Having used WordPress.com to host this blog for nearly a year now I was shocked when I recently looked at an old blog post to see Google ads running at the top of the post and at the bottom.

Who eats free at Ben
Photo owned by NCinDC (cc)

These ads it seems are placed there by WordPress and sneakily enough are not shown to the owner of the blog – I’m usually logged in when I’ve visiting my own blog. From doing a little digging around it seems that this is WordPress policy and they only show ads on your blog to first time visitors to your blog. Great first impression that makes – blog over-run by Google ads.

WordPress, like many other Internet businesses, are built on a revenue model that charges absolutely nothing for the basic service, but makes a killing anytime you want to do something extra. This is very clever really. Get people in, get them using your service, get them used to it, get them liking it and even dependant on it. Then as they think about something else they want, charge them. It will be easier for them to pay that to walk away after all the time and energy invested.

WordPress charge you if you want to have a different web address than the default one. I wanted brendanhughes.ie instead of hews.wordress.com. I paid the domain registry but I also had to pay WordPress. If you want to change the look and feel of the site, there’s a fee. If you want more storage space, you pay. And so on. Now I’ve discovered that they’re also making money by advertising on my blog without me knowing.

Personally I really don’t want advertisements on this blog. I’m not making money out of this and am already paying WordPress enough in “upgrades”. The time has come I think for me to move on and find a pay-for service. This may take me a little while, so in the meantime apologies to anyone who is seeing ads all over this blog… it’s not me. It’s part of the new economics of the web.