how to start a blog for free ? WordPress
Everyone while planning to start a blog is always hearing about the wordpress and blogger two very best platform to start blogging then knowing about blogger the very first question they ask is, is WordPress free platform for blogging?
We all know their query is as relevant as we are all aware of the Blogger, which is owned by Google and allow free hosting and content management but very few know about WordPress background and how it works?
At first, to answer your query, is WordPress free? Then the answer is yes.
WordPress is free to use, edit, customize or resell the others but there are some additional costs associated with using WordPress which we will discuss later in this guide.
Now you are surprised and thinking that the content management industry in WordPress is one of the well-known tools then why the company behind its development is not making money.Is WordPress Free to Use
The reason is WordPress is an open-source software where thousands or millions of developers are contributing to making this software very powerful and it is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).
Now let focus on WordPress free in which term, is it free to use? And is it free to sell?
Table of Contents
Is WordPress Free, if so on which sense?
In the initial brief summary, we already discussed how WordPress is not owned by a company but it is a collective contribution of thousands of developers.
WordPress is owned by a nonprofit organization which is well known as WordPress Foundation. This organization was founded by co-founder of WordPress Matt Mullenweg.
The WordPress foundation is key-focused to provide free access to the WordPress source code of the community and is responsible for safeguard the key trademark below ownership.
All three are registered trademark owned by the WordPress organization, so it is advisable to respect the WordPress community and not use it for any commercial purpose and instead use their abbreviation to avoid future legal issues.
They are strictly depicted, do not use WordPress or WordCamp in your domain name or top-level domain name as their goal is to restrict the commercial activities around WordPress use.
Till this point, you got an idea of how WordPress is designed and who is controlling it throughout the future development but still, the two queries remain to discuss that which means WordPress is free to use?
How WordPress is Free in Use?
WordPress is an open-source software that is open to download for everyone, you can make changes to existing code and customize it on your own.
There is no restriction to do so as it is under the General Public License (GPL) which is also known as the GNU General Public License (GPL), this license is used with all open-source software.
Here the reference of free WordPress means freedom to use in the way you do not want in terms of monitory. Let me clarify what you can do with the source code of WordPress and how it is allowed to be used for free.
You can install and use it for as long as you want without any restriction.
You can distribute the same copy of WordPress to another blogger for community support.
You can customize the existing source code and redistribute another blogger under the GPL license.
You can contribute to the WordPress community by sharing new patch, fixes or implementations and becoming a core contributor.
Well, from all the above points you got an idea of how WordPress is free to use in every aspect but make sure while you are making any changes to the existing source code of WordPress and creating new, then the new version will be launched under the GPL license. General Chat Chat Lounge
Is WordPress Free to Sell?
We already discussed how WordPress is free to use but what if anyone wants to create a market around it by selling the customized or edited version of WordPress.
Then as I said earlier you are extending the top of the wordpress source code will be launched under the GPL license only.
You can customize, bundle and redistribute the WordPress source code as you like but will be licensed under the GPL only.
Which means the person to whom you are selling your customized version of the software will also get full ownership of the code you sold to him, which he can further modify and resell it under the GPL license.
Similar case with the Plugins and Themes created under the WordPress GPL License where all are free to download and use and customize and redistribute.
Which means that even if you buy or download the free or premium version of the plugin or theme, you are allowed to sell the changes and others like WordPress where the newly created plugin or theme will be under the GPL license.
But still, the view on the theme is controversial but from the official post of wordpress.org, it is found below defined details.
PHP in a WordPress theme must be under GPL.
Artwork and CSS may not be required under GPL license.
If you are with me till this point then why we discussed earlier that it may cost you some extra bucks to live your WordPress website? Let me answer that as cons of WordPress.
Cons of WordPress use?
Till this point, we learned how WordPress is free to use and requires no extra money but the reality is WordPress is just a content management system that can’t live on the internet without hosting.
As such it requires the following resources in addition to the WordPress software suite to make your site complete and live on the Internet.
WordPress will first need to install one of the hostings where the hosting ensures you hold all content live on the internet.
By default, every hosting you purchase will have a default installation of WordPress and an average shared hosting may cost you about $ 3-5 / month as their subscription charges.
Bluehost Shared WordPress Hosting plan
Hosting could be expensive but Bluehost offers about 60% off on your first-time purchase, if you want to buy or learn more on hosting plans then do not miss detailed step by step guide on how to buy hosting.
To live your site on the internet you need a domain name that will have an address of your website that anyone can browse and visit your site, there are numerous domain provider companies outside.
