Introducing WordPress Pro: One Plan, Infinite Possibilities

Our mission has always been to democratize publishing, one website at a time. Now we’re making all the benefits of WordPress available to more people, with one simple pricing plan.

Hello, Pro

One thing we heard over the years was how hard it can be to choose the right upgrade plan when you’re ready to scale up from Free. 

WordPress Pro radically simplifies that decision by rolling the very best of managed WordPress hosting into a single, affordable plan at just $15/month (paid annually).

50,000+ Plugins in Your Pocket

Plugins are powerful add-ons that make it simple to add limitless functionality to your website in just a few clicks. No coding necessary. With WordPress Pro we’re opening the doors to this unlimited array of extra features at half the price of our previous Business plan.

A Universe of Beautifully Designed Themes

With Pro, you’ll also unlock a range of beautiful, Premium themes. Whatever your goals, you’ll find a hand-crafted, flexible theme to transform your design in minutes, not months. No designer necessary.

From Site to Store in a Couple of Clicks

If you’re ready to start selling, WordPress Pro includes everything from simple payments, donations, and subscriptions, to full-blown stores. 

WooCommerce – one of the most popular ecommerce platforms on the planet – is baked into your Pro plan. Not only does that bring raw, almost infinitely expandable options to your store, it also means you’ll pay significantly less than those other e-commerce options you see in ads everywhere.

Anytime Support, Any Time You Need It

Sometimes you need a little extra help getting it done. WordPress Pro customers can get a helping, human hand with Premium Support over live chat and email. If you’re stuck, we’re here to get you unstuck.

Managed WordPress Hosting For the Rest of Us

WordPress is all about the right to do it yourself. 

With cheap hosting, or even a Raspberry Pi on your counter, you can put up a site in minutes for pocket change. But you’ll run into hours of hands-on maintenance, quickly hit speed, security, and hosting limits, and spend a significant amount of your time keeping it running. Managed Hosting takes away that pain, but often at a significantly higher price.

WordPress.com and the new WordPress Pro plan aim to give you the raw power, flexibility, and hassle-free experience of Managed Hosting, without the huge price tag that usually comes with it. 

In addition to the headline features of Pro, you’ll get:

  • Custom domain names without a separate subscription
  • SEO features that make your site easy to find.
  • Social media tools to promote your website.
  • Hyper-secure protection from DDOS, brute force, and other attacks that could take your site down overnight
  • Super-strong, real-time, automated backups spanning multiple locations, so if the worst ever happens, you’re covered
  • The fastest site speeds of any managed hosting on the planet
  • SFTP access to your files
  • And much more

That means you’ll enjoy a fast, secure, search optimized site, without having to spend countless hours on updates, fixes, and technical maintenance.

What About Free?

Our Free plan isn’t going away.

It’s important to WordPress.com that anyone, anywhere can put up a blog or a site, whatever their situation. With the Free plan you’ll still be able to get the word out, create a beautiful site, and take advantage of the fastest WordPress managed hosting on the planet. And when you’re ready to scale up your ambitions, WordPress Pro will be waiting in the wings.

How This Affects Your Current Plan

While we’re making a few changes to the Free plan, rest assured that if you’re already signed up, nothing will change for you. Ditto, if you’re on one of our legacy plans, nothing will change unless you want it to.

Going forward, signups and sites will integrate smoothly into our new Free and Pro plans.

Your Money Goes Further. And Further.

WordPress Pro is more than just a simple, competitive way to enjoy rock-solid, super-fast, hyper secure WordPress hosting without the hassle.

Every dollar you spend on your plan helps us to:

  • Support WordPress.com Free plan users around the world, whatever their circumstances. This is more important than ever in 2022.
  • Sponsor the work of 90+ dedicated developers working on the free, open source WordPress project as part of the Five for the Future initiative. That helps to ensure that WordPress will always be free, open, hackable, and hostable by anyone.

