Parting Ways with WordPress Premium
Posted on June 17, 2022 by Aywren
As some folks might have seen, yesterday was the day I finally made the choice to cancel my recurring subscription for WordPress.com. While it won’t immediately take effect – I still had until March of next year – it does ensure that I don’t forget and accidentally renew for another two years.
After all the feedback provided to WordPress.com on the Starter Package, we’ve heard not a single follow-up about our concerns. Nor have we heard anything about these ala-carte purchases we can make alongside the lower priced package. Already seeing that they were skimping features, such as not removing ads for a blog package you’re paying for, that was enough to push me to make a move away from the platform.
I’ve been successfully doing just that. While it’s a lot of work and time, I’m proud of how it’s shaping up! In fact, a lot of things have fallen into place as I’ve moved this blog to a static HTML format:
- All search URLs have remained the same – with the exception of category and tag pages, but I knew that would be a thing.
- Google continues to index my site as if it had never moved. I got most of my traffic from Google searches to begin with, so moving off of WordPress hasn’t hurt that much in terms of numbers.
- My comments have transferred over to Disqus as I hoped and folks are using the Disqus system to leave me new comments – so that seems to be working fine.
- The new RSS feed seems to be doing what I need it to – though if you subbed through WordPress, it was confused at first.
When I moved my domain name off of WordPress, instantly, WordPress began registering very few hits to the site. So that means that traffic is going to the right place.
I also pulled all my ads off of my layout. Even though I’m getting almost zero traffic now, I’m not giving them another cent through ads as long as I’m Premium. Not that I was making all that much at the end.
My WordAds were doing REALLY well for a time, then suddenly, they just weren’t. WordPress claims that can happen due to who wants to advertise with them – I wonder if there’s some trouble in the ads area for WordPress lately. Because it dropped back to as low as it was when I first started using the program.
Once I switched from my old theme to the new block theme back in March, I had a hugely dismal drop in revenue. This was despite me manually placing ads in my theme and trying to experiment with them without flooding the visitor. Nothing I did helped to bring it back up to anywhere close to where it was before, however.
I think it’s wrong that you give bloggers a tool such as the block themes, tout them to be fantastic (which they can be), and then the blogger takes a huge hit in revenue for some unknown reason. After all the work I put into my layout, I wasn’t going to roll back to the old theme. I hoped that it would work itself out over time, but month after month it showed it wasn’t going to.
I did wait until I received my last WordAds payout before I cut ties with Premium. That happened this past week. All in all, I earned enough to cover the money I put into my Premium account over the past few years, and a little more on the side – which probably covered the cost of the hosting while I was still on the Personal plan.
So it was a good experiment and nice while it lasted.
I know I sound like I’m soapboxing this issue – though this will probably be the final post I make about WordPress.com here aside from any that I make as tutorials on how I moved away from it (thinking about Blaugust). But I feel very passionate about what I’m seeing happening with this, especially in the case of how it will effect smaller bloggers and new bloggers.
When I don’t like what I see this much, I speak with my wallet. I did more than that on my way out. I gave WordPress.com an earful so they knew exactly why I was pulling my money.
The original blog will continue as a blog to announce updates to this blog. You might have already seen that at work. I have a lot of followers there, and though my stats say that not too many people are clicking through on the links I leave, I’m still doing it for the time being. In the future, I might drop this in hopes that by then, folks have picked up my new RSS feed instead.
I’m slowly deleting posts and media on the WordPress.com account as I move them over. Yes, I’m that serious about not going back. I shouldn’t have any need to once I’ve got everything cleaned up on the new host. I’ve been keeping solid backups of the code as I work so if something goes belly up with Neocities, honestly, I just need a host with FTP that allows me to attach a domain and I’ll be good to go again.
That freedom is nice.
There is satisfaction in recoding my entire blog and knowing each page is something I made from a hand-crafted template.
I don’t see myself backing out of this. So this is goodbye, WordPress.com.