back to article Wordpress sells 100-year domain, hosting plan for $38K

Content management and hosting outfit Wordpress wants to sell you some legacy technology: a domain name and website it will keep alive for 100 years, for $38,000. "A domain is your most valuable digital asset," opens WordPress's pitch for your next century of web publishing. To protect that asset, your $38k will assure …

  1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    The sound of whalesong and the smell of incense are strong with this one

    "Whether it's giving a newborn the special gift of a domain and lifetime home on the web…"

    Get me a fucking bucket!

    As for companies lasting a hundred years: this is very much the exception in America. One or two a generation. The rest are usually bought by their competitors or run into the ground by greedy managers. Or both.

    1. MatthewSt

      Re: The sound of whalesong and the smell of incense are strong with this one

      Bought by competitors would still count as continuing to trade, although there'd be the risk of these unprofitable customers being sold off to another company that then would go under...

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: The sound of whalesong and the smell of incense are strong with this one

        What, like DEC?

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The sound of whalesong and the smell of incense are strong with this one

      "Whether it's giving a newborn the special gift"

      The Barnum principle - there's one born every minute - seems to have reached marketing in a slightly distorted form.

      It's certainly a new twist on unlimited storare, bandwidth etc.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: The sound of whalesong and the smell of incense are strong with this one

        "The Barnum principle - there's one born every minute"

        Apparently he didn't say that. Turns out that it was said about him, by David Hannum in reference to Barnum's part in the Cardiff Giant hoax. Or so the story goes. My gut feeling is that the very same phrase was in widespread use long before humans invented writing.

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: The sound of whalesong and the smell of incense are strong with this one

      "As for companies lasting a hundred years: this is very much the exception."


      It's not just a North American concept, you know.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: The sound of whalesong and the smell of incense are strong with this one

        I know it's not an American concept but "creative destruction" is more common in the US. It's probably easier due to more companies being publicly traded. Things have changed somewhat elsewhere since capital went global but most European blue chip companies are pretty old, much to chagrin of many investors.

  2. JimmyPage

    Hill Street Blues memory ...

    J.D. LaRue : [Farnsworth is trying to sell better protection for the flame on Belker's father's grave but J.D. grabs him by the lapels] Now you take your all-weather wind break, your copper delivery system and you three quarter inch wick and you cram it, Farnsworth! Now, he ain't springing for dime one. Now I've got a perfect view of this cut-rate boneyard of yours from the 36th street overpass every day on my way to work. Alright, now I don't care it's four O'clock in the morning, there's a hurricane blowing out here. I catch the flame on my partner's dad's grave out for one second, and you're gonna be perpetually eternally dead. Not perpetually, not eternally, but perpetually eternally dead! Now you got it?

  3. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Hmmm… a Tesla or a Wordpress site for 100 years… if I had to choose, I think I’d just go for the Wordpress site. At least it stands a chance of still working after 10 years and it’s a damn sight more useful.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wordpress or ???

      Being beholden to the whims of Elon Musk?

      Anger him and watch Tesla brick your Model 3/Y. IMHO, the man is becoming increasingly unstable. As one commentator put it, 'he's now favoring Putin(like his mentor Trumpo) and threatening to pull the plug on the Ukrainian Military's use of Starlink.

      Who would want to 'put in Elon we trust?'

      1. Rainer

        Re: Wordpress or ???

        The problem with Starlink is that it was always intended only for civilian use. It's in the AUP.

        AFU just thought nobody would care.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Wordpress or ???

          And asking for money from the DoD is civilian in what way? Musk wanted to use the stunt for publicity and as a way to get more money from the government teet.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Wordpress or ???

            "And asking for money from the DoD is civilian in what way?"

            (D)ARPA paid for a large portion of my schooling. The only thing that they ever had any real input on was when we tried to bake security and privacy into TCP/IP. They came down pretty hard on Vint Cerf, judging by how unglued he became when yelling at us for even thinking about it.

      2. EricB123 Bronze badge

        Re: Wordpress or ???