We’re Here For You

We’re listening to your feedback, and want to be clear that it will, as always, shape the future of WordPress.com. 

With that in mind, we’re committing to:

  • No traffic limits on either the Free or Pro plan. You’ll enjoy the same unlimited traffic you’ve always had.
  • The new Free plan storage limit will include 1GB of Free storage, and existing Free users will keep the 3GB they already have on hand.
  • Additional storage will be available for purchase at a very reasonable price, very soon.
  • As-you-need them add-ons for both plans, to give you a la carte upgrades. Coming soon. 

It’s important that we keep things simple, honest, and clear in everything we do, and we’re looking forward to hearing from you about your plans, feedback, and ideas!

More Questions?

We totally understand that you might have additional questions about the changes. We’ve answered more of your questions in our FAQ here.

Source: 38

WordPress.com Favorites: Empish Thomas

Welcome back to our “WordPress.com Favorites” series! In these interviews, we’ll be highlighting bloggers about their passion project. Caution: contents guaranteed to be inspiring. This interview has been lightly edited.    

Shortly after Empish Thomas earned her journalism degree in the mid-’90s, she began experiencing severe headaches and sensitivity to light. After a visit to the eye doctor, she was diagnosed with uveitis, a generalized eye inflammation that can quickly escalate to permanent damage. Unfortunately, Empish fell into that category, losing her sight fully within a few years. 

Since then, she’s been a writer, journalist, and advocate for blindness and disability rights, telling stories and championing awareness along the way. 

Empish generously took the time to answer a few of my questions and share some ideas on how we can all be better advocates for disability rights.  

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you write about and why? How long have you been blogging?

I am a freelance writer and blogger. I started off as a writer many years ago and later started blogging in 2013. Although I have a journalism degree, I love writing for the pure pleasure of it. I launched my own blog about two years ago as a safe place to write my own thoughts and ideas about things that concerned me. I write especially about my life as a blind person because when I became disabled 20+ years ago, I rarely saw positive and interesting stories about the disabled.

2. What are some of the most common negative portrayals you see about folks with disabilities in the news or in pop culture?

Well, there are actually two things I notice. One is the “superhero crip” image. That is a disabled person overcoming these incredible challenges and doing amazing things that everyone is impressed by. It sends a message that all disabled people are supposed to or want to be that way. It communicates a false expectation. At the end of the day, we are all human beings and live lives like everyone else.

The second one is that we are not visible at all. Many times, I will read a story or watch a news segment and wonder, “Where are the blind people? What is happening to those with disabilities?” This is not necessarily a negative thing, but more [shows our] exclusion from the storyline.

3. Let’s move to the workplace. How can employers become better allies and advocates for disability rights?

First, making sure that disabled employees get their accommodations to perform their jobs. 

Then, providing the support, encouragement, and motivation to help them move upward in the company the way you would an abled-bodied person. Sometimes I think that people with disabilities are not encouraged to move up into management or higher-level positions. It is like people can’t imagine a blind person as a supervisor or director. But with the right support, they could do the job like anyone else.


A Few of Empish’s Favorite Posts:


4. You’ve mentioned podcasts in a number of blog posts. Do you have any favorite listening experiences to recommend?

Yes, some of my favorite podcasts are HISTORY This Week, LeVar Burton Reads, The Stacking Benjamins, Code Switch, and Grammar Girl

5. What can someone do today to be a better advocate for disability rights, especially in the online space?

For me, being a better advocate is learning as much as you can about blindness and visual impairment. Reading things written by disabled people in their own voices. Through my years of writing about the disabled, I have had people reach out to me to learn more and that is a good thing. 

Also, helping those of us with visual disabilities get access to the internet. I can’t begin to tell you the number of websites I go to with accessibility issues. It is a regular challenge. Reaching out to web developers is hard and exhausting sometimes. But having allies to help in this process would be wonderful. It could be a simple thing like bringing awareness, because people don’t think that blind people are online.

