EP472 – Does your WordPress Website Have an Expiration Date?

January 12, 2024

On this episode of WPwatercooler, titled “EP472 – Does your WordPress Website Have an Expiration Date?”, the panel, including Se Reed, Jason Tucker, and Jason Cosper, delve into the concept of digital permanence and the lifespan of websites. They discuss the recent decision by Google to discontinue certain website services, impacting businesses and users who relied on them. This leads to a broader conversation about the impermanence of digital platforms and the risks of relying on third-party services for important digital content. They touch on the closure of APIs by various platforms, including Twitter and Medium, and how these changes can affect users and developers. The panel also explores the concept of personal and business websites, questioning the necessity of their longevity and the importance of regularly updating web content to stay relevant. They discuss the idea of digital legacies, how to manage online presence posthumously, and the responsibility of handling someone’s digital assets. The conversation is both philosophical and practical, addressing the transient nature of the internet and the need for individuals and businesses to adapt to these changes.



00:00 Introduction
02:47 Google’s Discontinuation of Services
10:03 Impact of API Closures
16:18 Website Lifespan and Digital Impermanence
22:55 Managing Digital Legacies
29:30 The Future of Online Platforms
35:44 Adapting to Technological Changes
42:58 Conclusion and Outro


Episode Transcription

[00:00:00] Se Reed: Happy New Year! I’m

[00:00:09] Jason Tucker: This is episode number 472 of WPwatercooler. What does your WordPress website have an expiration date? I said what I’m Jason Tucker. Find me over at JasonTucker. blog.

[00:00:25] Se Reed: Sé Reed, I do things at Sé Reed Media, all the things. Woop!

[00:00:32] Jason Cosper: And y’all know who it is, it’s your boy Jason Cosper, aka Fat Mullenweg, back at it again in the new year on the world’s most influential WordPress

[00:00:40] Se Reed: who’s bringing it!

[00:00:41] Jason Tucker: of that podcast, go subscribe to us as a podcast and hang out in our fancy discord.

[00:00:49] Se Reed: Come dance in our Discord. Have you ever danced in a Discord in the pale of the moonlight?

[00:00:56] Jason Tucker: say I have.

[00:00:58] Se Reed: I did not plan that. I want [00:01:00] you to know

[00:01:02] Jason Tucker: Oh,

[00:01:02] Jason Tucker: bad.

[00:01:03] Se Reed: Happy New Year to the Watercooler. We were back last week with DevBranch, but not to a Watercooler proper.

[00:01:11] Jason Tucker: Yeah. Yeah. Before we jump in, we’ve, I don’t think we’ve ever really we’ve talked about it here and there, but the fact that we have two shows and there are two different RSS feeds and there are two different podcasts,

[00:01:23] Se Reed: And you have to subscribe to

[00:01:24] Jason Tucker: one YouTube channel

[00:01:26] Se Reed: Oh wait!

[00:01:27] Jason Tucker: group.

[00:01:27] Se Reed: And We are both number one and number two on some podcast list.

[00:01:33] Jason Tucker: Yes. On, on, on a very specific podcast list.

[00:01:38] Jason Cosper: Right.

[00:01:38] Jason Tucker: number one in numbers.

[00:01:40] Se Reed: That’s like Taylor Swift level in WordPress. I don’t know.

[00:01:43] Jason Tucker: Yeah, we’re selling out all of the shows.

[00:01:48] Se Reed: I don’t know anyone else. Let’s see. Oh, wait, are we going to do a, that would be interesting if we did a live tour around the country, like the, all the podcasts do they like rent out like some auditorium and then they come and do a live [00:02:00] show and then anyway, yeah, all I’ve got is ideas here, people.

[00:02:05] Jason Tucker: back in the day, we used to do that. We used to do that at WordCamps. That was a lot of fun.

[00:02:09] Se Reed: You did. If you’re interested, you just let us know in that Discord that you’re going to join if you haven’t

[00:02:14] Jason Tucker: Yeah. Yeah. You tell us when we’re sponsored and the, you send us the tickets and then we’ll show up.

[00:02:20] Se Reed: We’ll just pre sale, so you never know. Anyway those are long term plans, which is a

[00:02:29] Jason Tucker: Long term, yeah. 11 years later, long term plans.

[00:02:32] Se Reed: 12 years later this year. We just went into 24 and it started in 12, so yeah. Anyway, speaking of long term plans all

[00:02:46] Jason Tucker: Segway.

[00:02:47] Jason Cosper: and enjoy the rest of

[00:02:48] Se Reed: this topic is not just about a hundred year hosting plans. This is not even necessarily inspired by a hundred year hosting plans.

[00:02:59] Se Reed: [00:03:00] However, it is adjacent to that topic because you can’t not be when you’re talking long term. 100 years, pretty long term. But, multiple times over the past few weeks we have shared with each other some examples of websites literally tapping out. Google, again, our good friend Google, who does love to what is it called?

