Launching a WordPress Product in Public: Session 4

Corey Maass and Cory Miller continue laying the groundwork for the launch of their new plugin Crop.Express. They strategize ways to attract customers and agencies and gain full adoption as they integrate changes from user feedback.

Estimated reading time: 65 minutes


In this episode, Corey Maass and Cory Miller focus on preparing Crop.Express for launch. They discuss building launch assets, utilizing a freemium model as a path toward a premium product, and future possibilities.

Top Takeaways:

  • Value of a Soft Launch. This is a great way to test the waters and get initial feedback. If you utilize a soft launch, you need to be willing to make changes and improvements based on that feedback before you fully launch.
  • Building a Sustainable Premium Product. Start by setting up a basic website and integration to attract customers. Establishing a freemium model allows you to identify what users will value enough to pay for and provides space for your plugin to become a recommended tool for users, agencies, and hosting providers as a premium product.
  • Feedback as Fuel. Gathering input from customers and agency owners in the WordPress ecosystem can help you understand the barriers to adoption, like already established workflows, the challenge of installing and learning a new tool, and limitations within initial versions to full adoption.
  • Importance of Image Use. Current workflows make images an afterthought in content creation, but they are critical to drawing interest, provide context, and evoke emotion. While there may be SEO value, the primary purpose is to appeal to human visitors. Creating tools to make this easier is the case for Crop.Express. 
  • Consider the possibilities. As product creators, you should continue to explore potential opportunities for development. Leveraging AI, increasing user engagement, and offering more value can uncover future revenue streams while you focus on current integration points.

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Session 4 Corey & Cory Launch a WordPress Product Live

Corey Maass: [00:00:00] Uh, host status YouTube channel so we can hopefully period when that pops up. Oh, I’m signed into the wrong account, but yeah. Um, cuz it seems like people were commenting there. So session four live, 

we’re streaming, hopping out the chat because if people are asking us questions and stuff, I’d love to know about it and interact with it. 

Okay. We’re live. Cool. YouTube, baby. All  

Cory Miller: right, let’s get it. You ready?  

Corey Maass: Internet.  


Cory Miller: Famous. That’ll get us maybe a coffee, right? 

Hey everybody, welcome back to session four. [00:01:00] Corey and Corey launching a WordPress product in public. Today we’re gonna be talking about some website tweak continuing on from last week, and some feature discussion that the other Corey’s been working on. Um, and we’re  

Corey Maass: live, Corey, we are Awesome. Session four. 

So that’s, that Marks four weeks. Um, and two what, two weeks or a week since, uh, the plugin was accepted. Um, and we should go look at, uh, let’s see, word press. I’m looking at the plugin. In the repo, it still says fewer than 10. So, you know, the harsh reality right, is, is you launch something and you get really excited and you tell your friends about it, um, and the, the repo, and you go and, uh, or. 

One, not necessarily [00:02:00] me, goes and installs it on as many websites as I own, which is a lot trying to make, you know, total, um, what do they call vanity metrics to make it look like we’re installed on a bunch of websites. Um, but the, you know, the plug-in repo only gives you fewer than 10, and then groups of 10, and then a hundred groups of hundred. 

So you never really know how many installs you have.  

Cory Miller: I think this is the moment, uh, when you push your art or your work into the light of day in public and you’re like, the tendency is to go, oh man, I thought a million people were gonna activate this. I think we’ve been really reasonable and practical about it, but I just know from my past is you, you get so excited, you think you’re on the right path. 

You’d launch it and you’re like, Crickets. Cool. Crickets are trippy. Right? Um, [00:03:00] man, that’s happened so many times and you know, the typical marketing thing is to go, okay, build up buzz to a launch. You know? And we were like, we did it . Here it is . And I, I, I don’t know how you feel, but I personally would rather launch something than build. 

I, I know it’s probably better from a marketing perspective to build up to a launch to use things like product launch formula and stuff like that to like create a compelling story and I’m just like, or you could push publish. Right. You know, and I think we’ve had reasonable expectations about it. Not that it would hit a million, you know, active installs or anything like that. 

Um, but this is the point where I tend to probably have that little moment of deflation. Mm-hmm. . Um, but I’m not, I’m, I’m, I’m shoving past that. I’m like, you know, because we, we didn’t have a big email list to send it to. We’ve been [00:04:00] putting in post status in our personal channels. Um, but we talked about last week, like key thing was like feedback from people. 

And so I knew on my list was to talk to content journey about this. Um, because they do so much content production, those people in the use case, the avatar that like does it all the time. Um, but to me, Corey, I’m curious, your, your perspective on all this too haven’t launched so many products is there’s, you, you wait for that cataly moment where you go, we got something. 

You know, you and I feel had that together. Cause we’re like, I want this, you know, but now we’re building to some unknown moment where it’s like, okay, we got something. Well, and it’s,  

Corey Maass: yeah, it’s getting something out there. I, I view where we’re at. I, I. Have done it dozens of times and I view it as a soft launch. 

Right? So it’s, uh, we put it out there. Um, [00:05:00] and frankly I’d rather it build slowly and then, uh, at some point we are going to have, you know, we we’re technically at version 0 0 1. Um, and so at some point we’re gonna launch. Zero one or one . And that’s when we, in my mind, you know, marketing actually starts, or we put effort into it, or when we start, when we’ve got, um, something for sale. 

You know, that’s when we start putting effort into okay, getting it out there. But to me, this is, this is the soft launch. We want a few people to wander into our restaurant, hopefully, at least some of them are friendly faces and they’re the ones that are gonna be like, um, you don’t have any knives, which has actually happened to me over the weekend. 

We went to a soft launch of a new restaurant and they literally didn’t have knives. And so I, we were eating chicken and waffles with plastic forks, and so you had to stab the whole chicken breast and like, [00:06:00] take a bite and then put it back down on your plate, you know, but it’s like great work out the kinks. 

Um, the, the thing I struggle with honestly is getting, That there’s times when I build a product that I immediately start using. And, and so to me now the, the difference of a soft launch is, is just building something for me to use it. Um, and here I’m not yet comfortable, and this is something I’ve been sort of asking myself about. 

It’s like I’m using it on a couple of my own websites, but I’m not yet putting it in front of my clients other than showing it to them. But I haven’t like, installed it and told them, this is what you’re now using. And so I’m still looking at the UI and, and going, okay, why, what, what features are lacking? 

Um, or you know, why don’t I have confidence in [00:07:00] the, we’ve, to me, we’ve technically proven that we can solve the problem, but it’s not. Elegant enough or friendly enough or simple enough for non-technical people to use. Um, so that’s kind of where I’m at. And so I, to me, I feel like we’re waiting for feedback from all quarters, um, including our own, before taking more steps forward with the actual  

Cory Miller: product. 

So that’s an interesting thing, uh, that you said right there is, um, because I went, obviously installed it, used the live version on my site, and, um, immediately I was like, I need, I still need this. I’m not, I know I need it for featured image, you know, but I ne I feel like just from a user perspective, I go, I need this for other [00:08:00] things on my site. 

Like mm-hmm. , I was doing a page on my personal site and I was like, And this comes back to our original conversation, um, being able to crop things appropriately in WordPress. I already bump up to my bet still on this cuz I, I want it as the custom specifications. Um, I found myself, I think I used, you know, the circle thing you did? 

Yep. Uh, the circle crop. I was like, I needed it for something. It wasn’t a blog post. So, you know, there’s this perspective of like, I, I know you’ve been, this flows into our conversation about feature product features and stuff you’ve been exploring with the media library. I was like, okay, I need a place that I can just like get my images cropped with the size and, um, you know, DPI or whatever, uh, for these things. 

And I’m like, this would [00:09:00] be cool to have. I actually use I think yesterday for something, right. And I was like, the utility of it. Mm-hmm. still rings true for me. I just need this utility. But I was like, you know what I need, I just need to crop something real quick. I went to Yep. 

And used the live, the online tool. Yep. Uh, for it. So I’m curious your thoughts too about, okay, so when you’re doing a WordPress website, you’re, you’re publishing, you’re, you’re creating content and stuff, and it brings back like just an exploration, I’m not saying we do this, but like your thoughts on media library in the center of, okay. 

I’ve created, I, I’ve loaded my photo, this whole hassle of doing all this, finding photos, cropping photos, all that stuff. And. The utility of like being able to manipulate this and any, any updated thoughts. And maybe we just go straight into the product stuff you’ve been thinking about.  

