Can I Use WordPress for Free Forever?

WordPress is and remains free because it is not owned by a company. Instead, it is owned by the non-profit WordPress Foundation, which was established “to guarantee free access, in perpetuity, to the software projects we support. Yes, you can use the WordPress installation of Google's cloud platform for free forever, but you need to take some precautions. There is no real “WordPress free trial” option for self-hosted WordPress.

And no matter how many WordPress setup guides you read or WordPress tutorial videos you watch, there's nothing like actually playing around with the software to see if it “makes sense” to you. This is perhaps the best option if you want to test yourself on a fully functional version of WordPress. The only limitation of the test is that Google cannot index the site. Obviously, this is to prevent Google spam. Unlike other providers, Flywheel creates a cloud instance that runs on your site.

So it's super fast and dedicated to your site. It's a little more complicated, but just to let you know it's out there, you can download a copy of WordPress to your own computer and install it with your computer set up as a server. Desktop Server is also a good freemium software that makes the process on Mac & Windows a breeze. Everything will work in the configuration of your computer (plugins, themes, everything), since you will have a real server environment on your desktop. To publish it, you can move your site manually or use a plugin such as Duplicator.

It's a bit complex, but that's something you can do to really explore the software before buying a hosting. If you plan to do a lot of the process, something like Desktop Server starts to pay off. Self-hosted WordPress doesn't have a bunch of “test before you confirm” options, but they're out there. Choose your web hosting provider, purchase, install the free WordPress software and create your WordPress site. Unlike other platforms, WordPress makes it easy to export and move.

Be sure to check out my WordPress Setup Guide and my beginner's WordPress tutorials and, of course, the ShivarWeb Sandbox for WordPress. Larry Ludwig is an entrepreneur, financial expert, technology marketing guru with more than 25 years of experience in the industry. Not all web hosts are created equal. Your WordPress host is an essential part of your business. Choose your web hosting provider wisely. In this article I'm going to help you run a WordPress blog on Google Compute Cloud — Free.

If you have experience using WordPress, there's no reason why you should pay for professional development or support services. The thing is, as I understand WordPress, you need a SQL database and there is no free tier for Cloud SQL. However, while web hosting and a domain name are the only costs you have to pay, there are still other potential costs of running a WordPress site. If you use a microserver instance while installing your WordPress virtual machine, Google simply provides this microserver instance free forever. Beyond those costs, if you're a DIY person, you should be able to handle most of the WordPress maintenance on your own.

If you love the command line, you'll probably like getting your hands dirty and setting things up on your own server instead of getting those free WordPress hosting plans. Even with an open source CMS like WordPress, you'll need to spend some money to get your website up and running — at least to secure a domain name and hosting.

Wilson Szafranski
Wilson Szafranski

Unapologetic music fan. Lifelong music aficionado. Professional web guru. Hipster-friendly food expert. Hipster-friendly bacon guru. Proud travel junkie.