ad it up


I’m not exactly fired up enough to do anything about it yet, but I am annoyed that WordPress has started adding ads to my blog. Among the sources of irritation is that I don’t know when, exactly, they started adding them. They show up at the bottom of some posts, but they are not visible to me when I am logged in to WordPress. I find this practice somewhat deceitful, as most of the time when I visit my own blog, I am indeed logged in. I think that’s probably the norm for bloggers.

What I see when I am logged in:

no ads

What I see when I am not logged in:

Ads.

I know that there has been fine print places saying that WordPress may put ads on blogs, but for a long time I just thought there weren’t any on mine. It was only a couple of months ago that I started seeing them, on my blog, and on other WordPress blogs that I visit. And now when I go to my “dashboard,” I have the option to buy an option to “upgrade to pro” for $99.00 a year. So if I want to get the ads off, I have to pay about a hundred dollars a year. That just doesn’t seem right to me.

I guess I can understand that WordPress is a business, and they need to make money somehow. I just feel a bit like I’ve been given free samples, and now that I’m a junkie, I have to pay. Plus I have no say over what ads they stick on my blog. So far, the ones I’ve seeen have been innocuous. But can I be assured that they will remain so?

I don’t like ads. One of the appeals to me of WordPress is that it was ad-free, and bloggers aren’t even supposed to add ads. But do I want to pay $99 a year? What are my other options?

So, do you see the ads? If so, when did you first notice them? Did you think it was me who’d put them there? Just curious.

And how do you feel about ads your own blog? Or on other blogs you visit?

Edited to add: I see now that there is an upgrade option just for removing the ads for $29.97 a year. But that still seems steep to me. And irritating.

20 responses to “ad it up

  1. Hmm. I’m a bit perplexed by this post, as I have never noticed an ad on your blog. I am not logged into anything when I read it. And normally I do notice ads when they are present, so I don’t think it’s just that I am so desensitized to ads that I don’t even see them when they’re there…
    I definitely have a strong anti-ad preference, so I’ll let you know if I see any ads and what I think of them.

    • Yeah, the ads are slippery. They don’t show up for every post, or every time I load them. So I don’t know how often they appear, or what criteria are used. They also only show up when looking at an individual post, rather than from the homepage view. Maybe there are browser differences, too. So, I’m not surprised that you haven’t seen them.

  2. I’ve thought about this a lot too. I don’t usually see ads at “casa az” because I’m usually logged in, but I have occasionally seen them when I use a different browser and – ick! – it always takes me by surprise. I’ve never seen any here, but this might be because I’m almost always logged into WordPress?

    For $99 a year (or less) you could self-host, and I’ve often thought about moving “casa az” over to my azahar-sevilla.com site. I don’t know why I haven’t, really. Maybe I will.

    • I do wonder about self-hosting, but I have to think about what my priorities are. I’ve appreciated the reliability of WordPress, as well as some other perks, but this ad business makes me cranky.

      I do see, though, that they have a simple “no ads” upgrade for about $30 a year. (The “pro” package comes with things like space upgrade, domain name, and maybe css, too.) But if self-hosting could get me all those things…

  3. yikes.

    i’ve never noticed ads before, but i primarily read your blog with google reader (and don’t get me started on the shenaningans they’ve been up to lately). coming over to the site to comment, i’m seeing a big, nasty ad now.

    i use wordpress as the CMS for my blog, but i own the domain name and wordpress doesn’t host it. i’m with azahar – for that price, you can self-host.

    • I think it’s probably the case that most people who read Worpress blogs regularly do so from a reader, so may never notice the ads. But anyone arriving via a link or search engine query could potentially see them.

      I may look into self-hosting. Have you been happy with your set-up, laloca?

      • i have been, although i have to admit one of my old housemates actually takes care of the hosting side of things (he even pays for my domain name as an ongoing birthday present – saves him from shopping). we had a major data loss about a year ago – you may remember – which prompted me to back up regularly.

        because i use wordpress(.org), it’s pretty much the same functionality that you see, with the ability to add whatever plugin i like. which is nice.

  4. I haven’t noticed them, but lately I’ve mostly been on my mobile.

    I don’t like them on personal blogs.

    • It’s nice to know that other people haven’t seen them much. I was feeling a little like I’d been walking around with a big streamer of toilet paper stuck to my shoe, and everyone was too tactful to point it out to me.

      I have mixed feelings about ads. I respect that some bloggers can use the potential additional income, and if the ads are tasteful and moderately discreet, they don’t particularly bother me. I did recently encounter a pop-up ad on a (non-Wordpress) blog I regularly read, and that did particularly bother me. Pop-ups are freakin’ annoying.

  5. Do you have the plugin Zemanta on your account? Zemanta will auto add “recommended” content to posts. Check a post’s html code – that’s where you’ll see the Zemanta stuff before publishing. Delete the code from the post and delete Zemanta if that is what is causing issues.

    • Thanks for the info, Donna. I have a WordPress.com account (vs. WordPress.org), though, so there are no plugins. The ads are something that WordPress.com has put in on the free hosted blogs as a way to get revenue, rather than an “you may also like” sort of thing. (There is a “you may also like” type option for WordPress.com, but I can’t remember what they call it. I think I turned it off at some point.)

  6. As a professional web developer, I’d say that $30/year is a good deal for a reliable, easy-to-use, familiar, ad-free blogging platform. You don’t have to worry about server space, renewing domains, upgrading code or any of that. It just works. Hardly *anything* in the IT world just works, and yet this does.

    It is however very sneaky to add ads w/o warning!

    What drives me nuts is interface changes made w/o warning on freeware. I am a heartbeat away from dumping Google Reader because I just can’t figure out what they heck they did to that interface or why.

    • That is helpful input, Jennifer. I have really liked this blogging platform, and you are right that it’s comfortable and familiar. It would feel rather like moving house to change, and the idea of all the packing makes me tired. But I really don’t like the underhanded way that they’ve done this. Why hide the ads from us when we are logged in? It just smells devious. I don’t like deception.

      We’ll see if I’m ready to fork out $29.97 a year for my blog. (They say it’s only 8 cents a day. If they’d take payment in pennies, that would be an easier decision to make. I’m sure I could find 8 pennies a day lying around the houes.)

    • you & me both. i’m dumping google reader as soon as there’s a viable alternative; unfortunately, they pretty much cornered the market through attrition. i’m not a fan of google+, and by stripping the social networking components of reader (sharing/following/commenting), it’s become mostly useless to me. i’m hoping http://hivemined.org comes online soon.

  7. Hi! I found your blog via the NaBloPoMo blogroll. I’m doing this project, too. Las week when I started it, I decided to reach out and meet some new bloggers. That being said…

    I have my blog on WP for the same reasons you mentioned above. I didn’t know that ads showed up on it. I don’t like that at all. Thanks for talking about this. I don’t know what I’m going to do about it, but at least now I know what’s what. *sigh*

  8. Interesting. I’ve never noticed ads here myself and I think I would have (but maybe not?). It does stink that they are sneaking them in on you, to ad or not to ad is a personal decision and I wouldn’t like it taken out of my hands.

  9. Hmm. Not seeing any, and I don’t remember having seen any.

  10. i moved off the wordpress farm precisely because they wouldn’t allow me to add ads, which i have. i haven’t seen ads on your site, but maybe it’s because i still have a log in on the wordpress farm?

  11. i don’t think i’ve ever seen any on yours or any other wordpress blog. not that I’m in bloggy land all that much anymore.

  12. Seen this? Maybe if you apply to have tasteful ads put on your site that’ll take care of the weird random ones – and you’ll make some cash!

    http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/wordads/

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