TL;DR — WP App Store failed because I failed to get it into people’s WordPress dashboards, it didn’t really solve any painful problem, and there aren’t enough quality commercial plugins yet. But I pivoted a while ago and now have a thriving new business. WP App Store has been rebooted as a mailing list for deals on WordPress products.
In May last year I launched WP App Store, a marketplace built-into the WordPress dashboard. The idea was to bring an Apple App Store -like experience to WordPress. I had gotten an excellent inventory of themes and plugins together from the most recognizable brands. Nearly everyone I talked to thought it was a great idea. I had great advisors cheering me on and some financial investment so I could focus 100% of my time on it. How could it fail, right?
Well today, I shut down the store. I built what I had set out to build in terms of a technology but not in terms of a business. The sales were few and far between. There are probably a hundred reasons why it failed, but I’m only going to discuss a few that I think are most significant.
WP App Store Reboot
Before we get into that though, I would like to announce that I’ve also rebooted WP App Store today. We have a pretty good size mailing list and I’ve established relationships with lots of talented people who sell great products, so I’ve decided to bring those two things together. Once or twice a month, I’ll send out an email to the list with an exclusive coupon code to get a percentage off some quality products for WordPress. That’s it. Very simple, but hopefully people will find value in it.
Now, back to the reasons why WP App Store failed.