If you do not know what a domain name and how to purchase then make sure to visit the detail guide on the best domain name where the average cost of a domain name may cost you about $ 12 / year.
.com vs .net domain name price
Above two, hosting and domain name is a primary need for any WordPress website to get live on the internet and will definitely require an average of $ 6-7 / month as an investment.
But in addition to this if you need an advance feature then it is optional to buy some premium services such as:
By default in wordpress.org theme library has multiple themes which are under GPL license and free to use by any WordPress user.
But if you want any premium theme then it may cost you around $ 50-60 / year which is not that much needed and I do not recommend any beginner to buy at first unless you really need this.
WordPress has a collection of thousands of plugins and keep adding day by day to automate most of your work, out of them the very famous search engine optimation (SEO) plugin called Yoast SEO.
Free Plugins for WordPress
Almost every plugin in their free plan offers the best value but if you are looking for a premium support or auto-update of a plugin then definitely you can buy it from their monthly subscription plan.
If you have a minimum of 6-7 bucks is good enough to have a WordPress website live but you will also argue, why invest even $ 6 / month when you have a platform like Blogger which is completely free.
If you are wondering so I can go better with a comprehensive guide on the differences between Blogger vs WordPress and how WordPress is the best CMS as compared to Blogger.
After going through the above-suggested guide I am confident enough that you plan to start with WordPress, if so and still do not want to invest even $ 6 then perhaps the next solution is WordPress.com.
You have heard about WordPress.com and WordPress.org and may consider both as same but the reality is both different but how, let me brief?
The difference in between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org?
Till now what we discussed was all about the WordPress.org, not WordPress.com, where WordPress.org is just a suite of software that cannot live without hosting or domain.
However, WordPress.com is created by the same co-founder of WordPress.org Matt Mullenweg. Where do you really need to buy the hosting and up to certain limits you will get access to a platform like WordPress.
It will give you unlimited free hosting, so no need to spend 4-5 bucks per month.
It will give you a free subdomain that ends with Extention (Eg-.wordpress.com).
It will provide a limited number of free themes from the WordPress library.
From the free library, you can also install limited plugins available.
Cons of WordPress.com:
If you are willing to switch to the custom domain then you need to upgrade their monthly plan.
If planning to change the theme or want to add custom theme to upgrade the monthly plan.
If planning to add or use any additional plugin out of WordPress free library need upgrade to a mon
Need to pay for hosting and domain.
You are responsible for the security and backup of the site.
I tried my best to highlight all the major differences between WordPress.org vs wordpress.com which give you some guidance on why always chose wordpress.org in case you really want to make a business around WordPress or blogging career.
Will the content be published on WordPress under GPL?
Till this point, we discussed that everything contributed to or within WordPress will be under GPL so maybe you are thinking, is this also cover the content?
As per the wordress.org guidelines they have the trademark registration used on the name of WordPress and their source code is under the GPL license.
So the writing content will be your own copyright you can claim it whenever you want. It will not come under GPL and you may have your own copyright or license for your own artwork or post or content you are planning to publish.
Unless you use the source code of WordPress to do some derivative work or explaining using some new functionality using the same source code then only that content could be under a GPL license.
How do WordPress Community making money?
There is a business around everywhere then why not with WordPress, open-source software will also need different technical support for the user.
Such as explained below.
Hosting companies like Bluehost, Hostgator, SiteGround, NameCheap etc. are getting millions of dollars worth of revenue every year just to host the WordPress website.
There are thousands of plugins already created where the owner is providing premium support and auto-update feature and making million-dollar revenue such as the very famous SEO plugin Yoast SEO.
Premium theme of Thousands selling in the market for $ 50-300 / year such as OceanWP, Hestia, Astra, etc.
When the first-time WordPress VIP was launched under their WordPress.com subscription plan they made around $ 300 Million in 7 rounds to use full access to WordPress.
Even as a GPL user of WordPress you can do the extension of WordPress software with some advanced feature and bundle and later sell it to other users and can make money out of it.
My View on Is WordPress Free To Use?
I imagine, if you are at the beginning stage of blogging and planning to start your new successful blogging journey then I recommend starting with WordPress.org as it is completely free and you can estimate yearly costs of around 40-50 Bucks max.
If you are planning to start with WordPress.com then it may be your worst decision to switch it out from there to wordpress.org, so better plan your future approach.
WordPress is totally free in terms of usage so why not get an advantage for the same and start your journey blogging whereby applying the Adsense ad network or many other passive earning ways you can make money. The very best part is custom plugins that can automate most of your process to rank faster in Google and get instant results.