WP Cloud has been flying under the radar for a while. At the WP Minute, Matt Medeiros spoke with Jesse Friedman, Director of Innovation at Automattic, to find out what it is. In brief, WP Cloud is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) built on the hosting infrastructure that’s behind WP.com, Pressable, and WordPress VIP. As Managed WordPress hosting, WP Cloud offers “WAF, DDoS protection, hourly database, and daily file backups.” It “handles WordPress core plugin and theme updates, migration tools, and SSH access.”
Completely Homegrown, Internally Managed Infrastructure
According to Jesse, WP Cloud is “completely homegrown” and is intended as “an alternative to the major cloud providers.” It serves “over 13 billion page views a month” for customers. Uptime is assured by “automated WordPress edge caching and a built-in CDN” with “four origins and 24 edge data centers” around the world.
This network of data centers is maintained and operated wholly by Automattic — “no part of it is “outsourced to the major cloud providers.” It’s entirely managed internally by Automattic as well — they “don’t leverage third party services or outsource any of the work involved in management.”
Currently, the WP Cloud teams is “about 30 people” including “a team of six … focused on integrations with partners, building new features, expanding … APIs and getting the messaging out.”
How Jetpack, Pressable, Newspack, WordPress.com, and GridPane use WP Cloud
While it’s use is not required, Jetpack comes in as a layer on top of WP Cloud, “giving end users direct access to additional security and performance tools” without sharing the underlying infrastructure. WP Cloud is behind “Pressable, Newspack, and the higher tier plans on WordPress.com — and soon GridPane,” which offers “self-managed WordPress hosting” and recently received strategic investment from Automattic. Notably, GridPane and all of Automattic’s hosting products top the leading industry performance benchmarks.
Hosting Companies are the Ideal Customers for WP Cloud
Jesse stresses that “WP Cloud and its APIs are a B2B solution geared towards helping hosting companies provide a world class cloud platform.” Out of the box, WP Cloud is fast by default, requiring “absolutely no custom server configurations.” He notes, “When we launched the [WP Cloud] site, it was the first time I had ever seen straight 100s across all the Google Lighthouse scores. [….] You’ll think it was hosted locally.”
You can get that performance by using WordPress.com. For a more customized hosting experience with WP Cloud, Pressable is recommended as “a more classic managed hosting experience.” For agencies that want to white label their hosting, GridPane is intended to serve that market and “will be rolling out a WP Cloud integration in the coming months.”