Matt Mullenweg Proposes WordPress Growth Council

During the last WordSesh event held in August 2016, Matt Mullenweg joined the community for a session where he spoke about the growth of WordPress and his thoughts on confronting the project’s external threats. Mullenweg floated the idea of a WordPress Growth Council – a collection of individuals and organizations interested in contributing to WordPress’ growth.

“We have very direct competitors in Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix,” Mullenweg said. “Wix is a public company so it’s actually possible to see their numbers and look at things. This year alone there’s about a quarter billion dollars being spent in marketing by proprietary systems that compete against WordPress. That’s more spent in one year than has ever been invested in all of the WordPress companies combined since they started. That’s more money spent in marketing than for many consumer brands.”

WordPress has grown organically over the past 13 years through the power of its community, without expensive advertising campaigns or traditional marketing initiatives. For the first time, Mullenweg is looking to tap a segment of the community that hasn’t often been directly involved in contributions – people and organizations with large scale marketing expertise.

“I think we could do a lot to figure out a roadmap for countering this huge marketing spending being directed against us, because we are the big guy here,” Mullenweg said. “We are the 26% and they are like a 1%. But even though they’re smaller, they might be cannibalizing some of the most valuable aspects of the WordPress customer base.”

Just before WordCamp US, he formalized the idea with a post on his blog and an open invitation for council member applicants:

Never have there been more threats to the open web and WordPress. Over three hundred million dollars has been spent in 2016 advertising proprietary systems, and even more is happening in investment. No one company in the WP world is large enough to fight this, nor should anyone need to do it on their own. We’d like to bring together organizations that would like to contribute to growing WordPress.

The survey for potential council members asks them to share what they bring to the table as well as a few ideas about the growth of WordPress so far, how it can be accelerated, and how the project can best respond to the millions of dollars competitors are spending in advertising. Responses have already started coming in.

Alexa Scordato, VP of Marketing at Stack Overflow, applied to be part of the council. She said her experience as a long-time WordPress user and marketing executive has motivated her to help improve the overall consumer experience.

“I’ve been tinkering with self-hosted WordPress sites since 2007 and I’ve helped probably 100+ individuals and organizations explore the merits of the .com and .org experience,” Scordato said. “Let’s get real – the relationship is confusing, the admin panel is intimidating, and the learning curve is steep. The product marketer in me is itching to help streamline the value proposition across these funnels to help make it easier to educate and on-board new users.”

She is also an advocate for the open web and sees WordPress as a key player in combating the threat of walled gardens and closed systems that diminish user freedoms.

“While many enterprises are beginning to invest more in open source projects, there’s an imbalance in the force,” Scordato said. “The fact that an open source platform like WordPress powers 27% of the web makes it the greatest agent in defending Internet freedom.”

Nuno Morgadinho, co-founder of WidgiLabs and co-organizer of WordCamp Lisbon, is another applicant to the growth council who published thoughts on what it should address. He thinks WordPress needs to take a hard look at attrition before considering 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,” Morgadinho said. “We have to look at ourselves and see where we are losing users rather than just desperately try to reach new ones. Most people use things based on referrals.”

What Will the Growth Council Look Like?

After WordCamp US, I had the opportunity to ask Mullenweg a few questions about what types of applicants he’s hoping to attract to the council. He said he envisions it will function very much like a working group or mastermind group where council members learn from each other.

“It’s not necessarily only people at larger companies – the biggest contributions will come from people who currently are or have in the past managed some sort of large promotion of something,” Mullenweg said. “It doesn’t need to be WordPress. Maybe they sold Starbucks. Large advertising campaigns are what we’re trying to counter so experience for that is a good precondition for participating in the growth council.”

Mullenweg said he has received applications from people whose companies aren’t in the WordPress ecosystem but who are experienced in this area and want to contribute some night and weekend hours to help out.

“I imagine there will be other folks, including from Automattic, that are going to be spending budgets of tens of millions of dollars in the coming year and want to talk about that,” Mullenweg said. “There are some things that could be shared, including publicly. Everyone who does marketing does some research first. Why don’t we open up that research? That’s part of what I want to encourage. By taking an open source approach to this, doing more sharing both within the council and in the wider WordPress community, I think there’s a lot more to learn.”

