What competition is WordPress up against?

From Steven Sinofsky, regarding his recent use of an iPhone1:

Obviously you should use a competitive product. You should know what you’re up against when a consumer (or business) ultimately faces a buying decision. They will weigh a wide array of factors and you should be aware of those not only for the purposes of sales and marketing but when you are designing your products.

I can think of at least two big competitors that the WordPress Open Source project will continue to face in the coming year (and beyond):

1. User-friendly publishing tools attracting casual and professional writers, photographers, etc.

Svbtle, Medium, and Branch are all aiming to increase the level of discourse and quality of content on the web … and they’re all new since 2012. Not to mention the existing social networks like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook which continue to gain more attention and raise the expectations on what “web” experiences should be like.

That said, WordPress has recently focused on features like “distraction free writing” and theme customization options. Will the ecosystem of plugins and themes remain best suited to compete against and solve the problems these newcomers bring? Recent discussion around the “Post Formats” user interface suggest so, but is that fast enough to compete?

2. Content management systems targeting different website verticals

While existing “content management systems” are certainly still worth considering, it seems market share is moving in favor of WordPress. With that shift, newcomers will spot the opportunities to fill voids and can more readily create robust, user-friendly, niche-targeted services and products such as the folks at Squarespace and Virb.

Those aside, there are plenty of sites in the Showcase that help show the robust, multidisciplinary nature of WordPress. Should the marketing and attraction of new users continue to be left to the fragmented group of startups, freelancers, consultancies, and agencies building sites, products, and services with WordPress? Certainly, that’s part of the joy of open source. But, is the “development platform” able to allow those folks to continue to be competitive?


I only mean to ask more questions than provide answers or ideas here. I’m not sure if I’m thinking about this the right way…

  • a “big deal” as he previously led the Windows division at Microsoft 

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