I was recently told “Oh, it’s WordPress.com only. Who cares.”
Well, at last count on the WordPress.com font page, 146,000 blogs and their bloggers care.
People who know better have learned that anything and everything that happens to WordPress.com blogs benefits the whole of the WordPress Community. I’ve watched as the original naysayers, people long involved in WordPress, not only come around to the benefits of WordPress.com, but in a couple cases, are now “staff” of WordPress.
The mythology that “free” means cheap, crippled, near to useless, totally restrictive, and only a marketing tool to get you to spend money later is totally bogus when it comes to WordPress products. Sure, the parent company, Automattic, has to make money in order to survive, but WordPress has always been free and will continue to be free, though donations and gifts are very welcome.
In the spirit of such freedom, WordPress.com offers bloggers a chance to get a taste of the full, free version of WordPress without the hassles of all the do-it-yourself work. If you like how it works, if you enjoy the administrative interface, the ease of making it work, the ease to change the look and style of your blog, and you know enough to be danger when it comes to choosing and developing your own WordPress Theme design, then you have the choice.
You got free to blog and free to tweak. I’d call those some fun free choices.
As for the benefit WordPress.com gives the whole WordPress Community?
- WordPress as a software blogging tool becomes inherently stronger through vast testing on WordPress.com.
- WordPress.com users become research rats as they get to test drive new features that often become available as Plugins or incorporated into the full version as a result of popularity with WordPress.com users.
- Develops WordPressMU, a multi-user blogging system which allows for many bloggers to blog under the same roof, good for groups, memberships, businesses, and corporations.
- Allows people to blog for free, introducing them to the fun world of blogs.
- Encourages solid, quality, web standards development of WordPress Themes.
- Spreads the word and popularity of WordPress.
- Gives WordPress users a choice.
I’m sure you can come up with even more benefits WordPress.com provides to the WordPress Community. But know this. The volunteers who run the WordPress Support Forums (both of them), provide the FAQs, WordPress Codex documentation, beta testers, WordPress Plugin authors, WordPress Theme designers, language translation services, WordPress developers, and even this blog, do so because they love the program. The only “payment” they get is to share their passion for WordPress with others. It is hard work, time consuming, and often frustrating as this effort is so little appreciated a lot of the time, especially by those who assume that these volunteers are paid. They are not. At least 99% are not. Yet they give their heart and soul to this effort.
So if you decide to condemn a whole or even part of the whole, show a little appreciation for the work that goes into even the smallest element of WordPress. Love, sweat, tears, and a lot of time with little reward went into this. And everyone benefits, from all of it.
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen