Need to improve your WordPress plugin?

I work with teams to improve onboarding, activation, and retention for their WordPress products.

Companies I’ve worked with:

“If you are a WordPress product company, get Joshua’s eyes on your plugin to improve user experience.”

Chris Badgett @ LifterLMS






I’ve looked a lot of onboarding flows, and had so much fun reviewing software of all types. From that, and from talking to so many amazing product teams, I’ve started to develop a set of principles for WordPress plugins to follow.

You’ve got this!

You’re amazing. You’ve built a WordPress product and it’s helping real people.

But you’ve probably encountered some resistance. People install your plugin, but many don’t stay.

They’re confused, not quite sure how it will help them, and often aren’t doing what they’d hoped with it.

Creating a great product takes a lot of work. You know, you’re making one after all! You have to think about getting folks to learn about what you’re making, to try it, and then stay.

There are three parts to building great software. It helps to think of them as levers of acquisition, activation, and retention. You can pull a lever to improve one part of your product, but often the other levers will shift in ways you didn’t expect.


I can help you improve the levers of activation and retention.

Once someone knows about you, and takes an action to try the product, what should they experience next?

You know what your product does, you built the darn thing after all. But after months, and sometimes years, of building, it becomes harder to have an objective view on how others are experiencing it for the first time.

When this happens, and you want to grow your audience, you’ve got three choices in front of you.

First, you can spend time looking at what others are doing. Look outside your direct market and get a view of the landscape. How are other apps in mobile, or SaaS, thinking about onboarding? Mobbin.com is an amazing resource for this to quickly look at hundreds of apps and study their onboarding.

I’ve created a number of teardowns [link] that look through WordPress plugins and give a sense of how others are handling this in your space.

Second, you can find a few users and ask them. This doesn’t have to be complicated. You can put out a Craigslist or Facebook ad (yes, it’s 2023, but they are surprisingly effective) and offer a gift card in exchange for 30 minutes of someone’s time. You can go to the coffee shop and show your product to someone for a gift card, or ask a few friends. There’s ways to reduce bias, and you can also filter interest through a form to make sure you’re getting the right audience. But the biggest trick is to just do it. If you feel overwhelmed just talk to three people; often that’s enough to see what you’re missing.

I’ve created a handy guide on how to do this. [Link]

Third, get someone’s help. Bring in an expert to do an onboarding evaluation of your product and call out the areas of strength and weakness. This person should be able to identify the low hanging fruit, and often validates a lot of concerns your team may already have.

This is where I’m happy to help. I work with WordPress product companies to improve their onboarding, and often start with a full evaluation with a workshop and checklist for things you can do immediately. For some teams that’s all they need. They can take that and run with it. Other teams want a little more help, and I’m able to come in and support their product team in prioritizing and designing the changes.

You’re building something amazing that the world can benefit from. I’d like to help.

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