New story: featuring an AI-driven WaaS

Why we introduced a retainer fee

wildcloud was born out of our desire to build the best platform for selling, managing, and improving large numbers of websites.

Since fully focusing on our platform at the end of 2021, we now have ±2 years to reflect on the successes and challenges along the way.

In this post, I’ll explain what led us to change our business model. Our old model was completely hands-off, and pricing started at $4.37 per site per month.

Our new model is very hands-on and based on a $300 monthly fee. This fee includes approximately 25-40 sites (pricing is resource-based) and various services to ensure customer success.

Believe it or not, this change actually makes wildcloud cheaper on a per-site basis. However, it turns out that a minimum monthly commitment is needed to ensure your success. Here’s why.

A bit about wildcloud

For those that don’t know wildcloud’s multi-tenant WordPress platform, think of it this way: a SaaS like Notion or Slack can centrally develop new features, and roll out (or roll back) to all users at once. This is possible using something called multitenancy.

wildcloud is the first to introduce this cloud technology to WordPress. Using multitenancy, a lot becomes possible that you can’t get anywhere else.

For starters, we host highly scalable individual WordPress websites that share the same codebase. This means you can update and improve all your sites from a single source, just like SaaS companies can. This “single source” is just a WordPress admin, making development easy and accessible.

The benefits of using wildcloud include automatically provisioning prebuilt, managed websites after customers purchase in your webshop, offering customers a self-service website builder experience, centrally improving websites using a scalable version control system, and a serverless hosting experience.

Though the platform works great for any portfolio of standardized sites, like a franchise or multi-brand, our customers often build what’s called a Website as a Service (WaaS) or a WordPress-based SaaS.

A few proud moments

We’re immensely thankful businesses in more than 20 countries have embraced wildcloud.

We’ve seen AI-driven website builders in the US, websites to promote and manage your holiday homes in many countries, cosmetics and fashion websites in Asia, and complete management systems for golf courses in the UK – to name just a few.

Actually, it gets crazier. We’ve seen people build the most innovative things on our platform that we never even considered: How about a podcasting platform or a service to download websites as a zip!

We also ignited a trend in the WordPress website builder and prebuilt website market, with multiple big brands following our lead. They call it Reseller, WaaS, or WordPress builder, but not one has introduced multitenancy. And we’re proud of that!

Lots of press was generated, many podcasts were had, and even a speaking gig at WordCamp Europe. Not to mention the support from our investors: APX (Porsche, Axel Springer), Arches Capital, and the founders of the Yoast SEO plugin, Joost de Valk and Marieke van der Rakt.

Accepting that wildcloud has a learning curve

I can imagine that as you were reading about the benefits of our platform earlier, using it sounded quite complex. And believe me; I haven’t even started explaining all the awesome features and benefits of wildcloud. But therein lies the problem: I can continue explaining the benefits, but to use the platform yourself is another thing.

wildcloud introduces scalable concepts and best practices of software development and DevOps that are often new to WordPress. Learning it often takes some assistance, and a self-service model doesn’t effectively facilitate that for everyone.

But we didn’t accept that for the longest time and wanted to keep the platform low-touch by introducing templates, pre-provision instances – and more. It didn’t make much difference.

You may wonder why the platform has a learning curve and whether you can overcome it.

I can summarize the “why” with a question: Have you ever heard about multitenancy before or known how to leverage it?

But to answer the “can I do it”, I can guarantee you can. Here’s why:

The largest part of our user base isn’t technical at all. Lots of them aren’t even that experienced with WordPress. Rather, they’re good at marketing and deeply understand a certain audience.

They know their audience can benefit from a great website, and they’ve turned to wildcloud to deliver a prebuilt, managed website that they can sell using a webshop.

I give this example to show you that non-techie, not-too-experienced WordPress builders become successful on wildcloud, something we can now ensure with our hands-on service and onboarding assistance.

Another reason that I’m confident that you can successfully use our platform is because our churn after activation (so once you’ve successfully onboarded) is less than 4% (!!). To compare, traditional hosting companies face 40% churn in the first month!

But the fact remains that using our features requires exploration, some time internalizing our concepts, and testing for yourself. But once you get it, it’s easy!

Solving the learning curve with love and care

Once we started accepting our learning curve, it became clear that we needed to provide more service. We started offering onboarding assistance for a one-time fee. They sold like hotcakes, but it turned out that this wasn’t the best model.

This is because our users are starting a business with us or already have an established agency. They don’t have time to sit down and learn about our platform in one go. A one-time onboarding service doesn’t match our customers’ ongoing demand for assistance.

In our opinion, we’re failing the people using our platform by not providing ongoing service. This is not only unnecessary and completely our fault; it’s also costing us money: we spin up resources so that people can explore the platform, but we never recoup those costs if people don’t succeed.

So what’s success? We’ve seen that once a customer gets to or migrates 20 sites, they’re experiencing the benefits of our platform the most.

By then, they’re saving hours per week on website management, most have connected a storefront to automate the sale of sites, and the price per website is actually the lowest!

Sites got cheaper, and our unit economics make more sense

It’s simple: if you have a use case that fits our platform, it’s a crying shame if we allow anyone to fail simply because we weren’t there to assist.

So if you’re committed to streamlining the management of your current WordPress portfolio, if you want to save time updating your sites, or if you want to build a Wix-worthy website builder, then we have your back!

Our retainer fee is based on our Metered Pricing. This means we’ll calculate your actual usage and only charge extra if you exceed $300 worth of monthly resources.

To give you an idea, $300 typically covers 25-40 websites. And if your sites are optimized, you can squeeze a lot more out of it.

The monthly retainer also includes our ongoing services: white-glove onboarding consultancy, free migration support, a dedicated account manager, and ongoing hands-on support to advance your company’s growth.

Our retainer will apply to everyone and we will need your consent to start it upon your renewal after February 1, 2024. All our other plans will be discontinued after the March billing cycle.

After giving it much thought, we believe this model gives our customers the highest chance of success.

If you’re curious how wildcloud could work for your business, or if you’re an existing customer with questions about this change, please schedule a call with me here or write to

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