WordPress began its life as an easy way to share your thoughts on the internet through, what was then, a very new concept, blogging. People wanted to keep what was known as "web logs" (we now know as 'Blogs') of their thoughts/Opinions etc. and have other people read them and contribute comments. So really WordPress was born out of a need for people to blog and it still handles blogging superbly, but since its birth it has grown into a content management system (CMS).
What is Wordpress
New clients often ask us "what is Wordpress?" We tell them that WordPress is simply an astonishing piece of software. Whether it's sending content to social networks, competing for search engine position or allowing visitors to subscribe to your site, WordPress is not just a website, but more a fully blown content-publishing platform. It gives an individual the same publishing power as a major corporation.
The Cost of Wordpress
WordPress is an Open Source software which means it is free! It can be used on any personal, and/or commercial projects without any restrictions (cost, legal etc).
Why would you want to hand over money to a company for a yearly license fee that does the same work as WordPress with a difficult graphical user interface? You could just hire one developer if you are willing to spend the cash and pay that person as you need to have their services. Lots of other high-end content management systems require "User Licenses" which essentially means that you have to pay them per each user who will be using it. WordPress is free of such restrictions. It does not even require any backlinks for using it, like which many other scripts do. However many supporters of Wordpress, link back to show their appreciation.
WordPress software is free for you to download and use. To use WordPress on the web however, you will need WordPress Hosting. Note you can use WordPress.com to create a free blog, but that is a different scenario than self hosted Wordpress sites. The actual cost of using WordPress is really quite minimal, the only real cost is web hosting and your domain name. AFastHost.co.uk users can get a domain name and web hosting from as low as £4.00/month from Tsohost.
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Any additional costs would be for commodities such as commercial WordPress themes and Plugins. However, you are not required to use premium wordpress themes and plugins. Currently there are over 1600+ free WordPress themes that you can use. There are over 23,000+ free WordPress plugins too.
So why do people buy paid themes or plugins? The simple answer is that free themes are being used everywhere. To get a little more exclusive design, feel and functionality for the site, people often purchase a commercial 'premium' theme. Premium themes can be great at giving a much more professional image of your company/website. Another benefit to purchasing a paid theme or a plugin is to get technical support. Free theme or plugin developers are not required to offer users support or updates because it is usually their own project. However, paid plugin and theme shops offer regular support and updates because it is their business and the better support they offer, the more people will suggest them to other users.
What is a Wordpress Plugin?
Now we know what Wordpress is, lets look at a core feature of Wordpress - Plugins. Plugins are 'add-ons' to your Wordpress website. They extend the functionality of your site. There are literally thousands upon thousands of wordpress plugins, plenty of them are free and most of them are upgraded regularly. They can also be easily switched off. This makes wordpress even more convenient, flexible and efficient.