Ahmad Awais

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Dealing With GoDaddy ManageWP Acquisition & #WPDrama?

Ahmad AwaisAhmad Awais

I am writing this article because sometimes you poke the bear and other times the bear pokes you.

About 54 days ago, it took me less than 10 minutes to fall in love with MangeWP Orion. There are so many things about this that are unique that can’t be found anywhere else or in any other bulk site management solution, and never will be. Minus a bug here and there, the new app is sheer perfection. ManageWP team had it right, completely; and I wrote about things you need to know about Orion. So as a loyal user, I wish to give you some “feedback.” Here it is:

In an industry where basically every company wants to earn more from their customers; ManageWP Orion was an effort to add more value, charge only for consumption, and provide Too-Good-to-be-true™ features that made me go “Is it for real? Free offsite incremental backups? You serious?

? The Acquisition#

And now GoDaddy has acquired ManageWP. I have read a few comments and #WPDrama over social media, and I am appalled, disgusted, offended, disappointed, and disheartened. Yes, I worded it that way for dramatic effect, I know.

My point is, I am very displeased with how a few folks have chosen to handle this situation. Never say never, I know. That is what was stated; do you seriously plan to leave ManageWP hanging, this great product. There is too much-unexplained lore to stop now. Is there?

? Remember MediaTemple?#

I can feel; what everyone is trying to say against GoDaddy. The fact of the matter is, when GoDaddy acquired MediaTemple, I was scared as well. Initially, I didn’t feel that good about it at all. But to my surprise, they were able to leverage the acquisition into improving their hosting services, and they have only excelled at it.

MT/GD also got more business from my end after the acquisition. It has to count for something. I understand, that there’s a bit of itchy history between you and GD. But hey? Whatever happened to empathy? Anywho, let’s not go there.

Congrats Jeff King (GoDaddy team) and Vladimir Prelovac (ManageWP Team) for this acquisition. It’s a nice strategic move. Personally, I am very excited to see what’s next. I agree with my friend Chris Wiegman that with folks like Mendel and Aaron along with this acquisition there’s enough opportunity here for GoDaddy to make a huge and very real difference in the WordPress community.

? Orion Won My Recommendation#

Orion is such an extraordinary step — by the ManageWP team — that I have left every other bulk site management tool and consolidated my WP site management portfolio into one place. Yes, it IS an incredibly amazing product. Their offering didn’t seem real for a moment.

? Trust Their Vision#

I have also come to believe that there’s so much you can do as a bootstrapped business and ManageWP for one has done a fantastic job. They are a big part of our WordPress community and giving back to it in a lot of ways (Case in point, ManageWP.org). By building a stable product they have proven themselves to be worthy enough, that we trust their decision. It’s really that simple.

I for one believe that this acquisition will help a huge set of WordPress “Users.” Which in itself is a thing for us to be pleased about! If an average WordPress “User”; is going to be more satisfied with WordPress — due to this merger/acquisition then it will have a massive impact on what we call is the next WordPress. Which in turn means more business, more opportunity, more WordPress, and more everything.

? Intentional Is Good#

This acquisition means that ManageWP team has made a decision. A decision to empower themselves as well as their product. And they have been very much INTENTIONAL about it.

Go ahead and call GoDaddy whatever you want but one thing you cannot ignore is that GoDaddy is huge. I have seen one too many excellent services, passionate startups, and awesome bootstrapped businesses go away in the long run.

? Happy Users? Eh?#

I am actually happy about this. To me, it means that ManageWP is here to stay, their service has an opportunity to grow more than ever; and now they can help 100 times more WP users. Ain’t it a good enough reason for you to be happy for them? And for once believe in what they are trying to do?

? What I Think…#

If you believe that this is a good thing then you should know, I am right there with you. That is we’re thinking the same thing. If you have something terrible to say about GoDaddy, I’d politely suggest you give them another chance. I did, in the case of MediaTemple, it worked out for me.

But let me help you make one thing very clear — if your relation with GoDaddy is beyond repair, and you are thinking of leaving ManageWP for that, then you sir are the very reason why ManageWP could get a blow.

⚡️ GoDaddy! You & I, We Need to Talk!#

Now let’s talk about GoDaddy for a bit. There are things that I think GoDaddy needs to be very clear about. Not only that but they need to address a few very disturbing but obvious questions. Don’t worry; I am not proposing them to hire crises PR management firms. I want them to very f** honest with all of us. (Pardon my french!)

