Did you know WordPress can block you from following?

I have been blogging since 2011, that was when I started my art blog First post of art blog.

I experienced some kind of disaster when I decided to move my art blog to a website last year or maybe a year before. Why did I go for all troubles which are associated with moving a large numerous pictures containing art blog to a self-hosted website?

Well, WordPress makes it account. It does not matter whether you have 1 blog, 2 blogs, 3 blogs or a website and blog: it is going to be one account. I had the art blog since 2012 and I started a lifeschool blog some time in 2014 I believe. I did not want to mix up my art, art classes and other artistic articles with the conclusions and observations I have made doing my medical research and writing for more than 3 decades. I thought it was a great idea. It actually wasn’t. Why?

Because WordPress makes it one account.

That means one blog is primary and visible and regardless of all my efforts, nobody knew the other blog existed, as well. The art blog had about 4 thousand followers by the time I moved it to a website because I was so tired of publishing articles which nobody ever saw.

The move was terrible since my files were huge, and, no, it did not go smooth as some instructions made me believe. Partially, that was because I chose the wrong host (based on a blogger advice, oh yes!). They sold me free theme and then I had to wait until refund rolls in since I wasn’t having much money. They tried to sell all kinds of things which I did not need or require, but having a website is expensive anyway: there are so many small parts that all cost. I am using the free theme and many free plugins, but I still have to allocate quite a lot of money for it. That is the history, so I have a blog, my lifeschool blog and my website, my art website.

Some time ago, I started to notice that I cannot follow anybody. I clicked once, I clicked twice, I clicked on like, that worked, but when I returned to the main website of somebody, I could see that I am not following them.

I believed it was some kind of a glitch. Probably temporary glitch, I assumed.

I let it slide since I was busy and that wasn’t the most important issue on my plate.

I found some really interesting website and a few blogs a while ago, and I got really angry that I cannot follow them. I copied the URLs here and there to find them again. Anyway, I asked the “happiness engineers” what was wrong. Oh well! I found out that I have been spotted by the system as somebody abusive follower last October. They told I was trying to attract attention and instead I should be writing a good content. That was very offensive. I believe these people who have read my stories, poems and articles, people, who check out my paintings, art instruction and advice for beginner artists definitely know that this is a unique content which takes me long time to create. I have actually never tried to follow somebody obsessively.

We all know that: system is system. System thought I was somebody trying to find followers and, thus, boost the visibility of my website and blog, and I do not believe that is true. WP said it was. I had last October followed many blogs in a short period of time. I tried to figure that out but couldn’t. I may have returned from Europe and after not seeing my blog and website for a long time, I could have responded to lots of comments and maybe followed some new fellow bloggers. I don’t know. Basically, nobody ever told me that. I never received any notification, any warning or anything. I believe you are not aware of that either.

I mean, I would have appreciated some notice, some suggestion or something. I am guessing that happened because I’m not that often reading the Reader, publishing posts, commenting, etc. since my health issues started 5 years ago. I might be doing all the commenting, following and liking job once or twice a month. Life is life. System isn’t human and it does not know that I have 1 hour only once or twice a month to do the following among other parts of blogging. Most likely, that’s how I got blocked out of following. Well, if I were so obsessed with following I most likely had noticed that sooner, not 7 months later.

I still remember how 6 years ago when I started blogging, I was advised to like, comment and follow other bloggers. Well, I take it personal and I felt upset. I’m not a new blogger; I’ve been on WordPress for 6 years. I am almost 60 and somebody who always follows rules and meets obligations. Always. I am aware that system is not informed about that.

I have to apologize to bloggers who may have thought I was ignorant or something. I lost some interesting blogs due to this for sure. Maybe we will meet again.

It also seems that system cannot get rid of definitely fake followers such as those who are ….outlook.com. I have deleted quite a few recently.

I wish, there was some advice for those who blog infrequently, just for a few hours a month and who try to do everything during these few hours instead of just blocking them out of following.

WordPress causes some problems

It does not feel right. We are sort of made to believe that website is a place where we can have a freedom to do things which we deem necessary, one of them being following other bloggers. Apparently, it is not the case. I believe before blocking somebody out of anything, especially if they pay money for their website that happens to be on WordPress platform, one deserves at least some warning or message, whatever. My personal situation is worse because I have a website and a blog. People who follow the art blog are not the same as these who follow the lifeschool blog. So, number becomes double. Dear system, you should be way more human! Other bloggers: be aware! System is watching, and God help if you follow too many people! I am afraid to follow anybody, to be honest. I believe a wrong person was punished here. They fixed it for now. They do not let one know what number indicates you are exceeding the normal following range: might be 5, 50 or 100. Who knows? I know that I never acted weirdly or obsessively.

