WordPress.org

Making WordPress.org

Opened 6 months ago

Closed 5 months ago

Last modified 4 months ago

#5500 closed defect (wontfix)

Remove the current https://wordpress.org/hosting/ page?

Reported by: jadonn Owned by:
Milestone: Priority: normal
Component: WordPress.org Site Keywords:
Cc:

Description

I recognize this may be a controversial subject. There has been a good deal of talk about revamping the /hosting/ page, but does the WordPress.org website really need a page on hosting or to make recommendations about specific hosts?

I am fairly certain a web search will reveal either ads for hosting providers, guides for how to select hosting providers, or the hosting providers' websites themselves.

I want to make sure the potential value the /hosting/ page provides to the community is greater than the potential costs to the WordPress community.

The page in its current form, for example, is not very user-centric. It talks about how great the listed hosting providers are and their particular features, but it does not ask important questions about the user's needs or why the user is looking at WordPress in the first place. Is the user creating a website for a business? Is the user creating a blog? Is the user making a news website for the user's after-hours underwater basket weaving team?

I think the page, at least as it is written or intended, leaves too much of a possibility for hosts who are not on the list (regardless of who is on the list now) to feel rejected. Here is what is currently heading the page:


There are hundreds of thousands of web hosts out there, the vast majority of which meet the WordPress minimum requirements, and choosing one from the crowd can be a chore. Just like flowers need the right environment to grow, WordPress works best when it’s in a rich hosting environment.

We’ve dealt with more hosts than you can imagine; in our opinion, the hosts below represent some of the best and brightest of the hosting world. If you do decide to go with one of the hosts below and click through from this page, some will donate a portion of your fee back—so you can have a great host and support WordPress.org at the same time. If you don’t need the flexibility of a full web host, you may consider getting a free blog on WordPress.com.


I feel like the first section calls WordPress hosts indistinguishable precisely because they are compatible with WordPress. These perfectly valid, WordPress compatible hosts are also not the best environment for your special flowers/websites.

The section paragraph makes clear there is some kind of criteria for inclusion on this page, but those criteria and the process for inclusion on this page have been notoriously opaque to the best of my understanding. The second section also makes clear there is a financial component to inclusion on the page. I am not necessarily opposed to WordPress.org receiving donations, but this sounds like the same kind of pay-to-play unfairness that the late net neutrality rules were meant to address. I do not think WordPress.org should be in a position to extract rent from hosts in order to receive a sanction or official endorsement.

I grant the second paragraph does have a small call out for making a free blog if you do not need full hosting; however, after seeing this ticket for a small tweak to the language on that page, I have concerns about WordPress.org being a vehicle for secretly advertising for certain providers. That tweak would have made a much stronger promotion for WordPress.com than is currently in the page's language. That ticket's original proposal has been modified based on feedback of the community to be less of a promotion of WordPress.com, but I still have reservations about this page narrowing the distance between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

For my part, I think the page does not provide enough value to potential WordPress users who could find more detailed, more use-case, more user-centric information elsewhere on the Internet. I also more generally have concerns about there simply not being enough resources or strong enough processes in place to manage the /hosting/ page over the long term, especially since that seems to be the case already.

If there has to be a /hosting/ page, I would love to see it become an informational page that does not pick one host over another and that focuses on letting users find their own "best host" that best fits their particular needs. Not all WordPress users are the same, and not all hosts are the same. It would be great for hosts and users who fit well to bring them together. In my experience, users and service providers are together much happier and more successful when they have a really good fit for the user's problem and the provider's solution.

If removing this page is not workable, and there are not resources for keeping an up to date list of hosts, perhaps the best path would be to give users a list of questions or considerations to help them understand their own use case better in relation to hosting. I think this approach could be technology or solution specific and not provider specific.

For example, ask the user, does your website get a lot of traffic? If yes, WordPress is great for busy sites, but make sure you look for a host with PHP OpCache, page caching, or other specific performance optimizations to help your website handle the traffic.

I welcome feedback on this question and how the /hosting/ page can be made to serve new and potential WordPress users better. I also look forward to getting a better understanding of the purpose this page currently has and how it functions, especially if I'm way off in my understanding.

Change History (3)

#1 @SergeyBiryukov
6 months ago

  • Component changed from General to WordPress.org Site

Related: #5473

#2 @dd32
5 months ago

  • Resolution set to wontfix
  • Status changed from new to closed

The /hosting/ page listing is entirely arbitrary, as it says on the sidebar itself, and it's not intended on being either a complete listing or guide as to what host one should choose.

The page specifies that most hosting environments meet the requirements for WordPress, and makes no claim that those are the only hosts worth of choosing.

Ultimately, the listing is at the discretion of Matt. I'm not going to link to it, but there's articles that can be found after the last noticed refresh of the hosting listing which highlights just that.

While you've raised some valid points and ideas in the long post, the simple response is that right now that's not going to happen, and if it were, a much more succinct proposal run by the make/hosting team and matt first would be needed.

For now, I'm closing this ticket as wontfix as there's nothing actionable here right now for the meta team, Trac isn't the place for research and discussion about the whys and hows of the pages existence, and quite honestly otherwise this ticket is only going to sit here for the next year unanswered since it's the wrong forum for it.

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #hosting-community by javier. View the logs.


4 months ago

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