In another big WordPress acquisition, Newfold Digital just acquired YITH, the development company behind over 100+ WooCommerce plugins (all branded with YITH in the name).
If you’re not familiar with Newfold Digital, it’s the reincarnation of Endurance International Group (EIG) and the parent company behind many of the biggest web hosting services in the world, including Bluehost, HostGator, and many others.
With the acquisition of YITH, we see Newfold Digital expanding even further into the WordPress plugin space.
However, I don’t think this acquisition is just about selling plugins to people.
Instead, I think this is about web hosting. More specifically, the trend toward selling dedicated WooCommerce hosting plans that come bundled with plugins so that people already have everything they need to create a functioning store.
Basically, these hosts are trying to create a more Shopify-like WooCommerce experience by offering a completely managed setup process.
One of the biggest existing examples here is GoDaddy’s WooCommerce hosting plans, which come bundled with a bunch of official WooCommerce extensions at no extra cost. GoDaddy also acquired SkyVerge so that GoDaddy could bundle those plugins in as well.
Liquid Web is also another popular option, as their managed WooCommerce hosting plans come with a number of bundled tools. Liquid Web has also been following a similar strategy and acquiring a lot of WordPress plugins that they can bundle into their services, such as iThemes, Restrict Content Pro, The Events Calendar, Kadence, and more.
Bluehost has already added some bundled extensions to the Bluehost WooCommerce hosting plans. But I would imagine that we’ll be seeing Bluehost customers getting free access to all the YITH WooCommerce plugins sometime soon.
On a broader scale, I also think we’ll continue to see this trend grow, both in the WooCommerce space and in WordPress hosting in general.
Web hosts are looking for ways to differentiate themselves and create more “all in one” WordPress experiences, and these types of acquisitions help them do it.
Note – Newfold Digital says they have no plans to remove any plugins from WordPress.org or change the experience for existing YITH customers. So while I do think Newfold Digital will be looking to integrate YITH with their other brands, I don’t think site owners need to worry about anything right now.
In smaller news, there were also a couple of other notable plugin acquisitions from last month: