Flywheel Acquires WordPress Local Development Tool Pressmatic

Flywheel has acquired Pressmatic, a local WordPress development application for OS X. The application was created by Clay Griffiths, who will be joining Flywheel to support the product as part of the acquisition.

Pressmatic launched in July 2016 with a $129 price tag but Flywheel is opening it up for free for all users. The company is rebranding the product as “Local by Flywheel” and plans to create a Windows application, add off-site backups for local sites, and sell premium support.

“From the start, the application encompassed so many of Flywheel’s core values: speed, simplicity, and allowing designers and developers the freedom to do what they love,” Flywheel CEO and co-founder Dusty Davidson said. “It’s a perfect fit.”

Griffiths told the Tavern that he is excited for the opportunities that Flywheel can provide for Local going forward. “I originally built Pressmatic because I saw the gap that existed for a truly great local WordPress development experience, and now with the resources and team at Flywheel we’re set to really build something great,” Griffiths said. “I certainly could have continued to go at it alone, but after meeting the team it became clear that the right answer was to partner up and really go big.”

Griffiths Plans to Continue Headway Themes Support and Development in his Spare Time

The acquisition comes just months after Griffiths, who is also the co-founder of Headway Themes, was embroiled in the controversy surrounding the company’s lack of communication and decline in support. Many potential customers were turned off to Pressmatic as the result of Griffith’s lack of support for Headway Themes’ customers and its mistreatment of employees. They company publicly confirmed its financial troubles and apologized to customers after a former employee went public about not having been paid and customers not receiving support.

When asked how the Pressmattic acquisition affects Headway Themes customers, Griffiths confirmed that he will continue to be involved with support and development of Headway.

“This acquisition and employment will provide myself and my family much more stability than we’ve had in a long time, and will allow me to better focus on Headway in my spare time,” Griffiths said. “This includes rolling out the upcoming 4.1 release, and working hard to make sure the support and other outstanding issues are resolved for all our customers.”

Pressmatic is used by hundreds of WordPress developers and is Flywheel’s first acquisition. The application was built on top of Electron, an app framework that enables developers to build cross-platform desktop apps with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. It allows users to run apache or nginx, switch between PHP versions for any site, create multisite installations (including subdomain setups), and create remote tunnels to share local development. Mac users can download the new Local by Flywheel application at local.getflywheel.com.

29 Comments


  1. I’m a huge fan of Pressmatic and it has been one of the best investments I’ve ever made in working with WordPress.

    Going forward, the “Free for all users” part, is this free for the community or free for Flywheel customers?

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    1. Josh,

      Glad to hear you’re a fan of Pressmatic! We’re excited to continue to give it the love it deserves. We’re working on new features as we speak.

      The product is free for the community – whether or not you’re a Flywheel customer.

      In the future, we’ll offer some cool integrations with our platform.

      Rick
      CMO, Flywheel

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  2. This acquisition and employment will provide myself and my family much more stability than we’ve had in a long time

    That’s great for Clay, but I wish he would have shown the same concern for the families of the people he allowed to work for Headway when he knew they were insolvent.

    They’re facing the prospect of entering into another Chrismas with Headway still having outstanding debts to them.

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    1. Makes it hard to feel good for Clay, doesn’t it?

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    2. +1

      Assuming there was an acquihire bonus of some sorts, I sure hope some of that gets redirected to Headway’s former employees. This product was funded by their unanticipated sacrifice. Looking forward to experimenting with “Local” and continuing to endorse Flywheel when that happens.

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      1. I really hope that’s the case. They deserve it.

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  3. Thanks for the coverage Sarah, Jeff and team! We’re excited for the future of Local and are happy to offer the product for free starting today.

    Stay tuned for more awesome updates – including integration with Flywheel :)

    Have a good time at WC US!!

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  4. This is missing some important information:

    How current users of Pressmatic should switch to Local? Is the existing Pressmatic will be updated and rebranded at the same time, or should we ditch it and download Local?

    Also, Will buyers of Pressmatic be automatically grandfathered to the future Local Pro version?

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    1. Hey Remy,

      Thanks for the questions! All Pressmatic customers will be receiving an email from Flywheel shortly walking through much of what you are looking for.

      As for Local Pro – it will be a bunch of additional features/services. The current version of Pressnatic will now be free and has all of the features you’ve come to expect. We’ll continue to enhance that version as well.

      Look for that email soon! We’re excited to continue to make Local a great Local Development app!!

      If you have any specific questions, shoot me a note at rick@getflywheel.com. I’d be happy to chat!

      Rick
      CMO, Flywheel

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      1. Rick,

        Just a “heads up” for you. Just tried to install Local and Sophos Anti-Virus is throwing an error message: “Adware or PUA detected.” Sophos then prevents the install… Anything we need to know about?

        Thanks!
        Brad

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      2. I’m am getting the same message, and will not install until I know what the issue is.

        Rick—Did you get any more information regarding your installation?

        Thanks, Marcus

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  5. Now that the software is available for free, I’m curious if current paid customers will receive anything in the form of support for a determined amount of time.

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    1. Hey Justin,

      You’ll be receiving an email from Flywheel shortly about this. We want to make the transition into the Flywheel family as smooth as possible for Pressmatic users :)

      Of course, we’ll also honor the standard 30 day refund policy that Pressmatic stated.

      Shoot me a note with any specific questions: rick@getflywheel.com

      -Rick

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      1. Looking forward to hearing more about this too, got this a few months back so not eligible to the refund policy.

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  6. I’ll never use it, the headways fiasco is not something you can brush under a buy out. If the money made during buyout isn’t used to pay previous employees then that is reason enough.

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  7. I just upgraded from Pressmatic to Local, just close Pressmatic, download Local, pop it open, and everything works!

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  8. Any plan to launch for Windows?

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    1. The company is rebranding the product as “Local by Flywheel” and plans to create a Windows application, add off-site backups for local sites, and sell premium support.

      No details were given, but they did state that in article.

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      1. Should have read more carrefully. Thank you.

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  9. Pressmatic is pretty awesome, I just miss direct deployment. Any chance to get this for any hosting company out there?

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    1. It sounds like they’ll be integrating it with their system at Flywheel. Their target hosting audience is agencies and web designers, so this fits into their expanding array of perks for us.

      I’ve never heard of it, and I’m used to working with live or hidden dev sites, but who knows, maybe this’ll be worth it somehow.

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    2. Joan, integration with Flywheel is 100% on the road map! We’re excited to make the workflow from local to live super smooth.

      Also, Local by Flywheel supports add-on capability and we’re excited to see what the community builds. We’d love to see a deployment add-on for other hosts as well!

      Rick
      CMO, Flywheel

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  10. Nice. Really happy Pressmatic has such an awesome new home (can’t wait to see just how fly it becomes!)! :)

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  11. PressMatic’s original users would not the same type of users that would be using FlyWheel. Since PressMatic is more dev centric.

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  12. Nice combo! Really like Pressmatic, had been a bit worried about its future after the HW issues. So great to see my fave WP managed hosts grabbing it.

    Looking forward to being able to pull down Flywheel sites for major development. Staging is ok for minor development.

    And hopefully this will mean a pleasant Christmas surprise for those owed money by Headway. ;)

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  13. An option to push a site from Local to Flywheel would be neat! I currently use Trellis which is great but a bit time consuming.

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  14. Flywheel should do the honorable thing and open source Local, particularly since it’s built upon open source projects like docker, electron, and node.

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