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What if MainWP was sold?

What if MainWP was sold?

With the announcement on Friday of the sale of ManageWP to GoDaddy (and confirmed today) I have received a fair amount of questions about it and I have also seen MainWP brought up in numerous comments, so I thought it was best to take a moment and address the acquisition and how a sale of a SaaS (Software as a Service) management solution such as ManageWP differs from the sale of a open source stand alone solution such as MainWP.

Let me start by saying; I am proud of what Vladimir Prelovac has accomplished with ManageWP and for paving the way for plugins like MainWP.  I believe he and his team are really going to do their best to continue to provide a great experience for ManageWP users while being part of GoDaddy.

Privacy, it’s important!

The problem, as I see it, is the information GoDaddy is obtaining through the sale.  While I’m not privy to the details of the sale, I have to assume GoDaddy is not only getting user information, but they are also getting the information on every one of the sites that a user has on ManageWP, information the users entrusted with ManageWP, not GoDaddy.

One way to assume all the information on the sites connected to ManageWP are being tracked and analyzed is from this one line in the announcement blog post:

Yes. Although GoDaddy is the most popular hosting among our users (around 8% of all websites managed with ManageWP are on GoDaddy)

There is no way anyone at MainWP could give you any information on the percentage of sites hosted on GoDaddy because we just do not track anything about your sites!  And, if that metric is being tracked you have to assume everything about your sites is up for grabs.

This very scenario is something we have addressed on the MainWP homepage for a good part of a year:

It is our belief that with WordPress management solutions that are hosted on the developer’s servers or contain encrypted code that you can never truly know how that information is being used or even what information about your sites is being gathered and stored.

Ask yourself what happens to all that information if it is sold, if your management solution is sold or worse yet if your management company decides to exploit what they have gathered.

And, again this is not specifically about the ManageWP and GoDaddy sale this is about any WordPress Management company or plugin that stores information about your sites on their server (SaaS/hosted) or encrypts any of their files.  Business are bought and sold all the time.

So, what happens if MainWP is sold?

I think it is best said on our homepage:

As a self-hosted solution, you install the MainWP Dashboard plugin on your WordPress site and not on our private server. And with fully auditable, open source code you can be sure we do not track or keep any information about your Child sites. We encourage you to review the code for yourself via GitHub.

So what information would a company purchasing MainWP get about you?

If you never install an Extension, they would receive none of your information, if you purchase or install an Extension they would have your name, email and URL of your Dashboard. No one would know the URL of any of your other sites because they are not tracked or stored anywhere.

Please feel to ask any statements or questions you have in the comments section.

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Dennis Dornon on Twitter
Dennis Dornon
Co-founder at MainWP
I am neither a coder nor a designer. My coding confession.

18 thoughts on “What if MainWP was sold?

  1. Love this post Dennis! A Good reminder that first, you don’t collect any information on our client sites and, second, that the source of MainWP is OpenSource. But, what we do without the amazing support team, here at MainWP? 😉

    1. Thanks itinmind, flattery will get you everything 🙂

  2. The sale of ManageWP to Godaddy is a terrific marketing opportunity for MainWP! I suspect most of the 92% of ManageWP users who’s sites are not hosted by Godaddy will be looking for an alternative. Rarely does the acquisition of a SaaS business benefit the users. In most cases the service slowly decays through fewer updates and poor support. Godaddy will probably offer ManageWP as an add-on to their hosting, but other users will be SOL very soon.

    1. I hope the best for ManageWP and their users but I have been a big supporter of privacy with WordPress Management for many years.

      It really hit home in the much less publicized attempted sale (maybe sold) of WP Remote by HumanMade in November of 2016 WP Remote deserves a better home. So we’re selling it

      1. Go check out some comments, people are leaving like flies, Dennis ive put a post on their with your blog post and hopefully wont be moderated lol…. i see a few people looking for alternative 😉

        1. I’m not seeing your comment Mitch but there is not really a need to invade their blog.

          This post may be about ManageWP and GoDaddy but the larger takeaway should be to not run the management of your sites through a SaaS service since you never know how your information is being used and if or when they’ll be sold.

    2. I have to totally agree with Timothy a terrific marketing opportunity for MainWP. I would elaborate on the ‘Privacy’ Dennis; EU-US Privacy Shield became effective 1st August 2016. I believe that many organisations may not just be looking for an alternative to ManageWP as Timothy suggests, but also conducting Privacy Impact Assessments to look at where their data is stored.

      1. Thanks Nigel that is something I will have to look into more.

  3. This is so good, to hear! I was worried then I read the news about ManageWP. I see MainWP getting a lot more customers because of your clear openness about your privacy policy and how you manage customers information. Thanks Dennis!

  4. This is the exact reason I choose your plugin for my web management. I have just finished a month of testing and I love it! Self hosted is the exact reason I will choose to do business with your company moving forward. SaaS is a good fit in most cases but not for web management in my opinion. Keep up the good work!

  5. Interesting article. While I love SaaS for some things, when it comes to my client sites, not so much. I’ve been extremely pleased with MainWP. It’s made things soooo much easier for me. And, honestly, ManageWP customers should flock to you… YOU HAVE A MAN IN A CAPE. I’m pretty sure that nothing untoward can ever happen when there’s a man in a cape involved. That’s just how life works. 🙂

  6. Interesting post. I am a happy user of MainWP and the openness of your code was one of the main reasons I committed to it.

    Keep up the good work and excellent customer support.

  7. A confidence building post and another example of why many MainWP users are MainWP users, if you get my drift.

    As others have suggested this should be a good opportunity to build upon for MainWP as anyone who has ever had dealings with GoDaddy already knows that, in their hands, any SaaS is going to flounder. And during that process there are going to be thousands of users looking for an alternative.

    So now is the time to make sure your front facing website provides all the right messages ( it needs a re-design guys ). And, as we have discussed before the process of improvement of the UX/UI in the backend needs addressing.

    You have a million dollar PLUS opportunity about to land in your lap, so don’t waste it or give it away to InfiniteWP or whoever else makes some noise.

    Lots of love, Your biggest fan!

    1. Thanks for your feedback Paul.

      I also feel this is a good time to remind everyone that as an Open Source project if you are a Coder and have any improvements you feel we can make we are always open to review Pull Requests in GitHub.

  8. Absolutely true across the board — the privacy point may be the biggest of them all. I put togher a list of alternatives on my blog and of course MainWP is on the list. I want to put together a feature comparison list among those platforms and of course MainWP will reign supreme when it comes to OSS and Self Hosted solution. Great job and thanks for point out the obvious point I missed 🙂
    http://northshoreit.me/blog/alternatives-to-managewp/

    1. Thanks for posting that Alex, taking a quick look at your 5 alternatives:

      3 are also SaaS setups similar to ManageWP
      1 has encrypted code in there plugin so not open source

      The only one listed there that is not SaaS or encrypted is MainWP 🙂

  9. Totally agree with you! As a big fan of MainWP, I’m proud to support this solution when discussing about maintenance for WordPress. The most important argument I’m using is privacy, I’ll never use a SaaS system for this kind of business.

    Keep up the good work!

  10. Hi, to follow on from my previous comment about privacy, even the big boys have anticipated some form of backlash when looking at there data is stored and privacy. Microsoft have just announced that their UK Cloud Data Centres (assuming it data will never leave that location) … http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-37285667 ..

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