Is It Possible To Build a Successful WordPress Business With A Totally Free Core Product?

#721 WP-Tonic This Week in WordPress & SaaS, We Interview Dennis Dornon, Brand Manager and Co-founder of MainWP

More About Dennis

I’m always trying to find the right work-life balance, so when I’m not working on MainWP, I’m a husband to a wonderful and incredibly patient woman and father to three amazing children.

When I do find free time, it’s at the beach or chasing the younger ones around the backyard.

Even though I am the co-founder of MainWP I am neither a coder nor a designer. I develop ideas and help connect all the moving parts to create software that allows other WordPress enthusiasts.

Main Questions of The Interview

#1 – Dennis, can you give us some more detailed background info on how you got into the semi-crazy world of web development, mainly WordPress, compared to your initial intro?

#2 – So you have a robust free plugin/platform, and then you sell paid add-ons, so based on your experience, what are the good and bad things connected to this particular business model?

#3 – You seem to use partnerships connected to third-party interrogations into your central plugin/platform as a critical way of adding value and marketing MainWP; what are some key things you have learned connected to building these partnerships?

#4 – Is MainWP entirely bootstrapped, or have you taken angle investment, or is it a mixture of both what are some of your plans connected to growing MainWP?

#5 – So if you had a time machine and you could go back to the beginning of developing MainWP what would you tell yourself that would be really helpful?

#6 – What are some of the people and companies in the WordPress or SaaS area that you admire the most connected to how they run their businesses?

This Week Show’s Sponsors

Sensei LMS: Sensei LMS

BlogVault: BlogVault

WS Form: WS Form

LaunchFlows: LaunchFlows Focuswp

Episode Transcript

Length: 35:25

Intro: Welcome to the WP-Tonic this week in WordPress and SaaS podcast, where Jonathan Denwood interviews the leading experts in WordPress, eLearning, and online marketing to help WordPress professionals launch their own SaaS.

Jonathan Denwood: Welcome back, folks, to the WP-Tonic show this week in WordPress and SaaS, we have a great guest, I have my co-host, he’s recovering from a back injury, but he looks better, actually. He does look a bit better, actually, he’s more his normal self. I’m not sure that’s, totally, good news for me, though, but there we go. We will find out. Our guest is Dennis Dornon. And Dennis, would you like to quickly give us a quick intro, Dennis?

Dennis Dornon: Sure. Yeah. Hi, everyone, I’m Dennis Dornan, husband and father to three children. I currently live in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Some of you may know me as the guy behind the MainWP team. But for those of you who don’t, I’m the co-founder of MainWP, the company responsible for the first fully private, self-hosted and open-source WordPress management plugin.

Jonathan Denwood: And it’s a very good one. Yeah, that’s great. And I have my great co-host, Andrew Palmer. Andrew, would you like to give a quick intro to anybody new?

Andrew Palmer: Hi, I’m Andrew Palmer from, we help people write where they work in WordPress with an AI copywriting assistant.

Jonathan Denwood: Okay. That’s great.

Andrew Palmer: And we love Yoast.

Jonathan Denwood: Yeah. He says that every show, folks. I’m not sure if he likes me, though. So, before we go into the main part of the, sometimes he does, sometimes he wants to kill me.

Andrew Palmer: Sometimes.

Jonathan Denwood: Before we go into the main part of the show, I have a couple of messages from a couple of major sponsors. We’ll be back in a few moments.

Ad: Are you looking for ways to make your content more engaging? Sensei LMS by Automattic is the original WordPress solution for creating and selling online courses. Sensei’s new interactive blocks can be added to any WordPress page or post. For example, interactive videos let you pause videos and display quizzes, lead generation forms, surveys, and more. For a 20% off discount for the tribe, just use the code wptonic, all one word, when checking out and give Sensei a try today.

Ad: The importance of backing up your WordPress website cannot be emphasized enough. We use BlogVault to help us do this on a daily basis; with free staging, migrations, and on the pro plans, malware scanning, and auto-fix, BlogVault is the professional’s choice when managing just one website or many. Go to and see for yourself, you seriously won’t find a better, more complete solution. That’s,

Jonathan Denwood: We’re coming back. I’d like to point out that we have some great offers from the sponsors. We have some recommendations of some of the best plugins and services for WordPress SaaS entrepreneurs, power users, to get all this great advice and goodies, just go over to wp-tonic/recommendations, wp-tonic/recommendations, and it’s all listed on that page. So, Dennis, so can you give us a quick outline of how you got into the semi-crazy world of web development, specifically, WordPress, and then, how did it lead to you deciding to start and develop MainWP?

