Is WordPress Free? What Is the Cost to Build a WordPress Website?
Is WordPress Free? What Is the Cost to Build a WordPress Website?
Is WordPress free? Is there any hidden charges for using WordPress? Why they are providing the software ‘WordPress’ for free? Why don’t people and companies behind WordPress sell it? Actually these are the most common asked question we face everyday.
Some of the beginners asked a lot of questions related WordPress being free. Most often we answer them ‘WordPress is a free and open source platform’.
As a lot of users face this common question that’s why We have come up with this article where we are going to discuss about Why is WordPress free, the cost to build a WordPress website and is there any hidden charges in WordPress.
At first, there is one thing that needs to be cleared that WordPress is a free open source software. Here the word ‘Free’ is referred to as Freedom not as free of charge. If you are a WordPress user then you have the liberty to use, modify, build upon and reconstruct the software in any way you like.
While you are doing these, there might be costs involved in some criteria. Moreover WordPress is a free open source software that is licensed under the GNU (GNU is a free software movement) General Public license agreement.
Below we have provided the screenshot of the license as well:
Later on we are going to discuss about the cost to build a WordPress Website, As WordPress is free how the people behind WordPress earns money in this article.
Why WordPress is Free and Why don’t they sell it as a software?
Many of our users have asked as several questions regarding WordPress being free and Why don’t WordPress take any charge for the Software.
If WordPress is so good as people say, they should have make huge amount of money buy selling it. This statement is correct obviously, But for a single company or an individual owned business.
WordPress is an open source community project where tens of thousands of geniuses have made contributions. Their efforts and hard labours turn it into a great software you are using today. According to statistics, Currently WordPress is powering 28% of the web. WordPress has a core team who leads the project development but anyone can contribute patches, suggest features, report bugs etc. In addition WordPress does not have a specific project leader and It varies from one version to another. If you get involved with the community even you can work with WordPress.
The idea behind the open source software movement is that the software is not like a physical product. Open source software is free in a the sense of liberty not as gratis. It can be used, built upon, reconstructed and so on. Let’s consider a chocolate factory. Each chocolate prepared has various raw ingredients and each raw ingredients cost money. So the factory decides the price of a chocolate which should exceed the profit margin based on the price of each ingredients. But a software company does not act like this. Creating a software and making copies of it is not the same. There is a belief that, profit margin of software becomes more unfair as the each copy fo the software is sold.
Here GNU described the idea of open source software more clearly. Click here to Continue.
How do the people behind WordPress make money, If WordPress is free?
Actually there are two profitable section an open source software has:
- Products based on that open source software
- Services based on the same open source software
People often gets confused between WordPress and WordPress.com. WordPress is the self hosted version known as WordPress.org aka The real WordPress. It is a free blogging platform as well.
Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress has a company named “ Automattic” which provides a WordPress hosting solutions at WordPress.com. It has free features as well but it is very limited. Including the free features WordPress.com has several plans depending on the variety of users:
- Free – limited features like 3gb storage and subdomain.
- Personal – $4 per month;
- Premium – $8 per month;
- Business – $25 per month;
- VIP- starting from $5000 per month
So here in order to get access to more features and functions in WordPress.com you have to upgrade to different paid plans.
According to CrunchBase, In may 5, 2014 “Automattic” raised a Series C investment round of 160 million. Not only that According to wikipedia at that time the company value was $1.16 billion.
Additionally to run a WordPress site you have to install themes and plugins to customise your website. Talented developers are also doing a successful business by creating premium themes and plugins. Some of them are:
- WP Engine- It is a managed hosting company that has raised over $40.
- Sucuri- One of the most popular WordPress solutions available in the market.
- iThemes- It is one of the oldest and acknowledged WordPress company providing plugins like Backup Buddy.
- GrowthFunnel – one of the most successful acquisition and conversion tool
- Gravity Forms – one of the most well known premium plugins that helps to create forms.
Talented WordPress developers also earn a good revenue by building WordPress website, applications, themes for the clients. Some of them are earning as much as Six Figures annually.
Is WordPress Copyright Free
WordPress is definitely not copyright free. WordPress is licensed under GPL in such a way that it allows everyone to use it but each contribution made to WordPress is copyrighted.
If you are a WordPress user then you have the liberty to use, modify, build upon and reconstruct the software in any way you like. So if you bring any modifications to the software you will have the copyright for the modified part. As you have the copyright to do anything, but as per the requirement of GPL, if you release any modification in software it should be licensed under GPL.
So your derivative of work automatically obtain GPL license, So other users are free to use your contributions in any way they choose.
Do WordPress premium themes and plugins are under GPL as well?
Do the published Contents Obtain GPL?
The contents you published on your blogs are not under GPL. However, if you are explaining any WordPress functionalities with examples or other any other GPL licensed work then the particular blog post may be licensed differently. The code used in examples are derivative of work so they acquire GPL. But if you are only sharing your artwork or blogpost(not using derivative of work) then you have full copyrights of it.
Trademark policies of WordPress
The code of WordPress software is released under GPL but the words WordPress, WordCamp and WordPress logos are registered under WordPress Foundation. To differentiate between an official site and other resources site WordPress foundation asks folks not to mention “WordPress” in their domain. So if you see any site is using WordPress site but they are not under WordPress you might not want to take any service from them because they have less knowledge about WordPress.
Costs to Build a WordPress Website
In order to build a website on WordPress. You will need a hosting service. Before you start you have to choose between WordPress and WordPress.com. So to choose between one of them you can see our article on WordPress.org Vs WordPress.com. It will clarify the basic differences between WordPress and WordPress.com
Now to build a website on WordPress you need a hosting service. Your real expenses to build a website on WordPress is to pay for the domain and hosting service.
We recommend you to use BlueHost/SiteGround as your hosting service because they will charge you $2.75/$3.95(prices may vary time to time) per month and they are officially recommended by WordPress Hosting Providers.
Apart from domain and hosting there can be some additional costs if you buy premium plugins and themes. However, if you don’t have to use a premium plugins or themes, its not mandatory. There are 4000+ free WordPress themes available and more than 45000 free WordPress plugins available to use.
But people still use premium plugins and themes to add an exclusive and unique design for the site. They also use paid themes or plugins to get support and paid products are bound to bring updates and fix bugs. But as for the free plugins or themes its a passion project for them they are not required to offer support and regular updates.
We are optimistic that this article will help you to clarify the answers of the questions about WordPress being free, their licensing, Costs to build a WordPress website. If you have more queries about WordPress feel free to contact us.