The commercial arm of WordPress announced they were entering the website building business. The announcement was generally not well received by the WordPress web development community. Many softened their response and saw opportunity as more information became available.
People think of WordPress as the company that develops the open source content management system (CMS) called WordPress. But WordPress is more than the open source development community hosted on WordPress.org.
There is also a for profit site that’s hosted on the WordPress.com domain that offers website hosting and domain name registration, among other related services.
The WordPress.com business is a part of a larger collection of WordPress related businesses that are under the Automattic umbrella.
Sister sites run by Automattic include WooCommerce, Gravatar, Jetpack and Akismet, among other businesses.
Automattic’s slogan is:
“We don’t make software for free, we make it for freedom.”
Built By WordPress
The WordPress ecosystem has thrived because web developers and programmers contributed to building and testing the open source WordPress CMS and in return they have a great software for offering web design services, plugins and themes.
But now the WordPress brand is being used to sell web development, which is a step beyond offering plugins or hosting.
The service is called Built By WordPress.
According to the official web page:
“Whether you need a fast and performant eCommerce store for your products and/or services, a polished website for your professional services firm, or an educational website for your online courses, our experts can build it for you on WordPress.com…”
Website Building Plans
The Built By WordPress site offers three kinds of “website building plans” that are focused on three kinds of sites.
- Online Stores
- Educational Sites
- Professional Services
That covers eCommerce, online courses, educational sites, and professional services websites. That last category, professional services websites may be local brick and mortar sites like a yoga studio or a moving company.
The landing page states that an “engagement manager” is assigned to the website building project that serves as the point person.
The cost of the websites starts at $4,900. But oddly, the offering is offered at a limited capacity.
According to the site:
“Custom websites starting at $4,900, but space is currently limited as we launch this new service.”
Web Development Community Responds
An important issue raised in the community is the perception that the web development community helped create WordPress. For WordPress to turn around and begin competing against them is like using their own work against them.
One person tweeted:
“See Automattic’s business model has changed. Feel for the developers this will affect. While WordPress built wordpress[dot]com platform and manage the project, it is the unpaid dev community that made it and gave it the rep they market and capitalize on.”
See Automattic’s business model has changed. Feel for the developers this will affect. While WordPress built wordpress[dot]com platform and manage the project, it is the unpaid dev community that made it and gave it the rep they market and capitalize on. https://t.co/nLxIysu66E
— Philip Joyner (@filljoyner) January 5, 2021
Someone else compared Automattic and WordPress to Amazon and how Amazon created their own products to compete against the retailers selling on their platform.
This is the open source version of Amazon copying popular products and turning them into “Amazon Basics” to take profits away from vendors. It’s unnecessary, predatory, and unfair business practice. The devil’s advocate advocates for the devil.
— Morten Wears a Mask (@mor10) January 4, 2021
The other issue is the perception that the goodwill of the open source WordPress.org project domain name is exploited by Automattic through the use of the WordPress brand, potentially confusing consumers who might not know that WordPress.com is different from WordPress.org.
Absolutely ridiculous that they do this IMO. If they wanted to it shouldn’t be on https://t.co/XtTfaMjzSO.
No one else can use “WordPress” in a domain.
It’s like “Hey, you all made WordPress popular, now we’re going to steal your customers *evil laugh*.
— Jack Kitterhing (@codemonkey_jack) January 4, 2021
There are two things at play here:
1. The trademark and naming confusion making it hard for non-insiders to understand .com is not the Open Source project.
2. Unfair business advantage thanks to sole exclusive use of said trademark when competing with bazaar vendors.
— Morten Wears a Mask (@mor10) January 4, 2021
Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress stated that this product is meant to compete with the companies like Squarespace, where people on the entry level of creating an online business might turn to.
The goal then is to keep new businesses within the WordPress ecosystem as opposed to buying into the Wix and Squarespace markets where there is no market at all for WordPress developers.
I would be extremely surprised if this impacts anyone’s consulting business, if you do have a current or potential client leave for it please let me know — it should be all new-to-WP users who wouldn’t have been successful getting started.
— Matt Mullenweg (@photomatt) January 4, 2021
Others were looking on the bright side of the announcement to see if WordPress.com would open the program up to white label work by trusted agencies. Matt indicated he was open to that.
How does an agency get involved so they can receive referrals from this service? What’s the agency’s cut of the $4,900? Who handles the customer during development and after? What’s included in the package? Why is this something https://t.co/DoK7RXvK3t needs to do?
— Scott Carter (@sc456a) January 5, 2021
It’s unclear if anyone wants this yet, so for this experiment don’t have that yet. If it works then definitely will try to open it up.
— Matt Mullenweg (@photomatt) January 5, 2021
The entire community wasn’t against the development. Some commented that this did not represent a head-on competition with the WordPress development community, as it was more about competing against companies like Wix and keeping more of the Internet within the WordPress ecosystem.