Mullenweg said the meetings won’t be completely open, as companies may want to share some confidential information. The council may have some house rules in place to make it a safe space for companies to share what they are doing and to keep strategies safe from competitors.

In 2017 Mullenweg has committed to putting on the “product lead” hat for WordPress core development and it seems he’ll be bringing that same approach to the growth council.

“Advertising is just a product, just like an interface is, just like a website is, just like anything else,” Mullenweg said. “There’s a lot of opportunity there.”

During his WordSesh session he outlined a few initial objectives for the council to tackle, including figuring out why the project has grown so far and understanding where the community’s resources are currently being spent.

“We should try to enumerate and track what is being spent right now, add up all the advertising, affiliate fees, and sponsorships of events,” Mullenweg said. “Determine what that adds up to so we know what is the gap we need to close and the relative arsenals on both sides.”

Mullenweg said he would like the council to figure out a plan for advertising where “we’re not competing with each other but really directing that outward against the folks who might go to Wix or Squarespace.” This particular aspect may be a challenge, as the council will need to avoid the appearance of serving only larger corporate interests in the fight against external threats.

“These external threats and proprietary threats are far bigger than any intra-WordPress open source threats,” Mullenweg said. “We can grow the pie far faster than we can take shares from people in the same pie.”

For the past three years, WordPress has consistently added 2% to its market share each year without any form of advertising. Instead of the project continuing to get by on “marketing happenstance,” as Mullenweg put it in the State of the Word address, 2017 will be the first year that WordPress makes a coordinated marketing effort to change the growth curve.

“The people power of WordPress is probably the thing that contributes most to the usage of WordPress,” Mullenweg said. The growth council’s challenge with advertising is producing that same magnetism on a larger scale without tarnishing the organic quality of the message. Can they come up with a marketing campaign that captures the essence of what WordPress is to the people who love it most? If the council is successful, it stands to have a positive impact on the WordPress economy as a whole.

38 Comments


  1. This is really interesting Sarah – as soon as I finished the article and went through Alexa Scordato write-up…I applied as well. I find it interesting and think there does need to be an importance in marketing to get WordPress to the next level.

    Report


  2. Finally.

    As growth hacker, I’ve been saying this for years. I never understood why WordPress has been so resistant to marketing in the past.

    I’ve attended previous marketing meetings on Slack but was underwhelmed as they had no resources or budget to accomplish anything.

    I’ve applied for this council but I doubt they’ll contact me because no matter how hard I try to contribute to WordPress I seem to be blacklisted for reasons that are still not clear.

    I suppose bootstrapping a WordPress company to over $1 million in revenue and doing internet marketing for a medical research company, Playboy, and a startup with two of the founders of MySpace isn’t enough.

    Internet marketing is my expertise.

    Report


  3. How does any of this benefit the project? Growth for growth sake is pointless. Having a higher installer base than 27% is just about ego basically unless its a result of project becoming better. Look mom my tool is used all over the interwebs. Increasing market share in and of it self sounds more like a goal for Automattic than for WordPress the project. 27% is quite respectable.

    Will the growth council result in actionable goals and project roadmap that benefits the mainstream developer and user? If yes great, if no kill the council idea now.

    Report


    1. +1000, wordpress has always been marketing driven but unlike other things, this is sounds like something that the users have almost zero interest in.

      and in any case wordpress holds only 5% of internet sites and not 27%, with the difference being caused of the 27% not includin low traffic sites for which wordpress was kinda created in the first place.

      Report


    2. Growth isn’t a goal, it’s a result of having the right technology, product, design, messaging, price, awareness, and flows. WordPress has done great here in the past by getting the right mix of those. To see whether you’re doing a good job or not, it’s good to measure things like number of sites or market share, but if any one of those seven elements isn’t working it will slow the rest down: An amazing product no one knows about will wither on the vine. A well-marketing broken product will die too.

