In this episode, Cory Miller talks with Karim Marucchi, Pat Ramsey, and Alex Nitu of Crowd Favorite. They share their insights on scaling WordPress for the enterprise. Their discussion includes the challenges of managing large WordPress sites, tips for optimizing site performance and security, and advice for hiring and managing a WordPress development team.
Estimated Reading Time: 29 minutes
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Mentioned in the show:
- Crowd Favorite
- Gravity Forms
- Ninja Forms
- Beaver Builder
- Liquid Web
- WP Engine
- Elegant Themes
- WPMU Dev
- The Events Calendar
- Gravity Flow
- Formidable Forms
- Matt Mullenweg
- Taylor Otwell
- Pippin Williamson
- Brian Gardner
- Syed Balkhi
- Chris Lema
- Brad Williams
- Helen Hou-Sandí
- Andrew Nacin
- Tony Perez
- Miriam Schwab
- Nathan Wrigley
- Dan Maby
- Joe Howard
- Christie Chirinos
- Rich Tabor
You can follow Post Status and our guests on Twitter:
- Karim Marucchi (CEO of Crowd Favorite)
- Pat Ramsey (Director of Technology at Crowd Favorite)
- Alex Nitu (Project Manager at Crowd Favorite)
- Cory Miller (CEO, Post Status)
- Olivia Bisset (Intern, Post Status)
The Post Status Draft podcast is geared toward WordPress professionals, with interviews, news, and deep analysis.
Cory Miller: [00:00:00] Hey everybody. Welcome back to Post Status Draft . This is gonna be a
great conversation. One I’ve been wanting to have as I’ve learned and explored more about
WordPress on the enterprise. And so this is under our agency, kind of both agency series and
product. Cuz it, it’s, it’s both because of what our, uh, the three people that are here today do,
uh, full-time for crowd favorite.
Um, but so we’re gonna be talking about WordPress enterprise products. I spent, uh, my career
in WordPress building. Products, not me personally, but leading a team that built products. But it
was different from the enterprise base as I told these gentlemen, they know very well. Um, that’s
whole different set of, um, Product uses and customers and needs, frankly.
So we had a product that had, was on the repo and had a million installs. That’s way different
product than what we’re talking about today, which is why I wanted to have this conversation. I
want to have more of [00:01:00] these WordPress on the enterprise conversations because I
think it’s so critical to WordPress overall.
Um, for years. Friends like Kreme, who I’ll introduce in just a second. Um, Have done this cool
work and I get to, and members of post status get to brag about my friends that do these cool
sites, that everybody knows what they are and I go, that’s about as much as I know. I know they
use WordPress. I know these are awesome people building for it.
And these are brand names that you know. So anyway, I’m excited for this conversation. Um, so
I have my dear friends, Karim and Pat, who I’ve known for, I don’t know, 10 plus years, and my
newest friend Alex, who I get to meet all from Crowd favorite. Uh, but I’m gonna let you all
introduce yourself. Um, Karim, I know your background go is vast.
Even before WordPress, you were doing some cool things in business that you took over when
you started, um, your agency, way back in the day before, it was called Craft Favorite. But I’m
gonna let you introduce yourself. All that to say it’s gonna be a fun [00:02:00] conversation
Karim Marucchi: Corey, thank you so much.
It’s an absolute pleasure to be here. Uh, I love hanging out with you and having these
conversations with you because they’re amazing. Um, You mentioned I’ve, I’ve been around
since before WordPress. Yeah. Uh, at the end of this year, I’ll be, I’ll be celebrating my 30th year
of delivering c m s solutions for the enterprise.
That’s been way too long.
Uh, I’ve only been in the WordPress space for about 13 years. I’ve, I’ve found open source like
you find religion and I love it. Um, it’s been the best thing for our enterprise clients. So I’m CEO
of Crowd Favorite. Um, just for those of you who don’t have a, a deep WordPress history.
Crowd favorite was founded by Alex King. Um, one of the first contributors to the WordPress
project after, uh, Matt and Mike, um, and crowd favorite, uh, under the leadership of Alex King,
really did some of the [00:03:00] first big scaling publishing sites, um, in the WordPress world.
So we are proud to carry that name forward today.
Cory Miller: You know, you mentioned Alex and when I was a, just using WordPress in 2006,
when you install it, this is how far Alex and Cry favorite go back to is. You know, you install
WordPress, you get a blog roll by default. There’d be a bunch of names. You’re like, oh, who’s
all these names? Yeah. But there’s always Alex on there and, uh, I got to meet Alex in 2010 and
then I was excited when you all joined forces.
And became crowd favorite cuz what you’re doing in the space too. I think I met you right about
2011 maybe Karim. I mean, it was pretty early. Yeah. And I was like, who’s this guy who is, is,
uh, knows his stuff and quite charming And, uh, that led to, I don’t know, gosh, has it been like
hundreds of times we’ve had dinner together and, uh, Stopped by during Covid and got to hang
out on the back porch as you’re [00:04:00] going across the country.
