When I originally started out blogging about two and a half years ago I – like many – started out with a free WordPress blog. I had read a countless amount of articles suggesting – mainly for the same reason – why WordPress was an ideal choice for any person looking to start blogging.
That reason: WordPress.com provided people with a free blogging service which included not only basic blogging functionality but also allowed for some advanced customization for those who needed and(or) wanted it.
Though as I come back to WordPress to reignite my personal blog I’m baffled to see some essential services labeled as paid upgrades let alone the infamously overpriced guided transfers still remain. Sure you have millions of users and intend to cash in them but, at the expense of severely limiting your services?
There are three 3 paid upgrade features which I’ll be touching upon due to their unnecessary existence. They are: Guided Transfers, CSS Styling, No Ads / Lack of user Advertising.
Currently priced at $129 – down from $199 last year – a guided transfer is when an person decides they’re going to move from a free WordPress.com site to self hosted WordPress site. Considering the limitation a free WordPress.com website has, users are only able to fill their site with will be quite minimalistic content. Besides the minimalistic content WordPress has an import and export feature readily available to all users which with one click will export all posts, pages, media files, comments and users into one file.
Now a days hosting providers will – with one-click – set up WordPress for users. Thus making the process of importing all the content they had hosted on their free WordPress.com site as simple as selecting the exported file from their free website.
Now does this process justify the $129 price tag – I don’t think so. If you’re pondering a purchasing a guided transfer please shoot me an email – in most cases I can do it free!
I believe this feature being a “paid upgrade” will be my deciding factor as to why I’ll be moving back to a self-hosted website.
Most people are looking to create a free WordPress website primarily for their personal blogs – meaning that given a small selection of free themes to use its only expected one will want to customize the shit out of their free themes. Be it only through text and colouring; regardless, it provides sites with an identity.
Apparently now users only have the option to change header images and fonts (with only a few selections available). Any other front-end customizations can done after purchasing a CSS paid upgrade.
Let it be known that this upgrade doesn’t provide users access the current stylesheets. Therefore, if users are looking to go about doing any style changes they better know basic HTML – as there’s no existing code to lean on. As an example one would be able to change the font size when seeing a line of code like the one below – without it they wouldn’t know where to begin.
Lack of user Advertising
I completely understand and agree with why WordPress displays ads on free sites they host. But, at the same time they’re taking away users ability to make any sort of compensation from their website by disallowing users to place ads on their own sites. If a user decides hell I ‘ll live with both WordPress ads and sidebar widget for Google AdSense that should be their decision.
Before the time of paid upgrades when WordPress was only making their money through donations – ads on free sites this made 100% sense. Now, with an abundance of paid upgrades and VIP packages why in the hell do they need to advertise on millions free sites. Just think $1/day from each free site and WordPress is racking in millions… daily. This may not be the case but, hopefully my point has been made.
I’d happily pay $30/year to not only remove ads but also for the right to display advertisements on my site myself.
Do you agree or disagree with WordPress’ paid upgrades: why or why not? Drop a comment!