      Report


      1. A growth council makes growth a goal in and of itself otherwise it wouldn’t be called a growth council.

        You know if you do a good job or not based on how happy people are with the services you provide not just amount of users and if you are making a profit to continue your work and improve. That is basically what WordPress is about or should be. And profit here is if there is interest from devs to actually want to continue to work on the project and improve it. More users doesn’t mean crap if devs aren’t happy. But based on your StoW you will be using paid devs to a higher degree so I guess that doesn’t matter that much in the end. People that are paid have a greater acceptance of working with some things.

        Report


    3. Having a higher installer base than 27% is just about ego

      No…

      Given enough traction and userbase, any project (proprietary or open source) can challenge another. Proprietary ones are indeed a major threat, because they work with other private companies to syndicate and increase their reach.

      And when one of them is able to usurp another project’s place as ‘the’ project to go to for a certain task, then you lose your share.

      Growing is critical. WordPress should reach and serve as much of the internet as possible to ensure an open internet for all.

      ……….

      I would like to see WordPress take on ecommerce and make it easier for people and liberate them from Amazon’s domination in a service like WordPress.com for small business owners. It could add multitudes of power to Automattic by bringing in major revenue, and also enable and liberate innumerable small business owners from Amazon.

      Report


      1. If the goal is higher install base it is ego. WP is just a simple open source project. It doesn’t really gain much by having higher and higher install base. Heck it might even be detrimental to the concept.

        Growing is critical. WordPress should reach and serve as much of the internet as possible to ensure an open internet for all.

        This is just ridiculous. WordPress have jack crap to do with ensuring an open internet for all.

        I would like to see WordPress take on ecommerce and make it easier for people and liberate them from Amazon’s domination in a service like WordPress.com for small business owners. It could add multitudes of power to Automattic by bringing in major revenue, and also enable and liberate innumerable small business owners from Amazon.

        You seem to be conflating WordPress and Automattic. What you are arguing for here is that Automattic should dominate the WP ecosystem to a much higher degree than they currently are.

        Report


      2. If the goal is higher install base it is ego

        Every single software project or Open source initiative targets a bigger user base.

        Every single proprietary software project targets a bigger user base.

        There is nothing ‘ego’ about it. Its the nature of software ecosystem.

        This is just ridiculous. WordPress have jack crap to do with ensuring an open internet for all.

        WordPress ‘ridiculously’ freed authors, journalists, bloggers not only from proprietary solutions, but also enabled a massive alternative media on internet. Majority of alternative media outlets use WordPress.

        To be honest, Andreas, you dont seem informed enough on the topics you are delivering strongly worded statements….

        Discussion is unproductive. Therefore i am not going to further debate with you after this reply.

        “You seem to be conflating WordPress and Automattic. “

        You seem incapable of interpreting what you need.

        I want automattic to provide an alternative ecommerce central to Amazon and free many users from Amazon’s whims. And in that, yeah, i want automattic to dominate Ecommerce.

        Its domination has been extremely good for publishing via wordpress.com – even ex Greek finance minister Varoufakis has his blog there, apparently for good reason.

        Thank you and good day.

        Report


      3. Every single software project or Open source initiative targets a bigger user base.

        Every single proprietary software project targets a bigger user base.

        There is nothing ‘ego’ about it. Its the nature of software ecosystem.

        When you have the direct goal of getting bigger for no other sake than to get bigger then its just ego. And that is the wrong mindset for growth (I think). Growth comes as a consequence of making good product and marketing. If you start out with the mindset how can with make X better? That is a different mindset than saying how can we reach 30%?

        WordPress ‘ridiculously’ freed authors, journalists, bloggers not only from proprietary solutions, but also enabled a massive alternative media on internet. Majority of alternative media outlets use WordPress.

        An open internet and easierish publishing are different things. WP is not the end all for putting things on the interwebs.

        To be honest, Andreas, you dont seem informed enough on the topics you are delivering strongly worded statements….

        You don’t seem to understand the difference between different concept and conflate everything into one.

        You seem incapable of interpreting what you need.

