DigitalOcean Acquires CSS-Tricks

CSS-Tricks has been acquired by DigitalOcean, a cloud hosting provider popular among developers. Chris Coyier started the site in 2007 and will be working with DigitalOcean as an advisor during the transition before stepping back to focus on his other projects.

“CSS-Tricks deserves more human muscle behind it than I’ve been able to provide for it,” Coyier said. “That’s where DigitalOcean comes in. That’s the ‘why now.’ They have the resources to put behind CSS-Tricks, and the motivation to do so. I fully trust them to do it, as they’ve been successfully doing it themselves for a long time.”

DigitalOcean announced the news on Twitter with a charming CSS animation, and many developers chimed in with their gratitude for what CSS-Tricks has done for their professional skills while they were learning web development.

Over the past 15 years, CSS-Tricks has became an authoritative, inexhaustible resource for frontend developers. Navigate through the archives to the earliest days of CSS-Tricks for a blast from the past, with tutorials and code samples for things like how to create a CSS menu with rollover images and the hows and whys of clearing floats. If there was a time capsule for the web, CSS-Tricks is an important historical record that should be inside it.

“I can’t think of another website that I’ve grown up with that’s continued to be such an important part of my life,” long-time contributor Robin Rendle said, echoing the experiences of a whole generation of developers.

“Whenever I’ve been stuck on a front-end problem or whenever I hit a snag with something, there is an almost 100% chance that Chris would’ve already written about the problem and the 18 different solutions to it.”

The archives include 1,475 articles that relate to WordPress in one way or another, with many helpful tutorials like A Deep Introduction to WordPress Block Themes. Jetpack and have many sponsored many articles on CSS-Tricks, as the resource is so widely used in the tech industry.

What will become of CSS-Tricks in the hands of its new owner? DigitalOcean has built a well-respected technical writing team over the years and has prioritized producing developer education resources. The company and its network of contributors have authored 6,000 developer tutorials and approximately 30,000 community-generated questions and answers. They are well-equipped to continue what Coyier started.

The beloved publication will continue on as a standalone site managed by DigitalOcean and will continue publishing new frontend content.

“CSS-Tricks will broaden and complement our existing library of content, furthering DigitalOcean’s reach with both frontend and full-stack developers, and supports our community strategy, a key differentiator for DigitalOcean in the cloud computing space,” DigitalOcean CEO Yancey Spruill said.


8 responses to “DigitalOcean Acquires CSS-Tricks”

  1. Fingers crossed this goes well in the long term. Personally I always thought CSS-Tricks -was- Chris. I thought it was basically his blog. It always felt like it was driven by his neverending curiosity.

    Fair play to him though, 15 years doing the same thing, he has done his time and deserves a pay out.

    When I discovered a “new” thing, I would then find an article where Chris had discussed it, often times several years earlier haha. I gotta go back now and look to see if somebody else has been posting things on there and my unease is misgiven :)

  2. I’m a DigitalOcean customer, but I do hope they won’t mess this sale up. A few years ago they bought (also a popular web developer site at the time) and they pretty much butchered the platform and eventually, 301 Redirected everything to DigitalOcean’s Community platform.

    So, while I don’t expect them to “ever” do this, it’s not out of the question of possibility.

    DO does pretty badly for trending news and updates in the modern web dev stack, so I can see a world where they get frustrated and try to make DO more relevant in that area.

  3. Welp, that’s the end of CSS-Tricks doing anything useful. They’re going to be publishing thinly veiled Digital Ocean PR content soon, and I imagine, limiting the “tricks” portion of the site to stuff that only works on DO. Nothing good ever comes from some service provider buying a developer resource, no matter how good their intensions may be.

    • That doesn’t make sense. CSS Tricks has always been focused on frontend development. How exactly would they limit frontend “tricks” based on DO’s backend capabilities?

      There are many excellent dev blogs out there that are fundamentally individuals’ passion projects. Sadly some of the early ones are no longer online, since the author lost interest years ago or left the field. Given that CSS Tricks is one of the very best dev sites around today, I’m glad that a reputable, well-established company (one that is neutral insofar as frameworks or CMS choices go) has chosen to continue supporting it. It seems like a good match, and it could be far, far worse.


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