WordPress hosting: does the world need more options? Perhaps it does.
WP Engine seeks to serve what they believe is a large market: businesses that need more customizability than WordPress.com hosted accounts offer at low-end prices but more ease of use and scalability support than the millions of WordPress.org users get running open source installs on their own or rented servers.
For $50 a month, the service will offer premium support, automatic security upgrades, recommended plug-in curation and some original software. Scalability durring traffic spikes is one of the company’s biggest sales propositions.
I think that the WP Engine folks are on to something. Follow the above link, or see Marshall Kirkpatrick’s post at RWW, if you want to see who these folks are. As I write this, the comments on Marshall’s post are an amicable exchange between the WPE folks and their counterparts at Page.ly, who offer a similar service.
Page.ly seems to be a little further along than WPE, particularly with respect to partnerships. Page.ly has an affiliate program in place (yes, that is an affiliate link in the previous paragraph) and explicitly encourages resellers. But, without turning this post into an over-optimistic echo chamber, I think that there is room for multiple strong competitors in the premium WordPress hosting space, so all the best to WPE as it launches and invites.