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“You’ve Come a Long Way,” WordPress

How WordPress today is achieving the vision of Storehouse back in 2014.

Kyle Pearce reviewing the Storehouse app.

While researching some things I had posted on Google+ some years back, I stumbled across a post I had made in 2014 about Storehouse which was a new publishing platform for “visual storytelling”.

What amazed me about reflecting back upon it (particularly the animated example under the title section of “Beautiful stories everywhere” on their website) is that the same thing can now be achieved within WordPress in terms of outputting a beautiful structure and layout to tell your story. This has largely been in part because of what Gutenberg has achieved in empowering the end user to finally be able to visually layout their own content fairly easily.

This got me thinking and wondering if many people even realize WordPress has this power now. If you don’t, it would probably be a pretty huge change and it would probably radically change your perspective of the platform in turn.

At the same time, it has made me realize how powerful and easy to use the platform is now, regardless of where I want it to be in terms of it evolving into my dream platform. In effect, I have to recognize that it is far more powerful than it ever was and becoming far more powerful than other platforms every day.

This is something I’m not really leveraging in its basic sense. In effect, helping people to simply become aware of it and to utilize in its basic current state, regardless of the fact that I want it to become so much more still (which will probably be achieved by the end of this year though with full site editing).

Anyways, all that said, one thing that is still lacking with WordPress is the mobile user experience, at least from my perspective in terms of using the WordPress iOS app. It is pretty much in its infancy still and cannot even compare to the simplicity, power, and ease of use that the Storehouse iOS app had six years ago in 2014. It would be nice if the WordPress iOS app development team took some lessons from the design and functionality of the Storehouse iOS app and implemented them into the WordPress iOS app.

It’s also interesting to see that in searching the Web to discover what happened to Storehouse, it appears that the platform shut down in 2016 because they couldn’t build a large enough user base. I remember at the time in 2014 thinking that if the Storehouse had translated their technology and created a WordPress app, even selling it for something like $20 (which would have been an outrageous price for an iOS app at the time), they probably could have easily garnered a huge client base for what they wanted to achieve but in a completely different context than they initially imagined.

In effect, they wanted to create their own medium, their own walled garden (similar to Medium at the time), yet many people weren’t interested in that. So if they had just pivoted at the time, using their existing technology in a different way than they originally imagined, they could have still been around today but in a different form. And interestingly enough, perhaps WordPress might have even bought the company and integrated their technology for their own WordPress iOS app sooner. Who knows? We’ll never know.

BTW it’s interesting to see that a competitor to Storehouse at the time in 2014 is still around. Exposure, created with the help of Derek Powazek (who also worked on HotWired, Blogger, & Technorati), looks like an extremely well integrated proprietary platform that simplifies the experience of web publishing for the end user, so they don’t have to go through the headaches of what you’d normally have to go through in setting up a WordPress site (i.e. themes, plugins, etc). Even their pricing seems very reasonable.

By Nollind Whachell

From playing within imaginary worlds to imagining a world of play.

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