Is WordPress actually free?

Yes, WordPress is free as well as being open source. That means that developers can view and change the source code, so the CMS can be improved. There are also a huge number of design templates (themes) and extensions (plugins) that have been created by members of the community.

But just because you don't have to pay anything for WordPress itself, publishing a WordPress website is far from free. With a WordPress website, you have to consider two main costs:

  • Plugins and themes: High-quality design templates and premium extensions help to realise your website vision, but often come at a price.

  • Hosting and domain: Your website needs to be published on the internet. Ad-free and powerful paid hosting plans are the only real option.


Premium plugins and themes

A key advantage of WordPress is that you build your website much more easily by using plugins and themes. Themes are design templates that give your website a certain look. You choose the theme that suits your ideas and make changes afterwards.

Plugins add additional functionality to your website or WordPress installation. For example, with the right plugins, you can link your website to your social media channels and improve your search engine optimisation.

Many themes and plugins are available for free. However, for professional projects it’s recommended to invest in premium extensions. Paid themes, for example, are typically optimised for speed and offer many functions and a special design.

The same applies to plugins. The functional extensions often come as a free version. However, many important features and support are only included in the paid offer.

Professional hosting

You can create professional websites without needing much HTML or CSS know-how on WordPress. But your website also needs to be published on the internet. For that you require a web server and that is part of paid hosting. This server is basically a computer that others can access via the internet. The website is located on it, which is loaded when it’s called up in the browser. Unlike your PC, a web server is connected to the internet around the clock and can handle large numbers of visitors.

A web server is specially designed to prepare web pages and make them available. This refers to the hardware used, but also to the software installed. This means certain protocols and databases must be installed for the operation to work properly.

However, a server alone is not enough. Users also need a way to access your website in the browser. That's what the domain (the web address) is for. In most hosting packages, the domain is part of the standard services and doesn’t cost extra.

To create your domain, you think of a suitable term, for example your business name, and then combine it with a top-level domain (TLD). This is the end of a domain – like .io, .com or .net. If no one else is already using this domain, you can register your new web address.

SSD and OPcache make for faster WordPress

WordPress hosting – more than just the software

IONOS WordPress hosting packages give you more than just the WordPress software. They also include high-performance hosting, your own domain and more. You can choose between the following options:

These hosting packages require minimum effort from you, with WordPress and useful plugins coming pre-installed.

Whether you’re using WordPress for the first time or you’re already a pro, you’ll find the right option with IONOS. Managed WordPress is particularly well-suited to beginners. You can fully concentrate on your content and design, while experts take care of the admin.

If you’re already familiar with the CMS and want more freedom, WordPress Hosting is a great choice. Whichever option you choose, you’re never on your own. IONOS support is available 24/7.