GoDaddy Acquires WordPress Site Management Service ManageWP

ManageWP, a WordPress site management service founded in 2010 and officially released in 2012 by Vladimir Prelovac, has been acquired by GoDaddy for an undisclosed amount. ManageWP is based in Serbia and has a team of more than 25 people.

The service enables users to manage backups, updates, security, and monitor performance of sites through Orion, the company’s newly redesigned dashboard that launched earlier this year.

ManageWP Orion Dashboard

ManageWP will operate as an independent company under the GoDaddy umbrella, similar to MediaTemple. According to Prelovac, 8% of all websites managed with the service are hosted on GoDaddy.

Some of the premium features in ManageWP will be offered to GoDaddy customers for free. Also, there are plans to deeply integrate the service into the company’s GoDaddy Pro program.

ManageWP is a bootstrapped company that reached a point where an acquisition or partnership was needed to take the company further. “We’ve reached a point where we achieved a lot of the goals we’ve set, but we want to take things to the next level,” Prelovac said.

“GoDaddy with its significant scale and resources will help us put the product in the hands of hundreds of thousands of WordPress professionals while at the same time adding significant value to the product itself.”

With the cash infusion and GoDaddy’s resources, customers can expect to see a renewed effort to internationalize the service to make it available in more languages.

ManageWP Receives Major Backlash from Customers Disappointed with the Acquisition

The news of the acquisition generated more than 100 comments on the Advanced WordPress Facebook Group and the official blog post on the ManageWP site generated more than 250 comments.

I spent an hour reading all of the comments and noticed three distinct reactions: The lack of positive feedback, a number of people who will stick with the company to see what happens next, and an overwhelming amount of negative feedback from people who say they will or have already left the service.

ManageWP’s customer base is composed of a lot of consultants who manage multiple websites for clients. These are the people who deal and interact with webhosting companies on a daily basis.

While GoDaddy is working hard to change its image and perception from the top-down, a subset of people are not experiencing the changes at the service level leading to extreme dissatisfaction. There are also a handful of ManageWP customers who refuse to do business or associate themselves with GoDaddy based on the company’s history.

Both Companies Have a Lot on the Line

Only time will tell if the acquisition is successful but both companies have a lot riding on this partnership. Judging by the comments on the ManageWP blog post, it’s clear the company has passionate, devoted customers who love the service over its competitors.

If the acquisition is going to be beneficial to GoDaddy, it’s important that ManageWP continue to succeed and grow. If the service’s reliability declines or Prelovac exits his leadership role within a year, it’s likely GoDaddy will receive a lot of the blame which could slow progress in changing the company’s image.

If you’re a ManageWP customer, will you continue using the service or have you begun looking at alternatives? Let us know what you think of the acquisition in the comments.


13 responses to “GoDaddy Acquires WordPress Site Management Service ManageWP”

  1. I’ve been a ManageWP customer for several years and find their service invaluable. Orion is even better than the original service making my life managing several dozen websites so much easier. Customer service has been excellent. While I was taken aback by the recent news of acquisition by GoDaddy, I have great respect for the ManageWP team and will give this joint venture the benefit of the doubt.

  2. Thanks for summing up the acquisition sentiment so well, Jeff. I’m in charge of the ManageWP comments, and I was asked a couple of times today why I haven’t closed the comment section (AWP thread was locked after things got out of hand). The reason is simple:

    Unlike the AWP group where unaffiliated people took pot shots at GoDaddy, every single commenter on the ManageWP blog is our user. And each and every one of them deserves to be heard, because their businesses are on the line. And in a way I was proud to see so many people caring about what’s gonna happen to ManageWP and how it’s going to affect them.

    We talked about making things better for the whole community. This resounding feedback from our community was clear: our users expect nothing less than what they’re getting now, and they won’t settle for less.

    When you have that kind of clear cut expectations, it helps everyone on the team stay focused on the goal: building great things that the WordPress community needs. So thank you WordPress community for being so passionate :)

    P.S. It’s fun to write on someone else’s blog for a change :D

    • I said it on your blog and I’ll say it here. There’s is absolutely no possible way that selling out to GoDaddy will maintain, much less improve, your services. You’re right about your customers though (and I was one), they won’t settle for less, which is, I imagine, why we’ll be moving on to another service.

      You’re choices are bad and you should feel bad.

  3. I have been a Media Temple customer on and off a few times over the past 10 years. I had moved about 20 sites to MT once again, about 2-3 years ago, before they were purchased by GoDaddy.

    I had had issues previously with the Grid service, but had never had any problems with the DV service (other than being horribly skimpy on resources). I started seeing Grid performance issues again a few months ago, and they’ve only progressively gotten worse.

    Suffice to say I’m leaving Media Temple again, and even though I have services at GoDaddy, and had been considering giving ManageWP a try, I think I’ll just sit back and wait to see what shakes out.

  4. GoDaddy had to do something. Switching to GoDaddy for Managed WordPress was great in the first year, but they re-tooled plans and sent their most lucrative customers into sky-high plans that made no sense.

    Moved back to Dreamhost, and their Managed WordPress, and only regret not doing it sooner.

    If I had to guess, I’d say ManageWP was meant to be integrated as a relaunch of GoDaddy Managed WordPress. Let me know in five years when the dust settles.

    • Interesting, as I went the other way, from Dreamhost and their lousy security to Godaddy. I guess it all depends on the site structure and functions you’re looking for. Personally I use CMS Commander which is a superior product to Manage WP in my opinion.

  5. Talk about coincidence. We just started looking for a service like MWP. Now that they are going with GD, we will look elsewhere.

    GD is not going to be able to change their service because hosting is not their core business and it is never going to be their core business. They are a fairly adequate registrar but from day one their hosting business has never performed and their concept of ‘managed WordPress’ was laughable at the start and has continued to be so.

    We have a rule we enforce. We will not take on a client who wants us to build them a website on GD or any ISP owned by Endurance Intl. We’ve been there, we’ve done that, and we have the arrows in our backs to prove it.

    When I think of all the really good companies that MWP could have gone to, I can only surmise that GD bought them for far more than they are worth making everyone in the company very wealthy. As usual, most will leave and the service will degrade. Just look what happened to Small Orange and Bluehost and a bunch of what were A+ ISPs before EIG took them over.

  6. Everyone talks about moving on to competing services. What are those competing services? I have tried out a couple and they were lacking. Maybe a good article would be a rundown of alternatives to ManageWP. I use the service and will continue to do so for now. I do not like GoDaddy either because any project I have worked on that used it suffered.

    But if this is being run as an independent company, I will give it the benefit of the doubt. It does trouble me to know I will be paying fees for stuff that GoDaddy customers will get for free. That concerns me as I will be paying for them to use the service. So I don’t like that.

    One thing. I am happy thopugh for the ManageWP team to see their hardwork pay off financially. Good for them.


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