Very Random Question – but how do you guys make money? How do you manage to stay afloat hosting 100,000 blogs with no advertising? Are you guys planning to compete head to head with Blogger and Xanga? Are you planning to pull a typepad on us, and start charging down the road?
It matters because as the people behind wordpress put in enormous amounts of time, we bloggers also put our time and we would like to know that years from now wordpress will still be here.
Not sure why you had to post this twice. :) (edit – 4 times now)
Do remember that they do other things in the background. You might want to take a look at their website to see what else they do. I know the author of PHPNuke does his program full time but he takes donations, charges for the latest version downloaded and whatnot.
Who knows. Maybe Matt is really Bill Gates in disguise and this is how he supports Open Source software.
OK, you can stop laughing now. :)
Dude, please stop spamming the forums. Seriously.
They’re going to start charging soonish, yeah. In the meantime, they have a nice friendly guy who used to work for Yahoo! funding them, so don’t worry about them going bust just yet.
It troubles me that they would think of charging soonish. Not because it’s not a wonderful service, or because Blogger is free, but because WordPress is the result of hundreds of open-source volunteers who had no incentive or reward. How will they be rewarded? If WordPress is going to start charging, shouldn’t they be upfront with the people donating their time?
I believe that there will still be a free service with extra goodies for those paying a subscription.
Me? I’ll still support because I enjoy helping.
Found the answer:
Right now everything on WordPress.com is free, and things that are currently free will remain free in the future, but we do plan to offer paid a la carte upgrades for things like extra storage and domains. How do we pay for everything? WordPress.com is run by Automattic which currently makes money from blog services, Akismet anti-spam technology, and hosting partnerships.
Roger, they also took funding last year (1). So that probably helps. Why they don’t tell us, their community about that is baffling.
Not really baffling, no, since as I’ve pointed out before there’s a fair degree of hostility in the open source community towards the idea of anyone making money out of wordpress.
(Of course, this is counterbalanced by the fanboys who believe Matt can do no wrong and would love to see him make a million. And the vast majority who really couldn’t care less.)
Even if that weren’t a factor, communication and full disclosure have always been an issue for these guys. Maybe if they start turning a profit they’ll be able to hire someone to handle their PR ;)
Or maybe this is a division of homeland security?
You folks don’t think they get a cutback for those sites over here when they make a sale? :)
I heard Matt was plush with Halliburton oil money from Texas. Donncha is part of the IRA. WordPress.com is just a front to funnel CIA money to third-world countries, all under the guise of pot-smoking free-love open source folks. How else do you think they give so much s*** away?
But secretly I’m just perturbed they are making money while keeping things very cool around here. When I was in the first boom we would have had punch the monkey popunder on this b**** after the first month. Maybe I’m just still bitter from the months I wasted waiting for Blogger and Typepad to rebuild. Anyway…
From the Messiah himself :
“The growth of WordPress.com and Akismet has outpaced anyone’s expectations. Recently, I made the decision to sell a minority stake in the company to a few select partners who I think are going to bring a lot of value to the business far beyond mere dollars.” – photomatt
You can actually do a lot with $15-20k US a month in income.
Hey guys. :)
To address the original question, we plan to offer paid add-ons, but we’re not going to charge for anything you get for free now. We’ve been testing out some things like domain parking and custom themes, and as our billing system gets ironed out we’ll start to make more of these upgrades available.
We have taken a small amount of investment, as I blogged about here, but we haven’t really dipped into it here yet. Everything WP.com currently runs on has been bootstrapped by personal money, Akismet licensing, and (as drmike pointed out) hosting partnerships. We’re planning an expansion to make things faster and more reliable, that’s what we’ll be using the investment for.
I can confirm that we’re not a CIA front, at least as far as I know. What’s a little spooky though is my father did work at Brown & Root (which merged with Kellogg, which became part of Halliburton) for 25+ years, but I believe he consults for Chevron now. (There’s not a whole lot in Houston besides oil and medical!)
Hey Matt – I think that’s probably the longest post you’ve ever made in the forum! ;)
Personal money eh? niiiiiiiiiiiice!
Haha, don’t overrate that. It just means my discretionary income went to the business while we were getting things started. It’s not much, but every little bit helps. And a very small sacrifice for what has turned out to be an incredibly fun venture.
So does that mean you know Chaney? ;)
Co-founder Tony Schneider was interviewed by Business 2.0 about where WordPress is going :
So what is the business model?
“We’re looking at a number of things. WordPress as a blogging platform is already open-source. If you want to run your own blogging service and host other people’s blogs, great. Take it. We want lots and lots of people to become serious bloggers. Then we can offer add-on services to those people.
If a blog starts to have so much traffic that you start making some money, once you get to that point, you’re ready to spend meaningful money. For people who just casually blog, it should be free.
We’re starting to license add-on services like Akismet, which blocks Web spam, to other people who are running corporate blogs, for example. If you’re, say, an About.com, and your business is on blogs, you can’t have spam on there.”
Listening to you lot is absolutely hilarious. Thanks so much for the good time coming on the heels of a particularly yucky day. I’m off to bed with a smile on my face because visions of Matt’s naked body rolling in piles of $1000 bills will be the main feature in my dreams tonight … good night sweet princes.
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