New wordpress.com plans for bloggers: how is it going to impact us?

Most my followers are WordPress subscribers. These are people I don’t know, never met, but who take the time to read and comment. Most of them have their own blogs, which I usually follow back.

I may not be the perfect blogger who always knows how to entertain, but I also don’t just post something here for the sake of filling a space in my blogging calendar. I carefully prepare and proofread all my contributions to the best of my ability; I make sure that the photographs are optimized for different screens; I keep a schedule; I keyword all my posts and follow up with all comments. Despite my efforts, followers, particularly participating followers, come and go. Some stop blogging, while others simply lose interest in my blog. Some take long breaks. Regardless, to compensate for those who go away, I feel that I need to constantly attract new followers, and that is a damn difficult job as it is.

Thanks to the active blogging community here, I still think that blogging is worth my time and that somewhere in WordPress there is a renewable pool of bloggers I will be able to meet and interact with. This week, however, it has been brought to my attention that WordPress has eliminated two plans that attract new bloggers: the personal plan and the premium plan. New subscribers now have only two options: the “Free Plan,” with adds and decreased storage space, and the “Business Plan”, with all features at 15U$/month.Going forward, we all know what is going to happen to influx of new personal blogs.

Even if wordpress.com will allow us to renew our personal and premium plans on a legacy basis, I fear that the blogging community will suffer immensely from the reduced influx of new subscribers. And that will impact our followers base, since those who leave will not be replaced. I hope WordPress will reconsider their decision to favor commercial sites and blogs, but I am not very hopeful.

Are you aware of WordPress changes in their blogging plans and do you think I that it will impact your blog negatively? If you cannot renew your current plan, will you try self-hosting, or another blogging platform? I’m interested in your opinion.

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Published by Alessandra Chaves

Photographer with a preference for nature photography in black and white and other abstractions.

31 thoughts on “New wordpress.com plans for bloggers: how is it going to impact us?

  1. There’s been some misinformation floating about concerning the new plans, including some put out initially by WordPress itself. Now that changes have been made, here’s a link to the info on the free and ‘Pro’ plans. Note that the monthly fee listed is $15 rather than $25, and traffic limits have been eliminated.

    As a legacy blogger, none of these changes will affect me. I had to smile when I saw that I’ve used only 19% of my storage space for The Task at Hand in the ten years and more I’ve been with WordPress, so it’s clear that I’ll not run out of storage until I die — unless they change things again. And I chose to pay for a plan for Lagniappe that includes a domain name, no ads, and expanded storage, so that will be fine.

    As for what the changes will mean for new bloggers, I haven’t a clue, and to be honest I hadn’t thought about it. From the beginning, my stance has been that I’ll post what I like, and whoever shows up to enjoy it is who shows up. I still have followers from my first years of blogging, but just as many have disappeared. Some have died; some grew bored with blogging and found other interests more compelling; some simply didn’t want to put the work into it any longer. So it goes.

    I do know a few people who’ve gone to self-hosting, but I don’t want to deal with the complications that come along with that. Others have gone to sites like Substack, but experienced such a traffic drop they’re thinking of coming back to WordPress. Google’s Blogger platform is another option, but the bloggers I follow on that site spend an even high percentage of their time griping about the site — perfection is hard to come by!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They lowered the fee on the business plan considerably since I last looked. I’ll update on my post. Thanks for bringing it up. The new rate is attractive for those who want to do business, but still steep for just a blog.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Somehow I hadn’t heard about coming changes to WordPress plans. I’m with you in hoping any changes won’t keep people away from us.

    I still keep getting alerts about new subscribers, the large majority of whom seem to have nothing to do with nature or photography. I almost never get a comment from any of those people. I assume some of them subscribe in hopes I’ll look at their website. I also assume that most of the people listed in my dashboard as subscribers no longer look at my posts, assuming they ever even did. Ah, mysteries….

