A new app store specific to WordPress, allowing users to purchase, download, and install themes and plugin directly from within WordPress. This is almost like an add-on to the WordPress Plugin Repository because it allows in-store purchasing.
Could this revolutionize the “Premium” market for WordPress?
Maybe. It could be a huge success or a big failure. Given the advisory board, Adii Pienaar (WooThemes), Carl Hancock (Gravity Forms), and Jason Cohen (WP Engine), I have a feeling it’s going to be very successful.
The Premium WordPress Market
The WordPress market is huge. Companies like StudioPress, DIY Themes, ElegantThemes, WooThemes, and many more, giving away millions a year in affiliate commissions, there’s no question in my mind that premium themes and plugins are here to stay. There’s a psychological difference of getting something for free, and paying for something [and getting support for it.]
Paying for a framework like StudioPress’ Genesis Framework, you get support, access to themes, and guaranteed updates to the software. You really don’t get any sort of guarantee for free software. FOSS is typically “as is” and “no warranty.”
Making Life Easy
Anyone with an iPhone or Android knows that it’s very easy to download an app from the respective app stores. Why should WordPress be any different.
I feel that with Brad’s introduction of the app store, it will create even yet another marketplace for WordPress consumers to get premium themes and plugins.
Here’s a quick look at what the app store looks like inside WordPress.
WP App Store Launch Partners
Some of the launch partners for the new app store include:
- Crowd Favorite
- Gabfire Themes
- Mint Themes
- Organic Themes
- Zen Themes
- Crowd Favorite
- Modern Tribe
I am not sure how Brad chose the partners to launch with, as I certainly feel there are some quality companies missing from that list, but he has his methods on choosing who to start with.
There is a big challenge I see the app store facing. Registering on theme or plugin specific sites for customer support.
As it stands today, if you want to purchase Genesis from StudioPress, you purchase it and at the end, you have an account on studiopress.com.
There are few possible solutions for this.
1) A service at the third-party destination to allow registrations on-the-fly from within the WordPress App Store. That way after you make a purchase, you have access to the support forums and any other materials. 2) The third-party vendors will need to have a way to verify purchases so users can then register again at the third-party site.
I am waiting to hear back from Brad about the user experience around getting technical support. I will update the post with any updates.
UPDATE 4:19pm: I heard back from Brad about this. The WP App Store has a “Sale Postback” which allows to securely transact data back to the third-party vendor.
WP App Store in Action
Here’s the introductory video about how the new WordPress App Store works.
What do you think about the new app store? Good, bad, helpful?
UPDATE 5/16/12 at 9:28am: I received a note from Brian Gardner over at StudioPress, and he assured me that StudioPress has no plans to be involved with the WP App Store. Given Brian’s response, I would expect other companies will have similar feelings and will not want to be involved with the store either. This could certainly hinder the success of the app store.