Developers October 21, 2020

Will anyone be interested in a group that discusses WordPress as a platform for SaaS?

Esteban Saa @steban

Hello everyone. Over the last few months, we built a couple of multi-user, multi tenant SaaS projects using WordPress. I´m wondering if people will be interested in joining a group that discusses WP as a Saas platform, while also getting access to the code we wrote to make it possible. The code will be open source and available once a certain number of members join. There will be a monthly fee to be part of the group. You get support, code updates, and a place to discuss your ideas.

Using WordPress as a platform for Saas means you benefit from WPs security model, updates, and a huge developers community. If you want to launch a SAAS, you write a plugin, load it on our Open Source WordPress Saas platform and you are basically done. You can cut dev time from Weeks/Months to days. The underlying WPSaas platform provides a multi-tenant, multi-user system, that is secure, easy to maintain, and that scales.

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    Esteban, love to hear more about this and contribute/support your work. We're doing exactly this same kind of work right now with numerous clients; transitioning them off of WPMU and into an immutable multitenancy environment on our platform.

    This is the way these things need to go.

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      Thank you for your reply. So you are moving users away from WP into a proprietary system? What we are creating is an open-source system on top of WP to make multi-tenant, multi-user Saas possible, so the other way around.

      If we can get 100 users to join the project we will open-source our code.

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        Our platform facilitates enterprise-ready "self managed" WP hosting on any infrastructure. You can connect to DigitalOcean, Linode, AWS, OVH, anything really.

        This is just one use case that we're currently support, multitenancy as an alternative to WPMU. It's all WP, just not multisite.

        It's "closed source" in the sense that it's the client's codebase which we optimize to work as multitenant. We don't own or share that codebase because it's their creation. We've just made it infinitely scalable.

        They could just as easily take it elsewhere and build it on their own stack. But most people don't have the skill/desire/ambition to go it alone on that side of things.

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          Sounds like the multi-tenant magic of your solution happens at the server level. What we have done is modify the Core of WP so that it can support Saas systems. Basically, users can register to generate an account. And for each account, multiple users can be added. Is all WP code, but as it is now it does need a dedicated server. It does not work with the regular WP hosting services as the core of WP is modified.

          Say you want to create a Mindmaps Saas. All you do is create the Mindmap plugin. Once installed that plugin is available for each of the accounts that register on the site. And for each account created multiple different users can access it. So you can create a Mindmaps Saas (that lets a mindmap be shared and worked by a team of users) in one day. (if the Mindmap plugin is ready).

          Each account registration is well separated from the others, you can have very granular control of things

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    sounds a lot like https://wpengine.com/ . Have you checked it out?

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      Just saw it, but it does not say anything about Multi-tenant, multi-account Saas.

      from their site:
      "Bring your vision to life in breakthrough experiences, built on the best platform for developing and hosting fast, reliable, and secure WordPress sites."

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        Can you give examples of Multi-tenant, multi-account Saas, so I can understand the use case better.

        Over the last few months, we built a couple of multi-user, multi tenant SaaS projects using WordPress.

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            +1 ^^. This it's definitely worth trying! The fact that it's wordpress should not deter it. Infact, I am planning to use wordpress for my next project, which is a significant change from how I did my previous 2 (which failed after lot of effort and months).

            Another option that comes to mind, have you tried listing a general version of your wordpress code on a site like themeforest?

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              Also are there any downsides to sharing infra + db with other projects? Is this competitively priced wrt to building our own wordpress site and hosting on a site like hostgator (which already seems pretty economically like $6/mo)?

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    Sure.

    I'd also be interested in a group that lumps many of those smaller platforms together and has discussions about how to build on top of them. Concrete examples would be CRM platforms like Salesforce and Hubspot. I'm also guessing Google Workspaces (previously G suite) and Microsoft have a bunch of platforms one could build on top of, that might be currently underrepresented here.

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    So what is your solution to build that?

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      What do you mean? I don't understand your question.

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    The company I worked for offered WP as a SaaS integration into our company offering. We build a solution that allowed clients to deploy WP sites with a set of pre determined MU (Must Use) plugins as well as the Elementor page builder.

    A lot of the custom WP plugins we had was built for our stack alone.

    There is 1 big limitation to this, your creating a fixed WP deployment with 0 ability to add plugins and features besides what's offered from the page builder integration. This creates a bit of a hostage situation where clients cant then simple move their deployment over to a new hosting company or studio if they so whish.

    Also our infrastructure used ECS clusters which meant all data was offloaded to S3 like media uploads and site versioning was done using DB backups based on the nature of how Elementor works.

    So there are pros and cons to this... which I am happy to elaborate on.

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