Corey Maass: But yeah, I, that’s, that’s the [00:10:00] segue. 

Um, cuz I personally also had a couple of images to crop and was like, okay, I can create a post. I can for the, for the sake of the exercise, I’ll create a post, I’ll crop the image and then I’ll delete the post. And that cropped image is now in my media library. So to me the next, uh, short, short circuit sounds bad, but the next shortcut, there we go. 

That’s the good version is I go directly to media library and can manipulate an image. Um, and so I started working on that, um, as kind of the next step cuz it’s it without hearing, um, again, The having without having too many of these kinds of conversations. I’m like, okay, well I’m gonna continue to solve the problem that I have because again, this, you know, the assumption is presumption is that you and I have this, have a problem that a lot of other people have. 

So, [00:11:00] uh, so featured image, uh, and then the same functionality in ui, uh, on top of the media library, which is coming along pretty well. Um, and then, uh, I actually have classic editor installed. Um, something that I think is gonna come up, uh, pretty often in, in our conversations is that I am, uh, I, I do not go near the block editor. 

Um, and, uh, for a number of reasons and that’s its own conversation. But, and, and that isn’t to say that we don’t have plans, um, and even some code already for. A block that also allows you to crop images. Um, but, you know, for my own uses, I’m gonna, IM implement this into the classic editor before I implement this into the block editor. 

Unless people start telling me like, oh my God, we [00:12:00] need this in the block editor. Um, and again, not to say that that’s not like next on the list or, you know, within the next few items, but, um, but anyway, so that’s, you know, to me that’s, I, I’m with you. Um, and I think I had, I had also pinged you and, and earlier in the week and said to sort of start the conversation of like, what does, or maybe it was last week, but anyway, like, you know, what, what does the new website look like and how do we implement those same functional, that same functionality? 

Because also, The plugin now has the circle option and The website does not. Um, and so as I’m getting more and more comfortable, essentially repeating the functionality and the ui, um, you know, we wanna decide on what that lead magnet as a wide open, pure web utility for cropping images [00:13:00] as, as lead magnet. 

Like what does that look like? So, 

Cory Miller: yeah, I, utility of it is I love utility tools, you know, um, yeah. And the, the question I wrote down here, will, will, is I think we’re trying to answer is what will enough people value to pay for. In, in the sustainable premium product type category. And again, just anchoring back to finding the past. And so it’s like if you’re creating content online, um, professionally, you, you probably have this utility somewhere like mm-hmm. 

Camba or Photoshop or whatever that, you know, you affinity designer. And then anchoring to WordPress is content [00:14:00] producers, I think. Mm-hmm. generally speaking. Um, so, and then we’ve got these two things. We’ve almost got two potential use cases that you started this project through the online tool. Now we have a plugin and probably, I don’t know, do you think we need to talk about those two things too? 

How we keep, uh, like do we keep parody with online tool? Tool and the plugin kind  

Corey Maass: of thing, or I think we start with it anyway. Um, and, and I think that that gives us the sooner the, so to me, yes, like the down the road is the pro version, what are people gonna pay for? Um, but if we are walking the steps of setting ourselves up for freemium, then we need, we just need users full stop, right? 

[00:15:00] And it’s like, wait, what can we, what’s the first thing we can start talking about? And normally that’s the plugin. And so I’m in forums or I’m, you know, in Facebook groups or whatever, and I’m, I’m mentioning it. Um, and again, I think we’ll start to see a trickle of users. WordPress, just na natural discovering. 

Discovery within the WordPress, um, plugin directory. But if, if we are happy with the UI that I’ve knocked together, then moving that, setting that up, uh, on Crop Express and then, um, and putting a little banner that even links to the free plugin. Need this for WordPress, you know, click here. Um, again, we’ve already got way beyond the WordPress world. 

We’ve got, uh, you know, there’s so many websites that just let you list that love to list free utility tools. Um, and so to me that’s, that’s [00:16:00] an, an easy way to. Have something to talk about even beyond, you know, again, my normal situation is I create a free version of a plugin and then I have to go try to talk, you know, show that to people. 

And inevitably, lots of the people who see me plugging it are going, well, I don’t use WordPress, so it’s not even the beginning of a conversation. So here we’ve got an extra advantage, you know, I think we could take advantage of that.  

Cory Miller: Yeah, absolutely. Since it’s already built, like we talked about last week, it’s a, if anything, it’s a great lead magnet. 


Corey Maass: Okay. So, I mean, I guess what I’m picturing, you know, is, um, like we, we’ve started sort of what I put on your to-do list last week is, you know, the, the envisioning of this over time. Um, but I guess I’m picturing even in the short term, like a landing page and. And [00:17:00] then I can, and then again, I can integrate the, the cropping tool, utility tool, um, and keep chipping away at the plugin essentially. 

Um, but that gives us lots to talk about, lots to promote. Um, and again, lots of, lots of different, hopefully different places to start collecting feedback because yes, we launched. It’s fun. Um, but like you said, then there’s that little like, okay, now what? And, and then, and then it’s the feedback. It can be internal feedback, but we, we need some guidance on what we do next. 


Cory Miller: swag. S always swag. Come on, . I mean, you created the new logo.  

Corey Maass: Oh, that’s right. So yeah. On, you know, uh, as far as accountability goes, I think  

Cory Miller: you had more fun. Did the logo than the plugin, by the way?  

Corey Maass: Oh, always, always. Yeah. No, it’s, I, there was a [00:18:00] time, uh, that I fancied myself a designer and I missed that. 

And once Design switched, and this is me dating myself, but once Design switched from Photoshop to, um, technically Illustrator, but I still actually use, I used the fla, I used Flash, and now I actually still use Animate, which is the, the modern version of, but I just like their vector designer. Easier, better. 

Um, I also design a lot of logos now in Canva. Same thing, like I love the simplicity, I love the constraints of it. And so it’s just you, you take away and take away and take away. And you saw me do that. Like I was sending you comps where it was not necessarily complicated, but there was a lot more lines. 

And then the moment where I was like, that’s, it was when I deleted most of the lines and it was like, oh, the essence of what I’ve been trying to accomplish is there. Um, but yeah, I, I, I love, I [00:19:00] mean the books behind me here, the books next to me are, uh, you know, are bowhouse, uh, graphic design, like, nice. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t have code books next to me, 

Everything I have next to me is, is architecture or graphic design or, you know, some sort of  

Cory Miller: visual. Okay. So 

this is what makes product stuff fun, um, and engaging. So I’m anchoring back. Um, 

we need, I, I think we, we’ve talked about this a lot and it’s like, we need someone to give us feedback. And so that’s where it was talked to. Content journey. 

Another thought here [00:20:00] is 

asking agency owners mm-hmm. people that build sites and getting there, because I, I, we’ve talked about this a lot. I, we think agency owners in the, in the WordPress ecosystem essentially, um, end up. This is my perspective, but I want to hear yours. Buying plugins, functionality, things like that for their client’s websites, whether they use their key, their premium key, or whatever it is. 

Um, and that’s a whole separate issue. But I’ve tended to see, you know, we want to do this, uh, we need this for, the client will buy it. Whether we pass it on the client, we just absorb it. You know, the gravity forms, ws any kind of form plugin, I bet you is on like 90% of client websites for the agency going, you need forms, you’ve gotta have forms. 

Um, and it seems to me it’s like if we fit [00:21:00] this in the story agency owner, freelancer builder, person delivering a site for a client where I’ve seen the most. Use cases just from my themes and different things, is like they’re gonna use their website or it’s a, like a content production agency like content journey or whatever else. 

Or a blogger, professional blogger, creator using this to speed up workflow now. Mm-hmm. , how does that sit with you? Like, we’ve kind of, I feel like we’ve defined this case of like, if you’re producing content on a regular basis, this could be a tool in your utility, in your workflow. How does that square, and what are your thoughts here about like, I like talking to agency owners because then they might, might be the number one customer binded on behalf of their clients so they don’t have crappy, you know, huge 15 megabyte files on their site. 

I don’t know what, what are your thoughts there? Because I, and, [00:22:00] and sometimes I go really slow on this and ask questions because I’m trying to get it, when it gets clear in my mind what we see, it’ll help. I think it really helps me personally to go here, you know? What are your thoughts on that?  

