UpdraftPlus, a European company that maintains a backup plugin by the same name with nearly 1M active installs, has acquired the WP-Optimize plugin. WP-Optimize was created eight years ago by Ruhani Rabin and is actively installed on more than 500K sites. Its primary function is to clean and optimize databases. WP-Optimize will become part of a suite of plugins that make up UpdraftCentral, a service that allows users to manage sites remotely.
In an effort to simply the process of optimizing databases, Rabin created WP-Optimize to automates tasks such as:
- Removing all unnecessary data (e.g. trashed/unapproved/spam comments, stale data) plus pingbacks, trackbacks and expired transient options
- Compact/de-fragment MySQL tables
- Perform optimizations without the need for running manual queries
- Show database statistics and potential savings
WP-Optimize started as a personal project but when Rabin discovered that other users were looking for similar functionality, he uploaded the plugin to WordPress.org, “It ended up being a much bigger project than I imagined; when I connected with other people, I was suddenly opened up to a world of new challenges,” Rabin said. “I was encouraged to constantly improve the software’s functionality and compatibility, as well as the support information available.”
As the plugin’s popularity and user base increased, it eventually became too much work to support and maintain. Rabin received a few acquisition offers over the years but decided not to sell, “For me, WP-Optimize’s legacy was of prime importance. I didn’t set it up to make money, but to help out as many people as possible,” he said.
One of the reasons Rabin accepted UpdraftPlus’ offer is his familiarity with the plugin and its business model, “Even though they are business-driven, they still have a great freemium ecosystem,” Rabin said. He also appreciates the company’s enthusiasm and drive to take the product to the next level.
David Anderson, founder and lead developer of UpdraftPlus, says the acquisition makes perfect sense, “Although we see a lot of revolution on the outside, the WordPress core has been stable for a long time, and as such, there will always be a need for database optimization in order for sites to run efficiently.”
As part of the acquisition, Rabin will take on an advisory role in its continued development. Multisite support, a commercial version with additional features, and the ability for users to control it remotely through UpdraftCentral, are among the top priorities in development.
Since the acquisition, UpdraftPlus has released a new version of WP-Optimize that Anderson says paves the way for future developments, “This release has a complete re-factoring of the plugin’s internals, to lay a solid foundation for future improvements.”
“Although it looks the same outwardly, it has been modernized and solidified,” Anderson said. “We have a great and growing team, a lot of experience in the internals of WordPress and also a lot of users who trust and depend on us. There’s plenty of opportunity for us to expand.”