It has been just over 7 months since we took over the Exchange project from iThemes and rebranded as ExchangeWP. Looking back on that time we could have made a dozen different decisions that might not put us in the place we are today.
When my wife and I made the decision to take on the work of continuing the ExchangeWP project, we knew that we weren’t going to be able to keep ExchangeWP going without being able to turn a profit. And having started several businesses before, I knew that being bootstrapped and setting a timeline was the only way to ensure we didn’t get above our heads.
We quickly hired some contractors to help us with support and some simple migration work. We took on building all of our automated processes, putting together a shopping cart and so forth. We even spent money on marketing, lawyers and everything we needed to get the business up and running.
That runway though has dried up and we have still not been able to turn a profit. We were barely breaking even. We took another month that put us deeper (the business) in the red to try and prolong the tough decision a bit more. During this time we spent some cycles trying to find a partner to help keep ExchangeWP going. We also spent some time understanding the pending GDPR compliance.
Unfortunately, the decision we were faced with is that we can no longer continue to run ExchangeWP. We have tried many ways to keep ExchangeWP going, but we are out of options at this point.
The good news is that we believe the best path to move forward is to completely open-source ExchangeWP. If it is going to continue, it needs to have a community behind it. Not just a user community, but also a developer community.
Let me try to answer some of the questions we know you’ll have.
What does this mean for the future of ExchangeWP?
As a customer, you will no longer get updates and no longer have the ability to download the plugins from ExchangeWP.com< Instead, you will need to head over to Github to download them.
I recently purchased ExchangeWP, what do I do now?
If you have purchased within the last 14 days, please let reply and we will make arrangements. If your purchase was over 14 days ago, I am sorry but there are no refunds at that point.
I am a developer, can I help contribute to ExchangeWP to keep it alive?
Absolutely! If ExchangeWP is going to continue, we need all the help it can get. Contact me and we’ll get you immediate GitHub access so you can start looking over the code.
What type of support can I get moving forward?
You can get support by visiting the Github Project page and opening up an issue. There, the community and help to answer your questions.
What alternatives are there to ExchangeWP?
WooCommerce is the biggest and best eCommerce solution when keeping it within WordPress. Easy Digital Downloads is another. If you are looking at doing something small, you could always look at WP Simple Pay, or even Gumroad.
What happens to my customer information?
Because no one is taking ownership of ExchangeWP, the company, the data will be removed from our servers over the coming weeks. Any subscriptions will be removed and more importantly, your accounts on the ExchangeWP website, will no longer be active. This will happen on May 25th.
Will ExchangeWP continue to work?
Yes. ExchangeWP will continue to work. However, there will be no more automatic updates. Any further development on ExchangeWP will depend on the community that helps to take it over. If you are a developer and are up for the challenge, I encourage you to visit the Github project and help take the reins.
I want to thank you for taking a chance on us. We helped to prolong the life of ExchangeWP and hope to see it continue. It has been fun to get to know some of you on a personal level as we’ve met up at WordCamps or online in other places.
I will continue to have my team be available through May 25th to help answer questions. We will be updating this page with links to the Github Account, so you can help continue ExchangeWP or get updates, should any updates continue to come out.