What I learned experimenting with managing my own WordPress server.
TL;DR — I used to shy away from managing my own server, but with experimentation I got more comfortable with it and now manage my own server. I wouldn’t call myself a sys admin. Sure I know my way around a Linux box pretty well, but there’s a lot I don’t know. I don’t spend my days managing servers, so I don’t read up on the latest trends and or security news. I know of a few things that I don’t know, but really I’m most afraid of what I don’t know that I don’t know.
When I first setup WP App Store, I didn’t even consider hosting it myself. At the time, Stripe was not available in Canada, so I had to pass credit card information through the app. That meant I needed PCI compliant web hosting. Even more reason to not host it myself!
After bouncing between a few different hosting solutions that I wasn’t happy with, I finally found out that Amazon EC2 could be setup as PCI compliant and so I went to oDesk and hired a sys admin specializing in Amazon Web Services to set it up. I kept him on retainer to monitor the server and keep it up-to-date.
At the same time, I decided to challenge myself and setup an EC2 instance to host this blog. I dug into the server that the sys admin had setup and
Brad Touesnard's story of growing and eventually selling WP App Store.
About a month ago I posted WP App Store for sale on Flippa. And today I’m very happy to announce that Iain Poulson (aka @polevaultweb) will be taking over the project. Iain is a great WordPress developer with some excellent design skills. If you don’t already know Iain, just take a look at his website and dig into his Instagrate project and I’m sure you’ll agree.
Iain is planning to keep running the mailing list as it is now, sending out great deals on quality WordPress products. He is also planning to put more effort into marketing and growing the mailing list. Check out his blog post for the details in his own words.
When I rebooted WP App Store as a mailing list 7 months ago, I made it clear that it was an experiment. I wouldn’t call the experiment a raging success, but it certainly hasn’t been a failure either. I simply lost my passion for the project and it became a chore I didn’t have time for. I decided it needed someone new that was excited about the opportunity to push it forward.
I’m really looking forward to following along as Iain takes over the experiment and makes it his own. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend signing up for the WP App Store mailing list and following
In Defense of Universal Product Support
A friend once told me a story about a roommate he had that was never around. But he’d show up once in a while, turn on the hot water, and leave it running. He said he was paying for hot water so he was making sure he was getting his share. When it comes to sharing costs people are funny (and not ha ha funny).
Let’s say you purchase a product that includes support. But you don’t use support. You’ll never send a support request. You feel like you’re paying for something you’re not going to use. And maybe you feel that you shouldn’t have to subsidize the cost for other people. Maybe you even send emails to support just to get your fair share.
Thing is, people who think they’ll never use support often do. People have told me they’ll never use support, only to send me a support request a few weeks later. You just can’t predict when you’re going to need support. You may feel that you’re an expert and that you’ll never need to reach out for help. But sometimes you’re having a bad day, get stuck, or you’re in a time crunch. Sometimes you just need to send that email. And that’s what you’re paying for. You’re paying for insurance. You’re paying for peace of mind. A safety net that’s there when
WP App Store failed because I failed to get it into people’s WordPress dashboards, it didn’t really solve any painful problem, and there aren’t enough quality commercial plugins yet. But I pivoted a while ago and now have a thriving new business. WP App Store has been rebooted as a mailing list for deals on WordPress products. In May last year I launched WP App Store, a marketplace built-into