When Growth for Profit Hurts Your Brand

I’ve been a loyal WordPress proponent for a few years now and have had a great deal of success using it to generate attractive, professional-looking websites from blogs, to stand alone web pages, for myself as well as my clients.

I have created more than a dozen sites free using WordPress as the hosting service and have to say this was the best deal in town for people who could not afford to purchase a domain name, get a web hosting service and SSL security. I always found WordPress to be flexible and could add just about anything my clients needed through free Plugins and sophisticated Themes.

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Recently, WordPress made some changes to the free level of service I find restrictive and now presents an obstacle to providing my less affluent clients with a viable web presence. Due to these changes Plugins as well as Google analytics are not available unless you move up to a paid level of service ( a minimum of $100 per year). I do understand the need for companies to make a profit, but this is a case where this change made the product worse, not better.

The only drawback before the change was, you did not have much flexibility in what your web’s URL or address was going to be and that’s significant if you want people to find your site. My clients who were on a very tight budget usually didn’t mind this constraint. So, unless you already have a domain and web hosting, in which case your provider likely offers WordPress free, with all the available options, you will have to move to a paid level of service to get the variety and flexibility once provided for free.

Don’t misunderstand, there still is a completely free option, but it is less flexible and more constrained than what you get with your own web hosting service or a paid level of service through WordPress.

Link to WordPress:   WordPress

After writing this post, I realized WordPress has two websites. One is a dot com and the other a dot org. The WordPress.org site assumes you will download the code and upload your site to a web site hosting service. You will still be offered a chance to pay WordPress to host it for you but this is the FREE option. Additionally, you CAN visit the WordPress.com site and by choosing a name for your site that is still available for free, get a free WordPress hosted site. This version has some limitations but otherwise a workable solution.

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