About ClassicPress being business-focused

I haven’t seen https://www.classicpress.net/blog/2018/10/29/classicpress-for-business-professional-organization-websites/ linked from here, it’s useful context for how we originally chose “business-focused”.

My suggestion here is “professional-quality” rather than “business-focused”.

I would leave “Powerful. Versatile. Predictable.” exactly as it is, these are great qualities in a CMS. The only other thing that would need to change is the “ClassicPress is a modified and enhanced version of WordPress (without Gutenberg) that serves the business website market” line - I’m not so sure what to do with that one.

If we are going to change this, I would like for us to be sure about it. There is a cost to making the change because it needs to be coordinated well and done in a lot of places (core code, official website, and probably a good number of other marketing materials).

I’ve also seen this come up lots of different times.


Please do not dilute the “business-focused” vision for ClassicPress. To my mind, the whole concept of ClassicPress centers on taking content management seriously. Whether that seriousness involves a fun recreational site or a stone-cold business site, the same should apply: the coding and planning is taken seriously.

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I think my “definition” hits the mark far better than everything else I’ve read. As evidenced by the continuing discussion, nobody seems to have a solid, 100%-agreed-upon interpretation…so the idea that said definition is being diluted is, well, a stretch. This post represents my opinion as an end user and plugin developer – I’m sticking by it.

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I like this one too.

I agree with this too, but I don’t think professional-quality is any less of a “serious” title than business focused. The nice thing is that “professional” is a broader, more inclusive word than “business”. Not everyone runs a business, but everyone wants a professional-grade product.


My point, exactly. ClassicPress can be used for any purpose, but its philosophy is to build a “professional -” or “business -” centered product.


I’m OK with either ‘business-focused’ or ‘professional-quality’. And I’m pretty sure that, whichever we use, someone will feel it excludes them. ClassicPress is not trying to be exclusive. It’s trying to raise the standard for the CMS platform. Anyone who is actively involved in managing their website can benefit.


I realise that ClassicPress is not trying to be inclusive, but if the perception is there, then it’s there.

I’ve read a number of comments now from people who were initially put off by that “business-focused” tag. They eventually gave it a try, but who knows how many more people have been permanently put off by it. I agree that whatever the tag used, someone will probably feel excluded. But I have a gut feeling (based on zero evidence of course) that “professional-quality” would be more widely embraced.


Once upon a time when I was a littler Klein, CP attracted me with its business-focussed tag line. But I can see how some people were scared off. Looking as objectively as I can, professional-quality would probably have had the same effect on (people like) me, while maybe being a bit more open to others. I like it as a tag-line and we should really think about making it official.

I don’t know what the procedure for this would involve? Should it be brought into a committee meeting? @BlueSkyPhoenix as marketing team lead and director, I want to ask you how this should be put into practice as youre the person I think can get this information. How do we set up a vote?


Good questions @klein. I have also been wondering how to push this along.


I have no formal marketing qualification but I have read lots of books, attended conferences, webinars etc. and have helped promote many small businesses online, and was in MLM for many years.
On thing I did learn was that the “product description” and the “sales line” are rarely the same.
Some examples,
The drill bit: people do not “buy” drill bits based on a description they buy a means to creating a holes.
The lawn mower: people buy the mower to get their ideal lawn, two stroke, four stroke, electric is of less importance at least at the sales stage, on going use and maintenance is a different matter.
With regards to ClassicPress should the tagline be sales (get new users) oriented or descriptive.
As a statement - “ClassicPress is a business focused CMS” might be true and descriptive, but as a sales line it does not do it for me.
If I came across the line “ClassicPress the versatile and easy to use professional CMS” I would be much more tempted to investigate.


Good thoughts Mark, thanks. So we should be promoting what it does, not what it is.


I would agree with that. I always go back to the old favourite “Does what it says on the tin”. People don’t buy the product because of what it says on the tin, but because it does what is it says on the tin. People always want to know what the benefits are, what’s in it for them, why they should use x instead of y.

Hence, why should people use CP and not WP?

Just my tuppence worth.


Yes in some ways.
I think it will vary in time as the number of installs and the amount of people that know what it is grows.
It can be about what it is but not the nuts and bolts.
ClassicPress - CMS - the name and what it is dictionary style.
ClassicPress - World class, versatile and easy to use CMS. Also states what it is but is much more enticing.
If we include a second line (if Google ads can do it) where space or circumstance allows extra promotion can be added.


I’ve been watching the conversation progress, and I’m happy to revise all of our messaging — evolution of a brand is natural, particularly in the early days. We want to be able to support our claims with compelling evidence. We also want to make changes at strategically meaningful times.

Neither of these options (professional quality, business-focused) really stand out to me as our best differentiator against our competition right now. Practically speaking, what specific ways are we more professional quality in V1? How are we more business-focused in V1? We are using the same words as a lot of the CMS platforms out there… but how are we different and better and the CMS of choice? What words, phrases, and evidence convince a user to make the jump to CP in V1?