Link to my art website for these who did not know I had it: inesepogagallery.com

58 thoughts on “Did you know WordPress can block you from following?

  1. Pingback: Art is cure, therapy, happiness, reward and challenge for me

    1. Thanks Chris! Well, I do not believe I did something wrong, I imagine their policies changed without notifying about that. I never experienced this in all years, and all of a sudden last year they assume me following everybody which is definitely not the case and never was. I don’t mind blogging or putting articles on website, but I have a big dislike towards restrictions. I feel that this is restricting me.


  2. I’m always wary of following and liking multiple times in a short span of time since I’m aware of these spam detecting systems (and how unreliable they can be). These systems also exist in other social media platforms.

    They are indeed secretive about it as they argued that spammers will outsmart their systems if they have a clue on how they work or something like that.

    As for self-hosting your blog, avoid any host that are owned by EIG. They suck really bad. Unfortunately, EIG owns a lot, I mean a lot of web hosts and they are constantly acquiring more. I could elaborate further if you are interested…


      1. Bluehost is owned by EIG Fastcow, iPage and about 70 more hosting servixes. It is notorious for silent takeovers. This way, EIG can create an illusion of competition among its services. For example, if you are not happy about Bluehost, you may switch to Hostagator without knowing that it’s owned by the same company. It’s a viscious cycle…

        Hostgator used to be great until it was silently bought by EIG. Its users suddenly felt a drop in quality of the service and they had no idea why.

        The funny thing is, hosting is not even the main business of EIG – it’s online security of websites. Its service would give false virus warnings which it wont be able to “fix”. Even other software won’t be able to remove it because there’s nothing in the first place! Its technical support would then offer their service to remove it themselves for a fee, of couse, usually more than a couple of hundred dollars.

        Now, you may wonder why reputable websites rate EIG products so highly. It’s simple – because EIG offers high affiliate commissions…

        This is not well-known, which is a shame. The only reason I know about this is I had worked in the web industry for a few years before.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Many of them create this illusion of as if competition. I was thinking go to WordPress hosting, but I mean, so much work, way too much. I simply dislike their service, I had to chat with them and call so many times recently.
        However, I was blocked out from following by WordPress. I have a website which is built on WordPress platform and hosted by Bluehost (I regret I didn’t explore everything better!) and a normal WordPress blog. Therefore, it becomes like following two separate streams of visitors and responding to comments, etc. I don’t think there is any perfect internet place left. It is big time about money only. WordPress also used to be just number 1. I have noticed lots of things are changing. I do not even know why I am decorating Twitter with my nice images. I frequently do not know why I am still on Facebook because the response is so poor and it is soooo boring. Well, I need Messenger to talk to Europe, it’s better than Skype. Pinterest send me fake notifications that other pinned images that I never even had on my boards. There was a moment I wanted to be on Instagram. I don’t know. It’s practically the same Facebook, just another format.
        You are so right, everything is owned by mega-corporations while it is hard to say when you are looking at a specific service or product. Well, we have to tolerate any glitches and flaws and sometimes offences. I suppose, such blog could be the only place where one can say something, try to influence something.
        Thanks for comments and suggestions!


    1. Well, that is different. That is something you can do whatever. If you upgrade you simply pay. There are different plans. I haven’t upgraded my blog, but I am paying for everything on the website, approximately $450, maybe a bit more. Some things are more, some less. You just click on upgrade and see what they’d be charging you. Agree only if it suits you. Also, you can resize any image, that allows for way more space. You can do it on computer and also when you upload your photo to the media on blog. It gives you different editing options, just check them out. I believe, nowadays any device offers resizing options. That helps.
      In my case, I literally do not know how I got into the category of bad guys. I mean, a notification or warning would be nice. Plus, I am paying for website, it is supposed to be mine, yet, I cannot follow as many people as I would like to?


