Trouble At Inkophile


Much to my dismay, I just discovered that WordPress has been running obnoxious, intrusive ads on Inkophile. My apologies for you having to put up with the unwelcome intrusion.

When WP made the original announcement about forcing ads on free accounts, the example was a small text ad at the end of a post that would only appear on some posts. Now they are graphic, on all posts and at the top as well as the bottom.

It was a mistake to think the ads would be as inoffensive and unobtrusive as the example. Those I saw weren’t even close. In other words, they were click-bait garbage including creepy, crawly monsters. Shortsightedly, their actions have adversely impacted user experience and that is unacceptable.

So WordPress has lost my trust. I hereby withdraw any recommendation of it.

As for Inkophile, WP told me to pay for a “plan” if I don’t like what they are doing to my blog. My carefully managed pen/ink/paper/blog budget will take a hit to pay the ransom demand. This is a hobby site – not a profit-making machine. But what’s a blogger to do? Suck it up apparently. The ads should disappear by the end of the month.

Again, apologies for the garbage ads.

The saga continues at Trouble at Inkophile, Part 2 and Trouble at Inkophile, Part 3.


  1. I don’t know if this helps matters or confuses them further, but I haven’t seen any ads in the entire time I’ve been following your blog. I’m not seeing them right now on your blog page here, either. I’m not somehow blocking ads at my end. I hope this helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment. WP targets some readers but not others. I think it depends on whether or not you are logged into a WP account. Good to know that you haven’t had to put up with the ads. They haven’t been pretty. 😛


  2. I was not all that bothered by the ads, but it is a sad commentary that most of my web browsing includes similar “intrusions”, these days. To be honest, I am always willing to donate in order to offset the costs of maintaining the site. I appreciate your candid input, and that you pay for a majority of the materials you review with your own money. Your input and enthusiasm is meaningful to this community, and I value it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dang. I was thinking about you yesterday and wondering how you were doing. Thanks for the kind words. Sometimes it seems like I am writing in a vacuum if a noisy one with Macy always eager to express comments on whatever catches her fancy. I haven’t figured out yet whether she is a critic or a fan. Send me an email if you’d like to chat about things other than pens.

      As for supporting Inkophile, my Amazon portal is one way. It pays pennies, but those add up over time. It doesn’t add to the cost of your purchases but there is a time limit from when the button is selected to when the commission expires. I don’t think it is ever less than 24 hours. I purchase necessities through Amazon and often wind up there from links on blogs and YouTube. It’s good to support the efforts of writers and reviewers. You don’t have to actually buy the item to help them earn a commission, but it does need to go into your cart. Take it out later or maybe not. It might be something you eventually decide to purchase. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have not seen ads on your blog because I use the Safari browser and adblockers.


    • Like you, I use an adblocker which might be why I had to log in on a different device to find out what was going on after a family member alerted me to the problem. Flashy, spammy ads are so awful. News sites are especially guilty of inflicting them on readers. Disable my adblocker? As if…


      • I remember seeing a horrible ad on my own blog when I accessed it via a different browser without an ad blocker. I don’t know what to do except hope my readers get ad blockers, too.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Exactly. Also, I figure sites that block me because I use an adblocker aren’t worth visiting. That eliminates a lot of them these days. Then there are sites that offend with those with flashy things. Who would ever click one of them? Surely no good would ever come of it.

          It sounds like your adblocker is doing a good job. Which one do you use?


          • I use AdBlock (https://www.getadblock.com/) and Ghostery. There is also Adblock for Safari. But I sometimes access your site via Chrome, so I have installed AdBlock and Ghostery on Chrome and it’s fine.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I have AdBlock on Chrome but not Ghostery. I will look into it. Thanks for the tip.