6. Do have any tips for aspiring bloggers or freelance writers? 

Depending on the type of blog you are writing, it is so important to be organized. I use an editorial calendar where I jot down blog ideas for each month. I think about things coming up, current events, trending topics, etc., and add them to the calendar. This helps me to keep a good flow of blog posts.

Once people start subscribing they expect to see posts on a regular basis, and having an editorial calendar helps me stay on track.


Want to learn more about being organized and consistent with your writing? Sign up for our free, self-guided Intro to Blogging course today: 

Source: 38

Customize Your Entire Site With New Block Themes

In case you missed it, we’ve been rolling out a new set of powerful site design tools called Full Site Editing (or “FSE”) and it’s now available for all WordPress.com users!

Don’t worry if you’re just hearing about Full Site Editing for the first time. We’ve been releasing these new tools in a way that doesn’t actually require you to do anything with your existing site(s). If you are up for a change though, we’re happy to announce the launch of a brand new family of themes made specifically with Full Site Editing features in mind. As of this writing we have over two dozen themes available that support Full Site Editing.

These new themes have been designed with a wide variety of sites cases in mind. But their potential stretches well beyond their screenshots and demo sites. Because each theme is fully editable in the Site Editor, every one of these themes can be heavily customized to fit your site’s needs. You can start with theme that features single minimalist homepage, and then add as many menus and sidebars as you wish. Or, you can start with a complex business theme and strip it down to something minimal to suit your vision.

The Site Editor also includes a new feature called “Global Styles,” which allows you to edit site-wide settings for color, typography, and more. You’re free to change your theme’s default color scheme to whatever fits your mood, or even make all site text larger or smaller in a couple of clicks. To kick off this new feature, we’re also providing a few pre-built variations on some of these new themes.

All the new themes and variations can be found in the Theme Showcase. Or, if you’re starting a fresh site, they’ll be offered to you automatically in the site creation flow. This collection of themes is just the beginning, and we’re excited to continue launching a variety of diverse theme options for you. What would you like to see in the next set of themes on WordPress.com?

Source: 38

The Future of Plugin, Themes, and Services Purchases on WordPress.com

Recently we shared that you can now purchase six popular Automattic plugins right from your WordPress.com dashboard. We’re intentionally testing this out with our own products before opening it up to the broader community. This is the first step in our plan to make taking your site to the next level faster, easier, and more flexible than ever before.

But it’s really just the beginning.

What’s coming soon

Today, we’d like to share a vision of what’s coming for instant purchases of plugins, themes, and even services – all from right within your WordPress.com dashboard. This will help you level up your site and make any goal you bring to WordPress.com a reality – with increased ease and convenience. 

Everything you need, one click away

WordPress.com already comes with a suite of powerful, adaptable tools to bring your site, blog, or store to life. On top of those tools, our Business and eCommerce customers have the option of making use of thousands of free and paid themes and plugins from across the wider WordPress ecosystem. In the near future, this will be available for all WordPress.com customers.

The new integrated experience will take that one step further, making getting up and running one-click simple and providing customers with:

  • A curated selection of the best plugins for every need, saving you the hassle of searching for and comparing from the hundreds of options available.
  • Premium themes that are designed to look beautiful the second they’re activated.
  • Professional help to make your vision a reality – even when you don’t have time to do it yourself.
  • Managed Plugins and Themes, giving you the peace of mind that any plugin or theme you purchase is fully managed by the team at WordPress.com. No security patches. No update nags. It just works. Leaving you to focus on the things that matter most.
  • The knowledge that you’re supporting the ecosystem of WordPress community developers and service providers as they support you in turn with your personal or business goals.

Powered by the WordPress community

WordPress isn’t the world’s most popular website builder by accident. Our roots in a huge, and hugely creative, open source community make the platform everything it is and can be.

Giving WordPress.com customers the very best tools and support to achieve their goals will take a village. We’ll be partnering with developers and service providers from across the WordPress ecosystem (and across every part of the world) to make that happen.