Uh, and then, and of course, right on the tails of Karim is Pat, who I’ve known just as long so,
and excited when Pat was a part of Crowd favorite as well. But Pat, uh, could you introduce
Pat Ramsey: Yeah, uh, Pat Ramsey, uh, director of Technology here at Crowd Favorite. Um,
I’ve been here a little over eight years, but, um, I was scratching my brain there because I think
it was Word Camp Dallas 2009 when I met you and your team Corey, um, back in the day there
at, uh, I think it was UT Dallas at that conference center that was there.
That’s right. Yeah. Yeah. And you were showing, you know, you guys were, you guys were doing
all of the theme work on the back end where it was all user configurable. Uh, and, uh, I had a
very, uh, it was a short but intense conversation with one of your devs about the pros and cons
of doing that and allowing that on the back end versus not.
Um, here we are now still, so it’s, it’s fantastic. [00:05:00] Um, you mentioned that, uh, Alex King
showing up on the blog roll. It was 2005 or 6 . And, uh, he answered one of my support
questions on WordPress back then. Um, and I remember seeing him in that, uh, I think it was
that, that old green blocky looking default theme, uh mm-hmm.
And being in that sidebar. So that was, uh, that was fun.
Cory Miller: Gosh, I, so Karim Pat predates our friendship.
Karim Marucchi: It does, it does. Pat is one of the, the OG WordPress people in the
Cory Miller: Absolutely. That was a good time. I do remember that. That was historic time for us
too, because we were doing Ithe builder at the time, I think is what you’re talking about.
Yep. That was Then if you’ll remember real quick piece of nostalgia, Alex and everybody else,
um, uh, that Deb, you’re talking about Christine, who, who’s now automatic. Came to me and he
goes, Hey, I just met this 16 year old kid doing some incredible stuff, like mind blowing. I was
like, Chris, you’re one of [00:06:00] the smartest people I know, so you’re telling me somebody I
gotta go meet this person.
It was Clay Griffiths of Headway themes. So that was a historic one for us too, in your
friendship. All right, thanks Pat. Alex.
Alex Nitu: The new kid bringing up their year.
Cory Miller: My newest friend. Yes.
Alex Nitu: Yeah. So I’m Alex Nitu . I’m a product manager at Crowd Favorite. Um, I’m always
been a techie ever since I was a little. That millennial, millennial generation that just grew up
with, uh, computers and the internet developing as I did.
Um, and so yeah, I bounced around between startups, government agencies, uh, boutique
agencies until I finally found God favorite. And that was really, uh, a kismet moment that I’ve, I
felt like I found my tribe. I’m like, yep. These are the, the guys that I’m gonna build great things
with. Uh, and so yeah, now I’m super passionate about open source and, uh, what, uh, what
we’re building, uh, [00:07:00] at our favorite.
I think it’s, uh, very interesting and can’t wait to share it with you and everybody else.
Cory Miller: Absolutely. Well, I got to meet Alex last week and he showed me the product
they’re working on and I was really impressed and particularly his passion and vision for what,
what he’s doing with the product. So, nice.
Okay. Thanks for sharing a little bit about yourselves. Let’s dive right into the topic, which is
WordPress Enterprise Products. Um, like I say, Karim, this is compelling to me because I’ve
always been proud of. An envious of my friends that operate in the enterprise space, but I just
go, I don’t even know what it’s like to work like with some of the huge companies I know you all
Mm-hmm. Um, but I know your passion for open source, the open web, and down to Word
Press, paired with vast experience working with these huge companies. So when we’re talking
about WordPress products in the enterprise, what comes to your mind? Why are we even
talking about this? I think I know what I’m, why we’re talking about it, but I’m curious to know
your [00:08:00] perspective on this.
Karim Marucchi: Yeah, so the biggest, the biggest difference when I talk to folks who’ve come
over from the, from the comer world, is less than 10% of enterprise software products. I’m not
talking about SaaS, I’m talking about software products. Less than 10% of software products for
the enterprise are turnkey. You install them, you hand over an interface and they just use it.
Most are what we call an 80% solution. Um, a great example of this was even, um, in, in the
early days of Crowd favorite, um, Alex King released a product called ramp, which was for
moving content from one complex environment to another, and they could never get that last
interface right, because in the enterprise, everybody’s workflow is so different.
Yeah, that you have to customize that last 20% on every install. [00:09:00] So even though this
sounds crazy, in the comer world, we’re building products that we are just doing 80% of the
product, and then we may install it 3, 4, 5 times, not 5,000 or 6,000, but those three, four or five
times, it’s a custom installation each time.
It’s a custom process. That’s the best.
Cory Miller: So, Yeah. And, and I know from talking to you in the past about that, that I, you
know, the comer type products we released, you go, okay, it’s mostly one s fits all, you know?
Mm-hmm. There’s edge cases that’s not gonna work. But on the enterprise presents a whole
different set of, um, challenges I’m sure.
So I get that too. And where the needs are just really vastly different and need that kind of
customization. You mentioned something that’s interesting to me. You said software product
versus SaaS. Mm-hmm. So te tell me that distinction because there’s one I just picked up on. I
go, okay. I need to dig into that one [00:10:00] because that’s different.
I, I, I understand software versus SaaS, but on the enterprise perspective.
Karim Marucchi: Well, on the enterprise perspective, you absolutely have SAS products that
are ready to go, uh, more likely than not, though. Even large software implementations that you
expect to be sas. If you’re an enterprise that has enough money, you’re getting your own custom
version of even that SaaS product.
