Is WordPress Free? What are the Costs? Is there a Catch?

The main reason behind WordPress’s popularity is its open-source software and if you ask, “is WordPress free ?” The answer is yes. While WordPress is technically free, setting up and running a WordPress site still involves some hidden costs, which is probably why people often get confused.

However, you can build a basic website for almost nothing and enhance your website with free WordPress themes and plugins.

In this article, we will explain how WordPress is free. And what are some costs attached to it? Hence, let’s begin!

Is WordPress free?

Essentially, WordPress is free and open source. You can go right now to WordPress.org and download the full software without spending a penny. Open-source software is publicly available. WordPress itself is available through General Public License (GPL) that guarantees the following:

  • You can use WordPress for any purpose
  • You can redistribute the source code
  • You can modify the software
  • You can freely improve the program and release those modifications

WordPress comes with some significant points that you need to consider. Users can freely use WordPress to build websites. On the other hand, running a website will require web hosting (however, you can use free WordPress hosting, but that’s highly discouraged) and a domain name, and the users may deal with the rest of the burden of owning a website, all of which costs money. So, you can’t run a WordPress site for free.

Can I make a WordPress Blog for free?

You may probably know about WordPress.com and WordPress.org. While you can create a free blog on WordPress.com with some limitations, you can’t do so by using WordPress.org. You still need to get a website to do so.

Some companies provide low-cost hosting and domain registration, so you can get a site at the lowest costs. To drive down the cost of your WordPress site and maintain it, you can pick free WordPress themes and free WordPress plugins.

What else is free in WordPress?

Even if you don’t have a free WordPress site, some aspects are always free, while with some, you can choose between free and premium options. Let’s take a look at the free components of WordPress.

Related: How to Choose the Best WordPress Theme in 2022: Eight Things to Consider

Free Themes

You have thousands of free options when it comes to selecting a theme. These themes can come with different layouts, colour designs, additional theme features, and more. Regardless of the type of website you’re building, chances are you can find an excellent free theme.

Some popular free WordPress themes include page builders, many pre-built pages, and other assets. But the more functionality you want from a theme, the more difficult this becomes.

When choosing a free WordPress theme , make sure to choose one that gets regular updates and has an active community.

Related: WordPress Plugin Vulnerabilities- How to Know if a WordPress Plugin Is Secure?

Free Plugins

If you visit WordPress.org right now, you’ll see thousands of free plugins available; unless you’re looking for incredibly specific functionality, you can usually find the best WordPress plugin for free.

WordPress can always integrate unique functionalities that users can enjoy, whether it’s social media tools, SEO tools, Security tools, form builders, or anything else; WordPress has got you covered.

However, a lot of those plugins are free versions of premium plugins, and they don’t offer the complete functionality the premium versions provide. In some cases choosing premium versions are worth it if you require the features you can’t get otherwise. But fortunately, rarely you won’t find a free WordPress plugin to get the job done.

Free updates

WordPress intends to remain free for the rest of the time. So, any major WordPress updates are freely shared with all users. You don’t have to worry about not being able to update your Core WordPress in the future.

Updates are an essential part of the software, and WordPress provides all the updates to its users without any distinction.

The hidden cost of WordPress

An essential concern for WordPress users is the additional cost of running WordPress websites. At the very least, you’ll need to spend money on web hosting and a domain name.

Let’s take a look at components that aren’t free.

Related: How to Register a Domain Name in Dubai, UAE | Domain Registration Guide

Domain Name

Most website builders include a domain name. But when you build a site with WordPress.org, you must buy a domain name from any registrar. It is better to use a custom domain name for some marketing strategies. We suggest you pick a domain similar to your business, which should be short and memorable.

Most domains are sold at reasonable prices, but desirable and premium ones have been known to creep into thousands or even millions.

Alternatively, you can get a free domain with a hosting plan like AEserver.

Related: WordPress Hosting vs. Web Hosting: What’s the Difference?

Web Hosting

You can’t avoid web hosting when setting up your website. When you buy a web hosting plan, you reserve a space on the internet for your website. The website files must be stored on a hosting server to display the website to the public. In short, no hosting means no website.

However, many companies provide free WordPress hosting, which will only lead to a loss of business reputation.

Instead, you can go for a hosting solution that is reasonable. Make sure you choose a reliable WordPress hosting and take the time to understand what each provider has to offer.

Premium Themes

Some users prefer premium themes over free ones. The premium themes come with excellent features and high-quality support.

But using a premium theme can be expensive. The decision here can be based on whether the cost of a premium theme is worth your website or not.

Most of the themes have free and premium versions that you can use per your website’s requirements.

Premium Plugins

You are free to choose premium plugins for your website. Getting premium licenses can be one of the best ways to improve your website. Whether creating forms, online courses or enabling better security, the premium plugins are unmatchable by other free plugins.

Some best WordPress plugins, like Masterio and user registration, are worth the money.

The drawback is that paying for the premium plugin for your website can easily rack up expenses. However, they provide premium updates and support to pro users.

Related: WordPress vs Website Builders: Which Tool Should You Use?


As a business owner, you can build a website yourself even if you don’t have technical knowledge. There are drag-and-drop page builders that are easy to use.

On the other hand, you may need a developer to build your WordPress website for one of the following reasons:

  1. You don’t have enough time.
  2. You need advanced functionality that requires coding.
  3. You don’t feel confident with the process.

Hiring a professional developer will ensure that you’ll have a professional and attractive website, but it can cost you thousands of dollars depending on your website’s requirements.

The Bottom line

WordPress software will always be free, but running a WordPress site can cost thousands of dollars yearly. So if you are new to web design, you can start by choosing free WordPress components and cutting down the cost of the domain by selecting AEserver’s UAE-based hosting plans.

And that’s the end of our discussion on the topic “is WordPress free ?” We hope this post provided you with valuable insights into WordPress and what it means for you.

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