Dennis Dornon: Sure. Before the MainWP plugin, I was, really, all over the place from working at AT&T Wireless, Sprint Cellular, being a busboy at a restaurant and even a car salesman. While I was working as a car salesman, I started a car dealership review website that I was later able to sell and transition into a marketing agency, and then, from a marketing agency, I became a full-time affiliate marketer. At that time I was just using simple PHP, Dreamweaver, building basic PHP sites. And I had a couple of hundred locally-focused automotive-based lead generation websites.

And, really, just inserting word changes into a file that changed the name of the site, manufacturer, models, things like that. And they’re very cookie cutter, but then, Google started cracking down on cookie cutter websites and that’s when I, really, dug into WordPress, and once I dug into WordPress, I was able to make better websites that looked better and weren’t as cookie cutter. But they were much harder to maintain than the ones I was just making with PHP. But once I got into word WordPress, I quickly put up almost another hundred sites, and I realized that, even though, these sites were better looking and more unique, they were much more painful to maintain.

And after some time I became close friends with Chris, another affiliate marketer who was also using WordPress, and he became the co-founder of MainWP, when we saw that affiliates, such as ourselves, need an affordable solution to maintain hundreds of sites in order to increase our profit margins. And there were similar products on the market, but as an affiliate marketer, we didn’t think they were private enough. I don’t know if you guys know about being an affiliate marketer back in 2009, 2010, but it was, really, a tinfoil hat time, you didn’t want anybody to know where your money sites were.

Andrew Palmer: Yeah.

Dennis Dornon: Exactly. And that is, really, the seed for our privacy’s focus, the paranoia that someone will find your niche and start exploiting it too. And our competitors that we currently have, they already existed when we moved into this space, they were well-established.

Jonathan Denwood: Oh, Dennis. Dennis, I’m sorry to interrupt, but linking hardcore affiliates with paranoia, I would never do that, Dennis.

Dennis Dornon: Oh, it was a crazy time. It, actually, feels weird, to me, to be open about how we run our business, because, back then, you just didn’t say anything. And we felt that there were enough other affiliates that we had met over time that we would be able to find acceptance in this. And we were, and happily, it turns out we were right. People did want the privacy focus; they did want nothing to be sent over to us, where we could find out what their niche was.

Jonathan Denwood: Right. That’s great. Over to you, Andrew.

Andrew Palmer: Well, I think the lovely thing about it is that it’s self-hosted, right? So, I download it, I install it, I can put a strong firewall on it if I want to, I know that the security aspects are pretty much built-in, anyway. And it’s mine; it feels as though it’s mine, that’s the lovely thing about MainWP. And I totally get the, you came into the website building world from PHP, or just building cookie cutter websites with Dreamweaver and HTML and open-source wasn’t, really, in your mind, so it must be a, really, weird feeling to know that people can fork MainWP, or they can fork any of your stuff.

But the question here, effectively, it’s, really, powerful, it’s a free plugin and a platform, and you monetize it by selling the add-ons. How did that feel when you were or what has the experience been to, actually, give something away for free that you’ve built? How’s that make you feel, knowing that people can use the basic version forever for nothing?

Dennis Dornon: Well, that, actually, makes me happy, and to go back to what you mentioned before. At first, because of affiliate marketer paranoia, when we first released it, I, really, thought it was going to be forked 10 times, we wouldn’t have a business, and it’ll be all done. But we haven’t run into that, you have those GPL clubs that, of course, give everything away for free.

Andrew Palmer: Sure.

Dennis Dornon: But since we’re open-source and we’re GPL ourselves, we can’t do anything about that, you just have to accept that as part of your business.

Andrew Palmer: Yeah.