As Matt Mullenweg, our CEO and co-founder of the WordPress open source project said recently:

“We’ve got about 2 million people with saved payment details that we can make it one-click easy [for folks] to upgrade, so hopefully this represents a big new potential audience and customer base for people selling things in the WP ecosystem. And of course, we will prioritize working with developers and companies who participate in Five for the Future and contribute back to the WP community.”

Get on the early access list

If you’re a WordPress plugin or theme developer, or you provide professional services for WordPress users, we’d love to hear from you, today.

Drop your details in the form below, and as we work to expand the products and services we’ll bring to WordPress.com customers, you’ll be first on the list when we start reaching out to form new partnerships.

We can’t wait to work with you!

Source: 38

Webinars gratuitos para el mes de Marzo

¿Te gustaría aprender cómo crear un sitio web o una tienda virtual? ¿Ya tienes un blog pero te gustaría aprender como monetizarlo? ¡Apúntate a uno de nuestros webinars gratuitos!

Cada dos semanas organizamos un taller virtual en el que puedes participar gratuitamente. Cada sesión dura alrededor de 30 minutos en los cuáles verás una presentación y podrás participar en una ronda de preguntas para aclarar tus dudas.

Aquí está la agenda para los próximos webinars en español:

2 de marzo WooCommerce 101
16 de marzo Cómo empezar tu blog
30 de marzo Monetiza tu sitio web o blog

Podrás apuntarte haciendo clic en el webinar que te interesa o, directamente desde este enlace.

Si te has perdido uno al que querías asistir, no te preocupes; lo vídeos se colgarán en nuestro canal de YouTube.

¡Nos vemos!

Source: 15

Celebrating Black History Month

For much of Black history in the US, a lot of stories have gone untold. As we wrap up Black History Month, our team at Automattic — the company behind WordPress.com — wanted to share how we celebrated with our fellow colleagues. Throughout February, our Black/African Descent employee resource group, Cocoamattic, shined a light on some of these untold stories.

Each week this month, we shared infographics highlighting notable Black/African Descent people from around the world, from inventors and pioneers to Black-first and culture influencers. 

Join us in celebrating 21 heroes.

Learn more about Cocoamattic and our other resource groups or read more about diversity and inclusion at Automattic.

Source: 38

5 funciones de WordPress.com que son un must para tu negocio

Si tienes un pequeño comercio o una idea de negocio en mente seguramente ya te habrás planteado cómo llevarlo al mundo online.

Según el estudio “Compras online en España 2021” del Observatorio Nacional de Tecnología y Sociedad, aproximadamente 26.2 millones de personas compran online en España. Esto supone más de la mitad de la población. ¡Y esta cifra no para de crecer!

Como imaginarás, la COVID-19 ha supuesto un cambio en los hábitos de consumo. La compra online se convirtió en uno de los principales métodos de compra cotidiana para gran parte de la población española y los productos que habitualmente se compran en tiendas físicas, cada vez más se adquieren de manera online.

Un sitio web puede hacer mucho más por tu negocio si además cuenta con funciones que te ayuden a potenciar su visibilidad y, por tanto, a ganar dinero.

¿No sabes por dónde empezar? Aquí tienes 5 funciones imprescindibles para que tu negocio funcione de verdad. 

Crea un sitio web profesional e incluye herramientas de marketing y ventas

Hay quien cree que para tener una web profesional debe desembolsar mucho dinero o mucho esfuerzo. Crear tu propio negocio online no tiene por qué ser ni costoso ni difícil. Lo cierto es que existen otros caminos que te harán llegar al mismo lugar y por eso estás aquí.

Si lo que quieres es crear tu tienda online, ten en cuenta que necesitarás no solo una página donde exponer tus productos sino una serie de herramientas para gestionar tus ventas.

