AltaGrade donates the domain name "" to the Backdrop community

AltaGrade donates the domain name "" to the Backdrop community

I remember poking into Backdrop's code for the first time back in October 2014, when we tried to set it up on Drupion (the older incarnation of our company). According to a popular Russian proverb, "the first pancake is always wonky," so we ran into our first Backdrop problem right then. However, with the valuable input from the Backdrop community members we quickly made necessary changes and got it up and running. I was truly delighted to find out the user interface experience was a breeze and the code was mature enough, despite the relatively recent divergence and the Backdrop’s young age.

After an intense and thorough testing, we announced that Drupion would start officially supporting Backdrop as a viable alternative to Drupal. It was a good strategy, as some of our loyal customers running Drupal 7 projects started to express concerns about the costs of upgrading to Drupal 8 and about difficulties of adopting new layers of complexities introduced in Drupal 8. As a responsible full-service hosting company with truly intimate care for our customers, we resolved to mitigate concerns of those who wanted to make a jump from the Drupal realm to WordPress or other content management systems, by raising their awareness about Backdrop and offering assisted migration to Backdrop.

Over the years, we have assisted dozens of our customer Drupal 7 projects to successfully upgrade to Backdrop. While some of our customers have welcomed the news of postponing Drupal 7's end-of-life with a sigh of relief, it is obvious that the massive exodus from Drupal 7 is inevitable. And we are already receiving increasingly frequent requests to upgrade Drupal 7 websites to Backdrop. We gladly fulfill these requests because working on such projects gives AltaGrade an excellent opportunity to get involved with and to contribute back to Backdrop community.

Beyond technology, as the owner of a socially responsible company, I personally find the philosophy of the Backdrop project extremely appealing. The Backdrop community's admirable commitment to support non-profits, SMEs and educational institutions perfectly coincides with AltaGrade's goals: We have a considerable share of such customer organizations with various budget and resource constraints preventing them from upgrading to and maintaining Drupal 8/9 websites. As someone who started out in the 1990s building computers in my dorm room from used spare parts and using Open Source software and resources, I understand the value and significance of Open Source platforms and am happy to play an active role in the community by contributing to it as much as I can.

One of the important issues that bothered me personally was the fact that the community had to use a long and inconvenient domain name, while the most intuitive and appealing, the domain name that anyone would organically come up with for a search query on Backdrop CMS, was in the hands of people who never cared for the project. After discussing the obstacles in obtaining the domain name, I feared the greed of the then domain name holders would only grow with time as Backdrop CMS gained more traction and popularity. Therefore, I decided to try to secure the domain name.

Today, on behalf of my company, AltaGrade I'm happy and proud to announce that the domain name is safely returning to its rightful owner, the Backdrop community, as an unconditional donation! The community can start using the domain name any time and in any way it deems necessary. However, due to the ICANN rules regulating the domain name transfers, its DNS management has to be tied to AltaGrade's account for the transition period. The experimental Backdrop project running currently on can be relocated to any of its subdomains if the community decides to start migrating from to immediately.

Personally, I am excited to share this news of my company’s contribution to Backdrop. I hope the community shares this excitement and continues to develop and thrive for the benefit of many customers and users around the world.

Alan Mels's picture
Alan Mels
CEO & Founder
Drupal and Backdrop aficionado since bronze age.

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