Automattic‘s WordPress.com service has long operated on two completely separate fronts; first, there’s the standard free blogging network, and then there’s WordPress.com VIP, a pricey pro offering that ranges from $15,000 per year to $45,000 per year. Clearly, the latter is out of reach for many businesses, while the former is far too basic.

Now, Automattic is introducing a new, mid-level pricing tier: Enterprise.

WordPress.com Enterprise, which is perhaps deceptively named, is priced at a more accessible $500 per month and targets small to moderately popular sites looking for a quick solution. Touting that “no developers [are] needed, and [that there’s] no commitment,” WordPress.com Enterprise was designed to let brands create “a high-profile website on a tight deadline.”

As for examples of the types of companies using WordPress.com Enterprise, Automattic counts ESPN DigitalJackThreadsMoonfrye, and The 4-Hour Chef as launch partners.

Beyond the sales speak, this move reflects a change which we’ve tracked over the past year. Automattic is on the offensive.

Right now 17.4% of the top one million sites run on WordPress, but Automattic wants true Web domination. From our point of view, the company hopes to make that happen by way of targeting every niche it can — extending far beyond basic publishing.

With Enterprise, it will now be significantly easier to turn free users of its specialized offerings, like bandscities and restaurants, into paying customers.

➤ WordPress.com Enterprise ($500/month)

In other news, WordPress 3.5 was recently released, bringing a new photo flow, mobile-first default theme and Retina support.