Blogging Stuff

Fuck Your Price Gouging: A not-so-Christmas interlude

It takes a lot for me to post on a day off. I have a lot of things on my plate, especially right now trying to balance the holidays, finals, and editing my novel. And trust me, it didn’t help anything when I received the following email from WordPress dot com’s techno thugs:

fuckingwordpress

Let me paint you a picture of everything wrong with this situation:

  1. WordPress dot com’s customer service is subpar at best. I haven’t met anyone who’s blogged on the platform who doesn’t have a stack of complaints against them. I’ve personally had questions and problems flat-out ignored, never received a response, nothing, zip, zilch. It’s certainly not worth the $96 a year I’m charged for it, let alone the $116 they’re trying to extort from me.
  2. The features I get for paying $96/year versus the $48/year for the next lowest plan?
    –Site monetization through Wordads, which hasn’t worked correctly since the day I signed up (and was, in fact, 100% of the reason I upgraded to the premium plan). The ads they run plain suck. They look straight out of an online safety video about viruses. There is nothing appealing about them to garner clicks.
    –Advanced social media, which I’ve never used, so far as I can remember.
    –Simple payments??? I don’t even know what that means.
    –VideoPress support, which basically means I can upload videos with the rest of my media. I’ve used this features exactly once and I could just as easily host on YouTube and embed that.
    –Unlimited premium themes, which is nice, but only cosmetic. If I really want a premium theme, I can make a one-time payment to buy it which is definitely cheaper than the cost of the premium plan for one year.
    –Advanced design customization is really only good if you know CSS. Otherwise, the “advanced” features are also pretty basic and limited.
    None of those features beyond site monetization are worth nearly $100 a year, let alone the $116 it would cost with the domain cost added in.
  3. At their current cost of $18 a year, WordPress already charges more for custom .com domains than most (if not all) of their competitors. Arguably their biggest competitor, Google’s Blogger, charges $12 a year for a custom .com domain. When WordPress jacks up the rate to $26, they will be charging more than double for the exact same product as their competitor.
  4. I received this email on Dec. 5, leaving me only two weeks to come up with $96 to renew my plan… four months early. My renewal date isn’t until April and my plan expires in May–I’ve only had this plan for seven months (not even–it will be seven month on Dec. 18). WordPress wants me to decide just barely half-way through my experience if I want to shell out money for renewal. If I don’t decide before having a chance to determine if it was even worth the cost to begin with, I’ll be charged even more for the features I’d originally been told would be included. That seems shady as hell.
  5. The old cupcakewitchery.com URL is still active on an empty site directing people here. I haven’t received any offer to renew it early (it will expire on July 1, 2019) to keep it at that current rate. So, only certain payers are being given this option, which is unfair to other people who also pay good money for that (what I would consider) premium feature.

My disappointment in their service has only grown since I started paying for all the fancy stuff. I had assumed that paying for special features would mean a higher quality of service. That’s just basic business; you keep your big spenders happy.

And before anyone says, “Well, you aren’t really a big spender. There’s a tier above premium,” my dear friend Allen was subscribed to their business plan, the highest tier. Yesterday, he cancelled his plan (with a month left–that’s how upset he was) and moved his blog The Midnight Goose over to Blogger (official launch on Monday 12/10), for the same reasons I listed above.

So, I’ve already begun researching alternatives to WordPress dot com. I’m considering using WordPress.org and going self-hosted, but that’s also not an inexpensive route. I’m also looking into a move to Blogger. I used Blogger in the past and wasn’t thrilled with the service, but it does offer more freedom for free accounts in regards to monetization and the like, and a lot of the problems I originally had with it I believe I can work around, now.

Rest assured, I will let everyone know what will be happening with From Adie, with Love and when. I’ve been blogging all over the internet since I was fourteen-years-old. More than half of my life has been spent as a blogger of some kind. I will always be here.

In the meantime, you can connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

I love you all.


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17 thoughts on “Fuck Your Price Gouging: A not-so-Christmas interlude”

  1. WordPress is going to lose A LOT of money. This issue is being discussed heavily in one of the blogger groups I’m in.
    I really think you’d love Lyrical. They are a UK-based company and their customer service is the best I’ve ever received online. Since they are based in the UK, their managing hours are way off than mine, yet during my migration, they worked around the clock to answer all of my stupid questions. I’m not even exaggerating. I sent a raised a ticket once and it was like 3 AM their time and they answered it! At $11/mo I’m really satisfied.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m curious about how other people are reacting to it, I must admit.