✔︎ Don’t Wait; Deal With It#

Do NOT wait for this bad perception to go away. Dive right in. Talk about it and communicate!

✔︎ Focus on What Matters#

Bad experiences can snowball very quickly. Do NOT lose focus at what’s important here. Make a plan and make it public!

✔︎ Employees; They Are Important#

While your new employees can be very resourceful in fighting your fight, and they look eager to do so; stop while you can. Actions speak louder than words. Empower them. Don’t get me wrong; I completely understand that heavy burden of storytelling does not entirely fall upon you, but mostly it does.

✔︎ Brand and Customer Restoration#

Your new customers are taking a huge risk; they are confused and not sure about what to do. It is a high time for GoDaddy to communicate strong principal values which you’ll abide by to not only make ManageWP better but also to help the businesses which now depend on you.

✔︎ Hey, Wait for Tuesday; — but Why?#

Delaying to communicate, can cause more PR crises than anything else. Some take it as a gesture of “no comments” which inherently means, “guilty as charged.” I read comments from ManageWP employees asking people to wait for Tuesday when they exclaimed: “I QUIT!”. That’s not fair.

I think GoDaddy should’ve planned ahead, and had announced in a better way. Remember when Calypso was introduced and how well it was perceived? I am not comparing GD to Automattic, but hey — there were a lot of good lessons to learn from that launch.

? Do NOT Misinterpret Clause!#

Kindly, do NOT misinterpret, I am not trying to scold the company or bad-mouth WordPress Community in any way. I want to help. I want to try and speak for the entire community and tell you how grateful I am to have a company that is willing to make a significant sacrifice in profits, to actually take the time to listen and to add value to the community.

I also am trying to tell the WordPress community to actually pay attention to what GoDaddy & ManageWP have to say to you, tell you what they really want, and not what you “think” they want. Does that make sense? I don’t know, maybe none of you will read what I wrote, but so far I’ve heard nothing but good things from you on how you interact with your consumers that I have faith that you’ll read what I’ve

I don’t know, maybe none of you will read what I wrote, but so far I’ve heard nothing but good things from you on how you interact with your consumers that I have faith that you’ll read what I’ve written and will take it to heart. It was a spur of the moment post based entirely on emotion, not rehearsed. It’s how I really feel. I’m not looking for attention or a “you need to reply to this,” it’s just feedback, and some random ramblings; that’s it.

? Good Luck!#

Thank You for caring and taking the time to read what I had to say. Good luck ManageWP & GoDaddy. I hope to be linking back to this post in the future to say “I Told You So.” But that will require effort and empathy, a little bit tolerance and a lot of faith from both sides. Am I wrong to expect that from you?

I help businesses understand developers 📟 Just launched Node.js CLI Automation Course 👨‍🏫 Edutainer at VSCode.pro 🎩 An award-winning GitHub Star open-source engineer & advocate 🦊 Google Developers Expert Web DevRel 🌳 Node.js foundation Community Committee Outreach Lead ✌️ Author of various open-source dev-tools and software libraries used by millions of developers worldwide ⓦ WordPress Core Developer 📣 TEDx Speaker 🙌 Leading developers and publishing technical content for over a decade 💜 Loves his wife (Maedah) ❯ Learn more →

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Comments 12
  • Kobe
    Posted on

    Kobe Kobe

    Reply Author

    Thanks for writing this, Ahmad.
    I read through the disappointed comments on AWP with my eyes wide open. I mean, I can get people trying to predict/guess what will be the affect of such an acquisition on ManageWP, but I find it strange that people are so emotional about it that they won’t even give it the slimmest chance of working out. Pessimism at its best.
    I wish both companies that the pessimists will be the ones to miss out on an even better ManageWP.


    • AhmadAwais
      Posted on

      AhmadAwais AhmadAwais

      Reply Author

      Hey, Kobe!
      Thanks for dropping by. I agree. I just got tired of sitting on the sidelines and hearing everyone rant about GoDaddy. So many HUMANS have put real deal of struggle in building what ManageWP is today.

      And so many ignore the fact that they are only HUMAN! We should be happy for them instead of passing on judgments and threatening to leave the ecosystem.


