So, is WordPress Free or not?

Some background on WordPress

Ok, first off, WordPress is a CMS or Content Management System. It is obviously used by bloggers. You are in fact reading an article written within the WordPress CMS.  WordPress is open source. That means that it isn’t like some software that you have to buy to use. Even further, open source software is software that you can read and even modify the source code. So it is most definitely free. Proprietary software isn’t like this. The source is locked down tight.

So, Is a WordPress Blog Free?

Yes, you can set up the wordpress software on your own computer, but that wouldn’t do much good because probably nobody could read your blog because your computer is probably not a server running out on the Internet. It is useful however to set up wordpress “locally” if you want to figure out how to install it, manage it, develop on it, or even how to install plugins or play with themes or whatever. In fact, most of the time software developers run server software like wordpress on their own laptops so that they can develop it. Testers do the same so that they can find bugs in it. But most likely that isn’t what you want to do.

Why Can’t People See My Local Computer on the Internet?

If you haven’t read our page on What is my IP check it out especially the section on masquerading. To summarize, your computer is hidden behind a router with it’s own IP Address, these IP Addresses will be changing frequently anyway, so it would be difficult for people to reach your computer inside of that network.

You Will Need a Server to Host WordPress which won’t be Free

You are going to need to find a place to host your WordPress installation. There are a lot of ways to do this. I will break it down into a few of the general categories. From easiest to hardest.

  1. Sign up for a service that provides a cheap and easy WordPress installation without having to do any server set up.
    2. SiteGround
    3. BlueHost
    4. Namecheap
  2. Get a Virtual Server and install wordpress yourself
    1. Digital Ocean
    2. Amazon AWS
    3. Microsoft Azure
  3. Ask your home internet provider if a static IP Address and set up a server in your home network.
    1. WARNING: security is an important consideration here.
  4. Find a place that hosts Kubernetes containers and install your server by writing code.
  5. Get a physical machine into a hosting cabinet

If you are reading this, I would imagine that you probably want someone else to host it for you. So you’d probably want to go with one of the first options.

What about, is it free? is just a place where you can download the open source code for wordpress. It’s not a place to host your server. You can download it from there and install it on your local machine or put it on one of the machines or environments I mentioned above in options 2-5. You wouldn’t need to mess with it if you are using a specific “wordpress hosting service” like those under 1 above.


More on security here. Note that I mentioned security under the option of setting up your own server on your home network. It turns out that for options 2-5 will all need some more security expertise to help protect your blog. The one that I called out was involving your home network so it’s going to have additional risk since you would then be letting Internet traffic right into where you have your private laptops and computers.

In any of the options above we highly recommend having a backup strategy for your blog and a way to make sure that your server environment is locked down to all traffic except for what is absolutely necessary. We’ll post more about this in the future.


Hopefully the “free”-ness of wordpress makes more sense now. The software itself is free, the hosting is not. Hosting can go from very simple to very complex based upon your needs. The bigger you get, the more needs you will have to break away from those more automated (and usually shared) hosting arrangements. If you want more info on wordpress hosting, please leave a question below and we’ll see if we can help.

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