New WordPress Plans Don’t Impress

WordPress has made its new plan changes official. The announcement covers the radical reduction to only two plans and includes somewhat clarifying information about related options. It’s nice to see this news properly addressed outside WordPress forums. And it really looks like WP is listening to its customers and adjusting some of its new plan offerings. But…

Not all of the changes have been settled upon yet. So while one of my initial concerns was somewhat relieved, I’m still not content with the new plan direction and continue to consider alternatives, namely one at this point.

It seems official: current paying users — like myself on the now “legacy” Personal plan — can keep things going just how they are; no changes necessary. That’s…kind of fine, though it feels a bit tenuous. And any future change will mean accepting either the free or pro plan of WordPress.com. So far, there are no other options; it’s “all or nothing.”

But in the announcement, WP stated that some “a la carte” options are being worked on and should be offered at some point. I understand that to mean maybe someone on the free plan could pay a small sum — say $2 per month — to get one extra feature like a custom domain or the removal of ads. Such an offering could be good, or maybe not. The sweeping changes are still unsettled and are kind of sweeping me and some other personal/hobby bloggers away.

A few days ago, the plan updates shook many bloggers, myself included. The unexpected and unwelcome change moved me to search for fallback options on other blogging platforms. From that initial impetus up to today’s announcement, I think enough inertia was gained to keep me moving away from WordPress. 

This is disruption. Yet I’m kind of glad it happened because the platform I’ve set my sights on looks surprisingly good so far. I’ve liked it in the past, and it feels like I’m just now realizing how much I still like it.

I think I’m moving…back to Blogger!

Yes, Blogger — blogspot.com — is still around.
Yes, I wonder if Google will kill it like it has so many other services (cough, Google+, cough).

Then again, I’ve started to think that maybe the fact Blogger is still alive means it’s…immortal? Nah. But maybe it’s worth letting things be, so Google stays its plug-pulling hand. In any case, I’m of the mind to use and enjoy Blogger for as long as I can while it remains. Who knows, maybe my and others’ use of it will keep it going longer.

I haven’t made any final decisions and am waiting on WordPress to finalize its new plan and pricing structure. That said, I’ve been busy testing my old Blogger account and preparing a migration. I already transferred my domain from WordPress to Hover (mapping it to my current WP blog). And I added a different custom domain I own to my Blogger blog.

Much of my time lately has also been spent customizing my Blogger theme down to the HTML – for free! I’ve missed Blogger and feel happy at potentially relying on it once more. I love its classic — now nostalgic — blogging feel; I’ve missed it.

By the way, if I leave WordPress, I will not miss the block editor (I’m kind of turned off from everything turning into blocks…they’re effective but not elegant; learning how to work them is clunky).

My blogging will continue on WordPress at Jason Journals for now. Meanwhile, I’m cross-publishing all future posts to Blogger too, starting with this one (though it is a private blog for now).

Anyways, that’s where I stand. I’m willing to risk Google killing Blogger (fingers crossed) in order to potentially use it, with its simplicity and flexibility, for free. That’s a tough deal to beat for a simple hobby blogger. If I switch, I’ll likely keep my WP account and blog as an archive on a free plan. It’s possible I’d return to WP if Google does eventually delete the fine indie web relic that is Blogger.

What are your blogging plans?

29 thoughts on “New WordPress Plans Don’t Impress

  1. I’m holding on to what I have for now, seeing I’ve paid up to another year as it was. I’m giving them some time to organize and keep me interested. My problem is that my roots are so deep in WP that moving to another platform is almost completely out of the question unless there a full migration (including images).

    I’ve never used Blogger before – I do think I have an account for it laying around somewhere. But then there’s the Google thing that pushes me away from Blogger. While I’m not sworn off from Google, I’ve had certain situations IRL that has made me move off of Google as much as I can just for safety and security reasons.

    Anyhow, keep us updated on what you decide to do!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Valuable input you have, and I’ll consider it well. I understand the Google insecurity/privacy thing a bit. I’ve not been hurt by it, but…it’s kind of creepy and worth avoiding. Hence I use Apple hardware/software/services mostly. Of course, it’s hard to live digital life Google free… I hope Blogger will stay reliable in the long run.

