WordPress Contributors Demand Transparency and Objective Guidelines for Listings on Recommended Hosting Page

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By Sarah Gooding – You may find this article HERE in its entirety on WP Tavern’s website

WordPress’ Recommended Hosting page is a hotly contested piece of online real estate, and has recently come into focus again following the removal of SiteGround from the listings. When the change was highlighted during a recent Meta team meeting, Audrey Capital-sponsored contributor Samuel “Otto” Wood said, “Matt asked me to remove SiteGround because that page is getting revamped. I know no more than that.” Bluehost and Dreamhost are the only two hosts remaining on the page at this time.

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The process for being listed on the Recommended Hosting page has historically been shrouded in secrecy, causing contributors to speculate that large sums of money were required. Although the current criteria is posted on the page, the process of getting listed and de-listed is not transparent. It’s not clear if and how the criteria is being applied, as it states that listings are “completely arbitrary:”

We’ll be looking at this list several times a year, so keep an eye out for us re-opening the survey for hosts to submit themselves for inclusion. Listing is completely arbitrary, but includes criteria like: contributions to WordPress.org, size of customer base, ease of WP auto-install and auto-upgrades, avoiding GPL violations, design, tone, historical perception, using the correct logo, capitalizing WordPress correctly, not blaming us if you have a security issue, and up-to-date system software.

WordPress co-creator Matt Mullenweg has recently hinted at the possibility of re-opening the survey, inviting contributors in WordPress’ Hosting Slack channel to weigh in on questions or data the survey should collect “to help us discern who we recommend.” He linked to questions from the survey used in 2016 when the page was updated to include Bluehost, DreamHost, Flywheel, and SiteGround.

The new draft for the survey states: “It’s time to loop back and give every host an opportunity to be on the recommended page, and also make it international because we never really got recommended hosts in non-English countries right.”

The WordPress Hosting team has been working on a related effort called “Project Bedrock” that aims to create a directory in which any hosting company that meets a series of predefined requirements can appear as recommended hosting or compatible with the WordPress CMS.

“Yes, project bedrock is a goal,” Hosting team rep Javier Casares said. “Some months ago we left the project in stand-by to create a pre-version of the project, creating a list of hosting companies inside the Make/Hosting, a ‘everyone can be on the list’ (if criteria) as a complement for the /hosting), but the idea is that /hosting, this pre-project or the project should have the same criteria (the base).

“We know Matt is the responsible…

Read on…article continues HERE on WP Tavern’s website

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