This morning SixApart and Yahoo! announced a deal integrating the popular MovableType blogging software into Yahoo's Web Hosting service. By bundling MovableType and web hosting, Yahoo! is targeting businesses and independent professionals "seeking to maintain high-traffic blogs on a scalable, reliable platform".
According to the press release, Six Apart has optimized its Movable Type software specifically for Yahoo’s hosting environment and they claim it will result in performance that is "140% faster than the vast majority of hosting environments". The deal is a great one for SixApart, which has surely been running MovableType at a loss over the last few years. Anil Dash, Six Apart’s vice president of professional products, thinks the deal will be widely used by businesses as well as professional bloggers. "Blogging is quickly moving into the mainstream as companies grow their businesses by using blogs for marketing purposes, for internal workgroups and even for content management," said Dash.
Yahoo will offer a free domain, blog hosting, email, 200 GB data transfer per month and 5GB disk space in their new MT hosting package - which starts at $11.95 per month.
This is all good news for professional bloggers, but probably bad news for the many independent web hosting companies that offer blogging platforms. In my other blog, Read/WriteWeb, I use MovableType and it is hosted by a small independent web hosting company. They provide good service to me and are quick to respond to my support and upgrade requests. That personal touch will see me sticking with them for now, even though my allocated disk space and transfer rate are significantly lower than what Yahoo now offers.
The deal is a great one for SixApart, which has surely been running MovableType at a loss over the last few years. Their premium blogging and hosting service, Typepad, is the bread winner in the SixApart household. However Typepad's older sibling MovableType provides plenty of hand-me-downs to Typepad in terms of technology and is the product which launched SixApart as a company, so it remains the centerpiece of SixApart's platform.
MovableType has lost ground in recent years in the developer community, as open source wunderkind Wordpress rapidly won the hearts of tech bloggers. But if the Yahoo deal is anything to go by, MovableType is still going strong.