CoPress is closing down operations
After over a year of offering a unique approach to hosting and support for student news organizations, the CoPress team has decided to close down its operations. The decision to do so has been tremendously difficult, but we’ve come to realize that now is the best time for this to happen.
First, we’ve struggled with making our business financially viable while at the same time offering prices that reflect an understanding of the financial situation many student news organizations are in. This is even more apparent in that we’ve had to change our pricing structure twice in the past months.
Secondly, without the revenue to pay our team full-time, we’ve become dependent on the generosity of committed students to offer our 24/7 support. In addition, the nature of our hosting and support business is such that we encouraged publications to tinker as much as they want with their site. What this ultimately meant was a rapidly growing number of emails for us to answer. Needless to say, it’s become difficult to make this scale in any meaningful way. Our eventual goal was to build software for distributed support, but the resources required for hosting and support severely challenged our ability to make headway on the project.
By now, we’ve contacted all of our existing clients about this decision. Because of the way we’ve structured our Managed Hosting since August 2008, the transition for most will be as easy as changing the credit cards on their third-party hosting account. We intend to migrate the other sites from the servers we maintain to third-party hosting services like WebFaction and Slicehost.
Going forward, we also intend to reopen our list serv as a place for the community to ask and respond to more general support questions. We also hope to put together a list of WordPress consultants you can hire to help with more technical issues or extended projects. Lastly, we’re going to open source our database conversion script which makes it a lot easier to get archives of various form into WordPress. If you’re interested in being on this list of consultants, please contact us.
We think that story of CoPress highlights some of the most important needs for college media, and the news industry in general. Primarily, this is a willingness to experiment, iterate, and try new things. As such, we’d plan to post in the coming weeks as much as we can about what we learned along the way with the sincere hope of teaching what lessons we can to the next round of entrepreneurs.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments or contact us privately. We’ll be holding a public Skype conference call that anyone is welcome to join sometime early next week.
On behalf of everyone on the team, I’d like to thank everyone for the support of our efforts. We couldn’t have accomplished any of this without the tireless contributions of too many awesome people in the community to count.
Executive Director, CoPress