[reblog] WordPress: Starter Plan – Paying More for Less — Gaming and Geek Blog

Previous Posts About WordPress Plan Changes: WordPress.com Plan Pricing Changes – What the Heck? WordPress Announces New Plans – With Welcome Changes Well, we’re back on the WordPress train again. This time, the big news – properly announced in their blog – is of the new Starter Plan. Priced at $5 a month, it sits between the […]

WordPress: Starter Plan – Paying More for Less — Gaming and Geek Blog

When WordPress scuttled their Tiered Level of Plans and reduced the options to a neutered free plan or an overpriced but under-muscled “pro” plan and didn’t announce it to ANYONE, it made a lot of people pretty unhappy. WP tried placating everyone by claiming that another plan was in the works as were add ons. But no concrete details or even a time frame was given. We now have that new plan and that new time frame. I think Aywren did a great of writing, so please visit her post for all the details.

The short and dirty version: WP.com continues to screw over its user base and charges more for less, and tells us we like it, just like a rapist.

On that cheery note, have a wonderful rest of your Sabbath 😉

April ’22 Roundup & Ramblings

Raw Data:

Novels – 12 ↓

Graphic Novels – 6 ⭤

Average Rating – 3.03 ↓

Pages – 3430 ↓

Words – 1043 ↓

The Bad:

Flashman – 1/2star of Pure Filth

Tales of Angria – 1star DNF

Wings of the Dove – 1star DNF

The Good:

A House of Gentlefolk – You know you’re having a rough month when a Russian novel is the best you can muster up at 4stars

Movie:

Fragglerock Season 4 was a great way to end the series!

Miscellaneous Posts:

Personal:

I started keeping track of my food intake again. Not trying to chart the carbs or calories but simply list everything I eat and drink. Simply being aware keeps me from mindlessly snacking and since I almost hit 170lbs at the dr’s office, well, time to start the food fight again.

Good news is that my diabetes is getting under some good tight control (my last hemoglobin A1C was 6,8) with the sensor and pump AND my eyes haven’t degraded in over 18 months, which means things are stable. The endocrinologist is happy, the retina specialist is happy and I’m happy!

Work has been much better. My coworker has stopped grumping so much and I got a raise, which is going straight into the massive tax hike we got stuck with this year. We owe a lot and I know EXACTLY who is to blame.

The reading bump I had gotten from getting covid back in January finally ended and I’m back to a bit more “realistic” numbers. The upside is that I won’t have to write so many reviews each month; the downside is that now I have to be more “creative” to come up with other things to write about. It might turn out to be a bit more work than expected. Of course, with how April went in terms of numbers (every number!), I’ll be glad to start a new month. This was the worst reading month I have had in a VERY LONG time 😦

With all that good stuff, there has to be something poopy too. WordPress. Of course. If you didn’t know, WordPress scrapped all of their plans, changed everything to a free or expensive plan and pretty much killed off the chance of any casual new blogger from starting out. Those who had existing plans can still renew them at the old rate, but there is no guarantee of how long that “promise” will last. Basically WP gave the free bloggers the old heave ho and told all the inexpensive plan users to pay more or fuck off. AND even now, a month later, pertinent details like pricing and addons are still a mystery. I have never seen a business transaction handled this badly. Never.

Cover Love:

None of the covers this month grabbed my attention, and since I don’t believe in the Participation Trophy mentality, NOBODY gets the cover love mention.

Plans for Next Month:

Since I started reading Sherlock Holmes I wanted to watch the 2010 series by the BBC. I plan on watching Season One and reviewing each episode on Sundays. SavageDave will be joining in so your Sundays will be filled with more Sherlock than you can shake a stick at!

To keep the Muppet theme going for movies, I am also planning on watching the Muppet’s Wizard of Oz. Everything I’ve heard and seen leads me to believe this is going to be the worst Muppet movie I’ve ever laid eyes on, so hang on, because who knows what will happen!

Bend Over Bloggers, WordPress Wants Your *ss

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?

Stupid Code Monkey, that’s who!

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.

ps,
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.

♪Celebrate Good Times♪ Come On!♪

Kool & the Gang Approve this Message

I was reading Another Blogger’s Post and he mentioned he had hit the 1000 post mark. He threw it out as a little one liner instead of making a big deal about it but numbers like that are really worth celebrating. It got me wondering how many posts I currently have on wordpress. With writing as much as I do currently, and a big back catalog of reviews (that I am ALMOST finished with by the way! Another reason to celebrate), I haven’t even tried to keep track. Thankfully, wordpress has kept track of that data for me.

While I am not a tv, I am a blogger with 4000 posts under my belt. I must admit to scamming the system and posting some old reviews so this post would be number 4000 at the time it is published. But oh yeah, it feels good! So celebrate with me!

