Proposal: WordPress Hosting Directory

For some time now, different proposals have been developed suggesting that the HostingHosting A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web. Team offer a directory of hosting companies. This directory would be primarily based on objective criteria such as technical features or contributions, enabling WordPress users to make informed decisions suited to their hosting needs, a fundamental aspect of CMS functionality.

This initiative began a few years ago with the Recommended Hosts Page Requirement Matrix Criteria, an initial approach to consider all potential elements that hosting companies must meet as requirements.

Following this, a formal proposal known as Project Bedrock was developed. It aimed to create a directory of hosting companies that promote WordPress from a purely objective standpoint, where users can search, filterFilter Filters are one of the two types of Hooks They provide a way for functions to modify data of other functions. They are the counterpart to Actions. Unlike Actions, filters are meant to work in an isolated manner, and should never have side effects such as affecting global variables and output., and browse through multiple combinations.

This effort initially did not include formal participation of hosting companies in the community, which led to an additional proposal, the Hosting Application Rubric focused exclusively on this aspect.

From these three projects, a roadmap is now proposed for what the project should be and how to approach it, from a slightly different perspective than the current one, with certain unresolved issues that will need to be discussed in the team’s weekly meetings and the Contributor Days in the coming months.

The Directory

The project’s goal is to create // The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. where filtering can be done based on various needs, displaying a list of companies and products. Filters might include the type of hosting (shared, VPSVPS A virtual private server (VPS) is a virtual machine sold as a service by an Internet hosting service. A VPS runs its own copy of an operating system (OS), and customers may have superuser-level access to that operating system instance, so they can install almost any software that runs on that OS., cloud, etc.), whether WP-CLIWP-CLI WP CLI is the Command Line Interface for WordPress, used to do administrative and development tasks in a programmatic way. access is available, or the type of energy the servers use. The list is quite extensive and may include over 50 variables.

The listings will feature an algorithm based on objective elements, providing a clear and common scoring of what ranks higher and lower. Factors in scoring will include ease of access to tools offered by the community (like WP-CLI), participation in the Hosting Team’s Testing Project, and the company’s involvement in the Five for the Future project.

There will be two types of data: company profiles with general information, and the products offered by each company.

Data Retrieval

To keep the directory agile, creating a pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the Plugin Directory or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party. that includes all the options might be very complex. Storing the information, however, is not. Therefore, the use of a JSON Schema is being considered, which could also allow the project to evolve in the future with backward compatibility. There is also an example of what such a file would look like that a provider would need to create.

The files would be hosted at a path such as:


First Data Review

Considering that these paths do not contain any personal information that could breach privacy legislation, the initial management would be through a GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. Issue, indicating the provider’s path (or the main URLURL A specific web address of a website or web page on the Internet, such as a website’s URL and the main user within

A first review of the data would be conducted, and the same Issue would report potential errors or unverifiable elements. Once the first approval is done, this user would be assigned a role that would allow indicating their participation in the directory, and the URL of the JSONJSON JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) is an open standard file format, and data interchange format, that uses human-readable text to store and transmit data objects consisting of attribute–value pairs and array data types. It is a very common data format, with a diverse range of applications, such as serving as a replacement for XML in AJAX systems. to be processed would be assigned.

An alternative is sending a message to hosting (a) and following up through the ticket support platform. In any case, both approaches would be complementary.

The Plugin

The creation of a plugin that allows three main tasks is necessary.

The first is the reading of the JSON data and its storage. Once the first reading (previously reviewed) is approved, it will be published as the current content.

The second task is the review of changes. Any changes in the JSON data would be stored in a future/draft entry, pending review by the team in charge. This way, we will have several contents for the same user: past entries, the current public entry, and a future entry pending review with different data from the current one.

The third is basically the directory itself, which will display data on the frontend, both from companies and products, in addition to listings with filters, the result sorting algorithm, and a system for users (who should be logged in) to report incorrect data, thus generating an internal ticket for the review team.

Data Review Team

One of the most important aspects of this project is the review of changes and proposals from hosting providers, which community members will need to examine. Initially, a period of review and learning work will be planned, along with the creation of documentation, which will later open to more contributors. There is no rush, so the emphasis will be on taking things slow and steady rather than trying to set up the directory in a week.

Initially, four tasks are proposed:

  • The main task will be to review new hosting providers, their services, and ensure the initial information is correct.
  • The second task will continue the first, reviewing any changes that occur.
  • The third task is to review complaints that may come from the website, indicating erroneous data.
  • Finally, as a fourth point, we have the resolution of general issues, which would be managed by email, involving communication between the parties.

This does not mean that there will not be additional tasks sporadically, such as maintaining the JSON Schema with new product versions, informing providers of the JSON update, etc.

Next Steps / Roadmap

The first major milestone will be WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. Europe 2024, where on Contributor DayContributor Day Contributor Days are standalone days, frequently held before or after WordCamps but they can also happen at any time. They are events where people get together to work on various areas of There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus., feedback on the project can be discussed and received from hosting providers, both in terms of adding and removing elements from the JSON Schema. Meanwhile, Issues and comments can be left on the enabled GitHub.

A second step will be the construction of the plugin and the entire review system. If anyone is interested in creating this project, please comment (you can write to @javiercasares on SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at or leave comments on the post). In any case, ideas about this potential plugin are welcome.

A subsequent milestone will be at WordCamp US 2024, also on Contributor Day, where emphasis will be placed on this project, receiving inputs from those U.S. companies not present at WordCamp Europe.

Conclusion and Call to Action

As we move forward with the WordPress Hosting Directory, we are embarking on a journey that not only enhances the WordPress community’s access to reliable and transparent hosting information but also strengthens the bond between WordPress and hosting providers. This directory aims to serve as a robust resource, equipping users with the necessary tools to make informed decisions that align with their specific hosting needs.

Your involvement is crucial to the success of this project. Whether you are a hosting provider, a developer, or a community member, your feedback, ideas, and contributions are invaluable. We encourage everyone to engage with the project through the following channels:

  • Feedback Submission: Provide your insights and suggestions via the GitHub repository or direct communications to the Hosting Team.
  • Participation in Upcoming Events: Join us at WordCamp Europe and WordCamp US in 2024. These events will be pivotal for discussing further developments and refining our approach based on your input.
  • Volunteering: We will be searching for volunteers to join the Hosting Review Team. This team will play a critical role in ensuring the accuracy and integrity of the data within the directory.

Together, we can create a directory that not only reflects the diversity and capability of the WordPress Hosting Community but also sets new standards for transparency and user-centric information in the industry. Let’s work together to build a tool that will be indispensable for every WordPress user navigating the complexities of web hostingHosting A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web..

Thank you for considering this proposal. We look forward to your active participation and support in shaping the future of WordPress hosting.

Props: @crixu