WordPress could be considered easy. It could also be considered bloated and hard. There are enough plugins and themes for anyone to get started building a website. This is the reason why many people choose WordPress. Beautiful designs, powerful features, and the freedom to build anything you want. WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.
The thing about WordPress which makes it such a great platform, is the price. If you are savvy enough, you can run WordPress on your computer, and have a free sub domain point to your website. This of course is not recommended due to multiple reasons. But, the point is, it is very affordable.
With that being said, nothing is truly free. Although you will not have to purchase the WordPress software, you may have to purchase the theme, or pay for plugins. The developers who make these plugins may offer it free of charge, but that usually comes with limited to no support. Granted, paying for a plugin or theme, doesn't always guarantee support. If you are not very technical, this could be an issue.
Freelancers exist to help with this. Agency's also exist. For example, we are here to help with any issues you have with WordPress. Click here to contact us. Pricing for freelancers and agency's can range from about $30/hr to $200/hr (all pricing examples shown as USD). The thing with any pricing, is you can get amazing help, or horrible help. Make sure to pick a freelancer or agency carefully. I personal recommend Hightek Designs.
This also brings us to hosting and domain name costs!
Domains & Hosting
There is costs in hosting your website. There are companies that regulate domain names. For example, to get punicastudios.com I had to register the domain name. You pay a annual fee to be able to keep that domain active and available for only you to use.
I have seen many people get ripped off with domain names. As of writing, you can get a domain name (.com) at Hightek Designs for as little as $13.99/yr. This is a good price. It comes with FREE Domain Privacy Protection, FREE email forwarding (to forward emails to another service), FREE DNS Management.
You can find cheaper deals elsewhere, but they usually will upsell you with other things that should come free. For example, GoDaddy will have deals for $2.99/1st yr for a .COM domain or free website included. But, going through their checkout, you will see many things they say you need and the costs will add up. You want Domain Privacy Protection, that's an extra $7.99/yr to $14.99/yr for the 1st year. Then on year 2, your .COM domain name will then change from $2.99 to $17.99 and that doesn't include the Domain Privacy Protection. which will go from the $7.99/yr to $9.99/yr. You will be charged $27.98/yr plus their other fees they charge on top of that. Do yourself a favor and just order from Hightek Designs.
If you don't trust Hightek Designs, I can recommend Cloudflare. You can purchase domains without being ripped off. make sure to choose their FREE option for DNS management. Hightek Designs does this all for you and make it so much easier to manage.
As with domain names, hosting is another important thing you will need. There are many companies who advertise pricing for hosting. You will see super cheap pricing, usually as low as 99 cents! Do not fall for those scams.
If you want to get Free WordPress hosting, there is only one place for that. WordPress.com. You do not get any support on the free plan. But this can get you started if you are on a budget. You also can't use your own domain name. There are also WordPress ads. It is very limited.
They have paid versions as well, which are pretty decent. As low as $48/yr or $7/mo (as of writing), you can upgrade to their Personal plan. It's still limited, but comes with email support, no ads, and you can use your own domain name.
I would recommend using Hightek Designs for the domain and hosting. Priced at $5/mo for the shared resources and you can upgrade to a VPS (which is dedicated resources for your website). Most hosting is on shared. With shared hosting, your website will get slow if another user with another website is getting a bunch of traffic, or has a script that is causing issues on the server. With a VPS, it's dedicated, and you do not have to worry about that. Hightek Designs VPS hosting starts at $11.99/mo. All accounts are custom setup. Once you order a technician will have to set the server up for you.
I have here a coupon you can use `2MOFREE` if buying annually. This applies to all the shared hosting services and gets you 2 months of free hosting if paying for the full year. What's great about this, is the coupon currently will also be applied every year until they expire the coupon. The VPS hosting is already priced too low to have a coupon, unfortunately. However, buying the annual on the VPS will get you a domain name for free. This is also continuous. So, it will be free every year until their promotion ends, which I don't think will be ending any time soon.
So, is WordPress really free? Yes and no. If you want a professional website for your business, it will cost you money somewhere. However, if just doing a blog, you can definitely setup a WordPress website for free using wordpress.com.
Also, as a word of caution, do not use domain and hosting companies that sell dirt cheap for the first year. They will make their money from you on the second year, or from upselling. You will also be marketed a ton to purchase stuff you NEED.
If you enjoyed this article, or have any questions, feel free to share on social media and let me know of any questions you may have!