At the end of May, we will be launching phplist.org, a brand new website which will upgrade the current community site and all community resources including forums, documentation, download and blog. The new site will be focused (like a laser beam) on the phpList community, including all self-hosted and self-service resources. There will be room for the community to grow, and to develop and express it’s identity as an entity distinct from phpList ltd.
phpList.com will become a service-only website, with what was formerly known as phpList hosted being re-branded as simply phpList.com. This will give phpList Ltd its own focus, and position it more clearly as a hosting and services provider.
Why this change is needed
The proposed launch date for phplist.org will coincide with phpList’s 15th birthday. phpList was trailblazing both as Open Source software and as email newsletter software back when I was dancing to Britney’s “Oops!… I Did It Again” at the school disco.
Over all those years, a lot has changed. The Open Source movement has staked the internet as it’s natural territory and Open Source tools, CMS’s in particular, have gone from strength to strength: this has lead to a wide spread can-do mentality among users. Combine that empowerment with cheap access to shared-hosting, and we find that many every-day folk are running their own web software.
Therefore, in today’s world, both expertly managed hosted solutions and active, well equipped communities have become an issue of brand definition and protection as much as anything else. We, the phpList community, need to make sure that all phpList users have the best possible experience of the software.
However, since the launch of phpList hosting on phpList.com, known initially as “phpList Hosted”, we have witnessed increasing confusion among potential phpList users. The user-base has certainly broadened, but many of this new audience find even the concepts “download version” and “hosted version” bewildering.
The aims of this transition
By organizing our collective phpList brand across two websites, we aim to:
- Enable potential users to make a clear choice about which solution suits their skills and needs best, therefore improving the user experience.
- Encourage an understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of each method of hosting.
- Simplify information and tools: show not tell.
- Create space for future projects and economies within the community, such an improved plug-in store.
Familiar territory: Familiar tools
You will recognise this .com .org arrangement from other open Source projects, for example WordPress.org and WordPress.com; Piwik.org and Piwik.pro; Owncloud.org and Owncloud.com; mongodb.org and mongodb.com. and many more.
The new website will be built in WordPress, with Discourse for the forums and Mailing Lists. Both of these tools make getting involved as simple as possible. We will continue to work to our community mission statement:
“Together, we are creating a powerful, reliable and flexible mass-email marketing tool called phpList. We use Open Source methods and technology and aim to contribute to the wider Open Source community.”
I have spoken to many regular contributors in person already, apologies to those I have not managed to contact or meet with yet. If you would like to discuss this change with me in person, please email me to arrange a time. You can also post a comment below.
We are currently working to carefully choose categories for our new forums. If you would like to help us get this right please contact me to join in on the testing and feedback process.
phpList Community Manager