NOTE: There seems to be some confusion about what plans are available. The documentation I see only shows two plans, others have been told that is not the case. I will update here if I learn more.
These two available plans seemingly impact only free users. Click on upgrades in your WordPress leftmost menu. If you are currently a paying customer, you may see other plan options. If you have a free blog, you may only see the two options described below. Is this WordPress trying to discourage free accounts?
By now, many of you have read about WordPress pricing structure and functionality changes recently put in place without notice. As a person who has a history in IT, I do understand the cost of staying in business. Disk storage cost money. So does staffing. I do not think any of us would argue that point.
Most hobbyist bloggers do not have the expertise required to self host. That’s the reason so many people chose WordPress and Automattic to host their blog.
My blog is small and perhaps insignificant to many – especially the CEO and Board of Directors at Automattic. Many of you may fall into a similar category. Some of you have been blogging for 20 years or more and have a much larger following than I do. But what we do have is a community of like-minded people who have spent many years as loyal customers (consumers).
These pricing changes and storage limitations will impact a lot of us. I have already seen a number of people planning to move to Blogger (Google’s product). People are feeling they have no choices.
So what are the changes? I have made screen prints to show what they are right now. You have an option of a free account or a paid account.
If you go with the free account, you will receive only .5GB of storage for photos (compared to 3GB free accounts used to have). The Pro account will cost $180 for the first year and approximately $198 for the following years (if you buy a domain name). You then get 50GB of storage – 100 times what a free account gets.
If any of this concerns you and your ability to continue as a blogger, I suggest a few things. If you are on Twitter, send your concerns to the CEO Matt Mullenweg (@photomatt) and Automattic ( @automattic) and maybe even their board of directors (https://automattic.com/board/). I think there is room in the middle of their pricing to service this community.
Did you know there are about 60 million blogs on WordPress and in excess of 400 million on Tumblr (a recent acquisition of Automattic). That requires a lot of space admittedly, but it also raises a lot of money. In a recent blog post by Matt Mullenweg, he said the following:
“What I’m asking for my birthday is for people to blog!”
You might want to leave a comment on his blog post about blogging and how these changes will impact you. You can find that particular blog post here: https://ma.tt/2022/01/celebrate-by-writing/
I also found a few statements from their company creed worth noting:
I have a free account – I want to be clear on that. I have introduced many people to WordPress and many business clients as well. This is definitely a “pay to play” situation and maybe I cannot continue for free. I guess the problem I have is what seems to be the bait and switch. The reason I never transitioned to a paid account was exactly my fear that what I might pay for would not ever be guaranteed to last. And that, my fellow bloggers is a shame.