) who knows what they’re talking about, consistent posting frequency, and (above all) high-quality content and depth.
So without further ado, I present to you 10 of my favorite WordPress blogs: handpicked masterpieces that are well worth the read.
WP Beginner is another hugely popular blog that focuses on (you guessed it) WordPress from a beginner’s perspective.
The reason you read WP Beginner will almost certainly not be for a perfect writing style or flawless grammar but rather its clarity. The posts are structured so well, and all of their tutorials are comprehensive and in-depth, without being difficult to understand or overloaded with information.
WPMU Dev is one of the largest producers of WordPress plugins and themes. It has a gigantic user base and (more importantly) a successful
Josh Pollock looks at the Guttenberg editor and asks about how meta boxes and other editor customizations are going to be handled. He did not get a very reassuring answer.
The new Gutenberg Editor, which is slated for inclusion in WordPress 5.0, aims to dramatically improve the editor experience in WordPress by adding easy-to-use, dynamic content blocks. While beautiful, and definitely something I could see myself creating content in, I worry about what the new editor could mean for the future of WordPress. WordPress as a Content Management System (CMS) originated as a blogging platform but has grown far beyond that, today dominating 28 percent of the entire internet. In a post sharing his first experience with the Gutenberg Editor, Chris Lema asks an important question: “Didn’t we want to tell the world that WordPress was more than just for bloggers?”
I use WordPress mainly for ecommerce these days, and most of the WordPress users I speak to use WordPress for their business site or as a way to build a unique application function by cobbling together plugins and a little bit of custom code. More often, they are building a site like this for a client.
I thought that’s what WordPress had become. I thought it has become a complex, highly customizable CMS. The Gutenberg project isn’t halting this progress necessarily, but it
How to turn a specific post format into a microblog within a blog on your site. It's a small thing, but it's how I got myself writing again after a 3 week slump.
I take blogging pretty seriously. When I write a post it has a very specific purpose and tends to be pretty long. I think this strategy has a lot to do with my success; but it has also raised the stakes on blogging to the point where I no longer have a container for a few hundred words I’d like to share. By container I mean a place to publish content longer and more permanent than a Facebook post but less high stakes than a blog post. With that in mind, I decided that I needed a microblog. For a while, I thought that it could be a separate blog, maybe on WordPress.com (more on this below); but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I wanted it to be on my personal website. So, I came up with the idea of adding a microblog to my site using the “aside” post format.
Writing every day is important; however, writing 1500 or more words each day on a very specific topic can be challenging for even the most seasoned bloggers.
In this post I’m going to explain how to create a microblog within a blog, using a post format. I chose the “aside” format; but you could use “image” post format to create a picture microblog, or the “quote” format to create a miniature quotes blog.
This article provides a nice overview and history of SSL certs and what Let's Encrypt brings to the table. It is nice to see Let's Encrypt doing so well.
Though WordPress is increasingly bulletproof out of the box, security is a topic that never really goes away for users. It’s not just the platform itself that you have to worry about, there’s also a much wider world out there full of potentially bad actors with a vested interest in breaking down your digital door. SSL certificates solve one part of that puzzle and have been a rock-solid way of keeping the connection between your website and the average user secure since 1996. Cost and implementation concerns, however, have long stood in the way of their widespread deployment.
In this piece, we’ll cover the recent unveiling of the Let’s Encrypt initiative, its promise of free and easily implementable SSL certificates for all, and how it looks set to radically change the online security landscape. Let’s kick things off with a bit of background.
What SSL Is And Why It’s Important
We’ll get some basics out of the way for those who might be coming at this for the first time. HTTP, the protocol we use to sling information around the web, is unencrypted by default. This means that data can potentially be intercepted and tampered with during its journey.
Over the weekend, researcher Voxel@night discovered an additional vulnerability in the plugin, though a far less intrusive one.
As some of you may have heard, a number of CSRF (Cross-site Request Forgery) vulnerabilities were discovered in the Disqus plugin for WordPress by Nik Cubrilovic not too long ago. The biggest of these issues was unfiltered, potentially harmful data being passed straight to the database without proper sanitization. Though this was being filtered on output, Disqus’s debug mode could potentially be used to extract this raw data and inject harmful code. There were also some issues with nonce checks on various POST requests and a vulnerability in the plugin’s upgrade script. Luckily, the Disqus team moved very quickly to patch these vulnerabilities and released two subsequent updates since June, which addressed these issues.