But you know, there’s Salesforce, there’s uh, HubSpot, there’s a lot of products out there that
they, they promote the fact that they have an enterprise product that’s just, you log in and you
go. But reality of the top tier of enterprise is that they want whatever product they’re using to be
adapted to their workflow.
Yes, so that’s why we make a distinction. Sometimes there are plug and place SAS for the
enterprise, and then there’s also just the traditional sort of software architecture where you have
to do this last 20%. [00:11:00] And then there’s what Alex and our team is playing with right now.
We’ve been working on, uh, personalization products for about six years now for our clients
directly, and each time they’re different.
But we started playing around with progressive profiling and, uh, conditional content, all these
types of concepts. So we started releasing in a public, uh, in a, in a, uh, plugin on the repository,
just some of the codes to play with. First it was on GitHub, then we moved to repository, and
now lately we’ve been trying to see what does it look like to actually hook up some of these APIs
to third parties.
And actually try to create a little bit more of a standardized product. But still we’re finding that
the customers who are enterprise clients will download our um, D X P toolkit product, the free
version from the repository. Then they’ll contact us and they’ll say, we need X, Y, Z
customizations, and it ends up being something that [00:12:00] is completely custom for that
Cory Miller: See, I’ll hold this question, but that, that presents a whole different, it feels like
pricing monitor from b2c, which is, Hey, buy this. Good to go. Um, but I’ll save that for later on in
the conversation. Um, but I’m curious, I know you’ve told me too, this is the next frontier. Or
WordPress. Mm-hmm. Um, in the enterprise specifically, but you’re seeing things and, and even
if you’ve been working on these things for six years, I know you’ve been talking about it since
Right. Uh, because we, we tried to figure out, okay, you know, this space, we do products. How
do, how do we do this? You’ve been thinking, working on these things for a long time, but you’re
obviously seeing things. What are you seeing out there, the opportunities, uh, I’m sure through
your actual enterprise clients.
Karim Marucchi: So the, the largest opportunity we’re seeing is clients pushing the limits of
what their expectations are with SaaS products. [00:13:00] Or with installed versions of CMSs,
whether it’s WordPress or something else. Because, you know, in the WordPress world, we’re
used to looking at the the, the uh, dot org repository, and we have 65 to 70,000 plugins in there
And what ends up happening is, Um, we’re thinking about that as our world, but in the
enterprise, um, I think that over the last 12 years, it’s gone from something like 1200 SaaS
products to over 10,000 SaaS products and. The enterprise is going, I want to try these
innovations. How do I try these innovations?
And they’re stuck with like, how do I churn away from one SaaS to another? What do I do? Yes.
So there’s this opportunity at the moment, right now, if you think of the concept of a bicycle
wheel, we can use the WordPress project and open source as a hub to use spokes to [00:14:00]
connect out. To any number of sass,
but keep the experience in the roadmap of where you want to go within the WordPress project
and what you’re doing in WordPress.
And then if you wanna move from one CRM package to the next CRM package, as long as you.
Connecting in the right way and having the right data policies. You can detach and reattach, you
can do all sorts of things. It’s a little bit more complicated than I’m making it sound, but the
bottom line is that the enterprise clients have the opportunity to try things and maintain their
So this is a giant opportunity for the WordPress project to say, we’re gonna be a Swiss Army
knife, we’re gonna be a hub. So that way.
Enterprise customers can connect to one thing, try the next, try the next, and still maintain their
own vision of what their roadmap is. Does that make sense?
Cory Miller: Yeah, it does.
Um, [00:15:00] Alex, you came off mute. Do y’all two have have a comment on that?
Alex Nitu: Oh, I could talk for days, uh, on this, uh, that’s a loaded question. Uh, yeah. Yeah, I
like going a lot, uh, a lot of what you guys are saying. Uh, cuz really it’s about, um, breaking
that, that tip of the iceberg and democratizing all of these, uh, uh, these solutions that don’t
necessarily are, are necessarily easy to, to implement, be it by cost of ownerships, by, uh,
difficulty of implementation, by, uh, by, in a, by a case by case manner where.
Your infrastructure or your your needs need to be, uh, uh, solved in a, in a bespoke manner. Uh,
so that’s really about, uh, finding that middle ground where, uh, you don’t need all that resources
or you are able to own your data or own your infrastructure and, uh, and your digital, uh, digital
Cory Miller: I, I love what you said too, Karim.
Um, and we’re gonna have a conversation in a couple weeks about. More, uh, broader topic in
WordPress and the enterprise, and I really appreciate your leadership in, in our community, uh,
for WordPress and the enterprise, making sure the concerns, the needs, the challenges are
heard. And then at Crown Favorite, I love what you’re doing and providing some solutions to
meet those needs you seen on, um, the enterprise.
Karim Marucchi: But if I may, there’s, there’s a specific opportunity for everybody out there
who’s looking at what products they could come up with to not only think about how do I make a
product that I’m gonna make for an end user, but you can make a customizable product. There’s
lots of examples out there these days, but you can make a customizable product where you
could be solving a deep problem rather than a wide problem.
