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Is Wordpress Free, Priceless or Both?

February 11th, 2012

By Melanie Lamport

Or How Wordpress Doesn’t Make Money

armwrestle“WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.” Matt Mullenweg Click here to watch a video about the inventor with the cherubic face of the Wordpress blogging software.

WordCamp is the name given to a series of community sponsored blogging events centered on discussions relating to the WordPress blogging platform.

Matt Mullenweg travelled to India for the WordCamp event in 2009. Someone surprised Matt with the “money” question. “How Does WordPress Make Money if you give it away free?

Matt, slightly rattled, first tried to say that his company, Automattic, is profitable.

But everyone at the camp had their high school diploma so Matt came up with the following seven “thought provoking-answers from How Does Wordpress …..” [My comments are in [] and are based on the research into Wordpress by Mark Evans]

Matt’s answer 1 [from How Does Wordpress ….], Blog Hosting – WordPress offers blog hosting services at $500 per month to big publishers like Om Malik, All Things D and CNN’s Political Ticker among others. They use WordPress.com’s server infrastructure to host your blog, and therefore the performance will obviously be great, but unlike other web hosting services WordPress VIP Hosting doesn’t accept everyone who applies so good luck.

[So only the creme de la crumb of VIPs get to pay $500/month. Everyone else has to suffer the embarrassment of getting it for free.]

Matt’s answer 2, Google AdSense - Free blogs hosted on WordPress.com may sometimes carry Google ads but these ads may only appear if all the following three conditions are met:

1. The visitor is not using Firefox browser.
2. He has logged out of his WordPress account, if he has one.
3. The referring source is not a WordPress powered blog. So a person reaching abc.wordpress.com from xyz.wordpress.com won’t see any Google Ads.

Even with all these conditions, the revenue generated from serving Google AdSense ads on WordPress.com hosted blog may still be significant as they do around a billion page views per month.

[This is unmitigated “Adnonsense,” and false because in 2009 they only got 482 million views. You would think the owner of the site would know how many page views he gets.]

Matt’s answer 3, Automattic Kismet – You don’t see Viagra spam in your blog posts because it all gets filtered automatically by Automattic Kismet (Akismet for short), the excellent spam protection plug-in available for WordPress.

Now Akismet spam catching technology is free for personal blogs but if you maintain a corporate blog or run a network of blogs, you are required to buy a commercial license of Akismet that starts at around $50 per month.

[Ok, I get it. Wordpress had 2.2 million blogs in 2009. How many of those are corporate customers? Let’s work backwards to optimistically estimate how many corporate licenses they are selling for $50/month. Wordpress revenue is estimated at about $2 million dollars/year or $160,000/month. [1]

The fee starts at $50, so let’s use an unrealistic optimistic average fee of $300/month (600% of the starting fee of $50). And let’s say 25% of his revenue is the commercial licenses.

Therefore 25% of $160,000 = $40,000/month, divided by $300, results in 133 licenses. But let’s say I am wrong and he has more than 133. Let’s say there are 1,333 corporate users paying an Akismet fee. That leaves 2.2 million minus 1,333 or 2,198,667 blogs that I claim would gladly pay $.50 per month, to be free of the ads that Matt doesn’t allow.

Revenue Potential @1% of the starting fee of $50 ($.50) = $1,099,333/ month

Revenue Potential @10% of the starting fee of $50 ($5) = $10,099,333/month!]

Answer 3, Automattic Kismet (Continued)

What may surprise you is that professional bloggers, or anyone who is making more than $500 per month in advertising revenue from a WordPress blog, also needs to pay a $5 per month fee for the Akismet license.