Como la primera impresión es la que cuenta (y la experiencia de usuario también), es importante que el diseño de tu web transmita la esencia de tu marca. Con WordPress.com puedes elegir el diseño que mejor se adapte a tus necesidades. Además, con la nueva funcionalidad Edición completa del sitio crearás tu sitio web de manera rápida, sencilla y visual sin tener que escribir una sola línea de código. 

Una vez que hayas decidido cómo será tu página, necesitarás incluir una solución de comercio electrónico como WooCommerce. Este plugin cuenta con una gran variedad de extensiones que te permitirán desde gestionar los pagos, configurar las opciones de envío o calcular automáticamente los impuestos, hasta utilizar herramientas de automatización para fidelizar clientes y optimizar tus ventas.

Explora todas las formas de ganar dinero

Tanto si quieres abrir tu tienda online como tener tu propio blog de gastronomía, debes saber que existen múltiples formas de aumentar tus ingresos. Además de recibir dinero por la venta de tus productos o servicios (usando tarjeta de crédito o PayPal), WordPress.com te ofrece diferentes maneras de monetizar tu sitio web que deberías considerar. Puedes aceptar donaciones para tus proyectos, crear suscripciones de pago a contenido premium, enviar boletines de pago a tus suscriptores o recibir ingresos publicitarios.

Piensa en las necesidades de tus clientes para crear contenido y difúndelo

Para atraer tráfico a tu página es imprescindible que trabajes en tu estrategia de contenidos. Debes crear contenido que responda a las preguntas de tus potenciales clientes. Si vendes cafés de todo el mundo, quizás les gustaría saber cuales son los 5 mejores o en qué se diferencian unos de otros.

Pero no solo eso, si quieres que tu audiencia crezca, tu contenido debe estar en las redes sociales. Para facilitarte la tarea y ahorrar tiempo, conecta tu sitio web a las principales redes sociales para que el contenido pueda compartirse de manera automática. 

Haz que los demás compartan tu mensaje

Si compartes tu contenido en redes sociales generará tráfico a tu sitio web, pero si además ofreces la posibilidad de compartirlo directamente desde tu página con el botón para compartir, la posibilidad de que tu mensaje llegue a mucha más gente aumentará. Puedes elegir los botones qué necesites y personalizarlos. Además, podrás obtener estadísticas sobre el contenido compartido, lo que te ayudará a analizar qué ha funcionado mejor para seguir mejorando tu estrategia. 

Analiza tus esfuerzos y resultados

Para que tu sitio web convierta visitantes en fieles seguidores es imprescindible entender los datos que miden las diferentes actividades de tu sitio web: las páginas que visita la gente, la hora a la que las visitan, el número de visitas, etc.

WordPress.com te ofrece algunos de esos datos como el número de visitantes o la popularidad de una entrada, pero si quieres profundizar más, con Google Analytic tendrás acceso a una gran cantidad de información que te permitirá saber si tu estrategia SEO está funcionando. Lo único que debes hacer es abrir una cuenta en Google Analytics y conectarla a tu página. Ten en cuenta que la integración de Google Analytics solo está disponible en los planes Premium, Business y eCommerce de WordPress.com

Descubre todas las posibilidades que tiene tu negocio y hazlo crecer con WordPress.com. Si necesitas ayuda, no dudes en contactar con nuestro equipo de soporte. Además, si cuentas con un plan Premium o Business, tendrás acceso al chat en vivo para resolver todas tus dudas.

Source: 15

10 Ways to Avoid Unnecessary Meetings with Asynchronous P2s

Our CEO, Matt Mullenweg, recently asked us to reflect on this question for the new year: “Are all your meetings so effective that you look forward to them?”

It’s important to also ask, if you are a meeting organizer, are attendees looking forward to your meeting?
Live meetings have their place but are costly in terms of time and energy. Fortunately, there’s an alternative: asynchronous work.

Asynchronous work has a lot of buzz, but many don’t know what it looks like, or how to adapt to it. Here are 10 P2 use cases that you might find useful.