Mm-hmm. And you’re not, you’re not charging the comer level prices. There’s so much
[00:17:00] opportunity for, for connecting to other SAEs, to other, uh, solutions that are next to
WordPress and outside of WordPress that just haven’t even been tapped. The plugin community
in WordPress has traditionally stayed within.
How do I help the self-service? Um, the self-service web designer manager, uh,
Admin, right. Um, there’s so many more things that can be done.
It’s just a matter of seeing deep rather than wide. I think that’s where I start that conversation.
Yeah. I know Pat views on this too, so I’m gonna shut up.
Cory Miller: Yeah, no, I like that deep, that that’s a perspective shift for a lot of, uh, developers
as you know, Karim in the space.
Um, pat, I’m curious, you’re taking all this, um, yeah. What you’re seeing too.
Pat Ramsey: Well, I think, uh, Karim said it earlier. You know, we’re seeing people push the
boundaries with these things and the explosion in sass, [00:18:00] especially since 2020. And
everybody going home and staying outta the office and deciding to build everything online.
Uh, you just saw this, this exponential explosion in, uh, services that are out there, data
services, data, you know, services for moving data services for transforming data services for
connecting to this, uh, drop ship place service for calculating something. It, it’s not even, you
know, it, it’s, it’s very minuscule.
You know, uh, unit tasker type things that are out there now that you just didn’t see before. Um,
and so there’s 20 million of them, uh, and everybody wants to connect to ’em and do this and do
that, and do, you know, do the other thing with it. Um, I think, you know, one of the, one of the
biggest challenges is, uh, you know, wading through all of those that are out there and finding
what that set is that your, your customer needs.
So that makes productization a little bit difficult. You can’t just. Oh, install this and it’s gonna
magically [00:19:00] connect. Um, you know, one of the, the phrases that I’ve, I sort of hate
these days is this no code. The idea of no code. Somebody wrote code for no code to work. Uh,
it’s just, you know, uh, uh, I, I said this to the guys earlier, you know, even the Rosetta Stone,
which translated, you know, three or four of the world’s foremost languages.
Somebody had to sit there and carve all those things in the rock. So you gotta write code to
make these things work. And that’s where a lot of the work that we do in this space comes into
play is you’ve got sass that are out there and you’ve got your c m s and Andre’s exactly right.
WordPress is uniquely positioned to be that central connecting piece through its API and
through its open architecture to connect to X, Y, and Z and bring it together, uh, for, for your
customers to be able to do the things they need to do.
And so, uh, it, it is a really rich space. It is a different space than what you see in 95% of the
product [00:20:00] conversations that have happened in, in, you know, since the days of, of, of,
you know, the first page Lee, uh, you know, over a decade. It’s, it’s, uh, been a challenge to hit
that explosion in the enterprise space for products as it as it has been for mass market, simply
because the requirements are far more complex.
Cory Miller: Hmm. It’s like Karim said, they want to try things. That’s really compelling to me.
They want to try the things they’re seen out there and, and then, but to have this massive, I can’t
even imagine the roadmap. You all, you, particularly Pat, I know, manage those teams and
services and how they could try it.
Something they see out there, want to try it, but it’s big, massive thing they’ve got going in their
roadmap that they’ve, they’re want to try out and figure that out. Um,
Pat Ramsey: And They’ll push the limits on ’em too. You know, like said, they’ll push the limits.
You know, they’ll, they’ll find a way to break, uh, to break a server, you know, because of just,
you know, the sheer amounts [00:21:00] of, of data that they have to deal with.
They’ll find a way to push an API to time out simply because there’s just too much that has to
happen. You know, there, there will be a business case in there somewhere that prevents. 90%
of the answers that you read about in any tech site on how to fix the problem, you can’t because
of a business case that exists.
So you’ve got to sit there and figure out another way around it. And it, it might sound, you know,
bubblegum and rubber bands, but, uh, you know, that’s, that’s the world that you, you know,
that, that you live in, in this space. You can’t just say, oh, well, you know, you just have to do
this. No, you can’t. There’s a security policy, there’s a, there’s a business requirement, there’s a,
you know, a, a absolute critical system that can never be turned off or, or, you know, shut down
or something like that.
So you have to, you have to sit there and stand on your head, you know, lay upside down,
whatever it is, to, to try to figure out how do we go from here to here? Cause it’s not the path
Cory Miller: everybody else is [00:22:00] taking. And it seems like that when they wanna try,
like Karim was saying something, some department within an organization goes, we wanna do
We like this, we want to do this. They need a safe environment and a safe place to be able to do
those things. It doesn’t disrupt all those other things. Yeah.
Karim Marucchi: Um, one of the things that I. Alex can speak for himself, but I’m sure, um,
what I hear him say is that he loves the fact that he’s solving problems one at a time for clients.
He gets to go deep so that he’s constantly trying to figure out whether it’s our service clients or
how to productize what we’ve done for one client and install over 3, 4, 5, 6 other clients like
trying to solve that problem deeply for clients. Is is something that’s a different world than comer,
but it’s not harder, it’s just different.
You can’t charge the lower rates that you would [00:23:00] charge for a comer product, but you
can solve that problem on a large scale.
Cory Miller: Right. It’s, it seems like it’s product with service. I mean, dependent on some of
those service-based customizations you need to do.