[How many professional bloggers make $500/month? Let me put this another way. A professional blogger (who is unlikely to have an Alexa traffic rank under 500,000), is even more unlikely to make even $100/month. Rumor Mill News, OpedNews and Truthout, with traffic ranks under 50,000, are constantly begging their readers for a few hundred a month. [2]

Matt, here is a better idea. Forget the $5/month. Why not charge each one of your 2.2 million bloggers 1 cent/month for all that bandwidth they get for free. Who wouldn’t pay $.01/month to post their nonsense every day, so 5 or 10 of their friends can visit the site and see the latest picture of their pets? Revenue potential 2,200,000 x .01 = $22,000/month which would increase your monthly revenue by 20%. Imagine the potential if your 2.2 million bloggers had to cough up a whopping $1/month. Actually you don’t have to imagine it – Automattic could just about repay their investors in one year. 2,200,000 x $1 x 12 months = $26,400,000]

Matt’s answer 3, Premium Accounts - While anyone can host a blog on WordPress.com for free, they charge you a fixed fee if you want to buy additional storage space for your multimedia files or if you wish to use custom web domain instead of the default wordpress.com sub-domain. These are premium features.

[Matt is assuming that anyone needs more than the 2 gigs “he already gives them for free.” Notice the words, “if you want to buy” and that Matt answers in the third person. He provides no data on how many “want to buy additional storage.” I don’t know of anyone who has paid Matt a fee, do you?]

Answer 4, Premium Accounts (Continued)

There’s also (unconfirmed) talk that WordPress may soon allow users to add AdSense in their free blogs for a subscription fee.

[Guess what? It’s been confirmed: No Adnonsense will be allowed.]

Matt’s answer 5, Web Host Referrals – WordPress.org suggests a list of third-party web hosting companies where you may self-host your WordPress blog(s) for a fee. Now all these are referral links so Automattic gets a commission per sale.

In fact, this hosting referral system may be extremely profitable for Automattic because if you search for "WordPress Hosting" on Google (a very competitive keyword phrase), the first sponsored link on the Google results page is paid by WordPress itself and it says – "Top 5 WordPress Web Hosts – Chosen by the developers of the WordPress blogging software."

[Again notice the words “where you may self-host your WordPress blog(s) for a fee” and “may be extremely profitable.”

Wait a minute, if self-hosting may be extremely profitable, then why did Automattic need to raise $29.5 million in 2008. Analysts questioned “Why they needed so much dough?” and “Where did the investors (including the New York Times) justify (arrive at) a valuation rumored to be $200-million?”]

Matt’s answer 6, Wordpress Support – If you need help with WordPress (or WordPress MU) but the free support forums aren’t solving the purpose, consider subscribing to the Support Network of Automattic.  The WordPress development team will help you solve problems related to your WordPress system and the response time can be as low as 6 hours. This service is primarily for Enterprise users who are willing to shell out a $2.5-5k per year for support. [I have never needed support, have you?]

Matt’s answer 7, Poll Daddy – I am not sure if Matt discussed this, but Automattic also provides a paid version of Poll Daddy where you can have unlimited number of questions per survey, and there’s no Poll Daddy branding in your polls or surveys.

[Really! I didn’t know that. Where can I sign up to get an unlimited number of questions for my survey?]

[End of Matt’s answers and my attempt at humor]

Are you confused? Don’t worry, so is everyone else because the Internet and Wordpress economically make no cents.

The World Wide Web and your cell phone support the “law of free supply and demand”: When the supply is virtually free, it creates ubiquitous demand. [3]

Why are Wordpress, Firefox and Google free? Where are the Pigs at the trough, and why isn’t Wall Street shafting Main Street?

We are conditioned to believe everything is about money, power, greed and corruption. Therefore we are not aware of the great lengths to which the six companies that control 96% of the media go to sell a Corporatocracy-driven agenda. [4]

An agenda to make sure we never suspect electromagnetic pollution is the goal and not the unforeseen outcome of the Internet and Cellphonemania.

Social and economic inequality, high unemployment, greed, corruption and the undue influence of corporations … can be found everywhere in our society except at Wordpress, Firefox and Google.

The Really Bottom Line

The bottom line when it comes to the “profits” that do or do not exist at Wordpress, Firefox, Google, YouTube and Facebook are only on an operating basis (income minus expenses).

Wall Street wasn’t shafting anyone [economically, that is] when the 1%ers, The Global Financial Elite, The Powers That Be or whatever you want to call them, financed and then wrote off the 1 trillion dollars that it took to fund the transcontinental and transoceanic fiber-optic networks, infrastructure, as well as wireless research and development. The Great Telecom Meltdown [5]

All modern cables use optical fiber technology to carry digital payloads, which makes it possible for you and I to blog, blab, surf, email and text, virtually for free!