        I want automattic to provide an alternative ecommerce central to Amazon and free many users from Amazon’s whims. And in that, yeah, i want automattic to dominate Ecommerce.

        Its domination has been extremely good for publishing via wordpress.com – even ex Greek finance minister Varoufakis has his blog there, apparently for good reason.

        So you want a single proprietary provider to succeed and dominate the internet? Well thats good I suppose. Doesn’t exactly go in line with the whole “open internet” thing but good for you for having dreams.

        Report


  4. Why should business experts take precious time from their businesses and families to “apply” for the “opportunity” to provide free marketing help for WordPress? Why doesn’t Matt Mullenweg do what most organizations do and figure out how to budget for marketing and advertising?

    Matt says “We are the 26% and they are like a 1%. But even though they’re smaller, they might be cannibalizing some of the most valuable aspects of the WordPress customer base.” What does that even mean?

    Besides, this “cannibalizing” problem isn’t a “marketing” problem. It’s obviously consumers preferring options that are easier to learn and manage. For even relatively tech-savvy people, WordPress sites are too frustrating, too time consuming, and too expensive to learn and maintain. WordPress sites also require researching and relying upon numerous different vendors.

    So web design shops charge $5,000 or more and can take weeks (or months) to build even small websites. Plus it can also cost 1,000s per year to properly maintain even a small WordPress website. On top of that Matt wants free marketing help?

    How about instead investing in making WordPress sites much more user-friendly? :)

    Report


    1. As many participants manage millions of dollars of budget already, some even tens of millions, they probably aren’t looking for remuneration. It’s probably better to think of it like a friendly lunch between folks trying to learn from each other in ways that will help their business, not take away from it.

      I agree that WordPress is too hard, and can be too expensive to set up for many folks. That’s what the entire project is trying to be better at with every release. We’ve come a long way — to develop WordPress from scratch would cost tens of millions of dollars in development time, something every person who downloads WP gets for free. (That’s why some of the largest sites and media are adopting WordPress every day.)

      Report


      1. Hi Matt, I highly respect your incredible success with WordPress. But even you agree that WordPress is “too hard” and “too expensive.” So more or better marketing obviously isn’t the answer. It’s really just putting lipstick on a pig. Do you not agree? I’m an entrepreneur, not a web designer or developer. So if I were you, my focus would be to figure out how to fix WordPress instead of trying to get others to help keep it growing despite its significant drawbacks and increased competition. Ultimately, I think most people care far more about how good their CMS is instead of whether or not it is open source. Do most business owners even know that WordPress is open source? So maybe WordPress should consider options such as splitting into a still free blog driven platform and a paid-for CMS driven platform. Or some sort of a freemium model that provides WordPress with the necessary funds to fix what needs to be fixed. In other words, it becomes a more nimble and sustainable model. Otherwise, WordPress could end up being another large tech organization that couldn’t keep up with all the new and more innovative tech offerings. Besides, if people are not willing to pay $5 or so per month to use WordPress for their business websites, then how good is WordPress? Coincidentally, today a small business owner called me for help with his WordPress website. He needs his website redesigned asap. But even after two months, his website designer is still unable to finish it because of ongoing WordPress issues. And his site is pretty simple. So I told him about the new Elementor page builder and some other “make WordPress easier” ideas. But after discussing non-WordPress options with him such as Squarespace, Weebly and LightCMS, he decided to sign-up with Squarespace. I reminded him that WordPress has many more options than Squarespace, but he wants/needs an option that allows him to get his new site up and running in a week or so (instead of months), and is something he and his employees can mostly manage on their own. Plus Squarespace has 24/7 support when they need it (at least for relatively simple issues). This reminds me that if you don’t already, WordPress should have an End-User Council (or whatever you want to call it). That should help keep the focus on your most important audience. WordPress developers etc are no doubt extremely important, but just like auto mechanics and CEOs, they don’t exist w/out the end users. Hope this info is helpful.

        Report


      2. You could get people to line around the block to help fix what’s bad in WordPress. It’s just that the core leadership and the project policies acts against this, making things semi-proprietary won’t solve that.