Corey Maass: Yeah, I think, I think that that’s fine. 

We, I just, I guess I’m not clear on how we do that, right? Like we are, I, I guess what I’m finding in, in me taking the leap forward in implementing this into the media library is that we’re not, not quite, like we’ve got the, I don’t know, the cardboard version or something. Um, and so it’s like, I don’t, I don’t actually anticipate. 

One of the things I also realized was if, uh, If you, if you have already have the perfect image, like one of the, okay, [00:23:00] so sorry I’m a little all over the place. I didn’t sleep well, so I’m not as coherent as I’d like to be, but bear with me. Um, if, sorry. One of the most difficult things in what we’re trying to do, what anybody is trying to do product-wise is unless you have a brand new thing, um, you are, you’re walking into or you’re trying to get people to switch. 

So like you said, people already have a process for editing, editing images, they’re already in Canva. So how do we get them to. Take an afternoon, you know, and install the plugin and say, okay, for this next post, instead of using Canva, I’m going to use this plugin. Um, and, and so that’s, that’s tricky, right? 

Because we also only have one opportunity to get it right, right now. I mean, people will try again, at least a free version. Um, but I feel like [00:24:00] we’re, we’re, we’re still a little shy of solving the problem enough so that people are gonna keep it installed. Like one of the things again that I realize that isn’t there is if you already have the perfect image, we force you to crop it 

Um, and we also, uh, like we’ve talked about, we don’t have, uh, we’re, you know, we’ve, we’ve put in a handful of Square 16, nine. Four three. Um, there isn’t a way to customize that, and we’re talking about charging for that down the road, which is fine. But again, right now, are there gonna be enough people that are coming in and going, you know, I only need one of these five and that’s sufficient. 

Um mm-hmm. , I’ll keep this installed. Um, and then again, for me it was like, oh, but I could go over to Media Library and upload any old [00:25:00] image. So it’s like we, we’ve, we, we have a proof of concept, which I think is great, but I, I also wonder that we’re not a little premature in calling it a product yet. Right. 

Um, or, or how do we, mm. How do we get people to install this and it might, and, and leave it installed or, you know, promise to come back in a month and try it again, or like, I don’t think we’re, we’re not hurting ourselves by having it in the repo. It gives us something to talk about, gives something, you know, a place to link, all that kind of stuff. 

Um, But now, I guess, you know, getting, going all the way back to one of your first questions, uh, or the first things that I talked about on this call was, um, where I’m at is usually I, this is where I start scrambling to be like, oh, you know, now that I’m public, oh crap. Like people are seeing that the wheels are on my go-kart or square and I need to quick chisel them to [00:26:00] be C circles or they’re gonna make fun of me kind of thing. 

Um, and so it’s, you know, there there’s a little bit of a, like, what, what do we, you know, what is the next thing that we have to do to get people to actually keep trying this, um, or stick with this or, or what have you.  

Cory Miller: Okay. I wanna go back to a couple things. You said, this is a powerful statement. You said keep it installed, okay. 

Mm-hmm. , I love that because it centers us sneakers us down in, like, we’re a utility workflow at Flow tool. And the question becomes how do we. Keep it installed. How do we, what do we do to keep it installed? And then we have this other fine line of like, there’s a breaking point. We go, that’s paid. This is free, that’s paid, you know, particularly with the free right. 

Um, so Hendrix has given us some interesting thing, and if you will, I want to explore this for a second because you’re on the media library. So Hendrick [00:27:00] said media. We’re talking to an agency owner right now. It’s awesome. Thanks. Hendrick. Media management. The media library is crap, easily leads to the same images being uploaded multiple times, identifying problems, what we’re doing. 

Um, we’re chasing that problem a little bit. Editing is another issue. This results in other stuff. For content, Leon is subtly necessary again. So if I talk about, it’s interesting maybe your client thing. How, how do you, your, your newspapers and magazines that you work with, what’s their flow? And this is the thing I need to just ask. 

From Content Journey two on my side, and I didn’t do that. Apologies. Um, Hendricks is helping, but like, what’s their content workflow? Do they, like I know Content Journey starts in Google Docs. Mm. And does a lot of their collaboration. Uh, then they put it in here and then there’s image like from in Hendricks, he’s like, media. 

We, we know this media library has needed something in [00:28:00] WordPress for a long time. So I think we stumbled into a really good problem here. Um, but like, what’s the workflow? You know, like me, I go, I start writing headline, start into text. The last thing I do is the image, but I take it professionals have a different way to do that. 

Like, I, I guess I do this semi my professionally, but like , you know, that’s the  

Corey Maass: people. It’s not your job title.  

Cory Miller: Yeah. . Um, that’s the people that use it as a workflow tool. And I think you, you mentioned something else, the switch. Mm-hmm. . The switch from co. I think it’s really cool cuz we got cobble these together over here and then put it in a WordPress and published, but we’re trying to say, we’d like to make that better within WordPress. 

What I don’t know for sure I’m unsure of is how most professional content people do this. Mm-hmm. , you know, do they go [00:29:00] checklist beforehand? Image title, like, I know Content Journey has a whole SEO and content stuff and process they work through. Right. Thoughts on that?  

Corey Maass: About the media library? The, the, the clients I, I have do not use the client, the media library they are uploading, um, on one site. 


Cu it’s a custom size and a 16 nine, and then on the other site it’s square and 16 nine. There’s, I, I had to add essentially multiple featured images for each story. So it’s like on the homepages and on the archive pages, we show squares, and then when you click through to see the individual post, you see the, the big 16 nine. 

Um, but exactly as, and I’m, I have the same question mark as you, like, this [00:30:00] is where they’ve arrived. But these are, and these are professional writers, but they are not experienced WordPress people for the most part. So this is the flow that they’ve settled in on. Um, but yes, content comes from Google Docs. 

Same thing that I’m, I’ve seen almost everywhere that I’ve worked where there’s a lot of content. So I think that that’s very, I think that’s the most common situation. Um, and then, and images are last is also the thing that I have also seen with both, with the, the, the number of sites that I work with now and have worked with in the past, even at big, big agencies on, on sites bigger than, than what I work on now. 

Images come last, they go and hunt for somebody goes and hunts for an image after the content is written. Um, and like I said, what I’ve got, I mean, this was why I created [00:31:00] as a utility in the first place, was I, I said this, they can’t just keep uploading. These are, these are writers, they’re non-technical people. 

And so it’s, there’s the shame on them, shame on me situation where. I’ve tried to teach them, or I, you know, and created documentation and stuff like that around proper crop image cropping and image compression and all that stuff. But at some point I have to say, okay, you know, I’m, I’m the technologist here. 

Technology needs to do this for them. And so that’s where, yeah, I, I think we’re on the right path featured. I, and that’s why when you initially suggested, let’s start with featured image, I jumped, I was like, yes, that’s it. Um, see,  

Cory Miller: you pointed that out to me though. I want you to know this. Hmm. For context, because you’re in work doing [00:32:00] client work. 

I know what a featured image is. , you have clients using that? We use it at post status and I don’t like it. Like mm-hmm. , the featured image the way that, or I haven’t taken the time to take the theme, so like, blown out. Huge PI pictures down. I haven’t taken the time to dive into it, but you’re like, most every theme includes featured image functionality, so there’s step one, you know? 

Yeah. I wanna zoom out for a second, Corey, if you, if you’re okay with this, we’ll get, we’ll get back to the product, but this will help me, this discussion. Yeah, sure. Images in publishing, what’s their purpose, what’s their reason? What are the people trying to get out of them? The two things I stand out to me is something to hang your eyes on. 

Mm-hmm. . Something to set the tone of the content you’re writing. That’s one. Second to me is like SEO value. You know, put an image in here of. Someone [00:33:00] doing or showing the thing you’re talking about. So there’s a, there’s an SEO angle to it. Those are my two tops. But can, I’m, I’m doing this on the mind map by the way, cuz I want us to get this story. 

This is the narrative to me. Sure. But like, if we zoom out, we just go like, what’s the purpose of an  

Corey Maass: image? Yeah. I mean the, the, I’ve got paper magazines behind me, um, which is what one of the main sites that I work on. And in a magazine you can’t not have a picture. And so it, it translates to the web where, you know, we’ve nerds like me go to Hacker News and there aren’t images unless you click through to the story or read it. 

