The steady move upmarket in WordPress hosting

Media Temple is the latest company to offer an “enterprise” level WordPress hosting option. Their new offering is based on Amazon Web Services and starts at $2,500 per month. From TechCrunch:

The standard enterprise plan costs $2,500 per month comes with support for five sites, one terabyte of cloud storage, 1.5 terabytes of monthly CDN usage, scaling to up to 10 EC2 instances using containers, and support for Amazon’s RDS database.

GoDaddy has spent a lot of money to upgrade their own hardware in the last several years, so offering an Amazon-based plan is a bit of a surprise, and a nod to just how good Amazon’s systems for redundancy are too. They describe why they went with Amazon:

“Media Temple’s servers are good, but there are things we can do with Amazon’s technology that you can’t do with a virtual private server,” MediaTemple senior director of product management Brendan Fortune told me. Among these things are AWS tools like Lambda, Amazon’s serverless compute service, and robust support for containers with the EC2 Container Service. Fortune noted how building on top of Amazon’s container management service enables Media Temple to quickly scale a WordPress deployment up and down as needed, for example.

It could also just be good marketing. Pagely has grown considerably since going all-in on Amazon, and Kinsta is making a similar pitch with Google Cloud Platform.

There are now hosting companies, like those mentioned above, but also Pantheon, PressLabs, Pressidium, and more, with plans that start between $49 and $299 per month. Of course, Media Temple, WP Engine, Flywheel, SiteGround, and dozens more have starting plans less than $25 per month, but in general, the “managed WordPress” hosting market is a clear cut above the bottom of the barrel hosting price wars of the past.

We’re seeing more companies find success in higher tiers, providing more technically savvy platforms and better support, geared toward the higher end audience.

Even still, I think there is a lot of room in that highest of tiers. WordPress is still breaking into the largest markets, and as it continues to prove an effective alternative to Drupal (in government, corporate), and Magento (in eCommerce), and home grown platforms (across the board), then we’ll continue to see a rising demand for high end platforms.

One part of the demand — that is currently best met still by WordPress.com VIP — is dedicated code review by the hosting partner itself. It is sold, sort of, by other hosts, but it’s a requirement for WordPress.com VIP, and I think we’ll start to see specific packages from other hosts to offer similar benefits. However, the hard part about providing that is to have the manpower of developers to actually effectively perform the code review.

Overall, I’m encouraged my more companies entering the high tier markets. I think it’s good for WordPress, and helps the platform be more attractive at all levels — from the new blog owner to a corporate enterprise.


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