    1. Well, and can happen to everybody. I am not aware when such approach became effective. I have not been doing anything differently from previous years, all the way the same: comment, like and follow: all in one day about twice a month, and all of a sudden that caused me to be blocked out out of following other blogs. It is so that it becomes double because of blog and website, therefore, this can be twice the number. Apparently, system is system and it does not differentiate between a real person and follow-everything bot.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. theburningheart

    Unfortunately, I come a little too late in life, to be really savvy about computers, and all the things you can do with them, therefore in order to do something like setting a website, or fix a glitch on my computer I require a young wizard, to do things for me, since I moved, now that would represent a new challenge in the future here at my new home, since still do not know anyone who can help me when new trouble arise, and certainly it will happen, since it is in the nature of things…
    I have a young friend in LA very knowledgeable, but as it is, he doesn’t carry a wireless phone, and I can only reach him at home at very late hours, and most of the time he doesn’t pick up the phone! 😦
    Bottom line it can be weeks before I catch him, with the added disadvantage, of not being able to bring him home and let him do what it need to be done, rather than for me to be in the phone, and try to figure what he says it need to be done. I am sure I will find eventually some professional, local help, to do the job, but of course that will mean an added expense.

    As for your problem with WordPress, I sympathize with you, unfortunately they all have these hidden policies, buried in page 43 of their contracts, that of course no one ever reads, but you find out later as in your case, and worst, they have automated controls, who penalize you, or restrict you, without human intervention, just by following patterns of behavior, as example your case.
    And to add insult, to injury, they also have automated systems who handle the complaints, and it takes a great effort, to find a human voice to help you!

    It serves two purposes, saves them money by not hiring people to take care of the problems, and to discourage the customer to be calling them constantly.

    I can tell you a horror story with a particular acct. of mine that forgot, to notify them of my change of address, a natural thing to forget, since the many companies you got to notify for all the services you receive, specially online like with companies you have an acct. but are not billed monthly, as for example Amazon, Ebay, Twitter, or FB, etc.
    Well, they blocked me since they didn’t recognized my new address, and keep sending me automated phone calls with a code, to reactivate my acct. to my old address home phone line, that of course, since I had moved no longer had!
    It took me six weeks of daily emails, to their help department, in order for somebody to read my problem!
    It makes you wonder if they have an automated system that alert them, after you log 30, or 40 complaints? 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    1. All systems can cause terrible issues for people who use their products. I am right now dealing with too frequently appearing bad gateway error on the website. I am blaming the host, they are trying to convince me that I should manually update the database, image loading speeds, etc. all the time and every day, that’s a bit much and that is profoundly wrong. Ever since we got on this pass every internet service or product provider tries to squeeze out as much money as possible. Internet is not that friendly any more as it used to be. It is now pay, pay and pay or nothing good happens. Well, I need to do some more edits here and I have to renew passport. That is a hassle, too, though, easier than dealing with re-occurring internet issues. I haven’t even filled out a form, need pictures for passport and doctors tomorrow, nothing that exciting.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember how as a child, I was told by my older sister that computer systems are dumb. I didn’t believe it, because I didn’t get the point of it. To me, computers were awesome for having abilities like being able to compute large numbers and process data in lightning speed.

