No BS Launch Pad brought to my attention a WordPress “cheat” you need to be aware of.
They promise many things it seems, but I really want to attack:
….they offer are very, very basic things like themes. Note that you can get all of the same themes here for FREE…
…Wordpress is a free blog software, and it’s a good one…
…Do you really need to pay $147 to save time?
What is getting our ire is Power Your WordPress, a “commercial” packaging of WordPress called “WordPress Elite”, available to help solve all your blogging ills for only USD $147.00.
I checked the “recommendations” and they lead to sites that are inactive or the late-night-TV-marketing ploys designed by the same folks (recommending themselves, so not very original). Unfortunately, the site mentions two top bloggers, Darren Rowse and Jason Calacanis, making it look like they are using their product. I searched and they both make no mention of “WordPress Elite”. Both are using WordPress, but it is the free version, just like most of the rest of the world.
I’d like to clear up some myths about what they are selling and what is available, and hopefully help you avoid WordPress scams in the future.
WordPress is FREE.
Lead developer and master WordPress chef, Matt Mullenweg, has said repeatedly that as long as he lives, WordPress will be free. Currently, WordPress.com, driven by WordPressMU, is a free hosted blogging service, but this could possibly change in the future. Today, it’s free and everyone participating is part of a 250,000+ force of alpha and beta testers for WordPress and related products and services. For now, WordPress and WordPress.com are free. Got it?
WordPress Themes are FREE.
While it’s true that there are some WordPress Themes that can be purchased, and limited rights on usage for other WordPress Themes, and professional and serious amateurs who will accept money for WordPress Theme development and design, the majority of WordPress Themes available are free. Free for the using, free for the tweaking, free for the twisting and tugging. If in doubt, check the license and copyright policy of the Theme where you found it and within the code.
WordPress Plugins are FREE.
For the majority of all WordPress Plugins, they are free. Yes, there are WordPress Plugins that are available for a price, but you have to agree to pay before you can play. There are also many WordPress Plugin authors, especially those offering continuing top-notch support and upgrades, who do request donations to help keep their efforts going and to offset costs associated with such support. I think they deserve it, don’t you? Even without the funding, their passion for their “product” goes on and they continue to support and develop their WordPress Plugins. Even so, most WordPress Plugins are free to use, tweak, and rip apart, developed by fans of WordPress as their way of giving back to the WordPress Community, helping to keep WordPress free.
WordPress Support is FREE.
Access to the WordPress Support Forums and WordPress.com Support Forums is free. But don’t expect “free” cheap help. In these forums you will find the best WordPress experts offering quality customer support, all for free and all as volunteers. They are awesome, giving of their time to help fellow fans of WordPress use and abuse WordPress and blog better. All they ask is that you say “thanks” once in a while. I’d call that a cheap price to pay for such awesome support, wouldn’t you?
WordPress Themes, Plugins, Tips, and Techniques Are Hard to Find.
If there is one thing that makes this $147 “WordPress Elite” package look good, it’s getting all the parts and pieces in one place.
This is something that the volunteers and developers behind WordPress have been battling with since day one. Everyone wanted to volunteer to be “the resource” for their own lists of Themes, Plugins, and other WordPress resources. At one point, there were so many people with their own listing of WordPress Themes, you didn’t know which way to turn to find which Themes where. WordPress Plugins are also spread across the web as many don’t know that there are lists and directories on the WordPress Codex and wp-plugins.net that they need to get their WordPress Plugins in so people can find them from these main catalogs.
Over the past two years, I and others have worked hard to bring all WordPress resources under one roof, so to speak. Or at least a few roofs. Working with enthusiastic volunteers who are so giving of their time, energy, determination, and bandwidth, it’s hard to say “we really appreciate it, but can you help us keep it all in one place?”
So yes, this package deal is nice because you don’t have to look all over the place for WordPress Themes and Plugins. But, new Themes and Plugins come out every day, and some are really awesome and helpful. So how will this help you find those? You still have to do it the old fashioned way – hunt like the rest of us.
Saves Time and Money!