1. Courses P2

Automattic and others are using P2 to train staff and teach courses using asynchronous courses and boot camps. Students don’t need to all be on the same Zoom call to learn and interact.

2. Requests P2s

Our legal staff tells us that in the past when someone needed a contract, the default was to schedule a meeting to discuss. The default now is to submit legal requests on the contracts P2. Our legal team has a standardized form to complete. The contracts can then be discussed in comments.

Additionally, Automattic’s Systems/IT team, Data Teams, and others have request P2s:

3. Status Reports P2

Automattic has a P2 called Thursday Updates where every team is required to provide a status update summary every two weeks. At many organizations, such updates would be delivered in Powerpoint at a live meeting, often to full rooms with people who don’t need to be there.

4. New Employee Introductions

With office cultures, when a new employee joins someone might walk them around the office to introduce them. Automattic asks every new employee to write a post and embed a video where they introduce themselves and co-workers respond and welcome in comments.

Another format is for a manager to interview a new team-mate:

5. New Hire Trials

Hiring new staff is often done in a series of Zoom calls or in-person meetings that can be exhausting for everyone. At Automattic, we create a P2 for each new candidate and work with them on trial projects.

6. Call Notes

It’s common to have a follow-up meeting where the first 10 minutes is where people try to remember what was said in a prior meeting. At Automattic, it’s a requirement that every external call have notes shared in P2. That way if you missed the call you can get a summary, or if you were on the call you can be reminded. You can also consider videoing the call and embedding the Loom or other video type in the P2 so that people can ask questions and comment.

You can also embed the video recording from a meeting into a P2 so that people can watch later and comment:

7. Collaborate with Partners and Customers On P2

Partners and clients will often want to schedule a regular meeting, even if there are no major updates to discuss. Consider creating a partnership or major client P2 and asking the partner or client to share updates there. Then only schedule meetings as needed.

8. Celebrate Wins

Office cultures might schedule after-work outings to celebrate wins or commemorate a year of success. As we can’t easily get people together in person it’s common at Automattic to use P2 to celebrate wins.

9. Meetup Guides and Summaries

Teams at Automattic periodically meet up in person. Team leads are tasked with researching and booking. They also must summarize meetups to share details like attendees, location, cost, projects, Internet speed tests, and other logistics. Without these posts, meetings might be required with accounting to discuss costs and with other team leads who are researching the location. Fun fact: historically Lisbon, Portugal and Hawaii have been the most popular meetup locations at Automattic.

10. Document a Challenging Topic

Automattic has a number of documentation P2s that we call Universities. We have everything from Domain University to Scheduling University. There is so much to cover in these university P2s that it might require a full-day live training session. With these P2 universities, staff can drink from these firehose on their own when they have time.

This article was originally published on P2 Feeback here.

Source: 38

Help us define the next stage of Professional Email

If you’ve been a WordPress user in any capacity, you’re probably aware that we believe in democratizing publishing and e-commerce. We believe in designing products for everyone, emphasizing accessibility, performance, security, and ease of use. We believe great software should focus on you, so you can share your story, product, or services, and achieve your dreams. We believe you have a say in this product and how it can make your life easier every day you use it.

Since last year, we’ve been working hard to enable more features for Professional Email and our other email products. One of the things we heard from you is that you want annual payment options, so you don’t have to worry about monthly payouts and pricing. Now, we’re happy to announce that annual plans are officially available for Professional Email. Don’t worry: our 3-month free trial is still available, so that you can try out the best-in-class email product with either payment method — without committing up front.

And we haven’t stopped there. WordPress.com now offers one-click webmail access, making it easier than ever to access and manage your emails directly within your site admin panel. That’s better for you, your community, and your customers. We’re also working on integrating webmail into the admin panel to make it easier to manage Professional Email and save you more time to focus on things important to you.

We want to make sure we continue building a product that makes your everyday life a bit better. If you have any ideas for features you’d want us to add, or any cool Professional Email experiences to share with us, drop us a line. We’re in this together!

