People who need more power for their sites tend to avoid WordPress.com in favor of self-hosted WordPress. However, the former actually happens to offer one of the most exclusive hosting services for websites that require a bit more punch, called WordPress VIP.
This particular hosting service is so obscure many of you have probably never heard of it. In this article, we’re going to take a look at what it is, how it works, and what it can offer you. We’ll also discuss how it compares to traditional self-hosted WordPress.
Let’s jump in!
An Introduction to WordPress VIP
WordPress VIP is a unique beast. It’s a premium cloud hosting platform based on WordPress.com. To put it another way, WordPress VIP lives up to the second half of its name.
On top of all the standard WordPress.com features, the service also provides plenty of advanced functionality, such as integration with Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP. You also get built-in A/B testing, integrations with multiple analytics platforms, multilingual support, localization aid, and much more.
Ultimately, WordPress VIP is geared towards massive websites that already have established their popularity. The goal is to provide these juggernauts with the tools they need to stay on top. Just to give you an idea of some of the sites that use WordPress VIP, you have giants such as the Hachette Book Group, Variety, Deadline, the New York Post, and even VentureBeat.
This also means that the service is very selective. So much, in fact, you can’t just sign up for it. Instead, you have to submit an application first. In addition, WordPress VIP doesn’t actually provide prices upfront. This is actually not unusual since the services are tailored to each individual client’s requirements. Even so, from what we know, standard WordPress setups start at around $2,500-5000 per month and support up to five sites with unlimited resources.
On top of that, WordPress VIP also charges a one-time setup fee for new sites, which supposedly costs over $10,000. Definitely not chump change and not the kind of money most new websites have to throw around.
How Does WordPress VIP Compare to Self-Hosted Sites
There are plenty of differences between WordPress VIP and self-hosted WordPress. The most obvious is naturally that self-hosted WordPress requires you to provide your own hosting, whereas WordPress VIP takes care of this for you.
With self-hosted WordPress, you could theoretically spend less than $15-20 to get your website and domain set up. That’s assuming you register a standard .com domain, which usually runs around $10 per year and find a shared hosting plan that costs about $5 per month.
However, as we mentioned, WordPress VIP reportedly costs over $10,000 to set up initially and that’s not including monthly costs. These allegedly start at $2,500-5,000 and can quickly climb depending on your site’s size.
Moving on, one of WordPress VIP’s most significant quirks is you can’t make changes to your site’s code without them going through a review team. This process is meant to ensure your code is secure and doesn’t slow down your website. However, that process can take anywhere from hours to days. This could potentially put you in a tricky situation if you need to make urgent changes.
That sounds like a massive downside, but consider that most sites that require hosting of this caliber most likely run changes through an extensive review process. That is to say, a little extra delay might not be such a big deal for them.
WordPress VIP’s stringent security measures also mean you can’t just set up any theme or plugin you want. Unless you choose an option that has already been reviewed and whitelisted, it will have to go through a review process before being approved.
Overall, the experience of using WordPress VIP couldn’t be much more different than running your own site using self-hosted WordPress. It simply provides a different experience that some site owners can benefit from greatly.
Who Should Consider Using WordPress VIP
First things first – you’re obviously going to need a considerable budget even to consider getting started with WordPress VIP. Sure, you get top-of-the-line performance, support, and features for that money – but if you don’t have literally thousands of dollars per month at your disposal, VIP is not for you.
Secondly, an enterprise-level platform such as WordPress VIP only makes sense if your website requires extreme levels of security and performance. We’re talking sites that welcome millions of unique users every month. At that stage, every little slowdown and every second of downtime can cost you some serious money.
For example, a blog that gets a lot of traffic and makes a little money each month would still not need the extra benefits VIP provides. On the other hand, if you’re running a hugely successful online store that does thousands of dollars in sales per day, the power of VIP might be worth the expense.
Ultimately, if you have the money and believe your site can benefit from the services WordPress VIP offers, the steep price tag might not seem so bad. If so, you can start the process by sending in an application and explaining which services you are interested in.
When it comes to WordPress, we’re big fans of self-hosting. It’s often cheaper for smaller websites, it doesn’t restrict any of the platform’s features, and it’s easy to set up. In fact, we’d go as far as to say there are very few reasons to choose WordPress.com over self-hosted WordPress.
However, if you want to leverage the benefits of both options, WordPress VIP is the one and only, highly exclusive, option. This WordPress.com service targets a particular niche, helping businesses with deep pockets and the need for guaranteed top-notch performance and support. If you fall into that category, then paying a premium for hosting is a smart move.
Do you have any questions about which type of hosting plan you should use for your website? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!
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