I’m really not sure where to begin with this. Last week, I read two new emails from WordPress announcing its latest moves in the perplexing plan upheaval of 2022. After months of plan changes, flip-flopping from radical reduction to compromising capitulation, now the newly introduced plans have already been axed. Their short-lived reign was quickly usurped by none other than the former plans, fully reinstated. What’s old is new again.
While elated to see the old plans make a triumphant return, I also feel whiplashed. And though I was deeply troubled to lose the plans back in early April, I’m now somewhat concerned for those who adopted the new “Pro” plan only to see it so soon vanished.
Before, there were four paid plans to choose from beyond the free option. They were all replaced by a single paid plan. After much outcry against the titanic shift, WordPress promised to continue altering the deal for the better. So then a new middle plan was introduced in May called, “Starter.” Along with these new plans, there were to be introduced à la carte add-ons.
Honestly, that’s a lot of plan disruption to track. And now with the latest plot twist, the pendulum has swung almost completely back to where it began with the former plans! There are also new add-on options. It’s all a bit confusing at this point. My guess is that WordPress, after much tweaking, finally decided it might as well just reinstate what worked best before.
Whatever the causes or goals, I’m very happy to see the old plans return. I was accustomed to them, so their familiarity brings comfort to this blogger. I love the affordable tiers. And it’s great to see that my “Personal” plan is no longer labeled “legacy;” it’s returned to legit status.
There are à la carte options to sweeten the deal. As of now, I see only three though, and one of them, Ad-removal, doesn’t apply to my “Personal” plan as the feature is already included. The other two options, Custom CSS and Premium Themes, are nice. But at $2 extra per month each, that would make my $4/mo plan become $8/mo. At that price point, I’d just upgrade to the “Premium” plan for the same cost. But I have the option to choose one add-on and pay $6/mo. Not too bad.
And while the add-ons are available for my Personal plan, the email marketing positions them as though only intended for “Free” sites, letting them gain a few key features at little cost, with the ability to easily move to a paid plan. Of course, a free site with paid add-ons might as well be a paid plan.Add on options to your free site. Or your paid site.
So in the end, as WordPress has swung back to the former plans, I’m relieved, happy, and…cautious. With so much upheaval since April, I just feel a twinge of unsettlement, for lack of a better word. I feel it for myself, knowing now that at any moment, WordPress can radically disrupt what I rely on. And I feel it for those who bought into the new Pro plan but now have suddenly had it pulled back so soon. I wouldn’t blame them for feeling like it was a bait-n-switch.
I don’t envy WordPress as it may find itself in a difficult position, trying to please most users most of the time. I imagine however hard it tries, there will always be a subset of upset, a group of displeased customers. I was in that boat for a couple months and nearly jumped ship. So I guess I want to give WP the benefit of the doubt, trusting they’re trying to fulfill business obligations and meet customer demand.