Not sure where to get Professional Email?

Source: 38

WordPress.com Favorites: The Travel Architect 

Welcome to our brand new series, “WordPress.com Favorites”! In these interviews, we’ll be highlighting bloggers about their passion project. Caution: contents guaranteed to be inspiring.    

First up, The Travel Architect. A teacher from the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, The Travel Architect has been documenting her world-wide travels (usually alongside “the husband”) since 2018. It’s easy to get sucked down the rabbit hole of her writing; she’s always funny and entertaining, provides great tips, and is quite obviously a natural storyteller. Let’s learn more! 

1. When did you realize that you loved to travel, and when did you start making it a priority in your life?

It’s difficult to pinpoint an exact moment in time when I recognized travel as this thing I had to have in my life on a regular basis. Travel was a frequent part of my childhood and youth — cross-country road trips, ski vacations in the Rockies, Jamaica twice before first grade, a class trip to Spain, a month in Belgium as an exchange student, among other adventures — so my love almost certainly stems from those experiences.  

I’ve always been the kind of person who wants to know what’s just beyond the hill in front of me or what’s just around that bend in the river. While I’m not a danger junkie at all (my husband jokingly calls me “Head Safety”), I am attracted to adventure, whether that adventure is trying via ferrata or exploring a new culture. 

There were some lean travel years when I was in college, but after that I went on a two-and-a-half-month Colorado Outward Bound course that involved mountaineering, rock climbing, river rafting, and canyoneering. Shortly thereafter I moved to the mountains of Montana for a new adventure. Those were lean travel years, too, but living in the mountains in a new state felt a bit like travel. There I met my husband and eventually we relocated back to the Midwest, where I did all the mundane things like get a career and buy a house, but I always had to have travel on the horizon.  

That’s the funny thing — I’m actually quite a homebody. I love my home and being at home, but there’s a restlessness there that can only be relieved by travel. Thankfully, I’m married to someone who is a lot like me in that regard. Nearly indistinguishable from my love of travel is my love of travel planning. I know lots of people would sooner take a trans-Pacific flight in the baggage hold of an airliner than plan and book their own travels, but for me it’s pure bliss (except for international COVID travel, when it’s pure hell).

2. Obviously, COVID has totally disrupted “normal” travel. I’m sure some of your plans were set aside — what did you decide to do in place of some of those plans? Was there anything you learned about your passion in the midst of the pandemic?

Yes, aside from a few colleagues at work who tell me they don’t like to travel (huh?!), I hardly know anyone who didn’t have plans ruined. I personally had a solo spring break trip to Sedona that went up in flames, and my husband and I had to cancel our trip to Spain, Andorra, and France. 

Instead, we enacted “Plan B.” We have a little 12-foot travel trailer that we took on a three-week Colorado-Utah-Colorado socially-distanced road trip. 

Once we were vaccinated we felt comfortable flying domestically, so we took a couple of trips out to different parts of California and one to Arizona. That Arizona trip was for my 50th birthday.  I had long planned to do a much bigger trip to mark the occasion, possibly Japan, but that just wasn’t going to work with all the travel restrictions. 

As for lessons learned, I guess it would be about money. When you’re good about saving for travel as I am, and then you don’t have any travel to spend your money on, your travel account can start to get wonderfully plump. That was our state of affairs partway into the pandemic. When we finally started flying domestically to travel, we really splashed out on some nice accommodations in some beautiful spots. I learned that this form of travel, while lovely, can quickly deplete the account that once seemed bottomless. Now that we’re back to traveling a bit more regularly, I’m trying to rein in some of my luxury impulses.

3. Do you have a favorite locale that you find yourself recommending all the time? Maybe you could share one stateside and one international?

