Liquid Web has acquired iThemes, in an all-cash deal that includes the entire iThemes team moving over to Liquid Web as an independent unit. Cory Miller — CEO of iThemes — will be the Business Manager of the new unit, with iThemes COO Matt Danner as the Director of Technology and Operations for iThemes. The entire team of twenty-three people is staying on and will continue to be headquartered in Oklahoma.
This is not the first or last time we’ll see longstanding WordPress companies get rolled into large hosting providers. It’s a trend that is natural in any ecosystem as it matures, and iThemes was a clear and quality candidate for a host target. Cory said the culture around Liquid Web, including their “heroic support,” but also the quality he sees in their management team, was a key motivator for them to go work with Liquid Web.
As hosting companies evolve more and more to provide broader services for customers with managed WordPress offerings, there is less room for utility product creators to fill that gap.
Backups are a fine example: customers may see less need for external backups if they have confidence that their hosting is managing backups properly. Security is another. These have been great products for iThemes, and still are — but their current markets are more for hosts without a managed experience, and that slice of the pie has been narrowing.
iThemes has had a partnership with Liquid Web for about a year and a half now, which started by licensing iThemes Sync for Liquid Web’s WordPress hosting offering. They’ve slowly been integrating more features into the platform, and the acquisition will allow Liquid Web to further integrate iThemes’ offerings, and allow iThemes to improve some of their product offerings with the backing of Liquid’s Web’s hosting infrastructure.
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