      • I just checked WordPress.com and discovered that their cheapest plan is $3 per month ($36 per year) to remove ads. The alternative for bloggers is to go to a hosting provider and download the WordPress software and install it. That costs money, too. Not only that, the headache of updating the WordPress software, the themes, the plugins, is real. If you don’t keep up with all the updates/upgrades, your site will be hacked! I still have 3 hosted WordPress blogs. The hosting company charges me $99 per year (it doesn’t matter if I have 1 WP blog or 3 WP blogs). Then I have to pay the domain registrar for the 3 domains. That’s another $30 per year. So, the cheapest WordPress.com plan is reasonably priced. If you decide to host your blog with a hosting provider, the biggest initial headache is finding a good hosting company. I went through 5 of the “best” ones and they all started out OK, then became horrible. So I had to move my sites 5 times. My current hosting provider is fine because it’s medium sized, not the cheapest, but reliable.


        • So complicated! Thanks for explaining it. Given my level of expertise, a “plan” is all I could manage. Inkophile is registered with GoDaddy for about $25 per year and it points to inkophile.wordpress.com. Photos are stored at Flickr for which I pay a fee and I want to preserve those links. I don’t need the .blog that comes with their plans.

          It seems that anyone who does not want ads, even the smallest blog, should have the $3/month plan. No doubt that is far more profitable for WP than ad revenue from those obnoxious flashy things. I don’t resent them making a profit, but I do resent changing the game after I’ve put in over ten years building a site and followers. A pox on their house for the betrayal.

          What are you going to do with your blog?


          • I am sticking to the free plan on WordPress.com. I don’t have many images anyway, just text, and I have very few readers. But keeping my hosted WP blogs for another year. Then I’ll think about it.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Sign of the times..I hope you can get out of this paid version and rescue the prior records and exit to a more conducive platform …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it is a sign of the times. Being profitable is essential to survival and expansion. I get that. The rub is that hobby blogs are rarely profitable. There is no income flow to defray expenses. My reviews have dwindled along with my budget while product prices have risen. The WP fee will cut into it further.

      Thankfully, Luxury Brands (distributor of Platinum Pens, Noodler’s Ink), Exaclair (distributor of Herbin, Rhodia, Clairefontaine), Pen Chalet, Goldspot Pens, Nemosine, Jackson’s Art Supplies, and others have sent products in recent years that have kept Inkophile alive. Such supporters are priceless as are those readers who have sent products or donated cash. Inkophile has become a group effort for which every individual is greatly appreciated.

      Unfortunately, I lack the expertise to relocate. Moving 1,244 posts with associated links and images along with 6,245 comments would be a daunting task. Inkophile is trapped in the clutches of the WP monster.


  5. Logged in, but ad blockers, so!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. […] A comment to yesterday’s post gave me the opportunity to expand on the situation about continuing to reside at WordPress. I am reposting that comment here. […]


  7. Having read through the comment string, I feel I should say two things:

    1. Going through all the bits and bobs that I know how to look at and access since posting that comment, I realized that I was mistaken in my original comment above: I have an antivirus suite that has ad blocking built into their web safety features.
    2. I use a browser that has ad-blocking capability and that feature was turned on by default when it was installed.

    I am basically a newbie at this browser extension/browser provider stuff and at the time of my original comment, I was thinking of ad blockers I had purchased from a third party and installed myself. While that wasn’t quite the case, as I haven’t got an app or program specifically advertised and declaring itself an ad-blocker, it is a feature included in several items installed on my machine.

    I do apologize if I’ve misled anyone. It wasn’t my intention.

    In addition: Flashy ads? As in, ads that flash? OMG! That could trigger an epileptic episode in epileptics. How breathtakingly (and criminally) negligent! is there a way someone can sue a website for airing such ads or the advertiser for making such ads? While the occurance of such episodes might be a small number, such a number does not justify putting innocent people’s health and well-being at risk.

    Does anyone know what WP’s position is on this issue?


    • Thanks for updating your original comment. Ad blockers not only block most ads, but they also make pages load more rapidly by blocking content that renders poorly or slowly. Some websites accept any advertising regardless of quality or safety. Phooey on them. True, not all sites accept bad actors, but without knowing whether to trust a site’s ad content, it’s safer to block them all.

      The flashing ads I have seen aren’t rapid enough to trigger an ill effect, but they can be annoying and attention-grabbing. Heck, the same thing could be said of stationary ones. The web is awash in things annoying. 😦


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