WordPress VIP is a premium Web-publishing service designed for enterprise companies. It includes all of the features of WordPress, plus the ability to run custom code, a robust content management system, and 24/7 support. Additional products and services, including site and security monitoring, content monitoring, and developer training, are also available.
The cloud-hosted option starts at $3,750 per month for up to five websites. Self-hosted services start at $15,000 per year.
David Rousseau, VP and executive director of health policy media and technology at Kaiser Family Foundation, has been using WordPress VIP since May 2013.
How do you use it?
One really attractive feature about WordPress VIP is that nearly all our staff can log on and manage pages on our website. It's very easy compared to other content management systems and requires minimal staff training for the basics.
You log on through the dashboard to WordPress VIP's servers where you can manage your entire site or edit directly on a specific page.
If there were a problem on the WordPress VIP hosting platform, we would use its ticketing system. So far, there really hasn't been a problem with the hosting platform since we have been using it.
If there's a problem with the code, we work through our development partner, who coded most of our site.
How does it serve your business needs?
Kaiser Family Foundation provides information about the healthcare system. Most people find our information on the Web, so our website is a critical component of our organization.
We previously had 10 different sites with about 18 different servers. We wanted to merge them all into one site, and WordPress VIP was the only system that could provide all the features we needed and that would be easy for a large swath of our staff to manage.
WordPress VIP also gave us confidence that the site would be up all the time and that it could scale to pretty much unlimited volume.
We relaunched our unified website using WordPress VIP in May.
Healthcare.gov, the federal online healthcare enrollment system that launched in October, links directly to a health insurance calculator we built on our site. We got an incredible rush of traffic that would have swamped our old infrastructure. With WordPress VIP, we had no worries about having millions of visitors. It performed spectacularly. And, we didn't have to buy new servers with that kind of volume because it automatically scales to need.
How does it integrate with your existing infrastructure from an IT standpoint?
It is hosted through the cloud.
What are the main benefits?
It's less expensive than the competition, very reliable, and it provides scalability.
Because you're working directly with WordPress, you always have the latest version with all the newest features.
What are the main drawbacks?
We haven't experienced any drawbacks yet and we've been very happy so far.
What would you like to see improved/added?
You can't change the code that runs your site without WordPress's approval, which is good for making sure the system is always up. But the code review process can take too long if it's just a simple fix, such as one line of code in the wrong place. Because WordPress must approve all code changes before they push them live, a change can sometimes sit in a queue for a couple of hours.
It's understandable that big code changes need to be reviewed, but when a trusted development partner needs to make a simple fix that clearly doesn't have an external implication, I would like to see that fix pushed live right away. We've given WordPress this feedback, and they're working on a system to get simple code changes live faster.
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