[00:03:24] Se Reed: Deprecate? No. Depreciate. I guess they do deprecate them too. I don’t know. I can never remember which one it is. They kill. That’s what I’m going to go ahead with. They kill their projects and they just suddenly do it. So about five, eight years ago, something, eight to five years, five to eight years ago, Google launched a huge national campaign. called get my business on the map along with their Google my business launch. It was like this huge deal. And they connected with a bunch of SBDCs, which I [00:04:00] worked with around the country. It was around this day. I got to visit Google’s campus as part of this thing. It was it was wild. But.

[00:04:10] Se Reed: They basically created your business profile for Google, right? But they were like, and you can create your website. Here it is. So across the country with the help of they just, this huge campaign. I cannot stress how big this campaign was to businesses. To both get their page and then to create their website using that.

[00:04:32] Se Reed: Last week, they said, Hey, so if you made your website using Google, your Google business profile to make a website. I wish they explicitly told people to do

[00:04:46] Jason Cosper: Of

[00:04:46] Jason Tucker: Gotta love that.

[00:04:47] Se Reed: We’re like, you should do this. They said, your website is going to be frozen in March and it will disappear in June completely. No, in March it will start rerouting to your it will reroute to [00:05:00] your business profile page.

[00:05:01] Se Reed: And then in June it will just 404 ya.

[00:05:05] Jason Tucker: Wow.

[00:05:08] Se Reed: It’s like it’s we talk about it, right? We talk about Google, the Google, there’s a Google graveyard website that talks about all their dead projects, but this is the first one, a lot of those are, like, secretly released or not really have a big deal behind them and people pick them up and get into them and it’s whatever, but this is literally a literal national, probably, possibly even international, because some of the SBDCs have South America and Central America and Canada stuff too.

[00:05:40] Se Reed: So anyway. Funny ish. You can go after those customers if you are a client person. Anyone who has a Google page website go find, they got to get a website. But then also, Jason, Tucker, you forwarded to us a little [00:06:00] something about Medium.

[00:06:02] Jason Tucker: Yeah, that closing up, or not closing up, but I don’t know

[00:06:06] Se Reed: I guess they’re closing their API. They’re locking down. They’re locking down their garden. Which sounds weirdly like a chest.

[00:06:20] Jason Tucker: Wow. No one ran with that one though. That they, they could have,

[00:06:24] Se Reed: I

[00:06:25] Jason Tucker: A lot of these are no APIs.

[00:06:27] Se Reed: That was just a notification, right? I think that was through Zapier. I was trying to look up some more information about that yesterday, but then I didn’t. But basically they were saying you can’t import or export your content using, at least using Zapier because they’re going to retire their API.

[00:06:48] Se Reed: That whole integration concept, or, as we now call it in Matt parlance, deliberation. [00:07:00] And I think it’s just, this, is it scheudenfreud? Scheudenfraud? Scheuden, what’s that word? The German thing where you take slight pleasure in other people’s pain.

[00:07:12] Jason Cosper: we’ve got 23 more minutes. Figure it out. Say,

[00:07:15] Se Reed: Just look it up, pronounce it with one word. No, it’s like when you The concept is when you are happy for someone else’s suffering, right? So I am definitely, whatever concept is adjacent to that, like you are feel validated by the unfortunate outcome that you saw coming 10 miles away, 10 years away, honestly. And then you’re like, Oh yeah, we knew that would happen. And even with Medium, like this is exactly what we talk about with open source and I guess is an important concept. Going along with that whole data

[00:07:55] Jason Tucker: and that’s more, and the thing is that’s like open web the idea of having [00:08:00] an API for things and being able to have an open web where you can post things from one client to another, or one website to another, or use. And Zapier or something like that. So yeah, it just makes you think what are we trying to get to where we spent so much time and energy building APIs to like, we built an API to make a web app, talk to a backend to get it to update.

[00:08:30] Jason Tucker: And now we’re trying to turn off this API, so we’re no longer be able to post it. It’s going to be a private one that only they’re going to use for themselves. And maybe high end clients or something like that.

[00:08:41] Jason Cosper: This is. Yeah this is I’m enough of an internet old that I remember when APIs were going to be the thing that is, it’s, Oh, it’s going to make the web so amazing. It was the promise of web 2. 0. And [00:09:00] now like everybody, everybody is snapping back and taking

[00:09:08] Se Reed: Including wordpress. com, specifically.

[00:09:13] Jason Cosper: You look at what happened with Twitter last year. One of the many things that happened with Twitter last year, but what

[00:09:19] Se Reed: What happened to Twitter last year?

[00:09:21] Jason Cosper: Oh,

[00:09:22] Se Reed: I don’t remember.

[00:09:23] Jason Cosper: Now we only have 21 minutes, at least 21 minutes left in the show. I do not know that I have the time. However they closed down their API All the different Twitter apps that were out there that actually helped grow Twitter.

[00:09:40] Jason Cosper: They closed off that walled garden. Reddit did the same thing. They pulled back their API.

[00:09:47] Se Reed: Pissed off by that ecosystem, too.

