Having a commercial version of WordPress alongside a non-profit version has been confusing. Especially to those starting out with WordPress, but not exclusively those new to it. It would be a great win for the WordPress Community if Automattic’s flagship product, WordPress.com, would rebrand itself to Jetpack.com. I have said this, half-jokingly, in the past decade to anyone who would listen. #sorrynotsorry.
But with WordPress.com now allowing for plugins and themes to be activated on their platform, the lines get even more blurry.
Need to Make Money
Since Automattic is running on venture capital money, at some point it’s going to focus on monetization even more. If you have been paying close attention to how the sign-up between a stand-alone WordPress installation and Jetpack has changed over the last couple of months, you will have noticed. For a brief period, the free option was even hidden in the “Skip for now” button below the pricing table you’re greeted with when you connect Jetpack to your site.
You may have also noticed Automattic opening up their affiliate program. It includes Jetpack, WordPress.com, and everything WooCommerce now. All clear signs that Automattic has made monetization a higher priority in recent months. And judging by a tweet sent out yesterday at the Affiliate Summit, Jetpack is taking a very prominent role:
— WordPress.com (@wordpressdotcom) January 7, 2018
Changes in Branding
What’s even more interesting, navigating to the WordPress.com main page–make sure you’re logged out–will show you a WordPress frontpage without any signs of a W. Meaning the WordPress logo. I’m not sure when this changed, but it’s a very clear sign that WordPress.com’s branding is changing.
It’s just pure speculation on my part that this will lead to switching from WordPress.com to Jetpack.com, but I for one would welcome the change. I also think it will help send less of a mixed message for those entering the WordPress Community, Automattic’s affiliate program or both. 😉