Thinking » Topics » Strategy
The professional and creative relationship we’ve built over the years with Automattic, Inc., and its WordPress.com VIP team, has always been a source of pride at Oomph. Today it brings me great pleasure to announce that our valued relationship has been formalized. Oomph is now an official WordPress.com VIP Featured Partner, certified and recognized by Automattic to provide the high-quality service made standard by the web-publishing pioneer.
Automattic began rolling out its Featured Partner Program a few months ago starting with online services such as Chartbeat and Ooyala and then followed by the addition of hosting services such as WP Engine and GoDaddy. Today, they launch an agency component of which Oomph is now a part.
We’ve been fortunate to work with some incredible WordPress.com VIP clients, like NBC Universal, Research in Motion, Intuit, and VentureBeat to name a few, and with this exciting new honor we’re even more energized by the possibilities ahead. Powered by our partnership with Automattic, Oomph continues to be a leading agency in enterprise WordPress deployments.
The report incorporated a variety of criteria, including adoption, mindshare, and third party support to reach their overall conclusion: WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla are dominating the open source market. The 70+ page report, which discusses a variety of open source CMS topics, compared 20 top market leaders.
Joomla came away the leader in overall market share by a little over 6% (although WordPress dominated by a large margin in sites identifying as “blogs”) – a result that doesn’t surprise us; more on that below the fold. But digging into some of the key metrics we use to measure project success as a service firm – like user satisfaction – suggests a different conclusion: WordPress is leading the pack, and Drupal is just behind.
On September 23, Google released Chrome Frame, an add-on for Internet Explorer (IE) 6-8. Chrome Frame allows websites to request that IE visitors use the rendering engine behind Google’s speedy Chrome web browser instead of IE’s native engine. A TechCrunch synopsis and the Chrome Frame page provide further explanation. This article offers strategic insight into why Google is aggressively pushing their own browser technology, whether Chrome Frame will succeed, and how Chrome Frame should be seen by web development clients.
Ask any web developer what they think of Internet Explorer 6 and you’ll hear an earful. The 8 year old web browser still commands nearly 20% of the browser market and is woefully inadequate at supporting modern standards, incurring millions of dollars for legacy support every year. IE 7 and 8 were big improvements, but as we’ve opined on before, even IE8 fails to support forward looking techniques supported by the competition.
Increasingly, savvy organizations are asking for web solutions built on open source content management systems. We’re all for it: we’ve built solutions on a variety of platforms, including WordPress and Drupal, both open source projects. We’ve even released a few open source plug-ins of our own.
Open source certainly offers benefits, including a transparency that we believe encourages better programming (“the best disinfectant is light”), the removal of the dependence on a single software vendor, and often times, incredibly low cost of ownership. All of that said, as advocates of custom solutions for clients with custom needs, we know that the open source solution isn’t always the right solution.
More importantly, we’ve found that savvy clients and prospects asking for open source are actually getting at something more essential: open platform solutions.
I’ve been working with website content management systems for 9 years or so – since the last time our economy took a bit of a nose-dive. Around that time there was a flood of discussion about the ROI of implementing a Content Management System (CMS), mostly written by vendors trying to sell very expensive software in a down market. We’re in a similar economic situation now, but over the past 9 years two big things have changed:
- The cost of CMS software has decreased exponentially since 2000
- Site visitor expectations have increased exponentially since 2000
In support of an upcoming conference, we were asked to address some questions on the theme of web strategy as part of a greater campaign. This campaign would also incorporate more traditional media like public service announcements and other branding.
Our inputs addressed issues ranging from consistency in color palette and overall aesthetic, to cost considerations, to social media integration, to mechanisms for evaluating effectiveness. Most of the discussion would be familiar to any of our clients who have gone through a full development or strategy process with us. As the dialog progressed, however, we found ourselves moving from “planning and campaign integration fundamentals” to the higher level, more philosophical subject of how the web, as a campaign medium, fundamentally differs from other campaign media, and the practical implications of those differences when thinking holistically about web as one leg of a greater campaign.
We could probably write a thesis paper on the subject, but for of the sake of our time and our readers’ attention spans, we’ve tried to boil it down to a handful of paragraphs.