Back To WordPress.com

Hello bots I’m back on wordpress.com.

Earlier this year when I was considering whether to self-host my blog (to get my own domain and remove ads), I wanted to compare the cost to the wordpress.com Personal plan. At first I thought I was going crazy when I couldn’t find information about it since I was sure I remembered it existing. Well they removed it and reduced their plans down to just two, pricing out a lot of people. It was the kind of inexplicable decision that is made by new management for no reason other than because it makes no sense.

So I self-hosted my site, which came with drawbacksβ€” mostly that my blog didn’t appear in Reader search anymore (only under site search). On the other hand a benefit of this was that the bots were no longer finding my site. But wordpress interaction was becoming more of a one-way thing, when I wasn’t able to make new connections by people discovering my blog. It defeats a major point of a mental health wordpress blog if it doesn’t come up when you search for those terms in Reader.

Anyway, by chance yesterday I saw a comment on someone else’s post mentioning that wordpress has restored the original plans after inevitable negative feedback from users. There are now four plans again. And the Personal plan is cheaper than my server cost for self-hosting.

It turned out that I put in all that work to migrate my blog only for wordpress to restore those plans anyway, just two months later. I just so happened to do it during a small window of time when the Personal plan (which is ideal for me) didn’t exist. Anyway I’ve now moved it all back to wordpress.com, which I’m happy about. I was on the verge of just accepting the ads again to gain the interaction back.

πŸŒͺ

26 thoughts on “Back To WordPress.com

  1. Welcome back, these plans are so much better than just having two plans. They fit different peoples needs. Although WP does have its problems I did find that sticking with .com was best because like you said, traction is just not the same when you self host.

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      1. Hahaha hell no. Well I did use facebook from 2008-2016 but it started to turn me into a monster. That positive reinforcement is a very powerful thing. I’m really minimalistic when it comes to modern tech and services, scrutinising everything and trying to keep life as simple as possible. I’m even actively trying to revert to a retro lifestyle where I can. Denim clothing, doing crosswords, weekly showers. I recently bought a mini mega drive on ebay πŸ˜‚.

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      1. My blog is marked as ‘mature’ apparently, due to its content, so as such it does not appear in the public reader – no posts, tags, or site.
        Only took WP two and a half years to notice, so my new follower count stopped about 6 months ago. Not that I mind that, but still, I pay to be hosted here and am (virtually) invisible πŸ˜•πŸ–€

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s absolutely crazy! So I looked into this, and read a few discussions on wordpress forums where people had this happen to them, seemingly by mistake, and they received reassurances from wordpress admins who reversed it. All in all it seems quite hard to ‘correctly’ get flagged as mature.

        From my point of view everything you’ve written falls into normal realm of mental health so it doesn’t seem appropriate to rate as ‘mature’.

        What was really weird in the wordpress documentation and stuff and even in the forums was the way they seem to casually encourage bloggers to self-mark their entire blog as mature, if they are writing mature content. E.g. some bloggers asking how to rate a single post as ‘mature’ and being given the instructions to mark their whole blog ‘mature’ (there’s no way to mark single posts but that’s not made clear to them).

        But a) there’s no objective measure of what ‘mature’ is and b) it’s clear that many bloggers are unknowing of the consequences of doing this! There also seems to be no notification to the blogger when this change happens? So some of them have just gone ages without knowing before figuring it out.

        All in all seems quite deceptive on their side, jesus. Anyway, did you try posting in the forum to get it reversed? At least you could get them to actually discuss it with you.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yep, I definitely fell into the category of not knowing what had happened. Just that my site and my username randomly stopped being searchable in the reader one day. Plus my new follower count stopped (although that could just be mu content was crap lol! πŸ˜‚), so I contacted WP support.

        They told me – and I quote:

        “We do permit mature content on WordPress.com, including text, images and videos that contain nudity, offensive language, and mature subject material. However, websites that contain such content must be marked as Mature in our system.

        A website that is marked as Mature is excluded from public areas of the WordPress.com service. This means:
        – It will not appear in the Reader or other tag listings
        – It will not appear in Top Blogs listings, recent posts, or related posts listings on other blogs
        – The associated users cannot use that URL as a link in their WordPress.com Forums profile.

        Your siteΒ https://afragilemind.home.blog/Β falls into the category of text-based Mature content and this is why it has to remain marked in our system.”

        So yeah, that’s that. As I say I don’t really mind about the followers part, but paying to be invisible, essentially, is pretty annoying πŸ˜”πŸ–€

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Haha!! At first I was like WTF?? How have I missed so many posts?? Then after the first couple I realised I had read them and liked on your self hosted blog. But then my own compulsive behaviour got the better of me and I couldn’t stand to have a gap between blue stars, so I just liked them all again anyway! πŸ€£πŸ–€

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  2. I totally get this. I read a lot of ‘advice’ posts on how it’s always better to go self-hosted, but I think they forget to mention the use case. Discoverability is terrible if you don’t plan to put ads out, and my growth has solely rode on the shoulders of the Reader, so WordPress.com has that going for them.

    I didn’t know they reinstated the Personal plan, but good for them. Having only two plans was a stupid idea, and the differences between each were too vast. Anyway, welcome back!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah the issue is that wordpress is many things at once. The blogging platform is just one use-case of it, so that’s where a lot of the confusion/conflict is coming from. And even within blogging there is a huge range of motivations and goals that people have. So yeah there’s no catch-all advice you can give, it’s like trying to advise someone on how to use a swiss army knife.

      Anyway thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The thought of losing the Reader is a dealbreaker for me. This is why I haven’t been able to make the switch. And as much as I want freedom with the more expensive plans, I don’t sell anything. I’ve spend countless hours debating whether switching to self-hosting was worth it, but for a baby blog like mine it probably isn’t. I’m on the Premium Plan right now and didn’t use the Premium features, so I will be switching to Personal when it’s time to renew in November. Thank you for sharing your story!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. After another sleepless night and more research, I have decided to go with the Personal Plan. I emailed WP this morning letting them know, and they said to update them right before my Premium Plan expires in November. One last thing I need are columns via the block editor which I am assuming is included with the Personal Plan. Thanks again for your advice! πŸ™‚

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