    Then in my later years, I finally saw my sister’s point. Computer systems are “dumb” because they need to be “instructed” step by step using so many codes, for every single function we need them to do. And no matter how skillfully we code them, it’s very difficult (if not impossible) to imbue them with the same discretion and insight humans are capable of, when it comes to the “judgments” they make. So sorry to hear about your troubles. I guess the system just isn’t smart enough yet to truly distinguish between real bloggers who just want to interact with others in the blogosphere, and bots/spammers that blindly follow just about anyone/anything it can.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks! I am aware of systems mishandling different issues, I’ve been working on computer since they exist. You are right, programmer can never predict every single situation which might come up, and the systemic judgement can very wrong. Well, I did not pay attention to that initially, but later I was really interested in following a few blogs and I couldn’t. As it appears I got onto this after 7 months. It would be good the system at least notified, like there are all kinds of warnings, etc. or sent some message or made me aware that I have done something wrong. However, like I mentioned, I have been blogging for 6 years and I have always been the same way, and all of a sudden I am doing something wrong.
      The bots from outlook.com are still bothering and they do not seem to be able to fix that. I am deleting at least 2-3 every day.
      I just not long ago placed on WP survey that I would advise anybody to use. I regret that because at this point I would change my evaluation. When a new practice is implemented the users should be made aware of that. It seems there has been. I’m not alone. When I posted this onto WP forum to get help, I noticed quite a lot of really surprised people wondering what happened.
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a great comment! Always pleasure to read what somebody else has to say about that particular matter. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! I thought that many other bloggers might face such issues. It does not even depend on how long one has been blogging or how well one believes they know WordPress blogging. I know that among us are many bloggers who cannot check other blogs or post on a daily basis. Therefore, it becomes once a week, twice a month or even more infrequent thing to do. I saw on the forum that others were unaware of such a policy, as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. That is weird. I did have 2 blogs within this account. But. Within just a few minutes, I came to know that both the notification, comments, likes are all associated with just one ID. I immediately Disconnected the other blog! Primarily because I wanted to have separate notifications for each blog. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Basically, I wanted the same. It always said on the blog: create another blog. In case of blogs, one was always invisible. That was the reason I moved one blog to a self-hosted website. I believed that they will be visible separately. Yet, the account remained one for both, the self-hosted website and the blog. That is causing difficulties, and always was causing difficulties. As you can see from my experience, after so many years of being on WordPress all of a sudden I did not comply with whatever policy their system had applied. I mean, I did not do anything weird or obsessive or abusive, just the same I’ve always done for 5 or 6 years. My problem is understanding why nobody sends any notifications or alerts or warnings, or somehow make the blogger aware that things have changed because they have big time. I simply do not want other bloggers run into the same problem, so, I decided to post it. I noticed on the forum there were quite a few people who did not understand what happened.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Got it. I don’t know about the Past but WordPress does inform every new policy update on the WordPress dashboard itself. I guess it wasn’t before.
        It’s really very sad to know about your past. I have experienced many problems with WordPress too. Such as 404 Forbidden, App Crashes, Link Failures and this new type of problem which says, “Unable to Connect!” To my Self hosted blog. Have you experienced this?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Actually they most likely will not inform anybody about this. When I asked directly what is the number or range I have to be careful with, they did not give an answer. It is believed that we are not supposed to know this in order it would be easier to detect sites that follow too many other sites. They just said that we are not supposed to follow numerous other blogs, and keep the following to only these blogs or websites which we read. However, that was exactly what I was doing. I am guessing that this happened because I returned after some 2 months of being away and not seeing much of my blog and website and I did it all in one day: replied to all comments, followed back sites I liked, etc. As it appears, that was recognized by WP system as abusive following other sites. That simple.


    1. Yes, I did. I was a while ago blocked out of my website. I could not get in touch any other way than calling. I was told something was not updating fast enough on their end. After that point I got numerous 502 error messages. I blamed their end, they tried to convince me (again) that I should upgrade. I already paid a lot for the website, but they just keep asking for more and more. I do regret choosing this host, and as somebody else explained it is a part of bigger global company, so, basically, many errors, etc. will be due to the fact that the service provided is not meant to be excellent if one does not pay for an excellent service. Right now the error messages stopped and I did not do nothing, but I have noticed it comes in waves: everything is fine for a year, and then all of a sudden error upon error until it normalizes. Technically, I do not know whether it was worth or not to move everything to a self-hosted site because visibility is less than on a WordPress regular blog and presence, etc., too.


      1. I got blocked out for 7 months. I just did not know it. I mean, I am anything, but obsessive follower and I normally comply with any rules and requirements. That was shocking. That’s why I was sort of frustrated. I thought, if that can be done to honest blogger, why cannot they stop the outlook.com non-existing bots from appearing there.


      2. Unbelievable! I do not follow that many other blogs, never, I simply do not have time for that. It is interesting why did they block me for so long? Realistically, I noticed that only after a few months. How do you get them to restore your following if they block every few hours?
        When I asked, somebody very angry answered that instead of following other people I should write good content. I believe I do just that. Maybe that was a system glitch when they cut me out of following.


