WordPress upgrade or not?

For years now I have hosted my blog on WordPress. I have a free plan which displays
annoying advertising to my followers.
I was thinking of upgrading to a paid plan and wondered if any of you have done this.

My biggest questions is:

Will my followers automatically be transferred over?

My next questions are:

Will people who have linked to my blog via their blogroll etc. still be able
to use the same links they always did, OR, will they all have to change their links?


Will my theme and graphics transfer over smoothly to the new site?

If any of you have moved from a free WordPress plan to a paid one, I’d love to hear from you about your experiences with the move – both the positive and the negative.

Thanks in advance.

The worrywort blogger.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
This entry was posted in Book bloggers, ramblings & miscellanea and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to WordPress upgrade or not?

  1. indiansuchak says:

    My question to you is that is upgrading to paid plan is worth apart from ads free experience. i mean does it improve your blog readership or improvement in traffic

    Liked by 1 person

  2. adeleeff says:

    Can you export the content of your free WordPress blog to a WordPress installation on another host? Thinking of training wheels.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Fictionphile. I recently posted asking this same question! I got 15 likes and no engagement! Ha ha.

    I am trying to figure out whether to upgrade. I don’t know whether to buy a domain name separately or if WordPress give you one. When I go to upgrade it asks straight away for my bank details.

    Whereas I would rather check what domain names were available first. I see that you now have a dot com so you must have upgraded. Just wondering how you found it or what you went with? Or if anyone else is reading this any tips? I blogged about this a few days ago but no response as yet! 🙂

    Also do you need to save all your posts and drafts or is everything the same? Any tips would be appreciated. 🙂


    • As you surmised, I did upgrade from the FREE plan to the ‘Personal Plan‘ with WordPress. This upgrade came with a free .com domain. Essentially my URL changed from https://fictionophile.wordpress.com to just https://fictionophile.com so I just really lost the word ‘wordpress’.
      Now my followers will never see those annoying advertisements again.
      My site remained exactly as it was, with no loss of content whatsoever. My followers were automatically redirected, so that was not an issue either.
      I paid $132.00 Canadian for TWO years. After that time the subscription will automatically renew unless I cancel it before the date given in 2021.

      Hope this helps you with your decision.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank-you so much Fictionophile. 🙂 This is VERY helpful information!! As there is a certain fear of upgrading and the unknown!!! One more question, at what point did you pick your domain name? Did they provide options after you paid? Curious…

        Liked by 1 person

        • My blog has been called Fictionophile for the past ten years. Luckily when I entered it that domain was available. If it hadn’t been, I wouldn’t have upgraded. My name is how people find me.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sorry for all the questions! But when did you get your domain name on WordPress when you clicked on upgrade? When I click on upgrade it asks straight away for bank details with no option to pick a domain name first…. And I would rather pick a domain name first. 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

          • Gosh… I don’t remember. I’m pretty sure that the payment was at the end of the transaction, not the beginning.

            Liked by 2 people

          • I think its changed now. When I click on Upgrade the first thing it asks for is Bank details. Was upgrading a smooth process then? Nothing to look out for? I think I am going to do it soon as I hate advertisements!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Personally speaking, the upgrade was painless. The only thing I can think of is that my domain authority went down as the new domain didn’t have any history to support it yet. I’m sure it will recover soon.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Oh okay. Is domain authority like search ranking. Never heard that term before. But thanks for the info. 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

          • Okay I have figured this bit out. They send you a link if you live message them to check for different domain names first so that is great. Then can click on upgrade after. But you don’t get this option if you just click on upgrade directly. Thank-you Fictionophile for your feedback. Incredibly helpful and I really appreciate it. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Nathaniel Suchy says:

    Everything will stay exactly the same aside from some new features and the option to use your own domain name. If you get a new domain name your blogname.wordpress.com will redirect all links to it.

    Liked by 2 people

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  6. Sheree @ Keeping Up With The Penguins says:

    So far, all looks well, and I’m still getting your new post notifications, so I think you’re okay! 😉 I think WP has/should have some kind of system to redirect any external links, if you’re worried about claiming the personalised domain. So, if someone’s linked externally to your .wordpress.com site, it will automatically re-direct it to your .com site. It might mess with your Google rankings (maybe? who even knows what happens with Google anymore…) but it’s up to you how much that matters. Good luck, hope all continues smoothly for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank-you Sheree. I think I’ll pass on accepting the free domain. I’m just so pleased that my blog visitors won’t have to wade through the advertisements anymore.


  7. Alexandra says:

    I would suggest if you are doing a paid plan through WordPress, to contact them directly and ask them these questions, and have them transfer everything on your behalf. Which is what a friend of mine did when she went from a free account, to a paid one. They were very helpful apparently, so check out that route.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I switched and planned ahead to spend a whole weekend fixing all the broken links I knew would occur. It was seamless. I didn’t have to fix a thing. Five minutes.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lorilin says:

    I’m on a paid plan, so I have my own .com. I had it early on, so I don’t know if switching it over would change anything now.