Dennis Dornon: But at the end, we did choose the freemium model, specifically, because it is easier to get a large audience, it’s just easier to make more noise in the community and generate more leads. And, as you mentioned, as we’re self-hosted, the freedom made sense because our costs for new users are, basically, free. Whereas, say a SaaS solution, you have a defined cost for every free users and if users don’t upgrade, it hurts you.

Andrew Palmer: Sure.

Dennis Dornor: Yeah. So, each SaaS, you know with Bertha AI, you have to evaluate every free thing you add, make sure it’s not going to put you under. Where we can keep releasing things for free.

Andrew Palmer: No, exactly. Yeah, we give away a thousand words a month and it could kill us, but we’ve worked out that it won’t, actually, kill us. It might wound us slightly, we might end up limping. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with my back. But I’ll leave the next one with Jonathan. Jonathan, over to you, mate.

Jonathan Denwood: That was funny. I just want to ask a follow-up question about, obviously, your main product is free. You’ve gone the premier add-on model, a friend of mine, Chris, from LifterLMS, utilizes that model very successfully. But it has its peculiarities; it is a peculiar model, very linked to WordPress or open-source projects, isn’t it? Have there been any things you’ve learned that you would like to point out that you didn’t realize about that model after you decided to base your business model on it?

Dennis Dornon: Well, when we first got into some of the basic things, especially, if you want to get into It’s nice to be in because it’s an easy touch-point, especially, for people that we’re trying to attract; we’re not trying to attract new WordPress users, that’s not, really, our market. Our market is WordPress users that are used to doing things. So, we’re able to just put all that on and users are able to see what you do, they’re able to see reviews and those reviews are from a trusted source, which just gives you a nice little jumpstart.

But I’m not saying there are not some negatives on being on too. You lose some valuable user data, like, if they came to your site. We don’t have any of that information. You also don’t own the client; I couldn’t, really, think of a better way to put that, own the client. Unless they choose to interact with you. And there are some other things I don’t, really, consider negatives, but just things that you need to be aware of before launching a plugin at org.

First you need to maintain at least one support channel on .org and it needs to be top-notch since it’s public facing. So, anybody’s going to know if you’re bad at support. So, you have to be on top of that right from the get-go. And you also need to stay within the rule set if you want to build there, because they can kick you off at any time. And, as I mentioned, earlier about reviews, you, really, need to stay on top of those reviews because if those go south, it’s going to present you in a much negative light.

Jonathan Denwood: Right. The next question about working with third-party services and plugins in the WordPress ecosystem. I, actually, know Vito, obviously. Andrew is in business with Vito, but I’m not sure if Vito would deny this, but I think over a year ago, I suggested to Vito that he should approach you. And I suggested that it was an excellent partnership and I thought he had just thought about it, and then, it came across that Vito and his company had partnered with you.

But can you give some insight; has it been a major element of expanding your company and these third-party partnerships? And if, yes, have you got any advice and insights around that, Dennis?

Dennis Dornon: I just want to clear up a little bit here with the third-party partnerships, because it does look like we have a lot and that’s not, really, correct. We have about 10 third-party partnerships, but a lot of the things you see on us, we, actually, just starting getting more into partnerships. The early extension integrations were written by us to provide our users with plugins they wanted to be able to control directly from the dashboard. If I can give an example, we knew the Wordfence plugin was popular among our users from the feedback we’d gathered, so we wanted them to be able to easily manage it.

You’ve all used WordPress, so just imagine this, particular, plugin has lots of options, settings, let’s say each site takes three minutes to update; the average MainWP user has 50 sites. So, that takes you about two and a half hours, if you wanted to set up Wordfence on all 50 sites, and that’s a large chunk of your working day. And I would say those are more one-way partnerships, since we, of course, promote the plugins we now integrated with over other plugins.

Andrew Palmer: Sure.

Dennis Dornon: But back in September of 2020, we started focusing on how to provide other developers with an easy way to integrate with us, instead of us doing the bulk of the work. This change back then, included adding over 500 hooks for people to hook their plugging into, co-documentation on, and a bit later, we developed the REST API that made the partnership with Vito and Atarim possible.

