Blogs are a particularly Web 2.0 product, losing some of their appeal recently to things like Twitter and Facebook, yet they continue to be incredibly popular. Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com and the open source blogging software, has revealed that the hosting service gets about 300 million unique visitors per month. In terms of revenue though, things are less stellar, Automattic is making just about $10 million per year.
Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg and CEO Toni Schneider were present at the Le Web 10 conference in Paris and provided
some background as well as overall vision for the hosting service and the software.
Open source has been a big part of the Automattic and the WordPress community since the beginning. The blogging platform has always been open and free.
This is what made it the most popular content management software on the planet, though most people still use it to host and manage their blogs, which is what WordPress.org was built for in the first place.
At the same time, the WordPress.com service was offered to provide free blog hosting for those wanting a simpler solution to deploying their own WordPress install.
Automattic has managed to reach a balance between the two, developing the open source software and growing the company. Yet, in terms of revenue, Automattic is not exactly killing it.
It makes slightly less than $1 million per month from premium services it offers on top of the free hosting part. It also offers a VIP hosting service for bigger blogs wanting more control over their sites.
In the past year, Automattic has been introducing all manner of premium services, some wackier than others, to see what floats, in an effort to drive up revenue.
In terms of profitability, the company probably isn't doing that great. It hosts 30 million publishers, that's about 10 percent of all the websites in the world Automattic says. WordPress.com gets about 300 million unique visitors every month making it one of the top 10 websites in the world.