Can You Make a WordPress Site for Free?

It is possible to make a WordPress site for free! You must already know the main ‘selling’ point of WordPress: it’s advertised as a way to get your website up and running for free. That must be the reason why more than a third of all websites are powered by it, right?

But how free is it, exactly? Is it truly a ‘no strings attached’ situation? The short answer is “almost”. While using WordPress itself is free, you’ll probably still need to open your wallet to pay for some aspects of running a website.

How much you’ll pay, though, often depends on how much time and effort you’re willing to dedicate to setting up and maintaining your website yourself. So, if you’re a student, it may be a better investment to pay for essay writer help from EssayPro and DIY most of it. Otherwise, expenses will stack up!

person in black and white t-shirt using computer

What You Can Get for Free

Let’s be clear: if you opt for WordPress for your project, you can get most of the things – like themes and plugins – for free. Here’s what this means in practice.

Content Management System (CMS)

In its defense, WordPress doesn’t mislead you by stating it’s free. Just make sure you go to WordPress.org to download the CMS – WordPress.com is its paid counterpart!

(WordPress.com does have a free plan, but you can’t use your own domain name or any plugins.)

Don’t underestimate the freedom and power that WordPress can give you without asking for a dime in return. Here’s what you can do using this CMS:

  • Create a website from scratch using the drag-and-drop page builder – or start with a free theme instead;
  • Create and manage user roles and permissions;
  • Install any number of plugins to get all the features you need;
  • Manage your media files within the restrictions of your web hosting provider.

Plus, all the updates won’t cost you extra, either. The only downside is that you have to take care of the web hosting yourself – WordPress.org doesn’t provide it.

For comparison, the pricing for using Wix starts at $16 per month (for personal use). Squarespace, in its turn, will cost you upward of $14 per month if paid annually.

Themes

At the moment of writing, WordPress offers more than 9,000 themes – and you don’t have to pay a single dollar for using them! Created by both passionate individuals and the WordPress nonprofit itself, they range from education themes to blog and e-commerce templates. Whatever your niche is, you’ll find themes that are designed for it!

Here’s a full list of theme categories available on WordPress.org:

  • Blog;
  • E-commerce;
  • Education;
  • Entertainment;
  • Food & drink;
  • Holiday;
  • News;
  • Photography;
  • Portfolio.

Don’t underestimate how great it is to have free themes available for download in a couple of clicks. Thanks to them, you can get a well-designed website without creating it from scratch. This means you don’t have to spend hours crafting a layout yourself – or paying a web developer to do it.

Plugins

The CMS itself is robust as-is, but it can be even better if you install plugins. They expand the functionality of your creation and the admin panel to match your needs. Think of them as DLCs for WordPress – except that there are tons of them available free of charge.

At the moment, there are almost 60,000 free plugins available. Here are just some of them that you should consider installing:

  • Jetpack – for enhancing website security and doing backups;
  • Yoast SEO – for effortlessly acing search engine optimization;
  • Elementor Builder – for creating pages with an intuitive drag-and-drop tool;
  • Contact Form 7 – for adding contact form without a hassle;
  • WooCommerce – for creating e-commerce websites;
  • MonsterInsights – for integrating Google Analytics.

Patterns

Let’s say you want to make an online portfolio to boost your photography career. If you can’t find a theme that fits you perfectly – or if you want to design your website yourself – you can add pre-made patterns instead of starting from scratch.

In simple terms, patterns are ready-to-use website sections and elements, such as:

  • Buttons;
  • Columns;
  • Featured sections;
  • Galleries;
  • Headers;
  • Images;
  • Text elements.

What You’ll (Probably) Have to Pay For

Well, having any website – WordPress or not – comes with some intrinsic costs you can’t cut. On top of them, sometimes, you might need to cash in for an extra feature set, too. Let’s break down these potential expenses.

Hosting & Domain Name

WordPress.org doesn’t offer any web hosting or domain name services. This means you’re the one responsible for taking care of these two aspects.