Andrew Palmer: Yeah, it’s a perfect marriage that one. Because it’s two management platforms, one for maintaining sites, making sure they’re secure, making sure they’re updated and one for client collaboration as well, within almost making a new platform, so it’s a great integration. Yes, I do know Vito very well. I helped him with the marketing of WP FeedBack and, yes, he’s co-founder of and I was an early adopter of Atarim as well. Which I have to say I, actually, paid for, he’s never paid me back, but nevermind

Dennis Dornon: That’s funny; I’m still paying for it now.

Andrew Palmer: Yeah, I’m still paying for it now.

Jonathan Denwood: He’s not the keenest on discounts, is he?

Andrew Palmer: I have a lifetime membership, so it’s not a problem. One of the questions that we all have to ask, looking at your support or looking at your plugin downloads from, is that the true figure, 500,000 or does that change when people upgrade to the pro version, do you lose your users on So secondary question with that; that’s a lot of support or a lot of potential support that you’re getting involved there, with a half a million users, how have you scaled up, have you done it out of your back pocket, out of sales, or have you had some investment?

Dennis Dornon: No, we haven’t had any investment, I’m happy to say we’re fully bootstrapped. Which means we’re not beholden to anybody but the MainWP users. And we’re debt-free too. The MainWP team and users are the only ones making any decisions and plans when it comes to MainWP. But you know how it goes with plans, you make some, can’t stick to it, the market changes, things like that. A lot of times we’d often say we’re going with project A and end up building project D instead because of the way the market changed. But, no, we have not taken any investment. Yeah, that’s what I [Inaudible – 16:21].

Andrew Palmer: But it’s tough, though, people emailing you all the time, I know that I get emails from venture capitalists about Bertha and I meet with them and everything, and I’m not sure that it’s the right way to go for investment. But a lot of plugin developers are going out there and saying, I’m sick of being bootstrapped, I need extra money to do this, this, and this, or to steal a march on my competitors and stuff. But you’ve managed to do that from the get-go, you’ve managed to bootstrap it and make sure that it’s a stable product. What’s your crew looking like? How many people you got working with you?

Dennis Dornon: We have seven that are full-time, and then, we have a couple of part-time writers. The majority of our team is support. I’m very keen on giving support, we do not charge for support, even our free users get the same type of support, we try and get people to go to our own support forum. We don’t have any, kind of, Facebook presence as far as support, there’s a MainWP user group, but that’s not controlled by us. We want people to go to managers.mainwp to get answers, and they can even submit a ticket.

We, really, believe in support, we just want to make sure that when somebody gets into MainWP, if they’re running into problems, they can come directly to us, they don’t have to pay extra to get support, they don’t have to wait, we try and have a quick turnaround time, especially, during business hours. But the majority of our staff is support staff, so we have people answering tickets; we have people that the public-facing people that you see in the forum, they do jump to different Facebook groups when it’s needed.

But that’s, really, what we’re focused on, keeping people happy, and I, really, think one of the things that help us grow is because people are free, they’re getting the free product, they’re not expecting amazing support, and we give them amazing support. And next thing you know, they’re upgrading to pro and we’re able to keep going.

Andrew Palmer: Yeah. Yeah. I had a guy the other day that, literally, went pro because of the support we gave him, and there was nothing wrong with the plugin per se, but he said your support has been so excellent, it was a hosting issue and APIs and things like that, which we fixed for him. But he, actually, upgraded to pro to say thank you for the great support, which is a great thing. Alright, Jonny, over to you mate.

Jonathan Denwood: Oh, thanks.

Dennis Dornon: We, actually, see that a lot. The upgrade from support. Yeah.

Jonathan Denwood: Oh, thanks. It’s time for our middle break, folks. We’ll be back in a few moments.

Ad: Build next generation WordPress forms with WS Form, the only fully responsive no code form plugin. Choose from over 60 feature-rich field types, conditional logic, repeaters, calculations, and more than 65 integrations to build intuitive, accessible forms. Upgrade your form plugin today at Use coupon code wp-tonic for 20% off any WS Form edition.

Ad: Hey, it’s Spence from If you’ve been looking for a fast and easy way to create powerful sales funnels on WordPress, then, look no further than LaunchFlows. In just minutes, you can easily create instant registration, upsells, down-sells, order bumps, one-click checkouts, one-time offers, custom thank you pages, and best of all, no coding is required. For as little as $50 per year, you can own and control your entire sales funnel machine with LaunchFlows. Get your copy today.

