The image shows some of the disasters that can befall people and things, including blogs. If I still lived in Boston, the flood would be befalling me right now. It wouldn’t get my blog, though, because that’s hosted elsewhere.

This blog, and millions of others, are hosted by Automattic at One of the free features of is its “like-a-rockness.” Updates to the blogs happen at three different datacentres.

What about WordPress blogs hosted elsewhere? (Such blogs are usually referred to as self-hosted, or as, blogs.) Could they use the Automattic vault, even though they’re not hosted by Automattic?

That’s what VaultPress means. To quote from Matt’s announcement post:

The vision of VaultPress is to ensure that blogs and sites under its care are always completely secure, regardless of what happens. Today, this means every bit of content will be safe, from plugins and themes to the smallest comment or post revision, with WordPress-aware, real-time, multi-cloud backups.

There’s some interesting language on the beta signup page.

I know you’re planning to charge about $20 a month for this, but in a perfect world I’d pay $? a month to cover all my blogs. I’d call myself a ? user.

The first ? is a request for beta applicants to indicate how much they would pay (the number of blogs is captured elsewhere on the signup page). The second ? is actually a drop-down box showing the following: personal; pro-blogger; small business; enterprise. So Automattic is still working out the pricing.

My main question is: what is the difference between VaultPress and the vault? I initially formed the impression that it’s the same backup infrastructure. But, according to Matt: “On a technical level it’s a different infrastructure. I could see it being offered to users in the future.”

I first read about VaultPress at TechCrunch. There are some interesting comments over there. Several of them relate to cost. There’s the usual “it should be free” comment.

More interesting, I think, is the comment about ~$15 a month being a lot when compare with ~$10 for hosting. Matt responded that it might make more sense to go with the cheapest host feasible, and spend the $ on protecting your blog.

It might also make sense to move to for hosting, get the vault for free, and pay for premium features. If the price for VaultPress seems high, it might serve as a prod toward hosting.

Edited a few hours later, to reflect Matt’s response to my question.