Made in Berlin Kreuzberg

the fortrabbit story so far

We are what you are. We understand the culture. This service exists because we were fed up with other hosting solutions out there. This is the hosting we wanted to have for ourselves.

Around a decade ago we founded fortrabbit as a full service project offering all kind of internet related services: from web design to hosting and domain registration. The hosting part was in fact just classical reselling of our root server resources.

In 2007 we separated the hosting from the agency business and founded fortrabbit as a real company — still as a side project besides our client work as a web agency.

To maximize the profit margin and more importantly to satisfy our playfulness we bought some servers and racked them up in a data center in the heart of Berlin. Here we learned a lot about technology, product development and customer needs. And we realized that we really like to do this.

Infrastructure and software where bundled and we called the whole thing MISH. It was a neat hosting system with distributed services and already variable resources billed on consumption. The service was mostly automated but also offered customization — a mix between modern shared hosting and managed hosting.

fortrabbit server
fortrabbit server stack anno 2008
fortrabbit hosting website anno 2004
fortrabbit website 2004, source:

We had small and large clients from all kind of businesses, among were companies like Red Bull, Deutsche Telekom, Messe Frankfurt and Leonardo Hotels.

Due to it's metal components the MISH hosting solution wasn't very scalable. And we already had something else in mind: Narrow the focus to itch our own scratch better. In other words: to build a hosting platform we always wanted to use ourselves, especially tailored for the needs of modern PHP web development.

fortrabbit founders
The fortrabbit founding partners Frank Lämmer, Oliver Stark, Ulrich Kautz in 2012

So we ditched all of our web agency client projects to solely concentrate on this. And in 2012 we implemented our new cloud hosting solution based on AWS. The first European Platform as a Service dedicated to PHP — a good match for the ongoing PHP renaissance.

By 2014 we reached the mark of 10k developers. In 2015 we launched a major platform upgrade. In 2016 we launched the third generation of Apps: Universal Stack and also launched our second data center location in US.

In 2017 we introduced many smaller improvements and continued our organic growth. Unfortunately, co-founding member Ulrich decided to leave his active position here. In 2018 Maaz and Esbjörn joined the team. In 2019 we further tightened up with the Craft CMS community and became official hosting partner.

To be continued. See our blog ›


The 4 hour week movement is not our thing. We believe that it takes hard work to build great things. And we subscribe to the Prussian virtues: honesty, reliability, diligence and punctuality. We care about details. Our process is iterative. We don't do harm.

Open office

Are you in Berlin, deeply into PHP and working remotely? Hide out for a day or two here or just come over for a coffee and chat. Our office is a hub we are happy to host guests and co-workers.

Join us

Do you share our vision? Do you like this here? Are you an artisan yourself? Check out our open positions.