Ad: Hey, tribe, are you trying to scale your agency, but struggling to find time to work on your business because you’re always stuck working in your business? Head over to, where you can subscribe to an instant team of white-label geeks and creatives to delegate to; use code wp-tonic for a special discount just for the tribe. With FocusWP, you don’t have to worry about hiring, firing, or any other HR nightmares, just submit a ticket and your new team will dive in. Focus on what you love, outsource the rest.

Jonathan Denwood: We’re coming back. I just want to point out; I do a weekly newsletter, the WP-Tonic Newsletter. We discuss the Friday round table main stories, plus I write an editorial. I’d also like to say that some of the panel will be adding their own articles to the newsletter and anybody that joins us on the live feed, regularly, will be open to contribute to the newsletter as well. So, if that sounds interesting, go to the WP-Tonic and you can outreach directly or on the WP-Tonic Facebook group page. You want to join that as well.

So, I just want to follow through the last part of the first half. I see a lot of people say they shouldn’t take any venture capital, they want to bootstrap it. I think bootstrapping to the right stage, really, helps, because the more you can bootstrap it, the less equity you have to give somebody. And also, I think there are all different types of angel investment, VC money, I know Rob Walling quite well, him and his wife, from TinySeed, and I think they’re excellent partners. Do you regret or are you always re-looking at your position about taking any external investment or don’t you think it would, really, help your company and where you want to take it anyway, Dennis?

Dennis Dornon: I like to be in control. We’ve had a couple of offers to be bought out. We haven’t had, really, any investment offers. But even with just being bought out, I would lose control, and one of the things, even though, I don’t get out and talk to the community as much as I should, I still want to be in control of what we do and I do read what our people are saying and we do keep track on the feedback form. So, it’s not anything I’ve searched out and it’s not, really, anything we’ve been offered with a partial, just giving us money, that hasn’t happened. The only thing we’ve, really, gotten is full-on buyout offers.

Jonathan Denwood: Alright.

Andrew Palmer: Yeah, sure. They come along thick and fast as well. I sold Elegant Marketplace to InMotion hosting and it took them three years, three questions; they asked me once a year and in the third year I went, yeah, go on then, so let’s have a chat about it. So, it’s a tough decision to make, depends on what your exit plans are. We’re all entrepreneurs here, we all like to think that we can build businesses, my philosophy has always been to build it, grow it, sell it, with any business I’ve had.

So, it depends on what your attitude is, but you’re, obviously, very happy with doing what you’re doing and you don’t, really, want to get rid of it, and you’re young enough to carry on with it. And also, the thought is, well, I could sell it, but what am I going to do? What do I do next? And if you haven’t got that next plan in your brain, you just don’t know what you’re doing, so you don’t know what you want to do.

So, basically, if you had a time machine and you went back to the beginning of developing MainWP, what would you tell yourself that would be, really, helpful knowing what you know now? Almost asking your 13 year old self, what’s going on, Dennis and what have I learned and what can I teach my pre-MainWP Dennis Dornon?

Dennis Dornon: We’ve been doing this for so long; I’ve made hundreds of mistakes. But the two that, probably, bother me every day now would be, I would tell myself to get out and talk with the WordPress community more. I’m just shy by nature. And, of course, as a non-coder and non-designer, the imposter syndrome that we all, really, have has stuck with me and it’s, really, kept me from reaching out and I should have been doing interviews like these years ago. I just wasn’t ready to get out there and trying to shut the word community up.

Jonathan Denwood: You seem very friendly, Dennis.

Dennis Dornon: Thanks. But it’s one of those things where you don’t know if you’re going to say the wrong thing.

Andrew Palmer: So, do you go to WordCamps or have you attended WordCamps?

Dennis Dornon: We’ve sponsored a few and I’ve been to a few. I didn’t talk to anybody, so they weren’t money-makers for us, because I would just sit behind the table, we were sponsoring and handout whatever swag we were handing out. And it just wasn’t wasn’t for me, I’m perfectly happy just staying in my office all the time and not, really, talking to anybody.

