New Sponsorship Goals for 2023

Happy New Year!

As you may know, the Caddy project’s ongoing progress is possible thanks to sponsorships from individuals, independent professionals, and companies of all sizes (including enterprises like Stripe), together with the devoted contributions of our developer, CI, and distribution teams.

I want to thank everyone involved for making Caddy what it is!

Currently, I work on Caddy full-time through sponsorships. Compare Caddy v1, which was cobbled together by a stressed and tired undergraduate student with relatively little experience staying up late nights and weekends, with the vastly technically superior Caddy v2 that was designed and launched in just over a year. The difference was experience, yes, but crucially funding also. I have been able to devote my entire working day to Caddy to give it dedicated attention and direction.

Our community and user base have also grown! Caddy now has over 45,000 stars on GitHub and our forums are busier than ever. Daily now, I receive alerts where Caddy is mentioned or linked, and the discussion is nearly always positive or curiosity, whereas with Caddy v1 I noticed most of the mentions were critical or skeptical.

Companies are taking Caddy seriously. We see Stripe deploying Caddy more widely on their internal infrastructure and they are now an enterprise sponsor. Numerous smaller companies and startups are using Caddy to power thousands, if not tens-of-thousands, of customer sites and services. We just learned that Mercedes-Benz is using Caddy throughout their internal teams. Caddy is the real deal.

With the user base and community growing, it’s hard for me to keep up with everything. I used to be able to read all the forum posts in detail. Lately there have been too many (which is great!).

It’s time to set a goal to approximately double our current sponsorships to sustain the project’s growth.

Currently, all of the help you receive in this community is basically charity: someone donates their time to help you. And oftentimes, that help benefits your business. And that’s great! But it’s asymmetric and if that continues, it will strain our community. (We learned this years ago before I was sponsored full-time.)

Even code contributions, which are highly valued and measurably improve a project, impose a burden on maintainers because contributors – except for a few angels who commit – tend to move on (many are never seen again); and eventually, the burden of maintaining the contribution – of code they didn’t write and aren’t as familiar with – rests with them (and ultimately me, being the responsible party). This can be reduced through extremely thorough code review, but that’s tedious and deteriorates the contributor’s experience if too many iterations or revisions are required (too many “nits”). So we love contributions, but some come back to bite us.

More sponsorships will allow us to pay helpers and maintainers enough to make a difference. While it is always nice to receive donations that buy a drink or a meal, it’s a total game-changer when there are enough resources to shift the burden off of your free time so you can still have time for self-care.

I experienced this sometime around 2020 when Caddy development skyrocketed, and believe me: fully-funded developers are happier, healthier, and produce better answers and code than developers who are stressed or uncompensated. (Our volunteers are truly saints in their passion for helping others, and it is impossible to overstate how grateful I am for that.)

By doubling our current sponsorships, we will be able to compensate top contributors and/or helpers so that the project can continue to develop faster and grow larger without being blocked or slowed by me. This will result in faster, higher-quality turnarounds for businesses that need patches, features, or answers to questions. We can accept more contributions with less fear of “ownership.”

Our current-lowest sponsorship tier is $25/mo and is the most popular. If we rely on those, we’d need hundreds of new sponsors. This would be fine, but we’ve spent several years getting to just 60. (60 very important sponsorships! If we didn’t have those, we’d be struggling.)

But, companies that use Caddy or whose customers use Caddy have a much higher incentive for the project to be actively maintained and supported. The value they invest into the Caddy project is multiplied and returned, passed along to their business as savings or even direct profit! As such, companies don’t typically sponsor at $25/mo. We typically see and recommend that companies sponsor at $1,000/mo. or more. At those levels, we only need a handful of companies to sponsor before we reach our goal.

How you can help

If you work for a company that uses Caddy – or whose customers use Caddy – it is in the best interest of the business to sponsor the Caddy project. You can help by asking the relevant department to approve an expense to GitHub to support critical infrastructure. Let me know if you need an invoice beyond what GitHub offers!

We can customize any of the higher sponsorship tiers to meet the needs or requests of your company.

Thank you

This is an ambitious goal. But I’m confident we can do it.

Thank you to all current, past, and future sponsors! We look forward to giving back to our sponsors going into 2023, and hope that Caddy will serve you well.

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