WordPress Starter Plan A Good Start

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.

WordPress invites you to comment on the new Starter plan and what’s important to you; here’s mine. Give it a “like” if you agree.

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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19 thoughts on “WordPress Starter Plan A Good Start

  1. Thanks for pointing out the Jetpack Essentials loss as well. I was so upset about this not removing ads, I overlooked it. I use Jetpack for so much that I’m not sure I could do without it. I’m holding on to my legacy account hard and fast at this point. Unless something changes, I have no interest in their Starter plan.


      1. I agree. I don’t want to integrate with Google Analytics to see my stats. Jetpack has always done that for me just fine. I’m not sure what WordPress is thinking with this, or why they’re so nickle-and-dime. It feels like a company that’s scrounging for everything they can milk and I don’t like it.


        1. Think I understand. Yeah, unclear why they pushed Google stats; I don’t plan to use those when what I have is fine.

          I think some of the new additional costs to WordPress are to help pay for the currently money-losing Tumblr, yeah? Just a guess though.


  2. I have the personal legacy plan and once WP gets rid of those (and we all know they will in some underhanded and sneaky way at some point), I’ll be gone too. Time to start investigating self hosting 😦


    1. That’s understandable, Bookstooge. I myself had one foot out the door with the other one on the way until recently. I think our legacy plans can and will renew if we choose to keep them when renewal time comes. Until the new plans match or exceed what I now have, I’ll continue as-is with Legacy Personal.

      WP is in the challenging position to balance business and customer demands. They seem willing to correct missteps along the way, so I’m willing to stick with WP.

      As markets change, businesses like WP must also adapt, and unfortunately that sometimes means prices may increase/features may move. That said, *how* changes are announced (or not) and implemented is crucial to keeping customers loyal and trusting.

      And yes, if any business errs too much on the side of sneaky or underhanded practices, it’s going to lose the long game as customers like you and I say, “See ya.”

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Forgot to mention, you’re braver than I am. I’m reluctant to consider self-hosting due to the overhead involved. I like having a host manage the platform for me so all I do is manage my own personal content.

      I wish you the best with whatever you decide on. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Even a year ago I would NEVER have considered self-hosting. even people who I like I end up having issues with as their sites can be problematic.
        However, with that WP is doing, I suspect I’ll either have to self-host or go back to blogspot full time :-/


  3. Wow… I hadn’t heard about this, or maybe I skipped the notification email, haha.

    I can’t believe new users have to pay $15/mo to turn it off, that is insane. I suppose it’s a matter of time till the legacy plans go away… In that case, I might go back to Blogger (sigh) or jump ship to Substack.

    Liked by 1 person

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