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Happy 10th Birthday WordPress!

Or is it anniversary?

If you haven't been and you get the chance to attend a meetup they really are a great way to start getting involved with the community - http://www.meetup.com/WordPress/
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Where do you see the future of the WordPress premium market going?

Check out this post from +Daniel McClure and see if you agree.
 
Creating SaaS Solutions with WordPress

What if you could use WordPress for creating more than simple websites? About a year ago I had the idea of creating a hosted Facebook Page creation tool using nothing but WordPress and a myriad of other plugins and custom coding. I filed it away in my big book of ideas and left it to "consider later"...

However recently when I set up the WordPress Business Community on Google+ @ https://plus.google.com/communities/103801882930141737443 I was lucky enough to come across +Stuart Frank . He not only came up with the same idea as me (probably a couple months before) but he actually got started and actually built the thing. The site can be seen at http://fanboom.net and I wish him all the best with it.

I started to wonder...

If he's already managed to bring that site to life, were there others out there already?... From there I came across an article by Digital Telepathy on how they launched the popular Hello Bar application using WordPress @ http://www.dtelepathy.com/blog/dt-labs/wordpress-saas-application-platform I'd seen this product before, even signed up for it and had been completely oblivious to the fact it was made with WordPress. Not only is #WordPress   #SaaS  possible, it's been happening right under my nose.

The WordPress Economy is Evolving...

Recently I've been looking at the WordPress market as a whole, there are millions of sites, thousands of themes and plugins, and hundreds of WordPress product creators. When WordPress was just a #Blogging  platform, innovative developers were quick to create the tools and systems that could make it do more until you could pretty much find a tool for almost anything you'd want to do online. However many product creators began to feel the sting and realised that they needed to charge annual fees for their plugins and themes if they were to keep up with the development and support costs. 

The Next Big (WordPress) Gold Rush...

A couple months ago a guy named +John O'Nolan published his idea of a simplified blogging platform forked (essentially: derived from) called Ghost which would offer a whole new way of publishing for people that are overwhelmed by the possibilities of WordPress. Although I could see his point, I wasn't fully convinced. It just didn't feel like it would have wings. But what if someone were to take this idea and begin creating niche publishing platforms in the form of SaaS. Now there is something I can see really taking off...

It turns out that #Automattic  (creators of WordPress.com) have already seen the light and begun creating their own niche offerings. There is http://en.wordpress.com/portfolios/ and http://en.wordpress.com/restaurants/ And they are not alone! Since looking into it a bit more I've also found http://openbnb.net/ , http://www.happytables.com/ with their own take on how it could be done.

Why spend hours researching the best tools for your business, installing and managing them yourself, and all the time whilst continuing to pay multiple plugin developers $100, $200 or more a year when you can pay one company and get the best of everything for a specific purpose and for a lesser price? 

But It's Not Just Niche Platforms...

What if some plugins weren't even plugins in the first place? I know I've seen my fair share of plugins that just don't seem to have any place within a typical installation of WordPress. People are rolling out their own membership sites, project management systems, ticketing systems, jobs boards and more.

All of these could potentially be morphed into a hosted solution today using just the plugins that are out right now and offered to customers in exchange for a fee. If you actually went a step further to customise the code (add your own secret sauce), offer full support and continuous development then you've got yourself the foundations of a powerful, sustainable and defensible business solution built on open source code. 

When so much is possible but people start getting priced out of the market or simply can't keep up with the pace of innovation it leaves a massive opportunity and it is there where I can see the WordPress based Software as a Service economy developing.

Afterword...

Although I've thought about this a lot and have a few ideas floating around, I'd love to hear what others think about this and where you can see the #WordPress economy developing...
WordPress Business Community
for Business Bloggers, WordPress Developers, and Product Creators
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Looking for an #SEO friendly #Responsive slider for #WordPress? Just found this amazing looking #plugin - http://link4.biz/soliloquy
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Less than 10 hours left! -- WP Engine Discount - Save $250 on Managed #WordPress #Hosting http://bit.ly/wpenginesumo #Coupon #Deal #Offer
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Have them in circles
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[Discussion] What is missing from the #WordPress community? https://plus.google.com/114499032537341401608/posts/fveudmYGJz7
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What #WordPress #themes, #plugins, and #apps do you recommend for #mobile? I'm creating a resource with some of the best. #WP
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TIP: If you use #GenesisWP from @studiopress and want to browse only the #responsive #themes just visit http://bit.ly/rwdpress #WordPress
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WP SpyBar Review: How to Find Out What Plugins a Wordpress Site is Using [Video] http://ow.ly/flGJ3
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