        Coincidentally, today a small business owner called me for help with his WordPress website. He needs his website redesigned asap. But even after two months, his website designer is still unable to finish it because of ongoing WordPress issues.

        The most likely explanation is that the developer is not very good and it has nothing to do with WordPress. It could also be that the previous developer also weren’t very good so the new developer have crap to work with but is afraid to say that.

        WordPress developers etc are no doubt extremely important, but just like auto mechanics and CEOs, they don’t exist w/out the end users. Hope this info is helpful.

        Both are needed but without devs giving their free time into WP and all the plugins and themes that the end users use WP would be nothing. If you don’t cater to the developers also there is no future for WordPress. You have no end users without the developers.

        Report


      3. Hi Andreas, The amount of time it takes for newbies or experts to build or redo WordPress sites has everything to do with WordPress. Somehow you disagree, and instead try to put all the blame on the web designer. But since even Matt agrees that WordPress is “too hard” and “too expensive,” you’re definitely wrong on this point. And your defending of developers is misguided. I already openly acknowledged that developers are “extremely important.” But like pro football players compared to pro football fans and advertisers, WordPress end users are by far the most important audience for WordPress. Your rejection of this basic business concept goes to the core of why so many tech companies eventually fail (they think they are, or are, too smart for their own good). Like apparently you and Matt, many techies spend the majority of their time with the tech side to the detriment of their end users. Despite what you seem to want to believe, the developers are here to serve the end users, not the other way around. WordPress end-users have an increasingly number of strong options to choose from. But WordPress developers who base their businesses and incomes mostly on WordPress, risk losing everything as more and more end-users choose to go with something other than WordPress. So my advice to you (and others) is instead of trying to prove WordPress is not “too hard” and “too expensive,” and that end users should take a back seat to developers, spend more of your limited time and energy reaching out to end users to find out what they like and dislike about WordPress. Especially end users that chose to use something other than WordPress. Assuming you deeply care what end users think, and can keep an open mind, I think you will find the effort quite enlightening and well worth it.

        Report


      4. Scott,

        Do yourself a favor when replying to others and actually address what they said, and not what you would like them to have said.

        Andreas did not say that the time it takes to build or redo stuff in WordPress has nothing to do with WordPress. What he actually said was that, in the specific case where you had mentioned someone whose site wasn’t finished, that was most likely because the developer isn’t very good and has nothing to do with WordPress.

        Those two statements are very different. The fact that you treated them as the same suggests your case is weak. Which it is.

        In fact, Andreas was emphasizing the importance of developers because they are the only ones who can make WordPress easy/easier to use.

        Your problem is that you fail to appreciate that many developers already know what users need and want. They have, after all, been working with clients for years. You even see several such developers here regularly: Andreas himself, mark k., Central Geek, Alec, Mike Schinkel — to name just a few.

        WordPress’s fundamental problem is that the developers responsible for core haven’t been listening to developers like these. So your beef should not be with developers as a whole, but with those responsible for core. For too long, the latter have tinkered with peripheral shiny stuff and continued to overlook or drag their heels on what really matters.

        So the idea of a Growth Council is really a distraction. (There are other distractions too, like Calypso.) Of much greater interest is that Matt has announced a change to the release cycle, and that he himself will be leading a release.

        WordPress really needs a fundamental change in the way it develops. I can’t predict whether Matt’s new direction will be the right one, because he hasn’t set out many details of the focus of this new approach. But the first thing he should be doing is talking to developers outside of core who really know what they are doing and have isdeas to contribute that have been ignored for too long.

        And, for the record, I am not a developer. I speak as a user.

        Report


      5. Hi Tim,

        Your response/attack further highlights the many problems with WordPress. Because it’s an open source free-for-all platform, and end-users must rely upon countless third-parties to use it, WordPress problems and frustrations inevitably lead to a bunch of time-wasting finger pointing.

