A million dollar question—"does WordPress costs money?"
The answer to this question is both "yes" and "no". This can be complicated and this article is going to uncomplicate the answer (we promise)!
When it comes to WordPress, there are two parts to WordPress that you should know. On one hand, you have WordPress.com which is a free blogging service whereby you can create a blog that is run on WordPress servers. You get everything from a blog to tools to publish your content at no cost.
In another corner is WordPress.org which is a content management system (CMS). It is a free open-source software that is used in web hosting servers. This is the full-fledged software that is free to download but needs to be uploaded to servers provided by a hosting company.
WordPress is a project that belongs to an open-source community where it has been modified continuously through the contributions made by thousands of talented people (WordPress community) to make it what it is today. The project development is led by a core developer team, but any random person can contribute patches, suggest features, report bugs, etc.
It is important to note that project leaders will change with the change in versions (when newer version rolls out). If you manage to become a part of the community, then it will be easier for you to become a core contributor. In short, advocates of open-source driven projects are not in it for profit. They want to share the software with the community and allow people to improve upon it.
This is one of the most common questions asked by many. The answer to this is a resounding "yes". There are several ways you can make money with WordPress.
Here are some of the common ones that you can start today.
Creating WordPress themes is a lucrative industry (either side gig or as a company). If you are able to create custom WordPress themes solving specific challenges, you can make money easily with WordPress. Here are some great examples—Thrive Themes creates conversion-focused WordPress themes, Divi creates drag and drop WordPress builders that are easy to use (and beautiful) and Beaver Builder that offers minimal bloat load WordPress themes that speed up website loading speed.
Want to make money with WordPress? Just like WordPress themes, WordPress plugins are built to solve or provide specific functionality for the website owners. Popular WordPress plugins such as SEOPress offers 1-click and all-in-one SEO setup for beginners while WP Rocket allows website owners to easily cache their WordPress site in just a few clicks (without coding skills).
Last but not least, freelance WordPress developers are highly in demand too! You can either charge an hourly charge or a monthly retainer for managing WordPress websites. You are required to have a certain level of coding skills to become a full-fledged WordPress developer.
No, WordPress cannot be copyrighted for free. The WordPress license allows all users to have equal access to it, but each software contribution is copyrighted.
It is available under GPL such that the code can be freely used, modified and redistributed. In case you make any further modifications to the software, you will have a copyright to those and not the entire code.
As per the requirement of GPL, any released or distributed derivative work should be licensed under it. So, while every user has the copyright to do what they like, their derivative work will automatically get licensed under GPL so that others can freely use, modify or redistribute the code.
If you are going with this path, there is no monthly or yearly commitment. It is free ... and free for life. Of course, there are paid plans if you wish to upgrade for more features down the road. But for a basic blog, you don't have to fork out a single cent.
|Pricing||Free for life and paid plans available that start at $99 per month|
|Custom domain||Yes, for paid plans. The free plan comes with a semi-branded domain name (e.g. your-blog-name.wordpress.com)|
|Number of visitors||Unlimited|
|Suitable for||Bloggers (hobbyist), blogging for fun|
Starting a blog with WordPress CMS is not the same of starting a blog. This route is often taken by those who want to monetize their site, build a business that they have absolute control and flexibility.
In order to use WordPress CMS for your blog, you need to firstly own a domain, subscribe to web hosting solution and finally, install WordPress CMS. Don't worry, the steps are really simple.
This option is often known as a self-hosted WordPress solution. It is often used by bloggers and entrepreneurs because it is easy to use and setting it up takes under 30 minutes at most.
If you want absolutely control on what can and cannot be done on your website, this path is definitely a great path to take.
With WordPress CMS, you can literally do anything under the roof, including creating a membership site using WordPress.
|Pricing||WordPress CMS is free to use. There are additional costs such as domain name purchase and web hosting plans to host your self-hosted WordPress site.|
|Custom domain||Full control over your brand and domain name (example your-domain-name.com)|
|Bandwidth||Depends on the web hosting plan|
|Number of visitors||Depends on the web hosting plan|
|Suitable for||Bloggers (who wants to make money online), corporate website, corporate identity, blogs with high traffic|
For starters, you can't go wrong with a self-hosted WordPress site and WordPress.com free blogging platform. Both are equally great to be utterly honest.
A self-hosted WordPress website offers more customization, flexibility and control, including custom blog post templates—you can do anything that you wish under the sun, while WordPress.com comes with legal terms and conditions such as strict monetization rules.
If you are just starting a blog as a hobby, there is no harm going with the free blogging platform and migrate at a later point to a self-hosted WordPress site.
On the other hand, we recommend you to go with a self-hosted WordPress site because there is no hassle down the road (if you want to migrate to a more reliable blogging solution). Plus, it is really affordable to start a blog from scratch.
If this is the path that you are looking for, follow these steps to start a blog.
Define your brand name is the first step in starting a blog. In short, we recommend you to figure out what you want to provide to the public and craft a domain name from there. Here's a good resource to find a good blog name.
Get yourself a reliable web hosting solution. It doesn't need to be the best in the market, but one that is reliable and keep your website up and running 24/7. If you are looking for an affordable WordPress hosting, you can start with Bluehost that costs only $3 per month. Plus, it comes with free domain registration (so more saving for you).
The second last step is to install WordPress CMS into your hosting account. Don't worry, most web hosting solution offers 1-click WordPress installation. So, no coding skill is required and your WordPress site will be ready within the next 5 minutes or less.
There are many free WordPress themes that you can use including our favorite, TwentyTwenty theme. If you are looking for a drag and drop builder, you can't go wrong with Thrive Architect or Divi Builder that allows you to build the entire website using visual editor a.k.a. no coding skills required.
The last step in starting a WordPress blog is to install plugins. Installing a WordPress plugin is easy (tutorial). As WordPress comes with a wide range of plugins, make sure you download plugins directly from the WordPress repository to avoid any malicious code in the plugin and affecting your WordPress security.