Welcome to Press This, the WordPress group podcast from WMR. Each and every episode options visitors from across the group and discussions of the biggest problems going through WordPress builders. The next is a transcription of the authentic recording.

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Document Pop: You’re paying attention to Press This, a WordPress Neighborhood Podcast on WMR. Each and every week we highlight participants of the WordPress group. I’m your host, Document Pop. I fortify the WordPress group thru my position at WP Engine, and my contributions over on TorqueMag.Io the place I am getting to do podcasts and draw cartoons and educational movies. Take a look at that out.

Converting your corporate’s title after a few years of creating up accept as true with and popularity can at all times be difficult. In case your corporate’s rising effectively, although, on occasion you may have outgrown what the unique venture used to be, and it may well be time to rethink a rebrand.

And that’s what we’re gonna be speaking about lately. Our visitor is Devin Walker, a common supervisor at StellarWP, and the co-creator of GiveWP.

Devin, welcome to the exhibit. We’re gonna communicate to you about iThemes rebranding as SolidWP, however prior to we do, I feel that is your first time on Press This, no less than the primary time since I’ve been internet hosting. Are you able to simply remind our listeners, how did you get began with WordPress?

Devin Walker: Positive. Yeah. Hiya everybody. So yeah, my title’s Devin Walker. I’ve been within the WordPress global for approximately 14 years now. Began in 2009 after discovering my means thru other Microsoft applied sciences like SharePoint, after which getting over to Drupal after which Joomla for just a little bit, after which in any case WordPress after which discovered my house there.

Began out development websites with an company, pre-custom publish varieties, which used to be attention-grabbing. After which I take into account existence were given more straightforward after tradition publish varieties and I moved on from the company and began development some particular person plugins, performing some white label works, nonetheless running with shoppers. 

And from there I noticed, hi there, I truly experience development plugins and I did a pair professional ones again in 2012, 2013. That did ok. And from there we have been development a large number of nonprofit websites and there wasn’t truly a device that have compatibility their want precisely. They have been all inquiring for a fundraising platform that’s local WordPress. So sooner or later partnered with Matt Cromwell, my longtime industry spouse, nonetheless to these days.

And in 2013, 2014 we constructed GiveWP and introduced it at WordCamp San Diego in April, 2015. Since then, it’s been a really perfect trip and been our major center of attention. In recent times, we’ve expanded our center of attention a little, which we’ll get into. However yeah, that’s a little about how I were given into WordPress.

Document Pop: Yeah. Neatly, let’s get started with that massive bullet level. iThemes is now referred to as SolidWP. What triggered that vary?

Devin Walker: Yeah, so now not formally but. We’re in truth doing a rebranding in public collection at the moment the place we’re bringing other people alongside the adventure of that. 

However to reply to your query, what in truth triggered that vary? We lately took over the iThemes logo in August of 2022 ultimate 12 months. And once we took it over, we weren’t particularly given the directions, Hiya, cross rebrand this.

No, we got the directions, do your factor guys. However we need to make this logo arrange for luck for the following 10 years, proper? And, iThemes as a logo that’s been round for longer than I’ve been in WordPress for approximately 15, 16 years now. And all over that whole time, it’s modified identities moderately a little.

I imply, the title implies it began with subject matters which it did and has had a really perfect catalog of over 200, virtually 300 subject matters. However since then, it modified center of attention moderately a little. And now, rapid ahead to this 12 months or ultimate 12 months once we determined to rebrand it. The principle flagship product is a safety providing, proper?

So iThemes safety, it’s were given 1,000,000 energetic installs. After which our subsequent most well liked plugin is a backup resolution, Backup Friend, which has been round for 10 plus years. After which in any case on best of that our SaaS platform, which does site, uh, repairs and control, which is known as iThemes Sync. In reality nice and strong platform that has 60,000 energetic installs at the satellite tv for pc plugin. 

The ones are the 3 core choices and we didn’t truly even promote subject matters anymore. So truly it turned into glaring. We need to discover a new id for this logo. We wish to set it up for luck at some point, and we wish to discover a commonplace basis that these kind of manufacturers can reside below.

We tossed a large number of names round, however in any case came visiting SolidWP in November ultimate 12 months. So we’re lovely pleased with the title and we’re taking a large number of steps now in that rebranding effort. 

