Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
This isn’t the first time this has happened to us. That’s OK, we have so many ideas that we don’t mind if others pick them up and run with them. Sometimes we actually want people to pick up our ideas and make something happen with them.
What got copied from us this time? Responsive Web Design in a WordPress website. It’s the automatic changing of a single layout and server-side resizing of images based on the size of the screen of the users device. This results in faster loading, and better looking web sites on mobile devices especially. It also results in far less development time and costs for those who wish their web site to be viewable on multiple platforms. To be fair, we weren’t the only ones who got copied, as we were not the original inventors of this technology, but we’ve taken the original open source code and turned into something special which has now lost a lot of it’s value. Our product, still not released to the wild, is still better than WordPress’s implementation of it, but it will be automatically updated into every WordPress web site out there.
This will delay our project as we need to do lots of testing to see if what we have and what they have will butt heads. The Responsive Design technology was included in the latest update of WordPress (3.2).
Who copied it? The developers at WordPress. Who knows maybe they were working on this before we were, although they are usually pretty open about what they are working on and their was no mention of this new development direction that we picked up on. Preliminary testing shows this update was rushed out the door and has adversely effected performance a bit as well. We’re betting that will be fixed soon.
Are we mad about it? Nope. We think it’s a great move for WordPress and makes our WordPress offering even more valuable. We are also enjoying the fact that our mobile theme does more than the native Responsive web design in WordPress.
Are we worried? A little. It’s our job to find out what changes in technology will do to our clients web sites, web applications and/or data applications. And that’s exactly what we’re doing currently. This is a big change to the WordPress platform, but so far we’ve discovered the the extra effort we’ve put into great coding is paying off and there have been no changes needed to any web site.
We’ll keep you posted on that one.