Four years ago this month, we launched iThemes Exchange, our WordPress e-commerce plugin, with the goal of simplifying e-commerce. Since then, we’ve launched countless new features and add-ons and served and supported our community through the project.
iThemes Exchange has been a project we’ve been very passionate about and one I’m very proud of, but we have not been able to devote the resources or time to Exchange that it deserves to grow, despite continuing to maintain and support it as we do all of our products for the last 4 years.
This is a bittersweet moment for us, but we’ve made the decision to refocus our time and efforts on other key projects at iThemes (namely, iThemes Security, iThemes Sync and BackupBuddy, and a new project we’ll be announcing soon) … and will be turning the iThemes Exchange project over to a very competent leader and long-time WordPress community member, AJ Morris, and his team at ExchangeWP.com before the end of 2017.
What does this mean for you? Here are some answers to questions you might have about iThemes Exchange and its future:
When will iThemes Exchange officially move ExchangeWP.com?
Sometime before the end of 2017. We’ll be sure to email you when we have a finalized date for the transition.
What happens to current iThemes Exchange customers?
- As of today, we’ll be suspending new sales through iThemes for all Exchange-related products.
- iThemes will be maintaining and supporting the plugin and add-ons until the switch.
- We’ll be updating all the licensing over to ExchangeWP.com.
- You’ll receive more instructions as the time comes closer for how to get your customer account at ExchangeWP.com.
Who is taking over iThemes Exchange?
When approached about taking over iThemes Exchange early this year, we wanted to be sure the project and our customers went into very competent hands, who will love and care for them as much as we do. Having spent four and a half years investing in the project and in you and your success, we did not take this lightly.
After numerous conversations over the past several months, we believe the best home for Exchange is with ExchangeWP LLC led by AJ Morris.
Having known and worked with AJ for over 7 years, I know the project, as well as our iThemes Exchange customers, will be in very good hands. He has the passion, vision, resources and time to give iThemes Exchange a bright future.
What does the future look like for iThemes Exchange?
Here’s what A.J. has to say about that:
“I have been a long time fan of everything iThemes creates. When Cory and I started talking about the future of Exchange, I was reminded about the problems at the core it was trying to solve for; simple e-commerce, self-hosted, self-publishing. These are the very things I see Exchange continuing in.
These days, it’s very easy to get WordPress up and running so you can start blogging. But when you want to add e-commerce to the mix, it’s a bit different. With big players like WooCommerce out there, it becomes too much too quickly for the average content producer to get their store up and running. Exchange will continue to focus on the independent publishers that want to keep the revenue they can while providing a simplistic experience in an easy-to-use e-commerce plugin that will help them get their store online quickly.
We are thrilled and honored to be taking the reins of Exchange and want to make you part of the process as we continue to define where Exchange is going to go. Throughout the transition, we will be posting regular updates on our blog to make sure you are aware of everything that goes into transitioning a product and redefining its roadmap. We are excited to bring you along on that journey.”
Why are we doing this?
My job as CEO is to be a steward of the time and resources we have at iThemes in order to serve you best. We’ve realized for a while … it was past time for us to refocus our finite resources on the projects that have the most growth and potential for our company and you, which are BackupBuddy, iThemes Security and iThemes Sync, including a new project we’ll be announcing shortly.
That meant we either needed to find a new home for Exchange, or sunset the project. I’m thankful we didn’t have to do the latter.
AJ has a vision, the time and resources to give Exchange the love and care it and you deserve. It’s going to a great home and although we’re sad to see Exchange go, we’re happier to know it’s going to have a bright future.