      I really like the idea of going self-hosted, but that takes me back to the issue of price. Even if I do a one-year plan with Lyrical for the discounted price, that’s still $120 a year. I don’t make any money from this blog, so I’m really on the fence about shelling out $120 to maintain it for another year when I’m not getting any return on the investment. Of course, there are cheaper hosts, but webhosting really is a “you get what you pay for” kind of deal. Except with WordPress, where you don’t even get that much, apparently. -_-

      Liked by 1 person

          1. PREACH!!! It’s SUCH a pain, dude! Like, I’ve been whining to all my blogger friends these last few months. My stats have plummeted and I just don’t know why I do it anymore, except for the fact I like writing…

            Like

      1. If you’re not getting a return it’s not an investment, it’s a hobby. Few hobbies are free, but I’m perfectly content posting to my blogs now and again without spending anything at all.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well that’s kind of the point. I could keep blogging without spending any money at all. I spent money to add a custom URL to my site and get a premium theme because I liked it. That was just money I spent for a hobby.

          I spent even more money to add monetization to my site to hopefully earn some money to offset the costs of a URL and premium theme. That was an investment that I didn’t get a return on–not part of a hobby. If someone invests money into starting a business selling turquoise jewelry and no one buys any, that’s not a hobby, it’s just a bad investment. The WP premium theme wasn’t money I spent for a hobby, it was a bad investment that I won’t continue to invest in.

          And yes, few hobbies are free, but there is still a return on investment there. Perhaps not monetarily, but the enjoyment is worth the cost. In this case, the enjoyment of writing is not worth the cost of my premium plan, especially not when I can blog elsewhere with similar theme customizations and a custom URL for less money than I originally spent WP’s lowest costing plan.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yeah, I feel like the people behind these platforms do a good job convincing is that blogging is a viable business but it’s really about as realistic as becoming a professional lottery winner.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Definitely. Then you have that 1% of people who do actually manage to make money from blogging that give people that little shred of hope. I don’t want to try and make a career out of blogging, but I figured I had enough traffic to make maybe $3-5 a month which would have helped me with some of the cost of the blog. I tried, it didn’t happen, so I’m moving back to free.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I received that same email from WordPress and I was none too pleased with it myself. It’s straight up gouging, and right before the holidays, too? I don’t get the logic here. It’s like they’re actively trying to piss people off.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Usually, this is one of those things that, once I sleep on it, I just move on from my annoyance and either accept it or take my business elsewhere. Whatever, the end. But this? The more time passes, the angrier I’m getting. I’ve been blogging on WordPress for five years and have been shelling out for paid plans for two. They’re already the most expensive blogging platform I know of. And they’re going to jack their prices up even more?

      Obviously, they must have been consistently losing business/money if they need to jack their domain cost up to $26 and remove the free domain from their already ridiculously expensive plans. The solution to that isn’t a price hike, but to offer quality service. They’re going to Myspace themselves, hand to God. SMDH.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tumblr, Facebook, and WordPress are all going to screw themselves. They provide a service, sure, but they have to remember that internet hosting sites are a dime a dozen. When one goes out, five more replace it. They also forget that WE are their product. Without bloggers and merchants and casual website owners, they don’t have a service that needs to be provided. They can’t sell services if they don’t have the folks using them. Of course, a lot of the people who founded these companies are multi-millionaires, so they enjoy the fun while they can, and when the company folds, they peace out to Bermuda. That sounded old, crotchety and almost conspiracy theorist-like. LOL Tumblr pisses me off the most because it’s plain ole censorship. They need to worry about the porn BOTS–not the users with adult material displayed legally and ethically. I don’t even like porn and I think what they’re doing is ridiculous.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The thing with Tumblr, from what I’ve heard, was that there were issues with distribution of adult material featuring underage “models.” Rather than try to pick out the real disgusting dirtbags, they lazily decided to just shut down everyone. But Tumblr has been well on its way to Puritanism for a while if you ask me. I partially blame their user base. There’s an attitude on Tumblr that’s basically, “If I’m offended by it, no one should be able to enjoy it ever!” But I could write an entire blog post on the problems with Tumblr.

          Facebook just sucks in general. It’s always sucked. And since Instagram is owned by Facebook, it sucks by proxy.

          But WordPress really kills me, because their actions aren’t a result of some problem they can’t figure out how to deal with like Tumblr, nor is it a matter of them just having shitty guidelines from the very start like Facebook. WordPress just got greedy. I can overlook poor implementation of rules and regulations, shake my head, move on. But actively trying to take advantage of their user base is something I can’t ignore.

          Liked by 1 person

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