If you’re looking at developing a new website, you’re likely to come across WordPress as one of the best-known providers. The software itself is free to download, but you’ll need to pay for other running costs.
There are a few elements to be aware of when setting up a new site, such as purchasing a domain name and paying for annual hosting.
So let’s run through them, that way you’ve got a great idea about how much you should budget!
What Can I Use WordPress for Without Needing to Pay?
WordPress is a content management system, so you can use it to build a fully functional business website, by adding plug-ins to incorporate contact forms, different widgets, and even an e-commerce checkout, or you can use it to publish a personal blog, as a few examples.
As we’ve mentioned, if you’re wondering does WordPress cost money, the technical answer is that it doesn’t.
However, you will need to account for the extra expenses that come with making a new website!
The direct costs of running a site are:
- Paying for a domain name – that’s the name of your website. So Guru.com, for example, has Guru as the website name and then .com as the domain name extension. You must have a domain name to run any website.
- Hosting costs – The host is who you pay for the server that holds your website files and data on their system. There are many different types of hosting, so this cost of you hosting will depend on the website you have, how much storage it requires, and the security demands.
If this all sounds a little technical, one of the most straightforward options for many businesses is to hire a WordPress developer to set it all up for you.
That service might include identifying the optimal hosting service for your site, establishing the content, functionality, and website design itself, and registering your chosen domain name so you can customize your WordPress website address.
How Much Does WordPress Cost?
You can opt for several plans – and again, if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, it’s highly advisable to hire a freelancer to organize all the details to ensure you’re paying for sufficient capacity, but not over the odds!
Here’s the catch (isn’t there always one when something is free!).
A simple WordPress site created through the templates and customization options hosted by WordPress will be cheap, but it will contain banners and ads that you don’t have control over.
Basic WordPress.com hosting plans start from around $4 a month, up to $25 a month.
The cost of the service depends on what website management features you need and how much onsite storage you require.
Is a Self-Hosted WordPress Site Free?
Self-hosting is the alternative to using WordPress templates. You can still download the self-hosting software for free.
But by using this open-source version you can add any features you like, hire a skilled developer to customize your code, and select any themes, colors, or designs you feel have the best fit with your branding.
Experienced WordPress developers can create a complete site from scratch with the open-source versions, which means you’ll only need to pay for the domain name and hosting fees going forward.
If you require any pre-made features, or third-party paid tools available from developers, these will carry a separate cost that you’ll need to budget for.
What are the Essential Costs to Run a Website?
If you’re looking into the question, “does WordPress cost money,” you’re likely calculating a new website build and launch price.
Let’s look at some of the crucial cost factors in getting your site off the ground:
- Hosting – there are tonnes of hosting services, and Bluehost is one of the hosts endorsed by WordPress (but there are many choices!). The average hosting plan costs around $7.99 a month.
- Domain name – most cost around $14.99 a year. Prices depend on the domain name extension you’d like (such as .net .co or .com) and the availability of the website name.
- Plug-ins – these are functions that a developer can add to your website. Essential plug-ins are relatively cheap, but high-performance, premium options can cost more. The good news is that it’s usually a one-off investment. Plug-ins might add the functionality to play videos, or animations, for example.
- Themes – like plug-ins, themes have an initial purchasing cost. They control the feel and imagery of your site, with options to change the site layout, color scheme, and style.
If you need a function for your WordPress site and aren’t sure of the best plug-in to use or whether it exists, our advice would be to commission a freelance WordPress developer who can recommend the best options or even build a unique plug-in for you.
Can Anybody Use the Free WordPress Software?
They can – the WordPress CMS is cost-free, and it’s available for anybody to use.
The software is not copyright free, though it is universally licensed, so it’s available to all – but any contributions made to the software are copyrighted.
This system works under a general public license (GPL), so you or your developer can use, modify and distribute the code. You own the copyright to any software modifications you make, but not the entire code.
Which is Cheaper – WordPress.com or WordPress.org?
If you’ve come across these two versions of WordPress, it’s worth understanding the difference, so you know which you need for your website build.
WordPress.com is designed for fast website creation projects. The process is straightforward, and the technical aspects and hosting are managed for you by WordPress.
You can customize your website – but the options are limited, and you won’t have anything like the creative freedom you get through a self-hosted site.
WordPress.org is the version where you can download the self-hosted software to build your own WordPress site. That means having the ability to design and construct your site precisely the way you want. With millions of plug-in options, themes, styles, and functional tools out there, the only limit to what your developer can create is your imagination!