Hacked By GeNErAL

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Hacked By GeNErAL


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5 thoughts on “Hacked By GeNErAL

  1. Matt

    These are really good points. I’m also bullish on themes long-term. By and large the theme marketplace benefits and drives the growth of WordPress as a whole, because people wanting to start a site search for and think of things much more in terms of the whole-site-solution theme marketing that you note. Plugins, mostly, market to existing WP sites wanting to expand their functionality or people who are already WordPress users.

    There are also the fundamental forces that a design is valuable partly for its scarcity, and I can only have one theme at a time on my site, where plugins as a stand-in for functionality gain economies of scale with ubiquity, much like WP itself has, and I can have lots of them simultaneously. I don’t think non-sophisticated consumers really want lots of plugins. They want at most a handful, and for them to be well-integrated and supported.

    Finally, if functionality becomes mainstream enough and is possible to do purely in a plugin, it’ll either go into WP core or a non-commercial solution will arise, which naturally limits how big a commercial plugin can get. That limit might still be in the millions of dollars per year, so that shouldn’t dissuade anyone from doing one, but I don’t think commercial plugins will ever be a huge business.

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  3. Dave Doolin

    I think you’re right, Evan. I can think of very few plugins which are profitable. Of those which are, they have three characteristics in common: 1. targeting fairly narrow and specific markets, 2. feature rich, 3. well-branded.

  4. Matthew Kettlewell

    Plugins as a commercial endeavor will be limited to the creativity and drive of the developers.

    Right now, most of the free WordPress plugins are good, but not typically great. Exceptions exist of course, but are funded by larger agencies, and used as a promotional tool and giving back to the community sort of model.

    The exceptional plugins are premium – and by definition, you’d expect to be paying a premium for a better product in terms of quality and support.

    Personally, I think we’ve already been seeing individual freelancers and smaller design agencies use plugins as a way to social proof their own experience, make some additional residual income, and produce some higher quality plugins along the way.

    But will the plugin industry grow? I doubt it, because the masses look for themes, not plugins. Developers look for plugins to augment what a theme doesn’t have to meet client needs. And there’s a much smaller pool of developers than there are the general population looking to have a website, so there’s just not a large enough set of buyers to justify creating a mass plugin industry, other than a few select niche products.

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