What are the hidden costs of using WordPress?

Being an absolute beginner at something is hardly ever easy. This includes starting your own website, whether it is for fun or in order to promote a business. If you are thinking about having and maintaining a WordPress website, you must have by now heard at least something about it being free for use. Although this sounds like a wonderful piece of information, one might (after careful consideration) wonder if there are in fact some hidden costs of using WordPress. And that’s exactly what we are going to talk about in this article. So, yes, WordPress is free and it is open source. This means you may alter, modify and distribute it any way you find fitting. Nevertheless, there are some aspects of using WordPress that could ask for a form of payment.

a piggy bank held by two people
Having and maintaining a WordPress website does have some more or less hidden costs included.

What makes WordPress free?

It doesn’t really make sense for something as useful and beneficial as WordPress to be free of charge, doesn’t it? This makes sense. On the other hand, this platform being open source means everyone gets to contribute and collaborate. It would be quite complex, to say the least, to try and sell something that has been contributed by thousands of people all around the world. So this might answer any of your questions related to the fact that WordPress is free in the first place. And how do people behind it make money? Is it through the hidden costs of using WordPress? The answer is both yes and no. Yes, there are actual costs of using WordPress, and no – they are not hidden in any way. You will be fully aware of the fact that you need to pay for certain features.

What are the costs of having a WordPress website?

Although it is still cheaper than other options out there (do you know how much it will really cost to have a WordPress website?), there are three basic categories of using WordPress that could cause some costs:

  • Domain provider that offers to host for your WordPress website
  • Any WordPress premium features such as themes or plugins
  • WordPress maintenance (which might be a great idea if you are a complete beginner when it comes to maintaining and taking care of a website on your own).

What do I need to pay for when using a WordPress site?

As it has already been stated above, you are able to start your own WordPress site by using WordPress.com free hosting platform. This is something that is referred to as ‘managed hosting’. Free hosting does sound great, but it offers limited features. If you care to use some of the WordPress custom themes or plugins, you’ll need to upgrade. And premium plans ask of you to spend some money. It largely depends on what you want as a final result, but this could cause you to spend up to $300 a year. Naturally, if you don’t want to spend this, or any other amount of money on WordPress, you are free to opt for working with the free package.

If you choose self-hosted WordPress option (as opposed to the aforementioned managed hosting), this implies that you need to pay for server space. Which, as you can see, is another form of WordPress-involved costs. If you wish to use WordPress by hosting it on your own server, it can also be done. However, this too calls for additional payments. After visiting the official WordPress software site (WordPress.org) and downloading the WordPress software, you will have to upload, install it, and carry out customizations.

This is process is a bit simpler than it may sound. Nevertheless, it could cause you to ask for WordPress expert services. And this is something that will need to be paid for. Moreover, should you decide to install custom plugins or a custom theme, this too has to involve a process of payment.

a programmer working
Asking for a WordPress expert to give you a hand is another form of paying for your WordPress website.

The overall conclusion

In the end, there’s really no reason to have any speck of a doubt that choosing WordPress as your website-building platform means getting a top-quality software that happens to be free as well. It will allow you to build just about any type of website. And when we say any type, we mean that WordPress enables you to have anything from a simple blog to an extensive e-commerce solution. And when we say free, do we think about those hidden costs of using WordPress? Yes, indeed we do. You will need to pay for some of its vital features – that is, if you wish for your website to function in the best way possible. However, the idea of WordPress being free actually means that practically anyone can do just about anything they wish to when using it.

american dollars
Choosing WordPress as your website-building platform means getting a top-quality software that happens to be free as well.

There’s really no catch here

You are, of course, able to enjoy the basic, free version of WordPress. But this implies having to settle for the most basic features – and doing this will definitely spoil your WordPress experience. Paying some extra money means getting all the benefits and advantages of having a WordPress website – so why not opt for it? Sure, you will need to pay for some (not so hidden) features, but it is still certainly one of the top ways to create your own website.