WordPress.com has changed a lot

This is managed WordPress hosting — and has been all a long

I’ve been delinquent with posting on my .blog blog on WordPress.com for about a year, so when I bought into the Pro plan after the first recent price change the new stuff really stood out. (I’m also pleased I upgraded then, because after they reverted to the original price structure I realized I’m getting every feature of the old and new Business plan at about half the current price, although the storage is much lower.)

I’ve dug in a little more since then and it’s clearly the best WP.com so far. Apart from some demo P2s I’ve never had much going on there. I have a second work account for “self-hosted” sites that use Jetpack, and it’s still annoying to switch between them and manage subscriptions to comments and posts. (You can only be longed into one .com identity at a time.)

The most surprising thing to see develop over the last six months or so is access to hundreds (currently 886) premium plugins — including Elementor and the Classic Editor.

I haven’t explored how I’d go about adding “third party code” and installing any of the 50,000+ plugins in the .org repo, but that’s allowed on my “Pro” plan.

I can see it would be relatively easy to set up a Substack-like site at WP.com because I know the plugins, but for the average user they’d really have to dig into some docs and do the work. What’s badly needed are something like “blueprints” for instantly installing typical configurations of plugins and themes for a common use-case.

Several years ago I mapped out how I would strip down WordPress and turn it into a Substack-like membership site that used wp_mail / php_mail properly to see if I could get good deliverability with 100+ subscribers. (This is not a huge feat but a good exercise to internalize mostly ignored or abused ways of emailing your WordPress users.) I should still do it, if I ever get the time, but it’s cool to see it becoming possible and maybe preferable at .com.

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