WP Multisite is a Money Trap

Second rant for today, but this is something I really need to get off my chest.

I am so fucking fed up with the way WordPress plugin developers screw over Multisite users. It’s absolutely insane. So many of these absolute motherfuckers go out of their way to hide the fact that they charge premium fees per WP sub-site.

I’ve essentially only ever needed a handful of features to build from, in order for this site to grow.

  • A way of displaying ads that wont break across different themes.
  • A way of caching content to serve it faster and cut down on server resources.
  • A way of displaying more than a couple pictures in a small area, without it being terrible to look at. Basically a gallery of some kind that’s a bit better than the default ones.
  • A lightbox of some kind so people can view the large sized images from humbnails, in a pop-up that doesn’t open a new tab of just the picture.
  • An automated backup/security tool to help deal with the bots that regularly try to break into the site or spam up the comments or whatever.
  • A decent theme that isn’t made for some crazy ass Web 3.0 single topic website. IE has menus and content columns and layouts that support the idea that this is a site meant to host guides and webs of static content as opposed to a photo or restaurant blog. Lastly, one that doesn’t break with the above plugins that offer these benefits.

You want to know why this site has barely grown over the past 10 years? Because every time I try to find a set of premium plugins, shit I’m paying for, to do the above stuff, I might find one or two that will charge per actual website (the domain, server, hardware, IP address and databases are all singular, like this one is) but then one of them inevitably does some bullshit where all of a sudden I have to pay another $50.00 to $250.00 or more, per year, PER SUBDOMAIN.

The worst part is, several times now I have scoured the website offering a premium plugin, only to find out their definition of “site” is such that they consider standardof.net, darwinia.standardof.net, supcom.standardof.net, hw2.standardof.net, saintsrow.standardof.net, steelstorm.standardof.net, etc… To be WHOLLY SEPARATE WEBSITES. They are not, they are only separated in the thinnest of terms. More importantly, they will never earn enough ad revenue to justify hundreds if not thousands of dollars yearly EACH. This bait and switch garbage is the worst. I’ve been through it several times in just the past few days alone, not to mention the countless times in the past.

The Darwinia guide has like, 42 pages of content altogether. Yet I can’t get it to work properly without paying a shit ton of money, just for those pages. The only other alternative seems to be abandoning the idea of utilizing subdomains and finding a way of collapsing this site back to a basic WP installation, which would really hurt the overall concept of what I was going for here and basically forever nullifies that as an idea, since there will never be a point when these games get more popular to justify such insane costs.

The saddest part, is any massive website that exists without subdomains could use most of these plugins with a single license. I literally have to pay more than cnn.com would to use these plugins. How is that right?

For all the talk about the openness of the platform and helping people grow their own content and blah blah blah, here’s the takeaway you need to understand from my experience.

I am too poor to afford my idea. My idea itself, is too poor to exist. I have been priced out of it. I severely wish I never used Multisite to begin with, because the amount of lost time over the past 10 years trying to make this shit work, only to be lied to, scammed and tricked and told I have to pay money I’ll never be able to afford for the most arbitrary of reasons, has been fucking devastating.

Update: I’m making a list of the good plugins I found and the bad ones as I go. Maybe someone else is spared the same headache I’ve been going through figuring this out.

Plugins That Allowed Me To Use One License

NextGEN Gallery Plus
$79 for a year plan. Activated with premium no problem across all the subdomains. Props to these guys. Refunded it for now just because I had to ditch all the other plugins I was using and start from scratch because of high overhead on my dinky server from too many plugins. Also I need to spend more time figuring out the more dire stuff first before I’m locked into a purchase of a plugin that might not play nice with whatever I end up using.

Plugins That Have Tried To Charge Me Per Subdomain

*And made it difficult to find out without purchasing first.

Jetpack Premium
$9 a month plan. Only activated on the primary domain (standardof.net). Tried to make me pay another $9 for darwinia.standardof.net despite using the same account with the same purchased plan, after authenticating the main domain. Mentions supporting multisite all over their page, no mention of the fee per sub-site. Tried really hard to figure this one out. Also mentions that backups aren’t multisite compatible once you have an activated account.

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Elementor Personal
$50 a month plan. Allows me to switch the license from subdomain to subdomain, so not the worst offender, but extra annoying when support tells me crap like “single installation license” when this is exactly, one installation of WordPress, the plugin, database, etc. Hell even articles across the web mention the “single installation benefit” of Multisite (bullshit).


Last Updated on September 3, 2020 by Standard of Entertainment

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