[00:09:50] Se Reed: And everyone’s just get over it. And then Twitter, Elon, X, whatever you want to call it [00:10:00] also rate limited, right? So you can’t even really scrape it’s not even like you can’t access stuff. Same thing with Facebook, incidentally. And of course, Instagram.

[00:10:11] Se Reed: You can only get so far before you, you load an Instagram on the browser. You can only, you can’t get very far until you have to log in. And Facebook, who cares about Facebook? But I did lose my Facebook account that was from 2007 because it got hacked and deleted, and I, there’s no one to ask about it.

[00:10:33] Se Reed: So it’s just gonna Never exist, but I

[00:10:35] Se Reed: can’t see anything in Facebook anymore.

[00:10:42] Jason Cosper: with her mom who was a hardcore Facebook user. And they said something about Facebook or Sarah said something like offhandedly about Facebook. And she’s Oh, I don’t know. I don’t use Facebook. And her mom goes. Yeah neither [00:11:00] do I really it’s not that.

[00:11:02] Jason Cosper: And she was, yeah she was posting Minion memes with the best of them just a couple of years ago and now she just does not care.

[00:11:14] Se Reed: They really just, they all those, they all really know how to run a good thing into the ground, don’t they?

[00:11:20] Jason Cosper: Yeah.

[00:11:20] Jason Tucker: going back,

[00:11:22] Se Reed: wish I could stop destroying everything. I really do. I,

[00:11:25] Jason Tucker: going back to the API part of it. Twitter I want to look at it from a different

[00:11:30] Se Reed: Wait, I just want to say real quick, I swear my, one of my resolutions in 2024 is to have less existential crises, especially on air.

[00:11:39] Se Reed: Just so you know.

[00:11:40] Jason Tucker: Okay, so no longer does the, has their, the way that their API is set up totally different now, but then you have Grok and Grok being their competitor to open or to, to OpenAI’s chat GPT.

[00:11:55] Se Reed: Wait,

[00:11:56] Jason Tucker: I’m thinking

[00:11:57] Se Reed: wait, isn’t Grok Twitter? Or [00:12:00] X’s? Or no?

[00:12:01] Jason Tucker: yeah, what I’m saying is that API is allowing it, by turning off that API, they’re essentially not giving any other their competitors access to the data that’s on X. So if they can use grok as a way of being able to grok all of the Nazis that are on X, they’d be able to get all the information they want off of it, and be able to use that to

[00:12:25] Se Reed: Wait, what’s Grok?

[00:12:26] Jason Tucker: large language model.

[00:12:28] Jason Tucker: It’s the, oh, it’s the just read something about it, but Oh, it’s X’s AI.

[00:12:36] Jason Tucker: to ChatGPT,

[00:12:38] Jason Cosper: Yeah. Cause everybody’s trying to shove AI that doesn’t need to fucking be

[00:12:43] Jason Tucker: right? So what I’m trying to figure out is how many of these, whenever I hear somebody say I’m turning off my API, I’m thinking, okay, if they’re turning off their API, is there a reason for it? And are they coming out with a ChatGPT competitor?

[00:12:54] Se Reed: So essentially, they’re like, you can’t use my my site’s content [00:13:00] for your LLM. And if you want to ask anything about anything, you have to ask our little chatbot over here.

[00:13:06] Jason Tucker: Yes, that’s I’m thinking that’s probably one of the routes that they’re going now is medium coming up with their own thing. I don’t

[00:13:15] Se Reed: Of course they are, they all are, but I don’t understand why it’s, first of all, I need to just say something about AI real quick. It is the most poorly used word that I have oh yeah, it’s so loose.

[00:13:28] Se Reed: I have seen it’s annoying everywhere because people are like talking about search and they’re like AI, and I’m like that’s not AI, that’s a search algorithm.

[00:13:37] Se Reed: that’s Not the same thing. Like, all computers are AI. Or we need to specifically talk about generative AI being what we mean when we’re talking about AI. Because there’s literally this commercial, I was watching some stream and a commercial came on and she was like, I don’t know if artificial intelligence will know, [00:14:00] will tell me, isn’t, it isn’t working and like tries to use it, and they’re just searching.

[00:14:05] Se Reed: I’m like, we’re just going to a website, that, like, why are you calling it AI? I the whole, just slap some of those little stars on there. How did the stars turn into the AI thing also?

[00:14:17] Jason Cosper: going back to Sarah’s mom bring a few years ago this is just another case a few years ago everything had to do with a firewall, people learn a word and then they

[00:14:35] Se Reed: hold on to it.

[00:14:36] Jason Cosper: it into everything.

[00:14:38] Se Reed: if A site doesn’t load, she’s I think there’s a firewall.

[00:14:41] Jason Cosper: Yeah, I think that there’s a problem with the firewall. And then I look and I’m like,

[00:14:46] Se Reed: Okay, but it does sound really cool. It

[00:14:49] Se Reed: does

[00:14:49] Jason Cosper: not even running a firewall

[00:14:52] Jason Tucker: Right.

