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Is WordPress free? All WordPress costs at a glance

WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems. That’s why we clarify all WordPress costs in this article and show you whether you can use WordPress completely free of charge.

WordPress Cost: The Open Source System

WordPress is an open source system. This means, quite simply, that WordPress is developed and released under the open source license and is therefore freely available software for use by all users. The open source system itself is therefore available free of charge. You don’t have to expect running costs for usage licenses, for example.

One of the advantages of WordPress is rapid development. The large international developer community, which includes designers and developers, is working successfully to make WordPress constantly more effective and better.

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com

WordPress.org is the open source system that is available to you for free. Confusion often arises when WordPress.com comes into play. WordPress.com is a service of Automattic Inc. and offers a hosted WordPress platform, which is also subject to a fee depending on the scope of use.

You can register there and also start your own website. In contrast to WordPress.org, the possibilities are very limited. For example, you can only use very few plugins or themes. This is only possible with a paid account.

So when users talk about free WordPress, they always mean the open source software that can be downloaded completely free of charge from WordPress.org.

All WordPress costs at a glance

The WordPress software is and will remain free of charge. In the next step, however, the question arises as to whether you can create and manage a website completely free of charge. In the following we will show you which WordPress costs you will really have to pay.

Plugin costs

The basic form of WordPress is always the same. Due to the numerous plugins, users have the opportunity to retrofit different functions.

Many plugins are available for free from the official WordPress plugin tool. But there are also many extensions for WordPress that are not free. The costs vary and depend on the plugin itself. Many paid plugins are already available for a few euros, but there are also a few and very specific applications for which you have to expect a three-digit fee.

You should also distinguish again whether it is a one-off usage fee or ongoing costs.

Theme costs

A theme is a collection of graphical elements that determine the look of a website. There are many free WordPress themes for your website.

However, when choosing your theme, you should note that you must be permanently satisfied with the design and that you should not make any compromises if possible. That’s why you’ll find many other paid WordPress themes that you should expect to pay in the mid double-digit range.

However, you don’t have to make any compromises, you have the option of writing to the theme developers if you have any questions, and handling is usually easier.

Hosting and domain costs

The basis for your website is web hosting and a domain. You need these two things regardless of whether you build your website with WordPress or another content management system. These are ongoing (monthly) costs that are higher or lower depending on the functionality of your website.

For example, high-traffic websites have greater hosting requirements than a small blog with few readers. With most web hosts, you can choose the right one for you from a variety of tariffs. The tariffs usually start at just a few euros per month.

There are big differences in domain costs. The top-level domain, i.e. the domain ending, such as “.de” or “.com” plays a decisive role. Depending on the choice of your domain, the annual costs are between a few euros and in the higher two-digit range per year.

Conclusion: WordPress is free, but not free of costs

In summary, while the open source system WordPress is free in itself, in order to successfully create and manage a website, you have to reckon with a few costs.

If you want to book the individual cost items together in one tariff, you will find special WordPress hosting with some providers. Your domain and hosting for your WordPress website is included from as little as one euro per month.

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This article is part of our content hub for web hosting, cloud services and domains and is sponsored by IONOS.

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