WordPress co-founder Mike Little predicts “increasing vertical use”


Mike Little was interviewed by Siobhan McKeown of WPMU.org at WordCamp Portsmouth over the weekend. During the interview they discussed many things, including the future of WordPress. Little didn’t want to speculate too much, but did say that he believes that in the future WordPress will see “an increasing vertical use.”

Toward the end of the interview (around 9:50 in the video) Little said:

โ€ฆI think there’s going to be an increasing vertical use of WordPress. So, people putting together specalized packages based on WordPress. It might be WordPress with a selection of custom themes for the real estate business with all the plugins all preinstalled and preconfigured so that you get a much bigger out of the box experience for your particular area. I’ve seen people doing that kind of thing a little bit with churches, for example.

I think there’s going to be more of that as people start to really specialize in what they do with WordPress, and get the most out of it in their niche. And then realize that they’ve effectively created a package that they can sell to other people, or provide to other people to help them setup themselves.

Little started WordPress with Matt Mullenweg in 2003 as a fork of the b2 project. Now Little continues to contribute to the project, as well as work with his own clients professionally. You can follow him on Twitter atย @mikelittlezed1.

What do you think of Little’s thoughts on the future of WordPress? Will we begin to see more pros building out specialized packages based on WordPress?

9 thoughts on “WordPress co-founder Mike Little predicts “increasing vertical use”

  1. I’ve been seeing people do this for the past couple years, on multisite. Think of a wordpress.com setup, for for a specific niche.

    • I think it’s the way of the future. We’ve seen it already with WinWithWP and The Victory Framework (politics), Theme-Force (restaurants), and others. I think this can get very specific in niche and become quite profitable for those that pick the right niches and attack it the right way.

  2. I believe he’s right, There’s people out there who just want a decent looking theme which have all of the features aimed at there niche. They don’t want a ton of configuration and setup work with plugins, etc.

    (Plug) Thats why we made http://www.churchthemer.com We are dedicated to creating and incorporating great ideas into top-notch design for churches. We currently have 2 church themes with a total of 6 being released this month ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Well that is exactly what I plan to do in my business. Currently I am specializing in real estate agents and see WordPress as an excellent platform for them. It’s pretty easy for clients once they get the hang of if. I have setup a couple of custom post plugins to enable on my base installation. Then I update the theme and bingo. Installation done.

    Most real estate agents need the theme to be skinned to suit their business. Later down the road I will bundle the package and sell a self install version. Good to see my idea is pretty good.

    I have just strarted to follow this blog and really am enjoying the stories and comments, thanks.

  4. Couldn’t agree more with Mike on this. I feel like WooThemes has tapped into this idea already with their “Enterprise” themes.

    Loved his bit on seeing the church niche doing this…made me feel good about the future of my company ๐Ÿ™‚ http://churchthemes.net


  5. Little is describing what we have done with our vertical platform at page.ly. Pro.graphpaperpress.com was the first example, and shortly (i know it has been sometime in development) wpstores.com for e-commerce. We are also working with other plugin authors to stand-up offerings around niches verticals they service.

    Happy to work with any solid plugin or theme shop out there with some existing customer traction.

  6. Couldn’t agree more with Mike. Because it’s highly extensible and easy to spin up custom post types and taxonomies, WordPress will continue to grow in markets with niche needs. The days of a “one size fits all” approach to web content are in decline. Posts and Pages got us where we’re at today, but the future will be all about meeting the publishing needs of end users in flexible yet highly focused ways.

    I predict we’ll see more niche themes and more niche SAS platforms built atop WP that solve publishing problems for small businesses. Unless platforms like Django and ROR create web-based interfaces for installing their code, users will continue to flock to WordPress. Funny thing is, I know SAS companies built atop both Django and ROR that are building plugins to bring some of the features of their platforms into the WP ecosystem. This is good news for WordPress developers.

  7. We have been working with WordPress and car dealers for almost three years now. Over that time It has been interesting to watch first hand how an industry like automotive has evolved to use WordPress. I believe that the only thing that stands in between most companies and industries and WordPress is too many choices. With infinite combinations of plugins and themes most people get paralyzed with indecision. By customizing for a specific niche you eliminate most of the confusion and give the industry only what they need.
    We recently launched and industry specific WordPress marketplace for the automotive retail industry called CarDealerPress so we are one company that is betting that Mike Little is right.

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