All that free bandwidth from Wordpress and the 900,000 Google web servers [a gift from the 1%ers]: a surfer and bloggers’ dream is an electromagnetic nightmare for the Earth. [6]

And speaking of nightmares for the Earth, no discussion would be complete without the dishonorable mention of CERN (Conseil Europeen pour le Recherche Nucleaire) commonly known as the European Laboratory for Particle Physics located in Geneva, Switzerland.

CERN built and was scheduled to fire the Large Hadron Collider on November 11, 2010. [7]

The Collider tunnel, the “brazen bull,” is a medieval torture chamber for the Earth.

Each time the Hadron Collider is fired, God, the Planet, Gaea, our Mother Earth is violently shocked with 3,500,000,000,000 volts of electricity, an electrocutional nightmare for the Earth.

CERN also built the first Web server and client machines. A CERN scientist, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, was the first to develop the theory of HTML and the Web as a working prototype: A formal proposal for a "Hypertext project" called "WorldWideWeb" (one word, also "W3") as a "web" of "hypertext documents" to be viewed by "browsers" using a client–server architecture was first published on November 12, 1990.

Telecommunications, the Internet and cell phones, have transformed the way we live, work and socialize. And while there are many studies on the social impacts of blogging and blabbing, reports analyzing the global impact on growth, jobs and wealth creation don’t exist. Modern telecommunication and the World Wide Web are at best wealth transfer, and at its worst, wealth destruction.

Telecommunications, the Internet and cell phones, have transformed the way we live, work and socialize. And while there are many studies on the social impacts of blogging and blabbing, there isn’t any analyzing the global impact on growth, jobs and wealth creation. Modern telecommunication and the World Wide Web is at best wealth transfer, and at its worst, wealth destruction.

Conspiracy?

Is this some tinfoil-hat conspiracy to make Wordpress blogging ubiquitous in order to magnetically stress the Earth listening to the Misanthropic Bitch rant her iconoclastic opinions about Megan’s Law, beloved public figures and euthanasia? So her audience of a few hundred readers can agree with her that Megan’s Law de-emphasizes parental responsibility, Michael Schiavo is a sympathetic figure, pregnant teenagers are "poster children for forced euthanasia and Diana, Princess of Wales, was a "pathetic slut."

Forget it. Matt and Google aren’t thinking about the $1 trillion the 1%ers coughed up so they could “avoid evil” and “democratize publishing for the world.” [8]

Matt, with his toothy grin, and the guys at Google who want to “make money without doing evil” are just a bunch of geeks who got morally and ethically born again by Richard Stallman, pastor at the Open Source Software Community Church. [9]

I am a founding developer of WordPress, the Open Source software used by about 12% of the web, including this site. The website says WordPress is “a state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform” but more importantly WordPress is a part of who I am. Like eating, breathing, music, I can’t not work on WordPress. The project touches a lot of people, something I’ve recently begun to appreciate. I consider myself very lucky to be able to work on something I love so much. [From About Matt Mullenweg]

We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served — as shareholders and in all other ways — by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains." "You can make money without doing evil."

"Don't be evil" is the informal corporate motto (or slogan) of Google. While many companies have ethical codes to govern their conduct, Google claims to have made "Don't Be Evil" a central pillar of their identity, and part of their self-proclaimed core values. [From the prospectus (aka S-1) of Google's 2004 IPO (a letter from Google's founders, later called the 'Don't Be Evil' manifesto’)

Matt and the Google founders read The Cathedral and the Bazaar by Eric Steven Raymond and were saved by The General Public License (GPL) theology. GPL makes software a core element of an open society.

Nerds at the Church of GPL live by the Four Commandments of Religious Freedom: [notice the geek-friendly numbering]

Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program for any purpose.
Freedom 1: The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish.
Freedom 2: The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
Freedom 3: The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements (and modified versions in general) to the public, so that the whole community benefits.

Matt and Google, get over it. The Christians thought they were making the world a better place when they launched the Crusades and the Inquisition.