A lot of the time there, there isn’t necessarily an image. Um, but I think for news sites or sites that are meant to emulate a magazine, I mean we call them blogs, but you know, which came first kind of thing. Um, , you need an image. And so with the [00:34:00] magazine that I work with, there’s, there’s sometimes there’s photography, there’s dedicated photography. 

They do a lot of fashion spreads. So that’s, you know, original content. But there’s also a lot of stories that they go to uns Unsplash or you know, stock Unlimited and they’re like, we need a picture of a pencil because this is about the pencil factory. And that’s a bad example. They’d go take a picture of the pencil factory, but you know what I mean, like we need a picture of trees cuz this is about trees in the northwest and just broadly speaking and so, and then they crop that or whatever. 

But it’s, it’s that, that compelling image that that visual hook, like you said, um, I, I think there’s, there’s technically an s e o aspect of it, but for the most part I, I view it more as human cuz these stories don’t need. Images. Um, but the layouts that, that they’ve chosen, the [00:35:00] clients have chosen on very different sites, ultimately are very similar in that when you look at an archive page, the emphasis is on lots of compelling images because that’s what makes humans want to click. 

Mm-hmm. .  

Cory Miller: So, uh, it, it capturing it and we’re getting ethereal and I love that because then we’ll have opinions that we come back down to and say, this sure takes away from this what an image is. Purpose is on a piece of content or on a website. So Hendrick said Emotionalize love that. I think he made up a word. 

Provide context, draw interest context. Yeah, absolutely. So like I think about in this, um, and go with me here please, but I do a slide presentation. And I’m doing presentation in front of a bunch of people and I want it to emotionalize, evoke emotion, um, set the mood, [00:36:00] tone, um, context and stuff. But it’s always that, I think he said it in his last interest. 

It’s drawing interest and like Yeah. Color to what you’re doing. Now, there’s a host of problems with that in the web. Cause you’re talking about like Unsplash different things. It’s like, I personally effing hate trying to hunt down an image. I’ve done the painful work of trying to write and share and now I gotta go find an image. 

Right. So we should note that problem. I mean, it’s, it’s an obvious one that we know about, but like, it’s still a problem that factors into what that person’s trying to get done.  

Corey Maass: Yep. And I picture down the, I, you know, I think it’s, there, there is this, we keep talking about this workflow. Um, and what we, what we wanna do is shorten, there’s, there’s different ways to quantify all the different steps in a workflow, [00:37:00] uh, length of time, ease, you know, general knowledge, um, things that hold your interest. 

And what we’re talking about is when we talk about pain, right, is there’s some steps that are absolutely required. So that’s another quantifi quantifying element, whether it’s a required step or not, but it’s broadly speaking, we’ve got req a required step of finding an inserting an image, um, that isn’t fun. 

And, uh, and we’re just trying to shorten that. And so we’re starting with again, Shortening, you know, people go and find images, bring them in. But then hopefully if they, once they’ve done that work, inserting it is inserting it into the context of the site as a snap once they’ve got our plugin set up. Um, and then down the road we can also look at integrations. 

Cuz it was like, [00:38:00] you came to me and you were like, as a website is great. How do we get this into WordPress? And I said, inserting this into WordPress is not a small lift, but I’m halfway done with a, with a Chrome extension. So you, again, shortening the step of like, instead of loading a website, just click a button. 

and it’ll crop it, you know, in a, in a Chrome extension. And then you and I got talking and it was like, okay, it’s worth it to do, make the effort to, to make this a WordPress plugin. Um, but, you know, trying to shorten all those steps, uh, and, uh, and integrate with different, uh, you know, capture people where they already are kind of thing. 

So it’s, um, you know, if they’re already in WordPress, then um, then they can do cropping there. If at some point we find that people are using the website, [00:39:00] I mean, what’s, what’s to keep us from monetizing the website at some point, right? Like we don’t have to be a dedicated freemium WordPress plugin. Um, things like Chrome extensions, uh, not off the table, down the road. 

And then we also could look at, um, integrating with Unsplash, with whatever other, um, Where people are finding, getting their images, finding their images, that kind of thing. Um, and to me, I guess it’s the, you said something a minute ago about, you know, what is the process and, and how do we know what the process is? 

And I guess to me, that’s why I’m starting to add our functionality in front of, it’s like you have a storefront and you have lots of doors. And right now we’ve put some sort of, we’ve put our code in front of one door, which is the featured image door, but people might be walking [00:40:00] through the media library door, or they might be walking through the block editor door. 

It’s like all the ways that people are, WordPress is here, I’m here and Im, we’re doing something with images. And so it’s like, how do we catch people at each door at. Uh, interaction point of them images and WordPress, and so media library, uh, an image block, um, classic editor featured image, classic editor featured image, um, block editor, whatever I just said. 

Um, you know, a at some point, a c f, you know their forms. Again, any, the idea to me is however we can, we can get in front of people or in between people and images into WordPress. 

Yep. So, so at [00:41:00] this point, I guess what I’d say is we’ve both said a lot of words. . Maybe maybe rephrase the question like what it, you know, I, I, I, I mean I say that to be funny, but we’re talking about a lot of interesting things. Yeah. Some of it is ethereal. What is it? You’re, what, what is the question precisely that you’re trying to have us answer right now? 

I’m zooming out  

Cory Miller: from our original thesis, uh, zooming out and trying to get a perspective, and I think you give me really good perspective of, you know, we’re a part of this process. Our product is a part of a bigger process. Like, last time I looked it up, we, we said, make creative chores fun. This is a chore. 

It’s like, I, I wrote this down too for us. I go, you know, my grandmother painted paintings and she was an artist and incredible artist and we’ve got a lot of our work in our house. The [00:42:00] frame that she picked makes the painting. I was looking at the art itself and I go, it’s beautiful the frame. Makes it, and it’s almost like images are the frame of it, right? 

Mm-hmm. . So back down to utility for a second. I’m just trying to think. I think this is where we’re gonna come up with some bells to ring and some opinions of mm-hmm. images, image stuff in, in WordPress and anywhere. It kind of sucks. It’s a, it’s a hunt, it’s a chore. It’s all that stuff when you’re just trying to get like powerful writing. 

And it’s, the thing most people don’t do on their websites is do an image. Like I, I’m on this one book all the time, I love it. No images and it’s cool, but because she’s done the pain of creating the content, now it’s left to this final thing of the chore. But like, here’s an opinion. We could say images should be your frame of your contents. 

Like, you know, we’re talking about emotionalized, wrong answers, provide context. So how do we do that Now, [00:43:00] back down. Thank you for exploring that with me a little bit. I’d just like to get this bigger perspective cuz sometimes Corey, I’ve been like, I wanna solve this one problem and I don’t see the bigger picture zooming out. 

Now we can zoom back in too and just go like, in an ideal state, finding sizing, finding and sizing are two big design issues. Image, you know, in publishing.  

Corey Maass: And Hendrick just brought up another good one, which I deal with my clients all the time, which is broadly speaking, image metadata. Mm. And so it’s like, and it’s a chore and. 

Because they source images, uh, free images that, that need credit. Or again, they’re, they’re having bespoke fashion shoots done and they need to credit the photographer. Um, and all that kind of stuff. I saw, I just saw a plugin yesterday that is [00:44:00] integrating AI with WordPress images to write the alt text for you. 

Um, which I thought was, I’m like, that’s, that’s a no-brainer. Um, you know, that’s a problem that’s desperately n needed to be solved for a while as much because humans are terrible at , this kind of stuff. Yeah. Um, and, and again, non-technical, non s e o people, clients don’t understand. They’re like, it’s a, it’s a picture of a house in front of two trees, like. 

Do I say cabin? Do I say house? Do I say trees? Do I say, you know, and it’s like, even if the AI isn’t a hundred percent right, I’d rather it, it, it did something , um, lit literal rather than humans overinterpreting. Cuz some of them were like peaceful setting and you’re like, no, that’s not a, technically you’re right, but that’s a house with trees.[00:45:00]  

It’s not p Google doesn’t understand what a peaceful setting is, but it’ll, it’ll say, it’ll know that it’s a picture of a house with trees and read the article that about a peaceful setting and then it will connect the dots. Obviously I’m being presumptuous about how Google works, but you know, I think that there’s, there’s definitely times where there’s too much human interaction and whatnot. 

