Dear Mr WordPress

I use WordPress.com to produce my blog. I have a choice. Quite a wide one. But I like the simplicity of WordPress, the professional dashboard and publishing tools, the clean themes and the sturdy back end. I just worry about what I’m going to write, and WordPress.com does the rest. But no platform is perfect. There’s always room for improvement. And there are a few things I’d like to see WordPress do:

  1. WordsAds. I opted into Wordads when it launched. It was an opportunity to monetise my blog and get a little cash out of it. There’s just one issue. The implementation is hideous. Absolutely hideous. The extra money I could earn doesn’t make up for the uglification of my site. The answer is simple. Create banners and squares that fit flush with differing theme widths. Offer more flexibility is what ads go where. For example, I’d be happy with a 230×230 box in my sidebar, and that’s it.
  2. Advertising. As standard, WordPress runs adverts on blogs at the bottom of posts. They’re not too intrusive. But I’d rather they’re not there. Given that WordPress.com is free to use, one can’t grumble at a few ads. You can pay to have them removed if you want. But $30?! Seriously. Not cool. A fair price would be nearer the $10 mark. I think. What I don’t know, and would need to know, is how much WordPress make off the ads they run on my site. 
  3. Store. I could have included this in the grumble above. There’s extra features you can buy for WordPress, but everything is so overpriced. How overpriced? It’s $79 for the Pro pack – domain mapping, no ads, 10gb space, Videopress etc. You could go and buy web hosting and do it all yourself for the same money or less. And you’d get a lot more features through WordPress.org and the hosting service. A fair price? As in, what I would be prepared to pay? $50 absolute tops. But perhaps something closer to $30. I’d definitely pay $30. I definitely won’t pay $79.
  4. Media Integration. I reckon most WordPress.com bloggers embed their photos and videos into posts. Photos and videos that they host on Flickr, YouTube, Picasa, Vimeo, SmugMug etc. There are existing tools to add media, but it could be done in a much better way. How about, instead of making users play with slightly awkward shortcode, WordPress integrates the major media hosts into the platform. Users could sign into the services within WordPress, and then when adding media, they could select the images and videos directly from their third party accounts.
  5. Sidebar Widgets. I do wish that some of these widgets would get updated. The Flickr widget is hideous. I hate the way that the RSS widget shows the RSS icon at the top. Most of them are looking really, really dated now. Where are Instagram and Foursquare widgets? There’s so much work to be done there.

But I can’t lie. These are not deal breaking complaints. Some might even call them trivial. It just irks me that a product can get so close to perfection, but screw up on a few small issues.

7 Comments

  • I too am a WordPress user/Blogger. It is an OK deal – bottom line it works and is inexpensive. Advertising I hate it. I am going to look into Kim’s process of Adblock. Would that make me miss entire blog entries of “The Mexile”? One can only wonder.

    • You’re a .org user as opposed to a .com user, so your blog is advert free. Lucky thing.

      Tsk! I haven’t done any of those pesky ads since our emails, amigo! They are history. Actually, all my money generating schemes have dried up of late. But anyway – no, Ad Block sadly wouldn’t have made them invisible!

  • I too am a WordPress user and also feel quite satisfied with them. I am not knowledgeable about all the linking and re-posting on other media I’d like to be but really, about all I do is write. Thanks for this post, it’s important to give recognition where recognition is due. I recently thanked “the people at Skype,” another very good free service.We are lucky to have all this at our disposal

    • Skype is fantastic. I have three subscriptions. One to call any landline in the US at $2.99 a month. Another to call any landline in Mexico City at, I think $4.99. The third, and most expensive? To call UK landlines at $6.99. Typical, overpriced Britain!

      I’d also like WordPress to put the stats back on the Blog Dashboard, by the by!

  • Pricing (for good businesses, i.e., those that you’d like to own, has little to do with cost, and everything to do with substitutes, switching costs and opportunity costs.

    That said, yes. You should be able to designate a certain amount of space for ads, and it should fit and flow with your theme and content. THAT is not too much to ask.

    As for me, I’m one of those nefarious types who have installed Adblock, and thus I see very few ads at all on the internet. And frankly, if it hadn’t been for advertisers overreaching and creating moving, flickering, and blinking ads that made it IMPOSSIBLE for me to read the content, I likely would not have ever installed Adblock at all.

    But now that I have, I’m delighted to not see ads, and I don’t feel a smidgen of guilt for blocking them.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we wonder about the mechanics of actually running a blog.

    • All that is true, regards pricing. What people would pay is also important. You might offer the best value in the world, but if no one is willing to pay for it….

      I’m not even tempted by WordPress’ pricing plans. It’s better than Blogger, but not $79 dollar better – I can do everything their adds on produce for free on Blogger. And I pay $25 a year for Flickr. Which is superb value by anyone’s standard. But it still counts as a standard for others to be measured against.

      I don’t know how many people pay up $79 to go Pro. But I bet they’d get a load more at $50. Hordes at $30. At $30, I wouldn’t think twice, I’d just start tapping my card numbers into the screen.

      I too run Ad Block. It’s one of the first extensions I install after a reformat.

      Bournemouth…where we are wondering about the commencement of the Kim Blog…

Leave a Reply