“Managing an open-source community and a profitable startup at the same time has not been an easy task, but I believe that the principle of open source is an important one, and that more companies should think about what they are giving back to the web and information technology community.” [From the Matt Mullenweg interview with “This is Us!”

Matt, you aren’t giving back anything with all that bandwidth you give away: You and you’re bloggers are driving the Earth out of its harmonic mind.

The Earth, just like humans, has an energetic body with a meridian system and potent points. By tapping and resonating these potent points harmonically, we can “call” in supportive, nourishing energies from deep within the earth.

Earth Harmonics is the practice of bringing the natural environment into balance through the use of Earth Energetic supportive devices, such as the Earth Harmonizer. This device taps into the Earth’s latent reservoirs of healing energies by enriching the Earth’s Energetic Grid system with a pattern and vibration that resonates in harmony with greater Universal healing energies.

But when we blog all day long and Google Uses More Power than Salt Lake City the powerful electromagnetic frequencies are wreaking harmonic havoc on the Earth. [10]

Melanie Lamport is a retired Kindergarten and First Grade teacher living in Southern California. Ms. Lamport graduated from Indiana University with a B.S in Elementary Education. She received her Master’s Degree in Curriculum Studies from DePaul University. mblaze2023@gmail.com

Endnotes

[1] “Wordpress revenue is estimated” because the company refuses to release the numbers. Here's How Lousy The Blog Hosting Business Is: WordPress Company Revenue Only About $10 Million A Year

In October 2007 Mullenweg acquired the Gravatar service and was rumored to have turned down a US$200 million offer to buy his company Automattic. The company has raised over $30 million from investors. In March 2007 Matt was named #16 of the 50 most important people on the web by PC World, reportedly the youngest on the list.

[2] The Alexa Traffic Rank is calculated using a combination of average daily visitors and pageviews over the past 3 months. The site with the highest combination of visitors and pageviews is ranked #1, the lowest #70 million is where the Webmaster is the only visitor.

Number 1 as you would expect is Google (Alexa Traffic Rank=1. United States Flag Traffic Rank in US=1. Sites Linking In=727,036)

Number 4 is Yahoo (4. 3. 119,825)
Number 9 MSN (13. 12. 39,000)
Number 152 Huffington Post (88. 34. 39,642)

Traffic rank is the reach: a number under 100,000 is very significant. A number under 50,000 is very, very significant.

[3] The World Wide Web and the Telecom Industry are extreme examples of the uneconomic aberration, Downward manipulation, was first discovered by Ted Butler in the precious metals market.

We are conditioned to believe free enterprise supply and demand would lead to inflated prices so the greedy corporations can make more money, but Butler's research in the silver market concludes the opposite. The beneficiaries of this type of manipulation are the consumers because corporations can sell their products affordably and still make a profit.

Butler's investigation has identified JP Morgan Chase, one of the founding members of the Federal Reserve, as the prime suspect, in the "ongoing intentional, not accidental" great crime of keeping the price of commodities low so the middle class can afford the cell phone of their dreams, an electromagnetic nightmare for the planet. The Real Story, By: Theodore Butler

[4] Corporatocracy, in social theories that focus on conflicts and opposing interests within society, denotes a system of government that serves the interest of, and may be run by, corporations and involves ties between government and business. Where corporations, conglomerates, and/or government entities with private components control the direction and governance of a country, including carrying out economic planning notwithstanding the 'free market' label. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatocracy

Six Companies Own 96% of the World's Media, National Vanguard Books, Who Rules America? Who Controls The U.S. Media? G. William Domhoff, a research professor at the University of California.

