Go (Even More) Ad-Free

About two years ago, we announced that we were running some experimental Google ads on post and tag pages. It was an announcement that was necessary because, as it turned out, they were so discreet you didn’t even notice them.

As we said in our original post:

The ad code tries hard not to intrude or show ads to regular readers, which means a small percentage of page views [might have an ad].

We seemed to have lucked in to a good balance with this approach, and don’t plan to change anything there. (Most of your readers will never see an ad.) As an added bonus the light advertising has allowed us to focus on free features for you guys rather than paid upgrades, and enabled us to invest in infrastructure so your blog is always fast and reliable and never shows a fail whale.

At the same time it’s easy to imagine blogs that would never want ads on them: businesses, startups, non-profits, political activist sites, the list goes on. Google Adsense analyzes the content to show contextually relevant ads, but that might mean a link to a competitor. Because of this we’ve introduced a premium option that gives you control: the No-ads upgrade.

With this upgrade, no one, whether they’re logged in or not, will see any ads on your blog. Ever. (Or at least as long as you subscribe to the upgrade.)

The No-ads upgrade can be purchased for 30 credits a year ($0.08 a day) through the Upgrades tab in your blog’s dashboard.

UPDATE 10/02: Comments on this post are now closed. Thank you for your feedback, everyone.


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242 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. Brigitte

    Yay! I’m so happy you decided to offer this feature, I’ll probably have to get it, I’m very anti-ads, even though I’m just a rinky dink personal blogger. Thank you <3

  2. vcappuccio

    Amazing!

    WordPress Rocks!!!

  3. pinaldave

    You guys are awesome. Again great feature.

    How about WP allows users to run their ads and charge for that as premium upgrade?

  4. giama

    Thanx for this option! Keep up the good work!

  5. Matt

    pinaldave, an upgrade to allow you to do your own ads is still on the radar.

  6. that girl again

    @arif: most reliable way I have found to check your blog for ads is power up Internet Explorer, delete all cookies, and do a Google search which you already know will turn up one of your blog posts.

  7. bentoet

    Why don’t you just give it free? :D

  8. Matt

    bentoet, because someone has to keep the lights on around here!

  9. legoless

    But if only a few people ever have seen ads, what would the point of that upgrade be?

  10. Matt

    legoless, most folks probably don’t care, but for those that do now they have the option of whether to have ads on their blog or not.

  11. Aurélio Jargas

    “an upgrade to allow you to do your own ads is still on the radar”

    I’m waiting that for a long time! P-leeeease, make it available!

  12. goodgames89

    I dont know why anyone would pay money to blog XD

  13. Chirag Jain

    an upgrade for having our own ads would be ideal, you know matt

  14. Pingback: Hat hier schon mal jemand Adsense-Anzeigen gesehen? « 63mg
  15. Daniel Fallenstein

    What about offering an all-upgrades package?

  16. Anthony

    Thanks Matt and Crew!

  17. plugginaway4him

    thanks matt. wish facebook was run by you guys!

  18. Matt

    Daniel Fallenstein, that would be tough because we don’t know what the upgrades will be in the future. However it would be nice to bundle stuff on checkout.

  19. arif

    Is there a way to tell (for blog owners) whether their blogs have Ads or not? I use Ad-block and host file, so it would be helpful to know whether my visitors are seeing Ads or not.

  20. Matt

    arif, most blogs have shown an ad at one time or another, but we don’t show them to regular visitors so most of your readers probably haven’t seen one.

  21. meenas17

    A thoughtful move.

    Ads spoil the essence of the posts.

    They look commercial.

  22. quepuedohacer

    I think many people are waiting for our own ads upgrade. I find that you have too many restrictions for many widgets I would love to see on my blog. However the ads upgrade would be an incentive to stay at WordPress.

  23. Chirag Jain

    You know I agree with bentoet: even blogger and typepad give the ads for free…

  24. Matt

    Chirag, Blogger lets you have ads for free, but you get what you pay for. ;) At Typepad you’re spending a minimum of $50 a year and you only get one blog and only 100mb of upload space. We already give you unlimited blogs and 3,000mb of upload space free. I also think if you compare uptime, speed, and support to either of those services you’d find WordPress.com compares very well.

  25. O. Braga

    Fair enough!

  26. vjp

    I’m with Dan – I’d love to see some kind of bundling price for the various upgrades. How about a discount for each additional upgrade purchased?

  27. that girl again

    1. I think you mean ‘discreet’, as in inobtrusive. ‘Discrete’ would be if they were separate from our blogs.

    2. The US economy must be in even worse shape than I thought if the unit of currency is now the ‘credit’ rather than the dollar.

