Why Wordpress isn't free…

By Jef Rice on Wednesday, December 17, 2014

All I wanted to do was create a quick blogging site for myself. But I wanted a particular look/feel I wasn't finding on Wordpress.com. BTW, I am a technical guy  —  here is my story…

1. Find a Theme from ThemeForest or some other theme marketplace. I select one with lots of variations and the use of this plugin I have heard a bunch about that will allow me to visually compose my pages rather than having to do any coding. I preview the Theme (as a visitor would) on different devices and with different variations. Of course, I have to assume I will like the Admin experience as I can’t check that aspect of the theme out on ThemeForest. No matter. I am sold. (1–4 hours)

2. Buy selected theme (5 minutes: $58)

3. Download the theme.

4. Figure out where you are going to host it. I happen to have a hosting account on GoDaddy — so it is easy enough. Log into Godaddy.com, use their installer to add Wordpress as an add-on domain to my unlimited account which I pay about $8/month for.

5. Install Wordpress (10 minutes)

6. Log in to new Wordpress and upload the theme.

7. Click on import. Fail. File is too big. Shit. Must remember where the file setting is — Google it. Find it. Updated it. (5 minutes)

8. Restart import — 0%… stalled at 0%… WTF. wait because maybe it is my slow internet (Comcast sucks)…. 5 minutes…. 10 minutes…

9. Restart import. Must be Comcast because they suck. 5 minutes… 10 minutes… hmm…

10. Accidentally switch back to my cPanel and notice that my CPU and processes are maxed out. AHHH. ARG. I am only running 3 other Wordpress sites on my Unlimited GoDaddy account. There is no way an Unlimited account can only handle 3 wordpress sites with virtually no traffic…

11. OK — upgrade GoDaddy Unlimited to Level 2. costs me an extra $2/month. (10 minutes). We are now moving into hour 3 of this process.

12. Ok. Third time's a charm. Restart Theme import… 20%… 40%… 60%… stall…

13. Check cPanel again. CPU/Processes pegged. Again! Must just be a momentary issue… surely an import for a 16M theme can’t max out 2 processors with 125 processes… give it 5 minutes…. 10 minutes… Yep. Shit.

14. Upgrade to GoDaddy Unlimited level 3. The highest level they have without getting my own server — and another $2/month. I have now surpassed the $100 mark and haven’t actually seen my site yet.

15. Ok. Fourth time’s a charm. Restart theme import. 100%! Viola.

16. Ready to go…. wait… no… I’ve been prompted to upgrade 2 plugins included in the Theme. No sweat.

17. One plugin informs me that in order to get updates to this plugin, I need a valid plugin license. Ok — follow link. Purchase plugin ($25). Upgrade plugin 1. Upgrade Plugin 2.

18. Ready to go… Preview site. Doesn’t look a thing like the demo version from ThemeForest. WTF.

19. Read Theme documentation. Figure out that each variation of the theme requires some demo data to be imported. (30 minutes)

20. Import demo data. 10%… 20%… 30%… stalled. Seriously?!

21. Check cPanel… looks like the CPU/Processors are pegged again… AND GoDaddy didn't actually complete the last upgrade from level 2 to 3. That’s fine… they have a chat window here. I will tell someone…

22. Open chat window — “We are experiencing higher than normal wait times. Please use our Support #.

23. Call GoDaddy support #. “We are experiencing higher than normal wait times. Please use our online chat.”

24. Create a GoDaddy support ticket.

25. Go ask one of our developers for advice. They tell me not to use GoDaddy. Helpful.

26. Wait for response or CPU/Processes to recover (overnight). We are now into our 5th hour of time spent on this.

27. Wake up refreshed and ready to go. GoDaddy upgraded my account. Sweet.

28. Re-import demo data. 10…20…30… 100%. Alright!

29. Now I am ready to GO! Preview site….looks better.

30. Log in to Wordpress Admin. Open up the visual composer plugin…. spend about 2 hours trying to figure out how this thing works with the theme… can’t…. I have now wasted 2 days and 125 bucks on this theme/site.

If I want this theme/site to be fully functional I am going to have to hire a developer. Who knows how much that will cost me. The crazy thing is Wordpress would tell me that there isn’t really a problem and I could solve all my “issues” by just using their hosted option, Wordpress.com. If you remember this whole process started with me not being able to find a theme I liked at Wordpress.com and I would rather spend a one time cost of $58 rather than a $299 yearly fee.

So tell me again how Wordpress is free?

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