Thoughts On This Weeks’ Multiple Acquisitions

This past week there have been THREE large acquisitions in the WordPress space:

  • Awesome Motive acquired Sandhills, the developers of Easy Digital Downloads, Restrict Content Pro and a bunch of other well known plugins
  • Learn Dash was acquired by StellarWP (a subsidiary of LiquidWeb, a large US mid-west web-hosting company)
  • Automattic acquired another developer of WooCommerce Plugins, Somewhere Warn, the folks that publish PRODUCT BUNDLES, GIFT CARDS and a few other WC plugins.

The rollup of smaller developers into larger organizations that we expected to occur five years ago is finally happening. It took longer than we thought but it was inevitable.

The question you have to ask yourself is, as an agency, what does it mean for you?

Large hosting companies are going to use their acquisitions to create branded experiences for their customers. WPEngine, GoDaddy and others have already snapped up plugin and theme authors to power these experiences. LiquidWeb, a much smaller company has been particularly aggressive in its acquisition spree.

As an agency, do you want to use those branded experiences for your clients or do you want to create your own brand and experience for your clients?

There is no right or wrong answer to this – you just have to decide what’s right for your business.

If you decide that you want to create your own branded client experience then you have some choices:

  • You can use SaaS services such as Cloudways and Ploi on which to build your own service with your own servers.
  • You can use SaaS services such as SpinupWP & Gridpane which provide a highly focused set of WP services at the expense of some branding flexibility (but, again, with your own cloud servers)
  • You can use WPCD for the ultimate in customization and branding.

Again, there is no right or wrong answer. Only you know what’s right for your business, your clients and your future growth. But it’s probably time to start thinking about how you’ll be positioning your brand over the next couple of years.

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