Donnacha MacGloinn published an excellent post on WPMayor.com predicting the end of the webhosting industry. Although he talks about the industry as a whole, MacGloinn says the need for specialized WordPress hosting is quickly disappearing.
With the lingering perception that this stuff must be difficult, and the customer’s delight with all that WordPress can do these days, the specialist WordPress hosts get a lot more credit than they deserve.
The problem is that modern technologies are rapidly rendering their role unnecessary. Anyone can now go to Linode or Digital Ocean and fire up their own VPS (Virtual Private Server) within half a minute, for a fraction of the approximately $30 cost of the most basic, one-WordPress-installation package from a specialist WordPress host.
The VPS user can then use Docker or a similar technology to instantly install all they need for any number of secure, optimized installations of WordPress, all running with more memory, storage and bandwidth. The dirty secret of the specialist WordPress hosting industry: this is exactly what most of them are doing themselves.
If specialized WordPress hosts rely on cloud infrastructure services like Amazon Web Services and charge a premium to customers, what stops Amazon from providing a great managed WordPress hosting experience, thereby eliminating the middleman? As MacGloinn points out, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have already made moves to provide the best out-of-the box experience.
Just last Friday, Google announced Google Cloud Launcher, enabling push-button deployment of over 120 top Open Source applications, including WordPress, to the Google Cloud Platform. Just two days before that, Microsoft launched the Azure App Service, which does essentially the same thing from a slightly different angle.
VPS (Virtual Private Servers) and other technical jargon is scary to a lot of people, but if companies like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft can provide a great out-of-the box experience and charge a significantly lower price compared to specialized hosts, it’s possible the managed WordPress hosting space could disappear.
The article has a few comments from readers and offers a lot of food for thought, but I really want to hear from those who own and operate specialized WordPress hosting companies. Do you think MacGloinn is on to something, or is his prediction way off base?