      I also think you’re wise, and patient, to wait and see what WP ends up doing. I’m waiting too, or trying to. I’m paid up for 11 more months, so I wonder if I cancel now, would I get any pro-rated refund? I could always ask…

      I’ll keep posting and keep you all posted 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The official announcement is frankly galling in how much users are supposed to trust WordPress to do the right thing, when they JUST demonstrated that they can’t be trusted to even give users a heads up about new prices before sneaking it in. We have to trust that they’ll let us keep our Legacy plans indefinitely, trust that reasonably-priced a la carte options are in the works… someone else in the forums mentioned that they also once assured us that we could keep using the Classic Editor, and look what happened.

    I know at this point I am just venting (I have already moved off the service) but seriously wow, I can’t get over how this has all shaken out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trust…hard to earn, easily lost, harder to re-earn. For sure, not the best optics for WP. Generally, when a customer signs up and pays for a product or service, they expect that product or service they signed up for, but when it changes (esp for worse..?), why would the customer pay for that? Anyways…

      FWIW, Blogger is basically the only “Classic Editor” I know of anymore.

      Like

    1. Hey, Brad, thanks for that. Yeah, I can’t say WP isn’t competitive with others, kind of matching the norm out there. That’s one reason Blogger is compelling: it’s free. I only choose to buy a custom domain and map it to Blogger; already have…
      WP has a new webinar showcasing the Full Site Editor. I plan to check out the video and learn a bit about FSE. I have plenty of time to evaluate all that’s on offer from all providers, so unless my nostalgia and the refreshed novelty of Blogger suck me in, I’ll be around scoping things out. Or…man I’m really kind of liking Blogger…

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Wow! Now, you’re starting to sell me on this! I’m going to give it a serious look. Thanks so much for this.

            This right here is the reason I like WP so much. The fact that we’re connecting on this and other things makes it hard to leave.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I here ya. One downside of Blogger to note is that (due to Feedburner changes…), the Follow widget on Blogger no longer works and others can’t even follow your blog by email (no way to sign up). So you must rely on a third party widget to enable a follower subscription. I’m still researching that part, but basically one must use a service like Mailchimp to add HTML code to a widget for sign up, but it seems it’s for a newsletter rather than getting blog post updates automatically via email…

            Write.as is looking very good in some ways. It has more of a community built-in…I think I will create a free private blog there and really check it out. If good, I can swing $6/mo for the Pro plan…

            Liked by 1 person

          3. I’ve used Mailchimp for years. It’s very good and simple (and free). I have it on an automatic update whereas every time I post it will automatically go out to subscribers. No worries. And I can format the update however I want. Just set it and forget it.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Really? So your blog post goes out to email subscribers? That’d be great. Sounds like I CAN get an HTML widget for Blogger to do just that, so I could have a “follow” or “subscribe” button on a Blogger blog. I’ll look at it more, just joined Mailchimp last night.

            Like

          5. Yes, it’s set up for my fitness site. Very easy to use. Plus, I can send out updates without posting to the blog. I just go into Mailchimp and send from there.

            So, does Blogger have the ability to install Mailchimp in a blog?

            Liked by 1 person

          6. Yes and no? I have the HTML code in a widget working on Blogger, it accepts emails/contact info for “signups” but to what? I hoped publishing a new post would email it to my test contact but it did not. Seems to only be for building a contact list. And yes, with contacts, one can email newsletters and such to them directly from MailChimp. I have a support email awaiting me and will see if that helps.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I would highly recommend cross-posting your content no matter what you end up doing. It is always better to have your content where you want it, even if you have to move. I’ve spent the last 4-5 years getting all of my book reviews up to snuff on WP and now I’ve got figure out the best way to get them all back to blogspot just in case I make the jump back there.

    I’m going to check out that link you mention above….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree. I plan to cross-post to WP and Blogger from now on. I did so on my latest post and it was easy enough. I draft outside of CMS in a notes app, then copy/paste and format in the editor. I first pasted into Blogger and formatted it there. Then I copied from Blogger with formatting into WP and it worked without clearing formatting or cleaning up.

      Speaking of, having just learned a simple way to include images via URL (say from Flickr), that should make it easy to source images for WP and Blogger without uploading the same image to two different sites. Just paste the image URL into both CMS editors where needed.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Just tested, it seems to work as desired. In a new post, add image, then select URL option, paste Flickr img URL. Image appears in post but not in Media library.

          But, when I go to Media library and add an image there, even using URL link, it “uploads” a copy of the Flickr image to the libary. So avoid this.

          Just add img URL links directly in post to avoid adding them to media library.

          Liked by 1 person

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