Is WordPress Really Free?

Written on 07 April, 2022 by Melissa Toh
Categories Small Business Web Design & Content

Many people ask is WordPress free to use. The whole debate about WordPress free vs paid is not entirely straightforward.  In this article, we will endeavour to clarify the actual cost of WordPress.  We’ll also provide some background on WordPress for those who are not familiar with the software.


Your Guide to WordPress for Building Websites

  1. What is WordPress?
  2. What is WordPress used for?
  3. Is WordPress free to use?
  4. Is WordPress good for beginners?
  5. How do I build a WordPress website?


What is WordPress?

WordPress is the world’s most popular website builder.  Today more than 30 million active websites have been built using WordPress.  WordPress makes it easy to create websites, blogs, eCommerce stores and more.  And it’s popular for good reasons.

The software itself is free or “open source”.  WordPress is released under a license which means anyone can download, edit, customise, use, or even sell the code.

But how does it do it?

We have called WordPress a website builder, but technically WordPress is a content management system (CMS).   CMS allows the fast and easy management of all the different codes on a server needed to display your web pages. WordPress will write and manage all of the code as a CMS, so you don’t have to.  WordPress ensures you can publish whatever content you want.

What is WordPress used for?

In 2003 when launched, it was primarily WordPress blogs that dominated its use, but today it is very different, and the WordPress use list is long, including:

  • Blogs and personal websites
  • Business websites
  • Ecommerce websites
  • Dropshipping websites
  • Auction websites
  • Membership websites
  • Online courses
  • Online marketplace websites
  • Podcast websites
  • Affiliate websites
  • Coupons websites
  • Job board websites
  • Micro job websites
  • NFP/Religious websites
  • Portfolio websites
  • Multi-lingual websites
  • Online forum websites


is wordpress free to use


Is WordPress free to use?

As already stated, we know the software is free, but the story does not end there.  While the WordPress website builder software is free and open-source, you still need a way to power the software and make it accessible to people worldwide. To accomplish that, you need to, at a minimum, pay for web hosting and a domain name.

With web hosting, you’re paying to rent a space on a server (computer) to run the WordPress software for you.  Then, your domain name creates your address and helps connect visitors with your hosted content.

While web hosting and a domain name are the only costs you absolutely must pay for, there are still some other potential costs of running a WordPress site.

For example, a WordPress theme can make or break a website. WordPress themes control the look and feel of your site and can have a dramatic impact on aspects like visitor dwell time. There are many different WordPress themes available, some of which are free, others are not.

Thousands of plug-ins are available to alter how the core WordPress software works.  Some of these are free, but more complex plug-ins or those that do something truly unique can range in price from a few dollars to hundreds.  Most plug-ins and themes operate using a subscription model, necessitating regular payments.

If you have experience using WordPress, there’s no reason you should need to pay for professional development or support services. However, if you find yourself with technical issues that you can’t solve on your own, you might need to invest in support services. Often your hosting provider provides support to help you with the aspects of your site that relate to hosting.

Although the software is free, you will probably need to pay if you want to create a more professional site.  Your WordPress website cost is dependent on the requirements of your website.  If you need a fully responsive and functioning website you may need to spend some money.

Is WordPress free for blogging? It is as long as you are a self-hosted blogger.


is wordpress good for beginners


Is WordPress good for beginners?

WordPress is great for beginners. It’s easy to learn and easy to use – from the minute you hit the WordPress login. The WordPress point and click interface is always intuitive.  And the secret to WordPress is that as you develop your website, WordPress will grow and expand with you. So, it’s true that it suits the needs of beginners, but many larger business entities also use it.


How do I build a WordPress website?

Follow these 4 key steps to get your new WordPress website underway:

  1. Register your domain name – while you are at it, you might want to consider one of the new .au domains
  2. Secure your WordPress hosting – ask us how
  3. Complete your WordPress download or ask us about WordPress Hosting which has the latest version of WordPress pre-installed and ready for your use
  4. Commit to one hour of considered set-up time

So there you have it. WordPress software is free, but if you are committed to developing a website that can do more than the rudimentary, be prepared to invest in your online presence.  If you need any advice on hosting your website or any other enquiry about improving your online presence we’re happy to help.

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