It’s with great sadness that we announce that Matt Lightner, founder of Site5 and former co-owner, passed away this week.
Matt was naturally key in the early days of Site5 and had a direct impact on the operation and success of the company. He had a very large role in the Site5 Engineering Team and the development of Backstage, Synco (our internal customer management and billing system), and SiteAdmin. In fact, Site5 was one of the first (if not the first) cPanel-based web host to offer add-on domains before cPanel actually had the feature. Matt even contributed to the cPanel control panel codebase when it was in its infancy.
Even after Site5 was sold to Ben and Joel, Matt would still keep in contact with us to see how things were going. He had a genuine care for Site5 that continued on beyond his leaving the company.
Without Matt, none of us would be here at Site5, and we all appreciate the energy and work he put into Site5.
A few of us that had the pleasure of working with Matt wanted to write a litte something about him, and those are included below.
Rest in Peace Matt and thanks for everything.
We first met Matt in 2006 when we started working with Site5 on a few projects. We were always impressed with how accessible Matt was; at the drop of a hat, even in the middle of the night, he would jump on chat to answer questions and give great advice. When we approached him about selling Site5 in 2008 he was very keen on finding someone who was a good match for the spirit of Site5 and didn’t want to hand the company over to just anyone. He seemed excited to start new projects, and we are incredibly sad to to see him depart this earth. Site5 will continue to be influenced by his vision of a Ruby on Rails software platform backed by performance and a caring team. Our hearts are with his family and we wish them the best during this difficult time.
– Ben Welch-Bolen & Joel Brown
I never had the opportunity to meet Matt in person although we tried to arrange it a couple times. I worked with him for a little over a year, and I knew early on how passionate an individual he was. From coding to music, it was obvious that he had lofty goals and ambitions.
My coming to Site5 was due partly to Matt, and I owe him a great deal for that.
One of the memories that sticks out, funnily enough, is our many conversations regarding the English language. He minored in English and I tend to be rather *obsessive* with proper usage of English.
Gone far too early, Matt. Rest in Peace.
– Tom Sepper
I first “met” Matt in 2007 when I started working at Site5. Matt was a smart, caring and creative person — he built a successful and innovative web hosting company at a young age and wrote most of the billing system that Site5 still uses today. He was dedicated to making Site5 a community, not just a job, something that I feel we do today and will continue to do thanks to his influence. Matt was truly a renaissance man and it’s very sad to see him leave us at such a young age.
– Graham McMillan
I first met Matt almost 11 years ago now, back when Site5 was a teeny tiny company with barely 5 servers. He and I worked together quite closely in those early years, since we were basically the only members of staff at that stage!
Matt was always extremely smart and innovative, even back then. Some of the ideas Matt came up with I’ve witnessed blossom and become the core of our (and other companies) businesses.
Matt was always extremely ambitious, and it almost seems that whatever he wanted to take his hand to was destined to be successful.
Matt’s loss is a great shame, and it’s disappointing that we’ll never get to meet up in person.
– Vince Stratful