Let Our Experts Build Your Dream Website
Official Built By WordPress Page
Built By WordPress
How Hotels and Resorts are Adopting Virtual and Augmented Reality
Once upon a time, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) were only used for video games or seen in movies (think Tony Stark and all of his cool gadgets in Iron Man).
But today, thanks to all of the advances in technology, the use of AR and VR is no longer something you see only in sci-fi thrillers or something that you use for entertainment. No today, AR and VR are becoming much more commonplace, and this technology is being used in a variety of useful applications across a variety of industries. The hotel and hospitality industry is just one field that is making use of augmented and virtual reality, and its popularity is really exploding!
In fact, AR and VR have become powerful marketing tools for hotels and resorts around the globe. These technologies are really changing the way people are travelling, and it’s definitely for the better.
How are hotels and resorts utilizing augmented and virtual reality and how are these technologies helping both entrepreneurs and travellers alike? Read on to discover the exciting technologically advanced future or travel!
What is Augmented and Virtual Reality?
Before we jump in and explore how hotels and resorts are using augmented and virtual reality, it’s first important to understand exactly what these technologies are.
Both AR and VR create experiences that fully immerse users into different environments or allow them to experience things in a whole new way, but these two technologies do differ. Loosely defined, virtual reality means near-reality (virtual meaning near and reality meaning the here and now; what you are actually experiencing.). Virtual reality immerses users into an interactive computer-generated environment. It incorporates a variety of senses, primarily sight and sound, to create a life-like experience. In other words, you feel as if you have been transported to another location even though you never physically left your current location.
Augmented reality, on the other hand, involves adding to the reality that you already see; it doesn’t replace your reality, but rather enhances it. AR has the ability to bring elements of the digital world into the real world (again, think Tony Stark in Iron Man).
So, now that you have a basic understanding of virtual and augmented reality, let’s examine how hotels and resorts are utilizing these technologies.
Providing an Experience Before Booking
How many times have you reserved a hotel, only to find, much to your dismay, that it was not at all what you were expecting. Sure, pictures can help you get a vague idea of what to expect, but they really can’t give you a clear idea.
With virtual reality, you can get a real idea of where you’re going to be travelling before you make a reservation. You can slip on a headset and be transported to a resort or hotel and actually walk through the lobby, see the guest rooms, and check out all of the amenities.
VR is not only beneficial for travellers’, it is also beneficial to hotels and resorts; particularly lesser-known properties or those that are located in remote areas, as it allows them to give people the opportunity to see what they have to offer.
Establishing a Competitive Edge
The hotel and hospitality industry is extremely competitive. Travellers’ have so many options when it comes to where they can stay. And with hotel and resort database sites, like Booking.com and Travelicity.com, the competition has become even steeper.
With so much competition, it can be hard for hotels and resorts to set themselves apart from the crowd. Photos and marketing content can only do so much. But augmented and virtual reality can really help hotels and resorts establish a competitive edge. It allows them to distinguish themselves and showcase their unique selling points. In other words, it gives them the chance to show prospective travellers the chance to explore the gardens, visit the restaurants, and lounge by the pool that resort A has to offer, thus allowing the resort to stand out in the crowd and attract more people.
Making Booking Easier
Another way that hotels and resorts are adopting advanced technologies to simplify the booking process for their guests. For example, most hotels and resorts offer different types of accommodations; standard rooms, suites, handicap accessible rooms, and so forth. By using augmented and virtual reality, guests can actually see what different accommodations offer to determine what will best meet their needs.
When potential visitors have the opportunity to really experience different accommodations, the process of making reservations becomes a lot easier for them.
Ensuring Guest Satisfaction
Hotels and resorts are also using AR and VR as a way to improve guest satisfaction. When people have the chance to see what they are going to get before they arrive, it’s much more likely that they are going to have a more pleasant experience, and when they have a more pleasant experience, guests are much more satisfied. When guest satisfaction improves, so does the reputation of a hotel or resort, which translates to much greater success.
A lot of properties are using AR as a way to make the environment of their hotel or resort more enjoyable for their guests. For instance, some hotels are using AR to allow guests to use their smartphones to see them alongside images of their favourite celebrities or cartoon characters. Other hotels are using AR as a means for showcasing products or entertainment options the hotel/resort features.
Summing It Up
Augmented reality and virtual reality are already proving to be invaluable tools for hotels and resorts around the globe. These technologies are a truly effective way to develop a competitive edge, allow guests to see what properties have to offer, improve the booking process, and ensure guest satisfaction.
Given the incredibly positive effects that augmented reality and virtual reality have had for hotels and resorts, it is exciting to think of how these technologies will further be adopted by hotels and resorts, and how AR and VR will enhance marketing for establishments and experiences for travellers in the future.
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