Media Temple was the first hosting service I remembered the name. It was around 2007, when I started web design. I was immediately fascinated by their brand, their design, and their philosophy. It looked honest and reliable. I actually never had the opportunity to become a customer because I didn't need an American-based server (I live in Europe)...
Well... until a month ago. I finally had a project that required a server based in North America. I chose MT quite rapidly, feeling confident about my decision and/or not caring enough to analyze the market.
And today, this (not so good) news. GoDaddy has had a very bad press for the last couple of years, and it seems like the philosophy gap between the two companies will be hard to handle. I guess it's just bad timing on my behalf but I'll try to stick to MT for the beginning.
Although yesterday I would have indisputably pursued my experience with MT for many years, I will now closely watch any subtle change in their customer policy and probably leave at the first signs of trouble, no matter how slight they can appear.
I have no love for Media Temple, but have so many client sites there that this really affects me. Just when I thought MT was improving they go and do this.
That line about it staying "independent" is total crap. I stupidly got locked into Outright and now a year or so after their acquisition by GoDaddy its now magically "GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping" and they want to link it with my GoDaddy account. Independent my ass. So now GoDaddy has all my business records sitting next to my MT accounts, old domain names etc. Ugh
I don't see much evidence of 'improving' but it looks fairly stable. It will be very interesting to watch what happens after today though.
I've been watching http://reviewsignal.com/webhosting/company/33/asmallorange/ because they are in a similar situation but half a year ahead of MT. They were bought out by EIG (Endurance International Group - which own HostGator, BlueHost, Host Monster, etc) back in March. They've been run independently and their service seems to have improved (cue EIG hate here). It's easy to craft stories, but I always like to see the data.
I try to keep an open mind about these things and just look at the data. So far, they seem to be doing even better under EIG but run independently. I hope it continues that way but I will just keep watching and write about it if it starts to change.
A well-engineered deployment framework and backup regime should let you move sites to new hosts with a minimum of headaches (if not a minimum of time). Heck, an enterprising engineer could probably whip up a third-party site mover that uses some combination of limited DB privs, temporary SSH keys, etc. to move entire domains around.
You're right that any "things are gonna stay awesome!" through an acquisition is pipe talk. It's just a lie in an attempt to minimize churn.
I see where you are coming from, and money is definitely important. That cash flow is going to help us build our staff and our products. We understand the skepticism, but we are working on making things a lot better here.
It's good that you guys are at least seeing these reactions right up front, so you can hopefully make some headway in restoring faith. There have been many such acquisitions that the public frowned upon, but ended up not being so bad after all (for example, when Salesforce bought Heroku). Best of luck to you.
I was going to post person by person, but I figured a general post with all the info would be a better option. So here it goes...
We're definitely excited about the move. We know GoDaddy may have had a not so stellar reputation in the past, but we're very happy with the changes they've made this year. Along with that, we are very happy to get the funding and resources we need to make bigger and better products. We want to put out better products with the same style and flare, and we can now do it a lot better and a lot faster. Our support isn't changing, products aren't changing, and the only real big change today is that we're getting cake and lunch on the house.
Matt, first of all, thanks to you and your team for posting in the comments on sites like HN, TechCrunch, and all the other sites where the news is starting to hit the tech community. I know it can't be easy to read so many critical comments against a company that I am sure has been a great place for you to work at.
However, I think trying to spin things as "everything at (mt) will be the same... only better" is a bit of a disservice to the tech community you are trying to reach out to, which is inherently more savvy about the reasoning and justification behind the acquisition itself.
In short: No company ever sets out to acquire another company to just keep things the same.
I do not doubt that in the short term, not much will change. But starting within the next year or so, there is no doubt in anyone's minds that the combined leadership team of GD and (mt) will begin to capitalize on business, product and technological "synergies" to help increase the bottom line.
That's not a knock against you, GD, (mt) or anyone. That's just business.
But what does that mean for all of your existing (mt) customers?
GoDaddy's modus operandi of profit maximization through questionable-at-best marketing practices, minimizing costs in customer and technical support, and taking any short cuts possible even at the detriment of the customer, does appear completely at odds with the high value of support and refined products that (mt) had prided itself over the years.
So the $400M question (or however much the acquisition was for) is: can these vastly different approaches of your business models be reconciled at all? Or will one way end up "winning out" over the other way? And if it's the latter, who will end up "winning out"... the GoDaddy way, or the (mt) way?