Alex Nitu: I feel as though, uh, it’s, uh, it’s absolutely right.
There’s two completely different, uh, roadmaps for a, a general comer product and an enterprise
focused, uh, product. And, uh, with our favorite, I think we are fortuitous enough to, um, be able
to have this data set where, uh, we can, uh, Uh, drive a roadmap that is lean and it is, uh, spec
particularly focused for, uh, the enterprise needs and use that to, to provide that, uh, that white
glove, uh, enterprise, uh, uh, service and, uh, and experience, um, with, uh, with the product to
match that, um, gives you that flexibility for innovation, for, um, for testing and for, uh, [00:24:00]
Um, of, uh, essentially volatility and, uh, and ease of expansion.
Cory Miller: It’s almost like they want to go to Everest and you’re helicoptering in to base camp.
That’s, that’s the product. And then, Hey, this is how we want to climb Everest. And, uh, you all
are, are the people that help them get there. So Alex, that’s certain, yeah. So Alex, I, I’m curious,
now we’ve heard from Pat and Karim, now when we get down to the level of like, Karim’s
highlighted the general topic personalization, but as the product manager for Crowd favorite
building a product, tell us what that is and what are those problems you’re solving for?
Alex Nitu: Sure. So, um, it’s really, um, it’s an integral part of a dxp, a digital, uh, a digital
experience platform. Um, and if you break it down into its, uh, into its, uh, founding, uh,
[00:25:00] parts personalization is, uh, is quite a large piece of that pie. Um, and what
personalization really is, it’s really just dynamic content displayed, um, For a, for a, uh, custom
tailored, uh, user, right?
So that, uh, is your user segments. And all of that starts from, uh, from your dataset. And this,
uh, feeds back into the idea of, uh, data ownership and, um, being able to, as a company to, to
fully own your data. Um, so that, uh, encompasses a lot more than just having access to it or
being able to, to view it or, um, or export it.
Uh, so going from that, you. As if you know your user base and you know your user personas
and the the target audience that you’re, that you’re, uh, mainly interested in and focused on, uh,
it’s that much easier to, to provide, uh, a tailored than, uh, bespoke, uh, a bespoke experience
to, to each of those, uh, of those, uh, user types.
Uh, and then, uh, After that, it’s really, [00:26:00] uh, all about the, the content, the editorial
experience. Um, so with, uh, with our personalization product, um, we, we, uh, do our best to,
um, not add additional steps to your workflow or, um, Impact your, your day-to-day, uh, your
day-to-day, um, uh, job. Um, and it’s meant to expand on it.
To improve on it, and to, uh, to make it that much, um, that much more, uh, beautiful and, and
captivating, um, uh, that much more engaging really. Um, and then that’s, uh, that’s reflected in
the, um, the, the products interface as well as the, uh, general user experience for it. So,
whereas with, uh, different set services, and don’t get me wrong, I absolutely, uh, likes us, uh,
so solutions and, uh, I absolutely believe there are, uh, time and a place for them.
But with this type of enterprise focused, bespoke product, [00:27:00] you get to keep your
workflow. You don’t have to have that long onboarding experience where you need to
completely revamp your methodology. Uh, you get to maintain your, uh, your own, uh, your own
set of, uh, steps to accomplish and then, and then just, um, amplify them or augment them.
Uh, it’s still part of your, uh, your same workflow. So that’s what I believe we’ve, we’ve managed
to accomplish with, uh, with the XP toolkit.
Cory Miller: What are a couple of the things that you’re excited about with this particular
product that you’re working on or, or have done with it?
Alex Nitu: Sure, sure. So, uh, again, it feeds back into, into owning your data, right?
So if you think about it, where can you best, uh, identify these, uh, these user personas? Well,
that comes from your analytics engines, that comes from your CRMs, that comes from all these
types of, of, uh, customer experience or. Or, um, uh, management, uh, uh, platforms. So what
we [00:28:00] did was, um, again, focusing and using the dataset that we have access to, we’ve
identified all of these, uh, major, uh, integration components and, uh, and tackle them one by
So we are now able to fully integrate with, uh, your analytic services with Salesforce, with all of
these types of CRMs and platforms that are data driven, driven. To then use all of that, all of
those data points to effectively personalize your content and display it for a particular use case
or user persona.
Thank you. What I feel is, is most exciting, having all of those user segments and all of that data
already existing and reporting and to your liking, and then just, uh, as simple as a, with a click of
a button, being able to, um, Personalized content for that particular, uh, subgroup of, of visitors
Karim Marucchi: So Alex just went deep on something that I think needs to be called out
because it’s second nature. [00:29:00] Some of us sometimes are dealing with our clients, but
folks might not realize it on the comer side. Um, when I said earlier about solving a problem
deeply, Alex just gave a great example. Um, We work on a lot of personalization and, um, the
progressive profiling for clients and we actually use the plugin we have on the WordPress
repository, um, as a sort of a sandbox, a place to play around with certain aspects.
We package the things there that we can package and our sort of, you can install it and use it,
but you’ll notice that we’re trying to solve a problem even in that deeply, so we’re not building
our own little analytics piece within the personalization. We’re saying this is gonna do content
rules. If you wanna see what’s coming out of the content shifts you’re making on your website
when you’re customizing page A or page B.
