Automattic launched a new website-building service on January 4, 2021. While the prices start at $4900. They have been beta-testing the service since the last quarter of 2020. This service announcement invites customers to let wordpress.com’s professional team is working for you. While they quoted “we’ll convert your visitor into a compelling and modern website. But they do not specify the pricing for more customized websites”.
Whether you need a fast and performant eCommerce store for your products and/or services, a polished website for your professional services firm, or an educational website for your online courses, our experts can build it for you on WordPress.com, the most powerful platform for businesses and enterprises large and small.– wordpress.com
Story of New Website Building Service
Automattic stepping into the website building service market came as a surprise. After years of keeping to the enterprise space, they launched the WordPress VIP service. (Middle in 2019 the service started going by “WordPress VIP” without the “.com” appended to it.) The company also quoted that freelancers haven’t had to worry too much about competing. Against a large company like Automattic when trying to attract clients.
The Company must be witnessing a strong demand for DIFM. The discussion at Post Status referenced Mullenweg’s comments on the subject. During his most up-to-date State of the Word address delivered in December 2020:
Lots of people lost their jobs. Lots of people were looking to supplement their income. This drove a fantastic amount of entrepreneurship, so people were trying to find people that knew WordPress. On the opposite side, Normal folks who knew or learned WordPress found that they had tons to demand their work, in order that they were ready to supplement or replace their income, for people who have a roll in the hay on behalf of my mentality, so someone who is trying to find somebody else to create an internet site.
It’s never been a better time to learn and invest in improving your WordPress skills.WordPress Community took to Post Status Slack to debate the implications of Automattic’s new offering. Matt responded to them, saying he is “100% certain this will drive more up-market consulting in the future” to consultants who handle larger projects and bring more business to plugin and theme developers. Matt also noted that Bluehost’s full-service product may be a similar solution while services like Web.com are competing in this space for a while.
Reactions from Freelance Community
With this announcement WordPress consultant Joshua Nelson said. “Freelancers will hurt the most. For instance: My custom-built sites start at $3k. Once you factor in a designer that $4.9k rate looks very competitive.”
In response to community concerns on Twitter. Matt Mullenweg said the product is targeted at people who have a difficult time getting started with WordPress.
“I would be extremely surprised if this impacts anyone’s consulting business, if you do have a current or potential client leave for it please let me know — it should be all new-to-WP users who wouldn’t have been successful getting started,” Mullenweg said. He also confirmed that the new service was set up for “referring business out” and referenced a previous experiment in 2018 where WordPress.com partnered with Upwork to refer clients for custom development.
WordPress Community took to Post Status Slack to debate the implications of Automattic’s new offering. Matt responded to them, saying he is “100% certain this will drive more up-market consulting in the future” to consultants who handle larger projects and potentially bring more business to plugin and theme developers. He also noted that Bluehost’s full-service product is a similar solution and that services like Web.com have been competing in this space for a while.
Future of Website Building Service aka “WordPress VIP”
The idea behind this product is to assist those that who get stuck with WordPress before they address competitors. That market website creation to beginners. It indicates that WordPress still features a long road ahead before it’s an approachable tool for beginners embarking on their first website building experience.
Automattic has not published a pricing structure for the features included during a basic $4900 website. Based on images on the landing page, the sites don’t seem customized beyond what existing themes offer. It looks like more of an internet site setup service and doesn’t promise custom development.
When asked how agencies can apply to be put into the pipeline for referrals from WordPress.com’s new service, Mullenweg indicated that the merchandise remains within the experimental stage.
“It’s unclear if anyone wants this yet, so for this experiment don’t have that yet,” Matt said. “If it works then definitely we’ll attempt to open it up.”
What do you think about Automattic’s “Website building service”? Please feel free to comment below. If you have questions feel free to message us.