WPDensity: The Free WordPress Hosting Project

When I first heard about it, the idea of free WordPress hosting sounded too good to be true. Free hosting has historically been low quality, ad-packed, and unreliable. There always seems to be a catch somewhere. However, this is where the new WPDensity project is truly revolutionary. Backed primarily by NodeKi, a company that offers lifetime WordPress hosting, WPDensity is currently seeking additional funding to support the project as a whole and its potential growth. In order to cover the cost of the hardware and software they have launched a campaign on IndieGoGo with a $15,000 funding goal. All contributions will go directly to the WPDensity project.

C'mon these things don't run themselves...

The folks behind the project aim to provide “a truly optimized, fine-tuned WordPress Hosting solution that’s not only reliable, secure, well-managed, and speedy, but one that our members can actually trust with their data.” The goal is to provide free high quality hosting with more flexibility than users have on WordPress.com.

WPDensity is being created as a mix between a hosted WordPress solution and a hosting company where users can manage their own installations. If at least 50% of the funding goal is met, they plan to offer an impressive set of features for free:

  • Host your own domain, or use a sub-domain (i.e. member.wpdensity.com)
  • 3GB RAID Protected Storage and Unmetered Monthly Data Transfer
  • Secure, Isolated Environment w/Reasonable Resource Limits (i.e. CPU & RAM)
  • Secure access to files via SFTP & FTPS
  • Direct access to their MySQL Database(s) via phpMyAdmin
  • Access to directly modify their DNS & MX Records
  • OP-Code & In-Memory Caching (APC & MemCache)
  • Affordable Upgrades & Features – Members may upgrade anytime, instantly.
  • Support for WordPress
  • And much more to come

How is it possible to offer free hosting AND support?

Premium WordPress hosting solutions can cost $50 – $100+ per month, so how will WPDensity offer these features for free? They have a plan for scaling to meet the demand. The $15K WPDensity hopes to raise will help them to be able to deploy their first server and cover the costs of a the project for the first year of operation. They will use that time to find additional ways to generate revenue on-site, including advertising and member upgrades. The upgrades will be affordable so that users can pay for what they need, not for what they don’t.

An Alternative to WordPress.com

WordPress.com is currently the largest free WordPress hosting provider. However, in exchange for a free hosted WordPress setup, you will have to live with limitations such a set number of pre-approved plugins and themes, no access to your database and files and random ad display.

WPDensity is different in that it will allow for more control over your own WordPress installation and will have zero forced ads so that your site is entirely yours. Members will be able to use any plugin or theme and will have complete access to MySQL databases.

How is WordPress included with WPDensity accounts?

When members sign up with WPDensity, they will have direct access to an auto-installer which provides four levels of functionality:

  1. Auto-Install WordPress w/Single-Click
  2. Backup Individual WordPress Installations w/Single-Click
  3. Clone WordPress Installations (useful for creating a staging area)
  4. Auto-Upgrade WordPress – Choose to Auto-Upgrade to the Latest Stable, Security & Patches Only, or Self-Upgrade

Want to stay up to date with all of the latest developments from WPDensity? Follow them on Twitter or Facebook and check in with their cause at IndieGoGo to see the progress of the funding. If the WordPress community shows some interest in this project by donating, WPDensity will be able to launch with the ability to scale quickly and accommodate the demand.

What do you think about the idea of free WordPress hosting and support? Is it sustainable? Would you be eager to sign up?

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Comments (9)

  1. Thanks for featuring us Sarah – much appreciated! We’re definitely looking forward to getting this project off the ground! If anyone has any questions, feel free to get in touch – we’ll be more than happy to provide details. A big thanks in advance to everyone who brings us a step closer by making a contribution!

    • Hey Simon – Thanks for the feedback. WPDensity will have multiple upgrade options available, so for those that need more, receive higher levels of traffic, need the ability to host multiple domains, or just need more [insert feature here], it’ll be there waiting for you :-). We’re not *just* looking to offer free WordPress Hosting, though the core of the service will indeed revolve around it. The funding will go a long way to ensure we can bring as much to our members as physically possible; we’re not going to just be a one-trick pony :-).

      If you have any questions, you’re more than welcome to get in touch. Whether you’d like to submit feedback, a feature request, or just chat, I’d love to have the chance :-).

      http://wpdensity.com/contact/

      Just let me know you’re preferred method of contact and I’ll be more than happy to speak with you further.

  2. Cheers for the reply, that sounds much better than just free hosting. I’ll definitely be watching this project as I’ve been looking for a place to test some multi site ideas that I have on some less expensive hosted options. Look forward to seeing more updates and good luck with the funding

    • Thanks much Simon – We know that free hosting solutions have a rather horrible reputation, though we’re looking to provide a very specific, core service. We’re definitely not going to be a fit for everyone (as we are only targeting WordPress sites – not a general audience), though by doing this, we’re able to offer a more specialized solution; one that’s optimized and able to deliver.

      Most free hosting offers consist of someone just leasing a server and testing the waters — hoping that it works; we’ve be providing WordPress Hosting (under another brand) for almost a year and our team has a combined total of 25 years in the industry, so we’re looking to use that to it’s full potential :-).

      Any contributions we receive will be full utilized and we really hope to be able to get this project off the ground sooner rather than later as this is something we’re really passionate about, and one project we feel the community needs.

  3. To be honest this seems just as ambitious as something launched similarly, Diaspora. Totally different idea or project but the level of hard work and resources needed is probably no less. I will be following the project and soon my name will/should be on the list. Thumbs up.

    • Hey RG – In terms of time, resources, and dedication, I’d say we’re right up there with any project trying to get off the ground and into the [virtual] hands of the public :-). We’re definitely working hard behind the scenes to make sure the launch is successful and we’re working on scattered revenue models so we don’t have to rely on one single source for 100%, or even 90% of our revenue after launch.

      WPDensity is definitely no small project and with the help of the community, we’ll definitely be able to get things off on the right foot. The more we can raise now, the better, though at the same time, if we only meet 50% of our contribution goals, we’ll still be able to proceed with the launch. Of course our goal is 100%+ :-).

      I’m definitely looking forward to seeing you as a contributor and should you have any questions, feel free to get in touch :-). We’re on Twitter (and following), so DM/@ or get in touch via the contact form anytime!

      Thanks again!

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