        "in Elon we trust"

        You mean it's not on the coins already? Excuse me, I must go check on this.

        At least I don't own a Tesla he can brick.

      3. CowHorseFrog

        Re: Wordpress or ???

        He hasnt become recently unstable, he like all other billionaires are always aresholes. Only a fool actualy thinks any rich person can be trusted. Wake up sunshine - they arent your mother or father, and they will do anything for a dollar.

  4. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

    So is this a marketing gimmick, or are WordPress short of cash? Or both? Either way, I guess they're not buying into the metaverse hype - which seems to have been supplanted by the AI hype anyway.

    I used to use WordPress quite a bit, but gave up on it years ago, party because I wasn't running any sites, but also because of that... Interesting experience. I have a few small sites in mind that I might put up when I have time - maybe over Xmas - but they will be strictly static. Small, hopefully fast, and considerably harder to hack.

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "The outfit's CMS is currently built on 28-year-old PHP, rated the seventh-most-used language on GitHub in 2022 – down from third place in 2014. Wordpress also employs the open source MySQL relational database, which is controlled by 46-year-old Oracle."

    it's not so much the technology becoming obsolete that I'd challenge - after all a site is just data and that can be migrated. If I were splashing out that money I'd want to see what arrangements they had for putting money into a fund that could pay a hundred years' of hosting costs. But then I don't suppose those who are going to go for this are the sort of people who think about enquiring as to the arrangements to pay for a hundred years of hosting.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      I think about this sometimes when I find sites that haven't been updated since 2004 but are still available without going through the Internet Archive. Sadly, this isn't very common, but I do stumble on such things from time to time and start to wonder how the author kept it going. Of course, the simple answer is that they are still alive and pay for the domain renewals and somewhere to host, but if they were doing that, I would assume they'd update at least a few things on their site. I'm thinking about personal sites that use ancient presentation tags that no longer work, partially because they were browser-specific, or sometimes it's a person with their personal freeware that "runs well on Windows 95, 98, ME, and probably 2000 but I haven't checked yet". Sometimes it still would run on Windows 10, sometimes it is broken on everything except a VM, but either way the files will make it obvious that they're the same as they were decades ago.

      Since the sites I run will go down as soon as I stop paying certain regular bills, I kind of like the idea of one that's designed for more longevity. I wouldn't pay this much for WordPress to try to do it, though. My cheaper solution has been to make sure the archives are aware of public sites that I want to archive in case the proverbial bus comes for me.

  6. Rainer

    Do you remember?

    When Joyent sold "lifetime" hosting accounts that ended up lasting six years (basically, until the servers they ran on started to give in)..

    1. pmelon

      Re: Do you remember?

      The University I work at decided to offer alumni ‘lifetime’ email addresses many years ago. The commercial realities of that hit recently and we turned them off rather unceremoniously. Should have charged £38k.

      1. Rainer

        Re: Do you remember?

        That was probably when they were hosted on an IMAP server with little quota.

      2. 43300 Silver badge

        Re: Do you remember?

        The university I went to was a few years ago offering 'alumni' email addresses free to its graduates - e.g. - think they were actually on gmail, so probably not costing them anything much. But what is the point? Why would anyone actually want one of those addresses?

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Do you remember?

          "Why would anyone actually want one of those addresses?"

          As an alumnus, I maintain a couple of "free"[0] email addresses from a couple of Unis. Both are around 45 years old, and both are included in research papers that I helped author way back when. I get a couple dozen legit[1] emails per year between them, mostly from kids currently studying in that field ... but occasionally I get a note from someone that I knew way back when who managed to track me down through an old research paper. Both examples are sensible reasons to maintain them, IMO.

          No, I don't manually check those mailboxes daily ... I have a cron job that checks 'em twice per week.

          [0] In quotes, because those schools received a LOT of money from me ... Not just in tuition, but in research grants & etc.

          [1] No spam. I installed the filters decades ago, and trained the generations of admins since then.

