1. Miroslav Glavic

    Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/wpuaorg/public_html/wp-content/plugins/buddypress/bp-loader.php on line 71

    The problem with these so called WordPress centric sites, So many wanted to do one that they all eventually died out.

    Jeff, you found out about the long-term commitment you had to go through with WPTavern.

    Maybe the WPUA “staff” moved on to other things too. It is hard to start a community site since you have to worry about costs and pay for it until you get enough registered users to warrant advertising.

    By the way the block quote above is of what I saw on the site, I find it worrysome that they let that error stay there.


  2. Jeffro

    @Miroslav Glavic – As I was composing this post today, the entire site turned into Internal Server 500 errors for awhile. Once the site came back online, I noticed a bp-loader errors all over the place. Looks like the errors are still around. Is that error the only thing you saw? No content?

    As for the costs and such of starting out. WPUA was a different breed as they came out of the gate with 4 Platinum level sponsors and a number of other corporate sponsors. Money was not an object at least not from the outside looking in.


  3. Kurt

    I concluded as much when the site launched. It appeared to be a money making site not a community site.


  4. The WordPress Weekend Roundup - WP Daily

    […] 40. WordPress Users Association? Wha? […]


  5. Ted Clayton

    WPUA appear to actually be a small/specialized web hosting operation, offering site-hosting at a substantially higher cost than normal, justified by seeming to provided a WordPress-centric resource & support environment. ***

    Both their “Become A Member Now” button beneath the introductory come-on at the top of the homepage, and the “Join Now” button at the bottom of the Basic Membership box near the end of the page, lead to the Join Now page. This page is a big table displaying the features of the product-offer, and upon scanning down the table it jumps out like a sore thumb (about the middle), that all the glitz and song & dance really boils down to simply a web-hosting contract-offer.

    This is why we have WordPress-dot-COM! Because remote hosting is still too scary for many folks. When the website product (WP) aims for those who are less technically adept, the seeming-rigors of typical remote shared hosting become a barrier that too many cannot surmount.

    Sooo … WordPress themselves will give you a remote-hosted WordPress website, fully-installed & working, remotely hosted on their servers, with free themes and plugins you can add, so you don’t have to engage with remote hosting, mano-a-mano.

    That is your basic clue, how much it really costs to offer & provide remote shared hosting. It is so cheap, WP can afford to give it away.

    … Or, alternatively, you can give these folks at WPUA in the vicinity of twice what a normal remote hosting contract should cost, for the privilege of having your website tied to their confusing & opaque hosting-service.

    *** There are various legit people & businesses who cater to those who want someone to ‘take care of all the stuff’ associated with having a website, for them … and they often do something technically similar to WPUA, without all the hucksterism. Small businesses without web-skills, for example, and charities, and political action groups, and missionarys are known to gravitate to these kinds of services. They are as a group scrupulously ethical, and provide a valued service.

    99.99% of everyone else who can’t face remote hosting, simply go to WordPress and take one of their free sites.


  6. Bob Wilson

    I ran across this site a couple of years ago too. I signed up for some regular email, I guess it was the top discussions, but haven’t received one in a while. So long I had forgotten about it.

    I also noticed everything seemed to have a price, and as was mentioned in your interview, I went to the open-source community for all my questions, so I never had any need to pay for anything they had.


  7. Jeffro

    @Kurt – The idea at the time was actually gaining a little bit of traction. I didn’t think it would last as long as it did because of everything they were offering already being available for the most part, for free.

    @Ted Clayton – Well then, it’s gotta suck to be one of the paying customers, considering how things have turned out.

    @Bob Wilson – I’m having a hard time processing my refund. Instead of getting refunded, I keep getting emails asking me to complete my WordPress Users Association registration, even though I’ve already done that. I’ll update this post and the comments thread on my experience of getting a refund, if I indeed get it.


  8. Jeffro

    I have successfully completed the refund process. While it was not easy or as straightforward as it could be, I did get my money back.


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