    The only thing I would caution you about is that sometimes when I’ve switched themes in the past, formatting in some of my posts will go wonky. I’ve had to go back post by post to tweak titles, graphics, tags, etc.—just because some themes support certain features while others don’t. That’s part of the reason why I won’t change my theme now!

    I do really like having access to better themes and features though. I don’t regret going to a paid plan with my own domain name.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you and I’ve been considering the same. Looks to me as if they have gone on a campaign to get us freebies to convert to a paid plan. My budget is so tight, I’d not be able to do more than eliminate the advertising which has become odious, and depending what they place, downright embarrassing. I want to get RID of those ads (which only recently started appearing in such numbers)! My URL is just a .com and I do pay for the domain name. So…if I can glean out some bucks to upgrade, I’ll get serious about that thought now. Thanks as always for a timely post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re right Virginia. The ads were becoming odious. I took the plunge and I’m now paying for the Blogger plan (the cheapest one). It comes with a domain but I’m uncertain whether to claim it or not. I’m afraid that it might cause any links to my site and my posts to become unclickable. I’m thinking other people’s blogrolls, Twitter links to my reviews, etc.


  11. Hi Lynne, I’ve just upgraded to the cheapest option ( after free) which was the blogger option. This means I lose the adverts and wordpress in the title. It means my blog will be jillsbookcafe.blog. If you want a .com or other ending you have to opt for a personal plan or better, which obviously costs more. The personal plan offers exactly the same as the blogger plan apart from the domain ending so it all depends what you want from the plan.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I upgraded so I could change the blog url to 746books.com and it was really smooth and I saw no change in followers. Good luck!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I’m using free plan and I also have doubts. I also think if its worth the money or not? I’m not earning so if I can’t earn anything by monetizing then I wish to invest that money on buying books rather than upgrading the plan.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m not very technical but it sounds like what people have already said is right. I upgraded to the first level of paid plan earlier this year and have noticed very little difference. All followers are still followers, all blogposts look the same except that there are no ads which is good. To be honest, for me the only change was that I could access more themes. When WP changed to the new editor, the theme I’d had since I began no longer had all the features I used. The support aspect also seems better with a paid plan.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. I moved from a free plan to a paid plan, and there was no change, except I’m ad-free now, and there’s no .wordpress in my blog url. And if people click my old url keeperofpages.wordpress.com, it just redirects to the new url. Also, I have access to the live support chat, which I really like, and have used a few times

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Carol says:

    Let us know how it goes! I use the personal paid plan which allows you to remove WordPress adverts…….But it also allows me to do some monetizing (I use amazon affiliate links and WordPress Word Ads) ….I’m ready to switch to the professional plan so that I can take advantage of google analytics and a few plug ins I have wanted. I think I’ll have a tech person help me because I don’t trust myself! That way I’ll have someone there who can troubleshoot. We need a detailed report! I’m sure it will be fine and whenever I’ve had a question, WordPress is great with support.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I switched early on to a paid WordPress account without a single issue. I loved how my site looked without the ads.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. stargazer says:

    As long as you keep the same web address https://fictionophile.wordpress.com nothing should happen. It is only if you change web address or domain host you have to worry about links, followers, etc. I recently changed domain host and even that was surprisingly smooth.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Jen Lucas says:

    I upgraded and nothing changed other than I could use my own domain name. Transfer of names was very easy (and you can keep your current one linked or keep the exact same one if you wish) and nobody noticed any change that I know of other than no annoying ads.

    If you went self hosted it would be a little different but if you’re planning on still using a wordpress plan it will be fine.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Good luck if you decide to move it. I’m on a free plan too and would love to know everyone’s thoughts about it.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Aidan says:

    I am assuming that you are talking about upgrading to a paid membership on WordPress.com as opposed to self-hosting with the comments that follow:

    It is really easy to do and basically doesn’t affect things. The followers and content remain in tact and basically what it does is map a domain on top of the web address so while your viewer may see fictionphile.com/yourpost it is still actually at fictionphile.wordpress.com/yourpost. Any links to the old address will still work fine.

    You may experience a brief accessibility blip when they set up the domain but it affects people going in through the new web address. I would just wait twenty-four hours before giving out the new URL.

    If the URL and the extra storage space doesn’t matter to you, you may want to buy the remove advertising feature a la carte which is a little cheaper IIRC.

    Basically I have no regrets at all about making the switch.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Jules_Writes says:

    Good luck with whatever you do, I’m on a paid WordPress – personal and I find it very easy to use. I would think everything would stay the same but I understand your concerns, can you use the chat feature and discuss it with WordPress help?

    Liked by 4 people

  23. suzigun says:

    It will be interesting to see if you get any answers and what you decide!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. The Happy Book Blog. says:

    I was thinking of changing mine to a paid plan but I’m like you not really sure how it works.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. You’d be upgrading within the WordPress.com environment, so everything stays exactly the same. Except you’d have no ads, more space and some extra options free blogs don’t have.

    Liked by 3 people

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