Introducing Managed Hosting, the next phase of CoPress
We call it Managed Hosting.
The first version of our strategic development roadmap [PDF], a fancy name for a document with big ideas for the future of CoPress, had hosting and support as an “optional” project if we absolutely needed to do it. Bryan Murley convinced us of the need in college media for a turnkey hosting solution. This “optional” project is now the current flagship of CoPress’ product line.
Since the beginning, demand for our services has skyrocketed past our initial estimates. By the end of this month, we’ll have helped move more than 25 student newspapers to WordPress – a highly-flexible, and open-source CMS. To meet the almost-overwhelming demand – we actually needed a waitlist for part of the summer – we have a new approach that will allow us to scale while providing the same high level of support.
Until now, CoPress’ hosting and service model was run on servers we operated. Although a good approach, it had a few weaknesses.
First, it wasn’t a cloud service. This meant that we needed to make sure every server had extra capacity in case any of the sites end up a massive surge in trafﬁc. This extra capacity is generally wasted on a day-to-day basis.
Second, because each server works for five or six newsorgs, our launch schedule was highly restricted; once we ﬁlled one server, we had a difficult time launching another until we had at least ﬁve more clients ready to go.
Finally, our dedicated hosting services provided the same resources for all of our clients, big or small. This effectively means that our smaller clients were subsidizing the hosting of our larger clients, clearly not an equitable situation.
Managed Hosting means we can focus on our real strength: support. We’re working with one of the world’s top hosts, WebFaction, which lets us offer different levels of cloud hosting to fit each school. As a part of our transition package, we’ll move you to WordPress from virtually any other content management system and provide ample support to get your website up and running.
Once you’ve launched your new website, you have the opportunity to become a member of our Priority Support System. In a nutshell, the system is a safety net. We want you to innovate without fear. We’ll be there to help you with your website when you need it the most, as well as help you with all the bigger projects you want to do (classifieds, housing guide, etc.) at an affordable rate.
More speciﬁcally, partnering with CoPress means that you’ll get fast access to all of our support offerings. We’ll be monitoring your site’s status and sending out warning messages in case of downtime. We’ll store your username and password for your hosting and WordPress installation so that our team can respond immediately to serious issues. We’ll also backup your entire site every day to two different data centers to make sure that your information is always safe — even if you accidentally break your theme.
Oh, by the way. We’ve redesigned our website too. If you’re viewing this in an RSS reader, you should come check it out. It’s a bit more bold, dashing, and integrated, and we’ll be launching new features and content bit by bit. If you’re looking for a bit of design inspiration, we’ve chronicled most of the process on our team blog. Also, we’ll be making tweaks and changes throughout the week so pardon our dust.