Last Updated: February 2, 2023
If you’ve ever researched a way to build your own website, you would have come across WordPress. It is a content management system designed to make web creation easy. The most common question people ask in their search is: Is WordPress free?
This article will answer all your questions about WordPress, give you WordPress hosting options, and cover everything else you need to know.
What Is WordPress?
WordPress, at its core, is software that powers your website. It controls the way your website looks and how users will interact with it. It is the platform you will use to create posts and manage the content that goes live on your site or on your blog. With free WordPress hosting to get you started, you also have four paid options to choose from to upgrade your site’s features based on your needs.
The great thing about this service is that you don’t have to be tech-savvy or trained in HTML. It gives the beginner site creator a set of templates and tools to make web creation easy. It also gives you the ability to install multiple plugins that can optimize your website in regards to SEO and online marketing. Other installations like a great grammar checker can also be installed. To further optimize your site, you can invest in affordable SEO services, if you are not an expert in them yourself. These professionals will then recommend the plugins you need.
So, is WordPress open-source? Yes! As an open-source platform, WordPress helps you create anything from a blog to an eCommerce website, a creative portfolio, or even a business website. There is hardly anything it cannot do. WordPress offers something for everyone.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
Not knowing the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org often leads people to choose the wrong blogging platform when opening a free WordPress account.
In simple terms, with WordPress.org you host your own website. With WordPress.com, however, the platform itself takes care of all the administrative tasks for you. Even though this is the easiest option, it is also somewhat limiting.
WordPress.org is open-source software. It allows you to create free WordPress websites. All you need is a domain name and web hosting. For this reason, it is also known as self-hosted WordPress.
If you are looking to start a profitable blog, eCommerce business, or any site through which you aim to make money, WordPress.org is the way to go. It gives you the option to add the best WordPress plugins for business to your website.
Because you own the website and all of the data, using WordPress.org puts you in complete control. The flexibility of your content and customization is entirely yours. It gives you and your website the freedom to be and do whatever you want to grow your business.
The great thing about WP is that the WordPress website is free. The major feature that differentiates WordPress.org from WordPress.com is the fact that WordPress.com takes care of your domain and hosting for you. Although this is easier, this limits your freedom as a user. It is a hosting service created by Automattic, the company led by WordPress co-founder, Matt Mullenweg.
Overall, WordPress.com is the best option for students or people who wish to start a blog as a hobby. The limited WordPress free hosting plan is sufficient for a blogging platform, as long as you do not wish to start a professional blog or make money from it. Paid versions of WordPress.com are excellent for eCommerce and online sales as well as organic traffic generation.
|DID YOU KNOW: WordPress is in fact not owned by any company. In order to protect the freedoms that come with an open-source license, co-founder Mullenweg created the WordPress Foundation. This non-profit foundation owns the WordPress trademark.|
What Are the Costs Associated With a WordPress Website?
Although you can download the WordPress software for free, your website will not be able to go live without a domain name and hosting. These are just two of the major expenses you will have to budget for when looking to launch a WordPress website.
Below is a breakdown of the expenses that come above and beyond the basic WordPress fees. Consider this a website launch checklist, consisting of all the things you need to have in order to go live.
To simply cover the basics, you can expect to pay an average of $11 per month for WordPress. Realistically speaking, however, you can expect a relatively large once-off sum in order to secure all the features you need, followed by monthly payments.
While most website builders, such as WordPress.com free blog sites, include a domain name in their plans, WordPress.org requires you to get your own name. You can get one easily from some of the best domain name registrars. There are so many domain name registrars available, but it’s still important that you choose a service that provides quality domain name registration services. One of the best registrars available on the market is Domain.com. In order to secure a .com or .net address from Domain.com, you must budget for $8.99 and $12.99 per year respectively.
Getting a domain name for your free WordPress account is very important, as a well-chosen domain name will get you noticed.
There is no question about domain vs hosting. They are both absolutely essential for your website.
There are many different types of web hosting, including shared, VPS, cloud, and dedicated hosting. Your overall WordPress cost will be greatly affected by the type of hosting you opt for. Shared hosting could be as reasonable as $2.49-$15 per month, while dedicated hosting, on the other end of the spectrum, could cost between $80 and $730 per month.
Choosing the right hosting service for you is essential and takes a lot of research. There are different options for storage space as well as various important features catering to privacy and security needs.
When it comes to building your site, there are two options: either you build the site yourself using the numerous page-building tools or you hire a professional website builder.
You will most likely want to hire a website builder or developer, to help you create the perfect page for your project on the WordPress open-source platform. These developers do not come cheap and they are essential in making sure you are putting out the right message and visuals for your brand. This will undoubtedly require a big part of your website budget.
