The biggest product opportunity in WordPress right now

There are actually 2. One is more obvious, and that is the opportunity to build and distribute libraries of block patterns.

The second opportunity is less obvious and is the really interesting one IMHO.

A new experience

WordPress is 18 years old and for the first 16 of those years, it was a very function before form piece of software. People built incredibly beautiful things with WordPress, but the user experience of WordPress itself was generally utilitarian. This was all good! We could do things we wanted to do, so it didn’t matter too much if it wasn’t super slick.

2.5 years ago, this changed.

The block editor, aka Gutenberg, rocked the boat. For the first time, WordPress began to offer a native creation experience that was a beautiful example of interface design. The bar was raised and WordPress is now a pretty good-looking piece of UI.

Keep that in the back of your mind.

Proven products & markets

Going back again to those 18 years of life, there has been a stack of plugins, themes, products, and businesses emerge around WordPress. Many of these provided interfaces in the WordPress admin. Some of these were great and some of these were not so great, but nearly all of them did their own thing. They invented their own interface design language because WordPress didn’t natively have one. Many of these products powered businesses that have grown to be worth many millions and serve 100s of thousands of customers.

So it’s the tension right between these two ideas wherein the opportunity lays. New experience + Proven products & markets.

There is an entire ecosystem of highly successful products that have proven markets and audiences. Some of these are transitioning to the new native WordPress block editor experience. Many are not.

Why not take a proven WP product idea (forms, SEO, editorial workflow, user management, etc etc etc) and build a variation of it that is “block editor native”. Something that feels like it “just belongs” in the block editor world of modern WordPress. That’s what we did with Block Lab and are now doing with Genesis products. More so, that’s what we’re doing with Hello Charts. Building a plugin with a user experience so beautifully seamless with WordPress, you’d think it was native.

When mobile devices became a thing, we first just shoe-horned existing desktop experiences into apps because that’s what we knew. Over time though, it’s the apps that truly embraced a mobile-native experience that emerged as the winners.

Now that WordPress has a true design language for its user interface, particularly around the experience of creation, products that embrace this will go far as it’s what users will start to expect.