Privacy policy

Your privacy is critically important to us. We have a few fundamental principles:

 

We are thoughtful about the personal information we ask you to provide and the personal information that we collect about you through the operation of our services.

We store personal information for only as long as we have a reason to keep it.

We aim to make it as simple as possible for you to control what information on your website is shared publicly (or kept private), indexed by search engines, and permanently deleted.

We help protect you from overreaching government demands for your personal information.

We aim for full transparency on how we gather, use, and share your personal information.

Below is our Privacy Policy, which incorporates and clarifies these principles.

So we explain how we collect, use, and share information about you, along with the choices that you have with respect to that information.

 

Information We Collect

We only collect information about you if we have a reason to do so–for example, to provide our Services, to communicate with you, or to make our Services better.

 

We collect information in three ways: if and when you provide information to us, automatically through operating our Services, and from outside sources. Let’s go over the information that we collect.

 

Information You Provide to Us

It’s probably no surprise that we collect information that you provide to us. The amount and type of information depends on the context and how we use the information. Here are some examples:

 

Basic Account Information: We ask for basic information from you in order to set up your account. For example, we require individuals who sign up for an account to provide an email address along with a username or name, depending on the service – and that’s it. You may provide us with more information – like your address and other information you want to share – but we don’t require that information to create an account.

Public Profile Information: If you have an account with us, we collect the information that you provide for your public profile.

 

Content Information: Depending on the Services you use, you may also provide us with information about you in draft and published content (such as for your website or your  survey). For example, if you write a blog post that includes biographic information about you, we will have that information, and so will anyone with access to the Internet if you choose to publish the post publicly. This might be obvious to you…but it’s not to everyone!

Credentials: Depending on the Services you use, you may provide us with credentials for your website (like SSH, FTP, and SFTP username and password).  You may also provide us information when you respond to surveys, communicate with our Happiness Engineers about a support question, post a question about your site in our public forums, or sign up for a newsletter like the one we send. When you communicate with us via form, email, phone, comment, or otherwise, we store a copy of our communications (including any call recordings as permitted by applicable law).

 

How and Why We Use Information

Purposes for Using Information

We use information about you as mentioned above and for the purposes listed below:

 

To provide our Services–for example, to set up and maintain your account, host your website, backup and restore your website, charge you for any of our paid Services, or provide essays and stories for your reading pleasure;

To further develop and improve our Services–for example, by adding new features that we think our users will enjoy or will help them to create and manage their websites more efficiently;

To monitor and analyze trends and better understand how users interact with our Services, which helps us improve our Services and make them easier to use;

To measure, gauge, and improve the effectiveness of our advertising, and better understand user retention and attrition — for example, we may analyze how many individuals purchased a paid plan after receiving a marketing message or the features used by those who continue to use our Services after a certain length of time;

To monitor and prevent any problems with our Services, protect the security of our Services, detect and prevent fraudulent transactions and other illegal activities, fight spam, and protect the rights and property of us and others, which may result in us declining a transaction or the use of our Services;

To communicate with you, for example through an email, about offers and promotions offered by us and others we think will be of interest to you, solicit your feedback, or keep you up to date on us and our products (which you can unsubscribe from at any time); and

To personalize your experience using our Services, provide content recommendations (for example, through our Reader Post Suggestions), target our marketing messages to groups of our users (for example, those who have a particular plan with us or have been our user for a certain length of time), and serve relevant advertisements.

Legal Bases for Collecting and Using Information

 

(1) The use is necessary in order to fulfill our commitments to you under the applicable terms of service or other agreements with you or is necessary to administer your account — for example, in order to enable access to our website on your device or charge you for a paid plan; or

 

(2) The use is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation; or

 

(3) The use is necessary in order to protect your vital interests or those of another person; or

 

(4) We have a legitimate interest in using your information — for example, to provide and update our Services; to improve our Services so that we can offer you an even better user experience; to safeguard our Services; to communicate with you; to measure, gauge, and improve the effectiveness of our advertising; and to understand our user retention and attrition; to monitor and prevent any problems with our Services; and to personalize your experience; or

 

  • You have given us your consent — for example before we place certain cookies on your device and access and analyze them later on, as described in our Cookie Policy.

Sharing Information

How We Share Information

We do not sell our users’ private personal information.

 

We share information about you in the limited circumstances spelled out below and with appropriate safeguards on your privacy:

 

Employees and Independent Contractors: We may disclose information about you to our subsidiaries, our employees, and individuals who are our independent contractors that need to know the information in order to help us provide our Services or to process the information on our behalf. We require our subsidiaries, employees, and independent contractors to follow this Privacy Policy for personal information that we share with them.

Third Party Vendors: We may share information about you with third party vendors who need to know information about you in order to provide their services to us, or to provide their services to you or your site. This group includes vendors that help us provide our Services to you (like payment providers that process your credit and debit card information, payment providers you use for your ecommerce operations, fraud prevention services that allow us to analyze fraudulent payment transactions, postal and email delivery services that help us stay in touch with you, customer chat and email support services that help us communicate with you, registrars, registries, and data escrow services that allow us to provide domain registration services, and your hosting provider if your site is not hosted by us), those that assist us with our marketing efforts (e.g. by providing tools for identifying a specific marketing target group or improving our marketing campaigns), those that help us understand and enhance our Services (like analytics providers), and companies that make products available on our websites , who may need information about you in order to, for example, provide technical or other support services to you. We require vendors to agree to privacy commitments in order to share information with them. Other vendors are listed in our more specific policies (e.g. our Cookie Policy).