Automattic plans to boost the free storage capacity available to users of its WordPress blog-hosting site from 50MB to 3GB, according to a blog post by company founder Matthew Mullenweg.

Mullenweg outlined the company's plans to increase the storage available to its users. He said that the move followed an assortment of IT infrastructure upgrades during 2007.

"Over the past year, we've developed our file infrastructure, replication, backup, caching and [Amazon.com's] S3-backed storage to the point where we don't feel like we need to artificially limit what you folks are able to upload just to keep up with growth. We're ready for you," wrote Mullenweg.

According to Mullenweg, bloggers would have to spend at least $300 a year to acquire the same amount of storage from WordPress.com rival Typepad, a hosted blogging service offered by Six Apart. The Six Apart site confirms the pricing claim. Another rival competing with WordPress.com for blogger attention is Google's Blogger service, which currently provides up to 1GB of free storage.

Mullenweg said he hoped that his company's hosted storage expansion would give end users more flexibility to incorporate different forms of rich media into their blogs without being squeezed by shrinking capacity. However, he did say that extra storage would still be needed for bloggers to upload larger files, including movies.

Bloggers interested in buying extra storage capacity from WordPress.com will also receive new storage benefits from Automattic in the near future. For example, Mullenweg said, bloggers who already purchased a 1GB upgrade would receive up to 5GB of storage from WordPress.com for no extra charge.