Viewing the development of open source platform from WordPress

Source: Internet
Author: User
Tags case statement wordpress hosting

Speaking of the open platform, we should all know that is very powerful thing, according to 2011 data, the number of Facebook applications more than 550,000, these applications are installed more than 20 million times a day.

But few people know that one-sixth of the Earth's Web site using wordpress architecture, in the Alexa ranked the top 100,000 of the site, 16.7% use WordPress. If WordPress is viewed as an open platform, it is more influential than Facebook. And in fact, it's such a platform.

What is an open source platform

An open platform can be massively popular because it frees control: You can develop applications for the platform, use the platform's users, traffic, and user relationships, and reap the benefits. Small team to use it to achieve their own growth and profitability, a large platform to better meet the user's long tail demand, the user firmly stuck.

This is a genius idea, both in terms of business and user needs. But the core problem with this architecture is that the open platform is centralized. Of course, this is more of an application developer's problem, because it's not going to be about how the app developer is going to live when Facebook closes.

From this point of view, WordPress is a further platform, it not only released control, but also released ownership. WordPress Development Plugin Developers never worry about the Automattic company's failure will affect their own, and the majority of users do not know Automattic company and WordPress is what relationship. This is what the open source campaign brings to our core value, and it promises that what the user gets will never be lost, even if it doesn't get better, it won't get worse. Even if you can find a server, you can continue the work and life you have become accustomed to. Do not say that the business company's Bluff, this is more than the promise of the boyfriend and girlfriend.

I put this same release of control and ownership platform called Open source Platform, WordPress, Vanilla Forum, Concrete5 CMS are such platforms.

How to commercialize the open source platform?

Business, commercialization? Yes, you're right. We live in a business society where nothing can be advanced without money. Open source software does not live in a vacuum, it has to compete with those commercial software, the integration of the business chain is inevitable. All the brilliant teams that run open source projects have a penetrating understanding of business.

Let's look at WordPress. In fact, the beginning, WordPress is a very general function of the program, performance is even more tragic, until today it is the memory of the phagocytosis of the virtual host Chamber of the pain, then it depends on what eminence?

The answer is the ecosystem. We have been living in a platform of the Times, users choose a product, not only consider the product itself, more will consider the ecology behind the product. A TV box that can run the Android system means tens of thousands of operational applications for users. You can easily make a better TV box than it is, but if you can only run your proprietary system, then users will not pay, the ecological people have the world.

And the construction of the ecosystem is essentially to build a sustainable development of the multiple income model. We may all know that WordPress is a GPLV2 agreement, but WordPress specifically for the plug-in part of a special case statement, so that it is not under the GPL constraints. You can design templates for WordPress, develop Plug-ins, and then do what you want: charging, closing the source, using the GPL or DWTFYW protocol. Even more admirable is that as long as you contribute to these extensions, it becomes the entire WordPress user base, and even the wealth of all mankind, the entire ecology is a step forward. The progress may be too slow compared to some open platforms, but it will not collapse because the boss of a business company was accidentally caught in the elevator.

It is this slow and tangible progress that has spread over a period of 10 years until it permeates every corner of the Internet. By the end of last year, WordPress was free plug-ins on more than 19,000, the cumulative download more than 285 million times. WordPress even created an industry, a good set of WordPress fee template, can be priced at 100 U.S. dollars in the case of one months to sell out hundreds of sets.

After the third party to make money, Automattic did not jump out to split the money, but chose to enhance the user experience as a breakthrough point of the winning way:

In order to solve no server also want to use the needs of WordPress users, Automattic launched a WordPress hosting services, the use of free + value-added way, through direct charges and Google AdSense to earn money

In order to help users stay away from spam messages, Automattic launched the Akismet service, which is free to individuals and charges businesses

In order to allow users to back up the data at any time, Automattic launched vaultpress fee-based Backup service without more examples, on a large user base, each enhanced service can bring true gold and silver.

How do open source platforms control user behavior?

Unlike open platforms, open source platforms cannot control specific user behavior, and you cannot pass a previous authorization agreement to point to a user's behavior. But fortunately, through product design, we can influence user behavior on the macro level. Human beings are actually very simple creatures, this is not only the idea of the cat, the scientists think so, so that two groups of people to listen to a suggestion, the group was asked to nod the consent degree is significantly higher than was required to shake the group.

Well, let's talk about the Earth, and I'll tell you how WordPress affects user behavior. Open source software is the most troublesome problem is the user arbitrarily modify the code, on the one hand we design good behavior has been changed, on the other hand, the user's casual behavior will also bring software instability and increase customer service pressure.

WordPress is not forced to not allow users to modify the code, but did a seemingly unrelated thing: they provide WordPress online upgrades, as long as you click the button, the entire WordPress becomes a brand new, as long as 10 seconds! What a great user experience!

But at the convenience of the same time, changes to the code will be lost, if you want to retain your changes, only to make changes to a reusable theme or Plug-ins. This is the smartest decision I've ever seen, a stone three birds:

Provide the user experience of NB;

Locked the core code, not allowed to modify;

Extended functionality is encapsulated into plug-ins that stimulate the growth of ecosystems.

I applied this method directly to the Teamtoy, the number of plug-ins contributed in a short span of one months has reached two digits.

Glimpse, I think you've come up with more good ideas. But just because it is a guide, only a truly win-only decision will work, and if users are not earning enough, users will opt out of the system. This is the most important part of operating an open source platform: The art balance of interests.


As the world's first-class open source platform, WordPress is a very worthy of research objects, there are too many commendable place, here and you share is only my teamtoy practice in the verification of some details, but also hope that more students can jump from the code level, from a higher level to understand open source and open.

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