Anyway, I’m, I’m ranting, but I do think that part of the bigger problem as we’re trying to define it here, finding images or sourcing images, images getting, um, inserted correctly. For the theme, for the site, for the design, um, and then metadata. So it’s that whole last, um, you know, if it’s a Gantt chart, it’s the, the last chunk of that Gantt chart of, okay, my story is ready to go. 

Oh crap, I need an image. And everything that, that involves finding the image, inserting the image, resizing the image, making sure all the metadata on the image is [00:46:00] correct, and then I can publish.  

Cory Miller: Yep. Um, I think what this does for me too is help with marketing. Like when we talk about lead magnets is like, how do you source it? 

That’s a easy blog, post lead magnet, something. Um, the other thing is a potential path for us, like we got one part of the thing that we’ve kind of said. Crop scale, get the right size, um, downstream. We have another path though we could take is like taking the other problem, which is finding, sourcing, not saying we should do it, just saying it is hundred percent option. 

Yep. Finding sourcing, then. Correct. And it’s like trying to put this piece pu puzzle together. Um,  

Corey Maass: okay. It’s like the, there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of thinking, writing, talking now in the startup world about, sorry, I’m rising slowly with my desk, um, [00:47:00] but about not jumping in and building products, which I’m terrible at. 

Um, but at. Talking to customers first, defining problems, defining, letting them define solutions, and then that’s what you’re supposed to build. I’m too impatient. I’m a developer. I’m a hammer. Everything’s a nail. Uh, it’s a problem I have and I’m, and I’m fine with it. Um, but I do think that this helps us fill in some of those gaps that are necessary. 

Right. And it’s like you said, if we understand the problem, we don’t have to solve all of them, but it, but the problem is what everybody wants to talk about. You know, you go to a meetup. I was on a, on a virtual WordPress meetup last night. Shout out to the New Hampshire, uh, WordPress meetup. That’s just getting started again after a long hiatus, which is awesome. 

Um, you know, but it, it inevitably turns into people [00:48:00] complaining together about similar problems. Oh, we all, all of my clients use, you know, such and such a page builder and it’s a pain in the butt. And like that’s how humans. Converse, you know, we share our pain and uh, and it helps us, makes us feel better and not alone. 

And other people might have suggestions and yada yada. So it’s like, even if we don’t ever tackle the problem of sourcing images, it gives us plenty of blog posts to talk about our top 10 places for sourcing images that works really well with crop, you know, integrates nicely with Crop Express or whatever. 

Um, and helps our customers, our users, broadly speaking with what we know to be a problem overall, even if our product doesn’t necessarily solve it. 

Cory Miller: So in your work with the media library, are you like in the media library going add new, pulls it up, and then Crop Express comes in? [00:49:00]  

Corey Maass: Okay, so it’s right now, yeah, it’s, you know, there is a button, right? You’re looking at all of your images and there’s a button at the top that says add new. Just like on every edit screen there’s an ad, new post, an add, new whatever. 

And so the, what I have currently, again, I’m just proving concepts here, still is next to the add new I have, um, uploaded crop. So there’s a duplicate button because again, I’m starting to think that we need a way to bypass crop express so that if you want a featured image that isn’t 16.9, we’re not getting in your way. 

Because that’s how people, that’s when people are like, screw this. I’m gonna go uninstall this damn thing, cuz it, it’s too opinionated or it’s locking me into something. Um, and so we have to figure that out from a UI perspective or, or UX exp uh, perspective. But, but right now, yes, same, same exact thing. 

Just like in, [00:50:00] um, the, the block editor featured image, it opens a modal crop, your image, and then that sets your featured image instead of uploading an image into the media library and then using the, the very clunky WordPress image crop, it opens a modal. You upload your image, you crop it easily and quickly, and then it gets injected into the media library. 

So it’s really the same flow. Um, again, just trying to kind of be. Insert ourselves in between so that you’re doing the, the hard part quickly and easily before it, the image gets saved, which I also think is a huge feature. Yeah.  

Cory Miller: And I mean if we do it where the media library is in it’s now and train people on that workflow, like go there, um, potentially, cuz I was kind of thinking, and I’m not, don’t know the technical hurdles, [00:51:00] but back to the keep it installed, how do we keep it installed? 

We make it an indispensable utility tool. So I was kind of wondering like you got featured image box on the right side of the post Senator and that’s cool. It’s right there. It’s very obvious. Upload, pick, upload, you know, and then crop. So we, we check that box, but I go, okay, back to the keep it installed, making a utility. 

What did, do we, there’s one thought just gonna give these raw is that there’s a left side of the WordPress nav, there’s crop express menu item go in, they can start manipulating somehow. That’s probably tied in with the media library, non-developer. Um, the other option is using media library as it is. 

Third option I was thinking about is right below that feature tab is like, here’s your, your handy utility tool [00:52:00] right at your fingertips when you’re in the publishing process. Um, because downstream, like if we did any one of the, like the left, left menu or the right side of the Post-it, I’m like, put the utility tool right at my fingertips. 

Mm-hmm. down down that one stream of like the finding. If we decide we want to maybe. to do this. At some point you’re like, it’s right there. You’re, you’ve done the hard work of writing your post now this tool over here, cause I know there’s Gutenberg Block h Big Hill to climb on that. So I’m like right here. 

I can, you know, it lays the foundation for saying find source potentially. Then step three or two is crop it and put it in. You know, we still have to figure out that gap between post editor, post block editor and here. But I go, I don’t know. Those are the three things I’ve been thinking about. But I want your, see what you think about that. 

Corey Maass: Yeah, I like that [00:53:00] idea. Like what jumps out at me is, is a, so we’re talking about like, you’re in the dashboard, you’re not in the con you know, it’s, it’s what is, what is cont what is the context, right? So I’m writing a post, I’m building a page. Um, And so I’m inserting images again, like we want, and that’s where the block I think comes in if people are using the block editor. 

Um, at some point, I think before we started recording our calls, we talked about, like, I use Beaver Builder, um, and so, and they allow, you know, custom modules and so having a, like, you know, when I’m building a page or my clients are building a page, insert an image. It’s not just any image. You’ve, you’ve gotten, uh, the, the media library picker, but with our cropper installed again. 

Um, but anyway, the, the context of you go to media Library to upload and [00:54:00] manipulate images. I’m sure some people do that. I have a, I don’t understand the context of it, but I’m sure some people. Upload images or, or think about images separately, and then they want to go find them when they’re writing a blog post or something like that. 

Um, to me, I, that searches WordPress searches terrible. And so trying to upload a whole bunch of images and then go find them out of the workflow, I can’t even imagine, but I’m sure people do it. Um, but all that to say, I like your idea of like, I just need to crop an image. I’m, you know, maybe it’s the fave icon or maybe there’s some other context we’re not thinking about yet, but it’s like instead of there being a crop express admin menu item, it would say crop and image or, and so it’s like, it might e and you’re right, it might even be redundant or somewhat redundant to the media library [00:55:00] integration point, but it’s like it saves you going to crop express. 

The website or it saves you having the Chrome extension installed or whatever it is. Um, and so I like that idea of like, again, it’s, to me it’s, we’re, we’re trying to sort of cast a net and so it’s wherever we’re catching people, wherever they’re dealing with images. Um, and then I just think that, you know, as we, as we continue on our journey, interacting with people, hearing feedback and stuff like that, that it’s all those points that are then going to be upgraded. 

So it’s like here’s, you know, three or four different contexts where people upload and crop an image. And then if we decide to tackle metadata, okay, so then here, you know, here are the three or four points where people are uploading, cropping an image, adding metadata, or we’re sucking in metadata or whatever, [00:56:00] again, before they hit publish. 

So if we can, if we can start with. all those integration points, but I think it’s, you know, we have to go where people are already integrating or are already interacting, um, rather than ex expecting them to come to us. And  

Cory Miller: without further validation, I go, I think I’d want it just for my own use case in the right side bar there. 

Just like to figure and go, okay, I can go here to find that piece. That drives me nuts, which is an image. But I’m starting to think up here again a little bit and just go, what makes an ima if an image like in a magazine is there to evoke, uh, interest, emotions and all that, what’s this place? And this is where we get opinionated potentially. 

It’s like, what’s this place in a blog post on a site? Um, and like, [00:57:00] I don’t know about you, I just abandoned the whole thing because. Just as I, I guess I’m a design snob, even though I can’t do that very well, I’m still a snob about it. Um, but like I, I thought about the post I wrote yesterday. What would I do? 