[5] The Telecom industry suffered catastrophic losses in 2003. JP Morgan Chase, the biggest loser with 46 trillion of derivative exposure, underwrote WorldCom and the Telecom industry and then in 2005 settled with WorldCom investors for an additional 4 billion. More about JP Morgan in footnote [3]

[6] The Electromagnetic Grid From: "The Light Shall Set You Free" -Norma J. Malanovich]

In Atlantis, an etheric energy matrix existed beneath the earth's surface, providing a lattice network for such activities as telepathic communication and healing. This matrix was known as a grid, which is defined as a network of uniformly spaced horizontal and vertical bars or lines, especially one for locating points when placed over a map, a chart, building plan, etc.  This grid was a system of electromagnetic frequencies created through worldwide linkages, made by human thought waves and energy transmitted by the Earth and through crystals. The system followed a carefully designed plan that was obviously intelligently thought out and detailed. It embodied the study and form of Geomancy, which means the divination of lines drawn at random.

This electromagnetic grid existed for centuries and supported the higher-dimensional existence of the Atlanteans. It enabled life to exist in a higher form on the planet. It was an empowering system situated several feet beneath the Earth's surface. The electromagnetic grid was built by the Thrice-Greatest Geomancer and Master of Earth known as Hermes Trismegistus and the High Priests and Priestesses of Atlantis who came to Earth to build civilization for this part of the galaxy.

[7] Large Hadron Collider (LHC) generates a 'mini-Big Bang'

The Large Hadron Collider has successfully created a "mini-Big Bang" by smashing together lead ions instead of protons.

The scientists working at the enormous machine on Franco-Swiss border achieved the unique conditions on 7 November. [Unique conditions? The test was scheduled for November 11 for months and nowhere was there a discussion, that it might be earlier due to the presence of  “unique” conditions.]

The experiment created temperatures a million times hotter than the centre of the Sun.

The LHC is housed in a 27km-long circular tunnel under the French-Swiss border near Geneva.

Up until now, the world's highest-energy particle accelerator - which is run by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) - has been colliding protons, in a bid to uncover mysteries of the Universe's formation.

Proton collisions could help spot the elusive Higgs boson particle and signs of new physical laws, such as a framework called supersymmetry.But for the next four weeks, scientists at the LHC will concentrate on analyzing the data obtained from the lead ion collisions. This way, they hope to learn more about the plasma the Universe was made of a millionth of a second after the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago.

[8] [From Debunking conspiracy theorists' paranoid fantasies about AT&Tmobile]

However, knowing that the internet, cell phones and telecommunications have transformed the way we live, work, and socialize, and there are many studies on the social impact of telecommunications but none analyzing the global impact on growth, jobs, and wealth creation, when you consider the following:

  • An evaluation of the cell phone industry and Motorola’s business plan concluded that the company “should probably not expect to raise venture capital for this venture” rather than spend $100 million (in 1983 dollars) to develop a $3,995 device that weighed 2.5 lbs to be marketed to customers in the Chicago and Baltimore/Washington, D.C. service area.
  • Cell phones and the Net are used primarily to give the “ignorant masses” an opportunity to blog and access Facebook, Twitter, the Weather Channel, Google Maps and the music service Pandora (as well as apps, apps and more apps).

[9] The sixth point of the 10-point corporate philosophy of Google says "You can make money without doing evil." The motto is sometimes incorrectly stated as Do no evil. "Don't be evil" is the informal corporate motto (or slogan) of Google, originally suggested by Google employees Paul Buchheit and Amit Patel at a meeting. “We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served — as shareholders and in all other ways — by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains."

While many companies have ethical codes to govern their conduct, Google claims to have made "Don't Be Evil" a central pillar of their identity, and part of their self-proclaimed core values.

[10] ELECTRIC GRID OR TECHNOSPHERE

It is formed by lines created by our civilization with the use of electricity, of high voltage, microwaves, television and radio waves. The name of Hartman was also given to this grid, after the last name of the German physicians that took the task of measuring it, to know its influence over their patients with illnesses such as cancer.  Physically it is an electric lattice formed by lines of 8.25 inches (21 cm.) wide approximately, that create rectangles from 2 to 2.5 meters (6.56 ft. to 8.2 ft.), this one prolongs vertically arriving in some places to great heights where it feeds off of the relaying antennas of microwaves and the high voltage towers.  This grid is like a reservoir where all the human-created electric energies are poured into and it has been determined that its points of intersection may be damaging to health if we stay over them for long periods of time.

It is an artificial electric grid through which an enormous amount of energy flows.  It is of masculine character.

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