I do apologize if I come up to some of my own conclusions ahead of time, but I hope you guys can prove me wrong. But as I am now an outsider looking in, it ultimately won't make too much of a difference to me -- I actually have been in the process (and am nearly complete) in moving all of my clients off of GoDaddy to AWS (for completely unrelated reasons, mostly dealing with pricing).
But as someone who had been a customer for over 8 years and as someone who had been an advocate for (mt), I couldn't help from having the feeling of "whew, I just dodged a bullet" after hearing this news.
Good question. Some things I will have answers for, others I'm not 100% on. I'll go point by point.
1. The spin isn't really intended. GoDaddy is a huge fan of our services, and they intend to keep it independent so that our team can improve on what we currently have. We'll also be able to hire better people (not putting our team down), but it's always been the motto here to hire people that are smarter than us.
2. Existing customers- nothing is changing. Seriously. Prices aren't going up, control panel isn't changing, and we're not going to be emailing you every day.
3. Our team said yes to this merger because they like the direction their new team is taking. If we can inject some of our flair into what they are doing, even better. In the end though, you aren't going to see a combination of the logos.
4. "winning out" - If i could predict the future, I'd be traveling the world comfortably right now. :) I've been here for three years now, and I trust that things aren't going in that direction.
I appreciate the concern, and we're impressed that so many people care (even if sentiment sways negatively). We're not here to ride our horses into the sunset with bags of money draped to our saddles, we're here to compete in the hosting space. We have always been known for our stellar service, and we are ready to be known for a stellar product.
I keep seeing allusions to this new, improved GoDaddy...can you provide some details about this? I haven't heard anything about it since moving my domains away from them after the SOPA/elephant stuff.
I know MediaTemple is a good company and wouldn't sell to GoDaddy without reason, so hopefully you can provide some solid justification for staying with you. The current FAQ/blog post don't address GoDaddy's toxic reputation in the tech community at all.
But just as some crimes aren't ever forgiven, I think few people will ever forgive GoDaddy (and rightly so).
A few things that I think is despised:
- Support for SOPA
- Constant upsales, borderline spam
- Being against Net Neutrality
- Support for PIPA
- A marketing strategy which begins and ends with biki-girls
Complaints about bad performance, bad support and expense products are also common.
As an extra bonus go Daddy's founder, Bob Parsons, goes to Africa every year to kill elephants who he says are ruining crops (others say he's a rich idiot American who likes shooting elephants for fun).
I use them for a few sites and like their vibe and offerings. It's mostly pay-per-traffic I think. The dashboard isn't really a dashboard, more of a set of config screens. I find it intuitive but may not be what you're looking for.
You can easily set up an account and transfer sites over.
Ok, full disclosure: I work for Gandi. We realize that motto is something you can't say on the radio, but it's so true, we just have to say it. We are a small, tough, smart company, the kind we want to work for. We do offer a full API for resellers, so you could white-box the solution if you wanted.
Matt from (mt) here. Sorry that you feel that way, but we assure everybody that it's a good thing. We're not making any major changes at the company, and we're going to have 10 times the resources to make better products.
You missed the bit where GoDaddy is largely regarded as the scum of the Internet.
Their impossible interfaces, distasteful advertising, dark patterns regarding renewals and addon services, parking domains, and support for massively oppressing SOPA legislation all combine to make an absolutely awful brand image.
You've pretty much just destroyed the quite nice reputation (mt) had as a solid, premium hosting provider.
Ugh. There's even some sly wording in that blog post too.
> Will you be sharing my personal & financial information with GoDaddy?
> Your personal and financial information stays securely in our system. No third-party vendors will ever have access to it, which has always been our practice.
Doesn't quite answer the question, so I'll have to assume (as other commenters did there too) that you will be sharing information with Godaddy, otherwise it would have been expressly denied. "Our" means the shared companies in this case.
> We are well aware of their past, but we're also well aware of what they've been doing to improve their business.
I'd still avoid combining my premium brand with one that used "godaddy girls" to promote their products.
It's great that you'll have more funds. But you are associating yourself with a very negative company. I'll give you a simple example why I hate GoDaddy. About a year ago, some affiliate of our product sent an email to a potential client who reported it as SPAM. Since our domain was bought on GoDaddy, GD sent us a threatening letter saying we have to pay $X upfront to continue to use their services or $Y (about $200) to move to another host. This was no short of blackmail. We tried to explain but it was of no use. We Googled further and found hundreds of other victims.
No. Sure you get more money, but this is going to be absolutely toxic to your company culture. Now every employee at the company has to wake up and know that they're going to work at GoDaddy, a company that supported SOPA and PIPA a company that was founded by an obnoxious redneck who has a video blog of exploited blonde bimbos doing comedy shtick, a company that took a successful female NASCAR racer and exploited her as a sex object as their spokesperson, a company that outsources all of their customer service to India. The list goes on and on. Who's going to feel good about working there after that?
