Enterprise hosting options

Chris Lema wrote a post sharing his experiences with enterprise hosting options for WordPress, specifically options beyond WordPress.com VIP, which is often folks’ go-to recommendation.

He covers three specifically:

  • Microsoft Azure: They have a long history of enterprise products and services, and compelling new WordPress products that they are using themselves and I’ve heard some reputable WordPress folks say good things about.
  • Pagely: AWS based and excellent at scale. Pagely is going hard after the enterprise and seeing a lot of success so far.
  • WP Engine: Well staffed for enterprise support needs, WP Engine is trying to dual focus on both small site owners and the enterprise. Success dual-tasking tbd, in my opinion.

Chris’ take was pretty interesting to me. And I agree with his critique of WordPress.com VIP that the pro of getting WordPress.com’s infrastructure is also a con with some of their limitations.

Enter my VIP sidebar: Specifically, I found the VIP development workflow to be atrocious when I worked on it. Getting staging sites is next to impossible, so we went from a local “VIP Quickstart” environment that was similar to VVV, to our own non-VIP development and staging environments, to VIP’s live environment. Surprises can (and do) happen in such a workflow. I’m not sure if they’ve changed the standard policy on staging sites but they absolutely should if they haven’t.

Also, standard coding practices are different on VIP. You can write custom code, but you can’t use any ‘ole WordPress plugin; they have a suite of approved plugins and if you want something else, that’s not in your own custom code directory (which is actually in the theme) then you are out of luck.

Also, there is a significant plus side too. They review commits. Built in code review is the best feature of VIP, bar none. You get optimizations here and there from some other hosts, but not like what you get from VIP. Unfortunately, when on VIP, those commits are via SVN. Most companies use a Git to SVN bridge, to be fair, but in the end the commits are SVN.

To be fair, I have much less experience on VIP than some of my readers. I’d love to be corrected if I’m wrong. Anyway, end sidebar

All three of Chris’ options will give you more flexibility and may be better solutions for certain types of enterprise clients.

Notice some names Chris didn’t mention, and I don’t blame him (based on at least current offerings I know about): GoDaddy, any company by EIG, or RackSpace.GoDaddy and EIG are more consumer focused. But RackSpace especially, to not have a serious WordPress enterprise product, is surprising and a bit silly.

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