This is the fourth and final installment of WPHub’s exclusive sit-down interview with WooThemes Product Manager Matt Cohen, who affectionately goes by Chief of Surgery. In our last article, Cohen discussed the major projects that WooThemes is working on and why the company values customer service so much. We also learned why WooThemes is so heavily driven by plug-ins.
This time around, we’ll talk about the future of WordPress, a market WooThemes is attempting to grow with and adapt to. We’ll also discuss the origins of WooThemes itself.
WPHub: What is your vision of the future of WordPress? Where is the industry headed?
Matt Cohen: We have a good level of education in the WordPress community now. Everyone knows what they’re doing and now wants to take the programming principles they know and integrate them back into WordPress.
It’s not just about snapping something together, though. Instead, it’s about making a solid product. As long as there are people who love WordPress, there will always be WordPress. It’s not about who is in charge of what or who created what; WordPress is a community-based product. Let’s say we gave up on WordPress today. If that happened, someone else would pick it up and run with it. WordPress is here to stay.
WordPress has gone from being a blogging system to a CMS system. I anticipate WordPress eventually being an app framework. If you look through the core code, you can build anything with WordPress, but most people don’t read the code. For example, meta-data has always been there. It’s big things that you can use the WordPress framework for and create apps. I created a messaging center on WordPress. That’s an app. It’s a system that messages without IP validation and all of that.
It’s going to take a while for the app framework to develop because there are three or four different communities in WordPress: the guys who are trying to figure it out, the real hardcore developers, and the theme developers. Each group needs to approach it from their own angle. People will approach it from different paths, but WordPress is definitely moving toward apps.
WPHub: What about the evolution of responsive themes and the growing use of mobile devices?
Matt Cohen: There’s definitely a focus on mobile now. You can imagine a mobile app that’s a WordPress app, for example, and there are mobile apps that have come out that deal with WordPress. I beta tested one of the first versions and they have come a long way since then. It’s amazing. It’d be nice to see custom support in the apps. There are certain limitations that will likely exist. You can’t control everything from within an app right now, but I think you should be able to do everything.
WPHub: The word is too enjoyable to say for us not to ask a question about it. What in the world is WooDojo?
Matt Cohen: WooDojo is a plug-in that helps you to get the functionality you need. It offers a few features out of the box like custom login screen branding, Twitter and Instagram widgets, and inserting custom code in the header and footer of your website. It also has access to a bunch of other features such as a launch pad, maintenance mode, and dynamic navigation menus.
WPHub: Talk about WooThemes’ pricing and why you decided on the structure you have.
Matt Cohen: Our pricing is broken down into two sections: our theme club and our plug-ins. The theme club promises one theme a month along with access to our theme catalog, which can also be purchased individually. The plug-ins offer different licensing tiers, which means you can use the plug-in across one, five, or unlimited websites. These tiers have different prices.
WPHub: We’ll leave you with one final question: How did WooThemes come to be the juggernaut it is today?
Matt Cohen: WooThemes started as three guys in three different countries looking to build awesome WordPress themes that they could sell and that would speed up their freelance work. Premium News, the original theme (now freely available) was the first theme released by WooThemes, which was then called Premium News Themes. Today, we’ve grown into an international company, spread out across the globe, offering themes, plug-ins, and more to the WordPress community.