WordPress VIP Hosting is a ripoff

WordPress.com has announced a new VIP Hosting plan. You pay them a $500 setup fee and $250 a month and they host your WordPress blog. They say the service is aimed at people who get more than 100,000 pageviews a month, and they justify the jaw-dropping price by spouting lots of gibberish about load-balanced servers and backups and your very own domain name (ZOMG!).

I’m sure their load-balanced, geographically diverse servers are nice and all, but $250 a month? Plus a $500 setup fee? And all you get is a damn blog? And it’s a damn WordPress blog on top of that? They’re clearly targeting people who are:

  1. Not at all technically-inclined (i.e., incapable of setting up a Blogger account)
  2. Rich (or so popular that they can generate enough ad revenue to cover the ridiculous fees)
  3. Gullible enough to believe they need a dozen load-balanced servers to handle 100,000 pageviews a month

Okay, maybe that last one is a stretch. Given WordPress’s horrible performance, maybe it actually does need a dozen load-balanced servers to handle that kind of traffic. Whatever. If people actually fall for this thing, good on WordPress. There’s a sucker born every minute, and who am I to say they shouldn’t be parted from their money?

For the record, wonko.com averages over 200,000 pageviews a month and my server (for which I pay $99 a month in hosting fees) barely even notices. Could I withstand a Slashdotting or a Digging? Probably. All it takes is bandwidth and a smart static page cache. Unfortunately, it hasn’t happened yet, so I can’t say that with complete certainty.

But I can say with complete certainty that WordPress’s VIP Hosting is a ripoff.