Finding opportunity while WordPress is changing
Matt Medeiros continues Season 8 with the third roundtable episode talking to Naomi Bush, Brad Williams, and Rebecca Gill. Matt discusses a recent podcast with Matt Mullenweg and Kara Swisher where he says that he is staying with WordPress for the rest of his life. WordPress powers 31% of the Internet and this panel discusses how there are still so many options for people needing consulting advice and support in the WordPress space.
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Brad Williams – Builds sites with WordPress and runs a company called WebDevStudios.com. (0:33)
Rebecca Gill – Owns a WordPress agency called WebSavvy Marketing that is located in Traverse City MI. Rebecca is an SEO Consultant and provides a lot of education about SEO. (0:50)
Naomi Bush – runs a company called Gravity Plus. She builds products to help people do more with Gravity Forms. (1:03)
Naomi – Has a focused product centered around Gravity Forms in her business. Ninja forms keeps up with the changes and offers an inexpensive forms solution for WordPress users. There are a lot of people that wanted to get into the WordPress “gold rush”. Even though there is a lot of competition in WordPress it still has a broad ecosystem. (2:23)
Rebecca– would not consider going back into a market with stock themes. She would consider the plugin market. You need to think carefully about the saturated theme market and support that comes with Themes. There is not a lot of money in that market anymore. (2:56)
Brad – There is saturation in the WordPress market. There are many agencies and freelancers that build websites using WordPress. (4:05)
Future of WordPress:
There has to be an effort to simplify the WordPress experience.
Brad – WebDevStudios is 100% WordPress. They can have applications that evolve using APIs and integrate with other systems. They are always looking at what is new and interesting but they still plan on building on WordPress. (5:51)
Rebecca – Many businesses are coming to agencies after they have flopped on an in-house experience. They are looking for external expertise. People are realizing that they have made a big mistake sometimes after their SEO drops on a redesign and their traffic has changed. (12:15)
Naomi – Gravity forms has been waiting for the new editing experience before making a lot of changes. Add-ins will need to integrate with the software. Naomi has seen that different 3rd parties to plugins have had different approaches to blocks. She will wait to see how this changes in newer releases. (17:16)
Brad – Automattic is in the business to make money. There is a new verticle for blocks with vendors. Website builders will need to make a decision on what they use. Brad does not feel that Gutenberg WordPress users will have an advantage in the development space of WordPress. You still need a design eye when creating websites so it is nice to be able to use structured themes when you can. He fears that the impact of Gutenberg may influence the reputation of WordPress. (14:15)
Opportunities for Growth in WordPress:
Rebecca – a freelancer or small business agency can concentrate on Gutenberg support for users. Many clients will just want somebody to do the work and not want to learn the blocks themselves. There will always be service opportunities for SEO with website audits and training. (21:15)
Training: Rebecca uses Learndash and WooCommerce for courses. She uses GoToMeeting for group or one on one training. There are still clients that just want you to do the work and will pay for that. (27:21)
Naomi – Pick a space to specialize and find a niche if you can. Understand your customer and provide a solution for what they need. (22:39)
Training: Naomi creates field guides and links to relative documentation for her customers. (28:36)
Brad – freelancers will need to understand their WordPress product and also the customer. Many WebDevStudio customers have not shown an interest or desire to know what Gutenberg is about. The Gutenberg discussion has brought the conversation to using page builders like Beaver Builder. (23:54)
Training: Documentation with screen sharing is provided to clients. There is training provided around user permissions for clients so they can understand how to add a user who can safely navigate the site. The more information you provide to your clients, the better off they will be. (25:56)
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