          1. 43300 Silver badge

            Re: Do you remember?

            That sounds to be different though - I can see it makes sense in your case, but an type address isn't the address which someone would have had when they were actually at that university - hence I can't see the point.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Do you remember?

      Did they specify who or what's lifetime? Obviously the lifetime of the servers.

  7. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Who knows whether Wordpress will exist for decades to come to maintain your domain or even if websites and domain names as we know them will still be something we use in another 100 years time?

  8. jake Silver badge

    "Tech companies AT&T, BT, Siemens, and IBM have all lasted for more than a century."

    And yet, where are household names Burroughs, Sperry, Allied Signal, Philco, Amdahl, Remington Rand, DEC and ROLM?

    All companies are ephemeral.

    1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

      BT doesn't even really count in the first place- it's less than forty years old in anything like its current form as a privately-owned business.

      It's only over a century old if you include its entire history dating back- ironically- to the nationalisation of the telephone industry. For around half its life it was part of the General Post Office (which as far as I can tell was legally a government department and not even a company, let alone privately-owned) and still under public ownership as part of the reformed Post Office until privatisation in the mid-1980s, just a few years after it was actually renamed "British Telecom".

    2. Rrr11

      Burroughs & Sperry - i.e. Unisys - 150 years old & still surviving (just).

  9. Norman Nescio Silver badge


    Print out the interesting stuff using archive-quality ink on acid-free paper and store in a humidity controlled environment.

    Archive-quality microfilm should last up to about 500 years, if handled and stored correctly, too.

    Etched-nickel disks should last a bit longer perhaps 2000 years.;

  10. alain williams Silver badge

    You might be better putting the money elsewhere

    $38,000 invested for 100 years at 4% compound interest will give you $1,919,188

    1. usbac

      Re: You might be better putting the money elsewhere

      At our current rate of inflation, $1,919,188 will just about buy you a cup of coffee 100 years from now...

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: You might be better putting the money elsewhere

      Given that they charge $420 yearly for a business account if you have a way to earn just over 1% interest over the next 12 months this plan doesn't make sense in year 1, let alone in year 100!

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: You might be better putting the money elsewhere

      You want to calculate using the real (what the banks offer minus inflation) rate. Risk free investments are designed to maintain the value of capital.

      1. sten2012 Bronze badge

        Re: You might be better putting the money elsewhere

        I was going to say similar. $25 a year hosting at very recent history 10% inflation rate. Extrapolated to 2123. About $38000/yr.

        So.. assuming it lasts that long (lol).

        100 years for the price of 1! Bloody bargain.

        1. sten2012 Bronze badge

          Re: You might be better putting the money elsewhere

          Too late to edit. Looks like I maxed out the online calculator there. Looks like it's about 7.5%..

      2. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: You might be better putting the money elsewhere

        Historically it has been pretty easy to earn a risk free 1%, which is all you need to pay that yearly fee out of principal - which you get back when the inevitable occurs and Wordpress (and maybe even domain names themselves) no longer exists long before 100 years are up.

  11. Barry Rueger

    Nearly half the web?

    I've heard this claim before:

    as its software "powers nearly half the web"

    Has anyone ever documented, or challenged, this claim? I find it pretty dubious.

    I have one site still using Wordpress, mostly because it's super low maintenance so I only get annoyed by WP every couple of months.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Nearly half the web?

      I have no numbers on it, and I'm sure they have a great incentive to exaggerate. However, I see it used on so many sites that don't need it. A lot of small companies or organizations seem to think that it's the perfect CMS for their websites, and I've downloaded firmware update files from a wp-content directory about two hours ago. I have two sites with it myself, although technically only one of those is mine, the other being one that someone else designs and maintains and my job is to make sure the server is still paid for and not broken. It is very common on small sites, both personal and business, so whatever the number is, it's probably quite a lot of domains that have a WP backend somewhere.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Nearly half the web?

