The Managed WordPress ecosystem welcomes a new entrant – Automattic. Today they officially announced that WordPress.com Business now supports plugins and third-party themes. I am fascinated by the move because of what I believe to be the obvious impacts to the Managed WordPress ecosystem. In the interest of full disclosure, I work in the security division for one of the largest Managed WordPress hosts – GoDaddy – via my affiliation with Sucuri.
The Implications are Gravest to Hosts
If you’re anyone but a host, the impacts will likely revolve around “confusion” when speaking to the difference between .com and .org, but that’s an issue that’s been around for years. This move only compounds the problem.
One interesting observation from my buddy Scott is that it introduces a new channel (i.e., new opportunity) for plugin and theme developers. That’s actually a very astute observation, and while the specifics of how it’d work are unclear I would wager that there is some truth to that sentiment.
The biggest impacts however are likely to be towards those hosting companies that have invested resources (both people and dollars) into