Is WordPress Free? What Costs May Be Associated With Using WordPress?

People new to blogging in general and WordPress in particular frequently ask if the software is free, and whether they’ll need to pay more later if it is. The answer is that WordPress is free and open source, meaning that you have the freedom to use, modify, and redistribute the software as you like – you can even make your own modifications to it – but there are some costs associated with some of the affiliated services. To better understand them, let’s go over some of the basics.

What is a blog?

A blog is a collection of commentary posted on the internet for others to read. It can be personal, corporate, political, an audio podcast, photographic, and so on, and the individual entries – called “posts” – are typically displayed in reverse-chronological order, with the latest posts at the top. Many blogs allow readers to comment on the post, which creates a sense of community and encourages discussion.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a free, dynamic and Web-based software program that anyone can use to build and maintain a website or blog. WordPress is much more than just a tool for bloggers. Written in PHP and supported by a MySQL database, it offers sophisticated design features and intuitive administrative tools that make it easy to develop and integrate a personal or professional blog. It started in 2003 and now used on millions of sites globally, constantly evolving and developing. It is probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system(or CMS).

Why do not they sell WordPress as software?

WordPress does not belongs to any one owner or company, it is an open source community project. Thousands of talented people have contributed to make this great software. A core team of developers are leading the project development, but anyone can contribute, report bugs, patches, suggest features, and  so on. Project leaders are also changed from version to version. Even you can be a core contributor by getting involved with the community and spending time working on it.

The reason for this model is that software, once created, can be copied virtually cost-free. The original developers believed that this would quickly cause the profit margin of the software to become unfair.

What are the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

WordPress.com and .org are just different ways of creating a website or a blog, but each is aimed at a different type of user.

WordPress.com is a free blogging service where you sign up for an account and your blog is hosted at WordPress.com, along with all the other blogs hosted on that site. It is quick and easy to register and you do not need to set-up the WordPress software; however, there are some restrictions or limitations. For example, there is a limited themes collection and you are not allowed to add additional themes or create your own. WordPress.com is primarily for that people who just want to get going right off the bat with minimal fuss and write a daily or weekly blog, and prefer to avoid messing around with customization or technical issues.

WordPress.org is for users who want more control or want to get advanced features. It allows you to download the WordPress software, installing and hosting it on your desktop or a server provided for you by a web hosting company. You will have a lot of themes and plugins to beautify your site and extend your system functionality, as well as nearly limitless control.

How can I make money with WordPress?

While you can’t sell WordPress, you can make money by providing products or services based on the same open source software. Self-hosted WordPress or WordPress.org is a free blogging platform. Matt Mullenweg, the co-founding developer of WordPress and the owner of the company Automattic, provides restricted free blog hosting service at WordPress.com. You can pay or upgrade to unlock features such as CSS modification. To get the full control of WordPress.org or WordPress.com service, you would need to spend over $3250 per month for hosting. So you can see there is money to be made!

Other developers are earning multimillion dollar returns by creating commercial plugins, commercial themes, and providing WordPress hosting. For example, StudioPress, Elegant Themes, WooThemes, iThemes, and others like them are creating themes to customize WordPress blogs, while companies like Gravity Forms, BackupBuddy, Sucuri, and SlideDeck are creating plugins to add functionality. And WPEngine is making over $1.2 million a year through offering WordPress hosting. Some WordPress developers and consultants are making a fortune by building custom websites, applications, and plugins.

Is WordPress copyright free?

WordPress is not copyright free, and it is licensed in a way that allows everyone to use, but each contribution made to the software is also copyrighted and licensed under GPL. Any derivative work you release or distribute will be inherited by GPL automatically, so others are allowed to use, modify, and redistribute your code in any way they choose. For example, if you have a blog post about how to use a WordPress function with examples, then that specific blog post could be licensed differently. But the code, which is used in examples, is actually derivative work and automatically inherits the GPL license.

Is WordPress trademarked?

The words WordPress, WordCamp, and the WordPress logo are registered trademarks of WordPress Foundation. The foundation asks folks to not use “WordPress” in their domain name to distinguish between a site and resource that is official or community run. This is why our site is named WP-Solution instead of WordPressSolution. There are many legit businesses built around WordPress who are aware of these trademark policies, and like us they respect these rules.

Is there a cost to use WordPress?

WordPress is free to download and use, but to run WordPress on the web, you need WordPress Hosting. You can use WordPress.com to create a free blog,  but you will need to spend money for web hosting and a domain of your own.

There are 1600+ free WordPress themes, and 23,000 free WordPress plugins available, but if you want to use commercial WordPress themes and plugins, then you need to pay a little more. Paid themes and plugins are regularly updated by the owners, and the companies that provide them will typically also provide support.

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Is WordPress Free? What Costs May Be Associated With Using WordPress?

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