Hiatus

It’s that time of the year when I take a step back and take a break from blogging. In previous years that also meant traveling abroad, but for the last couple of years our travel plans remain plans until we are able to digest the thought of sitting on an airplane for at least 5 hours. Not including long layovers, airport mayhem, lost luggage, short tempers and weary airline personnel.

So this year our travels will be local and overnight. And while even that is a big step out of our comfort zone, it is doable. But before that happens…

Catching up on News

Upgrade Plans

The biggest news of the last few months was WordPress.com’s flip-flop between old and new and then old upgrade plans. Do I think they did the smart thing by dropping the change? Of course. Do I think we are done seeing plan changes? No.

Here’s an interesting perspective.

Looking back on the whole episode, I can only regret the angst, anger and ill will it generated with WordPress.com’s biggest asset, their existing customer base. After so many years and hearing “communication is oxygen” so many times, I’d hope there would be better communication between WordPress.com and its users. So it goes.

(FWIW-Post pricing reversal, the one change that will be kept going forward is new free sites still get 1GB of storage instead of the previous 3GB.)

And everything old is new again!

Sponsored Content

If you’ve been around for a while, you might remember back in 2020 WordPress.com announced they were going to start testing “Sponsored Posts which they hoped to expand to website owners wanting to promote their content.

More recently users began posting to the community forums about vulgar ads appearing on their free website. The one thing these ads had in common was they were from a service called “Outbrain . There is no related support document to turn to concerning this service, so here is a forum thread that explains what this is.

The type and number of ads shown on free WordPress.com sites have always been a sore point with site owners; Outbrain, however, takes this to a new level. On more than one occasion, I didn’t see one or two or three ads, but nine at the end on a single post! And while I was logged in, no less.

sampling of various Outbrain ads clipped from a WordPress.com website single post view

Ouch!

Themes

Personally, this is the one topic I look forward to not needing to talk about, but we’re not there yet.

I had an informal chat this past week with a couple of WordPress.com folks where I expressed my concerns about the confusion over theme naming conventions (Classic, Hybrid, Universal and FSE), theme tags in general and the current state of new themes, especially vis-à-vis new users. I also mentioned not being able to preview our content in new themes and the bland sameness of existing theme blog and archive pages, when Full Site Editing promised so much more. (Pendant is a good example of what I want to see more of!)

We’ll get there when we get there, I guess.


While I’m officially away, you may see some refreshed articles appearing in your feed and/or email. These are older articles that I have updated to fit the 2022 version of WordPress.com.

Have a great summer or winter wherever you are.

Published by JenT

Retired dotcom forum moderator (2016-2021) helping WordPress.com site owners since 2006, one answer at a time. Find me at wpcommaven.com.

2 thoughts on “Hiatus

  1. I think what most people wanted was a bit more flexibility on storage (which I don’t think we got). It’s not just that I objected to the price increase per se, but that the jump from where I was (am) and the next level was (is) so big.

    I’m still at the point where — to get more space — I’d have to double my cost. That would be OK if I could use the other things I’d get with the next level, but the extra features aren’t anything I would use.

    Anyway, enjoy your Hiatus.

    1. I’m really not sure what, if anything, will happen with storage going forward, but I don’t think WPcom is done with tweaking things plan- and upgrade- wise.

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