Is WordPress Really Free? The Costs of Running a WordPress Site

Is WordPress actually free? One of the explanations the platform is probably the most broadly used CMS on the earth is that it’s open supply. That means, anybody can use it for any function, with out paying an upfront licensing price. This reality has enabled a whole bunch of 1000’s of individuals with no improvement abilities to run their very own web site. 

But does that imply each web site constructed with WordPress is free? No. While you should utilize the software program powering it with out paying a dime, there are nonetheless prices concerned with getting a web site on-line, and selling it.

For that purpose, on this publish, we speak about if and why WordPress actually is free, what it’s a must to calculate for if you wish to get your WordPress web site on-line, and methods to create a wholly free WordPress web site.

That’s a lot to cowl, so let’s get going.

Yes, WordPress Itself is Completely Free

is wordpress really free

WordPress as a software program is open supply and licensed beneath the GNU General Public License (GPL). That means its supply code is obtainable to the general public to do with as they please. In element, which means you might be free to:

  1. Use and run it – You can use WordPress for any function, whether or not it’s for private blogs enterprise web sites, and even to construct cell apps and as a headless CMS. There are not any restrictions on the way you make the most of the software program and no prices related to it in any way.
  2. Modify WordPress to your wants – As an open-source software program, you might be free to play with the WordPress code to your coronary heart’s content material. This permits you to customise your web site’s look and performance, in addition to create new options or repair any points it’s possible you’ll discover. You may construct upon the system in any means you need.
  3. Redistribute it – You are allowed to share your modified model of WordPress with others, to allow them to use your enhancements or customizations. For instance, there’s a fork of WordPress referred to as ClassicPress, which doesn’t embody the brand new Gutenberg block editor. Projects like this are potential as a result of of the platform’s open-source licensing. The solely caveat is that something you distribute that’s constructed on WordPress must be distributed beneath the identical GPL license.
  4. Study the software program – Since WordPress will not be a proprietary product, it’s possible you’ll study and study from its code. You may even copy it and construct one thing else fully. This might help you higher perceive how the software program works and enhance your individual coding abilities.

So, as you may see, WordPress as a platform actually is free. The important purpose for all of that’s that WordPress isn’t owned by a single firm. Instead, it’s a group effort of volunteers who donate their time and power to make it higher.

However, There Are Costs Involved With Running a WordPress Website

While you don’t must pay something for WordPress itself, if you wish to construct, publish, and run a web site with it, there are different prices that come into play. These can range relying in your necessities and the companies you select. However, it’s not likely potential to have a web site on-line with out paying something – not even when its based mostly on WordPress. Here’s a checklist of some frequent prices you could calculate for.

1. Domain Registration

To make it reachable on the Internet, you’ll want a area identify in your web site. That’s the URL customers sort into their browser to get to your web site. Domain registration charges usually vary from $5 to $20 per yr, however the associated fee could be greater for premium or specialised area extensions.

namecheap search results

2. Web Hosting

To enable guests to achieve your WordPress web site, you’ll want a hosting provider. That’s the identify for firms that hire out server area to retailer your web site recordsdata so others can entry them.

wp engine managed wordpress hosting provider

There are numerous sorts of internet hosting obtainable, equivalent to shared, VPS, and managed WordPress internet hosting. They include very totally different costs for his or her plans, from simply a few {dollars} monthly to a few hundred. It all is dependent upon what you want and select.

3. Themes

While there are lots of free themes obtainable within the WordPress repository, it’s possible you’ll need to spend money on a premium one for extra options, performance, or design choices. Premium themes usually price between $30 and $100, with some much more costly.

wordpress themes directory

4. Plugins

Again, there are many free options which regularly suffice for smaller to medium websites.

plugin directory

However, it’s possible you’ll need to go for premium variations with extra options or higher assist. Prices range. They can vary from a one-time price to an annual subscription, often between $20 and $200 or extra, relying on the plugin.

5. Security

Security companies or plugins defend your web site from hackers, malware, and different threats. You ought to all the time have a minimum of some answer for that in place. Prices range right here, too. Some provide free primary safety, whereas extra complete options might cost a month-to-month or annual price.

firewall as protection against ddos attacks schematic
Source: Cloudflare

6. Backups

Regular backups of your web site are important to make sure which you can rapidly restore it if one thing goes fallacious. Some internet hosting suppliers provide backup companies as half of their internet hosting plans, whereas others might cost an extra price. You may use plugins to handle backups, with some providing free choices and others requiring a subscription.

updraftplus wordpress backup plugin

7. Developer/Designer Fees

If you require customized improvement or design work, it’s possible you’ll want to rent a skilled developer or designer. The price for these companies can differ enormously relying on the complexity of the work and the experience of the skilled you select.

