Do NOT Use WordPress.com to Host Your Blog

This is a good example of why never to use hosted sites like WordPress.com — that site has implemented a script that dynamically rewrites people’s blog content to fit the views of its owners, Automattic.

Specifically, Matt Mullenweg has been on this campaign to get people to spell WordPress as WordPress, which is the way it is spelled as a trademark. Fine, whatever.

But apparently he got annoyed enough about it, that WordPress.com is now actively rewriting all instances of “WordPress” to “WordPress” on all blogs hosted at WordPress.com. If you want to write “WordPress” you have to put in the HTML character for the “p” (as Lorelle Van Fossen found out when she tried to write about the change).

That anyone at Automattic thought it was a good idea to push through a change to automatically rewrite what people are posting — much less just arbitrarily doing so without informing users (they couldn’t even be bothered to note the change on the company blog) — suggests a culture at the company that you certainly don’t want to trust your data with. I can hardly wait for the universal trademark enforcer plugin that eventually makes certain it reads “WordPress(TM)” — and god forbid someone who rights about BBPress rather than bbPress.

Personally, I’m only going to write “WordPress” from now on and change all the instances here back to that format.

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12 thoughts on “Do NOT Use WordPress.com to Host Your Blog”

  1. Well, this is certainly making a mountain out of a mole hill. Brian, this is a tiny thing. It annoys many WordPress fans who use the lowercase p when writing WordPress. For a lot of people, seeing WordPress spelled wrong is a clue of a lack of attention to detail. Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of people say unkind things about those who don’t use the right spelling, and get really defensive about making sure it’s capitalized. A lot of people use the WordPress Plugins that force the capital P and have done for years. It’s part of the pride of being a part of such an amazing community.

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  2. Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of people say unkind things about those who don’t use the right spelling, and get really defensive about making sure it’s capitalized.

    Those people need to a) get out more, and b) familiarise themselves with the English language, wherein a capital letter is preceded by a space and tYpinGLikEThiS gets you labelled as a ten-year-old.

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  3. Exactly.

    You know, rewriting “WordPress” to “WordPress” is a fairly small matter, but it is an issue of principle. It would be no different if Yahoo! had some rewrite tool that converted “Yahoo” to “Yahoo!” or Microsoft was rewriting “Micro$oft” to “Microsoft” on one of its services.

    Rewriting content like that is crossing a line that should not be crossed IMO. When I visit a site on WordPress.com or Typepad or whatever, I assume I’m reading what the author of that blog wrote, not what the author wrote as edited by automated rewrite plugins imposed by the host.

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  4. Brian, you will find that WordPress itself now does this, by default. (It got your example in your own post.) You need to add the following to your functions.php file:

    remove_filter( 'the_content', 'capital_P_dangit' );
    remove_filter( 'the_title', 'capital_P_dangit' );
    remove_filter( 'comment_text', 'capital_P_dangit' );

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