    3. I assume the exemption from ads is per blog rather than per user?

    4. Since this revenue stream was introduced we have already seen the quantity of ads placed on each blog increase, and Flash ads begin to creep in. Can those who do not purchase the upgrade expect this trend to continue?

  28. Matt

    wank, 1. fixed. 2. They’ve always been called credits. 3. It’s per-blog. 4. Our goal is to show fewer ads, not more. Adsense sometimes shows image or flash ads, but in our experience it’s a small percentage. Everything goes through Google’s filters and checks.

  29. The Curmudgeon

    Can you let us know what ads you’re running? I don’t care if, every now and then, an ad for dog food or something shows up, but I don’t want my blog to look like some of the spam email I get. Knowing who the advertisers are would help in deciding if we need to opt out of them.

  30. Matt

    Curmudgeon, right now the ads all come from Google’s Adsense so they usually look like the ads you see on Google search results. Google targets the ads contextually, but there might be something you disagree with there, hence offering this upgrade.

  31. jimconnolly

    I would like the opportunity to offer ads and to pay WordPress.com a percentage of the revenue. That way, everybody wins. The WordPress service MUST make money and the service is massively better than ANY paid service I currently receive from ANYONE!

    Let’s also acknowledge what an amazing platform WordPress is! The reliability compared to some ‘nightmare host’ providers is stunning.

    Thanks Matt – Thanks The Support Team – Thanks WordPress!

  32. Matt

    jimconnolly, thanks for the suggestion – it’s an idea we’ve explored before. Like I said earlier this is something we may explore in the future, but for now we just wanted to give control to businesses, startups, and non-profits that have their blog on WordPress.com and don’t want any ads running at all.

  33. Richard

    @matt, I think it is a fair price – actually less than what I expected.

  34. Pingback: Premium No-Ads Upgrade on Wordpress.com
  35. Valerio

    sounds interesting, I’ll think about it.

  36. Bug Girl

    Hurray!!!!!

    Thank you.

  37. Dark Crow200

    This is a great feature.

    Why won’t you add it to our upgrade’s to purchase.

    Well I hate ad’s to be on my site. Oh well…

  38. The Curmudgeon

    Thanks, Matt, but I’d like to know as much as I can about what my readers are seeing. They know what the ads are, but I don’t. I’m blogging in the dark. Do you have any contractual arrangement with Adsense about what they can run? To be blunt, I don’t want ads for body parts enhancement, etc. I’m an adult, and I’m not easily offended, but I see no reason to ignore the possibility that Adsense might offend some of my readers.

  39. Matt

    Curmudgeon, the ads come direct from Google and go through Google’s filters. Here are some relevant FAQs on their site:

    https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=10196&topic=8441
    https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=9713&topic=8441

    Of course if you ever see anything inappropriate feel free to contact support, which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 366 days a year.

  40. Nita

    As long as the ads don’t suddenly increase for those who have not opted for the upgrade, it’s fine!

  41. mohd222

    I’m really gotta buy this thing!
    thank you so much :D

  42. qazse

    So it will cost me $30/yr to keep the ubiquitous and tawdry google man out of my bed. I have had a free ride on WordPress thus far and have been very happy with it. Thirty is a small price to pay for such a great service but I wish it was not in the form of tribute. Just ask me for money, don’t threaten to sic adsense on me. ( I say this with affection).

  43. veeraphandian

    superb…

  44. Pingback: Finally - wordpress.com is now an ad-free zone! « TypePad versus WordPress
  45. ClapSo

    I’ve noticed ad clicks from my blog a couple of times, and frankly it pissed me off. This is a sore point with me. I don’t charge wordpress or goo goo or anyone for the content I produce which gives them something to attract readers TO THEIR OWN PAGES WHERE ADVERTISING IS PLACED. Why should I have to pay to keep advertising OFF MY BLOG? Sorry, it feels a little like a protection racket you are announcing…

    The scientifically impossible I do right away
    The spiritually miraculous takes a bit longer

  46. Matt

    Clapso, I’m sorry the fact that WordPress.com is ad-supported bothers you. It is very, very expensive to provide free service to millions of blogs and we have to support it somehow. However we try really hard to make the ads not intrude on your experience. We show orders of magnitude fewer ads than most free services, heck compare the pages on Yahoo or Facebook to pages on WordPress.

  47. Lubi :)

    WordPress is Brilliant, thank u Matt!! :D

  48. Mr.Rockmantico

    Thanks matt

  49. jimconnolly

    Update!