It is tough to put a figure to this as it is based on your needs for your website and the experience and fees of the website builder. A super basic site could cost as low as $100-$200, while a more complex and advanced website could push for the $1,000 mark, if not more.
There is an alternative here. There are many free online web development plans that you can use to create your own website. There are various tutorials online to guide you through these processes. However, if you are looking to launch something professional and you are not experienced in web design, this may not be your best option.
WordPress themes determine how your website looks, feels, and functions. Depending on which theme you choose, your WordPress cost will be different. It is the base of what will attract readers and customers to your platform.
Website design statistics show that 94% of first impressions are related to your website’s design, and 75% of the website’s credibility comes from its design. Moreover, 89% of customers will turn to a competitor after a bad user experience and as much as 74% of customers will return to websites that have a mobile-friendly version.
While there are quite a few out there, some are more recommended than others:
- Highend is a multipurpose theme and the top seller on the market. You can get this for $59 for a single site license.
- Creativo is very customizable. You can purchase this for $59 per license.
- The Ashe blog theme is easy to manage and will cost as little as $29.99 once-off.
Plugins are there to help you build on your website and will add to your WordPress costs. Whether you want to add contact forms or create an online store, plugins are one of the best SEO tools available to you.
There are many different plugins to choose from. Below are some of the top-rated ones:
- WPForms can range from a basic package at $79 for one site to $599 for use on unlimited sites, with various options in between.
- UpdraftPlus can range anywhere from $70 per year to $399 per year.
Are you wondering, are any of the WordPress plugins free? Yes, there are a number of free plugins by WordPress that you can opt for instead.
WordPress offers 24/7 support. You will never be left in the dark if you have a question or an issue. The team can be reached via call, email, or live chat.
|There’s a difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.|
|Buying a domain name is necessary in order for your WP site to go live.|
|Expert themes and plugins cost extra.|
|The basic plan on WordPress is free, as well as the basic plugins and themes.|
|Hiring a website building expert will cost between $200-$1,000 depending on your needs.|
Is WordPress Worth It?
WordPress is definitely worth it. Is WordPress free? No. Even if you opt for the free software, there will always be costs involved when creating your website, especially if you want it to be a revenue source.
If used and approached correctly, WordPress has the potential to suit all needs at any budget. There are many built-in features that will suffice until your budget can support an upgrade.
There is more to WordPress than creating free stock photo sites or personal blogs. In fact, blogging statistics have shown that there are about 70 million blog posts being published per month by WordPress users alone.
WordPress offers multiple themes to start with, even if you work with the free WordPress version. This means there is ample space to explore before adding themes to your yearly website budget. With WordPress, you can create anything you want and in any way you want.
The option to customize to your heart’s desire is right at your fingertips. Customizations include:
- SEO optimization
- Drag-and-drop builders
- Color cards and color charts
- Added mailing and subscription lists
- Shopping carts
- Added payment methods
- Variation of sales techniques including countdown time clocks and upsells
Even though a lot of these added tools and features are included in the free WordPress plan, you have access to it all depending on what your budget allows. WordPress has something for everyone.
|DID YOU KNOW: WordPress is used by governments all around the world. It powers thousands of government websites, including the US Federal and State government websites as well as counties, small towns, high schools, and more.|
WordPress is a multi-dimensional software website building tool that fits most needs. Often confused, WordPress.com and WordPress.org are different services. There is much more to WordPress than personal blogging, and it dominates the market.
Budgeting to create your own website and go live has many aspects that must be taken into consideration. Choosing a domain name for your business, for instance, is a part of that budget that cannot be skimped on. It is very important to budget carefully, knowing where you can save on your WordPress cost.
WordPress.com offers various plans. There is a free version for beginners. For personal use, you can get a basic plan for $4 a month. Freelancers can get extra features at $8 per month. Businesses and ecommerce enterprises can consider something a bit more advanced at $25-$40 per month. These monthly fees include domain and hosting fees.
Yes, WP and WordPress.org are written in PHP and use a MySQL or MariaDB database to create a free open source content management system.
No, you do not have to pay for the WordPress software. However, there are many costs associated with creating your website and going live. Important budgeting aspects include but are not limited to choosing the type of hosting, getting a domain name, hiring a web developer, and considering premium themes to make it more user-friendly.
Yes, WordPress.org is open-source software that allows you to create a self-hosted website. In order for this website to go live, however, there are essential expenses that have to be considered.
So, is WordPress free? WordPress.org is free software, available to anyone to download. But, WordPress.com is not a free service. Even with WordPress.org, although you pay nothing for the software, it is pointless unless you invest in making your website go live. Some of the vital expenses include a domain and hosting.