Over the weekend, researcher Voxel@night discovered an additional vulnerability in the plugin, though a far less intrusive one. While all of the POST requests that are being made to the plugin were addressed with nonce checks in the latest update of the plugin, GET requests still remain open to a CSRF attack. What’s the difference? POST requests are far more harmful, allowing users to inject potentially malicious code straight into the database. GET requests can only
A few months ago, John O’Nolan surprised the WordPress world with his idea of creating a whole new blogging platform called Ghost . The theory in his mind was that the WordPress ecosystem had spent too much time focusing on turning WordPress into a CMS, and had lost touch with its origins in blogging. Though his ideas were echoed positively by many in the community, a few saw the idea behind Ghost as a potential rival to WordPress. Most of the higher end enterprise clients who use WordPress still maintain it as part of their blogging ecosystems.
I will try my best to take a look at the code and explain what Ghost appears to be…and what it is not.
What Ghost is…
Ghost is a new blogging application that, from the offset, is an almost identical—but trimmed down—implementation of WordPress form and function. It does not use any original WordPress code, but after reviewing the source I can see the authors borrowed heavily from the ontology using terms and concepts not necessarily created by WordPress, but that we would associate as established WP Codex methodologies.
Yes, you can use WordPress to power a web and mobile app and the WordPress ecosystem is full of tools to make it happen.
On a recent episode of the WordPress podcast, The DradCast, WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg said that “when you think about it, we’re kind of building a web operating system.” This remark mirrored statements he made in last year’s State of the Word address about making WordPress into a foundation for mobile apps. Not only has WordPress itself evolved into a more suitable tool for app development, but there’s also a slew of new plugins and services available that make it even easier to build web and mobile apps.
Thanks to these developments, WordPress is a relatively easy and affordable option for app development. In this article, I will explain the key questions and concerns you need to address before starting any WordPress app project. I will also introduce you to some options to address these issues.
Back-End: Database and Content Management
When planning how you’re going to store and retrieve data, it’s important to remember that you’re not creating a completely new content management system from scratch. You’re using WordPress so that you can benefit from the years of work that has gone into developing it.
WordPress’s basic architecture of posts and pages can be
In case you are sick of looking at your dashboard as is and want something more visually pleasing...
A responsive concept redesign of WordPress admin —featuring the dashboard, media gallery, iconography, widgets, and colors—has been posted by Melbourne-based UI Designer and Frond-End Developer George Kordas . Imran Hunzai of iHunzai.com called it an “inspirational and out of the box design.” He explained:
The redesign gives the feeling of the new iOS7 design which is more flat with a glassy look.
On Advanced WordPress , a few people questioned the usability of George’s design. One member pointed out that the removal of shadows, bevels, and gradients makes it difficult to discern which parts are clickable, and which aren’t. Overwhelmingly though, people described the design as “beautiful.”
This is what George had to say about his work:
Created in 2011, this design was designed to the current HTML and CSS markup[.] I wanted to create a fresh new look at the WordPress admin panel to create a more current and engaging user experience.
George plans to release the redesign as a free plugin. Follow him on Twitter to get updates on the release date.
What are your thoughts on George Kordas’s concept redesign? Kirby Prickett is Torque’s Editorial Assistant. She hails from the Land Down Under
Vagrant is a system for creating local web servers in portable, highly-configurable virtual machines on Linux, Windows, and Mac. Though there are lots of ways to create a local testing environment for WordPress development, Vagrant is one of the most powerful and configurable options.
Vagrant is a system for creating local web servers in portable, highly-configurable virtual machines on Linux, Windows, and Mac. Though there are lots of ways to create a local testing environment for WordPress development, Vagrant is one of the most powerful and configurable options. In this article, I’ll introduce Vagrant, and I will walk you through setting up VVV, a popular WordPress vagrant setup.
The real advantage of Vagrant is that it’s totally customizable. This means you can emulate your production environment in your local development environment. When done right, this means no surprises when you go live.
Developing with the same technologies as you use on the live server can save you from running into bugs on your live site, which never happened locally since the situation that caused them doesn’t exist locally. For example, how can you know that your site has no problems with NGINX if your local web server is powered by apache? Or, how can you be sure your code is compatible with PHP 5.2 or 5.3, which many hosts still use, if you only tested it in the latest version of PHP?
