WordPress.com adds paid upgrades

Free blog hosting site WordPress.com introduced its first paid feature this morning, allowing customers access to their CSS for $15 a year per blog. Free members can still access 40 built-in templates for free and customize their image header and sidebar widgets. Payments are processed through PayPal.

The site is currently testing custom domain mapping, a likely next upgrade. The combination of custom CSS and domain mapping a la carte upgrades puts Automattic’s WordPress.com in direct competition with Six Apart and its TypePad product currently charging $90 a year for a similar feature set.

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