      You can check the data from The Web Almanac which regularly surveys several million websites. WordPress is definitely the most common system in use, not least because many providers offer it. It was designed to be easy to set up and, while this has made it popular, it also enables many of the attack vectors. I haven't looked at the source in a long time but it was pretty awful.

    3. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: Nearly half the web?

      What "powers" the web is electricity!

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Nearly half the web?

        "What "powers" the web is electricity!"

        Nah. What powers the Web is rumo(u)r, lies, conspiracy, sensationalism and gossip, with sides of pR0n and cute cats.

  12. chivo243 Silver badge

    Is there anything else on the menu?

    Not in the mood for a website or a Tesla...

  13. James Anderson

    Off Topic

    But will the Reg be alive that long. Loss of senses of humour and loss relevance and hardened artery’s suggest death by lethargy.

    On a day when the UKs air traffic control borked the Reg has nothing to say. It used to be the specialist subject.

    I know I will get the “ when we know all the facts we will report “ response. But they never deliver,

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Off Topic

      "On a day when the UKs air traffic control borked the Reg has nothing to say."

      Oh, that's a shame. Tell you what, here's a different article that looks interesting instead, published eight hours before your comment:

      UK flights disrupted by 'technical issue' with air traffic computer system

  14. EricB123 Bronze badge

    Remember That "Lifetime" Airline Pass

    Somebody help me out here.There was once an American-based carrier that sold a lot of lifetime passes, to go to anywhere at any time. Then came restriction after restriction when you could use it. Then one day I stopped hearing anything about it. It wasn't so long ago that everyone who bought it would be dead by now. Well, unless they all died in mysterious car accidents.

    1. Ol'Peculier

      Re: Remember That "Lifetime" Airline Pass

      Here you go:

  15. CowHorseFrog

    DId Elon buy the Wordpress company ?

  16. Bebu Silver badge

    Another way?

    If wanted a 100y+ "web presence" I would think more along the lines of a perpetual trust whose deeds would have the flexibility to adapt to changing technology - carving the "pages" on rock faces if things go truly pear shaped :)

    Would certainly require a lot more than 38k USD to set up but that capital could be invested to provide income to maintain the presence. If the actual hosting and domain registration costs are ~500USD/year then I imagine by far the greatest expense would be for the administration of the trust.

    I think the BOFH chronicles could be a deserving candidate to be entrusted to such an arrangement.

    1. Daniel Pfeiffer

      Re: Another way?

      changing technology - carving the "pages" on rock faces

      The RockFS foundation members Stonehenge Trust and Alps-Himalaya Inc. (currently fighting a hostile takeover bid by Inca Co., owner of the Andes) jointly submitted a patch to Linux Kernel 49.27 to mitigate a double-write attack. Hackers are already exploiting the possibility of overlaying the ion beam, used to engrave pages, with short plasma pulses. This can make UTF-1024 appear like UTF-64.1. That way a payload can be hidden, even one that can cause avalanches.

      A more and more stone-grey-bearded, but still energetic, Linus Torvalds, raging about rock-bottom security, already merged the PR. He also sternly admonished the RockFS-driver devs to finally remove one of the last bits of C in the kernel and migrate to Rust. Else the driver will soon be thrown down the mountain side.

      Patch details are available on ɧttx://gittub.linux/RockFS-rocks?pr=1838578

      1. TangoDelta72

        Re: Another way?

        "Else the driver will soon be thrown down the mountain side."

        I heard that Torvalds will be invoking the Ättestup.

        The 2016 comedy series Norsemen depicts a group of elderly men reluctant to perform the ritual after being informed that the tribe no longer has the resources to support them. Rather than commit Ättestupa, they form their own self-sufficient society hidden from the original tribe.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Another way?

          Norsemen? Sounds like a re-write of Logan's Run to me ...

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Another way?

      "If wanted a 100y+ "web presence" I would think more along the lines of a perpetual trust"

      My daughter will take over the family WWW site/Portal and its server when I'm gone ... and her daughter is already helping us maintain/update it. That should easily make it 100 years or so. It's not exactly rocket surgery.

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