  • Nemanja Aleksic
    Posted on

    Nemanja Aleksic Nemanja Aleksic

    Reply Author

    Thank you for this article, Ahmad. It captured a lot of what we want to say to our users and the community in general. Our plans are very ambitious and we wanted to hammer out all the details before we went public, hence the Tuesday schedule. The way I see it, Brian Krogsgard owes us a round for making us work over the weekend and on Labor day :D

    I especially applaud on the limits of bootstrapping a company. At some point you realize that you can do only so much, and you need to scale your mindset in order to move the needle.

    On a personal level, the only thing that hurt me is that our users found out about the merger from the media, and not directly from us. That’s against everything we stand for, and it’s no wonder some of them voiced concern about the acquisition. We now need to prove that we’ve made the right choice.


    • AhmadAwais
      Posted on

      AhmadAwais AhmadAwais

      Reply Author

      Nemanja! Nice to see you here.

      Glad you like and agree with what I had to say about this whole situation. I completely get the delay for announcement but I think you folks handled the new in what should I say — not in a good way. Everyone should have heard from you guys and from GoDaddy first, before a piece on Post Status.

      Having next to no details available, not knowing what’s next were the very reasons of this kind of outburst. I hope that you folks would make good on your announcement. Something to learn for all WordPress businesses.

      Anywho, I hope ManageWP scales well and this new merger turns out to be something very exciting and helpful to the general WordPress Users.


  • Akpan Promise
    Posted on

    Akpan Promise Akpan Promise

    Reply Author

    I was worried when I read the news, but my fingers are crossed that GoDaddy does not screw up ManageWP. Congrats to the team for building an amazing platform


    • AhmadAwais
      Posted on

      AhmadAwais AhmadAwais

      Reply Author

      Nothing wrong with crossing your fingers and letting them know about it. Only makes a good case for them to pay more attention, and improve upon user feedback.


  • Nemanja Aleksic
    Posted on

    Nemanja Aleksic Nemanja Aleksic

    Reply Author

    Finally our official announcement from ManageWP, thank you for your patience :)

    https://managewp.com/managewp-joins-godaddy


    • AhmadAwais
      Posted on

      AhmadAwais AhmadAwais

      Reply Author

      Just finished reading it. Good luck guys!


  • Mark Fayard
    Posted on

    Mark Fayard Mark Fayard

    Reply Author

    “I’d politely suggest you give them another chance.” – Ahmad Awais

    I gave GD Managed WP hosting another chance in July. I spent 2 weeks opening “support” sessions because WP-admin and FTP were always failing and timing out. All GD techs blamed me for their server failures. Manage WP backups failed as well.

    I setup a base install of WP on a new instance with default theme and no plugins – same exact problems. I contacted “support” and they insisted my site and db needed to be optimized – what a crock!

    I dealt with multiple techs.
    I moved up to Tier 2.
    I asked to move my account to another server – GD response “We can’t do that, and if we could you might end up on same server as they’re randomly assigned.” – spare me.
    I closed the account in August and got a refund.

    Give them another chance? Been there, done that.

    GoDaddy has zero interest in working with WordPress developers “because we know too much”. They’d much rather screw over the low hanging fruit otherwise known as the general public.

    [SELF-PROMOTIONAL LINK REMOVED]


    • Ahmad Awais
      Posted on

      Ahmad Awais Ahmad Awais

      Reply Author

      Mark, that’s true. People have terrible experiences with hosting companies, all of them. I never had any with GoDaddy, and this is not an article about if GoDaddy has the best hosting service. This is about why one should not rant about GoDaddy if they are trying to empower their users as well as helping a brand grow.

      I think we can agree to disagree on “GoDaddy has zero interest in working with WordPress developers” and call it a day? Shall we?


  • Hasnain
    Posted on

    Hasnain Hasnain

    Reply Author

    Godaddy pushed my 5 years old site into their ‘Garbage Department’. I heard this for the first time and they asked me to pay them 150$ to get the data back. They pushed it into their garbage dept because i couldn’t pay for my site for 2 months. My 5 year old content seemed ‘garbage’ to them. This is the first reason i hate Godaddy.

    The 2nd reason is very pathetic and suspicious. I use Safari, i am logged into my Godaddy account from Safari. Every time i open Godaddy, i have to log in, in order to see my customer account. I’m sure i was logged out. I was searching for the domains found a great domain for my business but it was not available. I went off to bed. Very next day, i receive a message from Godaddy that the domain you searched for is available to register. The point is, if i was logged out how did the Godaddy know i was the one who looked for the domain?