[00:14:54] Jason Cosper: turns out like, but everything is probably the firewall,

[00:14:58] Se Reed: if You had to [00:15:00] imagine what a firewall was without knowing, I would say it’s probably just a security layer. And that’s like what she would be like, Oh, of course I have a firewall. It’s on the edge of the internet.

[00:15:10] Jason Cosper: so

[00:15:11] Se Reed: it’s The wall of my internet.

[00:15:14] Jason Cosper: Look at what they’re doing now with AI. It’s being shoveled into everything

[00:15:19] Se Reed: Oh, it’s

[00:15:20] Se Reed: shoveled.

[00:15:21] Jason Cosper: a generic Kleenex term where you know, now, Oh, sure. But no,

[00:15:32] Se Reed: that.

[00:15:32] Jason Cosper: to get back to our original topic, I know that we never,

[00:15:38] Se Reed: Nice comeback there.

[00:15:40] Jason Cosper: know that we never stray too far afield on this show, but Never. No sarcasm here either.

[00:15:50] Jason Cosper: topic. It’s, it is interesting to me because we’re talking about websites having an expiration date, or at least that’s what we came [00:16:00] into today wanting to discuss. And I think honestly that websites do have an expiration date. I think

[00:16:11] Se Reed: mean like the concept of website? Or do you mean a particular website instance?

[00:16:18] Jason Cosper: Particular website instances, particular I made a site for Sarah and my wedding it is online, but I don’t update it anymore. And if it, one day, it only lives on like a bunch of static files on a host somewhere yeah, it’s

[00:16:42] Se Reed: live in the website archive on the

[00:16:45] Jason Cosper: The Internet archive. Yeah. Yeah. But it’s not really alive. It’s just in stasis now we’re literally defining life. I thought, this is a great way to kick off 2022. [00:17:00] What? It’s not 2022! 2024,

[00:17:05] Jason Cosper: Yeah. I, today I learned that it is still 2022.

[00:17:13] Se Reed: I know what year. I have

[00:17:15] Se Reed: no, idea why I said that. Oh lord. Just

[00:17:27] Jason Cosper: haven’t updated in two years. I Update the plugins and themes and everything else. It’s still online, but I have no interest in continuing to blog there.

[00:17:39] Jason Cosper: I, I started a new blog. Last year, just to, because I was like, there’s too much baggage here.

[00:17:46] Se Reed: that one. It’s like an old diary. This is, you know what, this is like the thing that like blogging coming out of the era of like live journal, right? that was Really where the blogging like world [00:18:00] came from. And of course, MySpace posts and all that. But the diary, the actual like physical diary that of yore, or that a lot of people still use for journaling, the journal.

[00:18:14] Se Reed: There is a there is a benefit in being able to say, Okay, here’s this thing, and I’m just gonna just put it over there. And I can keep them, but it’s if someone wants to see it when I die, or whatever, my children want to read it someday, or I want to look back and be like, how did I get through this problem last time?

[00:18:34] Se Reed: That’s great, but in terms of What, like having that available to other people who have no context of your history or where you are now, because when you read your journal in the future, or your children do or whatever, it’s with the context of who you are as a person, your whole history, right?

[00:18:57] Se Reed: On the website, it is not like that. So [00:19:00] Google can just index some random thing you wrote in 2014 and be like, here you go. And you’re like, wow, that is. not Who I am, that was a really hard time, that I don’t want shoved in my face, all of that stuff. To a, to a certain degree, I want to ask the question, doesn’t, should we be worried about having long term websites?

[00:19:20] Se Reed: Because should the content just be there forever? is That, what is that? It’s just like having a book written that is available to everybody at all times. I don’t

[00:19:34] Jason Cosper: Even books, they fall out of print, they get harder to find.

[00:19:39] Se Reed: they start being really bad. I have, my bookstore, I’ve got all these books and some of them are like. Inappropriate, and racist, and sexist, and have bad ideas about all sorts of things should that be held [00:20:00] on the same level of current humanity’s You know, existing wiki, or whatever you want to call it.

[00:20:09] Jason Cosper: So I’m reminded.

[00:20:11] Se Reed: of the guy.

[00:20:12] Jason Cosper: I’m reminded of a discussion that I got to overhear, with my nephews and, they were like two and four at the time and they’re riding, in the back of my sister in law’s suburban and they’re driving around, running some errands and one of them. Notices the younger one, the two year old notices like, Oh, the leaves are changing.

[00:20:39] Jason Cosper: They’re getting they’re getting yellow. And, there’s a lot of brown ones on the ground and everything else. And, their mom who is a very practical lady, does not sugar coat things for them, says, remembered, we talked about this. And then I got to hear a little two year old say, Oh, everything dies.[00:21:00]

[00:21:00] Jason Tucker: Wow.

[00:21:01] Se Reed: We had so much for that existential crisis in

[00:21:04] Se Reed: 2024.

[00:21:06] Jason Tucker: Wow.

[00:21:06] Jason Cosper: Sé, but

[00:21:09] Se Reed: He’s what resolution? No,

[00:21:12] Se Reed: that’s good though. I’ve had my, my daughter’s had the same awareness because she lost her grandpa, her my my partner’s dad, and then, my Toot, my dog, and my cat, and then I have another dog because all of my pets are on the end of their lifecycle. And so we’re my last dog also my first dog, she’s just like slowly deteriorating.

