We’re back to, “Keeping up, with the Joneses”

What is it today, with all the Internet platforms trying so hard. I get wanting to stay competitive, but it’s like they are afraid of, losing a moment to someone else. Everyone wants to provide a multiple experience. Whatever happened to, “If you do something, do that one thing well”. Blogging should be blogging. If you want to create a software for website building, then create one, but don’t try to squeeze it into your current product, that is already a stable success.

For many years, WordPress was the go-to for blogging. It was just comfortable, and easy to grasp. Then apparently, panic set in that they would be “one-upped” by someone else, so a mad rush was made to outdo the competition. In just a very few short years, a blogging platform has turned into a website building platform. Hardly resembling a blogging experience. Not to just bash WordPress, because I have some bones to pick, with my forum software below as well, but it is frustrating to those that want to blog, being pushed to the side for commercial interests. Sadly, sometimes that rush for fame and fortune leads to ruin.

Remember the antivirus programs of yesteryear? They were great at one thing, security. Then, to chase the dollar, they decided to get into adding various utilities for optimizing your computer. Buying up smaller companies/utilities that were good, and incorporating them as a suite. They became so bloated, that they couldn’t even do their primary task well. The few that survived, have gone back to the one thing they do well, and foregone being a suite.

The allure of one-upping the competition

WordPress, is not alone in the “over doing” arena. My forum software, over the last few years, has changed to chase the commercial interests. I started out with a software called IPS (Invision Power Services), a great software, that you had to learn, just like WordPress. If you wanted something extra, you had to learn how to insert code clips provided by others to get what you wanted. Then the fever hit. As the platform grew, the allure of one-upping the competition arrived. They worked feverishly to bring better things. At one point, we were getting updates several times a month. If you had a theme you used, or some add-ons, they were usually trashed by the new and improved update. We had to wait for those that had developed the items, to re-code them to work again. Only to have them broken the next month. What became fun to build things for, now was nearly a full time job, just to keep them working.

You will pay a price

Some might see where this is going. Developers, that enjoyed doing things for free, became frustrated. They started charging for add-ons, or themes. The free section of themes has gone from 40-50 in the last four years, to maybe four. The widgets have dwindled. Now, if you want something like a theme or add-on, you will pay a price for it, and then a maintenance fee every six months, in case updates break something. A theme can cost you $20-$40, with a recurring 6-month fee (usually half the price of the item) to keep it up to date. The same with the widgets or add-ons ($10-$60+). Why? Because IPS has also started chasing the “website look”.

The business plans of these companies, such as WordPress and IPS, defy logic. Yes, you can become great, you can rake in big money, but at some point it will be at the expense of losing users, then the revenue takes a hit. Apparently, this is happening to IPS, a once great forum platform. This year, out of the blue, the support center cost went from $25 per six-months, to $45 per six-months.

Killing off their original user base.

Support is fine, but if you’re smart enough to run the software after about a year, you seldom have to call on support. I haven’t had to use support in the last 3 years. But, and here is the catch, they only provide security updates, and software updates, if you have the support plan. So we jumped from $25 bi-annually, to $45. Plus, everything you want to enhance your forum comes with a pretty good price, and bi-annual fee. They are, essentially, killing off their original user base. I don’t begrudge the bi-annual fee for security and upgrades at a reasonable fee, but a $20 hike is just a bit on the rough side.

Let’s hope developers or WordPress that make our widgets etc., never truly get money hungry, like my IPS forum platform.

Comments, always welcome.

10 thoughts on “We’re back to, “Keeping up, with the Joneses”

  1. I don’t mind paying for WP Premium, if only to get rid of the advertising that ohers see, and for the extra space allowance. But I can foresee ‘add-on’ charges in the future to keep fast access to the Help function, and to store images and video. They already charge an additional annual fee for my domain name, which at one time was ‘included’ in Premium.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Let’s all hope it doesn’t go that direction. I pay $2.99 a month for my hosting, with unlimited storage. My domain name is $15 a year, but I run my forum and blog from the same hosting.

  2. It always seems to come down to the almighty dollar, doesn’t it! Boo hiss.

    Your first couple of sentences are perfectly illustrated here: You know the latest craze, a word puzzle called Wordle, where you have to guess the word of the day? Well now there’s a newer puzzle out called DORDLE, and guess what! You now have to figure out TWO words simultaneously, instead of just one. I give up!

    I know my limits well, Ron. I will stick with simple blogging and nothing else. If it gets too complicated I’ll have to say buh-bye, to keep my sanity!

    1. I’ve become, the same way, Ellie. As I get older, or younger, I tend to want things simpler. Bells and whistles don’t interest me that much, but functionality and ease of use are paramount.

    1. They get used to that good money rolling in, and like an addict have to keep upping the ante. Remember when WordPress was “just a simple blog” for years? Those, were the days.

  3. It used to be it it ain’t broke then don’t fix it but now with a society that always wants more , marketing has gone up a few notches as has the cost and I just want to blog…I pay the extra for premium, storage and no ads and am happy with that ..I don’t need more but it is always seems to be foisted on us and ultimately as you say there is no choice but to pay…

    1. One of these days, someone may take the free software that WordPress is built on, and make a new one for just simple bloggers, if they can include a community reader function in it, they will blow the current WordPress away.

      Someone has already started another version of WordPress, called ClassicPress. It picks up, where WordPress 4.9 changed over to the block editor. It’s for people that don’t want the bloat and block editor, and just want the old 4.9 era of WordPress. If things get too bad, I will just migrate over to that. They have a community where they support. take input, and provide any help needed.

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