VersionPress 3.0, released this week, is the first version since the plugin became a free, open source project. Creators Borek Bernard and Jan Voráček, who originally attempted to crowdfund the project and then raised $400,000 in seed funding, announced last month that they are transitioning to a public development model.
The team’s goal with this release was to polish up the experience of using VersionPress in the default WordPress installation while adding more useful features. However, it is not yet ready for use in production, according to Bernard.
“We’re still keeping VersionPress in the “early access” period, because of the third party plugins integration story but on simpler sites, VersionPress already shines,” he said.
One of the most notable new features in VersionPress 3.0 is the plugin’s ability to track commits with the environment where they were created. Users can view changes in the admin and easily see if they were pushed to the staging or production environment.
Version 3.0 also adds searching capabilities for filtering commits by author, date, commit message, and WordPress action. This release also includes a new bulk undo feature for commits and many improvements to the core versioning engine.
One of the reasons the VersionPress team decided to go with a public development model was to mitigate the plugin’s conflicts with third-party themes and plugins. This was only possible if the opened up the codebase for contribution from other developers.
“While we had most of the WordPress core covered pretty well, there was still this huge ecosystem of WordPress plugins and themes that could cause trouble to VersionPress in million different ways,” Borek said. “In the long run, the project had to turn into OSS should it be successful, and, fortunately, we met investors who understood this and supported our vision.”
Borek and the team plan to focus on adding support for complex third party plugins in version 4.0, tentatively scheduled for mid-2016. One commenter on the post mentioned that a lack of WooCommerce support is a major thing holding him back from using VersionPress on projects. Borek confirmed that WooCommerce is high on their list of plugins they want to support.
“Our goal remains the same: to take all the incredibly powerful functionality of Git and package it so that every WordPress user can use it,” Borek said.
Since most site owners interested in this plugin are not running vanilla installations of WordPress, support for third party plugins will be a major leap forward for the project with the potential to greatly expand its user base. Check out VersionPress’ roadmap to follow along with its progress and see what’s next.