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Drupal and WordPress Have Sold Us Out

reviewsignal.com | Mar. 31, 2015 | 8 min read

A look into how the web hosting recommendations on Drupal and WordPress work.

22 votes   Flag
Matt Cromwell

You're only "sold out" if you do everything big companies tell you to do and don't do any looking around of your own. Why does it matter that these organizations make hosting recommendations? They didn't say that all other hosts are terrible, or that these hosts are better than all the others. They simply have a relationship with them that is beneficial to both of them.

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Kevin Ohashi

You really believe the recommendations are "the hosts below represent some of the best and brightest of the hosting world"? Best paying perhaps. EIG's 10-K filings with SEC really show how important that relationship is financially. Not to mention the 15 million investment in their latest fund raising round.

They've covered themselves legally I'm sure disclaiming they are 'donating a portion of your fee back.' But it's definitely tricking the visitors who look at it into thinking these companies really are the best and not just ads.

As I say in the article, I'm ok with the hosting companies paying, that's the game I expect them to play. I am pissed that WordPress and Drupal would sell out their users, who are looking to them for reputable recommendations, to the highest bidder under the guise of recommendations when they are glorified ads.

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Vladimir Prelovac

The same page would be different from the perspective of transparency if it said "we are recommending these hosting companies because they help wordpress.org project with 100k a year". At least then you would know the reason behind the recommendation and some would find that to be a good reason to sign up with them.

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Kevin Ohashi

I'm guessing you're missing at least an extra zero :) But I agree.

If it's a paid placement, just be open about it. I'm ok with people trying to make money. Hell, I run a business that makes money from web hosting affiliates. It's about being honest about how it works to people who might not know or understand how the game is being played.

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Mike Murray

I can't decide whether this is "selling out" or "growing up." Sponsorship is important to every project that pays employees and does not have a direct income source. Does the NFL really believe that Budweiser is the King of Beers, or is that just a marketing slogan that Budweiser has put together and the NFL agrees to endorse for a fee? Likewise, are Bluehost and others "some of the best and brightest of the hosting world?" Perhaps many of us would disagree with that description, but it's not any more provably wrong than Budweiser being the King of Beers.

And let's be honest, most average folks looking for a host will probably be mildly happy with a host like Bluehost, who provide a minimum of services and support at a reasonable price for most users who are a step above Wordpress.com hosting, but a step below someone who would explore their own host. Their managed WP hosting is $25/mo, and their unmanaged shared hosting (for someone capable of following the 5-minute install) is $8/mo. That is competitively priced with any shared, managed hosting account.

That WP or Drupal do not disclose what their advertisers are paying does not bother me.

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Vladimir Prelovac

I think the problem is not in the actual amount. I think it is is hiding the fact that there is an amount in play which skews the perspective. There is a difference between 'here is my opinion' and 'here is an opinion I am paid to give' on a deep human level (or at least should be, hard to say with so many things being commercialized today).

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