Upgrading WordPress.com plan

When I signed up for a WordPress account last year to start this blog, I wasn’t sure how much I would be writing posts and how realistic it would be to keep the blog going while living on the road. So we took a baby step by signing up on a Free plan to test it out. The Free plan came with 3 gigabytes of the storage space. Not a lot, but it got us started.

A year later, our blog ran out of the free 3-GB space with WordPress.com. So we recently upgraded to their Personal plan. The cost is $36 per year. We got additional 3-GB storage space. I’ve been posting a lot of pictures. At this rate, the extra space probably won’t last very long.

What I like most about this upgrade is that advertisements on this blog have been removed. IMHO, the advertisement on blogs can be OK if lightly used and tastefully placed on the blogs. It’s what keeps many blogs running. However, they often seem to litter the blogs and interfere with reading experience. We would like to keep this blog ad-free. We think we can afford it.

After the additional storage space is gone though, the next upgrade level is a Premium plan for $100 per year. It only comes with 13 GB of storage space. I’m not sure if it would be better to self-host at that time. I’ll cross that bridge when we get to that point. For you bloggers out there, what are your thoughts? Are you self-hosting or considering it?

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15 Comments

  1. I’m having the same issue with bumping into the storage space limit…I self host through Site Ground and overall have had a good experience with them. And then because of ssichler’s comment I looked at Bluehost’s plans and it looks like a much better deal for website space. Dangit, that’s good to know, though!

    Let me know what you decide!

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    1. Thanks Ashley for the info. I prefer staying with WordPress.com just because of the inertia. But they are quite stingy with their storage space, even at $100/year plan. So I may have no choice when the time comes.

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    2. My thoughts are that while you can self host what that means is you’ll have to put in the effort to upgrade wordpress if necessary (maybe), and do a lot more management of the blog. You have to ask yourself how much the time you spend managing the blog (as opposed to just putting up posts) is worth. My idea is that I was a computer guy for years and while I’m perfectly capable of managing the whole thing myself…the 50 or 100 buck a year I save for doing it that way just isn’t worth it to me…so will just continue to use wordpress.com for hosting with appropriate DNS stuff for our domain.

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  2. Hi Keng – I use Bluehost and it’s pretty cheap. Something like $35 per year depending on how much you prepay. They make it easy to set up and maintain WordPress sites. You can even do multiple sites.

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    1. Thanks Scott for the info. At this moment, Bluehost is very likely our go to place when I have to upgrade again unless WordPress.com sweetens the Premium plan. Glad to know that you’ve good experience with Bluehost.

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  3. I love your content and will continue to read whatever you decide to do. 🙂 I will be following your decision, though–I have the personal plan through WP. I have a very small readership–mainly family keeping up with our travels. Thanks for your blog–the writing and the beautiful photographs. Safe travels, Dawn

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    1. Thanks Dawn. I enjoy reading blogs from various bloggers who have either large or small audience. Everyone is different and I usually get lots of great ideas for RVing, hiking, and traveling. I’m not ready to start geocaching though. 😉 But one never knows.

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  4. maybe you can offset some some storage issues but switching photos hosting to something like flickr ? Yes, it is an extra step since you will have to upload the photo to flickt then copy the link to your blogpost but if you post from a laptop it doesn’t take much time.

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    1. Thanks for chiming in. Definitely extra steps required. My impression is that it’s less likely for readers to click external links to see photos. Not sure if it’s true or just me.

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  5. I’m still on the free plan but am running low on storage space, too…been thinking of switching to the personal plan down the line, but haven’t really given thought to Premium. I’m commitment-phobic when it comes to dropping money, so $100 sounds like a marriage license to me. 😀 I’ll be interested in hearing what you eventually decide, though!

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    1. I hear you. That’s why I was waiting for so long until we had to upgrade to push that ka-ching button. Just really wanted to make sure that I won’t stop blogging soon afterward. 😄

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  6. When it comes to WordPress there are a few important considerations beyond simple hosting space.

    For someone like me (a web professional & comfortable with the technicalities involved), I think the decision about upgrading is more clear. I am on WordPress.com so that I will focus solely on writing – not maintenance. I upgraded for probably the same reasons you did (use my domain, remove ads). If I outgrow this plan I will move my blog to the managed host I use (Lighting Base).

    Lightning Base hosting is ~$100 per year – the same as the WordPress.com upgrade. You can purchase cheaper hosting, but I don’t recommend it unless you’re very comfortable with the technical end of things and will spend time in your site’s admin area doing maintenance and updates several times per month. Even with managed WordPress hosting you will still need to do all of your updates. Managed hosting simply keeps the worst offenders from hacking your site.

    If I were in your shoes I would remain with WordPress.com as long as your needs didn’t exceed what they could provide. Stepping into self-hosted WordPress brings IMO too many tasks that take you away from focus on your content.

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    1. Thanks Teresa for the comment. It’s great to have information for making the decision when I need to upgrade. I certainly want to avoid the admin tasks if I could.

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