WordPress is free (really)! Being an open-source software, WordPress allows its users to have full control over the websites they built using it. BUT, to make the full version of WordPress run smoothly, you may need to spend a little…
If you’re looking at starting small, wordpress.com is what you need. This hosted version of WordPress gives you a trimmed down version of WordPress that’s completely free. It’s perfect to get your feet wet.
Limitations in using free WordPress include the selection of only pre-installed designs and the inability to install plugins. If the free service suits your needs, you may want to consider getting a domain to start to establish your brand, which does cost extra.
WordPress.com has paid plans as well which add extra customization options and features to your website -> https://wordpress.com/pricing/
As soon as you get familiar with the basic features of your wordpress.com site, you’ll probably want to start to customize your site a bit further and break free of the limitations of the free version. You can either upgrade to a paid plan on wordpress.com, as it’s pretty easy to do so…. or you might want to try out the whole package. This is where wordpress.org comes to the rescue, this where you can download the full version of WordPress in all its glory, free for you to do whatever you want with it.
And the great thing is, it’s still completely free! BUT, to get your brand-new WordPress live, you need to find a top WordPress host, which does cost money, depending on what your site requires.
Web Hosting for WordPress
Web hosting in itself is a massive topic, as there are a lot of different types of hosting out there (and prices can vary from $3/mo, all the way to $500+/mo). We’ve got shared hosting, VPS, dedicated servers, cloud hosting, managed WordPress hosting, etc. Most of you will only ever need a shared hosting environment that supports WordPress. Some of you, especially those that want to build a massive e-commerce store, or forum supporting thousands of people, will need something stronger.
Researching all this can take up a lot of time and effort. Luckily for you, we’ve already done the research for you and created different web hosting comparisons for specific countries. We have comparisons and reviews for Australia, Canada, Singapore, and more.
Aside from web hosting costs, there are other costs which one might want to consider. For instance, despite the free themes, there are themes which you can buy with all the added features and functionalities. The same is true with plugins. While there are a LOT of free plugins out there, sometimes you’ll need a paid or pro version of a specific plugin to add a certain functionality to your site.
Jayson Davis is a passionate WordPress user, developer, and web hosting expert. Even in his spare time, he checks out new WP themes, or takes yet another web host for a test ride, always on the lookout for the perfect cost to value ratio!
For more info, see our Team page.