As a child, did you ever play that game where you sit in a circle and one person is responsible for whispering something into one persons ear, and that message gets relayed around the circle? Wasn’t it always funny to see what the final message received would be? Oh and how it would have morphed as it was processed and conveyed by each individual in the group.
This is what I see when I look at the WordPress Security Ecosystem.
The biggest challenge the ecosystem faces is product / service confusion. This is compounded by a variety of factors. I often categorize them, generally into two buckets – deliberate and non-deliberate confusion. For me deliberate product confusion comes often by marketeers and those looking to make a quick buck on what they perceive to be the next virtual gold rush. While non-deliberate is being introduced by those that mean well, were once affected, and have come up with a genuine solution that likely addresses a very narrow issue.
An easy way to better appreciate this is to look at the WordPress Security Plugins specifically, as it’s tangible and easier to truly appreciate the nuances.
Contrary to popular belief, not all plugins are the same or created equal and you can’t compare them as they would not be an apples to apples comparison.
Interestingly enough, there are often pretty unique differentiating factors between each of the security plugins in the market, although in many cases there are one to one correlations. Human nature is also one of the contributing factors to confusion, as humans we are often configured to go the easiest route. We’re always looking for the one with the biggest audience, or the one that is pushed on us the most. If everyone else is using it, I should to. Rarely do we truly understand or give much thought to this phenomena.