I’m sure many businesses could learn a lot from Apple but here I want to focus on just one comparison. Apple’s App store vs WordPress’ Plugin & Theme Directories.
Apple are known mostly for their fabulous hardware but what really makes their iPhone and iPad sing are the Apps. Apple have worked hard to get the mechanics and business model of their App store just right, it’s a single marketplace, bright and colourful, fun to use, appealing. The single payment route builds trust and keeps things simple and easy for the end user. These stores are obviously making Apple and many of their content providers a lot of money. Cost per unit is generally low but volumes are consequently high. Competition and quality are strong.
Sadly the situation with the expandability of WordPress is not so fabulous. It’s a great platform but it could be so much better. WordPress is community rather than business based and although that all sounds lovely and cosey its currently a bit of a problem. Yes there are the WordPress directories but these are not a patch on an Apple experience and have no single payment gateway. I would estimate that you would be able to buy WordPress additions, be they plugins or themes from hundreds, if not thousands or different vendors using a massive variety of payment routes. Its a scattered marketplace, sometimes done well, sometimes very poorly. Of course thee are some fabulous pay-per-use plugins but these are often overpriced and there are equally many talented individuals relying on donations unable to make a decent living, invest in their ideas and develop high quality software.
I’m writing this in response to the news that support and development for one of my 5 favourite WordPress plugins ‘Login Lock’ has now been abandoned by its maker.
I quote “Apologies that we can’t continue providing people free support. It got to the point where it took too much time, which obviously distracts from earning money to get the bills paid.” All in all this is a very sad end to a great piece of software and this is not an isolated incident.
If WordPress took a closer look at Apple’s App stores I’m sure they could bring benefits to everyone within the community and encourage WordPress to flourish even more.