5 WordPress Initiatives That Didn’t Make it Out of 2014

Throughout the course of a year, several new ideas, products, and businesses are launched in the WordPress ecosystem. However, not all of them are destined for success. Here are five WordPress initiatives launched in 2014 that didn’t make the cut.

WPKindness

WP Kindness Logo

Launched in early 2014 and created by Ryan Bell, WPKindness shared acts of kindness that have taken place throughout the WordPress community. The site used a combination of Headway, Gravity Forms, Toolset and WordPress, allowing visitors to submit reports. At the time, I was concerned with a section within the site’s terms of service that explained affiliate links might be used in reports where companies are mentioned, “You understand wpkindness.com might use an affiliate link to the company you are submitting about.“ The concern is a moot point as the site is offline.

WPCollab

Fresh out of WordCamp Norway, Slobodan Manic created a WordPress collaboration group with the idea that working together creates more opportunities to learn. The first task for the group was to create a WordPress plugin and submit it to the directory. Their first plugin, Hello Emoji, successfully made it to the directory and was created by five people from four different continents in a two week time period.

While WPCollab showed promise, the lack of focus and the inability to manage several contributors from across the world caused the project to lose momentum.

Feuilles

When Editorially closed its doors in May of 2014, it took all of its cool writing collaboration tools with it. A new project called Feuilles picked up where Editorially left off with an app that provided some of the features Editorially users loved most.

Feuilles

Feuilles allowed users to publish to Github, WordPress.com, and Dropbox at the same time. Alex Duloz, one of the project’s creators, aimed to make Feuilles a language/device agnostic CMS with in-house publishing. Unfortunately, the project never made it that far and the website devoted to the project fails to redirect properly.

WP School

WpSchoolFrontPage

Created by Pooria Asteraky, WP School launched with the goal of bringing WordPress education to the masses. Classified as a (MOOC) or massive open online course, the site was dedicated to offering WordPress education and online courses in a variety of languages for people to use across the world. In order to get off the ground, Asteraky created a crowdfunding campaign asking for $25K. The campaign ended with only $1,087 pledged. With a severe lack of funding, WP School never made it out of the gate.

Netropolitan

netropolitan

Netropolitan also known as the “Facebook for Rich People” launched in late 2014. The site used WordPress and BuddyPress to provide a social network for those who had nothing better to do with $9K. After paying a $9K entrance fee, it cost $3K a year to continue membership. Netropolitan was featured on CNN and other major news outlets across the globe.

When Vice asked the site’s creator James Touchi-Peters, why he created the site, he responded, “This whole thing started because when I was traveling in my work, I wanted to get in on a social event where basically I could meet people like myself.” There must not be a lot of people like him because the service recently closed. Touch-Peters left the site online with the following message:

It is with a sad heart that I report that the Netropolitan Club has been closed. In the end, there was not sufficient interest in our service among the targeted demographic to operate it as a going concern. (That said, I am happy to report that all paid members received full refunds.)

I personally would like to thank all those involved in this enterprise – employees, contractors, publicists, et.al. – as well as the paying members who took a chance on an unprecedented business model. I also would like to thank both the public and the worldwide media for their relatively intense interest, whether positive or negative. (It’s not often that Jimmy Fallon tells jokes about your business on ‘The Tonight Show’.)

Thanks again, one and all. I’ll see you at the concert hall

There’s Likely More Than 5

There are likely several more products, ideas, and businesses outside of what we covered on the Tavern, that launched in 2014, but shut down before 2015 arrived. Keep an eye on the Tavern as there are several things that launched that are doing well and in the next few weeks, we’ll update you on how they’re doing.

Would you like to write for WP Tavern? We are always accepting guest posts from the community and are looking for new contributors. Get in touch with us and let's discuss your ideas.

12 Comments


  1. Interesting article @Jeff

    One comment though regarding Netropolitan. They clearly had subscribers, a (very) niche market and some marketing because of the news. With that price range, even if they only had 1 subscriber per quarter or half a year that would already be quite a sum of money for a website that only has a few subscribers. I find it odd that they closed it down instead of expanding it to be something more.

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    1. I’m glad you noted that part of his statement where he says they refunded members in full. That means the site had at least one paying member. How expensive could it be to operate a site like that with members arriving at $9K a pop? Rumor has it though that we’ll find out more details on why the site closed in a upcoming article on the Tavern.

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  2. There’s a line in the film ‘Field of Dreams’ that goes something like “If you build it, they will come” — not really the case in a lot of internet-instances then it seems! Lol.

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  3. I’m a little out of the loop on some stuff, but I hadn’t heard of any of these entities. Guess that might be part of the issue.

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  4. I enjoyed this post and I almost feel like I shouldn’t because I hate to see ideas fail, but with so many “I put a website and now I’m a millionaire” stories it was nice to see that you still need to know how to run a business properly and have have the passion to make it work.

    Nice Job, you guys always have great articles!

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  5. Sadly my own initiative also failed. And that’s purely my fault — got a new job, couldn’t keep up with releasing free products (although, I have 3 themes ready for release), missed the schedule, etc.

    Anyway, quit my job last December, have some money to keep me alive atleast few months — gonna be focusing on wplovin.com full-time :) Already have customized Grunt template (for wp.org themes) ready, which I’m gonna open-source sometime soon (building few themes on it, just to bulletproof test it before the release) + main website redesign is going nicely so far. Year 2015 should be pretty interesting.

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  6. IssuePress seems to have aborted their mission too. You wrote about them in May 2014. Although their site is still online and they say that they are reinventing themselves, their last post is from August 22 of which you can draw your own conclusions. Pity as it seemed to be a very cool initiative!

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  7. There may be more to learn from the cemetery than from the more sexy success stories – kudos for covering it. I wish the best to all who venture a contribution to the WordPress world, but for those whose projects don’t make it, please remember that an honest failure can be valuable contribution also. Don’t die silently!

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