The project is on schedule, as detailed below. In summary, we’ve got a functional WordPress plug-in and we’re currently working on our Analytics platform and further research.
The objectives of the project are:
- Create a WordPress plug-in to facilitate the insertion of payment pointers in order to monetize a WordPress site and make revenue sharing automatically;
- Add the ability to hide and show unique content from a WordPress site, only for people who contribute;
- Create an analytics system to show data about received payments from a WordPress site.
As for the first objective, the WordPress Plug-in is already functional. The user is now able to add multiple payment pointers to a website. Our plug-in will handle probabilistic revenue share, and will automatically insert the pointers metatags.
Besides inserting the pointers, the plug-in will also send data from the payments events to the Analytics tool. We are currently working on this integration, writing down the APIs to connect the plugin to our database.
Here are some screenshots of the working plugin:
We decided to work on the second objective later on, and focus our efforts on the analytics platform now. We’ve done prototypes, but there’s currently no coding progress on the unique content feature.
As shown below in Key Activities, all the interface prototypes were done. After that, we moved to development. The Dashboard and Login interfaces were developed using Next.js. We also implemented a passwordless login system with next-auth. This reduces the need for password recovery systems and improves the overall user experience.
A local prototype of this plug-in was developed, and the user can add the payment pointers and their probabilities, but so far it is not possible to hide or show specific content.
One difficulty encountered was the simulation of payment events, which was necessary for reading them in our plugin, to send the payment data to the web system displaying them. However, we were able to simulate the events and obtain and treat the data from the micropayments.
Our goal was to better understand our public, and get the answers to our essential questions, like 'who would use our technology?', 'what needs of our audience would we meet?', and 'How can we effectively use the web monetization technology to meet these needs. The main method we used to get the answers was in-depth interviews with our target audience: WordPress website managers. The interviews were focused on discovering their routines, goals, and necessities related to monetization.
Here are some of our conclusions:
There are many websites on the WordPress platform that do not monetize their content and do not aim to monetize. Most are made up of landing pages and institutional sites focused on marketing goals. Therefore, it is important, at first, to focus our efforts on attracting an audience that effectively generates relevant content and wants to monetize its content.
Analytics tools like Google Analytics and Hotjar are used for managers to get metrics like CAC and LTV. Tools are often used at the same time to complement the information and have more than one source of truth. Therefore, insights such as monetization performance may be useful for managers.
As web monetization is not yet a widely used practice by users who consume website content in general, it will be necessary to think of interfaces that take this into account and that are instructive and intuitive enough to introduce the technology for the first time to any type of user.
It was something recurrent that was heard throughout the interviews. Even though it is not the current focus of the project, we will take into account the development of technology and the future possibility of new features for the product roadmap.
From the survey results, we will be able to more effectively target the product roadmap, meeting the needs of users and also marketing strategies.
The objective was to have consistent and flexible elements, both for marketing actions and for the construction of interfaces, in order to strengthen the "Pipe Web Monetization" brand. Already foreseeing the use of modular and accessible interfaces, basic elements to be followed were defined; such as colors, logo, and typography.
Following the principles of atomic design, basic components were created whose purpose in the future is to compose an accessible and responsive design system, both for the plugin menu, within the WordPress platform, and for the monitoring dashboard.
We developed the front-end using Next.js, a React framework. The authentication flow was made using next-auth to provide a passwordless (magic link) login. The dashboard uses react-chart-js-2 to provide responsive and animated charts to show the data.
Most of our time in the Analytics Platform was spent with the back-end. The main challenge was the data modeling to allow frictionless scalability and performance, no matter the number of users.
To accomplish this, we chose the serverless approach with a single-table architecture NoSQL database.
This way, we’re developing APIs within Amazon API Gateway to allow both WordPress Plugin and Analytics Tool to communicate with the database in AWS DynamoDB through Lambda Functions.
The writing function (POST method) is already functional, and we’re now working on writing statistics as well (e.g revenue per day, day of week, month, and year).
Our next step is to, based on all the research mentioned in Market Research and Strategic Marketing Planning section, attract an audience that effectively generates relevant content and wants to monetize its content, engage the users who consume website content in general, to get used with wallets, understanding why are they so doubtful with them, and also engage the web monetization community with Community Calls, explaining about the WordPress researches made and the PipeWebMonetization project.
Here’s what we’re doing next:
- Develop the feature to control exclusive contents in the plug-in
- Develop reading capabilities in our API
- Connect the Dashboard with the Database
- Implement security tokens to connect de Analytics Tool to the Plugin
- Elaborate on our marketing plan to reach potential customers
- Write the documentation for the project
- Share all our discoveries and research about the WordPress community's interaction with the web monetization technology doing a community call.
We’re excited to make connections across the GFTW community because we believe that there is a lot of knowledge to be acquired and a lot of friend projects to support.