The future of VersionPress

During the past three weeks we have been running a crowd-funding campaign for VersionPress which has now ended. The numbers show that we didn’t reach our funding goal, however, so many exciting things have happened during that period that we actually have some good news to share. But first things first.

Anxious to know? Jump to The future of VersionPress.

How the campaign went

The goal of the campaign was $30,000 and we raised about 45 % of that. That doesn’t seem exactly like success but it’s not just the total number, it’s also how it is structured.

We have had several backer levels, from “fan” level starting at $5, middle-ground levels at around $50 and sponsorship levels from $500 up. For the campaign to be successful, we knew we would need backers in all three camps (or rather two camps – sponsorship levels and non-sponsorship levels).

We have been very successful in the non-sponsorship levels. We have had hundreds of supporters, most of them in the “early access” ($50) and “basic” ($20) levels. WordPress fans and users seemed to care a lot about VersionPress and we actually received more funding on average from every visitor than we expected. Thank you for that!

What didn’t happen, or at least not in the timeframe for this campaign, is some bigger sponsors joining in. I have to stress that the time factor is important here – for legal reasons here where we live, or at least what we have been advised, was to run the campaign within one calendar month and that was simply not enough time for bigger companies to make their decisions. There are still ongoing talks to a couple of 3rd parties interested in various sponsorship schemes and we were also very close to signing one platinum sponsor last week, which alone would make the campaign look much better.

Non-financial side of the campaign

But there were also many interesting things going on beside the fund raising. These are some of the highlights:

  • People actually liked the idea. This is not to be taken as granted – founders always believe deeply in what they do but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the rest of the world sees it the same way. In case of VersionPress, the response has been amazing and it got many people excited.
  • We have been published by some important web/WordPress-oriented media including WP Tavern, SitePoint, BestHostNews and others. None of that was a “sponsored review” or anything like that.
  • Twitter has been a great source of positive feedback, we have been flooded by mentions and responses at times.
  • Link to VersionPress made it to the Hacker News homepage for a couple of hours.
  • People actually contributed till the last day, even when it was almost certain that we won’t reach the funding goal. This is a great statement of trust and something we are humbled by.

I can’t tell you how encouraging all this is. If we learned something from the campaign it’s that it is certainly not just about fund raising. We received a lot of positive energy, some very good feedback and I have had many interesting conversations with people who deeply cared about VersionPress. We couldn’t just let it go.

The future of VersionPress

We’re announcing today that we will be creating VersionPress. We’ll self-fund the rest and start working on it this month. The first version should be delivered according to the plan – in Q4 2014 – and we’ll be enhancing VersionPress after that. We’ll continue talks with interested 3rd parties and also leave open the option for members of the community to join the early access program and contribute to the development (this will be ready in a short while).

We believe strongly in values behind VersionPress and the past three weeks confirmed that we are not alone. Thank you all, and now let’s make VersionPress a reality.

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22 thoughts on “The future of VersionPress

  1. Congratulations for the initiative. This could change the way we use WordPress forever!

    I was looking for tutorials about Git and WordPress and I came across with VersionPress. This was 2 days ago, when the campaign was almost over, so I didn’t bother to put my 20 dollars :(

    By the way, are you going to host the code in GitHub? I believe other people would be happy to contribute.

  2. Hi, thanks for the kind words, we also think this could be very useful to many WP users out there. We’ll open a way to contribute to the project again so it will be a chance for you to support us and get early access and other benefits should you be interested. As for the source code hosting, this is not decided yet.

    Thanks,
    Borek

  3. mitchmenghi says:

    Hello and congratulations, looking forward to early beta if possible or to be put into a beta testing phase, i also contributed :)

  4. Hey Borek! Glad to see you guys are continuing your efforts to bring VersionPress to the public. I was a contributor and look forward to hearing what’s next. Would you send me an email regarding perks and what else I can do to help? Thanks.

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  10. I recently switched from CVS to Git. Huge improvement, but I still deploy with shell scripts. I am looking forward to trying your product.

  11. Myles says:

    Awesome initiative, I also came across VersionPress in researching Git + WordPress. I am very interested in contributing (developing and monetarily), please send me more info! And congratulations on the funds and awareness you have gotten so far!

  12. Robert says:

    Something like this is so powerful and so amazing for a site that has multiple people using it, to be able to track what they do, roll things back selectively etc. I wish I had come across this sooner as I would have been happy to contribute heavily to this. I think you guys can maintain a good business model, so long as you can deliver on what this plugin promises, by introducing a monthly subscription etc. Yes it weeds out those unwilling to pay but you don’t want those people anyway. This plugin should appeal to those who absolutely cannot lose information and may need to selectively restore it with a reliable system. Looking forward to this being deployed and my company will be purchasing it!

  13. Like so many others it appears my search for WordPress + Git found it’s way to your plugin. Wow! Just made a contribution to the cause, this IS the missing plugin that WordPress needs. I am really looking forward to it.

    Just a couple of questions if I may? Will VersionPress control child theme CSS/PHP updates made via an FTP client or cPanel?

    Also, as someone who once deleted their database by accident (I’ll never prefix a database with ‘test’ again!), how would VersionPress deal with this, given that the plugin is administered through WordPress (which obvioulsy doesn’t work without said database!).

    I’m also unsure how i’d go about finding out if I have Git enabled on my server? I have a VPS, but as a business owner who learns all this on fly I am not totally techy.

    Would this negate the need for VaultPress?

    Anyway, really looking forward to getting my hands on this, can’t wait for V1 to get released.

  14. Hi Stuart, thanks for your support and the kind words. To answer your questions:

    1) We’ll have a manual method of creating a commit when the change is done “externally” (e.g., via an FTP). Ideally, we would be able to hook into that process too but I’m not sure that will be technically possible. But the manual way will be there.

    2) There will be something like a command-line utility to restore the site even if /wp-admin is not accessible. We know it is important.

    3) VersionPress checks the system requirements before it initializes itself. We’ll probably also have a special “VersionPress checker” plugin that you will be able to run prior to installing VersionPress itself, I guess that would be useful to many people.

    4) Hard to tell. For the foreseeable future, standard backup solutions will have their unquestionable advantages (well thought-out UIs, scheduling, proven services etc.). We’ll see how this develops as VersionPress certainly has its qualities when it comes to backups (see our previous blog post on this topic: http://versionpress.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/versionpress-perfect-for-backups/)

    Thanks for your interest,

  15. If I would have seen the campaign, I definitely would have supported this. It is exactly what we need. I don’t see a newsletter signup button, but we’ll follow you here and hope to stay apprised!

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