How does the LightCMS End of Life affect my website reseller business?

December 5, 2019

You’ve probably heard by now that LightCMS is shutting its doors. After over 10 years of service to designers, marketers, and freelancers looking to build websites for their clients, the platform will cease operation on May 31, 2020.

If you’re like many of our resellers, this announcement isn’t entirely unexpected: the writing has been on the wall for several years now as the product changed hands through a series of acquisitions and effectively became unsupported in early 2018. 

Despite this unsurprising conclusion to the LightCMS story, the “End of Life” notice still likely sent shivers down your spine when it hit your inbox. What are you to do with the dozens of sites you’ve had humming along smoothly in your account for long-time customers who don’t want to or have the budget to migrate to a better solution?

It’s a difficult spot to be in, but it’s not completely uncharted territory. Business Catalyst users around the world encountered the same terrifying notice about their beloved platform in March 2018. I was horrified to hear stories of agencies with hundreds of sites on the platform as they calculated the math of how many sites they’d have to transition per week just to have completed migration before the cutoff.

I was equally surprised, then, to learn that several agencies had a completely different take on this. Despite being disappointed that they’d need to retool their services, workflows and processes with a new solution, these agencies saw the closure as a positive event for the many customers who were due for a redesign anyway. So they didn’t just deliver bad news to their clients – they took it as an opportunity to pitch them on the need for a better site. 

No agency went into the Business Catalyst closure with the idea of making money off of customers who would otherwise be stranded on the platform, but many ended up better off both financially and in their customer relationships as a result. 

For some, the end of LightCMS may be the push you need to transition your own site to a better solution. It may be the prompting that allows you to politely fire an old customer. Or it might be the crucial motivation some of your best clients need to get them moved to a more advanced and flexible website platform. Whatever the case, it certainly doesn’t have to be viewed in a negative light. 

So where should I move my sites?

Great question, and I’d like to think that we’ve built the perfect answer for you in SiteWild. Over the past 22 months, we’ve been crafting a website platform that enables resellers to quickly build modern, responsive, feature-complete websites for their clients. In addition to a bevy of site-building tools, we also provide free SSL, real-time backups, multi-site management, hundreds of starter page templates, a global content-delivery network and predictable pricing that gets cheaper per-site as you grow. 

And perhaps most importantly, considering the topic at hand – we NEVER lock you into using SiteWild. Your content and the sites you build are truly yours. If you ever decide you don’t need us anymore, a client leaves you and wants to take their site with them, you have a site that outgrows the service, or – in the unforeseen event that we get acquired twice and the service gets completely abandoned 🤣 – you’re free to export your sites and take them with you to your own stand-alone WordPress installations. 

I firmly believe an open web is the only viable solution to counteracting the vendor lock-in we’re all experiencing right now, and this necessary openness is at the core of the platform we’ve built at SiteWild. 

Whether you’re considering SiteWild as a solution for your business or are already a customer trying to develop a strategy for transferring your LightCMS sites to the platform, I’d love to chat with you personally to discuss your unique situation. Book a call with me here, I look forward to chatting with you soon!

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