VersionPress Launches VersionPress.com to Fund Open Source Project

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.com LogoVersionPress 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.

4 Comments


  1. I wish the best to VersionPress, but this will likely kill a lot of their potential integrations and relationships. The bigger WP players who would want to support something like VP would have been web hosts, but now they’ve become competition.

    I feel like a paid (remote?) version of their software would have made a lot more sense, ala CodeGuard or WP StageCoach.

    We emailed them several times trying to gain access to their private staging beta with no luck. There seems to be too much focus on impressing developers rather than reaching out to potential partners in the web hosting world…

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    1. Hi Jesse, we don’t have any private staging beta to give access to and VersionPress is an open project available to any host to integrate (some already do).

      It is true that providing a hosting service ourselves vs. partnering with existing hosts was a decision to make. We in fact tried to make several partnerships work in the past but the reality is that existing hosts have their things to worry about and proper workflows never seemed too crucial for them. However, for us, it is no. 1 and something we really want to solve. So it made sense to create an environment where we can try to realize this vision.

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      1. A few years back, CodeGuard made the “mistake” of ditching their WordPress plugin and trying to be everything to everyone via their remote dashboard. Now, they have re-launched their plugin, but are far behind where they could (should) have been re: WP community.

        I feel like the writing’s on the wall here too. If you are going into the business of being a web host, the time will come where you might change the name of your hosting company and likely either ditch your support of open-source VP or your needs as a hosting company will evolve so much that VP, at least as everyone knows it, will no longer suit your needs.

        It sounds more like your parent company is justifying a pre-determined business venture, but trying to benefit from the exposure of VP. That is your call, of course, but the reasoning does seem a bit misleading…

        It would seem the concept of “staging” sites is, for good reason, morphing into version control that is more user-friendly. Services like WP Pusher are moving in that direction. I was really hoping VP would too, but this seems like a huge step back in the “wrong” direction (for VP, anyway) if I’m being honest.

        Just as there is no point to Automattic using the name WordPress.com (besides purposefully confusing users on Google searches) there is also no point to you using the name VersionPress.com. Just call them what they are — private businesses with highly customized versions of open-source software that ultimately have few (or zero) shared values or identity with the latter.

        Anyway, I don’t know which web hosts you tried to partner with, but I’ve followed you (and emailed) for the past few years and have heard nothing about potential web host integration, at least not in the way of paid services or remote integration (etc).

        P.S. “Most hosts do not allow proc_open for security reasons or have older versions of Git installed, generating incompatibilities” is rather inaccurate, our servers for one support VP no problem.

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  2. I will still use the open source version of VP for my managed hosting customers. I get their need to fund the project and will support them doing that for sure!

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