If you haven’t heard, WordPress now has a new set of plans for us bloggers. HERE is the actual wordpress page, which is so much propaganda. Think 1984 and getting a raise of your chocolate ration, up to 8oz (when the reality is that yesterday you got 12oz). The upshot is that there are now only 2 types of plans going forward. A free ad supported plan and a Pro plan which will cost you $180 a year. THAT IS IT.
Before this, WP had 5 levels of plans. A free plan with 3gb of space, a personal plan with 6gb of space for $48 a year, a premium plan with 13gb of space for $96 or a business plan with 200gb of space and a lot of bells and whistles for $300 and then an Ecommerce version which is basically a fully loaded store for about $550.
For the big players, this new change to Free or Pro probably won’t be a big deal. But for the free, personal and premium members, this is rape, plain and simple. I tried the personal plan last year with a domain (bookstooge.com) and it went so badly that I quit after 6 months and went back to free. However, the ads and inserted posts by WP were getting so intrusive that in January of this year I signed up for the personal plan again, but without the domain (so I stayed at bookstooge.wordpress.com). It was mainly to get the extra space and to get rid of the ads.
When I heard about this plan change, I sent off an email to WordPress’s Infamous (un)Happy Engineers. I asked what would happen to my site when the personal plan expires. I’ve quoted the pertinent part of the email.
When your Personal Plan expires, your site will switch to a free plan with free features.
1). The storage space will be 3GB instead of 6GB.
2). No ability to upload audio files.
3). No ability to add payment buttons.
4). No ability to offer premium content.
5). bookstooge.wordpress.com will be your site’s address.
All the features of a Personal Plan will stop working.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any doubts.
So, once I reach 3gb, I either cough up $180, EVERY YEAR, for a casual hobby, or I end my time at WordPress.com. Also to take notice of, the Pro plan is annual only. You can’t pay on a monthly basis.
I called it “rape” in the paragraph above, but really, it is extortion if you have the personal or premium plan. If you’ve been on the Premium plan for years and have used up 10gb of space, what happens to you when your premium plan runs out this year? You either pay through the nose or you lose. I have reached out to WordPress asking what happens if I have more in my media library than I have space for. I don’t have an answer yet but I will find out.
Another thing to note is just how badly WP botched this rollout. Many long time users woke up Friday morning with a notice that they now only had 0.5bg of space (that’s the new limit for new users who join up after today. Us old guard still get the 3gb). WP forum staff admitted this wasn’t correct, that it was a bug and that “other people” were working on getting this fixed. What kind of idiot coder affect long time users?
If you are an existing free user who isn’t near the 3gb limit, this change by WP won’t affect you at all. But it does affect all their paying users, which is what boggles my mind. I know I am not going to be upgrading to PRO when my plan runs out. If my media library gets close to the 3gb limit and I can’t cheaply upgrade, I’ll just leave. Whether that means to another platform, to a self-hosted site (oh dear lord, I hope not. That’s a lot of work and a lot of nightmares and nothing working right, at least from what I’ve seen of other amateurs like myself) or just in general, I don’t know.
I’m going to be spending the rest of the year looking into alternatives to WordPress. Even if I stick around, WordPress has just shown me that they are predatory pimps who will shank me with no warning if they want an extra $150 out of my pockets. There is no guarantee they won’t do something like this again. In fact, this move pretty much makes it certain they WILL do something like this again in the future.
I’m done ranting.
UPDATE 1000 (GMT-5)
I received the following email response from WP about midnight:
If a site uses more than 3GB of storage space and switches to a free plan, some of its content, including photos, will be removed because it does not have enough space.
WordPress.com has changed its plans recently. I understand your concern. But you can keep using your Personal Plan as it is. The price will remain the same for existing plans.
just so this isn’t a completely hate filled post, here are 2 solutions for storage space, one of my own posts and another I found while searching for space solutions. I hope they can be helpful to you.