Everyone while planning to start a blog always heard about the WordPress and Blogger the two very best platform to start blogging then after knowing about Blogger the very first question they ask is, is WordPress free platform for blogging ?
We all know, their query to ask for the same is relevant as we are all aware of the Blogger, which is owned by Google and allow free hosting and content management but very few knew 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 to the others but some additional cost involved to use WordPress which we will discuss later in this guide.
Now you are surprised and thinking that WordPress in the content management industry is one of the well-known tools then why the company behind its development is not making money .
If you are with me till this point then why we discussed earlier that it can cost you some additional 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 require no extra money to invest but the reality is WordPress is just a content management system which can not be live on the internet without hosting .
Hence it needed below resources in addition to the WordPress software suite to make your site complete and live on the internet.
WordPress Hosting  WordPress will first need to install on one of the hostings where the hosting ensures to hold you 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 around $ 3-5 / Month as their subscription charges.
Hosting could be expensive but Bluehost offers around 60% off on your first-t ime 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 which will be an address of your website which anyone can browse it and can visit your site, there are numerous domain provider companies outside.
If you do not know what is a domain name and how to purchase then make sure to visit detail guide on Best Domain name where the average cost of a domain name may cost you around $ 12 / year
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 probably it may cost you around $ 50-60 / year which is not that much necessary and I do not recommend any beginner to buy at first until you really need this.
wordpress has a collection of thousands of plugins and keep adding day by day to automate most of your tasks, out of them the very famous is search engine optimization (SEO) plugin called Yoast SEO.
Almost every plugin in their free plan offers the best value but if you are looking for premium support or auto-update of a plugin then definitely you can buy it from their monthly subscription plan.
If you are having minim um 6-7 bucks is good enough to have a wordpress website live but you will also argue, why to invest even $ 6 / month when you have a platform like Blogger which is completely free.
If you are thinking so then I advise to better go through a detailed guide on differences in between Blogger vs WordPress and how WordPress is 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 not want to invest even 6 $ then probably the next solution is WordPress.com.
You have heard about WordPress.com and WordPress.org and may be considered both as same but the reality is both are 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 which can not live without hosting or domain.
However, WordPress.com is created by the same co-founder of WordPress.org Matt Mullenweg. Where you won't need to buy the hosting and up to certain limit 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 free subdomain which ended with Extention (Eg-.wordpress.com).
- It will provide you a limited number of free themes from the WordPress library.
- From the free library, you can also install the available limited plugins.
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 need to upgrade to the monthly plan.
- If planning to add or use any additional plugin out from wordpress free library need to upgrade to a monthly plan.
- You can not monetize your website under the free plan but after upgrading to their mon thly subscription you can join their advertising program called WordAds.
That means if your aim is to just write and host content only and don't want to monetize your site or wanted to use the WordPress feature for free then probably you can go with WordPress.com.
Considering their monthly subscription it starts from $ 5 / Month to $ 40 / month so better to check the latest pricing on their site.
However, WordPress.org is completely open suite where we already learned:
WordPress.org Feature :
- Free to use, so no need to pay any monthly subscription.
- No limit with the use of additional plugins.  No limit with the use of any custom or additional theme. Etc.
- You can monetize your site with Ad networks like Adsense and can make money.
Cons of WordPress:
- 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 keen to make a business around WordPress or blogging career.
Will the content published on WordPress will be under GPL?
Till this point, we discussed that everything was contributed for or within WordPress will be under GPL so there might be the chance you are thinking, is this also cover the content?
As per the wordress.org guidelines they have done trademark registration on the use of name wordpress and their source code is under GPL license.
So  writing content will be your own copy right you can claim it whenever you want. It will not come under GPL and you can 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 works or explaining on building something 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 million dollar worth of revenue every year just to host the WordPress website.
- There are thousands of plugin already been created where the owner providing premium support and auto-update feature and making million-dollar re venue such as the very famous SEO plugin Yoast SEO.
- Thousands of premium theme 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 have made around $ 300 Million in 7 rounds to use the full access of WordPress.
Even you as a GPL user of WordPress can do the extension of WordPress software with some advanced feature and bundle and later can sell this 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 to start with WordPress.org as it is completely free and you can estimate yearly cost 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 to plan your future approach.
The very best part is custom plugins which can automate most of your process to rank faster in Google and get immediate results.