If you have just recently started following you, you might feel this post is chock full of braggadocio, possibly arrogant and completely egotistical. If you’ve been following for some time, you’ll know it IS all that. You’ll also know that I’ve been doing this since 2000 on one platform or another, so forgive me as I toot my own horn for one post (ok, you got me. I am always tooting my own horn. But we can all pretend I’m usually humble and self-effacing, can’t we? I know I can).

Milestones are important. Whether it is getting tagged for some blog award, or noting how long you’ve been blogging, or reaching a number of posts or having reviewed a certain number of books/movies, big fat round numbers are easy to remember and help encourage you when the blogging journey gets rough.

So rejoice with me and think about what you might be able to rejoice about yourself. I’d love to celebrate some good things with any of you all.

Is WordPress Dying?

Yes it is. FaCT!

In fact, WordPress.com (not org mind, but those guys have huge problems of their own) is probably going to shut down tomorrow and the internet as we know it is going to go kaput! I suggest a brisk regimen of running in circles, waving your arms wildly and screaming as loudly as you can. It won’t stop WordPress from going out of business but it will prepare you just in case any assassin dinosaurs jump out of black helicopters while attempting to kill you. Always be prepared is my motto.

In a less serious vein though, has anybody else noticed that their feed and general interaction have been down this summer? I thought it was just me and wasn’t sure that it was accurate, but both Jeroen and Wakizashi mentioned it earlier this week in my comment sections so at least I know I’m not alone in my paranoid delusions!

I’ve included a snapshot of my “Monthly” stats from the last 2.5 years. Why 2.5 years you ask? Because that’s what WordPress gives me and you. You can see a big drop off in May of this year. Right at the beginning of summer. Now while the stats show things improving in later months, that is only because I started posting 6-7 days a week in July in stead of the 4-5 like I had been previously. (thank goodness for google calendar. a nice visual reminder of what’s getting posted when). So what I think that means is that my core group of followers picked up the slack from all the casuals who seem to have disappeared.

Anecdotally, I’ve had more than a handful of people I follow announce they’re going on hiatus, whether for a week, a month or to be determined. I’ve also had more than a handful of people, who used to post 4-6 times a month cut back to 1 or 2 times a month. And I’ve stopped following almost 10 people over the summer who stopped posting even once a month (that’s my determining factor by the way. If someone stops blogging for a month without notice, I’ll stop following that person). So those data points, backed up by Jeroen and Wak’s observations, lead me to the conclusion that bloggers in general are either getting burned out or the casual blogger is just stopping. It makes me wonder how much the Block Editor has to do with this.

I’ve written several times (Peeved) (Beaten) (and Others) about the forsaken editor and have nothing good to say about it. While I am now completely used to it and use it without a second thought, it never fails me to remind me that it was not created to write casually, like you know, for a blogger. How many casual bloggers got sick of trying to use the block editor and have just given up? That would definitely feed into the downturn I, and others, are seeing.

At the same time, there seems to be more stress and pressure in the world (whether there actually is or not, it all depends on how much you believe the mainstream media) and when people are stressed, they burn out easier on hard hobbies. And blogging is a hard hobby. Covid, and peoples’ fear of covid, has changed things drastically and when you are on the edge, you retreat from anything that takes effort. And blogging takes effort. Sometimes just following people takes effort and you can forget about writing posts.

I’ve mentioned to others that I’m going to have to change my blogging habits in ’22. I don’t plan on taking a hiatus or quitting, but I’ve got to reformulate my schedule because writing 15-20 reviews a month is exhausting, even with my “reviews” usually being under 600 words 😉 But part of that reformulation is figuring out what is going on with others and to see if it is going on with me. Once I know, I can deal with whatever it is much more effectively.

No Giving Up Allowed on this Blog! (even if the flipping block editor won’t allow me to center the caption like the old editor did)

I’m writing this in hopes of getting some more input from anyone who reads this. Has your blogging changed or have you seen a change in those who follow you? Hit me with all the gory details, because “I’m Listening”.

2003 is DONE!

This is just a little note to myself that I’ve finished down to 2003 in my Blog Construction Project. Every time I get to knock another year off the To-Do list is a good moment for me. 2002-2000 is looking more and more doable.

It took me a year to do 2005-2003, so I am really hoping I can finish this blasted project by the end of 2022. I started this project back in ’18, so it will have been 4 years. That’s a LOT of work, sigh.

Anyway, carry on with your day and know that I’m giving you the queen wave….

“Whether ’tis Nobler in the Mind to Un-Dotcom….”

…..The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?
`Hamstoogelet, Act III, Scene I

As I reported in my post Apparently I Hate Me I’ve been unfollowing myself multiple times since I went dotcom. I’ve contacted WP and they finally admitted it was an ongoing issue with other users as well. They didn’t say, but I’m sure it is due directly to those inept idiots who pretend to be “code monkeys” playing around under the hood of WP and breaking crap.

