Five days ago, I decided to make the brave decision to switch from free WordPress to WordPress Premium. At $129 AUD per year, the decision did not come without a bit of reflection and some heavy consideration. A couple of people have mentioned that they would be interested to hear my thoughts on the premium plan.
So far, I have been enjoying the upgrade. Seeing as I’m starting to get really into blogging and am trying to get more serious with it, I would say the upgrade has definitely been worth it. There are quite a few perks that come with premium, and I’m going to talk you through some of them.
Own Domain Name
The main thing that I didn’t like about my free WordPress blog was the fact that I didn’t have my own domain name. While there is nothing wrong with having .wordpress.com at the end of your URL, being able to have .com looks more professional and makes it look like you are more serious about your blog.
I decided to go with elanacoles.com because I’ve noticed that a lot of authors just use their name for the title of their blog, and that’s the kind of style I want to emulate.
Premium blogs allow a bit more customisation. Please note, I had to pay an additional $66 AUD for the premium theme I chose, it was not included with the $129 AUD Premium package.
Premium themes allow you to do more than free themes; you can pick colours, pick fonts and font sizes, customise menus etc. Generally, Premium themes have been built by professional web designers and are typically better in quality, functionality, security, and they get updated regularly and come with support available if you have any issues.
I love my new theme, and decided to go for a light blue, white, grey, and black colour palette.
When you start off on free WordPress, you have 3GB of storage space for images. For someone like me who uploads several photos per post (mainly for my travel posts), 3GB’s isn’t really going to cut it. With Premium, you get an additional 10GB’s, bringing the total up to 13. You are also able to upload videos and audio which is great if you have a YouTube channel or a podcast.
The upgrade to premium means that you will no longer be seeing any ads on your blog – unless you choose to opt in for WordAds in which case you can get paid monthly for running ads on your blog.
Personally, I hate ads on blogs – and I especially hate pop-ups. Knowing that my blog doesn’t have any ads is a big bonus for me.
When I first upgraded to premium and chose a new theme, I had a bit of trouble because my new theme wasn’t allowing people to comment on posts. I went to the WordPress Support page and entered into a live chat. The lady I spoke to was really helpful and she gave me credit for my theme so I could purchase a new one while the problem was sorted. It turned out that there was a bug with the theme, which the developer fixed almost immediately. I ended up with two premium themes available to me for the price of one, and I was really happy with the quick, helpful support that they gave me.
I think that if you’re not too serious about blogging, then the upgrade isn’t really necessary. But if you’re making regular posts and planning/hoping for your blog to get really big, then it’s definitely worth the upgrade.
Sometime in the future, if things do get really big, I may consider moving over to a self-hosted WordPress blog. I thought long and hard about doing this instead of Premium because it’s cheaper and allows you even more customisation – but it comes at the price of you being in control of security, updates and more of the technical stuff. I decided that (for now) I like the fact that WordPress has all my fancy-technology-stuff under control.
Personally, I’m really happy that I made the change to WordPress Premium. My blog looks better and is more functional and professional. I love the changes I’ve been able to make with Premium and so far I think it’s been really worthwhile.
Are you thinking of making the change from free WordPress to Premium or Self-Hosted? What are your thoughts on the pros and cons of each?