Last updated - February 24, 2021
“Is WordPress Free?” is a common question you may have heard when you have considered building a website. WordPress is an open source software, which you can download and use without incurring any cost. However, you have to make arrangements for a hosting service provider and domain registration since it is a self-hosted content management system. In this article, we will discuss the question “Is WordPress Free?” and some of the possible aspects that will cost you. We will also present some of the top reasons to choose WordPress for your website.
WordPress is free and open source
When it comes to the question “Is WordPress Free”, the answer is obviously yes. You can download the latest version of the software from WordPress.org without incurring any charges. And it is also open source, and comes under General Public License (GPL), which means the following:
- You will have the freedom to use the software for any purpose.
- Can modify the software according to your requirements.
- Can freely share the software with anybody you choose.
- And also, you have the freedom to share the changes that you apply to it.
Yes, the software itself is free and open source. But how will you use it? You need an account with a hosting service provider to be able to install the software and build your site.
If you are searching for a hosting service provider for WordPress, you will find quite a range options. There are a few options such as Bluehost, DreamHost and Siteground, which are recommended by WordPress itself.
Here is an article that discusses some of the best WordPress hosting service providers.
You will also find different options with each hosting service provider, such as shared, dedicated, managed, etc. When you plan to build your site, you can use any of these options according to your requirement.
If you are not sure about the differences between different types of hosting, refer to our article discussing different types of hosting options for your WordPress website.
Now, when you start out with your website, in a lot of cases, you want to keep your expenses to a minimum. In that case, you can always opt for the cheapest hosting option, that is shared hosting. However, as you scale, you may need more resources, and you may have to upgrade to a different option.
On the other hand, if you are building a business or online store, and you don’t have time for detailed site management, a managed WordPress hosting service would be ideal.
Domain registration is the other aspect that you will have to take care before being able to create a site using WordPress. Most popular hosting services offer free domain registration for the first year. So, if you are concerned about the cost, you can minimize it that way. If you have decided to register a domain name independently, you can check out some of the popular domain registrars.
The following articles could be useful too, if you are handling domain registration on your own:
Other aspects of a WordPress site where you may have to incur costs
There are a few other areas you may have to incur costs while running a WordPress site. However, these will be purely subjective and based on your evolving requirements.
Themes will help you design your WordPress site the way you want it. You will find a huge number of free themes in the WordPress directory. However, you may need to opt for a premium theme to suit your industry, or the additional design requirements you may have. This could be an additional expense while running a WordPress site.
Plugins let you extend the features of your site without putting in effort for coding. WordPress plugin ecosystem thrives on the ‘freemium model’, where a basic version of the plugin is offered free of cost and you may have to pay to get an advanced version. So, if you choose to opt for a premium plugin, you will have to spend some money for it.
Though WordPress is quite user-friendly, and anyone with basic technical knowledge can manage a site, sometimes you may need help with site maintenance. You can easily find third party maintenance service provides when required.
Top reasons to choose WordPress for your website
Here is a look at some of the top reasons you should choose WordPress over a competitor.
Free and open source
WordPress is free and open source, which offers you great freedom in creating a site of your choice. If you are a developer, you can easily modify the site at code level. And, if your technical knowledge is minimal, you can still make use of the large collection of themes, plugins and other compatible tools. The costs incurred to get started with a WordPress site is minimal, as you have to spend only for hosting and domain name.
Flexibility to create any kind of website
WordPress offers unmatched flexibility to help you create any kind of website that you need. Be it a blog, business website, eCommerce store, or eLearning site, you can effortlessly build one with WordPress. WordPress has its own free plugin, WooCommerce, which itself is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms in the world. Moreover, you can choose a theme according to the nature of your site, and add relevant features through plugins.
Customization with themes and plugins
As discussed above, customization with themes and plugins is one of the top benefits in using WordPress to build your site. You will have the control to easily integrate or remove a feature as per your changing needs. Similarly, with themes, it is quite easy to redesign your site, or modify the design language.
Vibrant community to support
One of the positive outcomes of the huge popularity of WordPress is the vibrant community of experts and enthusiasts it has created. It is especially easy to familiarize yourself with WordPress as you will find a large number of blogs, tutorials and podcasts to help you out. Moreover, there are regular WordPress meetups at different locations, which offers you a chance to get in touch with experts.
You can get support for site management issues through the WordPress support forums. Most of the theme and plugin developers offer priority support for issues relate to their products. On top of all this, you can hire a maintenance service provider as well.
Easy to use
WordPress is quite easy to manage once you are familiar with the interface. You will be able to install and setup plugins or themes easily, and also integrate third party tools. The admin panel is quite user-friendly, and lets you handle all the aspects of your site easily. More importantly, WordPress offers you complete control over your site, with total ownership of the site. This is not the case if you are choosing a SaaS-based platform to build your website. Also, it is pretty easy to move a WordPress site from one hosting service to another.
Seamless integration with other tools
When you are managing a website, often you will have to integrate third party services and tools. WordPress, being one of the most popular content management systems in the world, offers seamless options to integrate with other tools. Be it an SEO plugin, or an email marketing tool, you will find an easy way to integrate with your WordPress site. This practically gives you access to almost all site management tools out there.
WordPress follows high security standards. The core software is regularly updated with security patches, which helps to keep malicious attacks at bay to an extent. In addition, most of the themes and plugins too follow the update schedules. Furthermore, you can easily find good quality security plugins and tools for your WordPress website.
WordPress is created with high quality code, and it complies to the guidelines of search engines. Moreover, it makes metadata pretty easy to manage by automatically generating SEO titles and meta descriptions. All these reasons help WordPress sites to rank relatively better than others. In addition, you will find a range of plugins to help you optimize your WordPress site for search engines.
Hopefully, this article has answered the question Is WordPress Free? and also provided you with some of the reasons behind the huge popularity of WordPress. Leave us a comment if you have a query.