Following April’s announcements of the new Free and Pro plans, WordPress has announced the Starter plan. And as projected in a forum message, WordPress slotted the plan at a price point between the others at $5/mo, which is one-third the cost of the Pro tier at $15/mo. Albeit plans still require an annual rather than monthly payment. That said, the Starter price is much more within the realm of the former Personal and Premium plans ($4 and $8 respectively). But are the features comparable to those former plans? And how does the Starter plan stack against the Pro level?
I was excited to see the announcement in my inbox, “WordPress has already set its new middle plan!” A forum message said it was coming soon, but I didn’t expect it this soon. Good work, WordPress!
At first glance, the Starter plan is off to a good start, featuring:
- Custom domain
- 6GB image storage
- Simple payments options
- Google Analytics
These are nice additions to the Free plan, especially the custom domain. Sadly, though, the Starter Plan has a glaring omission: ads can’t be removed. So not only must a hobby blogger pay for the plan, readers are still subject to seeing ads, and the blogger doesn’t earn any money from those ads.
Five dollars per month with obtrusive ads on my blog? No way.
Being grandfathered with the now legacy Personal plan at $4/mo., I get a better deal, paying less money while including the removal of ads. I’ll keep that as long as possible.
The Starter plan’s lack of Jetpack Essentials also seems problematic. A starter plan should start with…the essentials.
But there’s more to the story and reason for hope. WordPress also said it’d soon be adding a la carte add-ons across its various plans. It’s highly likely that one such add-on will be ad-removal. While needing to add the ability to subtract ads is like puzzling math, I’d be glad to have the option and suspect many would purchase the must-have add-on.
Aligning with the classic “small, medium, large” layout, one may create a new website or blog with three plan options: Free, Starter, or Pro. And with Starter, one can either upgrade to Pro or downgrade to Free, giving people flexibility.
Thankfully, WordPress has stayed true to its word. I expect to see a la carte options soon enough. As for monthly payments, keep in mind WordPress said it would “experiment with bringing back” those, meaning there’s no guarantee they’ll return; one can hope.
Is the Starter plan worth it? Will you renew your legacy plan or wait to see the a la carte add-ons? Comment below or email me; I’m listening.
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