Andrew Palmer: Even though, I get that, people don’t believe that I’m, actually, shy, but I am. I remember I wandered into a meeting with one person, and then, he said, oh, Great, you’re here, Andy. And it was when I was doing printing. And he took me into the boardroom, we’re just doing our budget for the next year, and we all want to talk to you about the printing budget. I’d been in printing for six weeks. So, you can imagine, I was like a rabbit in the headlights.

So, I understand the shyness and the not being able to communicate what you want to communicate at events, or when you’re doing a live speaking or stuff like that. I get it. I, actually get it. And the imposter syndrome, well, you, really, don’t need to know about that. I’m not a coder by nature, I have a few plugins. Jonathan’s not a coded by nature, he’s built a lovely business in LMS.

Jonathan Denwood: I, actually, was, Andrew. I, actually, was an active developer. Shock aura.

Andrew Palmer: Were you? I’m going to have to get you on board with me then, I need another developer.

Jonathan Denwood: I haven’t actively coded apart from messing up my own website for about five years, but for about six to seven years, I was an active developer.

Andrew Palmer: Yeah. I think, depending on what level it is, but I, certainly, used Dreamweaver in the beginning. I was building websites for Netscape, that’s how old I am. I learned HTML, I went to night school to learn HTML while I was doing printing, because I saw the future of the web, but don’t worry about your imposter syndrome, you’re a successful businessman and that’s all you need to know, really.

Dennis Dornon: And it’s just hard to know what you’re going to talk about in those, particular, situations. I did know a little bit of coding when I was with AT&T Wireless, I learned ColdFusion for a minute, and then, lost all that.

Andrew Palmer: Yeah.

Jonathan Denwood: By the reaction of both of you, Code Fusion, was it appropriately named, Code Fusion?

Andrew Palmer: Cold Fusion, where you used to go out.

Jonathan Denwood: Oh, ColdFusion.

Andrew Palmer: Cold, it’s ColdFusion.

Jonathan Denwood: I thought you said Code Fusion.

Andrew Palmer: Actually, it wasn’t. Yeah, you had to code as well, but it was almost a precursor to a page builder, wasn’t it? There was a bit of page building stuff going in at CMS and all that, kind of, stuff, but it was, yeah, it was quite complex and quite heavy. It’s the Flash days; we all have to learn a little bit of Flash and stuff like that. So, yeah, coding is, I’m glad it’s behind me now, what I can do. What I’m glad about that I did do a little bit of coding is that I can spot a little syntax error or a dropped forward slash or a dropped bracket or not closing a comment properly within CSS and why it’s caused those or not closing the HTML comment, whatever.

And we spotted one, we had one in Bertha and we couldn’t understand why something was happening. And I just went, well, we haven’t closed the comment down, there’s a chevron missing. So, get on that and it was fixed. So, you can, kind of, feel through your experience, your years of experience, but, really, as business people, as entrepreneurs, we want to think about where we’re taking our businesses. So, what’s the forward or the future for MainWP, what does that include?

Dennis Dornon: We’re going to continue, obviously, upgrading free people. So, we’re going to keep adding new free things, because I think that’s what, really, separates us as MainWP is we’re going to give away as much for free as we can, and we have a pretty big update coming later this month, which will add a whole bunch of more free things for people.

Andrew Palmer: Wow.

Dennis Dornon: And then, I’m also going to keep pushing these third-party integrations like with Vito. We’ve had a lot more reach-out in the last few months, I’m not sure if that’s the economy or what’s changed, but a lot of plugin people are now coming to us and we have a, really, big one coming up in September that was developed completely without our help, a third-party integration, we’re going to help promote them. But I don’t want to give anything away until they’re ready to announce it, but I’m very excited about that. But we’re just going to keep pushing, though.

Andrew Palmer: How do you feel about, I’ve just interrupted you, how do you feel about the Atarim integration? In your mind, did you see the advantages to it or did you think there would be benefits with it? And I know that you did a webinar yesterday, I think it was, and we’re talking on Thursday, the 18th today, but you did a webinar yesterday talking about the integration that Atarim has done with MainWP. How did you feel about that, kind of, situation manifesting itself?

