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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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In WordPress Hosting Hell? Pantheon Now Supports WordPress

Comments (4)

You may noticed from prior posts that we’ve had a difficult time at Foundry Group managing our growing portfolio of WordPress sites. We are not alone. You would think that by now, managing websites would be a solved problem, but that’s just not true.

Talk with any professional marketer about their websites and two things will become clear: 1) websites are absolutely central to how digital marketing gets done and 2) websites are a giant pain in the ass.

In our portfolio of startup companies, following is how websites usually get managed.

When companies are just getting off the ground, the founders often build the websites themselves, increasingly with flat HTML because it is simple and efficient. The websites are usually thought of as simple extensions to the product themselves.

At some point (hopefully) the business starts growing and a professional marketer is brought on board. In order to do their jobs marketing needs a content management system, often WordPress for simple use cases.

This is where things start to break down. Startup engineering teams are now tasked with managing a CMS system. This may be simple at first, but things get complicated very quickly. Hosting offers little beyond just hardware and maybe some server configuration. Professional website developers need much more than that — they have to collaborate in teams, work with version control, deploy changes, and as the company grows scale their site and make sure it is running fast 24×7 — aka website DevOps.

Guess who’s responsibility this becomes? The startup’s ops and engineering team. Every hour invested in this marketing infrastructure comes directly out of the bandwidth available for product improvements. Total break down.

At Foundry Group we went through a similar pattern, but here at Foundry it was Ryan (a co-founder and former engineering leader at Excite) who played the role of VP Eng. He spent too many hours over the past year baby-sitting our WordPress mess. He eventually got sick of me texting him that there was a problem somewhere.

This is why we are so excited to announce that our portfolio company Pantheon now supports WordPress. Over the past two years they have worked entirely in the Drupal ecosystem (their roots) and now run over 55,000 sites. They have built an incredibly powerful multi-tenant platform with the best set of website developer tools in the world and a container based run-time that can scale sites from 0 to >100M page-views entirely in software. All of their technology is now available to WordPress developers.

We like many of their customers were begging for some time for them to support WordPress. That day has finally come. Ryan is retiring the website pager and I’ll have to find some other way to annoy him on a regular basis.

  • http://blogmutt.com Scott Yates

    Tell Ryan to turn the music down. That will annoy him.

  • RBC

    Interesting to know about the challenges of running WordPress sites – any chance you could get Ryan to do a tutorial? Also, just my two cents, but I don’t like the comments so far down as this blog is so much about the conversation.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Yeah – thanks on the comments. I’m going to change that.

  • http://mindtouch.com/blog Roebot

    Thanks so much. I needed this too.

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