Two weeks ago, Cate and Topher DeRosia launched the HeroPress Network, a centralized website that would host various projects for helping people with WordPress. Today, the duo announced the opening of Find It WP, a new site that is part of the collective. It will serve as a database or archive of all things WordPress.
The goal is ambitious, and it is powered by submissions from the community. The site is open to anyone who wants to share a WordPress-related resource. “Resources” in this sense is literally anything. It can be a plugin, agency, podcast, theme shop, or even more. And, if there is not a category available, submitters can recommend a new one.
“This new way to search WordPress resources helps both veteran and beginner users by saving them time and frustration as they try to find what they need,” wrote Cate DeRosia in the announcement post. “Often, I’ve seen someone tweet out that they’re looking for a WooCommerce specialist or have a friend ask me if I know of a plugin that does x. Now everyone has a new place to start: Find It WP.”
All of the submissions are manually approved to make sure the content is appropriate. This will add to the team’s workload. DeRosia jokingly said her role has become “Chief Approval Officer.”
“And this really highlights the reason we’ll be reaching out for funding,” she said. “There’s a lot to maintain with the new additions to the HeroPress Network, resources that seem like they’ll be a real asset to the growth of the WordPress community. Instead of each company trying to do this on their own, let’s pool our resources and support it together.”
The current plan is to open some funding options for the HeroPress Network on October 24. DeRosia said in an earlier announcement that this would be similar to Patreon, where users could fund the mission. However, they will also have a corporate sponsorship program for WordPress businesses.
“I think of it like the local library,” she said. “Not everyone needs to be in there checking out books and shelving things, but somebody does, and they have to buy groceries, too.”
DeRosia believes this will benefit individuals as well as smaller and larger agencies.
“You never know where a customer is going to come from or what up and coming agency could give you unexpected competition, so this is a simple way to see what all is going on in the WordPress ecosystem,” she said. “It’s also an ideal opportunity to find smaller products and business larger companies may want to acquire.”
I asked her whether including plugins and themes was worth it because there are already dedicated directories and marketplaces for those types of resources.
“We had the same thoughts as you about whether it was worth including plugins and themes, particularly free ones,” she responded. She listed four primary reasons they thought it was worth doing:
- If it’s for “all things WordPress,” we need to include all things WordPress.
- We liked that free and paid plugins were searchable alongside each other.
- The WordPress repositories don’t have our advanced searching. We’re not a replacement for them, just an additional option.
- Reviews can negatively impact products that don’t always deserve them. We wanted to level the playing field there.
DeRosia said the idea for this project and WP Podcasts came along at about the same time (note: the WP Tavern podcast is listed on the site). The latter was less ambitious in scope, so they launched it first as a case study.
“From the beginning, the driving force behind the HeroPress expansion was to create bridges between the various WordPress communities, and Find It WP seemed like a natural element to that,” said DeRosia. “It’s really difficult to be successful and stay on top of an ever-growing ecosystem like WordPress. With Find It WP, we can simplify it all, for both searchers and those looking to be found.
“I’ve spent the last 18 months looking at ways people can get visibility in the WordPress Community, and it’s nearly impossible. It’s so large and spread out that, even if you have the most amazing new product, it’s hard to get noticed. Find It WP simplifies all of that and provides equitable opportunities for anyone.”
Equity is a a crucial part of this project, leveling the playing field for creators regardless of their size. There is no special attention given to major players. The resources are simply there for people to search for and find what they are looking for.
At the moment, there are currently 42 listings spread across multiple categories. DeRosia said she was getting back to approving more as we ended our chat. As the site grows, it should offer opportunities for more businesses and people to connect.
“The idea for Find It WP did come out of our experiences with HeroPress and expanding into the HeroPress Network,” she said. “We’ve needed help along the way and have been thrilled by the talent we’ve come across. If we hadn’t been looking or had the connections we had, we wouldn’t have found them. We didn’t want to keep that to ourselves. We want everyone to be able to experience the benefits that come from working together as a community.”
Topher DeRosia also published a Find It WP announcement on the HeroPress blog.