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