WordPress Warning! I Was Sort-Of Bamboozled!

While I may be proud of my writing, I am not proud of my technical skills. Perhaps you think that since my book covers look so handsome, I know my way around WordPress. But that is an incorrect thought. You would be very wrong to think like that.

This past weekend, I wanted to update the theme of my site to something tasteful in order to match the quality of aforementioned covers. Unlike my entire life, I didn’t want a free theme: I was willing to pay for a premium theme in order to have something professional looking and clean.

Children, I lost $124 dollars and received nothing in return. Here’s how that happened.

After choosing a few premium themes in the $75-125 range, I decided to try my luck with some off-brand WordPress themes to see if I could find anything good. And indeed, I immediately found a very professional looking WordPress-specific theme for a mere $44. I did the dance of a prospector who has just struck a very rich vein of gold, and bought the thing immediately.

The problems begin.

Having downloaded the theme, I went to apply it to my site. But alas! There was no place to upload the theme anywhere I could see. I even dabbled with words like “FTP” and “DNS” or something of that nature, using FileZilla, to upload the template a different way. The stress was already making me unhappy and close to very-stressed-diarrhea. I worked for an hour on this problem before finding what I believed to be a solution.

I upgraded WordPress.

It seemed that for the $6ish buck-a-month plan, they suggest that “custom design” is enabled. Surely this will solve my problems! I said to myself. Once custom design is enabled, I can upload my template as easily as other tutorials suggest. The catch, as there always is a catch, is that you have to pay for the whole year in one go. About $78ish bucks, give or take based on my memory. So I paid. I thought it would be worth it once my beautiful site was attracting lots of visitors and making people happy.

Lesson: WordPress does NOT allow custom themes if your website is hosted on their server.

Even though I paid almost 80 buckaroons, even though I spent $44 on a template, it was all for nothing. If your website was started in WordPress from the beginning, as mine is, then they won’t let you use those dangerous and wicked themes that other designers make in order to stick it to the huge WordPress man. Did I cry? Yes I cried.

Happy ending?

This story kind of has a happy ending, somewhat. While I couldn’t get back the money from the template I purchased, WordPress did refund my money for the year-long upgrade that I totally didn’t need. This is a simple blog and I am a simple woman. I’m waiting for my next paycheck to afford the premium theme, and I’ve been using free (yet pretty) stock site resources to improve all of my past blog images. And look up! I bought the mintieprice.com domain! One step forward, one hundred million steps backwards right into the chasm of Hell. But we’ll get there.