Whitehall, WordPress, where?

We love WordPress round here, and our passion is infectious. I’m currently talking to a handful of new people about possible WordPress-based projects: some small, some huge. The ‘yes we can’ message goes a long way.
But the unknown in the equation is always: where to host it? You don’t have to look too hard to find ridiculously cheap hosting deals in the marketplace: £30/year will buy you enough disk space, bandwidth and support/monitoring for most modest projects, often including automated installation of WordPress and other ‘open source’ software. But in government, in the midst of ‘web rationalisation’, it’s inevitably a bit more complicated than that.
So here’s my problem. At the moment I’m producing (on average) a new WordPress site every month – that’s just me alone. And I’ve got a steady stream of people wanting to do others. These sites have to be hosted somewhere. The normal consultant thing to do would be to buy some cheap hosting in the marketplace, then apply a massive markup. Government ends up paying over the odds, and we end up with countless disparate WordPress installations. Nobody’s happy, except greedy consultants.
But we can nip this in the bud. A central server somewhere, offered free of charge to any departments who want to run a WordPress project. It would only cost a few grand a year; put two sites on the same server, and you’re probably already saving money. It’s not as if we don’t already have centralised hosting deals. And most importantly, you’ve ‘rationalised’ from day one. (Well, day two anyway.)
This would make my life easier as a supplier. It makes ‘the centre’s life easier, cos they know where everything is and can ensure it’s properly maintained (security patches etc). It’s a single migration strategy, if ‘the central solution’ ever provides equivalent functionality. In every respect, it works out cheaper overall. Everyone wins.
So here’s my plea to the Powers That Be. Stop me before I proliferate again. Make me an offer I can’t sensibly refuse. And save us all money and effort, now and later.

4 thoughts on “Whitehall, WordPress, where?”

  1. WordPress MU has certainly been mentioned as a possibility, and I’m naturally familiar with the product, but I’m wondering if it might be easier (in people terms, not tech) to manage as a series of independent installs. It’s being considered, I believe.

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