Pippin Williamson on Post Status Draft

Pippin Williamson on the Sandhills Acquisition, Emerging Threats and Opportunities in WordPress — Post Status Draft 117

Awesome Motive Acquires Sandhills Development

Post Status CEO Cory Miller chats with Pippin Williamson, the Founder and Managing Director of Sandhills Development, about Awesome Motive‘s acquisition of his company. 

Pippin announced today that Awesome Motive has acquired his company — their whole team and plugin portfolio: Easy Digital Downloads, AffiliateWP, Sugar Calendar, WP Simple Pay, and the Payouts Service. Syed Balkhi, Founder and CEO of Awesome Motive, outlines the commercial plugins and notes the deal includes several free plugins as well. From Sandhills, Chris Klosowski, Andrew Munro, and Phil Derksen will be joining Awesome Motive as partners, and Chris will continue to lead Easy Digital Downloads. 

Pippin, however, intends to take a very long break from WordPress and software development.

Sitting down with Cory Miller for some reflection on the past and thoughts about the future in the WordPress space, Pippin offered advice to developers and product owners today. He also identified what he sees as the biggest threat emerging for WordPress today.

Key Takeaway: “The Biggest Threat We Have Today” 🦈

As both an opportunity and “a major threat” to “WordPress the platform” that comes from its openness, Pippin warns:

“We are getting to a point where WordPress is so big and there is so much money involved in the WordPress ecosystem that it is now very much in large companies’ interests to create their own version of WordPress.”

Pippin Williamson

Because “the WordPress experience is not consistent” between major hosting platforms — due to their attempts to improve their customer experience — Pippin is concerned end users won’t be able to tell what is WordPress and what is the host.

Might that kind of platform balkanization carry over into the WordPress community, dividing developers, product businesses, and end users?

Pippin also referenced Kinsta COO Jon Penland‘s conversation with Anchor Hosting founder Austin Ginder back in June on Kinsta’s Reverse Engineered podcast:

“…something that I’ve been thinking about a lot over the last year, which is a move I see in the WordPress space in general, at the host level, and I’m not going to name any names because I don’t want to throw stones, but to pull in more and more tooling that’s not part of the Core. And, I just worry that we’re going to end up in a situation, a few years from now, where we have a whole lot of walled gardens, right? Where WordPress at host A is not the same thing as WordPress at host B and is not the same at WordPress at host C, because as you described, a WordPress provider might try to solve this problem as an on-ramp for their own customers.”

Jon Penland

🔗 Mentioned in the show:

🙏 Sponsor: Sandhills Development

No matter what you’re working on with your WordPress website, Sandhills Development has a tool that can help you. Sell digital products with Easy Digital Downloads. Use AffiliateWP as your affiliate marketing solution. Sugar Calendar is event management made easy. And WP Simple Pay is a lightweight Stripe payments plugin. Craft superior experiences with the ingenuity of Sandhills’ plugins.

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