[00:21:39] Se Reed: So we talk about it and she’ll introduce people to her and she’ll be like, this is meta, by the way, my dog’s name is meta. And she’s old, so obviously that is not

[00:21:48] Se Reed: copying it, but yeah, pre, like I, original meta. were sent.

[00:21:54] Se Reed: She says this is meta, she’s gonna die soon. So she introduces her to [00:22:00] people.

[00:22:01] Jason Tucker: Oh,

[00:22:01] Jason Cosper: everything does.

[00:22:03] Se Reed: She’s prepared. She’s almost four. She’ll be four next week. So I agree that it there is, you get into this discussion a lot, You can get into this discussion a lot philosophically if you want to talk about would you rathers, would you rather live forever or would you rather swallow 10 bugs or whatever.

[00:22:24] Se Reed: I that whole living, there’s that, there’s a really philosophical take that having like a tangible timeline. Knowing that expiration date is happening to have you use the thing, whether it be life or a coffee maker or , website

[00:22:47] Se Reed: Or a website, use that thing while it’s active and while you have it, and then when it doesn’t work anymore to move on to the next thing.

[00:22:55] Se Reed: And the afterlife, or a new website with new technology, [00:23:00] because sometimes the debt, just because you can move a website along, sometimes the, what’s it called, the technology debt, and even the content debt is so much, you just have to start over. At a certain point you also, you get to that question about, hold on, about the Oedipus, what’s his name, not Oedipus, is it Oedipus?

[00:23:22] Se Reed: No. Odessas. Odysseus. Odysseus’s ship. The ship. Athe.

[00:23:29] Se Reed: that ship, which is is it the same ship if it’s been completely replaced? So it’s is it the same website if you’ve switched out all the content and the plugins and switched hosting, but moved your database, purged all your original tables?

[00:23:47] Se Reed: What is a

[00:23:48] Jason Cosper: Eip. Oedipus is the one that wanted to have sex with his mom. Odysseus is the one who wanted his, [00:24:00] his shipmates to tie him to the mast, so he wouldn’t run after the sirens who were trying to get them to crash on the rocks and kill and eat his whole crew. He wanted to hear their song,

[00:24:12] Se Reed: huh.

[00:24:13] Jason Cosper: did Not, he was willing to let himself be driven crazy.

[00:24:17] Jason Cosper: And yes, the ship of Theseus is, where if all of the parts on something are eventually replaced. Is it still the same ship?

[00:24:29] Jason Tucker: Yeah. That’s why you have you have the ability to move your blog from one service to the next. I Went from LiveJournal way back in the day. I went From, there’s a whole bunch of different places I pulled my data from and then plopped it into WordPress cause it was easy to move it into WordPress

[00:24:49] Se Reed: have been moving all their Twitter data. Remember last year, all the Twitter data migration to Rastadon and also to WordPress websites where everyone’s I’m taking my content. [00:25:00] I always Tried to download my Facebook content. I don’t think I ever succeeded in doing that. I don’t know.

[00:25:04] Jason Tucker: would you do with It?

[00:25:07] Jason Cosper: yeah. look at,

[00:25:08] Se Reed: I Would like to have the pictures I posted on there.

[00:25:10] Jason Tucker: I don’t

[00:25:10] Jason Cosper: okay, that’s fair, but look at what’s happening now with, Substack. people are Fleeing Substack in, just droves over, the fact that they are okay with, hosting fascist and Nazi content. they

[00:25:29] Se Reed: Why do we have to Go through this in the tech world, every six months? It’s Pantheon, it’s whatever. It’s can everyone just stop with hosting the

[00:25:36] Se Reed: Nazis?

[00:25:36] Jason Cosper: It’s, it to do this?

[00:25:40] Se Reed: Because they keep popping up, mushrooms somewhere, or it’s the majority of tech bros out there, tend to have a more libertarian bent and, have all read have,

[00:25:54] Se Reed: Individuality. I Also, remember [00:26:00] being a teenager and,

[00:26:02] Se Reed: ha! And Caring only about yourself? Ha

[00:26:07] Jason Cosper: I fucking grew out of it. Right?

[00:26:10] Jason Cosper: but, I, I was actually, thinking of, longevity and I shared this in the private chat.

[00:26:18] Jason Cosper: I was reading Earlier today even, cause I’ve been. I have been low Key trying to pressure, a friend who is on Substack to move off of Substack. and A close friend, a known author, a really great guy. but it Is, he, this is how he is an author and between writing books, this is how he makes money is people subscribing to his sub stack newsletter.

[00:26:49] Jason Cosper: So him moving, fucks with his house payment, his mean literally people have built their lives on these platforms that they [00:27:00] have no control over

[00:27:01] Jason Cosper: So

[00:27:02] Se Reed: at all,

[00:27:03] Jason Cosper: Ben Wordmuller, wrote this, really great post and basically talks about how, yes okay like running your own site is painful, the headline of it, but hosting Nazis is worse. so just But

[00:27:23] Se Reed: or cohabitating with anyway, sharing servers with them is much worse.

