GoDaddy acquired Media Temple today. As part of the deal, the easy website building service Virb that was bought by Media Temple in 2012 is being spun out and sold back to its founder Brad Smith, and early investors and Media Temple’s co-founders Demian Sellfors and John Carey. Smith told Virb users there should be no disruption to service, describing the deal as “You = Win!”
Smith writes, “First things first: What does this event mean for Virb, YOU, and your website? Well, this changes absolutely nothing, while also changing absolutely everything.” So what was Virb?
The $10 a month website builder launched in 2007. It lets people choose a theme and snap on special functionality like a media gallery, ecommerce store, contact info form, event listings, audio, Tumblr embed, or a blank canvas to create with. Virb handles hosting, there’s no limit on content or pages, and it comes with SEO tools and customer support. Virb doesn’t offer email or domain registration, though.
Soon Virb could do even more, though. Smith writes “Our newfound (re)independence means we’ll have the freedom to be nimble and move quickly to advance our product” Smith explained to Virb’s users in an email and blog post.” Virb’s into radical transparency, so you can see its roadmap right on the site. Some features that might get completed quicker without the Media Temple red tape include automated slideshows, theme CSS editing, and a Dribble gallery integration.
These could all be a boon to the community of artists and designers that host their portfolios on Virb. There’s plenty of competition in the space including Wix, Moonfruit, Weebly, and OtherPeoplesPixels. Virb won’t have Media Temple’s help so it will need to find ways to differentiate. At least the artsy types on Virb don’t have to worry about GoDaddy’s fratty culture harshing their vibe.