        When an end-user has questions or problems with their WordPress site (and they will have an endless stream of them), they generally must seek help from one of numerous third-parties, not WordPress. Even if an end-user is fortunate to work with a good in-house or outside web designer/developer, their web person will frequently (rightfully or not) blame WordPress, the theme developer, the hosting company, one or more of the numerous plug-ins, etc, etc, etc. But usually their web person is the one who researched and recommended WordPress, the theme, the hosting company and the plug-ins.

        For some reason, like Andreas, you also act as if I didn’t openly acknowledge the importance of WordPress developers. Why is that? The point is, and remains, that end-users should be WordPress’s most important audience because they are the ones who will ultimately determine the future of WordPress (and the success and incomes of WordPress vendors).

        While you unfairly claim that I fail to appreciate developers, I don’t think you said anything about the importance of end-users. That sort of a misguided and myopic view of developers is at the core of why WordPress is being threatened by so many other options that instead let end-users know that they are their most important audience.

        Your obsession with developers reminds me of an email I received the other day from one of the dog rescue groups I support. Guess what their motto is? “It’s all about the dogs!” I can’t imagine someone getting upset that this dog rescue group’s motto doesn’t say it’s all about their donors, staff, or volunteers. But apparently you and Andreas would.

        Lastly, how many vendors do you work with that openly consider themselves more important than their customers??? (note: if my comments post w/out paragraph breaks again, I don’t know why…)

        Report


      6. Scott,

        I think it’s more revealing that you try to portray my disagreement with what you said as an “attack” and an “obsession.” It’s even more revealing that you want to use those words when your previous contribution clearly misinterpreted Andreas’s comments.

        The problem with what you say in your latest comment is that you are relying on a simplistic analogy. If you want to treat WordPress as a commodity, then you at least need to distinguish wordpress.com from wordpress.org.

        WordPress.com may well be largely focused on direct-to-consumer selling, but self-hosted WordPress (i.e. wordpress.org) is a very different beast. In that respect, WordPress is a bit like Home Depot.

        While Home Depot provides stuff for both homeowners and service providers, for the big ticket items it is much more interested in meeting builders’ expectations. Those builders are Home Depot’s equivalent of WordPress developers, and Home Depot takes extra care of them. That’s what wordpress.org needs to be doing with third-party developers.

        Home Depot knows that its focus on builders doesn’t mean that end-users get overlooked or ignored. Quite the contrary. If the builders’s expectations are met, then homeowners will get the benefit of better construction and remodeling projects. WordPress could learn a lot from organizations like Home Depot.

        So listening to third-part developers is precisely what wordpress.org should be doing. End-users like me will be happy to reap the benefits.

        Report


    2. Why should business experts take precious time from their businesses and families to “apply” for the “opportunity” to provide free marketing help for WordPress?

      For the same reason why software experts are taking precious time from their businesses and families and providing contributions to open source projects? Like WordPress?

      Report


      1. Hi Ozgur,

        I must repeat, that even Matt agrees that WordPress is “too hard” and “too expensive.” So the free marketing help Matt seeks is clearly misguided.

        What WordPress users and vendors need is for WordPress to focus more on the needs of its user and vendors, not make a plea for free marketing help.

        And although Matt is asking for free marketing help, and is following and posting to this blog post, he hasn’t posted here that he and WordPress will be making WordPress as user-friendly as its growing competition any day soon.

        So my question remains, if Matt and WordPress are unwilling or unable to fix WordPress’s biggest issues, why should busy business experts provide WordPress with free marketing help?

        WordPress is in danger of repeating the mistake many large organizations make, ignoring their obvious flaws and competition until it is far too late. For example Blockbuster’s embarrassingly slow and inadequate response to Netflix etc.

        Report


      1. Because we want the web to be powered by open source platforms, and because every person who builds on the WP platform benefits the more widely used it is. There’s a virtuous cycle of usage, investment, and improvement.

        Report


      2. hmmm, if it not obvious, my comment was towards the budget for WIX ads and their placement that is pure marketing, and I don’t see why an open source project should even try to compete in this area.

        Mozilla tried to do that but except for some niches firefox never became the dominant browser, and its dominance went away as fast as it came because, google put much more money into ads.

