That’s right! Advanced Custom Fields (ACF), WP Migrate, WP Offload Media, WP Offload SES, and Better Search Replace are now part of the WP Engine family of products, enhancing their already robust offering for WordPress developers.
10 Years of Delicious Brains
We started building the first release of WP Migrate DB Pro in 2012, so Delicious Brains has been at it for 10 years. And what a wonderful ride it has been.
If you had told me a year ago that we’d be selling Delicious Brains, I would have said you’re crazy. I had thought a lot about selling over the past few years and I just couldn’t see it. I love Delicious Brains, the people, the products, and the company. And a big part of my purpose and meaning in life is derived from my work.
I thought a lot about the question “What would I do if I exited Delicious Brains?” The answer I always came back to was “Start another software company.”
It made no sense to sell my software company (that I love) just to start another one (that I might not). So the answer was clear: I wasn’t selling.
That changed this past December.
What if I could exit the plugin side of the business but keep SpinupWP and continue on with that project and its team? The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea.
In the previous 18 months, we had gone from 10 people to 34. I was now a manager of managers and also directing marketing. Not my strongest areas and I was stretched pretty thin, so not doing my best work. At the same time, I wasn’t spending nearly as much time on SpinupWP as I would have liked.
I explored the idea of hiring a Director of Operations and Director of Marketing to take over those roles so that I could get back to product work, but it was a daunting process that was likely to be long and fraught with dragons.
I pitched the idea of selling the plugins but keeping SpinupWP to my contacts at WP Engine and they were enthusiastic. Fast forward a bit, and here we are.
The Perfect Home
I’ve been an admirer of Jason Cohen’s work since before he started WP Engine. His blog and his talks at MicroConf and Business of Software had a huge impact on my thinking as I built Delicious Brains. I also followed along as he built WP Engine from the ground up, learned from what he shared and was inspired by his journey.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with Jason, Heather Brunner, and other members of WP Engine’s team recently and am very impressed with the individuals as well as the company they’ve built together. It was important to me that our plugins and plugin team go to a great company, and I know we have that in WP Engine.
Plugin Dev & Support Teams
I’ve often said that if for some reason I couldn’t work for a month or more that Iain Poulson would step up and keep Delicious Brains running and thriving without me. He has been with Delicious Brains since the early days, has worked across all the products, and makes sure that things get done that need doing. I’m very happy to say that Iain will be joining WP Engine, overseeing the continued development of ACF. Matt Shaw and Liam Gladdy will continue their work as developers on ACF as well.
Although Kevin Hoffman only joined us last August, he has made a huge impact on WP Migrate and Better Search Replace as product manager. I’m very pleased to say that he will continue that work partnering with Phil Webster and Ahmed Hussein. He will also continue working with Ian Jones and Erik Torsner on WP Offload Media and WP Offload SES.
Support teams for each product will also remain in place and developers will continue to help out in support as issues are escalated to them.
Dale Williams will continue his UI design work across the plugins and our sites team of Ram Ratan Maurya, Sanjucta Ghose, and Ross Wintle will continue their work on our sites.
You can rest assured that not a lot is changing. WP Engine is committed to being good stewards of the plugins in much the same way they have been with other developer-oriented WordPress products they’ve acquired, like Local and the Genesis Framework.
WP Engine will honor ACF Pro lifetime licenses (more on that below) and has no plans to change subscription prices for any of the plugins for the foreseeable future. They will continue investing in and supporting the plugins as we did before.
ACF Pro Lifetime Licenses
ACF Pro subscriptions were introduced in February 2020. Customers who purchased an ACF Pro license prior to that were promised lifetime software updates. WP Engine is committed to honoring ACF lifetime licenses. Lifetime license holders will continue to get all ACF Pro software updates. They won’t be required to pay for version 6.0 or any other major or minor releases in the future. They signed up for updates for life and WP Engine will continue to deliver on that promise.
A New Chapter
I couldn’t be happier to have found such an excellent home for the plugins and I’m looking forward to helping transition both the plugins and members of my team to WP Engine over the coming months. Still, there is a tinge of sadness as a 10-year-long journey begins to come to a close.
Iain, Jonesy, and Matt in particular have been a big part of my life for the past decade. I’m grateful for our friendships and the excellent work they’ve done over the years. I will miss working with them, but at the same time, I’m excited for the opportunities ahead.
I would like to thank our awesome plugin customers and the awesome WordPress developer community who I’ve had the pleasure of serving over the past decade. I hope to see many of you as SpinupWP customers going forward. In case it wasn’t clear above, I’m keeping SpinupWP and the SpinupWP team. It was not part of the WP Engine acquisition. After ensuring a smooth transition of the plugins and plugin team to WP Engine, I’ll be focusing full-time on SpinupWP going forward.
If you have any questions for me, I’ll do my best to answer them in the comments below or on Twitter.
Iain and I will be kicking around Porto for WordCamp Europe with a few other members of the team if you’d like to talk to either of us in person over the next few days.
Check out WP Engine’s press release and blog post, as well as the Press This podcast I recorded with David Vogelpohl and Jason Cohen for more on this announcement.