On Thursday, Matt Mullenweg responded to a request on Twitter from Jeff Matson, a Pagely employee, to find out if Automattic’s Newspack platform had all open source components or some proprietary elements. In his response, he positively identified GoDaddy as “an existential threat to the future of WordPress.”
The response raised more than a few eyebrows on Twitter as it seemed unrelated to the topic of discussion, which was Amazon’s expansion of its proprietary digital publishing technology.
The conversation following this statement became more heated and escalated as GoDaddy employees resented this statement. denigrated their contributions and careers dedicated to WordPress.
Mullenweg explained why he views GoDaddy as an existential threat in a series of tweets that have now been deleted but are preserved in the screenshots below. He urged GoDaddy employees to consider how many people contribute to WordPress and WooCommerce, two open source projects from which the company makes what he estimates to be hundreds of millions of dollars, compared to the company’s investment. in proprietary websites and store products. “How much has GoDaddy reinvested in .org versus spending on cPanel licenses?” He asked.
In response to a Tweeter of WordPress digital producer Allie Nimmons, Mullenweg said that while GoDaddy employs great people, they are “unfortunately overshadowed by massive corporate action being taken at many levels above them.”
“Those who care about the future of WordPress should spend their money with less parasitic companies,” Mullenweg said.
He praised Bluehost for supporting WordPress and its ecosystem since 2003.
Citing GoDaddy’s market dominance, revenue estimates, and 25% of its business customers using GoDaddy Payments, the concern seemed more strongly to preserve WooCommerce and its ability to benefit the rest of the ecosystem.
Some have speculated that GoDaddy is more likely an existential threat to WooCommerce and WordPress.com than to the WordPress project.
“What worries me is the future of WordPress if GoDaddy succeeds and stifles the rest of the ecosystem,” Mullenweg said.
In a strange turn of events that would have been unimaginable years ago, many members of the WordPress community have taken to Twitter to defend GoDaddy, even though the company has always been criticized for poor performance and predatory sales practices. . GoDaddy has worked to improve its tarnished reputation by sponsoring open source contributors and events. GoDaddy representatives have not yet responded to a request for comment.
“People have contributed really good work to the WordPress ecosystem over the years while employed by Godaddy,” Mullenweg told the Tavern. “I wish the company much success and many happy returns.”
Although the tweets were eventually deleted, fragmenting the resulting conversation, it’s clear that Mullenweg sees GoDaddy as lacking support for the WordPress project and WooCommerce, relative to the amount of revenue the hosting company has. He also sees GoDaddy’s support for proprietary solutions as a serious contradiction to its purported support for WordPress.