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You might be familiar with WordPress and several other applications, but there’s a chance you might not know what “free” software means. It’s nothing very technical; instead, it counts as an essential thing you should know before starting your website. But as many individuals claims, is WordPress free? In this article, you will explore different features of WordPress, including “why is WordPress free?” and if it is, then what’s the catch?

Explanation about free nature of WordPress.org:

As thousands of businesses are going currently going online, a surge of websites has taken over the internet. This is favoured due to umpteen factors, but speaking shortly, there is immense flexibility for online business. And software applications like WordPress are trying to make it easier to install websites, even as easy as a one-click task. But as you might have heard, WordPress is free for all its users, which attracts a massive audience.

If you haven’t, you might wonder how to use WordPress, though? We will briefly cover that section towards the end of the article. Now what are exactly people talking about- is it WordPress.org or WordPress.com they’re talking about? But let’s understand how both of these works so that you know what you want and where you can achieve it.

WordPress.org:

WordPress.org is the most feasible and suitable option to set up your website. Follow the given points to understand how is WordPress free, and why it is the best choice for you:

  • WordPress is free means that it is open-source software. But there are a few lowly costs that you have to know about. We will discuss open-source software in the next segment.
  • Along with WordPress.org, you need to take the help of a web host (e.g., Bluehost). In simpler terms, a web host is a storage unit where all the data comprised in your website is stored.
  • You don’t necessarily spend large sums of money to arrange a web host; it all depends upon your requirement. You can even find one that suits your budget! 
  • Another fantastic fact about WordPress.org is that you can get your domain name at a lesser cost (WordPress.com).
  • You have loads of customization options available on WordPress.org, and you can add all the latest plug-ins to your website. 
  • And lastly, you can easily monetize your website on WordPress.org regardless of the scale of your business. This can be done at a very affordable price.

Working with WordPress.org is a fantastic experience of heightened accessibility and interactivity with your audience. So, all in all, WordPress.org offers tremendous flexibility to build a website.

WordPress.com:

WordPress.com works differently from WordPress.org and is owned by Automattic Inc. It’s the right choice for beginners but has its downfalls when it comes to actual business development. Given below are the features of WordPress.com that you should know about:

  • WordPress.com is a free blogging platform where you can publish your works through a website or blog. But users have limited access unless they get a paid subscription.
  • Many themes and customization options are available, but not all of them are available for free; a lot of them are paid.
  • Your website will have a subdomain attached to it unless you pay for a domain (e.g., websitename.wordpress.com)
  • Plug-ins other than the ones provided by WordPress.com cannot be added to your website.
  • Your disc space is limited to 3 GB.
  • Monetization of your website requires you to pay a significant amount of money.
  • To gain full accessibility on WordPress.com, you have to buy a VIP subscription. This service usually costs a lot, and you will even be charged separately to avail of the hosting facility.

So, as you might’ve figured, almost everything requires money to run a business on WordPress com. Hence, it is not the smartest choice to make a website via WordPress.com.

Why is WordPress Free?

Now that you are aware of the difference between the two, you know what will work for you. So far, let’s discuss why WordPress is free. 

A free software application doesn’t imply that it can be used to create websites free of cost. Instead, such applications fall under the brackets of open-source software. So how do these open-source software work?

This software is usually licensed under GPL, i.e., General Public License. Software distributed under this license doesn’t restrict the users from altering, studying, or sharing the software with other users. You are “free” to use that software however you wish to.   

So, is WordPress free? No, it isn’t. But what seems like a better and affordable alternative is WordPress.org. You can set up and monetize your website at low costs compared to what WordPress.com offers you.

Are they legit? If yes, how is it profitable to the organization? 

WordPress, just like other open-source software, doesn’t work like other non-profit organizations. Every time you copy or buy that software, you might have to pay minimal costs. But you can charge your fees while reselling a modified version that you created. So, in a way, you are benefiting the organization.

Every alteration you make in the software code is helping it to become better and reach a broader audience. So basically, you can call WordPress.org a community-based organization. So yes, they are 100% legitimate.

What’s the catch?

One of the most significant concerns users had was the legitimacy of WordPress as it is a non-profit organization. But now we are au fait with its legitimacy. So diffing deeper, are there any concerns that we have missed out in this article? To maintain absolute transparency, we will talk about the issues left undiscussed.

  • Now that you are entirely in charge of your website, you have to keep it updated and make sure it’s working smoothly. Make sure you are also recording all your backups. WordPress.com or the hosting provider isn’t going to do that part for you. So, you have to invest your time maintaining the website, just like how you would manage your shop, for example. 
  • As you know, you can install whatever plug-ins that you wish to comprise on your website. But a drawback would be that there are not a lot of already existing plug-ins. So, you have to install them on your own, which might result in you having to do research and spend more time creating the best website for your business. 

These are the only drawbacks of using WordPress.org. But if you compare WordPress.org with WordPress.com, WordPress.org has the least drawbacks, while WordPress.com has a lot of them, right from not being able to monetize your website at a reasonable price.

How to use WordPress?

Although you can find a plethora of tutorials on YouTube on how to use WordPress, you wouldn’t know unless you start using WordPress on your own. It’s effortless to build your website on WordPress without having to take assistance from any professional. This is the reason hu WordPress is so popular among every sort of business- its simple operation. Even the official WordPress.org site emphasizes on reading before creating your website. So as mentioned earlier in this article, here is an uncomplicated guide to creating a website using WordPress:

Explore:Once you’ve made a WordPress account, try and explore all its features. Follow different users and explore their websites. Takedown all the essential facets that you want to use on your website- a home page, a blog site, portfolio, etc.). Learn how to use all the features to create the website’s layout that you desire to create.

  • Find a web host:

You are now familiar with the importance of arranging a web host for creating a website. As suggested, Bluehost has the best WordPress web hosting plans out of all its competitors. They provide the most reliable services, all at a very affordable price. You can check out their ideas on their website and decide which works best for you.

  • Customize:

Decide for a theme to use on your website. Add plug-ins that you might have downloaded to increase the functionality of your website. Link your social media to the website to heighten your reach. Don’t forget that a good set of aesthetics will make your website look more inviting, attracting a bigger audience.

And you’re done! Watching YouTube tutorials will lead you through all the difficulties you might face while working on the website. But these are the essential steps that you should follow to learn how to use WordPress.

In conclusion, WordPress is an organization that creates opportunities, which has perks for the entire community. It has helped many businesses to make their presence known online. This has helped attract more and more businesses every day, thus expanding the e-commerce industry and impacting people worldwide.