After my first article on this blog about, what is WordPress? I got a couple of questions about the actual cost of WordPress. Some asked me why is WordPress free and if it was so, does WordPress charge indirectly?
Many of my readers asked me about the real price involved in using WordPress for blogging.
This question isn’t new, though.
I am a professional freelance writer and I do provide blog management services too and the one question that I get asked often from my clients is, why do they have to pay me if WordPress was free.
So in this article, I will try to provide a clear solution to solve your your questions on how much does WordPress cost and if it has hidden plans and pricing.
Why is WordPress free? Any Hidden Legal Terms?
WordPress is an open-source software which itself means that it is free to download, install, use, change or modify as per your wish. However, nothing is absolutely FREE, my friend!
And the same goes for WordPress. Even though no one owns WordPress and you are free to use it, there are peripheral (hidden) costs that you have to pay to manage a WordPress blog. This is essential and is not a case of cheating at all.
Is WordPress copyright free?
Yes WordPress is copyright free in the sense you can download, use, edit, modify and do business with the core WordPress without having to pay anyone a single penny. Read more on the GPL concept here.
No one person or company owns WordPress, it is the derivative work of 1000s of WordPress enthusiasts and experts who are collectively on a mission to make WordPress the easiest and feature-rich blogging and publishing platform.
Who owns WordPress trademark?
WordPress as a word, WordCamp and the logo itself are exclusive trademarks of the WordPress Foundation. These do not come under the GNU GPL license and is done on purpose to prevent people with vested mislead others.
No company, website can have WordPress in their domain names, (yes you guessed it right, our domain name also has a WP instead of WordPress for the same reason :D).
So Can You Sell WordPress?
No, it would be stupid of someone buying something that is already downloadable for free. However, you can customize, modify and sell your version of WordPress if you got buyers.
But since your version is a derivative of something that is originally licensed under GPL, people will be free to download, modify and remove/add their bits to it.
Who Owns Your Content On WordPress?
This is the real benefit of using a self-hosted version of WP (aka WordPress.org). The content you upload exclusively belongs to you.
You enjoy the copyrights to your content, may it be writing, multimedia, creative artwork, products, eBooks anything you produce.
You can add a Free DMCA badge on your site to discourage copying and scraping.
This doesn’t happen of you are thinking to use a free blogging platform or even WordPress.com (You should definitely read this article on WordPress.com vs WordPress.org).
All these free platforms own the right to delete, sell and modify your exclusive content without having to give you any reasons for doing so. For example, Tumblr recently added that they can use your content to place their affiliate links and earn money from it.
They even can delete your whole website and never have to give you a reason for their act. And the worst is, it happens!
That is why I prefer WordPress.org over other things.
MUST READ: Cons of free blogging platforms.
How Much Does WordPress Cost? (Finally!)
To know how much you have to pay for using WordPress as your blogging platform, let’s take the help of an example.
For example, you borrow the car of your friend, it is free but to take it for a long drive with your girl, you gotta pay for the fuel that runs the car!
You might gift her an adorable gown as well so that she feels like a princess. You also have to pay for the additional snacks and the wine that will ensure you have a romantic evening.
Now let’s compare the above example with WordPress (and find out if WordPress is free and how much does WordPress cost)!
The WordPress (as in your friend’s car) is free to use.
But to keep WordPress running you need to install it on a web server which will store the files, articles, multimedia that you upload to your WordPress website. This is from where your site will be accessible to your readers/visitors. This is the same as fuel in the previous example.
Thirdly, You might want to give your website a premium and branded feel with premium WordPress themes (remember, the adorable gown?).
Lastly, the wine and the snacks would be replaced by premium WordPress tools (like CDNs) and plugins (like backup plugins, social sharing plugins etc) that will make your ride (with WordPress) both enjoyable and accomplishing.
So, now you know why WordPress is free and doesn’t itself have any hidden costs.
There is nothing like WordPress plans and pricing but, it does have peripheral charges like website maintenance charges, cost of hosting a website (sure you can host a website for free on your computer, but no one can access that) and addition of premium blogging tools that will help you create branded online presence.
Please note: You are not compelled to use premium themes or plugins on your site. I have seen excellent sites with free WordPress themes & plugins to great business too!
The only thing that is needed is the WordPress hosting. This is a bare minimum that you need to invest if you want to own up your own content and online business.
MUST READ: How to make money with WordPress?
Why You Should use WordPress?
Here are the top 3 reasons why you should use WordPress for your next website:
1) Freedom and Ownership:
With WordPress (self hosted version) you own your content. You pay a minimum of $3 or $4 per month for the hosting and you are good to go. The whole site, and the content are yours.
Unlike other platforms, WordPress is a robust blogging platform. It is easy and gives you the full freedom to build what you want. You can build an online store, a portfolio for getting hired, a private social network and even a niche review site to earn money by reviewing products.
2) Self-hosted WordPress search engine friendly:
WordPress.org is fully optimized for search engines, you can use SEO plugins to enhance the way search engines read your site. This will ensure you get high rankings in Google search, Bing search and the likes.
More visitors means more business!
This is proved by the fact that the huge majority of websites on search engine pages are self-hosted WordPress blogs rather than the other way out!
3) You can brand it and add extra features via plugins:
With WordPress.org you can add plugins that enable you to do anything you can imagine of like accepting payments on your site, selling something, creating a forum and much more.
This might seem unnecessary but you can know the difference when you are not allowed to create a custom landing page for your site, you are stopped from adding a social sharing plugin to your website and most free blogging platforms like WordPress.com are strict and don’t allow you to earn from your very own content unless you pay them something.
And, if you have to pay why not pay to get even more freedom and ownership?
Also, WordPress plugins and tools offer huge discounts during Black Friday deals to save more money off your purchase.
Here are some more reasons to show why having a free website is a bad idea and why you should use WordPress as your blogging platform.
What’s Next: Closing Thoughts to Why is WordPress Free And Why You Should Use it?
Now that you know the whole scenario behind why is WordPress free, what are the charges involved to run WordPress websites and why you should use WordPress for your next website.
I don’t know a single blogger, small business owner who has a large site that successfully generates revenue using the free WordPress.com platform.
Another reason for this is switching is easy. Even if you’ve already started with a free blogging platform (no matter it is Weebly or BlogSpot or WordPress.com etc.) switching is easy.
You get all your site content, rankings, comments, and images transferred to the brand-new WP.org platform before you even know it.
This service usually is charged at $500-$1000 by some experts, but if you contact me, I will get that done for you for free!
What’s the catch?
I expect no price from you because I usually don’t charge anything for helping someone in need but to value my professional time I might charge a nominal amount.
Rest assured, you don’t have to pay me a dime, I will get paid a small commission from the hosting company (which you have to buy from my link to ensure they acknowledge that I send you to them). I guarantee I never recommend anything I wouldn’t myself use, so you’re safe.
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If you’ve any further doubt regarding WordPress or its pricing involved, shoot me an email or comment below so that we get that fixed at the earliest.