GoDaddy acquired the popular WordPress management service ManageWP, which will remain a standalone service. ManageWP customers will have to wait and see if the service deteriorates. Cinch maintenance clients need not worry about any of this, as we don’t use ManageWP.
The deal closed on September 1st and has been officially announced on both GoDaddy and ManageWP. The deal gives GoDaddy access to the ManageWP service as well as the 30 person team behind it. And it continues the tradition of GoDaddy buying out smaller companies that have good reputations in an attempt to revamp their own.
ManageWP is a great service
While Cinch does not use it, ManageWP is a great service and has continually paved the way for what a great WordPress management service should be. The team is staying on at GoDaddy and the service is set to remain a standalone app. This should theoretically be a good thing for ManageWP users. Theoretically.
GoDaddy has a poor reputation
For years GoDaddy has been battling a reputation of poor service, slow servers, and lots of downtime. GoDaddy’s hosting packages are cheap, and clients get what they pay for. Apparently they have been working hard to change their reputation by investing heavily in improved hosting hardware and infrastructure. It’s yet to play out in the real world however. We have a few clients that are hosted their and still experience significant slowdowns and downtime.
Remember Media Temple?
When Cinch started we used Media Temple servers to host our clients sites. We used a VPS and the service and support were outstanding. Once MT was acquired by GoDaddy that support began to erode very quickly. The chat and phone support became staffed with junior support people, and 90% of the questions we had needed to be elevated to a support tech, who were of course to busy to talk to. Shortly thereafter we moved to another host who offered better support and we haven’t looked back.
Giving GoDaddy a second (third) chance
Giving GoDaddy another chance is certainly the right thing to do. If the ManageWP team sticks around they very well could continue to provide great service. My biggest concern is how far GoDaddy will inject their own team and ‘efficiencies.’ This often leads to a slow degradation of services and support but for ManageWP clients that will remain to be seen.
What about privacy?
The issue that concerns me most is the amount of data that GoDaddy is getting through this. GoDaddy is most likely getting information on every single site that a user has in their ManageWP account. It’s this type of information that might seem benign, but we take seriously. Our management software is self-hosted on a secured, encrypted server in order to keep this type of data protected.
Wait and see
GoDaddy does deserve a chance to prove they won’t destroy the ManageWP service and reputation. Current users of the service should keep a close eye on how their experience changes in the coming months and be prepared to switch services if the quality goes south.