Growth and Marketing
Note: These discussion notes are from the team reps summit the weekend before wpcs.
WordPress is successful because it’s seen as friendlier than competitors. Homepage is old, but still better than Joomla, PHPNuke, etc in how we talk about ourselves. It’s more challenging than ever, though, because saying wp can do anything is not super compelling — people don’t relate to it. Specific uses — I want a site for my bakery, for my book club — are better. How do we reach constituencies, how do we keep our percentages up, how do we market to developers and overcome the perception there that wp is lame, and evangelize to people who would work in app platforms. What would help?
WordPress.org needs a facelift. Not just design, but content like /about. Old features (post revisions) are listed instead of cool stuff that is newer. Marketing the features is a good step.
Let’s have each area of wp (via contributor groups) give a synopsis to promote their section. Rep will say what is awesome about their app/section/teams, and we’ll compile them all to make a new about/features page.
The Showcase is kind of tired. It should answer the question of what wp can do. Entries should become case studies. Who worked on this site, what plugins and themes are used, is there anything special about it, interviews with stakeholders on the experience of making this site with WordPress, etc.
Let’s put videos of people using wp on home page. Show them customizing a theme, writing a post. Make the video a hero, and cycle through different videos so they are short and consumable. But before we decide how to do it, we need to decide what we are about.
What makes developers gravitate to other platforms? We need to answer that question up front and use content to convince them to use wp.
When wordpress.com put more features on the home page, fewer people signed up. Many use it because someone told them to. Anything that slows down their getting set up is a risk.
A lot of people/devs initially hear from someone else what to use. Having a page that compares the systems would be cool. We’d need to keep up with other projects to keep info current. Let’s have an email address for if info on that page is out of date.
Our tone is playful and irreverent; we don’t pretend the rest of the world exists (a la apple/slate). We even thank Movable Type and Drupal on the about page for inspiration.
Which issues do we need to convice devs on, vs which things do end-users care about? We need separate convincing paces, not overwhelming info on one. Two home pages/landing pages, a developer portal.
Jekyll has been taking off. jQuery uses wp for everything, but if they hadn’t always used us, they would likely be on github pages on jekyll. Making wp sexy enough for devs to use is important. Caching — not great on wp, but good on jekyll. Devs need scaling info.
We focus on ease of use and SEO for users. Focus on security, deployment/staging, APIs, etc for devs. We should promote examples of cool devs/projects using wp (like jquery, nasa, math blogs).
What about how to market to non-traditional blog users? Corporate, etc.
Hello world is the first post. Make the default view clearer that it’s not just a blog. They may not know where to go next to make stuff in their site. New user panel is going toward that (that’s a breakout discussion). Important to make sure the support materials don’t lose the threads started in the marketing. Make priorities clear. Jetpack is an attempt at unified marketing, user experience, and support.
We should also make sure people are in the right place. “I just want to get started” — Direct them to the right host.
When they’re on .org, we convince them to look into something, but then they have to pick a host. What if we could do the install while right on .org, create hosting account, site title, etc. The nice part about passing off early is that user associates early with the third party, but we can ameliorate that with language and branding within the ux flow. We could improve the conceptualization of .com/.org/host/etc. We could email them — communications could change to tell them the host vs .org usernames etc. Whatever we do, should be careful not to confuse .com/.org more than it already is.
We’ve talked before about using .org as a dashboard. We could theoretically check the login against their site.
Let’s get back to marketing and come back to NUX as breakout. Use best practices based on .com that hosts should follow.
Events. Booth at bridal conference, comic-con, auto shows, outreach at non-tech events. More wp illuminati speaking at dev conferences (not WCs). Need to get Events on .org site instead of on separate domains.
In addition to WCs and meetups, educational events, local wp training.
A friendly face can overcome a lot of difficulties and make up for anything confusing at in-person events.
How do we tap into local groups to evangelize?
Something to remember (as we talk about guidelines for official meetups and WCs) is that people with less desirable practices/intents are still getting people on WordPress. Look at Thesis.
Re WCs, some people still think ,”Isn’t it kind of cheap?” so it’s not taken as seriously.
How can we make WCs more unified? What’re the important common threads to ensure?
We should start doing video testimonials/commercials. WP “rockstars,” celebs who love WP, average people.
Where do we go after the home page? Where are people going on the site? Top pages on .org are: home, themes, download, plugins, support, codex for installing wp.
Should there be marketing for mobile apps? Yes. Let’s get them on the Download page at least.
Action item: Each team comes up with one great thing about wp that is a marketing blurb. One sentence per team, to be used in new features page.