    I can confirm that http://www.jimsmarketingblog.com is now an ‘ad free’ WordPress.com blog!

    Thanks for the opportunity to remove these advertisements, and for allowing me to help support the team at WordPress!

    Jim Connolly

  50. allforblue

    thank you, nice work

  51. maconnyb

    Really nice!!

  52. Phil

    Although the idea of letting some blogs not show any ad is great, I don’t get the main idea regarding the price. Finally, the guy (or business or NGO or whatever) pays not to have the presumption that an ad might possibly show some day on his blog… Sounds like an insurance policy to be… You might never show an ad, but if you get one you’ll be screwed… Get our cheep insurance policy and be safer ever!…

    Personally, if I was running a business using wordpress.com I think I wouldn’t really mind getting one ad showing every year… However it depends on the stats of appearance of an ad… As I said, pretty like insurance policy ;)

    Whatever, pleasing the users is the most important. And you do your best, for sure!

    Regards,
    Phil.

  53. Rusty Lindquist

    That’s great, you’re providing a free blog platform, if doing this allows that to continue, I’m all for it. Although, I’d actually rather see more paid upgrade options, instead of pay-to-prevent-ads options. If you allowed upgrades like the use of scripts (the cost for the added risk, and then some), or for upgraded stats, or for more robust mobile control, or for use of flash, etc. I’d happily pay money for additional features like these, enabling you guys to invest more in additional features and upgrades.

  54. luap777

    I don’t get the complaints. This is a wonderful free service. Try self-hosting your blog (without ads) for $30 a year (and count the hours of your time involved dealing with it) if you think they are unfair.

    $30 is a very fair price for this.

    Thank you WordPress :)

  55. Arsenalist

    I understand, one must find new and clever ways to make money.

  56. Pingback: WordPress.com sem anúncios « InfoBits
  57. Giovanni

    This is DISGUSTING.

    WordPress is usually quite good, but I don’t want my readers to be getting a million ads.

  58. Matt

    Giovanni, uh, have your readers ever complained about a million ads?

  59. Manoj Sterex

    I’ve always criticized WP.com for the ads and how the user could not control it. Now, I’m happy that there is a paid upgrade for a few blogs who want to be compulsorily ad-free.

    @ClapSo:
    The idea of you charging anybody hardly arises here. The ads are a way to pay for all the services that you receive for free at wordpress.com. And its only normal that you have to pay for the ads to go away. And it is definitely not a protection racket or whatever that means. If you really want complete control over your blog and yet stay on the highly reliable wordpress.com servers, why don’t you go for the VIP hosting which costs you $500/month. Then no one will stop you from placing your own ads either.

    I’m not really opting for this upgrade; I’d rather help wordpress earn a few cents from my blog for all the features and support that they have offered me for a looong time!

    Cheers to everyone at WP! :D

  60. Pingback: Adsense and Ads Off Upgrades « one cool site: wordpress blogging tips
  61. sabers210

    meh…..

  62. Jim

    It would be nice if WP.com could go into a revenue sharing system, where bloggers could opt into program. If any ads where shown on your blog, you’d get 50% revenue and WP.com would get the other 50%. (simple math.random funciton could provide the toggle). You’d just need to add a textbox for the blogger’s existing adsense id.

    For the smaller blogs, since the bloggers could opt into having ads, WP would get some extra revenue (since ads weren’t being shown on the smaller blogs anyways). That would also relieve the WP forums/help from all of the adsense questions, too.

  63. St.Fallen

    woo hoo!

  64. master-hide

    WOoOW, Good JOB! :D ;) :P :>

  65. Jennifer

    (insert happy dance here!) Thank you, WordPress.com!

    Definitely want to add my rapidly falling 2 cents worth that the more paid upgrades there are (and there will be more, no?) the “bundle at checkout” suggestion becomes a very attractive one.

  66. hulkson

    WordPress is the best!

  67. CC Farber

    yea, frankly, i am thinking of taking my blog and its content somewhere else. i am a stubborn advocate against ads on my blog.

  68. atylmo

    I like WordPress, I really do, but this is stretching it to me.

    One concern I have is that the ads will start increasing in number and size until they get so obnoxious that everybody will want to upgrade and that’s exactly how they’re going to hit a profit boom.

    I thought WordPress was completely ad-free; thought I’d finally found my haven. Guess not :( It’s a shame nobody told me about that before.

    I’ll gladly pay for such a great service but that’s no reason to get the Google Whip out on us if we don’t.

