September 7

Exploring the Cost of WordPress Websites: Are They Really Free?


As a small business owner looking to establish an online presence, you’re likely intrigued by the idea of WordPress. After all, it’s renowned for its user-friendly interface, versatility, and the promise of being a budget-friendly solution. One of the common misconceptions about WordPress is that it’s entirely free, but is it really? In this blog post, we’re going to peel back the layers and explore the true cost of running a WordPress blog for your business.

The Foundation: WordPress Core

First and foremost, let’s address the foundation of any WordPress website—the WordPress core software itself. Yes, it’s true that you can download and use WordPress for free. There’s no initial cost to install the platform on your web hosting server, and you can start building your website right away.

However, this is where the “free” aspect comes with a small asterisk. While the core software doesn’t require payment, you’ll need web hosting and a domain name to make your website accessible on the internet. These are essential components, and they do come with associated costs.

1. Web Hosting

Your website needs a place to live on the internet, and that place is your web hosting server. When it comes to web hosting, you’ll find various options, each with its own pricing structure. Shared hosting, virtual private servers (VPS), and dedicated hosting are the most common choices.

  • Shared Hosting: This is often the most budget-friendly option, with prices typically ranging from a few pounds to around £10 per month. However, it’s essential to note that shared hosting can be limited in terms of performance and resources, which may affect your website’s speed and responsiveness.
  • VPS Hosting: If you require more control and resources, VPS hosting is a step up from shared hosting. Prices can range from £10 to £50 or more per month, depending on your chosen provider and the level of resources you need.
  • Dedicated Hosting: For high-traffic websites with specific requirements, dedicated hosting provides you with an entire server for your site. Prices for dedicated hosting can range from £50 to several hundred pounds per month.

2. Domain Name

Your domain name is your website’s unique address on the internet (e.g., Domain name prices can vary widely, but you can typically expect to pay anywhere from £10 to £50 per year for a domain, depending on factors like domain extension (.com,, .net, etc.) and domain registrar.

Optional Expenses: Themes and Plugins

WordPress’s flexibility is one of its greatest strengths. You can customize the look and functionality of your website using themes and plugins. While there are many free themes and plugins available, you may find that premium options offer additional features and support.

3. Premium Themes

Premium themes often come with more advanced customization options, better design quality, and dedicated support. Prices for premium themes can vary, but they generally range from £30 to £100 or more as a one-time purchase.

4. Premium Plugins

Similarly, premium plugins can enhance your website’s functionality. Prices for premium plugins also vary, with some available for a one-time purchase and others requiring yearly subscriptions. Costs can range from £20 to £200 or more, depending on the complexity of the plugin and the level of support provided.

Ongoing Expenses: Maintenance and Security

Building your WordPress blog is just the beginning. To keep your website running smoothly and securely, you’ll need to consider ongoing expenses related to maintenance and security.

5. Website Maintenance

Regular website maintenance involves tasks like updating WordPress core, themes, and plugins, as well as backing up your site and monitoring for issues. You can handle these tasks yourself or opt for a website maintenance service, which typically costs £80 to £100 or more per month.

6. Security Measures

Security is paramount in the digital world. You may choose to invest in premium security plugins or services to protect your website from threats. Costs can range from £10 to £50 or more per month.

In conclusion, while WordPress itself is free to use, creating and maintaining a WordPress blog for your small business does come with costs. It’s essential to budget for web hosting, domain registration, premium themes and plugins, as well as ongoing maintenance and security measures. By understanding these expenses upfront, you can make informed decisions about your business’s online presence and ensure your WordPress blog serves as a valuable asset to your brand.

Stay tuned for more insights into optimizing your small business’s WordPress website!

Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

“Ready to launch or upgrade your WordPress blog for your small business? is here to help. With over 25 years of digital marketing experience, we can guide you through hosting, plugin choices, and ongoing maintenance. Let’s talk about your needs and goals. Book a call with Nicola Cairncross today and take the next step towards a successful WordPress website.”

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