2022 has been a year of pivotal change, innovation, and opportunity for iThemes. As new technologies have become available to improve login security for WordPress users, the iThemes team worked to innovate with the addition of passkeys to iThemes Security. It was an innovative achievement for the team, and a fitting accomplishment for General Manager Matt Danner prior to his moving on to a new opportunity. We’re very happy and excited for him and what his future holds.
Saying goodbye also means saying hello to new leadership. I’m very excited to have been asked by Joe Oesterling to step in as the new General Manager for iThemes. My longtime business partner, Matt Cromwell is also stepping in to manage Marketing, Support, and Operations with me. We will continue our work with GiveWP alongside iThemes. We feel that our experience and success with GiveWP has prepared us well for this new role.
Over the past few months, we have been getting to know the various teams and the products, and starting to lay the foundation for new ideas to build upon the innovative foundations that these brands have established. There is a lot on the horizon, so I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the work we’ve already begun.
Enhancing our Marketing Team
One of the first things we focused on was reorganizing the marketing teams. To that end, we made two significant changes to the leadership structure of the marketing team. I’m excited to introduce you to two new leaders.
Kathy Zant is now Director of Product Marketing for iThemes and KadenceWP. Kathy has been leading marketing at Kadence for over a year now. Her expertise in WordPress security made her a natural fit to come over to work on iThemes as well.
Taylor Waldon is now Director of Product Marketing for GiveWP and IconicWP. Taylor has been instrumental in the marketing of GiveWP for over four years now. Her expertise in strategy and project management will now also help enhance and elevate IconicWP.
Together with Matt Cromwell, these leaders will coordinate with our content, web, and advertising teams to elevate and enhance all the work we do across these brands.
Revisiting the identity of iThemes
The next opportunity we identified is to revisit the brand identity of iThemes. iThemes is one of the oldest brands in WordPress, they recently celebrated their 14 year anniversary. In the span of those 14 years a lot has changed in WordPress, the web, and in iThemes itself – the first being that iThemes isn’t known for “themes” really anymore.
We will be kicking off a discovery journey with the iThemes and StellarWP leadership to revisit this brand identity and reflect on how to represent the brand’s focus on foundational aspects of providing outstanding software for WordPress websites and the people who build them: security, backups, site management, and training.
Sunsetting Legacy Products
With this renewed focus on WordPress foundational products and services, another part of the journey will be revisiting all of iThemes products that have served the WordPress community over the years. Having a long history such as iThemes’ also means a bit of dust has settled on some older products. Having so many various products can lead to a lack of focus. We believe that by sunsetting some products, our teams will be able to focus more directly on the core offerings that make iThemes so valuable to the WordPress community.
Rest assured, any customers using products that are sunset or re-homed will have the smoothest transition we can provide. We recognize that providing outstanding support is a large part of what makes all of the StellarWP brands successful.
Going all-in on our foundational products, and training
These initiatives allow us to focus on the core products that power the engine of iThemes: Security, BackupBuddy, Sync, and Training.
Over the next months you’ll see new energy poured into these products. iThemes Security just released Passkeys, for example. BackupBuddy just had a new release after a long hiatus including support for PHP8.
The work Nathan Ingram does with iThemes Training is a valuable resource to many in the WordPress community. We see a lot of value and potential in iThemes Training and will be continuing to see it grow.
The Future of iThemes is Stellar
In these uncertain times, many technology companies are preemptively cutting back. Not here. We are building and investing in our community and products to further serve the people who build with WordPress even more than before.
With change comes great opportunity, and we’re excited to bring even more services, products, and initiatives that connect the teams at Stellar with the people who use our products even more than before. Matt and I and the entire leadership team at iThemes and StellarWP are eager to continue providing even more innovative solutions to support the success and productivity of WordPress users everywhere.