8. Maintenance and Support

Ongoing upkeep, equivalent to updating themes, plugins, and WordPress itself, is essential for the safety and efficiency of your web site. You might need to spend money on a upkeep plan or a assist service to assist with these duties. Doing so can vary from a few {dollars} to a number of hundred {dollars} monthly.

wpbuffs wordpress maintenance service homepage

9. website positioning and Marketing Tools

To improve your web site’s visibility and drive visitors, it’s essential to spend money on search engine marketing (website positioning) or advertising. There are many website positioning instruments and plugins on the market, which have totally different prices relying on the options and companies you select.

wordpress seo plugin example

So, How Much Are We Talking?

Generally, in case you go free of charge themes and plugins and study to do a lot of the work in your web site your self, you may run a WordPress web site for about $50-$100 a yr. The extra premium companies, parts, and extensions you go for, the pricier it will get. The sky’s the restrict.

On the opposite hand, whenever you get to the extent the place you spend a appreciable sum on operating and advertising your web site, you might be often on the level the place the earnings your web site generates makes it price it.

Free Ways to Create a WordPress Site

So, if WordPress is free, is there actually no trend to additionally run a web site with no finances? Well, there are methods, nevertheless, all of them include a few caveats.

Install WordPress Locally

You can set up WordPress in your native laptop utilizing sure sorts of software program. These packages create a server setting in your machine which you can run WordPress on identical to a actual server.

localwp local wordpress development tool homepage

This possibility is primarily used for improvement and testing functions, since your web site won’t be accessible to the general public. For that, you’ll nonetheless have to spend money on a area and internet hosting. However, it’s completely suited to study WordPress and the best way to use it to construct web sites with out paying something.

If you want to study extra about native set up, we’ve these articles for you:

  • How to Use Local (By Flywheel) for WordPress Development
  • How To Install WordPress Locally With XAMPP (Windows And Mac)

Get a Free Plan at

You could be conscious that WordPress is available in two totally different variations: the self-hosted model you may obtain on after which set up wherever you need and the hosted model on homepage

The latter is extra like an SaaS web site service as you create an account after which the web site is hosted and created for you. It’s nonetheless based mostly on WordPress, nevertheless, you don’t have entry to the server setting. gives a free, primary plan that permits you to create a WordPress web site with a subdomain (e.g., However, the plan comes with restricted options, storage, and customization choices. You’ll even have advertisements displayed in your web site, and also you received’t have the ability to set up customized themes or plugins.

On the opposite hand, when utilizing a self-hosted WordPress web site (which means you obtain the software program from and set up it on a server), you are able to do with it no matter you need. At the identical time, you’ll have to pay for a minimum of internet hosting and a area identify. But it provides you a lot extra flexibility and management.

Free Hosting Providers

There are some free internet hosting suppliers that can help you set up WordPress on their servers. There are additionally methods to get a free area. For instance, some free internet hosting suppliers additionally provide free subdomains (e.g., as half of their service.

However, understand that these gives typically include limitations, equivalent to restricted bandwidth, storage, or assist, and should show advertisements in your web site. Additionally, their efficiency, safety, and reliability is nearly positively inferior to paid choices.

For that purpose, whereas that is a risk on paper, it’s by no means fitted to any severe or skilled functions. That’s additionally the explanation we aren’t linking to any of them right here.

So, How Free is WordPress, Really?

Part of WordPress’ declare to fame is its nature as an open supply and thus free software program for constructing web sites. While the platform itself is certainly free of cost and gives quite a few freedoms, there are nonetheless prices related to operating a WordPress web site.

These prices virtually all the time embody area registration and internet hosting however may prolong to themes, plugins, safety, upkeep, and advertising. Running a web site is a complicated enterprise, so it’s solely pure that you could make investments some cash into it.

Finally, though there are methods to create a WordPress web site free of charge, they typically include limitations that make them unsuitable for skilled functions. To really profit from the ability and adaptability of WordPress, it’s price investing within the mandatory parts and companies to make sure a high-quality, safe, and user-friendly web site.

What do you most take pleasure in concerning the freedoms WordPress gives? What do you assume is completely price investing to run a profitable WordPress web site? Let us know within the feedback!

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