What would I do to evoke emotion and interest for the Post I did? You know? And, and that’s, that’s a problem I bet with a lot of sourcing. I know content Journey does a lot of, I mean, I think everything they do has featured images, if I’m not mistaken. So I think we can get really opinionated about that for sure. 

Especially with our magazine. Newspaper background is like, it’s about to set the tone, the flavor of what you’re trying to get across, what’s that intent? Um, and then we just come back down to the process of like, when you’re doing that, how does this process work? I love, that’s what I. To get more feedback on is [00:58:00] how people do that, because they probably go, you’re doing it all wrong core, you’re doing it at the back end. 

You should do it at the front end. I’m like, okay,  

Corey Maass: tell me more. That’s true, right? Yeah. And I mean, it’s all I can say is you and I, and pretty much everybody I’ve interacted with are, 

I don’t wanna say not professionals, but we, we all share the same problem. We’ve all arrived at the same situation where we’re, we’re developing written content. And the image is not necessarily an afterthought, but it’s the last step of what’s being handled. Uh, it would, it would be fascinating to me to, to find out that there is some, Doesn’t New York Times use WordPress or I, they, they’ve abandoned it and come back [00:59:00] again and, and one of the other New York Post I think does too. 

Um, and I, they left and came back, or white, white House or whatever. It’s like to me that those, that’s the epitome of . The, the WordPress workflow, right? WordPress publishing workflow is if you are, uh, the New York Times or similar and you’re using WordPress, and so it’s like, call up the president and find out if he’s looking for an image before he writes his blog posts. 

Obviously a joke. He doesn’t write his own blog post, but that would be fascinating. But I bet we find that this is universal or, or damn near, you know, 80 20. Um, and so yeah, how. we’re starting with a very small problem that we’re solving. Where it goes from here would be fascinating. [01:00:00] I what what comes to mind is like, doesn’t Yost Pro let you put in some keywords and then it helps you rate your content based on those keywords or, or you know, it looks at search results or keyword points, you know, and how you’re gonna rate for those keywords kind of thing. 

Like, so I start to,  

Cory Miller: yeah, I love that. Imagine some AI thing going down and going, here’s a couple of images we either found or created, um, on the site that flash him up a bit. I’m so funny about my content though, and I just, I’m trying to unearth a bigger problem here that could really lead a roadmap about is there’s a. 

Seems like there’s a problem. It’s wonky. The workflow to, to frame evoke interest through images in your content. [01:01:00] Like when you said Element, uh, beaver Builder, and I put Elementor down to you, I’m like, oh, that’s right there in that workflow. Great business integration to do. I just talked to Robbie yesterday, by the way, so we could, we could follow up with Robbie on this and he might be a source of really good information. 

So I’ll write down, follow up with Robbie  

Corey Maass: again. Yeah. Like what, what does the Beaver Builder team know about how people use their tool? Yeah. Are they, because  

Cory Miller: images are, oftentimes they’re lame cuz they’re being pulled from stock. We feel like we need ’em and they just, you know, they’re obvious stock images, you know? 

Yeah. Which  

Corey Maass: is, we’re all used the same ones. .  

Cory Miller: Mm-hmm. . Yep. Which is interesting to me from an AI perspective of like, do something that actually more one off matches the content [01:02:00] and the, and emotions and outcomes you’re trying to evoke.  

Corey Maass: Yeah. I think we’re there like, I mean all I’m seeing for the most part is people on Facebook plugging in some of their images and seeing, you know, here’s me as Hercules or whatever. 

Um, but it’s the image generation or that, you know, the, here’s a picture of me in the style of da Vinci, or, you know, Monet or whatever, but I, I, there’ve gotta be people already using AI to generate images. You know, here is an article about X, Y, Z, generate an image, and then that way I don’t have to pay royalties, I don’t have to do any searching, you know, if the image is good enough and compelling enough. 

Um, which is, I mean, also very subjective, like you said, yourself, you’re picky about your content. So, you know, would AI generated images be enough? I don’t know. Um, I’ve got a buddy who runs all of his [01:03:00] images of himself. He’s a dj and so he has his marketing site and he runs all of his images through like an in Instagram filter that’s one specific filter. 

So all of his images look consistent and stylized. And so, you know, the image source is easy for him. It’s him DJing. Um, but the, the manipulation of the image. It takes a little bit of time, but it, that’s what makes all of the images of him look cool and different, you know, hip and with it cuz he is a, a dj. 

Um, you know, rather than just pictures of like, I mean, I, I DJ here in my office, the pictures don’t look like anything . I may as well be working. Um, yeah. So yeah, there’s lots of, it’s, it’s a big interesting step, uh, of the way we present ourselves [01:04:00] online. And some of it’s painful, but I also don’t, I don’t, I don’t know yet whether. 

like there’s lots of potential ways to integrate ai. I also think it’s early days of mm-hmm. , like the norms haven’t been worked out on, on how, how we can use it and how we want to use it. Frankly, like, you know, there’s for, for everybody who’s excited for every, everybody who’s, every person who’s excited about ai. 

I feel like there’s also a person who’s very apprehensive about like, do I, you know, if every blog post needs an image and so we’re, but we’re too lazy to go find the perfect image, then I’m gonna press a button. AI’s gonna do its best, and then I’m just gonna throw that up there because my blog post, somebody told me I have to have an image, but I don’t really care if that image is, is honestly the best one.[01:05:00]  

are we contributing to, you know, or AI writing? I mean, it’s the same argument. It’s like if, if half the blog posts now are gonna just be written by ai, is it, is it worth it? Are we just continuing to pollute the web with bad writing? You know, we’re saying the same thing over and over again. So it’s, all of this stuff I think is really interesting to start writing about or talking about. 

Um, for me, I, I still think some of the dust needs to settle, um, before we actually look at integrating this stuff. Unless, unless some obvious winner jumps out at us. Yeah, I like  

Cory Miller: it in view of here’s that conversation going. It’s gonna only accelerate. And then how do we position crop express where there’s a convergence point at some point. 

So, and I think we’ve identified it’s the finding sourcing part. All that back, back to here. Cause I wanna make sure I tie back down to ground earth cuz I [01:06:00] don’t always do this. I get thinking about this going, this is cool, this is something to chase. This is some validation for me of like interest. Um, but it, uh, then I go practical point is like having a utility tool to do my, it was just, so, like Patrick Garman, one of our agency owner members posted like his year end wrap up basically. 

And you know, looking through the post, I could have read it and imagined he was on an RV trip with his wife and they got to do all these things, but he posted some pictures along the way, you know? Mm-hmm. and, and that was the ideal use. Like seeing one of his picture RV two chairs and looking off, I was like, well that captured the moment right there. 

Now he sourced those personally from his own camera and media library. Um, I’m like, if you’re doing that, You know, images come in from the iPhone, huge not right format. All this stuff, [01:07:00] being able to just go through my media library. You’re having the problem of like taking off your phone over to your desktop probably. 

Then you’re trying to upload it up there. That’s just a cluster by the way. Just feels like a cluster. But you’re like, okay, he’s done all that hunting, searching, finding. Now he comes in, he doesn’t wanna go to another tool, he is already done all, you know, potentially Dropbox it over. That’s how I do it anyway. 

Or, or air dropped it over. Uh, and it seems like when you’re in there creating the tools should be right there at your right side. That, that’s where I’m leaning on these three things we’ve been talking about. Like media, library, carbon Express thing, and right here where I need it. Mm-hmm. , I don’t know if it’s the right, but it tend to be gravitating toward if we’re gonna make this into a utility suite, um, eventually. 

Yep. Or want the possibility of it. It seems like that is a good way, is is a good thought, but technically I don’t know what the hurdles are. Um, you know, the already the post thing is just [01:08:00] like overwhelming to me anyway, but this would be one I’d want prominent if I’m gonna be using images.  

Corey Maass: Yeah. And, and I mean, what jumps in jumps in my, to my mind is again, down the road, it’s like we could start moving upstream and it’s like somehow you are doing, I mean, we’re just having fun brainstorming here at the moment, but it’s like, be the. 