If you believe that, then for your sake, I hope you're right. But this is worse than being acquired by Yahoo; the product may last longer, but it's immediately lost so much good will that whatever leverage that brought to the table with GoDaddy is not likely to last long.
Well, the results are in, everybody hates GoDaddy, although that can't be surprising to you, and I have to agree with the sentiment, they're a very scummy company.
I'll be honest, from the outside looking in it looks like MT has sold out to cash in.
Surely you were aware of their reputation and their standing in the development community? I have to ask, how much did you consider what the reaction to this news would be before you signed on the line with them?
I'm sorry, but what does an ex-CEO's personal hobby have to do with the way the business is run?
I'm sure a shockingly high amount of other CEOs have had African safari and have taken elephants, distasteful as that may be.
GoDaddy has offered us a ton of ammo with which to criticize them professionally, so let's not get into personal ad hominem attacks.
Digital Ocean by a country mile, they come with a Wordpress image ready set-up for you, will cost $5 a month for an excellent webserver. I host 4 different Rails sites, and a Wordpress Network of 7 sites there, all running v well.
Yeah is a little pricey, but may be what OP was looking for.
The probably don't allow a WP network with multiple other sites CNAMEd to subdomains, which is how I'm set up. It's a little sticky to setup, but you have a free wordpress.org afterwards effectively, which is great for all my friend's and family's pet projects and mini sites.
We knew that a lot of our current customers might have a negative response towards this. Like somebody said above, GoDaddy has made some pretty big changes in the past year. With this new acquisition we're hoping for bigger and better things for (mt), especially when it comes to new product lines.
What was weird about Network Solutions was that they were much more expensive than their competitors, yet much worse than their competitors. I didn't know anyone who used them, and I'm surprised to learn that they still exist.
Next price point a bit later $100: 2 years min ($50 per year)
Next a bit later $70: 2 years min ($35 per year)
Then came competition and prices dropped.
Little known fact: The first registrars that were accredited
had to certify that they had no criminal record
(any of the officers) and had to be a corporation
and post $100,000 bond as well as other hurdles
which were all put in place by Network Solutions to limit competition.
Out of NSI came Verisign which had to erect a "chinese wall" (iirc) in order to separate the "registry" from the "registrar". Verisign of course ended up selling off NS.
Yep and they sent out these paper invoices and gave people credit when they registered. So much profit they could afford to not get paid in many cases once they started to charge for the domains. I also remember (as I'm sure you) some billings going out with ads for branded tshirts with their name on it and some other swag.
Sure, as someone above mentioned though, unfortunately GoDaddy is a toxic brand. I do NOT want to be associated with a brand that doesn't support net neutrality and was in favor of SOPA and PIPA. I'm sure you guys will do fine anyway, but I'm pretty sad I'm going to probably have to abandon MediaTemple in the long run....
Checkout http://ghost.org/, which just opened to the public, if all you're doing with WP is blogging. Otherwise you may want to consider signing up on Wordpress.com, which isn't all that bad (just very limited in configurability).
I wanted to check out Media Temple as a long term host but after this.... I guess I'll stick with 1and1. I've been with 1and1 for almost 10 years. They're not perfect but they're more than satisfactory for me. When the traffic to my websites on my shared hosting grew they automatically moved me to a better more resource free server instead of forcing me to upgrade to virtual or dedicated servers. They're charging $14 per .com so do NOT register domains with them. Use NameCheap.com for that.
Demian’s succession plan has been a long time in the making. In fact, Demian engineered the company’s strategy resulting in this acquisition. About a year and a half ago. Demian handpicked Russell P. Reeder to run the company. Both have been intimately involved with this acquisition. Demian will be shifting his focus to other projects, but his dream for (mt) to be the most trusted company in the world is still very much alive.
What about the other co-founder, John Carey?
John Carey, (mt)’s co-founder and CFO, is transitioning out of (mt) as part of the acquisition. He has also been intimately involved with the strategy as well. This is something he’s been planning for and thinking about for some time.
This is the most revealing part of the press release. The founders wanted to cash out. Let's not pretend this acquisition has everyone's best interests at heart. It only benefits GoDaddy and MT's founders, everyone else gets to witness the end of MT.
This right here is the real story, I'm guessing. Can't say I blame them either. They probably wanted to move on and needed a soft landing spot for (mt). So after months of shopping around, GoDaddy perhaps made the sweetest deal.
