Most Content Management Systems, such as MovableType and ExpressionEngine, come with a hefty price tag attached to them. One of the biggest pros and reasons most people use WordPress, is because, well, that price tag is no where to be seen. But what if WordPress.com started charging a monthly fee for hosting with them and using their app? Or what if WordPress.org started charging for personal and commercial licenses? Would you continue using WordPress and support them for their outstanding hard work?
In a way, I would almost like it better if WordPress charged to use their application. I honestly wouldn’t mind paying, oh let’s say, $25 a month for, let’s say, unlimited downloads. Or even $10 per license.
How would this help WordPress and the community?
Help cover project and company costs
Imagine how much it costs Automattic to run WordPress? They all work extremely hard and I bet it ain’t cheap. Matt Mullenweg also does a fair bit of traveling around the globe to attend WordCamps and such. Hosting Servers, plain tickets, computer gear, Wii games, and everything else it costs to run a company… it all adds up!
Filter out spam sites
I’ve come across quite a few spam sites in my day, that are powered by WordPress. If Automattic charged for WordPress, this could minimize the amount of spam sites that popup everyday. This may not directly help the community, but in the long-run, it may.
Make WordPress look more professional
…Especially in the eyes of our clients. Many freelancers, and Web services use WordPress as the back-end for their client projects. In my case with WPCoder, it’s what we specialize in, so we only do custom WordPress theme coding. Some clients don’t like using WordPress because they see it’s free and open-source, which for some reason, is unacceptable.
I actually decided to Tweet the question “What if WordPress Cost Money? Would you continue using it? Or switch to another free CMS?” and the general notion I got was that most people wouldn’t even think about paying for it, and would instead switch to Drupal, MovableType, or ExpressionEngine. Hmm..interesting!
I’d like to hear what the rest of ya’ll gotta say. Would you mind paying for WordPress? And well, at least WordPress has been free thus far, and will most likely continue in that direction. We can thank Automattic for that!