DreamHost Announcements

Pitching in to Support the Open Web

Written by Jonathan LaCour

Today, DreamHost is proud to announce our backing of Manton Reece’s Indie Microblogging Kickstarter campaign. We’ll discuss Manton’s project in a bit, but first, let’s talk a little about DreamHost, and why we’re here.

DreamHost was founded in 1997 with the goal to enable anyone to carve out their own corner of the nascent World Wide Web—a domain, website, and email identity all their own. In the intervening 20 years, we’ve seen the rise and fall of many services, web hosts, social media outlets, and publishing platforms. As the internet has continued to evolve, the ability of the individual to own their digital identity has slowly faded with the advent of centralized services like Facebook, Twitter, and Medium.

In late 2016, DreamHost’s leadership gathered to revisit our values, mission, and vision—the things that make us uniquely DreamHost. We first came up with a noble cause, our highest aspiration for DreamHost:

We help people own their digital presence.

It is DreamHost’s belief that every participant in the global community of the web should have their own place to express themselves. However, we don’t want to stop there. DreamHost also has a vision for what that future would look like:

People have the freedom to choose how their digital content is shared.

DreamHost believes that it’s not good enough for people to be able to express themselves on services like Twitter, Facebook, and Medium. After all, each of these platforms is a centralized business that fundamentally has to make money, and they do so frequently by mining your personal information for profit. DreamHost believes that your data belongs to you. After all, services come and go, and Medium’s recent announcement of layoffs and a search for a business model hammer that point home. Even the massively popular Twitter has significant questions ahead for its viability as a business. What would happen to your digital identity if Medium, Twitter, and Facebook went away? What ever happened to the vision of the open web as a distributed network of websites that were owned by their creators?

DreamHost believes the future of the open web is bright. We’re happy to be one of the top WordPress hosts in the world, and we’re heavily involved in the WordPress.org community. WordPress is a shining example for believers of the open web, powering 27.2% of all websites globally, up from 13.1% only five short years ago. We’ll continue to push for its continued growth.

That brings us to Manton Reece’s Indie Microblogging Kickstarter campaign. Manton, too, believes that the future of the open web is bright, and is throwing his own efforts behind the launch of a new, open platform for microblogging—like Twitter, but distributed, and owned by its users. We’d like to make it as easy as possible to launch a WordPress-powered microblog on DreamHost that integrates well with Manton’s upcoming Micro.blog service. In order to support that mission, DreamHost is kicking in a $5,000 pledge to the Kickstarter.

If we succeed in our mission and vision, along with Manton, you’ll no longer just be a username belonging to a faceless organization. You’ll be able to build your digital presence as the open web intended: with your own domain, the freedom to move from one provider to another, and the assurance that your data belongs to you, and no one else. We’d encourage you to join DreamHost in backing Manton’s Kickstarter project, and to get involved in the resurgence of the open web!

About the author

Jonathan LaCour

Jonathan is the Senior Vice President of Product & Technology at DreamHost.

7 Comments

  • Stellar post.. I really liked your way and thoughts about the future of the web.. but “WordPress hosting” is nothing but a standart low quality linux hosting for many hosting companies today.. it’s just a marketing approach for them.. I’m happy for DreamHost because of its customer and contribution based approach..

    • Most of the major players in the managed WP hosting world don’t use standard low quality hosting 🙂 We certainly don’t.

  • question that has long simmered in my brain: do you guys have no misgivings at all about WordPress? You seem to think it’s just the greatest. I respect the work that’s gone into it, but really — it is a pain for developers, and widely disliked (stackoverflow.com had a not-so-unscientific survey about that); it has its security issues; its code reads like a thing that somebody started one day, then added another thing, and another, and another… So I’m having a little cognitive dissonance here. WordPress has its problems, but you guys who are badass seem to think it’s just the coolest. What’s up with that?

    • I say this as someone who is a WP expert hired by DH. We aren’t drinking the “WordPress is God’s Gift” kool-aid. It has it quirks, and it isn’t perfect, but for the majority of people who need a CMS to run their websites, it’s something that fits their needs and niche. We see WordPress as something that is pretty awesome, it’s extendable, and while I know many developers dislike it, I don’t know of any who’ve found a perfect one-size-fits-most alternative. But we’re very much aware that it’s not every everyone and that it’s not universally loved. We just see it as one of the coolest things out there because of how much it can do.

      Stackoverflow’s survey – http://stackoverflow.com/research/developer-survey-2016 – suffers from some serious issues. When any survey comes up as 98% male, then the sample is either too small or something else is afoot. Not to say that WP isn’t hated. I know it is and I know why 🙂 But I don’t think it’s as bad as VB!

      • And if you don’t want WordPress, DreamHost is happy to host most any other CMS… I’ve ran several on my account over the years (although I’ve moved toward WordPress for convenience as much as anything).

      • Well said, Mika, and thanks for the commentary, David.

        WordPress, like any piece of software, has its issues. It was created all the way back in 2003! Over the years, its evolved into the most popular (dominant, in fact) Content Management System powering over a quarter of *all* websites globally. On top of that, it has a vibrant community of developers, designers, plugin authors, theme creators, and contributors that is simply unmatched.

        Thanks for calling us “badasses,” that’s awesome to hear, and yes, we do think WordPress is pretty darn cool. Its not perfect, but no software is, and if there is a project that can solve its issues and continue to grow and improve, its WordPress, thanks to its incredible community.