Congrats to Virb and the founders next chapter there! This is the first I've heard of it and it sounds like a pretty neat service.
And good luck the team left at (mt) for managing what is going to be quite a storm of negative sentiment and customer departures.
Not so coincidentally placed at the end of the FAQ. But I'm certain they've both sacrificed a lot throughout the years. That's almost 16 non-stop years of running MT. It's a well deserved break in my opinion.
I didn't even know that GoDaddy was doing a redesign and new marketing push. I went to their site and was happy to see fewer bikini girls. However, in the about us, they still sound like they're trying to be brogrammer central:
Like a Stanford dorm room on steroids, our Sunnyvale office is 40,000 square-feet of Bay Area badassery, brimming with some of the biggest brains on the planet, dreaming up digital masterpieces and keeping time in agile sprints.
Absolutely. I'm not particularly familiar with which of GoDaddy's offerings require high-touch sales (I've used them for domains a couple of times), though I'm sure they exist.
Similarly, I'm not gonna be surprised to see a post-IPO Twitter start pumping resources into their sales departments as well. A lot of their high-value partnerships and channels are going to require a little bit more personality than what they've put into the current Twitter Ads offering.
As somebody who's been chatting with people over at GoDaddy about their upcoming plans to improve their services/ui/support/etc, I've been giving them a chance because it sounds pretty great.
However, that fruit has yet to bare so I am 100% not happy with this at all. I'm actually really disappointed/frustrated/mad right now. This was my safe haven away from everything that budget hosts like GoDaddy did, stood for, provided, etc.
These kind of acquisitions always starts with "We won't be making any major changes" and then the company pulls a Yahoo and begins to slowly deteriorate.
This is the worst news, in regards to my every day business, that I've heard all year. I have 20 clients with DV servers, as well as my own servers and I am now feeling uneasy about this.
Also, have we not forgotten the anti-sopa / anti-godaddy coupon codes MediaTemple was giving out when people were bailing from GoDaddy during the SOPA/PIPA uproar? What happened to that? Nooooooo.
For all those here suggestion small alternate hosts, accompanied by their anecdotal positive experience remember that your favorite host is probably one fat check away from selling out just like MT. In fact, most web hosting models are built from the ground up to eventually get swallowed (acquired) but a larger hosting fish.
I've been through several hosting buyouts with my clients over the last 13 years and none have ended well. Even after the dust settles, the "New Company" almost always loses it's original formula for success and with it, it's original customers.
Lessons learned: Host with bigger hosts less likely to be snapped up. Diversify your client hosting providers so one botched buyout will not sink you.
Yea exactly. You just can't win with a small host provider. They will always get acquired. Always. Though I did get the sense that MT was large enough to stay independent. Really uncomfortable feeling knowing its GoDaddy now
Another problem with small hosts is small sample size. Hosting is an odd product that everything is good until it's not. Many/most people never really have any sort of 'experience' with their hosting company. Which ends up as a default neutral/positive opinion. But it's really when there's some sort of incident that the real quality of a company comes out. Until a host is big enough, there generally aren't enough incidents and data points to say much about them.
I am proud to share some momentous news with you today. GoDaddy, the Internet's largest platform for small businesses, has acquired (mt) Media Temple. We will continue operating as an independent and autonomous company and our mission will remain unchanged. However, new investments from GoDaddy will provide us the necessary resources to strengthen our focus on web professionals and will help accelerate our plans to expand internationally.
At Media Temple, we've always been on a mission to provide the highest quality service at the lowest possible price. When I co-founded the company in 1998, I saw an industry that wasn't meeting the needs of web designers all that well. At one extreme, there was expensive and overly-complex dedicated hosting that required customers to over-build their solutions. At the other extreme, there was incredibly cheap "unlimited" hosting that was untrustworthy and lacked class and transparency. At neither end was there a company truly qualified to understand and partner with the creative community.
Thanks to incredible customers like you, our model worked out. We've doubled-down on designers and have created a new platform to help people push the outer limits of the web. Now with 225 employees, Media Temple serves 125,000 customers making up more than 1.5 million websites in over 100 countries. We are proud to be one of Los Angeles' original startups, repeatedly recognized as one of the best places to work in the city — and one of the fastest-growing companies in the world.
Personally, working with GoDaddy on the acquisition this year has been unexpected, yet incredibly rewarding. Led by new CEO Blake Irving, the GoDaddy leadership team, which now includes Media Temple's President, Russell P. Reeder, is transforming the company with fresh thinking, new advertising, and an inspiring new strategy. It really is impressive, and so is their new mission: "Help small businesses easily start, confidently grow, and successfully run their online ventures."