    The third reason for hating Godaddy is even weirder. I searched for a domain, it looked great. I was even lucky to have that domain not registered already. I did not have cash in my card, thought of registering my domain the next day. Next day i log in to my Godaddy, the domain i added to my cart was already registered on the day i searched for it.

    Fourth reason, Godaddy tried its best to slow down my shared hosting. It was running WordPress with not much traffic. To my every single email, their response was i have to get managed wordpress hosting. It was running fine until they introduced Managed WordPress.

    Things might be irrelevant here but i needed to spill out my anger somewhere.


    • Ahmad Awais
      Posted on

      Ahmad Awais Ahmad Awais

      Reply Author

      Hey, Hasnain!

      Godaddy pushed my 5 years old site into their ‘Garbage Department’. I heard this for the first time and they asked me to pay them 150$ to get the data back. They pushed it into their garbage dept because i couldn’t pay for my site for 2 months. My 5 year old content seemed ‘garbage’ to them. This is the first reason i hate Godaddy.

      I think if you are not paying for your site for two months, you are allowing them to delete your site yourself! E.g. I have a Dropbox Premium account, if I do NOT pay for my subscription and they delete my data the next days as to when my subscription ends, it would be my fault! COMPLETELY MINE! They might not delete it because they want me to buy again, but they have all the right to do so, both legally, ethically and morally.

      The 2nd reason is very pathetic and suspicious. I use Safari, i am logged into my Godaddy account from Safari. Every time i open Godaddy, i have to log in, in order to see my customer account. I’m sure i was logged out. I was searching for the domains found a great domain for my business but it was not available. I went off to bed. Very next day, i receive a message from Godaddy that the domain you searched for is available to register. The point is, if i was logged out how did the Godaddy know i was the one who looked for the domain?

      I am not sure! Maybe GoDaddy has some cooky tracking script that you might have agreed to host in your computer while you accepted all of their terms when you registered with them. Maybe take another look at it. Coz this is very much being done with a tracking pixel and it is listed in the agreements of almost every single hosting company out there which advertises.

      The third reason for hating Godaddy is even weirder. I searched for a domain, it looked great. I was even lucky to have that domain not registered already. I did not have cash in my card, thought of registering my domain the next day. Next day i log in to my Godaddy, the domain i added to my cart was already registered on the day i searched for it.

      So, you think that just becuase you have added a domain name to your cart, that means the company should hold it for you? That’s so naive of you. Do you not know there scrappers which scrap every second of the day which domains are being searched for and provide mass buyers with an oppurtunity to buy good domain names? Also sometimes the data is buggy. Domain names which are not gTLDs they can be bought and still look like they haven’t. E.g. I purchases a .io domain and for about next 24 hours I could search the same domain with a number of other domain registrars which had it in available domains. I had to finally contact my domain registrar, who later told me that they cannot buy the domain since we have, but the NIC services of this domain are too slow in informing everyone else. It takes 72 hours.

      Fourth reason, Godaddy tried its best to slow down my shared hosting. It was running WordPress with not much traffic. To my every single email, their response was i have to get managed wordpress hosting. It was running fine until they introduced Managed WordPress.

      Things might be irrelevant here but i needed to spill out my anger somewhere.

      Why would a company try to shoot itself in the foot? By trying best to slow down its services. Shared hosting is crap. Anywhere you go. If you are paying under $10 for hosting a site that gets 50-100 users daily then you are more at the fault than the company which is selling that package. A single instance of WordPress takes about 256 MBs of RAM. That’s more than what you get on a shared host. How? Mostly a single container has 2GBs RAM at several hosting providers and anyone who signs up is sharing that 2GBs by accepting an agreement. So, any single website of them could use shared resources in a limit. But no one can complain about that. You were short on money and had only enough to get a shared room in a low quality hotel. If the person whom you shared the room smelled, it was not the hotel which was at fault, it was your small budget. Because if that hotel didn’t exist, you wouldn’t have had a place to stay. That’s an analogy for your shared hosting slow servers. And when you asked the hotel management to get a room free of that smelly person, that support staff told you to upgrade yourself to a self managed room. Which obviously, costs more.

      I am not trying to tell you that you are wrong, I am trying to tell you that you anger might be misplaced.