As of today, GigPress is owned by/under the stewardship of/has all of its hopes and dreams resting with the good people at Modern Tribe, Inc. Other than that, everything is pretty much staying the same. You can stop reading here if you’re incredibly important and busy.
The heart-breaking story of a code baby
The world of WordPress in 2007 was very different than it was today. It was newer and much smaller (it certainly was not powering 26% of the internet), but as designer and developer with only static HTML websites under my belt, it was a great entry point to building dynamic, content-managed websites, so I dove in.
In those days I primarily designed and built small websites for bands, and they all had one need in common: they needed to list their live shows and tours. The plugin landscape for managing events was grim – my options were either plugins meant for generic event listings that offered almost none of the features a band would typically need (with obtuse management interfaces), or plugins which were poorly-supported and quickly-abandoned. So I read the first few chapters of PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites and wrote GigPress 1.0.
For the next couple of years GigPress was my baby, getting frequent updates with new features, internationalization, custom templates, and much more. But much as GigPress was built because I needed it to exist, so too did it languish when it was no longer essential to me. Eventually I started using other CMS’ more often than not, so my passion and impetus for improving GigPress fell off a cliff.
For several years I kept GigPress alive via mostly bug fixes and compatibility updates. Last year I finally decided that the best hope for bringing my baby from its extended adolescence into adulthood would be to find it a new home. I started poking around, and it didn’t take long to find The Events Calendar and Modern Tribe.
I think the team behind The Events Calendar is a great fit for GigPress for two key reasons.
First, they have years of experience building tightly-executed and finely-focussed features which serve the specific needs of someone managing events in WordPress. Some of the top feature requests for GigPress (syncing Facebook events; calendar views; front-end event filtering; ticket sales) in fact already exist as add-ons to the core Events Calendar product.
Secondly, they are an established company with a long history working with WordPress, and they have a business model that’s sustainable. You can give away your plugin for free all day long, but as soon as you hit a certain scale, support becomes a burden, and creating revenue from plugins in WordPress takes an infrastructure which is prohibitive for many small developers. Modern Tribe has a formula that works, and which can ensure that GigPress stays active and relevant for the long haul rather than slowly dying of neglect.
These folks seem genuinely excited about supporting GigPress users and taking the plugin to the next level (if you’ll pardon my terrible cliché) in the coming years.
But what does it mean for me, the charismatic drummer/webmaster whose band is positive they’ll break big if they can just get that opening slot on next year’s SXSW Party Poppers Hot Wings afternoon stage?
Here’s what this means for the 20,000+ of you who use GigPress on a regular basis:
- GigPress will continue to work as it always has, receive updates, and offer support – only now it will be the folks at Modern Tribe on the other end of terminal as opposed to my pallid visage.
- GigPress as it is today will always be a free, open-source plugin (after all, it can’t really be any other way).
- Eventually, once Modern Tribe is able to make available feature-parity with GigPress, there will probably be an upgrade path to The Events Calendar, or some version of it.
- I think that’s it.
Thanks to everyone who’s used GigPress on an ongoing basis, those who’ve evangelized for it, and also those who’ve thrown a few bucks my way over the years. This tool (GigPress, not me) is in good hands, and it’s only going to get better from here.