DreamHost has announced a new benefit for DreamPress customers: all customers can get Jetpack’s commercial version — including VaultPress backups and Akismet spam protection — included in their plan for no additional cost.
The deal was structured between Automattic and DreamHost so that DreamHost receives a per-user discount on the Jetpack service as customers opt in. The deal applies to DreamPress only — the managed WordPress hosting service — and not all DreamHost customers.
DreamPress currently has about 11,000 installs, whereas DreamHost has more than 250,000 customers; so it applies to a relatively small, but important, portion of their customer base. The DreamPress team is working on a lot of tooling to continue efforts to cater specifically to WordPress installs. Some are applying to all DreamHost customers, and some will be specifically for managed accounts. Part of why they are happy to partner with Jetpack is to not have to build similar features themselves.
DreamPress costs $16.95 per month — firmly on the middle tier of entry-level managed WordPress hosting — and Jetpack’s commercial plan is valued at $99 per year, so would add 50% to the overall hosting cost if customers were to pay for it themselves at the retail price.
One of the most exciting aspects of the deal for DreamHost is that they are thrilled to be able to offer what’s widely considered a “best in class” option for regular backups and spam protection. And while they have their own security management and firewall tools, they know they’ll benefit from Automattic’s reputation in that arena (via what was BruteProtect but is now part of Jetpack as well).
Backups especially seem like a feature they’re eager for. Automattic keeps a 30 day archive of daily backups, something that’s a challenge for traditional shared hosting infrastructure. They’ll continue their own backup and security services, and for folks that have Jetpack enabled, they’ll have the extra layer of protection.
The DreamPress team, which been a standalone team within DreamHost for a little over a year, was wary to auto opt in existing customers. Product manager John Robison told me that he’s, “been in your [Post Status’s] Slack channel long enough to know there are widely different views in this area,” referring to forcing Jetpack onto current customers.
To market the feature, DreamPress is using traditional methods like social and email campaigns, and also putting a notice within the hosting dashboard. But they aren’t doing anything more aggressive yet, like a specific notice in the admin of the WordPress install. Automattic is also helping to market it for them, by putting it in an email newsletter that reportedly goes out to a few million people.
Several hosts in the WordPress space are weighing decisions around how strongly to embrace partnerships with third party companies, and especially with Automattic. As I noted recently, hosts, Automattic, and marketplaces are all battling for that first customer interaction.
The Jetpack and DreamPress deal has no additional strings attached, like being a recommended host by WordPress.com, or anything like that. And other hosts may follow with similar partnerships.
In this case, I think the two companies are well aligned and mutually benefit from the deal.