Wow! Time flies when you’re having fun! The month of June marks the 3rd anniversary of Radio Station in its current iteration. The story begins in June of 2019.
I was hosting a House music mix show, the Asheville House Music Society, on a low-power FM station, WVPM LP-FM 103.7 here in Asheville, NC, and was also working to redevelop their WordPress website. I logged in to better understand how the site was set up and what plugin was powering the station’s schedule. That’s when I stumbled across the free version of Radio Station, a WordPress plugin that helps broadcasters showcase a station schedule, playlists, and programming details.
Led by Nikki Blight, a web developer in Colorado, Radio Station for WordPress was inspired by the Drupal plugin, Station, which was originally launched in 2005. Nikki released Radio Station in 2013 (see Niki’s page about Radio Station published Feb. 25, 2013) to the WordPress.org repository, where she actively maintained it for two years but ceased development in 2015. It then sat orphaned until I discovered it on the WPVM website in May of 2019.
Once I began to investigate Radio Station, I found the plugin sorely needed an upgrade. The show page templates were breaking in Divi and other page builders, all of which were just coming of age on their own as the preferred way for developers to build radio station websites on WordPress. The plugin had accumulated over 1,000 active installs and I thought there must be others with similar issues.
I’ve held a strong interest in radio since I was a child. I went to college to study Radio & Television broadcasting for a brief period and I’d worked at a radio station for a bit. In 1996, I launched a streaming website, Netmix.com, which was the world’s first website to broadcast DJ mixes from the world’s most sought-after DJs.
Given my past interest in streaming and broadcasting, my curiosity and entrepreneurial mindset got the best of me. After seeing what the plugin was capable of and wishing it was under active development to resolve some of the templating issues I found with page builders, I began to leave messages for Nikki to inquire whether there would be any updates.
On June 2 of that year, I finally reached Nikki through Facebook. She let me know that the plugin was no longer under active development and said she’d been looking for someone to take it over but no one had expressed interest.
While I’ e been working on WordPress websites as a product owner and project manager, I’d never actually launched a WordPress theme or plugin. I thought building WordPress websites for others is one thing, but actually building a WordPress plugin or theme was the next logical step in my WordPress career.
Having worked on WordPress for what was, at the time, 17-years (WordPress is now 19-years old as I write this), I had been looking for an opportunity like this and jumped at the chance without a plan. I’m also not a developer, so I knew I would have to go out and find someone to partner with to see it through.
Once Nikki transferred responsibility to me, it was time to get to work to find someone who could assist. I posted to a few WordPress job boards and put the word out on Facebook and Twitter. I was surprised to get a reply only a few days later from a WordPress developer in Australia, Tony Hayes, who had worked with Radio Station and was very interested in having a go at it. He was also aware that it had been orphaned, but he had a strong interest and desire to assist. We started informally working together to release updates over the next year.
Once we shored up the plugin with new updates and features, we started seeing growth in downloads and activity in the Radio Station support forum. As we got traction, we started generating receiving feature requests that were posted to our Github repo. This told us there was more to Radio Station than meets the eye.
We started having conversations about what a PRO version might look like and we agreed to pursue the development of Radio Station PRO together. That meant we needed formal agreements and I needed to register the company as an LLC. Once all the paperwork was done, we got cracking on building out Radio Station PRO and officially launched in July of 2021. That means while we’re celebrating the open-source Radio Station plugin’s 3rd anniversary this month, we’re also coming up on PRO’s one-year anniversary at the end of next month.
We’re thrilled to have taken over the free version and can’t believe we were crazy enough to launch a PRO version to introduce awesome new features. There’s still so much more to come!
To celebrate the free and open-source version of Radio Station’s 3rd Anniversary we’re offering a very rare 50% OFF Radio Station PRO! Use coupon code: HAPPYANNIVERSARY at checkout to take 50% off monthly or annual plans for single-site and multi-site licenses. If you’re interested in a multisite license, you’ll need to contact us directly and we’ll send you a link to purchase.
This special offer starts on Tuesday, June 1, 2022 and ends on Friday, June 10th at 12 midnight Eastern time.
Don’t forget, you can try Radio Station PRO for FREE for 7-days and we also offer a no-risk, 30-day Money Back Guarantee with your purchase.