WordPress.com officially announced its new pricing yesterday, after rolling it out on April 1. The lack of communication about the changes, and the free plan’s severely pared back storage and traffic limits, alarmed and frustrated many users who for years have considered WordPress.com their go-to platform for simple blogging.
WordPress.com has simplified its offerings from five plans to two plans: Free and Pro. The service has updated its plans from the initial rollout based on overwhelmingly negative feedback about the changes. The initial plans capped traffic at 10K visits on the free plan and 100K on Pro, and limited free users to 500MB of storage. The updated plans drop the traffic limits entirely and revise the Free plan storage limit to 1GB.
The changes apply to new plans and purchases. Customers on the old plans will not be affected.
In a thread on the service’s support forums, WordPress.com CEO Dave Martin said the old plans were “overcomplicated and confusing.” He offered a few reasons for the simplification of the plans and the major pricing changes:
- Straightforward Pricing — We want to avoid using dark patterns, or trickery to get people signed up, only to then switch pricing on them down the line (which, unfortunately, many other hosts do these days).
- Fewer Plans — Reduce the number of plans we have making it easier for customers to make a plan selection.
- Access to Custom Plugins & Themes — Make custom plugins and themes available on all paid plans. Previously, this was only made available on our old $25/mo Business plan.
Monthly billing has also disappeared from the new plans, but Martin said the company is monitoring feedback regarding this change.
Compared to the previous pricing page, it’s clear the new plans are much easier to understand at a glance. However, the major point of contention seems to be how big the jump is between the Free plan and Pro plan, especially for those who simply want to blog with a custom domain. Depending on what region you live in, the previous Personal plan was $4/month and Premium was $8/month for customers who needed a little more to enhance their blogging.