I was listening to an interesting WordPress Weekly interview recently, which brought to my attention an intriguing web hosting service called Page.ly.
Page.ly aims to be “Easy like WordPress.com with the Freedom of WordPress.org.” The general idea is to provide a basic web hosting plan, with a domain included, that comes with WordPress pre-installed. (As a matter of fact, they won’t host anything except WordPress.) Their custom setup takes care of most of the techie work, leaving you to run your site.
You can install any theme or plugin that you want, several popular ones of which are pre-included for you. They also offer “theme packs,” which include many major premium themes, from sources such as WooThemes and StudioPress, at a discounted price.
It’s not for serious web geeks, but it’s certainly a great platform for people who want to put up a serious site without too much hassle, while retaining much more control than WordPress.com offers.