textdrive debuts

For those who have web hosting needs, Dean Allen — the savant creator of Textism (the blog), Textile (the web text processor), and Textpattern (the intriguing tho’ still-in-development blog authoring/content management system) — is launching his new project: Textdrive, a web hosting operation. If it’s anything like his other projects, it will be elegant, robust, and worthy of your attention.
Dean is charging $199 for a year of hosting (about $16 a month). Not a bad price for what appears to be a very solid setup. But the reason I’m pimping it here is the very special deal he’s offering to early adopters: Sign up now, pay your $199, and get free web hosting for life. Rather than go the venture-capital route, he’s counting on the early signups to provide a portion of Textdrive’s seed money — he’s calling them the VC200, since he’s limiting their number to the first 200 signups. (Plus, you get a free t-shirt!)
Now, with the vagaries of Internet economics, “for life” means “for the life of Textdrive,” and who knows how long that will be. But (a) Dean is a top-notch fellow whose business model makes sense to me, (b) he’s got some good people working with him, and (c) even if the life of Textdrive is only two years, you’re still looking at a hell of a deal. If it lasts longer, of course, it’s an amazing deal.
I signed up yesterday. Read the lengthy (15 screens at this writing) discussion to learn way more than you need to about the technical aspects. At the moment, there are 33 spots left in the 200 — they’ll probably be gone in a few hours, so sign up now if you’re interested. As I said, $199 a year is a very good deal, but there are probably better ones available if you dig. But $199 for life (or even two years) is essentially unbeatable.
(Update, 4:19 p.m.: The last space just sold out.)

4 thoughts on “textdrive debuts”

  1. Well, then it looks like we’ll be server neighbors – I signed up yesterday too. Does this mean crabwalk is switching to Textpattern?

  2. Hmmm…maybe. I like Movable Type just fine, really. I like a lot about Textpattern, and it could mature into something great, but it doesn’t feel ready for prime time yet. Plus, the lack of a reliable MT-to-Txp import is holding me back. I’ve got installs of MT, WordPress, and Textpattern on various servers, and I play around with them all.
    Actually, I won’t move crabwalk.com over to Textdrive for a while. I’ll probably move a couple of my lesser domains over there and test it out. Sad to say, I’ve got three web hosts now — Textdrive, one of the free 1and1 accounts I wrote about a couple months ago, and the one crabwalk.com is hosted on (alwayswebhosting.com). AWB is pretty mediocre, and I’m looking to get out eventually, even though it’s only $8 a month.
    Actually, from the comments in the Textdrive thread, it appears their servers are going to be in Dallas, right on Stemmons Freeway. I drive past that server farm all the time.

  3. Three webhosts! I bet you have five 401k plans, too. I think TextDrive’s flexibility is going to be fun; I’ve got WP, ExpressionEngine and my regular old MT 2.661 – but until I get another database, no TextPattern for me – yet.

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