WordPress.com, TypePad, Storage, and More

On WordPress.com, everyone’s free upload space has been increased 60x from 50mb to 3,000mb. Matt followed up the news with some competitor comparisons.

To get the same amount of space at our nearest competitor, Typepad, you’d pay at least $300 a year. Blogger only gives you 1GB. We’re doing the same thing for free.

I thought of following up on the comparison with TypePad, then forgot about it. Then I saw that Justin interprets Matt’s announcement as “FU” to Typepad and decided to do the comparison after all.

The table shows that the comparison is a tricky one, in that WordPress.com and TypePad are packaged differently. Automattic offers free, ad-supported, hosted blogging at WordPress.com, and offers a few specific paid upgrades. Six Apart offers paid, ad-free blogging at TypePad.com in the form of different packages: Basic and Plus are the “smallest.”

WordPress.com WordPress.com upgrades TypePad Basic TypePad Plus
Price (year) Free $50 $90
Storage 3 GB (= 3000 MB) + $20 for + 5 GB,… 100 MB 500 MB
Can store JPG, GIF Yes Yes Yes
Can store MP3, video No With storage upgrade Yes Yes
Bandwidth Unlimited 2 GB/month 5 GB/month
Domain mapping No + $10 No Yes
Ads Yes, by/for Automattic Ad-related upgrade in the works Yes, by/for you if you want Yes, by/for you if you want
Templates/themes Yes Yes Yes
Drag and drop to customize layouts Using sidebar widgets (only within sidebar) No Yes
Customize CSS No + $15 No No

The mapping between features of WordPress and of TypePad isn’t always a neat one. This is borne out in particular by the last rows of the table, and by the notes they prompt me to add. Custom CSS for TypePad requires the Pro package, which costs $150/year. But TypePad plus offers some customization options not available at WordPress.com, even with the CSS upgrade.

The difference is sufficient to prompt the cliche of “comparing apples and oranges.” It might be interesting to expand the comparison to include pears and kiwi fruit: that is, Blogger and Vox. In fact, Matt made the comparison with Blogger’s storage allowance in the above quote. Vox is the most recently-introduced of Six Apart’s blogging services.

For a comparison between Automattic and Six Apart, see my guest post at Read/Write Web. But note that Six Apart has since sold LiveJournal.

11 thoughts on “WordPress.com, TypePad, Storage, and More”

  1. I agree with the apples and oranges thing, though I do think it’s weird to have 3 gigs of space that you can’t put videos or audio in, because what else takes up that much storage?

    One suggestion I’d make here is to note Widget support. Most TypePad users have at least one widget installed, and that’s probably because every level of the service supports it and there are hundreds of them; There are only a handful for WordPress.com, and they count stuff like a list of your own posts as a widget.

  2. Anil, thanks for your comment. I too find it hard to see how anyone is going to use 3 GB, given that audio and video require the space upgrade. For example, I was at 2% of my allocation before the increase, and now very much doubt I’ll ever get to 1%.

  3. I say it was just a promotion trick to show they were offering all that space but it’s pretty much unusable. Like those webhosts who offer gigs of space for pennies.

  4. I have to say, I (much) prefer TypePad (as far as hosted blogging is concerned), but WordPress.com has one very big advantage:

    Tagging, which can connect new users to your blog through common tags in other blogs hosted on WordPress.com.

    In general, your blog gets a built-in social network with WordPress.com. For example, when you login to your WordPress.com account, you are then logged in and able to leave comments in *any other* WordPress.com blog – no need to register or anything (the login part may exist with TypePad as well, but not the tagging, as far as I know; bear in mind, I’m just getting started with blogging.)

    To me, this is the one (and only) true advantage of WordPress.com.

    Other than that, TypePad seems much more configurable (MANY more widgets) and has nicer built-in templates (imho). I’m still debating about going with TypePad instead (I use it for my business blog, started about two months ago).

    I read somewhere that one blogger saw much more traffic on their WordPress.com blog vs. TypePad, and they speculated that the difference was due to the tagging feature of WordPress.com.

    Can self-hosted WordPress.org blogs connect with WordPress.com tagging, by the way?

  5. Mike, thanks for your thoughtful comment. In response to your question, I’m pretty sure that self-hosted wp blogs aren’t part of the .com tagiverse.

  6. I had not intended making a new blog when I signed up for WordPress. But now I am wondering if I should transfer the data from my old blogs to WordPress sites. I want more storage and be able to put mp3 and other music on the site. Please tell me about how to upgrade from free to paid.

  7. Sandra,
    Thanks for stopping by, and for the question.
    Go to the Dashboard for your WordPress.com blog. In the sidebar, click on Upgrades. It will show you the available upgrades, and the price of each.
    It sounds as though the space upgrade might be for you. Even if you don’t need 5GB of storage (and most of us don’t), the space upgrade is required to store MP3s at WordPress.com.

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