[00:27:28] Jason Cosper: But he lists off all of the alternatives out there and lists WordPress alongside Ghost and ButtonDown and a bunch of other places that people can move their newsletters over to, but Ben Werdmuller, I don’t know if the two of you are familiar with any of his other stuff or not, but Ben is very long, like for a very long time, been a proponent of, running things on your own domain, [00:28:00] owning your own domain, owning your own content.

[00:28:03] Jason Cosper: he’s Very indie web focused. So publishing stuff on your site and sending it out, to the rest of the internet, like from your site. and That is the sigil that he’s taken up and the flag that he’s been champion championing.

[00:28:24] Se Reed: Can’t be anything. So I think that’s an interesting thing here that I don’t know that there is a platform that you could be on other than your own thing that you are setting up in some way. That you could actually make that bet on because I, for example, the next Google recommended say, oh, go to Google site pages.

[00:28:50] Se Reed: trust us again. they Also said WordPress. They didn’t Specify com or org, but in theory, you can go, this was a free site, free [00:29:00] website. So you could go to WordPress. com and get a free hosted site. And I’ve actually seen people talk about, WordPress. com as a An alternative to Substack, or an alternative to just having a free site somewhere that isn’t, also supporting Nazis.

[00:29:17] Jason Tucker: Yeah.

[00:29:18] Jason Cosper: both Google and DuckDuckGo. When you just search for the word, wordpress.com comes up first.

[00:29:24] Se Reed: oh, dot com comes up so much in my SEO these days, in my SERPs we don’t need to talk about that right now, because it, I am like literally constantly ticked off

[00:29:35] Jason Tucker: Turns out, sending emails is actually hard. Turns

[00:29:39] Se Reed: Yeah, turns out you need to know like these Acronyms, like DKIM and DMARC and how to, why did I get listed in some black hole? And how do I, you end up having to become a whole, it’s like you’re a race car driver and you also have to know how to move the race car and you also know how to build it and you need to know how to move the car from one place [00:30:00] to the next.

[00:30:00] Jason Tucker: you just have to know too much To be

[00:30:02] Se Reed: You also have to have money because hosting it on a free site. com, if you’re doing a free newsletter on Substack or whatever these other ones are, you are costing somewhere, someone, server money. Like doing that is not quote unquote free because it isn’t. It is, it has a cost. So I also saw on some threads the argument that, oh, if I have a free I’ve got a free newsletter on Substack.

[00:30:30] Se Reed: I’m actually costing them money, so it’s good to stay there, because then, they’ll cost them money, and it’s no, but you’re validating them and saying that it, what they’re doing is okay by being there. that’s moot. But the Point is none of these services are owed.

[00:30:48] Se Reed: to people. And, even government programs that are quote unquote actually owed to people or a right, those also get taken away depending on the politics. So [00:31:00] building out any of these choices, unless you’re paying 38, 000 for it to be Matt Mullenweg’s problem, what happens to your content? Like you would literally, you give, you pay that, and then it’s important.

[00:31:14] Se Reed: they basically take on that Responsibility. But 20 years in the future, do we all see that? this is the end of life for this Service, so Which, it’s because, the way the internet now is, this doesn’t matter anymore, because we’re all in holograms, or we’re all, in huts.

[00:31:34] Se Reed: Who knows what it is, but this, it’s such, it is, it’s I don’t think that we need the websites to last forever. This is my take on this. I

[00:31:45] Jason Cosper: Everything dies.

[00:31:46] Se Reed: Everything dies. That is the

[00:31:48] Jason Cosper: That’s a fact,

[00:31:49] Se Reed: it.

[00:31:50] Jason Cosper: everything dies, but someday comes back, put your makeup on, do your hair up pretty and meet me tonight in Atlantic city.

[00:31:59] Se Reed: Yeah, because [00:32:00] we all die. And also, so should your website. One quick point, although that was very poetic.

[00:32:06] Jason Cosper: That was Bruce Springsteen,

[00:32:07] Se Reed: Okay, no wonder. So in terms of business right? We’re talking a lot about blogs and personal stuff, but in terms of business Business content is, should never be static for that long.

[00:32:23] Se Reed: Like all of the content, I took, people talk about page builders and it’s Oh, it locks you into stuff. And I was like first of all, I have only ever used proposed content that would be. I’m going to talk a little bit about how you can do this in a way that you would want to have longer periods of time, like archived content, posts, they can go through whatever format, you don’t have to design them out.

[00:32:42] Se Reed: Pages that you’re making are essentially all landing pages, right? And that is going to change. That’s going to change depending on your products or your services or what. Your audience changes and all of that stuff is going to evolve with the business. So who cares if you have to redo that page? [00:33:00] Like you can strip, you might take some of the text, you might ditch all of the text.

