WordPress as creative multiplier

With Bitesize Irish, I’ve used WordPress since 2010 as a blog platform. But being a web developer, it Wasn’t Cool Enough, and Bitesize with online lessons was built from scratch as a custom web app.

Fast forward to about 2018, and Bitesize was being held back by my lack of time. There were things I wanted to program to add to Bitesize, but the list was always too big. Eventually, the business was being held back. We had introduced the idea of organising lessons into groups of weeks, but then I didn’t get around to a management interface for re-ordering and that type of admin. The product was stuck.

So in the past year or two, I’ve moved Bitesize Irish to be mostly run by WordPress (some backendy stuff and side sites still run on custom PHP code).

It’s at that time that I realised that WordPress had really started to mature into something bigger than a blogging platform. They were releasing a block editor (the Gutenberg editor that has since been released). I installed Memberpress for memberships. LearnDash for courses. I built a custom audio player widget to speak with our existing API, and made a custom Gutenberg block out of it using Advanced Custom Fields.

With WordPress, “there’s an app for that”. Want one-time passwords? Plugin. Custom email service? Plugin. Contact form? Plugin. Contact form with spam protection? You’re covered. Theme with nice menus? Install Astra. A page builder? Use Elementor.

Naval Ravikant has written about using leverage to build wealth, and the new-age multiplier being product with zero margin cost.

If you can code, or at least understand how coding work, and then sell, you can do quite well in building assets. Combine that with spreading it through permissionless media like podcasts, blogging, tweeting and YouTube, and you have “a magic combination”.

WordPress is such a multiplier. As a specific example, I had set up LearnDash courses, but we were missing a way to let customers search through their courses to find specific lessons. Customers were complaining, righfully, that they were finding it hard to find specific content they were interested in. I looked for plugins, and there was a dynamic search plugin there for $10. I installed it, set it up, and it was configured with the Elementor page builder. Boom, a dynamic search. I’ve seen even with teams of professional developers that that could take weeks to get out there.

What’s the catch? The configuration of different plugins is an art in itself. But there’s something especially webby about WordPress that I love. It’s a tool to leverage the coding of others, where you can concentrate more on creating stuff for the people you care about.