What is Vagrant?
The heart of Vagrant is the vagrant file, which contains a recipe for creating and
WordCamp US 2017 in Nashville started with a blast and Matt Mullenweg walked on stage to deliver his annual state of the word address. This year's main words were - Guttenberg, Meetups & WordCamps, WordPress Foundation, HackerOne, tide, WP-CLI, Lets Encrypt.
WordCamp US 2017 in Nashville wound down as Matt Mullenweg walked on stage to deliver his annual State of the Word address. The speech delivered the latest WordPress news as well as what to expect for 2018. Gutenberg
A huge focus of last year’s State of the Word was Gutenberg. This year was no different.
Mullenweg said Gutenberg has been the longest feature development WordPress has ever had. It’s been 11 months since the kickoff. In that time it’s had over 4.302 commits.
“It’s really drawn together the community in a really cool way,” said Mullenweg.
It has gone through over 18 iterations, and the team at WordCamp US set up tables in the sponsor hall to let whoever wanted to test Gutenberg and give feedback in real time. They were able to run over 90 user tests.
After Mullenweg introduced the project, Matías Ventura, a developer who has been working on the project since the beginning, came on stage to perform a live demo of Gutenberg. Ventura went through creating a post with the project step by step. He showed what it looks like to add images, embeds, headers, and more.
“The block is there when you need it and disappears when you don’t,”
About the evolvement of WordPress from a blogging tool to an independent application platform, and the huge benefits of going SaaS with your next WP plugin or theme.
The cloud concept has evolved dramatically in the last decade, and it has opened new gateways for businesses. The rapidly diversifying world of SaaS (software as a service) solutions illustrate the value of cloud technology. In fact, according to Forbes, “cloud-based business application services revenue forecasts the market growing from $13.5B in 2011 to $32.8B in 2016, attaining a 19.5 percent CAGR.”
WordPress, which currently powers more than 27 percent of the entire internet, combined with the SaaS application model, opens up an entire world of opportunity.
Using a SaaS Model for a WordPress Product
Because WordPress is open source, developers are continually working to make it better. It’s hard to believe that a simple blogging tool has emerged as an independent application platform. Using SaaS with WordPress is not a new concept. People have already tested the model with custom post types, themes, frameworks, and more.
A lot of plugins can be difficult for beginners to learn how to use. If developers opt for a SaaS solution, the onboarding process becomes easier and users of all skill levels will have a better understanding of the features offered by the plugin.
Freemius checkout looks like a super awesome way to sell WordPress plugins and themes. Check out Torque's coverage!
Freemius today announced Checkout, a new service to help developers sell WordPress products on any site by providing secure checkout, software licensing, and automatic updates. “We created Checkout to help fellow developers be able to do whatever they feel passionate about and make a living from that,” CEO and Founder of Freemius Vova Feldman told Torque.
You can register for Checkout for free clicking “Register for Beta.” You’ll subsequently be asked schedule a 15-minute demo, which according to Feldman will help ensure that each user has all the tools necessary to efficiently use Checkout.
When you have completed the demo, you will be able to go to the Freemius dashboard and start setting up your accounts. Checkout suggests prices but you can add any amount you want for Monthly, Annually, and Lifetime subscriptions. You can also select bulk pricing if you want to bundle your plugins or themes.
Once you’ve selected your pricing preferences, generate your checkout code snippet and add it to your website. You’ll get one code for the actual website and a dummy one that you can test to make sure everything is working the way you want it to.
A great overview of the Customizer and a number of ways to extend it, including existing plugins and custom development.
Way back in 2013, the WordPress 3.4 Green release introduced the Customizer to the masses. If you’re up for a trip down memory lane, here’s the announcement post over on Make WordPress. Not without its fair share of naysayers, the Customizer looked to, and still does, bring accessibility and instant feedback to visual changes you make on your WordPress site. Its humbler beginnings focused on smaller things like changing your site background color or changing your site title, but to anyone who really understood what it represented, it meant WordPress users would have:
The ability to preview changes before making them go live on their site.
A foundation for plugin and theme developers to deliver settings and options according to WordPress best practices.
Needless to say, the underlying value of the Customizer has helped it navigate its teething pains and become a feature that is both meaningful and good to use.
