You Bet Your Life is offering a 100-Year plan for $38,000.

Every since I saw this on Mastodon, I can’t stop thinking about it.

At first glance, it seems absurd. Who pays for web hosting in centuries? The web itself has only existed for a third of that time. And who has thirty-eight grand just sitting around?

OK, before we knock it, let’s run the numbers. It costs USD $38,000 for 100 years. That’s $380/year. Seems steep, especially when WordPress’ “premium” plan is just $96/year, not including domain registration.

But what about inflation? By paying up front, you’re locking in that $380/year for the next 100 years. Over the past century, the average inflation rate in the USA was 3.1% annually. Projected over the next century, the average value of your payment would be about $120/year.* If domain name registration costs $20/year, then you’re basically breaking even with the “premium” plan.

But what do you get in exchange for paying for 100 years up front? From the website, it doesn’t seem like much.

promotional copy for the 100-Year Plan on

“Top-tier managed WordPress hosting” is just … their product. “Century-long domain registration” is already factored into the price. “Peace of mind” is backups, which they should be doing anyway.

The only thing that looks remotely distinct about this offering is “Enhanced Ownership Protocols,” which just sounds like extra support for transferring ownership. Again, something they should already offer.

More importantly, what guarantee can make that their service will even be around in 100 years? According to the Lindy Effect, the World Wide Web should stick around for at least another 30 years. Automattic, the company that owns, has been around since 2005, so it might be expected to last another 20 years or so. Either way, it feels like a bit of a gamble to count on the continuity of both for the next century. Digital computers haven’t even been around for a century.

The promotional video is a montage of happy families doing happy-family things: dancing, celebrating birthdays, looking at photo albums. At no point in the 74-second video does anyone look at a website, or even a computer.

On the one hand, I applaud the idea “building for the long term,” especially from a tech company. On the other hand, I have a hard time understanding the target market for this product.

Whether it’s giving a newborn the special gift of a domain and lifetime home on the web, or something you put in your will to make sure your website and story are accessible to future generations, I hope this plan gets people and other companies thinking about building for the long term.

—promotional quote by CEO Matt Mullenweg

If you want to “make sure your story is accessible to future generations,” then you could publish a book with a vanity publisher for less than half the price of the 100-year plan, with about as much hope for longevity.† If you want to “give a newborn a special gift” then I’d bet the young adult that newborn grows into would rather have that $38k in a college-savings plan, or just some 20-year savings bonds.

Ultimately, I can only see this working for a customer who is tech-savvy enough to think that a website is worthwhile investment but not tech-savvy enough to be skeptical of the 100-year claim. In other words, tech enthusiasts with more money than sense.