Once upon a time, everything connected to WordPress was free. The only thing you had to pay for was hosting and a domain name, i.e if you did not use WordPress.com. The 5 minute install was all you needed and a theme, if you really wanted to go crazy you would get a theme that supported sidebars! Yes, there was a time when a widgetized sidebar was an amazing thing.
Forward to today and you have theme shops, premium plugins, marketplaces, specialized hosting providers, consultants, developers working in pajamas at home for $200/hr, exclusive blogs dedicated to WordPress…like us…all collectively generating millions of dollars in revenue a year!
While you don’t have to pay for any premium option today, they do offer more in terms of features than you find in the free ones available. Not all the time, but more often than not.
But are we at the pinnacle of WordPress development, or is there more to come?
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Assuming that WordPress will stay as it is forever would be foolish, taking into account all the developments it’s gone through over the years. Developers, designers and entrepreneurs are pushing the limits of the platform on a daily basis. You could virtually base a startup on it, some examples that come to mind are WordPress.com itself, Edublogs.org, Page.ly, Mojo-Themes (yep, that’s all WordPress) and ManageWP among others.
One of the defining features, in my opinion, which will pavé the way for the future are multi-site and BuddyPress. The ability to allow users to sign up, create profiles and interact is a basic ingredient in any web-based service industry. With technical barriers being eliminated WordPress has empowered a lot of ideas to come to fruition. And, I believe, we’re just getting started.
Could you start the next Instagram, Pinterest, Fab, Social Network etc…using WordPress as a base? Probably. Would it be the best option to do so? Probably Not…Yet.
That’s where I think the innovation lies, in allowing users to use a tool like WordPress to could create the next hot startup! As of today, you can create an e-commerce site, a top 10 blog, a membership site, a marketplace, a social network, probably even an SaaS tool and more. To think, it all starts with a 5 minute install!
Could we see more branches of WordPress in the future, one that caters to bloggers, one that would be geared towards small business and another that would be optimized for building your startup? It’s all completely possible, and not at the same time. The deciding factor here, are the users.
So, what say you? What do you believe will be the next big WordPress powered idea?