Let’s be clear: free web hosting and domain name services do exist. But these offers are often limited in time (e.g., you get only the first year for free, and then the price tag gets high). Or they lack stability, support, and features. So, it’s strongly advised to avoid them.

Luckily, most of the time, your domain name price is included in the web hosting package for the first year. But if you want to purchase it on your own, here are three services you can use:

  • Google Domains;
  • Name.com;
  • Namecheap.com.

A regular domain name with a .com extension bought independently will cost you around $10-12 per year.

As for the web hosting providers, these five are all good places to start:

  • Bluehost;
  • SiteGround;
  • DreamHost;
  • Hostinger;
  • HostGator.

How much would web hosting services cost you? Let’s take Bluehost as an example: this company’s plans start at $2.95 per month. Yes, it can be as little as that!

Premium Themes

Yes, there are thousands of free themes for WordPress websites. But sometimes, they can’t cover your needs perfectly. If you, for example, have an unusual idea for the design or need premium support, you might want to invest in a premium theme.

Let’s say you need to create a website for a university using this CMS. You’ve tried multiple free themes, but they don’t seem to match your vision or lack support. In this case, you can go to Commercial Themes on WordPress.org and browse premium options.

How much would these themes cost you? Well, it depends on the developer. Usually, the price tag starts at around $50 per year.

Premium Plugins

Just like the themes, sometimes, free plugins don’t do everything you need them to – or they have certain limitations. That’s why some of the most popular among them have premium versions that you might want to invest in.

For example, Yoast SEO has a paid, more robust version of the plugin. The same goes for:

  • JetFormBuilder (starts at $39 per year);
  • Jetpack (starts at $3.95 per month);
  • MonsterInsights (starts at $99.50 per year).

But, of course, there are plenty of website owners that make do without the premium plugins. If you’re building a website for personal use – a blog or a portfolio, for example – it’s unlikely you’ll need them. But if you want to grow your business with the help of WordPress, premium plugins can turn out to be a must.

Using your website’s built-in features

You’ll want to make sure that you take advantage of your website’s built-in features. This includes the content editor, which allows you to write, edit and format your website’s content.

With this feature, you can easily change the layout, style and formatting of your site. You also have access to widgets that allow you to create custom layouts for your sidebar or footer.

Additionally, you can embed Google Maps into your website in seconds with just a few clicks. Using these features will not only save you time and energy, but it will also save you money on expensive plugins and extensions.

Host your website with a free service:

For free hosting, you can use a hosting you are already paying for or get a subdomain from free hosting providers like Weebly or Wix.

Related: Want To Set Up a Server For Your Small Business? Here are Some Guidelines

Importing a Design Template

If you’re using a theme from WordPress’s Theme Store, then you can use the Import option to bring in a design template.

All you have to do is upload your design template as a ZIP or RAR file, and WordPress will import it for you. It’s a quick, easy way to get going with WP without paying any money.

It also makes it so that if you ever want to change up your design at any time, you don’t need to start from scratch.

Creating and Importing Pages

One of the easiest ways to use WordPress without any money is to create and import pages. All you have to do is log into your WP dashboard and click “create new page”.

From there, you can choose between a variety of layouts for your content, add custom headers and footers, upload images, make a blog post or insert something from one of your blogs archives.

You can upload your content from either the site you are importing it from or by sharing it through google docs. There are also tons of templates that make it easy for you to get started with an online store or any other type of website template.

Moving from a Subdomain to a Domain

A common way to get WordPress without paying a single cent is to make the switch from using a subdomain (i.e., blog.yourwebsite.com) to a domain (i.e., yourwebsite.com).

It’s free, and you don’t need anything other than hosting for it. Simply head over to the Domains section of your account on GoDaddy, for example, and create a new domain under the “Website” tab.

You can choose from traditional domains like .com or .org, or pay extra for a more niche domain like .coffee or .nyc. Once you enter in all your personal details about the domain name, you should be all set!