        The main problem with wordpress right now is that developers do not want to use it as it has a perception (doesn’t matter if it is true or not) of insecure and hell to code for, and no superball ad will change that.

        Report


  5. Thanks for sharing this, just applied here as well. Unifying our messaging and providing more know-how for users about what WordPress really offers is a must. Let’s move away from the blogging background of the platform and showcase a number of successful stories properly for different verticals.

    Report


  6. I think Matt/Automattic/etc…should PAY the growth council.

    Why should they give up their free time when Matt makes money?
    WordPress.com makes money, Jetpack/Akismet make money and so forth.

    They should get something a month, if Matt wants to get the growth council together in physical presence then pay for their hotel/food/accommodation expenses while in San Francisco, Austin, New York, Toronto, etc…

    In Ontario (Canadian Province) there is something called Employment Standards Act, You can’t hire people and not pay them under the guise of “internship”, I am sure there is something like that in the US, UK and so forth.

    Will the Growth Council have full freedom or have to kiss Matt’s rear end?
    What if the Growth Council agrees with XYZ but Matt disagrees with XYZ and thinks ABC is better?

    Report


    1. As I said above, “As many participants manage millions of dollars of budget already, some even tens of millions, they probably aren’t looking for remuneration.” Another good analogy would be that people that attend a monthly WP meetup aren’t looking to be paid for going.

      As to disagreements, I’m sure there will be some, and also some of the businesses involved with compete with each other — that’s fine. For over a decade now WordPress has been supported by many businesses acting independently to both compete and cooperate with each other.

      Report


    2. If your business is built around WordPress (i.e consulting, themes, plugins, training, etc), then as a savvy business owner you must understand that it’s in your best interest to ensure WordPress continues growing.

      As the pie grows, so you will your business.

      Will you have competition? Sure. That’s actually a sign of a healthy business ecosystem. You should fear when you have no competition because it means the industry isn’t worth entering.

      Will there be disagreements? Always. That’s part of life. However from those disagreements, come progress.

      I’d rather support progress than make excuses and point fingers.

      I’m glad to see this initiative and will be happy to help in anyway I can.

      Report


      1. Agreed. I think the most successful version of the Growth Council would be a consortium of like-minded business people looking to improve their business by increasing the adoption of WordPress. Kind-of how each individual NFL team benefits from increasing football’s popularity.

        Report


  7. The big question….is Matt wanting to market and push his paid hosted wordpress.com and forget about the .org version? By the way, this so-called 27% market share, what is the split between .com and .org WordPress?

    Report


    1. 27% of polled websites or 27% of EVERY website on the internet? What about private websites?

      Report


    2. The vast majority of that number is .org, and the growth and excellence of .org is key to everyone, including Automattic with Jetpack and WooCommerce.

      Report


  8. I’m not involved in the marketing field but here are my two ideas.

    Create various beautifully designed promotional badges that are easily included on the website like:

    https://www.w3.org/html/logo/#badge-builder

    Try changing culture, so people would feel proud by putting this badge (small or big) on their sites.

    This could be included on WP.org, so people would be aware about this option.

    Just for fun have recognition page where sites with the most referrals would be listed (might be a spam trap though).

    Widely publicize cases where people got burned by the closed source (lock-in) platforms.

    Report


  9. These competitors are highly leveraged. How do you avoid a race to the bottom (which they would win solely on investor momentum)?

    I don’t see this working out via group-hug. GoDaddy seems like a possibility but would require Matt to sell his soul…

    Report


  10. Interesting. I see 2 dimensions here.

    1. It is amazing to see WordPress reaching to this stage starting from Blogging platform to a Robust CMS with Social network and eCommerce platform with help of plugins.

    2. On other hand, having procedure code, i affraid how far it can go, or developer community can stretch it with plugins. I see a breakdown point in near future, technically.

    With Ghost coming in from Node.js and Drupal being the stable CMS with MVC code, i am bit excited to see how much marketing can help against the flexible yet fragile core.

    Report

Comments are closed.