  69. Matt

    atylmo, ads have been running and stable for 2 years now. There are no plans to change how that system works. I don’t think we’ve done anything in the past to warrant those types of concerns.

  70. Janick

    It is so nice to have to option now! Thank you! :)

  71. goriji

    As a vlogger on revver.com as well, I third or forth this:

    “an upgrade to allow you to do your own ads is still on the radar”

    I’m waiting that for a long time! P-leeeease, make it available!”

    That would be ideal.. in any case, now I know why my firewall keeps stopping google hits & the like when I’m on my own blog, lols.. had a friend insist he saw an ad on my blog awhile back, thought he was just confused lols.. since I basically can’t see any of my google vlog ads either… lol…

    Keep up the acchi (good lol) work! :P

  72. Pingback: How to Remove WordPress.com Ads From Your WordPress.com Blog « Lorelle on WordPress
  73. Scott Fillmer

    great idea… the price is right and many people would sooner pay not to receive ads than they would to try and just ignore them.

  74. AudaciousAria

    ClapSo ; Amen to that.

  75. Pingback: Mejora de Pago para desactivar anuncios en Wordpress.com « Javier Aroche @ Wordpress
  76. Ahmad . M . G

    Goood work

  77. Daniel Florien

    This is a great option to have. Now if there was only a javascript upgrade that let us use javascripts! (Can’t do much social media stuff easily without javascript.)

    @ClapSo: Are you kidding? Your blog costs money to host. You want WordPress to pay you for costing them money? You think it’s wrong for them to recoup costs and possible even — gasp — make a bit of profit? How dare they! It’s almost like they’re giving us a service or something…

  78. meneerjulie

    I have never noticed that there is or was any advertisement in my blog… Is it there? Really??

  79. shawnbarr

    Give me Ads! But also give me the revenue.

    Since WordPress will not allow ads, I’m going to be developing my own site where I can place them.

    That way the three readers who visit my blog can send a little revenue my way.

  80. ibsconsulting

    Thank for your great effort, keep going

  81. URCHIN7PC

    Thank you.

  82. saptec

    This is one good step forward by wordpress.
    However I don’t care to have ads on my blog, in opposite for my blog it is better to have contextual relevant ads because it can be informative for reader to click on it for more information.
    But I would like wordpress to share the revenue and make the ads visible to everyone read my blog.
    This is profitable for both side more than having 30 credit for one year.
    At least it is worth to think about that!!!!

  83. Pingback: Baru tahu Wordpress.com itu Ber-adsense « Suluh Numpang Nulis
  84. Jan Shim

    an upgrade to allow you to do your own ads is still on the radar.

    Matt, you KNOW this upgrade is the bomb! When you do make this available, please be gentle. :)

  85. micaman

    I have absolutely no ads on my wp blog. It’s my first one, very modest, but i’m very proud of it, I blog for me and my friends and for absolutely no money. And now i have to pay and have no choice? It’s not an upgrade, it’s a downgrade… I’m disappointed with you guys

  86. Matt

    micaman, there have always been ads on your blog, and it’s something that we talked about on our features page. We’re not showing any more ads than before, we’re still trying to keep them as unobtrusive as possible, we’re just now giving folks who don’t want any the ability to opt-out. If you’re worried, why not ask your readers if they’ve ever seen an ad on your site?

  87. Kyle Hotchkiss

    Well it must be working, I have yet to see ads on my blog!

  88. kenamaddox

    Dude you got to make a living and I understand all these “free” are not free to you. Run your ads and never appologise. I really appreciate the free spot and hope you continue to be as successful as possible. How about you let bloggers put their own ads on their free blog for a fee? Just a suggestion. I’m in if its ever availiable. ROCK ON!

  89. drcorner

    Wow, you guys rolling out the big-guns this September. Each day is a new WP announcement.

    Keep up the great work! Thanks.

  90. katbur

    I’m with the others requesting the option to put advertising on my site. Pleeeaseee think seriously about it. I want to try to monetize but I also love the platform.

  91. peacefulone

    Well, I dunno? 7 Blogs times what?

