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The Art & Science of WordPress Premium

I had the chance to present at WordCamp Seattle 2012 on the art and science of running a premium WordPress business. This was by far the hardest talk to birth I have ever worked on. I was blessed and able to parlay the opportunity into a number of awesome discussions with major players in the industry.

The Capitalist in the Co-Op: The Art & Science of the Premium WordPress Business

View more presentations from Shane Pearlman

If I had to boil the talk down it would come to this.

Most people who use WordPress don’t really care about WordPress. They just want their website to work. Therein lies a huge opportunity. Right now, the bulk of the offering in the plugin repo and among free (and even many paid) themes is Caveat Emptor. It might work. But it might suck. If you don’t upgrade, you get hacked and it hurts your business. If you do upgrade, it might break everything and it hurts your business. As Scott Berkun said at his talk at WordCamp SF talk, “I would pay good money not to be stuck in limbo”. That is the opportunity folks. People just need a product they can trust. Build a stable and solid product, nail support and you can make some serious bucks.

There are a whole lot of details in my talk. I walk you through the pros and cons of joining a marketplaces, what it takes to go indy and succeed, key marketing approaches, actual honest-to-god revenue numbers, data from lots of shops (not just ours), a vision of the future and where the industry is moving and a deep dive into support. I hope you enjoy it and share it far and wide if you found it useful.

A big thanks to Peter, Reid & Rob (Modern Tribe), Joachim Kudish (Automattic), JR Farr (Mojo themes), George Ortiz (, Brandon Jones (Make Design), Dan Cameron (Group Buying Site), Daniel Dvorkin (WPML / Modern Tribe), Adii Pienaar (Woo Themes) & Collis Ta’eed (Theme Forest / Code Canyon).