[00:30:00] Or, you know, block A or block B, um, go check out your mamo installation because
we plug into that. Go check out your GA four because we plug into that. In the comer world
there’s a lot of, um, plugin and application bloat because developers tend to try and create more
and more and more features, again, wide rather than deep.
Do what you’re doing best, solve your problem well and in a performant fashion, and then
connect to a best of breed solution for analytics. So Alex said that very quickly, so the
developers on this conversation pick that up. But for, for the folks who are talking about creating
products, you know, think that way.
There’s a way to go deep. Yeah Pat .
Pat Ramsey: Well, there, there, there is. Exactly. But I think you, you’re illustrating perfectly that
difference between mass market audiences and the enterprise, uh, audiences. Uh, you know,
there’s absolutely nothing [00:31:00] wrong with something like, uh, like a jet pack stats that’s
out there for your, your mass market audience.
There’s nothing wrong with that at all. The WP Analytics, uh, some of the little analytics plugins
that have been out there, that have built that bring analytics into your site because, You know,
you, you need that, that’s that democratization of the ability so that anybody who can get that
code and install it can get it up and running and have a, have a website with those tools there.
We don’t see that in the enterprise space though, because in the enterprise space, they’re
gonna be, they’re gonna look at, they’re gonna look at that and go, no, we’ve got 12 years in an
Adobe analytics system that we’re not getting rid of. We’ve got a decade in Google Analytics.
You know, we’ve got our own install of p WIC before it became me tomo.
And we cannot get rid of that data. You can argue whether or not some of that needs to go or
stay. That’s different conversation. But the point is they’re not going to change. To a turnkey little
solution that that sort of one size fits all type of things that [00:32:00] works in the mass market
space. That’s, that’s the perfect example of that paradigm shift that we have to deal with.
So our approach has been, we’re not gonna tell you to use this c r m or that C R m or this
analytics tool, or that analytics tool or, or what have you. This mail’s platform versus this mail
platform. Does it have an a p I. Do the endpoints exist that are, are gonna get that data that we
need. Let’s build all that up and get that connected in here so that now you’re as a marketing
team, not so much the tech team, but over here to your marketing team, you can be creating
content and reading the results and the impact and the reach and the effectiveness of all of that.
And based on that, do do content, do different journeys, do different things. So it’s, it’s bridging
the data, the analytics and everything together in your cms.
Cory Miller: Yeah, I love that. Doing the one thing, um, because I can [00:33:00] also just kind
of, Predict or look, see that when you can’t bloat with some of these sites we’re talking about,
you can’t bloat, you don’t want to bloat.
It’s going to have performance issues as Karim mentioned. Um, before we get to the money
question, here’s the thing I want to ask because I’ve heard this a couple times. Um, this, I love
that you’re doing personalization cuz that really triggers my marketing side. I go, oh, I love
WordPress. One of the.
Awesome benefits of WordPress is you can put your things online, you can test ideas, you can
test new marketing things. And many of our, um, agency members who serve the enterprise talk
a lot about what I hear is they love WordPress on the enterprise cuz of two things. It’s faster and
it’s probably cheaper.
And I don’t mean that to, to downgrade. It’s like they can deli, get the products they want faster
and more affordably than they can from proprietary. And the third thing, when. You said this,
[00:34:00] and I keep coming back to it. When you hear, when you say the word try, I think
marketing, I wanna be able to try this new concept, try this new idea, try this new strategy or
Um, and so it seems like under personalization, you’re camping out with what I think is a
strength of WordPress overall, but especially in enterprises marketing. People love WordPress
on the enterprise because of these things. Mm-hmm. Right,
Karim Marucchi: right. Yeah, that’s exactly the case. We’re able, we’re able to create a feature
for a client that is sometimes a third of the cost of an enterprise product or SaaS platform out
I won’t name any names to piss people off. Um, but then when you said cheap, it’s not about
cheap because if they’re saving 30, 40, 50, 60, 70%. Because they’re using WordPress. It’s not
that they’re being cheap. They’re actually putting that money back into trying [00:35:00]
something new. Just like you said, they can put that money back into marketing.
They can put that money back into, well, there’s a new email solution out there that does
something different. Let’s try that. There’s a new thing
that’s out there. How do we hook up to that?
So the cheap conversation goes away and it becomes of. How am I spending my money if I’m
saving money because I’m using an open source framework, because that’s how we describe
WordPress in the enterprise.
An open source framework. If I’m gonna save money by using an open source framework, how
can I make the money, give me a better return on investment in my marketing? It’s, it’s a no
brain, no brainer sale.
Cory Miller: One more thing before we talk about money. Um, actually two things. One, another
phrase you said was, own your data.
And that seems to be extremely powerful, especially in the age, increasingly more and more,
um, privacy. Uh, issues coming on. You know, GDPR was a big, it was a big [00:36:00] wave
and I think it was a good wave, but it was a big wave for a lot of us to do online work. Um, but y
you know, Alex, could you speak to a second?
There’s two, two avatars. You’re kind of two people groups. You’re kind of hitting with this, and I
wanna give you a second to speak to that. It seems like there’s the developer on team at the
company. That you’ve like, Hey, we’re not gonna blow. Like Pat said, we’re, we’re gonna get in,
do our job. We’re not gonna try to recreate Google Analytics for you.
Like, no, you just need this bridge. You need, we’re gonna do our job, do a fast, slim, secure,
um, not bloated. And then the other side is these is marketers sitting there going, please give
me these tools so I can do these things and try these things to, to grow our company. Would you
speak to a second from a product perspective to those two avatars, what you’re trying to do?
Alex Nitu: Absolutely. Yeah. So, uh, from my P o V, um, it’s really a completely different
[00:37:00] value proposition when you’re talking about, uh, enterprise. Um, and from, uh, what I
found, it’s, uh, it’s all about, um, The cost of onboarding and the cost of ownership, that
particular solution. Right. Um, and the advantage with these, um, open source composable, um,
um, uh, products is that you do, uh, have, um, a minimal footprint on what it means to, to, um,
Onboard, offboard, move around, experiment and um, um, confirm and, and do reiterate.
Right? Um, and then in the case of, of personalization with, uh, with these two main, again, user
personas, uh, speaking back in the personalization terms, um, we need to, uh, to identify what.
Really are the, the, the pain points or the the costs of, of, um, building or, uh, creating content
that is personalized with the exp toolkit.
Um, and from the one end is the actual usage [00:38:00] and uh, um, the creation of that
content. So that’s where the marketer comes in. Where you don’t need to have a technical
background to be, just be able to create content and, and effectively target that content to your
desired user base. Um, so, uh, this, uh, um, ties back into what I was saying about that, uh, that
intuitive and fluent user experience.
Where it doesn’t detract from your, uh, your current workflow or current methodology of, of
building up that content and publishing it. Um, and that’s, uh, where, um, our, uh, page builder
integration come in, come in where, uh, we are natively integrating with, uh, Gutenberg Beaver
Builder and our mentor. So, uh, you get your pick of the letter for, uh, For how you want to
create your content.
And that’s just the, the out of the box solutions, obviously. That’s, uh, it’s, uh, the whole
architecture is built to, to allow for that, uh, uh, customizability and extensibility. Uh, and that
moves over [00:39:00] into the section, the second part of, of the cost of, of owning, uh,
composable solution like this. Um, and that’s managing it.
Uh, and that’s where developers come in. So you need to be able to provide a, uh, reach, um,
exhaustive this, uh, uh, documentation there and have all the, the checks in place and the, the,
the hooks in place to, to be able to accurately and, and efficiently extended or modified it to your
particular needs. And with DB toolkit that’s built into it, and it’s, uh, One of the, the main, uh, the
main concepts that, uh, that we’ve identified when, uh, in, uh, first architecture in this, uh, uh,
this product that it should, um, allow for, uh, for customizability for that, uh, white glove service
where, um, you are able to, um, extend it or modify to suit your, your actual needs.
Um, that comes into play with code standards as well, with the architecture itself, with, uh,
performance of. And, [00:40:00] uh, all the other, uh, bits and pieces that make for a, a great
Karim Marucchi: But you, Corey, you mentioned, um, data ownership and Pat can explain it
more than I can, but business-wise, we have seen more and more of our clients say, yes, we’re
now connecting to all these things.
We’re now using these APIs. We wanna own that data. We don’t want it to sit out on the SaaS
or we wanna make sure that we have real time replication and so forth and so on. So Pat, if you
want to describe that for a minute, this is like the cutting edge of where some of our most
interesting clients are, are trying to see where they can interact in a new way.
Pat Ramsey: It’s about first party data. I’m a business, I engage with my customers. Um, there’s
a lot of concerns around privacy and data [00:41:00] ownership, uh, when your data gets sold
and resold and reused. So one of the flip sides to the advantage of having all these SaaS
services out there is you’re potentially spreading customer data around to.
30, 40, 50, 60, you know, whoever, all these different people who then turn around and
repurpose it, repackage it, you know, what have you. Um, you know, you load a script on your
site to, uh, to bring in, uh, uh, uh, tags of some kind. And you sit there and watch the network
site, the network connection in your browser, and, you know, there’s all these remote
connections being made.
Because of the relationships that they have with these other services, which are then getting
into your content. And so you, you know, your user data is going everywhere. So this idea of first
party data is, is, is big. Um, it’s one of the things that, uh, is attractive about and own your data
stance. So me as a, uh, me as a business [00:42:00] owner, setting up my website and
engaging with my customers, the more I can keep the data just between us.
My customers and myself the better.
So that, that’s, I mean, that’s kind of a, a, a,
Cory Miller: yeah, in nutshell that’s get
Pat Ramsey: wrapped around that. It makes it way more, it makes this open source approach
of using WordPress as this hub, which has a privacy API that you can hook into, which, you
know, you can retain the data there within, within your system. And if you don’t have to send it
out to a third party service, you know, don’t.
Cory Miller: And see that’s the perspective I was missing and I appreciate that too, is like that’s
your, that’s priceless. That’s a customer being able to pull a customer in a paying customer,
keep a paying customer, that’s enormous. So that side of that, I wasn’t seeing that initially. I was
seeing the privacy side of like, okay, well with Judy, Judy per PR and the emphasis for good
reason on privacy and your data is out there, [00:43:00] Google and others have.