I, I, I, it used to be delicious. That went out of business. Now I use Pinboard, but it’s like the, you know, the bookmark keeper. So it’s like, imagine if like we, we could extend beyond WordPress or beyond, it’s like you’re out browsing the web or you’re on your phone or anywhere that you’re just kind of like, you’re collecting, you’re collecting, you’re, these are all the potential images. 

Um, and somehow they all get channeled into like, you wouldn’t really wanna do this because your media library would [01:09:00] fill up and most hosting companies limit your disc space, whatever. But if you’re like, you know, I’m writing a blog post about, you know, my, my RVing trip with my wife. It’s like, I. Throw images off my phone, I might go and try to source some images from Unsplash and if all of them landed in my media library, uh, cropped correctly, sized correctly, stylized correctly, um, and then I could, and then it, they were there for me to choose from or something like that. 

So it’s like, you know, that’s not, there’s, there’s a lot of things wrong with what I just described as an actual product, but, or problem to solve. But it’s like, we can definitely start looking at again, if, if we get feedback that’s upstream. Bless you. Um, upstream, you know, part of the problem of sourcing images or finding images or, you know, it’s like, or even getting them off of our, our devices and into WordPress, if that’s a pain, [01:10:00] you know, you’re, If you’re dropboxing it to your PC and then uploading it from your PC into your media library and then selecting it in your posts, then you know, what’s the, the one click? 

Like take it without signing into WordPress from your phone, you know, what’s the quick share to your WordPress install little utility plugin or something like that. I use a, um, an app on my iPhone called Flight that is free, and it’s basically for emailing anything to myself. Um, but it uses the share, so it’s like I’m browsing. 

Any website or I’m in Amazon or whatever and I hit the little share icon and where it gives me the option to airdrop or it gives me the option to post it to Messenger so I can send it to my wife or whatever. Um, there’s a, a flight option and it opens up a little icon. I hit [01:11:00] post and it sends me an email with a link to whatever I’m looking at, cuz I’m in my inbox all day. 

And that’s kind of my ends up being my to-do list. And so in theory, you know, again, if we find that this is a huge pain point, there’s a, I’m looking through images on my phone. I click share, I click the, the send this to my WordPress install and it’s preconfigured to crop 16 nine, then it just lands in my, my media library already ready to go. 

You know, these are problems we can solve technically, once we’ve defined that there’s enough people that want that kind of solution. 


Cory Miller: right now you’re, you’re working on the media library thing, um, d but do you like this right sidebar thing? What’s your thoughts on having it? Do [01:12:00] you crop express you the tool, whatever next version, thoughts or whatever? I’m trying to think through, uh, product guidance and give you enough.  

Corey Maass: Sure. I mean, I think to me the, 

right now, the problems that I quote, unquote know we have because I have them and, and I want, if nothing else, I want you to be using this. I want my clients to be using this. I want, um, content journey to be using this is, um, featured image. Media library, uh, block editor, block, classic editor featured image. 

Those are the four to me, the four known integration points of WordPress and images. And then, and then that way anybody who stall installs this plugin is [01:13:00] going to interact. I mean, if, and Beaver Builder aside, or these other scenarios aside, you know, there’s, there’s a very long tail of integration points, but the four primary integration points are covered at that point. 

And that’s, that to me is the bay, the, the bare minimum of if anybody installs this plugin, they’re guaranteed to interact with our plugin and then we can start seeing if it works for people. Yeah.  

Cory Miller: The thing I wanna do on my own is, um, chase this. More metaconcept of like purpose of the image and then just look around and see, you know, where it’s like images, the opinion I um, thesis of happiness images should add value, not subtract or be a distr distraction. 

How does that get done? How do people source it? You know? Mm-hmm. , how do we get that thing? There is a SEO value, you know, [01:14:00] from a good image, um, in that, and I, I want to chase that a little bit cause I think it’s gonna help us, you know, downstream cuz like if we, okay. If we do the thing you were just saying, get all the integration points, the, the basis covered. 

Yeah. That’s the free tool. Mm-hmm. to me. And then it’s like, you want more and better. And this is where we could explore downstream on the paid side is creation, sourcing, finding part of that. And I, I really like that because the free of those, like, here’s those points you’re gonna have and we’re gonna be utility, we’re gonna help make it easier, this problem easier, you know? 

Um, and then what it saves us is some of this bigger picture stuff for pro and paid. Like you really want to get serious about it, about doing this better. [01:15:00] This workflow, this outcome you’re getting. Here’s  

Corey Maass: paid. Yep. There’s, there’s certain WordPress plugins. Because I deal with, because I build web apps, um, and or because I control what my clients see when they sign in. 

I install user switching, uh, in, on many, many sites. I install duplicate pages. Like these are no-brainer, low lift, low impact. High value. You know, they add a button that frankly should exist in WordPress. And I think that’s kind of what we’re talking about here is like, yes, WordPress has cropping, but it’s dire. 

And so we are adding simple, basic functionality that arguably should be there or should be upgraded at this point. But where we take that sky’s the limit. Yeah. But if we can get, if we get to the point, I like that we keep talking about utility, [01:16:00] essentially is like if, if we are the sponge, the, uh, the coat rack, the, you know, the basic thing that every house has to have, um, you know, then, then we’re just gonna watch installs happen. 

Mm-hmm. , um, you know, that’s the dream, right? That hosting companies start recommending us because it’s just, It’s gonna save them support tickets. That’s the dream. Mm-hmm. . And then past that, all this thinking that we’re doing defines the the business.  

Cory Miller: Okay. Take this for a second. I just wanna quickly sidebar on something. 

You hit another value add. So if for utility is, you know, making cropping easier, that’s our been our thesis. Um, you just put a use case. We’ve talked about beaver builder hosting companies. So I go, what’s a compelling thing? It’s okay. [01:17:00] Huge images don’t help anybody on the web. You know, h ginormous, it takes a dis space. 

It’s, you know, bandwidth. It’s all those things that’s compelling. Mm-hmm. . So then I go, this is just over here. An idea for us, this is like if, if we, if we take that angle and make this like the rockstar utility and that’s our base. To showcase. Okay, well you wanna go more? Here it is. Okay. Why would he host recommended it? 

It’s like, well, maybe there’s a tool out here that does this, but like when you put an image, it’s like, hey, fyi, you’re think maybe there’s a module or in the free at some point it’s like, by the way, this is 1000 million pixels wide, big disk size, it’s not the right, like some of that’s in in WordPress already, right? 

Mm-hmm. True. So true, true. Getting some of those details [01:18:00] to prevent, like it’s kind of a, for the hosts, kinda like a prevention, by the way, this is gonna help you and the tool right underneath it, A free tool. Is it gonna help you crop that to the right setting? There’s a compelling value proposition. 

Mm-hmm. , it’s like a, and this is 10 year old story, but my mom uses one of our themes and it’s got rotating images and she’s like, wow. 15 five megabyte files. That doesn’t help anybody. Doesn’t help the user. Right. Doesn’t help their visitor, doesn’t help the hosting company that checks a lot of boxes for a utility. 

So I almost wonder, it’s like conceptually you’ve uploaded an image to the media library and it’s like, hey, this is effing huge size it. Yep. So, I don’t know, I just want to see, cuz you know, technical, all the, the backend is like, conceptually speaking, you think [01:19:00] this is huge. You probably don’t even need it up here, but before we put it up here, we can make it better. 

Yep. Right there. That’s compelling. It’s like, You know, people would recommend it and support, because this is a, I’ve heard enough of this that I think it’s probably an issue. It’s like, it’s not gonna help your bandwidth , it’s only gonna, you know, most of these hosts have, uh, visitors  

Corey Maass: caps and, and disc space caps and Yeah. 

Cory Miller: And they’re solving it with CDNs and stuff on the other, you know, other side of it. You’re like, what if you could be proactive about it and help people get better images?  

Corey Maass: Right. Well, and that’s, I mean, like, that goes back too to the, you know, creating, creating images, helping users create images that work with the themes, the theme and the design overall. 

It’s like if, if everywhere on your site you’ve got. Square images, why are you up uploading 16, nine featured image? You know? So it’s, um, you know, all part and parcel of, um, [01:20:00] the, the sort of cynical way of saying it is like protecting people from themselves. Um, but that’s, that’s like you said, on all fronts, the disk size, uh, or the image size, the space that it takes. 