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  3. I migrated from trying different platforms over the years and do like WP the most out of all of them.
    Totally missed hat there were changes coming. Not surprising. We’re in the middle of buying a home in a different location so my brain is fried.
    I’ll check out the changes and if it is not cost effective, I will need to drop my blog (perhaps). I doubt that a free plan would be any better than the Google experience (free). I’ll be around regardless of that outcome.
    Thanks for the heads up.

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      1. WordPress is terrible with communication. I don’t know how long you have been blogging but they make periodic changes without any heads up to users. I have had a few problems and Linda was more resourceful that the so-called happiness engineers in helping me sort it all out. Thank goodness for smart friends.
        I have no idea whether I would continue or not even at $15/month. Free spoils you. :-). I assume that at least for the time being we are all “grandfathered in.

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  4. I use WP on a standard hosting site (Siteground) and I’ve never understood what WordPress.com is really about. But one thing I do know is that absolutely everything on the web, and especially in social media, is going pay-to-play. Just look at the beating the big technology stocks have taken this year – investors still want the moon, but it’s moving away. So I won’t be surprised if my own hosting plan gets ‘adjusted’ in Siteground’s favor.

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    1. Yes, we tend to want things to stay the same but businesses also need to adjust. Somehow WordPress had put your comment in the trash. I only saw it today, to reply. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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  5. I use WP on a standard hosting site (Siteground) and I’ve never understood what WordPress.com is really about. But one thing I do know is that absolutely everything on the web, and especially in social media, is going pay-to-play. Just look at the beating the big technology stocks have taken this year – investors still want the moon, but it’s moving away. So I won’t be surprised if my own hosting plan gets ‘adjusted’ in Siteground’s favor.

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  6. Being blunt, I hate WordPress. I’ve just about reached my storage limit on the paid $99 a year. The only way I can avoid buying a Pro plan is to eliminate pictures from years ago. I’m willing to do that, but they make it so difficult. I’ve eliminated about 3 years worth of blog posts and their pictures with no result in my storage. Just deleting the post won’t delete the pictures! So you have to delete the images separately. I would have quit WP but now that I’m on the Lens Artists Challenge team, I’m stuck. Also their customer support is lacking.

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  7. Oh, I haven’t learned about all this yet and I don’treally understand ,what’s going on and has been changed. So far I haven’t noticed anything personally. Hoping toget some information by WordPress itself. Thanksfor yours! What’s the link got all the info from?

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      1. Thank you! Both links worked finel
        But I haven’t got a legacy account and I had never heard about it before.
        So the changes don’t matter for me, and I don’t know enough about it to understand the consequences for those who have one. Cheerio, Petra

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  8. I was aware of the changes, but I’m a legacy blogger with a free account so not affected (I hope). I do like WordPress but I also have a Wix website which provides blogging capability. At the moment my WordPress blog is linked to my Wix website and updates there automatically. If WordPress no longer gives me the ability to post for free then I’ll probably switch to my Wix website and use the Wix blogging functionality, which is free. By the way, I like your cover photo for this post!

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  9. Like Jim, I’m the user of the WordPress software (which is free) on my own hosting account with BlueHost. So I wasn’t aware of these changes. However, I’m less worried about the impact though. For an artist/photographer, the key thing is to get people who are interested in their work with the potential to collect it (or at least one copy of some of it). So the people I am trying to attract are unlikely to have a blog of their own.
    Now whether this is a good plan is debatable. I can see how that would work for someone who only took pictures of a certain area – perhaps you would get a following of people that love that area. For someone who takes photos all around the world, it is harder to envisage who those followers are.
    I can also see how a photographer can attract other photographers by writing about techniques and could get a following of people willing to pay for a book of those techniques or a course. So that would be a monetizable following.
    But who wants to follow a photographer who posts pictures of all sorts of places? Not sure!

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    1. I suppose that having a follow composed of art collectors would suit nearly every artist on earth, but the reality on the ground for most of us is quite different. I try not to put much emphasis on my print selling business when I blog. I use the blog more as a means to get to know other people, get some inspiration and tips from them, and give them something in return. I enjoy the community and networking.

