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How Can WordPress Provide This For Free?

  1. I started blogging on WordPress almost four years ago. I recently moved my blog to self-hosted, but quickly had my site suspended and closed by the web host because of an unexpected news-related spike in traffic. I got around 6,000 hits before the web host freaked out and closed my account. Keep in mind that my site normally had less than 500 page views per day.

    I moved my blog back to WordPress.com immediately and had over 11,000 page views the next day without a hiccup.

    While I love the service provided here, I do miss some of the abilities that came with hosting my own blog - themes, customization, plugins, etc. I just finished a chat with BlueHost - who told me that they might have suspended my account under the same scenario. Too much server load, affecting other customers, etc.

    So... all that makes me wonder how on earth WordPress can provide the level of service that they do for free? I know our blogs sometimes have ads, but it's amazing to me that they can handle millions of page views each day AND customer support without a monthly fee. In fact, it seems like I'm getting more for free than I would be getting if I were paying another web host to host my blog.

    It's confusing!! =)

    The blog I need help with is inrepair.net.

  2. I don't question the business affairs of Auttomatic or any other corporation because it's rather pointless to do so. wordpress.COM has a sizable number of big players in the blogging world who have qualified and paid for VIP hosting. http://wordpress.com/vip-hosting/ They also have many bloggers who have purchased upgrades. http://en.support.wordpress.com/upgrades/ And, as you stated above they run Google adsense on their free hosted blogs. Like you I'm happy with what they offer because I benefit from it. :)

  3. P.S. I'm not clear whu you posted this to the technical support forum. I think it would be better placed in the Off -Topic Forum http://en.forums.wordpress.com/forum/off-topic So, I'm flagging it so our Moderator will consider moving it there. :)

  4. I think WordPress.com blogs are not free if you have a serious blog. Unless you're a hobbyist or using it as a scratch-pad, you'd eventually end up paying for one of their upgrades (space, css, video). The more serious ones obviously get on their VIP program.

    BTW, you have a nice Sandbox theme. I wonder if there's a free theme collection anywhere for WordPress.com blogs. I'd pay to WordPress for their CSS upgrade if they make few working themes available.

  5. @ismailimail
    I agree with you. IMO over time the majority of users of free wordpress.com hosting will not be those who have a .wordpress.com subdomain blog. I think those who purchase domains and domain mapping will increase dramatically in no time flat. I also think those who are purchasing some of the other upgrades will purchase domain and domain mapping as well.

    BTW there is a selection of Sandbox skins available. Have you searched in the CSS forum and also searched using Google?

  6. @timethief, I was hoping that WordPress developers themselves would make few suitable themes for Sandbox and provide them for free when someone purchase the CSS upgrade. They could also provide additional widgets for further customization. As I understand, there are many Sandbox themes and frameworks available on the net but it is not my cup of tea to even spend time looking into customizing CSS to my needs.

  7. @ timethief: I put it here, because a quick check of the Off Topic forum showed people asking questions about movies, etc. This was related to WordPress, so I put it here.

    I have actually paid for the CSS upgrade and domain mapping, so I guess it isn't entirely free. I did some reading after posting this, and apparently WordPress has some of the best servers in the industry - so thousands (or millions) of visits aren't a problem. =)

    @ ismailimail: Thanks for the compliment on my theme. I've spent many hours on it. I found a free Sandbox theme that had the basic structure I wanted (three columns) and then started altering things to get it the way I wanted. It's a job, but very rewarding.

  8. @ismailimail
    Well, I may be wrong, but I sincerely doubt that you will ever see wordpress.com Staff time devoted to making Sandbox skins.

  9. This is very interesting ... I just checked with BlueHost and they list "unlimited" data transfer as one of the features of their site - why would they shut you down for just 6,000 hits in a day?

    -John

  10. This thread is now merged into the questions forum where it belongs. - T3CK,

  11. @nrepair WordPress.com makes money mainly from VIP hosting, advertising and paid upgrades. And we keep our expenses low by being smart.

    Automattic Inc also owns and runs a number of other services and businesses.

  12. @ roadreality: They weren't the host that shut me down, although after explaining the situation to them, they implied that they might have done the same thing. Also, the amount of bandwidth is unrelated, since they are only concerned about server load (the amount of requests coming into their servers for my site). That effects other customer sites on the same server.

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