Why is WordPress Free?

The idea of Open Source software was probably one of the most powerful trendsetters in the Software ecosystem. Many beginners usually have the question, whether WordPress is free to use or not. The answer to that is a little more complicated than a simple yes or no. In this post, we shall discuss in details the actual costs which are involved in using WordPress site.

First of all, WordPress is an Open Source and Free software. Being open source means the source code of the WordPress platform is accessible in the public domain i.e. it is licensed under GPL. So you can modify the code, redistribute the compiled code in any possible way and basically do anything you want with the code. Free means that you don’t have to pay money to use the software. One should understand that all free software are not open source (e.g. Adobe’s Acrobat Reader is free, but isn’t open source), but usually open source software are free.

Why WordPress is not premium if it so good?

If someone is advocating for WordPress, she is often questioned if it is so good, why is it free? This question is very natural, because the world we live in, good things don’t come for free. The catch with WordPress is that, it is good because it is free! WordPress is not owned by a single company or individual. A whole community of developers work towards its development. So, even if someone wants to commercialize the software itself, he can’t because of the license issues. And it is good, because it has millions of hands working towards optimization.

So, where’s the money in WordPress?

Why would talented programmers who can earn thousands of dollars with their skills, spend time maintaining something which doesn’t earn even a dime? Among many ways to make money from WordPress, one way is to work towards developing useful plugins and beautiful themes, which WordPress users would buy from you for their sites. Also, there are many companies which hire WordPress plugin and theme developers.

Difference between WordPress and WordPress.com

WordPress is a platform. WordPress.com is a site which lets you host WordPress on its server. One would notice that WordPress.com has many features which come with a price tag. So, the cost involved in running a WordPress site is a WordPress hosting package and domain registration. The use of the platform itself doesn’t cost anything.

Copyright Issues with WordPress

WordPress is not copyright free. Yes it is Open source and anyone can see and tinker with the code, but the one has rights over the changes that she made and not the whole code. Another thing to keep in mind while developing anything on top of WordPress is to know that any derivative work from WordPress becomes licensed under GPL also.

However, the content that you publish on a site running on WordPress is your property. You can license and copyright it in any way you want.

The trademark– WordPress

The words WordPress, WordCamp and the logo for WordPress are licensed by WordPress foundation. That means that you cannot have these things on your domain and present them as your own. It is encouraged that one should use WP in domain names if they want to mean WordPress.

So, how much would a WordPress site cost you?

Like it has been mentioned earlier, the sole cost involved are a WordPress hosting server and domain registration charges. Apart from that you might need to buy plugins and themes to make your site look exclusive. These plugins and themes have the advantage that there are regular updates for paid themes and plugins.

It is hoped that at the end of this post, you have understood what are the costs involved in a WordPress site, how people actually generate money from WordPress and the copyright issues.