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?

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