Although we’ll call today the “official” launch, we actually (and sneakily) pushed out WP Offload S3 last month, on August 17. We felt late August wasn’t a good time to be promoting a new product, so we held off from blogging, sending emails, or tweeting about it.
If you updated the free version, you might have noticed the new pro upgrade banner in the sidebar. Or if you visited our site, you might have noticed the new “WP Offload S3” item in the navigation. If you haven’t checked out the site for WP Offload S3 yet, check it out now.
It’s been a long road. Iain and I started redesigning and fixing up the free plugin on October 1, 2014. In January this year Ashley joined Iain and they both started hacking away at the pro upgrade and addons. Nine months later, here we are, very happy with what we’ve accomplished, but also relieved to have it out the door.
Iain has already written about our struggles, shedding some light on why it has taken so long. He also published a couple of screencasts along the way, giving a preview of the Assets addon and a preview of the WooCommerce addon. Way back in February, I also gave you a sneak peek of the plugin. Definitely check those out if you missed them.
A quiet launch turned out to be a great idea. It allowed us to get our pricing in front of a few customers and in the first 24 hours, we received lots of emails. People said they’d been waiting for the pro upgrade but the pricing was way out in left field.
We took a step back and compared WP Offload S3 with other plugins that provided similar value. We realized these weren’t just the comments of price sensitive people, they were right. It was overpriced. So we slashed all the prices in half. Since then, we’ve only had one complaint about the pricing and sales have exceeded expectations. Things are going well!
In retrospect, I think it was a mistake to build the pro upgrade and addons all at once. It would have been smarter to keep the scope small, finish the pro upgrade, release it, then work on the addons later. If we had gone that route, I think we would have been able to launch 3-4 months earlier. We could also have gotten feedback from customers earlier, finding out what important features were missing for them, and better prioritize our development.
In addition to continuing to work on WP Migrate DB Pro and WP Offload S3, we’ve started work on a couple of new projects. We aim to keep the scope very tight and push these new projects out sooner than later. The first product will be a prototype for solving the database merging problem that so many people have been asking us for. We intend to get the product in people’s hands early so they can tell us if we’re on the right track.
The second product is a free plugin called WP Offload SES. SES is an acronym for Simple Email Service, Amazon’s super low-cost email sending service. Why are we building this?
- The handful of SES plugins out there don’t meet our quality standards.
- It’s a great compliment to WP Offload S3. If you’re already offloading your Media Library to Amazon, it will be easy to offload email sending to Amazon as well.
- Mandrill just bumped their pricing significantly. You now get 2,000 free trial sends, then it’s $9.95/month. It used to be 12,000 free sends per month. Also the wpMandrill plugin could use a lot of work.
We’re hoping that the free plugin will develop a following and we can build a pro version with valuable features, like tracking opens and clicks and displaying those stats.