Last month WP.com eliminated three out of five plans previously offered: Free, Personal, Premium, Business and Pro. The newly eliminated Personal Plan was the most budget-friendly and inexpensive. Among other things, the Personal Plan offered a free custom domain for a year and removed all of those tacky ads from your blog.
I have upgraded to Personal in the past, just to remove the random ads that display on your blog in your sidebar and beneath your individual posts. They are not visible all the time, but they will display randomly for the viewing displeasure of your readers.
At this moment in time, there only two plans available: A) Free with randomly displayed ads. B) Pro at $15 per month/$180 per year.
You can read more at: WordPress.com Makes Major Unannounced Pricing Changes, Slashes Free Storage Limits. In response to unhappy campers, WP announced they will be reviving the old à la carte upgrades for those that want individualized upgrades at various price points, without breaking their budget.
The influx of changes at WP.com appear to be favoring professional bloggers and e-commerce websites with a blog as the target demographic.
You can read about the à la carte upgrades “coming soon” and comments from WP bloggers regarding the barrage of changes at: Introducing WordPress Pro: One Plan, Infinite Possibilities. I personally abhor the tacky ads, but I’m not a professional blogger willing to pay $180 per year to vanquish them.
It will be interesting to see what happens next. It seems they are transitioning from a personal blogger’s community to a platform designed for professional bloggers and the e-commerce community.
I support both professional and non-professional bloggers and sincerely hope they will find a way to accommodate and balance both, but that doesn’t seem to be the direction of the shift. Only time will tell.
PS I updated my previous post Aggravations and Frustrations: A Blogger’s Plight. I miss the good old days at WP. 🙁