      As for your blog, and business, I believe that there are folks who would like to read about, see, and eventually purchase photos of places they have never been to, places they dream to visit, or both. Some landscapes are relaxing in nature, while others evoke a sense of wonder and drama. The feelings that a landscape evokes may sometimes be more important than where the landscape is from, so keep that in mind when you are trying to connect with your followers.

      Most of my print sales have been through local galleries, local events, and the marketplace on Facebook. Occasionally, friends and colleagues who know me in person and who want to have something to remember me by will make a purchase, but those sales are quite random: a person will connect with a photo I post on social media and ask for a print. I have learned not to expect any sales, but also that it is not wise for me to exclude anyone from my pool of potential customers, based on what they do. Photographers occasionally have purchased prints from me, and I have occasionally purchased prints from photographers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Interesting thoughts! I often wonder why I am driven by selling things! It is partly that it provides a real insight into what others think of your work as it takes far more effort for someone to buy a print than to click on a like button on Facebook!
        I think it is also from my years of stock photography where the reason for uploading images to agencies was to sell them – otherwise, what is the point? That mindset is difficult to shake.
        I do wonder if I ought to calm down in this relentless chase for money – and the answer to the question is yes! I’m training myself! Perhaps I ought to start another blog on ideas and approaches just to enjoy photography? And then I could sell courses!!! Just joking… I think

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I like to read about your systematic approach to selling and have followed your stock photography for years. I have also learned different photography techniques from your blog. I wish I’d paid more attention to your advice when it comes to licensing ! I find it difficult to come back from work, or spend a weekend concentrating on sales. I photographed some products and sellable ideas but it was always rolling yes, huffing and puffing like I was torturing myself. I uploaded many pictures to stock but I must not have worried too much about how the images were going to be used! But I had a good time taking them! And I have quite a few images for sale on my site, if anyone is interested!

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  10. Hate to say it, but I think they want to eliminate personal blogs. The “free” experience is unattractive enough to drive many away (1GB of storage, ha! no CSS?) and the Pro tier will be far too expensive for all but the most dedicated to cost-justify. It has to be a passion project.

    Squarespace pivoted away from bloggers a few years ago as well. They still pay lip-service to them, but it’s clear it’s all about ecommerce and not much else.

    I recently moved my wp.com blog to a local ISP’s “managed WP” service. Better features, better price, more control… but thankfully I’m a geek (or is it nerd?) and enjoy tweaking under the hood. I cannot imagine nontechnical people doing a move like this.

    The times they are a-changin’

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    1. It looks really nice, your site and blog. I agree with you about what WordPress is trying to do. The reduced price on business plans to attract more of that, and getting rid of cheap folks like myself. People don’t seem worried but times are up for a change.

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  11. I personally use Squarespace though I am not certain how the price compares. Years ago I had used WordPress for blogging but at that time it was much more complex to build a whole website with it, as opposed to a blog, so I migrated when I wanted a website too. I’m happy with Squarespace though, as I mentioned, I’m not sure how the pricing compares.

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    1. Saving cents on a dime is not the most important thing. My website is not built on WordPress either. It’s on artspan. I’ll link into squarespace, maybe have everything under one domain.

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  12. Self-host a wordpress.org installation. You already have your own domain, so you don’t even need to pay wordpress.com their $13/year for a redirect. Migration is easy, I’ve just done it with my personal blog. It required getting into the basics of WP-CLI, which was relatively easy (I’m a geek). Reach out if you want to know more. I’ll be glad to help. I hate ripoffs and the disservice they’re doing to the blogging community.

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    1. Thank you for your kind offer. I am considering that, I had in fact decided that I was going to last year but then work and other things got in my way. But I still, I fear that the community here on WordPress.com will suffer…

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      1. It would seem so, but that is outside of our influence, unfortunately. If it is any concern, wordpress.com does have a feature to transfer your existing followers/subscribers from wordpress.com to a self-hosted installation.

        Liked by 1 person

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