Though our customers have traditionally been very different, both companies have similar priorities of providing excellent service experiences. However, we also understand and respect the vast differences and needs of our respective customer bases. Hence, Media Temple will continue to run as an independent business and is not being integrated into GoDaddy. Our customers should not experience any changes to their service levels, pricing, or the expert support we are known for. We're not moving our servers, and the phone number is not changing. We will remain in Los Angeles and will stay committed to being the most amazing hosting provider possible. In all seriousness, our mission to host great ideas feels like it's just getting started!
I am confident that Media Temple has made the right decision and I know the company is only going to get better from here. Please see our website FAQ to understand this news even further. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so very much for your passion, your feedback, and your support over the years.
(mt) Media Temple Co-founder
I have one recommendation, hosting knowledge on hn is really not that great, you should visit webhostingtalk forum for better and more honest discussions on hosting companies and their quality
MT is not perceived as a good host on wht ... it usually gets average or below average review ... so I dont know why everyone is talking as if godaddy will bring them down, MT was never a great company
And i do believe the MT fellow who is saying this will improve MT, sure it will ... godaddy is by far a bigger and more successful company than MT
Since being in business since 1997, this is my 5th notice of: "...we've be bought & nothing will change...It will be great!..."
It's a crap statement from MT. Nearly a lie. However, it will take several months until MT starts to show real singes of GoDaddy infiltration - in my opinion.
My experience at MT has been excellent over the last 4 years, & conversely my experience with GoDaddy VPS & Private servers have been horrible, a joke, & expensive - resulting in the loss of several $five $figure accounts for my little company.
I've actually MADE great new clients & good money MOVING them off of GoDaddy platforms into my other hosts - MT being the front runner.
Is it time to move services? Yes and no. In the short run (like 6 months) it's a 'wait and see' deal. I am going to move most of my 436 websites/clients away from MT over the next year, and keep and hand-full of sites at MT on my DV (vps) just in case the GoDaddy buyout actually works out.
I've NEVER experienced a successful buyout as an existing account holder.
Message to MT: YOU HAVE BETTER GET THIS GODADDY CRAP RIGHT! You've already lost 50% of the good faith that we as MT clients have.
GoDaddy has repeatedly blocked my domain transfers, had customer service call and harass me about moving domains out of their control, and didn't listen to a word I said about the elephant scandal when they called me.
I still, to this day, get calls from GoDaddy even though my last domain (which was blocked from being transferred for many months) left their hands last year.
No way am I ever going to trust them, or any company they own again.
ugh. I don't like this. I liked MT. I just don't like GoDaddy and the way they do business (example: their ceo shooting elephants, their ads, the way they squat domains, they supported SOPA, etc) and do not wish to be their customer, ever. Wonder how many people feel the same as I do?
The other cool part to this is that Virb was resold back to it's original founder and did not get included in the acquisition. In addition to that, they received a TC article to boot. Well played, sir!
This'll be a good thing if MT's customer service and server tech line up replaces over GoDaddy's, but it won't. I'm afraid GD will just take the customers, move them over to their server and strip MT for assets
Considering that developers are usually the ones that recommend hosting decisions to their clients (since the clients generally have no clue about who to go with), they just chopped off the main artery of their business with this sale. Kudos to the MT founders, but GoDaddy just overpaid for something that might be a skeleton company within a few months.
The problem is that MT has the best shared host dashboard control panel out there. The grid shared hosting option historically sucked (can't tell you how many fires I've had to fight because of prolonged grid outages) but damn, that slick control panel makes it so easy to spool up a site for a client in a hurry, or set up a new subdomain that it was worth the pain of periodic unannounced downtime. I loved being able to get a site up on MT Grid in 5 mins flat
If there is anything thats as easy to cruise through and still reliable, I'd love to hear about it.
"They'll keep things the same and let us run as an independent company" - This is the most told lie during a company acquisition.
1) Media Temple (mt) revealed that they have very slow growth.
2) GoDaddy buys (mt).
Do you think GoDaddy bought (mt) out of the goodness of their hearts? To GoDaddy this is an investment. If they spend $100 million buying your company, they want your company to produce $200+ million back and they'll tinker with whatever they need to to make that happen.
3) GoDaddy sees that (mt) with it's slow growth isn't paying itself off. (and after today's news even slower growth)
4) GoDaddy starts making changes (merging teams, merging products, changing terms, playing with prices and plans) to see an increase in revenue.