SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions have been very popular for the past decade. Surprisingly, WordPress seemed to be relatively underpenetrated compared to the rest of the industry. However, the recent WooCommerce move to a straight renewal process might be the first sign of growing trend in the WordPress universe.
It’s been more than a year since we founded and launched Weglot, a new SaaS plugin for multilingual in WordPress and I wanted to share some thoughts and views on this topic.
SaaS is a way of delivering applications via the cloud, as a service, paying a monthly or yearly fee for it. Users do not need to install and maintain software, they simply access it via the Internet. Instead of selling software as a good, it shifted to services, freeing users from implementing and maintaining it.
SaaS solutions are currently used in almost all business areas, (HR, Support, Accounting, CRM, Management, Financials, etc.). Famous examples include popular and successful solutions like Salesforce (CRM), Box (online workspace storage) or Zendesk (support).
If you’re looking at existing SaaS solutions in WordPress, you’ll mainly find them at each end of the chain such as with hosting and management. But other than that, there aren’t a lot of options available.
Part of this is the lack of turnkey solutions. Managing and maintaining a WordPress website also means dealing with all the plugins covering the different website features. Sometimes, it can become very complex.
In his State of the Word speech in 2016, Matt Mullenweg expressed the desire to power the remaining 73 percent of the web. A way to do that is to start using the SaaS model.
The SaaS model bridges the gap between users and product developers, enhancing the overall experience. It also implies serving more and bigger companies and big customers, with higher expectations, especially in terms of ease of use and experience.
Problems with SaaS
The biggest issue with SaaS is churn. The one thing a SaaS product owner does not want, is having customers stop using their solution. So the one thing they have to make sure of is that their customers like and keep liking their product.
This is why SaaS providers constantly communicate with their users, to collect feedback, and make improvements. Bottom line, it means a short production cycle that exceeds users’ expectations.
Customers’ ability to easily quit you favors competition between solutions. And more competition means more benefits for end users. The potential volatility of your customers leaves no room for lame product. If a customer doesn’t hear back from support or have their problem addressed, they will find another service.
Ultimately, it pushes lame products out to only keep crème de la crème products! While this can be a scary thought it keeps WordPress products competitive against the rest of the Internet.
SaaS products benefits might be the tool for WordPress to keep conquering and stepping up in the Internet, matching higher expectations.
SaaS could be the next big thing for WordPress
WooCommerce’s recent move to an automatic renewal suggests there is an ongoing trend for more SaaS plugins to come.
With Weglot, we already convinced more than 10,000 users in a little bit more than a year. And our 300+ 5 stars ratings are also a good sign users value our approach and stick our model.
But we’re not the only one doing SaaS plugin, Imagify from the great WP Rocket team is also a good example, and we strongly believe that there are a lot more to come.
By the way if you are a SaaS plugin developer or know any other SaaS product in WordPress, please share it in the comment section below.