Document Pop: You already know, that’s true. After I call to mind iThemes, I call to mind website design and website toolkits. But if I call to mind iThemes the corporate, it’s the safety and the backup, proper? Like this stuff that don’t have anything else truly to do with subject matters anymore.

They have been simply roughly like, “Hiya, we’ve were given this one relied on product and, when you appreciated this product from us, you may also accept as true with those different merchandise as neatly.” 

However they don’t essentially have compatibility below the subjects title needless to say. If it’s essential to simply inform me temporarily, how did you land on SolidWP?

Devin Walker: So we took a have a look at what we do be offering and truly safety, backups, repairs, updates, and some of these choices that we’re having a look to make bigger additionally within the close to long run, are very core to what each site wishes. And I stay the use of the phrase foundational, proper? Efficiency, safety, repairs, backups.

Those are issues that each site wishes as a part of their basis, and what does each basis wish to be, proper? It must be lovely cast. And so I believed it used to be a truly cool phrase too. I imply, I’m to blame of the use of it moderately a little and may well be, uh, a part of my SoCal slang. However I’ve at all times stated that’s truly cast or one thing like that.

So when working out names, we would have liked a site that used to be to be had, a site that made a large number of sense, used to be catchy, nonetheless had a WP in it, and this simply have compatibility all the ones expenses. That’s truly what it got here all the way down to.

Document Pop: More or less considering of that SoCal linguistic nature, I feel cast for sure sounds higher than like BasteWP or one thing like that. 

Devin Walker: Stoked WP [laughs]. We may have long past with that.

Document Pop: S you discussed that you simply’re rebranding in public, and I need to pay attention extra about that. Can I make a pull request to SolidWPPs rebrand document? Is it like a GitHub repo roughly factor that you simply’re doing?

Devin Walker: Neatly we must believe that, we’d love outdoor contributions from the advance viewpoint. Lets at all times use extra construction, nevertheless it’s truly about bringing our consumers and customers alongside the adventure with us and ensuring no person’s left in the back of and their voice is heard.

And being very open and democratic about the entire thing. So appearing previews of what the UIs are gonna seem like, bringing other folks in on selections that we’re making concerning the site and the character of the place we’re gonna take our coaching providing, and truly together with and paying attention to our consumers as a result of, 0ver 15 years, we’ve accrued moderately a little of them.

And so we would have liked to make certain that we’re now not gonna be making possible choices that almost all of other people don’t consider. And so it’s truly about being open and clear with it whilst additionally admitting to one of the most hurdles we’re tackling and if our timeline slips or such things as that, we’re simply gonna be very open with it. And I feel everyone will admire that and notice it. 

And it’s roughly a development now to construct in public. We would have liked to do our personal twist on that and rebrand in public.

Document Pop: It undoubtedly offers the vibes of early get right of entry to video games on Steam the place they’re truly transparently appearing works in growth, first degree. There’s a large number of paintings that they have got to do to even get that a long way. They have got to have the sport and feature roughly a basis constructed.

However then they’re for sure seeking to concentrate to comments, what do other folks like, what do other folks need extra of? So I’m roughly getting that vibe right here.

Devin Walker: Completely. I imply, I’m happy you introduced up Steam as a result of I’m on steam so much too, and a few of the ones video games by no means see the sunshine of day. I will be able to ensure this may increasingly see the sunshine of day. 

It’s truly about bringing that adventure alongside and appearing off what we have now. So we simply recorded our 3rd video this morning with me and Matt, however we’re bringing in different group participants and, simply in finding us on YouTube on SolidWP. We’ve a playlist going. You’ll depart feedback on there. We’re being attentive to feedback and it’s lovely amusing.

Document Pop: We’re gonna take a handy guide a rough wreck and once we come again we’re gonna stay speaking to Devin Walker, common supervisor at StellarWP concerning the fresh rebrand that SolidWP is doing, and we’re additionally gonna speak about easy methods to know when it’s time on your corporate to believe doing a rebrand, and when you’re already interested by that, some guidelines that Devin can percentage alongside the way in which.

So stay listening. We’ll be proper again.