    P.S. I Love you anyway Word Press

  92. Mnemosynex

    I do think its kinda dumb to have to pay for an upgrade. Especially at that price. Why pay to get rid of something that 99.9% of the time, is not there? Especially at 30 credits. :| Its cheaper just to install wordpress.org on your own host instead of pay for all the fancies here. Sure, there are [few] benefits, but if you’re a person who pays for all the upgrades, its cheaper just to go host it yourself. I mean, domains cost $10 credits when you can buy them for around $7 for a year. Then you have to pay 5 more just to be able to use it. Seriously. I know you need money to back this place an all, and don’t get me wrong, I love wordpress. But that is seriooously overpriced. 10 credits, 20 max is what I, personally would say. Like you said yourself, you rarely even see them. It doesn’t need to be, and shouldn’t be so expensive. Unless paying for those ads to go, you’re also paying to be able to display your own ads. Which you’re not. So uneccisary inflated price right there. Not that it matters too much to me because I won’t ever buy it. Especially considering I’m in the middle of sorting my blogs transfer over to my host. [Import/Export ftw! <3] But if I wanted to on wordpress.com and had to pay that kinda price, I’d be pretty angry, I’d just go elsewhere. I could understand if there were lots of ads you saw all the time like many other sites, but they’re not like that. The price doesn’t seem very justified.

    Sorry dude, I still love wordpress ‘n’ all, thats just my opinion. One of a kajabillion

  93. sirah

    Matt, two things:)
    First of all, it is clear that there is demand for ads on google wordpress. I have a post in my blog, approached the Spanish-speaking world, on the impossibility of putting ads with google WP, and is one of those who have more visits.

    I agree with Jim Connolly words: “I would like the opportunity to offer ads and to pay WordPress.com a percentage of the revenue” Sharing is key.In fact, by accounts, I think WP would win more money for WP, by sharing benefits from google ads, with WP users than “offering upgrades” about this.
    I am sorry to mention one of your competitors (which is much lower in quality). I started my blog at blogspot, and since a long time, I have the Google service ads. For me, is a small incentive, knowing that my time is valued in some way.

    The second thing:)

    From my point of view, is urgent, you have some form of support for Spanish-speaking users. Not everyone knows your language with enough fluency to ask technical things. I think many blogs, could win as if many Spanish-speaking users know better, in Spanish, the operation of the blog. And equally with all the respect to the rest of the languages that work with WP, Spanish, so I’ve seen, for its size, would account for at least one WP supporter in spanish.

  94. alwaysmind

    ClapSo, remember that WordPress is providing you with a blog for free! Frankly, why shouldn’t you have to pay?

  95. oftherock

    I am really thankful though that even though I am one of those bloggers who use WP for free – that my blog is not inundated by ads.

    And I have looked and compared WP with other blogging options.
    For me WP is the best for blogging.

  96. Alwaysone Photography

    Nice touch, but I do have to agree a bit with ClapSo.

    More importantly, I took the time to reply because personally I feel your price point is off. Make it a $5 upgrade and I’m willing to bet you get more than 6 times the people to opt for it. At $30, my guess is you will get less than 1/6 the users opting in than you would at $5.

    Keep up the good work!

  97. forumcommunications

    $30 a year is a paltry sum for a nice convenience.

    I completely understand why WordPress has chosen to support itself with a bit of advertising. It’s far more “user friendly” than a bunch of expensive add ons. I’d love to be able to include my own ads on my blog, but I’ve still got completely free access to a huge community, attractive templates, multiple blogs, cool features, archives and I can lead people to learn more about what I’m doing.

    In fact, I pointed my for-profit domain name to one of my blogs while replacing my Web design software. I have been able to keep my readership informed, post information and updates, which helped a lot while I had no access to my site. I even picked up a few new readers, who will hopefully follow when I make the switch back.

    This has been a great tool for my business, and I’m grateful for your continuing efforts to improve my experience.

  98. LELLA

    I am hate the ads google in my Blog!

  99. investlogic

    On my earlier comment on a similar question, where in a blogger was complaining of competition ads on his blog I had supported WP. (unfortunately I cant find the link on my comments ) .

    But now I say.
    I would like to know what ads are appearing on my blog. Because I would not know what ever minimal ads that appeared on my blog as my IP addresses would not see those ads for life time.

    The Devil in me says.
    You can go ahead and put ads on my blog. But if you are willing to share some profits with me. Say just 10%. 90% to you.

    What Does WP Say?

  100. leftcoast415

    Interesting too see that a lot of people one here are so anti-ads.

    This is what I’d like to see, and I’m sure some of this has been commented on already:

    The user should have the option of using a service like adsense on their site. If the profits are split with wordpress, thats cool. I guess the only thing to worry about is people creating blogs for the sole purpose of getting people to click on ads, but still, this is the main thing that may cause me to switch to another host (I don’t want to for now because I really like how easy wordpress is to use).

    If someone doesn’t want to be bothered by ads, they should’ve got some type of ad blocking program by now.

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