[00:33:04] Se Reed: so the Longevity of a page in a website is really to me, especially for a business website, like that is, that has an intentional and should have an expiration date because. It should, maybe not that URL, your about page will be slash about for forever. But in terms of the actual content, that does not need to be preserved, right?

[00:33:30] Se Reed: That could go any which way. I, Yeah I guess I’m just more, more temporal than I thought. I was like, I didn’t realize I was going to come down on the side of burn it all.

[00:33:44] Jason Cosper: my about page, my My about page, five years ago said I had Two dogs, one of those dogs has since passed away. and Like [00:34:00] my interests were, craft beer and whiskey and yeah, okay. I, it was the most Milk toast about page. yeah,

[00:34:10] Jason Tucker: on a beach.

[00:34:11] Jason Cosper: Long walks off a short pier and, yeah, but and all of that now that really sure.

[00:34:22] Jason Cosper: I still like Irish whiskey. craft beers can Go fly a kite. I know that’s strong words For me who normally, doesn’t use a lot

[00:34:32] Se Reed: changed, you’ve evolved as a person and you need a new webpage. You need a new, you need a new domain. You need a new thing. don’t take That web data baggage with you into the future. Hit delete, type delete again, and then be done with it.

[00:34:48] Jason Cosper: delete yourself.

[00:34:52] Se Reed: that’s the real data Liberation.

[00:34:57] Jason Cosper: Oh,[00:35:00]

[00:35:00] Se Reed: Okay, sorry.

[00:35:01] Jason Cosper: I think that the Kids who do not know how to use, folders and files and who, basically are still using Snapchat, that everything just goes away after 24 hours. I think they’re onto something.

[00:35:19] Se Reed: I think they are too. It’s much more living in the moment. Us millennials are really logged, bagged down by our old domain names, our old files that we’re dragging around. I got a couple old hard drives. I’m like, this is really important stuff I gotta keep.

[00:35:34] Jason Cosper: Every, everything is ephemeral. I think our big takeaway And, unless the other two of you have something else to

[00:35:42] Se Reed: No,

[00:35:42] Se Reed: please

[00:35:43] Jason Cosper: the big takeaway here, I think I can bring us home is that everything is ephemeral unless you own your own shit, unless you own your own domain, unless you own, everything

[00:35:56] Se Reed: own land, and your own server, and your own solar [00:36:00] panel, and your own caretaker who’s gonna take care of

[00:36:04] Jason Cosper: Yeah. hell, I

[00:36:07] Se Reed: How long is DigitalOcean gonna be around? I don’t know.

[00:36:10] Jason Tucker: your website.

[00:36:12] Se Reed: dying. Everything died.

[00:36:14] Jason Cosper: I actually have you, have either of you ever seen, I think it’s like a low tech magazine or something like that. It’s a

[00:36:23] Se Reed: No, but please subscribe me right now.

[00:36:25] Jason Cosper: who literally, runs off of a raspberry pie and a solar panel, and sometimes you go to the site and it is offline, the

[00:36:34] Se Reed: Sorry, it’s cloudy.

[00:36:36] Jason Cosper: the background of the site Changes to let you know how much charge is left on the server on the site.

[00:36:43] Jason Cosper: It is so rad.

[00:36:45] Se Reed: Oh my

[00:36:46] Jason Tucker: is rad. Oh my

[00:36:47] Se Reed: bio. Or no, not in bio. What do we put our links in? The show notes. There we

[00:36:52] Jason Cosper: yeah, we’ll add it to the show notes definitely.

[00:36:54] Jason Tucker: It tells you that the battery’s 56 percent right now.

[00:36:57] Jason Cosper: yeah,

[00:36:59] Jason Tucker: That is [00:37:00] awesome.

[00:37:00] Se Reed: Oh,

[00:37:01] Jason Tucker: Oh, I love it.

[00:37:03] Se Reed: we’re going to bring this home And then I took it out of the door again. I was like, no, wait, one more thing to look at.

[00:37:09] Jason Cosper: no. But it’s fine. It’s fine. because I, like right Now I have a friend who, my, my very dear good friend, Jeremy Kitchen is, fighting like stage four colon cancer. And, he is like going through chemo. it seems to be treatable, but Stage four, that’s pretty serious.

[00:37:32] Jason Cosper: Everything else. and, him and I Had a discussion and he’s Hey, I have other people like being the executor of my wills and everything else. And I hope that Jeremy doesn’t want to kill me for mentioning this on

[00:37:47] Se Reed: Oh my gosh, I know what you’re going to

[00:37:50] Jason Cosper: But no, he asked me, will you take care of like my password vault?

[00:37:55] Jason Cosper: can I basically Give you the keys to [00:38:00] everything? Because the person who I have as executor of my will, will not know how to handle any of that. Can I, will you handle

[00:38:09] Se Reed: a,

[00:38:10] Se Reed: it’s called a, it’s called a digital ex execu executor. Executor? No,

[00:38:15] Jason Cosper: yeah. and so He put me down and I still need to sign the paperwork, but he was just like, Hey, I’m going through some serious stuff. are you willing To step up and do this for me? And, a lot of the stuff that’s in there also has to do with what websites he wants to keep online. When he dies, how to tell people on the internet that he has passed away, how to do all of this stuff.

