Why is WordPress free but I have to pay for WordPress hosting?

There seems to be a certain dilemma about WordPress being free, while you have to pay for WordPress hosting, which is the reason we want to discuss important aspects of WordPress hosting purchase today.

For those that are not familiar with the subject, first we will clarify a few facts about the global phenomenon that is WordPress.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is the most popular DIY website platform with around 450 million websites world-wide, roughly 35% of the Internet.

WordPress has become this popular with developing websites due to the fact that you can use this development platform for free, without any additional expense necessary, provided you already have purchased a web hosting.

WordPress (CMS) content management system relies on website themes and plugins developed by third parties which are delivered as free and/or paid.

Naturally, this implies that paid versions are sometimes better as they provide a higher level of functionality, but in many cases free themes and plugins are enough for you to be able to develop a great website.

The best part is that WordPress aims to deliver you to your goal without the need to know any coding, only by using the WordPress dashboard, plugins and themes.

What is WordPress hosting?

On the other hand, WordPress hosting is a web hosting service provided by companies such as BlueHost, A2 Hosting, Irist and others that is aimed at providing an optimal WordPress experience for both beginners and veteran users most commonly with a 1-click WordPress installation.

In most cases, the user will be able to begin building his new WordPress site in a matter of minutes, but also the overall service should be better tuned to such websites, providing more resources than a cheap bottom of the barrel web hosting.

Why is WordPress free but you have to pay for WordPress hosting?

Considering WordPress hosting is a third-party service that is necessary to enable you to start developing an online site, it is not hard to understand why it has to be paid for.

The server resources that are provided to you – storage, computing power, Internet connection to your site need to be physically there with the company that provides it, and it does induce a significant expense.

Also the servers need to be maintained so that your website is accessible 24/7, hence tech staff is needed and it all adds more expenses to the company that provided the service for you.

Just think, if you were the one that needs to provide such infrastructure for your website, it would cost you many times more, and would require you to possess server maintenance and networking knowledge.

From that perspective, it can be said that paying a few dollars per month for a website hosting to enable you to own a WordPress hosting for your site is a trivial expense.

WordPress can be used for free?

Keep in mind that while the base WordPress content management software is free, in some instances you are enticed to invest a little bit into premium software.

The essential beauty of WordPress is that you can build an amazing website from nothing, but you can opt to get a premade site theme (template) that has everything you need and all you need to do is change images and text to your liking.

Such premade templates, that provide both amazing functionality and look gorgeous, are rarely free, meaning you will be tempted to buy a premium product in the end.

This can lead us to the conclusion that you will need to invest more time to make an amazing website, or go the quick route with a premade website that you need to pay for.

Naturally, this will depend on the type of WordPress website you are making, the purpose and value of the overall website.

A low-value website such as a school project or a personal website may not necessarily need any premium WordPress plugins or themes.

A commercial WordPress website that is being made for a business or a company will benefit from premium themes and plugins as it will better enable you to make a profit, hence the additional expense is justified.

WordPress hosting tips that can save you some money

As previously mentioned, the overall value of the website project should be used to determine how much money should be spent on the WordPress hosting, given the features included:

  • Storage space
  • Storage speed
  • Computing power (CDN cloud service)
  • Free services included

An average personal or project website may not require more than a few hundreds images which can fit into any basic WordPress hosting, while a commercial business or company website will require a plan that provides at least 10GB of space (or unlimited storage) as you will be adding content all the time.

Storage speed is important for a website with lots of images or media files, as you will want your content to be delivered to site visitors promptly, so you should be getting a WordPress hosting with SSD storage.

On the other hand a basic personal, school or other low-value project will not require considerable investment on this front, so you can go with a cheaper option storage wise.

I would imagine most WordPress website owners are not familiar with what exactly a Cloud Service (such as Cloudflare) is or what it can provide them with.

A CDN (content-delivery-network) cloud service is a global network of servers that will keep copies of your    site and distribute it to visitors locally, which will in turn increase the speed at which the visitor is receiving your data.

CDN has a very positive impact on user experience with your website, so again, it can be recommended for commercial websites where the user is browsing products or services, with intention of purchase, while it is not that important for low-value sites that are not aimed at making profit.

Finally, some WordPress hosting companies aim to sweeten the deal with free services included, such as SSL certificates, free site migration, free antivirus or other goodies.

These types of free services are somewhat case sensitive, meaning that you should carefully inspect what kind of additional services you are getting with your WordPress hosting before you buy it.


We can conclude that some of the good stuff in life is truly free, such as WordPress CMS, and while you do have to pay for WordPress hosting you actually can get more for less if you do a little bit of research, which is the exactly the reason why the Hosting Lagoon is here.

We hope that this article has provided you with useful information about WordPress hosting, and you will be able to make an informed decision when purchasing one.