Well, that’s a wrap! After 12+ years in the web hosting business, I’ve just moved the very last customers off of the server, migrated my personal domain over to Dreamhost, and updated the final DNS records. And with that, Birdhouse Hosting is no more. It’s been an amazing dozen years – both fulfilling and frustrating. I made some money, lost a whole lot of sleep, and had way too many vacations and weekends interrupted with sudden needs.
It’s amazing to see how drastically the hosting landscape has changed in the past decade. The emergence of tools like GMail made custom mail hosting all-but-irrelevant – there’s absolutely no way a small web host can provide the level of spam control, or storage, or excellent interfaces that they do. And the emergence of serve-yourself site builders like the ones offered by Squarespace just can’t be touched by open-source software.
Except in special cases, pretty much all of the need (and the reward) has been drained out of the boutique hosting business. It was time to let it go. I’m honored to have been able to host so many fantastic sites, and to have worked with so many fantastic customers over the years.
Once the dust settles on the new year, I look forward to getting back to a bit of freelance web dev work, though next time around I plan to focus on higher-end web application needs rather than WordPress.
See you in the new year!