Document Pop: Welcome again to Press This, a WordPress Neighborhood podcast on WMR. I’m your host, Document Pop. I’m speaking to Devin Walker, Normal Supervisor at Stellar WP and a co-creator of GiveWP and several other different merchandise you’ve almost certainly heard of. We’re speaking concerning the fresh rebranding of Stellar WP from iThemes and Devin, we mentioned how y’all are doing it, you’re trying out or neatly trying out, I dunno if that’s the correct phrase, however you’re doing this in public.

You haven’t in truth, as of recording, formally converted but. It sounds such as you’re nonetheless iThemes within the means of rebranding over to SolidWP, which is a truly attention-grabbing means to try this. 

The article I used to be teasing prior to the wreck used to be that some other folks listening may well be in a equivalent scenario the place their corporate has carried out neatly sufficient that they’re now not particularly a safety corporate or an search engine optimization corporate or one thing like that. But it surely’s tied to their title. 

And I’m simply roughly keen on recommendation you may have. Let’s get started with this, what have you ever discovered up to now with the rebranding public that you simply suppose may well be useful to different customers who’re interested by rebranding?

Devin Walker: Neatly, there’s a large number of various things that spring to mind while you deliver that query to me. I feel the very first thing I’d say is figuring out whether or not you must rebrand or now not shouldn’t such a lot be about how your earnings and the way that’s been running. Extra so how your venture has modified and your merchandise suit your logo and your id.

Does what you promote nonetheless mirror your authentic venture commentary and what the logo id you shaped at first? I’m positive it’s a steadiness. It’s at all times a steadiness between that and earnings and the place you wish to have to head with the product. So it’s now not like a cookie cutter way, whether or not you must otherwise you must now not.Identical with updating emblems and so forth and so on. 

For Give WP for example, we possibly received’t ever replace the title for that or the emblem. It simply suits. It’s been our venture. It’s at all times gonna be our venture. Until there’s one thing that occurs at some point that I will be able to’t foretell at the moment, however for iThemes, it used to be much more glaring that this had to occur.

Safety gross sales were nice, backups were nice, however there’s a complete bunch of legacy merchandise available in the market nonetheless placing round. That simply had to cross. We bought a product referred to as BoomBar. It is advisable nonetheless purchase it on iThemes.com hasn’t been up to date in a very long time.

Very legacy product that simply had to cross. There’s a pair extra like that. In order that used to be inflicting one of the most id disaster, I really like to mention. After which one of the most naming too, again in 2007, 2008, it used to be truly cool to position a I prior to a phrase. It used to be a fab Apple factor to do. So iThemes used to be a truly cool area title, nonetheless is a fab area title, nevertheless it does exhibit its age now and it’s glaring.

In order that used to be some other telling issue there. So I’d say, you might have to take a seat down together with your leaders, your stakeholders, your group. And truly decide if it’s the pathway you wish to have to head and do an research on it. Select your favourite research and notice the way it comes out on the finish.

However that’s roughly the method we went thru there. 

We’re studying a large number of courses alongside the way in which. That’s why we’re doing the rebranding in public and bringing up a few of that right through our displays, however one of the most authentic first courses I’ve discovered is that the way must be in a phased way. 

For this kind of large undertaking like this, we have been truly depending on a lifting of the curtains as soon as the entire paintings used to be carried out, and it turned into extra obvious as time went on that we truly couldn’t do just a grand disclose like that. We needed to take a stepped way from the whole thing from the site migration, the licensing, the trade platform to the goods themselves, how they’re deployed. The WordPress.org, content material updates, banner updates, the whole thing. There’s such a lot of portions to it. 

And until you might have a large group or make use of a 3rd birthday party marketing consultant, like an company or an search engine optimization specialist that mean you can get to that end line, and you’ll be 100% positive you’ll push that purple button and the whole thing’s gonna transfer over, I feel a phased way is a lot more sensible to having luck with it. 

In order that’s what we’re gonna do for all sides of this rollout. We’re gonna do it in phased approaches. So at the moment we have now only a unmarried web page up on SolidWP.com with a weblog that’s all concerning the rebranding effort. iThemes remains to be up, nonetheless the unique content material.

We’re nonetheless posting on ithemes.com. After which sooner or later we’re development out SolidWP.com’s site and we’ll begin to roll that out sooner or later, and do a section rollout of the search engine optimization. There’s over 1100 posts at the iThemes weblog, a few of which rank very extremely within the seek engine. So we wanna be sure we don’t rock that boat. 

