The 100 year WordPress plan preserves your website for posterity

28 August 2023

WordPress, creator of the CMS I publish disassociated with, has unveiled a one hundred yearlong website hosting and domain name registration package. If you have a lazy US$38,000, then there’s nothing stopping you from signing up. But I like the idea. It makes sense. When I first began designing websites in 1997, there was a consensus that the web, websites, and even email, was a fad. A craze. Something that would come and go. As did pet rocks and CDs.

It took only a few short years — or was that months? — before we realised though we were going to live on the internet. Forever. No, we weren’t going to crank up the modem and login via dial up, a couple of times a day, rather our computers would be plugged into the grid every last waking minute. And who could have foreseen — back in the 1990’s — that we would one day carry devices in our pockets allowing us to remain online constantly?

Now that I think about it, I cannot remotely conceive of a notion that the web, and all of its interconnected peripherals, were a mere passing phase. disassociated has been online (in one form or another) for twenty-five years, and I occasionally find myself wondering about its long term future. Like what happens when I’m longer here? The thought of making provision in my will, to keep this website registered and online, has crossed my mind once or twice.

I can’t imagine I’m the only one. To some people, their website is an integral part of their identity. I’m talking particularly about those who document every aspect of their lives on a website or blog. It would be a shame, a loss even, if upon the death of the publisher, these resources simply vanished because no one was paying the domain registration and hosting bills. These are matters I doubt few people even remotely considered twenty-five years ago.

The WordPress one hundred year package is therefore compelling, even though I can see people baulking at the $38,000 price tag. I quickly ran the numbers, and based on current domain and hosting costs, could keep disassociated afloat for a century for maybe half that cost. But I’d need someone, a dependable descendent, I could rely on to carry out the necessary administrative tasks of keeping my website online when I’m gone.

On that basis, the cost, although steep, begins to look a little more palatable. Everything is taken care of, without the need to burden someone else. But the WordPress proposal poses intriguing questions. Do you believe preserving your website is essential to preserving your memory? People are already giving thought to what happens to their digital assets, things like email accounts and social media pages, on their deaths, but what about personal websites and blogs?


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