I’ve been talking about this for a while and I’ve kind of been watching with the smile going, I
wonder how they’re gonna figure this out. Because more and more people are gonna say, I want
control of the data. And so it makes sense to me from that side is from a business perspective
that you do own it because then you control it.
Okay, so here’s the burning question and uh, we’re we’ll wrap up. But, um, I’m really curious
from being a product guy doing products more on the comer level. How does a product like this
make money on the enterprise, and how do you support that? Um, so who wants to take it?
Karim Marucchi: I’ll, I’ll take the first stab at it, I guess, but, uh, I, I know, I know there’s
Um, so the bottom line here is, um, you’re not selling a volume of licenses. You’re selling very
few licenses, so they’re expensive. And you’re not necessarily even selling it based on a
[00:44:00] license. You’re selling it based on the install process that might actually have coltancy
in it. It might have, um, support on the tail end of installing it.
And you’re also getting paid basically for that support. So you can say there’s an install cost and
then there’s a maintenance cost that is like the yearly license you have, um, with a comer
product. But literally add a few zeros.
And even if you’re selling relatively few licenses a year, different numbers for different products,
um, you adapt the pricing to make sure that you’re making money, uh, as long as you’re solving
a problem that an enterprise client needs deeply and well.
And you’ve followed some of the things that have been talked about today. Um, It’s just a matter
of doing that, but you have to know your market. There’s, what we didn’t touch on today is really
knowing what you’re solving and knowing that there’s a market there, but [00:45:00] financially,
honestly, it’s, it’s just about making sure that you understand what you’re, the value you’re
bringing to your customer and charging appropriately.
It’s not about one off licenses .
Cory Miller: Well, from a business perspective, I see too. It’s not just, you know, we could. Kind
of amortize development costs and support costs because it was okay if 10,000 people buy this,
it’s $80, whatever it might be, you know? But this with the scenario of like the Mount Everest,
like there’s the hel, there’s one part that’s a helicopter flying to base camp, and then there’s a
team, Alex Pat others on their teams helping you get to where you’re going, which means.
It’s not a one size fits all route to that. Uh, and then we haven’t even touched on the
maintenance side of it. Like it’s not just delivering that path, it’s maintaining that path when all
these things flying in that could potentially break or cause issues. Well, thanks you three for
talking about WordPress products on [00:46:00] the enterprise.
Um, I’m very compelled. I’m so glad companies like cloud. Crowd favor to doing this because,
um, as WordPress grows and more and more people go, we want WordPress solutions,
especially on the enterprise. That just helps the whole entire ecosystem. And as we’re serving
those clients, users, customers better, that bodes well for all of us.
And as you mentioned, like there’s so many of these SaaS solutions that have come into that
space. But there’s unique needs you’ve identified from running your data, first party data thing
that Karim was saying, um, that need for customization when they want to try something out. I
think that’s pretty compelling.
But anything left that you all wanted to share as we run this down?
Karim Marucchi: Well, I, I’ll get in trouble with, um, Alex if I don’t mention this upfront to the
wider WordPress community out there. Um, take a look at the DXP toolkit that we have up on
the repository. If you have ideas on [00:47:00] how to make connections to other products and
other things, we’d love to collaborate.
Um, let us know. Give us a call.
Cory Miller: Awesome. So go find DXP toolkit on the repo. And then also Alex, where, where do
they find more information about the product that you’re building?
Alex Nitu: Dxptoolkit.com. That’s the first place you, you can look at. Uh, we also have a lot of
content available on crawford.com as well.
Um, talking about HP Toolkit and all the cool things it’s able to do. Um, it’s, uh, all this
conversation has really reminded me of, uh, The first time I joined the crowd favorite. And, uh,
the research I did, like, let’s see, what’s, uh, what’s all the, the buzz about this, uh, this company
I’m applying for, uh, and the two things that, that really, uh, uh, that I’ve re-identified was their,
uh, uh, enterprise expertise and, um, that white glove, uh, very, uh, highly sought after, um, um,
And [00:48:00] that’s absolutely, um, echoed into, into the, the products as well. Where, um, you
are able to, to help inform and drive, uh, the products roadmap. And the user experience doesn’t
just start and end at, uh, the plugin installation. It goes from the website all the way until the,
until the very end where, uh, you do get the option for, uh, or you do get the advantage of
having that, uh, that very, uh, specific and very, uh, personalized, uh, customer support.
Uh, so yeah, thanks for taking the time and, uh, I really enjoyed the talking, uh, products with
Cory Miller: You too. Just a side note, so Alex and I got to meet last week, I think I mentioned,
got a private demo and we’ll be deploying this on Post Status in a month or two and uh, I’m
really looking forward to that because I want to try these type of things even when we’re not at
the enterprise level, but I look forward to that.
Thanks, Alex. Pat and Karim as always, appreciate you all and what you do in WordPress
[00:49:00] on the enterprise. Thanks everybody else for tuning in today and we’ll talk to you next
Alex Nitu: Thank you, Corey. Thank you. Bye. Have a great day. See?
This article was published at Post Status — the community for WordPress professionals.