Can You Use WordPress on an Existing Website for Free?

WordPress is the world’s #1 content management system and one of the most popular DIY (do it yourself) web platforms. It is perfect for creating a website without the need for hiring a professionally web developer.

But is it truly free to use? Can you use WordPress on an existing website without paying a cent? Can you use it to launch your product or service and not have to worry about upgrading later on when you discover you need to?

We examine the various options for using WordPress on an existing website and how to make the most of them.

The Good News

There are three great news stories that we want to share with you about WordPress. First, the software is open source which means that it is freely available to be used, inspected and modified by anyone. This encourages innovation and experimentation. If you have a good idea for an improvement or a new feature, you can develop it and share it with the community.

Second, WordPress is extremely popular and is used by millions of websites around the world. This popularity makes it easy to find web developers who are willing to work with you for free. Freelancing is a great way to get work without the need to commit to full-time employment. Plus, you get to explore new areas of technology which you might not have had the opportunity to learn about otherwise.

The Bad News

Despite all of this, there is some bad news to report about WordPress as well. First, in order to use the software you need to possess certain technical skills which you can learn through self-education or professional training. Some of the skills required include HTML, CSS and basic knowledge of PHP or Ruby on Rails. You also need to be able to use a command line interface (CLI) to install and configure WordPress.

Even with all of this being said, WordPress can still be a very expensive software to purchase outright. For example, the basic plan at WordPress.com – the hosted WordPress version – costs $5/mo. So, even if you want to use the most basic version of the software, you are looking at a five-month expense before you even launch your product or service. Think about the amount of money that you will have to spend just to get the technical parts of WordPress up and running.

So, can you use WordPress on an existing website for free?

Choosing The Right Host

The first thing that you need to consider if you are going to use WordPress on an existing website is your host. Your host is responsible for providing you with a space on the web to launch your product or service. They will take care of the technical aspects of getting your site online including installation, setup and maintenance. Essentially, your host is responsible for getting your content online so that people can find it and read it.

You can choose from a variety of web hosting companies that offer exclusive offers for new customers. Make sure to choose a reputable company with a solid reputation.

Consider The Benefits Of A Dedicated Server

Another important consideration if you are using WordPress on an existing website is to opt for a dedicated server. A dedicated server offers you a lot of benefits including faster load times and more security. If you are keeping sensitive content such as financial records or marketing material on your site, then a dedicated server is the way to go. It also allows you to install and run more features-packed plugins which can enhance the functionality of your site.

Dedicated servers are expensive, so make sure to budget for them properly. But the cost is well worth it for the benefits that they provide. A single-server setup with a dedicated IP addresses costs roughly $250 per month plus you need to budget for a web-developer to set it up for you.

Vary Your Content

Even if you have a stunningly successful product or service, odds are it will not be enough to keep you afloat in today’s competitive world. To stay relevant and attract more customers, you need to constantly be seeking new ways to engage with your audience. One proven method is to offer them value without overwhelming them with information. Varying your content is a great way to do that. Across your website, blog posts, social media and email marketing, you should be presenting various perspectives on your product or service in an effort to offer the reader as much value as possible while still keeping them interested.

Launch On A Pay-What-You-Can basis

Another great way to get your product or service online without having to break the bank is to launch on a pay-what-you-can basis. This allows anyone who wants to can use the software to create a basic website for free. As of this writing, you can use the following launch plan to get started:

  • WordPress.com – the free version
  • Etsy.com – the paid version
  • Shopify.com – the paid version
  • Bluehost.com – the paid version (this one is quite popular)
  • Shopify.com – the free version

You can use any of these services to launch your product or service, and if you decide to go with WordPress, you will end up paying somewhere between $0 and $5 per month. So, in some cases, you can even save money by going this route. But you need to put in the time to figure out how to use these services effectively. It takes some effort to get the most out of them, and you must be willing to put in the required effort.

Final Takeaway

If you want to use WordPress on an existing website and not have to worry about upgrading later on when you discover you need to, then the best option is to launch on a pay-what-you-can basis or to opt for a hosted solution. The reason is simple; even if you choose a free option, you will still need to pay for web hosting which can get costly. So, it’s better to go this route than to try to launch on a self-hosted WordPress solution which can end up being very expensive and stressful. Plus, with a hosted solution, you know that all your content will be kept up to date and that software installation and configuration will be handled for you.