I told them that if it continued I’d be cancelling my paid account as I wasn’t going to pay for worse service. Well, since that email I’ve unfollowed myself at least 6 times, if not more. Since that has happened, I’ve decided to pull a Hamlet and oppose the evil that calls itself WordPress. Tomorrow I’ll be going back to a dotwordpressdotcom address. It really pisses me off, as that means that ads and native sponsored posts are going to be back. It also means that about 7 months worth of links aren’t going to be accurate and I’m not going to go back and correct them all.

Bugger all.

I don’t know how this will affect any of you. WP automatically moved all of you as followers when I went dotcom and I’m hoping the reverse will be true. But please keep this in mind if you don’t see any posts from me. I’ve got posts schedule almost every day so that should be a dead giveaway that things didn’t go well. WP did tell me that when I downgrade everyone should follow the new site automatically, but considering their track record of making things work, I’ll believe it when I see it.

I’m just annoyed because I have to admit, I really enjoyed being a dotcom. But for all the complaints I have against the free plans, at least I don’t pay money for those problems.

See you tomorrow at Bookstooge.wordpress.com, hopefully!

Apparently I Hate Me

Ever since I’ve gone Dotcom back in January, I’ve had a strange issue where I will spontaneously unfollow myself. I follow myself to make sure my posts make it into the WP Reader and to make sure I’m seeing the same things that everyone else is seeing. It just makes sense to mingle with the masses and to try to see things from their perspective after all.

WP’s “Help” aka “Happiness Engineers” (gag me) helpfully suggested that maybe I’ve accidentally clicked on something in the reader to unfollow myself. I didn’t naysay that because I never payed attention to that. But today it happened again, while I was away from the computer and it was impossible for me to have clicked anything. I’ve just sent them an email and we’ll see what they have to say this time.

I’m just wondering if any of you have experienced something like this? Or am I truly unique and having issues that nobody else has ever had before? I am not a big fan of being unique this way :-/

My REAL Promise To You

Mr Bojangles. THE Tap Dancer!

This first paragraph is going to be me tapdancing and covering all my bases so I don’t hurt anyone’s feelingz. Because I hold feelingz in as high regard as anyone. In fact, My middle names is Feelingz. Bookstooge Feelingz Kickyourassrightnowsosuckitscumbag. (yeah, makes filling out paperwork a real bear!) So, let the tapdancing begin. This post was not written with anyone but myself in mind. I am not applying this to post to anyone but myself. I am not applying this post to other bloggers or trying to tell anyone else how to run their blog. This post is to tell you how I run my blog. Period. Ok, stop the music Vincent, I’m done dancing.

Dr Phibes knows how to have a good time

I went Dotcom in January to get rid of the ads and the damned “native sponsored” posts by WordPress, posts inserted into free wordpress blogs that are just gigantic ads you can’t do anything about. I didn’t want anyone following me to be subjected to seeing such things on my site. So I paid and went to dotcom. Hopefully, now if you ever visit my site you will not see ads of any kind. That is why I went dotcom.

I did not go dotcom to make money in any way, shape or form. I am not a part of WordPress’s Adsense Program. I do not use affiliate links for any products I review. I do not have any sort of donation widget setup. I am not writing this to say that that makes me a “better” blogger than anybody else.

No it isn’t. Which is why I don’t pimp my blog

I blog because I have to write but I do not want to be an author. I’ll leave that tortured lifestyle to those that want it. Me, I just want to blab and have some fun with people. So my promise is that you’ll never be used by me to collect money for myself. That is what my job is for.

Eureka!

As you know, if you have followed me for more than a month, that I have a Synopsis section for my book reviews. You will also know that some of those are taken from other sites so that I don’t have to waste precious brain power on it. The Wheel of Time books are a great example. They’re also the perfect example of the problem that is. Look how long that synopsis is. Who even wants to bother scrolling through that much text? Not me. But so far I have been stymied and you have been forced to scroll and scroll.

But stymied I am NO MORE!!!! The Details html code has come to my rescue. My lurking around the WordPress forums (where I am banned) has paid off big time. When I write a long synopsis, I now know I can go into the code editor (instead of the visual editor which is the standard option) and add (details) blah, blah, blah, blah(/details) and it should hide it. Of course, changing the “( & )” with “< & >”. Let me show you the magic.

So why the anime picture instead of a naked Archimedes? Firstly, because the anime is called Eureka Seven and secondly, showing pictures of scrawny, old naked guys doesn’t happen on this blog.

So, that should have worked. Click on the little arrow to reveal the secrets of the universe and be amazed. I’ll keep playing around with it just to make sure there are no hiccups.

Cheers! Feel free to celebrate that you will no longer be subjected to 6 page long synopses