[00:38:48] Jason Cosper: and again, like I, I Keep coming back to I keep sending Sé down this existential spiral, everything dies, including like one Of my very [00:39:00] best friends and hopefully not for a good long time, but, you have to have a plan in place for this stuff.

[00:39:10] Jason Cosper: You

[00:39:10] Se Reed: I had a,

[00:39:12] Jason Cosper: Yeah,

[00:39:12] Se Reed: sorry, I was gonna say, I had a com a friend who had a a scary surgery preventive for cancer, and she asked me to be her digital Executor. Is that what it is? Yeah, so I also serve as a digital executor for someone, and it was a formal process, like a will, and it was, it was a it was a hard discussion, but I was, of course honored and happy to do I was like, oh, I, the fact that you would trust me with this is so amazing. And also just to think about, who do you trust with that, right? for me It’s like we can do it for each other and then not get in a car accident together.

[00:39:52] Jason Tucker: Right.

[00:39:53] Se Reed: Yeah. But I think that’s, sometimes you, there are, is stuff you’re going to want to keep on and there is stuff you’re going to want to [00:40:00] get rid of.

[00:40:00] Se Reed: There is stuff you’re going to want deleted and burned. there’s, it’s It’s so much, it’s everything died.

[00:40:09] Jason Tucker: Yeah. I’ve heard of people doing Happy New Year though.

[00:40:13] Jason Tucker: like the concept of a dead man, like the concept of a dead man switch where, you know, if you don’t check your email after so many days, then it will, Shutting off everything, there’s a cron job that’s gonna go in and start knocking out everything.

[00:40:30] Se Reed: Google’s gonna do that for you if you don’t log in for two years, it could

[00:40:33] Jason Tucker: Yeah,

[00:40:34] Se Reed: kill you anyway. there’s a, there is an expiration Date. Those servers are gonna die too, all the servers. All those servers. Someday Facebook’s server farms are going to be like Chernobyl. Maybe less radioactive, but probably like spooky.

[00:40:49] Se Reed: like old abandoned towns, like Old spooky server towers that are like shut down with all these wires coming out of it. Ooh! That would be a great horror movie someone should write, or thriller. Someone should [00:41:00] write that. That’d be cool. Futuristic, like all the hate coming out of all the Facebook servers.

[00:41:06] Jason Cosper: I would really like to see Alex Garland direct that. he’s the guy that did Gosh was, ah, why can’t I X Mahina a few of the other yeah, Annihilation. That was the one I was trying to pull out of,

[00:41:25] Se Reed: I’ve seen none of those, nor

[00:41:27] Se Reed: will

[00:41:27] Jason Cosper: would really like to see some We need more tech horror, dystopian tech horror that’s not AI.

[00:41:34] Jason Cosper: Oh, okay. I was going to say Watch Megan. Cause, that one from the last year was so good.

[00:41:42] Se Reed: Anyway, we’ve got Existential Dread and some Showrex, and Happy New Year to all of you. We’re back, and again, we talked about this on DevBranch, but if you are just here for the technical WordPress stuff, tune into DevBranch. Because we don’t talk about all the [00:42:00] other stuff as much. So we talk about the extemporaneous things.

[00:42:04] Se Reed: DevBranch is a little more focused So that gives us permission here.

[00:42:10] Jason Tucker: mean, it’s the same people doing the same thing.

[00:42:12] Jason Cosper: What?

[00:42:13] Se Reed: harder to stay on topic. How about that? Is that

[00:42:16] Jason Cosper: Okay.

[00:42:18] Jason Tucker: all right, I’m going to have to figure out how to get a GPT type thing to tell me whether or not Sé’s on topic.

[00:42:26] Se Reed: Oh my god, a watercooler AI is the best idea.

[00:42:29] Jason Tucker: I haven’t done it in a while, but I used to Send you like how often was Sé talking versus Cosper and I would love it to say out of those times, how often was she on topic?

[00:42:40] Se Reed: Oh no.

[00:42:43] Jason Cosper: Ooh,

[00:42:44] Jason Tucker: time.

[00:42:44] Se Reed: 12 years of data of me just talking on the internet that someone’s going to be able to mine. Oh no. Also, YouTube videos, they’re not going to be around forever either. You just

[00:42:54] Se Reed: wait.

[00:42:56] Jason Tucker: yeah

[00:42:58] Se Reed: Have a pool. When does [00:43:00] YouTube die? 2028.

[00:43:05] Jason Cosper: hey, Tucker, speaking of going Down, why don’t you hit that outro button?

[00:43:09] Jason Tucker: I shall. See y’all later. Hey, go over to our website at wpwatercooler. com slash subscribe, and you can learn how to subscribe to our content over there. We’d really appreciate it. Talk to y’all later. Have a good one. Bye bye.

[00:43:28] Jason Cosper: We really would have kept going if this show would have been two hours long.

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4 responses to “EP472 – Does your WordPress Website Have an Expiration Date?”

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