What is WordPress? Is WordPress Free? Why is WordPress so popular?

If you have never heard of WordPress before then the first question you will be asking is “What is WordPress?“. When you start knowing a little bit about WordPress then the second questions will pop up “Is WordPress free?“. At some point of your learning curve, you will be surprised by its large popularity and it makes you wonder “Why is WordPress so popular?“. Knowing all the good side of WordPress, you are convinced that you have to use WordPress for your new Project. But before starting out, you want to analyze WordPress from all angles. So you start asking questions like “What are the disadvantages of using WordPress?“. In this post, we will try to cover all of these topics.What is WordPress, Is WordPress Free, Why is WordPress so popular, What are the disadvantages of using WordPress

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a just some software script built in PHP and MySQL. Initially, when WordPress was started, it was just a simple blogging platform. Today, you can use WordPress to build and run powerful websites of all kinds. Undoubtedly WordPress is the most popular and loved blogging platform at present. Over 70 million sites use WordPress which is almost 30% of total websites in the world. Wow, that’s huge. Still, the platform continues to grow bigger and better. The main reason behind WordPress popularity is its simplicity, powerful features and full of options to learn and grow. It’s the result combined hard work of thousands of contributors (developers, bloggers and everyone in between) from across the globe.

Related: What is WordPress and How Does it Work?

Is WordPress Free?

Yes, WordPress is free to copy, use, modify and redistribute the software in any way you like without seeking any permission from anybody. WordPress is an open source software. So it is not owned by single company or individual. It is the result of combined effort of all the people around the world who contribute in creating a great software. Even you can also contribute patches, report bugs, suggest features etc, however, there is a core team who lead the project development who will review your suggestion. To know more about the philosophy of Open Source software check out GNU’s Philosophy.

Although WordPress is free to download and install, you will still need a web hosting account and a domain name to have your WordPress website running in the web. Domain, hosting, support, premium plugin and themes are the other things where you may have to spend money.

Is WordPress Copyright Free?

No, WordPress is not copyright free. It is released under GPL. You are free to use, modify, and redistribute the code but not the entire code. Each contribution made to the software is copyrighted. GPL requires that any derivative work you release or distribute should be licensed under GPL as well.

WordPress.com versus WordPress.org

This is another topic that confuses a lot of people. What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

WordPress.org is the site where you can download WordPress for free, and an install a few free themes and plugins. However, you will still need a domain and a hosting account to run the WordPress website.

On the other hand, WordPress.com is an easy web way to start a free WordPress-based blog with just a simple signup. Although you get a free blog the features are relatively limited and less flexible than what you’d get with the flavor of WordPress at WordPress.org. WordPress.com will offer you a free sub-domain (e.g. sitename.wordpress.com) but you still have to pay for a personalized domain (e.g. www.yoursite.com).

Actually, there are tons of advantages of going through a little harder path of installing WordPress yourself. To know more about this topic check out our article on “What’s difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

How do You Make Money using WordPress?

Good WordPress developers can generate high income by building custom websites, applications, and plugins around WordPress for their clients. If you have your own WordPress blog and want to generate some passive income through it then here are the ways to do so.

Related: How to Make Money with Blog Using Simple Techniques

  • Affiliate marketing programming
  • Direct advertisement showing ads
  • Pay Per Click through Google Adsense, ChitikaYahoo Publisher and BidVertiser
  • Sponsored posts and product reviews
  • Secretly selling links
  • Make an eCommerce site and create and sell products
  • Provide premium services
  • Showing advertisements through WordAds
  • Start a paid membership program

Why is WordPress so popular?

There various advantages of using WordPress which make it popular. Lets take a look at some features that will answer why WordPress is popular.

Google loves WordPress. WordPress is built with all web standard and you can easily SEO optimize each WordPress websites to be more Search engine friendly. To make your life easier there are various free and premium SEO plugins to help improve search engine visibility of your WordPress website. Other than that, WP supports metadata, tags, categories, SEO-friendly URLs, and so much more including SEO plugins.

3. Fast loading speed

Compared to any other CMS, WordPress is very quick. With just a few setup and maintenance you can significantly speed up your WordPress site.

Related: Easy Ways to Speed Up Your WordPress Site

Ajax In WordPress

4. Image Optimization

Working with the image in WordPress is extremely simple. In no time you can upload your image, adjust it and add title and tags. No hard work needed to optimize your images for good ranking of your post/page. Plugins like Wp-smush will help you compress the image without losing its quality. Thus saving space and creating lesser page load time.There are plugins to easily create image galleries and the image carousel.

 5. Easy to use and customize

WordPress might look confusing at first, but once you’re used to it, you will quickly notice how easy it is to use and learn. Installation is very simple and can be done even with a single click. No need to learn coding to create, publish blogs and make a custom configuration. Theme customizer allows you to easily customize colors, design, and even features of a WordPress theme. User-friendly dashboard which makes it very simple for general users to customize the entire website. Everything you want to do is just a few clicks away.

6. WordPress is a secure enough

WordPress team is dedicated to providing high-security against hacks. Although hackers are continuously looking for loopholes, the regular newer version are filling these vulnerabilities and loopholes with every update. Security plugins like Wordfence can also be used to fight these attacks. WordPress has some best spam protection plugins like Akismet.

Related: The Simple Way to Install Wordfence Security Plugin in WordPress

7. WordPress is easily extensible

Thousands of free and premium themes, plugins, add-ons, and widgets at your disposal, there’s nothing you cannot do with WordPress. You can build blog networks, online shops, news sites, magazines, review sites and so much more. Due to the simple fact that WordPress is free software, you can build any web application of your wish by modifying the source code.

What are the disadvantages of using WordPress?

  1. WordPress is the usual target of Hackers and spammers due to its popularity.  
  2. In most cases, WordPress doesn’t provide technical support to their end users.
  3. The WordPress multisite configuration process requires deep technical knowledge.
  4. WordPress is written in PHP, and it is a language many non-PHP coders are not extremely fond of.
  5. Bloated code is another serious issue. The WYSIWYG editor generates bad HTML, and most of the themes and plugins are bloated.
  6. The major drawback of WordPress is that it is incompatible with few web app development tools like Angular.js.


Now if you are willing to join the ever-growing WordPress community then here are some articles that can help you.

We hope that this article answers all your basic questions like what is WordPress, is WordPress free, why is WordPress so popular and what are the disadvantages of using WordPress. Please feel free to add your comments, questions, and feedback below.


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Kantiman Bajracharya

Kantiman Bajracharya is a freelance web developer. He is a computer geek who has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering. He has earned lots of satisfied customers while working for numerous successful projects. He is also a WordPress theme creator and web article writer. On free time he likes reading philosophy books, traveling and playing chess.

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