Basic Authentication with the WP-API (v2) and AngularJS

Working on the WP-App Project, we need to use authentication to do certain things in the app. Deleting/approving comments, or listing users for example.

Basic Authentication is handy for testing code, but it should only be used in development, since you send the user/pass with every request. For production, you’ll want to use OAuth from an external client like a mobile app. I haven’t dug into OAuth yet, but it’s documented a little bit here.

We are using the Ionic Framework for the WP-App Project, which is based on AngularJS. Basic authentication requires sending the username and password, base64 encoded, in the request header. Here’s what that looks like.

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The WP-App Project

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Today I’m excited to announce the WP-App Project: a free, open-source mobile app for WordPress site management.

The idea is to create a customizable mobile app for WordPress site owners to manage their posts, pages, comments, media, etc.

What’s that you say, a WordPress app already exists? Ah, but not like this. No sir, not like this.

With this app, you’ll be able to write a simple plugin that adds a section to the app. Let’s say you are the developer of a successful forms plugin. You will be able to create an add-on for your product that adds management of form entries to this app, without touching any app code. An Ecommerce plugin developer could make a plugin that adds sales statistics to the app (with authentication of course).

Or say you just created a very custom site for a client, and they don’t use blog posts at all. You can remove the Posts page from the app, and instead add your custom CPTs.

This app uses the WP-API, which is very easy to interact with. It will be free and open-source, and I would love to have you help with the project.

This app is for you, it’s not for me. It’s not a product, and it’s not for sale. It’s so you can have a mobile app in your hands to hack and customize, without submitting anything to the app stores, or writing app code. Work with me to make this the coolest WordPress app ever.

This is not an AppPresser product, it’s totally open-source and free, but I wrote more about it on the AppPresser blog.

I need your help to make this app a reality, please read the post on the AppPresser blog to find out how you can help.

Cheers!

The Most Important Thing a Founder Does

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Most companies start when someone has an idea, and they start making something: a product, a consultancy, a SaaS app, or whatever.

In the early days, the founder is really involved in making the product. If you are a technical founder, you write a lot of code, build your website, setup email marketing and other tools, etc.

As your company grows, your role changes, and you have to take off your “maker” hat to work on building your company. This is a difficult transition as a technical founder, because the only thing you know is making products.

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The Minimum Viable Product

Minimum Viable Product

“Real artists ship.” –Steve Jobs

“If you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long.” –Matt Mullenweg

You’ve probably heard of an MVP, it stands for Minimum Viable Product.

The term was popularized by Eric Ries, It means that you should ship when you reach minimum viability, not a moment before or after that.

You shouldn’t take MVP to mean that you should ship a piece of crap. The emphasis in MVP is on viable, not on minimum.

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Things you’ll never hear product developers say

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On Overnight Success

“The first time I tried to build a product it was a staggering success, guess I just got lucky.”

“If you build it, they will come is totally true.”

On SaaS

“It’s so easy to make money with SaaS, you just set it and forget it.”

On Agencies Moving to Products

“Adding a successful product line to my Agency was easy, I had plenty of free time and the early lack of revenue totally made sense.”

On Version 1

“I love all of the development decisions I made for version 1.”

“I wouldn’t change a single line of code if I had to build it all over again.”

“We reached product/market fit right away, we didn’t even have to make any changes.”

On Support

“Support doesn’t really take that much time out of my day.”

“Support is my favorite part of building products.”

On Marketing

“I’ve had great luck with AdWords.”

“I wish we hadn’t spent so much time blogging.”

On Features

“I’m so glad I added in all those features early on, it makes my life easier.”

Add yours to the comments :)

The WordPress Theme Business, Then and Now

WordPress theme business

I’ve been selling products for 5 years now, starting with premium WordPress themes.

I now have a plugin business and a SaaS product. I’ve learned a lot, this post is basically everything that worked and didn’t work for my theme business, and where I see the theme market today.

A brief history of premium themes

Matt Mullenweg forked b2 to create the first version of WordPress in 2003. Around 2007-08 the first premium theme companies started popping up. (There’s a nice history of premium themes here.)

One of the first was Studiopress, founded by Brian Gardner. Studiopress quickly escalated into six figures per month, and other theme businesses such as Press75 found fast success as well, and the theme gold rush started.

Lots more players jumped into the market over the next several years, and that trend has continued. Some market leaders emerged (Woothemes, StudioPress, Elegant Themes), and new distribution has changed the game (Themeforest).

Fast forward to today. The market is incredibly saturated, prices have dropped, and theme quality/bloat has become an issue.

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2015 WordPress Business Revenue Statistics

2015 WordPress Revenue Statistics

A lot of people in the WordPress community have published transparency reports in the last year, and I wanted to gather them all in one place.

It’s mostly for statistical data for presentations, and to analyze what business models people are using. I also have some knowledge that isn’t public information (from my own businesses, and people I know) that gives me a little extra insight.

Personal note to all my fellow business owners: don’t compare yourself and feel bad because you aren’t making what some of these businesses are. There is a lot of back story to these that you don’t know about, none of these people were overnight successes. If that’s you, read this post about jealousy by Cory Miller, and this post by Matt Medeiros.

There are lots of people I left out, if you want to be included in this list or update your numbers please leave a comment or shoot me a tweet.

Update: some of these numbers are different than the source links, or don’t have sources. That’s because people have shared numbers with me personally but have not published anything about revenue publicly.

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How to get customer feedback with surveys and polls

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One of the most important things you can do to grow your business is get feedback from your customers.

If you don’t know what your customers are looking for and why, no amount of tweaks to your site will have much of an effect. To find out the right headlines, media, content, and even product features your customers want, all you need to do is ask. Armed with that data, you can a/b test your site copy, onboarding processes, and marketing materials to increase conversions.

There are several ways to get feedback, including live user testing with friends and family, talking to customers on the phone or in person, and online surveys and polls. We’ll be focusing on surveys and polls, since they are the easiest to implement.

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