So there’s bandwidth issues, um, you know, and making it look good the way humans view it. So, um, but yeah, I mean the, the upsell again, be by becoming a utility. Like there’s a number of, um, hosting companies that recommend certain plugins that have white list, white lists of recommended plugins or incurred, you know, and some of them I don’t, I don’t know. 

I’m not on enough hosts anymore to know, like, do they come that most of them have their own plug-in installed, but they don’t necessarily like pre-install a bunch of plug-ins for you. But, um, you know, but again, all good marketing copy, um, good relationships to be [01:21:00] building and, and taking advantage of. And, um, you know, and we, and in, in, in the inverse right, is hosting companies that we recommend working with that are trying to solve this problem. 

Again, kind of protect, protect people from themselves. If you’re non-technical, these are things, you know, ideally you’re not even having to think about. Well, and  

Cory Miller: give me another per person to put people to put on this. Um, asking about problems is hosting companies. Mm-hmm. , so probably hit up Jess from principal and some of my different contexts, but like from the utility value prop. 

The alone. This doesn’t get us to revenue as fast, but it’s like, get installed or get recommended. Huge. So the value prop, like if we can hit the value prop for the user, the end user, the agency, the hosting in a very simple, elegant way, just solve these little problems. Yeah. It’s like we, we all become the [01:22:00] defacto, um, recommended tool. 

Like Hendrick was saying, okay, it’s it’s forms, it’s seo, it’s this, it’s that. You know, like, why not put it up there? Maybe we’re not that tier, but we’re second tier in that recommended of like making your images better for everybody. Mm-hmm. . So that’s what made me think about as you’re working on the media library stuff is simple ways to say, this is really big, you know, why don’t you like, hey, two, two parts, just one is it’s huge. 

You don’t need it. You know, the file size is way too big. Way too big margin. The second I thought of is like, I didn’t think about this until you said this, but themes have recommended default ratios, right? So it’s like we can go back to Cadence, beaver, builder, elementary, whoever it is, and go like, can you give us those? 

What are those standard if we [01:23:00] can’t find them? But I was even thinking like, I wish that information was in the theme that could be displayed in there. It’s like, you need  

Corey Maass: four by three. Well, and there’s, um, like you can install a c f. If you own an A C F license, you can install a c f, um, you know, preconfigured essentially. 

So the client doesn’t know that it’s being used, but it’s, it’s integrated. Um, and so I’m envisioning ways, um, of our functionality being integrated with constants being defined in the code. And so it’s like you install the, uh, the golf course theme and it’s, and it’s, it’s beautiful. If it has 16, nine images and so hard coded into the theme is anywhere you’re uploading an image, again, media library featured images, Gutenberg block is, you know, [01:24:00] all you can, it, it, it throws up the cropper and says, you know, the theme you have installed has 16 nine defined, you know, will let you break that if you want to, but, , you know, you, you should probably do what they tell you and then your site will come out beautiful. 

Um, and, and like you said too of like, um, I like starting that conversation. Like there’s a, there’s a chicken or egg, right? Like you can’t warn, you can’t tell people the image you’re uploading is too big. You should install the, our plugin if you, because that’s functionality we would build into our plugin, so they’d already have to have it installed. 

But having the option, uh, or having it throw up a warning that’s like, you know, our, this is going to get cropped to a recommended 1200 pixels. We noticed that it’s, you’ve uploaded one that’s 10,000 pixels. Do you want, is there some compelling reason that [01:25:00] you want this bigger? Obviously, like we’re, we’re saying this conversationally, but. 

But I like that kind of thing. Like co you know, we’re helping people, we’re protecting people from themselves, but we’re not also, we’re also not gonna, like, like I said, right now, I think the, the product is too opinionated, um, that you can’t get around the plugin, which isn’t, you know, is gonna piss some people off. 

Um, but we can, we can help people conversationally or functionally as a user.  

Cory Miller: This is a problem I’ve had forever, you know? Yeah. And as on the other side is you build a cool theme or product and people can make it as like, ugly as you want. You know? This seems like an idea to go, like we just need, I think we’re talking about first Dominoes is we’ve got hosting, we’ve got some set of use cases, like your clients come to Journey, different things.[01:26:00]  

Now we’ve got theme providers. , that could be a domino for us because, you know, I just put down here Cadence and Kathy’s aunt because she’s doing, um, community marketing at Cadence and just going like, can you, can you give me a little bit of time? Tell me what the problems that users have with this and what you all have with this. 

Like, seriously, we went to all this time and effort to make it a beautiful template and you effed it up, you know? Yeah. Um, and it’s like 

the banner there is help, you know, this tool with this integration points, the four, I wanna write those down by the way, cause I didn’t get to write those down. But the four integration points, um, could be a way to get this adopted. Again, chick Egg, but like, cool. You know, is it interesting to you and I to make this a free utility that potentially builds a bigger snowball [01:27:00] down there? 


Corey Maass: your answer? Hey, if we get internet famous off of a free plugin, I’m okay with that too. You know, like we, like we talked about on, in our first call, all of this is a bit of an experiment and, and I think we’re by, by talking about it publicly, we’re making it more of an experiment than it would be if we weren’t. 

But we’re both, we’re both approaching it that way. We’re not, we’re not having a ha you know, meeting and having a hackathon and going, this has to make us a million dollars, uh, tomorrow. Yeah. And so there’s, there’s, and neither of us are, I, I think we’d both love it to make us some money or to lead to something that makes us some money. 

Uh, it becomes a, a, a revenue stream for us individually and or may it becomes a business, um, or whatever that looks like. Um, you know, [01:28:00] but we’re open to non-obvious or not immediate apparent, immediately apparent. Benefits here. And so, you know, being the person behind a utility plugin that has millions of active installs, some good is gonna come from that and probably some revenue in some way is gonna come from that. 

Even if crop Express becomes itself, becomes a lead magnet for some other plugin, we’d, if we crop express, we, we end up creating Image Express that integrates with all of the free image sourcing and, and that’s purely a paid product or something, you know, so, so that’s kind of, I think to me, we’re still there. 

Do you  

Cory Miller: have Because if not, go by it. Please. , we’re all by for you because I think we need that. Um,  

Corey Maass: okay. Everybody listening is scrambling right now to go see if that  

Cory Miller: hang. You’ve got a five second delay, so see how fast you [01:29:00] type. Yeah. Okay. No kidding. . Takeaways? Takeaways and next steps. Um, I need to do my original to-do from last week, which is like, just have a conversation with a couple of these people on my list. 

Mm-hmm. , um, you’re continuing to work on the integration points Media library is next. Is that right? Okay. Yeah. Anything else you need from me? 

Corey Maass: I just wanna, sorry, ,  

Cory Miller: he’s, he’s getting domain guys. Um,  

Corey Maass: nope, it’s taken. 

Hey, I mean, I, I feel lucky that, and of course it’s parked, um, I feel lucky that I got Crop Express and the other, the couple of other domains like that, that I have. Um, but, um, photo Express . But anyway, um, yeah, I, I feel like I continue to, my, my [01:30:00] to-dos are to continue to cover, cover those, those functional. 

Feature the feature bases that we’ve talked about, um, those integration points. And you, you start having conversations about, like, cuz I, to me, we, we know, well we’re, we’re again, we’re still at truly laying the foundation. We’re pouring the slab. Like this is a no-brainer. No matter what kind of house we build, we need the cement that we’re gonna build off of. 

So, um, I have no hesitation about continuing to build at least the, the next few features that we’re talking about. Okay.  

Cory Miller: Awesome man. Okay, I got my marching orders. How the combos yours keep your, keep on your work with the integration media library points. Um, yep. I was cueing up a question in the agency on [01:31:00] your channel to say, how do you use your, how do your clients use images? 

I’ll wait until after my next meeting, which starts in just a minute. But thanks  

Corey Maass: brother. Yeah, great to talk to you again.  

Cory Miller: I love doing philosophy and productivity 

but seriously, this is context for what I used to formulate marketing messages and approach, and I think it’s invaluable to product as we understand the problem, you know, and we’re understanding, I should say. Mm-hmm. , it’s always evolving and then we’ll find the point. But I really like where we landed, which is for. 

Pre plug in super uber utility, keep going to those low lift things that we can kind of keep adding value with some avatars that we added, which is hosting agencies end user kind of thing. And then, um, just get, keep the feedback loop going. Yep. All right, my friends. You good? Thanks for your time. All right. 


This article was published at Post Status — the community for WordPress professionals.

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