WordPress Business Model: How Does WordPress Make Money?

Explore the intriguing WordPress earning ecosystem and discover the secrets behind how WordPress generates revenue.


How Does WordPress Make Money

WordPress is completely cost-free.

Ok, how the heck does WP offer continuous updates while giving solid support to a huge blogging community?

If you’re a WP user, this question comes to mind at some point.

WordPress is free- While this statement is somewhat true, it is only partially accurate. Be logical- can WP sustain its services on this massive scale without generating revenue?

Let me show you how fascinating the WordPress earning ecosystem is and how does WordPress make money.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

Tons of confusion regarding this.

Allow us to clarify….

WordPress Foundation handles WordPress.org and is an open-source charitable project. This is the self-hosted WordPress option where you host your own site and install the WordPress software. And this is totally free.

Until 2005!

Matt Mullenweg, the co-founding developer of the open-source WordPress software, started a private company named Automattic. They introduce WordPress.com. The root purpure was making WordPress hosting more accessible and making money from it. Now Automattic Inc has over 2,000 employees worldwide.

WordPress.com is more like a pre-hosted publishing platform. This means you don’t have to take the headache of anything like hosting, theme, backup, and others.

Let’s not forget…. WordPress power 43.1% of all the websites on the internet and established itself as the most popular CMS.

So, How Does WordPress Make Money Exactly?

WordPress is a non-profit organization built and developed by many unseen developers, faces, and researchers. However, its unique earning model lets the company run its services easily.

And guess what?

WordPress revenue is estimated at $1.3 billion. Let’s dig deep into the fact of How does WordPress generate revenue?

How Does WordPress.org Make Money (aka WordPress Foundation)?

The straightforward answer is donations.

No one gets paid to contribute to WordPress, yet the community operates the platform. They sell their product and service to WP users. If the platform survives, it can exist too.

Plus…..WP gets funding from various companies too.

For example, hosting companies, including Hostinger, Bluehost, Big Rock or Siteground, etc., offer significant Money to WordPress.org once you purchase a domain. This means that WP runs on donations from companies involved in WP’s existence.

But the question is, why do they do that?

Truth be told, these companies are like a fallen tree without WordPress. Besides, WordPress sells premium stuff like themes and plugins to make Money.

How Does WordPress.com Make Money (aka Automattic)?

The primary income of WordPress is from selling domain, hosting, backup, etc. services. Besides, many other areas are helping WP to earn. Let’s find them out.

Web Hosting 

WP offers web hosting services. 

Big brands named Time.com, TechCrunch, CNN, etc., use web hosting provided by WordPress. WP VIP web hosting prices start from $25,000/year.

Google AdSense

Many use the free hosting services of WordPress.com. WP gets the ad revenue of Google AdSense from the free blogs. However, Google Ads appear in those blogs with the below conditions,

  • The visitors are using other browsers instead of Firefox.
  • If the visitor has a WP account, he has signed out of it.
  • The source mentioned is not a WP-powered blog. So, if you land on abc.wordpress.com from xyz.wordpress.com, Google Ads will not appear.
  • Your blog has to have massive traffic.

The generated revenue from Google Ads on WordPress.com is high with these conditions. The WP-hosted blogs receive a billion traffic per month.


Though users can’t use ads in their WordPress blogs or websites. But you can sign up for WordAds if your blog has large traffic. WordAds places ads on your WP website, and WordPress earns through it.

WP Themes

WP offers a wide range of premium themes in its directory. Bloggers buy those themes to use on their sites.

Usually, the price range of a premium theme is $50-$100, and these themes are GPL-compatible. 3rd-party WP developers develop the themes. When a blogger buys a theme, WP receives a commission per sale.

Premium Accounts

Although you can host a website on WordPress.com without cost, additional storage will be required after a specific time.

In that case, WP will charge you a fixed fee when you want some premium features. A few premium features are extra space for multimedia files, using customized web domains, etc.

Web Host Referrals

Wanna self-host your WP blogs without charge in a 3rd-party web hosting company?

Happily, WordPress.org suggests several 3rd-party companies to self-host your site. The links are referral links, and WP gets a commission per sale.

WordPress Support

Sometimes, you may require support, and the free support forums can fail to resolve your problem. 

In such cases, no other choices exist except subscribing to the Automattic Support Network. This service is only for Enterprise users and costs $2.5k-5k annually.

All your concerns related to WordPress will be solved by the WP developers. More importantly, the response time is incredibly quick, as low as 6 hours.

Guided Transfer Service

Want to transfer your blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org?

You will need to cost a one-time $119 fee for the transfer. Automattic will help you transfer your website or blog without hassle with the Guided Transfer service.

Freemium and Premium Plugins

WordPress has a wide range of plugins from different categories like SEO, Event & Calendar, Email, Ecommerce, Social etc. Here are some of their popular plugins-

  • Yoast SEO premium

Most of us use the free WP Yoast SEO plugin. The Premium one is even smoother with schema markup, internal linking suggestions, easy integration of various platforms etc.

  • VaultPress

Who doesn’t want to back up their blog to prevent unwanted problems?

Cloud service is getting more popular day by day. Happily, Automattic has a paid cloud service named VaultPress. The package begins at $15/month. VaultPress confirms real-time backup of your free WP blogs or websites. Moreover, VaultPress will notify you regarding potential security errors.

  • VideoPress

WordPress has a plugin named VideoPress. You can host audio and video files of your own with the help of this plugin.

The biggest feature of this plugin is you will get unlimited bandwidth for videos. More importantly, videos don’t consist of ads while supporting HD playbacks. The cost starts from $60/year.

  • Poll Daddy Paid Version

A paid version of Poll Daddy allows users to ask unlimited queries per survey. WP makes Money with the paid version.

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