WordPress.com Quietly Changes and Cuts Free Storage and Access Limits
WordPress.com Quietly Completes Major Plan: Changes and Cuts Free Storage and Access Limits.
Over the weekend, a post about an unannounced price change on WordPress.com went viral.
In a post titled “What are you doing, WordPress.com?” a user dubbed “VM” expressed concerns about the pricing, which has gone from five plans to two, and Cut the free tier storage from 3GB to 500MB.
It also imposes a data cap on the two plans: 10,000 visits per month and 100,000 visits per month, which were originally unlimited.
More WordPress.com users expressed their disappointment at the new pricing on forums.
While a WordPress.com representative has confirmed that storage and traffic limits should only affect newly created sites, many longtime users have reported that their storage has also been cut to 500MB.
This may have been an error in the promotion process, but at the time of publication, WordPress.com had not issued a public notice of price changes other than updating the price page.
WordPress.com CEO Dave Martin echoed those concerns on Hacker News, apologizing for the lack of communication during the rollout.
You were right to call us out. I don’t do a good job of sharing the context of why we’re making changes, so I know how they could be shocked. I’m sorry! It’s my responsibility. Yes, as of this week, we have reduced from 5 plans to only 2. This is the first of several stages of change.
Those 5 old plans you mentioned are the culmination of 10 years of plans and features being added to WordPress.com indiscriminately with no real strategy.
With those old plans, it’s really hard for customers to see at a glance why they should choose one plan over the other.
WordPress.com typically adjusts the pricing of its subscription plans to make them affordable in different parts of the world, but ignores this for the new professional plan, Martin said. The company is working hard to update this.
He also said that traffic restrictions will be flexible, and users who consistently exceed the monthly cap will be notified to pay more, but their sites will not be shut down. “The professional plan you see now ($15/mo) is essentially the same as the old business plan (which used to cost $25/mo). The only difference is that there is default storage and saves customers $10/mo Monthly cost. There is currently no monthly billing option for this plan.”
New users on the free plan will need to work within the 500MB storage limit, or pay $180/year for an upgrade.
It’s surprising how many people use WordPress.com just for blogging with no commercial interest.
Cutting the free tier from 3GB to 500MB is useless for many people: that’s 500 decent-resolution images, and many people like to put photos on their blogs. 300 “visits” (page hits) per day is even worse because a runaway crawler or slight spike of interest can drain it in a short amount of time.