When you look at Slack, the forums, and the MTC (Meet the Community) series, one of the things you see people mention over and over is how the warm, welcoming CP community really drew them in at a time that they were in need of a safe haven to escape the drama elsewhere. Reading our own words, V1 seems to be more about that, than anything right now — a long term support solution. Our community and culture seems to be what’s drawing people in. It’s more difficult to express in a tagline, but it’s a recurring theme we see in the forums and in the MTC articles over and over again.

That’s not to say that we shouldn’t be listing all the ways in which we serve professionals and businesses in superior ways to other platforms… when we get there. But right now (IMO) it’s difficult to point at CP and list those things out without being labeled as the anti-Gutenberg… and we really need to put distance between ourselves and WP without creating (further) animosity between the two camps.

V2 is a perfect opportunity to launch a refined brand for CP. We will be able to cite features and functionalities that are more meaningful in support of our claims to be a “professional CMS” (or whatever tagline we choose) and create a compelling story around that tagline — about ourselves, our growth, and our future.


Enticing, compelling, meaningful — all good ways to think about what we want our tagline to be.


As one of those who is constantly on about the friendly ClassicPress community, I couldn’t agree more. The community aspect and democratic approach really are the primary differentiators between the two projects right now. It’s wonderful to know that we’re not going to be bullied, condescended, censored, deleted, or outright banned for not kowtowing to forum moderators. To me, that is WordPress’ weakest aspect, second only to the “leadership” style that has persistently poisoned the well.


I have been holding off commenting here for precisely this reason. When we get closer to that point, we’ll be in a much better position to work out how to market it.

But I do feel the need to point out a few misconceptions. First, it isn’t true to say that successful marketing taglines are all about what a product does. In the US, for example, Mercedes has for years been using the tag line: “The best or nothing.” That tells you neither about what it is nor what it does. Incredibly successful marketing campaigns in the UK have included: “Keep them by the bread bin”, “P-p-p-pick up a Penguin”, and “Beanz Meanz Heinz.” None of them said what the product did.

Indeed, a very great deal of marketing is clearly targeted at a specific group of potential users. Kay, the jewelers, clearly targets men buying for women. Reverse mortgage companies target those over a certain age … The list goes on…

The point I am making is that good marketing is hard to do. We can’t rely on sweeping assertions about how marketing works; we need to tailor our message carefully.

And here’s the other problem. No matter who comments on this, and on other, ClassicPress thread(s), and no matter whether they are pro or against a particular marketing idea, they aren’t really a good barometer of how our messaging might be perceived. That’s because they are already here!

The real issue lies in identifying what is the reason that more people aren’t here too. If it’s a marketing thing, then, sure, we need to consider how to do it better. But if the barrier is something other than marketing, re-formulating taglines won’t make any difference and will just take up time that most of us don’t have anyway.

Finally, another problem I’ve seen is that we adopted the “business-focused” after quite a bit of discussion. But as soon as someone said they were put off, we got a bit squeamish about it, even though the reason for the tagline was to target a specific group and that person wasn’t in that group. We can’t keep doing that.

If we choose to target a group, then it’s inevitable that those outside that group might be deterred. That’s OK! If, on the other hand, we choose to highlight what ClassicPress does, we can’t get upset when someone is put off who wants to do something else (even if ClassicPress could do that too). If we keep reacting like that, we’ll be forever changing taglines.

What this highlights, of course, is just how hard marketing is to do well. And, as I said at the outset, I don’t think we should consider changing anything before version 2 is due out. But I would like to see some broader discussion between now and then of what our marketing should look like. I don’t think that limiting things to a re-phrasing of the tagline is likely to prove terribly helpful.


Good points.

To be fair, the previous discussion was beginning to go nowhere after awhile. I wonder if people may have settled for “business-focused” rather than truly believed in it. This further discussion, which has been refocused, sort of points to that.


Yes. Absolutely. We can’t be all things to all people, nor should we try to be.

And yes… marketing is incredibly difficult to do well. Thank you for acknowledging that. Marketing generally takes the brunt of any criticism of a product or service because it’s out front for anyone to see… unlike the real work, which is the development of the product. Without a solid product that lives up to the marketing, we can’t succeed.

I think we will get much farther if we just focus on keeping a steady course toward our ultimate goals of creating the very best CMS possible. As we prove over time that ClassicPress provides a high-value, stable, secure solution with a long-term vision and a heart for its community, healthy growth will result.


Vorsprung durch Technik. There’s another one. It’s fine having a snappy tag line if you’re an established brand but when you’re trying to get established, you need more than that. I agree wholeheartedly that marketing is difficult. I also agree entirely with @BlueSkyPhoenix that one of CP’s USPs is its community and culture but again, how do you get this across to people? It is such an important part of CP. Users can be free of Automattic’s bullying culture and can actually be part of CP’s future. When the “mighty” Joost de Valk resigns from his recent appointment as WP’s Marketing Lead because even he didn’t fit in, then you know WP has got serious problems. Advantage CP.

Personally I agree we should look to V2 before attempting to rebrand.