After which additionally with the goods and the rollout there, being very cautious about that. There’s a number of issues with the licensing that may cross unsuitable that we don’t need to as neatly.

Document Pop: Yeah, I used to be simply trying out your plugin repository list for iThemes Safety on WordPress.org. And I consider WordPress.org plugins roughly have this factor the place it’s truly laborious to switch the URL as soon as it’s roughly landed. And fortunately, I don’t know if this used to be making plans from the beginning or an indication from some other rebrand, however fortuitously y’all’s URL is Higher-WP-Safety on there, so no iThemes to wash from the URL no less than.

Devin Walker: No iThemes. Yeah, so it’s humorous, iTheme Safety used to be got from in truth Chris Wegman, who you discussed pre-show, long ago within the day. Previous to me being concerned with any of those manufacturers. They rebranded it iThemes Safety and now we’re gonna rebrand it once more. So that you’re proper, that WordPress.org url, that by no means adjustments it doesn’t matter what.

Document Pop: That’s amusing. So kinda talking of those acquisitions that experience came about, you have been co-founder and co-creator of GiveWP, which used to be later got by means of Liquid Internet. I’m questioning what that have of getting your logo sign up for some other roughly huge legacy logo, what that taught you and roughly the products and the bads you roughly discovered from that have.

Devin Walker: Yeah, so, oh guy, I truly like speaking about this. It used to be moderately the revel in. About two years in the past now, we joined Liquid Internet, however all of the procedure began round two and a part to 2 years and 8 months in the past. From preliminary conversations that we began having with Liquid Internet to entering the LOI section, letter of intent, to getting thru to due diligence, to in truth finishing due diligence to ultimate signing, that procedure took round seven, 8 months and.

There’s a large number of from side to side in there. I’d say take that procedure as sluggish and as sparsely as you’ll and contain as many good other folks like legal professionals who’ve carried out this prior to, thru that procedure to remember to’re crossing your T’s and dotting your I’s. however previous to even having that dialog, you must construct a industry that’s in a position to be got.

So, publish promoting or being got by means of Liquid Internet, I’ve had the chance to take a seat at the different facet of the desk now and evaluation moderately a couple of companies and notice below the hood, if you’ll, of what’s happening there. And there’s a large number of stuff you see which are eye-opening that you simply don’t like to peer within the WordPress global.

A pair examples can be large lifetime license gross sales. My boss likes to name a life-time authorized drug as a result of we appear to truly like it in WordPress. I pay attention the reason, neatly why would I am getting a one-time subscription cost now after I may just get 3 years in advance, 4 years in advance? Neatly, while you cross to promote the industry, there’s not more routine earnings when you acquire that preliminary earnings. So it method not anything to that industry that you simply already accumulated that cash and it’s now sitting in some checking account that they received’t ever have get right of entry to to. 

The second one is not any buyer knowledge or advertising listing in any way. Privateness advocacy is a truly just right factor, and I feel it has its position like in WordPress.org at the loose plugins. Like we gotta abide by means of the principles, however when they get started changing into a paying buyer of yours, I feel it’s profitable to assemble as a lot person knowledge and buyer knowledge as you’ll and marketplace in opposition to them.

In fact, don’t do anything else shady, however that’s price one thing to a possible acquirer. How a lot knowledge do you might have? What are your advertising lists like? What’s the group round your product like? Are they engaged? Are they now not engaged? In comparing sure companies up to now, I’ve noticed many who take a prime stance on now not gathering any of that knowledge in any respect, now not realizing anything else about their consumers, now not even having any renewals or subscriptions or anything else like that, and it makes it truly much less interesting for sure consumers when that’s the location. 

In any case, SaaS parts are at all times truly great. Extra proprietary code bases are truly great. After which earnings percentage offers with other cost gateways. So when you’ve got some form of trade side for your plugin, are you gathering earnings percentage out of your gateways at the again finish of that and necessarily creating wealth while you sleep.

So, with Give WP, we did virtually $350 million in general processing quantity thru more than one gateways ultimate 12 months by myself. We were given a beautiful just right lower out of that, and we didn’t must do anything else to get that lower. But even so be sure our plugins are up to the moment, be sure we’re running with our consumers truly neatly and keeping up the tool and doing the entire stuff we in most cases do.

