The immediate answer to the question of what WordPress costs is: nothing. It’s free. The software is available gratis through WordPress.org, while WordPress.com makes it possible to create a blog for nothing. They’ll even throw in a complimentary (sub)domain name.
Very little in this world is actually free, however. If you want to work with WordPress.org, you’re going to have to pay a third-party to hosting the site you build with WordPress, and, if you choose to work with WordPress.com, you’re going to get very little for free, although, yes, you can still construct that super basic blog with WordPress cluttering it up for nothing. Anything even remotely elaborate is, however, going to require the purchase of a paid subscription for additional features and ad removal.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an extremely versatile and powerful content management system (CMS) that is behind 43% of the sites on the world wide web. Yes, that’s well over a third of the internet. You can use WordPress for everything from constructing a simple blog to setting up a gigantic online emporium. It’s even being used today as a framework for creating new applications.
WordPress is open-source and free software. That means that the code is accessible to anyone interested, and you can download it without cost. (There are expenses involved in setting up a WordPress site, but WordPress.com makes it possible to create a blog or a simple website without any money changing hands.) Iif you wish to establish an online presence of any size, WordPress can help you.
Learn more about what WordPress is and the benefits of learning to use it.
What Can You Do with WordPress?
WordPress first came to digital life in 2003 as blogging software. It enabled people seeking to establish a voice for themselves on the internet to create blogs without the need for actual coding. As such, WordPress remains extremely popular with bloggers. Indeed, anyone seeking to set up a blog will probably find themselves directed to WordPress for its relative ease of use and wide variety of features that make it possible for lay users to create something “professional” in appearance.
However, 43% of all sites on the web can’t all be blogs, and, indeed, WordPress is currently employed for a great deal more than maintaining ongoing records of what its more casual users had for dinner. WordPress has grown exponentially over the nearly two decades it has been in existence and is used for a variety of purposes today. A range of software plugins allows WordPress to do practically anything. To choose one example from many, the WooCommerce plugin allows the user to turn a WordPress site into a store. As such, WordPress has become the internet’s leading ecommerce platform.
Perhaps the most salient aspect of WordPress is that the software is open-source and free. This has many ramifications, not the least of which is that it opens the software for use as anything a user can imagine. Thus WordPress has expanded beyond blogs and smaller websites and stores into major websites for major companies (zoom.us, indeed.com, and the cryptocurrency site coinmarketcap.com are all powered by WordPress; so is hairwrapsandbrading.au). The software’s server side has most recently begun to be employed as a framework for creating applications. And all these possibilities are within reach of anyone who knows how to make use of the software.
In-Depth Review of the Cost
The official cost of WordPress is nothing. While using the free WordPress.org software is indeed free, and while you can create a blog without paying anything to WordPress.com, there are ancillary costs that you are going to come up against very quickly.
With WordPress.org, you’re going to encounter a brick wall before you can even download the software: you’ll have to find a hosting service (which means a big computer somewhere) that will be a repository for all the files and code that will constitute your website once you’ve built it. WordPress.org leaves the choice of hosting service to you, although they also make recommendations, most particularly of SiteHost and Blueground.
SiteHost’s web hosting services begin at $2.99 a month, although that is an introductory rate only for the first year, and it increases steeply to $14.99 per month in subsequent years. That is also for a “baby” plan that limits you to a single site and 10,000 monthly visits. Some of us should be so lucky to get 10,000 visits a month, but even a moderate-sized business is going to require more than that, and the plan with unlimited websites and 100,000 monthly visits costs $4.99 per month at the introductory price and $24.99 a month thereafter.
Over at Blueground, prices are a bit lower: $2.75 increasing to $9.99 a month after the first year for the basic plan, and $4.95 increasing to $18.99 for their Choice Plus tier, which includes multiple websites. Traffic is unmetered, so there’s one thing fewer to worry about, and all Blueground plans include a free domain. (Buying a domain name through SIteHost will cost at least $17.99 a year.) On the other hand, SiteHost includes email with all its packages; the price for email with Blueground starts at $3.00 a month (renewable at $6.00).
