One of the most often asked question by our users is “Do I have to pay to use WordPress?”. We tell them that WordPress is a free open/source software. Open-source comes with freedom for you to use, modify, build upon, and redistribute the software in any way you like.
However, there might be costs involved somewhere. You can absolutely build your own cost-effective website if you don’t mind a bit of work.
So, how much will creating a WordPress website actually cost if you’re doing it yourself?
The real answer is that it depends on how you go about choosing the products and services you’ll need to create an effective site.
In the beginning, it is important to note that WordPress is not copyright free. It is licensed in a way that allows everyone to use it, but each contribution made to the software is copyrighted. WordPress is released under GPL, so you are free to use, modify, and redistribute the code. You will have the copyright to modifications you make to the software, not the entire code. GPL requires that any derivative work you release or distribute should be licensed under GPL as well. So while you may have the copyright to do anything you like, your derivative work automatically inherits the GPL license so others are free to use, modify, and redistribute your code in any way they choose.
WordPress as software is free for you to download and use. However, to use WordPress on the web, you will need WordPress Hosting. You can use WordPress.com to create a free blog.
The cost of using WordPress is relatively minimal and hold true for running any other type of website as well. The only real cost is web hosting and domain. WPBeginner users can get a domain name and web hosting for as low as $3.95/month from Bluehost or Siteground (both officially recommended WordPress hosting providers).
People often use commercial plugins, but you are not required to use those as well. There are over 45,000 free WordPress plugins, and we previously wrote about the top 5 plugins to power your site.
Everyone wants a beautiful website and luckily WordPress offers many themes at reasonable prices. Since you’re doing things yourself, you’ll probably want to choose a pre-made WordPress theme for your site’s design. A lot will depend on the type of look you want for your WordPress site and you need to think about how you want to represent yourself or your brand online. Check out our guide through WordPress Themes. Also, you can get some nicely-designed free themes through the WordPress theme directory.
TLDR: If you are planning to create a WordPress website, set aside money for hosting, domain, commercial plugins and themes, food, water, shelter and all the ice-cream you can eat while setting it up!
As you can see, there are quite a few things to consider when determining how much a website will cost. One of the downsides to using WordPress is that because it is so popular, it is targeted by hackers and malicious code creators for the purposes of distributing malware and viruses.