About a month ago, I talked about some of the projects that were in the Pressware Pipeline two of which included the following:
- “The Pressware eCommerce Gateway,” my choice of words (not as elegant as they should’ve been I suppose :).
As of today, these two projects are officially launched and I couldn’t be more excited. That is, Mayer is now available for self-hosted installations, and The Pressware Shop is now open.
Behind the Scenes of the Pressware Shop
For those of you who are interested in reading about The Pressware Shop, Mayer For WordPress.org, and everything that I’m working on with respect to Pressware, then please read this blog post.
In short, the blog post covers:
- Details about the launch of Mayer For WordPress.org
- Partners with whom I work in an effort to make your blogging efforts even better
- Information on a 48 hour promotion we have going on with the guys over at Array
- …and more
And there’s plenty of information about all of that, but since this blog tends to focus more on the side of working as a WordPress developer, I wanted to share some of my personal thoughts on why I’ve opted to get into releasing themes, plugins, and other tools, and what my ultimate goal is in terms of these products.
The Target Audience
One of the most interesting aspects of the WordPress economy as it stands today, is that some companies release themes for a variety of niches where as others work to release as many themes as possible and others aim to target a single audience.
I’m of the latter case.
Specifically, I’m working hard to focus specifically on bloggers. That is, I want to build themes, plugins, and tools for people who want to:
- Use WordPress as their primary platform of digital publishing
- Want to use themes and other tools that are as straightforward, easy-to-use, and empowering
That is to say that I want to focus my efforts on providing software for WordPress that anyone can use regardless of if they write 2,000 word blog posts, daily blog posts, weekly posts, or casual posts.
Clearly, blogging is something that I’m absolutely passionate about myself, and I want to help others get from installing WordPress to pressing the ‘Publish’ button with as little configuration (read: frustration) as possible.
On the homepage of The Pressware Shop, you’ll find:
Opinionated Software for WordPress. We take pride in creating high-quality products with the latest standards and philosophies that aim to serve our customers well.
And this is one thing that has always raised questions with those to whom I’ve been talking with prior to launching the shop. Specifically, the question is “what do you mean ‘opinionated?'”
Yesterday, I began talking about the core WordPress philosophies and how I think the economy is getting away from honoring it, respecting it, and building it into their products; however, I’m working to make a concerted effort not to avoid it, but to embrace it.
This means that the work that I produce is not going to include a vast array of options to tweak on your website. The options that it does include will not (well, at least that’s the intent!) be difficult to understand, and will ensure that what you end up purchasing is as closely aligned with the demo and example sites as it is with the core WordPress philosophy.
Furthermore, I firmly believe that just because a feature may enhance the experience a theme, or may add a neat aspect to a theme, it may come at the expense at compromising the vision of the theme. I’m completely open to any and all feature requests and I want to be absolutely clear that I am on my customer’s side when it relates to blogging, but it doesn’t mean that I’m going to be creating themes or features that allow you tweak every nuance of your site.
Instead, you get lean, focused themes specifically built with a single intent in mind and with as little tweaking as necessary to get your words from your hands through WordPress and on to the web as soon as possible.
Anyone who has studied the economics of WordPress (or general economics, for that matter) will know – or will have learned the hard way – that single-purchases with unlimited upgrades and support simply does not scale.
So I’m not offering that.
I’d much rather partner with the people who are interested in working with Pressware’s software than working with customers who are interested in a one-time purchase. I want to make sure that the software you’re getting is some of the most robust, well-built, and well-supported WordPress work that you’ve experienced, all the while making sure that you’ve got access to the support you need to fully utilize your product to become the best publisher possible.
Anyone who has worked with WordPress knows that blogging consists more of WordPress and a theme. In addition, it also includes plugins that can help enhance the experience of both the blogger and the reader.
To that end, I’ve partnered with SearchWP, WP Demo, and WP Migrate DB Pro to give discounted rates on software that I believe helps to further support your blogging efforts.
A Change in Tides
On a bit more of a serious note, I’ve written recently about some of the problems that I believe are currently plaguing the WordPress economy.
Just as I said in my most recent post:
Let’s stop all the talk about how it’s going to happen or how it ultimately will happen, and let’s make it happen. Start making opinionated software for WordPress that abides by the philosophy.
Force this segmentation to happen.
I don’t think that a single person or a single shop can completely shift the market that exists within the WordPress theme economy, but I think that each of us can begin to drive a wedge into it and if I said that I’m not trying to take a hard swing at driving my first wedge but would be dishonest.
I want to see this segmentation happen not just for fellow companies, but for our customers, as well. They – above all else – deserve less frustration, less irritation, better support, and higher-quality products.
I want to do my part in helping to provide that, and I know enough of the people who build things for WordPress wants the same. But if we’re looking for a change to happen, then it might as well start now.
In other others, WordPress all people people involved should be at a better place than we are, so why not start?
A Roadmap of Sorts
To be absolutely crystal clear: I’m entering into this space in order to provide the best possible experience that I can for people who want to publish with WordPress.
It’s as simple as that.
Yes, I have a roadmap for future products, yes I have a roadmap for Mayer, yes I want to help begin changing the course of the WordPress economy, but above all else my loyalty is to the customer and to their ultimate goal of blogging.
Far too long, customers have suffered with half-baked products at a discounted price. That needs to stop, so I’ve opted to not be apart of that aspect of the WordPress economy.
Besides, we live and work in a world where we hop from one moment to the next often without taking in the moment we’re currently experiencing. To that end, I’m not worried about sharing what’s on my roadmap right now.
I blog daily. You know I’m going to cover that stuff in due time :).
Instead, I’ve just launched a shop that’s been eight months in the making along with a product that’s finally available for self-hosted installations.
There’s plenty of work for me to do, and plenty of things for you to read (and perhaps even purchase), so I’m going to focus on that for a bit.
I’ll chat about future plans later.
If you’re a customer, please consider looking into shops – mine or someone else’s – who truly have your best interests at heart. And for those of you who are building things for WordPress, start driving your wedge into the market.
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