How to Create a free website on WordPress

  1. Sign Up to WordPress.com: First, sign up for a free WordPress account at wp.com. Once you’ve created an account, WordPress will ask you to confirm your email by clicking on a link in the email they send you. If you don’t see an email from WordPress in your inbox within 5 minutes, check your spam folder or search for “WordPress” in your emails.
  2. Activate Your Blog: Once you’ve confirmed your email address, it’s time to activate your blog by logging into your dashboard and following the steps outlined here: https://en.support.wordpress.com/activate/. When activating your blog, be sure to choose a username that’s short and easy to remember because this is how people will find you on the web!
  3. Choose and Customize Your Theme: The next step is choosing and customizing a theme for your blog. You can do this by going to Appearance > Themes in the left-hand menu of the dashboard and scrolling through the available themes until you find one that suits your needs (or creating one from scratch).
  4. Connect with Social Media: In order to make sure that people can easily find out about all of the great content on their site, it’s important that they connect their website with social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter. This makes it much easier for other users of those social media platforms to share information about what they’re doing.
  5. Finish the website design: Once you have done these steps, you are ready to let the website go live. From here you can publish articles in posts or pages. Moreover, you need to know whether you will be using a static homepage or a customized homepage.

Can I make a website on WordPress for free?

Yes, you can make a website on WordPress for free since WordPress is free for anyone to download. Moreover, you can use it without restrictions for any website. However, you may need to pay for hosting and premium plugins if you need them.

You can also install plugins, themes, and updates for free. If you’re only looking to build a simple website with WordPress and don’t need any bells or whistles, you can use the WordPress.com Basic plan.

The Basic plan is completely free and includes all the basics of the platform, like hosting and unlimited storage.

You can also purchase additional features from this plan or upgrade to the Premium plan for $12/month (billed annually) for more customization.

The most popular option for those who are looking to make a simple website without spending any money is to sign up for a domain name through Bluehost and use it in conjunction with WordPress’s hosting services.

With this method, you’ll have access to everything you need for your site without having to spend money on other services.

Alternatively, many of the best WordPress websites are built using Jetpack or Siteground. Combining these two plugins will give you everything you need to create a great website without paying a single cent at all!

Does WordPress cost money?

WordPress is free, as are many of its add-ons and themes. There are a few paid WordPress extensions and plugins, but there are dozens of free ones to choose from.

Is WordPress free for students?

. If you’re a student, you can use either WordPress.com or WordPress.org to create your website without paying a single cent. In both cases, you still need to pay for hosting (or have access to free hosting) and optional upgrades from the WordPress store.

  • WordPress.com is ideal for students because it offers free hosting, as well as easy-to-use website templates that save you some time and make building your site easier than ever!
  • WordPress.com is an excellent option for students who are looking to build their first website quickly and easily without spending any money on hosting or design packages.

They currently offer more than 210 free themes to choose from, plus they have an easy drag-and-drop interface that makes designing your site fun and easy! It’s also perfect if you’re just starting out and want a place where you can blog about your interests or share photos of your latest adventures with family and friends.

Can You Make a WordPress Site for Free?

Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/aGwT9nSiTWU

In Conclusion

With WordPress, it’s quite possible to keep the costs of running a website to a minimum. But, unfortunately, nothing in this life is completely free of charge. For one, you’ll still have to find hosting. Plus, free themes and plugins might not satisfy all of your needs.

Still, compared to all other options (Wix, Squarespace, etc.), WordPress is the most affordable and robust option on the table. If you’re ready to spend some time setting up your website, tinkering with it, and testing themes and plugins, all you’ll have to pay is hosting services – the rest is optional!

The WordPress platform is an excellent way to make a website without paying a single cent. There are many plugins and extensions that you can use for free.

Additionally, it’s easy to customize your homepage and build everything from plugins to e-commerce websites with these free extensions.

Image Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/Zk–Ydz2IAs

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