In this post, we’re going to have a look at different ways anyone can leverage the power of the Customizer to extend their WordPress site. We’ll touch here and there on a few development techniques, but rather than give you play-by-play tutorials, we want
Josh shows off cool applications of Blockchain Technology. It's a question of how, not when. Ready for the next tech leap?
Bitcoin — the first decentralized currency — has been around for over eight years now. In the past, I was dismissive of it and other cryptocurrencies. The fact that cryptocurrency like Bitcoin has the potential to radically reform banking is not lost on me but is way outside of the scope of this article. Yes, that’s exciting to me. No, I don’t think crypto is a magical cure for what is wrong with global capitalism, but that’s really not the point here.
When I started looking into things further, and I’m super excited about the technology behind Bitcoin, blockchain.
What Is A Blockchain?
My conceptual misunderstanding of Bitcoin when I first became aware of it, was I thought of coins as being awarded for doing computation. Yes, that is is how Bitcoin works, coins are distributed amongst those providing processing power to verify transactions. It’s a smart way to incentivize adding the computational resources the system needs.
While the coins are created through “mining” they can be exchanged for Dollars, Euros or other traditional currencies. This gives them value and an incentive to convert old currency into Bitcoin.
Great write up by Josh Pollock on the decision making of using Freemius and how it enables him to focus on his product and users.
I think it’s important for WordPress companies to seek advice from those outside of the WordPress economy. While WordPress users have experience in the subject matter, an outsider’s perspective brings fresh insight. It’s one of the many reasons I participate in my local startup culture in Tallahassee. With the exception of hosting, it’s often challenging to explain your WordPress product business. This is in part because people might not see WordPress.org as an avenue to sales since it is not a marketplace. WordPress.org, however, is a great user-acquisition and delivery channel for freemium plugins and themes. Free plugin and add-ons or limited API access have worked really well for WooCommerce, Akismet, WordPress SEO by Yoast, and many other successful product companies.
But, what may seem a little off to people is that freemium plugin and theme developers are forced by the restrictions that come with distributing via WordPress.org to know very little about their users. For example, right now, I not only have very little sense of how my plugin is being used, but I don’t have a way of knowing which plugins it’s most often used with or what version of PHP and WordPress it’s being used
This is the first, of many upcoming articles I'm writing on what changes in the planning and coding as well as the business/ client relationship when using WordPress to build an app. I'd love to know what questions everyone has that I can address as I go on, or if you have any thoughts on what's important to cover. - via Josh Pollock
At WordCamp Miami, which I attended recently, one of the most popular topics of discussion was leveraging WordPress to power mobile applications. At this point, I think everyone is an agreement that you can, in fact, use WordPress to power both web and mobile applications. Now it’s time to answer the questions “Should I use it?” and, if so, “how do I do it?” These questions don’t have one simple answer. In fact, they are highly contingent on the project, budget, requirements, and competencies of those involved.
Like every other type of project, how well you plan it is going to be one of the biggest determinants for whether or not your project will be successful. In this article, I will address the different questions that you need to answer during your planning; and then, in future articles, I’ll delve a bit deeper into them.
It’s important to note that these are only my opinions. Each project is different, and so you will have to answer these questions for yourself on a per-project basis.
Do You Know Why You’re Using WordPress To Build Your App?
Building web applications is very different than building WordPress sites, themes, or plugins, and, how you use it, may invalidate some of
I wrote about WordPress plugin adoption. It's a thing! Check it out.
If you’re a plugin developer with multiple plugins in the repository, it can be hard to make sure they’re all up to date. If you aren’t regularly monitoring all of your plugins, you might get a notice like this: This plugin hasn’t been updated in over 2 years. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress
If a WordPress plugin isn’t updated regularly, it may be considered abandoned. Abandoned plugins can be a security threat and will eventually stop working as it loses compatibility.
Plugin abandonment can happen for multiple reasons:
The developer doesn’t have the time to work on it.
The developer is no longer interested in it.
Supporting a free plugin becomes difficult.
What is Plugin Adoption?
If you maintain a lot of plugins, it can hard to keep up with all of them. You may not be able to update on time or respond to support tickets, and ultimately your plugins go unmanaged and become abandoned.
After seeing a lot of abandoned plugins, the core team found a way to give them a second life. If you’re ready to let a plugin go to a new developer, use the tag “adopt-me,”