I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Brian Jackson, co-founder of Forge Media and creator of the popular WordPress plugins NovaShare and Perfmatters. Brian has extensive experience building successful products and businesses in the WordPress space.
In our wide-ranging conversation, we discussed several important topics relevant to the WordPress community right now:
Using AI to Enhance Content Creation
Both Brian and I have begun experimenting with AI tools like ChatGPT and Bard to improve our content workflows. He uses a “hybrid approach”, leveraging AI to generate ideas and drafts but still adding his own personal touch. I completely agree that carefully crafted prompts are key to getting good results from AI. Neither of us is yet comfortable publishing fully AI-written content.
The Impact of AI on the Future of WordPress
We speculated about how advanced AI could enable automated site building outside of WordPress in the future. However, Brian emphasized that niche complexities of WordPress will be difficult for AI to grasp anytime soon.
Monetization and Support for Plugin Businesses
Brian explained why he avoids “lifetime deal” pricing for his products, despite it being common for WordPress plugins. While tempting for short-term revenue, it removes incentive for ongoing improvement. He believes subscribers should continue supporting developers to allow constant iteration. Still, he limits sales to just the major Black Friday promotion each year.
- AI can help generate ideas and drafts, but human refinement is still needed
- WordPress niche complexity means AI won’t replace it soon
- “Lifetime deal” pricing removes incentive for ongoing development
- Limiting sales promotes sustainable growth over quick cash grabs
“I don’t think a lot of people know a hundred percent. You can’t say yes or no, you know, will Google know this is written by me or not?”
“WordPress is just a mess, to be honest, for the people that are in the weeds every day, like grinding, like they know how messy WordPress is.”
“If you have a good product, like why do you need to constantly push sales? It doesn’t make sense.