Though I was born and raised in Wisconsin, I’m a mountain girl at heart. I will shout from the rooftops my love for Colorado — hands down my favorite state. I’m just transfixed by mountains. I’ve been to Colorado so many times I’ve lost count I and can’t seem to stop going back. Then there’s southern Utah, a close second, followed by the entire Four Corners region, and heck, the entire Mountain West all the way to the Pacific. This is why we haven’t seen much of the eastern seaboard and vast swaths of the southern US — the western United States just keeps calling to us. 

Internationally, for Americans who’ve never traveled abroad before, we often recommend England, which is where my husband is from. It’s a foreign country, but the lack of a language barrier makes it a great first-timer destination. However, our true favorite is France. We love the food, culture, and history. We love practicing our French with the locals. And no, we’ve never found French people rude or unkind. That’s a stereotype I get asked about often. Frankly, I’ve had people be outwardly rude to me only twice on my travels, and those incidents were in England and Italy.


A Few of The Travel Architect’s Favorite Posts:


4. Any favorite travel tips that you can share with our readers? Whether about saving money, or the best apps, or some suitcase/backpack hack — we’re all ears! 

I’m more of a “travel stories” than a “travel tips” kind of blogger, but I do have one or two things I’ve learned from experiences that may help others. First, if you’re renting a car, as soon as you take possession of it, take a photo that includes the license plate, make, and model.  Accommodations usually ask for this information when checking travelers in, and this way you don’t have to run out to the car. 

Second: always, always, always scrutinize your travel documents for accuracy. I failed to do this once and the airline nearly succeeded in denying me boarding on my flight to Jamaica. Another time I didn’t scan a hotel website as thoroughly as I should have and ended up booking a nonrefundable room. That was for the canceled trip to Spain and I’m still on the hook for it. (So far, they keep letting me kick the can down the road.) 

5. When and why did you decide to start documenting your travels in a blog? What have you gained from blogging? 

For me, blogging is the perfect marriage of my two favorite things: writing and travel. For two decades my only writing outlet was my annual Christmas letter. Every year I got compliments on it and people suggested I start a blog, but I always thought, “What on earth would I write about?” My husband, too, often urged me to start blogging. 

One evening, fresh off an afternoon of travel planning and still experiencing some residual giddiness, our dinner conversation gave birth to the idea of a blog based around travel. I had long noticed that, despite being introverted, I could talk at length to anyone as long as travel was the topic. My husband had tried to start a blog once but it didn’t take, so the framework was there. We just transferred ownership of his blog to my name and the rest is history.  

In addition to honing my writing skills, I have gained friends (or what I like to call “blog buddies”) around the world. I’ve even met up with some of them — one in Laos, one in Thailand, and one here in Minnesota.

6. What are your travel plans this year?

After a calamitous trip to England this past Christmas when Omicron was at its peak, we’ve sworn off international travel until the US removes its testing requirement to return home (I check weekly for news of its demise). 

Still, there’s plenty to see and do in this massive country, so we’re taking advantage of that. I have my long-awaited solo spring break trip to Sedona coming up, two years after it was originally scheduled. Then we’re spending a few weeks in June with our travel trailer in Colorado where we’ll be cycling, hiking a pair of 14ers, and soaking in lots of hot springs. My 85-year-old mom and I might head out to (yet another part of) California for a few days mid-summer, an idea that’s just come about and that will provide me with many hours of glorious travel planning. 

Finally, we just booked a week in Death Valley over Christmas. We’ve been there twice before, but always in summer when it’s 125 degrees with overnight lows in the 90s. It’ll be nice to have cooler temperatures so we can finally do some hiking and not have to force-feed ourselves a diet of Gatorade and ice cubes.


Are you inspired to revamp your own blog or bring it back from the dead? Take 10 minutes right now to visit your site and do some writing.

Or maybe you never really got the hang of the basics when it comes to blogging. If that’s the case, our “Intro to Blogging” course will be perfect for you. This free, self-paced course provides not only concrete tips for your site and blog, but also the goal-setting mindset needed to keep a blog going. Register for free today: 

Source: 38