  6. the pretty poems

    I’ll check out your art blog – I’m just beginning how to draw. It’s a long journey. I didn’t know you could block WP accounts. Does WP shadow ban you for any reason? I think WP is expensive I’ve been using it for free for 6 years too, and there are cheaper easier alternatives to building your own site. I’ve been thinking about buying my own site for a while

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I wish I knew the host would not try to sell me free theme and lots of services which I did not need. I am still getting rid of some paid subscriptions after a year. They simply try to sell anything. I bought Akismet because I could not reply to comments and reply otherwise, but as it appears Jetpack has a cheaper version. It’s a lot of trying and then finding out a better way. There are lots of free plugins, but some free versions just are too less. Secondly, I struggled with themes, not setting up, but finding the right one. That was the part which really took me abnormal time and I lost some money, too. I initially wanted a theme at 89 USD which is much more in Canadian dollars. As I said Bluehost marketplace accepted the payment, but did not give me the theme. So I waited for refund for 2 weeks. After uploading and editing some 5 themes (each time about a week or so) and sometimes getting refunds and sometimes not, I finally stayed with the free 2017. I know there is a new 2018, but I just do not feel like starting all editing again. I have not much choice of type of letters and I do not have color backgrounds, but I did edit css to make the theme somewhat more what I wanted. Basically, it is a lot of editing at the beginning. It helps if you are good with codes. If you are not, so, it’s going to be more of whatever you get. ready made. Especially initially, it is a lot of work and everybody will try to convince you that it is extremely easy. Well, if you do not require much widgets and images, but would like rather a clean and simple theme, it is going to be easier. I needed for my art website a lot more than that because it has lots of functions, like selling art and art classes and different guides and applications, etc. I simply did not see a good match from themes that were offered and my personal taste. It took me way longer to set up my website because I moved a huge blog with extremely many image files to a personal website. If you start it from scratch it is much easier. I also lost about 2300 followers, I lost a lot of contacts along the way. It’s not that WP or I did something wrong, it is simply so that the website does not get automatically the same attention what blog has. In that regard, it is way better to have just a blog.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. the pretty poems

        Thanks so much for sharing this! I haven’t committed to a WP domain / website because I knew that it’s a lot of trial and error, I also don’t see any customer service which is real big for me, and I know that WP is mainly codes. I took CodeAcademy online but that’s still a lot of work. Maybe I should start my website now and not later when I have such a following – if I ever do – and I also feel like blogs work better because it’s easier to follow. Thanks for telling me what happened! I’m looking at Squarespace and Wix – but I think they are actually more expensive 🙄

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well, you pay anyway. There are promotions, usually for a year and after that you pay the regular hosting price. Hosting isn’t all the cost, you need domain name, domain name privacy, SSL certificate, backup, security and most likely, I am not listing everything. That is the host. Some features I am getting from WordPress, like backup. Host sometimes wants to sell double features. It’s hard to know everything when you start out, but checking online advice helps. I’ve seen quite a few good websites on Wix. I do not know anything more about it.
        Using WordPress platform allows one to feel as if they are still on WordPress. You just activate Jetpack plugin and that gives you opportunity to follow others on WordPress and also place the WP follow widget on the website. There are lots of free plugins. For no coding you just use Page builder plugin. You might still edit the css which is actually easy. You can also find instructions online, just do not believe everything. I initially did, but became smarter along the way.
        I had the biggest difficulties choosing a theme. There are so many. It seems they are all great, and when you test, they do not appear that nice later. Testing takes time, a lot of time. If you like a lot some theme and you have checked it out (all features, all uses, etc.) it’s better to get the paid version right away because once you move from free version to paid version you have to undo everything again. Some will refund for theme you do not like, some will not.
        It is very much advisable to definitely start a website right away because moving a huge blog is simply difficult. The smaller, the easier, and starting from scratch is the best.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Judging by people who were really wondering why they were blocked out of following, I would think there are a lot of blocked out sites. I find it very unfair: if I reply to comments, read other blogs and follow some just once in a month, that might look like a bit bigger number. I am not doing it every day, but system does not obviously check the pattern, it checks for a fact and one particular number. I do assume this requires a warning, message or something.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am using also both. This blog is on WordPress.com and have my art website which is on WordPress.org. I’ve been blogging since 2012. I never got blocked from anything until the last fall. I did not do anything abusive or obsessive. I just got to see my blog and website after a long absence and did a lot of things at once. Just like right now. I had a surgery, and recovery takes time. The WordPress system does not make any distinction between bots and real honest users. It should not be the number one follows in one hour or something, but the pattern of following. Yet, system is system. They have not got rid of outlook.com which are definitely bots. There are also really bad websites which try to infiltrate and abuse honest bloggers. I cannot see how this WordPress action was relevant or fair. That is why I was angry. They have to distinct.


  7. Pingback: Art is cure, therapy, happiness, reward and challenge for me

  8. Pingback: Blogging: things that matter | inesepogalifeschool

Your comments and thoughts are very welcome

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.