WordPress.com Launches New Website Building Service

The parent company of WordPress.com has launched the website building service they’ve been beta testing for the last few months.

And the prices start at $4,900.

A surprising move by WordPress…

The WordPress community has expressed mixed opinions on the move. In fact, I find myself neither against nor with Automattic on this. I will tell you why in a bit.

Mixed responses from the community…

It is worth mentioning that this is the first time WordPress has stepped into the market of $5000 websites. Until now, Automattic has offered their website building services only as a VIP service for enterprise customers. Needless to say, this move by Automattic has caught many by surprise.

Keeping that in mind, some people in the WordPress community see this new service as a good thing. Competition in the market is a good thing after all.

The good and the bad…

However, there is another angle one could look at this.

WordPress is one mammoth of a brand. Four hundred and fifty-five million websites are estimated to run on WordPress (including CyberLayman of course). So what do you think about a website building service from that same giant in the field?

That is what concerns the people who see this new service as a threat to the freelancers and small agencies. They are not wrong at all to think so. As one could imagine, a website building service by WordPress itself carries the full weight of the WordPress brand that we all know about.

It doesn’t stop there. Whatever effect WordPress can have on the website building field is multiplied in the $5k market.

Power of the brand…

For example, it would cost around $3000 to hire a professional developer or consultant to build your custom website. But for $4,900 you can get the same done by WordPress itself.

In my view, the WordPress brand has the ability to justify the additional cost involved.

Regarding the concerns, WordPress CEO Matt Mullenweg replied to a tweet which you can read here.

WordPress responds…

Automattic has not been very clear about the service as of yet. No set pricing structure has been published either – only the starting price of $4,900 was mentioned.

To sum up the views of a few freelance web developers, many believe that a majority of their clients are aware of what WordPress is. However, these freelancers claim most people know of WordPress only as the platform their websites run on, and not as a company that can offer them website building services.

The verdict…

What really surprised me was the price point Automattic is targetting and not the fact they have launched this kind of service.

If you happen to read the tweet by Matt which I linked above, he states that this new service is aimed at “people who are struggling to get started with WordPress”. If that is true, I highly doubt that the $5k price point is where they should be.

Personally, I think it is yet to be decided whether this new service is a threat to small-time businesses or not but still, I find the statements made by people at WordPress to be contradictory. Let us wait and hope for the best.