Dennis Dornon: Well, as I was saying earlier, since I am a subscriber, I already knew the product, so I knew it would fit perfectly. One of the best things about that partnership, though, is everything I learned from Vito. Before Vito taught me everything about it, we would just release things, maybe, send an email, we might do a video, but most of the time we didn’t, we just released things and we’d go on to the next thing and, hopefully, our people liked it. We’d get feedback from them in the forums and stuff like that, that they love this new idea, but we didn’t push anything.

Andrew Palmer: Sure. We released it into the world and if you loved it, you loved it, if you hated it, you hated it, it didn’t matter, this is what we were doing. But, now, we’ve learned how to set up timelines, how to correctly work with a partner, things like that, we just learned from Vito, and I couldn’t be happier with the integration. Not only from the standpoint of how it works with MainWP, but from how it’s going to change MainWP overall, going forward just from what I’ve learned.

Andrew Palmer: Just from the marketing perspective and the training.

Dennis Dornon: Exactly.

Andrew Palmer: Exactly. Because people are sponges for knowledge, I get that. So, Jonny, what else? What else we got?

Jonathan Denwood: Yes. Before we wrap it up for the podcast part of the show. So, there’s a lot of flux and discussion about all of this, but I was going to put it, have you looked at, really, providing a SaaS-based, a cloud-based version? Have the stand-alone, you can roll your own, put it on your own server, but also have actual stand-alone SaaS-based version of it for those that don’t want to run it themselves. I would’ve thought there might be two camps there, really.

Dennis Dornon: I think that, really, comes to just knowing your, particular, niche. We might not be for everybody; there are other WordPress managers out there. And I haven’t, really, thought of a SaaS model, I’ve tried thinking of ways that we could provide hosting with the MainWP dashboard already attached to it. A few years ago we tried that with Cloudways, it didn’t, really, have much traction at the time.

So, it’s, kind of, something I’ve stayed away from, because I don’t even want to be tempted to have that information, so if we did anything like that, it would have to be through their own hosting that we would just provide the hosting for them to make sure it was perfect, but I still want it separate. So, it’s one of those middle grounds, where I haven’t, really, dove too much into it because as soon as I start diving into it, we get into, well, I’ll have this additional information. Well, I don’t want that information because that’s not what we’re about. So, I’ve, kind of, just stayed away from it.

Jonathan Denwood: Alright. Fair enough. You know your clients. So, I think we’re going to wrap up the podcast part of the show. Dennis, are you okay to stay on for another 10 minutes? It’s not been that bad, has it, Dennis? It’s not been as bad as a dentist, has it? Because I had the pleasure of that last week and that was extremely painful and extremely expensive. What a combination, tribe? Pain.

Andrew Palmer: Pay for the pain, man. Pay for the pain.

Jonathan Denwood: I used to do that regularly in SoHo, but not the dentist, but there we go. That, kind of, comment gets me into trouble. So, Dennis, how can people find out more about you and MainWP?

Dennis Dornon: You can visit us at and if you’re a developer and want to learn more about how to develop from MainWP, go to

Jonathan Denwood: Alright. And, Andrew, how can people find out about what you’re up to when scheming for that, particular, month?

Andrew Palmer: Well, you can go to, and you can get me on @arniepalmer on Twitter and at berthaai_, and you’ll see what I’m all about.

Jonathan Denwood: He’s always up to something [Inaudibe – 00:34:34] and viewers.

Andrew Palmer: Always, always, always.

Jonathan Denwood: Always planning something. We’re going to wrap up the podcast part of the show. We have some fantastic guests coming up like Dennis, over the next couple months, you’re going to be blown away, I think we have some, really, interesting discussions coming. We’d love you to join us and please tell other people in the WordPress SaaS community, because I’m sure they would learn a lot from our great guests and our discussion. We’ll be back next week. See you soon, folks. Bye.

Outro: Hey, thanks for listening, we, really, do appreciate it. Why not visit the mastermind Facebook group, and also, to keep up with the latest news, click We’ll see you next time.

Sign-up For The WP-Tonic’s Weekly Newsletter

Sign up For WP-Tonic’s Weekly Newsletter, Where You Read The Latest WordPress News & The Best Deals! Join The Tribe?

#721 WP-Tonic This Week in WordPress & SaaS, We Interview Dennis Dornon Brand Manager and Co-founder of MainWP was last modified: by