The founders of VersionPress have launched VersionPress.com, a WordPress managed hosting service. VersionPress.com is the best of what VersionPress offers paired with features such as, staging sites and backups, on an Amazon Web Services infrastructure.
VersionPress is essentially an undo button for WordPress or full version-control. At the click of a button, users can undo an action and restore a site’s database to a previous point in history without having to export and import MySQL.
Borek Bernard, co-founder of VersionPress, says the move is the result of trying to overcome two major challenges: WordPress plugins and Hosts. WordPress plugins can alter a site’s database. Building in support for the 40K+ plugins that exist in the repository has been a huge undertaking for the team.
In order to use VersionPress, a webhost needs to have Git installed and allow proc_open which it uses to interact with Git. Most hosts do not allow proc_open for security reasons or have older versions of Git installed, generating incompatibilities. “Over time, it became clear we needed our own environment to run VersionPress in,” Bernard said.
All sites hosted on the platform run PHP 7 or Nginx, HTTP/2, and at least two Docker instances that auto-scale based on load. VersionPress.com includes the ability to set up staging and production sites using VersionPress’ capabilities to merge changes between the two. Similar to Flywheel, billing can be assigned to a developer, agency, or client account. “The platform is geared towards WordPress developers and agencies but will help anyone who wants a fast, reliable WordPress site,” Bernard said.
The model they’re using is similar to WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress. “A hosted service will provide resources to fund the development of the open source project and its long-term stability,” he said. “So it became a no-brainer at some point.” General availability for VersionPress.com won’t open until July but those who pre-order will receive a substantial discount.
Bernard re-iterated that VersionPress will always be a free, open source project and that VersionPress.com is a major step towards bringing full version control of WordPress to the masses.
The managed WordPress hosting space is well established and perhaps a bit crowded. It will be interesting to see how VersionPress.com compares to and fits in with the competition.