I don’t typically write editorials — especially not ranty ones — but I’m going to today because I have opinions and a platform to share them (thank you, WordPress!).
The uproar in the WordPress community is, frankly, shocking.
Generally speaking, acquisitions are always accompanied by mixed feelings of fear, uncertainty, excitement, and speculation. I’ve been through them in the past as both an employee and an outside observer. But this ManageWP acquisition by GoDaddy has unleashed a bizarre, venomous response that is, frankly, ridiculous.
I get it, people don’t like GoDaddy. The reasons vary based on experience (or perception). People are skittish that because their lovable ManageWP got eaten by the evil GoDaddy, they’ll morph overnight into something hideous and foul. So they’re jumping ship (or “threatening” to) quite loudly (and rudely).
Be civil, people. It’s business.
Allow me to share some of my personal experiences with both ManageWP and GoDaddy and why I’m happy for them both.
— carrie dils (@cdils) September 3, 2016
The people at ManageWP
I started using and writing about ManageWP long before I knew any of the people behind the company.
In 2013 I entered a contest they were hosting in exchange for my opinions about their service (for the record, I don’t need any incentives to give my opinions). At any rate, this opened the door to communication with Dejan Cancarevic and later on Milan Ilic. Those were also the same two gentlemen who helped me with the ManageWP affiliate program.
I met the Founder of ManageWP, Vladimir Prelovac early on as well – he was the one answering my support tickets. 🙂
Most recently, I’ve had a lot of conversations with Nemanja Aleksic about the Orion beta program I participated in (and of course the eventual launch of Orion).
Supporting my business
Not long after I launched the OfficeHours.fm podcast, Vladimir reached out via email with this:
I’ve been keenly following your blog in the past few months or so. What I see is the determination to continue building a brand for yourself int he WordPress community as well as achieve financial goals.
I respect what you are doing and I also like the way you do it. That is why I would like to offer sponsorship of your podcast on a long term basis as I believe we have similar set of values based on providing value for our clients.
After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I emailed him back. ManageWP was the first company to sponsor my podcast and gave me the financial support I needed in those early months to keep going (2.5 years and over 100 episodes later, the podcast is going strong!).
Supporting the WordPress community
Have you heard of managewp.org? Aside from Post Status, it’s my primary news source for all things WordPress. It’s also social and encourages interaction through upvotes and comments. It’s a free resource for the WordPress community, powered and funded by ManageWP. (Thanks, guys!)
Aside from community efforts like managewp.org, my podcast is just one instance of many where Vladimir has invested time and money to help other people succeed. On social media, Vladimir’s tagline is:
I would love to change the world, I just don’t have the source code yet.
That’s the spirit of the man behind ManageWP, the guy that’s hitched his company to GoDaddy with the hopes of doing even better things than he’s already done.
The people at GoDaddy
If you’ve ever been to a WordCamp and stopped by the GoDaddy booth, you’ve met Mendel Kurland. He is a purveyor of fun and goodwill for the WordPress community. I attend a lot of WordCamps (though a mere percentage compared to Mendel) and my WordCamp experience is not complete until I’ve hugged him and had a good catch-up session.
Then there’s Christopher Carfi. I believe I first met him at Pressnomics 2015. We may or may not have danced in a country western bar. Or how about Gabriel Mays? I met him at Pressnomics 2016. His wife is the first female Blue Angel, which is beyond cool. There’s also Frankie Jarrett and Andy McIllwain. And these are just the people I’ve met in person!
Supporting the WordPress community
I mentioned Mendel earlier and WordCamps. I don’t know how many WordCamps that GoDaddy sponsors, but it’s A LOT.
By the way, if you’ve never been to a WordCamp or even heard of one, here’s a summary: it’s a 1-2 day conference focused on everything WordPress. For a $20 ticket, attendees get a full day of education, a meal, a ticket to a post-conference party, and priceless encounters with other people in the WordPress community. And it’s so affordable because of companies like GoDaddy that help significantly subsidize the cost.
GoDaddy doesn’t just send a box of t-shirts to these events. They send wonderful human collateral: Mendel, Frankie, Christopher…
And they don’t just do sponsorships. They recently hired Aaron Campbell on as a full-time WordPress contributor. That means they pay him to work on the WordPress project.
Does GoDaddy benefit from WordPress? Absolutely! But they’re not just taking. They’re actively pouring back into WordPress.
At Pressnomics 2016, I had the pleasure of seeing the GoDaddy offices in Tempe, AZ – it was certainly a side of GoDaddy I hadn’t seen before. The facility was like a candyland, complete with pedal-powered cars you could drive around the halls in and a giant slide. There was also a basketball court and air hockey. Fun stuff aside, I enjoyed touring their massive call support area, which showed giant digital “scoreboards” keeping track of how many callers were in queue, average wait time, etc.
I liked the culture I saw.
We’re all “just a bunch of humans”
ManageWP was at a point in their business where, in order to do the things they want to do and grow in the ways they want to grow, they needed more support. Vladimir clearly saw how a partnership with GoDaddy would align with his vision for ManageWP. He’s a savvy business man.
And, of course, GoDaddy wins an amazing product that they can offer their managed WordPress hosting customers.
The acquisition was good business.
Ditching ManageWP because of their new affiliation with GoDaddy is like throwing out the baby with the bathwater (assuming the proverbial bathwater even needs to be thrown out). I’m happy that people I appreciate and admire at both companies are finding success.
When you ridicule, insult, or question the decision-making skills of the people involved, you look ignorant. Ignorant of what’s happening at a business level. At a relationship level. At a personal level.