Okay, this is partially a true claim. It honestly takes about 5 minutes to install WordPress, if you follow the simple instructions step-by-step. Volunteers on the Codex and Support Forums have worked long and hard to make sure the instructions are as simple and helpful as possible, covering just about every possible installation type.
Still, it does take hours to dig around the net and look for a WordPress Theme that suits your mood and blogging style, and then research and find WordPress Plugins that will help you do what you want, and then tweak around with the Theme and Plugins…it can take a lot of time.
WordPress works great out of the box. You have two core Themes to choose from so you can start blogging immediately. But if you want a little more customized look, you have to take time to put it together. You have to click through tens or hundreds of WordPress Themes until your eyes cross and blur trying to find the “right” WordPress Theme for your new blog. If you want to do-it-yourself, it takes some knowledge, some expertise, and a lot of experimenting. And a lot of time. Some like this, and some are overwhelmed by this. But spending money won’t speed up the process…much.
Even if you spend $147, you will still have to spend the time it takes to figure out which Theme to use and which Plugins serve your needs. You just don’t have to search the Internet to find them, as they are all in one place. But…
All WordPress Tools in One Place. Cool. But What About Upgrades and Bug Fixes?
WordPress is a living, evolving, and developing piece of software, as are many WordPress Themes and Plugins. Security problems are found and patched, bugs are found and fixed, and the software is still improving. Will you get unlimited free access to WordPress, WordPress Themes, and WordPress Plugins upgrades? The site says as an “additional bonus”, you will get free WordPress upgrades “for life”. Well, WordPress upgrades are free. They get them from the same place you would. They don’t cost you anything. So you are getting another “free” bonus for your money.
Even if you buy this packaged version of WordPress, I recommend that you immediately look for patches and updates of WordPress, and the WordPress Themes and Plugins that interest you. Since few offer “patches”, you will be downloading and installing the full version again, so why waste time. Do it right and get the latest version in the first place. For free.
But It Includes Free Books and CDs!
Okay, for $147, what are you really getting for your free WordPress blogging tool? You get the FREE WordPress plus a collection of free Themes and Plugins so you don’t have to download them. That’s a time saver, even if all of these are free. You get some books, CDs, and other sales-pitching add-ons to help push the sale through so you feel like you are getting your money’s worth. This information is also available, for free, on the web and even on this blog, right here.
WordPress is FREE, so what you are paying $147 for is the time and effort it took them to burn the CDs, make the packaging, print the books, and do the rest of their advertising, marketing and gizmos. You are paying for that and not WordPress.
No money goes to WordPress, as far as I’ve been able to learn. WordPress does not benefit from the sale of this product. If you want the rest of the stuff, then pay the money and you will get it, but remember, WordPress is free, so why pay for it if that is all you want?
If you are willing to hand over money for something you can get for free, consider giving money to the authors and designers of your WordPress Themes and Plugins, or to WordPress itself to help it survive. Money is always appreciated in a volunteer-driven organization.
Gee, if you’re giving money away for free stuff, send some my way. I could definitely use it. ;-)
Report WordPress Scams
It’s important to let us know if you run across any WordPress scams. There aren’t enough volunteers to go after every scammer, and some are just a waste of everyone’s time, but Matt and the WordPress volunteers still need to be aware of what is going on and how WordPress may be being abused. So if you find abuse, let them know.
And if you want to help, please volunteer and help WordPress grow. We need your help.
- A Guide to the WordPress Codex, The Online Manual for WordPress Users
- Getting Help With wordpress.com
- What do you want to know about WordPress and wordpress.com?
- What to do with your free wordpress.com blog
- Need Help? The wordpress.com FAQ
- My WordPress Theme is Broken
- The Secret of Successful Editing of WordPress Themes
- Designing a WordPress Theme From Scratch
- Designing a WordPress Theme – Building a Sandbox
- WordPress Versions – How Many and What’s the Diff?
- Choosing a WordPress Theme
- Help Me Find a WordPress Theme
- Looking for Lists of WordPress Themes?
- How Do You Choose a WordPress Theme?
- First Step to WordPress Help: Search First
- WordPress in Your Language
- DIY Search Engine Optimization
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network