WordPress.com Comes Full Circle with Pricing Plans

Posted on July 22, 2022 by Aywren

Those of you who follow this blog know very well the adventure I’ve been on with WordPress.com since late March. It seems that the company thinkers have come full circle and reinstated all of their previous pricing plans.

Welp. Color me surprised.

It’s still too late for me, however, as I don’t plan to return to WordPress - not with the hours of work I’ve put into moving away from the platform. While I still have hours more work to put into it to fully move my entire blog, this is for several reasons:

  • I like the feel of having complete control over my content. Any time you host your stuff on a platform you don’t own, you run the risk of loss. Hosting at WordPress.com is no exception. With a hand-coded site, I own my HTML files. I have backups of all of my articles and images. It’s taking a while to get them organized and coded right, but it’s worth it to know that I own my content.
  • It’s cheaper. I’m consolidating all of my websites on to one host which will cost me a total of $5 a month to use. I was paying $7 a month at WordPress.com and another $12 a month at HostGator for all of my sites. That’s a huge savings – saving about $228 a year in total – for what is a hobby.
  • Static HTML sites are faster to load and use less bandwidth/resources to host. The problem I always had with my WordPress sites – even the self-hosted ones – was being ripped down by HostGator for using too many shared resources. Sometimes this was out of my control, especially if I had a lot of bots hitting my site or had a boost in traffic for no reason. I don’t have this worry with a static HTML site.
  • It’ll take more time to fix my WordPress blog than to just keep moving away. I’ve already put a LOT of time into building my new site. As I added new content, I deleted the media files for the blog posts on my WordPress blog and moved the posts to the trash. To restore that content would take as much time as it would just to keep on the path I’ve already chosen.
  • I’ve had no negative fall-out from moving. My traffic mostly came from Google anyhow. While I have lost some traffic from Reader – and the fact that my WordPress posts no longer seem to appear in Reader for others to see anymore – the bulk of my traffic is still what it used to be.
  • I’ve lost confidence in WordPress.com.

This just tells me that whoever is calling the shots is out of touch with the users of their platform. They make unannounced changes that few except the business folks gain anything from, try to play up a new Starter plan that I feel was probably not well-received, only to turn around within the space of three months to go back to where they started.

All the old plans have returned, including monthly pricing!

I don’t know if this is true, but I feel as if their userbase may have responded with the cancellation of recurring subscriptions like I did. The only way I can see a company doing such a sharp turn-about is if money was talking.

After hearing their Starter plan idea, I was done. When I left, I made sure to speak my mind about why I was cancelling and moving my blog when I had been perfectly happy hosting there for many years before that. This doesn’t help my situation any as I maintain my choice to leave, but maybe speaking out strongly helped others who decide to stay.

Moving a blog is no little process. So I hope this is a victory overall for the smaller bloggers.

But also a lesson – nothing is forever, take no host for granted. Make a backup plan on how to move your content just in case you need to. I hope it doesn’t come to that, but if it does, just be prepared.

Even the stable, safe and comfy-seeming companies can whiplash things like this. I’d been hosting with WordPress.com for many years (I tried to look it up and can’t find it) before everything got messy. I’m glad things are shaking out for the better, but I’m still not looking back.