Dear VersionPress fans, 2016 is almost up and there hasn't been an update in a while so you deserve one. As usual at this time of the year, let's look both behind and ahead.
2016 in review
I was curious to look at the last year's post to find out what 2016 was supposed to be like, and surprisingly, it was pretty accurate (how weird!). There were two main visible themes of the year:
- VersionPress was open-sourced. The project is now free on GitHub.
- Versions 3 and 4 were released. Especially the later one (though currently in alpha) is a major step forward: it introduces plugin support which lays foundation for future adoption.
Last year's post also mentioned that we'd be working on a broader approach to solving the workflow issues: you should be more confident working with your WordPress sites.
Isn't that VersionPress itself? Well, yes and no. It's an immensely promising tool for the future but not quite ready right now: hosts are not supporting it well, plugins may be incompatible with it, etc. Who thought marrying WordPress with Git would be easy, right?
But that will not stop us. VersionPress either fails miserably, or forever transforms how we all work with WP sites 🙂. Because we'd rather see the latter, there's a more complex plan of how to move forward.
For the past year, we've been exploring ways to provide VersionPress-like workflows in a much safer way, and via a streamlined interface (no WP-CLI). Also, if other hosts will not run VersionPress-powered sites, we will. You can probably see where this is going and while we're not announcing anything concrete yet, insiders will be getting a Christmas present from us and a public beta of several cloud services is launching early next year.
So, that was the third pillar of our work this year.
VersionPress' current status
The other work had impact on the activity around the core VersionPress project during the past two months, and I apologize for that. We've always tried to focus on VersionPress first, spending well over 50% of our company time on it (which is crazy) but recently we simply needed to shift our focus a bit.
With that being said, VersionPress is still at the very core of what we do, don't worry. To sum up where the project is at the end of 2016:
- VersionPress 4.0-alpha is in a good shape to run on simpler sites and technically supports WP plugins though not many plugin definitions have been written yet.
- VersionPress 4.0 final will ship some time during the first half of 2017.
- We'll start deploying it to our platform throughout the year, as it matures. Of course, it will also stay on GitHub. Availability through wordpress.org depends largely on how stable it is but quite honestly, I don't think it will happen in 2017.
- We might actually get a strong co-contributor next year, it would be awesome (there are visionary WordPress agencies it seems!).
Have a great holiday season everyone and thanks for being with us!