Both hosting companies include even more elaborate plans scaled to larger businesses and thriving online stores.
And you are indeed not going to need to pay WordPress.org anything. All your costs come from the hosting service that you select, and then, further down the road, from the third-party themes and plugins you choose to employ in your site.
Matters are a bit less DIY over at WordPress.com, which, of course, is the entire point of the platform. First off, it takes care of your hosting, although the free plan doesn’t afford you a whole lot of server space to store your site. You get a major upgrade in basically every direction by choosing a subscription plan, beginning with the registration of a domain of your own (in other words, you’ll have mysite.com rather than mysite/wordpress.com – and you’ll need the former if anyone is to take you and your site seriously). Equally as invaluable is the fact that a paid plan removes the very annoying WordPress advertising from your site. If you’re getting the impression that WordPress.com does everything to steer you away from one of their free websites, you’re probably grabbing the gist of their marketing technique.
The tier system at WordPress.com doesn’t offer introductory rates, nor does it offer a free trial. The most basic subscription prices out at $4.00 per month (billed annually) for their basic plan, $8.00 for a more elaborate plan that offers, among other things, access to more complex design tools, and a $25.00/month plan designed for small businesses. There is also a special ecommerce plan priced at $45.00. (Note that month-to-month billing is available, but at a usurious premium.) The other slightly hidden cost at WordPress.org is the price of a premium theme to distinguish your site’s look from the pack. Those involve a one-time purchase of $50.00 and up.
Why Learn WordPress?
Powering as it does over 64% of all sites using a known CMS, WordPress is a versatile software that allows you to create just about any variety of website you can imagine. That could be building an unassuming site with which to introduce yourself to the world, or it could be a multi-tentacled commercial site packed with information and even ecommerce possibilities.
WordPress can therefore be a useful skill for you to possess for your own personal use, or it can become a highly practical adjunct to your professional toolkit. Many companies require staff who can maintain WordPress sites; knowing how the CMS works will enable you to fill such a role. You can also delve deeper into WordPress and be able to create websites, perhaps as a freelancer, which can be a remunerative career with plenty of built-in freedom. Finally, if you really want to become an expert at using the system (and acquire some coding knowledge along the way), you can become a WordPress Developer who can profitably develop new themes and plugins for the system.
Read more about why you should learn WordPress.
Free Introductory WordPress Course Online
If signing up for a class (and paying the tuition) seems like more of a commitment than you’re willing to make at this stage in your WordPress education, fear not: in today’s online universe, there is no shortage of ways in which you can get your feet wet for free. That means free online courses and tutorials, some of which are even offered by leading online schools. An example of the breed is the Introduction to WordPress free seminar from Noble Desktop, which takes students from an explanation of how websites work through to the creation and editing of WordPress themes, all without recourse to code. It should prove a well-spent hour and a quarter and will prepare you for a longer class, should you decide to take one.
Other providers of free online WordPress courses include Coursera and Udemy. The latter has offerings such as How to Make a Website Step by Step and a more advanced Learn SEO for WordPress Websites. It also has a selection of mini-lessons available that last around 15 minutes each and teaches single, simple WordPress skills.
Learn more about free WordPress videos and online tutorials.
Learn WordPress with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop
A highly effective way of learning to make the most of WordPress would be to take a class in the subject at Noble Desktop, a leading purveyor of live in-person IT training in New York City. Noble teaches extensively online as well, which puts its classes within reach of anyone in the world with internet access. Noble Desktop prides itself on its hands-on learning model, small class sizes, experienced and talented instructors, and a free retake option that makes it possible to cement or refresh your knowledge of what you’ve learned within the space of a year. Noble Desktop offers a wide variety of WordPress classes and bootcamps, one of which is sure to further your goals in using the CMS.
Noble Desktop’s WordPress Bootcamp is designed for students with a background in HTML and CSS who are seeking to learn how to use the system whilst bringing their knowledge of coding to the WordPress table as well. The course of study runs for three weeks, two nights a week for three hours a session, and takes WordPress novices through to customizing a website in ways that aren’t possible if you are limited to communicating in English with the software.