Issue#22: Building $1K-$10K MRR Micro SaaS products around WordPress ecosystem

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No fluffy content. If your goal is to build a $100m ARR business, this is not the right post. Here I am are NOT going to talk about building the next Facebook or Twitter. If your goal is to make a $1K to $10K MRR, continue reading.

This post will cover one SAAS area and talk about multiple niches in this space. This post also explains more on how to do tech implementation, do market analysis, how the current players are doing, and also ends with a cost analysis to understand the overall cost for 100 users.

If you see this post and think WordPress is already DEAD, you are wrong. Continue reading this and you would understand some good opportunities around WordPress.

📈📈 Some stats

  • 👉 See which WordPress plugin is making $10K MRR in less than 18 months.

  • 👉 See who is making $12K/m from WordPress Templates

  • 👉 See who is making $1500/m with WordPress support service.

  • 👉 See which WordPress Website builder making $23M/year in revenue

  • 👉 See who is making $1800/m with WordPress Import/Export plugins.

  • 👉 See which company is making $6M/year in revenue with just WordPress hosting.

  • 👉 See who is making $23K/m with WordPress plugin that helps to create and see online courses

  • 👉 See which company is making $1.2M/year in revenue with WordPress services

  • 👉 See which two companies merged to form the biggest WordPress service company

  • 👉 See which company is making $25K/year in revenue with WordPress services

  • 👉 See which company is making $4M/year with Payments Plugin for WordPress

  • … and many others

🙅‍♀️🙅 Pessimists

  • Negative Nancy says - “WordPress is old and dead”

    Me - One of the Website builders specifically built for WordPress is making $23M/year in revenue.

  • Negative Nancy says - “WordPress plugins are saturated”

    Me - A WordPress plugin that generates SSLs for WordPress sites launched a year ago is making $10K MRR. More about this in the next sections. Find a niche that works. Don’t complain about the whole ecosystem.

  • Negative Nancy says - “WordPress themes and sites look often outdated”

    Me - Try ‘WordPress Headless CMS’ and build your own front-end/UI.

📑 📑 More about WordPress

The advantage that WordPress brings to the table is its biggest ecosystem of developers/plugins/hosting providers. It brings you millions of developers working on WordPress. For example, one of the Website builders specifically built for WordPress is used by 5,000,000 professionals. Given its extremely low learning curve, WordPress is used by millions of people to spin up a website in minutes. On top of the extremely easy setup, WordPress is also one of the default CMS options from various hosting providers like GoDaddy.

WordPress has become extremely popular because of two main reasons.

  • Plugin ecosystem

  • Content Management System (CMS)

  • Ease of setup

💡💡 Some niches

  • SSL Automation for WordPress websites using WordPress Plugin: In 2018, Google Chrome started displaying all websites with an SSL certificate as ‘Not secure’. Without this SSL padlock, it is often tough for website visitors to perform a transaction like making a payment or filling a form. But SSL generation involves some tedious processes and isn’t easy for non-technical users. Companies like GoDaddy charges heavy money for SSL certificates. The same is the case with other hosting providers. Usually, WordPress users are on shared web hosting, and getting an SSL certificate created and uploaded isn’t easy. To solve this problem, create a WordPress plugin that WordPress site owners can install and automate the SSL creating, validation, and renewal process easily. Google ranks SSL-enabled websites higher than unsecured websites. So, having an SSL certificate also helps website owners from an SEO perspective. To implement this process, you can use Let’s Encrypt and automate the whole process. Let’s Encrypt is a nonprofit Certificate Authority providing TLS certificates. While the concept of SSL/TSL certificates looks complex, Let's Encrypt has made it easy with a few commands. Let's Encrypt usually generates SSL for 90 days. So, you need to automate this process to generate and apply a new certificate every 90 days. See SSLZen for inspiration. In less than 2 years, SSLZen started making $10K MRR just by generating SSL certificates for WordPress sites using WordPress plugins.

  • WordPress CMS Data Import and Export: WordPress CMS is a heavily used CMS solution. But people often want to export and import the data around WordPress for various reasons. This could be because someone wants to sync their data with other systems or want to build data in an external system and wants to import that into CMS. This is one of the biggest requirements for most WordPress site owners and doing this at scale to handle thousands of rows export/import is important. The solution can also have an Add-On to backup WordPress sites by exporting the CMS to the cloud (AWS S3 or GCP). Other add-ons could be to automate the import and export process for source and target. Site owners should be able to create sources and targets and import/export as needed. Some examples of external systems are Google Sheets, AWS S3, etc.

  • Headless CMS system for WordPress: The concept of headless is getting popular and with thousands of WordPress sites there, it is a good opportunity to create a Micro-SaaS around the WordPress Headless CMS system. Having a system like this will help users to create their Front end. Enabling Headless CMS isn’t hard on WordPress but there is still a lot of scopes to improve the API access by making it easier to make calls to the CMS backend. Other add-ons could be to create a caching layer that can cache the CMS results. You can use AWS API Gateway or GCP Apigee to implement a caching layer easily. You can also create ready-made reach front-end templates or Vue js templates to connect the latest front-end designs to existing WordPress CMS. People are bored to see the same old WordPress screens and if you can create a Micro-SaaS solution to help query the CMS data via Headless API and connect to a website template, it will be a great fit for the audience who want to update their websites. This also cuts down the cost heavily as the server doesn’t need to render the complete HTML code and makes it much faster for websites to load content.

  • Ecommerce on WordPress: While there are many solutions like Shopify, Magento to set up an e-commerce store, most existing users of WordPress or less tech-savvy people prefer to set up an eCommerce store straight on WordPress. Create a nice plugin that can convert WordPress into an eCommerce platform. Note that this is not going to be easy as typically e-commerce platform comes with a ton of requirements like dashboards, reporting, payments, cart functionality, etc. But if you have some experience in the e-commerce side of things and are interested in doing this, please also see the open-source version of WooCommerce. WooCommerce is a customizable, open-source eCommerce platform built on WordPress.

  • Membership management for WordPress sites: Create a Micro-SaaS tool that lets WordPress site owners add Membership functionality to their sites. Your Micro-SaaS tool should provide an installable code to add to their WordPress sites to handle Membership functionality. Alternatively, you can also achieve this using a WordPress plugin. Your tool should also be able to show a nice dashboard to WordPress website owners to see stats around members and also provide options to take certain actions like add members, delete members, suspend members, etc. Also, make sure you support payment functionality to help create paid membership sites on WordPress sites.

  • 👉👉 [Get 10 additional niches from Pro version]

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See all profitable players in this Micro SaaS niche (Pro version)

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See Cost analysis for 100 users (Pro version)

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