Why is WordPress Free? What is the Catch?

Web design
12 November 2021
Mark Tuxford
Mark Tuxford

We get this question a lot. More than a lot.

When we first pitch a new website to a client it's a matter of time before someone says “Do I have to pay to use WordPress?”. We tell them that WordPress is a free and open source software, which is usually followed by, “Why is it free?”.

So, let's check out why WordPress free, what’s the cost of running a WordPress site, and what the catch is.

WordPress is free because it is open source. Open source software refers to any software that allows you to use, modify, and redistribute it in any way you like. It also means that anyone can see what code makes up WordPress and change it if they want to. In this case, WordPress is completely free; there are no restrictions on using or modifying it.

However, as with all other open-source projects, there may be a cost involved. For example, some of the developers who work on WordPress have time constraints so they need to charge for their services. If you’re interested in learning more about WordPress and its history, check out our article on WordPress’s origins.

What Is The Difference Between Free And Open Source Software?

Open-source software is software that has been released under an open-source license. This type of license gives users freedom over how they use the software. You can copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software, but you must pass along your changes when you release new versions of the program. In contrast, proprietary software is not freely available to everyone. Instead, the creator retains ownership of the software and controls how it is used.

While WordPress is free to use, modify and distribute as you see fit, there are certain functions that may require some form of payment. We will discuss these as we go further into this article.

There are also several independent developers who have built successful businesses around WordPress by creating commercial plugins and features that help WordPress users improve the functionality of their website.

MWB are a development agency specialising in Woocommerce and ecommerce stores. Our experienced team are specialists in delivering ecommerce solutions, bespoke web design and engaging, high converting Woocommerce websites that align with your business goals.

Also, be sure to check out our sister company MWB Digital, a digital agency focusing on maximising sales through your online shop via enhanced user experience, digital strategy, effective email campaigns, conversion rate optimisation and content-led marketing that powers your ecommerce platform.

Photo by hostreviews on Unsplash

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