But when we’d by no means had that care for Stripe or PayPal, or title the gateway, that earnings would by no means were there. So the place’s earnings at that you simply is probably not seeing it. I may just cross on and on right here. Document, you understand, I’ll mean you can chime in.

Document Pop: Neatly, yeah, we’re arising at our subsequent wreck. We’re gonna come again and wrap up our dialog with Devin Walker, common Supervisor at SolidWP. We’re going to stay speaking about rebranding your company or corporate, so keep tuned. We will be able to be proper again.

Document Pop: Welcome again to Press This, a WordPress group podcast on WMR. We’re speaking with Devin Walker. We’re wrapping up our exhibit, speaking about rebranding in public. Devin, proper prior to the wreck, I requested you a query you were given truly fascinated by. Give WP, which is a product that you simply co-created, used to be got by means of Liquid Internet, and also you roughly talked to us concerning the revel in of being got. I’m simply roughly curious although. Are you able to let us know, used to be there a dialog at the moment that now it must be Give Liquid Internet or Liquid Internet’s GiveWP? Used to be there some form of dialog about rebranding the product to suit with Liquid Internet, which has a large number of merchandise below its sleeve?

Devin Walker: Neatly, that wasone of the issues we evaluated when first having a look at this deal as a result of we didn’t wanna mess with our logo. And one in every of our standards for having a look at provides or offers or possible acquisitions used to be don’t mess with our logo. That wasn’t the primary precedence, nevertheless it used to be lovely darn prime up there.

The primary precedence, after all, used to be ensuring our group used to be looked after they usually weren’t simply gonna are available and intestine where. After which additionally a monitor file of revealing evidence. The evidence’s within the pudding. Proper. So iThemes used to be the primary acquisition by means of Liquid Internet in 2018, I consider. And once they got here to us, we noticed lots of the group already in position.

I feel Corey, the founder, had left, however the remainder of the group used to be in large part nonetheless in position. And so they made every other earlier acquisitions that all of the group got here in position. And we spoke with the ones leaders and it used to be all very clear and made us really feel very at ease. 

So that they didn’t mess with the logo. That used to be crucial with us. It’s now not gonna be referred to as, Liquid Give, or who is aware of what the heck it could be referred to as. And in order that made us more than happy.

Document Pop: And you understand, we’ve mentioned this iThemes rebrand to SolidWP, and also you discussed that it’s now not came about but, so it feels like technically, iThemes remains to be the title we must be running on. I’m simply kinda keen on this transition you’re speaking about. How lengthy do you suppose it’s going to be prior to you’ll solidly say SolidWP.

Devin Walker: Don’t concern. We’ve been the use of that pun such a lot in recent times. It’s by no means gonna get previous. Neatly, I’d say we have now an overly tight timeline. I hate giving specifics out, however I’d say mid to overdue summer time is our goal. Mid being the earliest I consider, which might almost certainly the top of this quarter.

Having a look on the timeline now, I’m announcing we’ll almost certainly cross later someplace. Early Fall is now what I’m having a look at. There’s simply a large number of shifting portions right here and you know the way issues cross with construction and design.

Document Pop: Mm-hmm. Neatly, Devin, I truly admire your time lately. Thanks such a lot for becoming a member of us on Press This, a WordPress Neighborhood podcast. If other folks need to apply up with the trade that’s taking place in public. The place must they cross to roughly see this modification taking place?

Devin Walker: Positive the perfect position, simply cross to SolidWP.Com. There you’ll see the entire newest movies you’ll examine our message to the iThemes consumers, after which you’ll additionally join our rebranding in public collection e-newsletter.

Document Pop: That’s cool. Devin, thank you once more for becoming a member of us lately and because of everybody who’s listened and loved this episode.

Document Pop: Thank you for paying attention to Press This, a WordPress group podcast on WMR. As soon as once more, my title’s Document and you’ll apply my adventures with Torque mag over on Twitter @thetorquemag or you’ll cross to torquemag.io the place we give a contribution tutorials and movies and interviews like this each day. So test out torquemag.io or apply us on Twitter. You’ll subscribe to Press This on Pink Circle, iTunes, Spotify, or you’ll obtain it without delay at wmr.fm every week. I’m your host Physician Widespread I fortify the WordPress group thru my position at WP Engine. And I really like to focus on participants of the group every week on Press This.

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