Summertime!

I’m currently taking an extended vacation from posting, but wanted to pass along a couple of updates:

WordPress.com Business Plan Gets an Upgrade (unofficial):

Since there has been no public announcement from WordPressdotcom/Automattic about the changes to the Business plan upgrade following the forum thread this past May, it seems those changes are in the testing phase for the time-being.

There have been some interesting forum threads which illustrate the limitations of the current Business plan set up.  For example, some features that you might want to activate, like new user registrations for your membership site or forum, means your users must still sign up first for a WordPressdotcom account.

Where Are the Free Themes?

As of this post, the current number of themes available in the Theme Showcase is 354, of which 140 are free themes. WordPressdotcom only announces the introduction of free themes, so it seems that the number of free themes being released is decreasing over time. The current trend is to update popular free themes to include WordPressdotcom’s newer features and to retire older themes that cannot be updated. While I think this is a good thing overall for users, it also pushes/encourages users to buy a Premium theme as a standalone upgrade. Arrivederci, “Theme Thursday.”

WPcomcierge:

Getting a new enterprise off the ground is surprisingly complex! At this point I’ve read more Terms of Service contracts than I ever thought existed, not to mention ogling oodles of plugins to make your WPcomcierge experience both fun and productive. Expecting to launch in Q4/2017. Provided I don’t lose my mind first. Kidding!

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The featured image in this post is from our short vacation in Lago di Garda, Italy. Enjoy your summer holidays wherever they may take you!

WPcom Business Plan gets an upgrade (unofficial)

With very little information to go on, it looks like WordPressdotcom has taken the final leap to enter the full, managed WP hosting arena by offering its Business plan users access to a wider range of plugins and custom themes through the Calypso dashboard. This includes access to WooCommerce and forums like bbPress and BuddyPress.

Other than new-to-me WPcom staff commenting in a community forum thread and an updated support document on the differences between WordPressdotcom and WP.org, there’s no official announcement yet to verify this change in the Business plan.

Update as of half an hour after publishing this post: a more-familiar Staff member answered in the community forum thread and confirmed that this change is official. Users who already have the Business plan upgrade can get more help and information via live chat.

One Size Upgrade Fits All? Get Outta Here!

Updated: 30 July 2015: See update at the end of this post.

The past couple of weeks have seen a startling rise in the number of WordPress.com users posting in the Community Forums wondering how they can purchase a single upgrade to enhance their free WordPress.com website, most particularly the Domain Name and Domain Mapping upgrades. As most of the current forum volunteers have been around for some time, we were confused why these same users weren’t able to access these individual upgrades from their website’s Dashboard>Store>Store as we could.

Today, the picture became much clearer when a new WPcom user posted in the forums that when she clicked on the link to the Store in her site’s Dashboard, she ended up on a special page in the New Dash that only offered her either the Premium Bundle or the Business Bundle. Individual upgrades were not available to her.

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WordPress.com Business: Get a professional website without a professional price tag

The Business Bundle I wrote about earlier has now officially launched! Excellent value-for-money for non-profits, businesses and professionals looking to launch their online presence. The special support tier makes this especially worthwhile.

The WordPress.com Blog

Are you a small business owner who wants an interactive website with demo videos? A pro blogger who wants to try out a bunch of premium themes before committing? A non-profit building its first website, and in need of a little extra support? Say goodbye to sky-high web development costs and hello to WordPress.com Business.

Everything a growing business needs, at a price a growing business can handle.

Our users already know how easy it is to build great websites on WordPress.com: we’re flexible, powerful, and scale along with you. WordPress.com Business makes it even easier to build a site that supports your growing business long-term by giving you every tool you need up front and for only $299/year:

  • Live support from friendly people, so you can get one-on-one help from a real human when you need it.
  • Unlimited premium themes, so you can find the perfect look for your…

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Looking for HELP!

Once you start your WordPress.com site, it won’t be too long before you seek some extra help in understanding what makes it tick. While every new member of the WordPress.com community receives a “Welcome” letter with a link to the WordPress.com beginner’s tutorial, Learn WordPress.com, many answers can be found on the excellent WordPress.com Support Site, which all community members should get acquainted with.

There will come a time, however, when you may want or need to contact WordPress.com Support directly through the “Contact Support” form in order to solve a problem. After walking you through the most common problems encountered, followed by searching for a possible solution, the Contact form opens allowing you to post your question in more detail. What many people don’t realize is that Support requests posted on the “Contact Support” form may be directed to the Community forums for assistance.
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Doing Business on WordPress.com

More companies are making their way to WordPress.com to build their web presence either as a blog or as a full website (as long as e-commerce is not the primary function of the site). And what’s not to like? On signing up and agreeing to the Terms of Service, a company gets a free or low-cost website with all updates and security handled by Automattic, excellent SEO built right into the platform, an excellent up-time record and, if a company chooses to buy the Domain Name Upgrade, there’s also easy branding or integration with the company’s existing website.  If you are comfortable with not having total control over your website, mostly in the areas of plug-ins and use of special code, WordPress.com is an excellent choice for business.
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The Space Upgrade Gets An Upgrade, With A Caveat

Continue reading “The Space Upgrade Gets An Upgrade, With A Caveat”